“Shit Chicagoans Say,” How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

Following the wild viral success of the “Shit Girls Say” video written by Kyle Humphrey and Graydon Sheppard, YouTube was flooded by hundreds of imitations with varying degrees of cheapness.  It was, perhaps, only a matter of time before someone crafted a video for the “shit Chicagoans say.”  That time has come, and the video is a horrendous abomination whose glaring inaccuracies are upstaged only by poor, contrived acting.  Oh, and by the fact that none of the people in said video are actually from Chicago.  As a lifelong Chicagoan who takes great pride in this city, I feel an obligation to address the fallacious, uninformed attempt to hop on a hackneyed bandwagon for quick recognition.  I feel even more obliged given the success and notoriety it’s attained in its misrepresentation of Chicago.

The “Shit Chicagoans Say” video has achieved moderate viral status, jumping from 220 views to more than 500,000 in little more than a day.  It gained notoriety after being featured in both the Red Eye and The Huffington Post, and with that came conflicting opinions from the public.  The opposition was largely due to the video’s narrow focus on the North Side, but even more so due to the players having taken creative freedom to the point of invention.  The negative response was strong enough to warrant a blog post from one of the creators in an attempt to address the video’s shortcomings.  The blog, penned by Oshkosh, WI native and member of improv group Sophomore Album, Robert Bacon, claims he is “…proud to call [him]self a Chicagoan.”  That may be, however most Chicagoans might refer to Bacon as a “transplant,” a “Wisconsin native,” or a “jagoff.”  Also noteworthy in his blog, is the section entitled “Screw You Kid” in which Bacon trolls the web for pictures of children, posts their photos, and then proceeds to degrade them with thinly veiled, feigned intellect.

The other co-conspirators in this two minute and thirty-three second piece of filth are also local improvisers.  The three trained at iO in Wrigleyville, a neighborhood that they seemingly have yet to venture out of.  Marie Maloney, who hails from Mokena, IL (a village 50+ miles south of Chicago), is a member of the improv troupe Vegetable DemonMaloney is so “Chicago” that she recently tweeted: “I don’t know if the South Side [Irish] parade is really worth going to when I’m not 16 and drunk.”  One might think that somebody with a last name like  Maloney who’s from Chicago would embrace the cultural and historical aspects of the parade that celebrates both the city and its Irish heritage. Oh, that’s right, she’s not from Chicago.  Furthermore, it’s precisely this mentality that caused the cancellation of the parade in 2009.  The third and final member in this hat-trick-of-awesome is Tess Borgerding.  Originally from Minneapolis, Borgerding is on a house team at iO called Interrobang, and she is guilty of perhaps the worst acting performance of the three “filmmakers,” (compared to Bacon and Maloney, this is a feat).

With the players’ geographical merits successfully discredited, we can delve into the misinformed and occasionally intolerant quips that supposedly all Chicagoans say, with an ambiguously West Coast accent to boot.  I’ll do my best to ignore some of the blatant falsities contained within the video (“There’s Obama’s house,” while standing under an illuminated theater marquee) in order to address the objectively more offensive aspects, but such errors did not go unnoticed.  At least not by anyone who has lived in Chicago for longer than half a baseball season.

“It will always be the Sears tower.”  To people from Chicago, yes, it will.  To transplants who make videos that claim to represent the Windy City  (*cough*), no, it will not.  You will call Chicago’s tallest skyscraper “Willis Tower,” then bask in the subsequent scorn it garners from real Chicagoans.  While you’re at it, make sure to say “U.S. Cellular Field.”

“I don’t get the Pink Line.”  Well, there’s not much to get.  Your confusion is very telling of the amount of critical thinking utilized here.  The Pink Line circles the Loop, goes to Pilsen, and then heads straight west.  It travels through working-class neighborhoods; neighborhoods where real Chicagoans live and have always lived.

“This beer is good, but it’ll never be as good as Michael Jordan.”  What?  Really?  I don’t even…

“Andersonville?  You mean lesbian-world?”  While Andersonville does have a predominantly lesbian population, I have never heard it referred to as “lesbian-world,” and this includes by my lesbian friends and my Aunt, who live there.  In defending the video on his YouTube page, Bacon attempts to deflect this by saying it’s “the same as calling Boystown, Boystown.”  False.  That’d be like calling Boystown “Gay-world,” or “Queeringham.”  (Which, come to think of it, sound like pretty fun places).

“The Green Line? [wince, grimace]”  This doesn’t even attempt to disguise any ignorance and intolerance.  The Green Line is known to have a largely Black presence, and also serves neighborhoods with higher crime and poverty rates.  However, if any of them had ever traveled this route, they would know it’s quite safe and certainly not cringe-inducing.  In the past, I utilized the Green Line weekly to tutor underprivileged youths on the West Side (I know right?  Ewww…) with nary an incident.  Their portrayal of this part of the CTA is offensive at best and racist at worst.  Not to mention that the Green Line travels to Oak Park, one of the most affluent suburbs of Chicago.  Ignorance?  Check.  Intolerance?  Double check.

“Ugh, I have to go see my friend’s improv group tonight [sigh].”  Well played.  No comment. (*)


     For brevity’s sake (which, I know, is already out the window) I will limit my specific points of insult to those already mentioned.  I won’t, for example, discuss the list of 4am bars they rattled off.  Okay, I will, real quick, as I was also personally affronted by it.  More than half are made-up names of non-existant bars.  The others are places to go solely if you’re into high-fiving your bros, chest-bumping your frat pals, or vomiting on more than one pair of Ugg boots simultaneously.  The only exception to this lineup is Flat Iron (solid spot), which I trust they’ve never entered.

