Little Miss Scharpling.
"I will whip your child." -- Tom on his new, The Ghostface Killer-inspired business venture ($10/whip; belt not provided)
"See, I can do this art stuff." -- Tom, looking for an NEA grant for his anti-commercialism Snickers installation
"I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change." -- Rocky Balboa in the inspirational Rocky IV
"You missed school for four stitches?" -- Tom, expressing doubt about Petey's excuse for his Opening Day absence
"Anything can happen when it comes to The Fuzz." -- Tom, warning Megan about drinking in a parked car
"Not in my wheelhouse. Give me someone in my wheelhouse." -- Tom, trying out his Bill Murray impression
"No, it didn’t come with a bun. What I had didn’t come with a bun." -- Spike, trying to convince Tom that he did not order a filet-o-fish sandwich
"Never have I cheered more for a shop going out of business." -- Tom on the closure of Don K. Reed’s Doo Wop Shop
“Not all of them did drugs." -- Spike, defending Doo-Wop Nation
"Children under the age of 25 should be never be seen nor heard." -- Spike, reinforcing his age-based discrimination
"I wouldn’t believe him if his tongue came notorized." -- Spike, badmouthing our President in increasingly bizarre ways
"Do you hear that ladies? This is your chance to get some Unabomber action.” -- Tom, trying to sell the listening audience on Dan McNamara
"Hey, Sweet Tooth is back!" -- Rahway State Prison officials on the return of their favorite inmate
"You’re tuned to 91.1 and here’s some Skinny Puppy, YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -- A dude about to be very, very disappointed
"Oh my God, my sister called?!" -- Dan McNamara, disgusted that his only female caller was a sibling
"Yes, but Robin Hood was still a thief." -- August, sticking up for law and order
"If they’re made out of pretzels, I could probably chew my way out of them." -- August, hatching his escape plan
Anyone -- male or female -- that thinks a photo of Rosario Dawson in an evening gown is tasteless needs to join a monastery." -- The wit and wisdom of an Autograph Collector reader
"What circles did you roll in?" -- Tom on Dave in Knoxville's autograph collection
"I just like the songs; I don’t like the live show." -- Tom, praising Gwar’s tunesmithing
Robert Pollard - "Rhoda Rhoda" [The ode to Mrs. Ziegler we've all been craving!]
( Click here to pre-order Normal Happiness + bonus live CD)
Don Fardon - "Belfast Boy"
( Click here to buy Pop Masters: Don Fardon from the iTunes Music Depot)
( Click here to buy The Nice Boys)
Spencer Dickinson - "Why!?"
( Click here to buy The Man Who Lives For Love)
J Dilla - "One For Ghost"
( Click here to buy Donuts)
Annotated highlights of a show dedicated to the loving memory of Carroll O'Connor and cartoonist Dave Berg:
It's back! YAON #6.
Phone Line Update: The cost has increased to upwards of $5,336 per call because Tom now pays 15 ConEd workers to provide 24/7 protection for the underground platinum cables, which run from “The Brick City” all the way to JC. By preventing any trolls from interfering with the cables, Tom can ensure optimal sound quality for The Best Show listeners.
- Lucas in Cranston, R.I., calls (starts at 24:20) to report that things are dandy, and he’s excited by the prospects of imbibing later in the evening. When Lucas clears his throught, Tom detects a Ted Knight quality to his voice and thought he might announce his intentions to purchase the Bushwood Country Club. Lucas is a big fan of the podcast and wants an update on its precarious standing. It’s doing just OK at 59 subscribers, and Tom says it’s the responsibility of everyone who enjoys the podcast to take as little as 10 minutes a day to promote it to their friends in conversation or chat it up on the Intronet -- word of mouth goes a long way. Tom hears reports about the robust subscriber bases of other shows (e.g., Professor Dumbledore's Ultimate Pit Of Darkness has 145 unholy minions), and he’s embarrassed that he can’t even break 60. Lucas mentions that the podcast does not require an iPod since you can have it transmitted right onto your computer.
The call shifts to Soupjam Stevens, the banjo-lovin’ songsmith whose Illinois fell victim to one of Tom’s Unfair Record Reviews earlier this year. Lucas, a musician who’s recorded several albums on 4-track, was inspired by Soupjam’s 50 States Project to come up with his own geographical music adventure. He plans to outdo Soups by recording an album for every country in the world before he dies. Unfortunately, Lucas’s sweet moment of glory only lasted about five seconds. Tom trumps him with a major musical announcement of his own: he will write a song for every town in America. Tom will start by penning a tune about South Plainfield, NJ.’s Hadley Shopping Center. Recommended title for Tom’s song: “BEWARE! The Owl Hoots Loudly At The Bear Rock Café, Which Sits Atop A Viking Burial Ground.”
Gift Alert: the fine folks at Asthmatic Kitty are compiling the perfect stocking stuffer for Tom this holiday season.
BANG!: Purple Shirt is set to invade Russia armed with domestic Snickers
- Purple Shirt checks in (starts at 28:52) after returning from a pleasure-seeking mission in Turkey. Tom emits some noises that sound remarkably similar to the phrases “rich kid” and “Daddy’s money” as he dislodges something from his throat. PS suspects it was an intentional dig. Tom was concerned that Turkey is one of those sick, prevert countries, but PS assures him that he was not converted into another Gary Glitter. While on the trip, PS downloaded The Best Show podcasts from Intronet cafes, and he passed the waiting time by crafting postcards depicting himself getting some kind of Turkish rubdown. He sent one such postcard to Tom.
At this point, Tom informs new listeners that PS is an independently wealthy artist who gets a $7,000/day stipend from his trust fund. PS refutes the cushy financial status and claims that he could afford the Turkey vacation because he’s been on rent strike for two years. Tom’s prediction: “You are going to owe a lot of money all of a sudden.” PS is confident that he will beat it and continue to fund future worldly jaunts with his savings. Tom finds it unlikely that PS will ever hear the following from his landlords: “Rent, schment, you don’t owe us anything. Go in peace.”
PS is getting paid to go to Russia for two weeks, and he wants to know if Tom wants any souvenirs. Tom declines PS’s offer of vodka and opts for a simple Snickers bar. But here’s the twist: Tom wants PS to purchase the bar (not "Fun Size") in the U.S., take it to Russia, and then bring it back home. PS will pack it in his checked luggage to avoid any hassles at the security checkpoints at the airport. The art project will require PS to get a picture of himself holding the bar in front of the Kremlin. Upon returning to the U.S., PS must make two copies of the picture on edible paper. He then must take the two edible copies to the WFMU studios -- one for him, and one for Tom. The Snickers bar will then be cut in half and wrapped in the edible paper so they can both consume the entire candy parcel.
PS likes it, and Tom is impressed at his ability to whip up a project that skewers commercialism even though he was just trying to concoct a difficult overseas assignment. He hopes to secure some NEA grants to continue creating his art. PS reveals that his work-related project (tall-bike jousting seminar?) is taking him to the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod (formerly Gorky), and Tom recommends a film as preparation: Rocky IV. PS is a bit puzzled by the choice, so Tom explains that it’s an inspirational story of change with Rocky winning over the Soviet crowd in his battle with their national hero, Cpt. Ivan Drago. Tom also thinks that PS should adopt Rocky’s rigorous training regimen while he’s there. PS vows to do it.
- Jeff from Middletown, N.Y., calls (starts at 35:04) with a question about the post-show meeting at the Flamingo Diner in Jersey City. He wants to go, but it’s kinda far. As in: really far. Like 70 miles far. Jeff thinks the trip would be worth it to eat a sandwich with The Kid, but Tom lets him off the hook because he doesn’t want someone getting home at 4 a.m. Tom tells him that he will have other opportunities, and Jeff wonders if Tom would consider coming to Middletown, which is alarmingly close to the nexus of soft-servitude known as Goshen. Tom wonders if he should be taking it to right into the heart of Goshen, surprising the rich mutants at their high school as they prepare for the fall talent show. (I hear they are doing a Devo cover this time.) Tom points out that the kids have disappeared from the show as their summer of hijinks has given way to the start of a new school year. Jeff thinks they may be bragging to all their classmates by telling them tall tales about how they chopped Tom down.
Look, kids, it's Ween!: The band performs "Exactly What I Thought" on Late Night with David Lettermen
- Petey calls (starts at 37:27) to give an abridged account of what led to his truancy on what was to be the first day of his sophomore campaign. He was walking out of the woods and while attempting to lift his bike over wood pile, a “thing” (probably a nail) went through his foot. Petey rolled his bike back home and went to the ER to get four stitches. He’s now recuperating in his bed. Tom’s not sold on this being a legitimate excuse for his absence, but Petey did not want to walk around while in pain. Plus, Faffer authorized the day of rest. Petey says that he’s not prepared to have a good school year and kinda wants to dropout. Tom doesn’t support the move and wonders if Petey would opt for VoTech to learn metalworks. Petey says he will continue to attend high school and nap through his classes. Tom thinks a weeklong stint at a vocational school might be beneficial since it will teach Petey what life is really like. Tom went to a vocational school for four years, which explains why he’s a master woodsman. Petey’s grandfather was also a master woodsman.
Petey heard Lucas talk about the podcast, and he promises to go on his computer and type up some stuff to try to get it. This is rather disturbing considering that Petey is supposed to be coming up with creative ways to promote the podcast as part of his sentence. Tom wants to know if Petey bled when the nail pierced his foot (he did) because he suspects that some of his interesting stuff escaped during the bleeding. Petey argues that he was never interesting. Petey mentions that he recently saw The Flaming Lips, Ween, and Sonic Youth at the Allentown Fair. Tom gives Petey his sympathy for having to endure Ween because Tom opposite-of-likes them. Petey wants to know why Tom’s not a Ween fan, and he blames it on that whole good taste thing he’s saddled with. Petey says they are better live than on record, but he does so using the goofball voice, so he’s GOMPed. Tom thinks that Petey is soft-serve for missing school due to a foot injury. He does a hilarious rendition of Petey’s tale using the goofball voice.
- The sound of laughter fills the airwaves -- it’s HOFer Megan Murphy (starts at 42:18) enjoying Tom’s mockery of Petey. When I first heard the guffaws, I was certain it was Philly Boy Roy! Megan is listening to the show in her parked car since she has bad reception in her apartment. Tom admires the dedication. She’s also drinking a beer, and Tom warns her to be careful because on Three’s Company, Jack Tripper once got pulled over for drinking while riding a bike. In other words: anything can happen when it comes to The Fuzz. Megan assures Tom that she won’t be driving anywhere.
Megan won’t be able to attend the post-show meet-up, but “Miss Leather” will make it, which will add to the fun because it guarantees that a girl will be there. Consequently, Tom thinks he will need to bring a taser in case some of the guys get out of control when confronted with a female being. Plus, if they followed the advice of Steinberg last week and studied Brutus Ping’s Exploiting Your Sexy, they may have gained confidence by unlocking their particular sexy. "Miss Leather" may be their Lady Sov. Tom teases that a celebrity guest may also show up at the diner. Maybe someone who might chow down on some onion rings?
Megan also saw the front of the Purple Shirt postcard, and she found the image of PS getting a rubdown from a Turkish masseur to be provocative. (Tom briefly interrupts the conversation to express disappointment that ELO drummer Bev Bevan left the chat before he could ask him some questions.) Tom informs Megan that in addition to buttons, stickers, and photos, he will be passing out DVDs of the least-talented man on Earth. Megan is impressed that Tom is really looking out for his listeners by offering such a glorious treat. Tom will not allow any photographs since he’s translucent like the vampire Dracul.
Megan advises Petey to stay in school, and Tom mocks him anew. Tom wonders what he would do, and Megan suggests that he could do some subway busking. Tom likes the idea and thinks it would allow Petey to gain some insight into the gritty realities of the world and send him begging to return to the safe confines of academia. Tom predicts that after four minutes of performance at the Times Square subway station, Petey would get his guitar smashed over his head El Kabong style. Megan thinks that Petey has written some good songs, but he needs to at least receive a high school diploma.
- Jordan from two towns away from Goshen, N.Y., calls (starts at 48:03) for some advice. He realized today that he’s 17 and his hero is still Ferris Bueller. Earlier in the day, someone pointed out that his hero is a fictional character and that his actual hero should be Matthew Broderick. Jordan IMdB’d him and realized that he did some bad movies, such as Godzilla and Inspector Gadget. He wants Tom’s advice on sticking to his fictional guns or opting for the actual person who did Addicted To Love and The Cable Guy.
Tom correctly states that there’s nothing wrong with the masterful The Cable Guy, which Jordan claims is one of Jim Carrey’s weaker movies. Tom thinks he’s kinda wrong on that because it’s the only good Jim Carrey movie. Jordan says his fave Carrey vehicle is the Andy Kaufman bio-pic, Man On The Moon. Tom’s reaction: “Eww, boy. That’s bad news, Jack.” Jordan insists that it’s good news. Tom saw the film and his eyes don't lie. Tom wants to know if Jordan’s ever seen any of the original Kaufman videos, and he has a few DVDs right in front of him. Tom thinks Carrey’s performance in the film should have earned him an award for Best Leading Male Impersonation. Tom doesn’t consider it acting and believes that given enough time, he could learn to successfully impersonate anyone in a film.
Tom offers to do an impression right now per Jordan’s request. Jordan picks Eddie Murphy, but Tom nixes that one because it’s crazy talk. Tom wants someone within his wheelhouse, so Jordan goes with Rodney Dangerfield. Tom reiterates his request for a wheelhouse resident and not someone who is 50 years his senior (and dead). Jordan tries again with some kind of hybrid man named “Bill Mahrray”. He eventually deletes the Bill Maher portion and wants a Bill Murray impression. Tom’s losing patience and says, “Not in my wheelhouse. Give me someone in my wheelhouse.” Jordan thinks this is his Bill Murray impression and seems to like it. However, it was just Tom complaining about his parade of unacceptable suggestions. Jordan is GOMPed. Tom says he doesn't really care if Jordan idolizes a movie character because there are people walking around with Superman tattoos. Besides, is there really any difference between Bueller and Broderick anyway? As Kid eBay once said about Broderick: "He's FB for life!"
As for the wheelhouse, I believe that Tom will eventually play the lead in Too Close For Comfort: The Ted Knight Story. I’m working on the script. TLS to direct.
- Matt in Nebraska calls (starts at 51:30) from his cell as he wanders the streets of downtown Lincoln not listening to the show live. He sent Tom a package containing a compact disc, and Tom has it! Matt doesn’t have much else to offer since he just wanted to follow up on the accuracy of the USPS. Matt says that once he reaches his job site, he’s gonna spark up last week’s podcast just like Bryce in Newbridge sparks up something else (i.e., weed). Tom thinks that Matt’s vocal qualities would make him a great choice to play the guy from Wet Rat in The Best Show movie. He’s unfamiliar with the lazy animal collective and announces that he ain’t the dude from Wet Rat. Tom wants to set up the Smash or Trash for next week and directs Matt to tell the band members to pick out the best clean track to put up for the vote.
TeethKeith Whitener calls (starts at 54:40) to tell Tom that he will make the trek up and to the west from Brighton Beach to attend the post-show meet-up. He’ll have to miss the next two hours of the show to make it in time, but Tom has nothing good planned anyway.
- Spike’s back (starts at 55:53) after an extended absence. Tom informs new listeners that Spike is a well-known regular caller who describes himself as a doo-wop dominatrix. Spike says he likes inflicting pain, and Tom suggests that he does that with his calls to the show. Spike disagrees: “My calls never inflict pain.” Tom's not so sure: “Speak for yourself, champ.” Tom tells Spike that Mike the Associate Producer is a big fan, and Spike's is not surprised because he thinks that he must have lots of fans in the listening audience. Tom appreciates the modesty. Tom mentions that he used to call the show and offer one-line declarations (e.g., “Where’s Debbie?”), but that’s in the rearview mirror -- now’s he’s a fully-fleshed-out, fully-formed human being.
Spike was absent from the show first due to illness and then he went on a trip to Philadelphia. He was originally scheduled to go to San Francisco, but changed his plans just in time. A week later, they came up with the new security screening measures at the airport after the terror flare-up. (I was not entirely clear what Spike meant by this. Was he planning on taking gel-based bombs on the flight?) He was able to take a train to Philadelphia and get there in 90 minutes. While in the city of brotherly love, Spike visited the Eastern State Penitentiary, which has been converted into a museum. The City of Philadelphia purchased the property with the intention of redeveloping it into a massive cheesesteak emporium/The Hooters practice space. However, a successful petition effort halted the plans and it was opened to the public for historic tours in 1994. Spike got to see Al Capone’s cell, which the curators fixed up to replicate the way it looked when he stayed there. Trivia: Terry Gilliam used this prison as the mental hospital in 12 Monkeys.
Tom wants to know if Spike ate at any fine restaurants, and Spike says he ate at two: Rotten Ralph’s and another one he can’t recall the name of. Tom guesses Subway, but Spike says it was a “real restaurant”. Tom guesses Quiznos, but Spike says it was a restaurant that had waiters. Tom's taken a bit aback by Spike's ritzy dining: “Excuse me, it must be nice living on the other side.” Given that information, Tom goes with Blimpie. Tom wants to make sure that Spike is talking about waiters that came to the table and delivered the food. Spike confrims that he just sat down and didn’t have it wait at the counter. Tom is still not entirely clear about how Spike is defining a "waiter". Tom wonders if he's talking about a cashier who is trying to keep the line moving by informing Spike that his hot apple pie will be delivered to him when it's ready. Spike is talking about going into the restaurant, being seated by the hostess, and then a waiter/waitress approaches the table. Tom inquires about Spike's food choices:
Tom: What did you order there?
Spike: In both cases, seafood.
Tom: So Rotten Ralph’s, you had seafood.
Spike: Yeah, basically seafood and …
Tom: Like a fish filet sandwich?
Spike: Excuse me?
Tom: Like a fish filet.
Spike: Yeah, fish, well it wasn’t a sandwich, it was fish and vegetables ...
Tom: So you took it off the bun.
Spike: No, it didn’t come with a bun. What I had didn’t come with a bun.
Tom: You told them not to bring the bun.
Spike: No, it didn’t come with a bun.
Tom: ‘Cause you told them not to.
Tom: That sounds like a pretty good waiter.
Spike: No, no. It didn’t come with a bun.
Tom: I would hope not. If you told them not to bring the bun, they didn’t bring it.
Spike: No, it wasn’t a sandwich.
Tom: Rotten Ralph’s.
Spike: It was a platter.
Tom: It was a platter?
Spike: Right, but it wasn’t a sandwich.
Tom thinks it’s ironic that they brought Spike a platter and one of his favorite bands is The Platters. Spike agrees that it’s ironic. Tom wants to know how many members of The Platters are still alive. Spike believes the woman (Zola Taylor), who once claimed to be married to Frankie Lymon, is still alive. My research indicates that Herb Reed is also still among the living. Tom wants to know about The Orioles, and Spike’s not sure. He does know that Sonny Till died years ago (1981, to be exact). I'm not sure either, although I think Gus Triandos is still around. Tom says he'd rather be locked in Spike's dungeon getting whipped than have to listen to 10 minutes of doo-wop. Spike advises Tom to not knock it before he’s tried it. Tom has indeed tried the genre via many visitis to Don K. Reed’s “Doo Wop Shop” on CBS-FM. Tom cheered when that shop went under. Spike argues that it beats listening to Metallica and Jenny from the Bedroom. Tom’s pleased to see that Spike brought some fresh targets to the program.
Spike also saw a couple of movies: The Devil Wears Prada, which he was supposed to review weeks ago, and the Indianapolis-based, car racing comedy, Little Miss Sunshine. Tom assumed he also saw Beerfest, and Spike doesn't officially deny it. Tom wants to know what Spike will use for his rating symbols, and Mike the Associate Producer suggests leather masks. Spike thinks that’s lovely, and Tom senses that Spike and Mike have a partnership of sorts. He wants to know if Spike would consider hiring Mike as an assistant in the dungeon. Spike would consider it if he likes pain. Tom points out that Mike is a fan of Spike, so he must be able to tolerate a certain amount of pain. Tom says that Mike loves doo wop and his favorite record is “Get A Job”. Spike claims the song was done by The Shilhouettes in 1958, but Tom thought it was the Del Vikings. Spike is certain that he’s right and notes that the Del Vikings did “Come Go With Me” in 1957.
Spike believes that normal, respectable people do not listen to current music like Mary June Blight, Spike’s clever nickname for Mary J. Blige. Tom does some punchup to the material by suggesting Mary Jay Bilge, but Spike is not interested in Tom’s script doctorin’: “Whatever”. Spike then sets his target on “the other genius" named Séance. Tom says that Beyonce is like the new Diana Ross, and Spike agrees with everything Tom said except that he forgot to add “without the talent”. Spike will not buy Séance’s new album, B’Day, and he refused to celebrate her birthday the past Sunday. As I'm sure you've read, the entire Knowles clan was very distraught about this:
"I was having such a great time until a friend delivered the bad news. She told me that I didn't get as much as a card from that weird dominatrix in Queens that attacks me on Scharpling's program. Total buzzkill." -- Beyonce Knowles to US Weekly
Spike also dislikes Jay-Z because he’s not into criminals. Tom wants to know what Jay-Z did, and Spike claims that “Jay-D” shoots up people. Tom’s not sure if he’s referring to violent crime or drug pushing. Spike can’t tolerate the gangsta rappers and their tunes about shooting people on street corners and having sex with four-year-olds. Tom never heard that great Jay-Z record about 4-year-olds, and Spike says it’s not specifically him, but most of them do it. Bottom line: Spike is not a member of Hip-Hop Nation. Spike is a proud member of Doo-Wop Nation. Tom’s glad to see Spike taking a stand against those guys getting arrested, while supporting upstanding moral guys like the smack-addled Frankie Lymon. Spike weakly depends his beloved genre by saying that not all doo-wop practioners used narcotics. He also goes out on a limb to take a hardline, pro-Beatles stance.
Tom wants to get back to the film criticism because he doesn’t think he and Spike will ever settle the debate about whether doo wop is the worst music in history or just the worst music of the 20th century. Spike says heavy metal is the worst music period. Tom informs spike that the Smithsonian recently organized a panel of 500 music experts, and they voted doo-wop the worst music ever. Second prize: Gregorian chants. Spike thinks the panel members are idiots and would rather listen to chants than Metallica. If Spike is referring to recent vintage Metallica, I agree with him. Spike is ready for his debut as The Best Show film critic.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006, David Frankel)
Spike thought the film was a hoot, and Stanley Tucci and Meryl Streep sent him into fits of hysterical laughter. (I hope he was better behaved than the The Best Show's other film critic.) His only criticism was that Entourage's Adrien Grenier was miscast.
Move over Abbott & Costello: Tom & Spike are the new Glimmer Twins of repartee
Little Miss Sunshine (2006, Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris)
Spike's rating: Not stated but seemed like
Spike thought it was a nice, cute movie, and he praised the performance of "the little girl" (Abigail Breslin) and Alan Arkin’s work as her grandfather. Tom hasn’t seen much of Arkin since M*A*S*H ended its run, so he was glad to see him back on the screen. Spike thinks Tom is confusing Alan Arkin with Alan Aldo from President Baseball. Spike reiterates that Alan Arkin is in the film, but Tom doesn't know who that is. Spike is surprised that Tom doesn’t know Arkin from The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming. Tom adds to the confusion by asking Spike if it’s Alan Narkin, so Spike spells his last name: A-R-K-I-N. Now Tom gets it -- it’s the guy who’s in Little Miss Sunshine! Tom agrees that he’s very good. Spike points out that in addition to his acting, Arkin was once a member of The Tarriers, who did "Black Denim Trousers & Motorcycle Boots". Tom thinks this is a clothing company, but Spike says it was actually a song. Spike loses Tom with that one, so it's time to move on. Spike liked the cast across the board -- the mother, played by
JeanToni Colette, Greg Kinnear, and the guy from The Office.
Spike: I always forget his name.
Tom: Ricky Gervais.
Spike: No, the American version of it.
Tom: Oh, okay, yeah, that guy is …
Spike: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, that guy.
Tom: Yeah, Stephen Colbert.
Spike: No. His name is Steve, but that’s not his last name.
Tom: Steve …
Spike: The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but you know who I mean.
Tom: Ah, Steve Richards.
Spike: Carol? Carell?
Tom: Carol Stevens?
Spike: No, not Cat Stevens.
Tom: I didn’t say Cat Stevens. I said Carroll Stevens.
Spike: Well, I never heard of her.
Tom: Him. Like Carroll O’Connor.
Spike: I’ve heard of Caroll O’Connor, but I never heard of Carroll …
Tom: He was not in Little Miss Sunshine, Spike. You are mistaken. Carroll O’Connor is in very poor health, and I’m sure could not have done that movie.
Spike: Carroll O’Connor’s deceased.
Tom: Wait, hold on. What?
Spike: Carroll O’Connor has been deceased for a number of years now.
Tom: Oh, good heavens. I didn’t realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the O’Connor family.
Tom continues to express his sympathy and wants the O’Connor family, in this moment of sadness, to realize that The Best Show is there for them. He welcomes any family members to call and share their stories. As for Little Miss Sunshine, Tom’s only problem was that he didn’t think the family got beaten up enough. He thinks they could have easily had two or three more things flung at them. Tom says the brother who wanted to be a fighter pilot could have also gotten his legs chopped off. Spike laments that it wasn’t that kind of movie. Tom also thinks the family could have been robbed at gunpoint. Spikes point out that [SPOILER] somebody dies in the film. Yes, but Tom thinks it could have been a murder. Tom thought the fact that each family member got completely humiliated at one point was insufficient. If Tom made the film, he would have generated three or four humiliations for each family member. Spike doesn’t like the idea because it doesn’t fit with the film. Tom would have had the family show up at the Little Miss Sunshine pageant and get robbed at gunpoint. When they returned to watch their daughter, they would have been locked out. More tragedy!
[PLACEHOLDER FOR THE AS-YET-NOT-YOUTUBED “PRENATAL PRETTIES PAGEANT” MR. SHOW SKETCH. I OWN THE MR. SHOW DVDS SO I SUPPOSE I COULD INFRINGE ON THE COPYRIGHT AND RIP IT MYSELF TO FILL THIS VOID BUT I'VE GOT MORE RECAPPIN' TO DO. LIKE RIGHT NOW:]
Spike doesn’t think little kids should enter beauty pageants, but Tom adds “ … unless they’re qualified.” Spike says they should not be in beauty pageants period. Tom rewrites Spike’s edict: “They shouldn’t be in beauty pageants … unless that pageant is The Best Show beauty pageant.” Tom will audition children from the ages of 6 months up to 6 years of age for this contest. Spike is not interesting in being one of the judges to crown the "Little Miss Scharpling" because “children under the age of 25 should be never be seen nor heard.” Spike wants no part of an event that involves these irrelevant youngsters. Tom actually understands why Spike doesn’t want to be involved with children under the age of 25. He respects the courts of NY and NJ and admires Spike for honoring the 500-foot distance mandated by their restraining orders. Spike repeats his never seen/nor heard mantra, and Tom wonders if he’s trying to match the legendary misanthropy of W.C. Fields. Spike believes he had the right idea about people.
Tom wants Spike to see another movie and review it on the show. Spike is looking for a good movie with a lot of decapitations, and Tom gets him interested in box-office sensation Snakes on a Plane because it features fangs puncturing human flesh. Spike may settle for the decidedly non-violent An Inconvenient Truth, a film about global warnings made by Depeche Mode’s Al Gore. Spike believes that Gore should be President instead of “The Village Idiot.” Tom seriously hopes that Spike is not disparaging George W. Bush, but he is. Tom admits that he stole the 2000 election, but he tells Spike that GWB won fair and square in 2004 with the largest margin in history. Spike refuses to believe that he was legitimately elected, and would not believe the President even if his tongue was notorized. Tom doesn’t want to fathom the image of an officially-stamped tongue and doesn’t know what he’s talking about anyway.
- Steinberg interrupts (starts at 1:18) the political discussion for a meeting of the minds with Spike. He initiated the summit because he wants to do Spike a favor by filling him in on Brutus Ping’s Exploiting Your Sexy, which he discussed on last week’s show. Steinberg thinks Spike could use the book’s teachings to figure out the best way to exploit his abundant charm and style. Since Steinberg has studied Ping’s detailed mathematical process, he discovered Spike’s sexy. Spike allows Steinberg to proceed, but seems very uninterested in the details.
1. Intelligence -- Spike sees lots of good movies featuring former Presidential candidates + chick flicks
3. A sense of humor and a wit that can’t be matched
4. A bad side -- a mysterious thing that women dig
Spike doesn’t want Steinberg to forget that he also watches soap operas. Steinberg says that women like that, and he watches them every day. Steinberg favors the Spanish tella novellas because he started working at the Dollar Store again. Steinberg cites his favorite show in heavily-accented, unintelligible Spanish, but it apparently features teens in sexy schoolgirl outfits -- which he knows Spike would like -- and contains wild adventures. Spike will stick with The Young and the Restless. Tom tells Spike about the The Young and the Restless 2.0 update with a younger generation cast that includes Andy Milonakis as a doctor. Milonakis is actually past Spike’s acceptable age threshold at 30, but Spike calls him an “obnoxious little brat” because he thinks he’s a teenager. Tom can’t believe he’s not a Milonakis fan; Steinberg thinks the kid is funny. Speaking of a guy who needs to start exploiting his sexy, Dan McNamara gets on the line, so Tom dismisses Spike and Steinberg to counsel his pilotmaking suitor.
- Dan McNamara is back (starts at 1:22) to try to secure a date for the New York Television Festival. The aspiring, 22-year-old showrunner has The Calderons, his robot-based mockumentary, in the comedy pilot competition. Last week he attempted to woo Tom to be his date to the gala premiere, but Tom told him to come back this week to try to get an actual young lady to go with him next Tuesday night. Dan is willing to quiz female callers to assess their worthiness. Dan's a strapping 6' 1" with blue eyes and brown hair, and Tom wants to know what famous person he looks like. Dan says he’s been told that he looks like a football player named “Tony Winner”. If Dan starts writing plays, he might be such a thing, but there is no football player with that name. I’m not sure why Dan had trouble answering this simple query since his very own Myspace page indicates that his celebrity lookalike is NASCAR goon Tony Stewart. Dan says that he’s pretty much Generic White Guy. Tom has little to work with so he informs female listeners that if they are interested in a GWG, their dream has come true.
If that didn’t sound particularly appetizing, Dan really hurts his chances by saying that his dream is to own a cabin in the woods, grow a long beard, and hopefully never move a muscle again. Tom runs with that notion and addresses the listeners again on Dan's behalf: “Do you hear that ladies? This is your chance to get some Unabomber action.” Tom thinks it’s reasonable to expect a that a lot of ladies out there wanted to date the Unabomber when he was still the handsome man known as Ted Kaczynski. The general consensus from Mike the Associate Producer and Tom is that Dan has just scared every woman away. Dan scrambles to come up with a new dream that involves owning a mansion in Jersey City and hopefully smoking a cigar with the mayor. Tom thinks the bearded man in the woods might actually be preferable. Dan says he’s heard that the mayor of JC starts fights. Tom doesn’t know anything about him.
As Tom tried to load his Myspace page, Dan mentions that he got an e-mail from the brain trust behind The Long Walk To New York. The cryptic message simply informed Dan that they were indeed going on a long walk with a final destination of New York City. Dan thought there would be a deeper purpose to this journey and thinks it’s a terrible idea. Tom says that he will drive past the walkers in a pick-up truck enabled with an egg canon. He will enlist the services of a buddy, and they will take turns shooting eggs at them. Dan thinks it might knock some sense into them. Tom has never seen the phones this quiet -- ladies are actively rejecting the idea of going on a date with Dan. The damage may be done, but Dan hopes that his Myspace page will spark some interest.
Beastie Boys - "Egg Raid On Mojo"
- Pat calls (starts at 1:29) to defend TLWTNY. He’s not sure who e-mailed Dan, but the walk is set for September 30th and the preparation is going great so far. Dan chimes in and says the idea sound dumb, and Pat fires back by asking who Dan is and speculating that the e-mail he received was a joke. The two then have a brief bad-connection-off. Tom directs Dan to seek a better connection and stop pacing the room nervously. Pat says that the cast will depart Verona, N.J., at 6 a.m. and walk over the GW Bridge into Manhattan. The entire trek will be documented, including the collection of crazy characters. Dan’s not sold, and someone on the chat declares the conversation a “War of Bore”. Tom wants to know if the walk will be lower energy than the call. If yes, Tom thinks that they will need to block off 10 days to account for roadside napping.
Dan wants Pat to convince him to go on the walk in one sentence. Pat says it’s Super Size Me meets Homeward Bound. It's unclear whether the crazy charactes will include talking animals. In the chat, Chris L predicts that there will not actually be any crazy characters. Pat responds by reminding listeners about Sweet Tooth and his knuckle tattoos. Crazy! A second crazy character is a ukulele player named Bender. Tom can’t imagine anyone not wanting to sign up for the walk with those two on board. Tom wonders how far Verona is from Rahway State Prison because he thinks that they should walk there and surrender on general principles: “We are guilty of something, just charge us, lock us up.” Tom predicts that Sweet Tooth would be welcomed back by the prison guards. Dan doesn’t think that they should go to prison. Tom hangs up on Dan and Pat and names this call “The Long Nap” Tom thinks the documentary could be fun, but was not impressed with Pat’s salesmanship.
Lifers Group - "The Real Deal" (DJ Shadow remix)
- Mike calls (starts at 1:35) with a logistical warning to TLWTNY crew. He doesn’t think there’s any safe route for a mob of people to walk from Verona to NYC since they will they will have to traverse the six-lane Route 3, which doesn’t even offer a shoulder. Tom hopes the filmmakers will consider these issues. Mike also warns them that they might walk through a sketchy part of Paterson and end up as dead as Carroll O'Connor.
- Farmer Eli from Central Jersey calls (starts at 1:36) to say that TLWTN is one of the worst ideas he’s heard in a long time. It made him realize that video cameras are way too accessible. Back when they were cost prohibitive, these kinds of projects would never actually get made. Eli and his friend were trying to figure out a way to drive from NJ to Manhattan without paying any tolls, but they never considered filming it. Tom says that if he puts Sweet Tooth in the back seat, he’s got a movie. Tom fears that he’ll be walking down the street and hear a guy say, “Hey, you!”. He'll look down at his hands and see the letter “G” on a knuckle. Eli speculates that the guy has “Sweet” and “Tooth” tattooed on his toes.
- Tom Riley from New Zealand calls (starts at 1:38) from the future. On this Wednesday afternoon, Riley is trying to be more cheerful than his call a couple of weeks ago when his discussed the economic recession and the faded glory of the Flying Nun label. Riley is nervous and worried because he has to talk to a producer to extract some money from him to make some commercials. He finds it hard to ask for money and working out the percentage cuts of the parties involved. He assumes that Tom’s dealt with that, and he’s right: “Don’t I know it, brother.” He wants to know if Tom has any tricks of the trade for negotiating rates. Tom does, but he cannot reveal them. Riley will have to learn for himself, and he might just go into the meeting and start using profanity. Tom thinks it’s a great strategy because people always respond to someone with a foul mouth.
- A high/deranged/etc. guy calls the wrong line (starts at 1:59) to tell Tom that he did pretty good with his last set. Tom will thank Ronald (Thomas Clontle?), who picks all of the music for the show. The caller wants to hear some Stereolab, Front 242, or Skinny Puppy. Tom asks for a specific Skinny Puppy track, but the caller doesn’t remember the “album numbers” -- all he knows is that he wants to jam some Skinny Puppy and scare the pants out of some of the listeners. Tom cues up an .mp3, and the caller is amazed that Tom did it so quickly. Tom wants him to do an intro, and he obliges: “You’re tuned to 91.1 and here’s some Skinny Puppy, YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Uh oh. Someone switched the CDs again, and Neil Diamond’s “Porcupine Pie” plays instead of Skinny Puppy. Tom will whip the perp with a strap per The Ghostface Killer's recommendation. While Tom's not pleased about the switcheroo, he seems to have a good time singing along to the song.
- Matt from The Wheezing Stumblers calls (starts at 2:03) fresh from rock 'n roll band practice. He says the band sounds like the offspring of early Ramones and Nirvana mixed with some “street punk” a la The Casualties. Matt admits that there is no point to his call beyond the self-promotion of pointing listeners to their Myspace page. Tom GOMPs him because there’s only one Wheezy in his book: Isabel Sanford.
- Fred's brother mumbles something and is GOMPed. This kind of sounded like the Skinny Puppy guy coming back for more.
- Mary calls (starts at 2:05) about the date with Dan McNamara. She checked out his Myspace pics and thinks he’s a very good-looking man. But. Strike #1: She’s 17. Tom doesn’t think that can happen because Dan’s 22, which means he might as well be 42. Strike #2: Mary is Dan’s brother. She’s only calling because she felt bad that the phones were silent for him. Tom wants Mary to sell her brother to the ladies who are listening. She says that they should go on a date with Dan because they’ll never know what will end up happening. Tom thinks that is the worse endorsement he’s ever heard. Mary says that it could be the most amazing experience of their life. Tom adds that it could also mark the end of their life. Mary says that Dan hasn't murdered anyone ... yet. I think Dan’s next pilot should be a docudrama called The McNamaras.
Dan checks in (starts at 2:07) and is not pleased that his sister called. Tom says that there is no shame in attending his premiere solo just like there's no shame in calling a radio station soliciting a date. And there’s certainly no shame in the fact that no women who were not related to him called to express interest in said date. Dan apologizes because he feels bad that he wasted so much show time on his ineptitude with the opposite sex. Tom makes him feel better by hanging up on his sister, but quickly sends Dan to join her in the land of the hung-up-on. Tom makes one last plea for the ladies and declares Dan a handsome fella.
- Tom returns (starts at 2:09) to the topic he touched on with his young friend Petey: the first day of school. Tom's comforted by knowing that the kids have to return to school, while he is beyond that feeling that haunted our youths, the slight queasiness as you went to sleep with the knowledge that when you rose the next morning, you would be starting a new school year. The summer was ova. Tom observes the neighborhood kids who just days ago were still being loud and driving him nuts, and he knows that they viewed today as the worst day ever. Tom points out that this is a rare occasion where an adult has an advantage over a kid. Today is their nightmare. Being an adult is like one long, waking nightmare. It never ends. There is no respite from it. But, for Tom, watching the kids shuffle off to school makes him feel a little bit better about his current standing in life. Tom nails the essence of these feelings -- it wasn’t so much that you truly hated school, but what really made you depressed was the idea that something was coming to an end. A depressive haze coated Labor Day Weekend as you realized that you had to go back to that place with its structure and assignments and you had to be there all day: "Here goes nine months, let's get it started."
- August makes his much-anticipated return (starts at 2:11) to the show to follow up on Tom’s riff. August says that he and his friends actually do want to go back to school. August has a theory that informs this outlook: for every day he goes school, he’s a day closer to college, and every day he's closer to college is a day closer to getting out of school. Tom adds that every day after that is a day closer to being retired, and every day after that is a day closer to being in a nursing home. August hasn’t gotten that far yet.
Tom has missed August and wants him to be a regular caller to the show because he’s a smart young man. Tom wants to know if he upset August’s brother when he hung up on him back in June. August says yes and no. He was upset for a couple of days, but then become neutral on the matter because on one hand, he got hung up on, but on the other hand, he still got the glory of being on the air for the first time. Despite the hooliganistic nature of that call, Tom salutes his brother and wants August to tell him that he said hello. August will do so in the morning because he’s asleep. August doesn’t really get along that well with his brother because they don’t have much in common. Tom points out that his brother likes rock ‘n roll music, while August likes “The Hampster Dance”. August reminds Tom that his friends like “The Hampster Dance”, and Tom remembers that August avoid all music. August says he’s warming up to certain songs, and Tom guesses either “Macarena” or “The Chicken Dance”. August does not like those songs, but notes that his brother found a Chicken Dance video on YouTube. August thought the clip was very weird. August says he's getting into "just sort of like rock music", and Tom tries to get him to be a bit more specific. August says he is just warming to the general picture of the genre and does not cite any bands or songs. My sources reveal a trio of albums that sparked August’s interest: Big Star’s #1 Record, Danzig II: Lucifage, and the Now That’s What I Call Music #22 collection, especially Nickelback’s “Savin’ Me”.
As an eighth-grader, August is the king of his school this year. He’s looking forward to high school because he will finally have the flexibility to select some of his classes. Tom dreaded high school because when he was in 8th grade, he attended a high school basketball game where Troy Dershman and his gang warned him that he would be picked on the following school year. As a result, he dreaded that September for the next nine months. In the end, it helped Tom to become the expert bully that he is now, using his radio show to lash out at those who are not the people who picked on him. He’s been able to perfect the art of redirecting his anger to be people who have done nothing to harm him. Tom was singled because he was too cool for school, and, in fact, earned the nickname "Too Cool". Tom got his revenge by studying hard, and now they all work for him. One of the former bullies does Tom’s landscaping. Once in a while, Tom shoots a laser pointer at him from an alcove at the top of his house. Tom admits that his behavior is kind of disturbing; August agrees, but does see some value in it. Tom says that it suggests that he still has some issues, but August notes that everyone has issues. Tom appreciates August’s wisdom beyond his years.
August is most looking forward to seeing his friends, learning a few things, and getting away from his brother. His brother is about to enter the fourth grade. Tom informs August that while he and his brother will never share a school, they will share an apartment when they’re in their 20s. August says he would never move in with his brother. Tom offers him a clear $1 million to be handcuffed to his brother for two months. August declines. Tom says its money he stole from a drug dealer, not unlike the work of Robin Hood. August is not impressed with the class-conscious crusader: “Yes, but Robin Hood was still a thief.” Tom wonders if August is Jerry Orbach, but August doesn’t know who that is. Tom doesn’t know who that is either -- his joke writer, Ronald, told him to make the reference. Tom scolds Ronald for the ill-advised suggestion. In addition to his moral qualms, August says that being in handcuffs is very uncomfortable. Tom says that he will use comfortable handcuffs made out of pretzels. August says that if they are made out of pretzels, he could probably chew his way out of them. Tom considered this escape plan, so he used poisonous pretzels to prevent consumption.
