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Life is Beautifuoco.

"We miss you, Mort. We miss you. The world is a quieter place without you, and a less smoke-filled place." Tom, eulogizing the dearly-departed, nicotine-addled, toothy-grinned social commentator
"You know what?" -- Tom, asking Julie from Cincinnati if she knows
"Nope." -- Julie from Cincinnati, answering concisely, honestly, and hilariously
"The scariest words in the English language are 'music and lyrics by Mel Brooks.' It gives me like newfound respect for the restraint of the Zucker brothers." -- Julie Klausner, lamenting the lack of musical craft on display in the regrettably DIY Young Frankenstein
"It has really good acoustics." -- Petey, praising his high school's coffee-free coffeehouse venue
"In that guy's mind he thinks that it's funny that he's being so unfunny, but it's really just sad that he thinks that he's being funny because he's being so annoying and unfunny." -- Tom, explaining the skewed comedic vision of the mutant James
"The best kind of food is the kind of food where you get a penny back when you hand a person a single." -- Tom, shortly before GOMPing an animule for feasting on the sick Taco Bell cuisine
"It. got. worse." -- Julie Klausner, reporting on Act II of Young Frankenstein via text message
"Yeah, things went a little, uh, pear-shaped there, as they say over in Old ... whadda they call it? Old Blighty or Blimey? It's Blimey, right? -- Matthew Tompkins, attempting to use British slang to describe the tumultuous end to his tenure at ABC Television
"I mean, who needs all that scripted garbage. It's a waste of time, if you ask us." -- Matthew Tompkins, damning the WGA writers to hell on a coffee cup and a thermidor
"But between you and me ... Vance's gut was wrong on that one. And about 42 other judgments." -- Matthew Tompkins on the wrongful convictions coming from the bench of the unqualified Vance Asimov
"Guess what we did to him in the parking garage? We put electrodes on his pippin, and let 'er rip." -- Matthew Tompkins, revealing the shocking fate of an unwilling Tough Now contestant
"Well, it's kinda got the hint of the word 'beautiful' in it, which I think is totally aproposs." -- Matthew Tompkins, approving of television star Joey Buttafuoco's more elegant pronunciation
"He does this one character where he pretends to be like a complete, muscle-bound idiot. It's hilarious." -- Matthew Tompkins, marveling at Hulk Hogan's improv comedy chops
This guy's Q. Is through. The roof. His Q-rating." -- Matthew Tompkins on the quantifiable awesomeness of "Macho Man" Randall Savage
"You should be cheering like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, or at the very least, a Cleveland Browns cheerleader." Matthew Tompkins, providing a gauge for the appropriate amount of enthusiasm Tom should have for his programming ideas
"If you have a bandanna, I would put it in my mouth to like, you know, clench down on. That way you don't look like too much of a p when you're gutted." -- Matthew Tompkins, offering Tom some advice for the climactic scene of To Hunt, Gut and Kill a Slob
"If you see anyone, Mike, resembling an international assassin, don't let them in the building." -- Tom, trying to steer clear of Boris, Thor, and Pablo
"His quirk is alcoholism." -- Mike, fleshing out The Wire's Jimmy McNulty for Tom

[TBSOWFMU - 1/15/08 / Podmirth / Video & Art Contest / Myspace / Fotpedia / Headquarters / S&W]

The Get Up Kids - "Ten Minutes"

( Click here to buy Something To Write Home About)

Blood On The Wall - "Turn Around and Shut Up"

( Click here to buy Liferz)

Les Savy Fav - "Pluto"

( Click here to buy 3/5)

Times-Herald Times New Viking - "The Early '80s"

( Click here to buy Rip It Off)

Graham Day and the Gaolers - "Part Time Dad"

( Click here to buy Soundtrack To The Daily Grind)

The A-Lines - "Four"

( Click here to buy You Can Touch)

The Busy Signals - "Matter Of Time"

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Carbonas - "Frustrate Me"

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Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:

You look out! Tom is back for another Tuesday night installment of his radio show, and he hopes the listeners can redeem themselves after taking it on the chin last week. Mike the Associate Producer alerts Tom to a potentially awesome call. Is it McNulty? Snoop? Tom saw the series finale of The Wire and plans to reveal the plot later in the program.

- Brian in Ventura, CA, calls while gazing at the sunset across the Pacific Ocean. Tom thinks he may be bragging about the idyllic landscape in his field of vision and gives him 30 seconds to prove that he's worthy of a proper pre-topic segment. Brian instantly stops the clock by mentioning his plans to see tonight's CDR with PFT at UCBJr. Comedy legend Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show, Let's Go To Prison) will also appear on the bill. Brian makes it clear that he's not bragging about attending the event. He just wants to wish Tom and PFT a great show and good tidings for 2008. Brian says he has to decide every Tuesday whether to stick around for a live listen of The Best Show or head out to the fake UCB for CDR. Tom thinks Brian is a gentlemen and appreciates his kind words. Brian also wanted to sneak in pre-Spike because it was such a bummer that he cackled in the New Year last week. Tom thanks Brian for working hard to scrub the horror of last week off of his brain.

Brian gets carried away by touting the present as such a good time to be alive and pay attention to comedy. Tom doesn't think that listening to a radio show and seeing a couple of funny comedians is enough to justify his zest for life. Brian insists that he's feeling pretty good in 2008. Tom suspects that he's been partaking in God's green herb while soaking in waning moments of the California sun. Brian initially denies doing any drugs, although he does admit that he had to help his friend "jump his car" after his battery died. Tom busts him for using drug lingo, and Brian confesses to being a little high. Tom wants him to bring his bong to CDR so all of the comedians can autograph it. Brian likes the idea, but he doesn't think PFT will sign the device. Tom is certain that he will. Brian went out on a limb by calling the show, and he was successful. Tom salutes him as a champion and hopes he enjoys his evening of stand-up comedy.

