Svengoolie Showing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein on MeTV

On Saturday, November 21, at 8:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM CT, long-running horror movie host Svengoolie (Rich Koz) is showing Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), starring Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Béla Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., Glenn Strange, and Lenore Aubert on MeTV. Check out MeTV’s website to find your local MeTV station.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein follows Chick Young (Bud Abbott) and Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello), two baggage clerks who are tasked with shipping the alleged coffin of Count Dracula (Béla Lugosi, who defined the role with his portrayal in Dracula [1931]) and a crate allegedly containing the Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange, who played the Frankenstein Monster in House of Frankenstein [1944] and House of Dracula [1945]) to McDougal’s House of Horrors. Dracula has a sinister plan in mind, which Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney, Jr., who originated the role in The Wolf Man [1941]) is trying to stop, while also dealing with his own hairy problems when the full moon comes out. Larry enlists Chick and Wilbur’s help, and one of the most influential horror comedy films of all time ensues.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein generally airs once a year on MeTV, often around Halloween, thanks to Svengoolie’s long-running show featuring horror and/or science fiction films each week. Between commercial breaks, Svengoolie makes jokes and performs skits inspired by that week’s movie, including a weekly parody song and a recurring segment of “Svensurround”— compiling scenes from the film and re-dubbing them with various voices, impressions, and sound effects—and also gives trivia and behind-the-scenes information about each film.

The Frankenstein Monster (Glenn Strange) looks surprised at seeing the hypnotized Wilbur Grey (Lou Costello) and is held steady by Count Dracula (Béla Lugosi) in the film, "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" (1948), in a commercial for the film being shown on Svengoolie's TV show.
Frankenstein Monster: So, Who’s on first…

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’s runaway success in theaters led to a series of films in which Abbott and Costello “met” other monsters: the Mummy, the Invisible Man, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and “the Killer, Boris Karloff” (in which Boris Karloff plays a character named Swami Talpur).

Svengoolie’s been hosting films nationwide on MeTV since 2011. Before that, his show aired on MeTV’s sister station, WCIU, starting in 1995. Rich Koz began his run as the character on Chicago’s WFLD Channel 32 in 1979 when the character was known as “Son of Svengoolie,” stemming from the original “Svengoolie” character, played by Jerry G. Bishop in the early 1970s. Since 2011, fans who grew up watching Svengoolie who no longer live in Chicago have rediscovered him and introduced their own friends and families to him and fans of horror movies, horror movie hosts, retro TV, and more have found him on their own.

I was introduced to this movie thanks to Svengoolie’s show, and it became the subject of my first article for this site, launching my series on horror comedy films. But I most likely never would’ve seen this film or many other favorites (either because they’re so good or so bad they’re good) without Svengoolie and his weekly show. You never know what you’ll see on Svengoolie, and I continually discover new favorites to this day because of it.

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Written by Jamie Lee

Jamie Lee’s a writer, actor, singer, director, DJ (including hosting “Jammin’ with Jamie”), and more in film, theatre, and radio. Jamie Lee Cortese, despite loving horror and comedy and being an actor and writer, is also not Jamie Lee Curtis, though she understands where you might get confused. Visit her website at or find her on Twitter @JackalopeJamie.

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