HOG BUTCHER RADIO HOUR
Chicago writer and director Ron Lazzeretti’s Hog Butcher Radio Hour features interviews with an eclectic mix of guests, many of whom share a Chicago connection. Also featuring comedy segments with performers from Chicago’s legendary comedy and improv stages.
Part 2 of our 2-Part discussion with Chicago actor and Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, In this installment we talk about what a cool guy Paul Newman was to be around, what a magician producer Dick Wolf is, what it’s like to be part of an ensemble on a hit television show, and how oddly fulfilling it is to be a star, co-writer and co-creator of the The Graveyard Show (www.thegraveyardshow.com), the best little web series that no one’s ever seen. And we wash it all down with another song from Oak Park’s favorite son, Terry White.
Chris Stolte comes from St. Louis. But he’s a Chicago actor if ever there was one. Since the early nineties, he’s been a veteran of theaters like Steppenwolf, A Red Orchid, Goodman. For years, he seemed to appear in every movie that was shot in Chicago- “Road To Perdition”, “Stranger than Fiction,” “Public Enemies “…. And maybe most memorably, “Law Abiding Citizen” where he played the horrible son of a bitch who kind of pissed off Gerard Butler. Then after twenty years of somehow making it work here in Chicago, Dick Wolf rolled into town and Chicago turned out to be the perfect place to be. Stolte landed the role of Mouch on the hit series, Chicago Fire and “all of a sudden,” he’s a network television star. But don’t tell him that. He’ll give you that look. On this episode of the Hog Butcher Radio Hour, we talk to Chris about all of this and more. So much more, in fact, that this will be Part 1 of 2. And, oh yes, we close it all out with a great and somehow timely song by Oak Park’s own Terry White.
Second City Mainstage cast member Rashawn Nadine Scott’s story plays like one of those great, classic show biz tales of a girl with a dream. “I made a plan, and then a few months later, here I was with four duffle bags,” she told the Chicago Tribune when they named her one of the hot new faces of 2015. From the minute she stepped off the bus from her hometown of Tacoma Washington (it probably wasn’t a bus, but this is a showbiz story) she’s made wonderful things happen for herself in short order. She was a recipient of the Second City’s Bob Coury Fellowship, a cast member of the wonderfully experimental and highly successful collaboration between Second City and Hubbard Street Dance, “The Art of Falling.” Then after understudying for the touring company, she joined the Second City ETC cast, jumping shortly after that to the Mainstage. And that’s where she is now, performing in Second City’s 104th revue, “Fool Me Once, De Ja Vu.” We talk to Rashawn about her big dreams, about the ones that have come true, and the ones that still remain to be seen. Also on the show, a song by our comedy bluegrass idols from Monkey’s Crevice, West Virginia, The Famous Brothers.
It’s hard to believe that when TJ Jagadowski moved to Chicago from Holyoke Massachusetts in 1992, he had never heard of Second City or, for that matter, improvisation. That’s like hearing that when Michael Jordan moved to Chicago after college, he’d never heard of basketball. Today, while most people probably know TJ best as half of the Sonic commercials duo, he, along with improv partner David Pasquesi make up the world’s greatest improv team. Co-stars of the documentary, “Trust Us, This Is All Made Up,” and coauthors of the book, “Improvisation At The Speed Of Life” TJ and Dave just get better and better as time goes by. In today’s episode of The Hog Butcher Radio Hour, we talk with TJ about how improvising onstage is easier than improvising in life, how his time at Second City was cut short by a mysterious vertiginous condition that, terrifyingly, caused him to short-circuit onstage, and how be overcame it all by committing himself to improvisation and establishing a partnership with Pasquesi about which Stephen Colbert once said, “One of these guys is the best improviser in the world. And the other one is even better.”
Also on today’s Episode, comedy from Hog Butcher Radio Players Aemilia Scott and Ed Flynn and a song by the entrancing Jenny Bienemann.
You’d have to search far and wide to find someone with more hyphenates than artist-actor-poet-playwright-columnist-raconteur and all-around amazing character Tony Fitzpatrick. And the thing is, he makes good on all of them with his acclaimed collages, his shows like “The Midnight City” at Steppenwolf, his album cover art for the likes of Steve Earle and The Neville Brothers, his roles in films like Spike Lee’s “Chiraq,” essays and columns for New City… The volume of quality work is breathtaking. On this episode of the Hog Butcher Radio Hour we talk with Tony about art, birds, movies, Trump, Rahm, Mad Magazine, Studs Terkel, Lou Reed and much, much more. It’s a jam packed hour capped off with comedy from the Hog Butcher Radio players and music from the late great James McCandless.
