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A Hero's Journey.

"Please don't kill me." - Tom, to Best Show superfan Steve in Michigan
"Keep it I-ree." -- I-ron, Newbridge's premiere reggae musician, to Ted and Tom moments before toking up
"Why couldn't that evil hill take me, too." - Corey Dinkins from his hospital room in Kathmandu
"Shut your cracker pie-hole." -- Buddy Guy to Art Alexakis
"The Big Man can't climb no more." -- Clarence Clemons, crazy from the altitude
“It all looked so good on paper, don’t you think?” -- Corey, in a moment of reflection
"I punched Dave Matthews.” -- Philly Boy Roy on what he did at the Spectrum after being egged on by his son, Roy, Jr.
"Maybe in my dreams." -- MC Steinberg on his prospects for kissing a girl this summer
"Why am I talking sports with you?!" - Tom after reviewing the NBA playoffs with Larry

[TBSOWFMU - 5/9/06 / Podmirth* / Jingle Jams / Myspace / Headquarters]

*Tom's up to 13 listeners (later amended to 12 because Sean in Burbank is doing some work/home double-dipping), and instructs Mike the Associate Producer to pull the blue wire marked "Podcast". Tom thinks it's a disgrace that a top-shelf podcast is not getting the proper response. Its days are numbered.

Reigning Sound - "Find Me Now" (from Home For Orphans)
Reigning Sound - "Since When" (from Break Up ... Break Down)
Reigning Sound - "If You Can't Give Me Everything" (from Too Much Guitar)

( Click here to buy Reigning Sound recordings)

Hunchback - "The Ballad of Lon Chaney" (Ode to the Vice-President)

( Click here to buy Ugly On The Outside)

Major Stars - "Cinnamon and Lightning"

( Click here to buy Syntoptikon)

Bonus track for "Pigasus", who apparently learned nothing from the Death Cab For Cutie crack-up a few weeks ago. Trust The Kid's ears!:

Gnarls Barkley - "Smiley Faces"

( Click here to buy St. Elsewhere)

Annotated highlights of the first installment of the NEW ERA of The Best Show:

- Showbiz big shot small shot Sean from Burbank calls (starts at 30:34), having just completed a Best Show podathon while on a trip to RTP in NC. Much like the podcast, his days in Burbank are numbered as he's preparing to move to Griffith Park to be closer to the site of Neil Diamond's Hot August Night. Sean disagrees with Tom's selection of “Porcupine Pie” as the worst song in the history of mankind and votes for LFO's "Summer Girls". Tom informs him that the track is merely the eighth-worst of all-time.

Sean's last job was working as a writer's assistant on the dearly-departed televison comedy, Arrested Development. He got some jokes and callback thingies on the show, including "Operation Hot Brother" in "Exit Strategy". Tom requests some juicy AD tidbits, but Sean just confirms the daily grind that influenced Mitch Hurwitz's decision to pull the plug despite the Showtime offer: 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Sean was in the room with eight writers, laughing and working and learning that comedy is hard. Tom doesn’t think it's that hard, but then has doubts about his funniness, ultimately going into a shame spiral before getting off the comedic rolley-coaster. Sean and Tom also lament the end of What I Like About You's run, but Tom is proud that his grassroots fan club efforts made Amanda Bynes a star.

Sean switches the topic to cage fighting and wonders who Tom would pick to win if Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair (both combatants circa '06) squared off in a nonagon. Tom goes for DJ due to his weight advantage, but gives Fair a chance because DJ might get easily winded. The (presumably PPV) fight would be hosted by Joe Rogan. Tom mentions Rogan's Myspace-based battle with an Ohio teen, and Sean notes that his favorite online rivalry is Joe Rogan vs. Carlos Mencia. Tom opts for Billy Childish vs. Jack White and dismisses The Raconteurs' "Steady As She Goes" as "bad power pop".

Sean's worried about the fate of Corey Harris since he could not get into the live chat at the Summit Roxx website and had not seen any reports on the event.