- Julie from Cincinnati apologizes for last week's call and offers some showrunning advice for the host of this broadcast. She heard Tom's complaints about last week's show, and she thinks it's his job to make it good. Tom says he was bringing it, but, for example, one person cursed on the air. It was her. Julie wants to know why Tom granted airtime to a drunk person who wanted to book their meatloaf-crazed dog, Yetta, on the show. Tom doesn't want to judge her for enjoying some drinks, and Julie admits that she had "pretty many." He can accept her intoxication, but he firmly rejects Julie's attempts to shift the blame for her drunken antics on him. Tom does not recall morphing into Caspar and going to Julie's house to tend bar last Tuesday evening. Julie says she listened to her call the next day, and it wasn't as horrendous as she thought it would be. By the time Philly Boy Roy called she was already passed out in the hospital hooked up to the saline drip going to Wendy's to soak up the alcohol with a double-bacon cheeseburger.

Julie's main point is that after contributing to the bad first hour, she was laughing very hard at the remainder of the show. Tom asks Julie if she knows what, and she responds with a quick "Nope!" Tom thinks this may be the funniest thing he's ever heard, but Julie thinks it's a pretty common retort to the query. Julie expresses her love for the show and apologizes for using the f-word on the air. Tom accepts it and wants to move past the filth flare-up. He thanks Julie for clearing the air and bids her goodnight. Before letting her go, Tom wants to know if she'll be staring at the ceiling and chugging liquor after the call. Julie says she's already completed her drinking, so she will probably go to karaoke. Unlike last week, she did not consume half of a bottle of rum. Tom salutes her. Julie redeemed herself!

- Funny Fox and Best Show Broadway correspondent Julie Klausner checks in from the lobby of the Hilton Theatre during the intermission of Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks's critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of his 1974 comedy film. She didn't think she'd like it, and she was right. She hates it. Tom's surprised that anyone would think the production would be horrible. Julie loves musical theater for its ability to be life-affirming, but Young Frankenstein is a different beast because the songs make you want avert your eyes from the horror by gazing at your shoes. She believes the scariest words in the English language are "music and lyrics by Mel Brooks." Julie says the first half of the musical has given her newfound respect for the restraint of the Zucker brothers, who were well aware of their creative limitations. She appreciates that they would be sensible enough to hire a professional composer and lyricist for a Top Secret! musical. Mr. Brooks, however, sat at the piano to bang out odes to the bouncy-C stylings of Irving Cohen, an elderly and versatile "songwriter" known for lyrical gems like "...a dot dot dot, dee dee dee, and whatever the hell else you want to put in there." Julie compares this approach to someone fixing their own sink instead of calling a certified plumber. Tom believes that creators of content that is adapted for the musical stage should simply provide their address for the checks and disappear until the show opens.

As Julie is summoned back into the theater for Act II, she mentions that Act I ended with "Transylvania Mania", which confirmed her desire to never see people do the Time Warp. Tom wants to know if ushers pass a can down the aisles to charge customers to watch the rest of the show. Julie says that there are pyrotechnic displays to partially distract the audience from the hideousness on the stage. She heads back in so she doesn't miss "Puttin' on The Ritz."

- Petey calls from his house, and Tom's surprised he didn't check into a rehab facility after last week's birthday-brownie stupor. While talking to Petey, he felt like he was in the back of the limo in Eat The Document. Tom says that he made that reference to excite the Dylan enthusiasts in the audience. Petey heard that I'm Not There is pretty good, but Tom tells him that he heard wrong. Petey is stuck in the middle of this critical debate, and he also just viewed Strotesick, Werner Herzog's polarizing "comedy" that has been a hot topic on the program in recent months. He thought the film, which he saw on PAX Mike's Comedy Central his personal DVD channel, was pretty funny sometimes. Tom says he had to wipe away tears of laughter when Eva was forced into truck-stop prostitution after the bank repossessed her trailer home. Petey's initial comedic enjoyment was tempered when he discovered that the lead character was essentially Bruno S. playing himself.

He admits that he once cried at the end of Dreams To Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding, a retrospective documentary which ultimately reveals that its subject is deceased. Tom warns Petey about the equally wrenching conclusions to The Buddy Holly Story and Gimme Three Steps. Petey is surprised to discover that Lynyrd Skynyrd is dead. Tom recommends the film despite the redemptive moment where surviving guitarists Garry Rossington and Allen Collins vow to form the aptly-named offshoot Rossington-Collins.

In less devastating news, Petey played a coffeehouse gig last weekend with The Toblerones (Pump 'em!). Tom wants to know if it took place in the real world or solely within Petey's mind. Petey says the real show was part of the annual event where his high school auditorium is converted into a coffeehouse. The members of The Toblerones dressed up and sang their crazy garage-folk anthems. Tom can see how an auditorium would replicate the intimate coffeehouse experience because he recently went to a coffeehouse with stadium seating. Petey says the coffeetorium had really good acoustics, but the school prohibited the sale of coffee. Tom suspects it was banned because Maxwell House did not sponsor the concert. Petey says the venue did sell soda, which is readily available in the 15 vending machines that litter the hallways. The machines also offer LifeSavers, AriZona Iced Tea, and potato chips coated with French-fry-and-ketchup flavoring. Petey thinks the tea is healthy because it's from Arizona, but Tom reminds him that the state also produced John McCain. Most kids love the junk, but Petey prefers to bring his own peanut butter sandwich (often crushed to inedibility by his bookbag) and bottled water. He says he often adds a peanut butter bar and gets mad about having two peanut butter things. Tom thinks the double-dipping leads him to duck off behind the bike rack to eat chips from the vending machine. Petey says he's a clean artist, but Tom is skeptical because it seemed like he was talking to Petey Winehouse last week. Petey offers to send Tom a VHS tape of the rockin' Toblerones set at the non-existent coffeehouse. Tom requests the 8 mm format so he can project the performance onto his wall. He accidentally hangs up on Petey.