In case this trio of insufferable twits would like a couple bullet points for their new video (as I anxiously await the withdrawal of the current version), I’d be more than happy to provide them with a *very* abridged list of examples of shit Chicagoans say, as well as shit Chicagoans do:

  • Call soft drinks “pop.” (Their failure to include this baseline Chicago nuance is staggering).
  • Giardiniera (enough said).
  • Cheer for the Sox OR the Cubs, but never both.  Unless you’re a terrorist.
  • Add unnecessary prepositions to the end of sentences (“Where do you live at?”)
  • “Wait, so who was Bud Billiken?”
  • Know that the best thing to happen to the Hawks was the death of Dollar Bill Wirtz.
  • “Casmir Pulaski?  Yeah, he’s the day-off-in-March-guy.”
  • Eat Italian beef sandwiches at every graduation party.  In a backyard.
  • Accordingly, know the difference between a “hot beef” a “sweet beef” and what it means to “baptize it.”
  • When ordering a hotdog, know what it means to “drag it troo da garden.”
  • Call Lake Shore Drive either “Lake Shore” or “the Drive.”  Not “LSD,” as the video suggests.
  • Call the living room the “front room” and pronouncing it “fronchroom.
  • “Yeah it’s not far, it’s over by the Jewels.  Couple two, tree blocks.”
  • Possess a passionate love for Da Bearse (which was also overlooked entirely).
  • Save parking spots with lawn furniture.

“Who are you?  Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Well, for starters, I’m a real Chicagoan.  And yes, I have a number of things to do, of much greater importance, that I cast aside to address the smarmy, offensive, and moronic depiction of the city I love so well.  I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life.  I was born and raised on the South Side for 18 years in the Beverly neighborhood (where my family still resides).  I attended college at DePaul after moving to the North Side, where I’ve since spent 8 years in various neighborhoods.  Half my family have been in the field of civil service since arriving from Ireland.  The other half have been in the plumbing industry since arriving from Ireland.  My great-grandfather installed the plumbing at the Board of Trade.  My other great-grandfather had a Chicago Forest Preserve named after him.  One of my grandfathers maintained the plumbing at the Cardinal’s residence and the Sun Times building.  One of my great uncles had a Chicago expressway named after him.

I could continue, but in doing so would run the risk of over-beating the dead horse that lies before me.  It is my hope that we’ve all learned our lesson here, which is to not tread where we don’t belong.  Especially if it’s in, and most importantly, ON, the stormy, husky, brawling City of the Big Shoulders.  It is for this reason, among many, that I would never make a video about the “Shit People from Oshkosh, Mokena and Minneapolis Say.”  That, and a two minute video of people saying “let’s move to Chicago,” would be boring.

(*)To my funny, talented friends and colleagues in the improv world:  this is in no way directed toward you.  To any extent that you may take offense, I sincerely apologize.  Also, whoever let these clowns borrow an HD camera and clip-on lapel mics, please don’t do that again.


156 responses to ““Shit Chicagoans Say,” How Do I Hate Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…

  1. Loved it! Except for this: “Casmir Pulaski? Yeah, he’s the day-off-in-March-guy.”

    Chicago has a greater concentration of Polish people than Warsaw, which is to say that beyond Beverly, people do know the story of Pulaski. And if you don’t, why not Google it? A preview: it involves a drawn-out death by wound to the groin.

    I’m very proud to be a Chicagoan, but the one issue I’ve always had with the south side of the city (in particularly Beverly), is its manner of shoving Irish-ness down its residents’ throats.

    To some people that’s just not palatable.

    • Well, shoot. In my haste to respond I slipped up on my Chicago Poles fact: Chicago has the greatest concentration of Polish folks outside of Warsaw. There you go.

    • Not unlike shoving Polish-ness down it’s residents throats by shutting the city down for an entire day in March. Non residents have no clue who Casmir Pulaski is and even residents only vaguely know about him becasue of the holiday. Nice try Duszynski! Take it back to Belmont Cragin, (even though it’s 68% Hispanic!)

    • Seriously. I’ve lived in Chicago all my life, actually IN Chicago – not some remote neighborhood on the south side – and I had a good laugh at a lot of the things in this video. I also think the author of this article failed to realize that the person in the “Shit Girls Say” is a MALE and the person in “Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls” is BLACK and the person in the “Shit Guys Say” is a FEMALE. Therefore wouldn’t it only make sense that the people in this video aren’t actually from Chicago??

      It’s funny. Get over yourself.

  2. You are AWESOME, and thank you for bringing to light all of the incorrect shit that was addressed in this video, as well as the creator and his behind the scenes shitty behavior (trolling the internet and picking on pictures of kids? REALLY?) Your fellow Chicagoans stand behind you 🙂

    • Yes, thank goodness all the ‘incorrect shit’ was BROUGHT TO LIGHT. If matty hadn’t BROUGHT IT TO LIGHT the incorrectness of saying Obama’s house is right by a theater would go unchecked by the encyclopedias of the world forever!

      Where there is injustice, WE WILL BRING IT TO LIGHT!!

      • That was a joke. That was THE joke. Oh hey, guess what guys- I bet they really didn’t see Oprah either! Liars…

  3. Worst vid ever. It made me cringe until my shoulders were sore. Thank you for posting this intelligent, insightful review of the misery that is Sh*t Chicagoans Say.

  4. All good points, but wasn’t the first “Shit ….. say” actually a version of Shit Chicagoans say a.k.a. Serengeti’s “Dennehy”?

  5. You’re missing the point. Even if half of the stuff they say is not factual, people found it funny, which is more than I can say for your “ideas”, most of which aren’t even quotes in real sentences.

    People don’t have to be lifelong Chicagoans to find humor in life here.

    Oh, and I will take smarmy and moronic over persnickety any day.

  6. Also- didn’t appreciate the guy in the video’s comment about Skokie. No one from Skokie pretends to be from Chicago; a person really from Skokie is proud to be from Skokie. And at the same time, people from Skokie are way more Chicago than that guy.

