The Kingman of Comedy.
"I'm in the church and I’ve come / To claim you with my iron drum." -- John Cale, "Paris 1919"
"How did I not hear about this until yesterday? What rock have I been living under?" -- Tom wondering how he missed the Snakes on a Plane buzz
"Yeah, it did have its moments -- its moments of abject torture and its moments of just straight-up torture." -- Tom, making a few clarifications on a Clerks II review
"You’re a Dave Kingman of comedy." -- A caller comparing Tom to the erratic slugger
"Finally got convicted?" -- Tom, speculating on why Fred's going away
"I want nothing to do with Facebook." -- Tom, distancing himself from the social networking portal
"I’m somebody who’s suffered throughout my life with what is known as 'flagrant acne'" -- Tom, doing a spot for Proactiv skin care
"When you’ve puffed as tuff as I puffed the other day, it’s all a blur." -- Bryce on his inability to distinguish Elvis racing films
"You have no right to tell your child anything." -- Tom, noted baby expert, advising against outfitting a newborn with a Black Flag t-shirt
"I would be surprised if there was actually a human ever named Steve Grayson in all of time." -- Tom on the scientifically white Elvis character name in 1968's Speedway
"If money is no object, we won’t object." -- Anything, Inc's catchy slogan that also appears on mugs
"Look at me, dear sir, look at me!" -- Bradford Hottenstein, alerting Andrew Carnegie to an imminent unicycle plunge into a pile of horse excrement
"He needed that dough to keep those tanks a rollin'." -- Brian Hottenstein on why Hitler agreed to a 1940 fitness challenge with Pope Pius XII
"$78 million dollars buys a lot of silence. Even says that in Ye Olde Scripture." -- Brian Hottenstein on Anything, Inc's hush-hush, murderous recreation of Road House
"Pardon the pun, it’s a real stinker." -- Brian Hottenstein on the script for Dr. Reginald Spearmint and His Magical Fart Machine
"Well, I hope you don’t mind that toxic branding iron, then." -- Brian Hottenstein, warning Tom about Hot Rockin' Ronnie's assault on his bare buttocks
"I think you may want to get away from the starches." -- Tom recommends that the sluggish Eric from New Paltz lay off the tots
"I acted like I was making a pizza." -- Jimbo, on how he handled some aggressive romance in his latest Lighthouse Confession
"You wake up and you do work." -- Anne, on her daily homeschooling routine
"Follow our lead, we’re doing pretty good here with the words." -- Tom, advising New Zealand to cease referring to gasoline as "petrol"
Three For Tuesday Times Two:
( Click here to buy Anthology)
( Click here to buy Let's Active recordings)
A Sunny Day In Glasgow - "Game of Pricks" (Guided By Voices cover)
( Click here to buy The Sunniest Day Ever ep)
Annotated highlights of The Kid trying to do it all without "the invisible hand" holding it down on the other side of the glass:
I'm pleased to announce that Kern Pharmaceuticals is now the official sponsor of the Youse Are On Notice series. Before agreeing to the deal, I had a sit-down with Maurice Kern and several other Citizens for a True Democracy patriots, their furrowed brows obscured by thick plumes of cigar smoke. I'm pretty sure I saw one guy do a rail. In a nutshell, I was concerned that he had an alterior motive -- to seize a portion of the recaps to promote his right-wing political agenda. Mr. Kern assured me that I would "pretty much" be able to continue to put people on notice with "minimal corporate interference".
He also sweetened the deal by offering me a 30% discount on all Kern drugs and free samples of the first test runs of the new Chocolapocalypse, a 25-layer "dessert tower" made from Scharffen Berger dark chocolate, covered with a thick Dulce de leche glaze, surrounded by fudge-injected strawberries courtesy of The Fudge Tub, and topped with an edible Donald Rumsfeld figurine. The active ingredient is a retooled version of Cellumorph made with Splenda® and fermented orangutan urine. Hopefully Earl will remember to ship the requisite pre-consumption pills.
Kern Pharmaceuticals Presents: YAON #4
Phone Line Update: Tom received the new bill for the exclusive number, and he's going broke because the cost has soared to upwards of $3,700 for each call. Why so pricey? Because the high-end, solid-platinum cables cannot be strung along the standard phone lines. They also cannot be buried underground because they'd be stolen by cable trolls. Consequently, people line up in 20-foot increments to hold the cables from the Audioarts Engineering R60 mixing board all the way to the phone company.
- Tom heard about (starts at 24:09) the weirdest movie coming out this week. The film is called Snakes on aPlane, and it's title also serves as the premise and plot. Snakes. On a plane. That's it. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson (Loaded Weapon 1, Trees Lounge), who will fight these snakes. While on a plane. Hence the title. Tom thinks it's some kind of action film, but it also looks funny. He's intrigued and vows to find out more.
Listener Almighty Drew from Clifton calls (starts at 27:53) and wants to talk about SoaP. However, Tom wants him to first take a moment to let the concept truly sink in: Snakes. On a plane. Drew found out about the film by seeing the trailer before a Clerks II screening. He thought it looked terrible. Tom asks for his take on the latest Smith opus, and Drew seemed mixed, noting that it "had its moments." He's GOMPed. Tom agrees with everything he said except for his failure to note that it had moments of abject torture and also moments of just straight-up torture.
- Jeff in Middletown calls (starts 29:31) to point out that the reason SoaP looks so awful is that the filmmakers didn't even take it seriously. Tom wonders if it’s one of these Hot Shots! Part Deux spoof movies. Jeff’s not sure, but he does tell Tom about the film’s Internet backstory. Jeff says that an intense buzz erupted once people caught wind of the film's title floating around the blogosphere and movie news sites. Around the same time, Samuel L. Jackson heard about it and called the director to see if it was real. It was, and he wanted to star in it. It evolved into a giant, Internet-based phenomenon with the film's producers even using dialogue written by fans, not unlike the audience-feuled improv laffer, Whose Line Is It Anyway?. While he's not 100% sure about his infomation, Jeff mentions that Jackson supposedly refused to appear in the film if the title was changed. (Jeff's right -- at one point, the dull Pacific Air Flight 121 was considered).
