Friday, April 21, 2006

In the Hands of Such a Lot of Fools....

Apparently the media can't decide if Howard Stern's non-Sirius subscribing fans have largely disappeared or have flocked to other radio programs. As for me, I regretfully admit that I am a longtime fan who did not make the satellite plunge.

I began listening to Howchie shortly after he started on New York City's WNBC in 1982. I was reluctant to listen at first as he was always being compared to Imus, whom I had heard once or twice and found to mightily suck. I remember the cool kids at the back of the morning bus to school exclaiming "Moby Worm is coming on!" and gathering around a boombox to listen and laugh. Listening in from my chosen seat (the couldn't-be-less-cool third seat from the front), I thought it was the lamest shit I'd ever heard, yet another affirmation for my dawning suspicion that those cool kids were in fact hopelessly, happily insipid. My sister Jackie prodded me to give Howard a try, and despite the long commercial breaks and terrible music, I was hooked almost immediately. I continued to listen until he left terrestrial radio (except for the few years I lived in upstate New York and there was no local station carrying him, which unfortunately coincided with the early Billy West-era heyday). Include the WOR show in the early 90's, the books, the movie and the E! show, and you've got a great run.

Now I only listen to the radio late at night while working, mostly Air America with occasional check-ins with AM Coast-to-Coast. I can't see getting Sirius just for Howard, because I doubt there's anything else I'd care to listen to on it. (I've already downloaded all the 70's music I like.) Now and again I try Adam Carolla, Stern's replacement here in Portland, but while I like him personally, the show just doesn't have that conversational feel that Howard's had, and the sidekicks are mostly dead weight. The other morning shows in Portland are absolutely un-fucking-listenable, the same douchey drones that have populated that sterile landscape forever, only now with farts. Today I read that David Lee Roth's show is kaput after only about ninety days. Having heard him on Stern's show, I can't imagine how anyone could take him for more than 90 seconds.

Speaking of Billy West, his website is an entertaining perusal (although his March post in the "Coffee Lounge" forum promising 26 new episodes of Futurama turned out to be premature, optimistic, and ultimately terribly disappointing) and he has a new show, "Billy Bastard," coming out, ah, somewhere and sometime.

This morning I wanted a Howard fix, so I dug out an interview with Franken and Davis from August 1987. On the unlabelled flip side I found a clip of Howard's show from November 1991, which I doubt I've heard since I taped it and I bet it was never replayed. It's a Gilligan's Island bit (based around the disappearance-at-sea of media magnate Robert Maxwell), a mildly amusing mix of baby cannibalism and doody jokes, with Billy's contributions being the reason I bother putting it up here. Howard and Fred Norris supply two or three of the voices, but Billy fills in the rest, including Maxwell portrayed as Charles Laughton (and gradually becoming Professor Farnsworth as he is eaten alive by the castaways). His Jim Backus impression always cracks me up, too...

this is an audio post - click to play


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey man found your blog through billy's forum. great blog, well written, which is rare, in this age, seems everyone is just throwing up whatever pops into their head without actually thinking it out, and most of the time not even spell checking. anyway i thought it was a great read. just wanted to tell you, i was a hold out on jumping to sirius. but i gotta tell you it was the best entertainment decision i ever made. i thought the content would rivial fm, but it turns out it rivials prime time television. there's so much slag in the media about howard's show, but as a long time listener(20 years) the show has never been better. howard is running damn near 6 hour broadcasts daily, and although he's allowed to have friday's off. he's only taken like 2 of them since he's started because he's having so much fun. anyway the whole line up of DJ's on Howard 100, and Howard 101, is amazing, and the other day i was listening a live concert broadcast in england of my favorite band. anyway i'm a huge stern fan, but not one of those ones that just follows him blindly, but really i'd say give sirius like a month shot. its worth it for sure.

Sun Apr 23, 05:13:00 PM 2006  
Blogger psaur said...

Jeez Sal, now you're hawking Sirius blog-to-blog? Shouldn't you be writing Supertwink II?

Wed May 03, 10:02:00 PM 2006  

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