(What If God Was) On the Bus - CTA vintage video parody

Yesterday I came across this 1990s-vintage video parody of some talented ladies singing about waiting for the #50 Damen bus, to the tune of “(What if God Was) One of Us.)

What really makes it pertinent today is that things really haven’t changed too much. I suppose you might not have to wait so long today if you were using Bus Tracker, but we all know it can be wrong. So this lyric excerpt still golds true:

If the bus were on time? Would that be such a crime?
Would I have to pay more if the driver smiled at me.
… Yeah yeah, the CTA makes me late.

And certainly safety is still an issue:

What if God drove the bus, then the ride would be safe for us.
He wouldn’t let people cuss, he’d throw them off and make the walk.

The video was directed by Larry Santoro for a Chicago Headline Club Gridiron Show. The show was a yearly fundraiser for the Headline Club scholarship fund for journalism majors. The show was directed for many years by Santoro, who recently passed away. A Gridiron Show alum has been honoring the memory of Santoro by converting Gridiron parody videos into today’s digital format.

David Fell, a Gridiron Show regular, handled this conversion. Thanks for the memories David. I was in two Gridiron shows myself in the early 1990s. One year I played (badly) Walter Jacobson, a former Chicago TV news veteran.

Here’s to the memories of those shows and their great director, Larry Santoro.

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  • fb_avatar

    Great find.

    Here's another one this reminded me of. Music starts around 0:20


  • The difference today is that if God was driving the bus, not even He, in His infinite wisdom, could figure out why the Ventra card didn't work. Or "it would cost more if the driver smiled" explain the extra charge on someone's Cubic account (bus 1812 50 Damen $12.00). Finally, if God really existed, why He is hiding behind the thick assault shield.

  • In reply to jack:

    If there was a god, then he would never have permitted the sideways seats on the 5000 L cars & the 4000 buses.

  • Looks like this was filmed on the NW corner of Damen and Webster, at the SB bus stop - looking again at the video this was actually pretty easy with lots of clues including the business that is still on that corner.

  • Also, anyone looking for God will find Him(/Her) at the NE corner of Damen and Webster on the Kennedy expressway embakement.

  • Why is the redheaded woman wearing President Obama's jeans?

  • I'd be curious to see if god could drive a bus without knocking the standing passengers on their a**es every half block. Seriously, is there some inherent design flaw in the bus' throttle linkage that makes it impossible to smoothly accelerate? 'Same with the brakes.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    A combination of Newton's first law of motion and Captain Kirk splitting infinitives with virgins.

  • In reply to jack:

    Naw, I'm letting Sir Issac off the hook on this one. I can operate a vehicle without jerking my passengers in their seatbelts. The smooth application of throttle/brake in normal operation of the bus should be a top priority.

    I see the same thing with many motormen/motorwomen on the El. They accelerate too quickly out of a station, or from a stopped position, and then dump the throttle or apply the brakes heavily, jerking riders around. I simply don't understand why they do this. It's especially annoying when the train is stopped between stations, and the operator moves the train 10 feet, only to come to a jerking halt. What gives?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    The real design flaw is that for half the length of the bus, there's nothing handy to grab onto as you travel from front to back or back to front. At least God wouldn't tell you "hang on" when He knows very well that's impossible.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Lol. The articulated buses add an additional challenge in the accordion section. Not only are there no overhead handrails, the aisle is only 8 inches wide when you take into account the feet, purses, and briefcases in the aisle. You have to time your move just right or you'll wind up in one of the seated rider's lap.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Thank goodness that the newer version of the "accordion" buses don't have seats! I can't tell you how many legs/feet/bags/luggage/backpacks I have bumped into passing by that section! The best improvement they ever made.

  • If God was on the bus, I'd still wait until later to have a private conversation with Him. The must-talk-to-people-while-in-transit extrovertist propaganda which was the subject of an earlier post has a very long half-life in the media, but for me, riding time is still reading and thinking time.

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