Tom did not hear anything about it until yesterday and wonders what rock he's been living under. Jeff's surprised because news on the film has been circulating on the Internet for such a long time. To quote the God of Thunder from last week, it seems like Tom has not been in front of any media devices in the last year!
A model of consistency: Tom Scharpling is the Rip Hamilton of radio
- A caller (starts at 31:34) doesn’t give a “rat’s butt” about SoaP, but he does pretty much agree with Tom's assessment of Clerks II. In fact, he thinks the film is much like Tom's humor, which has a success ratio similar to Dave Kingman. The power-hitting Kingman amassed 442 home runs in his 16 years on the diamond, but will never get anywhere near the Hall of Fame due to a dreadful .242 lifetime average and 1,816 strikeouts. The caller believes that Tom, like Mr. Kingman, strikes out a lot, but does belt the occasional long ball. While he thinks Tom’s “fake stuff” like the Marky Ramone calls is “really nerdy", he praises Tom's ability to come up with concepts like the popular Build A Movie Game, where callers challenge Tom to cook up impromptu plots starring the likes of Manute Bol and Judd Hirsch. The caller thinks this stuff is hilarious, but ultimately dubs Tom a "Dave Kingman of comedy." Tom forcefully disputes the truthiness of the comparison.
- Fred calls (starts at 32:49) to warn Tom that he's going away, man. Tom wonders if he finally got convicted, but Fred says he is voluntarily leaving the country (probably to elude pending drug charges). Tom guesses that Fred is headed to Iraq, but he's going to Israel to visit his mother. Fred says she's been a resident of Israel her whole life aside from a two-week jaunt to the US. Fred grew up here, so Tom wants to know if he even knows his mother. Fred claims that he does and finds the question silly: "Do I know her? She's my mother, man." This, of course, raises a lot of questions, but Fred quickly shifts the conversation to a favor he needs from Tom. Before he departs for the Middle East, he wants Tom to do him a solid by playing his favorite song ever: Harry Nilsson's "The Beehive State" from Nilsson Sings Newman. He wants Tom to spin the record so that people will remember Fred. Tom actually pulled some Nilsson for the show, so he tells Fred he'll see what he can do. (He ended up meeting him halfway by playing "Me and My Arrow".)
Fred gets who he wants, not what he wants:
Emerson attendee David Cross, child brainiac Bob Odenkirk, and some Republican chat about college
- Chris from Basking Ridge (starts at 34:47) calls to tell Tom about the legions of obsessed SoaP fans matriculating at Emerson college, a notorious nerd haven in Boston. One of the school's sketch troupes, Zebro, even devoted an entire show to the crazy film. Chris also mentions the music contest that gave fans a chance to get their tunes on the soundtrack. Speaking of music, Chris thanks Tom for playing some John Cale in his opening set. He always expects the best from Tom, and Tom always delivers. Tom reminds him that he’s like Dave Kingman, only delivering the occasional home run. Chris is not sure who Kingman is, but he's certain that Tom’s better. Tom gives him a quick Kingman backgrounder, and Chris says that the show has been consistently top-shelf in the past year he's been listening. Chris concludes that Tom has no peers and the show is untouchable.
In addition to promoting the podcast to try to keep it alive, Chris started an FOT global group on Facebook. Tom’s working on a movie, which is a take-off on the just-released comedy, Accepted. In that film, a group of teens are frustrated by being rejected from so many colleges, so they create their own fake school. In Tom’s version, guys in their mid-40s start a college to get access to Facebook's stash of 20-year-old girls. Chris mentions that Facebook recently expanded to include work groups so corporate guys can now befriend drunk soriority girls. Tom decides he wants nothing to do with Facebook, and Chris will look into shutting it down.
John Cale - "Paris 1919"
- Tom has to take up some show time (starts at 40:04) to use the station's high-quality equipment to record a voice-over advertisement:
Hi, my name’s Tom Scharpling, and I’m a user of Proactiv skin care as well. I’m somebody who’s suffered throughout my life with what is known as “flagrant acne”, and it’s very embarrassing to be photographed, like I’m photographed, and to see the pictures in the paper and online, and my face looks like it exploded. So a friend of mine turned me on to the Proactiv skin care treatment program, and I gave it a shot. It’s a three-stage program and I instantly got results, and my skin cleared up right away. So I will stand behind the Proactiv skin treatment and let everyone know that if you’ve got flagrant acne, it’s a great way …
Tom stops because he thinks he sounds too much like an announcer. He's pretty sure that the Proactiv people preferred an "off-the-cuff", conversational feel. Tom needs to find out more about how he’s supposed to read the copy and will redo it at “a later date”, as they say in the industry. It probably wouldn't hurt to consult voice-over legend Kendrick Martin for some pointers. Or Kelly Clarkson!
- John in NJ calls (starts at 43:08) to let Tom know that The Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle recently spoke Tom's praises at a show in Seattle. Tom wants to hear every word of the singer's pro-Tom oratory. Darnielle talked about Tom’s conversation with The Gorch, incorporating “Yeah, and then I hit him with a chain" into his between-song stage banter. Tom will take the guy from The Mountain Goats over that Kingman chowderhead all the live long day. I think Darnielle should up the ante and sport the shirt at shows. Buy it here!
The Mountain Goats - "This Year"
- Tom says (starts at 45:44) that there will likely be another personal appearance after next week’s show. Last week’s event at The Exchange Place PATH Station was a raging success -- seven people came to ride the escalators up and down and up and down. While the attendance figure does not sound super-impressive, Tom was pleased that he gave the announcement and people heeded his call. As promised, Mike the Associate Producer gave out candy bars. Tom also got to meet loyal FOT T-Rocks and his two buddies. Due to the recent terror flare-up, Tom thinks a venue change may be required. He got the sense that PATH security were keeping a close eye on the group. It will look very suspicious if a cluster of people are seen aimlessly riding the escalators in a mass transit depot. The new meeting spot may be a diner, which would allow FOTs to feast on handburgers.
Aggressively caucasian: Mike McCoy (Elvis Presley) gets some advice on the big race.
- Tom launches (starts at 49:18) a quick, new game to serve as a bagatelle, a mere trifle to get the ball rolling for the show. It's also not for the faint of heart. Tom doesn't reveal the particulars until a caller is on the line to prevent players from poking around the Intronet for the correct answers. With the first player on the line, Tom provides the game's unwhitteable -- yet still quite catchy -- title: Elvis Presley Movie Character Names: Real or Fake. Tom believes that these scientifically white character names are the dumbest names in the history of anything. The rules of the game are simple: Tom provides a character name, and the player must determine if it’s legit or if Tom made it up.
NOTE: Tom thought the game would be a fun summer diversion, but declared it a flop at one point. During the show, Tom got in an email fight with a listener who thought the game was stupid and not interesting to the show's fanbase.
Player: (Name Unknown)
Character Name: Charlie Rogers
Answer: Real -- Roustabout (1964)
Bryce appears to be in good spirits, a state that he attributes to "puffin’ tuff". Tom is not familiar with the terminology, and Bryce is surprised that he’s never dropped PT on Tom in a prior convo. He tells Tom that they need to puff tuff together sometime. Bryce is strapped in and ready to play:
Character Name: Mike Simmons
Response: Real; thought it was the character from Change of Habit, but that was Dr. John Carpenter
Character Name: Mike McCoy
Response: Real; feels like he just saw it the other day.
Answer: Real -- Spinout (1966). Bryce thought it was the character from Speedway. The many Elvis racecar movies became a blur because of the amount of tuff puffs he did.
Character Name: Doug Whitehead
Response: “That can’t be real, man.”
Tom thinks Bryce is pretty good at the game, and Bryce thinks Tom should buy him some puffs to tuff as a reward for his skilled play. He wants to meet Tom behind the Lady Foot Locker at 1 a.m. for the drop-off. Tom can’t make it down there tonight, so Bryce offers to reschedule to tomorrow night because he’s pretty much there whenever. Bryce has taken up residency in the the Lady Foot Locker, building a hut out of old, discarded New Balance shoes. He wants Tom to guess what he does inside the hut. Tom correctly guesses puffs tuff and sarcastically suggests that it was difficult to come up with the correct answer. Bryce feels like Tom is being kind of a jerk. Tom’s say he's trying not to, but Bryce believes that he’s not trying hard enough because that’s how he’s coming off. Bryce becomes enraged, calls Tom a creep, and hangs up.
- A caller breaks up the Elvis game (starts at 55: 35) to ask Tom for some baby advice. (I assume Mike Healy recommended Tom.) The caller's wife is pregnant and due any day. Everyone is talking about giving the baby band t-shirts, such as Black Sabbath, Black Flag, Sonic Youth, and White Reign. While the parents like those bands, they aren’t sure if the newborn will enjoy them. Little-known fact: 78% of toddlers prefer Rollins-era Black Flag according to a recent study published in the August 2006 issue of the Newbridge Journal of Child Development. In the same issue, Tom has an interesting article called "The Art of the Lullaby: 15 Can't-Miss Hits To Soothe The Pain of Teething and Help Your Child Sleep Through The Night".
Anyhoo, the caller wants to know if they should push the clothing on the child. Tom doesn’t think he should push anything on the child because the child should make all of its own decisions. The caller’s wife also takes this position. Tom thinks that parents have no right to tell the child anything and should have no influence at all. The caller says that it sounds like Tom is suggesting that the parents have no teaching role in the child's life. Tom says that is correct -- unless the child explicity says "teach me", the parents should not make any attempts at education. The caller says his wife will be pleased to hear this, and Tom says that the child will be the scourge of us all if they follow his instructions.
Elvis Presley Movie Character Names: Real or Fake resumes:
Player: Dennis in Monticello, NY
Character Name: Scott Heyward
Response: [N/A] After saying, “Whatever question you got, throw it at me”, Dennis failed to respond. Dunce.
Player: Nick from Hattiesburg, MS
Character Name: Scott Heyward
Answer: Real -- Clambake (1967)
Character Name: Kurt Richards
Answer: Fake -- Tom made it up today
Character Name: Tom Wilson
Answer: Real -- also in Clambake (Scott Heyward switches places with a ski instructor named Tom Wilson so they can get a taste of each other’s lives)
Player: Brett in Austin, TX
Character Name: Vince Everett
Answer: Real -- Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Character Name: Greg Nolan
Answer: Real -- Live a Little, Love a Little (1968)
Player: Tommy in Basking Ridge
Character Name: Joe Lightcloud
Answer: Real -- Stay Away Joe (1968)
Character Name: Troy Rogan
Character Name: Guy Lambert
Answer: Real -- Double Trouble (1967)
Player: Bob in Middletown
Character Name: Roger Campbell
Player: John in Cedar Grove, NJ
Character Name: Toby Kwimper
Answer: Real -- Follow That Dream (1962)
Character Name: Ross Carpenter
Answer: Real -- Girls, Girls, Girls (1962)
Tom: “1962 was a good year for bad names in Elvis Presley movies.”
Player: Tom from Brooklyn
Character Name: Walter Hale
Answer: Real -- The Trouble with Girls (1969)
Character Name: Mike Edwards
Answer: Real - It Happened at the World’s Fair
Tom puts the game back in the toybox, but not before marveling at a few more examples of Elvis's extreme cinematic whiteness: Steve Grayson* (Speedway), Chad Gates (Blue Hawaii, and Jimmy Tompkins (Loving You).
*Tom would be surprised if anyone in human history actually had this name.
- Tom experiences some technical issues, which the caller (starts at 1:23) refers to as "phone tomfoolery". Tom explains that there are some glitches with the new phone system, and the caller finds it "fascinating". The caller claims that he wasn’t being sarcastic at all, but Tom's not so sure. The caller doesn’t want to get off on the wrong foot, so Tom cleans the slate and they start over with a more cordial introduction.
It’s Brian Hottenstein, calling to check on Tom’s availability to appear in a photo spread for a Rolling Stone article called “DJ Nation". The article will highlight the best and most happening radio DJs in the country. Tom's up for it. Brian wants to know much Tom wants for appearing in the photo shoot. Tom didn’t think people got paid for that. Brian said that normally you don’t receive any compensation, but he then explains the concept of the picture. Tom will appear in a photo with another DJ -- Mr. Ronald “Tex” Fuqua from FM 103 in El Paso, TX. Tom knows Fuqua, who often uses the moniker "Hot Rockin’ Ronnie". In the picture, Fuqua will be applying an “HRR” brand into one of Tom’s bare buttocks. Tom wonders why.
Brian says the caption for the picture will read: “Hot Rockin’ Ronnie Fuqua takes down another lame DJ: WUFM DJ, Tom “The Squid” Scharpling." Tom thinks the text is inaccurate for 100 reasons. He doesn’t believe that Fuqua’s taking him down in reality -- their rivalry is a thing of the past because he’s fallen off the map. Tom also wants to know why Rolling Stone would want to write about a DJ from El Paso. Brian says that everybody has their price, and that Mr. Fuqua is paying the magazine $200,000 to run the piece. Tom bills the piece as a “fake article”, but Brian prefers not to use that term. Fuqua has money to burn after inheriting $500,000 from an uncle who just croaked. With that kind of cash, anything is possible when you hire Anything, Inc., a company that Brian co-owns. Tom thinks it’s some kind of PR firm, but Brian explains that they provide facilitators who make things happen. Brian reveals the company motto: “If money is no object, we won’t object.” Tom thinks it’s catchy; Brian says they also print it on mugs.
Tom doesn’t understand why he’s repping Fuqua for a magazine spread, but Brian says that he wants to make it happen and that’s what they do. Brian mentions some other things that Anything, Inc. can make happen:
* The production of 100 copies of the new Thom Yorke album with full artwork on eight-track tape.
* Reconfiguring your den into an exact replica of your junior-high locker room complete with shower, locker, urinals, and your actual gym coach.
* Removing somebody’s appendix even though you’ve had no medical training at all.
* Going camping for a month in the Alaskan wilderness with Henry Winker, Maya Angelou, and Ace Frehley.
Tom wants to know how they make these things happen since they sound like elaborate projects. Brian repeats the company's guiding principle: everyone has their price. They’ve already completed the transfer of Yorke's The Eraser to eight-track cassette. A store in Tokyo that specializes in eight tracks ordered 100 copies, and each tape cost $700 to manufacture. Tom thinks it sounds extremely expensive, but Brian says that if you’re into it, it’s totally worth it since "it’s only money." Brian facilitated this just like his great grandfather intended them to do it.
Bradford Hottenstien started the company in 1902. In a nutshell, he was a poor day laborer working on Andrew Carnegie’s estate in Pittsburgh. One day, he overhead Mr. Carnegie tell a friend how joyous it would be to watch a grown man dressed as a young boy ride a unicycle into a massive pile of horse excrement. Carnegie noted that he would pay $100 to witness the spectacle. Bradford leapt at the opportunity because he was a go-to guy. If he felt it, he did it. Bradford snuck off the grounds, knocked a passing man off a unicycle, mugged a young boy walking home from school, and took his clothes.
Brian asks Tom to imagine Mr. Carnegie’s surprise when he heard his great-grandfather’s voice coming from the stable area: “Look at me, dear sir, look at me!” At this point in his life, Mr. Carnegie felt that walking was beneath him, so he was carried to the stable area and placed about 10 feet from the massive pile of horse dung, which was about to be used as fertilizer. When Bradford came riding out on the unicycle and dove headfirst into the pile, Mr. Carnegie is said to have collapsed in a fit of laughter. From there on out, Bradford was Mr. Carnegie’s go-to guy. Mr. Carnegie also requested additional facilitations, such as eating a salad made of pages from a rare version of the King James Bible and watching Wilbur and Orville Wright pilot an exact replica of their plane made out of mazipan. Bradford passed his go-gettiness down to his son, who passed it down to his son, who passed it down to Brad, who now runs Anything, Inc.
Brian mentions another landmark facilitation that his great grandfather did for Ty Cobb. In 1926, Cobb hired him to engineer an incredible event. In a flight of whimsical fancy, the wealthy Cobb decided that he wanted to see a zeppelin filled with strawberry preserves collide with a zeppelin filled with whipped cream while they flew in the airspace above a regulation, minor league baseball field (with a game about to be played on it) made of sponge cake. The zeppelins exploded, and the entire contents spilled out to create the world’s biggest strawberry shortcake.
This successful event was one of Bradford’s claims to fame, but not the only one. In 1940, Howard Hughes hired the company to stage a fitness challenge between Adolph Hitler and Pope Pius XII. Tom thinks that Hitler was too busy to participate at this time, but Brian reminds Tom that everybody has a price. Brian explains that Hitler "needed that dough to keep those tanks a rollin'." Tom’s horrified that Anything, Inc. would accept Hitler's money, but Brian corrects him -- the company paid Hitler on behalf of Mr. Hughes. The competition events included pull-ups, push-ups, an obstacle course, rope climb, and sit-ups. Brian says that truth be told, both Hitler and Pope Pius XII were terrible. Hitler earned a $2 million payday, and the Pope got $1.5 million, although he thought that he got the same as Hitler. Tom thinks it’s disgusting. Brian says that what’s odder is that it was filmed. Tom wonders why he’s never heard of it before. Brian explains that the lone copy was cremated with Hughes when he died.
Brian goes out on a limb and bets that Tom thinks the last show the four original Beatles played together was on the rooftop of the Apple building in London on 1/30/69. Tom does believe this was their final performance. It wasn’t. Tom’s somewhat of a Beatles buff and says it was clearly their last show. Brian says that Tom’s one of the people on the outside. Brian instructs Tom to strap himself in and prepare to have his mind blown.
In 1978, a Montana billionaire contacted the company to offer $30 million to reform The Beatles for his son’s wedding. The band accepted and played for two hours on a tiny bandstand in an old VFW hall in Butte. Tom doesn’t believe it. Brian doesn’t have it, but one tape does exist. Brian said they sounded pretty good playing Gerry Raferty’s “Baker Street”. Tom's baffled by that song selection, and Brian points out that per the son’s instructions, they only played covers of current songs. They also played Boston's "Don’t Look Back”, an incredibly slow version of Bruce Springsteen's "Something In The Night", and rocked the hardest on Toto's "Hold The Line". Brian was in the room with the man who was playing the tape, but could not make a copy because it would upset the Earth’s axis if it ever got out.
Speaking of things that must be kept on the QT, Brian told Tom that Anything, Inc. just completed two of their biggest undertakings. Microsoft's Bill Gates has always been bothered by his puny, non-imposing physical presence. He plays it like it's not a big deal, but Brian assures Tom that it is. Gates is also a huge fan of Road House, and he hired Anything, Inc. to make him the star of the film. They didn’t film it, but Gates lived it. They bought some land in Idaho and recrated the town in the film. They also hired Sam Elliot, Patrick Swayze, Red West, and Jeff Healy to reprise their roles. John Doe was not available due to his touring schedule, so they replaced him with Bill Bateman, the drummer for The Blasters. Brian notes that he was a pretty good actor.
All of the extras had to live there for the duration of the month-long event, and Brian explains that the atmosphere was less like a movie set and more like a fully-functioning town. The actors had jobs and went to supermarkets, but always had to be in character in case Gates showed up to bully them. Gates played Brad Wesley, Ben Gazzara’s bad guy character, and eventually rolled into town in huge pick-up truck that he drove through a car dealership that Anything, Inc. had set up. On the final day, it all went down in a battle between Gates and Swayze, and it ended the opposite of how it played out in the movie. In the restaging, Mr. Gates killed all the good guys. Tom thinks it’s creepy and wonders what “kill” entails in this elaborate recreation. Brian asks Tom three questions that provide some hints:
1. Have you seen Red West in anything lately?
2. Have you seen any tour dates for The Jeff Healy Band?
3. When was the last time your heard one of those commercials that had Sam Elliot doing his deep voice stuff?
Tom admits that it’s been awhile since he's seen or heard these things. Brian says that the Road House recreation occurred three months ago. While he doesn't explicity say it, the clear suggestion is that these men are dead. Tom wants to know how murder could be allowed, and Brian returns to his familiar refrain about the power of money: “78 million dollars buys a lot of silence.” Brian thinks that this sentiment is even expressed in Ye Olde Scripture.
While this snuff romp was not filmed, Anything, Inc. did film something recently. Brian asks Tom is he recalls the story of the three Indiana factory workers who won a $450 million lottery last year. Tom remembers it, and Brian tells him that Kenny, one of the lucky winners, contacted the company about a film script he wrote. The film is called Dr. Reginald Spearmint and His Magical Fart Machine. Brian said it was not good by any means, and while excusing his pun, declares it a "real stinker."
In a nutshell, it’s about a man named Todd who can’t pass gas, and it ruins his life because he can’t get any relief. One day, he tries to get it happening by eating a can of baked beans, but they are rancid, and he passes out. The next thing he knows, he’s in an underground bunker with a Wizard of Oz-ish guy hovering over him. He straps Todd into a weird contraption that passes gas for him. It changes his life for good, and Todd starts entering contests, eventually becoming a champion gas passer. Brian describes the film as Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory meets the Descendents' Enjoy album.
Kenny wanted it Filmed masterpiece style with Tak Fujimoto as the cinematographer, John Williams doing the score, and three co-directors: Brian DePalma, Marty Scorcese, and Francis Ford Coppola. The directors would not each take an act -- all three would simultaneously direct the entire film. It would be one movie with three massive thumprints -- DePalma's trademark split-screens, Scorcese's reverse zooms, and Coppola's product placement promoting his wines. Brian reveals the impressive cast:
Jim Carrey .......... Todd
Rene Zellwegger .......... The girl Todd wants to impress with his flatulence ability
George “The Animal” Steele .......... Dr. Reginald Spearmint
Robert DeNiro .......... Ratticus, Dr. Spearmint’s half-man / half-pig henchman
GG Allin .......... The Evil Mr. Smear
Mr. Smear has the opposite problem that Todd had. Tom doesn't require any more details. Tom points out that GG Allin has been dead for years, but Brian says that his character was CGI’d into the film. He also notes that he looks better in the film than he did just before he passed on. Tom’s not surprised since he looked terrible before his death. Brian asks Tom if he saw his last show at The Gas Station. Tom wasn’t there, but Brian's nephew, Ricky, was there and punched GG in the shoulder. GG responded by kissing him. Below the belt.
The film features a great battle of the bands scene involving Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers going up against Agnostic Front. Those two bands got through the preliminary rounds, but due to a tie in the voting, they have to play each other's songs in a final contest. Agnostic Front does a thrash version of "Don’t Do Me Like That", while Petty does a folky version of "United Blood". Then, they all jam on a song written especially for the film by Elvis Costello and Burt Bacharach. The onomatopoetic title of the song is "FFFFFT". Tom thinks Kenny is insane for coming up with the film project. Brian says he exhausted all but $1 from his lottery winnings and is still looking for distro. People are not drawn to the story despite the top-tier cast. Kenny is currently trying to hit up the other lottery winners to pony up come cash to get the film released into theaters.
Tom tries to wrap up the chat, but Brian wants to know more about the backstory of Mr. Fuqua. Tom says he’s kind of a washed out DJ, and Brian says he seems like a real dink. Fuqua keeps calling Brian "son" in conversations and he hates it. Brian offers Tom some potential facilitations that could eliminate Fuqua. For $85,000, Anything, Inc. could render Fuqua immobile and Tom could deliver the final, killing blow. Tom has no interest. Brian tries to rile Tom by saying that Fuqua called him a "total girl", said he has stinkbreath, and claimed that he requires the aid of a night light to sleep due to recurring nightmares about being chased by Danielle Spencer -- Dee from What’s Happening. This is news to Tom. Fuqua said that in the dream, she’s trying to chase Tom down to give him a hand massage.
For a cut rate of $40,000, Tom would have to chase Fuqua down, but their guy will render him immobile. The event would be shot on VHS instead of DVD. Tom would get the only tape, but he passes. Brian tries one more time with a $10,000 faciliation. In this version, Tom chases down Fuqua, they knock him out, and Tom delivers the final blow. They will tape it on audio cassette, but they can make copies for their own enjoyment. Tom passes, saying he's not interested in killing anyone.
Brian says that he hopes Tom doesn't mind a toxic branding iron. Tom’s not sure what he means. Brian is referring to Fuqua's "HRR" branding iron that will mark his buttocks and cause poison to seep into his body. Tom says that he won’t agree to work for them, but Brian says he already has due to speaking to him over the phone. Brian is calling from Aruba, so Tom’s voice has reached Aruban soil. Tom’s asks if Aruba law stipulates that a phone conversation is a legitimate business contract, and Brian says it's "Aruban" law, calling Tom a dunce. Tom has violated Aruban law. Brian pities him; Tom welcomes the charges. Brian assures him that the smokin' branding iron will leave a toxic impresson on his bare buttocks. Tom looks forward to him trying anything, and Brian says he’ll be there tomorrow with HRR in tow. Tom says it’s not the first time he’s been threatened, and Brian says it will probably be the last threat because his death is forthcoming.
- Convicted Best Show felon Petey calls (starts at 1:54), and Tom makes him recount his crimes and the terms of his resulting sentence. As per one of the terms in the sentence, Petey is making an effort to speak the King's English, but admits that it's difficult. Tom gives him the go-ahed to give listeners a quick taste of the Petey voice for a comparison. Petey claims that he has the Bob Dylan-styled protest song ready to go, but Tom GOMPs him before he can perform it. It was probably for the best. I think Petey should take more than a week to craft this crucial composition.
- Larry the Perv calls (starts at 1:56) to sincerely apologize for not calling recently. He was away on an unplanned trip with a buddy who was about to get married. The buddy's fiancee apparently sent them on the jaunt, and I couldn't make sense of the rest of Larry's low-energy, marble-mouthed tale. I think he said something about the gal not showing up to to the wedding, there. Tom requests some stories from the trip, and Larry says that he met Cheers star Rhea Perlman at a mall. He confirms that she’s as small in person as she is on television. Larry also has some big news -- he's thinking about pursuing college. His attempts at amateur porn production are not working out, and he thinks the reason is his lack of experience and skills in production and directing. He plans to study filmmaking so he can make his own erawtic films. He also wants people to check out his Myspace page, but thankfully Tom cuts him off before he can drop the URL.
- Dan in CT calls (starts at 2:17) to ask Tom if he's a fan of Ted Leo and the DC Snipers. Tom is a fan of both musical acts. Dan then assumes that Tom will attend the South Street Seaport FREE show on Friday, August 25th. Tom says he is not scheduled to attend. Dan’s going but is having trouble getting his friends to go. It sounds like fun to Tom, who wants to know what time the show will start. Dan says it begins at 6 p.m., and Tom declares that he will be there. He asks Dan if he’ll be there, but Tom has to let him go before he responds.
- Shelley O’Doul from Staten Island calls (starts at 2:18) after a long day at woik, a pronounciation he picked up from John Fogerty. Tom recommends that he wind down with a stroll to Hylan Boulevard to grab some ice cream at Sedutto's. Shelley is under the false impression that Sedutto's is his favorite calzone place. He wants to request a song, and Tom assumes it will be a selection from the New York Dolls catalog. In fact, Shelley wants an early-week spin of "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)", the workingman's Friday night anthem by The Boss.
Tom wants Shelley to talk up the record as it plays underneath the chatter. As he begins to explain his love for the song, Neil Diamond’s "Porcupine Pie" is heard. Tom explains that somebody recorded over the Bruce CD with a live Neil Diamond track. The song doesn’t do it for Shelly. The Bruce song raises his spirits after hard day of labor as a plumber, as well as his duties for the Trustees of the Trash organization. Tom is more into "Porcupine Pie" than anything Shelley has to say and begins singing the new workingman’s anthem. Just a hunch: Shelley is a BIG Rescue Me fan.
- Keith in California calls (starts at 2:23) to support his candidacy for Tom's 1500th Myspace friend. His profile currently lacks an image, which implies prevert status to Tom. Keith was unable to upload a picture of himself with Alex Trebek because the Myspace servers were too busy. During the call, Tom gets a request from Anne, but since she’s 14, she can’t be Tom’s 1500th. Tom declares Keith the frontrunner.
- A caller from Brooklyn drops (starts at 2:24) a telltale opening line: “Yo, what’s up, man, this is um Ronnie Goldstein calling.” Tom takes the "um"-based pause as a clear indicator of fakery, but the caller insists that it's his real name. He requests Blondie's "Rapture", and thinks that Tom probably heard of him from his days in the 1980s as “Rappin’ Ronnie Goldstein”. Tom hangs up on him: “Yuck. I build it, they ruin it.” In Mr. Goldstein's defense, I have a vague memory of someone by that name appearing in Colin Quinn's 1989 MTV special, Going Back to Brooklyn.
- Eric from New Paltz returns (starts at 2:27) with another for another dose of lethargy, revealing that he is the man behind the Myspace friend request from Hot Tots. He picked the name due to his love of tater tots, which he consumed tonight with a Stubb's barbecue dipping sauce. Tom thinks he needs to lay off starchy foods to increase his energy. He believes that he's worthy of being Tom's 1500th Myspace friend because the other callers have been anemic, a charge that shocks Tom. He thought Tom could make him a signature friend to make up for always mocking him after he hangs up. Tom will add him, but not at 1500. Eric yawns; Tom tells him to go back to bed.
- A caller (starts at 2:29) is trying to figure out what the show is after hearing the Ronnie Goldstein call as he flipped around the dial. Tom tells him it's a community-based talk program that discusses local issues and solicits opinions from state senators, congressmen, and omsbudsmen. He thinks Tom has a very interesting voice, invoking the silent power of Jon Stewart or Al Franken. Tom will take the vocal comparisons, but GOMPs him.
- Rich calls (starts 2:31) shortly after busting his 19-year-old son and his friend for pranking the show. Tom tells him that the show is not playtime or a goofball zone for kids to vent their weird rage. It's a professional radio program. Tom tells Rick that it is well within his means to punish his son for the transgression. Tom recommends one of his favorite violent reprisals: picking out a switch from the backyard and using it to whip his son 50 times across the face. Rich declines, saying, “He’s ugly enough.” Tom's taken aback at the derogatory quip about his son's appearance and compares Rich to the tough dad in Rudy. Tom wants to know what his son can do to win his love. Rich says he can win it by going back to school in California, which he will do in a couple of weeks. Rich is not sick of him, but says that his son is restless from being home, which causes him to resort to making prank calls.
Rich says he will miss him, but Tom points out that he apparently has no problems zapping him on the air. Tom suspects that deep down under the gruff exterior, Rich is not so tough. Rich says his son is a good kid who earned a respetacle a 3.4 GPA for the last school year. Tom thinks he should tell him that instead of taunting him on the radio so others can laugh at him and create websites dedicated to lampooning him. During the call, Rich's feelings about his son swing on the pendulum from angry to sad, and Tom wants some answers: "Why the hate, Pops, why the hate?” Rich begins to explain by saying, “Listen, I gotta put it to you this way", an opening line that Tom compares to Alec Baldwin's tough talk in Glengarry Glen Ross. Tom adheres to the ABG principle and dismisses Rich: Always Be GOMPing. Tom will pick a switch and whip both father and son with it. A beating for two generations!
- Jimbo in Bushwick calls (starts at 2:35) for another confessional climb up the lighthouse in the second installment of the hot breakout feature, Lighthouse Confessions. Jimbo has another sordid tale about an encounter with a woman in the New York night (I'm beginnng to wonder if these are “Lighthouse Confessions” or Red Shoe Diaries):
On a nice night a few weeks ago, Jimbo was walking down the street in midtown NYC. He spotted a curvy, drunk blonde who was stumbling all over the street. He asked her if she needed a hand because she was all over the sidewalk and people were looking at her. She was either drunk and/or on something. They started walking in the same direction, and she put her arm on his. He tried to be a nice guy by escorting her to safety. They walked for about 10 blocks. Jimbo said, “Well, I better get going", and she responded by asking him if he wanted to stop for a drink. Since he didn’t have anything else better to do, he went into a bar where the drummer for The Little Killers works. She gave Jimbo a look that said “What the hell did you bring into this bar?” Jimbo had a drink and then played pool with the blonde and another couple. The blonde starts talking about how the guy they were playing pool with smells like a hamster cage within his earshot. She wasn’t slurring her words, but seemed a bit messed up. She was playing surprisingly well at the billiards table, but also stepped on Jimbo’s feet and spilled her drink. Jimbo speculates that she was on some kind of pills due to her glassy eyes. Jimbo did not approve of the insult.
Her tells her that he’s going to leave, and she requests that he walk her home. He walks her home, which is only a block away. She asks him if he’s going to come up. Against his better judgement, he proceeds. She hands him a 22-ounce Colt 45. It’s now around 11:30 p.m. Jimbo is standing there and he takes two sips before she grabs his wrist like a bear trap snapped on it. She shoves his hand into her chest. She’s trying to get romantic, massaging it in there. He acted like he was making a pizza. He felt awkward and just looked at the floor. She said, “That’s it, get outta here.” Jimbo looked up to see an ice-cold dagger look in her eyes.