Steve from Michigan calls (starts at 41:45) again to beseech Tom to keep the podcast going. For Steve, the podcast goes far beyond just entertaining mirth and mayhem -- it's his only form of companionship. Since he has no human friends, he downloads shows to his iPod, converting Tom into his portable buddy. He'll request a table for two at a fancy French restaurant and when confronted by an incredulous waiter, he'll alert him to the fact that his dining partner is right there on the iPod. Occasionally, Tom's voice will pipe up with something like "Yeah, I'm right here. When is this idiot gonna seat us?" It's not uncommon for Steve to imagine that Tom is addressing him personally, and will often ask him a question and hit play to simulate normal conversation, including setting it up so Tom can bust out zingers when the waiter informs Steve that the restaurant does not serve hot dogs or handburgers. For now, the iPod sits on the table, rather than on its own chair because, as Steve says, "things are not that bad yet."

Tom correctly guesses that he wears fatigues (bottoms only, though; Slayer t-shirts round out the ensemble), and while he always thought Stevie Blue would be the one to kill him, he has now moved Steve to the top of the executioner list because he’s weeeeeeiiiiiirrrrrrd. Steve inquires about Tom's target podcast subscriber base, and Tom wants him to get 10,000 people to sign up at the next Pistons playoff game. Tom wants Steve to run on the court with a sign that says "Best Show Podcast", but quickly realizes that this is a bad idea and rescinds the request. This leads Tom into a riff on the overly judgmental and nostalgic Bill Walton, whose injury-marred career also makes him hyper-sensitive to hurt players. Tom ends by zinging Luke Walton: "His son stinks, too."

SPF 69: Fair-skinned professional rocker Ted Leo moments before bursting into flames on the side stage at Coachella.

- Ted Leo calls (starts at 48:51) to give his report on the Co-uh-chella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Ted & The Pharmacists played a 50-minute, side-stage set in the 3:30 p.m. Sunday slot, which initially pleased Ted since he thought they could hold their own with main stage competitors The Magic Numbers and grab a share of kiddies with the siren call of his guitar. However, Ted discovered that he was peforming in direct sunlight in 100-degree heat, and he had never felt more horrid on stage. Ted thought the first five songs were great, but, in retrospect, thinks they came out of the box a little too hard and mad for it, lacking the proper pacing considering the hot conditions. The band opened with "Dial Up", a song Ted originally wrote several years ago in the hopes of landing an advertising tie-in with ISPs. Tom is going to resurrect that promotional effort by shopping the track to broadband providers. He offers Ted an 80/20 deal on the profits, Ted kindly counters with 70/20, Tom counters with 77/33, which Ted accepts because it will be so lucrative that it will defy mathematics.

The last seven or eight songs were a life-and-death struggle, with Ted ducking into the thin shade of the pillars during rare vocal breaks. While he did not hallucinate, Ted did get hot flashes and his strings burned his fingers. Tom suggests this could have been a result of Ted's hott guitar playing and not weather-related. At one point, Chris Wilson's beard caught fire. Luckily for Ted, he dressed in heat-repelling white, but after the set, he was forced to crouch in the shade to avoid getting grass stains on his clothing. Tom pointed out that Ted could have worn a hat like that dude in Grandaddy.

Ted gave a brief rundown on the other bands he saw at the festival, but not before going out on a limb by boldly declaring James Blunt to not be good. Since JB was playing in the tent at the same as Ted's set, he was spared the curiosity of actually checking him out. Tom agrees with his assessment: "That guy's a whole lotta not good." Ted was able to catch the first two songs of Madonna's set, thus missing her guitar work. Ted liked previous tourmates, The Duke Spirit (Ted was on call to fill in on bass, but was not needed), the reggae-rock of My Morning Jacket, Damian Marley, and saw a bit of Franz Ferdinand from afar.

Ted's reggae love prompts Tom to propose a documentary film called Ted Leo’s Reggae Weekend film (if he's alive, Trent L. Strauss seems perfect for this project), a la Dave Chapelle’s Block Party. I-ron in Newbridge (1:03) calls to declare “MMJ my favorite reggae band, mon”, and says he's not that into their more rock-oriented offerings. He plays in a band called I-ron’s Reggae Challenge, which is kind of like reggae meets the triathalon. Their drummer, I-chuck , plays the beat while the rest of the band does hurdles and shotput, and then they, of course, smoke up, which I-ron hangs up to do right then. The lineup for the Reggae Weekend party: MMJ, Damien Marley, Sizzla, Buju Banton (non-hate version), English Beat, a reunited Madness, Ted Leo + Rx doing a reggae set, and I-ron's Reggae Challenge, all on a revolving stage with each act doing two-song rotations.

Ted was most excited about being reinvigorated by Daft Punk's Co-chella set, which surprised him because two guys in robot costumes with laptops and a light show were not likely candidates to pull Ted from the beer tent. Tom's intrigued, and Ted explains that while Kraftwerk roboticized the human, Daft Punk is humanizing the robot.

LCD Soundsystem - "Daft Punk Is Playing At My House"
Daft Punk - "Aerodynamic"

English Beat - "Tears Of A Clown"

Riding Down The Evil Hill: Corey Dinkins, somewhere within the wall of snow, makes it safely back to Base Camp at the bottom of Mount Everest.

- Tom retrieves the number that Summit Cola gave him to contact Corey, and he calls (starts at 1:23) to conduct the much-anticipated follow-up interview. Dr. Hannah Sternfreund answers in high-pitched German, and Tom tells her he's looking for Corey Harris, but he's been signed into a hospital under his birthname, Corey Dinkins. Dr. Sternfreund reveals that he’s been upgraded to stable condition after going through a "very difficult ordeal". She offers to put him on the line for just a few minutes because he’s been in a prolonged agitated state. She asks Corey if he’s up for the interview and he comes to the phone, obviously in extreme pain and barely able to talk.

Tom tells him he lost touch with his quest because he could not access the website during the live chat, and Corey says the climb was a "nightmare", emitting only fragments: "so high, so cold, couldn't breathe." He also appears to be vaguely suicidal, asking why Everest ("that evil hill") couldn’t take him, too. Tom's concerned and asks him if someone perished during the trek. Corey thinks someone died on the trip, and he hasn’t seen anyone since Saturday. He hasn't seen his Mother 13 bandmates (Jared, Randy, Pete), Ricky the sherpa, roadies Toad and Nubby, the guys from the PA company, the eight guys in the film crew, the sound guys, or any of the special guests. He tells Tom that he’s in a Kathmandu hospital and that Dr. Sternfreund has a mustache. His memory is still somewhat shakey, but he agrees to tell Tom what he previously told the authorities earlier in the day when he just regained consciousness. Spaced out and disoriented, he’s unclear what day it is or when he last spoke to Tom.

Last Thursday, the crew had a “pre-climb throwdown” at a Nepalese bar called The Drunken Yak, an event Corey said was "so much fun". Clarence Clemons brought his sax along so they all jammed on Bruce and Red Bank Rockers tunes. Art from Everclear was being kind of a dink until Buddy Guy suggested that he "shut his cracker pie-hole", which loosened him up a bit. Corey thought that 33/38 members of The Polyphonic Spree were cool, and everyone was partying, drinking, and ended up playing football with a hardened chunk of yak dung. Corey thought this was all valuable bonding before the trek, and he got back to the hotel at 4 a.m., which he admits was a bad idea. He also regrets bringing two waitresses back to his room. He and Travis Barker had the munchies, so they stopped by a café, found two cute waitresses, and ending up “going all night”. The girls had rails of cocaine, and Corey and Travis partook in a little pre-journey Bolivian climbing powder. Corey and Travis were pretty much hungover and Corey didn’t get rolling until 3:30 p.m., which was about 10 hours after the climb was scheduled to begin. Corey’s explains that he's not much of a morning person and can’t really get it together until he’s consumed some coffee, eggs, and weed.

Corey is quite critical of Ricky's sherpa work, and says his first mistake was telling the them that they did not require several weeks of altitude acclimation exercises beyond the training at Go Climb A Rock back in Newbridge. Late that Friday afternoon, they stopped at Base Camp to get more snacks because Ricky told them there would be a convenience store. There wasn't. Corey’s not sure why Ricky would lie, but noted that he was “weird”. Luckily they alredy had enough food, so everything was set for the climb. Corey then noticed that the other climbers who were already at Base Camp from other expeditions were acting strange. On one hand, they wanted to tell Corey and his crew that they were going way too fast and were in big trouble, but on the other hand, they were kind of starstruck because they were all famous rock stars. Tom noted that not all of the climbers were famous rock stars, and Corey agrees that Buddy Guy is not that famous in the rock world. Tom tells him that Mother 13 is not that famous yet, which sends Corey into a quizzical coughing fit.

At this point, Corey interjects that he later found out why Ricky wanted them to keep going through Base Camp and not stop: Summit Cola wasn’t going to pay him unless they made it to the summit. It turns out that Ricky was not from Nepal at all, and he had a entirely different agenda. Ricky is a Michigan-based former employee of Kern Pharmaceuticals, and he helped develop their controversial weight-loss dessert called Chocolageddon. Tom consumed this product live on the air a few years ago, and tells Corey that it made him very ill. Corey said that Kern had to pay extensive fines to the government due to the product, and leading the Everest ascent was the one way Ricky could pay back his debt to the company. While Ricky talked a really good game, Corey was disturbed to find out that the closest he had ever got to a mountain was seeing a Leslie West concert. The man they were trusting with their lives was a completely incompetent sherpa. Corey compared Ricky’s preparedness for an Everest climb to that of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer’s command during The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Guided by a non-sherpa, they trudged on from Base Camp to Camp 1, which was about 19,000 feet up the mountain. At this elevation, the conditions were incredibly tough, and Corey notes that Buddy Guy was already unconscious. Ricky put Buddy in Pete’s bass drum case, which was pulled behind them by Corey and some of the Spree guys. The elderly music legend eventually got too heavy and the air was getting thinner, so they left him behind in what they told him was a “Blues Igloo”. Tom is horrified, and Corey admits that it was basically a "snow grave". Buddy was out of it as they left, but Corey could hear him mumble some subpar blues riffs -- he was not at the top of his game because his body was shutting down. Corey compared the sound to what he would imagine outtakes from George Thorogood’s 1993 album Haircut would sound like.

Tom asks about the status of Buddy Guy, and Corey says “beats me”, but by the time they ended up getting to Camp 1, they were pretty much fried out of their minds and lost all sense of direction. Corey was amazed that they made it that far, attributing it to being “in the zone”. They wanted to stop at Camp 1 and do the concert there, still 10,000 feat from the top. Tom wants to know if Buddy Guy is dead at this point, and Corey asks Tom to define “dead”. Tom says “not living”, but Corey is still unclear, and requests a definition for “not living”. Tom says “not breathing”, and Corey says that he thinks Buddy fits that definition.

Ricky pushed them to go to Camp 2, which was another 2,000 feet. Corey admits this was not doable for people whose conditioning consisted of 300 sit-ups a day. When Clarence Clemons heard that they had to keep going, he started to go nuts, yelling about how "The Big Man" was unable to climb anymore and threatening to stick his horn in Ricky’s bottom. At this point, Corey makes some gurgling noises that Tom calls the most gruesome sound he’s ever heard. Corey tells Tom that if he had this much fluid in his lungs, he’d be making the same sounds, so he shouldn’t judge. Travis began complaining because the harsh cold had turned his trademark lip ring green and he could not remove it. He was worried that it would be frozen to his lip. Art from Everclear tried to get Travis to chill out, but Travis was becoming more enraged and threw Art down the mountain. Corey thinks it’s safe to say that Art bit it in a scenario he described as "Into Thin Air x 700".

At this point, the remaining parties include Corey's M13 bandmates, Ricky, Toad and Nubby, the PA company, the film crew, the sound guys, Travis, Clarence, the Spree, and Darren Cook, who Corey thinks is funnier than his brother Dane, though both are top-shelf comics. Art’s death made everyone reasses what they were doing and they started making a real effort to reach Camp 2. A terrible monsoon then struck just as they were towing Clarence and 10 members of The Spree, who had basically quit. The Spree forwent their crampons because they clashed with their aesthetics; they had heavy hiking gear with their white robes over top and wore Converse All-Stars. Corey told them that their footwear choice was “whack”, but they didn’t listen. Unlike Corey, Tom is not hip-hop, so “whack” is not a term he uses, but he agrees with Corey in principle.

At this point, everyone is climbing blindly through snow and wind, and Corey says it felt like a day and a half had elapsed. Ricky announced that they were on the summit and everyone was crying with joy, the tears freezing on their cheeks. They took a second to chill and then started setting up their gear, which was hard because their hands could barely move. Toad and Nubby set up the computer for the live Web chat with Brian Dunkleman, which Corey claims actually worked via hitching into a satellite feed. Corey could not type due to the cold and he kept falling behind the kids and Mother 13 fans who were sending messages. Corey was unhappy that people kept taking things OT by saying how cool it was for Mother 13 to be on the mountain typing while they were in their room in Peorio or talking about Ashlee Simpson’s nose job. They also used a lot of IM abbreviations that Corey did not understand: NFW, TTYL, and SOG, which Tom informs him means "Straight or Gay". Corey’s glad he did not know what that meant.

