Monday, July 6, 2009

Ghoulishly Stern

If you made a list of some of the most confounding, bizarre people to ever grace our radio and TV waves -- at least in the Detroit area -- then no doubt that list would include Howard Stern and...The Ghoul?

Those forces once collided, but more on that in a moment.

First, The Ghoul.

I won't spend a lot of time on the describing here, because I'm going to play a hunch and presume that most of the folks whose eyeballs are hitting this blog know who The Ghoul is/was.

But, just in case...

The Ghoul was a Saturday night icon on Detroit TV, circa the early-1970s and beyond (off and on). He showed lousy movies, but the movies were the interludes between his comedy bits, which included a stuffed frog and lots of Cheese Whiz.

The stuffed frog was Froggy, and even he became iconic, thanks to The Ghoul.

The Ghoul used terms like "over day" and "don't you know." He had something he called "The Ghoul's Vault of Golden Garbage," with garbage pronounced "gar-BAJ." It was a treasure trove of pre-taped bits, usually involving The Ghoul and Froggy out and about.

He wore a fright wig and painted one of his eyeglass lenses black. He had a fake, garish goatee and an equally as fake mustache.

But he was popular. Lord, was he popular around town. The Ghoul also did his gig in the Cleveland area, particularly during those times when he was kicked off Detroit TV, which were several.



The Ghoul was, in reality, a guy named Ron Sweed, and he played the role brilliantly. He was always in character, which you'll see in a moment.

As far as Howard Stern goes, I almost forgot that, for about six months or so, Stern tried to own Detroit radio in the mornings, from April thru October, 1980. Howard was on WWWW, aka W4, and he gave the guys at WRIF and WABX and the rest a run for their money.

Until W4 went country and Howard left town.

Anyhow, as promised, here's how the forces of Howard Stern and The Ghoul collide.

It's an audio recording I found, taped on Halloween morning, 1980. It's Stern interviewing The Ghoul, who was on the telephone.

Stern, 55, was only 26 when this was recorded, yet he sounds almost exactly like he does now. As a result, it's surreal to hear him make occasional references to the Detroit area, such as how he plans on appearing at Peaches Records in Fraser, and Piper's Alley in Grosse Pointe.

Enjoy....

Click HERE.


It's about 30 minutes long.

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