Dinner For Five.
"We don’t make good enough movies in this country, Mike? You gotta go elsewhere?" -- Tom on Mike's penchant for foreign Netflixin'
"I'm assuming you went to go get checked out by a doctor, then the doctor put you in some sort of cryogenic chamber for the last five months?" -- Tom, trying to figure out why a caller is still talking about the January Paul Weller shows
"Make my funnel cake and zip it." -- Tom, delivering a message to the shore trash
"I feel like I'm on the long walk talking about The Long Walk." -- Tom, growing wearing of Pat Byrne's stalled documentary
"Do you ever, think, Petey, that, you know, it's like the sand on the beach, you know what I mean? Like every grain of sand -- what if that's us?" -- Tom, dropping some heavy stuff on his drugged-out buddy
"He enforces the law." -- The Underling, giving heartfelt birthday wishes to her father
"I don't want to be having dinner with a guy with one ear. I feel like I would lose my appetite." -- Forrest on the perils of eating with Vincent Van Gogh
"Don't cry for the talentless." -- Tom, urging Forrest to hold back tears for multi-millionaire Dave Coulier
"I will not vote for him a third time. I'll tell ya that right now." -- Tom, dropping his support for GWB's 2008 re-election bid
"There's a little more elegance to his humor. He's human." -- Tom on the comedy stylings of Bill Engvall
"Whatcha puttin' all that ink on your arms for? It's weird!" -- Ty Cobb, criticizing Fred Durst's tattoos during a David-curated dinner
"Yeah, you're right. I actually hate all of them." -- Donya von Trimble, admitting her racism (she's not really a racist)
"But you're not jealous of Ray's turtleneck collection? " -- Audrey, asking Tom if longs for Mr. Manzarek's preferred tops
"My comedy's like singer-songwriter coffeehouse music. It's in the background!" -- PFT, trying and failing to be cool
"What? You never saw Always? -- Tom, questioning Julie's dismissal of Steven Spielberg's oeuvre
"Tell me, though, seriously, you wouldn't wanna see Hitler and Screech at the same table?" -- Tom on a potentially volatile dinner pairing
"Why is that? He'd show up naked and play his bongos?" -- Tom, wondering why a caller wouldn't want to dine with Matthew McConaughey
"I'm not gonna fold like the guy from Von Bondies. I'll give ya a knuckle sandwich. I'll give ya a red stripe ... of blood across your forehead." -- Tom, challenging Jack White to a fight
"I still can't believe those guys in The Emmit Rhodes Band jumped Speech from Arrested Development." -- A caller on an unfortunate incident at the 1992 Pop 'N Fresh Fest
"He actually thought that it was a convention for some kind of high-caffeine cola or something." - A caller on child actor Johnny Whitaker's woeful Poptastrophe MCing
"The Bigfoot actually starts to like it and ends up playing rhythm guitar in the band." -- A caller on the predictable twist in PPPP's "A Night on Power Pop Mountain"
"Basically you pogo every couple of seconds, and then you start bashing people." -- A caller, describing the dangerous slampopping at Poptastrophe
"Stop it! Stop it! I'm Power Pop Pop-Pop, and you'll do as I say!" -- PPPP trying to end The Resistance's set in Sean Connery's accent
"It's kind of a slow death. Some would say it's a dignified death, but I don't know." -- A caller on Newbridge's execution-by-barging
Justice - "Stress"
( Click here to buy Cross)
Terror Visions - "You Look So Pretty In Red"
( Click here to buy World of S hit)
Dirty Looks - "You're Too Old"
( Click here to buy Dirty Looks / Turn It Up)
Tracey Ullman - "(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear"
( Click here to buy You Broke My Heart in 17 Places)
Eugenius - "Breakfast"
( Click here to buy Oomalama)
Ash - "Goldfinger"
( Click here to buy 1977)
Autoclave - "Dr. Seuss"
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Trusty - "Goodbye Dr. Fate"
( Click here to buy Goodbye Dr. Fate)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening. Tom relays a message from the National Weather Service about a severe thunderstorm warning for Orange County in New York. The alert is valid from 7:57 p.m. to 9:27 p.m., but The Lord of Living Lightning brought his own thunder from 8 - 11 p.m.
The line is flashing pre-topic despite the death of Open-Phone Tuesdays. The freeform fun was a privilege offered and then it became a privilege squandered. Tom held up his end of the bargain, but people couldn’t deal with it. Tom compares it to acquiring a driver’s license -- you have to earn the right to call the show pre-topic and engage in random chit-chat. Tom quotes Kris Kristofferson from Blade II, but he quickly realizes that Kristofferson didn’t say "Earn it" in the film. He said, "Use it." Tom thinks that Tom Hanks said "Earn it" in Saving Private Ryan. He’s not sure because all these movies are blending together. Tom thinks that he might need to start watching better films. Mike the Associate Producer lent him some foreign film from Netflix, but he’s yet to view it. Tom asks Mike if he finds the American film industry lacking in quality.
Tom recommended the American comedy classic Clifford to Mike, and about a year ago, Mike recommended Werner Herzog’s Strotesick. The film made Tom want to commit suicide, just as it previously drove Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to hang himself. Mike assured Tom that the journey of an eccentric Berlin street performer to the prairies of Wisconsin was funny. Tom agreed with everything about that assessment except that it drove him to the edge of despair. He almost had to check out, and he wondered what Mike was laughing at when he screened the film at his house. The bottom line: The chicken stops here.
The line continues to flash, indicating that someone is courageous enough to override any need for guidance from The Kid on the topic of conversation. It will be so interesting that it will propel the show forward by its own force of awesomeness. Tom says that someone told him that he was rough to the pre-topic callers, but he's issued plenty of warnings to people who are compelled to call during this delicate stretch of show. If you call, you better get ready.
- A caller remembers Tom and a few other WFMU disc jockeys pining about the three-night Paul Weller residency (The Jam-The Style Council-Solo Retrospective) at Irving Plaza back in January. He doesn't recall hearing any post-show recaps so he's not sure if anyone bit the bullet for tickets. Tom says he didn't go because the quick sell-out led to insane scalping prices. The caller dropped four bills for the Monday Jamfest, and he followed the rest of it online. He saw three-day passes in the range of $1,800-$2,000, and he suspects that a sizable UK contingent flew in for the shows. The caller was greatly disappointed by what he saw.
