"I thought you guys were the Greatest Generation, apparently not. Apparently you didn’t know how to take care of your vinyl. Shameful. You old fossils should be embarrassed.” -- Tom, ripping the oldtimers for their scratchy record collections
"Can you take a bullet?" -- Tom, interviewing Mike for a key role in his forthcoming crime squad
“All of a sudden he’s missing one pair of Chuck Taylors, and you've got a lot of explaining to do.” -- Gentlemen Jim on Tom's secret stash heist
"Is he red like in the 'Liar' video?" -- Tom, inquiring about the hue of Henry Rollins' visage
"Trust me, he didn't ruin Daredevil. Look, the guy's guilty of a lot of things, ruining Daredevil isn't one of them." -- Tom, cutting Kevin Smith some slack on the misguided comic book adaptation
"I'm not saying MIke's a terrorist. There is some suspicious activity in his Netflix queue, though." -- Tom on his Associate Producer's potentially treasonous movie renting patterns
"He doesn't look better with a beard -- he looks troubled at all times!" -- Tom on Philip Seymour Hoffman with or without facial hair
"It's a long time hasn't it been?" -- The Leaduh, kranking listeners with some mangled syntax
“Please guys, don’t put me in your fan-fiction." -- Tom asking bush-league improv duo Thorn & Norris to leave him out of it
"I like the idea that that's New York flavor. Some idiot in his underwear." -- Tom on Times Square fixture the Naked Cowboy
"I hope you're handcuffed to Muhammad Ali running through the bayou, and he sprays d-CON in your face." -- Tom, wishing that the former Champ takes out a pest from Jersey City
"I don't have any friends. Come on! I'm Hesh! I'm like a 4' 5" midget doing a dance thing or whatever." -- Hesh on his Heshiness
"You ain't gonna spin no ha-caw?" -- Hammerhead on Tom's inability to fill his genre request
"Case in point: if you were slamming incorrectly, I reprimanded you. If you did stage dives in the incorrect manner, I spanked you." -- Hammerhead on his disciplinary measures as the leader of the NBHC scene
"I came this short of wrappin' that sax around his head." -- Hammerhead on the fate jazz legend Sonny Rollins barely escaped
"Mission: Accomplished. You lived improperly, and you learned." -- Hammerhead on successfully reprimanding Tom for wearing an R.E.M. shirt to a hardcore show
"You're so uncultured. Maybe someday you could own a brandy sniffer." -- Hammerhead on Tom's lack of luxury
"It doesn't really taste like anything, so the kids are never gonna know." -- Hammerhead on his efforts to stealthily insert more plastic in cereal
"They say it sounds like someone chainsawing a car while a guy who can't sing screams over a polka beat supplied by a drummer who can't play." -- Hammerhead, relaying his kids' assessment of his beloved hardcore punk rock 'n roll
"Those clowns?! Those guys would cry at shows." -- Hammerhead, dissing the emotional D.C. hardcore scene
"I would smash you right now, if I wasn't about to fall asleep." -- Hammerhead on his blue-derailed nudging of Tom
"This is my pit. This is my pit. [unintelligible] I'm gonna stage dive on your face." -- Hammerhead, dreaming of inflicting hardcore violence on Tom
"So what if there's an archived show every once in a while that's, you know, only 18 minutes long? Who's gonna notice?" -- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville, working his Southern magic to alter Best Show history and turn the show around
"That would be a good license plate for me to get, if I wanted to get murdered. There he is!" -- Tom on what would happen if he drove around with TBSOWFMU on his car
"I hate you! You stink!" -- Tom, telling Ted Leo what he really thinks of him after all these years
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House of Large Sizes - "A Tower Bends"
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St. Vincent - "Jesus Saves, I Spend"
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Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
Tom’s scared? What? Tom’s not scared! Who said he was scared?! Hesh? Actually, Tom did, but then he changed his mind. He's far less wishy-washy on his future as a criminal.
IfWhen Tom starts robbing people, he wants Mike to roll with his crew. He’s not sure of Mike’s role, but Mike says he's a pretty good driver. Tom thinks he might be used to take a bullet as the first line of defense, but Mike is interested in doing some safecracking. Tom wants to know if Mike has ever killed anyone. He hasn’t. Tom read some online speculation about his criminal persona being like the scheming-but-soft John Archibald Dortmunder from the Donald Westlake books. He will not be like the Dortmunder. He will hurt people. Tom has seen The Hot Rock, and he would not be like Robert Redford or George Segal, who plays his brother-in-law Andy Kelp.
Tom fancies himself as more of a Danny Ocean type. He’d be calm, cool, and collected, and pull off the perfect heist. Tom’s not sure of his targets, but he considers robbing Kevin Smith’s house. Then again, he doesn’t want to bother getting lowered through the roof Mission: Impossible style to avoid his motion sensors only to find Star Wars trinkets or Ben Affleck’s Daredevil costume, which has an approximate value of $240 The saw Tom’s crew bought cost $400. so the item wouldn't even cover one of their expenses. Tom would also be able to nab great items like the sidecar from Mallrats, Smith's trademark trenchcoat, and one of his 85 XXXXXL Martin Brodeur jerseys.
The Best Show is the Real Deal. It’s not playtime or dress-up. The show is not clip-clopping down the hallway wearing Daddy’s shoes with his suit jacket dragging on the floor. It's not applying Mommy's makeup. This is real. There's nothing pretend about it. The line is already lit, which is a very scary proposition. If you call pre-topic, you really, really, have to come up with the goods. You can wait for the topic and join the flow, but if you’re one of the brave few who are announcing that you're bigger than any potential topic, you gotta be prepared.
- Jim in Little Silver calls, and he was expecting Tom’s tone because he knows how he feels about people from down that end of the state. He throws a card on the table: this is 3,000th Myspace friend Gentlemen Jim. This gives him a little more credibility. Tom says that he's not referring to Little Silver when he rips Jersey shore trash. GJ says this may be somewhat like poking a bear with a short stick, but he called because he has a Kevin Smith-related something to bring up. GJandTomsaid”firstofall”atthesametime! Tom psychs GJ to earn a free sodey. Tom’s favorite is Herr’s root beer. GJ thinks he might mean Hires, but he'll see what he can do.
GJ has access to getting Smith’s address, so he can help Tom out. Tom thinks it’s becoming all too real. He doesn’t want to talk about it on the radio because he’ll be like the moron Cabbie who bragged about not paying $100,000 in taxes on The Howard Stern Show. >>> JAIL. GJ understands Tom's concern because if Smith is suddenly missing a pair of Chuck Taylors, Tom will have a lot of explaining to do. Tom doesn't want to get picked up by police as he parades down the Point Pleasant boardwalk like the King of the World wearing a giant trenchcoat.
GJ has lived in the area his whole life, so he’s familiar with Smith's comic book store in Red Bank. He was dragged into Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash for the first time last week. Tom's been there, and he says it's basically a Kevin Smith museum that sells some comic books in the gift shop. GJ thought it was awful, and he had no interest in purchasing View Askew films that were never picked up for distribution. GJ points out that the movies were so bad that having Smith's name attached couldn't save them from a straight-to-DVD fate. Tom says this is Smith doing a solid for the New Jersey film community. GJ claims that you can by these lesser productions at regular price or fork over another $25 to buy a DVD with Kevin Smith's name scribbled on it. He was annoyed that Smith had the nerve to do that in his own store. Tom is a bit skeptical of this pricing structure, but GJ says it's true. He could understand a Norwegian Kevin Smith fan shelling out for an autographed version on eBay, but that's about it. Tom adopts the voice of an excited Norwegian Kevin Smith fan about to make a trip to the United States so he can visit all the Leonardo/Red Bank hot spots like the Quik Stop, the church where Dogma was filmed, and the porch where Banky got yelled at in Chasing Amy. Tom references Jack's Music Shoppe and the U.S. Route 1 Flea Market, and GJ is impressed by how well he knows his enemy. (In fairness to Smith, GJ's price-gouging claims appear to be false.)
GJ tells Tom to have a good night, but Tom isn't done with HIM. He knows someone that Tom is kind of obsessed with. He used to work for the man in the mid-1980s. He says he's a good guy. It's Tom's life coach Henry Rollins. GJ says the amazing thing about Hank is that he's exactly like he presents himself. However, he's not down with his softer persona on his IFC program. GJ thinks he comes off like a suck-up. A brown-noser, if you prefer. Tom gives Rollins a lot of credit. He likes him, and that's all he has to say on the matter. Tom does want to know if Rollins is actually devil-red like his appearance in his band's 1994 video for "Liar", the minor hit from Weight. GJ says his face isn't, but all the parts covered by his sleeveless t-shirts are in fact red.
- Another daring pre-topic caller Tom identifies as Spike wants to talk about Kevin Smith's supporting performance in Live Free or Die Hard. Tom didn't see it. The caller thought the film was absolutely amazing. He's not a Smith fan, and he thinks his presence usually ruins movies like Daredevil. Tom obviously thinks Kevin Smith is guilty of a lot of things, but he doesn't think ruining Daredevil is one of them. Tom prefers to pin the blame on the director who followed up Daredevil with Ghost Rider, a film about Nicolas Cage pretending to ride a motorcycle while being enveloped by bad CGI. The caller insists that Smith was the heart of the evil that was the Daredevil screen adaptation.
The caller saw the fourth installment of the Die Hard series starring Bruce Willis twice, and he thought it was so much better than Transformers. Tom wants him to hold on a second. He wants to make sure that the caller is telling him that there's a movie out there right now that is superior to Transformers. The caller says this is correct. He confirms that it's not some weird foreign film and says Tom can see it at his local multiplex. Tom finds this hard to swallow and wonders if it's better than Transformers on all fronts. The caller says it's better by far, citing the climax where Willis destroys a jet with a Mack truck from the highway. [SPOILER] Willis survives the incident. Tom wants to know if the caller saw the film to laugh at it. He says he went to the theater to sit there in awe of the filmmaking. I think this caller snuck a handful of 'shrooms into his box of Junior Mints. I expected him to discuss a scene in which a bunch of rats short-circuited the dude who plays the Macintosh computer in those commercials.
The caller says he's a huge fan of the series, and he thinks they are all amazing except for Die Hard 2: Die Harder. He loves the fantastic Die Hard with a Vengeance, noting that you can't beat Samuel L. Jackson. Tom thinks that SLJ is very beatable now because he's done enough stuff to make him vulnerable. He cites his work as a homeless detective in The Caveman's Valentine as a big-time defeat. The caller thought it was a good one, and Tom suspects he's talking to a Sam Jackson superfan. The caller denies that elevated status, but he's been a fan since seeing him rob a McDonald's in Coming to America. When he witnessed that cinematic stick-up, he knew that SLJ would be his favorite actor besides Bruce Willis.
Tom felt that way when he saw Kevin Costner's brief appearance as a corpse in The Big Chill. The caller is surprised that Tom is a Costner fan because he thinks he makes awful baseball movies. When Tom caught a glimpse of him in a casket, he knew that guy was his new favorite actor. The caller asks Tom if he likes Field Of Dreams. Tom's not familiar with that one. The caller says it's the film where Costner plays a werewolf who fights other werewolves while wearing a baseball hat. Tom considers himself a Costner superfan, and Field of Dreams is in his Netflix queue. Tom's working his way through some other movies first. He enjoys filling his queue with movies that aren't actually out yet, such as Underdog, the next Batman film, and Transformers 2: Rust in Peace.
As Tom mentioned on a past show, Mike the Associate Producer lent him a "really funny" Netflix'd film called Strotesick. Tom did some research and discovered that Joy Division's Ian Curtis watched the supposed comedy shortly before hanging himself in his kitchen. Tom thought it was the most depressing film he's ever seen. He says the most fun part is when the main character gets shot on a ski lift. This made Tom wary of Mike's movie choices, and a few weeks ago, he brought in another ominous Netflix sleeve. He admitted that he didn't exactly hit it out of the park with the Werner Herzog laffer, but he was convinced that Tom would find humor in Lukas Moodysson's Together, which takes place in the hippies communes of Stockholm, Sweden in the 1970s.
Tom finally started watching it, and while it was funnier than Strotesick, he points out that anything would be funnier than Strotesick. Tom describes the film as a gross parade of mutants, including one degenerate woman who attempts to "excite" a 14-year-old. The so-called comedy starts off with a hippie getting a phone call in the middle of the night from his sister because she was just beaten by her husband. She then arrives with a bloody lip and her two kids in tow to live at the hippie house. The poor kids get corrupted by these filthy hippies throughout an endless series of sick events. Tom told Mike he mailed the film back to Netflix, but he didn't. He cracked the DVD in half and threw it in the garbage to prevent others from renting it. Tom considers having Mike's Netflix account frozen based on his last two recommendations. He's convinced that Mike is committing some kind of online movie rental violation. He's not pleased with his foreign-leaning queue, and he'd like to see Mike give more support to American films. He asks Mike if he's seen both Rush Hour films. He hasn't seen either one, yet he's pushing Swedish movies on everyone else. Tom alerts the FBI to review Mike's Netflix queue to bolster their case against him. Perhaps it's time to relaunch the HCUA to prosecute Mike for treason.
Tom says that Mike seems like an upstanding guy, but his movie choices are tipping him off that something isn't right. He sees billboards urging him to report suspicious activities to thwart potential terrorist attacks, so he has to take action to protect his country. Tom is not saying Mike is a terrorist, but he definitely sees some suspicious activity going on in his Netflix queue. Mike says he has the Planet Earth documentary lined up as his next selection. Tom detects too much glee in his voice when he reveals that the documentary features animals killing each other. Tom tells promises to give any FBI agents Mike's personal information off the air.
Reporting Mike to the FBI
Tom mentions that Together's Göran has the worst beard he's ever seen, but the fictional Swedish hippie would fit right in with the youth of 2007. Tom wants to ask the youth of America what's up with the beards. He thinks it's time to halt the rush to hippification. Tom can understand the initial excitement of facial hair growth and early experimentation, but he doesn't think anyone should have a full beard at age 23. He doesn't believe that the young el beardos are fooling anyone into thinking they are a wise, old, distinguished men in their 30s or a college professor roaming around campus. Tom avoids using the term "gravitas" because it sounds too much like that guy on Comedy Central. He would prefer to see young people grow the beard, but shave it off once in a while. Grow, ditch, repeat. Try it from time to time and then say goodbye to it. The bottom line: hippies are not cool. They are lazy. You shouldn't strive to be one.
Another pre-topic line lights up at literally the worst time to call -- while Tom is introducing the topic. Someone has the hubris to make Tom stop to take the call. Who is it?
- Laurie from Miami calls to get Tom's take on handlebar mustaches affixed to the faces of young men. Tom bounces the question back to her because he thinks Laurie can guess what his take will be on a 24-year-oldwalking around with a finely-groomed handlebar mustache like he's on the wallpaper at T.G.I. Friday's or a resident of Deadwood. Laurie doesn't think he appreciates them. She's right! Tom hates the look. Laurie doesn't like them either. She thinks beards are generally less objectionable than other facial hair configurations. Tom thinks kids are growing beards to hide the fact that they are all doughy and lumpy. Laurie suggests that Philip Seymour Hoffman looks better with a beard. Tom disagrees. He thinks the Oscar-winning thesp looks troubled at all times. Laurie says she knows a lot of women who think PSH is very good-looking. Tom wonders if Laurie thought he was attractive sans beard in Boogie Nights as boom operator Scotty J., who favored ultra-tight tube tops. Laurie admits that this wasn't a great look for Hoffman, but she still thinks he's an attractive guy. Tom's a huge fan of PSH's work, but he doesn't find him attractive. I thought he was extremely hott in Happiness and Love Liza.
