"How can they be brothers if their names are so different?" -- A caller questioning the fraternal status of Charles Sheen and Emilio Estevez
"Wow, they’re really rallying around me." -- Mel Gibson on Patrick Swayze, Patrick Swayze, and then Patrick Swayze coming to his defense
"Those animals back in coach deserve what they get." -- Tom, flying for free in First Class+
"It’s not my fault you can’t do math." -- Tom, responding to a caller who stubbornly insisted that 62 + 43 = 105
"Modesty is not my greatest feature." -- Gene Simmons, admitting one of his flaws
"The timbre of your voice screams hot dog salesmen to me." -- Gene, trying to match Tom's vocals to a vocation
"I’m not made out of money. Oh, yes, I am sort of." -- Gene, shortly before rearranging his bloated wallet
"When people think of Kiss, who doesn’t think of athletics?" -- Slogan for the new line of Kiss baseball bats
"You’re a dirty cretten." -- Gene, issuing judgment on Tom with an eccentric pronounciation
"I did nothing wrong. My kid did nothing wrong. All he did was throw the f-bomb at you and call you names." -- Battle cry of the Bridge Troll Parenting Society
"Look out UK, the face of the Ugly American is about to change." -- Tom, warning Eng-a-land about a visit from Officer Tom
"I could take 50 punches and not think twice about it, and that kiss has been haunting me ever since." -- Officer Tom on his Jason-prompted liplock with Purple Shirt
"I think I’m in Europe." -- Trent L. Strauss, lost and still trying to make it back
"Yo man, he’s guilty, man." -- Junkie jurist Fred, casting the first vote against a young recidivist
"It’s all an act, Tom. It’s like Andy Warhol." -- Petey, suggesting that his radio persona is an artistic ruse
"Where’s your Henry Fonda now?" -- Tom, wondering who will support Petey post-conviction
"If your podcast was beating my podcast, I’d jump in front of a truck." -- Tom, on what he would do if his troubled podcast hit rock bottom
Here's some original musical Nuggets:
Max Frost and the Troopers - "Shape of Things To Come"
The Remains - "Don't Look Back"
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators - "You're Gonna Miss Me"
The Turtles - "Outside Chance"
Strawberry Alarm Clock - "Incense and Peppermints"
The Sparkles - "No Friend Of Mine"
( Click here to buy Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 )
Jay-Z - "Takeover"
The break's over, so here's the annotated highlights of a show that's like the Army or the Navy, it'll kidnap your babies, spit at your lady, bring a knife to a fistfight, kill all you ants with a sledgehammer. It's hosted by a man who demands satisfaction and could beat you with one good arm.
The Youse Are On Notice series continues to grow in popularity. The latest KernPoll numbers (phone survey of 35 Houston business leaders, Aug 1-3; margin of error +/- 44%) indicate that 64% support it and 53% want it discontinued. You wanted the best, you got the best: YAON #3.
TBS Phone Line Update: The cost has skyrocketed to upwards of $2400 per phone call, and Tom provided more details on the underground cable’s byzantine itinerary. It runs directly up into the studio, through the computer, into the mixing board, back through the computer, back into the mixing board, into cassette deck #2, back into the computer through the speakers, back into the board, and into the phone answering device, which is a trusty Pakistani .mp3 player ($19/holds five songs; lacks a pause button) made by Telos, The Trademark of Quality.
In recent weeks, I've been hearing a certain WFMU DJ with a doctorate in stupidity giving out the exclusive TBS number. Given Tom's clear admonitions, this seems like a very dum and duncey move that will undoubtedly have some unpleasant consequences.
Sanitation Dept: Mock up of one's caller's desired Sheen Brothers tattoo
A caller (starts at 28:48) wants Tom to settle a bet between him and his buddy, Troy. Tom led off his opening music set with "Just What You Want - Just What You'll Get" by John’s Children, a band that Troy says featured a pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan. However, the caller is 1000% sure that he’s wrong. He believes that John’s Children was the first band of Michael Anthony from The Sweat Brothers, aka Van Halen. Tom says Troy wins the bet. The caller is perplexed and delivers a quivering, sotto voce "what?". Tom repeats that John's Children was in fact the first band of Marc Bolan, not Michael Anthony.
The caller thinks Tom’s full of it and wants to know the name of Anthony's first band. Tom’s not sure, and the caller puts the question out to any listeners, none of whom called with the answer. It was, of course, Jester, the Newbridge-based rockers who were managed by Barry Dworkin's father. During his brief New Jersey residency, the portly Anthony played his Jack Daniel's bass at four Jester gigs back in 1975 at a club on Muffler Row called The Filth Box. The defunct venue is currently a strip club.
The caller mentions that Anthony is on the road right now with Sammy Hagar. Neither he nor Tom are sure of their moniker, thinking it might be “The Other Two” (it's actually “The Other Half”). The caller notes that it’s kinda close to The Other Ones, "Bobby’s band." Tom’s unclear about who he is referring to, so the caller explains that it’s the name of Bobby Weir’s band. Tom makes a comment about it being one of those Grateful Dead bands, and the caller detects a 'tude coming from Tom, perhaps suggesting that he was above it all. Tom points out that there’s a pretension to just saying “Bobby”, as if there’s only one. The caller says there sort of is, and wonders who Tom would put in the other Bobby column. Tom offers Bobby Kennedy, and the caller wants to know who that is before quickly realizing that it was the guy from politics.
The caller heard there’s a new movie with that Bobby in it coming soon. Him and Charles Sheen. Tom think’s it’s his brother, Emilio Estevez. The caller thinks the correct name must be Emilio Sheen, wondering how the two could be brothers if their names are so different. Tom tells him that Emilio took his mother's name, while Charles took his father's name. The caller wants to know the title of the movie where Charles Sheen and another guy play workers on a highway. Tom tells him that they played garbage men in a film called Men At Work. This is the film the caller was thinking of, and he expresses his desire to get the film’s poster tattooed on his back. Due to its vertical spread, the tattoo will have to extend to the middle of his backside as well. He asks Tom how much it would it run him, and Tom says it will be costly in more than one way.
The caller correctly identifies the "pain dept" as one potential cost. At first, Tom thinks he is trying to say "pain depth", but the caller points out that he was simply abbreviating the word "department" to consolidate time. The second cost is in the pocket dept. The third cost involves the act of permanently marking yourself with a tattoo of a movie that wasn't very good and, apparently, not that memorable. The callers says that once he did remember it, the poster and what happened in the theater that night flooded back to him. The caller begins to tell the tale of that fateful screening: “There was this girl and she …” Just as Tom was becoming intrigued, the line went dead. Tom thinks his mother may have hung up from upstairs.
- Tom provides (starts 35:55) his first political update on the Democratic Senate primary in Connect-icut: incumbent Joe Leiberman has 40.23% of the vote and challenger Ned Lamont has 59.77% with only a small number of precincts reporting. Tom will be tracking the race all night as WFMU encroaches on Air America’s turf. (Due to forthcoming mathematical disputes, it should be noted that these two tallies do indeed add up to 100%.)
- Tom regretfully reports (starts at 37:00) that Spike is absent for the second straight show. On the 7/11/06 show, Spike was assigned to review The Devil Wears Prada as part of a hot new film critic segment. The goal was to force Spike to branch out from his repetitive riffs on doo-wop and slasher films. So far, it appears that Spike is not up to the challenge -- unable to venture out to the multiplex, preferring to remain holed up in his basement apartment in some perverse enclave of New York. Tom suspects that he may have been caught walking into the theater backwards.
- Tom is pleased (starts at 38:49) to see Patrick Swayze coming to the defense of the embattled Mel Gibson. Tom reads from an ITV article in which Swazye dismisses charges of anti-Semitism and paints a picture of Mel as a swell mate who had a few too many. Tom also admires that the ITV editorial staff is aggressively trying to keep it clean by censoring the dreaded c-word.
Tom read the following excerpt:
"If anybody dares try to pull this cr*p of messing with Mel's career - it's wrong, it's unfair, it's not right. Talent deserves to be honoured, hands deserve to be slapped if you do something stupid as well, but don't take it too far."
He continued: "I feel really bad for Mel, he's a good guy, we have been in each other's lives for a long time, he's a wonderful human being. He is not anti-Semitic.
"People say stupid things when they happen to have a few and especially if you don't drink any more, or have limited your drinking for a long time and all of a sudden you decide to have one too many with the boys - you are stupid.
Tom speculates that Swayze's comments are an attempt at lobbying for a role in Lethal Weapon 5 or the Mayan movie. While in the midst of a PR nightmare and the darkest hour for his film career, Tom is sure that Mel is thrilled that so many Hollywood heavyweights are rallying around him. Here's a list of Mel's current supporters: Patrick Swayze, the second-unit grip on Bird On A Wire, and a few extras from Maverick.
- Tom issues a reminder (starts at 41:50) about his first post-show personal appearance. In the spirit of Toooooouuuuuurgasm, Tom will spread the wealth, meet every damn FOT, and shake every damn FOT hand. As teased during recent shows, Tom will be riding the Exchange Place PATH Station escalator at 11:30 p.m. for 15 exciting minutes of magic. He will pass out buttons and stickers, and Mike the Associate Producer will bring mini-Snickers bars. Tom is disassociating himself from any of the foodstuffs being distributed for legal reasons in the event that Mike put something harmful in the candy. He doubts Mike did anything, but one can never be too sure.
UPDATE: Did this really happen? I'll believe it when I see photographic proof.
- Tommy in Basking Ridge calls (starts at 43:03) to report that everything is "pretty chill" in the suburbs. He's enjoying the last days of summer before returning to school at Loyola Marymount. A couple of months ago, Tommy was reading about an article in American Way magazine. He peruses this in-flight periodical when traveling from LA to NJ, and he wonders if it was a big thing in terms of publicity for Tom and the show. It certainly was. Since its publication, Tom flies for free. The airline told him that he will never have to pay for another flight again.
Tom flew to Portland, OR, four days ago, and he walked through the ticket-checking station sans ticket. He strolled through with just the article and his ID. Tom proceeded to the gate, showed them the article, and was allowed to board ahead of first class passengers. Tommy wants to know about the level of accomodations in first class, and Tom says that he flies in either First Class+ or Super Premium Class. Tommy flew first class (50-minute segment, $50 upgrade) this past May when returning to NJ after doing some volunteer work in New Orleans. He was offered champagne and accepted it. Tom describes what happens in his elite section of the aircraft. After he's seated, the flight attendants immediately come over with a hot fudge sundae. From that point on, another hot fudge sundae is served every 15 minutes.
Tommy is impressed, noting that people in coach don’t even get a free meal on transcontinental flights. Tom has no sympathy for these commoners: “Those animals back in coach deserve what they get.” Tom says that there's nothing more disgusting than sitting in his First Class+ seat and having to endure those defeated animals shuffling past him. Tommy wants to know if Tom gets angry when he’s in first and sees a coach passenger angrily waiting for a bathroom in a more prestigious section. In those situations, Tom complains by banging on the cockpit door (a bold maneuver, post-9/11) to inform the pilot of the unauthorized coach passenger migration. Tom believes that this story solidifies his status as a cool and modest man. I think most people would find it very difficult to disagree with that assessment.
- James in South Orange calls (starts at 47:21) to thank Tom for doing the election updates so he doesn't have to switch over to NPR to get the scoops. Tom says that he will also be giving traffic reports, which prompts James to say Tom will be like Kenny G. Tom hangs up on him, but says that he actually likes KG. He does not like the other chowderhead. The Best Show is the original. It's not a copycat show. This is real. It's not trying to do talk with goofball voices.
- No Smokin' "Joe" checks in (starts 48:56) with a Good/Not So Good for Tom: You and Me. Tom tells him that he’s gross, disgusting, a liar, and human filth, so I take that to mean that NSJ is Not So Good. Tom points out that his name is not even Joe and requests that he reveal his real name. NSJ declines due to embarrassment. Tom thinks his phone line is embarassing since it sounds like he's talking to an astronaut aboard the space shuttle. NSJ is GOMPed. Tom plans to add him to a new draft of his Enemies of Tom s hitlist, a proper destination for a man who forced Tom to endure his boring chatter under the guise of heartstring-tugging, nicotine-addled Good Guyness, only to eventually turn on him in a blaze of fibbery. While his real name remains a mystery, Tom does reveal NSJ's profession: he works as a lowly adman for Fox News.