He was deathly sick, so he debated about whether he would venture into the cold night for his one rock show of the year. He rallied around 7 p.m., and headed to the venue. The caller says that since he lacks stamina, he was pleased that Weller had no opening acts. (Not true: I-ron's Reggae Challenge played a well-received four-song set in the lobby before being taken away by an off-duty Officer Harrups. He's a big Weller fan, and he was horrified by their take on "Back In My Arms Again," a b-side on the "The Modern World" single.) He went a bit early to scope out the crowd, but he was met by a huge lines wrapped around the block because doors were at 8 p.m. Once he got inside, he knew something was up after seeing $40 psychadelic t-shirts at the merch table. He didn't get that. The caller says he wasn't too pleased that Weller opened with an acoustic version of the b-side "Shopping". He seems to suggest that Weller has a history of milking diehard fans by releasing singles backed with b-sides to make more money.
Weller played seven songs, including two encores, and the setlist didn't contain anything from the first two albums. He did play "In The Crowd" and "That's Entertainment". The caller says he's really not into the latter tune, and the show was a real downer. He noticed that the olds in the audience didn't seem to mind the abbreviated set despite the elevated ticket price. Tom assumes that the caller left the show and went to see a doctor, who then inserted him into a cryogenic chamber for the last five months. The caller says he just had the flu. Tom tells the caller that it's June, and his call was not entertainment. He GOMPs him for being way behind the curve. It's The Best Show, not VH-1's I Remember January 2007. Tom runs a lively, topical show, and he requires fresh stuff. He appreciates the sentiment, but if you forget to call for months, you just have to let it go.
- A caller tells Tom that the disgruntled Weller fan deserved to be GOMPed 10 times. Tom GOMPs this caller once. He urges him to call back to say whatever he planned to say. Tom can't explain the pleasure he gets out of this brand of Deadwood-style street justice. He recently started watching the HBO western with his nephew, and he was alarmed by the extremely profane dialogue. He thought it was an old-fashioned western fit for the whole family, but the five episodes they screened suggested otherwise. Roy Rogers was nowhere to be found. Tom thinks that one guy is a tough customer. He's hoping he never encounters him in a dark alley. Tom is skeptical about this filth town being the foundation of America, and he thinks the great great great grandfather of Kevin Smith should be a Deadwood denizen.
Tom laments that the cast of Live Free or Die Hard has sunk to the level of Kevin Smith and the Macintosh computer who toplined Accepted. Tom finds the fourth installment's PG-13 rating a bit odd since the franchise's appeal has been delivering R-rated action thrills. Tom concludes that the studio is making up for the tamer content by inserting these fun new characters. Tom advises Smith that he'll only get to drop his catchphrase (the f-bomb) once in a PG-13 setting. He says "yippie kay-yay" to that. Tom saw the trailer and noticed that John McClane's hand-to-hand combat in office buildings and swings through glass were absent. The new film is a CGI-laden stuntfest that might as well take place on the planet Jupiter. Tom was particularly perplexed by a scene where a police car careens 90 degrees up a tollbooth and smashes into a helicopter. He imagines that Bruce Willis would frequently drop by the special effects bay to check out 30% of the film.
Tom's had enough of CGI effects. He gets it, and he thinks everyone else does, too. Tom predicts that this ubiquitous fakery will lead to modern blockbusters being mocked with the vigor normally reserved for the b-grade trifles skewered on MST3K. The key difference: those movies didn't have $180 million production budgets. Last week, Tom's white whale was the funny Lenny Bruce recording. Now it's time to throw Kevin Smith in the Pequod. Tom informs Mike that he will not attend the Red Bank White Whale's 16-hour Q&A at the Count Basie Theater. He also notes that Smith's attire for the MTV Movie Awards was unacceptable. You know the drill: jeans to the knee, Vans, and his trusty trenchcoat. Tom doesn't think a flowing black coat and a backwards ballcap are effectively concealing Kev's ample flab. (Per Larry "Mr. Coatcheck" Smirthwaite, when Smith's coat was reverse-twindled at the event, six half-eaten Mooby's quadruple cheeseburgers hit the floor.)
Tom points out that Smith is not representative of the state of New Jersey. He belongs to an undesirable subset: common shore trash. Tom wants these goons to make his funnel cake and shut up. He'd also like his change so he can play video games in the boardwalk arcade. But that's that. He will only further engage the trash in conversation if the skee-ball machine gets jammed.
- Dan McNamara calls to tell Tom that he completely changed his life in the past year. He's not sure if it was for the better, though. He met his current roommate, aspiring filmmaker Pat Byrne, through The Best Show. Dan says they got into a big debate about The Long Walk To New York, a long-gestating documentary about a 30+-mile journey from Montclair across the GWB into NYC. Tom says he feels like he's on the long walk from talking about the film for the past year. Dan says he never supported the project, and he thinks it may finally be dead. He's teamed up with Pat and a third collaborator, Andy Drost, for Redeeming Rainbow, a PBS documentary series about their lives. Dan claims that he and Pat subletted their third room to a rainbow from the sky. Tom wonders if PBS stands for something different now. Dan says it is in fact the Public Broadcasting Service that airs on channel 13 in the tri-state area.
Tom is weirdly intrigued by the show's premise. Dan says that they wanted to save some rent money, so they reached out for another roommate. The rainbow responded to their ad on craigslist. Dan says they are having some trouble because the rainbow is an illegal immigrant, a status frowned upon by the mayor of Jersey City. Tom wants to know how the rainbow is paying his share of the rent, and Dan says the rainbow has a pot of gold on his bed. He doesn't sleep on the bed. He just uses it to store his currency. Dan says that PBS is promoting he series by putting clips online. Tom apologizes for any skepticism because if it's online, it has to be official and awesome. Dan says the rainbow suffers from depression, and Tom dumps him. He looks up the show and finds a legit website. These guys got him. Tom thinks it looks like a fun project. He then decides that he has no time for their Sesame Street shenanigans. Tom thought it was going to be a good night, but it's shaping up to be the opposite of that. He's getting humiliated. It's a rout. Tom decides to put a new spin on the show to avoid the Hesh's delight. The next call undoubtedly inspired Hesh to perform his trademark jig.
There was a little girl,
And she had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good
She was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.
One day she went upstairs,
When her parents, unawares,
In the kitchen were occupied with meals,
And she stood upon her head
In her little trundle-bed,
And then began hooraying with her heels.
Her mother heard the noise,
And she thought it was the boys
A-playing at a combat in the attic;
But when she climbed the stair,
And found Jemima there,
She took and she did spank her most emphatic.
Petey calls and wants to know why Tom made a noise of disgust upon hearing his voice. Tom says Petey threw him a bit, and Petey says he's just calling to make Tom happy. Tom tells Petey that he's like the little girl with the curl -- his antics can improve the show, but he can also make a bad show worse. Petey doesn't know about the curl because he never learned that fun nursery rhyme. He wants to recite it for listeners. Tom doesn't. Petey's not sure why he called, and Tom thinks he's completely blown out on drugs. Petey claims that when Tom accuses him of being high, he actually becomes high. He tracks down the text of the nursery rhyme, but he's unable to complete the first line without giggling. Petey says he'd never call the show in a drug stupor because that would be "taking the easy way out." He tries to get through more of the text, but he doesn't understand the line about the girl's lapse into horridness. Tom says the girl was really bad -- like this call.
Tom throws some heavy stuff at Petey, asking him if he ever thinks about whether every grain of sand on the beach represents "us", man. He wonders if humanity is just one of the world's contained within each grain. Petey compares this to the notion of a drop of water in the ocean becoming the whole ocean. Tom GOMPs the junky. He doesn't want the upstanding August to think he'll be cool by abusing narcotics. Tom doesn't appreciate Petey peddling his weird drug lifestyle on the radio.
About a year ago, Tom failed to launch a "Dads vs. Grads" topic. He wanted to wrangle a dad to fight a recent grade. No such luck. It bombed. Tom has a new top-notch topic for tonight, and it causes the switchboard to start smoking like an overloaded canister receptacle on Montgomery Davies' device. While it's common to come up with the five people you'd love to have dinner with (JFK, Gandhi, Mandy Moore, etc.), Tom wants to hear lists of the five worst dining companions.
WARNING: CONTAINS TOILET TALK!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Jerry in Boulder calls to advise Tom to get away from the people he's been talking to so far tonight. Tom invites him to turn things around and start off the hott topic. Jerry says that he would run screaming from the cast of Entourage aside from Ari Gold. He can't stand these characters, but he can't stop watching the show. Jerry has no interest in sharing a meal with Vincent Chase or "E". Ditto Turtle and Johnny Drama. (I bet an apron-clad Drama could cook up a pretty bitchin' meal, though.) Jerry thinks
genius douchey Medellin director Billy Walsh is the worst of the bunch. Tom says he would have ditched that guy as soon as he dismissed Eric as a "suit". Jerry concludes that the show is one big ode to narcissism. Tom thinks that Jerry's voice suggests he's a suit, but he thanks him for helping to slowly turn around the oil tankard and get things back on the right path.
- The Underling aka Officer Tom's daughter calls to give a birthday shout-out to her dad. He's
80 40. Tom wants her to say something nice, but The Underling just commends OT for enforcing the law. He was hoping she could come up with something other than stating his primary job duty. With some prompting, she adds that he's a fun, cool dad who makes her laugh. The Underling is excited that school is ending so she can begin doing a lot of fun stuff for the summer, such as her first trip to a "sleepover camp". The non-themed camp is just about frolicking in the woods. I hope she likes putting farm-fresh drain cleaner and brake pads into boxes.
- Forrest in Manhattan calls, and Tom can feel the tide turning because he's top-notch. He delivers a terse and somewhat self-explanatory list:
1. Vincent Van Gogh (overly-romanticized nutcase; missing ear would ruin his appetite)
2. Henry Ford (Nazi sympathizer)
3. Vincent Gallo (self-absorbed and might refer to himself in 3rd person; likely prone to awkward staredowns; possible Nazi sympathizer)
4. Bob Saget (amuses himself with his own horrible filth jokes)
Tom is on board with the Saget selection. He gets that Saget's character on the G-rated family sitcom Full House is different than he actually is in real life. Tom is certain that nobody thought that was truly him because nobody on Earth is like Danny Tanner. He's not impressed that the guy from Full House learned some curse words and spews them while prowling the stand-up stage. Forrest points out that anyone could unleash a torrent of toilet talk. Tom thinks that Saget would push the drug-addled Olsen twins out of the way to run back to the cozy confines of Full House if they relaunched the series. He also thinks the show is a factory for bad entertainers, grooming the likes of John Stamos and VH-1 reality regular Dave Coulier. Forrest feels bad for Coulier because his brand of comedy was so of its time, but Tom points out that he has $91 million and a limo with a swimming pool to his name. He thinks he was lucky to have made $40 in showbiz. Forrest no longer feels sorry for Dave Coulier. Tom tells him not to cry for the talentless.
Uh uh-uh-uh-uh-oh: The spry stuntman rumbles in his relative youth
- The artiste Scott T calls during a rare live listen and after an uneventful day at jury duty. He avoided the final alternate juror slot after conferring with lawyers about his family's past experience with a malpractice case. Tom says he's amazed that they can find enough people to fill a jury box considering the multitude of possible exceptions. Scott advises listeners to report when summoned because if you simply show your face, you'll likely be excused for some reason. He whittled his original list of nine to five finalists in accordance with the whole brevity thing:
1. Moron/idiot Libertarian crusader John Stossel
2. Ill-informed, anti-Mexican crusader Lou Dobbs
3. Anti-comedy crusader Carlos Mencia (would assume the role of an unbearable court jester for the entire restaurant)
5. Pro-heroin photog -- and Filthy Laurie fave!* -- Terry Richardson
*He actually makes her barf.
Tom likes to think he has a moral code, but there was a time when he would go to Costco and tear the cover on copies of Stossel's Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.... Tom believes that Stossel is ruining lives by siding with corporate bullies. For example, Stossel will track down the one guy who agrees that organic food is worse for people. Scott thinks that Stossel enjoys calling himself a Libertarian because he can get away with his contrarian, "free-thinker" schtick. Tom calls Stossel a cowardly Republican who can't own up to his true political affiliation. He knows where Stossel really gets his marching orders, but he doesn't want to get too political. The last time he called GWB stupid, he got called out on the carpet for it. Tom voted for the President twice, but now he's mad at him over high gas prices. He announces that he is not supporting GWB for re-election in 2008.
Scott mentions that he's never seen Tucker's work in the martial arts/buddy cop Rush Hour franchise, and Tom recommends the fun Rush Hour 2. Tom says that he and Mike have already secured tickets for Rush Hour 3: Tokyo Drift because they don't want to get shut out on opening day. Tom thinks the 64-year-old Jackie Chan may soon require the services of some stunt doubles. He bets that Chan won't say he doesn't do all of his own stunts, but he just won't talk about how he does all of them. My pick for the perfect Chan stunt double: Zoe Bell!
- Erika from Baltimore calls to give a list with an underlying theme: these people represent all that is wrong with America in her eyes. For the most part, she even has trouble looking at them.
2. George W. Bush (embarrassing leader; Tom agrees to disagree)
4. Paris Hilton
5. Any member of the WBC/GHF Creep Brigade
While Tom is not a Larry The Cable Guy fan, everyone knows that he's always been and always will be a Bill Engvall man. He prefers the more elegant humor of Larry's blue-collar co-worker. Tom thinks Engvall comes off as a human. Erika joins Tom in giving Engvall a thumbs up. Tom wishes Mike gave him Engvall's hilarious new 15° Off Cool DVD instead of a foreign film from a country called "Swden". Tom thinks it might be in Africa. He warns Mike that he will probably just sell his Netflix DVD to a record store and pretend he mailed it back.
- Brendan from Parsipanny calls with a shortened list because Scott T stole (ha!) his Mencia pick:
1. Foot fetishist Quentin Tarantino (incessant yapping about griiiiiindhouse films and his awesomeness)
2. Kevin Smith (more yapping + "He'd eat all the food," per Tom)
3. Frugal filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (would only spend $14 on a meal for six guests)
Tom wonders if there are any non-Miramax employees on Brendan's guest list. He suggests Attila the Hun. Tom backs off after he realizes that it's Brendan's nightmare dinner, and he can not invite as many mid-1990s filmmakers as he wants.
4. Truth-telling commentator Bill O’Reilly (more yapping)
Tom commends him for creating a horrible dinner. Brendan says he'd probably kill himself if it was really happening. Tom has some bad news: it is happening. I heard it's scheduled for next week at D'Amici's underneath Lake Newbridge. They just hired Andy as a sommelier.
- Seany Showbiz from L.A. calls, and Tom asks him if he gets teased for sharing a name with the 13-year-old prodigy on John from Cincinnati, David Milch's maligned surf-noir follow-up to Deadwood. Sean doesn't think he'll ever be teased about anything from that show. Tom says you can tell you're in trouble when Luis Guzman is blowing people away with his amazing versatility. The hotshot isn't interested in watching it, but he does have a list of five people:
1. White House Press Dude Tony Snow
Tom has heard about Diamond's behavior on the current season of VH-1's Celebrity Fit Club, and Sean says he's a frightening -- but also entertaining -- human being. Tom questions whether Diamond's girth was sufficient enough to get on the show. Sean suspects the show has burned through all the big-time fatties, so now they are just mopping up with whatever celebrities want to get a bit more toned. Tom's done with celebs on Celebrity Fit Club, and he's hoping for a spin-off (NSFW) featuring Sgt. Harvey E. Walden IV, a Marine drill sergeant who serves as the show's fiery fitness instructor. Sean hopes he does something with Poison frontman Bret Michaels, and Tom suggests Harvey's Drill Camp of Love where he yells at people to fall in love ... or else!
3 - 5. The Comic Relief trio: Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Robin Williams (Tom was pulling for The Dixie Chicks.)
Ken Burns (Nookie Remix): PLAY AT SAME TIME FOR FUN MASH-UP ACTION!!!!
oravid in D.C. calls to thank Tom for last week's shoutout and drop his five-spot:
1. Arrogant nü-metal pioneer Fred Durst (Voice of a Generation!)
2. GGW FWD Joe Francis
3. Old-timey baseball jerk Ty Cobb (racist/anti-Semite/murderer)
4. Ann Coulter (profits on people's ignorance and hatred)
5. Comedy's Jay Davis
Tom suggests that a chat between Fred Durst and Ty Cobb might be a little interesting because Cobb would yell at him about inking up his arms like he's some kind of Navyman. Along the same lines, Tom would like to hear Cobb's reaction to Jay's "TLC Killer" joke. He doubts that Cobb would get it, so Jay would have to explain the joke to him. Cobb would then get his cleats up on the table and spike him in the face. Tom decides he would like to attend the dinner to see Cobb stomp everyone.
- John H. Jarvis Junk from L.A. calls with his list:
1. Abbie Hoffman (boomer icon would try to get the gravy bowl to levitate to enact social change)
2. History's Andrew Jackson (hated Native Americans)
3. History's Roman Emperor Claudius (irritating stutterer)
4. Comic scribe Alan Moore (would try to form connections between historical figures for his new book)
- Donya von Trimble calls from Chicago (she prefers the Brewers to either local MLB team) with a controversial entry:
1. Fresh Air's Terry Gross (would pierce her with personal questions while trying to eat; Donya might fall asleep in her mashed potatoes)
2. Maury Povich (would give her a hard time about tattoos; dude should totally have Ty Cobb on Maury)
Tom sees where this is going. He asks Donya if she thinks that's how they do it. He guesses that she's from the racist side of Chicago and expects her next selection to be Martin Luther King, Jr.. He was close.
4. Maya Angelou
Donya says that Tom's right -- she actually hates all of them. She takes it back, but it's too late. Tom GOMPs the full-on creep. He thinks she'd be happier if Lawrence and Angelou were making the food and serving it. Tom feels ill and needs a shower.
- Audrey in SF floors Tom with her list:
1. Kathy Griffin* (not funny; constantly interrupting with volume-10 chatter)
*One positive thing about seeing Kathy Griffin in a restaurant per Louis Nye is the rhythm of her gait when walking away from your table. Obscure Curb Your Enthusiasm reference! Yay!
2. M. Night Shyamalan (smug)
3. Eric Clapton (overrated, boring axeman; approaches the instrument in a professorial, sterile manner)
4. Longtime Utah Jazzman Karl Malone (would talk about his tractor-trailer all night long)
Audrey says she hates Utah and Malone's dirty play. She almost wants to put his longtime collaborator John Stockton on the list as well, but she had to make room for:
5. Ray Manzarek
Tom commends Audrey for her amazing final trio. She asks Tom if he's jealous of Manzarek's extensive collection of turtlenecks. Tom thinks Ray would spend the evening taking about how Jim was a total shaman. While Manzarek only worked with the guy for five years 48 years ago, he's spent the rest of his life talking about him. Tom says that he could recite all of his Jim stories in real-tiime, and it would exceed the length of time he actually knew the man. Audrey thinks his Jim fixation is sad.
- Paul F. Tompkins, a famous movie star from Hollywood, California, calls to weigh in on the topic. Tom says he didn't like PFT's shows at Comixxxx. He loved them because PFT was on fiyah with unbelievable jokes. PFT says his comedy is like rock 'n roll music, and he tries to make his show a party for everyone. Tom wants to know what would be worse: PFT's comedy really being like rock 'n roll or jazz. PFT says they would be equally unpleasant because comedy is not a cool thing, and it never will be. It's fun and enjoyable, but it's not leather jackets and sunglasses kind of cool. It's just about saying silly things about how pathetic you are, a topic addressed in only 0.2% of rock songs.
PFT says that comedy is so uncool that one has to use other art forms to make it seem cooler. Nobody would ever say that painting is like jazz or that rock 'n roll was like dance. The bottom line: there's only so much rocking out one person can do by themselves. Tom says stand-up is much closer to singer-songwriter folk music. He mentons Dave Chappelle's line from Block Party in which he advised all comedians to study Thelonius Monk to discover some new approaches to their comedy. Tom questions whether this advice is really suitable for all comedians. Tom has some alternative advice: write some funny jokes. Professor Tompkins wants comedians to think about their craft a bit more and enroll in his Comedy 401 master class. PFT came up with five fictional characters he wouldn't want to see at his non-fiction dinner table:
1. Holden Caulfied from Catcher in the Rye
2. Jeannie from I Dream of Jeannie
3. Mort from Bazooka Joe comics
4 - 5. The two people on the bus ride in Simon and Garfunkel's "America"
PFT and Tom sing a bit of the tune. PFT says he especially hates the warning, "Be careful, his bowtie is really a camera." He feels like he can see these people clearly in his mind, and he hates them so much because they think they're hilarious. Tom gets a chill when they start counting the cars on the NJ Turnpike, but he doubts that the journey from Saginaw, MI, to New Jersey was particularly exciting. Plus, the rich Ivy-Leaguers probably annoyed all the poor slobs who were on the bus with them. PFT thinks it's inappropriate for these stoned Peteys to be laughing it up while someone is trying to visit their husband at Rahway State Prison. He agrees with Tom that Petey did sound "extraordinarily high" during his call. Tom thinks he may need to arrange for an on-air intervention that will be billed as another birthday party. PFT hopes Master Shake will participate. Tom felt bad that Petey blew off his favorite character after Dana Snyder got all ramped up for his birthday treat back in 2005.
- Eric on Staten Island calls just before he hits Hylan Blvd. to get a haircut at Lemon Tree salon, ice cream at Sedutto's, and some comic books at Jim Hanley's Universe on New Dorp Lane. His list:
1. Dennis Miller (blather on with Op-Ed pieces he calls "comedy"; jokes require reference material to understand)
2. Rudy Guliani
3. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins
4. David Spade
5. Any actor from the Sonic commercials
Tom GOMPs him for throwing Brian Huskey under the bus. Tom knows him, and he's a Good Guy.
- Laurie from Miami calls, and Tom salutes her and Josh for attending the listening party two weeks ago. She abandoned her all-boy list because most of them were already checked, and Tom suspects that porno people like Al Goldstein were on it. Tom can't imagine anyone wanting that guy to join them for dinner. He reveals that Goldstein eats with his mouth open. Laurie switches to her all-girl list:
1. Paris Hilton
2. Lindsay Lohan
4. Travis Barker's (RIP) ex-wife Shanna Moakler
5. Nicole Ritchie
Tom suspects that Laurie either commissioned Perez Hilton to write her list or lifted it from TMZ.com. Tom tells Laurie that she could have dipped into history instead of selecting all young starlets. He says it would be a fast dinner because those gals don't each much, but Laurie is more concerned about the post-meal Blackberry bitchfest.
- Julie calls from the LES of some river. She praises the listening party and provides her list:
Tom says his goal is to never see any sequence from The Cremaster Cycle. Julie says she got stuck in Cremaster 3 on its last day at the Guggenheim. She says it was like getting her teeth pulled and then there was a scene where he gets his teeth pulled. Tom doesn't want to hear about it because it will give him nightmares. She starts to give him the punchline involving something awful sprouting out of him, but Tom begs her to stop.
Julie thinks he's pompous and makes sucky films. Tom's surprised to hear this, and he wonders if she's seen Always, The Terminal, 1941, or *batteries not included. She doesn't like those films. She walked out of Schindler's List and has been dragged to a few of his films since then. She believes Spielberg populates his films with mimes in lieu of actors.
Julie claims she's biting off of something that happened 35 years ago to make money. She also thinks she sucks.
4. John McCain
Julie can't handle the two-faced liar who is inexplicably supporting GWB after his henchmen trashed him during the 2000 Republican primaries. Tom says this indicates how badly McCain wants to be President. However, he's out of luck because Mitt Romney will be elected. Tom starts chanting his name, and he says that Mike has a Romney '08 button that he refuses to give up. Mike went to a big fundraiser, but he didn't meet Mitt. He did, however, meet the guy who will hopefully be heading up Romney's campaign for Rhode Island. Tom says Mike is considering a trip to New Hampshire to do some door-to-door canvassing for Romney. Julie doesn't understand it. Tom says that Mike's a Mitt man. He doesn't know anything about his policies, but he loves the name.
