"HOW DARE YOU EMBARRASS ME IN FRONT OF WFMU! There’s people judging me right now! They’re laughing! Jerry has his old-fashioned radio program with the old records, he had the phones lit up! It was like a Christmas tree! I’m playing new records!" -- Tom on the humiliating, crash-and-burn start to the program
"Tom's show is pretty good." -- Jerry in West Orange, curbing his enthusiasm for the night's first pledge
"I did some time in Lompoc. I don't wanna talk about it." -- Tom, keeping mum on his stint at the Federal Butt Hut
"August had a shiv on him. Where do you get a shiv from, August?" -- Tom wondering where the teen volunteer got the weapon he used to extract a $1 pledge from Irwin Chusid
"Why am I here? I don’t need this. I’m friends with Paul F. Tompkins." -- Tom on ditching the marathon for his Hollywood cronies
"We don't take any sleazy advertising. We don't have mattress commercials on the station, right? There’s no mattress commercials." -- Tom, touting WFMU's independence from meddling corporate stupidity
"Why do girls not like my show?" -- Tom, pondering his male-centric listenership
"Her name is Sparkiepop, and she's awesome." -- Tom on the Superstar FOT from El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles del Rio de Porciuncula
"I hate The Sims so much. I bought it, and I played it for like two days, and I felt so horrible because I felt like I was on the hook for someone else now. It’s like, I gotta keep this jerk happy and employed, and he’s hungry now. What about me?!" -- Tom, eschewing virtual responsibility
"It's so mushy sounding, isn’t it? Where's the groove, guy? Where's the groove -- it’s like Grandpa grooves." -- Tom, responding to David in Springfield, Va.'s request for more Al Green
"Yeah, he’s still around." -- Dan Mackta on longtime information guru/Internet butler, Jeeves
"You’ll believe that an old lady can’t fly." -- Tom, penning a new tagline for The Devil and Daniel Johnston
"The money you would buy coke with, pledge it to WFMU for just one week and then you can go back to doing coke." -- Tom, giving Brooklynites another option for their disposable income
"You want your band to rock out, you go through the Toddfather." -- Tom, defining the path to sonic success
"No more podcast would make me angrier than a rattlesnake at a Thai wedding." -- Jeffrey in Slate Hill, NY
"Pompton Plains is on the list for a new Quiznos. Soon guys, soon. Keep writing your Congressman." -- Tom on the town's quest for toasted subs
"Dead Moon, we’ve got a dead room. Dead phone room." -- Tom, cracking himself up during a lull
"Well maybe people don’t like it no more, maybe that’s why they’re not pledgin’ and stuff." -- Philly Boy Roy, proposing a theory about WFMU's financial shortfall
"Oh, come on, you dumb Philadummy stupid." -- Philly Boy Roy, ripping Tom for his failure to recognize the name Ike Goldenberg
"I like his beard. He’s got an awesome beard." -- Tom, admiring the facial hair of Nickelback frontman, Chad Kroeger
"Princeton. It’s a great town. Princeton. Smart people down there. A Beautiful Mind. Did that guy pledge? John Nash?" -- Tom, looking for a contribution from the famed mathematician
"I might have to visit the troops." -- Tom, discovering that the podcast is taking off like wildfire in the US Navy
"Anyone who doesn’t pledge should get ready for a hot oil bath. Let’s make this pledge drive a W." -- Mac in Austin, using threats to keep the undefeated streak alive
"It's Patton Oswalt and Eugene Mirman, Maria Bamford, and I think, um, Brian Hussein, perhaps." -- Tom, listing the Comedians of Comedy
"Turn me from a mere mortal into a God. Make me eternal." -- Tom, making a run at 20k
Parts & Labor -
"The Gold We're Digging"
( Click here to pre-order Mapmaker)
Volcano Suns - "Bumper Crop" (from the OOP Bumper Crop)
( Click here to visit the Volcano Suns Myspace fun pit)
Fugazi - "Hello Morning"
( Click here to buy the Furniture +2 single)
Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter - "You Might Walk Away"
( Click here to buy like, love, lust & the open halls of the soul)
New Radiant Storm King - "Fighting Off The Pricks"
( Click here to buy The Steady Hand)
The Reatards - "Human Race"
( Click here to buy the Plastic Surgery 7")
Sebadoh - "Violet Execution"
( Click here to buy the SEMINAL III)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! They told him not to yell. They told him not to beg. The Kid yelled and begged. Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate 50 weeks of FUN and the first week of the FUNdraising:
"You can hate me and pledge. Don't love me and not pledge." -- Tom
"The Best Show is unstoppable, untoppable, and undefeated in 2007. Tom is like The Queen: he gets in his Range Rover and crushes everyone and everything in his path." -- Omar, unread pledge comment
"Hello, Jason? Yes, I'd like to do the Double Mouse this year. Did you get the blood pudding I sent you, dear? We all miss you terribly."
The Night of the New Crusade
The main thrust of tonight's effort was saving the struggling podcast. Tom lost two subscribers in the past week, so the count is down to an embarrassing 32. That's sick. The podcast experiment is a failure. There’s a lot of people working to make it happen, but it’s an undeniable flop. Tom says that he's become the punchline to jokes told by his colleagues in the podcasting community. He points out that people are subscribing to all the junk in the iTunes Comedy slate, yet he can’t break 50. Any Cro-Magnon can acces The Best Show podcast, but few actually do. This is unacceptable. Tom’s getting e-mail pleas about keeping the podcast, but he'll euthanize it unless he gets 100 pledges of support in each of his two marathon shows.
When Tom mentioned his goal to station management, they laughed in his face. They said he couldn't do it. Tom wants to prove them wrong, and he'll have to do it while standing on a broken, purple toe for three hours. Tom's doctor told him that if he did the show, there would be a 70% chance that the toe would have to be amputated, and a 30% chance that he would die on the air. Tom was unphased. "Get outta my way. I've got a show to do," he told the the medical man. The bottom line: this is straight-up WAR. Tom attacked the extravagonza like a Mayan warrior from Melvin Gibsons's Apocalypto. He's not messing around, and he wants all the rich guys listening to to show at home on their fancy Hammacher Schlammacher sound devices to open their wallets. Tom was as ferocious as a caged animal, and in the course of his passionate tour-de-force, he suffered an additional injury: a broken wrist. It didn't stop him because he can't be stopped.
He's supposed to be #1 on everybody's list, but iTunes says it's Garrison Keillor, and he's s hit. We'll see what happens when The Best Show podcast no longer exists. Are you not entertained? What more can Tom say?
The Marathon Players:
Host: Tom Scharpling
Co-host: Dan Mackta
Phone Bank Volunteers (a who's who of hott stuff with a penchant for jumping around the room like orangutans):
1. The lovely, glamorous, and henna-headed St. Therese de Lisieux aka "The Little Flower of WFMU":
3. Jen (reviewing her pledge sheets with two slobs):
4. Jason aka Louie the Liverpudlian, all the way from the United Kingdom and fast becoming Jersey City's finest chimney sweep:
5. The one and only August aka The Teen Titan:
"He's gonna come in here and crack an Edison cylinder over my head if I don't make any money!" -- Tom on his potential punishment at the hands of Jerry Fabris (Jerry skipped the old-timey smash-up, but he did give Tom the one-gun salute as he exited the studio)
"We’ll take pledges from prisoners." -- Tom, recognizing that his audience contains a sizable portion of criminals (apprehended + those still at-large)
"I don’t want pledges from Josef Mengele." -- Tom, drawing the line at the Nazi "Angel of Death"
"What’s wrong, Brooklyn? The kickball game in extra innings?" -- Tom on the borough’s lack of early support
"How do you run around the field with that white belt on?" -- Tom, asking a pledger for some insight into his sports gear
"Alabama is making Brooklyn look pretty sloppy and lazy, I gotta say. Brooklyn, did you ever think you were gonna get shown up tonight by Alabama? You know what? You’re getting shown up by Alabama. You keep going, Alabama!" -- Tom, fanning the North/South flames
Snobs vs. Slobs
"I'm a hero to the little guy, I’m a hero to the slob, the loser, the nobody. People got nothing going on in their lives, workin’ some miserable job in a factory, they listen to this show for three hours, they feel empowered, they feel like they’ve got something to live for. For three measly hours, their life isn’t terrible." -- Tom, providing a balm for the working stiffs
"This guy’s a slob, he’s a college student! He’s got nothing going on in his life, and he stepped up and pledged!" -- Tom, commending Taylor, an aspiring chemical engineer who called from the Manhattan College library
"The only place I fit in is the kind of place where you walk in, you pay $10, and then you get a plate and put your own food on your plate. The only kinda place I fit in! I’m a slob, not a snob!" -- Tom on not being cool enough for the hipster havens
"Sure you’ve got problems. You do drugs. You steal at work. You lie to people. This is your one chance at redemption. This is your one shot." -- Tom, giving hope to the riff-raff
"I got two hours to go, and I’m already peaking. What am I gonna do? I can’t make it. I’m not gonna make it." -- Tom, feeling the heat after the first hour
"Throw those cards out. I’m done with the marathon. The fuse is my head just exploded. It just popped." -- Tom on his momentary short-circuiting
"I live in this universe. I live here. These are my people." -- Tom, embracing the world he birthed
"It’s like you just got dropped into like The Sims or something, and you’re trying to figure it out. It’s like an alternate universe." -- Tom, taking Mr. Mackta through the looking glass and into the heart of Newbridge
"You know what world I like? THIS WORLD!" -- Tom, appreciating this life and rejecting a second one
"I want Montclair, I want Bloomfield, I want Wayne, I want … Union, Kenilworth, Springfield, let’s get 'em all. Summit. Clark, for goodness sake." -- Tom, calling for home state support
"Look, I'm not crazy about the fact that my show appeals to those ‘limousine liberals’ up in Massachusetts." -- Tom, preferring pledges from the conservative bastions of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Wyoming
"One thing about Jersey, makes it better than everywhere else? How many times in New Jersey have I touched a gas nozzle? How many times? Zero. Zero!" -- Tom on hands-off glory of FULL SERVE
Throughout the course of the evening, Tom noted some of New Jersey's hottest hott spots:
* Union, NJ - the Coconuts on the very dangerous stretch of the Double Deuce
* West Caldwell, NJ - new Quiznos and a new Exxon station that offers coffee, soda, and snacks
* Westfield, NJ - no Quiznos, but they've got a Trader Joe's
* Piscataway, NJ - no Quiznos, but they've got a Subway
* Keansburg, NJ - amusement park
* Mile Square City - Benny Tudino's for a slice
"Satellite radio wanted nothing to do with me. I was gonna make a move to satellite radio at one point. I had a deal with Little Steven. He stabbed me in the back, that rat. You know what? You know what I wanna do to Little Steven? Rip that babushka off his head and jam it down his throat." -- Tom, reserving another spot in the Hate Pit
Tom wants three more phones to ring before he spins some vintage 'Mats to promote the prize giveaway of You Don't Talk To Me Like That, I Talk To YOU Like That: The Best of the Replacements. He uses Emerson, Lake, and even Palmer as a threat, and the people rally to pull the plug on the prog.
"He’s nuts. He wanted my Myspace password. He’s like, 'I can look for them more effectively if you give me your password.'" -- Tom, giving Dan Mackta a backgrounder on Bebe Williams, the show's most committed wrangler of "Clubbers"
"That's a dig. That’s a flat-out dig, but you know what? People have every right to insult each other in the comments section as long as you pledge." -- Tom giving the greenlight after Brian in Long Beach, CA, enrolled Henry from Campbell's Chunky Quarterly in phone manners school
- Philly Boy Roy calls (starts at 1:58) to make a $1 pledge to the "little telethon" for what he believes is a high school radio station. He wants to know "how much money youse raised so far." Tom tells him it’s going well, but more support is always needed. PBR thinks more pledges aren't pouring in because maybe people don’t like it no more. He says the the word in Roxboro is that WFMU is terrible. Tom points out that there is no equivalent station in Philadelphia, but PBR reminds him that they have WIP sports radio. Tom explains that WFMU is not a sports radio station. PBR says the lack of sports programming is why more people don't listen, and he mocks New Jersey for not having pro baseball team. Tom tells him that there are two in New York, and PBR says New Jersey is New York’s armpit. He cackles at his quip.
PBR says he will increase his pledge amount to $10 if Tom plays a song for him. Tom correctly guesses his request on the first try: “And We Danced” by The Hooters. PBR is surprised Tom got it, but Tom tells him that he requests the song every time he talks about music. PBR laments that Tom don’t never play it and gives him another option: “A Woman’s Got The Power” by The A’s. He mentions that the song was covered by one of Tom's homies -- Clarence Clemons (RIP). Tom is certain that he can go toe-to-toe in a NJ vs. Philly battle, so PBR wants to break it out. Tom goes first:
NJ: Frank Sinatra
Philly: PBR goes Tom like 10 times bigger than that with Mike Schmidt, who's had more social impact in terms of benefiting the world.
Philly: PBR takes Tom like 5 up from that one by dropping Ashford & Simpson.
NJ: Yo La Tengo
PBR is not familiar with this entry: "Who's he?". Tom says it’s a band, and PBR thinks Yolo is an odd first name for a man. Tom tries to correct him, but PBR now believes the name is Yo-Yo like the Duncan yo-yo toy. Tom tells him that this is not accurate, and PBR asks Tom not to start yelling at him.
Philly: PBR one-ups YLT with Ike Goldenberg
Tom doesn’t know who that is, so PBR calls him a “dumb Philadummy stupid”. He explains that Ike is the candyman responsible for his beloved Goldenberg Peanut Chews. Tom was not privy to the history of that regional confection.
PBR has a quick question about the young lady he talked to when he called in earlier. He felt like they had a little connection, and he says that her name sounded like "Perez". Tom informs him that he spoke to Therese, and PBR requests a spelling. PBR asks Tom to shoot him a .jpg of her. Tom refuses because the image of Therese is none of PBR's business. PBR is disappointed because things are a little tough on the homefront. Tom points out that PBR is a married man, but PBR wants a definition of “married”. Tom wants to get back to the fundraising, and PBR says he’ll give him a $1 to buy a new turntable for his high school station. Tom tells him to have a good night, but PBR wishes Tom a bad evening as a parting shot.
Number of traditional English breakfasts prepared during the show: 1 (Jason)
Teen Titan Transgressions
Young Augie probably thought he was just going to do some nice volunteer work for a good cause, but his boredom frequently led to hooliganism. His gonzo behavior included violence, theft, and, perhaps worst of all, rocking back and forth in his chair. Here's the highlights:
* August puffed tuff on and mixed cocktails with a plastic-tipped cigarello as an homage to journalist Hunter S. Thompson. (My sources revealed that he did his research and used HST's preferred TarGard model)
* August acquired a shiv and shanked Irwin Chusid to get him to pledge $1 before he fled the studio
* August carved a Best Show prison tattoo into his forearm using the aforementioned shiv. Despite the self-mutilation, his mommy assures Tom that he’s a good kid.
* August jumped around the room while playing with a SuperBall.
* August was very rude to Zeph Marshack on the phone. He threatened to throw his shoe in Zeph's face and dump a vanilla milkshake on his head. He also refused to sing "The Hamster Dance" per Zeph's request. Mr. Marshack became angry and vowed to to come down to the studio and force August to eat a caulk-filled eclair. He reduced his Mouse to a $75 (he selected Jason Elbogen's premium)
* August shoved WFMU office supplies into his pockets. He also heisted the elusive French proto-metal comp, which was released last year by Sam Seder Records.
August's antics didn't stop Scott from Morristown 07960 from putting him on some weird, third-party ticket for the 2008 Presidency. While I think August would make an excellent Commander-in-Chief with his extensive strategic skills, I remain loyal to my candidate:
Chants x 3
"YOU CAN’T TOP THE BEST SHOW! (YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEST SHOW!) YOU CAN’T TOP THE BEST SHOW! (YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEST SHOW!) YOU CAN’T TOP THE BEST SHOW! (YOU CAN’T STOP THE BEST SHOW!)" -- Tom, orchestrating a call-and-response chant with the phone bank volunteers
"Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ! Passion of the Christ!" -- Tom, trying to get the phones ringing by reviving a classic
"Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen! Tom is The Queen!" -- The Phone Room, confirming Tom's royal status in rousing fashion
Lone incorrect zip code: Randolph, NJ -
* "800-989-9368, Best Shoooooow" (original jingle)
* "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (brief warm-up for a Laurie-requested duet with August; it never happened)
* ELP’s "Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression"
* Nickelback’s "Photograph"
* James Blunt's "Beautiful"
* Andy in Oklahoma City - Animal Suit Wrangler for The Flaming Lips
* Scott in Village, Oklahoma - Space Bubble Technician for The Flaming Lips
* Brian in Norman, Oklahoma - Dancing Alien for The Flaming Lips
* J.J. McClure, Burt Reynolds character from The Cannonball Run (unconfirmed)
* Neil Young aka "Shakey" in Saskatoon (unconfirmed)
* The King of Salty Arabia (Y3K; naming rights to Mike the Associate Producer's chair, which is now called Sahib's Torture Chamber)
* Jedediah and Megan from The Danielson Mafia
* Todd-O-Phonic Todd and Siss-O-Phonic Cheryl from The Hoboken Music Mafia
* John Nash (unconfirmed)
* Aberzombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries (Mouse + donated a bronzed and autographed pair of Hollister flip-flops)
* Jake Gyllenhaal (entire family fortune)
* Todd Hanson, bigshot head writer for The Onion (Mr. Hanson required Tom to declare, "My favorite person is Todd Hanson.")
* The Goner Records Crew
* Todd Hutchins from LifeChanges ($120 + donated all 17 volumes of Tornado Todd's Skank Patrol DVD series and a few boxes of the new Faux Nuggs Cripplerz™ fruit chews for next's weeks prize stash)
TOTAL HAUL: $21,000+ US -- Tom's all-time best!
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Renowned troubadour Mr. Theodore Leo brings his guitar (and a bottle of buckie?) to play songs for money. This is a mission, and the Good Guys will win. Pledge.Repeat.Pledge.Repeat.Pledge!
If you don't pledge, you are NOT forgiven:
Call or hit the World Wide Web on Tuesday, March 13th, between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST and get your money on Tommy's books! Don't give it to some douche who plays kalimba records.