  7. graduation party would also take place in the garage (garagski)

    fights over hotdog stands, and now taco stands.

    going to kenwood liquors.

  8. I also dislike the video, having lived in Chicago for several years. However, the same problem arose with the “Shit New Yorkers Say” in that every other one of the comments stated “These aren’t real New Yorkers.”

    First, I would bleed for Chicago, I know it through and through, and I profess my undying love to anyone that will listen.

    So what if I’m a “transplant”, if I live and breathe the city? Is someone from Mexico who has lived in the States for four years with proven citizenship not an American? That would be cruel and insulting.

    I vote in Chicago, I have a valid license in Chicago, I have had many Chicago addresses … and yet, I’m still just a yuppie poseur because I grew up four hours away? Not very nice, or welcoming–which are, in fact, the exact opposite characteristics of what I know true Chicagoans to be: the nicest and the best.

    However, I don’t know any Chicagoans who say most things the people in the video say. And still, if they want to embrace the city, I’m not going to judge them for it–I encourage it.

    • (but I agree that their making this video and publishing it is an assumption on their part that they are experts on the city, to which I vehemently respond: they are not)

    • You’re not a “yuppie poseur” because you grew up four hours away. You’re a moronic shithead because you use the word “poseur” instead of “poser”.

      And also you’re still not from Chicago.

  9. Excellent. Mokena isn’t 50+ miles from Chicago (it’s 43 miles from Edgewater, which is almost as far away as you can get and still be in Chicago), but otherwise, excellent work.

    Unfortunately, there’s another, just as terrible (and twice as long) video. I think that one came first, and it’s mostly a guy going “huh?” over and over again.

  10. The only good part of that video was when the guy slapped the hot-dog out of the girls hands for putting ketchup on it. However, that should of been followed up with a “I’m so sorry” to go along with the Midwest niceness we’re known for.

    One time jogging, I accidentally ran into and shoved some girl onto the ground as she was coming around a corner. As she’s falling, she’s yelling, “I’m sorry!” at me.. . So they should have had a scene where a thief mugs someone and while he’s doing he’s deeply apologizing and worried about their mental state at the same time: Mugger: “GIVE ME YO WALLETS NOW MOTHERFUCKERS”, People: “Oh, we’re sorry, we forgot we were getting off in Uptown, here you go.” Mugger: “Hey it’s cool, you know, I’m sorry about all this are you guys doing ok?” People: “Yeah, we’re ok, again apologies for not having our wallets ready.” Mugger: “Oh no, no, no trouble at all, I just feel really bad about this, I can be a bit scary sometimes, I apologize.” The scene ends with them hugging it out and finally the people talking about how gentrification is going to ruin the culture of the area.

  11. I lived in Chicago for all of two years and even I’M offended by this! I’ll give them two, maybe three things. But the rest? I’m just utterly baffled.

    • I’m offended by the fact that you lived in Chicago for “all of two years” and assume that you would know more than two, maybe three things that actual Chicagoans do or don’t do.

      • I’m offended by the fact that you act like you know what you are talking about.

        You don’t know shit, quit trying to be something you’re not.


  12. I’m pretty sure “Shit Girls Say” wasn’t done by women either. Nearly all of these videos have been done by people who *aren’t* the subject matter and *that* allows for objective observations (correct or incorrect). The author’s nativist tone was pretty insulting to people like me who have lived here for more than a decade and consider it my home. I didn’t realize I had to be born inside the Hancock building in order to be considered a true Chicagoan.

    I’ll also add that I doubt the author, nor any of his friends, actually have or use what’s considered a Chicago accent. The word “pop” and ending sentences with propositions are not Chicago things; they’re midwestern things. I know who Casmir Pulaski is and I wasn’t born here. It’s kind of disrespectful, like saying “MLK? Yeah, he’s the day-off-in January guy.”

    Further, the South Side parade, which is led annually by my good friends in the Shannon Rovers, is well known as a drunkard shit show full of underagers. The author’s faux cultural superiority is cringe-inducing. And white people on the North Side always make fun of the Green Line. It’s just reality, racist or not.

    The author is right on Andersonville, however. He’s also right about the late night bars listed, and the lack of mentioning parking spot chairs, da bearsss, and Italian beefs. That should have been included.


    • He didn’t imply that you had to be born inside the Hancock building in order to be a real Chicagoan, as a matter a fact downtown might be the phoniest part of Chicago. What frustrates so many true Chicagoans (let’s say true Chicagoans are people who at least went to high school here for the sake of this point) is when people move here from let’s say Michigan and they read the Red Eye and all of sudden they think they know all that is Chicago, when they really live in a bubble. This is a very big city, where most of the neighborhoods are family oriented and some of the best bars and restaurants will never be featured in the Red Eye. Its people like the ones who made this video that really irk us. They want so badly to call this their city, when they would never go west of Western or south of Madison. If you move here from Ohio or wherever, that’s fine, you’re welcome to live here, but don’t act like you know what you’re talking about because you like deep dish or take the red line. everyday.

    • Signing something with “.02” automatically makes you a pompous asshole. We get it, they’re your thoughts..no need to let us know again at the end that you have a shitty way of expressing yourself.

      • Commenting on how someone posts something makes you a fucking asshole. We get it. You are so much better than anyone else who posts on the internet. Get the fuck over yourself.

    • Billy,

      As a non-south sider, or in general, you really have no right to comment on what the south south parade is to everyone (I’m really happy for you that one of your friends is a Shannon Rover, now I know you MUST be an expert on the south side parade). For those who live here, have family who live here and experience it from a non-outsider’s perspective aka someone who isn’t drunkenly cluttering the streets of a neighborhood in which they know no one, it’s nothing even close to what you may interpret it as. Thanks though.

  13. Thank you for posting this. When I saw that video I was deeply upset that these three D-bags were representing my city. I’d be proud to buy you a couple two or tree sometime. BTW “Add unnecessary prepositions to the end of sentences” made me bust out laughing.

