Wild Chicago, no. 404

Episode 404 of Wild Chicago. Host Ben Hollis visits Magic Don Juan, a former pimp turned preacher, a mother-daughter duo of inventors, and an avant-garde dance theater troupe. One memorable segment of a sawmill on the south side of Chicago includes an aesthetic and stylistic nod to Twin Peaks.

00:40Copy video clip URL Production credits are displayed.

00:55Copy video clip URL Ad for the Illinois Lottery, a corporate sponsor of the program.

01:30Copy video clip URL Clips of the episode’s subjects are shown over carnivalesque music, with Ben Hollis narrating brief depictions of each.

01:54Copy video clip URL Opening to Wild Chicago, montage of Ben Hollis’s introduction and clips of various eclectic scenes across the Chicagoland area.

02:57Copy video clip URL “Magic Juan.” At the Magic World Christian Kingdom Church of the Royal Family (5425 W Madison St), founder and pastor “Bishop Magic Juan,” an ex-pimp turned preacher, tells the story of how he went from being the “number one pimp in the country” to becoming the leader of a church. Hollis interviews Juan and then talks to a number of parishioners. A musician plays guitar during a worship service. Hollis inquires about Juan’s character and transformation.

07:00Copy video clip URL “Southside Sawmill.” Shots of the sawmill production at Calumet Harbor Lumber Company (13651 S. Buffalo St) are shown while music from Twin Peaks plays, conjuring an aesthetic reminiscent of the TV show. The company claims to be Chicago’s only sawmill. Hollis meets Fred Beckman, operator of the sawmill, who shows Hollis around the sawmill production area. Twelve by twelve hardwood is being sawed, including oak, ash, elm, and maple woods. Hollis interviews a couple of workers at the sawmill and tours the production areas.

10:10Copy video clip URL “Wild Neighbors.” Helen and Judy Smit are a mother/daughter team of inventors. Hollis visits their house and tours their basement that contains a number of their patented inventions. Included among the assortment of gadgets is an intestinal liner, a skin vacuum cleaner, strainer hats, and “face saver” pillows.

14:16Copy video clip URL “Statue Store.” Orlandi Statuary Inc. (formerly at 2341 W Wabansia Ave). A 4th-generation family-run store, Orlandi Statuary contains numerous statues, busts, and art study pieces that Hollis tours. Models include J. Edgar Hoover, Dante, a flying pig, and an array of gargoyles.

17:27Copy video clip URL “Flags R Us.” Chicago Flag Company (3801 S. Ashland Ave) manufacture flags and banners for organizations like the Smithsonian and the Art Institute of Chicago and even for street gangs. A brief history of flag use is discussed and the place of vexillology, which is the study of flags.

21:04Copy video clip URL “Scrabble Club.” A Rogers Park club hosts Monday night Scrabble competitions (1261 W Loyola Ave). Competition is fierce and various players are asked about their approach and strategy for winning.

24:10Copy video clip URL “Dance Troupe.” The avant-garde dance movement ensemble Abiogenesis performs at the former Blue Rider theater in Pilsen. Performers dressed in eccentric costumes and carnival-esque makeup greet a bemused Hollis. According to Angela Allan, the theater’s artistic director, it is a cross between dance, theater, and “your worst nightmare.” Originally a club at the University of Notre Dame, started by Allan who called it Abiogenesis for its meaning of “spontaneous generation.”

27:21Copy video clip URL Wild Chicago closing credits. Glimpses of future episode segments are shown.

28:42Copy video clip URL Main credits shown.

29:04Copy video clip URL Wild Chicago closing graphics.

29:16Copy video clip URL Illinois Lottery advertisement.



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