Wild Chicago, no. 405

Episode 405 of Wild Chicago. Host Ben Hollis visits the studio session of a young rapper, a free speech society, sunbathers in Lincoln park (including a cameo of Stephen Colbert), a woman who has turned her house into an art museum, and Chicago's own drag queen wrestling.

00:11Copy video clip URL Production credits are displayed.

00:20Copy video clip URL Ad for the Illinois Lottery, a corporate sponsor of the program.

00:58Copy video clip URL Clips of the episode’s subjects are shown over carnivalesque music, with Ben Hollis narrating brief depictions of each.

01:21Copy video clip URL Opening to Wild Chicago, montage of Ben Hollis’s introduction and clips of various eclectic scenes across the Chicagoland area.

02:22Copy video clip URL “Young Rapper.” Nineteen-year-old Joe Howard is a young musician making rap music under the group name “Bug-Out Union.” Hollis visits Howard at Jerry Soto’s Sound Studio, with Soto and a man named “Professor Funk” present.  Howard discusses with Hollis some of the differentiating aspects between house and rap music. Segments are shown of Howard rapping some of his songs in the studio. Professor Funk explains that Howard is “doing a hip-hop rap tune with a twist of jack swing,” a kind of swingbeat fusion genre.

05:53Copy video clip URL “Chicago For Sale.” A store formerly on 174 W Randolph Street sells bric-a-brac objects found in Chicago city’s landscape. Items like parking meters, traffic lights, taxi meters, and CTA coin boxes can be found in the store. The store’s owner, Lorraine Davis, tells the story of William Wells who became the namesake for Wells Street. Antique wooden ballot boxes are also shown. Hollis asks if they “come stuffed.”

09:12Copy video clip URL “Dumb Question.” A special segment of Wild Chicago has Hollis approaching strangers in the public to ask a seemingly banal question. Hollis visits Lincoln Park near Diversey Pkwy. to ask, “What do you think about when you’re lying in the sun?” Hollis encounters Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello, though their names are not mentioned.

10:53Copy video clip URL “College of Complexes.” A weekly gathering of “free speech enthusiasts” that has existed in Chicago since the 1920s. The forum has been discussing the topic of television and its effects on the mind. Hollis is called “extremely rude” by one member of the crowd. Topics spanning social to political issues are discussed at the “college.” According to one man, all of the people from Bughouse Square went into television, and as a result, “the reasonable people left.” The group meets at the former Rickey’s Restaurant at 3181 N Broadway.

14:39Copy video clip URL “Night Spot.” At the Nightcrawler Cafe, located across from a graveyard, exists the “Live Bait Theater,” a popular hang-out spot for Chicago’s avant-garde. (Hollis mistakenly states the address at 3914 N. Clark; the cafe was located at 3912 N Clark St.). According to the theater’s managing director, the theater is committed to strictly showing only new works and plays written by Chicago playwrights. Currently showing is a play titled “The Ornithologists,” written by Virginia Smiley. The show features a novel kinesthetic “wing” apparatus using pneumatics and hydraulics. The owner describes the men’s bathroom decorations as a “penis garden,” for all the men who have been deprived of aesthetically pleasing bathrooms in their lives. Hanging on the wall are stylistic portraits of celebrities and various public icons.

18:08Copy video clip URL “Wild Neighbor.” A Wild Chicago segment; Hollis visits Beatrice Sokolov, whose house is an art museum containing entirely her own works. Called the “Shopworn Angel Movie Art Museum,” Sokolov has made her passion painting movie stars. She says that she does not sell these pictures “anymore than I would sell my daughter or my grandson.” Her favorite movie star is Greta Garbo. Sokolov also plays a small organ.

22:40Copy video clip URL “Wrestling Queens.” Bistro Too (5015 N Clark St.) hosts drag queen wrestling. Hollis goes to the performer’s dressing room to watch the “guys become the girls.” Various performers appear before the camera acting in character. A man named Panama Red, “The Mouth of the Midwest,” is the wrestling announcer. Hollis eventually enters the ring to wrestle.

26:33Copy video clip URL Glimpses of future episode segments are shown.

27:14Copy video clip URL Ad spot for “Wild Wear.” A short commercial by Hollis for viewers to buy official Wild Chicago merchandise.

27:48Copy video clip URL Main credits shown.

28:11Copy video clip URL Wild Chicago closing graphics.

28:21Copy video clip URL Illinois Lottery advertisement.



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