The Golden Age of Wild Chicago -- Now on Sale!

DVD or On Demand! Get it here:
Ben Hollis, The W.I.L.D. Guy
Video / Web
Chicago, Illinois
United States
3 Team Members


What a great Christmas Present! Know any Wild Chicago fans?  How about someone who really should have seen it in its prime?  Educate them!

Pre-sales of DVDs:

 On demand rentals and downloads:

Are you ready to bring back, via DVD and digital download, one of the greatest TV shows that ever lived?  Are you ready to cast your vote for something real, something true, something dad-gummed FUNNY, unlike anything else that’s ever been on TV before?


Because Rat Lady, Punk Rock Park and Tiger Moves Man are all coming your way, friend!  Not to mention all those Wild Neighbors, Dumb Questions and oddball motels at the end of every show! 

Yup.  It's The Golden Age of Wild Chicago, Volume 1

The best of the first two seasons of Wild Chicago, hosted by Ben Hollis.


I have secured the rights from Channel 11 to the classic “Wild Chicago” footage to produce and market a DVD and digital download.  Brilliant. 

Now all I need is the cash to get it done.

JOIN ME NOW this heroic effort to reawaken our memory of a time when Chicago was a mysterious playground of sights, sounds and citizens doing their thing, being free, reveling in their magnetic eccentricity, reeling us in. 

"Wild Chicago" was the show that brought this energy into your living room every week.  Some were afraid of it.  Many more happily went along for the ride.

Wouldn't you like to see some of that action again?


Here’s why:

You’ll be bringing inestimable joy to “Wild Chicago” fans around the world who’ve been yearning to see this crazy show again, dying to relive those insane moments of spontaneous and inspired madness that made life worth living on those Sunday nights in 1989 through the ‘90s.

And wouldn’t you love to get behind all the pleasure sure to come from NEW FOLKS DISCOVERING “WILD CHICAGO” for the FIRST TIME?!  Parents, teach your children well.


I’m betting many of you already know about this trailblazing series that debuted on a cold Friday night at 10:30, January 6, 1989,  WTTW, Channel 11.  I hope you’ll write about the show’s impact on you in the comments below.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, “Wild Chicago,” was a half-hour journey into the “urban jungle, “ away from Michigan Avenue, away from Lincoln Park, away from the Gold Coast…and into the natural habitat of this city’s vibrant, sometimes dicey neighborhoods, where I showed you surprising people, places and things you might want to check out for yourself.  (If you were brave enough, in some cases!)

“Wild Chicago” celebrated a city that was authentic, funny and utterly real.  We loved giving TV time to people who otherwise would never have appeared on the air.  We took you to their quirky basement museums and crazy, chaotic stores.  We let them demonstrate their unique exercise regimens in their shag-carpeted living rooms.  We toured their used auto part junkyards.  We let them express their mad passion for what they did – and you loved it!

“Wild Chicago” won dozens of Emmys. Critics raved.  Ratings grew week by week.  It touched a nerve (funny bone?) and fans told us the show captured for them something raw, something true about the city unlike anything else they’d seen on TV.  And it made them laugh their asses off.

So it’s high time you get to enjoy this amazing world again – or for the very first time.


For years, many of you asked, “When is ‘Wild Chicago’ coming out on DVD?  Where can I download it?”

I didn’t have an answer.  I figured Channel 11 would get around to it some day.  But they didn’t.  And the years kept slipping by.

That’s when I realized if “Wild Chicago” was ever going to see the light of day again, it was going to be up to me. 

Well, it took a couple of years and lots of patience and persistence.  And now I have a deal.

But here’s the thing:  I need funds to put the actual product together.  WTTW has given me rights to pull whatever I want from the archives.  But the production of the program, the duplication, the packaging, the sales and distribution, that’s all on me.

Will you be a part of bringing the gift of “Wild Chicago” back to the people?  It’s part of Chicago history.  There’s been nothing like it since it went off the air.  It’s influenced many other shows.

And it’s still funny and a blast to watch today.


Not everything is going to be in this DVD.  There’s just too much.  My hope is that we’ll see a Volume 2 and a Volume 3.  But for this one, I chose the best of the first two seasons and I stayed away from pieces that used popular music in the background (too expensive and time-consuming to get the rights.)

The original quirky brilliant music of Roger Adler is what you’ll be hearing – which contributed to “Wild Chicago’s” unique feel as much as anything.  Roger also wrote our magnificent theme song.  Can you hear it in your head?

