Raw footage for "Chicago Slices," a series documenting life in and around Chicago. In this video, we meet Yogi Ward, a cab driver and DJ, who drives and entertains customers in his incredibly decorated cab. Yogi is a true entertainer who can make any cab ride interesting with his energetic nature and colorful commentary.
00:00Copy video clip URL Inside Yogi’s taxi. An article entitled “Meet Yogi the Cab Driver” is posted behind the passenger seat. A look around the cab shows all kinds of items and memorabilia, particularly from the Chicago Bulls. Yogi pops in a tape of himself “broadcasting” from his taxi.
02:30Copy video clip URL Yogi speaks into his microphone, saying that he’s “broadcasting live from Yogi’s fine, fine taxi.” He has a very convincing radio broadcasting voice and act, even though he is only speaking to people in his own cab. He plays some highlights from the Bulls game and the Bulls theme music.
04:05Copy video clip URL Yogi plays “My Kind of Town” by Frank Sinatra and records himself on a microphone as part of his “radio program.” He starts to drive and speaks into the microphone as he drives. Yogi sings along to the song, and then gives a rundown of events and news announcements he will be reporting on shortly.
08:35Copy video clip URL Yogi plays some tapes of himself from previous recordings, integrating that into his own current entertaining live in the taxi. He manages his meter, radio, CB radio, telephone, microphone, and a small TV while driving his cab around downtown Chicago.
13:10Copy video clip URL He plays a tape of his own kids saying, “Happy Father’s Day” over the Bulls theme song.
14:12Copy video clip URL Yogi gets a call from his wife, who is asking for directions on her way from a job interview. He speaks with her and they make a plan for lunch. He rewinds his tape and explains that the people on the tape are people who have been in his car.
17:27Copy video clip URL On the tape, a woman from Cambridge raves about her ride in Yogi’s taxi. This is followed by a 77-year-old woman who says she feels like she’s 35 riding in his cab. Another woman comments on how well stocked the cab is to meet her needs.
21:25Copy video clip URL Yogi does his broadcasting/entertainment routine after a woman gets in the cab. After fiddling around with his tapes to get the Bulls music on, he starts up again, and then passes the microphone back to his passenger. She says that she’s had a smile on her face the whole time she’s been in the cab and that if you can be happy inside a cab in Chicago, you’re doing well.
27:30Copy video clip URL Yogi does a promo for Chicago Slices, and then the passenger goes through the magazines hanging on the side door. Yogi does another promo and then plays Sinatra again. He accidentally puts on “New York, New York” and his passenger complains about it. He then puts “My Kind of Town” back on. He rolls his window down and explains the Chicago Slices taping to another cab driver.
35:15Copy video clip URL His passenger requests the Bulls music again, particularly because he continues to repeat “My Kind of Town.”
36:50Copy video clip URL He says he got the name Yogi from playing baseball, that he couldn’t play well, so they put him behind the plate to catch. He stops and gets out of the car, opening the door for his passenger and saying goodbye to her.
39:20Copy video clip URL Yogi picks up an elderly woman who needs just a short ride. He goes into his routine, and then the woman asks whether she gets the ride for free. Yogi tells her yes because she’s a senior citizen. Yogi says that he did some creative driving to evade a cement truck, noting that he went up on the curb. The woman asks about the taping and when it will air, and Doug Sawyer assists her with the release form.
42:55Copy video clip URL They pull up to the woman’s house, and she hands Yogi some money, saying, “Here’s a buck.” Yogi assists her, along with the doorman. Yogi then goes over to a cab behind him and tells his friend about the taping.
44:40Copy video clip URL Yogi gets back in the cab and they make their way toward lunch. He talks about how he decided to put Christmas lights in his car. He radios his friends, trying to locate them. He says he makes a tape every day in the morning. He says that he always wanted to be a DJ, and that he hopes he gets a job as a DJ after being on the television. He says that he worked in sales for the Chicago Tribune for 14 years. He reports that he gets a lot of unusual responses from people who ride in his cab. He says that his goal is help people stay positive and put a smile on their faces.
50:25Copy video clip URL He says that he often goes over to Ethel’s on Roosevelt Road for lunch as soon as he can find his two friends. He says that there’s really no concern about safety while he’s driving because he does most of the taping while stationary. He says that the part of his job he likes best is the people. He says that most people are very good passengers and are very open to talking with him.
54:00Copy video clip URL Yogi says that he works all parts of the city, that there is no one special part of Chicago, and that all of his passengers are special and he treats them that way. He puts on his radio voice once again, describing what’s going on. He picks up his CB and radios his friends, and plays some recordings of interviews with passengers who sing Yogi’s praises.
01:00:05Copy video clip URL End of tape.