Andy Kaufman, Johnny Carson, Warren Beatty, David Letterman… Author and celebrity profile writer Bill Zehme has never shied away from enigmatic subjects. In fact, he’s always been drawn to the seemingly unknowable figures in our popular culture. In today’s episode we talk to the man that Cameron Crowe called “The King Of The First Sentence” about his legendary career, his forthcoming Johnny Carson biography, the death of the magazine, and what got him through his 2-year battle with cancer. Also on the podcast, in light of the ongoing controversies regarding presidential candidates’ appropriating rock songs as their campaign songs, (ie. the case of Neil Young v. Donald Trump) Hog Butcher Radio Player Joey Lesiak offers up an original tune for the Trump campaign that the Donald can call his own. And to close things out, a haunting number from the captivating Cheryl Tomblin and Pipes.
“I grew up a queer son of a Southern Baptist minister in South Carolina, and that’s where a lot of this comes from.” That’s writer/director/actor Stephen Cone telling the New York Times where he drew inspiration for his latest film, a current festival favorite, Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party. His other films include the provocative and enigmatic Black Box and his most widely seen film to date, The Wise Kids. All deal to some extent with issues of spirituality and sexual identity. And all are, to the filmmaker’s great surprise, Coming Of Age stories, a genre Cone was never consciously drawn to. He talks to us about his own coming of age, about the challenges of being an independent filmmaker today, and about the potential downside of indie legitimacy. Also on the podcast, with the recent spate of celebrity deaths, mortality is in! So the Hog Butcher Radio Players perform Funeral. And we close with a song by the remarkable Robin Bienemann off of his record Songs About Work.
For over 20 years, the WGN Morning News has ruled morning television in Chicago. More than that, it’s stood as one of the last bastions of live local television. Our guest today is one of the stars of that show, Paul Konrad, who along with the rest of the WGN morning team brings intelligence, humor and an abundance of personality to the ungodly hours of morning TV. Paul discusses his poor absence record at post-show meetings, his past experience with lederhosen, and weather god Tom Skilling’s surprising talent for shagging fly balls. Also in this Episode, The Hog Butcher Radio Players present two Playboy Playmates sounding off on the recent decision by Playboy to eliminate nudity from the magazine. And a song by the delightful Jodi Walker, Ironic Mustache from her recent record Broken Bubble.
In Episode Two of the Hog Butcher Radio Hour, Ron talks with filmmaker Steve James. From Hoop Dreams to last year’s documentary adaptation of Roger Ebert’s best-selling memoir Life Itself, Steve has established himself as one of the world’s top documentarians. Here, he talks with Ron about his amazing body of work, about why he sometimes finds himself at the heart of his own films, what effect being the subject of a film has on people, and how Hoop Dreams went from a short film to a nearly 3-hour film that spanned five years. The hour closes with Down To The Bottom, a little-heard cut off of the remarkable Chicago songwriter Brian Anderson’s record, Work We Do, Sounds We Hear.
For The Hog Butcher Radio Hour’s maiden voyage, Ron talks with his friend and sometime collaborator, the great David Pasquesi. One of the world’s most acclaimed improvisers, half of the legendary improv team Dave and TJ, a Second City mainstage alum, a veteran of films like Groundhog Day and Angels and Demons, stage productions like Steppenwolf’s Glengarry Glen Ross and The Goodman Theater’s God’s of Carnage, TV shows like Veep, and the best little web series that no one’s ever seen, The Graveyard Show…. There’s nothing this guy can’t do. Including taking Ron to task for not appreciating the film Caddyshack enough. Also in this episode, an instant review of the show by acting, improvising and podcasting sensations Joey Lesiak and Ed Flynn. Plus an amazing rendition of Chicago songwriter Naomi Ashley’s song Slow Train, seasoned with the great Poetry Slam pioneer, Marc Smith’s take on Carl Sandburg’s poem, Mamie, recorded live at The Green Mill.