Benny Jay: Thanks To Thanksgiving

November 22nd, 2017

With Thanksgiving here, the time’s come to give a special Third City thank you to a few of the many who’ve done so much for us this year.

So without further ado, thanks to….

Nickle Bag Bernie, one of our valued advertisers, for keeping the editorial staff happy at all times. See you in the parking lot, Bernie.

Swami Sam, the Skokie Yoga King–where the great ones go to sweat it off.

Dr. Frankie “Disco” Lopez, our primary physician, for making sure we never run low on our meds.

El Dragon, our esteemed attorney, for squashing all those cease-and-desist orders and keeping us out of jail. By the way, the good news is that Milo’s DNA test came out negative!

Hey, corporate farmers — thanks for the fat turkey….


The Lovely Mrs. Milo for putting up with him.

The Triple A Bail Bond Company of Gary for bailing Milo out of jail on several occasions.

Elmore Stiglitz & Sons — Gary, Indiana’s most reliable bookies — for the easy-payment plan. Our next check’s in the mail!

The Corporate Factory Farms of America for the two-headed, 20-pound Cornish Hen. Can’t wait to pop it in the oven!

The Chicago Bulls and Bears and Cubs and Sox for winning all those championships once upon a time.

Denzel Washington for being the next Paul Newman.

Paul Newman for being the first Paul Newman.

Our sensational crew of superstar writers, photogs, computer geniuses, podcasters, and actors who give it all to The Third City.

And, finally, our loyal readers — all 109 of you, or 110, when Milo’s sister is sober enough to navigate a keyboard. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to make your checks out to cash!

Peace, thy most precious gift.

Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Gaslight City

November 19th, 2017

This bit’s from the November 17th show. To hear it, click here


Yesterday I come into the studio after the show and Dennis tells me…

Dennis as Dennis: Hey, great show, man. But try not to open a candy wrapper while you’re on the air.

Laura as Ben: What are you talking about, D?

Dennis as Dennis: I mean, dude, during the opening you opened your health bar wrapper. Here–listen.

To prove his point, he played back a recording from the show.

Dennis as Ben: We’ll be right back–but first, man, Chicago News with Laura Vaughn. Oh, I’m hungry. [Makes sound of wrapper].

Dennis as Dennis: See?

I don’t know what got into me. But, instead of saying, oh, yeah. you’re right. I decided to do—a little Gaslighting.

Dennis plays Twilight Zone theme.

Gaslighting is a term from a movie in which a husband tries to drive his wife crazy by turning down the lights in their house and then denying it’s getting darker. Here’s a sample scene.

Dennis as wife: Oh, honey, hey, have you noticed—it’s so dark in the house?

Laura as husband: Are you kidding me? Good god, woman—it’s so freaking bright in here I have to wear my shades.

Dennis as wife, getting hysterical: No, no. It’s dark, I tell you. I can’t see. Ahhh. I’m going nuts.

gaslightGreat flick…


Gaslighting has become a political tactic. When a politician denies something that’s absolutely obvious. Or just starts babbling about something else to confuse you. Trump’s a master of that strategy. Like at this press conference with Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the tax plan.

Laura as Huckabee: Yeah, any questions. Ugh, yes, Norman Goldman from the Norman Goldman Show.

Dennis as Norman: Waa–why! Doesn’t your plan raise taxes on the middle class and cuts taxes on the rich?

Laura as Huckabee: Well, here’s how it is, if you have five reporters and they buy six beers and a pepperoni pizza…

Dennis as Norm: Waa, wah–huh?

Laura: And you have six reporters drinking four beers, but two of them are Miller Lites, then you have to carry the three and add two…

Dennis as Norm, hysterical: Huh. I can’t take it anymore. Do whatever you want—ahh!!!!

Back to gaslighting Dennis. I tell him…

Laura as Ben: I don’t hear the wrapping, D. Tell you what–let’s hear what Thom has to say.

Oh, yeah—Thom Hartmann just happen to be the studio.

Dennis as Hartman: Hello, Thom Hartman here. I love beets. what about you?

I dash into the break room where Hartman’s about to dig into a big, old beet salad.

Laura as Ben: Yo’, Thom, man, forget about the beets. I need you in the studio. Do me a favor—just say, `I can’t hear a thing.’

Dennis as Hartman: Wait, ho. The gold standard.

And into the studio we run.

Laura as Ben: Okay, Dennis, man, ask Thom your question.

Dennis as Dennis: Okay, cool, cool, cool–Thom, tell me if you hear Ben unwrapping his candy bar. Here we go…

Dennis as me: We’ll be right back but first Chicago news with Laura Vaughn. Oh, I’m so hungry. [makes sound of wrapper].

Laura as Ben: Well, Thom?

Dennis as Thom: I didn’t hear a thing.

Dennis plays Twilight Zone sound.

