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Best bet to be the “next Oprah” from Chicago

Audience Choice, Category, City Life No Comments »

Jerry Springer
Sure, Springer has had his time in the spotlight, but that was only to analyze broke-down hookers and midget supremacists. Imagine if we gave him a book club and a magazine and a Favorite Things platform–the controversial host changes the world of housewives with his Final Thoughts on dieting and “living life to the fullest.” He’s already got his Gayle in Steve Wilkos and a sizable fan base that could benefit from shows about how to decorate your colonial home instead of shows about how to decorate the shed out back for your one-legged mistress.

Audience choice:
Nobody, followed by Michelle Obama

Best of Chicago 2010

Best imaginary Oprah moment that won’t likely actually happen but, well, might have

Audience Choice, Category, City Life No Comments »

She marries Stedman on her final episode and everyone gets a house!
Of all the leading men in Oprah’s life (Nate, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz), has anyone heard from Stedman lately? While the queen of daytime talk will probably have some lavish affair hosting Tina Turner and the Pope in Buckingham Palace for her final show, we wish she would go out with the biggest surprise ever, by marrying her poor devoted boyfriend on her last taping. And what would really top it off—she gets carried over the threshold of a new house for you and you and you!

Audience choice:
She comes out of the closet
Others that were mentioned a few times, amused us or seemed especially weird:
“For an entire week, only Oprah’s face spits water on people from the Crown Fountain”; “Oprah wakes up next to Suzanne Pleshette and realizes it was all a dream”; “Oprah gives everyone in Chicago city limits a birthday present. ‘You get a birthday present! You get a birthday present! Ever’body gets a birthday present!'”

Best of Chicago 2010

Best idea to forget about from Chicago 2016

Audience Choice, City Life No Comments »

Second Cityitis

There was a pathetic undertone to much of the discourse surrounding the Chicago bid for the Olympics, which went along the lines that we need this to be a world-class city, that too much of the planet still thinks “Al Capone” when they hear “Chicago,” to which we say: bunk! In all of our world travels, we’ve never had Al Capone come up in conversation. Architecture? Yes. Michael Jordan? Yes. House music? Yes. The weather? Sadly, yes. But Scarface Al? No. Kind of makes you wonder what crowd those other guys are running in. If we want to be world-class, the first step is to realize we are world-class and not to worry about it. World-class cities never fret about their status; they simply do what makes them great and make sure the world knows about it. So let’s get over this inferiority complex and start marketing our assets. Like our architecture. Our beautiful lakefront. Our extraordinary cultural life. And while we’re at it, make sure we tell everyone how nice our weather is. In summer.

Audience choice:
Hosting the Olympics

Best audience comments:
“Obama + Oprah = Unbeatable”; “‘Let Friendship Shine.’ Friendship isn’t chrome!”; “Britney Spears and whatever she does or doesn’t do”; “Forget tearing down the Michael Reese Hospital campus! We’ve already lost one of the Gropius-designed buildings there and Chicago is ready to destroy more at any moment.” “That I could have made a boatload salvaging my condo.”

Best of Chicago 2009

Best desperate attempt to land the 2016 Olympics

City Life No Comments »

Oprah’s season premiere

If Oprah can sell books, why not the Olympics, too? Capitalizing on the success of the 2008 competition, Chicago’s sweetheart invited 176 of the best American contenders to her twenty-third season premiere at Millennium Park on September 4 where (surprise!) Mayor Daley had a front-row seat for his well-timed first visit to the show. And hey, if the park’s security can handle 2,000 crazed Oprah fans, there’s no reason why they couldn’t handle millions more in 2016, right? 

Best of Chicago 2008