Tom concludes Jimbo just wants love, not trashy hook-ups. Jimbo decides that he's going to stay in the lighthouse for a while to avoid getting into more trouble on the mean streets of NYC. I think this is a very wise move. I haven't heard about anyone being led this easily astray since Reverend Ken Miller from Newbridge Episcopalian followed a dog into Adult Mania. Tom may hire Jimbo as a lighthouse keeper, and if Jimbo ever sees Cpt. Jack, he will switch off the lighthouse so he'll remain lost at sea.
- Tom's Myspace friend tally has been sitting pretty at 1499 all night. There is no greater honor than being picked for signature numbers. The contenders for Tom's luxurious 1500th friend have been less than stellar: the Wellington Ladies Welfare League, something yucky called The Saturday Afternoon Beef Club, a UK band called Geese, and the previously noted Hot Tots and the pictureless Keith from California.
Anne calls (starts at 2:44) because she heard that she was denied due to being only 14. Tom reviews her request and is pleased that she has her profile set to private. Tom is willing to reconsider her candidacy and wants to know about her grades. Anne doesn’t have grades because she’s home-schooled. Tom wants to get a sense of her average day, and Anne describes a simple routine: “You wake up and you do work.” Her mom tutors her, and Anne thinks she's a pretty good teacher. The primary differences between being at home versus school is that Anne eats more since she avoids dumb school lunches and learns Latin.
The only thing she regrets is that she misses the social interaction with her friends, but she meets people in other parts of her life, such as her volunteer work at the library. When she grows up, Anne wants to pursue writing and reading, perhaps in a career as a fiction editor. The last book she read was Joan Bauer's Road Trip (my research reveals that the book is actually called Rules of the Road), which is not novelization of the movie Road Trip. Anne enjoyed the book, which revolves around a girl with an alcoholic father. She's also really good at selling shoes, so the head of a company chooses her to be her driver. This opportunity allows her to meet all kinds of people who help her out in her life.
In additon to shelving books, Anne helps out with the activities for the younger kids, such as tie-dyeing demos. They also have book bingo -- instead of the traditional numbers, they call out characters from children’s books whose pictures are featured on the cards. Tom wants to guess some.
Tom's guess: See Spot Run: The SST Story Wrong. Anne reminds Tom that these are characters from children’s books, such as Clifford and Where The Wild Things Are, not non-existent bios of independent rock producers and labels.
2. Ms. Frizzle
Tom's guess: Ms. Frizzle’s Wild Adventure. Anne doesn’t know the answer. (It's The Magic School Bus)
3. Frog and Toad
Tom's guess: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Wrong. It’s from the Frog and Toad series. I think these two were also Mother 13 roadies who slid to their deaths from Mt. Everest.
4. Mother Goose
Tom's guess: Mother Goose. Correct. Anne explains that the character names are all pretty much the title names as well.
The kids at the library range from kindergarten age up through sixth graders. Anne says that some of them engage in Peteyesque goofball talk. Things are looking good for Anne, who reveals that she has 79 Myspace friends. She discovered The Best Show via her brother, whose hero may or may not be Tom. Anne's been listening for about six months and her favorite caller is Philly Boy Roy. Tom’s heard enough -- Anne becomes his 1500th friend because she’s a good kid. She spends time at the library instead of hanging out in the parking lot of the 7-11 reading skateboard magazine like some hooligan. If those kids come into the library and fool around in the children’s room, Anne will alert an adult, who will toss them. Anne thanks Tom for the great honor. I hope Anne keeps listening and calls again. She's kind of like a female version of August, but with more confidence.
- Tom Riley from New Zealand calls (starts at 2:52) for the first time since the days when Tom was threatening to jump to Sirius Satellite Radio before the deal fell through. Riley was sorry to hear about that, but got a warm feeling when he was able to find him on the Internet. He assumes that all listeners around the world felt the same way. Riley is a bit uneasy about living in the constant fear of a looming economic recession in NZ. He's trying not to bite his nails too much, and Tom says he may have to cash out all those rare The Clean records, putting the "Tally Ho" single up for sale on eBay. Riley said he has already said goodbye to his good NZ records. It's 3 p.m. and sunny in NZ, and the call is giving Riley a break from his work day. He's been away for a few months in Christchurch, so he’s been unable to keep up with the show, but now he’s back in Aucklund. Tom tells him that’s why God made archives. He wants to know more about the origins of Lighthouse Confessions, and Tom tells him that it's based on Taxicab Confessions, but switched to the even more private lighthouse to avoid a lawsuit.
Riley wants to know if Steinberg ever came back after he choked on that pickle. Tom says he came back one time, but is currenly MIA. He can confirm that he's alive -- just not alive and well. My guess is that Steinberg's absence can be explained with two words: payotay relapse. Riley will try to ease the sting of the recession by driving a diesel station wagon. Aucklund is one of the largest cities in the world, but everyone is spread out and isolated. He has a long drive to visit his mother, so he will try to cut back on the petrol costs with the fuel-efficient vehicle. Tom doesn’t know what petrol is or why they call that. Riley explains that it's New Zealand for gasoline, and Tom thinks that the country should follow the American lead with words. Riley says it's a three-hour drive to Australia and once you get there, you often wonder why you bothered. Tom asks Riley about the New Zealand vs. Australia football battles, which are always won by the Aussies. Tom ends the call with a flurry of Flying Nun references, suggesting that members of The Puddle (George Henderson) and the Tall Dwarfs (Alec Bathgate) were now professional footballers for New Zealand. Before hanging up, he asks Riley to say hello to Greg Ham.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Jimbo confesses to an tryst in the custodial closet with a wayward mermaid he discovered while cleaning up the lighthouse grounds, a caller declares Tom the "Jon Koncak of free-form", and Eric from New Paltz delivers a riveting performance that he attributes to a rendezvous with "The White Lady".
I haven't heard The Beatles' cover, but I can't imagine it topped the original: