To be clear, it wasn’t the city that adopted the kid.
The Gold Standard of sitcoms in the late 1980s and early-mid 1990s was the Miller-Boyett situational comedy. Not because the sitcoms have an incredible redeeming value in 2019 (but are great for nostalgia), but because there were so many sitcoms under this partnership.
You would have been hard-pressed to not run into one of their shows in prime time in 1990, much in the same way you’d be hard pressed not to run into them in syndication in 2019.
You can’t miss it. One of the show’s stars always lets you know it exists.
The sitcoms are oft-imitated, always in parody, and have all the sweetness of the sugariest syrup. The parodies are just as saccharin as the real deals were, and they only get moreso when you know the source material. They strive to be the funniest things going, but they’re pretty sugary no matter what.
Earlier, I said that the city of Chicago did not adopt a kid, but the city’s connection to the Miller-Boyett sitcom model isn’t too far-fetched. Miller-Boyett sitcoms always take place in the city and suburbs of Chicago, so it was only natural that the band named for the city would get their own sitcom, in a “Six Degrees of Separation” way.
In 2011, Funny or Die produced their own version of the Miller-Boyett sitcom, a concept that the “rock with horns” band Chicago adopted a child named Josh, and the antics they could all have together.
You know, like Obligatory Opening Credits!
And title cards!
Chicago and Me is about Josh, a kid that the group adopts, and the crazy antics they get into as adoptive fathers (while quoting their song titles, of course). Josh has a dilemma – class pet, a bunny, is sick, and the school has to put it down that Monday because the school can’t afford surgery on it.
Undeterred by this dilemma, Chicago has a solution – a fundraiser! You know, like a bake sale, or a magic show, or a concert!
Gee, which one will they decide to do?
Even more, what other ways will Chicago have to save the day?
Click play and find out!
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Concert would have been too easy, right?
I first saw this about a year ago, after finding a “Behind the Scenes” video on Chicago’s YouTube Channel – it came up in Recommended Videos, but I’m not sure how the actual video didn’t!
The idea of Chicago saving both a pet bunny and the Earth just sounds a bit absurd, but given how Miller-Boyett sitcoms had the “30-minute solution” down to a science, it isn’t all that shocking that this could be done.
And yes, the acting…
This isn’t their first time acting, but there are reasons why they shouldn’t. It isn’t their thing. Great singers, yes. Great performers, definitely. Great showmen? No doubt in anyone’s mind. But actors? No. Speaking at the concerts is one thing, acting is a whole other thing. I know this is supposed to be a terrible sitcom parody, so maybe the acting was supposed to be terrible? I’m not 100% sure.
The group also did a 14-minute music video for “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” the same year, and let’s just say there is a reason Robert Lamm should never have any speaking parts…ever.
I feel terrible saying that, but I swoon over his music, not his acting abilities. And yes, that is probably the worst screenshot I’ve ever taken.
Oh, and Jason Scheff is super cute in this. Who knew he and Walt Parazaider were magicians?
The “Behind the Scenes” video features the group talking about the concept of the sitcom, while of course featuring clips of their concerts, and is part of what I’m assuming is “Premium Access” for their fans.
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Walt Parazaider telling the kid about why he took up saxophone is hilarious. Chicks, man.
If you like Chicago’s music, it is worth seeing a whole other side of the band that you would otherwise never gather from their concerts and interviews. You know, like that Robert Lamm should never try acting.
Or that witty banter between the drum/percussion section can be just as bad as a Miller/Boyett sitcom parody.
But does it come with Keith Howland lurking?