Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ghoulardi at Meyer Goldberg's – Nov. 7, 1963

Today's a big day in local pop culture history. It was November 7, 1963 – 50 years ago today – that Ghoulardi  made live appearances in Lorain at the two Meyer Goldberg supermarkets.

Ghoulardi, of course, was the popular late night TV movie host character played by Ernie Anderson on WJW Channel 8 in Cleveland from 1963 to 1966.

(Here's a link to a great article written by John Petkovic of The Plain Dealer about the 50th anniversary celebrated earlier this year of Ghoulardi going on the air, complete with some great clips.)

What was Ghoulardi's visit to Lorain like? Here's how The Journal reported it the next day on November 8, 1963.


Ghoulardi 'Knifs' His Way Through Thousands In City

Ghoulardi visited Lorain last night and had to "knif" his way through the crowds that turned out to meet him.

The Pied Piper of TV reportedly met an estimated crowd of 10,000 at the Meyer Goldberg Supermarket in the Oakwood Plaza Shopping Center and another 5,000 at the Meyer Goldberg Supermarket on S. Broadway.

Youngsters climbed on every available step and even hung from the tops of cars to get a look at one of the hottest personalities in the entertainment field in this area.

The situation got so hot that even Ghouldardi was unable to "cool it with the boom-boom" and Lorain police, sheriff's department units and state patrol cars were called out to help control traffic.

Goldberg reported that all autographed photographs of Ghoulardi were used up. More copies will be available to parents next week at Goldberg's stores, he said. He also said efforts will be made to bring Ghoulardi back for a return engagement.

Although the crowd was generally well-behaved, two persons reported damage to their cars and youngsters even climbed on a Lorain police cruiser to get a look at Ghoulardi. The cruiser was also damaged.

Charles A. Dalton, 30, of 4504 Maple Rd., and Larry L. Cordova, 18, of 1620 E. 29th St., reported dents and scratches in the roofs of their cars made by children climbing on them.

One of the cars had its front license and the radio aerial torn off.

Being born in 1959, I don't remember Ghoulardi; instead, my brothers and I watched and enjoyed the Ghoul on Channel 61 in the early 1970s– which was basically Ghoulardi as performed by Ron Sweed, Ernie Anderson's intern. I had no idea that that Ghoulardi even existed until my older brother told me about him.

(Click here to visit the Ghoul's website.)

And of course we watched Hoolihan and Big Chuck (at left), the successor show to Ghoulardi. If you've never read "Big Chuck" Schodowski's book– Big Chuck! My Favorite Stories from 47 Years on Cleveland TV – be sure to read it. It's a terrific, fun book and a must-have for fans of the show.


Anonymous said...

Those prices slay me!! I caught the tail end of Goulardi and he was a favorite. My friends older brother was always telling us to turn BLUE.


Dorene from Ohio said...

What great memories...I used to fall asleep before Ghoulardi was on TV, but lots of my friends really enjoyed those old movies, and Ghoulardi's unique on-air presence!

-Alan D Hopewell said...

I LOVED Ghoulardi! I'd planned to go to the Broadway personal appearance, but I came down with pneumonia, and had to miss it....I still regret that.