Ernie (ghoulardi) Anderson - The King Of Cool!

by Lynn Stanley - Date: 2007-07-26 - Word Count: 369 Share This!

Ghoulardi was a fictional character invented and portrayed by disc jockey, voice announcer, and actor Ernie Anderson.
He broke the boundaries in television possibly before anyone else as the horror host of the Late Night Shock Theater at WJW-TV, Channel 8, in Cleveland, Ohio from 1963 through 1966.

During the breaks from the movies, Anderson addressed the camera live in a dialogue peppered with: "Hey, group!," "Stay sick, knif" ("fink"), "Cool it," "Turn blue" and "Ova deh." Anderson improvised because of his difficulty memorizing lines.

He also mocked the poor quality films he was hosting:
"If you want to watch a movie, don't watch this one," or "This movie is so bad, you should just go to bed."
He had his crew insert stock film clips or his own image at climactic moments.

Ghoulardi used friends and members of his crew as supporting cast: cameraman "Big Chuck" Schodowski, film editor Bob Soinski and writer Tim Conway (later of McHale's Navy, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Carol Burnett Show and "Dorf" fame).

Station management lived in daily fear as to what he might say or do on the air, because he was live.

In spite of his solid ratings and profitablilty, they worried that Ghoulardi was testing too many television boundaries too quickly, and tried to rein in the character. Anderson responded by, among other things, detonating plastic action figures and plastic model cars with firecrackers and small explosives sent in by viewers, on air, once nearly setting the studio on fire. ("Cool it with the boom-booms.")

Inspired by Tim Conway, Anderson retired Ghoulardi in 1966 and moved to Los Angeles, California. His plan was to act in film and television. Instead, he made a successful career in voice-over work, most prominently as the main voice for the ABC TV network ("the Lu-u-uhv Boat") during the 1970s and 1980s.

Cleveland native Drew Carey has paid tribute to Ghoulardi in his television sitcom (Carey can often be seen wearing a Ghoulardi T-shirt). In his endorsement of the biography, "Ghoulardi: Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride", Carey was quoted as saying "Absolutely, big time, Ghoulardi was an influence on me."

Anderson died of cancer on February 6, 1997.

If you're a Ghoulardi fan, COOL IT WITH THE BOOM-BOOMS and visit
for all-new Ghoulardi merchandise!

Related Tags: ghoulardi, ernie anderson, ernie ghoulardi anderson, tim conway, drew carey, cleveland tv host, horror movie host, cleveland icon, cleveland legend, abc tv

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