  14. Matty Ryan, are you sure you’re not being a little salty because you’re a “comedian” too and didn’t think to do something like this? Nothing is ever going to be accurate enough to guys like you, so why do you have to cry and make blog posts about it? Maybe go work on your comedy some, make it not suck, and then you won’t have to spend your massive amounts of free time cutting other aspiring comedians down. Hey, maybe someday Bacon can even give you a job! Moral of the story is you are a douche bag. PS Chicago sucks dick.

      • So if you do improv you’re not a real comedian? Really? Well I sure hope he’s a better comedian than a writer, because his smug little witticisms and quips are just a lot of hot steam clouding bad logic. If this guy is such a good comedian, perhaps he should leave the writing, arguing, and big people talk for people that can intelligently say it. Also, it’s easy to criticize someone when you speak from no experience…how many videos has he created? Being an overcritical, over-pompous dick isn’t humor, by the way.

      • If you do Improv, you’re an improviser, and that’s great! This city has some of the best in the world. In my opinion, stand-up is the most difficult form of comedy, which is why stand-ups are called comedians above improvisers, sketch actors, or anyone else in the comedy game. Furthermore, Matty simply put these comedic actors in their place for the inaccuracies of their video. Over half of it was pure bull shit, and it came off as three transplants trying to cash in on the “Shit I hate” craze.

    • Let me tell you what he probably ISN’T salty about….being named ‘Matt’ and not ‘Jamil’.

      Hope you gave your parents hell for that one guy.

  15. Great great post! I said basically the same thing the other day on fb and some people thought I was being a crab-ass. My friend just posted your post on my fb wall and here was my response to her: (I share it because you can see what I think of your post better from that than this comment) Amy, you are quite simply da bomb for finding this and sharing it. I don’t know this writer, but his hand was touched by God. If he wrote his column on paper before typing it I’m sure there was actual butter coming out of his pen! He hit on all my objections and echoed most of my thoughts. This person is obviously brilliant! And the best part is that like myself, he called those video makers out as Chicago wannabes –aptly describing them as “a “transplant,” a “Wisconsin native,” and a “jagoff.” Truer words have never been uttered. Thanks babe!!!

  16. Maybe they can just rename it “shit young Chicagoans who really only know Wrigleyville and who did not grow up in Chicago say.” I would tolerate that better

  17. I’m glad you aren’t ACTUALLY the voice of Chicago, you just pretend to be on your blog. Because then Chicago would be a much less fun place to live.

  18. I’m grew up in Wicker Park, yeah when it was still the hood, but now I live in L.A. That video sucked!!! And the only Hollywood agent ready to sign those biotches is the one that’s gonna feature them in a gang bang Porn. We aren’t that desperate out here. Wake up.

  19. having been born here and raised at Irving and Pulaski, I have never known anyone outside of a Saturday Night Live sketch to talk about Da anything, especially any sort of bearce. Perhaps that’s the way people talk on the Southside? Which…. I guess… is the only place you can live if you’re going to be a “true” Chicagoan. (Chicago rhymes with macaw go)

    That being said, most of the rest of this well reasoned blog post was right on, and those “Shit ________ say” videos needed to stop about two months ago. Oops, sorry, should be more Chicagoan. They needed to stop “couple, two tree(ugh) months ago.” (ps there’s an H in that word.)

    • “having been born here and raised at Irving and Pulaski…”

      Nobody cares. You’re not funny, and Chicago does NOT rhyme with ‘macaw go’.

      • Just like nobody gives a shit what you have to say, or your stupid shitty opinions. Yet you come on here and throw out bullshit comments to everyone like a poor neglected child yelling “look at me!” “look at me!”

        You’re a dumbass and you need a new hobby.

  20. I was going to like this post, until it became more about you pushing out your chest than being funny. I mean, you’re family came to Chicago from Ireland, correct? Everyone starts somewhere. You should be proud that people want to move to a city you live in instead of defining your “coolness” by it and then getting Irish angry because you think you own it. I hate to break it to you, but this is a beverly mentality. I knew you were from there by the time i got to paragraph two. You dont own the city. You didnt create it. Your family moved here just like everyone else. Share the love, brother! There’s too much hate in the world to begin with. I didn’t especially like SCS but let people laugh a little 🙂

      • Not liking transplants is racist, too, and I would rather hang out with a transplant from and Midwest city than a douche bag from Beverly. Ugh, they’re the worst. And the most angry Irish of all.

      • I feel safe speaking for Matty on this one Lea, he doesn’t hate transplants,. Its the transplants that move here and immediately call themselves Chicagaons afters living here for a short time and really only knowing their own neighborhood. If you’re from Toledo, be proud of it! Don’t claim Chicago if you don’t know it!

  21. I am a Chicago transplant myself, and I still think the video was bull shit. I moved around a lot as a kid, but I can’t imagine living any other place. I love this city, I love it’s sports teams (not the Cubs), I love it’s Neighborhoods. The South Side Irish Parade is my favorite holiday of the year, bar fucking-none. Union floats and bag pipes, It doesn’t get any better. I will never be a native, but I still have more respect for this city than that. Well said Matt.

  22. Agree, except for the Green Line part. The Green Line is notoriously dangerous and constantly has muggings, robberies, fights, stabbings, etc. Wasn’t all that long ago, someone from Oak Park was beaten severely for his ipod and phone before stabbing the robbers with a pocket knife. The Green Line is bad!

    • How bout it Tim. Every morning I cringe before getting on the Green Line. Not because I’m scared of getting mugged. But mostly just annoyed. Of course being accosted by a tranny at 7:30 in the morning a few weeks back didn’t help my perception.

  23. I’ve worked in the car industry for 18 years.
    Is this where I bring up that DeLoreans CAN’T time travel?
    At this point in time, it’s a scientific impossibility!