- Tom half-heartedly apologizes to TheMovieBoy for insinuating that he delivered a racist mash-up of Denzel Washington and Forrest Whitaker in his review of The Great Debaters. He has since learned that a young actor named Denzel Whitaker, who is not related to either man, plays civil rights leader James Farmer, Jr. in the film. He directs listeners to TheMovieBoy website for some of the most insightful and intelligent reviews on the Internet, including a rare dissenting opinion of Ratalouie and praise for Lindsay Lohan's Oscar-caliber work in I Know Who Killed Me.

- Robin from Belleville, NJ., calls to thank Tom for introducing her to ABBA's fantastic tiger song in his opening music set. The song is serving as inspiration as she traverses Manhattan en route to her 9 p.m. DJ set at Turkey's Nest K & M in Williamsburg. Robin says she saw The Movie Boy's beloved Lohan thriller in Blockbuster, but she did not rent it because it looked weird. Tom asks Robin if she plans to deliver a high-energy DJ spot because it sounds like she's falling asleep. He thinks she will have to squeeze into the K&M ladies room, wait for people to finish snorting coke, and then splash some cold water on her face. Robin says she's wide awake, but she's a calm person who tries to stay relaxed on the phone to avoid coming off like a maniac. Tom asks her what her opening cut will be tonight, and Robin prefers to use the term "track." She says she'll have to feel out the room, but she's considering a track from Erase Errata. Tom urges her to stay awake to avoid being saddled with monikers like Sleepy Robin, DJ Snooze, or DJ McSnoozy. Robin insists that while her voice may sound sleepy, her insides are alert and ready to jockey discs. Tom suggests spinning tracks from drone merchants like Sunn O))), Earth, and Six Organs of Admittance, but Robin doesn't have any. He bids her goodnight. Tom fears that he's leaking momentum, but the five-star show remains firmly on track.

- Tom salutes a young man who stood up like Charlie Bucket and posted his concerns about the increasingly negative tone of the program. While Tom thinks the young man is absolutely right, he finds it hard not to be negative when faced with people trying to turn the show into Midnight Blue and outbursts from anti-humorists like James. Tom says James was begging to be his friend on Facebook, but that account is a little something for himself. No mutants allowed. Tom doesn't understand the obsession with getting "adds" on Myspace and Facebook. He goes back and forth on which social networking site is worse better because they both have awesome features. Tom can detect Facebook's collegiate roots because it was clearly geared for people with an abundance of free time. He thinks the status updates on Facebook will likely come back to haunt some people if their work supervisors see them. Tom plays out a scenario where Facebook user "Charlie" tells his friends that he is having a hard time getting started today. If his boss is one of his Facebook friends, he will know that Charlie is updating his status every 20 minutes instead of doing his work. The boss then dumps a cup of coffee on Charlie's head to help him get moving. Tom realizes that the head-scorching finale to his story was too negative. It is also eerily reminiscent of a scene from the second season of Tough Now.

Tom's ready to put a fun topic on the table to continue ridding the world of people who will bring down 2008. He wants listeners to name a person they would like to trap (door welded shut) inside a engineless submarine that will sink to the bottom of the ocean. That's not the topic! Tom actually wants to know who you want to incinerate with a laser gun. That's not the topic, either. He's done fooling around and finally reveals the real topic: who do you want to step on a trap door that launches its victim into The Negative Zone. This is yet another fake topic.

- Eric from Boonton calls from a Taco Bell in Parsippany, and he confirms that he will return to his residence in Boonton after enjoying a Crunchwrap Supreme din-din. Tom thinks it sounds delicious. He's convinced that the best food is acquired when you hand a cashier $1 and get a penny back. Eric says his item actually costs $2.89, and Tom GOMPs him for talking about Taco Bell. He thinks the food is sick garbage, but he holds back his harshest criticisms because his good friend Ted Leo is a company spokesman. Ted Leo & the Pharmacists will be touring with the Taco Bell chihuahua, and Big Steve added a bell behind his drum kit to properly perform the requisite jingle.

The fast food talk leads Tom to discuss Burger King's Whopper® Freakout, a prank advertising campaign that appears to presage the apocalypse. In a nutshell, BK yanked the Whopper® off the menu at a Las Vegas location for one day and filmed the reactions of the parade of animals who tried to order it. Tom viewed the extended director's cut that features even more people shocked to discover that one burger configuration is unavailable. He thinks these customers could have just ordered any of the 29 other configurations with the same dumb handburger and the same dumb bun. Tom also did not appreciate an enraged customer demanding that a lowly BK employee retrieve his Whopper® from the back. He can't imagine the mongrels left on the editing room floor considering the existing cut is a house of horrors populated with people positioning the oversized sandwich as a piece of Americana or threatening to abandon BK forever over its absence. Tom suspects these monsters would be just as satisfied tearing into anything they put inside the Whopper® wrapper, perhaps consuming said wrapper in the process. Tom also took note of the outrageous double-take by an emo kid sporting an Atreyu shirt. He calls for God to have mercy on the person who had to address someone who looks like they just got shut out of a My Chemical Romance concert as "Sir." Tom says the worst part is that the kid didn't know he was being filmed at the time of his cartoonish perplexity.

Tom comes up with a new, Burger King-inspired topic: You lure people into the restaurant and lock the doors behind them. At this point, they realize that the Burger King is actually going to be dumped in the ocean dropped into a volcano. Who Do You Want In That Burger King?

