By Vicky Wedig


Underground Lake Geneva will go under the big top in Delavan on Sunday.

The web show, with host Philip Sassano and producer Phil Bonyata, will take a behind-the-scenes look at the Carson and Barnes Circus at the Lake Lawn Airport.

Sassano said the show uses a bit of “irreverent humor” to show viewers a different perspective of familiar events while remaining complimentary to the occasion.

The circus will be the seventh event Underground Lake Geneva has showcased since its inception in February. The show launched its pilot episode with coverage of Lake Geneva’s Winterfest and went on to create online looks at Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, The Baker House, the Amsoil SnoCross Championship, the Burger Throwdown in Fontana and Lake Geneva Country Meats.

Sassano said the show began as a marketing idea of Lake Geneva’s Business Improvement District, whose board he sits on. He said the board felt Lake Geneva’s downtown lacked video content and wanted to show people a side of long-standing businesses and events that they typically don’t see.

Sassano said the idea is to dive into the events as if he’s a participant to show viewers what it’s like. At Lake Geneva Country Meats, he helps make a batch of sausage, goes “Rocky Balboa” on butchered pigs hanging in a cooler and sings a trio using sausages as microphones. At Winterfest, Sassano goes inside – literally – a snow sculpture as it’s created.

Sassano and Bonyata film about two hours of an event that is boiled down to an eight-minute YouTube video shown on Future shows could feature water sports at Pier 290, the Taste of Lake Geneva and Maxwell Street Days.

“We don’t really know where we’re going to go next,” Sassano said.

Wherever they go, he said, they must be given free access. He said none of the subjects including businesses is allowed to give the show editorial direction.

“It’s gotta be our take,” he said.

The show aims to entertain and reveal interesting things about events while being humorous but not off-color, Sassano said. He said the feedback he has heard is, “When is your next one?” He said people are sharing the videos with friends and relatives who don’t know a lot about the area and have told him when they need a laugh, they upload an Underground Lake Geneva show.

Sassano owns interior design company Philip Sassano Design Inc. in Lake Geneva and Chicago and had shot video and served as a spokesperson for his storwhen Lake Geneva Regional News advertising sales representative Phil Bonyata suggested he host Underground Lake Geneva.

“I’m not paid to do it,” he said. “I do it because I love the area.”

Sassano said the most fun part of doing the show is seeing how willing people – even otherwise shy individuals – are to participate.


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