5. Eddie Murphy
Julie doesn't think his fat suit antics are funny; Tom thinks Murphy used to be funny. Julie points out that he last brought it when she was babysitting for a living, but Tom gives him credit for being funny at some point in his life. He says he'd replace Eddie with his brother, Charlie Murphy, who just kinda looks like Eddie Murphy. Julie also believes that Eddie Murphy is a closeted homosexual. Tom reprimands her for slandering him.
Julie believes the rags-to-riches media queen gets too much pleasure out of humiliating people with her abundant cash. For example, she hides the keys to a new car underneath her studio's seats and then films audience members going into spasms. Tom has to get rid of Julie for a lapse into Sagetspeak. She got too worked up.
- Tom reads a few e-mailed lists:
1. Jim Breuer
2. Colin Quinn
4. Tucker Carlson (Tom thinks he seems fun. His bowtie is really a camera!)
5. Anyone who writes for Maxim magazine
Dave in Toronto (Game Show Edition):
2. Howie Mandel
3. Pat Sajak
5. Bob Barker
Flower Face expands the list to include five million people:
1. Every hipster dude in tight jeans and ironic t-shirts roaming the north side of Williamsburg
2. Every fauxhemian chick in $300 jeans and a muffin-top carrying a humongous purse on the north side of Williamsburg
3. Every loud, foulmouthed ghetto skank in tight jeans and a muffin-top pushing a stroller on the south side of Williamsburg
4. The cast of Desperate Housewives
5. The Bush Administration
Tom came up with an idea as he strolled through McCarren Park this past weekend. He thinks the authorities should drop a net over it, round people up, and start running IDs through the computer to review their criminal records. As we all know, Tom likes to wear those giant, old lady sunglasses, and the Brooklyn hipsters did not approve of them. He heard two people make a wisecrack about his eccentric eyewear. Tom points out that at least he wasn't wearing a shirt promoting long-defunct NJ zoos like Scotch Plains' Terry Lou Zoo or Jungle Habitat. He donned a nice clean shirt and nice clean slacks. Tom wonders if the dogs he saw ever realize that their owners are jerks who make them lay on hemp dog beds.
- Tom from Minneapolis calls (not the toothpaste guy) with a scattershot list:
2. Professional creep Fred Phelps
3. Ray Romano
4. Annoying union-buster Tyra Banks
5. Lars Ulrich (would spend the entire dinner banging out late-period Metallica on tin garbage cans)
Tom considered adding Lars's dad, tennis wizard Torben Ulrich, but he only had five slots.
- Pencil pusher, mouse clicker, rulemaker Josh in Miami:
1. Frank Gehry (swept up in his own hype; self-appointed King of the Earth)
3. Morgan Spurlock (gross McDonald’s lidblower; "the poor man's Michael Moore," per Tom)
Tom gets rid of Josh for being an egghead.
- Terry calls, and Tom guesses that his first person will be the guy who invented the bad phone he's using. Terry proceeds despite horrid connection:
2. Adolf Hitler!!!!!! Finally! An hour into the topic!
3. The delusional Dustin Diamond (Tom's glad things are back on track after a brief detour into Nazism)
4. Film producer Avi Arad
Tom dumps him because his phone is making his head vibrate as though he's gnawing on aluminum foil.
- Chris L calls from Maryland, home of the Crab Imperial and The Wire. Tom's never watched The Wire. He's got no problem with The Wire, and he'll probably enjoy The Wire when he starts watching The Wire, but he's yet to peel the shrinkwrap on any of his two copies of each of the first two seasons (gifts from four different people) because everybody who watches The Wire can't stop talking (in a voice resembling The Penguin) about The Wire. Tom says he may never watch The Wire because its rabid fanbase keeps hitting him over the head with The Wire. The Wire! The Wire The Wire The Wire! BEST SHOW EVER. The Wire! The Wire The Wire The Wire!
Cal Ripken Barry Bonds Gene Simmons (would order him to work 16-hour days for the rest of his life)
3. Scotch-soaked provocateur Christopher Hitchens (bullying, incoherent mess; would jump up and down on the table complaining about Mother Theresa and defending the Iraq War)
- Ted calls from Greenpoint, home of the Turkey's Nest Tavern, and offers:
1. Kim Gordon (afraid of impromptu dancing)
2. Cindy Adams (Only in New York, kids! Or anywhere else!)
3. Salvador Dali (creepy mustache; too surreal)
4. Michael Moore (takes all the fun out of America's health care crisis)
5. Captain Jack
- Paul from Kendallville, Indiana, calls with his non-guests for a meal at the Peter Luger Steak House:
1. Richard Belzer (conspiracy-a-go-go)
2. Chrissie Hynde (would set Peter Luger's on fire because she's a total vegan)
3. Eleanor Roosevelt (notorious cheapskate would embarrass him by stuffing Splenda® packets into her purse)
4. Mario Lanza (would eat himself to death ... again)
5. Diamond Jim Brady (would order 300 oysters + champagne and then insist that Paul split the tab)
- Dr. Ninja from Brooklyn has a list:
2. Tom Hanks
3. Jerry Garcia
4. Axl Rose
- Marty from Edison:
1. Bam Margera (Pride of West Chester!)
2. Nike's Phil Knight
3. Rachel Ray
4. Matthew McConaughey (frequently appears shirtless on the cover of 1999 magazine)
- Fellow WFMU DJ Hatch brings it:
1. Horrible celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz
2. Terrible Brooklyn author Jonathan Safran Foer
3. Daniel Johnston ("Brilliant guy, but I would not want to eat next to him." -- Tom)
4. Terrible NPR commentator Frank Deford (also has Bud Abbot-style mustache)
Tom refuses to throw Schreiber under the bus because he's always been nice to him. Then again, he can't throw Hatch under the bus because he's WFMU brethren. Tom finds himself in a conundrum. He's caught in the crossfire of a Hatch-Schreiber war. Hatch says it's just a list, and Tom bids him goodnight.
