Published on Tuesday, 01 May 2012 10:49
The Chicago television comedic entertainment production of "Nude Hippo" celebrates its 15th anniversary this Thursday. To commemorate the event, the Nude Hippo staff has put together a new 60-minute special entitled "Nude Hippo @ 15," which will be aired on NBC Nonstop on Saturday night.
On May 3, 1997, a little cable access program called "The Big Fat Nude Hippo Show" made its debut. The show featured local media celebrity interviews, magazine-style reporting, sketch comedy, local information, and general silliness. It eventually dropped four of the words from its title, becoming simply "Nude Hippo," although for a short while, it was titled "Nude Hippo: Your Chicago Show." "Nude Hippo" ended its run as a Chicago cable program on May 3, 2007 -- exactly ten years to the date of it debut.
Soon after, the show re-invented itself as a series of smaller video segments appearing on the WMAQ-TV/NBC5 website and on its own website. On November 1, 2010, "Nude Hippo" returned to Chicago television, as new segments were aired at random times throughout the day on WMAQ-TV's digital sub-channel Chicago Nonstop. By the end of summer 2011, "Nude Hippo" went back on hiatus.
Over the last 15 years, "Nude Hippo" has gone through numerous hosts, contributors, formats, and outlets. The one constant for all these years and the driving force behind the show has been Tony Lossano. He was the creator of the show, the producer for the show and its host for most of the first 10 years. He continues to remain with "Nude Hippo," only now in a co-producing & behind-the-scenes creative role. A longtime Chicago radio producer, he now has the privilege of working with such legends as John Records Landecker and Dick Biondi each night on WLS-FM. He previously worked most famously with Melissa Forman for many years.
For months, Tony Lossano has been working on assembling footage for this weekend's special. "Nude Hippo @ 15" will be an hour of rapidly-edited, "best of" moments. Much of this footage has not been seen since it originally aired on local television at some point over the last decade and a half. The show's memories will be shown in what is being described as a "stream of consciousness-style montage." The show stands on its own, so even those who haven't enjoyed the broadcasts for years will still enjoy the special.
The special will be hosted by longtime "Nude Hippo" co-host and contributor Amy Zanglin. She has been with the show since 2003.
"Nude Hippo @ 15" will air Saturday, May 5th at 9:00pm on the Chicago Nonstop channel (over the air channel 5.2, Comcast/Xfinity channel 341, RCN channel 50, and WOW! channel 130). For those who cannot receive that channel, it will also be shown online at NudeHippo.com
For a sneak peek at what will be shown Saturday night, tune into the NBC5 Morning News Saturday morning at around 6:50am. "Nude Hippo" co-host and contributor Ashley Lobo will be on the newscast, along with WMAQ-TV weekend meteorologist Cheryl Scott, promoting the special and talking about "Nude Hippo's" history. (Look for a video sneak peek of "Nude Hippo @ 15" at the end of this article, too.)
From television to the Internet, the Emmy Award-winning and 100% locally produced "Nude Hippo" has been entertaining Chicago audiences now for 15 years. The low-budget, but high-quality Chicago-centric show has been one of the most enjoyable local shows in the modern era of Chicago television. Here's hoping that "Nude Hippo @ 15" isn't the grand finale of the show, but just another of a long line of milestones for it.
Here is the video preview for "Nude Hippo @ 15"...