Dennis as Dennis: Noooo, I’m going crazy. Ahh. Wooo…

Heh, heh, heh—Donnie Trump would be proud…

Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Euphoria

November 16th, 2017

This bit’s from the November 9th show. To hear it, click here


Yesterday, I was euphoric in the aftermath of Tuesday’s Democratic victories throughout the country. I was so happy, I ran out to Rush Street and started singing one of my favorite songs…

Damien: We are the champions…of the world.

But then reality set in as I read Michael Krause article in Politico about Trump voters in a white, low-income, coal mining community in Pennsylvania. A year ago, Trump won their vote by coming to town and making big promises.

Dennis as Trump: Listen, your government betrayed you, and I’m going to make it right. Your jobs will come back under a Trump administration.

But now—no jobs. It’s as bad as it was before. And yet, when the reporter returned to see if voters felt betrayed, he discovered…

Dennis in news voice: Their satisfaction with Trump now seems untethered to the things they once said mattered to them the most.

Man, that’s an understatement. Consider the comments of one lady, whose son had died of a heroin overdose.

Laura as lady: There’s nothing good in the area. I don’t have anything good to say about anything in this area. It’s sad.

Dennis as reporter: And so what do you think about Trump?

Laura as lady: I’m a supporter of him, 100 percent.

100 percent! I’m no mathematiciaion like Dan Biss but I can tell you–you can’t do better than 100 percent. How about this exchange between the reporter and another Trump supporter.

Dennis as reporter: Now tell me, has there been any change since Trump became president?

Damien as trump supporter: No. Not at all.

Dennis as reporter: So do you support him?

Damien as Trump supporter: Yes. He’s our answer.

Dennis as reporter: And if the next three years are like the last one—will you still support him?

Damien as Trump supporter: Well, I’m not going to blame him–absolutely not.

Dennis as reporter: Is there anything that could change her mind about Trump?

Damien: Nope.

Dennis: Okay, so If he walked into this town and took a crap right in the center square?

Damien: Hey, man, at least he’s not that Obama guy there.

He didn’t really ask that question. But he might have. Later there was this exchange.

Damien as voter: Trump’s probably the most diligent, hardest-working president we’ve ever had in our lifetimes. It’s not like he sleeps in till noon and goes golfing every weekend, like the last president did.

I’m not kidding. That’s an actual quote. To which the reporter said…

Dennis: Do you realize that Trump plays more golf than Obama?

Damien as voter: Does he?

Dennis: Yes.

Damien: Well, If I was married to his wife. I don’t think I’d go anywhere.”

Hard to argue with that logic. If there’s any one reason above all else that folks in this town like him, it’s cause he denounced the black NFL football players who are taking a knee. Follow this exchange between a man and his wife.

Laura as Trump supporter: Tell him what you said the NFL is.

Dennis as Trump supporter: I don’t remember saying that.

Laura as Trump supporter: You’re the one that told me that—liar.

At this point, I should point out that the man is a retired high school basketball coach. So he was a role model to the children of this town.

Laura as Trump supporter: He called the NFL—[n-word] for life.

That’s the n-word we beeped out. Like I said, I try to be optimistic. But this is going to be harder than it looks.

Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Saving Daylight

November 12th, 2017

This bit’s from the November 7th show. If you want to hear it, click here


Sunday was daylight saving day and, as such, my wife faced a monumental decision when she turned back the kitchen clock.

Laura: Hey, Benny, should I set the clock so it’s a little ahead of time?

If it’s ahead, we won’t be late. Or, at least we’ll be rushing to get out of the house, thinking we’re going to be late, when, in fact, we’re on time.

Laura: What do you think, Benny—late or not late?

To which I say…

Damien as me: Freaking Jerian Grant—he never passes to the rookie.

True to form, I’m reading about the Bulls and not concentrating on what she’s saying.

Laura: Fine. I’ll do whatever I want, since you’re obviously not listening to what I say.

Fast forward to Monday, I’m late. Always late. Dashing out of the house to get to the studio. But first gotta take a shower. So into the shower I hop. Singing one of my favorite tunes.

Damien: Dead in the middle of little Italy…

Not sure how I got so good at hip hop. Must be from hanging out with Damien. Then out of the shower I hop. As I dash out of the bathroom, I see the clock on the kitchen wall.

Damien: Holy, Moses, man! It’s 1:45. I’m late!!!

Up the stairs I run, kicking over the dog.

Dennis as Nicky the dog: Oh, dude, watch it, manude. Can’t a dog sleep around here?

Damien: Sorry, Nicky.


Running late, like Dagwood…


Then I trip over a baby that’s in the living room.

Dennis as two year old: Goo, goo gah, gah.

Actually, there’s no baby in the room. I just wanted to irritate Dennis by making him play a baby again.

Dennis as baby: Goo goo, gah gah. Wait till my agent hears about this!

I throw on some jeans and a T-shirt and dash down the stairs two steps at a time flying past my wife.

Laura: Did you walk the dog?

Damien: No time! Gotta go. I’m late!

Laura: Yeah, well that dog’s gotta go.

Dennis as Nicky: Yeah, man. I gotta go

Damien: Okay, fine. C’mon, Nicky—hurry up!

Dennis as Nicky: This dude’s crazy.

As I look at my phone, I realize…wait, it’s only 1:40. My wife had set the kitchen clock ahead. If I leave right now, I won’t be late at all.

Damien: Oh, man, happy day.

Just then my cell phone ring.

Dennis as Milo: Hey, Benny.

It’s my old pal, Milo.

Dennis as Milo: How come Jerian Grant don’t pass to the rookie?

Obviously, great minds think alike.

Dennis: Have you ever noticed that Jerian spelled backward is Narije.

Clearly, Milo’s got a lot of time on his hands.

Dennis: Have you heard me imitating Bernie Sanders reading the Paradise Papers?

Oh, man—can’t resist this.

Dennis: Hey, waiter—twenty-seven dollars.

I spend five minutes listening to Milo do Sanders. And then I realize—ugh-oh, I’d used up all the time that my wife had put on the clock.

Damien: Gotta go—now I’m really late.

You know, some guys are late, even when they’re early.

Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Bilingual

November 7th, 2017

This bit’s from the November 2nd show. If you want to hear it, click here


The other day, I get a text from my youngest daughter, telling me she’s spent the morning listening to Hall and Oates. Leading everyone to want to know—how in the world did a millennial learn to love old people’s music? To explain, let me take you back in time to the early-1990s.

Damien: Hey, I’m Benny Jay. And believe it or not—I’m 30.

I’m in the car with my kids, while my wife’s away at work.

Laura as daughter: I’m 6.

Dennis as other daughter: And I’m two.

And I’ve got sports talk on the radio.

Dennis as sports talk host: Pippen’s groin is inflamed. How can you play basketball with an inflamed groin? Let’s see what Cicero Joe has to say.

jayandthetechniquesThe great Jay & the Techniques…


Damien as Cicero Joe: I called in to let you know I had an inflamed groin when I played a high school football.

Dennis as sports show: Yeah.

Damien as Cicero Joe: It hurts—you got to play with it. The pain. Not the groin. Of course, you can play with that too.

Damien and Dennis: Ha, ha, ha. That’s incredible.

I’m really into this cause its giving me new insight into Scottie Pippen’s groin. When from the back of the car…

Laura as six year old: Turn this off, daddy

Dennis as two: Yeah, turn it off

Damien as me: Kids, it’s really important that I have daddy time to hear about Pippen’s groin.

Words I thought I’d never say.

Laura: Daddy, what’s a groin?

Dennis: Yeah.

Damien: Well, ugh…

Laura: I hate this talking.

Dennis: Yeah.

Laura: Turn it off.

Damien as me: Now kids—daddy needs groin time.

Laura and Dennis: Turn it off, turn it off, turn it off.

So there and then–we cut a deal.

Damien as me: If I turn it off, you have to let me listen to what I want to listen to.

Laura as Hannah: Deal.

Dennis: Yea. It works

So I turn on the oldies station. At which point we hear.

Laura singing: Apples, peaches pumpkin pie…

God, I love that song.

Laura, singing: You were you and so was I…

For the next ten or so years, as I drove my kids around, all we ever listened to was oldies. But every now and then–just to annoy them–I’d flip on sports talk.

Dennis as sports talk host: We’ve got Joe Cowley live—with an update on Derrick Rose’s groin.

You know, years come and go and they always seem to be talking about some guy’s groin. Don’t feel sorry for my kids, cause somehow or other they wound up hearing their own generations music too.

Damien, raps: I love it when you call me Big Papa.

You might say—they were bilingual.

Leave a comment

Benny Jay: Halloween Thoughts

November 2nd, 2017

On the night of Halloween, I was heading up the street, when I came upon a group of trick or treaters at the end of my block.

Must have been a half dozen of them–racing up the steps to get their candy.

The proud papa stood on the sidewalk, taking it all in.

I could have passed without comment. But something made me stop.

“Great night,” I said.


“The kids love this stuff…”


“I used to be in your shoes…”


“Taking the kids trick or treating–that was my job.”


rachelonthebeachassunsetsWatching the days go by…

“This is when my daughters were of trick or treating age…”


“You’ll find that stops usually when they get to high school…”

“Um hmm…””

“They’re grown now…”


“So they haven’t been trick or treating in awhile…”


“They used to have a bunch of their friends come over to trick or treat with them. My wife would order pizza.”


“And chicken wings. The kids loved chicken wings…”


“Who doesn’t love chicken wings…”

He gives me a look. It occurs to me that he hadn’t asked for all the information I’m giving.

Meanwhile, his kids, having had their bags filled with candy, scampered down the steps and headed for the next house.

“Gotta go,” he said.

“Good luck, man…”

Watching them leave, I flashbacked to one of those Halloweens from long ago. There was this old guy at the end of the block who used to tell me how he used to take his kids trick or treating.

Back then, I was the young man in a hurry to get going.

And now I’ve become the old man on the block.

How that happened, I do not know. Must have been when I wasn’t paying attention.

Leave a comment
« Click here for Older Entries |
    • Archives