OFFBEAT: Essany's talk show includes comical guest and Hobart event

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2012-11-13T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Essany's talk show includes comical guest and Hobart eventPhilip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Reader Richard Tkacz of Dyer contacted me with a question about local talk show host Michael Essany and the schedule of shows being broadcast for his "Seven on Ridge" weeknight chat TV series.

"It seems like recently, they've been broadcasting reruns of the first few weeks of the Essany shows," Tkacz said.

"Even though I think he tries to impersonate the late Johnny Carson too much, I enjoy his show and was just wondering if you know the status?"

Thank you for your question Richard.

Since "Seven on Ridge" debuted Sept. 15, filmed at the Genesis Center in Gary and airing weeknights at 10:30 p.m. on Chicago's WJYS, Essany's guests (some in studio and some as taped segments) have ranged from local music and comedy talents in the spotlight to national and international personalities like William Shatner, LaToya Jackson and U.S. Olympic Team gymnast Gabby Douglas.

Studio audience admission is free and the show follows a taping schedule that is Monday through Thursday and you can always check the website in advance for the planned guests for each show taping. (Once a show is taped, it usually airs the following night.)

You are correct that, after the first month of show tapings, Essany took a break from taping new episodes beginning Oct. 10, which is likely the period when you began to notice repeat episodes airing.

But starting with last Thursday, Essany returned in the studio to resume taping new episodes.

For tonight's taping, Paul Sigwerth, one of Essany's producers, has booked comedian Ross Blankenship, 23, of Schererville for the comic guest spot, and promoting a new and exciting comedy venture coming to Hobart's Art Theatre, one of our region's favorite decades-old traditional moviehouses.

Comedy Showcase at the Art Theatre begins Thursday night and promises to highlight the best comics from around the Chicagoland area to perform. I'm told part of the proceeds will be given to a foundation called Keep Indie Visible, which is a league of 50 independent theaters (one in every state) raising money to help support these independent/alternative theaters and keep these venues alive.

"It's a cause that I'm passionate about as I am currently an independent artist myself," Blankenship said.

"I think the concept and the cause of the showcase are important story, because The Art Theatre has been a staple of Hobart's cultural art scene since 1941. Theaters like the Art add character to their communities and it's important that residents of NWI appreciate and support theaters like The Art as a beautiful piece of the fabric and the history of the community."

Joining Blankenship to headline at The Art Theatre at 10 p.m. Thursday, are fellow comics Calvin Evans and Ben Bergman. Tickets are $10 and sold at the box office.

For more information, visit

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

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