Amidst widespread nationwide restaurant closures, the businesses that remain open have had to get creative to stay afloat. That’s taken the form of Joe Exotic cosplay, Left Shark delivery service, and fine dining meal kits, but most recently—and perhaps most creatively—it’s taken the form of The Wiener’s Circle News. The Wiener’s Circle, a Chicago hot dog stand equally infamous and beloved for its filthy-insult-slinging staff, has had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep the brand alive, they’ve taken to YouTube, launching a news show with the tagline, “Fair and Motherfucking Balanced.”
Shit-talk queen Poochie Jackson opens the news program with the top story: ripping into Jared Kushner. Not for any discernible reason, but presumably because, well, he is Jared Kushner and he looks like Jared Kushner. Next, Cheyanne Ford comes in with the weather (five-day forecast: “typical Chicago spring weather ahead: SHITTY AND COLD), and Yolanda Smiley closes with sports. “LeBron is making cookies with his kids,” Smiley reports. “You wanna know the fucking sprinkles he’s using? There ain’t no fucking sports anymore.” It’s short, sweet, and above all, socially distant.
Perhaps a pivot to video was inevitable for The Wiener’s Circle, a restaurant known more for its foul-mouthed quips than its food. (Though the hot dogs are pretty good.) Still, it highlights the sheer bonkersness (a word) of this time in American history, and this news program will probably end up in the Smithsonian one day. Also, watching this, I can’t believe how badly I want to stand in a tightly packed hot dog joint and get screamed at by strangers. If you’re unfamiliar with The Wiener’s Circle as an institution, please watch this 2012 Conan clip, in which Jack McBrayer and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog visit the Lakeview stand. It’s Chicago canon.