Here is a Cleveland Classic Media encore post from May 25, 2007..Big Chuck and Lil John
were about to retire their show from Fox 8:My thoughts at the time about their retirement and my memories about the 44 year Movie host tradition at WJW-TV.
As I type this, "The Big Chuck and Little John" Show will have taped its last regular program at WJW-TV Fox 8 (Thursday, May 24). "Big Chuck" Schodowski has announced his retirement from the Station in June 2007, after 46 years on Channel 8..47 in Cleveland TV (He was at KYW-3 for a short time in 1960). While Chuck and John will be busy with personal appearances and preparing DVD's of the BC&LJ/Hoolihan/Ghoulardi skits, It will effectively be the end of an era in Local TV. The last classic entertainment show in Cleveland Televison. The Friday/Saturday Horror Host movie has been a staple of TV 8 through 4 station ownerships for an astounding 44 years!
In 1968 a TV 8 station manager was going to cancel Hoolihan and Big Chuck, but the resulting furor changed his mind...My first experiences with Ghoulardi as a 5 or 6 year old..When we went to visit relatives in East Canton, Ohio On Friday nights. They wanted to watch Ghoulardi but I was scared of him..LOL..He sort of spooked me out..As I grew older, Like many in Northeast Ohio, I watched (with pizza, pop and chips) Hoolihan and Big Chuck-More for the skits than the movies most weeks..spoofs of current and long forgotten movies, tv and commercials..Some worked better than others, but Chuck, Hooli and John would. within the bounds of good taste, try almost anything at least once. The great Characters, Stosh, (Certain ethnic), SoulMan, Ben Crazy, Kielbasy Kid. Batguy and Rinaldi, Readings By Robert..And those were just the most well known skits..not to mention other one-shot skits..most a laugh riot..I think of supporting players..Art Lafredo, Jim Syzmanski, Mary Allen, Tom Bush, Bill Ward..and how much they added to the show, Not to mention other TV 8 personalities such as Robin Swoboda and Dick Goddard, who didnt mind hamming it up in occasional skits..I have been watching the "Skits" shows the last several weeks and Big Chuck many times refers to the show as a "Family". I'd like to think that Chuck and John thinks of the viewers as an "extended family" ..That would be invited into their house every Friday or Saturday night for the last 4o years (or more)..Guys..thanks for letting us in..Its been a great ride..Thanks for the memories..
The show taped Thursday will be shown Saturday morning at 10AM on Fox 8. There will also be a prime-time special on Fox 8 Friday June 22, 2007 at 8PM..
Thanks to bigchuckandliljohn.com for the title picture..Doktor Goulfinger for the Cleveland Press Ghoulardi Picture..clevelandseniors.com for the Bob Wells Picture and the TV 8 Logo from Wikipedia..
A lot has happened since 2007..Big Chuck and Lil John have hardly "retired"..They still do personal appearances..And headline the "Ghoulardifest", which is coming up a week from today..Several new DVD collections have come out with more on the way..Big Chuck , with Tom Feran released his biography last year with a Paperback version (including a new chapter) being released shortly..The legacy does continue..
Personal note:One of my dear friends online WIXYGrad74, is featuring yours truly and Cleveland Classic Media on his blog today..Thanks WIXY!!..You're one of the good ones..