Corey kept trying to get Dunkleman to steer it back to M13, but Corey’s fingers were turning black from frostbite and Dunkleman kept having to constantly plug Summit Cola, which Corey found really frustrating. Since they were having trouble breathing, Corey knew that he only had 30 minutes max, vindicating Tom’s warnings from last week. The film crew got into position and Darren Cook began his warm-up comedy set. He’s was too cold to speak, and halfway through a MILF joke, his eyes rolled back into his head and he died. Corey had never experienced anything like that, except when Buddy died and when Art died. The band picked up their frozen instruments, and the amps were only eeking out "frog fart power". They launched into their first song -- a cleverly apropos cover of Led Zep’s “Misty Mountain Hop” -- but Corey’s mouth froze to the mic after one word. The band kept playing, but Jared’s guitar pedal came loose, and it started to slide away. Toad tried to retrieve it, but he ended up sliding down the hill and clung to a ledge. Jared yelled at him: “Get back up here! Get back up here! You bring that pedal back!”

Toad was still dangling, so Nubby slid down to help him, but his excessive speed caused him to go over the ledge, his crampon got hooked onto Toad, and they both went over the mountain. Corey is completely distraught by the loss of his beloved roadies and has an extended crying fit mourning their deaths. By this point, everyone was in shock, especially Clarence, who was nowhere to be found. Corey heard Ricky yelling, so he made his was over -- snowblind with the microphone still stuck to his face -- and was shocked to find Clarence eating Darren Cook as if it were a meal purchased at Boston Market. Corey found Clarence’s descent into cannibalism odd because they had 100 power bars and several bags of yak meat in reserves. Ricky said that Clarence was succumbing to an affliction known as “snow madness”. With Cook’s bicep in his mouth, a rabid Clarence looked up and glared at Ricky. Infused with adrenalin, he sprang up and started chasing Ricky, calling him “Pete”. Corey realized that Clarence was hallucinating that Ricky was folk singer Pete Seeger, whose songs comprise the new Bruce Springsteen record. The Big Man was absent from the current tour, and was not pleased, having gone off on El Boss on Thursday night at the Drunken Yak.

With the snow falling even harder, both Clarence and Ricky ran off into the distance, and that was the last Corey saw of them. Everyone abandoned the concert and tried to figure out how to get back down the mountain, which would be difficult without Ricky. Corey says that even though he had no idea what he was doing, Ricky was still the most knowledgeable climber in their expedition. And so now it was Tim DeLaughter’s turn to go nuts. Corey says that Tim had his fellow Spree members following him with cult-like devotion, and he informed them that it was time to meet the Great Spaceboat. He instructed to jump off the mountain, and they would be caught in mid-air by a spaceboat piloted by David Bowie, who would lead them to The New World.

Nobody in the Spree wanted to do this, but they were unfortunately all tethered together, so when Tim jumped, all 37 other members went with him. All dead. As with the previous deaths, Corey is very upset, though Tom changes the topic by asking him to tone down the toilet talk he used to describe Pete Seeger earlier. Corey is unaware that he's on the air because he thought Rupert had set up the first post-show interview with Katie Couric. He feels gypped that she did not call him, especially due to her recent raise and promotion to the anchor of CBS Evening News, making her top dog, doggess bitch.

The ranks have now dwindled to Travis, M13, and the PA/film/sound crew. But things got worse. Before Toad and Nubby tumbled to their death, they programmed a pyrotechnic display. Before that, everyone was fighting and it got very violent -- Pete attacked Corey with his crampon, saying that all he wanted to do was stay in law school and that he was going to die on the mountain because Corey reunited the band. Pete had the crampon up against Corey’s throat, which understandably made Corey madder than a rattlesnake at a Thai wedding. Corey lost it and he killed Pete with his oxygen tank, which was a poor choice for a weapon because now he couldn't breathe. It didn’t matter, though, because a pre-timed pyro blast triggered an avalanche. The wall of snow flattened everyone, but Corey was able to ride it back down to Base Camp. As far as Corey knows, he’s the only survivor of his 66-person entourage (includes the two waitresses that Corey brought along to showboat).