- Matt in Nebraska calls live (starts at 51:17), but is not listening live. He wanted to give Tom a telephonic holler after previously only checking in via Myspace messaging. Matt looked at his watch, realized that the show was broadcasting live, so he called live, even though he wasn't actually listening to the show at the time he engaged said call. He was concerned that his live call may have interrupted Tom doing a live bit on his live show, which Matt could not hear live, even though he was certain it was occurring simultaneously with his call in the time-space continuum. Tom's really confused. Tom asks Matt if he can hear what he's saying. He can. He can hear Tom on the phone, but will not be able to hear him on the radio or Internet until a few days from now. Tom wonders how he is able to talk to him if he can't hear him live. Matt explains that he won't be able to hear the podcast until a few days from now, and Tom finally gets it.
Matt claims that he sent a Smash or Trash entry, but Tom didn’t get it. Matt assures Tom that he sent three copies to the WFMU headquarters, but none have reached The Kid. Tom will do some research to attempt to track down the MIA discs.
- Tom drops (starts at 54:27) his second primary update after a caller questions Tom's early poll results. He believes that the two numbers exceeded 100%. Tom runs some new numbers: Leiberman now has 43.48% and Ned Lamont has 61.52%. The caller argues that those results add up 104%. Tom does some math, rounding up Lamont to 62% and rounding down Leiberman to 43%, yielding 95% with someone else getting the remaining 5% of the vote. The caller persists in disputing Tom's calculation, so Tom eliminates the possibility of human error by firing up his cell phone's calculator. The machine confirms that 62 + 43 = 95. The caller cackles like a supervillain and is GOMPed. It's not Tom's fault that this guy is an incompetent mathematician. When it comes to math, Tom is a mixture of Will Hunting and Steve Nash (the guy from A Beautiful Mind, not the Canadian computer pitch man). Tom sees the numbers in front of him.
- Sheldon in Basking Ridge calls (starts at 57:22) to say that airplane enthusiast Tommy from Basking Ridge is a friend of his from high school. Tommy told him about a funny story he read in American Way. In the mid-1970s, a stewardess came up to the pilot and said he had to see something. The pilot then discovered a guy in first class who was stark nude, but-- Tom cuts Sheldon off and wants nothing to do with the remainder of the story. The Best Show is a family program with family values. I suspect the big punchline had something to do with improper use of a hot fudge sundae.
- Gene Simmons, the God of Thunder his very self, calls (starts at 1:01), and Tom tells him that it's very exciting to have him on the show. Gene was already aware of that and is floating on cloud 9 tonight. Then again, he always is because he has the ultimate life. Tom begins to respond with "your life is pretty much ...", and Gene finishes it by noting that his life is better than Tom’s. He apologizes, admitting that “modesty is not my greatest feature", although Tom doesn't take offense because he's happy with his life. Tom wants some insight into the glorious world of Gene Simmons. Gene's sure that most TBS listeners got a glimpse last night on their television sets, the same place Tom saw it. He's referring to Simmons Family Jewels (SFJ), his new reality program on A&E. Tom's heard of it, but did not watch any television last night. Gene wants to know why Tom did not make time to see it, and Tom said he was doing something else while it was airing. Gene wonders what could be more important than seeing him, and Tom tells him that visiting a friend took precedence over the antics of the Simmons clan.
Gene dismisses this excuse, because friends will always be there, but Gene Simmons may not always be there in the flesh. (His myth and legend will always live on, though.) Tom agrees that there's a chance the human form of Gene Simmons will not appear on his television, and Gene says that he’s trying to make that a smaller and smaller chance as time goes by. Had Tom seen the first episode, he would have been privy to some of the best programming that’s ever been on television. Tom requests a basic synopsis of the show, and Gene describes it as The Osbournes on steroids, but with more coherence. Gene feels compelled to note that “coherence” is a big word for Tom’s listeners. And Tom. He quickly says that he's kidding about the word's intensity for Tom.
With the cameras rolling 24/7 at Chez Simmons, the show follows the daily antics of Gene and his family -- his not-wife ladyfriend Shannon Tweed, his daughter, Sophie, and his son, Nick. Tom says that it sounds kind of like Hogans Knows Best. Gene does not like the comparison and asks Tom to please refrain from bringing up any other reality shows. Gene believes there is only one reality show: SFJ. Gene says the premiere got fabulous ratings, which Tom attributes to the legendary Gene Simmons sense of humor. Gene agrees.
In addition to a successful new show, the entrepreneurial wizard has another hit with the recently-launched Kiss Coffeehouse. Tom is not familiar with the venture, and Gene concludes that Tom has not been in front of any kind of media device in the last two weeks. The coffeehouse is in Myrtle Beach, SC., and Tom is missing out on those great Kissaccinos and Caffe Kiss Leches that are flying out of the store. Tom thinks these are just Kissified Starbucks drinks, but Gene says that they are completely original concoctions. The store will be introducing 25 new products in the next five months, including the Deuce Mocha Mint smoothie, The Forever (a 62-ounce coffee), and the Cadillac Dreams espresso. Tom says he knows the song "Deuce", and Gene says that's a given, offering a lyrical snippet ("Get up and get your grandma out of here").
Gene thinks that "Deuce" should be the new national anthem since it was what Francis Scott Key had in mind when he wrote the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" before tweaking it into its current form. Tom wants to know if "Forever" is a Kiss song. Gene has a question for Tom: "You have a program on a radio station that plays rock ‘n roll and you don’t know what "Forever" by Kiss is?" Tom doesn’t. Gene tells him that it's the greatest power ballad ever unleashed on the public. It's one of Paul’s songs (co-written by Michael Bolton!) from the 1989 album, Hot In The Shade. Gene contributed to the track by appearing in the video. Gene's "Cadillac Dreams" is also on that record. Tom’s not surprised a song with that title sprung from his mind.
