Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a series documenting life in and around Chicago. In this video, we have lunch at a Japanese restaurant with Danny Bonaduce, child star of the Partridge Family and current DJ on WLUP radio. In true Bonaduce fashion, Danny is highly energetic, scattered in his thoughts, and hilarious. He discusses topics such as child stars, his career, and drug addiction with Neil Sabin and Joel Cohen.
00:00Copy video clip URL Driving footage through Lincoln Park on Wrightwood, and then entering the restaurant.
01:07Copy video clip URL Danny Bonaduce walks in the restaurant wearing a black and white striped leather jacket. They walk to the back of the restaurant, where Neil Sabin notifies him that the Partridge Family will be starting to air on Channel 50. He laughs that he won’t get paid for either the Partridge Family or this show. He says that he and his wife both have worked as waiters, so they tip very well. He explains that his wife is now his business manager and arranges all of his work.
03:19Copy video clip URL Bonaduce explains that he was recently bitten by a dog in the face and got 37 stitches. He says that he did a really stupid thing by ignoring his friend’s warning that his dog is vicious.
04:35Copy video clip URL Bonaduce explains that he is on a diet because he’s trying to get in shape to fight Mickey Rourke. He says that he’s lost 21 pounds recently because he works out three hours a day. They briefly touch on his history of drug use, as he lights up a cigarette. He talks about his stunts at WLUP radio, most of which do not phase the administrators. He tells the story of his latest stunt, called car-o-ke, where he drives a contestant down the parking garage ramp at the John Hancock at high speeds while they try to sing aloud without screaming.
08:00Copy video clip URL Sabin explains that he’s the program director for Channel 50, and Bonaduce says that he’s on his way to film a public service announcement for AIDS awareness. Bonaduce jokes about how desperate the show must be to get a guest like him. He teases with the waitress, and then they order their food.
10:55Copy video clip URL Bonaduce talks about New York versus Chicago, and a recent stunt he just pulled to demonstrate his loyalty to Chicago because he recently found out he was wearing Patrick Ewing tennis shoes.
13:25Copy video clip URL Sabin asks Bonaduce if he’s sick of the Partridge Family, and he says he absolutely is not. He says that without the Partridge Family, he would be a boring convicted felon. They talk about the Partridge Family versus the Brady Bunch, and Bonaduce asks to introduce the show on Channel 50. He talks about his wife, saying that she used to book guests on his show and that they met in Phoenix. He says that in the three years they’ve been together, he’s not had one problem.
15:00Copy video clip URL A man brings drinks to the table, and Bonaduce excitedly speaks Japanese to him. He explains that his ex-wife is Japanese. He goes on to talk about how he taught her lots of foul language in English, of which she was unaware. He goes on to talk about how things are misconstrued in the media tabloids, although much of what’s about him is actually true.
18:10Copy video clip URL Bonaduce gets a bit upset at Sabin for continuing to press a point about drug use. He says that he doesn’t joke about drugs because drugs “were killing me and literally killed some of my friends.” He sarcastically says with a swagger, “Well, I hope a made my point!”
20:32Copy video clip URL Chicago Slices producer Joel Cohen asks Bonaduce why people are fascinated with him. He says that people assume that he’s going to only do Partridge Family stuff, which he says he’ll agree to joke about, but it only lasts one or two shows. He proudly points out that he’s been number one in every city he’s worked, and tells a story about how he got started in radio in Philadelphia, and how he became successful in radio there. He says that he’s enjoying working at WLUP. He says that working in television is not work for adults because it is “stupid work”–there’s no creative outlet because every single thing is scripted.
24:04Copy video clip URL Bonaduce says that he “wants to do a reunion show so bad I can taste it.” He says that he feels rich because he’s able to pay his bills and pay his lawyer, which is his definition of rich. He goes on to talk about financial matters and his apartment.
26:00Copy video clip URL Bonaduce says he enjoys doing the night spot, rather than doing the morning and being a sidekick for someone else. He says that he took a huge pay cut to do his current job, rather than being the sidekick like he did in New York. They talk about morning radio and how hard it is to do it.
28:15Copy video clip URL Sabin asks whether Shirley Jones or Mrs. Brady was a better mom. He promptly says Shirley Jones because she’s a single mom and “she wasn’t ‘doing’ any of the kids, and Florence Henderson can’t say that. I’m not even sure that Mr. Brady could say that.” He says that people wanted him to write a book about growing up on the Partridge Family, but he recommended David Cassidy to do it. He goes on to say that he would be interested in doing a talk show in the future, and jokes about how people think he should endorse children’s products or TV shows, especially because of his controversy in beating up a transvestite.
30:30Copy video clip URL Danny talks about endorsements, and then tells the story about how he checked a listener into detox while he was on the air one night in Philly.
31:50Copy video clip URL Danny says that Greg Brady would beat David Cassidy in a stud contest. He goes on to talk about a Saturday Night Live spoof on America’s Most Wanted about child stars which featured Michael J. Fox playing him. He says that he loves seeing stuff about himself on TV and criticizes people who refuse to sign autographs.
34:48Copy video clip URL A young Japanese woman comes to the table and asks for his autograph, which he signs in English and Japanese. He says that he learned Japanese through books and tapes because he was studying martial arts and he wanted to make sure they were telling him everything. He says that’s how he met his first wife, because he knew the language.
37:05Copy video clip URL Bonaduce continues eating and they joke as he holds up his food and smiles. They tease each other about not having a “real job.”
38:43Copy video clip URL “Of all the things I’ve done on my life, I certainly don’t regret lying to Geraldo.” He tells the story of a woman who lied to get on the Oprah show twice and who he had on the air the night before. He announces that he has recently tattooed the radio station logo along with his co-workers’ names on his butt and agrees to show it on camera later.
40:49Copy video clip URL Bonaduce gives a one minute synopsis of his life and career. He goes on to predict that he will syndicate his radio show and market it across the country. Video gets rough. He says that he’d like to simply stay with his wife and syndicate his radio show. He agrees that this is the best time of his life, and points out that his mom says, “This is when you blow it,” referring to his track record of being successful briefly then getting himself in trouble and losing his career.
44:52Copy video clip URL Video continues to be shaky, but audio is ok. He talks about the “child stars gone wrong,” noting that it was a lot of fun. He says that he doesn’t regret his time on the Partridge Family at all and says that he’d do it again. He says the theory about child stars gone wrong doesn’t hold water, as far as he’s concerned. Audio starts to go out.
48:44Copy video clip URL Audio and video come back in. He talks about his new gig doing stand up comedy. He talks about the joke his wife made up. He says that he will go to Australia for two weeks and will host the Tonight Show and do stand up over there. He says that he hasn’t had a vacation in three years, although he slept through most of the late ’70s and all of the ’80s.
51:20Copy video clip URL Bonaduce tells about his favorite Partridge Family episodes and says he believes anyone could do his job if they have enough confidence. They talk about promotional ideas for the Partridge Family vs the Brady Bunch idea on Channel 50 and Bonaduce reiterates that he’d like to host it.
55:35Copy video clip URL They go into the bathroom where Bonaduce reveals the tattoo of “the Loop” logo on his butt cheek. They go back to the table, then quickly head out of the restaurant. Camera operator Doug Sawyer follows him out to the car, where he shows the spot where he hit the side of his car while driving a contestant at high speed down the John Hancock ramp while on the air. He gets in his car and drives away.
58:37Copy video clip URL End of tape.