Ghoulardi Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride

The book Ghoulardi Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride by Tom Feran and R. D. Heldenfels delves into the life of Ernie Anderson, better known as Cleveland, Ohio's most famous horror host Ghoulardi. Anderson's life examined from his childhood until his death with the bulk of the text revolving around his years developing and becoming Ghoulardi. The authors give a rounded history of what was going on in Cleveland at the time and puts Ghoulardi's rise to fame and infamy in perspective. Filled with anecdotes of what went on behind the scenes, as well as in front of the camera, you feel as though you were there during that period and makes the Papa Oom Mow Mow song play in your head as you read.

Reminisces by Anderson's friends and contemporaries such as 'Big Chuck' Schodowski and Tim Conway paint a full picture of a man whose antics on TV paled in comparison to what went on in his life. We also hear from the man himself in excerpt from interviews, which at times confirms or conflicts other people's memories. What comes out is a man who was never happy with what was considered "normal" and his fight to be himself, which was disapproved by many, but made him a beloved figure to thousands.

It is a well designed book with pictures on almost every page, and screen grabs from the some of the surviving footage. Overall it is a great read, even for someone unfamiliar with Ghoulardi or his imitators.

Ghoulardi Inside Cleveland TV's Wildest Ride was published by Gray & Company Publishers in 1997.


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