- Laurie calls to see if Tom will allow her to throw the employees of Crispin Porter + Bogusky into the sinking submarine. In addition to instigating the Freakout, the Miami-based advertising agency gave her nightmares with their creepy "Wake Up With the King" commercials. In these homoerotic spots, a stunned suburban man wakes up next to someone wearing gigantic plastic Burger King head. They quickly bond over a Double Croissan'wich®. Tom actually likes that one. He also points out that Laurie could execute her plan with one call to Doddy. Laurie denies having enough pull to trap an entire company in a submarine.

cardsasweaponssmall.pngLaurie confirms that she quit her banking job today to pursue more nerdy and esoteric endeavors, such as a dream job as an archivist. Tom wonders if she will be the next Indiana Jones, but Laurie's adventures will be relegated to archiving rare books. Tom thinks these are books that are nearing out-of-stock status on Amazon. Laurie says she was thinking more in terms of the antiquarian book trade instead of retail backordering. She is also interested in preserving books like Card Tricks That Can Kill You, Ricky Jay's long-OOP self-defense manual. Laurie says she had a bit of a meltdown with some screaming, but she was able to exit the building before a security escort was arranged. Due to the abrupt departure, she will have to return to retrieve her belongings. Tom salutes Laurie for the career transition, and she's looking forward to fun employment until she runs out of money. Tom thinks she'll be fine unless the art market crashes. He suspects she could sell a sketch from her collection if her funds start running low. Laurie says goodbye to Tom. Tom is glad Laurie made a change, noting that having a father who owns half of Miami affords her a comfy cushion. Slobs like Tom have to grind it out. He will talk about his ongoing unemployment experience someday. It's still too fresh and too hot.

Tom finishes off the Burger King segment with an important message about food services.


ATTENTION: All Food Services Personnel
FROM: Tom Scharpling
SUBJECT: The Way I See It

If you are carrying any kind of cup or food storage vessel -- coffee-to-go, "doggie bag" container, water cup -- your hands and the digits attached to them should ALWAYS remain outside of said item. On a recent trip to Starbucks (not the one where that woman always says "Reeeaaallly?" when I request a single pump of vanilla syrup), an employee put his thumb inside the cups while displaying the different sizes to a customer. Did this man not consider the fact that liquid would be poured into these cups? I do not want to drink his thumbprint. There is plenty of outside area to work with when picking up cups. (See Attached.) This is not the first time I've seen this, and it's particularly problematic in the winter months when people have colds and are spreading germs. Think! Think! I salute the work that you all do, but I urge you to think before placing your hands inside the cups. I am not Lt. Columbo, so I am not collecting evidence. If he thought someone at Starbucks committed a murder, all he'd have to do was dust the inside of his venti latte.



file: safezone.jpg


Tom revives the classic segment called Getting To Know You with an all-new set of questions. He will ask you three of them, and you will respond accordingly.

- Tim from Califon:

1. Longest Book Ever Read: The World Is Flat? by Thomas Friedland (488 pages)
2. Longest Gone w/o Food: 12 hours
3. Rank The Who Best to Worst: Cut off after citing Entwistle for chewing on question like he was a guest on Inside the Actor's Studio. Tom is not deposing callers.

- Mac in Austin, TX:

1. Jailed?: No
2. Priciest Meal: $40-ish
3. State You Don't Understand: Oklahoma

- Steely Damn in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn:

1. Sodey of Choice: Diet Coke
2. Last Time You Sent a Letter: 1988
3. Secret Talent: n/a
4. Oh, Steely Damn, what are we gonna do?: Doesn't know

- Samir in Florida*:

1. Cartoon Character You Most Relate To: Milhouse Van Houten (weird eyebrows) from The Simpsons lot.
2. Last Fistfight: 6 or 7 years ago (not pretty for Samir)
3. Fastest Car Speed: 90-100 km/h (70 or 80 mph) in lawless Germany

*Currently wearing an ankle bracelet as part of Judge Davies' sentence for manufacturing and modeling unauthorized TBSOWFMU merchandise.

- Pat in Buffalo:

1. Rank The Who Best to Worst: Moon, Entwistle, Daltrey, Townshend
2. 5 Years From Now: Archiving things
3. iPhone: No

- Stephen in Chicago:

1. Craziest eBay Purchase: Double-live album by experimental Japanese band Taj Mahal Travellers ($150)
2. Longest Book Ever Read: Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (566 pages) / The Adventures of Augie March (536 pages)
3. State You Don't Understand: Most of the Midwest

- Tom in Austin, TX:

1. Favorite TV Commercial of All-Time: Robert Loggia for Nestlé Quik Minute Maid Orange-Tangerine Juice
2. Bumper Stickers?: Hammers of Misfortune + The Best Show on WFMU
3. Last Movie Walkout: Armageddon (editing and camerawork caused nausea; exceedingly loud and obnoxious)

- Greg from Baltimore:

1. Person You're Completely Jealous Of: Pot-addled moonwalker Neil Armstrong
2. Chinese or Thai Food: Chinese
3. Richard Dawson or Richard Nixon: Dawson

- Chris L from Maryland:

1. First Band You Care About: Public Enemy
2. 14th member of Ocean's Fourteen: Harry Dean Stanton (would likely turn down the role)
3. Cash in Wallet: $40

- Martin in Edison:

1. If You Could Live Anywhere on Earth ...: Mexico or other suitably tropical locale
2. Star Wars or Star Trek: SW
3. Technological Thumbs-Down: GPS devices

- Eric in Staten Island:

1. Best or Worst Seats for Show/Concert: [cell-phone static]

- A nervous Mike from Mahwah:

1. Steve Martin or Andy Kaufman: SM
2. Desired Talent: Dance better with women
3. Funniest Thing You Inappropriately Laughed At: Mike was at a deli in Midtown and saw an older fella walk right into a glass door and smash his face. While he and his friends laughed, a concerned woman assisted the gentlemen. Mike felt awful for the remainder of the day. Tom thinks this may be the best call he's ever received.