August says that over the course of two months, the pretzels would eventually disintegrate due to exposure to water. Tom says that these poisonous pretzels would resist water because were formed by scientists with not much to do. August is still not interested. Tom factors in a daily, 15-minute break, but he doesn’t budge. Tom doubles the offer to $2 million, suggesting that August could donate half of his loot to charity and retain the other half for himself. Tom asks August to think about the lives he could change just for a lousy two months. August says that he would at least think about it, and Tom issues his final offer: $2.5 million. August says that he would probably agree to do it at that price, but thinks he would likely regret it later. Tom asks him to think about all the good he could do with that sweet money since he seems like a forward-thinking, progressive young man. Since August struggled with the fact that it was drug money, Tom tells him that it will not be connected to the drug trade. It’s a go, and Tom wants to schedule it. Tom wants to start in a couple of weeks, which means that the handcuffs will come off on Thanksgiving. August prefers to do it over the summer, but Tom says the time is now because Fox will get their money back at the end of the year. It will also be filmed for a reality series. The talented Mike Darnell (Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire? and The Glutton Bowl) is backing the project.
Tom says that August would have to retake fourth grade with his brother for the two-month period. He’ll also have to wear a giant hamster costume because the show is being sponsored by “The Hampster Dance”. On September 15th, August and his brother will come down to WFMU to be handcuffed. There will be one air hole in the hamster costume in the knee area. August wonders what good that will do him other than allowing air to flow onto his knee. Tom grants him a second air hole near the mouth, but the costume will also be equipped with a “Hamster Cam” to film him. August says that it’s not turning out the way he thought it would, but Tom tells him that it’s not Show Friendship -- it’s Show Business.
- Steve from almost-Brooklyn calls (starts at 2:26) in mid-move, driving somewhere in Pennsylvania in his car filled to the brim with his belongings. He was listening to the podcast of last week’s show and when he got to the Smash or Trash segment with Hayday’s “Hope You Had Fun”, he had the urge to call and vote. However, he then realized that the show happened a week ago. He called anyway to see what was going on. Tom says that he needs to drive safely and gives him a polite GOMP. Tom thinks it's irresponsible to call a talk show while you're in transit with all of your possessions.
- Tom discusses (starts at 2:28) the new issue of Autograph Collector with cover boy Al Pacino dishing on fame, filmmaking, and autographs. Tom bets that he was thrilled to talk about all three of those subjects. It's a niche publication that caters to the many, many needs of autograph collectors. I canceled my subscription last year after a dispute with the editor over a freelance piece I did about getting the entire cast of Family Ties (including all guest stars, such as Tom Hanks, Timothy Busfield, Philip Baker Hall, Dan Hedaya, Geena Davis, Daphne Zuniga, and David Paymer) to sign a Cleveland Indians pennant. He refused to publish it on the grounds that it was "riddled with factual errors". I was surprised they even had a fact-checking department. And there was the issue of the restraining order that Meredith Baxter-Birney put out on me. The primary narrative arc of the story involved tracking down Brian Bonsall with the help of P.I. Anthony Pellicano. That guy brings it. Despite this falling out with the magazine, I still consult their landmark article, "Nightmare On Autograph Street: The Dry Sharpie", before every autograph mission.
Tom reads some samples of the content in the publication. In the letters column, he finds a juicy pull-quote: “Anyone -- male or female -- that thinks a photo of Rosario Dawson in an evening gown is tasteless needs to join a monastery.” He then reads a letter from "Herbie":
This is in response to Bob Combs’ e-mail about Lisa Kudrow not signing through the mail. I sent her a 5” x 7” photo, and not only did she sign it for me, but personalized it to me also. So in my book, she’s a-ok.
Here's another letter:
In your story in the June issue of Autograph Collector about Patty Hearst, you said how she refused to sign copies of Newsweek and Time. I had an experience with Ms. Hearst when my wife and I attended a book signing in Westport, CT., back on September 7th, 1996. She did a reading first, and then the signing. We sat down near the front to listen to the reading, not realizing that we sat next to hear husband. After the reading, we got in line to have her book signed, and I asked her if she would sign her Playboy interview. She told me that she would not sign that magazine because the people at Playboy were mean to her. She signed her book, then reached over and grabbed the Playboy out of my hands and said she better sign this quickly before she remembered why she was mad at them. So congratulations on getting your Newsweek signed. I got the interview from the March ’82 issue of Playboy signed on the interview page, inscribed: “To Wayne, Enjoy.” What did you do to make her mad?
There was a response from the editor, but Tom cannot make any sense of it. He also thinks the fact that the writer could recall the exact date of his Hearst encounter goes a long way to dispel the idea that autograph collecting is a creepy hobby. Tom mentions a section called “Passings” and guesses that the subtitle for the autograph collectors would be “Increased Value”. They can scan through to find out Italian motorcyclist Umberto Masetti died, and then rejoice that their autograph has doubled in value. Tom does his own scan and discovers that billiards champion Steve “The Miz” Mizerak has also passed on.
- Dave from Knoxville calls (starts at 2:33) to make initial contact since he's a new fan of the show. He begs Tom to keep the podcast, and Tom will keep it going for a few more weeks before re-evaluating its status. As a child in Nashville, Dave attended the annual Music City Pro Celebrity golf tournament. When he was about nine or 10, he was itching to get Don Ho's autograph. Dave was on the edge of the green as Ho lined up his putt. Ho missed and then tapped in. Dave ran up to get the signature, and Ho pushed him to the ground because he was so angry about his misfire. The crowd started razzing Ho for his child abuse, and Perry Como, who was also in the foursome, picked Dave up and gave him an autograph. Tom can relate to this story because he can't imagine a child of that age not wanting an autograph from Ho or Como. Dave mentions that Como was wearing a beautiful sweater vest.
Tom assumes that this incident forever soured him on Ho’s music, but Dave said that when he got to college and started rebelling against his former life, he embraced Don Ho. He didn’t really know Perry Como at the time of the autograph, but when he first heard his music, he turned on him because he could not make it through two minutes without falling asleep. Tom thinks this is a strong validation of the autograph collecting field -- a kid running onto the green, getting shoved to the ground, and then receiving an autograph from someone he was unfamiliar with. Dave excuses the behavior because he was a young kid, but he admits that he wanted the autograph. Tom wants to know why. The best Dave can come up with is the folly of youth. Dave has autographs from Bobby Goldsboro, Alice Cooper, and Lawrence Welk, who he barely knew at the time. This prompts Tom to ask him what circles he rolled in. Dave explains that the cast of characters were all attending the same golf event. Other celebrity attendees included Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, and Minnie Pearl. Tom would want Jerry Reed’s autograph because he played Cledus Snow in the Smokey and the Bandit films.
Tom gets excited when he heard that Dave also got golfer Mason Rudolph’s autograph. Tom finds it odd that he’s still living in Knoxville with such a prized item and thinks he should trade it for an apartment in New York. This was the pinnacle of Dave's life, and it's been downhill ever since.
- Tim V calls (starts at 2:37) to say he has something better than autographs -- sketches from comic book artists. Tom guesses Dave Berg (no), but hits with Sergio Aragones. Tom wants a sketch from Dave Berg, who did the “Lighter Side” strip for MAD TV magazine, featuring his alter ego, Roger Kaputnik. Tom is a Kaputnik supporter and sympathized with his antagonistic relationship with his doctor, who always gave him lip. Tom believes that the doctor should have had his license revoked. Tim V informs Tom that Berg passed away a couple of years ago. As he did with the Carrol O’Connor family, Tom sends his condolences to the family.
Tim V got these sketches at a comic convention and also owns one from Marvel and DC artist Seth Fisher, who died earlier this year. Fisher is known for his work on Green Lantern: Willworld, Flash, and the Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big in Japan mini-series. Tim was a fan of his style, which combined Japanese, American, and European influences. Tom offers him $3 cash money for the sketch. Tim V is tempted, and Tom increases the offer to $3.50. No sale. $3.75? Nope.
- Tom reads (starts at 2:41) from a section of Autograph Collector called “The In-Person Scoop”, where people tell their autograph stories. Here's a sample with Tom's editorial comments:
Tim Robbins was filming the movie Bob Roberts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1992 ["They couldn’t get any more recent story than this?"]. He took a break after shooting downtown, as he walked across the parking lot, I stopped him and asked for an autograph. He signed a photo from Erik The Viking from a past issue of Starlog. ["Geez. Guys are walking around with issues of Starlog waiting for Tim Robbins to take a break?"] He was the coolest person I ever met, and he was nice enough to pose for a photo with me. I also met Giancarlo Esposito, who was also in Bob Roberts. Later, I went to see the movie Bob Roberts ["I would hope you saw it!"], and when the scene with Giancarlo screaming in the street came up, I thought, “Hey, I saw them film that scene.”
Tom senses the excitement leaping from the page and dismisses the notion that the magazine industry is in trouble.
- Jeff from Middletown is back (starts at 2:42) with a story about Gwar. Jeff finds the band amusing, but he had a good friend who was more into them, so they attended a show. Tom likes the Gwar albums, but he’s not a fan of the live performances. He prefers the tunesmithing they capture on record. Before the show, the band had a record signing, and the only thing Jeff had on him was an Arby’s bag. He approached the band, who were in full costume, and their lead singer, Oderus, says, “Oh, it’s like Gwarby’s!” Jeff thought the quip was really funny. Tom tells Jeff that he might like Ween if he’s amused by an Arby’s pun. Tom thinks that this makes the Tim Robbins story seem not too shabby.
- A caller (starts at 2:45) got Hippy Johnny nemesis Jim Henson’s autograph. His dad used to be a DJ, and he interviewed Henson for his radio station. Henson gave him some Kermit. Tom does an impression of a high-pitched “DJ voice", but the caller’s dad was more of a scratchy, deep voice guy who didn’t use a crazy on-air name. He’s retired, but Tom wants him back on the air to teach him a thing or two. Tom wants his father to call next week with some radio advice for The Kid.
- Christopher in R.I. calls (starts at 2:46) to discuss his run-in with The Cos. He was a big Cosby fan as a kid, starting with the Bill Cosby: Himself HBO special that was shown so frequently that Tom thought it was the only programming the channel had in its archives. He then discovered the LPs and The Cos usurped Steve Martin as his favorite comic. For his 10th birthday, his mom got tickets to see Cosby at the Warwick Musical Theater (aka “The Tent”), a venue that generally hosted the likes of Stills & Nash and Tom Jones. The opening act was a guy who played solo guitar while dressed as Jim E. Hendrix. Since he lacked intrigue, his mom suggested that they try to get Cosby’s autograph. They went to the back area where they could see his trailer through a fence that was set up.
A girl who was a few years older was holding a pudding pop, and Christopher had his pen and the envelope the tickets came in. After 10-15 minutes, Cosby emerged from the trailer wearing an engineers cap and smoking a cigar. He walked right by them. Christopher yelled, “Oh, Mr. Cosby! Mr. Cosby!” He turned around, comes over, and Christopher holds up his pen and asks for an autograph. Cosby takes the cigar out of his mouth and says: “No. You gotta wait.” He turns around, walks over to a doorway, and watches the guy jam on guitar for 10-15 minutes of 10-year-old time (i.e., five minutes). He comes back over, signs the autographs, and returns to his trailer with Christopher's pen. He stole it. Christopher was steamed about the heist, but more so about him being a jerk to a 10-year-old. Tom says thumbs down and orders Cosby to issue an apology.
- Offier Tom calls (starts at 2:50) with some tales from the movie detail where he can raid the Kraft services spread. While working movie sets, he's collected many photos with celebrities such as Diane Keaton, but his best story involves Richard Belzer. OT pulled over a car with a CA plate, which was expired and belonged to a woman in Beverly Hills. He goes to talk to the lady and get the requisite paperwork, and she asks him if he knows the passenger. It’s The Belz. They bonded because Belzer has portrayed Det. John Munch on television for what seems like the past 45 years and OT is an actual cop. Belzer’s wife was the driver and they were on route to NYC. OT cut them a break, gave them his business card, and a few weeks later he received a signed promo photo personalized to him. OT thinks it may be a B-list autograph, but Tom says it’s respectable due to Belzer’s longtime presence in comedy.
Tom wants to know what would happen if he pulled over Ice-T. OT likes him and would try to recruit him for The Best Show. Tom asks him about someone wearing a shirt that said “I Hate Cops”. In that scenario, OT would ask the person where they got the shirt so he could acquire one. OT is just back from invading and conquering Engaland, so he will call earlier next week to provide the details.
- James from Jersey City calls (starts at 2:53) to talk about his encounter with David Crosby. In his youth, he had a Woodstock poster that he was trying to get signed by everyone who was there. This caused him to wait for Crosby, Stills, & Nash to emerge from the Beacon Theater. He doesn’t like the band, but he’s a completist when it comes to autographs. Their bus arrived and the band members trickled out. Stills ignored everybody, Nash went inside to take a nap, and Crosby, who had just undergone a liver transplant, sluggishly waddled out. They waited for an hour, and Crosby came back out at the soundcheck. He looked at a trio of autograph seekers, grabbed a pen, and sighed. As he was signing, he informed them that if he found out that they sold the items, he hoped a certain part of their bodies fell off.
James still has the poster, but sort of retired from the quest because he’s at the age when seeking autographs is no longer cool. He has Richie Havens (his first), but lacks any members of Sha Na Na and Sweetwater. Tom tells him that there were hundreds of thousands of people at Woodstock, so he’d have to go on the back to have enough room for everyone. Tom asks if he can sign it if he goes up to Woodstock now, but James said he would have had to attended the actual festival in 1969. Tom is trying to complete his 1994 Woodstock poster but is having trouble getting a signature from the notoriously tough Ed Kowalczyk from Live.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Philly Boy Roy celebrates the return of a historic monument, Officer Tom talks about the brawl he started during a House of Commons session, and Dan McNamara begs Tom to go with him to the NYTF.
This one's for Mike: