John Howell

An older, heavier man named Al Dvorin used to wait until Elvis Presley was safely on his way back to the tin foil enhanced hotel suite before stepping from backstage to the mic and calming the maniacal crowds with the legendary phrase: “Elvis has left the building.” Well, excepting an unauthorized and unexpected encore, Elvis’ super fan Rod Blagojevich will be jumping into the limo of political obscurity and driving off to the next gig. I’m sure resplendently dressed in a rhinestone prison jumpsuit and every hair in place. However, I suspect our former governor is going to find that the backstage amenities at Club Fed’s “Heartbreak Hotel” dinner theater surprisingly harsh. Thankfully, this macabre political rock opera, so out of time and out of tune has finally run it’s course. Relief to all. Over sung and overwrought.

We get the politicians we elect and Blago is receiving what he deserves too. Everybody’s to blame. We’re national laughingstocks for electing that goof twice and Blago pays with 14 prime years. The sentence is appropriate. The fact that he’s a good father with an entertaining demeanor is irrelevant. We demand, and rightfully expect more from our elected officials when entrusted with the keys to the kingdom. Those who can’t keep their greasy paws from grabbing at the our civic “family jewels” eventually get their fingers broken. The additional fact that his goofy criminal incompetence and loose lips never resulted in a bag full of personal cash is also irrelevant. A more skilled criminal would have got away with it. Many have, many are, many will. Blago tried, he failed because of hubris and stupidity. He couldn’t close the deal but it cost us. Now that dopey arrogance will cost him.

Will this be a deterrent to the next narcissistic governor goofball? The answer’s in the question. Not likely.

However, there’s is a silver lining to this dark cloud of civic corruption and personal tragedy. When Blago inevitably forms the Elvis Tribute Band to keep himself busy he’ll need a solid show that will appeal to his audience. I humbly suggest this set list:

Fanfare To A Common Man

Heartbreak Hotel

I Got Stung

Are You Lonesome Tonight

What’d I Say?

A Little Less Conversation

T.R.O.U.B.L.E

My Way

Jailhouse Rock

With Blago’s famous ability to offer up extemporaneous salty dialogue in between songs the show should run about an hour. When Blago exits the stage and the crowd’s going wild, an older, heavier man dressed in prison blues will make his way to the mic. The convicts will then hear George Ryan drone “Blago has left the building....but don’t worry, he’s booked here for an extended engagement...we all are”.


John Howell

"Big" John Howell currently co-hosts the "Big John and Amy Show" each weekday morning on AM 560 WIND in Chicago. John came to Chicago over 20 years ago and has been heard on WUSN-FM, WJMK-FM, and WCKG-FM. He’s also hosted the nationally syndicated Country Gold, a live call-in request show heard across the country via the Westwood One Radio Network from 1999-2006.