Monday, February 26, 2007

Forsaking Bonaduce.

I am almost thirty-eight years old, but that didn't stop me from crank-calling a radio station today.

It was the first time I've ever done it, I think. Of course, there was plenty of goofing on local pizzerias and neighbors when I was a snotty little Long Island punk. And there was one time, about fifteen years ago, when I called a college DJ who kept cutting off songs early and saying, "I'm sorry for all this bad music, I was trying a little something different today..." After abbreviating the fifth song in a row, I called and asked the guy who answered if he was the DJ who'd been on for the last half-hour. He proudly bellowed, in his wanna-be jock voice, "Yes I am!" I said, "Just play the fucking music and stop cutting it off, you stupid cunt." After a long pause (most guys just don't know how to respond to being called a cunt), he quickly said, "Thank you very much." It didn't go out on the air, so that doesn't really count.

The impetus for my late-in-life crank-yankery was the addition of Danny Bonaduce to The Adam Carolla Show. Last year, TACS took over the Howard Stern time slot out here on the West coast, including my local station, the otherwise awful KUFO. Never having listened to Loveline, it took me a little while to get into the Aceman's shtick, but it wasn't long before I was tuning in every day. If anything, it was refreshing, after twenty years of Stern, to hear a different format. Adam is advertised as "American Genius," and the hype is not far off the mark. I don't always agree with him, leaning to the left as I do, but his rants on any topic are never less than well-thought-out and steeped in common sense. His crew had some shake-ups over the year, but by the end of 2006 the line-up (with Dave Dameshek doing sports and Teresa Strasser delivering news) was solid and had very entertaining interplay.

Then, upon returning from Christmas break, the show took a dramatic turn: Dameshek and some other, behind-the-scenes folks were gone, and Bonaduce ceremoniously added. I knew little about Bonaduce's radio career before this, other than Stern's dismissal of him as a typical shock-jock clone, so although I though it an odd fit, I figured I should at least give him a chance.

Within the first show, I was growing to dislike him. His tobacco-ravaged voice was the first thing to offend. A phlegmy gargle of ground glass, it reminds me of the old dead guy with the dirt-clogged throat shrieking "Bedelia!" as he claws his way out of the grave in Creepshow. After a few days, it became apparent that Bonaduce (or "the DB," as I have referred to him on the show's messageboard) had no interest in following along the thread of Adam and Teresa's topics; they existed solely for him to repeatedly interject long, pointless, factually dubious stories about his history of rampant drug use, his former life as a celebrity (and life as a former celebrity), his bizarre and sad home life (never mind his two unfortunate kids--if this guy has a goldfish I would recommend the state take it away), and so on, and on, and on. When he doesn't have a rambling personal anecdote about a subject, he just blurts out random facts, whether they suit the conversation or not (and much of the time he's just wrong). Interviews run horribly aground as the guests sit there largely silent, listening to the DB's endless noise. Adam's justly famous rants are blunted by his humor-free interruptions. The flow of the show is reduced to a flaccid dribble when Ace and T have to stop and explain jokes to the DB (who claims to be a comedy expert yet can't seem to grasp the simplest conventions of the form other than loudly exclaiming the creakiest gags from the Vaudeville dustbin). Not only is he a drag on the show, but the man himself just seems so unsavory--literally tasteless--that the show sometimes begins to take on this feeling too.

I listened less and less as the show became the Braggy Baggadouchey Show with Adam and Teresa, until now I check in only a few times a week, usually for less than a segment. A number of fans have bombarded the show's Danny-centric messageboard with desperate exhortations to ditch the DB (or "Can Dan" as some have dubbed the movement) and save this once-great show. Posters were lamenting the lack of anti-DB callers, so I decided to see if I could get through. I've gotten on the show many times with small contributions to various segments, so I thought I'd take a shot.

Adam doesn't take calls so much as suggestions for rants, including a bit called "What Can't Adam Complain About?" You call in, mention a topic that seems like something no one on earth can bitch about, and then he does, and vigorously. I called this morning and suggested that Ace couldn't dis new socks.

"Oh, yeah," said the surprisingly enthusiastic screener, "like fresh from the package..."
"Yeah," I continued, "they fit nice, no holes..."
"That's good!" he said, then ran through the litany of caller instructions, turn off your radio and so on.

When my turn came, Adam asked what I felt he couldn't complain about. I quickly ejaculated "Your show last year before it was torpedoed by Bonadouchebag!" Then, in a tribute to the Bababooey callers of yesteryear, I continued with

"Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey!Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey! Bonadouchey!"

It wasn't exactly Oscar Wilde, but I felt I had made a contribution, if not an impact. They hung up on me after a few Bonadoucheys, laughed it off, and Adam went on a long rant about my bogus topic. Yes, it turned out, indeed he could complain at length about new socks.

You know, I'm not even saying Danny shouldn't be on the radio. I'm sure if he had his own show there would be an audience for it. Some people like pro wrestling. I don't know why, but what the hell. I say give the DB his own show. Just stop ruining the Carolla show with him--he doesn't fit.

The DB has ten more months on his contract, if it plays out, which I sadly suspect it will. I suggest you check out the show after that, if it is still on the air. If you want to hear my call, on KUFO there is a 5-6am replay of the previous day's best bits--I suspect they will have the "WCACA?" segment on there tomorrow. [2/27 add: they didn't.] I don't know if there's a replay in other cities. Also, you can download segments at the ACS website. Will my call be excised? Don't know, don't really care.

In closing, as "Robert Higgins" once said to Peter Jennings: "And a Bababooey to y'all!"

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I posted it on the ACS message board and I'll do it here. You, sir, are a great American.

Mon Feb 26, 10:45:00 PM 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, thank you.

Mon Feb 26, 11:37:00 PM 2007  
Blogger G. Ali said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you!

Mon Feb 26, 11:44:00 PM 2007  
Blogger savethejellyfish said...

I call you hero!

Tue Feb 27, 01:13:00 PM 2007  
Blogger the feeb said...

hey, db has had a tough life. why can't you take it easy on him? i enjoy his "shoot from the hip" style. all you db haters are assholes. FU!!

know who else is great is that, uh, jim belushi.

Tue Feb 27, 07:49:00 PM 2007  
Blogger MO'SH said...

You've become quite the celebrity, Mr. Cold.

Wed Feb 28, 12:31:00 PM 2007  
Blogger psaur said...

That's Mr. Carbohydrate to you.

Wed Feb 28, 02:22:00 PM 2007  
Blogger MD said...

I could not agree more - thank you for stating it better than anyone

Sun Mar 04, 12:11:00 AM 2007  

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