Beth in Cambridge, NY:

1. Cartoon Character You Most Relate To: South Park's Wendy Testaburger
2. School. Overrated?: Overly expensive, but worth it to learn new things
3. Least Fave Beatle: Paul

- Joe from Seattle:

1. High School Regret: Better "relations" with women
2. Best Present: Trenchcoat from mom
3. Britney Spears Resolution: Remove from planet via sinking submarine

- Nate from St. Paul:

1. Theft History: Small-time heists of some pieces of Laffy Taffy from a convenience store
2. Jazz, Rot or Rule: Rule
3. Who Should be President: George Clinton

- Scott T in Manhattan:

1. Relaxation Aid*: Glass of Merlot
2. Longest Book Ever Read: Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty (880 pages)
3. Preferred Candididate from Opposite Party: Rudy Giuliani

*Mine is the just-released Natural Relaxation Gregor's Way, Vol. 6.

- Dave from Cranford:

1. Sodey of Choice: Root beer
2. School. Overrated?: Yes, until you end up somewhere you enjoy
3. Jailed?: Spent time in lock-ups; never convicted

- Forrest from Manhattan:

1. Best Hip-Hop Album of Past 3 Years: Jay-Z's The Black Album (2003 release; a nonjudgmental Tom lets it slide)
2. Sodey of Choice: Ginger Ale
3. Technological Thumbs-Down: Amazon Kindle

- Eric from Staten Island back for more:

1. Best Present: The Gift of Love (from various people)
2. Last Movie Walkout: n/a
3. Priciest Mea: $50

- Brian from Columbus, OH:

1. State You Don't Understand: Indiana
2. Steve Martin or Andy Kaufman: SM
3. Fastest Car Speed: 150 mph as passenger in his uncle's vehicle. Tom judges that one a little bit.

joerudi.png- Matthew from Western Maine wants to play the little game because it sounds like fun:

1. 14th member of Ocean's Fourteen: Ricky Martin Oakland A's left fielder Joe Rudi

2. Rudest Comment: "I wish you would die, and I hope you die." (unattributed) "I'm gonna kill you." (2nd wife; tried to make good on threat.)

3. Craziest eBay Purchase: Hitler's desk (not authentic)

Tom is surprised that he would even attempt to purchase the Führer's office furniture, but Matthew thought that it seemed like a good thing to own. He had the dough to bid on it from an influx of some massive residual checks. Tom thanks him for playing. Matthew heard Tom weighing in on the WGA strike, and while it's been devastating for most of the networks, his network is doing just fine. He wants Tom to guess where he works. Tom has no idea, so Matthew tells him that it's the only network that matters. He calls Tom a teledummy for not immediately identifying this as The Shout! Network.

It's industry veteran Matthew Tompkins, who first called the show back in 2003 to promote Shout!'s new spring lineup. He served as the network's Head of Programming from 2001-2004 before taking a V.P. of Programming position at ABC. After a brief stint on Desperate Housewives ended with a belt-whipping at the hands of William H. Macy, Tompkins moved to less successful shows like the Sex and the City-ish Hot Properties and Emily's Reasons Why Not, which was pulled after one episode. Tompkins rebounded with the Ted Danson vehicle Help Me, Help You and eventually shepherded a trio of apes from popular GEICO commercials to a thought-provoking serial laffer. When Tompkins checked in last May to discuss this crowning achievement, he also mentioned that he was developing two more Danson projects: an adaptation of President Baseball and a reality pranker called Ted Danson's Funeral Funnies.

Tompkins says that things went a little pear-shaped towards the end of his run at ABC, and now he's back where he belongs. He's not sure if "pear-shaped" is a slang term that originates in Old Blighty or Old Blimey. Tom can't place it either. Tompkins reiterates that Shout! is the only network that matters. Tom can't confirm its standing because he hasn't been watching much television since the strike started last November. Tompkins can't believe Tom's been shunning the tube, and he thinks he might be nuts. He confirms that Tom is down with (i.e., for) the writers in the ongoing labor dispute. Tom correctly assumes that Tompkins does not support the writers because he is a network executive. While the major networks are scrambling to fill their schedules with unscripted skeins and repackage existing programming, Tompkins says the strike couldn't be hampering Shout!'s high-quality output any less. In fact, the network has adopted the bold motto, "To Hell with the writers!" The phrase will appear on all Shout! coffee mugs, and Tompkins plans to get it engraved on his cigar thermidor. Tom thinks humidor is the correct term for a humidity-controlled tobacco storage case. Tompkins thinks he's totally nuts.

Tompkins considers the strike to be a blessing because it's given Shout! the freedom to take chances on some ambitious new programs. He thinks the forthcoming slate is their most exciting in years, even surpassing the glory days of Jerry Van Dyke's Crime Crunchers, The Van Morrison Variety Two Hours, and the controversial The Reggae Kid. Tompkins believes that scripted content is garbage and a boring waste of airtime. Tom is amused that Tompkins has such little regard for material crafted by actual writing staffs. Tompkins is not bored by Shout!'s plans to explode the reality genre past boundaries never imagined. He runs down eight new reality shows he's developing.

asimov.png1. Vance Asimov's Citizen's Arrest

Vance, the LA-based, mutton-chopped son of noted Russian biochemist and author Issac Asimov, heads up a squadron of angry citizens who police a small town by making arrests and processing people through their own judicial system. Tompkins says the vigilantes set up a makeshift prison in some dude's garage. Tom wants to know what gives them the right to patrol the streets to dole out their brand of televised justice. Tompkins says that's like asking what gives Vance the right to serve as the judge of the whole town. He's particularly fond of a great scene where a couple of townspeople round up a local gym teacher suspected of being a total perv. Vince instantly sentences him to the garage jail. Tom doesn't understand how this decidedly unfair trial is legal, and Tompkins wants him to define "legal." He thinks the rogue operation is justified because it's occurring on TV -- God's greatest medium. Tom points out that television does not trump the existing laws of the land.

