DOOPer's dates were a little off

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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It would seem the delightful "DOOPer's Memories: When boxing and 'Creature Features' ruled Friday nights" [Viewpoints, Jan. 4] are somewhat faulty. Mr. Stanger talks about how he and his friends would gather on Saturday nights to watch Svengoolie (yes, there is an 'e' on the end) on WGN before he graduated from high school and his fright nights became a thing of the past. In actuality, Svengoolie wasn't even on the air — on Friday nights on WFLD, Channel 32 — until late 1970. "Creature Features" did run on Channel 9, but not until about the same time (1970) though years later, WFLD also had a show called "Creature Feature" (singular) on Saturday afternoons.

If Mr. Stanger's family got their first TV when he was 12, and he stopped watching boxing in 1956, I would guess his high school years ended long before Svengoolie went on the air. He and his high school pals may have been watching "Shock Theater" on Channel 7, which aired on Saturday nights starting in late 1957, hosted by Terry Bennett as the ghoulish beatnik Marvin.

The way his memories were going, I almost expected him to say that he stopped watching boxing in 1956 … after seeing Leon Spinks fight.

 Rich Koz

 MeTV/WCIU

Reader Comments

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Jim Coughlin  

Posted: January 16th, 2017 1:27 PM

Creature Features on WGN-TV was hosted during the 1970's by the great Carl Greyson, a legend in Chicago broadcasting.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: January 16th, 2017 11:10 AM

Hey Kev, Stanger got the "creature feature" time line all wrong. But he probably got the boxing time line correct (just judging from my NY metro experience).

Kevin Peppard  

Posted: January 16th, 2017 12:28 AM

For those of you who don't know, Rich Koz -- the person who wrrote the reply above -- plays Svengoolie on TV, so he should know when the program started. As I recall, he may have grown up in our sister town to the south: Berwyn.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: January 15th, 2017 11:44 PM

Ray: I graduated HS in "64 but as a young kid growing up in the NY metro area, I well member that boxing - next to baseball - was the biggest sporting attraction around. It's hard to imagine nowadays how big boxing was back in the fifties. First , there was the Monday night fights on TV from St. Nicholas arena. It was a can't miss for my dad and on occasion me too. And then every Friday night there was the long running Cavalcade of Sports brought to you by Gillette ("look sharp, be sharp"). It too was all about boxing. Boxing was big once - real big, particularly in NYC and the rest of the northeast. The heavyweight champ in those days (Rocky Marciano) was the baddest man on the planet as well as "king of the world."

Ray Simpson  

Posted: January 13th, 2017 1:14 PM

I graduated High school in 1956 and we watched Bowling, baseball , Ed Sullivan, Jack Parr and your hit parade. Horror shows not till years later.

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