Ernie Anderson was born Nov. 12, 1923 in Lynn, Massachusetts. He began working in radio at Burlington, Vermont's WSKI-AM in 1946. He met Tom (later Tim) Conway at WHK-AM in Cleveland and began writing with him. They were hired by Cleveland's WJW-TV in 1961 where they created Ernie's Place, a daytime show of movies and comedy sketches. Rose Marie, best known as "Sally" on The Dick Van Dyke Show, recommended Conway to Steve Allen, who recruited him for his own show.
In January 1963, Anderson created the beatnik character Ghoulardi for himself, wearing a lab coat, fright wig, fake goatee beard and moustache and became popular introducing WJW-TV's Friday night horror movie show Shock Theater. He had many run-ins with his management in Cleveland and moved to California full-time in 1966. He appeared in two episodes of Conway's TV series, Rango in 1967 and then formed a comedy act with his old friend. More television followed.
(In 1971 Ron Sweed, a passionate Ghoulardi fan, acquired the copyright to the character, which Sweed renamed The Ghoul. His character began on Cleveland's Channel 61, then called WKBF, owned by Kaiser Industries in Oaklaand. Segments of The Ghoul Show were syndicated to six other Kaiser-owned stations. The Ghoul survived two cancellations before finishing his TV career at another Cleveland station, WBNX.)
Ernie Anderson was hired as "the voice of ABC" in the late '70s where he continued to work well into the '80s. He died of cancer on 6 February 1997.