Category Archives: History

The Landmark 1926 Stand-Up Act of Slappy Shineman

The Regular Tomato in its heyday

The Regular Tomato in its heyday

Here we present the long lost transcript of Slappy Shineman’s historic stand-up routine from the opening night of The Regular Tomato – the nation’s first comedy club, which occupied the building at 18th and Buchanan from 1926 to 1959. It changed hands frequently over the next thirty years, most recently serving as a Planet Hollywood (closed in 2009), and in a disregarded basement closet thought filled with rats and cholera, a treasure trove of dated comedy was discovered! Enjoy!

(October 8, 1926 – Full audience, opening night, full bar hidden on second floor, bulls not giving us any malarkey tonight. Sidney Jefferson Abraham MC)

Sid: Hello ladies and gingersnaps, welcome to opening night at the Regular Tomato! Continue reading

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Dungeon Pals of the Norman Conquest!

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

England, 1074 A.D. The Norman invasion, led by Duke William II of Normandy, was a success, dispatching King Harold II at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September, and occupying the country. Many combatants and dissidents were thrown into the dungeons in the months and years to follow. Dead center on the island, the castle at Shrewsbury housed numerous Britons, still loyal to the rightful lineage of kings, from Edward the Confessor onward, even if they didn’t know who lawfully came next.




“Christ this dungeon is leaky!” Chained to the wall by hands and feet, alone, stood George. A rat continuously darted for his toes, and he kept kicking it away, more glad for the company than angry at possibly catching the plague. Thankfully, the Black Death was still some centuries away. Continue reading


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Joe Frozen, or Journeying Through Time Rather Coldly

“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work, I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” – Woody Allen

Just ask Sue - Chicago is THE place for your old bones to spend eternity

It all began in one of those typical conversations with my lady, where we’re not exactly sure how this crazed topic came up, but we needed to follow it through to the conclusion anyway.

“What, you wouldn’t want to be buried in Chicago?” I asked.

“I figured if anybody you’d want to be buried in Scranton,” she told me, and that’s a reasonable assumption.

I can only assume this came up after spouting a saying I’ve kicked around for some time now, to measure something’s greatness:

“If I die today after (insert great thing here), just take me to the boneyard and put me in the ground. Tell my momma I love her, tell her I did my best.” Saying in essence, my life will be complete after whatever great thing we experience that day – seeing a concert, eating dangerous sushi, meeting Tommy Wiseau, etc. But it did raise the interesting idea of where my dusty old bones should repose for all eternity. I immediately thought Chicago, because honestly, as much as I like Scranton, there ain’t a whole hell of a lot to do there when you’re alive. The afterlife in NEPA must be boring as shit. Continue reading

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Historians Declare Obama Best President in U.S. History

obama-190308_20526tWASHINGTON D.C. – A group of historians polled by Georgetown University has named Barack Obama the best President in the history of the United States.  Not wanting to be seen as premature, a spokesman for the group stated that based on what the president has planned for the country, and assuming all campaign and inaugural promises come to pass, Obama’s legacy will absolutely trounce that of all previous occupiers of the Oval Office.

“We felt we waited long enough in making this inevitable declaration,” historian Albert Hedgefellow said at the press conference this morning.  “It’s obvious to anyone with a knowledge of world events and conjecture that President Obama will end up with accomplishments greatly outnumbering those of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Franklin Roosevelt combined.”

Despite his first year in office so far being marred by an ugly battle over healthcare reform, increased fighting in Afganistan, and Chicago losing its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, the 44th President’s announcements concerning the greatness of life in the future and potential of the world to come has been more than enough for many. Continue reading


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The Great Eunuch Uprising of 476 A.D.

As we all know, the Fall of the Roman Empire is considered to have taken place on or about September 4th of 476 A.D. when the last Western Roman Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed by the general Odoacer, which in essence kicked off the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, the heyday of the Byzantine Empire, and ultimately, the Bubonic Plague, the Red Menace, and the Slipper That Ate Chicago.  Fun stuff.  But what has been lost by history is how this was able to take place at all, or moreover, how it all began.  Directly enough, the Fall of the Roman Empire was caused by the Great Eunuch Uprising of 476. Continue reading


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