When the Cubs’ series against the Nationals rolls around to Wrigley Field Monday, it’s a good bet the TBS cameras will rove the crowd looking for the usual suspects: Bill Murray, Eddie Vedder, John Cusack, Bonnie Hunt — you know the names.
But there’s a new generation of celebrity Cubs fans, all under 45, that’s taking center stage, some of them Chicago-area natives, others who rose up through the city’s improv circuit, and a few who stumbled onto the Cubs in unusual ways.
Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”)
What Cubs fans had Moss on their radar before this season? This year’s she has been everywhere talking about the Cubs and how she learned about her Emmy nomination for “Handmaid’s” through a “Shirtless Rizzo” GIF.
“I’m a 4th generation Cubs fan so I was so lucky to have been born into it,” Moss told the Tribune’s Chicago Inc. via email.
Not that you’d doubt her bona fides, but she’s a brother removed from the King Cubs fan himself, Bill Murray. “Joel Murray is a friend of mine from ‘Mad Men’ and he’s obviously a giant Cubs fan. We always like each other’s Cubs posts on Instagram and I hope to get to go to a game together one day. That would be fun!” she said.
She’s in production for “Handmaid’s,” so “I will be watching every game on my iPhone on set from my MLB app, extremely stressed out and annoyed that filming is interrupting my viewing of the game. Any day off I have that coincides with a home game I’ll be flying from Toronto to Chicago for it.”
Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris and Hannah Simone (“New Girl”)
Three of the five main actors on the “Fox” comedy count themselves as members of Cubs Nation. Glen Ellyn and Second City product Lamorne Morris and co-star Hannah Simone watched Game 5 of last season’s National League Championship Series together at Dodger Stadium.
Not bad, but Jake Johnson, who grew up in Winnetka and Evanston, pulls rank.
“Lamorne and Hannah are not really Cubs fans. They’re great people, talented actors, but they’re not Cubs fans,” Johnson told Inc. via email, adding a winking face emoji. (Tell that to Simone’s Twitter and Instagram pages.)
Johnson thought back to the Cubs’ rally to the World Series in November. “Game 7 was the highlight of my baseball life. I don’t see how the sport will ever give me more than it did that night. It was just a great night to be a fan of baseball and especially the Cubs. From now on, it’ll just get worse and less satisfying and I’m okay with that.” (Side note: On one episode, Johnson’s character Nick’s girlfriend Reagan, played by Megan Fox, tells him during an argument, “I hope that the Chicago Cubs win the World Series while you’re in a coma.” The Cubs win later that year.).
This postseason, the Cubs are considered underdogs, but Johnson said, “I think we’re the team to beat. I’m expecting a World Series rematch and I’ll definitely make it back to Wrigley.”
Roy Wood Jr. (“The Daily Show”)
Wood struck comedy gold when he walked out on the show in his Cubs “victory robe” after the World Series clincher, and he has been mining that prop ever since. When the Cubs clinched this season’s NL Central, he tweeted a video of himself watching the game with the lights offs and creepily rubbing his robe. “Victory Robeing in the dark,” he wrote.
Wood explained to Dallas-based NBC Sports radio host Newy Scruggs in November how a Birmingham, Ala., native came to be a Cubs fan: Essentially, because of WGN’s and TBS’ superstations, he had a choice between watching the Cubs and Braves on cable.
“The Cubs had a better ’80s than the Braves. I got on the Cubs train clearly on the back end of things right before the ’89 NLDS where they lost to the Giants. That was like peak Cubdom for me. And I was like, ‘Wow, I picked a good team, they make the playoffs.’ Aaaaaand it was a long time did anything else in the playoffs after that.
“And this is what people don’t understand: As a child once you buy a poster and put it on your wall. There was no more switching off.”
Aimee Garcia (“Lucifer,” “Dexter”)
The Chicago native once wrote a pick-me-up letter to the team after their 2015 NLCS sweep at the hands of the Mets, and she has thrown the first pitch at Wrigley a couple of times, including during a game against the Brewers in April.
She recalled to Chicagoly magazine last year how she was mortified when her mother was chatting with Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts at a post-World Series gala: “I didn’t even know this until she was telling Tom the story — apparently my mom and dad’s first date was at a Cubs game and she didn’t even like baseball. I’m like, ‘Mom, you’re telling Tom Ricketts you don’t like baseball,’ She’s like, ‘But I do not like baseball.’ I’m sure it cracked him up. She said it was a doubleheader and it was the longest game ever. Three months later they were married.”
Ben Higgins (“The Bachelor”)
The Season 20 “Bachelor” star famously took contestant JoJo Fletcher on a date to Wrigley Field in 2015 for one episode, but his love of the Cubs isn’t just for show.
Before the breakup of their reality TV relationship, Higgins had converted former fiance Lauren Bushnell into a fan. He still pops up on social media wearing Cubs gear and was one of several “influencers” the Cubs social media department sent a playoff gift box to along with a nudge to use the hashtag #FlyTheW.
Sage Steele (“SportsCenter on the Road”)
The ESPN anchor was another recipient of a Cubs swag pack, and she her family help up the “W” flag during her kids’ first trip to Wrigley in July.
She told Cleveland Magazine last year that future husband Jonathan Bailey got her hooked on the Cubs when he took her to Wrigley in 1993. “He loved the Cubs, therefore I loved the Cubs. His family’s bonding experience was watching Cubs games on TV.”