WGN 1/28-30 Saturday Night Podcast

It may have been a short show, but we had a blast, Saturday night, talking about the Always Olivia Tribute with Annie Aiello and hanging out with our usual gang of suspects on WGN Radio.

Driving down to the station on a cold, January, winter night, of course, Johnnie had to take a photo or two.

DuSable Lake Shore Drive had a shiny, patent leather look.

As we closed in on the “Gold Coast” things had a bit of a “film noir” vibe.

Once we arrived at WGN Radio, got everything set up, and the countdown to showtime was on, Steve captured his studio view.

Steve’s view from WGN Radio’s Studio A.

Since it was only an hour and a half show, all too soon, it was over and time to head back out into a frigid Chicago winter night.

A 2:30AM view of Columbus Dr. and the Chicago river. Yep, it was as cold as it looks.

If you missed this show, or if you’d like to hear it again, the podcast is now available. Just click on this link to hear it.

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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We’re Baaack!

Many of you have been nice enough to ask for an update on Johnnie’s bout with shingles. Fortunately, the news is good. Johnnie is feeling better and, if we can make it through the snow (!), our plans are to talk to you this Saturday night/Sunday morning (1/28-29/23) from inside the cozy studios of WGN Radio. Remember, due to the Chicago Blackhawks game, we’ll have a late start, at 12:30 AM (Central).

As we slide back into your speakers we’ll be joined by the very talented Annie Aiello who will be presenting her incredible “Always Olivia” tribute to Olivia Newton-John on Feb. 10th at the Des Plaines Theatre and on Feb. 11th at the Arcada Theatre.

As always, we hope you’ll tune in to 720 AM but, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can still listen by clicking this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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Johnnie’s Gluten-Free Taco Chili!

On Tuesday I planned on making tacos and as the hamburger meat was frying I realized we had no tortillas.

I thought…chili!

Well, chili slowly evolved into what I’m calling Taco Chili!

Here’s how I made it:

Sauteed 1 Lb of hamburger & drained it well.

Added a small chopped sweet onion & small green pepper diced. Sauteed the veggies with the hamburger meat.

In a soup pot I mixed the following:

1 -15 oz can petite tomatoes

1-15 oz can crushed 

1 -15 oz can tomato sauce

*You can use a giant can of tomatoes crushed, diced, whatever you have on hand.*

1 can drained/rinsed black beans (kidney or pinto are fine)

1 small bag frozen corn (or you can use 1 can drained whole kernel corn)

I added 1 small can mild chilis (optional) and…

1 pack of mild taco seasoning(we use McCormick gluten free seasoning)

A l/2 package of Ranch dressing mix…really but, taste, you may want to add the whole package.

Stirred it well

Added the burger/onion/pepper combo

Added 1 can of water

Simmered and served with tortilla chips

Taco Chili

So good! 

Enjoy … and stay safe,


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S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night, 2.0!

Saturday night version 2.0, show #1 is in the books. WOW, that went fast!

We have to say a HUGE thank you to our producer, Andrew Harris, Ron Brown and Gabe Salgado in the newsroom and the “keeper of the big plug,” WGN engineer, Dan Long. They all went out of their way to make sure show #1 went smoothly.

Also, our thanks to Dave Plier, Mike Janssen, Tom Appel, Fred Weintraub, Patrick Crispen, Gino Salomone and Tommy Emmanuel for providing the hi-test fuel our 2.0 launch.

If you missed it or, if you’d like to hear it again, just click this podcast link.

It was all a blur!

Most importantly, thank you so much for hanging out with us!

Hmmm … now, what are we gonna do next week?

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y night!

This Saturday night, January 7th, we’re starting the new year with a full circle moment bringing us back to our first first regular show as a duo on WGN Radio, in February 1985 – on a Saturday night. With the exception of occasional shortened shows for Chicago Blackhawks games, we’ll be on every Saturday night from 9PM-2AM. We hope you’ll hop on board with us for version 2.0 and see where it takes us.

Listed on the roster for our inaugural Saturday night broadcast’s “cast of thousands” (OK, give or take a few) are names such as Tommy Emmanuel, WGN-TV’s Mike Janssen, Patrick Crispen, Tom Appel and many more surprises.

Of course, if we listed them all, then they wouldn’t be surprises so, it appears, we won’t.

As always, we hope you’ll tune in to 720 AM but, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can still listen by clicking this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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Timelines: Past & Future

11 years ago today (Dec. 9, 2011) we were reflecting on wrapping up 27 years of shows on WGN Radio, most of them spent sharing our “Life After Dark” with you. Today, as we remember those adventures, we wanted to share some news from our future timeline.

Tuesday – Friday, 12/27, 12/28, 12/29 & 12/30 – 2022 Lisa Dent is going to spend some quality time between Christmas and the start of a new year doing just whatever the heck she feels like doing. While she is, we’re going to enjoy spending most of the week between those holidays, from 2PM-6PM (Central), celebrating with you in her space.

Per usual, we’ll posting updates to our game plan as we figure it out so, as always, you might want to check back here now and then to know what we know as we know it.

Of course we hope you’ll tune in to 720 AM but, if you’re not in the Chicago area, you can still listen by clicking this link to WGN Radio’s live stream.

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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Stuffin’ Muffins

Along with falling leaves and temperatures, early sunsets and early Christmas displays, one of the annual signs of the advent of Thanksgiving for us is the avalanche of email and snail mail we get requesting the recipe for Stuffin’ Muffins.

This recipe was made famous to our listeners by our bro-in-law, “Chef John,” who joined us on the air during Thanksgiving week for many years long before Rachel Ray added them to her menu.

