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Celebrate “Wild Chicago Day” Tomorrow at Manny’s

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 5, 2014 8:30PM

Photo credit: Stephanie Barto

We know that you can think of a hundred things to call Monday, especially given this “polar vortex” we’re enjoying. But officially, as declared by Governor Pat Quinn, January 6th, 2014 is Wild Chicago Day.

The show’s been recognized many times before, winning local Emmys and being recognized nationally, including a nod to its format by the Museum of Broadcast Communication. The official celebration is set to happen Monday at Manny's Delicatessen, located at 1141 S. Jefferson St. The event is open to the public and things will kick off at 10:30 am.

Quinn’s proclamation commemorates the 25th anniversary of the show, and recognizes it for its contribution to Illinois tourism. Host/creator Ben Hollis and John Davies will be honored by Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle, and Illinois Film Office Managing Director Betsy Steinberg. The show’s later host Will Clinger, and the original producer of the show, Harvey Moshman, will also be honored.

If you didn’t have the privilege of watching the show when it aired from 1989 to 2003, just consider it a masterwork on all things wild and wonderful in our own “urban jungle”. Creators Ben Hollis and Jon Davies took great pains to find the strangest, funniest, and most unique parts of the city and showcased them. They had a way of highlighting the absurd while respecting it, and made the show as much about the people as it was the squirrels, Klingons, and aquatic cars they loved.

If you hate going out in the storm and can’t make it to Manny’s, we recommend picking up the DVD Hollis created after acquiring the rights to the show and launching a successful Kickstarter campaign. A If we haven’t given you enough reasons to celebrate this holiday already, check out some highlights in the DVD trailer below: