JFL Chicago: Robert Smigel on creating SNL’s Super Fans, “Da Bears”

Robert Smigel began his comedy career in Chicago, and during the 1988 writers strike, Smigel returned to the Windy City and, with fellow SNL striking writers Conan O'Brien and Bob Odenkirk, wrote and produced a revue called Happy Happy Good Show. One of Smigel's sketches portrayed Chicago's super sports fans, which later famously became a recurring sketch on SNL called Bill Swerski's Super Fans, and people across America began emphasizing "Da Bears" and "Da Bulls."

Smigel is back in Chicago this week for Just For Laughs Chicago, showing the unaired Bozo pilot he wrote with Dino Stamatopoulos, as well as the original pilot for their animated "TV Funhouse." I spoke with them after last night's show — they'll also be performing tonight at the Lakeshore Theater. Here is the portion of our backstage chat focusing on the Super Fans (I'll upload the full interview separately):

And here is perhaps the most well-known of the SNL "Super Fans" appearances from 1991, when Michael Jordan hosted. Smigel sits with Jordan, George Wendt, Mike Myers and Chris Farley, who has a heart attack and performs a luau dance for Jordan. Enjoy!

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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