Hog Butcher Radio Hour

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Chicago writer and director Ron Lazzerettis 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 Chicagos legendary comedy and improv stages.


  • Episode 14- Guy Van Swearingen

    Episode 14- Guy Van Swearingen

    09/05/2018 Duração: 50min

    When Guy Van Swearingen co-founded A Red Orchid Theater with his pal and fellow actor Michael Shannon, he couldn’t have known that 25 years later they’d still be at it, still taking on challenging and uncompromising material in that same thrillingly intimate space. There may be better known theaters in Chicago, but none more exciting to watch. And if the excitement of the theater isn’t enough, Guy always has another adrenaline pumping career to fall back on. For as long as the theater has existed, Guy has also been a Chicago firefighter. How he has managed to balance two such demanding jobs (more when you consider that at various times he’s also been a director, artistic director, film and television actor…) is a mystery. On this episode of the Hog Butcher Radio Hour, Guy talks about the youth he barely survived, the days on the street that the theater saved him from, living in his car with nothing but a cello and a box of old love letters, founding A Red Orchid, working with his friend Shannon, balancing

  • Episode 13- Dag Juhlin

    Episode 13- Dag Juhlin

    28/02/2018 Duração: 56min

    There are any number of ways that you might know Dag Juhlin. Maybe you were a fan of The Slugs, the underdog, hard drinking, fist fighting band Dag co-founded with his brother, Gregg. Or maybe you know him from the innovative Poi Dog Pondering. Or his good-time party band of crack musicians, Expo 76. Or his new band, Sunshine Boys. Or his day job as one of radio legend Steve Dahl’s sidemen on his weekday radio show on WLS in Chicago. Or the daily podcast they do as well. There are any number of ways you might know Dag Juhlin and in our conversation, we talk about all of them. Plus Dag’s childhood “career” as a commercial actor, his Dad’s legendary career in the heyday of live television, his early day job stint at Sportsvision, and how it felt to get the call from his radio hero, Dahl, just in the nick of time. Also, later in the show, Sue Salvi has an unusual wish.

  • Episode 12- Bill FitzGerald

    Episode 12- Bill FitzGerald

    18/01/2018 Duração: 01h02min

    “We should open a bar.” Many have thought it, but Bill FitzGerald actually did it. And now 37 years later, he seems genuinely surprised at the emotional response to the news that he’s retiring and possibly selling his legendary nightclub, Fitzgeralds. In our far flung conversation, Bill talks about how it all started, how a trip to New Orleans opened his eyes to the possibilities, how he met his wife and partner in crime, Kate, years before he actually met her, and how a steady parade of musical greats have marched through Berwyn to play on a stage in a club like no other. Also, later in the show, Sue Salvi has a beef with Amazon.

  • Episode 11- Charna Halpern

    Episode 11- Charna Halpern

    15/11/2016 Duração: 59min

    The New York Times called her "The Hidden Architect of Modern Comedy." She's nurtured the careers of the likes of Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Adam McKay, Chris Farley, Andy Richter, Cecily Strong, Aidy Bryant. The lord and master of SNL, Lorne Michael regularly looks to her for new talent. She's gone from having IO (formerly Improv Olympic) kicked out of numerous bar backroom venues (Andy Richter and his pickup truck were always on call to move sets from one place to another) to recently building a 7-million dollar comedy mecca on Kingsbury Street in Chicago, the true home of improvisation. Charna and her old partner in crime, the late, great Del Close, believed that improv could be more than a means to an end- it could be an art form all its own. And Charna has been proving it for over 30 years. Hope you enjoy this conversation with a true force of nature, the amazing Charna Halpern. Also on the show today, a duet with the wonderful Naomi Ashley from her record Another Year Or So, "Lullaby."

  • Episode 10, Christian Stolte- Part 2

    Episode 10, Christian Stolte- Part 2

    20/09/2016 Duração: 45min

    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 (http://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.

  • Episode 9, Part 1- Christian Stolte

    Episode 9, Part 1- Christian Stolte

    30/08/2016 Duração: 58min

    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 pissed off Gerard Butler. Then after two decades 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.

  • Episode 8- Rashawn Nadine Scott

    Episode 8- Rashawn Nadine Scott

    07/07/2016 Duração: 53min

    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, an

  • Episode 7 - TJ Jagadowski

    Episode 7 - TJ Jagadowski

    31/05/2016 Duração: 01h05min

    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

  • Episode 6 - Tony Fitzpatrick

    Episode 6 - Tony Fitzpatrick

    12/04/2016 Duração: 01h02min

    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.

  • Episode 5 - Bill Zehme

    Episode 5 - Bill Zehme

    17/03/2016 Duração: 01h05min

    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.

  • Episode 4 - Stephen Cone

    Episode 4 - Stephen Cone

    04/02/2016 Duração: 51min

    "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.

  • Episode 3 - Paul Konrad

    Episode 3 - Paul Konrad

    05/01/2016 Duração: 47min

    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."

  • Episode 2 – Steve James

    Episode 2 – Steve James

    26/08/2015 Duração: 01h07min

    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.

  • Episode 1 - David Pasquesi

    Episode 1 - David Pasquesi

    11/07/2015 Duração: 01h03min

    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 producitons 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.