Tompkins explains that Judge Vance issues his rulings based on his gut feeling, and, in this case, his gut convinced him that the gym teacher was in fact a perv. However, Tompkins confesses that Vance's gut was wrong. It also led him astray in 42 other cases he presided over. He says that many wrongly convicted citizens have remained incarcerated since the series began shooting last October. The innocent prisoners have filed numerous lawsuits against Vance in particular and the program in general. Tom thinks this is horrible, but he's glad that people are fighting back. Shout! is considering scrapping the initial run of shows and starting over with Robbie Knievel as the host. Tompkins is pretty certain that Vance will go to jail because he was also whipping people for punishment and "kicks." He says a lot of whipping was done off-camera. Tom thinks it's terrible behavior. Tompkins counters with a new show that's not terrible.

crisson.png2. Criss On ...

Tompkins thinks the punctuation mark in the title is called an eclipse, but Tom informs him that it's an ellipsis. Tompkins decides to write it down, but he thinks it starts with a "y." Tom tells him it starts with an "e", but Tompkins corrects him because he thought he was talking about the word "it." Tom straightens him out, and he's finally able to spell it pholetically.

The program features Kiss drummer Peter Criss holding nightly, two-hour fireside chats to discuss the issues of the day. Tompkins assures Tom that it's riveting, and he recently spoke to Criss about the first few episodes he knocked out. In the premiere, Criss talks about the influence of classic 1960s R&B on his complicated drumming technique. Tompkins says that Criss will dig deep into the nuts and bolts of Kiss classics like "Beth", "Dirty Living", "Hooligan", and, of course, "That's the Kind of Sugar Papa Likes", from his 1978 solo album.

In the second half of the episode, Criss gets into the conflicts happening in the deserts overseas. Tompkins asks Tom to confirm that the region's primary irritants are Iraq and Iran because Criss insists on referring a country called Persia. Tom says that Iran used to be part of the Persian Empire. Tompkins stopped correcting Criss because he gets really mad at him. I downloaded the seven episodes that popped up on the BitTorrent portals (leaked, per the watermark, by New York Daily News TV critic David Bianculli), and Criss appears to finally take the note in 1.6 by referring Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's energy policy as "I-ran's Nuclear Challenge." I really hope this catches on. Tompkins says Criss prefers to sit in front of a "hot fire", which is hotter than a standard fire, because he thinks he's really tough. Unfortunately, he overestimated his heat tolerance and leaves tapings with severe neck burns.

In the second episode, Criss will spend 90 minutes going off about how much he hates bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. He weighs in on the upcoming election in the final half hour. Tom wants to know where he stands, and Tompkins says he's supporting Burl Myers. Tom is not familiar with this candidate. Tompkins explains that Myers is running for the position of shop steward in his local musician's union. Tom says that when people talk about the election, they are usually not referring to the race for shop steward. Tompkins is receptive to this note, and he asks Tom what people generally discuss. Tom says they are talking about the 2008 U.S. Presidential election. Tompkins carefully writes it down via pholetics. He admits that the musician's union is kind of boring, but he defends Criss because his Q-rating is off the charts and through the roof.

3. Tough Now

Tompkins asks Tom if he's ready for another season of one of Shout!'s cornerstone shows. Tom thinks he's heard of Tough Now, but he can't recall the premise. Tompkins says it's a reality show that starts when the network says it starts. In previous seasons, Shout! started screwing with contestants once they showed up to the office to express an interest in being a contestant in one of their reality shows. Tom remembers seeing an episode where they messed with a guy when he was in an elevator prior to leaving the building. Tompkins says a common tactic was to kidnap people and transport them to a remote farm. At that point, hilarity ensued when producers essentially threatened to kill them. Tom agrees that this psychological torture sounds hilarious. The twist for the new season involves getting the people one stage earlier in the casting process by soliciting viewer feedback to find random, arrogant creeps. Shout! reviews the nominations and then tracks down the supposed creeps at their place of employment. The producers proceed to beat the fudge out of them with water jugs filled with sand. Tompkins thinks the surprise beatings are particularly great because the victims are unaware that they are actually contestants on a reality show. He fondly recalls one contestant getting assaulting in a parking garage. Tom thinks it's horrible. Tompkins says they were just trying to find out how tough he was because he put on a big front in his office. They attached electrodes to his pippin and let it rip. Tompkins laughs at the shock test; Tom's heard enough.

Tom doesn't understand how they know if a guy like this is even interested in appearing on a television show. Tompkins says he did not express any interest in the series -- he was unwillingly cast by his co-workers who were tired of his creepy shenanigans. Tom predicts that the new season of Tough Now will probably embroil Shout! in further litigation. Tompkins agrees with everything Tom just said, but he would replace "probably" with "already is." Tom's not surprised because it appears that they are assaulting people out of the blue based solely on hearsay evidence of their creepiness. Tompkins asks for a definition of "out of the blue", and Tom says the contestants don't appear to know who they are or why they are attacking them. Tompkins says this is a correct assessment. Tom got him on that one.


