SNL's Greek diner--what was the deal?

“Chee-boogie, chee-boogie”
“No Coke, Pepsi”

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one of these, but back when they aired frequently, I never “got it.” This was apparently one of the most popular sketches, so what was I missing?

You lika the Greek diner?

They run the 70s SNL on E!. I’ve seen a couple of it’s bits in the last few days.

And having watched a lot of them recently a lot of them aren’t that funny. Like those sketches. Here’s a diner, they speak English really bad or not at all. They’re rude. And they only make cheesburgers, and they only have pepsi and chips. Anything else and you’re out of luck. Anything special and your out of luck. You can only get cheeseburgers, chips and pepsi. It’s just a nasty place to eat at. That’s all I can tell. It’s the diner with the worst service in NYC.

In the one I watched yesterday they switched to coke for the free glasses.

I learned on E! (bless you, E!) that the sketch was John Belushi’s impersonation of his father and uncle. So it was in inside, family joke.

Oh, and according to this creepy obituary site, it was also based on a real restaurant in Chicago.

The restaurant is called Billy Goat. Real restaurant off Lower Wacker in Chicago. I went there in the mid-80’s and it is exactly as portrayed by SNL. (Of course, that could be b/c they were playing off the skit, but I didn’t get that feeling when I was in there)…

I believe that it was based off of the Billy Goat tavern in Chicago. It used(?) to be a spot where the local newsmen would hang out, Mike Ryoko was a regular, as were a few of the other famed reporters of the chicago news heyday. It was also a favorite stop for a lot of the local TV crowd, and the standup/improv crowd, which is where the SNL people got it from.
Another thing the tavern is famous for…is the curse of the goat, which is why the Cubs will never win another World Series. The billy goat in the name, is that goat.
The guy at the grill that Ackroyd is supposed to be died about four months ago as I recall, made the news.

Oh, its web site.

i was there three years ago. this animated greek fellow stood at the front of the counter and pointed to the people coming down the stairs.

‘double cheeseborger, double cheeseborger, double
cheeseborger, and for you, pretty lady, double cheeseborger!’

the lady in front of me wanted to order a single cheeseburger, and this fellow wouldnt let her, claiming they were ‘all out’ of single cheeseburgers.

then i rounded the counter, and this cute little greek teenager girl chirped ‘no fries, cheeps’, and pushed a bag of chips towards me.

next to her was a craggy old greek dude who croaked, ‘no coke, pepsi’, and pushed a already-filled cup of pepsi towards me.

it was frickin’ hilarious. and a good double cheeseborger too, the bun in particular was outstanding, and if you are a displaced person on the west coast, you will understand exactly what i mean by this.

John Belushi once said on the STEVE DAHL show in Chicago, that the skit wasn’t only based on the Billygoat. It was more of a general observation of a few diners here. The Billygoat just took it and ran.

Not too far away from me (north Fulton county, GA) is an eatery named “Cheeburger, Cheeburger”, after the SNL sketch. Haven’t eaten there, so I can’t vouch for the quality of the food or the staff.