The Nitro Joint w / "Chicago Jon" Hoffman

A Chicago Jon Christmas Special

“Oh, hello! I didn't hear you come in!”

- Perry Como/Andy Williams/Bing Crosby/The Osmonds and far too many others, opening their lame ass Christmas specials.


Tis the holiday season and I cannot believe, even during my decade-plus run on TV, I never did a "Chicago Jon Christmas Special". Actually, I did, but it was only given to a handful of friends, and my bosses at the stoic Phlegm Building. (You can't miss it when you visit, it's over on a shelf they have, marked 'crappy presents that we'll re-gift to someone else'.) ANYWAY, if I did, it'd be a little like this...

(The scene is a typical living room, as seen on television in the 1960s. Chicago Jon is wearing a hideous sweater, busily wrapping presents with his back to the viewers. As the camera slowly pans in, Jon turns, and acts surprised) "Oh, HELLO, I didn't hear you come in! WELCOME to a very merry Chicago Jon Christmas Special" (canned audience applause plays as Jon walks over to the window) "Boy, look at that SNOW! It's really coming down this Christmas Eve"! (at this point, the stagehand who was on a ladder shaking a box of TIDE to create the visual of snow slips and falls, essentially blowing the 'Holiday magic') Jon ad-libs to the camera, "Uhhh, must've been one of Santa’s elves up on the rooftop!” (a knock is heard at the door) “GEE, I wonder who THAT could be?" (Jon opens the door to reveal the ghost of David Bowie, as EMTs carry off the broken legged stagehand in the background.)


Jon - "Welcome to the show, Ziggy Stardust!"


Bowie, who clearly looks pissed - "That was just a character I did, ONCE, and hardly what I want my legacy to be..."


Jon - "Uh, yeah, that wasn't the line. ANYWAY, want to come in and sing some Christmas carols?"


Bowie, with a sigh of exasperation - "SURE, there is NOTHING I'd RATHER be doing at the moment!"


Jon - (in a hushed tone) "Dave, you had a better energy during the walk-through, can you lighten up a bit? HEY, here's a heavy metal version of Santa Clause Is Coming To Town, how about we do this one?"


Bowie, flapping his arms in frustration - "OK, THAT'S it, ENOUGH of this!! I don't care WHAT my agent got me to sign off on in the methadone-induced coma I was in at the end, I am NOT DOING THIS! It was bad enough when I was alive and had to do it with the old Hollywood guy that played golf, who was that again?? Bingo? Badda-Boom-Badda-Bing? WHATEVER, I am SO out of here!" (POOF!, and disappears)


Jon - (mumbling to self) "I told them, we could've gotten Ringo, for SCALE! That guy'll show up at the opening of an ENVELOPE!" (Now aware the camera is still on) "HEY, let’s check on that Holiday FEAST, OK?"

                                                                              (Chicago Jon walks over to the door to the kitchen, but forgetting his marks, stops in front of a mirror, and begins to deliver his lines. The camera crew, whose reflections are now visible, are frantically waving at him to move) "WHOA, that smells great, I can hardly wait.” (Doorbell rings) “OH-oh, I wonder who THAT could be, I'd better not LOAF, when I have someone to MEET...." (Jon opens the door, and is stunned to see a brooding Nicholas Cage.)


Jon - (in a half whisper) "What’s going on, where’s Meat Loaf?”


Nicholas Cage - 'He has stomach flu and couldn't make it. Some guy named Burkster called and asked if I'd work for scale, so here I am...'


Jon - (now forced to ad-lib) - "Hey, everyone, it's the Ghost of Nicholas Cage!"


Nicholas Cage - 'WHAT? Wait, no, I'm not dead, that's not the character I'm playing, why would you think I'm DEAD?” (Jon shrugs) “I'm here as a regular person! Are you this guy I have to talk to for three minutes, Chicano Jeff?”


Jon - 'Err, Chicago Jon. Three minutes?'


Cage - "That guy, Burkster, he didn't have what you'd call much of a budget."


Jon – “Did he say anything else?”


Cage - "From the number of F-Bombs he dropped, he must really hate Ringo."


Jon - 'Uh, OK, so … I'm a movie-guy here at DRO, and usually do car movies. You did that thing, umm…”


Cage – “GONE IN SIXTY SECONDS? Why yes, that was a...”


Jon – “Nah, that sucked. What was that deal -- DRIVE ANGRY -- do you have any stories from that shoot?”


Cage - (sighing, shrugging, and looking MORE frustrated and depressed, if that is even humanly possible.) "The problem with that picture was that during the test screenings, the audience thought that William Fitchner’s character was that MAYHEM guy from the insurance commercials, and they kept LAUGHING at what was an intense, dark and brooding motion picture! It was dumped into direct-to-DVD sale bins; you can probably buy it at Walmart for ten bucks now."


Jon – “Two ninety-eight.”


Cage - "How do you know that?"


Jon – “Err … ah …. ANY new projects on the horizon, Nicky?'


Cage - "It's Nicholas. I'll be at the grand opening of the Del Taco in El Segundo, right after Tommy-Pockets, the stilt-dancing clown...”


Jon - (shocked) “Really? When?”


Cage – “In about a half an hour, that's why your three minutes are done." (turns and slams the door)


(Chicago Jon turns to camera, in a full flop-sweat) "BOY, talk about a midnight dreary! That guy Cage needs some HAPPY pills, right? Or, maybe a nice holiday drinkie-poo! Anyone up for some eggnog?" (Bolting to the bar, Jon pours maybe two fingers of nog into a HUGE glass, then upends a bottle of bourbon, until the glass overflows several times over. He chugs the whole thing down, lets out a voracious belch, and in a Reginald Van Gleason voice bellows) “MMMMMMMMM, that's good BOOZE! How about ANOTHER?!" (Jon crafts and slam three more drinks, then begins stumbling over to the Christmas tree) "HEY, how about a JOKE?  So, a Priest, a Baptist and a Rabbi go golfing …” (making confused eye contact with the director) “What, WHAT?? Whaddya MEAN, I can't tell a joke like that? I'll tell any damn joke I WANT! Just try and STOP me! You ain't the boss of ME!" (Stagehands storm the set to subdue Jon, as the director charges in front of the camera and holds his clipboard over the lens. The sound of a full-blown fist fight is not being drowned out, as Ronnie James Dios’ 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman' plays, and we roll credits.)


...Yeah, YEAH! (BLEEP)-YEAAH! That is EXACTLY how I'd want it. Cut it, pack it, print it, SHIP IT! A timeless Holiday Classic! Well, we here at the venerable Phlegm Building want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a prosperous New Year!! Until 2019, it is once again time for me to say -- C-YAAAAA!! 



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