Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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The Cool Ghoul: Theme Song Remix

It’s been ten years since the passing of Dick Von Hoene, Cincinnati’s late-night weekend TV phantom – The Cool Ghoul – as he was known professionally.  Aaron Bates, along with oldies radio station WGRR, put together a freewheeling and vintage-filled 2-minute tribute to the loveable horror figure specific to our Ohio Valley metropolitan area, at a time when local programming was commonplace on network TV:

During the late 60s/early 70s period in Cincinnati, The Cool Ghoul (as depicted below) was at his most “countercultural” – later he would take on more of a “vagabond” look:

Cool GhoulHow fascinating to come across one of the old Cincinnati Post TV listings (1970s) and be reminded of the individualized “lucky number” stamps near the pirate’s chest that you would compare against a master listing of that week’s winning numbers – good times!

Cool Ghoul - TV guideCleveland Had a Ghoul, Too

In the 1970s growing up, I used to spend summers in the Cleveland area, where my dad lived.  On Friday nights, WJW, the local CBS affiliate, featured a comedy duo – Hoolihan & Big Chuck – who, in retrospect, remind me of a Bob & Doug McKenzie style of wholesome comedy.  But Saturday night’s show with Channel 61’s The Ghoul was easily the more madcap and renegade of the two late-night weekend shows – live programming at its edgy best, where you never quite knew what was coming around the corner.

When Cleveland’s original beloved ghoul, Ghoulardi (Ernie Anderson) left the Great Lakes for the West Coast, the future Ghoul – i.e., Ron Sweed – who started out as Ghoulardi’s assistant, then went to work for Ghoulardi’s replacement, Hoolihan & Big Chuck.  According to Wikipedia, Sweed later took ‘The Ghoul’ to Kaiser Broadcasting station WKBF-TV in 1971: 
“Though it started as a tribute to Ghoulardi, Sweed soon developed his own eye-catching gags and energetic style.  Known for his zany, early-adolescent humor (particularly surrounding his abuse of a rubber frog named “Froggy,” his well-known penchant for blowing up model ships and aircraft with firecrackers, and his habitual smearing of Cheez Whiz over everything in sight), late night monster movies were a unique experience for Cleveland viewers in the 1970s.  The Ghoul would typically take an unbelievably bad horror movie and dump in sound bites at appropriate moments, using audio clips from novelty records, George Carlin, Firesign Theater and rock albums of the 60’s and early 70’s.  And whenever a character took a drink of something on-screen, The Ghoul would supply a good, loud belch.”
Ghoul adGhoul glossy
Link to good info about the Cleveland ghoul scene courtesy of

One Response

  1. “Ghoul Power 2016! Celebrating 45 Years of TV Horror Host The Ghoul”!
    Scratch Glass! Climb Walls! Stay Sick! Turn Blue!
    ‘A Separate Reality’ gathers the greatest artists and entertainers in the land to pay tribute to the most explosive, wise cracking, Cheez Whiz smearing, Froggy bashing, movie mocking entertainer of all time, The Ghoul!
    He burst out on late-night tv in 1971 on Cleveland’s WKBF-TV 61 with the force of a handful of M-80s and cherry bombs thrown in your face!
    Beloved by every bleary eyed kid staying up past midnight throughout Ohio, Michigan and more throughout the ’70s to the 2000’s who couldn’t get enough of his manic frantic high energy hilarious segments interrupting (and greatly improving) low budget bad monster movies!
    In syndication, The Ghoul Show was so popular that it regularly beat Johnny Carson!
    Stop on by opening night Saturday, March 5th at 6pm ’til the wee hours for what is sure to be the biggest most explosive event in Cleveland history!
    A Separate Reality Records & Gallery
    2678 West 14th St
    Cleveland, Ohio (Tremont)
    A gallery full of artistic interpretations of our late-night leader!
    LIVE! The Ghoul Girls! A sexy, sensuous and silly burlesque salute to The Ghoul!
    IN PERSON! “Mini-Me Ghoul”! A 3′ tall living breathing talking miniature Ghoul!
    The largest collection of classic Ghoul memorabilia on display!
    NEW Ghoul merchandise for sale!
    DJing all the classic Ghoul hits all night long!
    JUST ADDED! The Ghoul will set a world BOOM-BOOM record exploding his largest item EVER! He’ll light the fuse to a 7′ tall Ghoul statue filled with 20lbs of fireworks!
    What happens next is anyone’s guess!

    Contact information-
    Check out the Facebook Event @

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