Some favorites you're going to help the world see again: 

Maxworks hippie commune

Moo and Oink Meats

River Slim Live Fish

Lyn Duenow, the Skull Man of the North Shore

Margie's Candies

Sgt. Joe Kosala's Neighborhood

The old Greyhound Bus Station

Al-Mansoor Video Store on Devon Avenue

and many more.


Find This Campaign On
raised by 104 people in 1 month
57% funded
No time left
$15,600 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 4, 2012
Select a Perk
  • $10USD

    THURSDAY NIGHT, OCTOBER 4, 2012, Join Ben Hollis and special musical guests at The Joynt 650 N. Dearborn (at Erie) in Chicago for a crazy night of fun. Starts at 7:15. More details at

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $11USD
    You're a WILD DREAM

    You’ll receive a SPECIAL VIDEO THANK-YOU MESSAGE from Ben. Why 11 dollars? Channel 11 is where WILD CHICAGO first aired. Oh, you’ll also get an on-screen thank-you credit on the DVD. In fact, so will all our contributors.

    20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $33USD
    You're a WILD ONE

    Your very own DOWNLOAD of the program. Plus all of the above. Why 33 dollars? That was my age when I walked into that fateful first meeting with Mr. John Davies at Channel 11, which led to the birth of Chicago’s wackiest, coolest show ever.

    25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $58USD
    Tell a WILD STORY

    It’ll be about how you got ONE (1) ADVANCE COPY OF THE DVD for helping tell the world The Story of Wild Chicago. Autographed by Ben.

    26 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $75USD
    You're a WILD THING

    You’ll receive ONE ADVANCE COPY OF THE DVD, and A LIMITED PRINT OF THE COVER OF ELEVEN MAGAZINE (JULY 1990) FEATURING “The Host of Wild Chicago Interviews Ben Hollis” – autographed by yours truly. (Wild Thing, you make my heart sing.) Why 58 dollars? None of your dang business!

    8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $125USD
    You're an even WILDER THING

    You get the TWO (2) ADVANCE COPIES of the DVD plus THE ORIGINAL PITCH DEMO TAPE we put together that compelled Channel 11 to give us a shot. (See above video.) Includes rare footage of the legendary Marc Smith’s Poetry Slam at The Get Me High Jazz Club, Goodies Toy Store, The Polka Music Hall of Fame and more. Glorious VHS transferred to DVD. Plus the ELEVEN MAGAZINE COVER.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $200USD
    You're a WILDEBEEST

    I’ll record a brand gnu WILD OUT-GOING MESSAGE FOR YOUR PHONE. I promise to keep it clean. Plus Two (2) DVDs, THE ELEVEN MAGAZINE COVER and the ORIGINAL PITCH DEMO.

    2 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $295USD

    Do it in style, with an OFFICIAL PITH HELMET SIGNED BY BEN. Just like the one worn on the show – and by The Marines back in Vietnam circa 1969. Limit 20. Plus TWO (2) DVDs, the ORIGINAL PITCH VIDEO and the ELEVEN MAGAZINE COVER.

    2 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2012
  • $1,500USD
    You're a WILD EXPLORER

    Go on a WILD CHICAGO TOUR, custom made for you and lead by Ben! There’s room for 4 in my car. Or shall we take your minivan? Either way, we’ll hit some very cool spots of Wild Chicago renown and I’ll tell you plenty of behind-the-scenes stories of Chicago’s quirkiest show ever. 3 hours – just like Gilligan’s Island. Maybe we’ll get shipwrecked in Crete. Limit 3. Plus up to SIX (6) DVDs for your friends.

    0 out of 3 claimed
  • $3,000USD
    Be a WILD & CRAZY GUY or GAL

    Why? Because your amazing contribution got you a WILD CHICAGO LIVE TALK SHOW IN YOUR LIVING ROOM. I’ll bring some favorite guests from the show and we’ll play some music and tell some stories. Plus I’ll interview you and your friends. You better have your camcorder ready. (Note: This isn’t for broadcast. It’s a live, in-person, once in a lifetime kind of show.) Limit 3. Plus TWO PITH HELMETS and up to 20 DVDs for you and your friends. ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT.

    1 out of 3 claimed
  • $9,995USD
    You were BORN TO BE WILD

    Your generosity and spirit of adventure has earned you YOUR VERY OWN WILD CHICAGO MOVIE hosted and produced by me! EMMY QUALITY, my friend. What’ll it be about? Your family? Your business? Your Machu Picchu escape? Let’s make a plan and put it together. (It could be Wild Chicago style or not. Limits apply. We’ll talk.) Limit 2. Plus EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT, THREE PITH HELMETS and lots of DVDS!

    0 out of 2 claimed
Do you think this campaign contains prohibited content? Let us know.