Composer, Comedian Robbie Ellis Sings Original Tunes That’ll Have You in Stitches

By Stephen Raskauskas |

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Composer, comedian, and WFMT announcer Robbie Ellis (Photo: Kate Little)

WFMT announcer Robbie Ellis has shared his talents as a comedian and composer as the host of WFMT’s Cabaret series. During the most recent WFMT Cabaret, Ellis revealed his favorite (albeit unconventional) place to pick up a date: the book club. His song, “Book Club,” suggests a few strategies for attracting and impressing a companion who is literarily inclined. Watch below to keep up with the hottest new trends in seduction and feminist literature!

When Ellis, who is originally from New Zealand, first moved to Chicago, he learned that a shot of Malört is a rite of passage for many new arrivals: something that people should try once, but only once. Since he has always written songs locally specific to where he’s living at any given time, he composed “A Shot of Malört” to tell the immigrant’s story from many perspectives.

For those who aren’t familiar, Jeppson’s Malört is, according to the company’s website, “Chicago’s local beskbrännvin — a style of bitter, wormwood-based, Swedish schnapps.” (Malört is Swedish for wormwood.) When Swedes who immigrated to Chicago in the early 1900s brought their favorite bitter beverage with them, it didn’t take long for the drink to catch on.

While Malört is one beverage Ellis has tried for the first time in Chicago, there’s another drink he can’t find anywhere in America – or at least, not made properly. One of Oceania’s favorite espresso beverage is the flat white. In the video below, Ellis not only expresses his concerns about not finding a proper flat white in the States, but he also shares a recipe for its preparation.