Wednesday, October 31, 2012

GhoulardiFest! November 2-4 in Parma (naturally)

[GHOULARDIFEST! takes place from Friday November 2nd through Sunday November 4th at the UAW Local Hall in Parma, OH.]

Reporting by Charles Cassady, Jr.

Ever since LeBron James left the only thing significant about Cleveland is GhoulardiFest, happening as an apres-Halloween treat this weekend in the only place it could happen - Parma. 

It's virtually impossible to imagine North Coast culture without channel 8's Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson, who, as host of WJW-TV's Shock Theatre, put on a garishly phony goatee and Fu Manchu mustache and spiced up B-grade horror and sci-fi flicks for insomniac viewers in beatnik-comic fashion for a few brilliant years there in the mid-1960s. The silver-tongued announcer, unrecognizable in his fright-wig disguise, would do blackout comedy bits (some including a young sidekick named Tim Conway), sound effects,
songs and the catchphrases. "Turn blue!" "Stay sick!" "Ovaday!" "Dorrrothy..." And offscreen his family grew to include filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson (MAGNOLIA, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, THE MASTER and othes).

Ernie Anderson left Cleveland to find national renown in Los Angeles as an ABC-TV announcer (he also put out a series of classic audio comedy LPs with Tim Conway). But Cleveland never forgot, especially with TV host-successors such as Charles "Big Chuck" Schodowski and Ron "The Ghoul" Sweed carrying on the tradition. About a dozen years ago the GhoulardiFests began, as a local-TV nostalgia expo and tribute
The 2012 GhoulardiFest takes place at perhaps the most Parma of venues possible outside of a pierogi restaurant, the UAW Local Hall at 5615 Chevrolet Blvd. The festival is a weekend of special guests, small-screen, big-screen and media nostalgia, with an emphasis on the Ghoulardi-grade brand of science-fiction, comedy, fantasy and horror cinema.

Big Chuck, sidekick John "Li'l John" Rinaldi, Houlihan, Dick Goddard, Son of Ghoul and other special guests from inside and outside of town will be present, as well as movie and comic-book
memorabilia dealers, pizza-eating contests, live recreations of famous TV sketch material and more. Live musical entertainment includes the Beatles tribute act The ReBeats.

Hours of GhoulardiFest are Friday, Nov. 3, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 at the door for adults, with a $25 weekend pass. Children under 12 are admitted free (yes, indoctrinate them when they're young). For more information go to

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