Horror Host Retrospective: The Ghoul

The Ghoul

Real name: Ron Sweed
Years active: 1971 to present, Ohio

Moving back to Ohio for the final stretch, we must first look back to Ghoulardi. Among the ghastly one’s fans was a young man named Ron Sweed. Sweed admired the bouncing beatnik’s act so much that during a public appearance, Sweed showed up dressed in a full gorilla costume. The act impressed Ghoulardi so much he brought Sweed on stage and later made him an official production assistant.

When Ghoulardi left for greener pastures, Sweed stayed in Ohio to help with the Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show. After a brief talk with Ghoulardi, Sweed decided to become a host. Reinventing the character of Ghoulardi as the Ghoul, Sweed continued the proud tradition of blowing up model airplanes with firecrackers and inserting humorous sound effects at random in the movies shown, sometimes even overdubbing with George Carlin routines. He would also unleash fiendish torments upon his puppet sidekick Froggy.

It was maybe the latter that got the Ghoul in trouble with the station heads. When WKBF cancelled his show, Sweed took to the burgeoning syndication market. The results were mixed. In Chicago, where his show replaced the popular Svengooli, ratings were abysmal, whereas in Detroit he was a hit.

The Ghoul never really went away. When one market would close, he would appear in another. He is still on the air in Michigan and looks to be there for a while yet.

The Ghoul Show ran on WKBF-61 from 1971 to 1975. The Ghoul’s Creature Feature ran from 1975 to 1976 in Detroit on WKBD-50. The Ghoul ran in syndication from 1977 to 1985. The present version is currently running WBNX-55 out of Detroit. Ron Sweed can be contacted through his website.

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