After months of waiting, it’s finally here – the National Football League is back. Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers will head to Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, to officially open the NFL’s 100th season and, to celebrate, Brett Favre met up with Chicago’s biggest fans.
George Wendt, who portrays Bill Sweski, and Robert Smigel, who portrays Carl Wollarski, reprised their Saturday Night Live roles as aviators-wearing, grilled meat-eating, loud-mouthed Bears die-hard fans as part of a special NBC Sports promotion. Released on YouTube Tuesday afternoon, the five minute long video has already garnered upwards of 1.3 million views. It features “Da Bears” fans Wendt and Smigel sitting out front of their favorite stadium, debating the rivalry and history of the Packers versus Bears.
There are plenty of jabs thrown back and forth and even some fake news accusations getting fact checked by “Mary Beth,” a Chicago version of “Alexa” with a thick accent and, like Wendt and Smigel, an affinity for the Bears – not to mention a calendar highlighting Favre’s biggest interceptions.
“Da Bears” first appeared in a 1991 SNL sketch, with now legendary comedians such as Chris Farley and Mike Myers portraying some of Wendt and Smigel’s friends, and immediately became a pop culture fixture and presented the football team with an unofficial, heavily-accented nickname. The characters, a brain-child of Smigel, who is from New York but studied comedy in Chicago, came up with the “Super Fans” while attending baseball games at Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. Smigel then introduced the bit on stage after several years of writing for Saturday Night Live. They counted their heart attacks, debated between hurricanes and Mike Ditka and they even did a hula dance with Chicago Bulls mega-star Michael Jordan.
The Bears might not have won a Super Bowl since 1985, well before the skit’s inception, but Chicagoans remain among the NFL’s most loyal fans and love their team and “Da Bears” super fans all of these years later. We probably haven’t heard the last of the hilarious duo this season.