Although the YouTube video is more than a decade old, Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange continued with the adorable handshake up until Jordan's retirement.
A video of the elaborate handshake Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange performed during a commercial break has gone viral. They are the hosts of WGN News at Nine Weekend. The video, which was posted to YouTube in 2009, was recently shared by user u/Finn Flame on the popular Reddit subreddit r/MadeMeSmile. The anchors are seen doing an elaborate routine, involving many pop-culture references and big news events that the two have covered together. The original YouTube video has more than 7 million views at this time, with many people loving the cute handshake the anchors have developed after almost a 20-year journey of working and anchoring together.
Although the YouTube video is more than a decade old, Jordan and Bange continued with the adorable handshake up until Jordan's retirement. The handshake was started by the duo in the early 2000s, according to Jordan and Bange, who have been anchoring together for more than 20 years. “We kind of fight over how it started, but in my mind, it started when we used the new intros and we had never seen our faces in the anchor introductions,” Bange said to WGN TV. “When they first had our photos, we looked and we raised our arms and did a little cheer and added on to it.”
Jordan thinks the handshake was invented as a way to get away from all the "death and destruction in the news." He said, “Jackie and I would read through the first segment of news, which was filled with death and destruction, and at the end, we would just shake our heads and say ‘This is terrible.'”
Jordan shared that they began making funny moves to lighten the mood. Jordan referred to the first move they did as the "Three Stooges" eye poke. “Then, we started adding moves, and many of them were related to items that were in the news,” Jordan said. For instance, the "shotgun move" alludes to the incident in which former vice president Dick Cheney shot his hunting partner, according to Jordan. Another gesture, according to Bange, is to mimic hitting a baseball to represent the White Sox winning the 2005 World Series. Jordan and Bange simply can't recall all the handshake gestures, so some of them have been dropped from the routine now. “We’ve lost a lot on the way; some we’ve just plain forgotten,” Bange said.
Bange claims that when one of them makes a mistake, they quarrel about who did what wrong. And there is only so much time during the commercial breaks, so they can't always start over. “We laugh at each other because we’re like an old married couple!” she said.
According to Jordan, the handshake has grown over time to the point where it now requires TWO commercial breaks to complete. A recent version of the handshake was posted to YouTube in 2014. The description explains that it took two commercial breaks for the full handshake to be completed. "Watch WGN-TV Weekend News Anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange do their entire commercial break handshake. Note: It spans TWO commercial breaks and has been edited together," the description reads.
Recent pop-culture allusions, like the mention of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and "Gangham Style," can be seen in some of the newer moves in the longer handshake in the video.
Social media users were left impressed by the handshake, many of whom were awed at the friendship the two share. Reddit user Trippytrickster commented, saying, "This may be the most intricate secret handshake ever." Another user agreed, marveling at the duo's career together. u/BoofingShrooms commented, "I just read that it was learned over 21 years anchoring together and this was at year 14. It got so long that it was broken down into sections for commercial breaks bc they’d add sections here and there. Crazy." YouTube comments were filled with the same awe, with User Mackaroni Toni commenting, "I love this! I watched these two growing up watching the news with my mom. So cute!"