    It’s humor people. Lighten up.

  24. Love most of your critique of this ridiculous video & all it’s shortcomings. However, I disagree with your proclamation that those from Mokena are not Chicagoans. My parents both grew up in Beverly & probably went to the same Catholic schools you did. While I grew up in Mokena, my father worked in the Sears Tower & we split White Sox season tickets with several families in our neighborhood – both very uniquely Chicago behaviors. I have now lived in several neighborhoods throughout Chicago in the past 10 years & bought my first home in the city of Chicago. I have great pride in this city & will probably never leave.

    I think you could have gotten your point across without declaring who is & is not a true Chicagoan, revealing your Beverly-centric view of the world & insulting people in the process. By the way, Mokena is about 16 miles from Beverly & I can get between the two in 20 minutes. Saying it’s 50+ miles outside ‘Chicago’ is a very Northsider perspective, or worse yet, the perspective of a tourist who only views Chicago as the ‘downtown’ & ‘Northside’ areas…surprising given you went out of your way to recognize all neighborhoods as part of the city. From that point of view, Beverly is 34 miles ‘south of the city’ too.

    • Mokena is NOT in the city, and therefore you did not grow up in the city. Seems simple enough, but I guess someone from Mokena probably needs a little extra help:

      1. Lots of people that live outside the city commute in for work everyday, your dad definitely isn’t special.

      2. Lots of people that live outside the city both buy, and split White Sox season tickets. They’re cheap, and nobody wants to go. Great way to fake being from the city at a reasonable price.

      3. Mokena is about 16 miles from Beverly, which makes it about 1,000,016 miles away from civilization.

      • I did not say I grew up ‘in the city’, am ‘from the city’, or that Mokena = the city, as you suggest numerous times in your response. That “seems simple enough’ (your words) if you read my post, but I’ll assume you have a reading comprehension problem that prevents you from getting the point.

        My commentary focused on how I consider myself a ‘Chicagoan’ and feel I have the right to do so, regardless of the “qualifiers” set forth by the author…it was not an argument that Mokena is in Chicago. If you think growing up in the city means you’re a true Chicagoan, that’s your pathetic, limited view of the world. I think someone who makes the personal choice to live in/champion Chicago as an adult is more of a Chicagoan than someone who technically lived ‘in the city’ when they were 14 years old…when the living decision had NOTHING to do with their preferences & was solely based on the decision of their parents. As an adult, do you believe you should be defined by the choices of your parents? If so, I feel bad for you. There are plenty of people who move out of Chicago as soon as they turn 18 or graduate college, yet your response suggests these people who couldn’t wait to leave Chicago are ‘true Chicagoans’ because of their zip code as minors? Sad.

        Further, I hate to break it to you, but the Chicago-isms listed in the original post are widely understood, whether fact-based or stereotype…if you have half a brain, you understand the reference regardless of if you’ve lived in Chicago or have never visited. To think you’re so enlightened on these Chicago ‘inside jokes’ is a joke itself.

        A Chicagoan is defined by their spirit & love for the city, not by the fact that they attended Marist, Brother Rice, Mount Carmel any other ‘city school’ decades ago. And if you think Beverly or it’s surrounding area is at the center of ‘civilization’ or that Mokena’s 16 mile distance from Beverly is ‘1,000,016 miles away,’ I suggest you travel outside your precious neighborhood to gain some real-world perspective. Contrary to what your post says about you, I HAVE been thousands of miles away from Beverly/Chicago in both a volunteer & professional capacity…despite the disadvantages of those I’ve met, my travels haven’t led me to a people with such a narrow-minded view of others as you apparently have.

      • PS – the Sears Tower & White Sox references weren’t my support to prove ‘growing up in Mokena = growing up in Chicago’. They are examples the author noted in his original post as indicators of shit real Chicagoans say or do. HE said only Chicagoans will always refer to it as the Sears Tower, as I do because I’ve gone to the ‘Sears Tower’ since I was a little kid. Similarly, my non-Chicago zip code family has been loyal White Sox fans for 50+ years… we continue to refer to the ballpark as Comiskey and we don’t root for both Chicago teams.

        Funny how I can fit much of his ridiculous, self-serving ‘criteria’ but am still decidedly not a Chicagoan. Even better, instead of recognizing my examples as contradictions extracted directly from the original post, you continue to list why I’ll never be a Chicagoan. Brilliant?

  25. This is offensively xenophobic and nativist.

    Your definition of what makes someone a Chicagoan is flawed and limited, as Ingrid and Billy Kramer noted previously. By your logic, somebody not born here despite a longer and more involved residency is less of a Chicagoan than somebody born here who moved away and never looked back. This logic gets more suspect when you expand the scope. So someone who was born outside the US to American parents or an immigrant who has been a naturalized citizen for decades will never be an American? “It is my hope that we’ve all learned our lesson here, which is to not tread where we don’t belong.” Come on, that’s a line straight-out of a KKK handbook. Can’t you just hear something like that coming out of the mouth of some bigot/misogynist/homophobe?

    What’s being forgotten here is some perspective on the inherent subjectivity of these videos. The original is called “Shit Girls Say.” Really? All girls? Every single girl on the planet? Grandmas included? I don’t think so. So clearly what is implied by the authors is a particular subset of the female population. So why does “Shit Chicagoans Say” have to be representative of all Chicagoans? It’s clearly not, everyone commenting here knows it’s not, so who cares? Is this hastily thrown-together YouTube video the only representation of our civic identity that we’re that desperate to defend it?

    The only problem with “Shit Chicagoans Say” is that it’s not all that funny. Citing the creators’ birthplaces as a reason for its lack of humor is irrelevant. This is supposed to be comedy and not laughing is the only and most powerful response one needs, not any of the shit you said above.

    • Good God…shut up.

      “What’s being forgotten here is some perspective on the inherent subjectivity of these videos.”—-Have you looked at your own writing? Could you sound like any more of a pretentious, humorless jackass?

    • So Wang is a total troll, but in this instance I’m with him. “What’s being forgotten here is some perspective on the inherent subjectivity of these videos.” Can you hear yourself, man?

      Plus, throwing words like xenophobia and KKK comparisons around where they are clearly hyperbole is just not cool. I take exception to you bundling up every prejudice & predilection together and giving a native-vs-transplant rivalry equal weight to, oh say, racism… centuries of white supremacist murder, slavery & colonization ≠ being provincial about which side of Howard you hail from.

      I myself am a Chicago native and love this City with my whole heart. I have dear and wonderful friends here in the Chi who were born/have grown up all over the place–from Oak Park to Ghana. This is a city of immigrants and migrants and I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, only an upper-middle class, North Side, yuppie, white-kid, transplant from [insert lily-white Midwestern locale] would live in a place for a handful of years and hence fancy themselves experts on local dialects and culture. That’s just what the winners of “Shit Chicagoans Say” did. And for the record, I am also a girl, and thought the “Shit Girls Say” video was equally obnoxious, not least because it was made by a couple of dudes.

      The deeper issue with this particular type of Chi-transplant is what they mean in real life for the future of our City. I have witnessed too many neighborhoods and communities in my beloved city ravaged by real-estate developers, charter school reformers, and broken windows policing, all geared at clearing out the working folks and the brown-skinned folks to make room for assholes from Iowa to come binge drink and publicly abuse women (and pay some snake oil salesman to teach them the mysteries of improv) until they’re ready to settle down and start taking up the sidewalks with their grotesquely large strollers. It’s not just any “transplant” that natives like Matty and myself are railing against, it’s those, like the assholes in this video, who would move to my City in order to remake it in the image of the faceless, strip-malled, subdivisioned, McDonalds of town they hail from.

  26. Thanks for this sound rebuttal, Matt! I’ve lived on the northwest side my whole life. This video is criminally bad and unfunny. THANK YOU for putting these jags in their places. Mokena????? Jesus….. Oshkosh? Fuck……it’s people like these who patronize Ohio State bars and make me want to become a Sox fan. I’m gonna get my dad, my brother, and a couple two tree cousins to go kick these guys’s asses, girls included.

    Graduation parties in the g’rage!
    Jeet? No, ju?

  27. Unlike another commenter, I liked the other Chicago video in this series: http://youtu.be/voheXFITbIY though I think it could have done with some MAJOR editing for redundancy.

    I think the video you critiqued is spot-on for the people who made the video – those who didn’t grow up in the city, middle-class, White, 20-somethings. I work/socialize with a bevy of folks in this demographic and I hear the themes of this video coming from them All. The. Time. So it’s not accurate in terms of representing all of Chicago, but it’s definitely accurate in representing . . . Lakeview/Lincoln Park. Throw some moustaches in there and you could include Wicker Park and Logan Square, too!

    It’s disappointing to me that the main video associated with Chicago, and even your critique, don’t touch on any of the non-White cultures that make up 55% of the population of Chicago, except to say “Don’t be racist about the Green line” (and I agree – don’t be racist about the Green line!). I suppose that’s why I like the other video, redundancy aside – it features a non-White, working-class person, which is the largest Chicago demographic of all. I’m White myself and don’t think there’s anything wrong with being White . . . but we’re not the majority of the city, you know? Alas, it’s the way of our world.

    Fun fact from Wikipedia: “As of the 2007 US Census American Community Survey the largest European ancestries were: Serbian: (500,000) Irish: (201,836) German: (200,392) Polish: (179,868) Italian: (96,599) English: (60,307)”

    Serbs? Who knew? Even among the Whiteys we ignore the biggest group in the room.

  28. Oh! And!

    Forgot to say – the critiqued video’s hot dog scene? Perfect. I’m a transplant and I get clowned and stinkeyed when I put ketchup on my hot dog, every time.

    Your list of things to add is great, too. The video I referenced has several of those items featured.

  29. While I don’t think the video is all that funny, your post comes off as bitter — because you probably don’t get as much attention for your own equally, unfunny work.

    Take note: transplants are what infuse new energy and ideas into the city. Imagine how fucking boring it would be here if young people no longer sought to move to the city. Imagine a Chicago filled only with people like yourself, who’ve never even lived anywhere else. That would be so stifling and craptastically insular. It is insulting that you think someone who wasn’t born here isn’t a “Real Chicagoan,” considering that most of the people who’ve made major contributions to the city in the past, and continue to do so today, were not born here.

    The whole “Real Chicagoan” thing is so unbelievably fucking tired at this point.

    • Pauly M,
      I consider myself Matty’s Northwest Side counterpart, and I know that he isn’t discouraging people from moving to Chicago. Everyone is welcome here, but what we can’t stand is the people who have lived here for a short period of time and only hang out in their own little bubble, who pretend they know all things Chicago. They don’t. Sure, one can become a Chicagoan, but there really is a bond that this city has with the residents who grew up here with their families that’s hard to describe to those who are transplants. It sounds like most of the people who are annoyed by Matty’s blog are jealous of that fact.

      • Time out. I would like to know if Matty has ever been to Ireland. Has he ever lived there? Was he born there? Because if the answer is no, by his criteria, he and a majority of the “Irish” in Chicago should not be calling themselves so. That would be a knockout fight compared to the one he’s trying to have here, getting self-righteous over the very people that infuse the economy of your city and sit at your shows. It’s in your lineage, I get it, but your about as much of the country of Ireland as Oshkosh dude is of Chicago. So what if they don’t fully know the city? Do you? Every neighborhood is so vibrant and different, you can never really own Chicago in the way you’re trying to. You’re of Beverly, now of the Northside. Just like Oshkosh dude is of Oshkosh, now from the North side. And Matty- you seem nice enough- putting in my place when I said he was Irish angry (It was factual, he was Irish angry, but I get your trying to make a rebuttal, or maybe be funny?) – but either way, this city wouldnt exist without the millions of transplants that have arrived here over time. No one should identify so much with a place to claim it as their own & take the land from others who live their. Don’t you know that’s what starts wars and perpetuates racism?

      • *oops again: you’re, Joe, you’re, there.

        Also, Joe, no one is jealous of your family’s bond with the city. No one is trying to take your corner of the city life away from you, they’re trying to create their own. You are getting defensive of people identifying with your city for the same reason they’re identifying it: because it’s cool. Do you think people have this same argument who are from Oshkosh? No way. So, just let people love the city – who cares if they were born here or not?

        And if I know where you’re from on the Northwest side – & I’m 95% sure I do – it’s about as Chicago as those who live downtown that you diss above. Edgebrook, Wildwood, etc, are as suburban as you can get while living in the city.

      • Lea, you’re a little off, I’m from Portage Park. Growing up I wished it was Edgebrook, because then I wouldn’t have had Latin Kings telling me I looked like Howdy Doody (sp?). Also, like I said in statements above. I welcome all to move to this great city, just don’t pretend like you know everything about it after bar hoping on Clark street. And I’m cool with those neighborhoods, one of my favorite parts about this city is that there are trendy hot spots, and then places to raise a family such as the cities North and Southwest sides. I can’t call a neighborhood a neighborhood if there aren’t 14-year old kids riding bikes up and down the block in the summer. Instead areas like say Roscoe Village, have kids in strollers who, as soon as they can walk, will be living in let’s say….MOKENA!

        I’ll say again, all are welcome here, I love it!!! Just don’t wear that Chicago flag yet, you’re not ready for it, you can’t handle it, but please enjoy the Museums, and keep your bike in the fucking bike lane. Can’t wait to see you at Starbucks! Go Blackhawks!

        One last thing, I’ve been to Ireland, beautiful country!

    • Haha, you’re nice enough, Joe. We’ll just agree to disagree here. But really, it’s not your opinions I disagree with. You’re well-spoken & seem to be looking at this “issue” with a semi-open mind. The problem lies in people like Matty, because he could have proved his point with a little class, like you did. But instead he fed his ego, & people are going to react poorly to that. Either way, hope you take care! Chicago Pride. Oh, and first-world problems 🙂

  30. Definitely agree. I moved from the southside of Chicago to New Orleans about 2 years ago, and I still have kept my southside aphorisms in a city full of their own. I have picked up a few, but no matter where I go here, I am always recognized as a Chicagoan, immediately. Our dialect is immediately recognized in other parts of the country, and even my New Orleanian friends saw that and said “This doesn’t sound like you.”

  31. There is a big Irish presence in Chicago, but I agree with a commentor above, there is JUST as big of a Polish presence, yet its often overlooked. There are so many funny references (rather than pseudo degrading as in the Pulaski reference) Chicagoans would identify with, at first though, pierogis, girlfriends with Polish names, the multiple bars around the city with “Zimny Piwo” signs, polish sausage, etc.

    • I’m sorry, but nobody would appreciate a video about things Chicagoans say that had things like “Hey! Pierogis!” or “man, can you read that sign?”

      Not funny, nobody cares about polish people.

      • I am Irish and not Polish, but just because you wouldn’t appreciate a video mocking Polish-isms doesn’t mean the hundreds of thousands of Polish decendants living in Chicago wouldn’t enjoy the parody. Just goes to show that your view of Chicago is very one-sided & that you don’t speak for ‘Chicagoans’ in general. Many Polish people were born & raised in the city of Chicago and have continued to live here far- longer than you’ve been on the planet. But somehow you’ve arrived at the conclusion that NOBODY in the city is interested in humor/stereotypes that differ from your preferences? Very open-minded and inclusive view you have of Chicago.

  32. That “Sh*t Chicgoans Say” video should be re-titled, “S*t yuppie, white people who move to Chicago’s north side after growing up in a small town and attending a Big 10 University say”.

    Dude who made the video is from Wisconsin. The lady is from the suburbs. Get real.

    • I see you are educated… Oshkosh is a Big Ten school now, huh? I bet the high school you dropped out of is now in the Ivy League…

  33. Is having a tenuous grasp of the spatial relation between Chicago and the outlying suburbs something reserved for “true Chicagoans” too? Because Mokena is not 50+ miles from the city. Exaggeration for ye, but not for thee?

  34. “I could continue, but in doing so would run the risk of over-beating the dead horse that lies before me.” -Matty Ryan
    haha…Sir, I hate to tell you this because you clearly have some very thick headphones on listening to the sweet sound of your own opinion, but that horse is dead. It’s deader than dead. You beat that horse like Michael Jordan would beat you in a one on one game. You’re not critiquing a novel here buddy, it’s just some Youtube video. Next time, thumbs down it and move on with your life! Jeez! I hope all “Real Chicagoans” aren’t as bitter as you.

  35. At first I was really excited to see that someone felt as offended and disappointed as I was by the Sh*t Chicagoans Say video, but then as I read further, I was pretty put off by your arrogance. I too, think there were many things overlooked in the video and was mildly thinking of putting my own version out there, but I would hate to have it meticulously examined and picked apart by (obviously) the world’s most authentic Chicagoan that ever was. You didn’t have to tell us where each of these offenders were born and raised, nor did you have to launch into your family history. Everyone has the right to be here in this amazing city and express their opinions of it. Could the video have been put together better by someone who’s lived here all their lives? Probably. Do I think it was a piece of crap? Yeah. But you don’t have to knock them so hard for being transplants. I’m also from Chicago (right near Beverly)and live here still and I’ve always hated that holier than thou attitude. Why don’t you just stop complaining and make your own video?

    • Well thank goodness you were only ‘mildly’ thinking of putting out your own version, because I’m not sure I could handle any more of your comedy without getting knee pads for all the slapping I’ll be doing.

      • At first I was worried about actual backlash…but the more I read of your trolling, the more I want to post your address. Keep going, little guy.

      • Well you do prolly have knee pads, but that’s for blowing dudes. I hope your real name is Wang, because they do say you are what you eat. But Wang, I will admit you have been throwing out great zingers all over these posts, maybe you and Matty can start a comedy show together?!?!?!?!?! Butt fuck yourself sir.

  36. Let’s just rename this video “Shit Downtown Chicagoans Say” because it would ring totally true. Are people from the South Side more Chicago than folks from Naperville? (That’s a whole other thread, but one could argue neither actually lives in “the city” yet this whole rebuttal seems to come from the South Side Irish perspective.

    Funniest thing about this video is not the video, but the irate response from South Siders, whose accents and mannerisms can’t be found in the city outside of police precincts, jails and City Hall.

  37. I love how this dumbass gook Wang keeps responding to peoples posts thinking he is funny yet no one is paying any attention to him. Keep amusing yourself in your sad little world. Lmao

  38. Well stated, and I love your blog response Matty. Two thumbs up!!! I too am a native Chicagoan born and raised in the South Side. I’ve lived in Bridgeport, Little Village, West lawn for my all of my 40 years. The “Baptize” the beef term is very old school, haven’t heard that in a long long time. Now I ask all my fellow Chicagoans please correct all suburbanites and transplants when they ask for their Italian Beef “Wet” 😦 That sounds as retarded as people who as for “shooter” instead of a “shot”. It is asked for “Dipped”. In Chicago, especially the South-Side, it’s ok for you to refer to them or they as “You’s Guys”. On another note I like the “Shit Chicagoans say” that was made by the Latino guy. That was more accurate, but was more towards what Latino North Siders say. Here’s a little side factoid about what was said in the Latino guys version. When he started to sing “Freestyle”, “Miami Club” music….Steve B “Spring Love”. In the Latino community in the North Side it’s no big deal to openly like or listen to that genre of music. In the South Side it’s more of a taboo or guilty pleasure to openly listen to “Freestyle” music…. Why…. you may ask? I don’t really know? I guess it’s always been like that.

  39. Im obsessed with this!! I have lived in Norwood Park for 24 years & I completely agree. I saw that video and thought no this is not what chicagoians say. This is stuff people who move to the city in their mid twenties and live in Lakeview or Lincoln park for 2 years say.

  40. WOA!!! It’s called a joke. Do you lack a sense of humor. Hopefully you get this angry over IMPORTANT things in the world.

  41. I clicked on this link from facebook, laughed, agreed, and thought who is this guy? When I saw the hyperlink I realized I think I know you…. Are you Mo Ryan’s son the comedian/law student? I used to work with your momma 🙂

  42. Why do you have a problem with the actors portraying chicagoans not being chicagoan enough…. when the video they were piggy-backing had a dude playing a girl?

    Seriously though, you used a lot of words to say a whole lot of nothing.

  43. This is good. You should film this and call it, “Sh*t jealous comedians say.” I agree the video wasn’t the best, but I’m sick of everyone bitching about it. If you can do better, DO IT, stop being catty, lazy, bitches and go do it yourself!

  44. i found this video hilarious.
    1. its more of a “shit people in northern chicago say”
    2. you bashing this vid is showing how un-chicago you are. cause comedians, improvisors, and actors in the city support each other, thats a fact, you calling out your peers is bullshit and shows insecurities in yourself.
    3. you clearly dont have better things to do if you spend your time writing this shit
    4. majority of people in chicago are transplants, especially those in the theatre/ performance community
    5. no one gives a shit if you lived here your entire life (in reality, you had it easy, you didnt have to move far form home and take a risk in this city like the transplants, thats ballsy, you just moved up the red line)
    6. you are a d-bag and i will never choose to support your comedy or anything else you do, ill support random performers, but i plan dont like you. also, i know a large group of people that are forgetting your name and ignoring your work because of this.

    (ps, its hard to make me dislike someone, you have done it, well played sir)

    • It is evident that no one, especially Mr. Matty Ryan, is jealous of this “two minute and thirty three second piece of filth.”

      Oliver if you found that video to be “hilarious” then your choice to not support Matty’s comedy is not surprising, seeing that he is actually FUNNY, and I’m not sure you quite grasp the concept.

      Also Oliver old buddy old pal, you blatantly contradict yourself in this post. You criticize Matty stating “comedians, improvisors, and actors in Chicago support each other” followed up by “i will never choose to support your comedy or anything else you do…I know a large group of people that are forgetting your name because of this”. Matty had the right to write that critique, just as your your buddies had the right to make that shit-terrible video. Why don’t you practice what you preach rather than being a condescending scumbag??

    • Oliver, you stated that the majority of people in Chicago are transplants? Do you have any data to back that claim? I will agree the majority of people in the performance community are transplants, you’re right there. However, I believe you are wrong when you say the majority of the City are transplants. You just think that because the majority of your gentrified neighborhood are transplants, it is that kind of thinking that is the point of Matty’s post.

  45. Wow. Just… wow. Think you could be any more of a dick if you tried? It’s just a stupid video, it’s all in good fun, and your subsequent douchebaggery gives all Chicagoans a bad name.

  46. No shit, talking to Jamil up there for his name. YOUR NAME IS FUCKING WANG. “I hope you gave your parents hell for that one”. Fucking Wang.

  47. Matty Ryan, you suck ass. Sweet blog btw, way to post it 1,000 times on youtube. It’s a good leech attempt, but you still suck and no one cares about you or your shitty comedy. Stick to riding trains and living in the shitty southside.

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