August 23, 1996

A Night at the Wiener Circle

Host Ira Glass spent a Saturday night — from 9:00 p.m. until dawn the next morning — at one of the most frenetic, joyous, efficient, angry, boisterous hot dog stands in the nation: Chicago's own Wiener Circle.
Note: No master copy of this show exists; this recording is from a cassette of the program.


Ira introduces what we're about to listen to: a casette tape of the show. It was never broadcast internationally, only locally, and no master exists any more.
Act One

Act One

Ira meets the workers of the Wiener Circle; they're screaming and cursing at each other, and the customers, and they actually seem really happy. And then we meet some of the customers. (15 minutes)

Act Two

The Customer

Playwright and contributor Beau O'Reilly talks about a more typical relationship between restaurant and customer. (13 minutes)
Act Three

A Parable of Politics

Reporter Shirley Jahad investigates the politics of the Chicago hot dog on Navy Pier. (11 minutes)