The side of the cup that will hold the Cadillac Dreams espresso features a Cadillac logo with a picture of Gene's tongue embedded within. Tom can't imagine who wouldn't want to drink something in such an appealing vessel. Gene signs every cup, but the customer has to finish the drink to enjoy the signature because it's on the inside bottom of the cup. Gene uses a silver Kiss Sharpie, and Tom wonders if he has any concern about customers consuming the residue of a sparkly silver marker mingling with a hot beverage. So far, there have been no complaints, and Gene thinks everything is going to be fine. He asks Tom want he thinks about it, and Tom's not sure since he has not run any health tests. The Kiss Coffeehouse has run some and everything has been "more or less OK." Tom wants to know more about the "less" part of the research. Gene says that there's been some instances of "HS", which is an abbreviation for heart stoppage. Tom wants clarification on how the ink is making people's hearts cease operation. Gene says that the frozen Kissaccino on a stick is one of the main culprits. Gene signs the sticks, and the ink forms a toxic melange with the mocha and other ingredients, turning it into a health hazard.
At this point, Tom fails to recall the name of the reality show, which prompts Gene to ask if he's on the pot. Gene thinks it's everyone's fontasy to have a show, and he's realized that dream twice. Tom questions his odd pronounciation of "fantasy", but Gene explains that he says and lives it that way. He also has an alterior motive for calling the show. Tom thought he’d be calling up just to promote, and Gene says that Tom knows him better than some people do. The real reason for Gene's call is that he requires Tom's services. Gene says that 95% of TBS listeners saw him helping Nick get his band together during the first episode. Gene came up with a great name and logo for the band: Chrome. Tom mentions the late 1970s/early 1980s band of the same name, and Gene said that Nick also brought that up. Gene told Nick that as long as that band didn’t copyright it, "all’s fair in love, sex, and rock ‘n roll." Nick was upset and wanted to change the name for the big show at the Roxy. Gene came up with an alternate name: Nick Simmons and The Electric Chairs. Tom points out the similarity to Jayne County's band, Wayne County and The Electric Chairs.
Gene got emails today from fans of this he/she Jane Wayne County saying that he/she owns the name. Gene has a vague memory of Jayne from the old Max’s days. However, he can’t recall that being the band name, and even if it was, he doubts that Jayne Wayne copyrighted it. Gene also got emails from this psycho named Helium Creed. Tom says that it's Helios Creed, who was the guitarist for Chrome. Tom makes his bones in the street rock scene, so Gene is confident that he could help him resolve these band name issues. Gene thinks that Tom is a radio host by night and a hot dog vendor by day. Tom, of course, denies it, but Gene insists that the timbre of Tom's voice screams hot dog salesman. He's shocked that Tom has never been told that before. He tells Tom to get used to the accusation.
Since Tom likes all the bad music, he's the appropriate person to contact Helios Creed and Jayne Wayne on behalf of Gene to offer them a deal. In exchange for giving up the rights to their band names, Gene will send each of them an autographed My Dad The Rock Star DVD box set. Tom's never heard of the project, and Gene says it’s like Tom hasn’t been breathing in the last three years. Gene explains that it's an animated series he developed and assumes that Tom hasn’t been in Canada recently. In fact, Tom recently spent a week in Toronto, but managed to miss the any of the show's airings on the Canadian television network, CNBCC. Gene says Tom has to contact Creed and Jayne and adds a pair of Kiss ice chests to their compensation package. The styrofoam chests are painted black and red with flames upon it. A half carafe of Kiss merlot will be waiting inside, and Tom finds it odd that Gene won't even give them a full bottle of wine. Gene says he's not made of money, but then backtracks by saying that he sort of is. Gene then pauses to rearrange the old wallet, which is so thick that it was preventing him from sitting comfortably. The wallet is loaded with cash, royalty and licensing fee checks, and Kiss Visa cards (very low APR). Gene digs out a check for a new line of Kiss baseball bats to give Tom an example of the kind of payments that steadily roll in.
Tom's baffled and unintentionally nails the exact slogan for the product: "“When people think of Kiss, who doesn’t think of athletics?” Gene wonders if Tom saw the brief for the marketing campaign and wants to know if he would pose for a picture holding the bat. Tom refuses and says he really doesn't think of athletics when pondering Kiss. Tom actually conjures an image of a fat guy in his early 40s when he thinks about the band. Gene tells Tom that Peter Criss hasn’t been in the band for a year. Tom was not referring to Criss. Gene scolds Tom for talking about Ace Frehley like that. Despite their differences, Gene still considers Ace to be like a brother. Tom wasn't referring to Ace, either. Tom wants to know the current Kiss lineup, and Gene says it's him, Paul, Eric Singer, and Roger Zerkel, who sports the Ace makeup.
Gene discovered Zerkel when he sold him some bass strings at Manny's Music. Gene thinks Roger will be a great addition to the band as soon as they replace his short red hair with a black wig. Tom sarcastically suggests that nobody in Kiss would know where to get secure a black wig. Gene doesn’t need the 'tude, because he could buy and sell Tom in a heartbeat. He's in talks with the WFMU station owner to buy The Best Show, converting it into the Gene Simmons 3-Hour Funtime. Gene writes this idea in his notebook so he doesn't forget it. The topics for Gene's radio show would include stock options and all the new bands that he loves: D Generation, The Nixons ("just" opened for Kiss in 1996 -- seems like yesterday to Gene), Insane Clown Posse, Slipknot ("he's great"), and the very relevant and vital Marilyn Manson ("the guy who looks like us").
Gene dislikes Tom and vows to crush him with his wallet, but not before he opens it to completely engulf Tom’s head. The massive wallet is 3' x 4' and contains about $75,000 in cash at any given time. Tom wants to know why he would carry that much money. Gene says that he needs it for emergency situations, such as showering gifts upon a young lovely lady or hiring a killer. He has not hired one yet, but “there’s always a first, and I think that time is rapidly approaching, my son.” Tom asks if he’ll send Roger Zerkel after him, but Gene has a lead on a fellow named Rutager, who could better execute the kill. Rutager is the younger brother of another superbad dude considered by Gene for the gig. The brother in question is Werner, a familiar TBS menace who is becoming a major player in the seedy underbelly of Newbridge. Rutager looks the same -- Rutger Hauer in The Hitchhiker but with blond hair and a black mustache. Tom tells Gene that he used to see Werner at work. As bad as Werner is, Gene's heard that Rutager is even badder.
Gene’s got the dough to order a little German sandwich on Tom’s face. In this culinary construction, Tom’s face is the meat, and the two German enforcers are the bread. The wallet acts as a big pickle, and the condiment will be Tom’s ketchup-y blood. Tom says that Gene seems to have done a lot of work on this violent reprisal. Gene says he’s always sketching out ideas from his fertile mind. Tom recommends working the attack into the second season of SFJ. Gene says he will work it into Tom’s eulogy, which will be a big thrill for the Scharplings. Gene intends to keep the family waiting by arriving late via limousine, and then emerging from the vehicle amidst smoke provided by a pyrotechnician he hired.
Gene Simmons' eulogy for Tom Scharpling:
We’re here to bury a guy with a very big mouth. Thought he was a very big man, but he was sadly mistaken. Oh yes, though his mouth was big, his brain was small. He thought that he could run with the big dogs, the big demons I should say. He was wrong. He paid the price. Now I will be selling autographs for $35 an autograph over here by this headstone.
Gene feels bad for Tom because during the autograph session, people will vacate his ceremony due to pawing themselves over the excitement of getting the autographs. The whole scene will be filmed for the next season of what Tom's calls "Kiss Family Jewels". Gene corrects Tom, calling him a "dirty cretten" in the process. Tom provides the commonly accepted pronounciation of "cretin", but Gene thinks Tom’s wrong and needs to return to rock school where Gene will be his teacher. Tom says that was the name of that other awful Gene show. Tom tells him that the kid musicians hated him, but Gene says they loved him, an affection confirmed by the fact that he gets Christmas cards from a couple of them.
Gene is becoming increasingly frustrated and asks Tom where he lives. Tom says Newbridge, so Gene says to consider himself banned from GST -- Gene Simmons Toyota. If Tom sets foot on his lot, Tom will have to deal with an axe bass that is stored behind the counter. All Gene asks is that Tom doesn't clog up the pickups with his blood. Tom doesn't think he'll have any trouble staying away from the dealership, but Gene think it’s like a magnet for the local kids. They enter the lot to drink beers and smoke doobies, and Gene is sickened by the drug use. Gene’s never gotten high in his life, but Tom finds it very hypocritcal to take such a moral stand even though he’s living a gross life. Gene wants to know what's so gross about his existence. Tom offers the photo book of his female conquests. Since it's only for the privileged few, Tom hasn’t seen it, but he's heard it's disgusting. Gene says it's not disgusting, and just after he starts to elaborate, his phone cuts off.
- Jedediah from Danielson checks in (starts at 1:31), but Tom thinks he's making up his name. He claims that he's been playing bass for the band, but Tom quizzes him to be sure. Jedediah easily rattles off his family members (Megan, Rachel, Daniel, Andrew, David, and the other dude Chris), the name of the Danielson doc (Danielson: a Family Movie), and the band's discography (A Prayer Every Hour, Tell Another Joke at the Ol' Choppin' Block, Alpha, Omega, Fetch the Compass Kids, Br. Danielson - Brother: Son, and the hott new Ships). I thought he might be stumped by the the number of fruit adorning his brother's tree, but he correctly answered with nine.
Tom now believes that he's legit, so the discussion shifts to the recently completed tour. Jedediah says it's good to hear TBS live for the first time in months. The Kid gives his regrets for missing them, but Jedediah says Tom will get another chance when they open for the popular psychadelic rockers The Flaming Lips at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 9/25. Tom marks the date. Jedediah was excited to meet one of Tom's friends at a tour stop in North Carolina. Another highlight of the trek was seeing the Redwood forests and making his first trip to San Francisco. The lowlight was a slot at the inaugural Nidus Festival in Kichener, Ontario. The band was going upstream amidst sparse crowds and an awkward atmosphere. Being preceded on stage by the Toronto Mass Choir didn't help. Since it was at the end of the tour, the family was ready to return home, but they did make some new fans who bought some CDs.
Tom asks about the weirdest look the band has ever received from an audience member. Jedediah says it's looks of complete confusion. However, the puzzled faces are diminishing since people were already excited to see them on this tour. They earned their stripes and got over the hump. Jedediah snuck into the lineup after the rest of the family did the heavy lifting, so he can now coast on their hard work. He gives an update on his brother-in-law, Fred, who is now 10. The fifth-grader is getting married and will then return to the band. He's also plotting to leech his way onto the big NYC Lips show after missing the majority of the summer tour, leaving the rest of the band to tough it out in Kichener.
Jedediah closes by thanking Tom for podcasting, and Tom says it was nice of him to plug the Lips show. Since this show aired, an additional six tickets have been sold due to the Jedediah hype machine.
Br. Danielson - "Things Against Stuff"
- Eric from New Paltz calls (starts at 1:39) from the bad phone store, exhibiting a tad less energy than River Phoenix in My Own Private Idaho. Per Tom's directive, he takes it up a few notches and says that he found out some cool stuff about the TBS bed music. Eric has a penchant for purchasing old keyboards and discovered the tune's origin. Tom points out that the current bed was performed by James Dolan's band, JD and the Sureshots. Using a Casio that he picked up at the Salvation Army, Eric plays a sleepy, wheezing version of Tom's bed. Tom plays the real deal for a comparison. Eric performs a reprise, incorporating Euro beat #2.
Tom recommends that Eric splash some cold water on his face before calling. Eric reveals that he appears in one of the new TBS themes, which is weird because he's only called the show three times. He claims that he was GOMPed each time for boring Tom to death with riffs on the Knicks and hippies. Tom doubts that Eric could be boring. Eric says that Tom was cordial because he seemed like a nice guy, but Tom badmouthed him after he got off the line. Tom owns up to it, but will not do it anymore. He bids Eric goodnight and badmouths him for taking the show on a detour to snoozeville.
- Sean calls (starts at 2:02) from mega, mega-hot Phoenix. While the temp hit a record-setting 113 this summer, it was free of humidity. However, Sean got a taste of the sticky heat when traveling with a friend to Georgia to help him get settled into his graduate school residence at UGA. Tom thinks this may be the Sean who sent him a Danny Manning jersey, but no such luck. The main reason that this Sean called was to get some information on the podcast. Tom says that absent new subscribers, the podcast will be canceled in three weeks since it's back down below 50. Sean's been promoting the podcast because his work schedule forces him to rely on it for his weekly TBS fix.
Sean discovered TBS via The Sound of Young America podcast, hosted by Jesse Thorn, aka America's radio sweetheart. Tom requests his age, which is 24. Tom then quotes a classic cinematic line: "I've sentenced boys younger than you to death, Danny. I didn't want to, I felt I owed it to them." Tom asks Sean if he can cite the line's source material. Sean can't place it, so Tom tells him that it's a Ted Knight gem from Caddyshack, an oft-cited Tom favorite. Sean saw it a long time ago, and Tom directs him to see the epic again. Sean says it's a good film to know in order to riff with the guys, but for Tom, it's all about studying every delicious nuance of the performance of Ted Knight, the Michelangeo of thespians. Every move is a masterwork, every statement another brushstroke on the Sistine chapel, each phrase more brilliant then the last. Sean quits his job to immediately rent the film. Priorities!
- The Best Show is under attack. Tom unfurls the details (starts at 2:06) in the form of a fairy tale, omitting the names of the guilty to avoid giving more exposure to the filth who attacked him.
There once was a little boy named Tommy, who hosted a radio program in a faraway land called Newbridge. He generously made himself available to one and to all, via open phone Tuesday, via friendsoftom.com, and the chat contained therein. Tommy answers e-mails for those who listen and ask questions. He sends out FOT membership cards for people joining the show's brigade of loyal supporters. Tommy’s very busy, but he does everything he can to try to keep up with everyone who listens because he appreciates them even more than Dane Cook appreciates his audience. This is the same reason why this little prince will be holding a personal appearance on the escalators at the Exchange Place PATH station after tonight's program.
This fair young prince has a computer at home. And one of the young boys who calls the show got a hold of Tommy’s instant messaging address through nefarious means. Armed with the prized handle, he started writing him. Again and again and again, under a variety of different names. And Tommy didn’t like it. His time is very tight. He doesn’t have time to talk all the live long day to everyone on his computer. So this young bridge troll kept contacting him in increasingly mean tones. A week and a half ago, the cretten contacted Tommy and pretended to be someone else. And when Tommy said, “I’m going to block you,” that young bridge troll let loose with a stream of foul language. Now Tommy didn’t know that this was indeed that young bridge troll, because that young bridge troll changes his name all the time. Tommy has gotten scary, threatening letters in the past from unhinged listeners, so it was unsettling to all of a sudden start getting instant messages from an aggressive interloper, typing vicious messages from the cover of online alter egos. Tommy does the radio show for free, and he loves doing the radio show, but when people scare him and write threatening things on an instant message account that he’s never given out, he doesn’t like it. This is part of the reason that Tommy wasn’t here last week to do his show.
So Tommy contacts his youngest friend, who he has been through thick and thin with, and that friend has that IM address. Tommy asks him if his bridge troll friend got his IM address. And that young friend said, "Yes, that is him." This confirmation made Tommy feel better, secure in knowing that at least it was not some deranged psychopath getting ready to launch a serious assault. So then Tommy asks that young friend for the e-mail address of the bridge troll's parents. Tommy writes an email requesting that the child stop contacting him, yet he receives no response. Tommy followed up. Why no response? Because Mamma Bridge Troll refuses to apologize for her own son’s ill behavior. Tommy’s young friend actually got in trouble for providing the email to allow him to write the missive. Apparently some people don’t like getting contacting by someone they didn’t give their information out to. Furthermore, that parent refused to apologize because apparently their child did nothing wrong, despite the fact that he was cursing up a blue streak.
And because of this, people will have to be punished. If the young bridge troll contacts Tommy again, the police will be called and he will be locked up. Tom concludes the fairy tale by issuing a lifetime ban for the young bridge troll. The young friend of the bridge troll, who could not contain the sacred IM address, was given a two-year ban. Judge Tom has spoken.
- Tom gets a call (starts at 2:16) from an actual police officer, and it just happens to be Officer Tom, who says he'll always have Tom's back. (It just occurred to me that Tom should ask OT if he's ever run into Officer Harrups on his beat.) OT is fresh from a successful Listener Hour this past Saturday (8/5), although Tom hasn't heard it yet due to oversleeping. I, however, have heard OT's set, and I'm pleased to report that he delivered 55 exhilarating minutes of Body Count tunes! And unlike Purple Shirt's controversial LH stint back in June, there were no sugar-high six-year-olds testing the limits of the FCC decency restrictions. OT let Ice-T take care of that.
OT praises Tom's impeccable handling of the case so far and is willing to assist him if he chooses to follow through with involving the authorities. When it comes down to ill, mutant parenting, sometimes doing the right thing is not enough. OT knows the general area that the assailant hails from and has cop friends that would have no problem making a courtesy call to Mamma or Pappa Bridge Troll. Tom appreciates the offer, but will hold off for now. He's made his point. OT mentions the June 2004 live remote from the Hess gas station, and Tom wants to do it again after OT’s return from an eight-day jaunt to the UK. Tom wants him to come back from the trip with a report, and OT's not sure how the UK will take to his arrival. Tom thinks that OT may redefine the notion of an Ugly American for the unsuspecting Brits.
OT mentions a t-shirt with a picture of an assault rifle and the text “Happiness is a warm bus”. He was warned against bringing it, but Tom thinks he should wear it to the airport because of the ensuing hilarity of watching OT's four-hour explanation to security personnel. OT will forgo the provocative garb because he's going over there as an ambassador of TBS, northern NJ, and cops in general. Tom is confident that OT will represent the country well. Engalander and FOT rep Jason will undoubtedly be keeping tabs on OT's behavior/tabloid write-ups during his stay.
There was also a TBS tie-in to OT's LH in the form of some talk about the Great Moments in WFMU History, An Illustrated Legacy Of Misfits and Malcontents trading cards that were included in the 2006 Mouse Pledge package. The set marks OT as an official part of station lore with a card depicting the infamous Punching for Pledges event during the 2004 marathon. OT thinks Mistress of Swag Megan is to thank for the reference. The front of the card features OT's Hulk-y fists of fury, while the back provides a textual recap of the legendary Purple Shirt vs. OT showdown. OT points out that a lot of people really don’t know that the biggest thing that occurred on that epic show was a full-on liplock with Purple Shirt at the urging of Jason. OT dismisses his brief lapse into homoeroticism because it was all for a good cause. However, he admits to still being haunted by the kiss over two years later.
- A caller wants to play (starts at 2:25) Good/Not So Good, which initially seems like a welcome diversion from the traumatic and intense bridge troll talk. The caller offers Oliver Stone's new film, World Trade Center. Tom hasn't seen it, but says it looks Not So Good. Tom also assigns Not So Good status to the caller's phone connection (emanating from the basement of a friend's house) and the trajectory of his life. Tom then bids him a Not So Goodbye.
The caller returns after migrating to a different part of the house and informs Tom that John McLoughlin, the Port Authority police officer who was the last man rescued from the Ground Zero rubble and played by Nicholas Cage in the Stone film, is from Goshen. Tom will not hold his birthplace against him and is glad he’s alive. The caller is from Goshen and suffers a more unkind fate: GOMPed.
- "Jimbo" is the first caller to venture into a new segment called Lighthouse Confessions, a revealing take-off on HBO's Taxicab Confessions, but without the filth talk. Callers can divulge their deepest, darkest secrets under the anonymity that radio generously provides. "Jimbo" peers out into the beautiful, nighttime waters and smells the salty breeze as Tom sits in a big leather chair, illuminated by the glow of soft candlelight. Tom cuts through the idyllic imagery with a foghorn blast, signalling that it's time for "Jimbo" to start confessin'.
One night, Jimbo had just departed a three-year relationship and went to a bar. He looks over to see some lady snarling into her drink. After a few more drinks, she looks over and says, “You wanna get outta here?!” Lonely and dejected, Jim agrees to go to her nearby apartment. The place looks like Baghdad -- stuff turned over, clothes everywhere, a total mess suggesting that she was recently burglarized. The lights go out, and all he can see is her silhouette in the window. She’s disrobing; he’s a little nervous. He feels claws on his chest, and then WHAM -- she rolls him over, tears his shirt, rips his belt, and proceeds to scratch and ravish him. He should be in ecstasy, but he’s not. He lets out a yelp/scream. He's scared. “I can’t do this,” he says as he gets up. “Whaddya doing?,” the woman-beast asks. “Sorry, I can’t do it unless I’m in love,” Jimbo replies. “Oh, God!”, she says, flipping on the lights. “New York men.” Jimbo tries to explain that he's not a NY native, but since he's a current resident, the woman lumps him into the category anyway. He apologizes and flees the scene.
Tom throws Jimbo in the water with a Get Outta My Lighthouse (GOML).
- FOT Laurie calls (starts at 2:34) to revive the long-dormant FWD of the Week® feature by nominating the man-tanned, Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis for a month-long residency. Laurie has been beating the douche drum on the FOT board and was pushed over the edge by Claire Hoffman's recent L.A. Times expose. Laurie's assesment is that he's "kinda creepy", and Tom points out that she's severely understating the case against him. Hoffman punched Francis after he demonstrated a cop-like strongarm maneuver on her, though it remains unclear if she is the same pugilist who socked Francis in the eye, causing him to call the fire department.
Extreme douches like JF make the likes of the Aberzombie seem like relatively ok dudes. Tom approves the nomination.
- A very disoriented guy calls (starts at 2:36) and he can't recall his identity. He's also not sure how he managed to dial the show's number. Tom asks him where he is, and the caller thinks he's somewhere in Europe. Tom wonders why he can't check to confirm his location, but the caller starts talking about how he has to get back for the premiere. The caller hangs up before Tom could inform him that he's Trent L. Strauss, referring to the September premiere of The Tool Belt Killer.
Reeeeeecidivism: A popular online funzone and a damning affliction
- "Weedy" calls (starts at 2:37) to request a trial for Petey because he been "banned unfairly kind of." Tom tells Weedy to get Petey and then he'll turn it over to the listeners. Weedy bangs a drum and Petey takes the phone. Tom has a few True/False questions for his young friend.
1. Tom gave him his IM address and told him to be careful with it. TRUE.
2. All of a sudden, Tom starts getting IMs from somebody else. TRUE.
3. And the somebody in question got that IM address from Petey. PARTIALLY TRUE.
Tom demands further explanation for the answer to the third question. Petey says he was chilling at his house (Tom indicates that the use of "chilling" should yield a three-year banishment) on the computer when his two friends came over. One older friend is the bridge troll brother; the younger one is the bridge troll himself. The littler brother is kind of annoying, so he goes on the computer and takes a peek at Petey's Buddy List while Petey is getting them ice cream with cherries on top. He snatched the screen name, an act Petey does not think is his fault.
He admits that he should have been more protective of the Buddy List and thinks that the theft occurred because the troll was able to automatically log on with his asterisk’d, saved password. The troll just clicked Sign On, and the rest is history. He started bugging Tom and then lapsed into nastiness. Petey is not surprised by this behavior: "He’s a mean kid, Tommy.” Tom gives Petey 30 seconds to make his closing argument. Petey says that he shouldn’t be banned because he didn’t give out his screen name on purpose. So like instead of like first degree, it should be a third-degree punishment. He didn’t want it to happen. Tom turns the listening audience into the jury and 10 votes either way will end the proceedings.
1. Fred from Queens: Yo man, he’s Guilty, man. Petey says he loves that guy and finds him pretty funny.
2. Guilty: Petey is clearly negligent. As loyal supporters of the show, we should at least be able to respect The Kid’s safety and make him feel comfortable once a week for three hours.
3. Not Guilty: Petey is the highpoint of the show, which doubles as his Lighthouse Confession. He’s allowed to make mistakes as a youngster. GOMPed, but the vote stands.
