I just saw this video, one of two posted yesterday by Steve Johnson at ChicagoTribune.com.

Apparently, there is no end to the man’s coolness. Not only is he appearing on Check, Please!, one of my favorite TV shows (seven years ago, before anyone knew how cool it was), he’s also recommending one of my favorite restaurants, Dixie Kitchen and Bait Shop, at their original location in Hyde Park. Yeah, this is the place we went to with Karen and Kevin before seeing Bruce Springsteen. This is where we took Marianne and Elliot after our sketchy Blues Heaven tour of the former Chess Records studios.

I see that I’m one of the last to learn about this lost episode. The Dixie Kitchen proudly notes a January 1 Sun-Times story, a January 2 Milwaukee Examiner story, and a Chicago Public Radio segment about the appearance that originally aired in 2004.

The Tribune item says the show never aired “because then state Sen. Obama was too good,” but when you listen to WBEZ’s Steve Edwards interviewing David Manilow, executive producer of Check, Please!, it becomes more clear that it was a case of the other two participants seeming seeming a little lackluster in his immediate radiance.

At any rate, it’s good to see original host Amanda Puck again (although we also love current host Alpana Singh), and it will be good to see this episode at long last on WTTW 11.

Update, 1/16/2009:

The WTTW 11 schedule lists five airings in all — but they now show only the first one as airing on both their regular channel and their HD channel, with the four encore showings apparently on their HD channel only:

  • Friday, January 16 at 8:00 pm (both)
  • Friday, January 16 at 11:00 pm (HD)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 4:30 pm (HD)
  • Sunday, January 18 at 10:00 pm (HD)
  • Tuesday, January 20 (Inauguration Day) at 4:00 am (HD)


Ahead of tonight’s first airing at 8:00 p.m. on WTTW 11, Steve Johnson wrote about the episode for the Chicago Tribune again yesterday in a story headlined “‘Check, Please’ reveals another side of Obama.” In it, Johnson quotes Chicago firefighter Kevin O’Grady, who may not have been persuaded to vote for Obama, but at least both men have subsequently revisited each others’ restaurants (O’Grady’s was Zia’s Trattoria near O’Hare).

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