Beardo Meets El Goodo.
"Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns." -- Principal Ed Rooney (Gleason Jones) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
"Toughen up, everybody! It’s not that hard of a life." -- Tom, sick of the surrounding soft-servitude
"Oh, I wish I could be on one of those flights to watch them eat tuna sandwiches." -- Tom, not thrilled by the culinary adventures of the Portland Trailblazers.
"It’s Philly -- everything goes and anything goes." -- New slogan from the Philadelphia Board of Tourism
"Still no Swarm 2, Dad." -- Philly Boy Roy, at his father's gravesite
"Ok!" -- Tom, quickly and enthusiastically embracing Sean's recommendation to avoid the Huey Lewis & The News Greatest Hits compilation
"CNN is the wrongest news organization ever in the history of mankind." -- Kelly, forgetting about Fox News
"From the fingers of Jenkins, to your tv screen." -- Rogue CNN crawl man Tim Jenkins on transmitting the news of Gleason Jones' demise
"I don't know, you'd have to ask Paula Poundstone." -- Zach Galifianakis, responding to a query about what it's like to do comedy sans beard
"There’s no one here for me to high-five." -- Zach, on the downside of being on tour with a duo of raging nerds
"Anything but your questions." -- Zach, gladly taking calls
"I thought that Superwolf record was funny." -- Tom on the comedy stylings of Will Oldham
"She must really give good cross-stitch." -- Buzzy from Anchorage, offering Zach a killer punch line
"Host, I don't like you." -- Buzzy, signing off with what is known to comedy insiders as a "cat"
"I hope you get shot at the pheasant hunt." -- Tom, wishing death on a New Hamshire DJ who crossed The Best Show
Hey, You Heart Early 1990s Classix!!! And Late 1990s Classix, Too!!!
Bettie Serveert - "Tomboy"
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Annotated highlights of Tom just trying to fill three hours:
- Tom gives (starts at 21:31) the weekly cost update on the exclusive Best Show phone number -- it’s up to a staggering $1,160 per call received. He also provides some further details on its undergound installation. As Tom unspooled the cable and dug the requisite hole, a guy from the phone company sat in his truck, laughing and throwing cans of Dr. Pepper at him. He then forced Tom to cover the opening with tar. For shame, phone company man.
- Tom reveals (starts at 25:18) that liberal firebrand and upcoming Best Show guest Sam Seder has his own record label that releases French proto-metal. What is it with these Air America hosts? As you probably know, Rachel Maddow's been putting out some amazing Arkansas jazz re-issues (Ronnie Randolph, Blaze Newman & The Serpents, Claudine Osbourne, etc.), Randi Rhodes put out that great Ethiopian 70s groove comp last year, and Franken's still doing his Greek Rembetika vinyl series on Big Fat Idiot Records. These guys can't get anybody to listen to their station, but they put out some cool, important music that educates.
- John, a Satanic zookeeper/chef from SF, returns (starts at 26:38) to tell his story about preparing food for the Portland Trailblazers. He starts by giving Tom some background on how he got the job. While working at the Washington State Park zoo cleaning cages and tending to ill animals, he also did some catering. When he had some spare time, he would also work the popcorn cart, discussing music with the kids. They were generally into rap; he informed them that he was a Slayer fan. The youngsters speculated that he was a devil worshipper, and John did nothing to dissuade them of the notion. They gave him a little stick broom with a dust pan attachment, and he'd use it to sweep up cigarette butts.
While at the zoo, he met some catering waitresses, who made the work seem like a life of glamour. He soon found himself at the house of millionaire Harry Merlo, the deposed CEO of Louisiana-Pacific and famous wine inventor. Merlo's reign was marked by controversy, including harvesting saplings so he could press them into dubious wafer board, which was used to construct John's garage workspace. My research also turned up this frightening bit about L-P's siding: “There was the avalanche of suits from customers who had bought siding (Inner Seal brand, made from oriented strand board), only to find that after a year’s exposure to humidity, L-P’s patented siding warped, broke apart and exuded a poisonous gas.” A few other articles I read said the siding also caused chapped lips and minor heart stoppage.
So Merlo diversified his empire into chartered plane services, which were used by the Trailblazers prior to their purchase by Paul Allen. John did his cooking on the top floor of the tallest building in downtown Portland, which Tom thinks is ideal because it puts you high above the street filth. John is familiar with said street filth and notes that since the hardcore kids are into the whole brevity thing, they beg for “spange” so they can attend ICP shows in Spokane. Proud moments. John moved the kitchen out of the top floor with the assistance of Phil, Merlo’s acrophobic gardener.
At this point, Tom wants to get to the juicy Trailblazers stuff, and John assures him that it’s coming. Tom wants it NOW because he’s got things to do and doesn’t have time for a leisurely bike tour of mid-90s Portland. John, however, is not quite done with the backstory. The guy he replaced was fired because he drove Merlo’s prized Ferrari to the airport to deliver a pan in an emergency. Tom mentions the scenario’s similarity to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and informs John that the guy who played the principal in the film just passed away. John thinks it’s sad that they are remaking the film. Tom would see it in a second.
Tom’s ready for some good DuckworthTales, but John reveals that he just prepared the food at Merlo’s house and had it sent to the airport for the flights. Tom’s not pleased with this twist. John did chat with Duckworth’s nutritionist, who would fax him acceptable recipes. The rest of the team loved the dry tuna sandwiches, but these were off-limits to Duck, who tended to go for pasta with marinara sauce. Tom wonders about the eating habits of Damon Stoudamire, but he was "before [sic] my time". John assembled sandwiches for the P.J. Carlesimo-era Blazers (1994-1997), featuring the likes of Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter, and Uncle Cliffie. Since the show, I did some digging around and found out that Jerome Kersey used to eat an entire roasted pig before home games during the 1995 season. Arvydas Sabonis would only eat homeland dishes like kugelis (potato pudding) and borscht. Chris Dudley? Mainly Twizzlers.
Tom is really started to lose interest since he’d been looking forward to some ribald tales of John partying on the plane with the team. As it turns out, John sold Tom a bill of goods and ends with some yawners about making fresh juices, julienned carrots, and second-hand information about in-flight gambling on cards. Tom’s had enough and politely ends the call, mercifully sparing John the full-on GOMP he deserved.
- Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 36:30) and starts with an uncharacteristically blue follow-up to the Duckworth call: “Well, you know in some circles, eating a tuna sandwich means something else.” He apologizes, noting that he usually represents Philly with more class, which he did yesterday when he observed the Memorial Day holiday in traditional, Ziegler style. Tom spent a quiet day hanging around the house and doing some cooking. PBR's day was a tad more wild. The family got up at 7 a.m. to salute the bust of the best person ever on Earth -- former Philadelphia mayor Frank Rizzo. PBR constructed the bust as part of a project while attending camp in the 1970s. Tom thinks Rizzo was corrupt, but PBR thinks he's joking because he wasn't corrupt at all.
After that, the Ziegler kids read their speeches about what it means to be a Philadelphian. Roy, Jr. focused on local cuisine: Peanut Chews, Tastykakes, Frank's Steaks, Yeunglings, and Marlboros. Tom is taken aback by the inclusion of cigarettes, but PBR assures him that everyone loves them. PBR explains since Roy, Jr. is in his mid-teens, he's at the proper age to start smoking. In a nutshell, his current habit is smoking a pack per half day. PBR can't believe that Tom did not start smoking in his mid-teens because it's a rite of passage down in Philly. PBR and Rhoda also smoke becaue it "toughens the lungs". Tom does not think Roy, Jr. should be allowed to smoke until he's 18, but Roy says that's when things will get really tough -- he and Roy, Jr. will fight each other (presumably in a nonagon) to determine the future of the living situation. If Roy, Jr. wins, he can leave home, and if he don't, he has stay for one more year.
Rhoda, Jr. talked about the blessing of SEPTA, and Little Royda just unleashed a series of goo-goos and ga-gas that Roy translated as a riff declaring Philadelphia to be heaven and New Jersey to be an inflamed, diseased armpit. With the oratory complete, the family proceded, as usual, to the pool at the Days Inn on William Penn Drive. Per SOP, PBR donned a fake worker uniform emblazoned with "ACME Laundry" and stuffed his family inside a laundry cart to avoid having to check in and pay for a room. The costume was acquired at a uniform shop in Roxboro via a 10-finger discount. In this case, the clothing was too heavy for a five-finger heist.
Over the years, PBR taught Roy, Jr. the ways of the world in people’s rooms at the Days Inn. He tells Tom that he doesn’t need to worry about how he’s getting in, but gives a hint: sometimes you find the little card keys lying around that were not closed out by the front desk. While in the room, PBR takes whatever people left behind -- wallets, wine, and other leftover party debris. Roy changes the topic from father-son burglary to the swimming portion of the day. The whole clan is at the pool, but nobody goes in the water until PBR does his traditional "Philly Flop" -- a cannonball from the second-story balcony of the seven-story hotel. However, Roy Jr. started egging him on to try it from the fifth floor. (After the call, Tom says he thinks Roy, Jr. has his father wrapped around his finger, and I agree. It's time for PBR to regain control of the family.) PBR was leery of the dangerous height and told his son to shut up. Roy, Jr. fired back, telling his father that he wasn't a real man and threatened to tell Rhoda about the woman at the Flyers game in 1993 if he did not execute the jump. Tom wants more details on this encounter, but PBR accuses him of launching an inquisition and doesn't want to go there, as they say.
Prior to the jump, PBR consumed
a nip half of the contents of his flask of Canadian Ace, the best liquer one can buy at the ABC store. PBR says it has a "real bite to it", which Tom sarcastically confirms is the mark of any fine alcohol. With his courage juiced, PBR jumped off to the horror of "that poor family". PBR was too high up to land in the pool, so he shifted his body weight in mid-jump and landed on the softest thing he could find -- a fat family of four who were about to jump in the water. PBR assures Tom that he's OK, the result of the heavens looking out for him. He's not sure what happened to the family because he was so dazed by the fall. He did have the presence of mind to get the Zieglers out of pool area pronto, stuffing them back into the laundry cart, and wheeling them to the bus stop.
PBR doesn't drive since he got arrested for a DUI, and he asks Tom to play a little Ziegler trivia by guessing what kind of vehicle he was driving at the time of the infraction. Tom goes for dune buggy, which is wrong, although Roy wishes it was right. He used to own one so he could impress down at the shore, but it was repossesed because he failed to meet his payments. Roy gives Tom a hint: it had more then four wheels and you see 'em everyday between September and June. Tom guesses a snowmobile, but it was a school bus. PBR had always wanted to drive one, but was never allowed to as a kid. Tom thinks this makes sense because he was not licensed to drive a bus, but PBR notes that Trey, his school bus driver, didn't have a license neither. Trey admitted this to PBR when they were drinking -- they would hang out in the country, embibing and cranking tunes early in the morning before the route began. Trey was the one who turned PBR onto Canadian Ace, and he ended up in prison. Tom thinks it's a shame that PBR is not in there with him, and PBR doesn't like Tom's attitude.
On the bus ride home, Roy, Jr. was being a pill and made PBR sit in a separate part of the bus because he embarrassed him with the errant flop. Roy, Jr. wanted to stay at the Days Inn to keep swimming and steal girls' bikini tops. Tom wants to know why he's raising his son to be a dirtbag, but PBR says that the lad has a mind of his own. Roy admits to having some influence on his son, such as giving him an appreciation for the finer things in life, such as the power of theater. When the Zieglers got home, they want to the neighborhood Memorial Day play. A year in the making, "And They Danced ..." was a big extravagonza documenting how The Hooters formed and consquently changed the course of music forever. Tom wants to know how they altered the course of music, so PBR calls school into session so he can impart some knowledge like Pla-do did. Tom's says it's P-l-a-t-o, PBR calls Tom a dummy, and Tom can't even begin to address the error.
Tom's seated at the PBR's feet to learn about The Hooters, and PBR tells him that you didn't never not hear no melodica in rock before nem Hooters. Tom thinks melodicas are awful and can't confirm if The Hooters launched its use in the genre. PBR moves on to cinema, asking Tom if he saw the The Da Vinci Cone this past weekend. Tom tells him it's "Code", but PBR disputes it, suggesting that Tom must have been hiding under a rock if he doesn't know the biggest movie in the world. PBR clarifies that he's talking about the movie starring Tom Hanks and directed by that kid from tv.
PBR cops to not knowing anything about the plot because he has a life, unlike Tom. Based on some ads, he guesses that it involves a clue about the unknown history of Moses that's hidden in the dome of the Fifteen Chapel in Engaland. The Zieglers will wait for The Da Vinci Cone's network television debut, and Tom tells PBR that it will be a long wait. PBR is no stranger to these extended waiting periods since his father would often force him to wait for theatrical releases to hit the small screen. PBR is still waiting for The Swarm 2 to come on television. Tom suggests a DVD viewing, but PBR says it didn't come out on no DVD. PBR explains that the sequel is the follow-up to The Swarm, but since they could not re-sign Michael Caine or any other big names, director Irwin Allen was the lead and George Brett played a famous bug collector. PBR notes that Brett was also in Aerobicide, an erotic thriller that PBR owns on DVD. (He stores it under his bed.) He's still mad at his dad about not seeing The Swarm 2, so he'll go to his grave, tell him that the film has still not appeared on network television, and pour a Yuengling Black & Tan on his tombstone. Tom suggests breaking the cycle and buying a DVD player, but PBR, as a responsible parent, is afraid of what Roy, Jr. would watch. PBR has to end the call so he can try to win a bet from Roy, Jr. The bet is that PBR cannot slip the gun from Officer Harrups' holster without him noticing it. Tom tells him not to do it, but PBR has to because he'd be viewed as a deficient father if he did not take his on up on the bet. How about that?!
The Hooters - "And We Danced"
- Sean, the
hot shot warm shot from L.A. who worked as a writer’s assistant on Arrested Development, is back (starts at 1:01), and Tom wants The Hollywood Story. Sean reluctantly corrects The Kid by saying that he thinks the principal from The Breakfast Club died. Sean believes that the principal from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a living member of the cast of HBO’s toilet-talkie Deadwood. Sean's incorrect -- the principal from Welcome Back, Kotter is on that show. Tom does some online research and confirms that Gleason Jones, the principal from FBDO, is dead. Tom recites the famous line from the film about messing with a bull and getting the horns, and it still holds up 20 years later. It’s definitely one of my favorite parts of FBDO. As you recall, Gleason Jones mutters this to himself after he peers out of his office window and spots Broderick and Mia Sara engaging in some agressive mouth kissing in the parking lot outside the school. He's quite puzzled by the makeout session since they are supposedly grieving relatives. Then he does that amazing, silly prance (a brilliant bit of physical comedy from Gleason Jones, recalling early Cleese) over to Edie McClurg and hits her three times with his shoe while simultaneously doing the Dio horns and singing the chorus of "Holy Diver". Vintage GJ. Sean thinks Tom's news report is weird and says something about a man named “Jeffrey Jones” playing principal Ed Rooney in FBDO. Whuuuuuuut? I think Sean may have been concussed while in transit from Burbank to his new home in L.A. You'd think someone in the industry would be familiar with the filmography of a top-shelf character actor like Gleason Jones. This speaks volumes about the sad state of affairs in La La Land.
Sean thanks Tom for convincing him to not purchase the Gnarls Barkley album and offers a cautionary 1980s tale. While at Costco purchasing an air conditioner he made a perilous CD acquisition: a Huey Lewis & The News Greatest Hits compilation. He was looking for a fun stroll down Memory Lane and hoped that 16 years of aging would be kind to Mr. Lewis. Plus, Sean had a prior positive experience with musical re-discovery, having grown to appreciate The Beach Boys after being unenthused by their music in his younger days.
The added perspective, however, was no help in this case. Sean got 30-second kicks out of “The Heart Of Rock & Roll” and “I Want A New Drug”, and he enjoyed “The Power Of Love” due to its association with Back To The Future. He was disappointed to discover that the bulk of the disc contains non-News Huey tracks like his duet with Gwenyth Paltrow that served as the theme to William Freidkin’s 1980 film Cruising. He now realizes that he only craved a five-minute Huey medley instead of dropping $10 for an album he wants to throw out of his car.
Three people from The Breakfast Club and Gleason Jones backstage at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards
- Kelly calls (starts at 1:06) to offer a correction: the Paltrow-Lewis movie was actually Duets, which she says is horrible (I loved it). She then tells Tom that he's wrong about Gleason Jones being in FBDO. She agrees with Sean that he was in The Breakfast Club and -- get this -- says that the principal says the bull-by-the-horns line to a character named "Bender", played by Judd Nelson! Somebody did some rails before they called up a radio show. Um, sorry madame, but Judd Nelson was in Fandango. Bender was played by Brewers shortstop Robin Yount in his dazzling film debut. Do people not know about the IMDB? Hasn't this site been around for like a decade+?
Tom explains that he's simply reporting the information from CNN, but Kelly suspects that inter-company nepotism led to the hiring of an incompetent crawl man. Tom reads the story, which clearly states that the actor Gleason Jones was found dead in his apartment. While Kelly is a bit confused about film credits, she must be knowledgeable about the field of medicine because she points out that Gleason Jones died of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer that is often linked to asbestos inhalation. Kelly suggests Gleason Jones was exposed on the set of The Breakfast Club, which, as Tom points out, must be a reference to some visit he made since he was not a member of the film's cast. I suspect that either he was exposed to asbestos while working on Trading Places (from what I hear, every Landis set is a complete cesspool -- asbestos was probably the least of it) or got the cancer while on a trip to Canada. At this point, Kelly declares CNN the wrongest news organization in history, before demoting them to the second slot after Tom reminds her about the a little channel called Fox News.
Tom brings up the FBDO remake and informs Sean and Kelly that Andy Milonakis has been cast as Ferris. Sean would prefer to see Frankie Muniz in the role; Kelly thinks it's gross casting and will not see the film. She makes a valid point about how Broderick's coolness made it possible for his Ferris to connive his way around Chicago, whereas nobody is going to grant Milonakis as much as a free sandwich, let alone allow him to lip sync "Danke Schoen" in a downtown parade. Tom thinks it's a cool idea and can't imagine how anyone would not think that the remake will recapture the magic of the original. Variety is reporting that Rachel Dratch will take over the role of Jeannie Bueller from Jennifer Grey. Nice!
- Dan in SF calls (starts at 1:08) to throw his support in the camp saying that Gleason Jones was in The Breakfast Club and says the principal in FBDO was played by an actor named Jeff Something. Again: IMDB before you call so you can at least confirm that the person exists.
- Tim Jenkins checks in (starts at 1:09) to set things straight. He's the crawl guy at CNN and tells Kelly that he's hurt by her earlier comments because he can't help it if his uncle is the head of the news department. Kelly calls Tim a liar, and Tom quickly GOMPs her after she reveals that she was on speaker phone. Tim confirms that it was Gleason Jones from FBDO, and he just updated the crawl to include the actual cause of death: "multiple stab wounds". So much for Kelly's claim of lung cancer. Tom's not sure what else he can do to convince people that he's right, and Tim assures him that his crawl text is gospel. Sean wants some advice on how to get into tickering, but Tim said it's unlikely he can crack into the business because Kelly is right -- it's all about who you know and what your legacy is.
- "Stu" from CNN calls (starts at 1:11), and Tim thinks it sounds like his co-worker Ricky. Stu doesn't think that Tim actually works at CNN, so he tests him.
1. How many letters can the crawl possibly have at one time? Tim: 62. Correct Answer: 48.
Tim insists that he can get 62 on the screen, and Tom's leaning towards believing him.
2. When is the last time the Braves won the World Series? Tim: "I don't follow sports, I do the entertainment stuff, you dunce." Correct Answer: 1995.
Tim wants Tom to get rid of Stu, who thinks that Tim should know the answer if he really worked for Turner. Tim says that he works in his basement, which is one of the perks of being a legacy. Stu is not a legacy, so he had to get his CNN job through a neighbor's friend. Tom thinks that indicates that Stu is less qualified than Tim.
3. Who runs CNN? Tim: Rod Jacobs, his uncle. CORRECT!
Tom and Tim turn the tables and wonder if Stu works for CNN. Tim doubts he has clearance.
4. What floor is the comissary located on? Tim: reiterates that he works in his basement using a T1 line.
Stu claims that Turner runs through a T2 line, but Tim says he prefers to kick it old-school on the T1. Stu now regrets making the call and finally believes that Tim Jenkins works for CNN. With an entire omelette on his face, he apologizes for doubting the legitimacy of Tim's employment. Stu says the main reason he called was that he thought Tim should have defended CNN more vigorously when Kelly questioned their accuracy. Tim explains that he also has a few issues with CNN, most notably that he's still PO'd that his legacy status didn't allow him to bend the rules and promote his band on the network. Tim wants to give Stu his e-mail off-air so they can get together ("if you know what I mean") and possibly meet Ted Turner.
Stu had a brief encounter with Ted on an elevator about a week and a half ago. He thought it was cool that Ted looked him in the eye and asked him what floor he was getting off on. Tim compares Ted to Clark Gables; Stu thinks he's like the loose cannon at a funeral who may say something nice or may just go off. This reminds Tim of himself, and he wonders what he might say at Stu's funeral, which could be really soon. Tom GOMPs Stu after he admits that he landed on The Best Show while scrolling for WFAN. Tom calls both guys jerks, but Tim was still on the line, so he suggested there would be a second upcoming funeral. Tom GOMPs Tim, and admits he's a little scared of him.
- Tom calls (starts at 1:20) Matt Walsh, who fills in for Larry and gives an update on the Phoenix-Dallas game. Tom's Pistons pick is dead, and Walsh thinks the one-two wallop of Shaq and Alonzo will lead the Heat to the NBA title. Walsh wants Tom to tease the Special Guest about playing second fiddle to him on Man Bites Dog and ask him if having a beard makes one funnier.
- After some problems correctly dialing the area code, Tom reaches (starts at 1:23) super funnyman zachgalifianakis.com, and the resulting comedic collision made for a deliciously fun stretch of radio. Tom's excited for himself, though he wouldn't dare assume the same for Zach, who confirms for listeners that Tom is in fact doing the show from New Jersey. Zach had to flee his home due to an influx of noisy helicopters, so he's chatting from an old bank vault in Venice Beach.
Mr. Galifianakis (The Comedians of Comedy, Citizen Kane) starts the interview by calling Tom "sir", but Tom tells him that there's no need to be overly clean and grants permission to drop such formalities. While Zach thinks AD Miles's description of Dog Bites Man (Comedy Central, premieres June 7th, 10:30 p.m.) as "an elaborate fart in an elevator" is pretty accurate, he explains that it's basically a fake documentary in which the only fakeouts are the characters created by the quartet of actors, who intertwine the real and fake world within a narrative structure. A recent storyline involved infiltrating a KKK rally in the middle of Tennessee, but the characters thought they were going to cover a State Fair. They want to leave, but they stay because the hot dogs are so good. The actors were told that it would be a gun-free KKK event, but when they showed up, Zach first saw someone selling his stand-up DVD and then saw several people with guns on their belts. Zach was a bit frightened by the event, but he did get to ask a Grand Wizard if he'd seen Big Momma's House 2. Zach admits that delivering lines like this sometimes keep him up the night before.
Tom saw the pilot and thinks it's really funny. Zach said the pilot required some re-shoots because they initially spent several days interviewing a renowned weightlifter Chris Titus and his wife, but since then, the couple are now awaiting trial for murdering their personal assistant. Zach notes that it's bad for morale when the first guy out of the gate ends up being accused of murder. In another segment, the crew covers Spring Break in Panama City, FL., and Zach's character performs a "Who Let The Dogs Out"-ish song in front of 1,000 collegiate drunks. They think it's real and boo, which Zach thinks is a fun extension of Andy Kaufman's wrestling stunts.
- Tom Reynolds from Secaucus calls (starts at 1:29) to ask Zach what it's like to do comedy without a beard. Zach says this is a question better suited for Paula Poundstone, though he quickly realizes that she's a bad example. Zach finds comedy more intimidating without a beard, which serves as a shield. Tom points out that this is not unlike the books in Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am A Rock". Zach loves the parallel and will start using it. Tom sold a joke! Tom Reynolds wants to know if AD Miles requires a lot of attention and the ruse fizzles -- Tom Reynolds is mattwalsh.org. Tom tells Zach that Matt delivered the worst interview of all-time in any medium last week while trying to negotiate a clogged airline aisle. Zach thinks it's pathetic that Matt is trying to steal his glory.
Tom wants to know what it was like to be on tour with the "disgustingly nerdy" Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt. Zach feels it's authentic, but he's at a loss as to how to communicate in the world of back acne and spectacle slippage, where the cool guy feels weird for being left out. In this bizarro universe, Zach reveals that Posehn and Oswalt are the cool kids, taking goth chicks back to their hotel room. Zach takes back the last part since they're married men, plus there was never any chance of any rock star action on the road when playing Dungeons & Dragons at a La Quinta Inn was one of the primary forms of recreation. Zach says that he's made the mistake of calling Brian at home on a Wednesday night, which is the time that he and Patton play D&D. Brian gets angry because he has to remove his mask to answer the phone and hangs up because he's usually in the middle of squaring off against a dwarf.
Tom likes comics but does not line up at the store every Wednesday. Zach thinks there's a purity and preciousness to their nerdiness and has shared a theory with Brian. He thinks that something bad happens to certain people when they were deeply into something and they can’t break free from the past. Zach suffers from a similar affiction with Debarge albums. Zach enjoys the sweet spectator sport of nerd watching, gazing at sixth graders transported into grotesque adult bodies. Towards the end of the call, Zach says that he also admires the dedication to statistics by the nerd purists who still fill out the scorecards at baseball games. Zach changes the topic to ask Tom if he's seen the hilarious preview for the new Sandler film. Tom then reveals his summer movie itinerary: The Break-Up ---> Nacho Libre ---> Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties ---> Click.
- Red, a history buff from Newbridge, calls (starts at 1:45) to ask Zach what comedian he would kill if he could go back in time. Zach remembers working with a guy named "Wurster" that he would probably ice, but goes with the more well-known Fatty Arbuckle. Red thinks it's an interesting choice, though he would have said Milton Berle, because he's sorta creepy. Red also wants Zach's take on the The New Cars tour with Todd Rundgren taking over for Rick Ocasek and Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton replacing the deceased Ben Orr. Zach compares this lineup to Huey Lewis and The Cult Jam, which sounds good to Red. Zach wonders why Ocasek is not fronting the band, and Red thinks he's got hurt. Tom thinks he just has better things to do, such as unearthing the master tapes for Weezer's "blue" album and continuing to tinker with it.
- Vic calls (starts at 1:48) to get Zach's take on the term "alternative comedy". Zach thinks it's stupid, but realizes that there has to be some term to let people know that they are not going to hear jokes about airline cuisine.
- A caller (starts at 1:50) wants to know how frequently the Dog Bites Man cast has been outed during filming. Zach says one of Bill Frist's minions recognized him at the Southern Republicans convention in Memphis about three months ago. The FBI eventually kicked them out. Last week at Portland's Portland State University, Matt Walsh was giving a speech to a class when a woman raised her hand and informed him that he was in Old School. Zach also mentions that the show was originally based in Lincoln, NE, when NBC was interested in it, but was shifted to Spokane, which made more sense since nobody in the cast has corn muffin, Conor Oberst hair. Tom tells Zach about hearing Robert Pollard go off on Bright Eyes at a NYC show, not knowing that Oberst was in attendance.
Zach mentions an upcoming show at Largo where Will Oldham will sing his punch lines. Tom was involved in an incident at Largo where he and mattwalsh.org were throwing a golf ball at the store across the street. It eventually hit the window of Largo and everyone ran. Tom thinks that Walsh has the mind of a juggler; Zach thinks he has the mind of a balloon animal enthusiast.
- Buzzy, a transient, Anchorage-based comedian, calls (starts 1:59) to tell "Jack" that he's a big fan and offer to sell his some jokes. Zach's having some trouble hearing Buzzy, who tells him to turn down the jukebox and wonders if he's at the opera. Zach tells him that he's at a TGI Friday's, which are finally set to make their Alaskan debut. Tom assures Buzzy that he will love the eatery. Buzzy is certain that Zach will kill with his topical jokes, but is afraid that Zach will rip him off. The joke he's offering involves local alderman Gus Morrison, who got caught stealing money from the city parks fund. He then funneled the money into his mistress's country crafts boutique. Buzzy only gives Zach the punch line: "She must really give good cross-stitch." Zach's never purchased material before, but he really likes the joke. Buzzy prices it at $750 and will mail it to Zach at 517 North Federalsburg Street (Attention: Airport Denny's). Tom has no problem with the comedic commerce since a lot of the greats have bought jokes.
It's Zach's lucky day because Buzzy also has a movie pitch to grant him his first starring role: President Baseball 2. Zach, of course, saw the original last summer, but Buzzy refreshes his memory on the plot involving Alan Alda grappling with the pressures of world leadership and playoff baseball. In the sequel, Zach will play President Morton, who challenges the new head of Iran ("Sahib something") to a home run derby. If President Morton wins, he'll give up all of his nukes. Morton accepts and is considered a heavy favorite, but it turns out that Sahib is known as "The Home Run King of Iran" from his days playing semi-pro ball for the Tehran Sand Mice. Tom wonders if it's an empty title afforded a powerful statesman, but Buzzy assures him that he earned it and is a legitimate star player.
Zach's already schooling Buzzy with script notes, suggesting that the audience will want to see some kind of established major league baseball in Iran. Buzzy thinks flashbacks might do the trick, and Zach references the "old Negro League over there", which Buzzy finds a bit offensive. Zach's not sure what he's being called out on, and Tom explains that perhaps Buzzy doesn't think "negro" is the most progressive word choice. Zach explains that he was just being historically accurate, conjuring an image of old-timey baseball. Buzzy thanks God that there was also white man baseball. Buzzy offers CGI as a possibility, and Zach says that if he's willing to hold on, he'll call some really cool Jewish writers at Paramount who can write in anybody's voice. Buzzy likes the idea because if they can't whip out a script, nobody can. He's going to send Zach a package (notorized so he doesn't screw him) with the movie pitch and the joke. Zach plans to open with the joke on an upcoming appearance on Jay Leeno.
Buzzy ends the call with "Host, I don't like you", a "cat" directed at Tom. I'd heard about "catting" on AST, so it was fun to finally hear one live on the radio. This leads to a brief discussion of the toilet-mouthed documentary, The Aristocrats. Zach's never seen it, and Tom thought it was "absolutely horrifying". Tom does think it was successful in illuminating jokecraft as jazz because both are terrible and people think it's good. Zach says that while he's not a big jazz fan, if he watches a show with his father, he's into it. Similarly, if he caught a screening of The Aristocrats with Sinbad, he'd probably like it. Tom says that watching Taylor Negron riff is like seeing Charlie Parker, which I think is a very apt comparison. I'd add that Cathy Ladman recalls prime Trane. It's also worth noting that one of the most intriguing joke renditions in the film is performed by a mime. So I guess comedy is like jazz if the jazz musicians forgot to bring their instruments. (For the record, the film unfortunately contains no Elayne Boosler.)
Tom got an e-mail asking Zach what it's like to work with the great sporting goods mogul James Cook. Zach sold shoes at Cook's and did not like working there, though he does praise their inventory of canoes and tube socks. Tom sums up the call, giving Dog Bites Man a thumbs up, but Zach's unconvinced and needs to see a few more shows before weighing in on its quality. Just when you thought the interview would fade out gloriously, No Smoke calls requesting Zach's bio. Tom gives Zach the backstory on No Smoke's fibbery and his feeble attempts to get back into the good graces of The Best Show. Good riddance to bad trash! Zach recommends using current telephony technology to intercept callers like No Smoke, but Tom prefers to just use his GOMPing button. Zach gets things back on track by expressing love for the CDs, and Tom thanks FOT Sparkiepop for setting up the on-air meeting. Tom assures Zach that the Best Show listenership will ensure that Dog Bites Man's Nielson's get blazed.
- Last week's call about Internet addiction got Tom thinking about low points in life, such as clicking around Myspace for 13 hours a day, foregoing proper hygeine to sit in front of the television while eating Hot Pockets, or lounging on an orange crate while listening to doo- ... oh, wait. That guy's banned. I can't talk about him anymore. Tom wants to hear about the lows in listeners' lives.
- Jack from New Hampshire calls (starts at 2:40) to find out if Tom has ever consumed grouse, game hen, or pheasant. Tom has not eaten these birds. Jack then invites Tom to an open season bird hunt, which will feature him spinning techno, house, and jungle. Tom declares strike five for the event taking place in Coos county and then strike seven for Jack calling him "Tommy". Tom cuts him off due to idiocy and hopes that a stray bullet hits him while he's behind the turntables. Tom will be the trigger man, and this party invitation is now one of the lowest points in his life.
- Scott from Chicago calls (starts at 2:42) with a low point, although he doesn't think it can compete with Jack's shindig. His low is a weekend spent watching all 29 episodes of Twin Peaks. The Lynchian darkness sucked Scott in and sent him into a depressive funk. Scott also reveals that he's already seen The Da Vinci Code 30 times. Tom hasn't seen it, though he did view X- Men: The Last Stand. Scott saw it on opening night and thought it was horrible. He was freaked out by Kelsey Grammer's work as the Dr. Smurf, and Tom likes knowing that it took him nine hours to get into full makeup. Tom thinks the only good thing about Grammer is "Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs", the closing theme he performed for Frasier. I think the best thing about Kelsey Grammer is his amazing range as an actor, disappearing into so many disparate roles over the years.
- Josh from Hong Kong woke up early to call (starts at 2:47) and let Tom know that Monster in the Crawlspace is now in production with Wong Kar-wai at the helm. Josh made some casting changes, replacing the dead Tor Johnson with Jackie Chan and switching the love interest from Sandra Bernhard to Gong Li. He's anticipating a box office take of a billion dollars and has slightly altered the title so he doesn't have to give Tom a cut. (I don't think this will hold up in court.) Tom then achieves the high point in his life: setting the world record for longest-distance GOMP. New Jersey to Hong Kong! The Kid's on fi-uh and has no use for Asian malarkey.
- Dan, a retired cop in Morristown, calls (starts at 2:49) with a low point dating back 20 years when he and his wife were at their financial nadir. Depressed and penniless, Dan found a $20 bill on the floor and scooped it up. Since then, he's become a New Jersey land baron and owns seven homes worth a combined $5.6 million.
- Theme maestro Paycheck calls (starts at 2:53), and he and Tom riff about Bruce Springsteen. Paycheck's been on a Boss kick of late, and Tom points out that despite the fact that Springsteen recordings feature five guitars, all you can hear is drums, saxophone, and his voice. Tom recalls passing by the long lines for Bruce concert tickets as a kid, seeing a guy jumping around after he secured flaw seats. Paycheck's low point occurred while working a summer job in the garden center of the Canadian equivalent of Wal-Mart. One day, he was reading an Elmore Leonard novel during a shift when a guy strolled by with a garbage can. Two minutes later, the manager catches him reading the book and yells at him for missing the garbage man -- the can was filled with video games! Paycheck's better off now, confirming that Good Guys Win.
Here's my low point:
Totally bombing at ITU last year. I was so bad that Bobby threatened to put my performance on the DVD as a blooper Easter egg, but thankfully he didn't. I really have only myself to blame because I should have never trotted out my homage to Robert Schimmel set at an alt.comedy room. Once everyone realized that it wasn't some ironic deal with a looming twist, they turned on me hard. The lowest point of this low was getting heckled by Eugene Mirman. Silver lining: post-set consoling from the Variety Shac gals.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: 666! The Good Guys wage war with Lucifer and reduce him to a whimpering clump of soft-serve ice cream. This special show will feature a live in-studio performance by The String Cheese Incident, Tom's favorite jam band.
Time for a nice cup of hot soup. Omar OUT.