Tom dares to point out a weird thing about women. If you ask a guy who's hott, they will name really hott ladies. If you ask women, they will respond with weird, fat defective guys. They seem to cut these dudes tremendous physical slack. Laurie says that PSH is legitimately good-looking. Tom says he finds John C. Reilly attractive, and Laurie thinks he took it a bit too far. Tom doesn't think PSH is ugly, but he's not exactly the epitome of attractiveness, either. Laurie admits to having a really big crush on Crispin Glover when she was in high school. This proves Tom's point. Laurie thinks women tend to have a bit more depth compared to guys, who make more obvious, traditional choices like Victoria's Secret models. Tom agrees that women cut a wider birth, but he says there's nothing wrong with going for the attractive fellas. Laurie assures Tom that women still like hunks like Christian Bale. She previously expressed an affinity for the tingle-inducing Cillian Murphy in a post on an online message forum.
Tom mentions misguided gals who think Jack Black is sexy. Laurie used to think Jables was kinda cute, but Tom informs her that he has never been kinda cute. Laurie turned on him after he left the hott and funny Laura Kightlinger for Tanya Haden, his then-unrequited high school crush. Tom GOMPs Laurie for trying to turn The Best Show into OK! magazine or E!: Entertainment Television. It's not gossip time, and Tom doesn't look like anything like Giuliana_DePandi (HOTT!). Tom wants everyone to know that Ed Harris and the 160-year-old Sean Connery = not sexy. He reminds women that they have earned the right to call these olds ugly. He wants women to stand up for themselves and oogle the eye candy free of any shame. Tom laments that there is a poor woman out there trapping herself within a standard that assigns sexiness to weird monsters like Artie Lange. Tom can't decide if he's more mad at the overly-generous women or the men they adore.
- Martin aka "crimestick" e-mails Tom to say that he'd enjoy the entire Lukas Moodysson oeuvre. He recommends 2002's Lilya 4-ever, which features a triple threat of Russian slave trading, child abuse, and prostitution. Mike saw it. He says it wasn't as funny as Together. Tom renews his request for the F.B.I. to investigate his colleague.
It's been said that every Best Show topic is just a negative complain-a-thon. Not tonight! Tom puts a complain-y topic and a positive topic on the table to see where things end up.
1. You are stuck running through the swamps of the bayou, and you're worried about getting bit by alligators and snakes. But you are not alone. You're handcuffed to somebody else. Tom wants to know the person who would make you want to be consumed by the alligator rather than endure any more of their jabbering. They'd escape with your severed arm dangling from your former shackles. It could also be someone you fear would sell you out.
2. "You want props? I'll give you props." It is what is sounds like. You call with something your proud of/excited about, and The Kid will give you the deserved props.
- A caller wants Tom to guess who he is, and Tom goes for either Christopher Moltisanti or one of The Jerky Boys. He calls Tom a dingleberry for suggesting he was a Jerky Boy. It's The Leaduh, returning from an extended sabbatical. Let's hit the FOTpedia for a backgrounder:
The Leader is a foul mouthed dink who claims to be be the "leader" of a group of telephone crank callers known as The Jersey City Krank Krew. He used to call in to the Best Show, using a fake voice reminiscent of a third rate Jerky Boys impersonator. He also purports to have released a prank-call CD titled Jersey City Krank Krew Kompilation, Volume 1.
The Leader's real name is Gary. He works a gas station attendant at the Hess station on the Jersey City side of the Holland Tunnel. Tom once took The Best Show on a remote broadcast to the Hess station in order to confront The Leader directly, but The Leader chickened out, leaving Tom to hang in the parking lot with Mike from Troubleman Unlimited, and a group of unidentified Jersey City teens for the remainder of the show.
Tom says The Leaduh was always threatening to run him out and take over. The Leader claims he has in fact completed his coup . Tom asks him if he took over the night shift at Arby's. The Leader says he's now the manager of the gas station (Pete's boss?). Tom says one of the all-time Best Show highlights was the time The Leaduh's tough guy ranting was interrupted by the "bing-bing" sound in the background. The Leaduh says he wouldn't want to get stuck in a bayou with Tom because he annoys him. This is why he's avoided calling the show for several years. Tom wouldn't want to be stuck to The Leaduh because the alligators would be attracted to the smell of his gasoline-soaked clothing. The Leaduh claims he brings home more money at the gas station than Tom makes at CC, and Tom thinks he's probably right. The Leaduh has been supplementing his income with his homemade Krank Krew CDs.
Tom blesses his entrepreneurial spirit because it's a hard world. The Leaduh says it isn't. Tom asks him to fill 'er up with the 87 and then GOMPs the belligerent greasemonkey. Tom thought he was about to start praising Morgan Yam's mafia-slasher film Cleavuh. He thinks The Leaduh could land a voiceover job for the forthcoming The Sopranos cartoon that HBO is working on. Tom read in Viority that the network is moving forward with the project without David Chase's permission. He thinks this is a really stupid move, but he understands that the public craves The Sopranos any way they can get it.
- Matt in East Orange (
07078 07903 07017) calls to take a crack at both topics.
1. Grace Slick. Matt thinks the Jefferson Airplance contralto would be really cowardly and selfish while wading through the swamps, eventually getting them both killed/eaten if they ever encountered civilization. If they managed to find safety, she'd sell him out for her own gain. Tom is inspired to tweak the topic to focus on people you wouldn't want in your foxhole.
2. Matt rarely gets props, so Tom is ready to change that. He's been running a retail and repair business out of his apartment, and it's finally gaining enough momentum for him to pay off some of his startup costs. Tom gives him props for doing this.
- Alex calls to say he wouldn't want to be handcuffed to Mr. Steven Patrick Morrissey from The Smiths and his "moany self-titled stuff." He thinks Morrisey would complain during the entire ordeal while occasionally sitting down on a log to pen bad poetry. Tom agrees that this would be a pretty rough predicament.
- Jimmy from Louisville calls to rewrite history by claiming that his part of the state fought for the North in The Civil War. He also wants props because his city hosted The Queen of England, and she's never been in New Jersey. Jimmy says the Queen came to see "The Sport of Kings", sponsored by Yum! Brands, Inc. Tom thinks he's listening to an old radio commercial. Jimmy abandons the regional lingo, and he tells Tom that he was referring to the KFC-sponsored Kentucky Derby. (I've heard the Burgoo Sadness Bowls® are pretty tasty -- perfect with a nice Mint Julep.)
Tom says bully for him, and Jimmy just wants his props. Tom gives him props because Louisville attracted his beloved Queen. They did it. Tom wants to know if Louisville is still putting food on the table based on this royal visit. He declares Jersey the victor in its battle with Kentucky and GOMPs Jimmy. While Louisville got The Queen, I think NJ will trump that when Pope Benedict XVI arrives in town to step into the nonagon and slap it out with Keith Garfinkle at the Newbridge Sports Arena.
- Rob calls to say he wouldn't want to be in the bayou with Stephen Hawkings (sic). Tom immediately dumps him for dissing his favorite theoretical physicist.
- Maniac FOT calls to say he almost choked when Rob picked Stephen Hawking, but he thinks Dick Cheney would be a huge hazard while running through the bayou for two reasons: he would either drop dead from heart failure, leaving you to lug his sorry, lifeless body around, or pull a double-cross on you. Tom would not want to be in a foxhole with the smirking V-P because he'd alert the enemy to his position and plot schemes on his cell phone.
Maniac FOT lives in North Windham, Maine, which is on the edge of Western Maine, a pocket of the state clocked in mystery and fear. He previously resided in CT and Western MA. Tom wonders if the Atlantic Ocean is next on his residential list. His wife is Canadian, so they may try Nova Scotia or the P-Dot. Tom says one plus for Canada is the free health insurance. He learned about this in SiCKO. Maniac FOT notes that the film omits the fact that you have to give the government half of your paycheque to support the free system. He plans to see the film, but he wishes that Michael Moore didn’t feel compelled to resort to his shenanigans and embellishments because he generally agrees with his viewpoints. Tom tells him to just go see it before he casts anspersions on it. Maniac FOT says the film has reached the theaters in Windham 2-Plex, their only remaining moviehouse. Tom asks him if they just got Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone, and Maniac FOT says have the second one.
Nobody told Tom that SiCKO was hilarious, but somebody definitely told him Together was hilarious.
- Tom receives a weird IM that he refuses to dignify on the air. He then gets an e-mail from the same guy. The guy is accusing Tom of ruining the dynamic on the
JJG! podcast. When Jesse Thorn called last week for advice on his radio career, Tom told him get rid of his co-host and best friend, Jordan Norris. In the subsequent episode of the podcast, Thorn and Norris performed a skit about breaking up. At the end of the episode, Jesse Thorn unleashed an expletive-laden tirade on Norris and fired him from the program in a stunning dramatic twist. After listening to the skit, Tom recommends changing the name of the podcast to Jordan, Jesse, GO TO ACTING SCHOOL!. He's not interested in being a character in their fan-fiction. Perhaps the two community broadcasters can contact Roydon Ziegler I at the Roxboro Wawa and enroll in Burt Newsom's acting classes. I'd love to see them workshop a scene with Home Box Office heavyweights like Greyson Fletcher and Maureen Van Zandt.
- Drew from Miami says he would not want to be in a foxhole with Dave Eggers. He doesn't have a personal gripe with the literary mogul, but he fears that he'd end up being a character in one of his stories. He doesn't want Eggers to co-opt his life and make him look like a fool. Drew says he wouldn't be able to present his side of the story because nobody is interested in his scribblings. Tom says he'd hear him out. Drew says he just moved to Miami a few weeks ago from Ft. Worth, Texas, because he''ll be starting school at the University of Miami in the fall. He plans to study film or creative writing so he can retaliate against Dave Eggers is various formats. Drew says he just wants to make a small mark on the world. He promises to work hard for Tom. Tom tells him to stay away from parties, but avoid turning into the antisocial weirdo who hides in his dorm room all the time. Drew assures Tom that he'll strive to sit at the top of the bell curve. Tom reminds him that his studies are very important and recommends avoiding the more degrading aspects of college. Drew says he'll be the friendly guy.
- Rising star caller Forrest from Manhattan calls, and Tom wants to know if it's "Far-est" or "Four-est". Forrest says this has been debated within his family lately, and his mom is going with "Far-est", which is Tom's preferred pronunciation. He will except either one. Forrest says he wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with the Naked Cowboy, a famous, scantily-clad busker in Times Square. Based on previous encounters with NC, Forrest thinks he would engage in nonstop self-promotion whilst in the foxhole. Tom predicts that he'd talk about appearing way in the background in an episode of Friends while he and Forrest got bombarded with artillery fire. Tom doesn't think some idiot in his underwear is authentic NYC flavor. Forrest thinks he might appeal to tourists who are looking to see a lunatic with a guitar. Tom says the Naked Cowboy is nuts and should be ignored by residents and visitors alike. He believes that if he appeared in someone's hometown, they'd run and call the cops. Forrest has agrees to agree with Tom on this issue. Tom agrees with his agreeance.
- Barry in Jersey City thinks the worst bayou partner would be an old, decrepit, mindless Muhammad Ali. Tom doesn't care for the selection, so Barry wants him to think about it a bit more. He argues that Ali would start babbling about Joe Frazier as the alligators were approaching them. Tom points out that Ali is afflicted with a disease. Barry says it doesn't matter, and he doesn't like seeing Ali being dragged out at various events. Tom says he'd rather be handcuffed to Ali than Barry from Jersey City. He hopes that Barry has to endure his nightmare scenario and that Ali sprays him in the face with d-CON rodent killer. Tom GOMPs him.
- Dan McNamara calls to say the worst thing to be attached to in the bayou is a talking rainbow from the sky because they tend to be incredibly annoying. Tom gives Dan the go-ahead to promote his website, but Dan says PBS is handling the marketing campaign for Redeeming Rainbow. He thinks it's stupid, and Tom agrees. He GOMPs him because he's not going to spend more time talking about something that its co-creator admits is stupid. Tom is here to do work.
- A caller says he wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with Bam Margera, the pride of West Chester, PA. If he fell asleep, he'd be understandably nervous. He also wouldn't want Bam to get his hands on any grenades. Tom wouldn't want to be in a foxhole with or handcuffed to Bam because he'd probably pull a weird prank. He asks the caller which of the nine main Jackass crew members he'd most like to join him in the foxhole: Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Ryan Dunn, Chris Pontius, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna, Preston Lacy, Dave England, or Ehren McGhehey. The caller picks Lacy because he seems like the least vicious. Tom would take Dunn because he's loyal.
Tom thinks the show is coming down from the initial high of a cotton candy and Mike and Ike binge. The sugar crash is upon us.
- Erika from Baltimore calls to get some props! She worked for an Internet start-up company for seven long years and put up with a lot of abuse in what became a sad life lesson. Erika says she finally cut the line last October, and it's the best thing she ever did. She says all the people who had guilted her into staying for so long by pretending to be her family ditched her once she got a new job. Tom's not surprised. Erika was only as good as what she could do for them. She was at least able to reap the benefits of the company's contributions to her 401(k).
Tom says that whenever a co-worker claims they will stay in touch, this means that you will never hear from them again. Erika even made attempts to contact her former co-workers, but they were to no avail. Tom says if you run into one of them somewhere, it will be the most uncomfortable thing that has ever happened to you. Erika agrees, noting that the person would flee to the other end of the bar to watch CNN on mute to avoid engaging you in conversation. Erika says that someone referred to this phenomenon as the "The Olive Garden" syndrome. When you're there, you're family, but when you're gone, your common riff-raff. Tom points out that it's also terrible like The Olive Garden. He's not too impressed by the chain's offer of all-you-can-eat vinegar-drenched iceberg lettuce and Wonder Bread. Mmmmm, Italian food! Erika says she had friends who made a big deal about a night of fun at The Olive Garden. Tom gets bummed out by this sad tale, but then he remembers that it's a hard life. If The Olive Garden made these people happy, so be it.
- It's Hesh. He's back. While he's usually a hater who roots against the show, he compliments Tom on last week's program, which he thinks was the best show of 2007. This really isn't high praise because Hesh has previously stated that he didn't like any of the shows this year. Lots of Hobbit dances for Hesh. Hesh liked the Patton Oswalt in-studio and calls from heavy hitters like Roydon Ziegler I, Petey, and the guy who is a rock star. Tom thinks he might be referring to Jason Newsted or Carmine Appice, but it's actually regular caller Ted Leo. Hesh says that this was the best Best Show he's seen. Tom wants to know what channel it aired on, but Hesh admits that he didn't see it. He calls himself an idiot, but he wasn't that far off. A simulcast on The Shout! Network was called off at the last minute because they decided a rerun of The Reggae Kid would pull in more 18-49s.
Hesh admits that he's been drinking because he's become an alcoholic since he started talking to Tom. Tom doesn't want him to pin that on him. Hesh accepts responsibility, and he says he doesn't know how to handle pressure. Tom says he loves how Hesh deems himself the judge of good radio, but he's the lamest caller who has ever called the show -- boring, rambling, bad phone connection, etc. Hesh says he tries to talk and Tom shuts him off. This drives him to drink. Tom wants to know how long he's been workshopping this "Hesh is an alcoholic" routine with his friends. Hesh says he doesn't have any friends. He's Hesh! Hesh says he's just a 4' 5" midget doing a dance whenever Tom suffers a setback. Tom says he likes Hesh, although he can't understand every third word he's saying. Tom suspects he's calling on a football phone, but Hesh says he's using a two-year-old Samsung cell phone. He's in an apartment, so he doesn't have a $3 landline. Tom says he read an interesting article about how they no longer hook up landlines to apartment buildings. Tom has to get rid of the moron for toilet talk. That's what makes Hesh Hesh. Tom says he can't entertain guys like that because he's not doing a podcast. It's grown-up time on real radio. Hesh put a voodoo curse on the program. Later in the show, Tom re-enacts Hesh's call in a slurred speech that recalls the great Foster Brooks. Hesh: The Unlovable Lush!
- A caller wants Tom to play some MDC. Tom doesn't think he has any Millions of Dead Cops records ready to go. The caller tries TSOL. Tom definitely doesn't have any True Sounds of Libery in the cart. He is also unable to honor requests for 7 Seconds, Minor Threat, and Adrenalin O.D., the pride of Elmwood Park. The caller lets Tom off the hook and says he can just cue up some Agnostic Front. Tom doesn't have any. The caller is a bit baffled, and he wants to be sure that Tom isn't going to spin any ha-caw for him. Tom says he will probably not be playing any hardcore tunes this evening. The caller thinks this is a lame programming decision. He asks Tom if he knows who he is because he suspects his voice might ring a little bell from his past. Tom can't place it. The caller says he's Hammerhead, and Tom says this unusual name does sound familiar.
Hammerhead says it should because they spent a lot of time together as teenagers. Tom now recalls him from the Newbridge hardcore scene back in those days. He says that Hammerhead was kind of the big chief/ringleader of the NBHC movement. Hammerhead agrees with everything Tom said except the words "kind of." He was the leader of the local scene. He makes Tom say it, and he loves it when Tom reluctantly obliges. Hammerhead's reign lasted form 1982-1985, and he says those were crazy times. He especially loved going to shows at the VFW hall. Hammerhead says there was an abundance of great local hardcore bands at that time, including SOL, MST, DLB, PRC, MAR, and his band TTS, which was short for Threat To Society. Hammerhead doesn't want to toot his horn too loudly, but he thinks TTS were definitely the best thrash band in the entire East region, totally paving the way for all the spoiled, rich brats currently in rotation on MTV. Tom's not really sure what he means and seems to doubt TTF's influence. Hammerhead thought IHF, NRDO, ULGXB, and ZBVYM were also cool bands in the NBHC scene.
Tom says this era is kind of coming back to him now. He remembers that Hammerhead was a tough guy bully. Hammerhead says he was very aggressive presence because with leadership comes great responsibility. Tom asks him if he thinks he's Spider-Man. Hammerhead does not claim to be a superhero, but he is very serious about his leadership role. For example, if you were slamming incorrectly, he reprimanded you. If you displayed improper stage diving technique, he spanked you. Tom remembers these spankings. Hammerhead also invented a dance called "The Newbridge Nudge." He demonstrated it on Tom one night. The dance involved Hammerhead slamming his elbows into the heads of victims with max force. He struck Tom at least three times, but he doubts Tom remembers because he passed out twice. Tom recalls getting hit, but he had no idea that the dance had an official title. Hammerhead calls Tom a jerk for this oversight.
Tom dipped his toe into the NBHC scene by going to some shows, and he remembers getting regularly thumped. Hammerhead boasts that he was the first guy in hardcore to whip people with his belt. He thinks Tom attended the show in which the belt first appeared. Hammerhead lined up all the HC virgins at an Adrenalin O.D. show and whipped them all. He think it might be his greatest moment ever. Tom remembers the incident much less fondly. Hammerhead is now whipping for the Newbridge Hide Tanners of the Eastern Part of American Belt-Whipping League. They just defeated the Nobridge Belt Brigade 7-2. (Dom Scharpling had the only two scoring whips for the losers.) In the first of a few attempts at funny quips, Hammerhead says they really whipped them and laughs at his unintended pun.
Tom says that fear is now rushing back to him. Hammerhead thinks this is good because he always had to keep order in the scene. He used to have a lot of problems with out-of-towners who arrived with a bad attitude. Hammerhead had to take Chris Doherty from Massachussets-based Gang Green, Steve Youth from Nevada's 7 Seconds, and Rollins down a few pegs when they were in town. Hammerhead Rollins came to Newbridge with a considerable 'tude, and he got his ass handed to him. Tom has no recollection of Hammerhead beating up Rollins. Hammerhead says he was very close to wrapping his sax around his head. Tom's lost because he didn't know that Henry Rollins played the saxophone. Hammerhead calls Tom a jerk for thinking he was talking about Black Flag's Henry Rollins. He took down jazz tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins.
Sonny was playing at the Newbridge Jazz Academy in the fall of 1983. Hammerhead worked there as a loader, and Sonny stepped on his foot when he came off the stage. Hammerhead thought this was disrespectful, so he had to tell Sonny what was what. Sonny ended up tasting Hammerhead's boot. Tom wants to make sure he understands the incident. He summarizes it by saying that the internationally-renowned jazz musician, then in his mid-50s and three decades into his career, was nice enough to perform in Newbridge. He stepped off the stage in conditions Hammerhead describes as "very dark". He doubts that Sonny even saw him there. Sonny then accidentally stepped on Hammerhead's foot, and Hammerhead felt disrespected. Hammerhead agrees with everything Tom said. He also notes that Dozier witnessed the infraction. He was another NBHC stalwart, and Hammerhead says he had to retaliate to avoid getting mentioned in Dozier's fanzine, Unknown Crime. Hammerhead says a guy accidentally stepping on your foot is the "ultimate insult."
Hammerhead says he did the same thing to Joe Zawinul, the keyboardist from jazz-fusion group Weather Report. He pulled his beanie his head and tossed it. Hammerhead thought it was great. Tom wants to know what he's proving by these actions. He points out that these guys were just coming to town to do their thing. Tom doesn't understand why Hammerhead turns these things into violent incidents instead of just normal human interactions. Hammerhead says they didn't watch where they were going. He knows that Tom probably thinks he's a bad guy because of what happened to him back then. Tom does think this, and he doesn't even want to say what happened. Hammerhead is more than willing to tell the story. In a nutshell, he took Tom to task for wearing an R.E.M. shirt to a hardcore show. The reprimand came in the form of a punch to the back. Tom never wore the shirt again, but he didn't really go to many shows at all after the incident. He was trying to get involved in the NBHC scene, but guys like Hammerhead drained all the fun out of it. Hammerhead says he was very embarrassed that night.
It was the summer of 1984, and TTF were playing with Agnostic Front and Cause For Alarm -- heavy NYC bands making their Newbridge debut. Hammerhead knew that NBHC had to represent, and he couldn't run the risk of these guys spotting a scenester sporting an R.E.M. shirt. Hammerhead wants Tom to put himself in his place and think about what kind of impression that would make to their NYC peers. Tom doesn't understand why it matters since he was the one wearing the shirt. Hammerhead says the shirt reflected on him, so he jumped off the stage during TTF's set and punched Tom in the back. Tom says the blow hurt so much that he ended up leaving the show. Hammerhead says he accomplished his mission because Tom was living improperly per hardcore ethics, and then he learned. Hammerhead's goal was to prevent anyone from doing something that didn't fit into hardcore's definition of living.
Tom was wearing an improper shirt, so Hammerhead doesn't know what else he could heave done about it except attack him from behind. Tom suggests not hitting as a viable alternative, but Hammerhead reminds him that it didn't happen that way. He loves what he did, and he often replays it -- along with his other beatings -- in his mind as he's going to sleep. He compares the relaxation these violent memories provide to a shiatsu massage. Tom remembers that the scene kind of died out shortly after that fateful show. Hammerhead says the lawsuit really put a big damper on the scene. Tom doesn't recall the legal action.
At a show in the spring of 1985, all of the NBHC bands played alongside a couple of bands from Upper East Southbridge. Philadelphia's Flag of Democracy played, so a bunch of Philly HCers descended on Newbridge for the show. Hammerhead says the tensions were pretty high between PHC and NBHC. Tom remembers the FoD guys and their fans as being cool, and he never sensed any discord when they played shows in town. Hammerhead says that he was really taunting them at this particular show. When TTF started playing Black Flag's version of "Louie Louie", Hammerhead changed the lyrics to "Philly Philly, you gotta go." He says the Philly kids just shrugged off the derogatory edit as a joke. Since Hammerhead didn't elicit his desired reaction, he took things up a notch. During FoD's set, he started thrashing wildly in the pit, stomping and hurting people with The Newbridge Nudge.
Tom has no idea why he felt compelled to ruin an event intended to be inclusive of different scenes. Hammerhead says FoD and their fans invaded NBHC's home turf, and he had to represent. Tom says they were just playing a show. Hammerhead wasn't finished. He then got up on stage and started taunting FoD's bassist. He refused to take the bait, so Hammerhead attempted to pull his pants off to further goad him into violence. He then ran across the stage at full speed and jumped on one of the PA stacks. He dove off, but he lept from such a height that he smashed through the crowd's outstretched arms and broke his neck. The show was shut down. Tom never knew it was that bad. Hammerhead's daddy sued the promoter, a 17-year-old named Jeff, the VFW hall, and all the bands for gross negligence. They actually won the case. Tom is at a loss for words. Hammerhead says nobody could believe that Judge Davies ruled in their favor. Tom thinks it sounds like Hammerhead was to blame for being really stupid and out of control Hammerhead isn't pleased with Tom's verdict, and he threatens to smash him for it. He vows to punch Tom in the back again for talking to him like that.
After the ruling, nobody would put on shows in Newbridge. All of the band members who got sued were hesitant to form new bands, and the scene dried up. Hammerhead says the real bummer was that his new band, Punktallica, couldn't line up any shows. Tom thinks that's a great name for a band. Hammerhead says it just came to them one day. While Punktallica were accused of jumping on the punk-metal crossover bandwagon, Hammerhead thinks they actually built the wagon. Tom is skeptical about this construction, and Hammerhead pretends he hasn't heard of Metallica.
Hammerhead says the reason he's calling is to tell Tom about a Philly hardcore reunion show this Saturday featuring weak bands like YDI, McRad, FoD, and Decontrol. Tom thinks these bands were okay, and Hammerhead thinks Tom is being disloyal to NBHC. Tom says he prefers to listen to the music, determine if he likes it, and then figure out where it's from. Hammerhead thinks he should find out where it's from first to maintain requisite regional pride. Tom says he doesn't want to limit himself to just liking NBHC bands. Hammerhead says a bunch of people from Newbridge are heading to Philly to kick their asses. Tom wants to know why. Hammerhead says they plan to show them that NBHC rules and Philly drools. Tom doesn't know why these ancient battles matter in 2007. He thinks it sounds like Hammerhead is stuck in the past.
Speaking of his past, Hammerhead says he was always interested in politics and changing the system. He's currently involved in politics as a lobbyist for the plastic industry. Hammerhead reports that Kern Plastics is very pleased with his efforts on their behalf. Hammerhead takes a sip of brandy and lights a cigar. Tom thinks it sounds like he's really staying true to his hardcore roots. Hammerhead says he has a great brandy sniffer, and Tom's not sure what that is. Hammerhead thinks Tom is an uncultured dummy, and he doubts he'll ever be able to afford a sniffer of his own.
Hammerhead's current project involves lobbying lawmakers to ease restrictions on the plastic content in cereal boxes. The current industry standards only permit .003 grams of plastic per box. Kern Plastics is hoping to up that amount to .005 grams/box. The increase would allow cereal companies to put less cereal product in the box while still charing the same price to consumers. They would then share the additonal profits with the plastic companies, and Hammerhead gets his fifth yacht. Depsite this lavish lifestyle, Hammerhead says he lives hardcore. Tom thinks it definitely sounds like it. He thought Hammerhead was referring to the plastic bag in the cereal packaging, but he was talking about a plastic additive to the cereal itself. He assures Tom that it's not harmful in minute quantities. Tom confirms that Hammerhead's job is to make sure that the cereal industry raises the amount of plastic they are putting in breakfast cereals. Hammerhead says the plastic doesn't really taste like anything so kids will never notice it in their Sugar-O's. Tom points out that they are still ingesting plastic. Hammerhead points to studies that have shown it goes right through their system.
Tom tells Hammerhead that's he horrible. Hammerhead doesn't care for the comment, and he threatens to punch Tom in the back when he brings him down to Philly. Tom tells him that he won't attend the hardcore reunion show that Hammerhead plans to disrupt and ruin. Hammerhead says they're "all" going, but so far it's just him and his two kids, Emerson and Taft. Hammerhead says his sons are totally hardcore, but then admits that they really aren't. They are more into Santana, John Mayer, and Eric Clapton -- all the stuff he fought against. He's trying to get them into hardcore, but they've rejected it on sonic grounds. They think it sounds like someone chainsawing a car while a guy who can't sing screams over a polka beat supplied by a drummer who can't play. Tom doesn't think this is an inaccurate summary of the hardcore sound. Hammerhead compares it to slamming Francis Scott Keys, the guy who wrote the song everyone sings at stuff.
Hammerhead is also going to Philly to meet with a guy who's looking for investors for a film called Rambocky. Tom heard all about the project last week, and he also read about it in Viority. Hammerhead says he'll be meeting with Roydon Ziegler I. Tom is familiar with him. Hammerhead has been mainly talking to RZ1's lawyer and (perhaps) uncle, Roydon L. Ziegler. He says he's very knowledgeable and sounds very young. Tom thinks he might be his uncle, but he's not sure.
RLZ says that the guy who plays the rate in Rat & Louie wants so badly to play Gus, Rambocky's 70-year-old trainer, that he's already undergone the Oldzonareveren treatments to get into character. Hammerhead says the actor is related to the guy who killed President Kennedy. Unfortunately, RZ1 informed Hammerhead that he's now leaning towards Steven Van Zandt for the role. Tom thinks that is a great casting decision because Little Steven is a fantatsic actor. Hammerhead agrees that he's great. He also thinks it's great that Tom is going to get the exclusive on what he's about to drop. Tom is strapped in and protected by his figurative helmet. Hammerhead officially announces his candidacy for Mayor of Newbridge. Tom says he was going to start talking about the July 2008 mayubernatorial elections on the show. He also thought the correct term was "mayoral", but Hammerhead says that in Newbridge it's one step away from gubernatorial, a term he finds equally weird. Tom informs listeners that the Mayor of Newbridge serves in office for a 10-year term, which is the longest in the country.
Hammerhead is the first person to throw his hat into the ring, and Tom thinks it would be more appropriate for him to toss his ski mask into the mix. (And there's always Joe Zawinul's beanie.) Hammerhead says he'd throw in suspenders ... and some punches at Tom. Tom is glad to see that Hammerhead has retained his great sense of humor. Hammerhead says he has the paperwork flowing so he can run on the ticket for the Newbridge Hardcore Party, a new political party he's creating. Hammerhead's key platform issue is closing the borders around Newbridge to keep out people who are sneaking in. He doesn't think he needs to tell Tom who these people are, but Tom wants him to say it anyway. Hammerhead is reluctant to do so because he doesn't want to start off his campaign by alienating the elecorate. He guesses that "those guys" vote, too. Tom thought he was just being territorial about keeping Philly hardcore dudes out of Newbridge, but there are also other people he doesn't want in the town. Tom calls Hammerhead horrible again.
He tells him that hardcore started out with a message, but guys like Hammerhead co-opted the movement and drove everyone out of the scene by punching them. Hammerhead thinks the message was thrashing, stage diving, and ruling the pit. Hammerhead and his creepy ilk brought violent to the mix when it was supposed to be a place for the disenfranchised to bond over music and a sense of community. Hammerhead points out that it wasn't limited to punching. There was also a lot of stomping. Tom says that wasn't his point, but Hammerhead doesn't think he even has one. He says Tom will get a point in the form of his elbow nudging him in the face. Hammerhead suggests this will happen at one of the mayubernatorial debates. Tom says that certain scenes stood for something. For example, the D.C. scene promoted social change. Hammerhead dismissed them as clowns who cried at shows.
Tom wants to know what issues guided the NBHC scene in the mid-1980s other than an intense desire to bully people into submission. Hammerhead says the so-called bullying was just their way of showing that NBHC ruled and other scenes drooled. Tom says this lack of social consciousness is right in line with Hammerhead's current lobbying efforts to put more plastic in children's foods. Hammerhead starts snoring, so Tom sarcastically apologizes for boring him. Hammerhead says he was just dozing off because he applied some "blue" about two minutes ago. Tom laments that mongoloids like Hammerhead reduced hardcore to violent thuggery at the expense of encouraging anything positive. At this point, Hammerhead is not paying attention because he's occupied by asking Taft to get him some more "blue". Tom thinks it's fitting that Hammerhead continues to be a moralless bully who is trying to poison kids. Hammerhead says he would smash Tom if he wasn't about to fall asleep. He hangs up.
Tom always hated him, and he can't believe that he's now running for Mayor of his very own municipality. Hammerhead for Mayor. Like many "blue" addicts, Hammerhead somehow manages to redial and snores into the phone. He appears to be dreaming about owning the pit and threatens to stage dive on Tom's face.
- Tom in San Diego sends Tom in Jersey City an e-mail to inform him that he recently heard Spike on The Randi Rhodes Show. Air America still exists?! He schooled Randy on politics. The e-mail includes a sound clip, but Tom is terrified to launch it. I listened to it, and the highlight is a heated debated about Jennifer Tilly's work in Bride of Chucky. "Too campy," Spike whined.
Hesh calls again, but Tom instructs Mike to hang up on him anytime he calls the rest of the night. He bans the creep for uncontrollable filth talk. Hesh is one of the reasons Tom thinks he's cruising for his first L of 2007. He puts a positive spin on potential defeat, saying it could serve as a valuable, humbling experience. Tom points out that an undefeated regular season can often make you vulnerable to an early exit in the post-season. He needs everyone to clap their hands and bring Tinkerbell back from the brink. The two JJG! fans keep harassing Tom via e-mail, and this is further sapping his energy. The well has been poisoned.
- Alex returns to get some props to follow up on his earlier Morrissey mockery. He's a college DJ in the podunk town of Lancaster, PA, and none of the local Amish residents call to give him props for his Best Show-inspired program. Tom doesn't give him any, either. Alex tells Tom to cheer up because things will get better. Tom is not impressed by this weak attempt at a pep talk. He compares it to a coach who gives up at halftime and bolts from the locker room to beat the traffic. Tom doesn't want this kind of coach. He suspects everyone is busy watching the second episode of the insane ESPN miniseries, The Bronx is Burning. Tom points out that John Turturro, who portrays volatile Yankees skipper Billy Martin, was equipped with fake ears the size of the kid in Peter Pan when he morphed into a jackass. I TiVo'd the episode. Three best scenes:
1. Lou Pinella does not one, not two, but three rails off Bucky Dent's batting helmet.
2. Ron Guidry accidentally swallows his entire bulb of chewing tobacco while leaping for a line drive.
3. Billy Martin yells at George Steinbrenner. George Steinbrenner yells at Billy Martin! Those two are incorrigible!
- Josh in Somerville, MA, says there's no way this show is an L. He thinks Tom is suffering a bit from the repercussions of hurling a no-hitter last week. Tom agrees that it was some of the best radio of all-time, but he feels that he's following it up with a turkey. He GOMPs Josh.
- Craig from Walla Walla, WA., says he intended to deliver a rousing pep talk, but he's too nervous in his first-ever call to a radio show. Craig starts talking Ws and Ls, but Tom can't follow his crazy talk. He gets rid of him.
- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville calls to save the day. This is the guy Tom needed. He already feels a bit looser just hearing his calming voice. Dave just tuned in, so he's not entirely sure what's bringing Tom down. Tom explains that Hesh took him off his game with drunken profanity and some JJG! superfans are annoying him with messages. He suspects Jordan Norris is behind the initiative. Dave urges Tom to be more protective of his IM handle.
Dave says that since he's still relatively new to the FOT community, he feels it's important for him to dig deep into the rich history the show. He's enjoying the older, archived shows, and he can see that Tom has evolved into a seasoned radio professional -- his interview skills are now sharper, and he controls the pace by more quickly GOMPing the dullards and the mutants. Dave encountered the angry 7/10/01 show today, and he sees some parallels to tonight's defeatist atmosphere. Tom was not having fun because cockroaches were infesting the WFMU message board and an agitator named Tor was harassing him. Dave mentions that the archive summary even warns that the show is for completists only. Tom says he needed this historical perspective to realize that if he survived that night, he can survive this one. Dave has an idea. He says that since Tom obviously has the best show on WFMU, he also has the best archive on WFMU. Dave thinks it can be even better if the subpar shows were edited. Tom says Dave's Southern wisdom has come through once again. Dave doesn't think anyone will notice if a few archived shows are only 18 minutes long. Dave did it. Tom can turn this around! He's fired up.
- Showbiz Sean from Hollywood calls to second Dave's pep talk and propose an unpleasant alternative: Tom could be sitting in an office trying to figure out what the Cavemen cavemen are doing. Tom's glad they are retooling the program. Sean says he had a pretty sweet gig on the Cavemen pilot, but GEICO didn't pay for his insurance. Tom decides he will dedicate the rest of the show to the Hollywood slobs, losers, and have-nots. He GOMPs Sean.
- Pat in D.C. calls to throw his hat in the ring and help Tom earn the W. He reminds Tom that what one man can do, another can do. Tom's down with the sentiment, although it will take him 45 minutes to pull up the sound clip since it's not the Z Morning Zoo.
- Officer Tom from New Jersey calls to light the fuse. Tom needs a fast, hard, solid call. OT says he's the bearer of good news. He had some of his people run the show's initials -- Tango Bravo Sierra Ocean Whiskey Foxtrot Mike Uniform -- and they're "open". Tom asks OT what he means by "open" and gets some bad news: several seconds of static and a click. He thinks OT may be trapped inside a paper bag. Fuse far from lit.
- Tom begins the victory push with a new topic: So Help Me I Like It. Everyone else hates it. You know it stinks. You like it anyway. Ann calls from Providence, Rhode Island, one of the angriest cities on the Eastern seaboard, to start things off. She likes Easy Cheese. Ann knows this Kraft aerosol product is awful and gross, but she thinks it's amazingly convenient for spraying on crackers during road trips.
- Anne calls while vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Her mildly fancy-schmancy family tries to play golf and enjoys the beach. Her SHMILI is Gilmore girls. Her brother hates it, but she still likes the rat-a-tat dialogue. Embrace it sans reservation, Anne -- Gg is one of the great artistic masterworks (at least the first 5.5 seasons) of our time.
- Officer Tom returns after taking care of his evil Bluetooth device. He assures Tom that he doesn't wear the device clipped to his ear like a scarab beetle trying to spelunk the aural canal. OT explains that he was referring to a TBSOWFMU vanity plate. Tom thinks this would be a good license plate for him to get if he wanted to get murdered. Stevie Blue would spot the plate while stuck in traffic, and then Tom would be running for his life in the woods like it's Hostel Part 3. OT says that people often beat each other with The Club since the anti-theft device is readily available in the vehicle when road rage erupts. I expect this to appear as a weapon in the next Eli Roth and/or TLS production. The Steering Wheel Lock Killer. Ha ha.
OT inquires about the ongoing Art & Video Contest and recalls the classic video clip of him destroying a sign made by Purple Shirt. He thinks Petey may still have this bit of Best Show history. PS arrived at OT's house with a megaphone, and OT blasted the sign with shotgun fire. He then shredded it in a woodchipper a la Fargo. OT says that one of the stabilizing forces in his police career has been The Best Show. It keeps him company while he drives around on a Tuesday night. OT says if he pulled someone over for committing an armed robbery, he'd let them go if they were listening to The Best Show. He would, however, take all the money just like Alonzo Harris in Training Day. Tom loves it.
- Matt in Hackeysack calls to say he can't help liking SpaghettiOs. The disgusting "pasta" and gross "meatballs" were a staple of his college career, and he last ate them a few weeks ago. Matt enjoys the ones that come with the processed meat molded into a shape resembling a miniature hot dog. He admits the product smells nasty, but they evoke his childhood. Tom gets rid of him because he's about to throw up.
- Rory in Madison, WI, calls to say that he enjoys the synth-heavy 1980s output of ELO despite knowing it's terrible white noise. He says he's unable to play it within earshot of others because they would mercilessly mock him and then beat the crap out of him for the sonic assault.
- Audrey in SF offers another musical entry in the form of Phil Collins. She likes some of his solo hits like "Easy Lover" and late-period Genesis gems like
"I Can't Dance" "Mama" "Land of Confusion". Audrey finds LoC a bit baffling because Collins is a Tory. She always thought the tune was a critical Reagan commentary. Tom wants Audrey to sing a bit of the track, but she's reluctant because a friend might place the audio clip on the Internet. Tom asks her to join him on the chorus. She does.
- Weirder Jon in Maplewood calls to help Tom fight for the W. He's a grown man, but he had a blast with Michael Bay's wonderfully preposterous Transformers. He was darn close to rising to his feet and cheering when the Sec. of Defense fired an automatic weapon while robots were hurling throwing stars at him. Tom says that WJ's description of the scene sold him on the film more than any of the studio's official marketing materials. While WJ never said, "Go Optimus Prime! Go!! He's alive!", he did say "cool" a lot during the film. WJ was shocked to see John Turturro appear in the ultimate paycheck role. Tom salutes the veteran actor, a Good Guy who grabbed a bit of box office glory. He's paid his dues on the indie circuit for long enough.
- Taye from Charleston, SC, calls to say he likes Michael McDonald-era Doobie Brothers. He got into this soft rock period via Yacht Rock. Tom thinks it must have been quite a turn of events when the established band enlisted Michael McDonald to sing most of their songs and completely changed their sound. Not to mention the fact that many people would assume Michael's last name was Doobie. Taye agrees to sing a little mushmouth Michael McDonald, although he's pretty sure the snippet he performs is actually from a Kenny Loggins song.
- Stephen in Chicago keeps things in the trajectory of terrible music with the old audio pornographers Steely Dan. He's fully aware that it's bad music with gross, creepy lyrics, but he likes them anyway. His favorite SD song is "Black Cow", the lead-off track from Aja. Stephen is reluctant to sing it because he thinks he's a terrible singer, but Tom reminds him that so is Donald Fagen. Tom thinks he acquits himself nicely with his rendition.
- Rock stah Ted Leo calls, and Tom goes off on him. He tells Ted that he hates him and then he tells him that he stinks. Tom was recently criticized by a pink hamster for being nice to his friends on the radio. Oh, Tom. What were you thinking?! Ted thanks Tom for putting him in the wonderful position of being dissed by an inebriated Hesh earlier in the program. Ted is fine with being treated like any other caller, but Tom thinks he has reached a higher level. Ted doesn't think he can measure up to Supercallers like Dave from Knoxville. Tom reminds Ted Leo that he's Ted Leo. Ted's not really sure who he is anymore because he's discovered a song by Kiss that he actually likes. The band is totally playing him with "Hard Luck Woman", a tune Paul Stanley originally wrote for Rod Stewart. Ted thinks it's kinda terrible, but it has enough of a The Faces feel for him to get sucked in. Ted sings a bit of "Hard Luck Woman" to his very own "The Sons of Cain". Big Steve holding it down.
- Faust from the metropolis of Decorah, Iowa, calls to say he digs the progressive stylings of Van der Graaf Generator and Peter Hammill. He doesn't know anyone else who can stand the stuff. Tom says he wouldn't even go near VdGG to find out that he didn't like it. Faust admits to being a closet prog-rocker, comforted by his VdGG records and occasionally dipping into some House of Large Sizes when he wants a fix of the Cedar Falls alt-rock heroes. I was hoping Tom would ask him if The Chippert Report was still being published.
- Evan in Providence likes Brian DePalma! Even Snake Eyes. He gets a real kick out of the director's over-the-top Hitchcock homages and obsession with split-screens. Tom says the best split-screen in movie history is "The Telephone Hour" sequence in Bye Bye Birdie. Evan was going to say Carrie, but he would have been wrong. Hugo, Kim, GO!
- Sonya calls from snowy Vancouver to admit to liking The Spice Girls. She's not that excited about the reunion tour because she mainly likes classic Spice Girls stuff. While Sonya wasn't ha-caw enough to cry when Ginger Spice left the group, the departure did diminish her fandom. She once received Ginger Spice's solo album as a gift, but she no longer owns the record. Sonya says her favorite Spice Girls song is "Viva Forever", and Tom wants her to sing the catchy chorus. She doesn't really want to sing during her first call to the show. Tom asks her to pretend that she spots her Spiceworld poster while washing dishes, and then gets inspired to perform. Sonya gives it a shot, but she can't remember the words because she hasn't heard the song in eight years. Tom says that Mike was bragging about spending $108,000 on VIP packages to six of The Spice Girls reunion shows. He'll be able to get his picture taken with Sporty Spice, his favorite Spice Girl. Sonya says that Sporty is her least favorite. Uh oh. Sonya doesn't want to get into a Spice Girls argument with Mike because he seems like a Good Guy. Her Spice Girls preferences are: Ginger, Posh, Baby, Scary, and Sporty.
- The Marlboro Man gets dumped for starting a conversation with "Yeah."
OPEN PHONES! Mike's off the clock after 2:55 of dealing with Mesh.
- Jenna from Park Slope can't get enough of Food TV. She watches it indiscriminately, devouring shows featuring people she can't relate to making food that she would never eat. Jenna is a vegetarian, but she loves programming that involves tips for slicing beef. After watching the network, she feels like she just downed a bottle of whiskey. Jenna says she's never made a recipe or copied a tablescape from any of the shows. My favorite Food TV show is Erotic Food Fun with Ghirardelli De Laurentiis. I was recently able to torrent the banned "You're Soaking in Tortellini al Brodo" episode. Wow.
- Buffcoat from NC scares Tom with a Spike-y greeting and then takes things back to the bayou. He wouldn't want to be handcuffed to illusionator David Blaine. Buffcoat says he'd be unable to decide whether he wanted Blaine to unlock the cuffs and take all the credit for the feat, or if he'd like to see him fail and remain attached. Tom appreciates the thought he put into the call. Buffcoat declares the show a W because he liked the topic and all the calls from his neighbors in SC.
- Tom reveals that Evan "Funk" Davies paid $175,000 for the VU acetate, and he plans to play tonight it on his program. However, he showed it to Tom, and it was actually Billy Joel's Glass Houses. Not even an acetate!
W. It didn't come easy, but the streak is alive!
On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Kumar Pallana and Apple Jack secure slots in Tom's krime krew, Mike tries to win Tom over with Werner Rainer Fassbinder's "riotous" Angst essen Seele auf, and Sonny Rollins calls to say he will NOT be supporting Hammerhead in the Newbridge mayubernatorial race.