Friday, August 01, 2014 - 72°F

Cliffbreakers Hotel (Northern Show)

Being a guy who thinks he knows whatís going on, I had to humble myself upon discovering that this extraordinary establishment has been wowing people for years without my knowledge. The nerve. But I am so glad to have it on my radar now. Jimmy Vitale was the perfect host, and you can tell he really loves making people happy, making people comfortable in his one-of-a-kind hotel and conference center along the Rock River. We didnít show you everything, of course, and you donít even have to spend the night if you donít want to Ė just come and walk about the lobby and the halls and youíll see plenty. Dinner was out of this world, by the way. Jimmy brought in a chef from New York City and we had a ball talking to him about his new life in Rockford. He went on and on about the ďmansionĒ he bought, which would have cost him a couple million dollars in suburban NY or Connecticut. He was thrilled.

Folks, that last scene where I am bobbing up and down on the camel on the bed Ė man, that is funny. It was a relief to hear Mr. Vitale giggling in the background when I toppled over. As is often the case, we never know what our hosts are thinking when we are doing our schtick. I think itís really cool that with the exception of one time, I have never had a person call me after something aired and complain that I had portrayed him or her in a way they found objectionable. Credit goes to the camera people and editors too who tempered my crazier ideas or just helped make me and my guests look good.

Oh, what was the one exception to the above? It was in the first year of Wild Chicago. We did a segment on an ethnic museum in the city and in fact they were quite pleased with how we portrayed them and their institution. What they objected to was the company they kept in the show order of that episode. Coming right after our expose of Female Jello Wrestling was not where they thought they should be, and they asked respectfully to be removed from the show altogether. We understood and complied cheerfully.

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