- HOOLIHAN and BIG CHUCK and LIL' JOHN *
- (Bob Wells, Charles Schodowski, and John Rinaldi)
- Browse Bigchuckandliljohn.com, the Official Fan Site
for this loooonnnng-running show, with great images and information resources including biographies, chat room, calendar of events,
discussion forums, streaming videos, vast photo galleries, cool rare and current collectibles, links, virtual museum and much more!
- Read the Big Chuck and Lil' John entry in Wikipedia, the free web encyclopedia.
- Check out the Big Chuck and Lil' John Ghoulardifest website
for details on this annual event these guys host in honor of the great tradition of Cleveland TV horror history since Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson.
- Watch free videos of Big Chuck, Lil' John, Hoolihan and Ghoulardi on Big Chuck and Lil' John's official
More videos of these legendary hosts can be seen at Bigchuckandliljohn.com and
its sister site, couchpotatotheatre.com.
- See the Big Chuck and Lil' John profile page at
HORRORHOSTS.com, the official site for the Horror Host Underground.
- See bios and images of Hoolihan and Big Chuck and Lil' John
— and hundreds of images of a host of other horrors —
at the incredible Horror Host Gallery website,
courtesy of video shockaeologist
- The Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show
- Friday night
- WJKW-TV Channel 8 (Cleveland, Ohio)
- December 1966 - August 1979
- The Big Chuck and Lil' John Show
- Friday at 11:30 p.m. and Saturday at midnight; later moved to Saturday afternoon
- WJKW-TV (call letters changed to WJW-TV c. 1985) Channel 8 (Cleveland, Ohio)
- ? 1979 - June 22, 2007
- Elena Watson's Television Horror Movie Hosts reference:
whole chapter with two pictures --
Ch. 11, "Life After Ghoulardi: Big Chuck and Little John,"
- Magazine references:
- Discussed in feature article
by Michael Weldon about Cleveland horror hosts,
"The Hosts That Ate Cleveland," in issue #24 (December
1982) of Fangoria, pp. 28-32.
- Feature above reprinted with changes
as "Stay Sick with Ghoulardi" in issue #2 of Michael J. Weldon's
own magazine, Psychotronic Video, (Spring, 1989),
pp. 38-43. Picture of Hoolihan and Big Chuck, more of other hosts.
- Discussed in article "Here we go-o-o again - Remembering Big
Chuck and Little John (and Hoolihan)" by Mike Acord in Scary
Monsters #32 (September 1999), pp. 20-23.
Three pics of Chuck and John, two of Ghoulardi
(also discussed in the article).
- Information reprinted from the Horror Host Underground profile page, cited above:
"Big Chuck" Schodowski is a true television pioneer, working for Cleveland's WJW - TV 8 since 1960.
When WJW launched Shock Theater in 1963, hosted by the soon-to-be legendary Ghoulardi,
Big Chuck was on board, helping to shape the spirit of the show through his combined love of Ernie Kovacs, blues and polka music,
and Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson.
When Ernie left for Hollywood in 1966, Chuck helped groom Bob "Hoolihan" Wells for an audition to replace the departing host,
only to find himself reluctantly recruited as the co-host of what became known as The Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show.
They continued through 1979, with the show's zany style of black-out humor clearly inspiring Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
(right down to musical cues), before Bob Wells left for Florida.
At this point, "Lil' John" Rinaldi stepped up to the co-host slot,
and the pair have remained popular fixtures on Cleveland's late-night schedule ever since.
Ernie Anderson goaded a shy Chuck Schodowski in front of the cameras for the first time for skits on Ghoulardi's Shock Theater program,
which Schodowski was directing. He became extremely popular as "Handsome downstairs neighbor, Jerry Kreegle" in "Parma Place,"
Ghoulardi's controversial Peyton Place parody.
The Polka standard "Who Stole the Kishka?," an identifying staple of Ghoulardi (and later The Ghoul),
was introduced by Big Chuck as a way to curb Ernie Anderson's on-air ribbing of Parma, the Cleveland suburb to which Chuck had then recently relocated.
Lil' John Rinaldi debuted in a Hoolihan and Big Chuck skit set to the song "Bridgett the Midget."
As a continual television host since December 1966 [and until June 22, 2007], Chuck Schodowski was Cleveland's longest running local host.
And this doesn't even include the previous 3 years he appeared on the Ghoulardi show!
[Forty-four years...an incredible career for a horror host! -- E-gor]
- Hoolihan himself provided comments and corrections
to this entry --
what a treat to get e-mail from Bob Wells personally!:
It's always good to be remembered for your efforts,
but allow me to set the record a little straighter on the facts
in your piece about Hoolihan and Big Chuck on Cleveland,
Our show started on December, 1966
(succeeding a wildly successful Ghoulardi program)
and went through August, 1979....
Also, to correct TJ's comment
at the end of our article, I went
to the Tampa Bay area in Florida
(Clearwater, specifically), to co-host, with my wife, Barbara, a
daily ninety-minute program on a brand-new Christian TV station.
That "back problem" he refers to is probably the time, early in
1979, when I had to have a back operation, and did my part of the
program from my hospital bed that week...that's gotta be a first,
By the way, during football season, Barb and I often attend the
Sunday Cleveland Browns games in nearby Largo, FL, at the Green
They're a great group of former Cleveland area
zanies who root home the Browns each week.
Believe me, there is NOTHING like a Browns fan!
Bob (Hoolihan) Wells
- Show fan, hostorian and E-gorespondent Mike Acord
(discussed on this site himself as live show host Lon Madnight),
wrote the Scary Monsters feature article cited above,
Chuck and the guys are great.
after a number of "reality checks" while meeting celebrites in the past,
it was a real delight to meet these guys I grew up watching and to find they were honestly happy to know they are remembered.
The photos on the article were provided by Chuck who was very supportive and kind about the piece.
I knew in 1965 that I wanted to grow up to be a horror host.
I still chase that dream. And I always hold in my heart the memories of all the hosts I have been lucky enough to see:
Hoolihan, Little John, The Ghoul ,Commander USA, Super Host, Ghoulardi, Sir Graves Ghastly, Frank and Drac, and on and on.
But more than any of them I have to name Chuck Schodowski as the biggest influence.
And after the years he has been in this game, I'm proud to cite him as the longest running horror host of all.
- Cleveland fan "TJ" remembers:
Hoolihan had a couple nicknames,
"Hoolie," and "Hoolihan the Weather Man."
Which he was for a while on the TV-8 news.
He left Ohio .... I think .... because of back problems.
(See Bob Wells' correction in first note above -- Ed.)
That's when 'Lil John', who was already a regular, became co-host.
Top: Bob "Hoolihan" Wells, "Lil' John" Rinaldi and "Big Chuck" Schodowski,
carrying on the Ghoulorious tradition in Cleveland.
Bottom: promotional postcard signed by all three at the 1st Ghoulardifest.
Click image for larger view.