Corey laments the apparent tragic death of Trent L. Strauss, who was directing the documentary of the climb. His last words to Corey involved his desire to stay alive for either his children or for the theatrical premiere of The Toolbelt Killer. He was also scheduled to receive an award for Face Peelers 3 next month in Belgium. In a scene worthy of Strauss himself, Corey coughs up some black bits that may be pieces of lung.

To honor all of his fallen climbers, Corey will change the already-questionable name of his son from Sky Stalker to something like "Rick Bud Trav Toad Nub Tim Trent Jared Ran Big Man ... Dinkins”. Corey is still unsure how he will incorporate the sound/film crews or the 38 Spree members. He decided not to honor Pete because he was so mean to him or Art because he was such a creep. For Corey, the worst thing about the whole incident was that they ultimately fell 10,000 feet short of the summit. When the storm hit, the wind was so intense that they only made 50 feet of progress, never leaving Camp 2. Ricky wanted them to think they made so he could tell Kern to erase his debt. Corey then offers Tom an apt summary of the entire ordeal: "In a way, it couldn’t have gone worse, huh?”

He did find one bright spot, and asks Tom if he has any connections in the publishing world. Corey has been making notes for A Hero's Journey, a book about one man’s journey to the summit of Everest. Tom asks him who the book is about, since he did not reached the summit, and Corey tells him that he's the titular hero. Tom reminds him that he’s on the radio, and Corey tells him to get the contact information of all of his listeners so he can provide it to Summit Cola, who will send them contracts to sign so they won’t tell anyone the truth. Corey accuses Tom of screwing things up for him and begins crying again. Tom is somewhat sympathetic to his plight, but tells Corey that he warned him of the impending disaster last week. Corey thought that since Tom is such a stupid dink, he would be wrong. Tom cannot guarantee that he will be able to get the contact information. Corey's not pleased and offers a final plea: “I’m on my back in Kathmandu with this nurse who’s got a sick mustache hovering over me and touching me.” Corey tells Tom that Dr. Sternfreund is approaching and hangs up.

Black Sabbath - "Snowblind"

Bruce Springsteen - "We Shall Overcome" (Live) (from BBC Radio 2's Sold On Song, 5/10/06)


- Andrew (aka Freddie) from Danielson (Family?) calls (starts at 2:16) to talk about the release of their new album and their exciting, expansive tour, although he will only participate in the Philly and Brooklyn (Soupjam was there!) shows due to finishing up his Information Systems schooling. Tom asks him if Ships is their best album yet, and while Andrew can’t say, he does guarantee listeners that the new album does in fact contain all new songs. Not content to conquer the the studio and the live stage, the family is also the subject of a new documentary.

MC Steinberg calls (starts at 2:21) and he's ready to battle-rap, but Andrew sucks the life out of him by not knowing who he is. A deflated Steinberg will call back later. Tom then proposes an idea for all eight core members Danielson Family to follow the example set by the members of Knights In Satan’s Service, who all released solo albums on the same day at the pinnacle of their fame. Andrew's solo effort would consist of either math rock or electronica, and he would collaborate with Soupjam to score an Unfair Record Review from Tom.

Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 2:25) because he thought he heard himself on the radio again. He congratulates Andrew on behalf of his homeboys on the new record dropping, and, more specifically, the review he saw in Entertainment Weekly when he was at Wawa getting a hoagie and potato chips. He makes Andrew guess the brand of chips, and he goes for Herr's, but Philly Boy Roy purchased Good's.

Andrew asks PBR if he’s seen the new cheesesteak-flavored potato chips from Herr’s, and PBR is very excited ("Do tell!") about getting the two greatest things in one bag. Andrew reveals that Danielson is courting both Herr’s and Tastykake for sponsorship, two-thirds of the "The Holy Trinity", according to PBR (Wawa would complete it). Andrew is also looking at Yuengling, even though he doesn’t drink since he’s 12. PBR does not recommend drinking until he’s 13 and asks him if he's had the Tastykake fudge brownies, which are now even fudgier due to a new recipe. Andrew has yet to sample them.

PBR likes the idea of Danielson solo albums and may do it for the Ziegler family: Roy, Rhoda, Roy Jr, Rhoda Jr, little Royda. Tom is most excited for the Roy Jr. solo album since he thinks he’s secretly driving the Ziegler bus, pushing Roy into situations and egging him on. PBR is initially taken aback by the accusation, but does admit that Roy Jr. did once cause him to punch an ump at the Vet, and the same fate befell Dave Matthews at the Spectrum.

Tom wonders what type of matching outfits Danielson plan to wear for the tour, and Andrew said blue Dickies and a button-up shirt. Tom suggests dressing as Wawa employees, and Andrew ups the ante with an idea to dress as different hoagie varietals. PBR loves it. Andrew asks PBR if he’s seen the new method for smuggling beer into stadiums -- a fat suit-like device that one straps to their stomach to create the illusion that their beer bag is actually just American girth. PBR wonders if he could strap a beer pack to little Royda, and Tom’s horrified by the thought of strapping alcohol to a child. PBR cannot afford to get caught again because of the 3 strikes rule.

Danielson - "Two Sitting Ducks"

( Click here to buy Ships)

- Tom reveals (starts at 2:43) that Spike called for some air time, but he'll get none and like it because he's still under the lifetime ban from The Best Show.

- 19.5-year-old MC Steinberg calls back (starts at 2:44), and he's bedridden by seasonal allergies, surrounded by gross, wadded-up tissues. He's still on the road to recovery from payotay addiction, and as part of his rehab, he's been going to therapy. As a result of these sessions, he's learned that he's a narcissistic, bipolar, insomniac with an addictive personality and delusions of grandeur. He's also been on a few "meds" for about two weeks, and they are working pretty well. If he wants to go to sleep, he takes one pill and BOOM, he's asleep. If he wants to be awake, he takes a different pill and BOOM, he's awake. While the meds are breaking down his immune system, other than that, "they're awesome!" Tom cautions him about becoming too reliant on the medication, but MCS is unconcerned because at least he's not stabbing his friends in the knee caps anymore. He believes that he's under control and coming back strong, scribbling new rhymes on his tissues -- the meds are fueling his creativity in different ways than the payotay. Despite being sick, he wrote a new song earlier in the day and he debuts it with a live peformance. It's a bawdy rap that provides a peek inside Steinberg's chemically-altered head, promoting summer activities ranging from using powerful sunscreen, body hair removal, scouting honeys, and going to the Renaissance Fair. Add it to your playlist alongside Gnarls Barkley and "Porcupine Pie":

MC Steinberg - "SPF 69"

The downers have greatly increased MCS's sleep, so he can dream for the first time ever. Tom is sure he will find a girl to kiss this summer, but MCS is resigned to the fact that this will only occur in his dreamscapes. Tom feels a bit sad for him, but MCS just pops some pills so he can sleep and wishes Tom a good night.

The Cure - "Pillbox Tales"

- Speaking of sad, Larry calls (starts at 2:52) to praise the new MCS jam and give Tom an update on the Mavs vs. Spurs game. The calls proves to be ill-advised as Larry clearly should have let the clout he gained last week marinate for a few weeks before jumping back into the Best Show realm. He does get Tom to give his NBA predictions: Pistons clobber Cavs, Nets beat Heat in 6, Suns over Clippers, and Mavs over Spurs. In the conference finals: Mavs over Suns and Pistons over Nets. Pistons over Mavs in 5 for the championship. Larry calls Tom's picks "grapefruity" because he's not sure if he can say "ballsy" on the air. (You just did, Larry.)

Tom tells Larry to declare a topic to debate next week and, predictably, his first choice is a debate on pornography. He then reveals that he's a bus driver (Tom: "I'm sure the parents are thrilled") who works two hours a day. It's unclear if he wants to debate the merits of shool bus drivers, and he eventually settles on a discussion about who should have been named the NBA's MVP and Defensive Player of the Year. Tom find that topic incredibly dull and sends Larry all the way back down the Best Show chute, giving him the Get Off My Phone, there.

During moments like this, Tom is so glad that he has the triumphant, smile-inducing County Mounty theme to prevent the stink of Larry's call from hovering over Tom for the duration of the week. Good Guys win. Bad Guys die.

On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Tom discusses his work on the new project from Comedian of Comedy O.J. Simpson. The Juiced DVD is a joint production from Xtreme Entertainment and Tornado Todd Hutchins' LifeChanges charity.


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