Fox-Dog Sacrifice Brings The Flood.
"I’m ready for a fight, where’s my championship robe?" -- Tom, staking early claim to a "W" by converting the studio into a 107-degree gym
"You can’t get no thrills out of life?" -- Tom wondering why J. in Seattle is doing rails with his FOT membership card
"You had them all in one place, U.S. government. I thought you had festivals like that as a way to ferret out the no-goodniks." -- Tom on a missed opportunity to sterilize Brooklyn street filth at the Atlantic Antic
"Hey, everybody, just call me Dickie Z! Hey, what happened to my stuff? I thought you didn’t get picked on in college." -- Dickie Z, getting a rude awakening on his first day in the cutthroat world of higher education
"If you’re at Rutgers, you already got eaten." -- Tom, informing Sheldon about his masticated matriculation
"A nice neighborhood is an orderly neighborhood." -- Keith Kincaid, Tom's nosy new neighbor, on his philosophy for Natas Acres
"I bag it, and then I bag the bag, and then I bag that bag, and then I bag that bag." -- Keith Kincaid, explaining his quad-bagging process
"I almost kind of threw up in my mouth." -- Keith Kincaid on seeing Tom's living room littered with old newspapers
"Hail the Dark Lord." -- Keith Kincaid, leaving Tom with a mysterious sign-off
"Lemme just say it’s all you need to go skiing." -- Keith Kincaid, giving Tom a hint about what Werner put under his pillow
"It’s a great story; it makes you feel good, just like the music of Necroczar." -- Keith Kincaid on his favorite film, Cocoon
"You’re not going to that meeting, are you?" -- Tom wondering if August will attend the Church of Satan Fun Fair
"I don’t get most of your references, I’m sorry." -- August, after snapping a bit at Tom for comparing his films to the work of Errol Morris
"It is high … it is far … it is … caught by Reed Richards." -- John Sterling, thinking he was about to announce a Yankees home run
"If you don’t mind, I’m going to Escape from this call." -- Tom, defeating "Neil Schon" in a Journey reference-off
"I would show enough of my talent to be amazing at sports." -- Tom on his approach to being a superhero
"I think that’s a great move, and I don’t think it will be embarrassing in the slightest." -- Tom on Elton John’s proposed hip-hop record
"Rrrrrr ... Hulk go down on strikes. Hulk say that was outside." -- The Incredible Hulk, the Dave Kingman of superheroes
"The guy's got a forearm like Popeye and he wears Old Spice." -- Evan from Montclair on casino worker Pete Rose
"The world's going to HELL IN A HANDBASKET!!!!" -- A character in a Paddy Chayefsky film yells about the impending doom
Lupe Fiasco - "Daydreamin'"
( Click here to buy Food & Liquor)
River City Tanlines - "Shoot The Eye Out!"
( Click here to buy I'm Your Negative)
The Minders - "Don't You Stop"
( Click here to buy Never Hear The End Of It)
Deerhoof - "Running Thoughts"
( Click here to buy The Runners Four)
Annotated highlights of a show that came in like a lion and went out like a cougar that ate the lion that came in:
I'm getting sick of dealing with the increasingly maniacal Maurice Kern, so I'm looking for a new sponsor for the Youse Are On Notice series. Mr. Kern has been hounding me with bizarre directives like "put down your crack pipe and round up a few terrorists, son." I've tried explaining that I only do the occasional rail -- just like the President -- but it's no use. He doesn't listen! For the record, I have never enlisted my FOT card to aid drug use. However, I did once snort some West Baltimore marching powder off of Tom's autographed picture. I was helping Werner and Rutager test out a new package they received from a guy named Marlo. Really top-shelf stuff -- Werner's already re-upped three times. Anyway, I'm talking to some Newbridge businesses (e.g., Go Glimb A Rock, The Love Nest, and Muffler Village) so hopefully a sponsorship deal can be worked out soon. Until then, Kern Pharmaceuticals Presents: YAON #8
- Tommy from L.A. finds it weird to be calling (starts at 26:42) when it's still light outside. Tom trips up by asking him if he’s normally from the West Coast. He meant to say East Coast! Tommy tells him not to worry, and Tom’s not sweatin' it because it’s just one word that has three of the same letters. All he had to do was switch a “w” for an “a” and he was back in business. Tommy wants to know Tom’s favorite Motown group, and he says it’s probably DJ Shadow, who he played in his opening set. Tommy’s faves are either The Temptations or The Spinners. Tom recommends heading over to Amoeba to buy some Spinners stuff. Tommy is excited that Tom’s been there because he rates it as the best music store he’s ever visited, even better than the Princeton Record Exchange. Tom’s top pick is Sam Goody, followed by Vintage Vinyl, and then Amoeba. Tom’s one criticism of Vintage Vinyl is their stash of “filthy metal” with monochromatic cover art. Tom thinks some nice blue and green hues could produce appropriately scary imagery, such as a monster’s fangs. Tommy got Freedom of Choice really cheap at Vintage Vinyl, and while it wasn't remastered, it was still wholesomely good.
Tommy left NJ to attend college in La La Land so he could get into film. Tom wants to know what film he’s trying to get into and wonders if they have Moviefone out there. Tommy clarifies that he’s interested in getting an education in film production, not just attending screenings. He was originally focusing on animation, but he’s switching over to the film curriculum. His two favorite directors are Michael Mann and Robert Altman, but he’d rather be a producer since they don’t have to come up with any creative ideas and can still make a lot of money. Tom annoints him a producer who has what it takes to succeed in showbiz. Tommy will call with an update on his cinematic adventures when he returns to New Jersey during the Thanksgiving break. Tom can’t wait, but he also informs him that The Best Show will not be put on ice until he returns. Tommy was hoping that the show would be halted, but he’s willing to roll with Tom’s decision.
- Listener J. in Seattle calls (starts at 31:27) with a Lighthouse Confession that will allow him to exorcise some karma like Earl from the NBC comedy, My Name Is Earl. Tom wasn’t expecting a confessional so early in the programe, so he has to get things in order. Tom tells J. to call back in a minute to get it going, but he says he might not be able to pull that off and offers to call next week. Tom tells him to hold on and is disappointed that he was so willing to skip out: “Where’s the fire, junior?” Tom returns to reveal that they are not in the lighthouse anymore. Instead, it’s time for the debut of Wacky Birthday Confessions. Tom tells J. to proceed, and he reveals a stunning transgression: he used his FOT membership card for immoral purposes.
Tom interrupts him with some birthday announcements: Adam West turned 78, songwriter Paul Williams turned 66, and the late, great Mama Cass would have been 63.
J. continues to say that six months ago he used the sacred card to do drugs. Tom is shocked, and J. feels terrible about failing to uphold the values promoted on the show. He says the instigator was his girlfriend, who wanted to go out and party. Tom asks what drug, and J. thinks Tom could probably figure out what it was. He used the card to chop up and align rails of cocaine powder.
Tom gets back to the birthday list with Jimmy Fallon turning 32, country superstar Trisha Yearwood turning 42, and runway model Leslie “Twiggy” Lawson turning 57.
Tom wants to know why he would do drugs with his card, and J. explains that he did not have a credit card at the time, so it was used out of necessity. Tom orders J. to send the card back. However, he can't because he ruined it in the course of his drug party and disposed of it. He admits that the act warrants getting dishonorably discharged from Scharpling’s Army. Tom’s says he’s already out and has something else to tell him:
Jeremy Irons turns 58 today, talk show hostess Joan Lunden is 56 years young, and Randolph Mantooth is 61.
Tom’s glad he’s out. He doesn’t understand why he’s doing cocaine and can’t get no thrills out of life. J.'s excuse is the old standby of “youthful indiscretion”, but now he’s clean, sober, and kicking butt. Tom doesn’t believe him and thinks he still does drugs. He's right -- J. admits that he smokes a little pot, but says he’s been clean for a month. Tom hopes he felt terrible when he did it, and J. says he still does, which is why he’s throwing himself at the Army’s mercy. He hopes that he can get back in someday if he can prove he’s been a model citizen. Tom does give him points for confessing, but still calls him a "filth bag". J. is given a forceful GOMPYA -- Get Off My Phone You Animal!
Finally, I'd like to offer birthday wishes to W.A.S.P. frontman Blackie Lawless, former NY Giants wideout Phil McConkey, and insult comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, who doesn't look a day older than her actual age of 88! This one's for youse:
- Against his better judgment, Tom lets Skinny Puppy Guy (starts at 38:11) on the air. He just wanted to talk to Tom because he thinks he’s one of the best DJs around. Tom can’t trust him since he was already fighting with him before the opening theme music concluded. Tom didn't reveal the details of the argument, but my guess is that SPG was trying to make a request for something off VIVIsectVI .
- Since Tom came up dry last week on the Yo La Tengo contest, he puts it (starts at 38:44) back on the board for this week. Tom’s glad that the band isn't not doing a New York show because the people of NY don’t deserve YLT. Tom went to the Atlantic Antic street festival over the weekend and was disgusted by the smoothie merchants who used a single blender. Tom was on line for one, but saw the detritus coating the blender and passed. He wasn’t interested in getting a little bit of everybody else’s smoothie in his. I imagine these mutant smoothies serve as energy drinks for tall bike jousts and vandalism sprees. Tom believes the festival was a lost opportunity for a cultural cleansing by the U.S. government. Tom thought that it would have been a great way to ferret out a mass of no-goodniks by dropping some kind of “sterilization bomb” or doing a cropduster flyover. Tom believes attendees should have been lined up and arrested on general principle. He estimates that 85% of the people at the street fair were guilty of a crime.
- Ricky announces (starts at 40:26) that he's doing dandy, and Tom thinks he sounds like a little hand-puppet. Ricky agrees. He's 16, so Tom allows him to still call himself Ricky. When he reaches collecge, Ricky plans to shift to the more mature “Dickie Z”. Tom asks him if he really wants people to call him that. Ricky thought it was a good dorm kind of name. He apologizes for any offense caused by his proposed moniker, but Tom is more worried on his behalf if he actually goes through with it. Ricky takes Tom’s advice very seriously, and Tom implores him to seriously reconsider “Dickie Z.” Tom illuminates his recommendation by doing an impression of Dickie Z's first day of college. In this scenario, the Dicke Z character is suprised that his new classmates pick on him and steal his stuff.
Believe it or not, Dickie Z did not call for some constructive mockery. He mainly wanted to report that a couple of months ago, his wallet -- containing his FOT card -- was stolen at school. He thinks the lure of the card was the reason for the theft. He wants to know what Tom thinks of his theory. Tom appreciates the complement, but the card is not worth that much since anyone can get one for FREE at friendsoftom.com. Ricky points out that not just anyone is going to get one. He wants a new card, but is concerned about double dipping into the enlistment pool. Tom says he will clear it with the board. Tom thinks he’s overly concerned about things, and Ricky says he’s a concerned kind of guy. Tom tells him that you can’t pick your own nickname. For example, Tom’s nickname of “Too Cool” was assigned to him. He had no choice, and it was a burden to live up to it. It was hard for Tom to always have to hear people requesting that he display his too-coolness. Tom wishes he could just be plain “Cool” once in awhile. Ricky realizes that his hope of being known as Dickie Z was just a fantasy gone wrong. Tom leaves him with some words of wisdom: “Life is hard, and a hero ain’t nothing but a sandwich, Dickie Z.” Ricky says Tom has that right, whatever that means. Tom lets HIM go.
- (Really) Short-time, first-time calls (starts at 43:58) during his first-ever listen to the show. He’s bummed that he missed the Atlantic Antic. His friends took him to Six Flags instead, and he ended up vomiting all over the park. Tom thinks it’s comparable experience. He also ate awful nachos. Tom says that he basically went to the Atlantic Antic but with rides. He waited three hours to go on some ride that went upside down, he vomited, and then the car broke down on the way home. It wasn’t fun, but Tom is making his day because he’s so funny. Tom says that he’s sweet, but he already knew it. He’s in the running for the Yo La Tengo tickets, but he hates them so he’s not. He’s actually never heard them, but the name rubs him the wrong way. He wants Tom to play some of their stuff, but Tom informs him that he just played “Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind”, the epic opener from I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat You As Soon As I Get Home, and doubts he’ll get to any more tonight. Tom GOMPs him and wonders what planet he’s operating on. The Best Show doesn't need him and neither does Yo La Tengo.
Yo La Tengo - "Sugarcube" (Live at Maxwell's - Hanukkah 2005 - Night 3)
- Sheldon from Rutgers calls (starts at 45:51) and wavers like a politician when Tom asks him how things are going because he's having his ups and downs in the college environment. He wants to give a shout-out to Dickie Z to say that college is not what he thinks it is. Tom agrees that Dickie Z is in for a very rude rude awakening. Sheldon thinks that Dickie Z is naïve and unaware of the “eat or be eaten” climate that exists on campus. Tom says that Rutgers (the drought is ova!) is not exactly Wall Street. He breaks the news to Sheldon that if he’s going to school at Rutgers, he’s already been eaten.
Tom says that if he was doing the eating, he’d be matriculating somewhere else. Sheldon is actually residing in the stomach of an animal that ate him, fighting with all the other parasites to eat other things that that animal is eating. Sheldon wants to know if this is a Rutgers euphemism or a generic college one. Sheldon is confused, so Tom backs up so he can get a full handle on it. He explains the logistics of the consumption again, and Sheldon thinks Tom is suggesting that he’s living in the underbelly of America’s armpit, which is New Jersey. Tom demands that he take back the dig at New Jersey. Sheldon was born in Queens, and Tom says that he has no right to talk about New Jersey since that borough’s only claim to fame is the WFAN studios. Sheldon thinks Howie Rose is pretty cool, but never liked Fran Healy. Just as Sheldon appeared to be unleashing an impression of Healy calling a lazy fly ball a “can of corn”, Tom cuts him off because he burned him out.
- Stephen calls (starts at 48:16) from chilly Chicago to say that Tom is on fire, already setting the “W” in place. His bad phone connection is not helping, so he's dismissed before he can do any more damage.
- DT of DT and the Shakes and The Volcano Suns-feuled theme song fame calls (starts at 48:46) in the midst of celebrating his first week of fatherhood. He had a boy last week during The Best Show, so, for him, that show was a “W”. The boy’s given name is William, but Tom suggests nicknames of "Bestie" or "Dickie Z". DT's been meaning to call re the frequent "Porcupine Pie" spins because he has a Neil Diamond story. He was wondering if Tom has seen the 1977 Neil Diamond NBC special. Tom hasn’t seen it. DT says it contains one of the most surreal moments he’s ever seen.
It starts off in typical ND fashion with the singer seated in the daytime. The scene then shifts to night as the crowd filters into the Greek Theater. He gets to “Song Sung Blue” and goes into a ridiculous extended jam, pointing out all the VIPs in the audience, including the mayor of L.A. He finally points out current pop star Helen Reddy, decked out in a chin-to-floor length prom dress. She sings a few bars. Neil then notices Henry Winkler, who’s wearing a giant, cardiganish sweater. Neil pulls him up, and Hank does his best while looking like a geek. That’s not good enough for Neil. He asks him to sing it like The Fonz. At this point, Winkler starts losing his mind, giving the thumbs-up and belting it out like his fictional character. Neil was in all his glory.
Neil Diamond - "Song Sung Blue" (ft. Helen Reddy and The Fonz!)
DT promises to get Tom a copy, although he's not sure if "Porcupine Pie" made it into Neil's set that night. Unfortunately, it didn't. Tom plays “Porcupine Pie” and agrees with Neil that it’s a little strange that you have to eat the dessert with gloves to prevent your hands from turning green. Tom actually thinks it’s very strange. He also thinks that there are songs almost as bad as "Porcupine Pie" on Hot August Night, such as “Done Too Soon” with its eclectic callouts of Jesus Christ, Fanny Brice, Wolfie Mozart, Humphrey Bogart, Genghis Khan, and H.G. Wells. Tom thinks writing a song like that is easy and belts out a catchy, Canonball Run-inspired ditty:
"Dom Deluise and Jack Elam, Bert Convy, Jamie Farr, and Burt Reynolds, too. Farrah Fawcett, Joe Klecko, Roger Moore, Jackie Chan, and the guy who played Mr. Foyt …and Adrianne Baaaaarbeau."
We can only dream that Tom will find the time to flesh it out on an old guitar. Mike the Associate Producer would be able to supply one for a songwriting session on an upcoming show. The guitar doesn’t have a name, so Tom wants to name it on the air using a common pet’s name instead of the more traditional ladies’ name. Tom wonders why guitarists never name their instrument "Champ" or "Duke". They tend to prefer flashier names like “Disco Inferno”, which, thankfully, came up a bit short to Dogmo in Tom’s canine nameathon.
- A caller thinks (starts at 55:11) Tom is out of his mind and dreaming to suggest that people name their guitars. Tom GOMPs him and counters: "B.B. King anyone?" Tom is, of course, referring to Lucille and declares King the worst musician ever. Tom doesn’t believe he knows how to play chords, opting for only solos like he’s in an indie rock band. Tom thinks the thrill and his talent are gone. Little-known fact: B.B. King once served as a Jade Tree session player, contributing some wicked licks to early The Promise Ring and Cap'n Jazz singles. Tom does like B.B.'s good blues club in NYC. When he wants to hear some blues, he heads over there. Tom wonders if the club even books blues bands since he’s always hearing about Celtic Frost playing gigs there. Mike says that they need to make money. Good point. The kids do love the old-school Swiss thrash.
Celtic Frost - "The Usurper"
- Steve calls (starts at 56:59) to say that he just moved back to Jersey and rediscovered the glory that is Tom. He feels like he kind of grew up with The Kid. He’s leaving on Monday for a three-month jaunt to the post-Soviet republic of Belarus. Tom thought he said something else. He found it funny that Tom brought up blues music because during his travels around the Eastern bloc, he’s been hearing about the large African-American ex-pat community in Slovenia. A lot of musicians moved there to fill the huge demand for American blues in the region. Apparently, B.B. King has been there.
Steve wants to get Tom’s blessing to visit Chernobyl, hang out in old missile silos, and explore some abandoned castles. He says it’s a pleasure trip that will leave him in a lot of debt. It will also be harrowing because he’ll be sleeping in barns and whatnot. In other words: a masochistic pleasure trip. Tom thinks sleeping in a barn and traipsing through a radioactive city sound like the perfect activities to cause someone to go into debt. You can’t get that for free! Steve thinks Tom’s values are a little skewed. Tom agrees that he’s weird for wanting to enjoy himself on a vacation. Steve thinks he’ll have the next 50 years to enjoy himself so he can endure the self-flagellation for now. Tom says that if he stops by Chernobyl, he might not have the next 50 years to enjoy himself. Despite not being sold on the itinerary, Tom tells him to be safe and have a good time. Tom directs him to take pictures, but prohibits him from sending them to the Friends Of Tom website. Steve proposes snapping photos of the WFMU logo in front of the Chernobyl sarcophagus. Tom says he can do that. Perhaps he should also bring a Snickers bar a la Purple Shirt’s Russian art project.
Steve mentions that some friends of his were in the rock band Waffle Stomper, who were on Smash or Trash. Steve describes them as a stupid high school thing that was actually brilliant. Tom recalls the band, and Steve reports that the members have all moved on to bigger and better things. The lead singer has an internship at The Hague doing some foreign policy shenanigans. He asks Tom if he wants him to impersonate his scream. Tom says that people have been waiting to hear the ultimate impression of the singer from Waffle Stomper, so finally the whole thing can loop back around to a peaceable conclusion. Steve does the scream, although he admits he can’t capture the true vibratto. Tom thinks it's so dead-on that he must have he cued up a recording and put the phone up to a speaker. Steve actually performed the scream live in the middle of a field in Berkeley Heights, N.J. Tom nails the 07928 zip code and Steve loves Tom’s ability to represent the state hard. He wants to know how Tom knows B-Heights, and Tom says he knows all zip codes. Steve tests him with Iowa City, Iowa, and Tom quickly dishes 41314. Steve says it’s correct, so Tom GOMPs him. He wants him to be safe in his travels, but doesn’t want to be patronized by him.
For those who want to update their Tom zip code spreadsheets, 41314 is Booneville, KY. The correct zip for Iowa City is 52240 through 52246. Take your pick.
- Keith Kincaid calls (starts at 1:10), and Tom suspects he might know him. Keith thinks he does because he lives at 602 Velndonom Way. Keith is Tom’s new neighbor who just moved in on Sunday. Tom welcomes him to the neighborhood, and Keith says his family loves the beautiful area. They had the best time yesterday at the Newbridge Colonial Days, where Keith won “Best Powdered Wig”. Tom congratulates him and is glad he’s already having such a good time.
Tom thinks it’s a great place to live, and Keith has an idea of how it could be even greater. He wonders if Tom could trim the grass at the base of the oak tree on the edge of his property. Tom didn’t even notice the offending growth -- he mows the lawn every week, but does the trimming every other week. Keith emits a slight chuckle and asks why Tom doesn’t do it all at once. Tom didn’t think it was much of an issue. He likes to keep the lawn mowed consistently every week and then attack the shrubs and edging every other week. Keith asks Tom if he thinks the grass is an eyesore. Tom doesn’t think it is. Keith says that they will have to agree to disagree.
Keith also wanted to ask Tom about the garden hose that sits above a shrub on the side of his house. He would like Tom to lower it about 7 inches so it is fully obscured by the shrub. He thinks he saw that Tom has an Ace Hardware bracket holding it up. Tom’s not sure of the brand -- he just wrapped his hose to a thing he mounted on the side of the house. Keith says he’s got an Ace mount, which he thinks is an interesting choice. Tom just bought the mount, attached it, and hasn’t really thought about it since. Keith keeps pressing the issue and wants to know if Tom would be up for lowering it. Tom wants to know why, and Keith says it’s kinda trashy looking since the top part of the hose is visible. The bottom line: Keith doesn’t really like it. He’s also bothered by the actual bracket. He thinks Tom cheaped out by not getting a higher-end Newhold bracket. Tom didn’t give it any thought, and he’s not sure what to say. He’s surprised that it matters to Keith. There’s something else matters even more to him.
He noticed that Tom had a box of Sugar Pops in his trash bin and asks a question: “Is that the kind of thing you really want to represent to the neighborhood?” Tom wonders how he noticed an item that was in a garbage bag that was in his garbage can. Keith went through all the neighbors’ garbage because he wanted to see if everyone properly bagged and tied. He’s pleased to report that everyone did. It drives him crazy when people don’t bag their garbage, which is why he quad-bags his refuse. Tom wants to know what that means, and Keith says it’s just as it seems: he bags it, then he bags the bags, then he bags that bag, and then he bags that bag. Tom wonders if there’s a reason for this seemingly excessive procedure. Keith ponders a scenario in which the garbage man noticed that his garbage was leaking, and he told another garbage man, and soon the news is spread all over town. Tom does not want to offend his garbage man, who seems like a nice guy when he runs into him, but he kinda doesn’t care what he thinks about how he bags his garbage. Keith wonders if Tom cares about having a nice neighborhood because he believes a nice neighborhood is an orderly neighborhood. Tom says that he does care about and take pride in the neighborhood. Keith’s glad to hear that because he wants Natas Acres to be the best community there is -- kind of like a gated community … without the gate. Tom has never heard the name “Natas Acres” before. Keith said he just wants it to be special. Everyone can do their own thing, but it should also be kind of regimented.
When Keith was walking his dog, Devlin, he could see into Tom’s TV room. He wants to know if Tom was really watching the recently-canceled HBO sitcom, Lucky Louie. Tom was watching it. Keith’s a bit baffled and wants to know if Tom thinks it’s funny. Tom kinda likes it and thought it was getting its own voice as the season progressed. Keith loves comedy, and he thinks that if Tom loves comedy he should watch My Name Is Earl to find out what funny really is. Tom thinks that show is OK. Keith thinks it’s great and disputes Tom’s notion that funny is a matter of individual taste. He is certain that Lucky Louie is not funny and My Name Is Earl is funny because he knows the funny. Tom wants to know how he knows the funny.
Keith tells Tom that he’s a book agent. Tom wants to know how being a book agent plays into knowing the funny. He has one word for Tom: Layney. Tom doesn’t know what that is, so Keith tells him it’s Elayne Boosler, one of his clients. Tom doesn’t find her funny, but Keith knows she is, as is Roger Brenner, who he claims is even funnier than his brother, David Brenner. This does not impress Tom. He’s also reps Chuck Wayans, the littlest Wayans brother at age 17. Keith is trying to pitch a hilarious book he wrote called Hey, What About Me?. Keith thinks Chuck is so funny, but he also thinks Tom’s kinda funny. Tom thanks him, but then realizes that he’s not sure if it’s a complement. Keith thinks Tom should write something and would love to see some of his work. Tom is interested in trying to write a book, and Keith says he could try to get it out there if he thinks it's funny. Tom suspects that he might not advance past the initial stages because their senses of humor are not in sync.
Keith wants to know if he can count on Tom to attend the neighborhood meeting on Thursday. Tom was not aware of it and also missed Sunday’s meeting at Keith’s house. Tom finds it odd that Keith moved in on a Sunday and already held a neighborhood meeting that night. Keith put fliers up an hour after he arrived in town. Tom wasn’t around on Sunday so he missed seeing any of his postering efforts. Keith says they just talked about the new ground rules for the neighborhood. Tom is bemused that someone who has been a resident for three days is laying down ground rules for the entire community. Keith just wants to come up with things to make it better -- a little more regimented and uniform. For example, he’d like to see every house have the same color roof. In other words, a color that matches his roof.
Tom thinks he may want to consider living somewhere else, such as an actual gated community. Keith loves the feel of this neighborhood, but he believes it’s crucial to agree on a specific, uniform grass length because he hates it when people have different lawn lengths. It drives him up a wall. Tom suggests that he is going to be disappointed in his choice of neighborhoods because he knows that some people do not mow as frequently as others. Keith says that everybody is agreeing to mow their lawns once a week now. Tom says that’s in line with his current mowing schedule, but Keith reminds him that he’s not doing as well with the trimming.
Keith also inquires about Tom’s car. Tom says that sometimes he parks it on the street and sometimes in the driveway. Keith saw that it was in the driveway today. Tom just pulled into his driveway, and, as one might expect by now, Keith hates that. He wants all the cars to back into the driveway. Tom wants to know why he cares about how his car is parked in the driveway. Keith says that he wants things to be right. Tom points out that they are operating under different definitions of what is “right”. Keith wants to know how often Tom waxes the car because it looks like it’s not that often. Tom goes to the car wash about once a month, occasionally skipping a month. Keith thinks the car should be washed once a week and waxed twice a week. Much like his bagging regimen, he waxes his car four times a week.
When Keith looked in Tom’s window this morning, he noticed that there were newspapers lying on living room floor. Keith prefers that Tom use a magazine rack of some sort. Tom wants to know why he was looking in his living room. Keith found Tom’s newspaper on the yard, not in the driveway where a newspaper should end up if properly thrown by a paper boy. Keith actually reprimanded the paper boy for his errant toss. He brought the paper up to Tom’s front stoop, and as he was about to place it, he peered in and saw the old newspapers strewn about his floor. He almost kind of threw up in his mouth. Tom wants him to stay off his property because the goings on inside his house are none of his business. Keith wants Tom to look into the magazine rack -- he bought his back-up rack at Space Savers, which is two doors down from the old Lady Foot Locker at Newbridge Commons.
Keith doesn’t want Tom to think that he’s coming off like some kind of Nazi who’s trying to make his thing go. Tom tells him that after only three days of residency, he seems to be forcing some kind of order on everyone regardless of what they want to do. Tom thinks that people have a right to do what they want with their house. Keith agrees and says that in order for people to express their individuality, they could hoist a flag of their choice that promoted their interests. Keith thinks this would be great as long as everyone could agree on a specific size, style, and flagholder specs. Tom confirms that Keith is proposing completely uniform-looking housing, but when it comes to letting one’s personality shine through, it will be put on a flag. Keith suggests a windmill as a potential alternative as long as the specs were agreed on. Tom hates the flags and windmills. Keith correctly assumes that this means that Tom will not be attending the meeting. Keith says that if he is walking down one side of Velndonom Way, and Tom is walking down the other, they should not look at each other because they will not be friends. Tom says that he has no problem with Keith as a neighbor, but he doesn’t appreciate his attempts to take power and run the neighborhood. Keith tells Tom to get used it, and he has nothing else to say to him. Tom has nothing else to say other than to again welcome him to the neighborhood and hope that he enjoys his stay. It turns out that Keith did have one more thing to say, just before hanging up: “Hail the Dark Lord.”
Tom has to find out what they meant, so he searches for Keith’s number to call him back.
Behemoth, Sr., the perfect soundtrack to your surburban dance parties and blood sacrifices
Keith answers, and Tom explains that he wants some clarification on his parting shot that appeared to reference the “Dark Lord”. Keith confirms that he did indeed ask Tom to “Hail the Dark Lord.” He wants to know why Tom’s asking. Tom says that he wasn’t expecting to hear such a directive and wants to know in what capacity the Dark Lord should be hailed. Keith says that he is the High Priest of the Newbridge C.O.S. -- the Church of Satan. Tom was caught off-guard, but he assures Keith that he will not persecute him for his religion. Keith says that if Tom truly respects it, he should come by the Kincaid residence on Saturday for a C.O.S. fundraiser. The “Fun Fair” will take place in Keith’s presumably well-kept back yard. Tom wants to know what he has planned, so Keith gives him a rundown of the schedule:
Meet and Greet ---------- 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Covered Dish Supper ---------- 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Incantation of the Dark One ----------- 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Silent Auction ---------- 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Keith says there are some great items up for bidding, such as a gift certificate to Muffler Village and Troy Renfro’s Steelers jersey. Renfro is a member of the C.O.S., along with many other local notables, such as Augie Richards, Craig Cooper, who now runs the Newbridge Commons Radio Hut, and Reggie Monroe, who was kicked off of an early episode of Survivor due to an incident unfit for radio discussion. Keith continues with the event lineup:
Blood Sacrifice ------------ 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Dance Party featuring Behemoth, Jr. ------------ 9:00 p.m. to ????
Tom wants to back up to find out what goes on during the blood sacrifice. Keith asks him what he thinks it is. Tom wants to know if it’s a sacrifice of blood. It is, and Tom asks who’s sacrificing their blood. Keith gets a bit defensive and says it's not a "who" because the C.O.S. are not barbarians. It’s a dog. Tom’s horrified by the animal cruelty, but Keith says it’s an old dog. He says their methods don’t qualify as animal cruelty since it is done very quickly. Tom still thinks it’s terrible. Keith says the animal looks more like a fox, which they found behind Newbridge Commons near a shanty. Tom wants to know who caught the fox. Keith said it was one of their new members: Bryce.
After the Dance Party, which could go until 2 a.m., the Fun Fair will be closed out by the Clean-Up/Creepy Crawl. Tom was not aware that there was a Satanic undercurrent running through a lot of the people in Newbridge that he’s spoken to over the years. Keith says they are all great people. Tom tells him that he interviewed Renfro shortly after his team won the Super Bowl this past February. Keith seems impressed and calls him a “great athlete”. Tom had no idea that frequent caller Bryce joined the C.O.S. Keith says it’s a happening thing, and they’d love to bring Tom into the Satanic fold. Keith wants to get Tom some literature, but Tom wants to first hear more about Behemoth, Jr. Keith assumes that Tom’s heard of Behemoth, one of the biggest black metal bands around. Behemoth, Jr. is a tribute band. Tom wonders about the suffix in the band name, and Keith says that they obviously couldn’t use Behemoth. Tom thought that maybe it was a band comprised of little kids. Keith wishes that were the case and loves the idea of getting some little Satanists to form a band.
Based on this, Keith asks Tom if he’s interested in being his assistant. Tom’s not. Keith said it would be no problem for him to have Werner give him some pamphlets. Tom says that Werner is a name he hears way too much. Keith says that he’s one of the church’s deacons. Tom’s shocked and says that up until the blood sacrifice of a dog, he was fine with their religious practice as long as it didn’t hurt others. However, it appears that they will be hurting a dog. Keith says it’s not really a dog. Tom says it’s a living thing, so it doesn’t make it any better. Keith is certain that if Tom reads the literature that Werner put on his pillow, he'll get a better grasp of what the C.O.S. is doing.
Tom's not aware of any literature, but Keith informs him that Werner put it on his pillow around 3 p.m., so it will be waiting for Tom at home. Keith says that Werner got the keys to his house from Bryce. (The very intriguing question of how Bryce got Tom’s keys is left unasked, but hopefully it comes up in a future Bryce chat.) He also left something else under his pillow. Keith gives Tom a hint: it's all he needs to go "skiing". Tom gets it and says that he doesn't want cocaine in his home. Keith wonders why. Tom says he doesn't use it and it's illegal. Keith responds by asking for a definition of "illegal", and Tom defines it as being against the law. Keith knows something else that is technically against the law: murder. Tom says it's more than "technically" against the law, and Keith offers a creepy response: “Hopefully, we’ll never have to find out, right?"
Keith is becoming quite frustrated with Tom's resistance to his movement and asks him if he wants to take the place of the fox-dog. Keith says that it could be arranged for Tom to be the vessel for the blood sacrifice. Tom says that it won’t happen because he will shut them down. Keith asks Tom how tall he is. Tom’s 5’ 3”. At this point, Tom mentions that he might call Officer Harrups. Keith’s only 4’ 6”, so he’s sort of taking a step back due to Tom’s height advantage. Tom mentions that Werner is also a short man, but Keith says he’s still pretty imposing with the blond hair and black mustache, a kind of miniature Rutger Hauer. Keith asks Tom about his reference to Officer Harrups, and Tom says that if Keith is going to threaten him, he will call Harrups to shut down the Fun Fair. Keith vows to shut down Tom’s whole household by flooding it. Tom says he will definitely let Harrups know about this plan. Keith says that Tom will be sacrificed if he tells Harrups. In fact, Keith decides that as far as he's concerned, the sacrifice of Tom is a go.
Tom wonders if the fox-dog is off the hook, but Keith says it will probably be a double with some real heavy vibes. Tom assumes this will take place at the Fun Fair, but Keith says it will take place at the new headquarters -- Tom’s house. Keith uses the abbreviation COSHQ, which Tom is able to decipher. Keith gives mocking praise for Tom’s feat, wondering if they will be able to tangle with a man with so much brain power. Tom says he’s not as smart as a Roger Brenner or Elayne Boosler. Keith tells him not to f with his clients.
Tom says that for a Satanist, he has pretty generic tastes aside from his love of black metal. Keith confirms this by saying that What’s Happening? is still his favorite television show. His favorite movie is Cocoon since he prefers mainstream Hollywood fare. However, his top four bands are Necroczar, Impaled, Xerxes, and Coffin Stain. Tom thinks it’s a little weird that his tastes are so conventional aside from music. Keith wants to know what’s wrong with Cocoon since it’s a great story that makes you feel good, just like the music of Necroczar. Tom didn’t think of Necroczar as feel-good music. Keith says there’s a Coffin Stain song that he will likely use as the soundtrack to Tom’s sacrifice. Keith ably performs a snippet of the song -- complete with drum rolls -- ending with the lyric “You will die.”
Tom’s life has been threatened, so it’s officially an installment of The Best Show.
Neko Case -"Fox Confessor Brings The Flood"
- August calls (starts at 1:53) to express confusion about Keith Kincaid's call. He wasn’t sure if the animal to be sacrificed was a fox or a dog. Tom wasn’t sure what he was talking about either. Tom asks August if he's going to attend the C.O.S. meeting. For starters, August doesn’t know what town it’s in. Tom said he’s not attending, but he could give him directions since it’s going down right next door to him. August says that Satanism is not really his thing -- he's more for atheism. Tom wants to know how old he is. August first says 12, but he forgot that his birthday was yesterday, so he’s now 13. Tom thinks it’s pretty radical thinking for someone of that age.
Tom wonders how he could have already forgotten that cake and ice cream. August was actually asleep for that part of the festivities. What? Tom can’t believe he was asleep for the cake on his own birthday. August explains that over the weekend he had a get-together with his friends that kept him up until 2 a.m. The exhaustion carried over into Monday. August & Co. were running around outside playing the Tag variants, Cops and Robbers and Ghost in the Graveyard. August assumed the role of a robber, but did not get far enough into it to actually complete a heist. It was more of a general good guys and bad guys tussle. The coppers try to get the robbers into jail and the robbers can get tagged out of jail by other robbers. August prefers running and being chased to doing the chasing, so he opts for criminal status. After that, it was time for cupcakes, but, sadly, no vanilly ice cream. Tom is appalled and wonders what is going on over in that house. He can't believe that nobody could spring for a $4 tub of ice cream on a kid's birthday. He asks August if his friends were all lactose intolerant.
August says that the friends that came to the gathering can all eat a good amount of sugar, and his parents didn’t want them running around at 1 a.m. on a sugar high. Tom says that’s what he calls “too bad”. It’s called life -- you got a kid and it’s his birthday so he goes a bit nuts from a sugar overload. Tom wants to know if he had a choice of cupcake or ice cream. August had no say in the matter. Tom shames his parents. If they gaze into a mirror, they should only see shame staring back at them. August says he thinks they are listening to the show right now, so Tom takes it back. August's gift haul included a video camera so he can continue to make movies with his friends about real life situations for teenagers, such as mood swings. Tom asks August if he’s the documentarian Errol Morris, and August snaps a bit at the suggestion.
August quickly apologizes and says that he simply doesn’t get most of Tom’s references. August is not like Errol Morris because he traffics in fiction as he and his friends devise little characters to navigate the tumultuous emotional landscape of adolescent life. They let these characters evolve as their imaginations run wild. Tom calls August John Cassevettes, Jr. August lets this reference pass without comment. August says the young cinematic collective has had some scary results. They ended up with one film focusing on suicide, and "it wasn’t pretty." Tom points out that he’s only two days into being 13, and he’s already making movies about suicide. August corrects him: “Oh, no, that was last year.” August claims it was a school project. August should put some clips up on his favorite music website, YouTube.
Sports superstar Mister Fantastic about to show off his shot-blocking prowess
Tom asks August about superheroes, and he’s not much of a fan because he feels like the bad guys should win once in awhile. Tom has a question for August, and he wants him to use the most creative part of his brain to answer it: Which superhero do you think would be the best in professional sports? August wants to know the sport and Tom says any of the Big 4, but then takes hockey is off the table for being stupid. Tom’s had enough of it. August wonders if they even play for the Stanley Cup anymore. Tom thinks they abandoned it in favor of spinning a wheel -- the team it lands on gets the Cup. Tom says that hockey has achieved wrestling-like status where it has to be referred to as "entertainment". August makes his selections:
* Superman for football. He thinks the Man of Steel would make a good linebacker.
* The Hulk for baseball. He thinks he could hit a home run almost every time. Tom adds "… if he can hit." Might not be able to put the bat on the ball.
* Mr. Fantastic of The Fantastic Four for basketball. August hits it. Tom says that Mr. F would be the best at every sport.
In football, you could send him out as a wide receiver and he'd catch anything thrown upwards in any direction. August sees a flaw in Tom’s plan -- what if the other team tackles him in mid-stretch? If his head is somewhere else, he may not be privy to what’s going on by his legs. Tom’s not concerned because his rubbery limbs will repel would-be tacklers. His feet will always stay planted. In baseball, nothing would get by him in center field. There would be no such thing as a home run if he’s prowling the outfield. Tom performs two speculative John Sterling calls of Mister Fantastic playing for the Tigers against the Yankees: “It is high … it is far … it is … caught by Reed Richards" and "An A-bomb from A-R-- … no, it’s caught by Reed Richards again."
Now you get him on the basepaths, and he swipes bases by stretching. You can’t pick him off because he’s got the left foot on first base while the right foot has stretched to second. He can steal anytime he wants. In basketball, he'd block every shot. August correctly points out that after the block he could just stay where he is and dunk the ball on the other end. Let's hope Mr. Fantastic is careful to not goaltend. Tom officially declares a new topic: Superheroes in Sports. August got the ball rolling and is the frontrunner for the tickets to see Yo La Tengo. August says that he and his friends are looking forward to going. They figured that if they couldn’t win the free tickets via The Best Show, they could find them somewhere else. Tom loves it. Tom thinks that this could be the moment he finally finds a band that he likes, making the transition from “The Hampster Dance” to the legendary Hoboken trio. August starts to correct Tom, but declares “it’s no use.” Tom tells him that he’s just teasing him and knows that his brother is the one who likes “The Hampster Dance”.
August says that his brother is supposed to be sleeping. Tom asks him if he ever waits until he’s asleep and then ambushes him with a pillow. August prefers to take some face paint and draw funny faces on him. Tom reminds him that his parents are listening, so a spanking may be in order. August says that they already know. He never face paints his parents because he would have to stay up too late to wait until they fell asleep. Plus, they would know not only because their faces would be painted, but August would also be really tired for school the next day due to the late-night art work. Tom says they would certainly need to use their detective skills to gauge August’s level of tiredness because they would be unable to pin it on him by just knowing of his past face-painting behavior. If it was during the summer, they would know because he’d likely sleep past his usual wake-up time of 8:00 a.m.
- A caller (starts at 2:08) wants to know how Tom’s doing. Tom was doing pretty good. He wants to play Tom a tune. He’s no longer in a band, but he’s pretty sure Tom will recognize it after five seconds. As promised, the caller emits five seconds of random harmonica sounds. Tom can’t place it, and the caller says he just made it up. Tom GOMPYJs him -- Get Off My Phone You Junkie. Tom’s had enough of the filthy Brooklyn trash and says there was a sign at the Atlantic Antic that simply advertised “DRUGS”.
"Neil Schon" warms up for a hilarious radio bit by showing Steve Perry how it's done
- Neil calls (starts at 2:09) with a sweet and simple confession, although he's not sure how familiar Tom is with popular music. Tom tells he’s not very knowledgeable, but does like everything from Abba to Zappa. Neil’s old band is right in between. Neil got tired of hearing their lead singer sing while they were on tour back in the 1970s. Tom wants to know if he can say the name of the band. He says that they were pretty popular, so Tom guess that he was a member of The Good Rats or The Asbury Jukes. He says that he was in a band called Journey. Tom makes the sound of a bomb slowing dropping. Neil says that Steve Perry had an annoying voice, and Tom realizes that he’s playing the character of Neil Schon in this little bit. Tom wants to know how long it took him to work on it. He asks that Tom doesn’t stop believin’ in him, and Tom says he didn’t start. Tom wants some insight into his creative process and wants him to confess that he is not really Neil Schon. He asks Tom if he will accept him with open arms if he does. Tom puts an end to it: “If you don’t mind, I’m going to Escape from this call.” Tom gets in the final Journey reference and the simultaneous hang-up. A victory on all fronts.
- Jeff in Middletown thinks (starts at 2:14) that The Flash would probably be quite good at football. Tom is not sure he has the hands to handle passes. He’s moving so fast that he’d likely bobble the ball. Jeff also realizes that he’d require a QB who could launch it that far. As a wideout, it all hinges on the quarterback. If he’s running it, then he Tom thinks he would achieve Barry Sanders-like glory. Jeff agrees that Mister Fantastic is completely unbeatable. He was thinking that the acrobatic Spider-Man would do well in basketball because he could climb up on the hoop to receive passes. Tom points out that it’s illegal to hang on the basket so Spidey would get bombarded with technical fouls. He also questions his jump shot. Tom thinks Spider-Man might compare to a player like Steve Kerr, at best. Jeff’s not too up on the sport so he’s not familiar with Kerr’s work. Tom tells him that he’s one of the greatest basketball players of all-time. Jeff’s confused because that would mean that Spidey would be good. Tom admits that he was being a weisenheimer with the Kerr quip.
- Ryan has (starts at 2:16) has The Thing playing lineman. Tom agrees that he’d be great at football, but wonders if he could excel on a bad team. Ryan says he’s got The Flash on his team as well. If Tom had super powers, he would not reveal the full scope of his powers to the world. He would show just enough of his talent to be amazing at sports. Ryan says it’s like The Incredibles, although that was in track and field, which doesn’t count because you don’t make the real money there. Tom would be using one-half of one percent of his power, but everyone would still be amazed at his dunking skills. Little did they know that Tom could have jumped clear out of the arena if he so desired. Tom would not cloak himself in a secret identity -- it would be Tom Scharpling, Superhero. While he'd let everyone know he was a superhero, he’d walk around in his normal clothes. Ryan says he has to have some kind of outfit so he looks cool and snappy. Tom says he already looks cool. Tom GOMPs him for implying anything other than that. Tom decides that he would wear a nice crisp suit like Paul F. Tompkins. This sounds like a great premise for an Adult Swim show.
- Superhero of rock Ted Leo calls (starts at 2:19) with a superhero, but he's a bit ticked off about the suggestion that track is not a legitimate sport. Tom clarifies to say it’s not one of the big, moneymaking sports. Ted didn’t realize that big and moneymaking was a qualifier. Tom asks him what country he’s in and points out that every day is not the Olympics. Ted says that there were some guys on his track team that were a lot tougher than he is. He's sure they are a lot angrier than he is about the slight. Ted thinks the teleportin’ Nightcrawler would be effective in any sport. In track, he just poofs to the finish line; in football, he poofs right to the pass and then poofs into the endzone. Tom imagines Nightcrawler teaming up with Jason Kidd to complete indefensible alley oops. Kidd would just have to heave the ball up and Nighcrawler poofs over the basket for the slam. In baseball, he’d be a good fielder, but would lack offensive power. Tom predicts that he would be prone to hitting little dribblers. Ted admits that he wouldn’t be the best all-around baseball player, but there are definitely some positions that he could kill in. Tom says he’d be a superhero utility player.
Tom wonders if Ted Leo's wisdom knows any bounds and wants a glimpse into his world. Ted recently played at the Touch & Go 25th anniversary superfest. Ted's two big highlights were
X Ex Models The Ex, the famous anarcho punk collective from The Netherlands, and Calexico, who delivered an amazingly moving set to close out the festival. Ted asks for permission to get that emo. Tom says he can, and he did. Ted found it to be an affirming, posi-experience. Tom wants to know who stood out in terms of the oldies putting it back together. Ted cites the Negative Approach reunion. Ted notes the perils of an early 1980s hardcore band reuniting in 2006 with a weird and bloated vibe, but they really went for it. After the show, Ted went up to praise frontman John Brannon, who offered him a sticker, which they were handing out sans any irony.
The Ex - "Two Struck By The Moon"
Calexico - "Cruel"
Ted’s not sure when the new Ted Leo & the Pharmacists album -- their Touch & Go debut --will be coming out. Ted’s currently going out of his mind trying to find some new take on old stories to write about. Regardless of his writer's block, the band are going into the studio this Sunday. They will record a song about driving to the studio called “Parking Space”. Ted may try to spin things so he can include a few instrumentals tracks on the album under the guise of newfound guitar exploration. Tom suggests a jazz title like “Expressions”. Tom says Ted’s deep and is confident that he’ll come up with something. Tom does give him one idea of something to write about: Bush. Ted doesn’t even know what to say about our President at this point since he's become really depressed and cynical. Tom says the song should be about just standing behind Bush and letting him do his job. Gas prices are coming down to levels that are almost double what we used to pay instead of triple. Ted’s got work. Things are going well.
Someone in the chat suggests that Ted use his rap skills on the new album. Ted may collaborate with Elton John, who recently said that he wants to marry his melodies with hip-hop beats. Tom thinks it's a great move that will not be embarrassing in the slightest. Tom believes that Sir Elton-A-Lot will pull it off with a sense of grace and not come off like an old British guy who is out of touch after being in the music industry for 40 years. Tom doubts that anyone will be able to determine which one is Elton and which one is Pharrell Williams when trading off verses. Ted agrees and wants to know if Bernie Taupin will be writing these raps. If I were Elton, I’d be giving Steinberg a call. Tom thinks that he has to write them himself to make them more personal and authentic.
Ted thinks that if you’ve got the tongue skills and someone has the brain skills, then it’s fine to put two great tastes together. Tom suggests that Ted get a rapper to write lyrics or submit to a contest on the show in which listeners write words for his new album. Ted is more than happy to check out any lyrics that are sent to him. Lyricists can get a chance at super stardom by sending their work to Tom, who will forward them to Ted in the hopes of finding his very own Taupin or Jim Steinman. Ted may become the new Brown Dirt Cowboy.
Ted says that winners could have their work heard by upwards of 50 people the next time he plays New York. Tom corrects him by noting that cops were pushing people into the water at his last show at the South Street Seaport because it was so crowded. Fans were floating on rafts in order to see him. If Ted was not a pro musician, he’d be in the lead for the Yo La Tengo tickets. Tom says that Ted will probably buy the Loews theater before the show and watch it from a luxurious skybox. Speaking of cowboys and finding one’s writerly muse, it appears that Elton John took some inspiration from Tom on his new release. Is that Tom atop the horse?
- Le Mot (?) calls (starts at 2:29) to suggest "The Shredder" as the greatest superhero athlete. Tom wants to know who that is. He asks Tom to hold on, so he’s GOMPed. Tom thinks he was collaborating with “Neil Schon” as part of a basement apartment improv troupe that planned to take over the show with eight calls.
- Mike the Associate Producer contradicts (starts at 2:30) August by saying that The Hulk would not be good at baseball. Tom says The Hulk would be a ‘roided out, all-or-nothing guy who would never catch up to a pitcher who could bring the heat. In other words: Dave Kingman. Tom does an impression of The Hulk going down on strikes and arguing that a pitch was outside.
- "Jan" calls (starts at 2:31) from Queens and denies using a fake voice. Tom was going to give “her” the benefit of the doubt, but quickly reconsiders with a GLGA -- Get Lost and Go Away for insulting the audience. Maybe this was Fred's wife.
- Joe from Waffle Stomper and New Providence calls (starts at 2:33) and stumps Tom, who starts strong with 079, but can't get the 74. Joe thinks that Professor X would be a star wheelchair basketball player. He'd use his mind powers to have the ball floating around over the other players’ heads. Tom says his sport of choice would be murderball. Tom didn’t see the documentary on the sport because it looked really stupid. Tom did see Mark Zupan on a talk show, and while he felt sorry for his condition, he just seemed like a blowhard jerk. This prompts Joe to ask who needs the handicapped, and Tom GOMPs him for his offensive words.
- Jackson calls (starts at 2:34) to select Michael Jordan from Space Jam as the greatest basketball player ever. He would also be the greatest in hockey, baseball, and football because he has the support of the Looney Tunes players. Tom points out that he also has help from a late-career Charles Barkley, Bill Murray, the whole-lotta-terrible Shawn Bradley, and Larry Johnson. Jackson thinks Bradley was a really funny guy when he got tall and thin. Tom says that the Philly sports fans were not laughing when they drafted him instead of Penny Hardaway. Jackson says Hardaway is not any good anymore, but Tom says that if a team got one good game out of Hardaway, that is more than Bradley pulled off.
Jackson boldly argues that John Starks was the worst, claiming that he caused the Knicks to lose the 1994 NBA Finals due to his ball hogging. Tom wants him to take it back because John Starks was the best. Jackson takes it back, but maintains that he was not good, preferring point guard Derek Harper. Tom becomes angry because if not for Starks, the Knicks would not have reached the Finals. Tom GOMPs him for committing the cardinal sin of insulting Starks on the program.
- Jeff from Jersey calls (starts at 2:37) because he's bored and not doing much. His best superhero athlete is be Dr. Octopus as a catcher. Jeff thinks his eight limbs would allow him to grab the ball with ease from any position, but Tom points out that he also has bad vision. Jeff mentions his pumpkin haircut that Tom compares to Pete Rose. Jeff thinks the worst in any sport would be The Sandman, while Tom goes with Aquaman. Jeff’s brother was a big comic collector and his favorite was always the Silver Surfer. Tom wants to know what Jeff collects other than frayed phone cords and bad phone reception machines. In addition to those, he collects guitars. Tom appreciates the call even though he gravitated towards supervillains. Jeff thinks Tom’s new neighborhood villain Keith Kincaid is a creep.
- Josh calls (starts at 2:39) with the odd suggestion of Robert Townshend's Meteor Man. Tom's not sure how good he'd be, and Josh says he derives his power from the ghetto. At this point, his “stupid girlfriend” (sounded a lot like “Jan” from earlier) yells something out. He assures Tom that he loves her and its all part of their standard joking around. He calls her stupid, she calls him smart; he calls her woman, and she calls him man. The trilogy is complete when he calls her ugly, and she calls him handsome. Tom opts for a Get Lost because he not only wants him off his phone, but also doesn't want him to be able to find his way back on the air.
Art is getting its ass copied: A scene reminiscent of Paddy Chayefsky's Network
- Evan from Montclair calls (starts at 2:41) to see if Tom caught the premiere of the new Aaron Sorkin show, Studio 60 From The Sunset Strip. Tom saw it and discovered that everyone is very high-strung, makes speeches, and yells all the time. Evan has worked in the television industry before and he's never encountered anyone like the characters on the show. Tom mentions Judd Hirsch's Network-esque opening speech and the show's subseqent mention of the source material. Tom thinks this is an example of the Kevin Smith Syndrome, where you rip something off and then cite the reference. Smith did this in Clerks II with his Bachelor Party beastialities. Evan wants to know the critical response, and Tom tells him that they seem to like it.
Evan wonders if this is the show whose pilot script was floating around the Internet being hailed as a work of genius. Tom say it's the one, and he read it because was up for the role of director Cal Shanley, which eventually went to Timothy Busfield. Andy Milonakis joined Tom and Busfield on the short list. Evan saw something about that in the trades but thought it was just a rumor. Tom says that the audition process was weird because they were all in the room at the same time doing the part against each other. Evan brings up another new show -- Fox's Talk Show with Spike Feresten. Tom watched a fair amount of it and thought Ferestein had a good sense of humor, but still needs to figure things out a bit.
Evan changes the subject from television to his encounter with Pete Rose yesterday. He says the banned baseball star has a forearm like Popeye and wears Old Spice. Tom thinks his cologne choice is charming. Evan says that he still has the same haircut and is trying to convince everybody that he should be forgiven. He's working in the Caesars Las Vegas casino. Tom says this is a sign that Rose is a cool guy because casinos only hire the best of the best. Evan says that Mickey Mantle worked at a casino, and Tom refers him to his point that they only hire the best of the best -- Mantle, Rose, Danny Bonaduce. And Bud Bundy!
Tom goes back to Paddy Chayefsky and his reputation as a great screenwriter. Tom saw The Hospital and thought it was one of the dumbest movies he's ever seen. The titular medical center was stricken with all of the potential problems of all the hospitals on Earth, such as a murderer on the loose and scary radicals ("This hospital needs to help the people, man.") trying to take control. Then George C. Scott started yelling.
Forget the tolls, Jim. It's Chinatown: NJ 101.5 radio personality Jim Gearhart torturing the eyes and ears of his audience
- Jack in Bloomfield calls (starts at 2:45) and takes himself out of the running for the Yo La Tengo tickets since he doesn't listen to them and wouldn't feel right taking them away from a fan of the band. Oddly enough, his honesty puts him in the lead for the tickets, so he may win them against his will. He wants Tom's take on televised radio broadcasts and wonders if he'd ever do one. If Tom did one, he'd want it to be like Jim Gearhart's NJ 101.5 morning show. Listening to it was horrific, but seeing it was like eye torture for Tom. He says that if there is a remake of A Clockwork Orange, they would pin Alex's eyes open and show him that. Tom says that every third topic on the show is about getting rid of the tolls on the turnpike. It sounds like Gearhart would make a great Chayefsky character. Tom tells Gearhart to get used to the tolls because they aren't going anywhere. He finds it hard to believe that the 35 cents is breaking Gearhart's back.
Tom says that the show would go to traffic cut-ins with Jill Myra and some the other guy who never wanted to be seen on the air. He would avoid eye contact with the camera and do it all in one breath. By the end of the report, his face would be purple as a sheet of sweat cascaded down his brow. Jack asks Tom about the Mike and the Mad Dog broadcast. Tom's take on it is that Mike Francesa's Diet Coke is apparently not working. Tom recommends Extra Diet Coke since he's tipping the scales in the high 4s. Tom thinks that his chronic knee problems are traceable to the 440-pound frame they are asked to support. Jack notes Francesa's on-air lethargy, and Tom does an impression of him saying the same thing five times in a row: "Yeah, dawg. There's no way, uh, you're gonna put Jeter up. There's no way you're gonna, you know. You put Jeter up, that's not gonna happen. You put Jeter up that's not gonna happen. That's not gonna happen if you put Jeter in."
Tom let's Jack go with the ultra-rare "Bye, sweetheart."
- Jesse calls (starts at 2:51) to ask Tom a favor. He wants to know if instead of people going to the Yo La Tengo show, they could attend the Noah Britton and Paul Baribeau show in Boston on Friday. He offers Tom a music sample, but Tom doesn't have time for it. Considering the fact that the two shows are on different days, I'm not sure why Jesse phrasd it as an either/or proposition.
- Officer Tom calls (starts at 2:51) but there's no time because Non-Officer Tom is waiting for a call from a rock star named Mr. X. Tom calls the rock star to pick a winner in the Yo La Tengo contest, but the rock star wasn't there.
- The show ends with a speed round in which listeners had 10 seconds to charm Tom's pants off to win the tickets. The calls were not screened, which perhaps explains why No Smoke calls claiming to be Sgt. Nick Fury. Tom saw a clip of him on Dateline NBC: To Catch A Predator. He was entering a house in Florida hoping to find a 14-year-old girl.
* Jason wants to see The Best Show taken over and scripted by Paddy Chayefsky. He's in the lead.
* Cynthia calls and her gender may be enough to get her in the lead. She loves Yo La Tengo, so Tom orders her to be charming. Tom's not hearing the charm, but then she says "Hi!" and Tom gets a little bit, but not enough to overtake Jason.
* Another girl calls and she has a superhero sports figure, a combination that could prove victorious. But it all comes crashing down when she says the soft-serve Donatello from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be a good golfer. Tom points out that he's child's play, not a superhero.
* A callers says he loves Yo La Tengo and thinks Tom's a good guy. He says his name is Jack Knife, and Tom doesn't like it.
* A polite Corey gets off to a good start. He says he's the real deal, and Tom asks him if he's doing Glengarry Glen Ross. His confidence wanes and Tom GOMPs him for not bringing it.
* Cynthia's back because she thought she was disconnected. Tom says she was, and it happens again.
* A caller has a plan that will make him and Tom rich beyond their wildest dreams. In 1992, 29,000 rubber ducks fell off of a freight boat heading for Japan in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Those ducks traveled north over the polar ice caps into the Atlantic Ocean. Tom gets rid of him for providing an SAT question.
The last call is some kind of high-pitched screaming. Perhaps it was that guy doing another Waffle Stomper impression. That's it. Jason gets the "W" and so does the show.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU:: The Hulk calls to defend his baseball talents ("Rrrrr! Hulk batted .344 in 1968 recreational league!"), August greenlights his remake of Cassevettes' A Woman Under The Influence for the teen crowd, and the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin' while the Good Guys keep on winnin'.
In honor of the release of his hott new album, One More Day, let's look back at one of Kenny "The Jet" Smith's funkiest jams: