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Bleacher Bums
Written by Roberta Custer
Richard Fire
Dennis Franz
Stuart Gordon
Joe Mantegna
Josephine Paoletti
Dennis Paoli
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon
Michael Saad
Ian Patrick Williams
Date premiered 1977
Place premiered Organic Theater Company, Chicago, Illinois
Original language English
Genre Drama
Setting Wrigley Field

Bleacher Bums is a 1977 play written collaboratively by members of Chicago's Organic Theater Company, from an idea by actor Joe Mantegna. Its original Chicago production was directed by Stuart Gordon. A 1979 performance of the play was taped for PBS television, and in 2002 a made-for-TV movie adaptation was produced.


Bleacher Bums takes place in the bleachers of Chicago's Wrigley Field. The characters are a bunch of Chicago Cubs fans, watching a game in progress on a summer afternoon. Most of them have been gathering here for some time and know each other; even if they might not necessarily like or tolerate each other. Beer is being drunk, hot dogs are being eaten, and friendly wagers start to take on increasing importance.


Bleacher Bums was put on in different cities across the United States. In 1981, longtime Cubs fan Jerry Pritikin, the Bleacher Preacher, was hired as a paid consultant for a production in San Francisco, instructing the cast there on Chicago fan vernacular, and proper fan behavior.[1]


Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz starred in the original production; other cast members over the years have included Dennis Farina, Gary Sandy, and George Wendt.

A 2002 TV movie version for cable television was directed by Saul Rubinek and starred Brad Garrett, Wayne Knight, Matt Craven, Peter Riegert and Hal Sparks. Due to licensing issues with Major League Baseball, the name of the team was changed from the Chicago Cubs to the Chicago Bruins, and Wrigley Field was renamed.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Nothing to Cheer About". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleacher_Bums — Please support Wikipedia.
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546 news items

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune
Tue, 21 Jul 2015 02:56:15 -0700

One of those memories arrived fresh from a summer night in 1977. Memory is not specific on dates, but the year and the season are correct, and the place was the Leo Lerner Theater in Uptown for the production of the Organic Theater's "Bleacher Bums.".


Mon, 27 Jul 2015 06:22:49 -0700

You'll find a much bigger variety at both midstate Bleacher Bums locations at Colonial Park Mall in Lower Paxton Township and Capital City Mall in Camp Hill. There you'll find NFL player jerseys ranging from rookie quarterbacks Jameis Winston (Tampa ...


Sat, 18 Jul 2015 04:11:09 -0700

The Bleacher Bums at the Cubs' ballpark, they'd hit me in the back with a [bleeping] football during warm-ups, and I'd turn around and play catch with them. One time, someone hit me in the back with some foil, all wrapped up, and there's like four ...


Mon, 27 Jul 2015 05:51:41 -0700

Sporting good stores in the midstate, however, aren't stocking up on Tebow jerseys right now ... at least not yet. "I don't know if we'll get any in, but I wouldn't be surprised if we did at some point," said Chris Trimble, one of the managers at the ...

Comcast SportsNet Chicago

Comcast SportsNet Chicago
Mon, 11 May 2015 17:12:15 -0700

The Cubs don't have to worry about that existential question anymore, now that the left- and center-field bleachers opened for Monday night's game against the New York Mets, with fans streaming in for batting practice. “I guess awkward would probably ...

CTV News

Fri, 08 May 2015 12:52:30 -0700

The Chicago Cubs say expanded bleachers in left and center field will open Monday when the New York Mets visit. The right-field bleachers are scheduled to open next month. The bleachers will feature new group spaces, improved concessions and ...

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 13:20:13 -0700

Mr. Fire starred in the Organic's 1977 premiere of “Bleacher Bums” and in 1982's “E/R Emergency Room,” which broke Organic box-office records. Also in 1982, he adapted “Dr. Rat,” a production about lab animals rising up against oppression. Mr. Fire, 69 ...


Thu, 23 Jul 2015 11:11:15 -0700

Me, I prefer to hang with the bleacher bums in centerfield. Here's a look at how extreme-sports athletes insure their risk. Follow me on Twitter: @omnisaurus. Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

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