- Noah in Flatbush, Brooklyn, acts as a surrogate caller for his shy, economist friend:
1. Republican blogger/Red Sox hurler Curt Schilling
2. Carson Daly (massive tool!)
3. Economist Thomas Friedman (gets overly excited about Cinnabon outlets in India)
4. Arial Sharon (Tom doesn't know who that is; Noah says he's dead, but he's actually alive)
Tom thinks Sachs is the guy from Shine, but he's actually another economist. Tom wants to know why the listmaker hates the economy so much. Noah says his list would include A-Rod. Mike points out that he'd take you to a Gentlemen's Club, featuring only the finest of gentlemen inside its doors.
Nazis & Grace: And you thought Hitler was annoying!
- Susie in Manhattan:
1. Public access porn queen Robin Byrd
3. Vincent D’Onofrio (know-it-all who makes a lot of hand gestures)
4. Barbara Walters (annoying + unpleasant voice)
5. Debra Messing (snooze)
Tom wants to know if Susie writes for Gawker. She doesn't, but Tom thinks she secretly wants such a gig. Tom thinks Hitler might be deserve a spot on the list more than the woman from Will & Grace.
- Tom reveals Mike the Associate Producer's list:
1. Professional wrestler Gen. Douglas MacArthur
2. The Pogues frontman Shane McGowan
4. Andy Dick
- Charlotte calls from ritzy Montclair, home to Stephen Colbert. She's seen him at Starbucks, but forgot to bring her little autograph book. Her list:
1. Katie Couric (general hatred)
2. Rosie O'Donnell (would lecture the guests)
3. Gilbert Gottfried (voice)
4. Axl Rose (dreadlocks would ruin appetite)
5. (tie) Bono / James Blunt (might perform his hit single "You're Beautiful"; Tom does perform it!)
- A caller chimes in (starts at 2:34) with his list of undesirables:
1. Tommy Gawenda, lead guitarist for the Pezband
2. Jon Brant, one of the post-Tom Petersson bassists for Cheap Trick. (The caller mistakes Tom's attempt to proceed with the third person on his list as a request for the third bassist for Cheap Trick. It was Pete Comita.) He believes Brant kinda ruined the band, which leads him to #3.
4. Darren Robbins from Darren Robbins and the Rockstars. Tom has never heard of them, and the caller doesn't expet that he ever will.
5. Jeff Wilsden, the second drummer in The Greg Kihn Band. The caller doesn't want to get into the specifics of why Wilsden made the list, but it does involve his ex-wife. Tom doesn't wish to pursue it.
The caller mentions that he's the same guy who called a few weeks ago to promote the Poptastrophe 2007 PP festival in Newbridge on behalf of local legend Power Pop Pop-Pop. The caller correctly assumes that Tom never made it down to the docks to see the show. He also has some pretty bad, pretty heavy news to report. In a nutshell, Power Pop Pop-Pop got popped. The PP leader for all of North America was assassinated at his own Poptastrophe event. Tom is shocked to hear about his sudden demise. The caller says the show was a disaster, even worse than the 1992 Pop 'N Fresh Fest, an ill-advised attempt to merge the PP world with the hip-hop world. The caller still can't believe that two creeps from The Emitt Rhodes Band jumped Speech from Arrested Development. The caller isn't sure why two guys associated with one of the PP pioneers would jump the main dude from the progressive, Atlanta-based HH group. Tom vaguely recalls hearing about the incident.
The caller says that PPPP wanted to have PP enthusiast Robbie Rist host Poptastrophe, but they were still embroiled in a feud. He had to settle for Johnny Whitaker, who appeared on the early-1970s Sid and Marty Krofft show Sigmund and the Sea Monsters. While Rist is immersed in the PP world, Tom wonders the connection between PP and Whitaker. The caller says there is no connection. Rist and Whitaker are only linked via their work as child actors in the 1970s. Whitaker was so clueless about PP that he thought Poptastrophe was some kind of convention for a new high-caffeine cola. The caller says he kept trying to track down Paul Higgins, who is considered the king of conventions. Tom recalls talking to Higgins years ago. The caller says Whitaker knew Higgins from a KrofftCom he did in the mid-1990s. The Poptastrophe bill also included PP comedian Kenny Wilkins. Tom's not familiar with this stand-up niche, and the caller says it's known for being terrible. The caller provides a sample despite being embarrassed-by-proxy about the skin-crawling material. He recites the best PP joke from the Wilkins set:
Q. Why did Eric Carmen break up with is girlfriend?
A. Because she wouldn't go all the way.
Tom says it's worse than he expected. The caller says that the dock area could accommodate about 5,000 people, but only 200 showed up for Poptastrophe. PPPP was really mad about the low turnout, and he kept saying that he was going to lose a fortune due to his generous appearance fees for all the bands. PPPP even came out of retirement for the festival and paid his own band, Poppleganger, $15,000 to play. The band is comprised of PPPP and three guys who look just like him. The caller doesn't understand the point of paying his band with is own money. Tom recalls that based on the caller's prior description, PPPP was not a particularly attractive man -- shaggy Beatles-y haircut, The Kinks/Target "Mod" t-shirt, really tight pants, and Beatle boots. Tom guesses that PPPP should not have been wearing tight clothing. The caller confirms that he had a little paunch, and when he says "little", he means "big". While the caller reveals PPPP's girth, he does seem a bit reluctant to speak ill of the presumed-to-be-dead. PPPP thought that Poppleganger should headline Poptastrophe, but that honor went to The Resistance, an incredibly talented White Power-Pop group.
The caller says that PPPP was bad back in the 1970s and 1980s with his previous bands like The Hurt, The Need, The Yes, The No, and The Maybe, but the reunited Poppleganger was a whole new level of bad. The first half of the set consisted of songs that ripped off the chords and melodies from classic PP tunes. PPPP replaced the actual lyrics with his own PP-based lyrics. For example, songs titles included "Power Pop Is Go," "Hail Hail Power Pop," and "A Night on Power Pop Mountain”. The latter song was about some PP-loving kids who go on a camping trip and repel a Bigfoot-ish creature who is circling their camp all night by playing PP songs. Bigfoot ends up liking the music, and he's enlisted as a rhythm guitarist. Tom knew that Bigfoot's PP fandom would be the climax of the tune. PPPP also played a song called "Who Put the Pop in the Pop-a-Pop-a-Pop," a PP twist on "Who Put The Bomp?". The other half of Poppleganger's set featured generic riffs joined with famous PP lyrics in an attempt to pull one over on the crowd. The caller re-enacts one of these lame offerings: a standard guitar line with the words to The La's "There She Goes" sung in a different melody. PPPP pulled the same stunt with The Paul Collins Beat's "Rock & Roll Girl" and The Posies' "Solar Sister". The caller says people were biting their lips because PPPP was in charge and he was paying all the musicians.
