Episode 25: Chat Packs It In

THE CHAT PACK (mamas & papas)

DON’T WORRY: Our story doesn’t end here.

“It is merely the end of the beginning of the end,” Vic Shell  cryptically explained to the Milwaukee Talk audience the morning the story broke.

Later, in an interview with The American Log, Mary Margaret philosophically gave her take on things.  “You’re darned tootin’ we’re not finished.  We still have so much to lose.”

No more for the road
No more for the road

MILWAUKEE, January 12 – The Ballast Casino and Events Center will be a little quieter on the weekends starting immediately.

Casino spokesperson Cindy Abbott said in an emailed press release this morning that they will no longer be featuring The Chat Pack as their weekend headliner.

“After enthralling over a quarter of a million fans and a glorious five year run at Wisconsin’s most profitable casino, The Chat Pack will no longer be supplying entertainment for our patrons,” the email stated.

The factors are numerous:  Mary Margaret is expecting her first child; Vic Shell has lost his big stage persona since the car accident involving Les Tremaine; and Les’ rehab schedule on Fridays and Saturdays hampers with the casino show scheduling.  There are also the negative connotations surrounding Vic Shell and his on-again, off-again drinking habits.

“The timing seemed right.  Rather than trying to assemble a new team of Chat Packers, we thought the appropriate thing to do was let the act be recognized as the legendary phenomena it will be remembered as,” the email concluded.

When reached for comment, Les Tremaine summed up his feelings.  “It was the best job I ever had.  I would say or do anything to keep working with those brothers and sisters.  I gave up my legs, but sometimes even that’s not even enough.”


The Chat Pack were masters at turning crises into opportunity but once they lost their casino show it took a big chunk of their clout with it.

Milwaukee Talk still did well in the ratings but you could tell Vic and Mary were pretty sad about losing the casino gig.   They covered it well during the show but once that red tally light was off they would really rail into me,” Allen Kew told The American Log.  “Those were some pretty tough years afterwards.”

Here’s an example of Vic Shell covering it well but in a different situation.  It happens to hosts all the time, when something wrong happens off-screen but they are left on-screen to hold the situation together while things get rectified.  In this case, here’s what happens when a tape goes missing on live TV….

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