Newest Minglewood Blues.
"You don’t know how hard I push." -- Tom, BRINGING IT every week even when faced with the 6:00 p.m. Tuesday blues
"Not everybody can say they helped Bryce with his tires." -- Bryce on the honor of providing him with roadside assistance
"I’m about to do what you should be doing now." -- Bryce, before taking a hit from his color-coded bong
"Play it, Captain Trip!" -- Bryce, grooving to "New Minglewood Blues"
"I hate you and I’m gonna kill you. We all are." -- Bryce, threatening Tom with death by cub scouts
"It hurts my ears." -- Austin on why he dislikes all music
"I’m looking forward to a great night of sound." -- Dan from The Plarns, shortly before giving the soundman $50 to secure better seating at an SF club
"I wanna call in also!" -- Anton, inspired by his brother August's call to a radio show
“I’m just being a wise, you know, 18-year-old, here.” -- Suburban Yoda
"SHUT UP! I’m trying to eat something!" -- A fourth-grade Petey, yelling at his third-grade tormentors
"Oh, Mrs. Wiggins, come in here ..." -- Jeff Conaway on The Carol Burnett Show
"Chucky’s good for business. Chucky’s good for society." -- Spike on the cultural import of the possessed doll from Child's Play
"Trust me, I know my television." -- Spike, convinced he knows who was on The Carol Burnett Show
“This is Philadelphia, Culture Capital of the World. Speak Philadelphian or Die!” -- Text for a Ziegler-funded billboard
“Well, let’s just say that sometimes it snows down in the basement.” -- Philly Boy Roy, informing Tom about the blizzards and other weird weather patterns at his illegal speakeasy
“That guy’s a whole lotta not attractive.” -- Tom on his old-timey radio enemy Garrison Keillor
**After showing signs of life, the podcast is in a sickening freefall. Consult your pastor, rabbi, or, in my case, a Scientology Field Minister to keep it going. Since I'm an idea man like Donny "Turbo" Deutsch, I heavily promoted the Best Show podcast on my recent trip to Italy, and this should yield an influx of subscribers. I met some resistance along the Amalfi coastline, so I ended up pushing 57 people into a 500-degree, wood-fired pizza oven. I kinda felt a little bad about incinerating a family of four on holiday from London, but they were extremely belligerent ("What's the bloody Best Show?", "Bollocks to Tom Scharpling", "Is Ricky Gervais on it?", etc.). After that, people were a lot more sympathetic to the cause. Whatever it takes. While at my kiosk in the Piazza Navona in Rome, I managed to rile some Italians into a robust "Good Guys Win in 2006" chant, although I think they were under the impression that it was in support of the Italian football squad, which was playing their first World Cup match against Ghana at the time. The Carabinieri eventually ordered me to leave after I punched a mime who invaded my turf. I called the officers "soft-serve", but luckily for me, they interpreted it not as an insult, but a request for a stop at a gelateria. They recommended a great one just off the square.
The Groundhogs - "Rich Man, Poor Man"
( Click here to buy The Best of the Groundhogs)
Ladyhawk - "Drunk Eyes"
( Click here to buy Ladyhawk)
Dinosaur Jr - "Hot Burrito #2" (Flying Burrito Brothers cover ft. Matt Dillon on backing vocals)
( Click here to buy the Green Mind reissue)
Hey! You Heart Rachel Flotard!
( Click here to buy Visqueen recordings)
Annotated highlights of The Kid grinding out six half-hour segments of live entertainment, broadcast from the Radio Hut Theater in cozy Lake Newbegone, where the women are strong, the men are delusional, and Bryce is always high as a kite.
Tom announced that he wasn't doing so hot, stricken with some personal issues a couple of hours before funtime, giving him no leeway to secure a replacement or rejuvenate via the reheating time that would be available if things had fallen apart on a Sunday evening or Monday morning. Freeform mirth, music, and mayhem doesn't allow for taking an impromptu sick day, so Tom pushed on, riding out the three-hour extravagonza. This, of course, was great news for loyal listeners who were spared what would have likely been a bottom-shelf, last-minute substitute -- Dr. Stoopid's Laboratory, three hours of Bubba Bohacks' Wisecracks, or, even worse, episodes of Lucky Louie.
Tom gave a heads up to Melle Mel (who was presumably listening to the show in his Tom-funded Hawaiian beachside bungalow) to prepare a classic Best Show for the podcast slot and was tempted to fill half of the show's running time with Miles Davis's Pangaea. Not every show can be Hall of Fame material, so Tom wanted some help from from the listeners. Amazingly, some FOT chatters started taking some daring shots at The Kid. Pigasus led with a jab accusing Tom of being soft-serve. The punch was wildly inaccurate since Tom is actually a break-your-teeth frozen Snickers bar. Tom fired back, highlighting his committment to the show and the fact that he shows up even when faced with adversity. If Pigasus has a bad day at Lowe’s, he can just call Belty to tell him he doesn't feel like driving the forklift up and down the aisles to take patio sets down from the rafters. El Goodo has no such luxury.
Grrrr tells Tom to "suck it up" and recommends that he quit his job at Consolidated Cardboard. Tom says that Grrrrrrrrr has no idea how hard he pushes and wonders about the quality level in Grrrrrr's life. He speculates that a good day for Grrrrr would include getting a pat on the back from the night manager at Wendy's after a particularly pretty batch of trans-fat-free fries. Tom tells the haterz to go watch TV Land if they don't like this installment of The Best Show because he will not be doing any tap dances for them. Tom's a hero to the disenfranchised, not some kind of court jester acting on the whim of fickle, self-appointed royalty.
All of the downplayed expectations turned out to be a false alarm. By show's end, Mike the Associate Producer correctly upgraded his predicted rating of 4/10 to a solid 8/10. This one counts!
- Bryce calls (starts at 32:59) to offer some tips since it hurts him to hear Tom in a down mood. He also says that he never liked that dude Grrrrrr, although he did once help Bryce with a flat tire. Bryce seized the opportunity to take a Dick's Picks tape from Grrr's glove compartment, as well as some cash. He viewed it as a tip for the honor of Grrrr helping the man with the largest collection (732 by last count) of GD tye-dyes in the Garden State with a tire change. Tom's interested in what Grrr looks like and Bryce confirms that he looks like the lumpfaced Rocky Dennis, Eric Stoltz's character from Mask. There was also discussion of Sam Elliot's work in the film as Gar, and Bryce does a very solid impression of Elliot's gruff-voiced, pro-beef radio advertisements.
Bryce thinks the way Grrr looks is "sick" and hints that it served as further inspiration to heist the goods from his vehicle. Tom thinks this sounds like he's punishing Grrrr for his unattractiveness, but Bryce disputes it because he's also not that atttactive. He wants Tom to guess what he looks like, and Tom correctly cites long hair that's thin on top. Bryce then reveals a bit of a shocker: full Amish beard. Tom didn't peg him for this facial hair, and it definitely clashes with my mental Bryce image, which has always been Guidance Counselor Jeffrey Rosso.
At this point Bryce pauses to do what he thinks Tom should be doing -- taking a monster hit with an extended holding period. Bryce exhales and directs Tom to proceed with the conversation. The guessing game shifts to footwear, which is a no-brainer, so the real question is how many months during the year Bryce sports his sandals. Despite the Newbridge winters, Tom predicts that his dedication allows him to wear sandals 10 months out of the year. Incorrect! Bryce's goes a full 12, aided by socks purchased at The Hempery, which is behind where the Lady Foot Locker used to be at Newbridge Commons. This is the sparse, older section of the mall, and Bryce asks Tom to guess what else he buys in that section. Due to the lilt in Bryce's voice, Tom guesses that he also buys weed there. Bryce will not confirm this on the record ("You said it, I didn't"), but Tom is undoubtedly correct.
Dr. Bryce then offers a prescription for Tom, suggesting he drop everything and follow it.
1. Take out your beast (weed pipe).
2. Fill it.
Tom's unable to act on the directive because he lacks both a pipe and the proper filling. This is the saddest thing Bryce has ever heard, even sadder than the canine weepy, Sounder. Bryce thinks that Tom might next reveal that he does not own Grateful Dead Live at Barton Hall, Cornell University on 5/8/77. Tom, in fact, does not have it, but it prompts him to ask Mike the Associate Producer to pull some Dead. Bryce wants Tom to ask Mike what song he thinks would serve as a better pick-me-up: "New Minglewood Blues" or "New New Minglewood Blues". Tom wonders why the sequel was not just called "Newer Minglewood Blues", but Bryce says that not how Bobby & Co. do it.
Bryce is also sad about the recent death of former Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick, the fourth victim of what Bryce believes is a cursed slot in the band. If it's a true curse, Bryce thinks Bruce Hornsby should be concerned. Mike returns with the stash (of records) and Bryce nixes any studio recordings, even advising against the highly-regarded American Beauty. He thinks it lacks vibe and the timing had yet to kick in. Tom has Steal Your Face, Europe '72, and eventually piques Bryce's interest with Fillmore East: April 1971, particularly the second set. He wants Tom to play all four sides, and Tom gives it a try to see if he can finally makes some sense of the band's appeal. Bryce thinks it would make more sense if Tom also did something else and tells Tom to get some from Mike. Unfortunately, Mike exhaused the last of his supply during his standard pre-show tokefest.
Tom spins "New Minglewood Blues", which reminds Bryce of The Band, and moves on to the classic "Wharf Rat". Bryce can see the music and advises that Tom endure the first six minutes to hear Billy kick in. Tom's not interested, and Doctor Bryce says he can't help Tom if he lacks the proper patience. At this point, Bryce begins dancing. Tom's still seated and proposes "Truckin'", which Bryce accepts even though it's not a deep cut. Bryce thought that Tom would be thanking the do-dah man, but Tom thinks the tempo is plodding. Bryce, who continues singing the tune after Tom cuts it off, thinks it sounds perfectly fast and believes the real issue is Tom's skewed mindset.
Next up is the theoretically more agreeable cover of "Good Lovin", the "heaviest" The Young Rascals track per Bryce. Since this live version doesn't kick in for four minutes, Tom starts fast-forwarding, and Bryce wants him to turn it off before he forever ruins the song for him. Bryce then delivers a quick cover of the song with the following lyrics: "Tom asked Doctor Bryce just what he had. And Doctor Bryce said, 'Hey Hey Hey, you gotta hit the ba ah bong', and you'll feel ... real good."
Tom goes back to 1966 for “Cream Puff War”, which is too much for Bryce, who thinks it sounds like heavy metal. Tom thinks it's a bad version of Love. Bryce has not heard of the band and briefly nods off. He wakes up to give shout-outs to his crew: Rodney, Todd, Ed, Bill, Jake, Rodney (x2), Brian, Lee, Ron (x3). While the names can be confusing, Bryce is able to distinguish his friends using color-coded bongs when partaking in their clubhouse in the woods behind the Lady Foot Locker. Bryce recommends that Tom and Mike install a similar system to avoid bong confusion in the studio.
Though Bryce says he feels young, Tom is surprised that a man of his age has no problem sneaking into the woods to smoke pot with other grown men. Bryce says he's just taking his cues from the cavemen, whose paintings suggest daily pot use. Bryce asssumed that an image of dudes around a fire depicted weed smoking, but Tom suggests it could have just been fire. Bryce thinks talking to Tom is like talking to a brick wall. Plus, his crew is actually not grown men -- it's his cub scout troop. Tom's appalled, but Bryce is not sure why Tom is making it sound like it's bad because the kids seem to like it. Bryce starts getting paranoid and wonders if Tom would have had a different reaction to a boy scount troop. Tom said it would still be wrong and, in this case, also a lie. Bryce is now super-paranoid and begs Tom not to alert Officer Harrups.
Bryce gives the backstory on how he achieved the rank of troop leader. In the throes of the munchies, Bryce wandered near a troop meeting because they had free snacks. It was the first meeting, and the real troop leader was a no-show. The only way for Bryce to get in was to bill himself as their leader. He told them that his uniform was in the wash and he's since stolen one to wear to the meetings. Tom wants to know if all of the cub scouts have their own bongs and Bryce says they don't -- one scout lost his. Bryce made the bongs for them as they watched so they could learn the craft and make subsequent bongs on their own. Bryce now thinks he sees Officer Harrups in his room. Tom tells him to try to touch him and Bryce reaches out to feel what he believes is the flesh of Harrups. Bryce tells Tom that he hates him and that he's going to lead his pack of cub scouts in an effort to kill him. A fitting end to a call intended to cheer Tom up.
The Young Rascals - "Good Lovin'"
- August, a 7th-grade milquetoast, calls (starts 1:00) with a few questions. He mainly wants to know how Tom managed to have the 4-disc Fillmore East set at the ready for Bryce. Tom tells him that Mike pulled it from the WFMU library and suspects that August thought he caught him in some kind of shenanigans, though I can't imagine what August had in mind. Woghartian spells? Summoning of Viking spirits? Ricky Jay-grade sleight-of-hand? August changes his mind about the quantity of questions and seems ready to end the call, but Tom has a few questions of his own.
Tom asks him if he likes school, and he offers a wishy-washy "depends". He does say that he's wedgie-free and does not get picked on like Petey. August wants to know if Tom got picked on, but we know that Tom was known as "The King" in school and he did the picking. Time is running out on August's summer camp planning, but he hopes to secure a spot in a local sports camp. His sports of choice are tennis, baseball, and soccer, and he's sort of been following the World Cup. He's rooting for whatever team wins, which fits into his overall philosophy on having solid opinions. He thinks that they come back to haunt you with your peers if you eventually change your mind. Tom tells August that he has a right to change his mind and should look into something called "convictions". Augusts laments that shifting opinions can get a bit ugly with his circle of friends. Tom attempts a role play inquiring about August's take on the USA vs. Czech Republic World Cup match. August says he thought the American squad looked horrible, and Tom reveals that he was rooting for the Czechs. August, predictably, has no opinion on Tom's pro-Czech zeal.
August begins to show some backbone when the discussion moves to the diamond. He likes the Red Sox and the Mets, standing strong against friends who favor the Yankees. This pleases Tom who was beginning to think that August was just a willow being blown hither and thither by the wind. August doesn't like any music because it hurts his ears and his friends are currently jamming to "The Hampster Dance". August says he might like music at some point, and I think he needs to borrow Mack's Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal for some education. A few weeks with that book and he'll be calling she show extolling the virtues of Matthias Jabs and Herman Rarebell. Speaking of Mack, where has this guy been? Too busy practicing his drums and becoming the next Neil Peart? Come back, Mack.
At this point, August delivers a phlegmy cough and gives Tom a cold over the radio. August is not sure it’s possible to transmit germs via telephony, but I did the research and it is. A budding cinephile, August likes the Lord of the Rings trilogy and horror, though he's only seen two: Cursed and Hide and Seek. He wants to see The Omen, and if he does, he will not scream. I get the sense that August is incapable of emitting loud sounds even if legitimately frightened. Tom tells him that he likes him and that he’s a good guy, which leaves August speechless. He says that he discovered the station because his parents listen to WFMU exclusively and like the entire roster of shows. Tom tells him to keep on being himself, and August vows to take the advice to heart. Tom wants him to check in with The Best Show from time to time, but I think the chances of August calling back are fairly slim.
- Dan in SF calls (starts at 1:12) to cheer Tom up and chat about the Danielson show he previously promoted. He talked to Daniel Smith, who had heard him plug them on The Best Show, and also chatted up Rachel Smith. He then regales Tom with some shockingly risqué comments about dear Rachel. Tom forces him to apologize for unleashing such filth talk about a nice married lady.
In his old age, Dan's getting tired of packed shows with jerks constantly muscling their way past him, but since he's new in town, he lacks the proper juice to get a spot near the soundboard. Tom's advice is simple: start throwing money all around San Francisco. Tom recommends starting with the doorman, saying “One for Danielson, please" and dropping a $20 for a $10 ticket. Then, you tell the soundman that you're looking forward to a great night of sound and drop a $50. With the two men paid off, an invite to the soundboard area is inevitable. Dan and Tom agree that SF is a good place to throw money around since everyone is hurting for it after the Internet bust-up. The soundman was a millionaire on paper a few years ago, but is now supplementing his income by delivering pizzas.
Dan also has a story about a bizarre encounter over the Memorial Day weekend. His girlfriend was talking to some guys about music, and they said they had just won a song contest. What song contest, you ask? It was the Best Show theme contest! Who were these guys? Yep, the Themeweavers. This led to robust conversation about WFMU and The Best Show. Dan was surprised to find so many WFMU fans in SF, but Tom’s tells him that people are hungry for the good stuff and they will find it wherever they are.
- Anton calls (starts at 1:18) to get a taste of radio fame just like his brother August. Anton's a nine-year-old third-grader, and while August was sotto voce, Anton displayed the vocals stylings of a member of the Lollipop Guild with a dash of crazed Muppet. Asked the same school question by Tom, Anton is very clear: he hates it and is glad that there is only "two more stinkin' no good rotten days" of it left. Anton doesn’t watch the news because it’s too scary, so he missed the GWB announcement that school is extended to July 13th. Needless to say, Anton's not pleased and begins yelling. Tom starts getting a headache and tells him that he sounds to Tom like music sounds to his brother.
Unlike his brother, Anton loves music, such as Green Day. He also likes "The Hampster Dance", but does not know the words so he can’t perform it on the air. (I was really looking forward to his rendition.) He’s also unfamiliar with The GOMP Dance and, after some hesitation, Tom GOMPs him. That's right, Tom hung up on a nine-year-old -- hardly the act of someone who is soft-serve. Anton was holding the phone too close to his mouth and he had to go. In the course of demonstrating the offending loud talking, Tom makes out with the entirety of the Tuesday WFMU lineup by kissing the windscreen. Luckily, the Tuesday lineup is attractive unlike the Wednesday Rocky Dennis brigade.
- Chat room tough guy Grrrrrrr from Halifax Nova Scotia Canada checks in (starts at 1:22) per Tom's request to defend himself against charges of lumpfacedness. Tom's sorry that he's calling from Halifax and offers to have Anton sing the song of the same name by The Hampton Grease Band.
Grrrrrrr says he's not really a tough guy and was under the false impression that Tom's woes were related to his job. In fact, it was general life issues. Consolidated Cardboard is going fine, so I assume this means that Tom was able to straighten things out with Old Man Dalrymple after Darren resigned on his behalf. Tom wants Grrrr to describe himself and after some wavering, he declares that he's "just a guy, just Grrr," which is short for Gerald, though he is known in Canada as "Gerkface". Tom is not even convinced that Nova Scotia is part of Canada. He thought it was part of Newfoundland or something else, but the Canadan provinces are not really a priority for Tom. Tom's priority is America. Tom did enjoy a trip to Toronto where he walked Yonge Street from end to end three times. Grrr thinks Tom is a "fillthy liar", but that's because he's not used to the American get-go. Grrr doesn't want to believe that such a feat is possible, but is unable to provide the street's length in miles, preferring the less specific "more than you can walk." Tom calls him a Canadian Anton and GOMPS him for besmirching the good people in Canada.
- A caller wonders (starts at 1:27) if Tom is familiar with Seaside Heights, N.J. Tom's been there, so he has a follow-up: Is it not the dirtiest place in America? Due to his phrasing, Tom thinks he may be talking to Yoda. The caller explains that he's just being "a wise, you know, 18-year-old, here." Tom tells him that inserting the phrase "you know" into the middle of a declaration of wisdom is probably not the hottest move.
The caller claims to have an intelligent story about his prom weekend, but Tom will be a judge of that. With little promise of intelligence, the tale began with his crew from Goshen, NY., drinking and breaking the law in a Seaside Heights hotel room. Tom GOMPs him for toilet talk, but my guess is that the rest of it involved more drinking, carrying on and, you know, all the usual wild Goshen hijinks. Bottom line: New Jersey is classy; upstate NY is not.
- Corey from Toledo calls (starts 1:29) to report that it's warm outside and launch an attack on New Jersey, calling it "pretty nasty". Tom points Corey to the recent Rolling Stone cover story about how Ohio handed over the 2004 election to GWB as one example of Ohio's inferiority. Corey thinks that because he was not 18 at the time, he's not responsible, but Tom believes that as a resident of the state, he has to share some of the blame. Corey intends to do something about it by leaving Ohio for Switzerland, where he can really make an impact on the American political structure. Corey disputes NJ's nickname as the Garden State, citing two amusement parks featuring flowers amidst vast wastelands and power plants. Tom suggests some research that extends beyond the opening credits of The Sopranos. Corey doesn't watch the show because it's "too bloated", and he doesn't even attempt to defend Ohio-based television fare like W.K.R.P. in Cincinnatti. Tom then provides a list of the good things in Ohio: Robert Pollard, Dave Chappelle, Wally Bryson, Scat Records, Sparkiepop’s mom, Ron House (sp?), and Mike "Rep" Hummel. Corey adds Cleveland to the list and then lapses into foul mouth, so he's quickly dismissed for the horrid representation of his state.
- Petey calls (starts at 1:33) as his freshmen year of high school is nearly in the books aside from some lingering finals. Tom tells him that he can now look forward to the thrill of being picked on by freshmen. Petey thinks this will probably happen and asks Tom to stop making fun of him so he does not become depressed. Tom thinks that getting picked on by a freshmen indicates a problem, but Petey has previous experience with underclass taunting. As a 4th-grader, he was picked on by 3rd-graders at lunch. They'd chant his name and push on his seat, but he'd ultimately take care of it with a high-pitched, Anton-ish verbal rebuke. After hearing it, Tom is baffled that anyone would pick on him.
Petey explains that he was kinda normal back in the third grade -- a "chiller" who did all of his homework. Over that summer, he dropped 25 pounds, which alleviated some of the mockery. Petey has continued his fitness training and can do 100 sit-ups and 50 push-ups (non-knee, non-knuckle). While impressive, he can no longer achieve the Presidential Fitness Award since the program is not active in his high school. Tom and Petey discuss the dreaded 110-foot rope climb with a suspect two-inch mat serving as fall protection. Petey climbed it in elementary school and was informed by his brother that if he fell off, he'd die. Petey could never manage any Tarzan rope swings on Fun Day.
Petey played a bit of dodgeball this past year, and Tom recalled a variant he played called "Soft Dodgeball". In this game, a player had a bat and a softball and would hit the ball at shirtless victims whose goal was to catch it. Sounds less like schoolyard fun and more like a proto-Jackass stunt. Not surprisingly, Tom also beat up kids in the locker room. Petey is skeptical that the tiny high school Tom could dole out punishment, but Tom was very wily. In one of his greatest feats, he took out a college sophomore who visited the locker room to assure its residents that his younger brother, a senior, was the boss. Tom rejected the declaration of authority and punched the senior in the windpipe. Tom then fought the college boy in the shower, spraying Lysol into his eyes. Petey thinks that was a wussy move akin to a sucker punch, but Tom says all the rules are off when you move up in class and battle a collegian. Blind and screaming from the eyefull of disinfectant, Tom turned on the shower and started whipping him with a wet towel. After he fell to the ground, Tom started using his fists to properly finish him off.
- A blast from the past calls (starts at 1:42) to talk to Petey and then we hear the line we haven't heard since the first week of the WFMU Marathon: "Heeeeelllllooooo, Tom." It's Spike. He's back. Petey is not entirely sure who it is and wonders if it's Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Be-Bop. Petey thinks he's annoying, but Spike says he's never annoying. Spike apologizes for being unable to come down to the station and co-host a show, saying he had somebody in the dungeon as did not want to leave them alone. Petey realizes that it's the guy who did the Debbiededomadiwachix calls. Spike corrects his pronounciation and Petey calls for a GOMP. The GOMP occurs, but it's Petey who is gone, and this causes Spike to cackle with delight. Tom says Spike's laugh is the creepiest thing he's ever heard and would even outcreep Tom receiving a CD with a recording of his own death on it.
Mike asked Spike if he had been sick, but he's just been too busy with the dungeon and his daily life. Tom doesn't believe that he's calling from an actual dungeon, suggesting that the term is just his landlord's lingo for the apartment. Spike insists it's a true dungeon that he owns as a time-share with "Good Old Debbie". Tom tells Spike that he'll be debuting the new Jennifer Lopez record, and this sets Spike off on a rant about how Jenny from the Bedroom and her husband ruined the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Spike heard about this second-hand since he doesn't do parades, he just cleans up after them. Tom says that Lopez did not ruin Out Of Sight, but Spike hasn't seen it and refuses to discuss the work of Steven Soderbergh, since he favors blood-and-guts cinema like Child's Play IX: Stem Cells of Chucky. Spike is a great admirer of Chucky because he's a societal role model who takes care of business and disposes of his enemies like every good American should. Tom thinks Chucky is a bully who picks fights. Spike favors the classic, first two Child's Play films, and he's not a big fan of the campier, Tilly-infused Bride and Seed entries.
Spike's also unenthused by the prospects of a Halloween remake (actually more of a new beginning being made by Rob Zombie), and Tom tells him that there will be two guys named Michael Myers who show up on Halloween and battle over the turf. One will be played by Ashton Kutcher, who Spike thinks is not scary enough, and the other will be played by Andy Milonakis, whose film career is really taking off after recently landing the role of Ferris Bueller in that remake. Spike wonders if Milonakis will get hacked and chopped. This film will be more of a PG comedy, which Tom thinks is a pretty cool idea. Spike will watch it as long as there are lots of blood and guts -- if there are no decapitations or gushing livers, he'll skip it. Kanye West will re-do the classic Carpenter theme.
Tom wonders if Spike's head would explode if there was ever a cinematic mash-up of doo-wop and horror. Spike is very interested in a film featuring the Del Vikings going on a killing spree and proposes a pretty good title: Will You Chop Me Up Tomorrow? If the domination racket dries up, Spike might be able to land work as Trent L. Strauss's title writer. Some chatters offered some other titles that Spike enjoyed, such as I Only Stab Eyes For You and Why Must I Be A Teenager In Blood. Spike is still not much of a theatrical filmgoer, skipping The Da Vinci Code since everyone he knows hated it. Other than The Sting and Tootsie, his most recent trip to the theater was a reluctant viewing of the 50 Cent vehicle, Get Rich or Die Tryin'. A friend convinced him to go and Spike got to feel what it was like to pay $10.50 to be a prisoner trapped in a dark dungeon. Spike is also a snack sneaker and managed to bring a full, fast food meal and a jar of mayonnaise into the theater.
Spike admits to needing his Best Show fix, much like he craves his beloved soap operas like As The World Turns and The Young and the Restless. Spike tells Tom that soaps are the domain of "real men" and recommends that Tom start recording them during the day so he can get into the stories. Tom is currently pricing VCRs at Radio Hut and will pull the trigger by year's end. He's debating about getting the service plan, and Spike says he can skip it. Tom asks Spike if Betamax might be better, but Spike tells him to stick with the video cassette recorder. Spike plans to purchase a DVD recorder so he can save his stories digitally. Spike, who reveals that he's currently watching Judge Judy on channel 55, thinks Tom might enjoy TYatR's sinister, rogue tycoon Victor Newman, who knows how to mop the floor with his enemies a la Chucky. Spike’s least favorite character is Christine "Cricke" Blair Romalotti Williams, a friend of Victor who he calls a "twit". Spike rejects her goody-two-shoesness, which makes him want to hurl his orange crate against the wall. Tom theorizes that if one was diabetic, her saccharine qualities would send you into shock. Spike agrees. Tom is on board with trying the show and will get the VCR so he and Spike can become soap opera buddies. Spike confirms that Tom will also need a blank video cassette to execute the recording.
The discussion remains on television but moves to a debate on the cast of The Carol Burnett Show. There's agreement on Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, and Harvey Corman, but then opinions diverge. Tom enjoyed Robert Wagner on the show, but Spike insists that Lyle Waggoner was the actual cast member. Things get even more heated when Spike tries to convince Tom that Tim Conway was a Burnett regular; Tom believes it was Taxi's Jeff Conaway. With both standing their ground, it was time for 2006's first Best Show TV Battle!
Spike: What Oscar winner played a dual role as cousins on televison? Patty Duke, who won an Oscar for The Miracle Worker. CORRECT.
Tom: The show F Troop featured Larry ______ as one of the bumbling soldiers. Larry Storch. CORRECT.
Spike: What star of a popular television kids show in the 1950s went on to do beach movies in the 1960s? Annette Funicello. CORRECT
Tom: Frank Langello was a recurring guest star on what 1970s sitcom? Spike's certain it's not Maude and says he was waiting for Tom to play his theme song, but his privileges have been revoked. The correct answer is Laverne & Shirley, where Langello played Mr. Papadopolous, the landlord of the pizzeria.
Tom stumped Spike in a TV War and directs him to enroll in television school.
- Sean from LA calls (starts 2:10) to correct Tom on one of the cast members of The Carol Burnett Show -- it was Roger Corman, not Harvey Corman. Sean's in the industry, so Tom yields to his expertise.
Stormtroopers Of Death - "Speak English Or Die"
- Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 2:32) to weigh in on the controversy enveloping Geno's Steaks. He thinks it's disgustin' and that owner Joey Vento is doing a disservice to South Philly by deprivin' cheesesteaks to everyone who's not for the USA. PBR believes that people from China, Engaland, Russia, and Alaska deserve to have cheesesteaks, too. Tom informs him that Alaska is part of the Unisted States, but PBR thinks it's part of Canada because it's way up there. PBR compares Vento's policies to when Moses deprived the children of Egypt from those loaves of bread and fish that he caught. PBR points out that the Action News clip he saw suggested that the policy was primarily anti-Mexican. Tom's glad that PBR has landed on the good side of the issue. PBR says that if anyone needs those cheesesteaks, it's those Mexicans, who use them for energy to pave roads. Tom says that people of all ethnicities pave roads, and PBR thinks Tom may be right.
PBR is proud to report that he recently landed his fontasy job making hoagies at Wawa in Roxboro. Roy, Jr. gave him the idea to put up a counter sign that said: "This is Philadelphia -- Speak Philadelphian". (Roy Jr. has also been using local churches to spread the word.) PBR and Tom do a role-play to determine if Tom would be able to get a hoagie at PBR's Wawa.
Tom: “I’d like a six-inch Italian hoagie without onions, but with extra tomatoes, please.”
PBR would have to refuse Tom service for that order, and provides the correct verbiage that would convince PBR to actually construct the hoagie.
PBR: "Yeah, give me one of nem Ity shorties but keep nem stink rings off it, and load it up with a bunch of nem Pittston apples, OK?"
PBR may be fired soon because he’s getting heat from Human Rights groups, who think he may start a Civil War throughout the state. Tom speculates that he is probably not serving many hoagies with this policy. Roy, Jr. said he should stand tall and not only refuse to take down the sign, but also use the Ziegler family savings to put up a big billboard that says: “This is Philadelphia, Culture Capital of the World – Speak Philadelphian or Die!” Roy, Jr. continues to drive the family bus, and PBR says he guesses that he has to do it because his son is very persuasive. If PBR doesn’t do it, Roy, Jr. will tell the Roxboro City Council about Hooterville (a much more catchy name than Bazilian’s Place), a 35-capacity, after-hours speakeasy PBR is running out of his basement. After the other local bars close, drunken customers can stop by to continue drinking and play some knee football, a miniature version of the sport that can be played in any room because you won't bust anything. Tom was under the impression that this was a kids' game, but PBR assures him that some adults play it, too. The tavern also offers other stuff, which PBR calls "knee skiing". Tom's not sure what he's talking about and PBR explains that sometimes it snows down in the basement. PBR doesn't say it, but it's cocaine. Tom keeps making this sound bad, and PBR promises to serve as Tom's security from irate Philadelphians if he visits Hooterville. PBR uses the drug and knee football emporium to supplement his Wawa income, and it was, as you might expect, all Roy, Jr.'s idea. Roy Jr. wants to expand his entrepreneurial empire to a chain of strip clubs called Phillies.
PBR is concerned that Hooterville could be in jeopardy if Rhoda or the City Council found out. As a front, he tells Rhoda that the commotion from the basement is him rehearsing for a Rocky I-V one-man show. She thinks he’s very talented and creative, and he keeps telling her that the opening of the show, which will run at the Tower Theater, keeps getting pushed back. PBR also reveals that his kids are not sleeping during the club's hours -- they are down there busing tables. PBR pays them not with money, but in "Philadelphia value teachings": never take the mayor's name in vain, always pick up any lettuce that may have fallen out of your hoagie, and do anything within your power to help Philadelphia sports teams win. PBR explains that there is a lot you can do from the stands, such as throwing ice, batteries, and tires. That's how they roll in Philly, and PBR predicts that Tom's head will eventually roll down there, banning him from Hooterville. Tom is not disappointed that he will be unable to do any skiing and hopes that PBR gets busted. PBR does a rail and tells Roy, Jr. to retrieve some more Yeungling Black & Tans. PBR tells Tom that the party never stops at Hooterville and tries to win him back by saying he was just kidding about chopping his head off.
- John Junk calls (starts at 2:49) to praise Tom's marathon premium Fun Kit and correctly declares the autographed photo as suitable for framing. Junk saw A Prairie Home Companion (he thought it was weird; Tom points out that one Altman film every 9 years is good) and wants to know The Kid's take on Garrison Keillor. Tom says that Keillor is his enemy because if you enter the medium of radio, you are The Kid's competition. For example, Tom has been a huge supporter of Whoopi Goldberg's work for the past two decades, but now that she's entering the radio world, his fandom has to take a back seat as he prepares to battle her in the nonagon. Tom predicts an early defeat for Whoopi.
Bottom line: Newbridge rules, Powdermilk Biscuit Town drools.
- Kevin from Goshen calls (starts at 2:55) and is GOMPBA'd -- Get Off My Phone By Association. This leads to Tom further defending the Garden State, pointing out that Purple Shirt recently took his kids to the Jersey shore. If he had gone to Coney Island, he would have been mugged by a knife-wielding cretin in a wet suit or been pawed by monsters dwelling under the boardwalk, reaching up through the planks like it was a slave ship.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU:: Tom talks to Sam Seder about his love of French proto-metal, Spike resumes his old time slot (????), and Tom takes his Camaro to Goshen to burn rubber all through their stupid town.
Until next week, here's Bobby and the boys (RIP, Vince):