Once again this year, the avalanche has started, so without further ado …

Use any stuffing recipe you like, that could be Stove Top stuffing, apple, sausage or you name it.

Or, if you’re cooking gluten-free, as is the case in our house, one option I use is Aleia’s Gluten Free savory stuffing mix.

Butter well or spray Pam in muffin tin cups. Scoop the stuffing into the cups til each is almost full. An ice cream scoop makes this easy. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20- 25 minutes. The time variation is determined by the stuffing ingredients. Apple or sausage for example will take longer than bread or cornbread stuffing with celery and onions. 

The muffins are extra tasty if you baste the tops with turkey juices at least once while they are baking. I use a turkey baster and fill it with the juice and squirt it onto the tops of the muffins. 

Let muffins cool a bit in the pan then pop out and enjoy. The inside should be soft and the top should have a chewier texture. 

Don’t be surprised if, as they’re leaving, some guests ask if they can take a few for “the ride home.” That request has become a part of our Thanksgiving traditions.

Oh, also, if you’d like a little variety, add a dollop of cranberry sauce on top. Trust me, it’s ALL good!

That’s it!

Now, go make muffins and memories.

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

Stay safe,


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Happy Halloween 2022

Since this October found us spending time in both places, we thought you might like to see just some of the Halloween spirits who rose to greet us in both Chicago and Panama City Beach.

Before we left Chicago, as usual, the Wonderful Tree Lady worked her magic throughout our house.

And, of course, some scary little friends joined in the festivities.

And, you knew there had to be bats … and cats.

Music was provided by The O Family, who performed next to their newly acquired hearse. Madame O is backed by Diego, Fernando and Leonardo, who makes the act even scarier with his, dare we say it, … accordion.

When we arrived in Panama City Beach, ghosts, spiders and other spirits quickly took over the porch of our little yellow house.

Our spirited troubadour, Henry Howl, brought his guitar to help set the mood.

We heard, saw and spoke of many strange things.

There were moments, when the wind was still, that her and him didn’t quite feel ourselves. It was almost as if we’d been … transformed.

But, at the end of the day, we were back to feeling as close to normal as we ever get, so we end this post with a toast to you from the good witch who channeled Halloween from the North to the South.

Happy Halloween!

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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S&J’s Halloween Poem

This photo popped up in our memories and reminded us to remind you that, once again, our Halloween Poem is available for you to have some fun with your little people.

For the uninitiated, this is a poem which, in one form or another, we’ve been presenting on radio and the Internet for several decades. Honestly, we don’t know the origin of the poem. A listener sent it to Steve many years ago in a galaxy far, far away in the days before him n her became HimNHer. The positive response to the poem and the fun it can provide, particularly for kids, at a Halloween party resulted in it becoming one of our annual traditions.

You’ll find all the instructions along with downloadable audio just by clicking this link.

Happy Halloween!

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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Thurs. & Fri. 10/20 & 10/21 WGN Podcasts & Pictures

Sorry it took a few days to post this but, in the interim, we hopped on a big bird and are writing this blog from the friendly confines of our little yellow house, in Panama City Beach, Fl.

BTW, on the flight down here, as we connected through Nashville, we were greeted with an absolutely breathtaking sunset view that we thought we’d share with the class.

Nashville greeted us with a Grand Ole Sunset

Meanwhile, before we left Chicago, our drive on “The Drive” to WGN Radio each day allowed us to see Fall welcoming the crowds of cars with swatches of color.

If you gotta be stopped in traffic, at least you’ve got a colorful view.

And, not surprisingly, once we got to the station, the view from our studio wasn’t too shabby, either.

Johnnie’s studio view.

And now, about those podcasts …

It’s been too long since we caught up with the legendary artist for Marvel and DC Comics, Alex Ross, so we thought it was time to remedy that and get an update on his career and his new graphic novel, Fantastic Four: Full Circle. To hear our fantastic adventure with Alex, just point your browser up, up and away to this link. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

Our former Website Wednesday Night Cybersquad chief, Patrick Crispen, joined us to discuss the technology around key fobs, whether you should be concerned about them when you purchase a new vehicle and a lot more tech stuff. If you’d like to unlock that conversation, just click on this link.

We talked with Heidi Przybyla, veteran Washington correspondent with Politico, about the story of a Michigan county hiring a ‘Stop the Steal’ ringleader to recruit poll workers. You’ll find all those questions and answers right here.

Anytime we’re treated to an in-studio performance from our longtime friend, the internationally known genius who weaves blues and classical forms together, Corky Siegel, we know something special is about to happen.

Corky & Holly Siegel with Johnnie & Steve

Well, it did and Corky’s podcast is right here.

Joan Hallagan joined us with an update on how and when the Skokie-based café Will’s Place will be providing employment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities and how you can help. Here’s our conversation with Joan.

Those are just some of the bits and bytes from our Thursday and Friday WGN Radio “drive-by” shows in Lisa Dent‘s space.

If you’d like to hear all of Thursday’s show, here it is.


If you’d like to hear all of Friday’s show, it’s right here.

Before we wrap this up we have to say a HUGE thank you to our producers, Curtis Koch and Brian Althimer for making sure we didn’t break the radio station. They’re the best!

Curtis & Brian

Keep watching this space for any updates on our next invasion of your radio’s speakers as we know them. And, if you’d like to subscribe to this blog, we’d really appreciate it. We don’t spam you. You’ll just get an email to let you know whenever we have a new blog post.

As always, thanks for hanging out with us online and on the air.

Stay safe,

Steve & Johnnie

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