082. Smorgasbord 30th Anniversary Celebration – Live from the Carlisle

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It’s really hard to believe that it has been 30 years since Dave Jackson and I kicked off the original Smorgasbord Radio Show at Downers Grove North High School radio station, WDGC 88.3 FM.    Dave and I had a unique chemistry that made the show special.     Sadly, at the pressure of parents who wanted me to amount to something, I never pursued a professional radio career, so there was a 25-year gap between my last radio show at my college station and the time that I brought the Smorgasbord show back in podcast form in early 2010.

Over the past 82 episodes, I have been blessed to have another fantastic partner by my side for this new adventure – my daughter, Ally.    If you listen to the shows that have been recorded over the span of the past three years, you can hear how she has grown into a strong partner.   The SmorgShow Podcast has been a great hobby for Ally and me as it has created a bond and special memories between us that will forever last.   It’s also allowed me to get the creative juices flowing again after two long decades of an office career.   Thanks to 21st century technological advances, we have been able to take the show to a level that was not possible when Dave and I did the original show back in the 80’s.    For the most part, Ally and I have tried to make the new show our own rather than try and recreate what Dave and I did 30 years ago.    But on this particular anniversary episode, we could not let the milestone occasion pass without looking back and celebrating what we did all those years ago.

I think we created something special with episode 82.   Those with an acute attention to detail will notice that the anniversary show where we look back on 1982 actually falls on episode #82.   Coincidence?    Of course, it would not be a complete celebration if we did not have one of the original co-founders of the Smorgasbord Show, Dave Jackson, present for the event.     On this particular occasion, we chose to return to our original stomping grounds and host the event at the fabulous Carlisle Banquets in Lombard, IL.    This is where Dave and I hosted “The Taste of the Smorg, 1984” (a nod to Taste of Chicago where local restaurants set up their stands and sell samples of their menu items).    We were able to line up quite a variety of food vendors this time around.   In addition to sampling some of the great foods from around the country, we couldn’t resist the urge to dust off some of the old Smorgasbord Show recordings and give them a spin.   Admittedly, some stood the test of time better than others.

This episode is nearly 3 hours long because in addition to going down memory lane, we booked a list of great entertainers who performed live on two different stages at the Carlisle.    On the Oakbrook Room Stage: Hawaii’s David Kamakahi & Ikaika Brown, Iceland’s Sjonni’s Friends, the SmorgShow’s very own Phillip Donald,  and Ally performs her brand new ballad, “Untold Stories” to an adoring crowd.    Also, we are very excited that our good friend from Cheltenham, England – Jordan Martyn – came all the way to Chicago for our show and decided to debut two brand new songs never heard before tonight.    Finally, on the Butterfield Room Stage, we are entertained by the sounds of Richard Cheese and his band ‘Lounge Against the Machine’.

Jordan Martyn On Stage at The Carlisle

I’d like to thank everyone who has been with us on this journey.  Whether you listened to us during the original run or just recently stumbled upon us, we really appreciate our audience.  I hope we can provide additional entertainment value to you for many years to come.

Phillip Donald Live on Stage at the Carlisle

080. Campfire S’morgs ’12 – Live from Waa Kee Sha Park

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Campfire S’morgs ’12:  Live from Waa Kee Sha Park in Oswego, IL.   Last year at this time, we took the remote equipment out to the woods to do a live streaming podcast event.   We called it ‘Campfire S’morgs’, a clever play on words if you didn’t figure it out.   If you missed it, you can head over to Episode 57 and listen to us do the show from around the campfire.    Given that the weather was absolutely perfect this weekend, we decided to do this show a week earlier than planned.

In light of a recent tragic campfire accident where two young girls were badly burned from a campfire explosion, Anthony provides helpful tips for keeping safe when building and extinguishing a campfire.    Baba tells some jokes to lighten up the atmosphere, and shares some unusual games that you can play around the campfire.    We then take turns reading some extremely scary ghost stories.    Finally, it wouldn’t be an official campfire without singing, so we all take a stab at singing a John Denver song.   Maybe we should have practiced a bit more before doing this one live.

Also, on a totally unrelated topic, I talk about how I met Verne Troyer, the actor best known for playing the Austin Powers character, “Mini Me”.

Featured Artist of the Week:  Jenna Jentry

I would like to apologize to our featured artist of the week in that I back-announced her as “Jenny Jentry”.   I must have been reading ahead to one of our ghost stories called “Screaming Jenny”.   There is no relation as it turns out.    Anyway, head over to her Facebook page and check her out.

057. Campfire S’morgs ’11

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In this week’s episode we unofficially close out summer by taking our show to the woods!   We present our very first live streaming event from Waa Kee Sha Park in Oswego, IL.   Join us around the campfire for ghost stories, campfire songs, and an exclusive S’Mores recipe that we like to call “Campfire S’Morgs”.

Recipe for Campfire S’Morgs:

  • Cinnamon Graham Crackers
  • Marshmallows
  • Granny “Rose” Smith Apple Slices
  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Milk Chocolate

Granny Rose, Phillip Donald, Anthony Luperini, Judy the Child, and Baba Gonesh join us for this special live, remote podcasting event.   Featured Artist of the Week:  Locomotive Ghost

Live from Baba’s Restaurant, The Hidden Palace (2011)


Jerry, Ally and Chris at Baba’s Restaurant

On January 15, 2011 Chris and Ally recorded their 44th episode of the SmorgShow Podcast live from Baba Gonesh’s Restaurant, “The Hidden Palace – A Taste of Baba!”.   It was a long road for Baba to get his restaurant up and running, and during this episode Chris and Ally discuss Indian cuisine, customs for eating out in an Indian restaurant, and even sample many selections from the buffet.   Old friend and Smorgasbord show regular Jerry Malauskas joins in on the festivities.    Jerry is a proud vegan and absolutely craves the taste of Baba!!

Live from the Carlisle (1984)


The Carlisle, Lombard IL

Chris and Dave’s live ”broadcast” from the Carlisle Banquet Hall in Lombard (06.29.84).  This was actually a fake remote broadcast with actual party sound effects to create the illusion of a real party taking place. Dave and I put together the background atmosphere soundtrack at the College of DuPage radio station sound effects library that morning. The show was apparently so realistic that listeners actually started to show up in droves to the Carlisle looking for Chris and Dave and the free food.  The Carlisle called the radio station to complain as we were packing up for the evening.  This was our little “War of the Worlds”.  Too bad we didn’t get this good of a turn out for our real remote show from the Barn three months earlier! We actually got this idea while listening to all the other radio stations broadcasting from the Taste of Chicago. We thought it would be cool to have our own “Taste of the Smorg”. This is the entire broadcast from that evening.

The Naperville Barn Stage and Seating Plans (1984)

Barn Show Plot

We had given away 200 seats on the air for this live broadcast. Both Lisle and Downers Grove cable stations were there to tape the show for a later broadcast. We had 3 local bands open for us. We spent about $100 to rent the place and Peet plopped down an additional $150 or so for pizzas. This was to be the show to push us in the upper stratosphere of high school radio fame! What could possibly go wrong??

March 17, 1984 – Peet’s 20th Birthday, and the day the largest snowstorm of that season hit. Naperville got 12 inches of snow dumped within a 10-hour period. Since most of our audience relied on their parents for transportation, a total of 7-10 people showed up. There was some good news – No one gave us the finger that night. Needless to say, for the next three months, Peet and I had pizza as an ingredient in everything we ate (sandwiches, salads, cereal, etc.).

I drew the sketch that is shown here in study hall (where I got most of my creative ideas). I forgot to add the actual people – yeah, that’s it – that was what the problem was!

Live from the Naperville Barn – Morons (1984)

Genuine Moron

After about 45 minutes we realized no one was going to show up. We left the stage and this punk rock band took over. These guys were $#%holes. They were pissed off at the world. What were they pissed off for? They were getting free air and stage time. Plus they didn’t have $150 worth of pizzas to deal with. The guy in this photo spent the entire instrumental trying to raise the screen with Peet’s face being project before finally flipping it off and giving up.  Tough guys!

Live from the Naperville Barn – The Bill (1984)

The Bill

It sure seemed like a lot of money to a 17-year old. That was what I owed the Park District for renting out the Barn for that evening. Note that this is the SECOND NOTICE. I think it actually ended up making it to THIRD AND FINAL NOTICE before I had enough money to pay it off. Peet had his own bill to worry about – $179.00 for the pizzas. This bill might actually be the starting point of my establishing a credit record.

Papa’s Pizza Bill – 25 Large Pizzas

Live from the Tivoli – “My Favorite Bar” (1983)

Jerry Malauskas, Circa 2005

This is classic Jerry Malauskas, and actually one of my favorite moments from the Tivoli broadcast. Jerry sings a cover of that old Simon and Garfunkel song. The crowd is polite for the most part, but when Jerry struggles to find the right guitar chords, they begin to get a little noisy. We gave him the spotlight and he delivered. I don’t believe I have an actual shot of the performance, but I did find a picture of Jerry and it was actually taken at a bar, so I think it is relevant for this.

Live from the Tivoli – “Folk Music” (1983)

The Tivoli, Downers Grove IL

Tivoli Bowling Alley – Yes, I know what it sounds like he is singing here. So did many other people who called up when this was on the air wondering why a high school radio station would allow such profanities to go out over the airwaves. When we explained what the title of the song was, each complainer seemed a bit embarrassed after we asked “what did you think he was saying?”

Live from the Tivoli – ‘Twas the Night of The Party (1983)

Chris Interviewing a Member from the Audience

Our 2nd Remote Broadcast at the Tivoli Bowling Alley was a huge success.  At first it was a bit intimidating walking into the bowling alley/pool hall where the town burnouts called their home.  We set up our equipment, and they all sat down waiting for us to entertain them.  We decided to make them part of the show, so if we failed to please, they had everything to do with it.  It ended up being a blast, especially when the charming young lad in front of me recited this lovely holiday poem.

Live from Castaldo Park (1983)

The Red Pants Make a Debut

This was our first attempt at a live broadcast. Dave and Jerry opted out which in hindsight was probably a great move. Chris and Peet found this lovely park in rural Woodridge, IL that the Park District allowed us to set up shop one Sunday afternoon in May 1983.

The only problem is we had no audience. Unless you count a few 6-year olds who decided to sit there and torment us by giving us the finger all afternoon. The result is a very embarrassing production. However, we are posting it here for historical purposes. This is the only place where you can see Peet’s vintage 1970 Plymouth Cadillac AND his red pants all in one viewing.