Rich Koz (Svengoolie) – Net Worth, Salary, Biography, Heart Attack

Rich Koz is an American TV show host who has broadcast for WCIU Chicago as host of The Three Stooges centric program Stooge-a-Palooza. But, Koz is best known by his horror movie hosting alter-ego Svengoolie.

He said:

“People really love horror movies. It’s one of the most entertaining things that people can watch…it’s like riding a roller coaster.”

Koz later added:

”You get a lot of thrills and you get scared, but you know when it’s over with, you’re still going to be fine. I’m not tooting my own horn here, but I think the entertainment value we add to it makes it a complete experience.”


He was born on March 12, 1952, and raised in Park Ridge, Illinois. 

Rich graduated from Northwestern University’s communications program.


Koz first created the Svengoolie character while a student.

While Rich was at Northwestern University, he sent material for the horror-movie program to Jerry G. Bishop (a television and radio personality who is known for being Chicago’s original “Svengoolie”). Jerry subsequently invited Rich on to the show.

During a recent interview, Koz said:

”In the late ’70s, Jerry moved out to the West Coast. He gave me his blessing to carry on “the Svengoolie name” and in mid-’79 I managed to get “Son of Svengoolie” on the air.”

Rich continued:

”I’m always amazed to get feedback from people who saw me on the various Field stations back in the 80s.”

When the show was canceled in 1973, Rich and Jerry worked together doing mornings on WMAQ radio in Chicago.

In addition, Rich worked with Dick Orkin (an American commercial radio producer and voice actor who created The Secret Adventures of the Tooth Fairy as well as the Chickenman radio series) on commercials, including “ChickenMan Returns for the Last Time Again.”

When Jerry left for San Diego in 1978, he gave Rich permission to create a show known as ”Son of Svengoolie,” currently simply known as Svengoolie.

Rich began ”Son of Svengoolie” on WFLD in June 1979. In 1986, after the station was acquired by the News Corporation, WFLD canceled the show, as ”Son of Svengoolie” was not considered dignified for a network affiliate. After this, Rich did some freelance radio.

In 1995, he came back on the air as part of the launch team for newly independent station WCIU-TV, Channel 26. Rich became Svengoolie and resumed weekly horror movie shows.

In 2004, Rog joined Roger Ebert as a Silver Circle honoree for NATAS Chicago.

In the same year, Koz was inducted into the ChicagoMidwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences prestigious Silver Circle.

In October 2019, it was announced that he will talk about his upcoming event celebrating four decades Years of Svengoolie at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Heart Attacks

In 2002, he suffered a heart attack.

Two months later he returned to work after undergoing two angioplasty procedures (it involves temporarily inserting and inflating a balloon where an artery is clogged).

He said:

“Maybe it’s a good thing that rubber chickens are cholesterol-free.”

A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked. A heart attack is a medical emergency.

If you suspect a heart attack, dial 999 and ask for an ambulance.

Common heart attack signs include:

  • sudden dizziness;
  • tightness, pressure, pain, or an aching or squeezing sensation in the arms or chest which may spread to the jaw, neck, or back;
  • lightheadedness;
  • fatigue;
  • cold sweat;
  • shortness of breath;
  • heartburn or abdominal pain;
  • nausea.

In 2012, Koz was admitted to a Chicago hospital, where he was treated for another heart attack.

The following message was posted on his social media accounts:

“After a very busy Halloween holiday season, I’ll be taking a short reprieve from updating my blog. Daily updates will return soon!”

During a 2017 interview, he said:

”My second heart attack happened five years ago, like two days after Halloween. My wife and I were watching TV, and all of a sudden, she says, I stiffened up and passed out.”

Rich continued:

”They had to use the paddles twice on me. They ended up doing a double bypass, then shortly after put in the pacemaker. But I was gone. Twice.”

Note – after the first incidence of a heart attack, chances of a 2nd heart attack are much higher.

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Risk Factors

Risk factors for a heart attack are:

  • advanced age;
  • smoking tobacco – the longer the smoking history, the higher the risk;
  • preeclampsia – this condition develops in pregnancy;
  • high blood sugar due to diabetes or due to insulin resistance;
  • a family history of heart attack, especially if your brother or father had any heart disease before age 55;
  • lack of a regular physical activity;
  • a regular diet that is high in cholesterol, saturated fats, trans fats, and sodium;
  • being overweight or obese;
  • having decreased levels of good cholesterol;
  • having high LDL cholesterol levels;
  • high blood pressure (hypertension): the longer the duration of hypertension, the greater the risk of a heart attack.

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There are 3 main steps you can take to help prevent a heart attack, such as:

  • try to keep your blood pressure at a healthy level;
  • avoid smoking tobacco;
  • eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and legumes.


His zodiac sign is Pisces. Pisces is the twelfth sign of the zodiac and is ruled by the planet Neptune. Difficult traits of the Pisces sign include being out of touch with reality, self-pitying, and even clingy.

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They are extremely compassionate and can occasionally soak up the emotions of others like a sponge.

In the early 1990s, Rich ran a production called “The Koz Zone” that showed comedy sketches during the commercial period between Fox’s cartoons.

Koz has won numerous local Emmy Awards for his work in the Chicagoland area TV market.

He appeared as Svengoolie in a commercial for the Empire carpet company of the Chicagoland area.

Rich Koz – Net Worth & Salary

Koz earned most of his wealth from his horror movie hosting alter-ego Svengoolie. In addition, Rich appeared in several commercials. His salary was not released to the public, but the average pay for a TV host is around $98,500 per year. Therefore, Rich Koz has an estimated net worth of $1.25 million.

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Featured image source – © Guliver / Getty Images.

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