The event was so poorly planned that bands were playing simultaneously on the three stages in close proximity to one another. The caller says it was particularly hard to distinguish the bands because they all were all playing samey, generic PP. At one point, all three bands were playing The Flamin' Groovies' "Shake Some Action," the subject of PPPP's 1,200-word oral history for the 45 RPM series. The caller says he can't rave enough about The Resistance's sound, but you have to overlook their White Power lyrics to enjoy their music. They also attracted a contingent of lowlifes with skinhead worldviews hiding beneath shags, Beatle cuts, and suit jackets. They started doing a dance called the "The Slam-Pop", a version of slamdancing where you pogo every couple of seconds prior to bashing people. The caller says the WPP scene revolves around this one band, and PPPP was so not into their set. He got on the microphone and tried to use his PP power to halt their performance. The caller does an impression of his edict, noting that PPPP slips into a Sean Connery-esque brogue when he gets mad. The caller thinks it's very weird because PPPP is from Newbridge, not Scotland. The warnings were not heeded because everyone lost respect for PPPP after hearing Poppleganger's poor performance.
All hell broke loose when The Resistance covered Big Star’s “Life is White” with different lyrics. The caller says that The Resistance's fans were going insane, but the regular PP fans didn't approve. A Power-Poppers vs. White Power-Poppers riot ensued. The caller says that they were lucky that Dr. Christian Harfouche was on the scene. Tom recalls hearing that name, and the caller says he'd definitely know him if he's seen the cover of the first national issue of the MMA magazine Gladiator. Tom has the issue at home, but he's yet to dive in. The caller says that Harfouche was in Newbridge for the Ultimate Fighting Trading Card Expo at the Convention Center. Tom wonders if Harfouche has a rookie card, and the caller thinks he must. Tom plans to get into collecting UF cards. Harfouche happened to be walking by when the riots were raging, and he tried to break it up with some JuJitsu-meets-extreme fighting moves. The caller says that he was really helping the PPers bash The Resistance crew, but then PPPP started kicking the short doctor in the head. While Quad-P was on the same side of the dispute, he was upset that Dr. Harfouche was upstaging him by helping to restore order. The caller says that PPPP felt like he had lost control of the proceedings. Tom says that he did, but the caller says that you can't tell him anything. PPPP started popping Dr. Harfouche with his Popper, his zip gun in the shape of a Rickenbacher bass.
At this point, the entire concert turned on Quad-P, dragging him down to the water and putting him on a barge to send him out into a river leading to the Atlantic Ocean. Tom's confused because the caller originally said that PPPP was "assassinated." He says that if PPPP is not dead by now, he will be soon after facing this Newbridge-style street justice. Tom had heard about isolated bargings, but the caller says this is preferred method of whacking people in town. He says that some would call this slow form of execution a dignified death, but he's not sure. He's certain that there was nothing dignified about the way PPPP handled himself on the raft. As he floated out to sea, he pleaded for his Popper, but nobody threw it to him. He started crying and focused his attention on acquiring Twilley Don't Mind, the second album from The Dwight Twilley Band. The caller thinks it's weird to want to die with a copy of a Dwight Twilley album. Since PPPP is gone, the PP leadership vacancy has been filled by Cheap Trick Rick, from Poptastrophe band The Snap. He's also PPPP's illegitimate son.
The caller says that PPPP didn't even know about his child until the festival. Back in 1984, PPPP had a one-nighter with a chick from Germany. She told him that she was Rick Nielson's sister from Champagne, IL. Quad-P saw this as his golden opportunity to gain access to the upper echelons of the PP circuit. If he married this woman, he'd be related to the guy who wrote all the PP classics. The caller says that since PPPP had never been out of Newbridge, he was fooled into thinking that the chick's German accent was actually a legit Illinois accent. She was only carousing with PPPP to get a Green Card. He totally fell for it, and she ended up getting pregnant. PPPP had no idea because she cut him loose before she started showing. The caller says he totally creeped her out by sending her 25 PP mixtapes a week. He was also sending her weird PP fanfic involving a PP love triangle between him, her, and Greg Kihn.
The caller says that PPPP's writing also ventured bizarrely into the realm of television. He penned six full seasons of The Rickenbackers, a The Sopranos-inspired PP drama. The series focuses on a guy who runs the PP scene while everyone tries to rub him out. The caller thinks PP is a Nostradamus-grade prophet for predicting his ultimate demise. Tom wants to know if the caller was involved in PPPP's fate, and the caller wants him to define "involved." Tom asks him if he had anything to do with putting PPPP out on the raft. The caller wants some clarification on "putting him out on the raft." Tom asks him if he physically touched PPPP. The caller says he shoved him onto the barge and tied him down. Tom thinks he betrayed PPPP, and the caller admits that he hated him. He says everyone in the PP scene hated him. He thinks Tom would hate him if he ever met him. Tom thinks it's probably a good thing that he'll likely never get the chance.
The caller says he has to boogie because he's DJing a "Blue Party" in about an hour. He's concerned that Tom is going to tell Officer Harrups about it. Tom says he won't rat them out, but he is troubled that the sleep-inducing balm is taking over Newbridge's drug underworld. The caller thinks Tom would like it if he tried it. Tom says he never will. The caller invites Tom to the party, which will take place at Craig Cooper's place. He says he's done one other party for Cooper, and it's a pretty low-impact gig: six songs leading to Badfinger’s “Baby Blue” when they break out the stuff. When everyone is knocked out, the caller leaves and returns 12 hours later to get everyone going with Cheap Trick's "Come On, Come On". They are under the impression that he's been spinning the entire night. Tom thinks it sounds like a pretty sweet deal, and he wishes him luck with tonight's festivities.
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU:: The Kid returns with a stomach full of Carney's and Paquito Mass grub and discusses his altercation with Vincent Chase and Johnny Drama outside of Book Soup. Bro!