4. Not Guilty: Assigns guilt to the bridge troll family and wants them jailed.
5. Not Guilty: Avid IM user who has had his Buddy Lists stolen. He did not like it when it happened, but does not feel he’s to blame. The caller believes that people use each other’s computers as readily as microwaves. Tom thinks the reasoning is stupid, but the vote counts.
6. Not Guilty: No reason given.
7. Guilty: Convinced of Petey's guilt, but disagrees with the overly harsh sentence. Tom agrees to reconsider it. He also points out that there's a bonehead name for what Petey is: recidivist.
8. Not Guilty: Uses IM all the time and does not know how to hide the Buddy List.
9. Guilty: Community service is offered as a potential punishment. Petey suggests volunteering at the station to lick envelopes. Tom prohibits any punishment that involves video game development (e.g., Level 9 of Atlin's Revenge). Petey seems to suggest that Tom's star status is at least partly to blame: “When you become above a person and you become an icon, there’s some things you can’t prevent, Tommy.” Tom rejects the notion and declares that Petey's house is out of order.
10. Guilty: No reason given. The caller appeared to be speaking in a fake British accent. Maybe it was Morrissey.
Not Guilty: Because Tom’s a punk. Tom disallows the vote, although Petey points out that punks are cool for going against society.
12. Guilty: Petey needs to keep on keeping on on his brother.
13. Guilty: We’ve all watched Petey grow up and mature with the show, and he needs a little time to continue his growth. Petey argues that he’s more mature than most listeners of the show. Touche.
14. Guilty: Petey left the Buddy List out in full view and was not careful.
15. Guilty: Petey was entrusted with the IM address, and he messed up.
Petey begins to sense his guilty fate, so he asks Tom if he's ever read the play A Man For All Seasons. Tom doesn't know what it is and is even less certain of what Petey means when he claims that the trial is like a journey of self-discovery. Petey notes that it's OCDJ's favorite play. Tom is not familiar with this person.
Tom gives Petey the option to plea bargain. If he reaches 10 guilty votes, Tom will decide the punishment. Petey can propose a punishment and settle out of court. He suggests volunteering at WFMU, but that's not good enough. Petey ups the ante by saying that he would get beaten by Ken Freeman while volunteering. Tom doesn’t want him beaten and thinks he should be volunteering for the station anyway. Petey explains that he can’t get down to JC because his Faffer is too "overprotecteb", even forbidding Petey walk down to the store. Tom comments on Petey's predilection for inserting errant "b's" into words to create his own goofball tongue. Petey says it's all an act inspired by Andy Warhol, with whom he shares an artistic kinship. Tom thinks that one thing Petey will have in common with Warhol is that they will be be non-existent on the show.
Petey offers to donate more money to WFMU. Tom rejects the monetary compensation since that is also already part of his standard duties supporting the station. Tom thanks Petey for his prior pledges. Petey tries a different approach in the form of writing personal letters of apology to every FOT. Tom says he doesn't want to do that; Petey thinks it might be fun. He offers to write Tom a letter, but Tom says that he's apologizing right now on the air. Petey thinks the listeners should come up with a sentence. Tom reminds him that there's still a chance he could run the gauntlet to his freedom.
16. Captain Jack votes Not Guilty: No reason given; Tom says that he lost his voting privileges due to a prior drug felony conviction, but counts it anyway.
17. The caller has a clarification question for the court: Was it immediately obvious it was Tom’s screen name? It was. Guilty.
That's it. By a final vote of 10-6, Petey is convicted on the charge improper handling of an IM address. Petey thinks it's like 12 Angry Men all over again, but Tom points out that the jury's deliberations are over and there's no Henry Fonda to save him.
A medley of potential punishments are discussed, including Petey suggestion that he could serve as Tom's envoy to the troll parents. Tom says it's over with them -- they made their bed and will have to sleep with their bad parenting. Tom also nixes the idea of Petey compiling the prize packs for the theme song contest winners because he doesn't want people to get shortchanged with an issue of The Mig replacing their proper loot. Petey says he would go to Kim's to get some good stuff to put in the packages.
Petey is grieving for what he's done and throws himself at the mercy of the court in an effort to get the ban reduced to six months. A caller suggests that Petey should work to save the podcast. Tom likes this idea and tells Petey that there are only 48 existing subscribers. Petey thinks the total is pretty goob since his podcast only has two. Tom says he would jump in front of a truck if Petey's podcast outdrew his podcast. Tom orders Petey to find creative ways to get people to subscribe. Tom will track the numbers and needs to see a spike in subscribers. In addition to that, Petey will have to devote an entire issue of The Mig to the bridge troll travesty. Petey claims he lacks the requisite amount of paper and says his readers are not interested in it. Tom says the audiences are the same. Petey disputes the overlapping and says that he can make it on his own as an independent publisher.
Petey is GOMPed to await the official sentence on the FOT board. After two days of careful consideration of all of the material facts in the case, Judge Tom Scharpling issued his final ruling on August 10, 2006 to complete the penalty phase of The Best Show vs. Petey Vol. 2. The terms of the punishment exhibit the fairness we've come to expect from Judge Scharpling, and they also give the young, remorseful recidivist a chance to flex his artistic muscles in a variety of formats: proper English radio oratory, literary prowess, creative marketing skills, and songwriting chops. However, the ruling was not without some controversy. Recidivism is still investigating the claims made by Shannon, Tom's stenographer, in the Newbridge Herald-Times Herald. She told the paper that when Judge Scharpling was drafting the official details of the sentence in his chambers, she heard a "whoosing" sound, followed by a "dull, low-impact thud." In addition to the auditory evidence, she says she retrieved some kind of paper "readout" containing unspecified data.
Can Petey rejuvanate his reputation and resume his place in the good graces of The Kid? Bobby thinks so:
"Son, you know it's possible to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you, and if that happens God will always believe in your own ability to mend your own ways." -- Bobby Dylban, recounting his father's wisdom at the 1991 Grammy Awards.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Petey dishes out some court-ordered King's English, Spike returns with a gruesome Orange Crate Confession, and Doctor Love takes over the studio after converting the WFMU Magic Factory into a Kiss-themed Bed & Breakfast Inn.
Tom's judicial duties didn't allow for enough time to spin the triumphant County Mounty outro, so here's something even better to take this recap home: