Show cover of Then This Happened: Musical Stories

Then This Happened: Musical Stories

True stories are told and musical improvisers cut in and out with songs moving the story along. Each episode is about 15 to 25 minutes long. The show is put together by comedian and musician Matt Griffo. It’s recorded in his tiny studio in Chicago.

Tracks

2004 Dave Matthews Band Chicago River incident
Send us a Text Message.On August 8, 2004, a tour bus belonging to the Dave Matthews Band dumped an estimated 800 pounds of human waste from the bus's blackwater tank through the Kinzie Street Bridge in Chicago onto a passenger sightseeing boat sailing in the Chicago River below.STORYTELLERGina Palm BANDFiddle - Sam Hyson Piano - Matt GriffoDrums - Mike AmandesBass - Tom Urwin Acoustic Guitar - Arne Parrott Saxophone - Eli Wilson VOCALSGriffoDrake Shrader Lexi AliotoSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
26:01 8/8/23
Chance The Snapper & Alligator Robb, a Chicago Tale of Two Lives Saved
Send us a Text Message.Chance the Snapper is a four to five foot long alligator that was found swimming in the Humboldt Park lagoon, in Chicago, Illinois, on the evening of July 9, 2019. The animal was named after Chance the Rapper in an online poll conducted by the Block Club Chicago news website,beating other suggested nicknames such as Ruth Gator Ginsberg, Croc Obama, and Frank Lloyd Bite. The alligator inspired several social media accounts, and was the subject of national news coverage. Chance was captured on July 16, 2019, and found to be a male and in good health.We brought in the man who caught that gator, Frank Robb - aka, Alligator Robb to tell the tale! It's truly an ending that saved two lives. BandPiano/Organ Matt GriffoBass - Tom UrwinSam Hyson - AccordionElectric Guitar - Richard PeñaDrums - Leo PeñaVOCALISTSMatt GriffoEmily Ramirez Preston O’ffillNatalie YoungerSTORYTELLER🐊 Alligator Robb ( Frank Robb)Support the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
38:10 6/20/23
When Charna Met Del Close - A story of the creation of long from improvisation
Send us a Text Message.CHARNA HALPERNCharna Halpern (born June 1, 1952) is founded the ImprovOlympic, now known as iO. Upon iO's founding, in 1983, with partner Del Close, she began teaching Harold to many students in the Chicago theater community. Many prominent comedians performed at iO, from Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Mike Myers, She and Close co-authored the book Truth in Comedy: The Manual of Improvisation with editor Kim "Howard" Johnson in 1994.She published Group Improvisation in 2003 and Art by Committee in 2006.The remaining theater in Chicago, originally located in the Wrigleyville neighborhood was forced to relocate due to neighborhood development. In 2017, the theater reopened in the Clyborn North Area. In 2020 during a forced shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic Charna decided to close theater and sell it. iO was then purchased and as of 2022 has reopened with new management. DEL CLOSEDel Close, an actor, improviser, and coach who taught John Belushi, Gilda Radner and Bill Murray and elevated improvisation to an art form.Close pioneered the concept of “long form” improvisation. “Long form is one suggestion and then you improvise for 25 minutes, and in short form you are constantly coming to the audience for suggestions throughout the evening and treating each improv game as its own little three- or four-minute piece,”While many comedy groups use improvisation as a tool to develop characters and sketches, Close believed that improvisation was the show. He often said there was really only one role for a director: “Light fuse and run!”His ideas, although hotly debated in the comedy world, have influenced nearly every improvisation group in America, from Chicago’s legendary Second City to San Francisco’s the Committee. “He was the singular most powerful force in improvisation in the world,” said Kelly Leonard, the producer of Second City, where Close acted and directed before opening his own theater. iO with Charna HalpernThe resident guru at “Saturday Night Live” during the show’s early years, Close trained several generations of comics, from Belushi and Murray to Mike Myers and the late Chris Farley. Close came up with the idea for the popular early 1980s television show “SCTV,” which stood for Second City Television and was widely credited as the intellectual and spiritual force behind a recent renaissance in Chicago’s hotbed of improvisation.Although groups such as Second City use improvisation as a rehearsal tool to develop characters and sketches, Close believed in improvisation as an end in itself. In collaboration with Halpern, he was constantly tinkering with the form, turning the Harold into a more elaborate tapestry of scenes with a cinematic flavor. The ImprovOlympic became the cutting-edge training ground, sending many of its graduates, such as Farley, to better-known venues like Second City and television and movie careers.STORYTELLERCharna HalpernBAND(Piano) Dave Asher(Guitar) Ross Plunkett(Drums) Mike Amandes (Saxophone) Eli V Wilson(Trumpet, Vocals) Ivan Pyzow (Bass) GordonVOCALISTS Matt GriffoDrake ShraderAmber LindeLisa Burton JoeSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
31:19 1/25/23
Halley's Comet and the Panic of 1910
Send us a Text Message.In 1910, Halley’s Comet was due to pass close by Earth — and everyone from religious fanatics to news reporters stoked the fires of a global panic, believing it was the end of the world.Samba/Bossa Nova Band(Chambered Electric/Acoustic Guitar) Mercedes Sara Landazuri(Ukulele Bass) Adam Haus(Percussion) Leo Peña 18" bass drum14" snareHi hatRide & standPandeiro, tamborim, shakers14" Floortom VOCALISTSMatt GriffoDrake ShraderKathleen GibsonKerri Morrison STORYTELLERJason LordSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
14:34 1/23/23
The Curse of the Ghost of Colonel Sanders and the Japanese Kansai-based Hanshin Tigers baseball team
Send us a Text Message.The Curse of the Colonel refers to a 1985 Japanese urban legend regarding a reputed curse placed on the Japanese Kansai-based Hanshin Tigers baseball team by the ghost of deceased KFC founder and mascot Colonel Sanders.The curse was said to be placed on the team because of the Colonel's anger over treatment of one of his store-front statues, which was thrown into the Dōtonbori River by celebrating Hanshin fans before their team's victory in the 1985 Japan Championship Series. As is common with sports-related curses, the Curse of the Colonel was used to explain the team's subsequent 18-year losing streak. Some fans believed the team would never win another Japan Series until the statue had been recovered. They have appeared in the Japan Series three times since then, losing in 2003, 2005 and 2014.Comparisons are often made between the Hanshin Tigers and the Boston Red Sox, who were said to be under the Curse of the Bambino until they won the World Series in 2004. The "Curse of the Colonel" has also been used as a bogeyman threat to those who would divulge the secret recipe of eleven herbs and spices that result in the unique taste of his chicken.STORYTELLERLiz StockwellBANDFiddle - Laurel Scott Piano/Harmonica - GriffoDrums - Mike AmandesBass - Tom Urwin Acoustic Guitar - Arne Parrott Saxophone - Eli WilsonVOCALSMatt GriffoDrake Shrader Lexi AliotoSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
15:32 1/18/23
The Story of Y2K - The Year 2000 Problem - The Millennium Bug - The Y2K Glitch - The Y2K Error
Send us a Text Message.When complex computer programs were first written in the 1960s, engineers used a two-digit code for the year, leaving out the "19." As the year 2000 approached, many believed that the systems would not interpret the "00" correctly, therefore causing a major glitch in the systemSTORYTELLERJonald Reyes BANDPiano, Organ - Matt GriffoDrums - Mike AmandesBass - Gordon WaltersAcoustic Guitar - Arne Parrott Saxophone - Eli Wilson VOCALSMatt GriffoDrake Shrader Lexi AliotoAshley Geron Episode Names: The Story of Y2K - The Story of Y2K - The Year 2000 Problem - The Millennium Bug - The Y2K Glitch - The Y2K ErrorSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
17:40 12/30/22
The Radium Girls
Send us a Text Message.The Radium Girls were female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with self-luminous paint. The painting was done by women at three different factories, and the term now applies to the women working at the facilities: one in Orange, New Jersey, beginning around 1917; one in Ottawa, Illinois, beginning in the early 1920s; and a third facility in Waterbury, Connecticut, also in the 1920s.After being told that the paint was harmless, the women in each facility ingested deadly amounts of radium after being instructed to "point" their brushes on their lips in order to give them a fine tip; some also painted their fingernails, face and teeth with the glowing substance. The women were instructed to point their brushes in this way because using rags or a water rinse caused them to use more time and material, as the paint was made from powdered radium, gum arabic and water.Five of the women in New Jersey challenged their employer in a case over the right of individual workers who contract occupational diseases to sue their employers under New Jersey's occupational injuries law, which at the time had a two-year statute of limitations, but settled out of court in 1928. Five women in Illinois who were employees of the Radium Dial Company (which was unaffiliated with the United States Radium Corporation) sued their employer under Illinois law, winning damages in 1938.STORYTELLERLindsey ShawSwing Band Matt Griffo (Piano) Mason Jiller (Electric Guitar) Graham Nelson (Harmonica) Ethan Adelsman (Violin)Mike Amandes (DrumsTom Irwin  (Bass)VOCALISTSMatt GriffoDrake Shrader Emily RamirezDerek DemkowitzCat Amato AUDIO GEARSOFTWARELUNA Recording SystemApollo x8pApollo X4Apollo Octo Satellite MICROPHONESAEA KU5A - Griffo & Storyteller TOWNSEND LABS SPHERE L22 - Group VocalsEARTHWORKS SR25 - VIOLININSTRUMENTS E. Guitar - Direct in Using Buxom Betty UAD Guitar Amp EmulationPiano - Coming in MIDI using the Ravel piano sound in LUNA Recording Software from Universal AudioBass - Amp Emulation SVTPro from UAD Upright Bass - Griffo playing MIDI using a sampleSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
18:49 7/12/22
Bret Hart & The Montreal Screw Job - WWF Wrestling incident
Send us a Text Message.The Montreal Screwjob was an infamous unscripted professional wrestling incident that occurred on November 9, 1997, at the Survivor Series pay-per-view at the Molson Centre. Vince McMahon and his employees covertly manipulated the outcome of the match between Bret Hart, the reigning WWF Champion, and Shawn Michaels. Storyteller Chris HanleyBAND:Charlie Malave (vocal, guitar, electronic drums, synth)Matt Griffo (piano, vocal)Lily Emerson (vocal)Helena Handbasket (Background vocals)Gordon Walters (Bass)Support the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
19:56 5/17/22
Music vs Brazil's Military Dictatorship - Bossa Nova Style
Send us a Text Message.Most Brazilians believe their national identity is closely tied to the country’s music, as it unites those of all social backgrounds and creates a place of refuge from real life. However, as the dictatorship gained more control and became increasingly strict during the mid-1960s, innovation and creativity in art greatly diminished.One key figure in uprooting this paradigm was Caetano Veloso. He aligned with the hippie movement and joined Gil to create a new form of music known as Tropicalia, which artists used to express provocative ideas and politically daring lyrics in a form of peaceful protest. It combined traditional Brazilian culture with various foreign countries’s artistic characteristics. Certain sections of the public found their voice for freedom in the music, while others reacted angrily to the political content expressed in the art of Tropicalia. This is the story of Caetano Veloso's journey with his friend Gilberto Gil.Samba/Bossa Nova Band(Chambered Electric/Acoustic Guitar) Mercedes Sara Landazuri(Ukulele Bass) Adam Haus(Percussion) Leo Peña 18" bass drum14" snareHi hatRide & standPandeiro, tamborim, shakers14" Floortom VOCALISTSMatt GriffoDrake ShraderKathleen GibsonKerri Morrison STORYTELLERMercedes LandazuriSupport the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
26:09 4/5/22
The Case of Aileen Wuornos - American Serial Killer
Send us a Text Message.Aileen Wuornos is an American serial killer who murdered at least seven people in 1989–90. Her case drew national attention to issues such as the relationship between gender and violence and the legal treatment of acts of self-defense by women.Storyteller Sharron PalmBAND:Charlie Malave (vocal, guitar, electronic drums, synth)Matt Griffo (piano, vocal)Lily Emerson (vocal)Support the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
23:08 12/2/21
The Brunost Cheese Fire - A Norwegian Food Disaster
Send us a Text Message.About 27 tonnes of caramelised brown goat cheese - a delicacy known as Brunost - caught light as it was being driven through the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway in 2013.The fire raged for five days. Told by Asgeir Døhl Dybvig from Oslo, Norway.BAND:Charlie Malave (vocal, guitar, electronic drums, synth)Matt Griffo (piano, vocal)Lily Emerson (vocal)Gordon Walters (bass)Support the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
18:34 11/19/21
Mercy the Coyote gets in trouble in Chicago
Send us a Text Message.A coyote bit a little boy, Chicagoans wanted the coyote dead, but Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in suburban Barrington, IL stepped in to show everyone Mercy.Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/mattgriffo 
11:06 8/27/21
Super Massive Black Holes and LIGO
Send us a Text Message.Cosmic science. Black holes and how we know about them thanks to multiple scientists and LIGO (The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory).  Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/mattgriffo 
27:19 1/2/21
The Story of Streeterville - A Chicago Legend
Send us a Text Message.This is a Story about Cap Streeter, a drifter who schemed his way into creating what is now one of the most expensive parts of Chicago.Steph Charaska (Storyteller)BAND:Drake Shrader (vocals) Holly Souchack (vocals)Mary Hynes (vocals)Lexi Alioto (vocals) Arne Parrott (guitar) Matt Griffo (vocal/piano/bass)Dan Krackhardt (cajon)Support the Show.Support the show via Matt Griffo's Patreon page at Patreon.com/mattgriffo
26:45 3/12/20
The Waitangi Day Protest Dildo
Send us a Text Message.The woman who threw a dildo at Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce on New Zealand's national day.Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/mattgriffo 
23:02 2/5/20
Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal
Send us a Text Message.In 2019, a scandal arose over a criminal conspiracy to influence undergraduate admissions decisions at several top American universities. The investigation into the conspiracy was nicknamed Operation Varsity Blues.Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/mattgriffo 
20:58 1/29/20
Jane Fonda The Activist
Send us a Text Message.Jane Fonda has had a life full of activism and has now begun “Fire Drill Fridays.” The protests, which Fonda refers to as "Fire Drill Friday," are to show support for a Green New Deal and bring awareness to the ways in which climate change affects other parts of human life, such as women's rights, access to drinking water and global militarism.It's amazing to me how many other people she is having come with her to join the cause. It's truly inspiring. This episode is all about how Jane started and at the end about where she is now. The story is told by comedian "Steph Charaska". Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/posts/32661016 
12:41 1/8/20
The Vantablack Feud - Anish Kapoor vs. Stuart Semple & The Chicago Bean
Send us a Text Message.An art feud over color between Stuart Semple and Anish Kapoor. They have been feuding since 2016 when Kapoor received exclusive rights to the Vantablack pigment, said to be the blackest shade of black ever created.In retaliation, Semple created the "pinkest pink" paint pigment and banned Kapoor from purchasing it, shortly followed by his Faze colour-changing paint. Now the British artist has done the same thing with Black 3.0.Listen to the unedited podcast and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/posts/32638318
22:57 12/26/19
Paul McCartney Goes to a Tokyo Jail for a bag of cannabis
Send us a Text Message.In this episode comedian Ron Ervin tells the story of Paul McCartney getting arrested in Tokyo in 1980. Listen to the unedited podcast at and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/posts/32302553
17:14 12/10/19
Cleveland Balloonfest ’86
Send us a Text Message.Balloonfest '86 was a 1986 event in which the United Way of Cleveland in Ohio set a world record by releasing almost one-and-a-half million balloons. The event was intended to be a harmless fundraising publicity stunt, but the balloons drifted back over the city, Lake Erie, and landed in the surrounding area, and caused problems for traffic and a nearby airport. The event also interfered with a United States Coast Guard search for two boaters who were later found drowned. In consequence, the organizers and the city faced lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages, and cost overruns put the event at a net loss.Listen to the unedited podcast at and help support the episodes at --> https://www.patreon.com/posts/unedited-full-86-32044367
20:15 12/5/19