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The Ghoul, popular local late-night TV host, dead at 70

The Ghoul

Ron Sweed, also known by his late-night television host character "The Ghoul," has passed away according to reports from friends and his ex-wife Barbara J. King.

King posted the news in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

Sweed suffered a heart attack in November and never fully recovered, according to friends. He is survived by his current wife, Mary Terese Matousek.

Sweed was well-known in Detroit for his late-night show on Channel 50 between 1972 and 1975, according to the Detroit Free Press. On that show, he blew a lot of things up, made use of Cheez Wiz, and battled his sidekick, Froggy. He also aired old horror films.

According to Cleveland.com, Sweed got his start in TV at age 13 while working as an assistant on Ernie "Ghoulardi" Anderson's "Shock Theater." That show appeared on Cleveland's WJW from 1963 to 1966. In 1971, Anderson gave Sweed permission to appear as "The Ghoul," and Sweed's new show premiered on WKBF Channel 61, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Shortly after his Cleveland premiere, he was syndicated to six other markets, including Detroit.

“Detroit is, by far, and even though I originated in Cleveland and I've been in seven of the top 10 markets, Detroit has by far and away, since day one, been the best fans that The Ghoul has," Sweed said on a 2017 episode of the Detroit History Podcast. "First of all, you know Detroit and Cleveland match up, city for city, suburb for suburb. They’re very similar.”

To see some of The Ghoul and Froggy's antics, watch the clip below. 

Jodi is Michigan Public's Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.