He asks Tom to name the first person that pops into his mind when he thinks of a star he wishes was back on the golden/silver screen. Tom is confused by the precious metal adjective, but Tompkins says he's simply ratcheting up the standard term for the medium. Tom says that silver screen refers to a movie screen. Tompkins disputes it. He concludes that he must have made up the term and plans to patent it. He makes a note to himself to patent golden screen® and golden/silver screen® to bring in more money for himself. Tompkins wants to know which huge star Tom would like to see return to said screen. He says that his star power has faded a bit, but he's still a genius Tom considers sitcom anchors like Jerry Seinfeld, Ted Danson, and Kelsey Grammer. Tompkins reminds Tom that this person was once massive and beloved by the entire Earth. Tom gets warmer by naming Bill Cosby, but he gives up. Tompkins excitedly announces the return of the B-Man to the golden/silver screen®. He's referring to Joey Buttafuoco, the Long Island auto repairman who became famous in the early 1990s for having an elicit affair with an underage teen who subsequently shot his wife in the face. Tom is flabbergasted that Tompkins thinks he was a beloved figure. Tompkins insists that everyone loves him, and he wants Tom to ask call screener Todd what he thinks of him. Todd tells Tom that he doesn't love Joey Buttafuoco, and Tompkins doesn't get it. He's confident that Todd will get the B-Man's latest project.

4. Joey Beautifuoco's Prank Patrol

Tompkins says that Joey and his foot soldiers pull hilarious gags on the people of Merrick, Long Island while still retaining some degree of heart. Tompkins thinks it's so much funnier than O.J. Simpson's prank show, which he thought was genius. He thinks it's a shame that nobody had the s-a-c to sign O.J. to do a proper network series. Tompkins mentions that the B-Man has changed the pronunciation of his last name to Beautifuoco. He thinks it's totally aproposs that a hint of beautiful is present. Tom wants to hear about one of these pranks with heart.

In one episode Joey calls a fire into his local department, and four trucks rush to the house. The 30 firefighters, hoses at the ready, soon discover that Joey is hosting a small party to honor them as heroes. The refreshments include three pizzas and two 64-ounce bottles of soda. Tom questions Beautifuoco's method of invitation, but Tompkins doubts there was another fire or other emergency at 2 a.m. ... on Mischief Night. Tom thinks that if nothing else, the firefighters were roused out of bed. Tompkins suspects they had been asleep since 10 p.m., so they had to get up and fly down the pole. Beautifuoco mentioned reports of screaming coming from the burning home, and he also ssaid it was the Captain's house to give the firemen more of an ipitus to hurry. Tom says it's impetus, and Tompkins wonders if he's a frequent reader of books. Tom concedes that ipitus is correct. The big reveal is Mr. Beautifuoco sitting in the home with a few pizzas.

Tompkins says the best part of the episode is seeing the amazing expressions on the faces of the firefighters once they realized that they are being celebrated in such grand fashion. They're so emotional that they almost get furious at him. Tom's sure they were just furious about the incident, but Tompkins thinks they were touched. They were so touched that they started giving Joey good-natured -- but really hard -- shoves. With emotions still running high, the firefighters followed that up by delivering 'bro punches to Beautifuoco's face. The blows reduce Joey to tears in a very moving scene. Tom says that it sounds like they were just beating him up. Tompkins says that Tom is not the only person with this point of view. Beautifuoco is suing the fire department. Tompkins says it's kind of embarrassing that this is the one thing that backfired this season. Tom reminds him about the show where Isaac Asimov's son is locking people in a homemade jail and the impromptu workplace beatdowns in Tough Now. Tompkins seems to accept these as additional misfires and moves to another troubled Shout! production.

5. Who Wants To Eat a Cell Phone?

The show stars Newbridge's beloved Reggie Monroe, who once got kicked off Survivor for having a spankathon. Tompkins asks Tom why he keeps responding to certain comments with da-da-da-da-da, and Tom says he's trying to maintain a family program. Tompkins thought it might be some kind of instant stutter, and he immediately writes down an idea for a show called Instant Sttuter. Tompkins says the self-explanatory Who Wants To Eat a Cell Phone? is pretty good, although Reggie hasn't quite let his f flag fly as high as they'd hoped. He used to be a sexual being, but he toned down his act after he was born anew, which is like being born again but more hardcore. Tompkins says Monroe joined a weird religious sect called the Christonians. This denomination believes that The Bible is not the true word of God because many books were removed. While this view is shared by other sects, the Christonians believe that the excised passages were way less tolerant and harsher than existing versions. For example, Reggie now believes that having hair, eating, and going to the toidy are sins. He won't stand for any of the dirty stuff.

In a nutshell, Reggie recites lost Bible passages while shoving a cell phone down people's throats. Tom admits that he'd probably watch the show, and Tompkins is happy that he can tell his higher-ups that a "Todd Scharpling" can be counted on to boost ratings. Tom asks Tompkins if he thinks that both people working on the show are named Todd. He says he thought the show was called "The Two Todds." Tompkins may pitch the concept to Shout!-Latino. He writes down the title Dos Todds.

6. 180 with Hulk Hogan

Tompkins makes sure that Tom is strapped in and wearing a (white) helmet before he tells him about the best show on Shout!'s new schedule. He believes that Hulk Hogan's foray the late-night field will be the greatest show of all-time. Tom's skeptical considering Shout!'s checkered past with late-night talkers. Tompkins admits that the network is still licking its wounds over the demise of The Van Morrison Variety Two Hours. He can't imagine anyone predicting that a man of Van's age would a.) get that mad that quickly b.) smash up a set with that kind of intensity and c.) take someone's life. Tompkins declines to discuss the last transgression, but he's sure Tom saw the footage during it's brief engagement on YouTube. Tom says it's pretty rough stuff, and Tompkins says Shout! is struggling to stretch the clip of him taking the guy's life into a special. Tom points out that it's hypocritical to be horrified by the incident while also trying to capitalize on it. Tompkins says this is the American way as outlined by the Founding Fathers when they stated, "This is America, you do what you can." Tom's not sure if that is an accurate quote, but Tompkins is confident he's relayed the gist.

As the title suggests, Hogan will do a three-hour show seven nights a week unlike the p's who just do Monday-Friday. The show is set to premiere on Monday, January 21st, but Tompkins is not worried about the inability to use writers in any capacity because the Hulkster is an improv machine. Tom wants an example of his improvisational prowess. Tompkins says they sit around in a room with him and get to see his great character work. He says Hogan cracked everyone up by pretending to be a complete muscle-bound idiot. Tom wants to hear about some additional characters, but Tompkins can't think of any others. Tom illuminates a potential kink in the show by suggesting that Hogan is simply being himself while in the room. Tompkins thinks that can be easily worked out because of the 180 co-host. Tom points out that a strong sidekick is the key to a successful late-night show, and Tompkins cites Ed McMay-hon and Andy Rich-ter as people who ably filled this crucial role. Shout! has paired Hogan with his former wrestling colleague "Macho Man" Randall Savage III. Tompkins says that Savage upgraded from Randy since he's older and more sophisticated. Tom recalls seeing some of this sophistication on display in Savage's Slim Jim commercials.

Tompkins says this is the first time Hogan and Savage have worked together since Wrestlemania XIV, but the chemistry is still there. He tells Tom that Savage recently had very minor tongue replacement surgery. Tom suspects that the new tongue will make the generally indecipherable Savage even harder to understand. Tompkins admits that it's difficult to understand Savage, but the banter will sizzle once he gets into the flow with Hogan. Tompkins acts out a potential exchange:

Hogan: Hey, Randy! Howsitgoin'?!

Savage: [garbled grunting] Tompkins translation: Goin' great, Hulk. How you doin'? What's up with the kids, and you're soon-to-be ex-wife?

Despite the diction issues, Tompkins claims Savage's Q-rating is through the roof. Tom notices that Tompkins has been throwing around roof-shattering Q-ratings as through they can justify any programming decision. Tompkins thinks that Tom would at least agree that the Q-rating is super-important. Tom admits that he doesn't know that much about the rating other than it serving as a gauge for public awareness of a given celebrity. Tompkins wants Tom to repeat the explanation because he thought it was something else. He thought it was a scale of awesomeness. Tom asks him if he's actually seeing Q-rating reports. Tompkins says he's basing the Q-ratings on whatever he imagined them to be for the stars on his network. His fictional score for Savage is a perfect 100. Tom correctly guesses that Tompkins dreamed up a 99 for Peter Criss. He thinks the Shout! Network has nothing but success on its horizon.

Tompkins says one of the keys to this success is the network's "real-life writers." Tom's understandably confused because the writers are on strike. Tompkins says these "writers" are funny guys from gas stations, convenience store clerks, and a lot of wrestling coaches. They spend their days sitting in a room, breaking stories and writing scripts. Tom considers them union-busting scabs, but Tompkins sticks to the term "real-life writers." He finally gets Tom's first name right, and he claims he was just fooling around by calling him Todd. He then forgets Tom's name and has to write it down. Tom mentions the amount of writing he's done during the call, and Tompkins says this is what he does -- he takes and he gives. Tom imagines that his notes are awesome, and Tompkins says he's known as The Note King. He asks Tom to name the real victims of the WGA strike. Tom says the crew people who are caught in the middle, the writers, and, to a degree, the viewers. Tompkins is highly amused by all of the responses, and he thinks Tom's nuts because the American public will watch anything. Tompkins has no sympathy for the stranded craftsman because executives like himself are the true victims of the work stoppage. He laments that he can no longer write off his lunch at a posh restaurant as a business expense. Tom doesn't consider this much of a hardship considering that nobody else can do this. Tompkins strongly believes he should be able to because he's an executive. An executive! He gets Tom to call him an executive, and it makes him feel as good as yet another Shout! reality show.

7. Newbridge's Next Top Mayor

Tompkins tells Tom to get ready to be invaded by two huge stars who will help his town elect their next mayor. Tom wants to know if they are legitimately huge stars or stars within the skewed Shout! Network universe. Tompkins says the first star is currently a huge musician, and he gives Tom a hint by asking him if The Texas Nazis ring a bell. Tom is able to identify the so-called star as Merle Allin, GG Allin's brother and longtime bassist. He also correctly guesses that he still has his trademark Hitler mustache. Tom is not excited about seeing Merle on the show.

Tompkins says the second star is still a great bassist, but he's more known for his work in television, including a hugely successful show that aired last year. Tom needs a hint, but red hair doesn't help. Tompkins meets him halfway by performing "Come On Get Happy," and Tom can't believe he's actually referring to Danny Bonaduce. Tompkins thinks he's probably the best bass player around. Tom didn't know he was renowned for his musicianship, and he's not convinced he was actually playing his instrument during his tenure in The Partridge Family. Tompkins says Bonaduce claimed he played on all the recordings and was the first guy to do that popping thing that the guy in Chili Pepper does. Tom thinks he's lying about inventing the playing style.


Tompkins says each contestant on the show will go through various challenges, such as mazes and a handburger eating/selling contest. The producers will also bring in 12 models and former models as mayoral candidates. Tompkins thinks a mayor should look great, but Tom prefers a more well-rounded public official. Tompkins tells Tom he doesn't like his attitude one bit. He thinks Tom should be cheering at all of his ideas like a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, or, at the very least, a Cleveland Browns cheerleader. Tom says he thinks they are terrible ideas being executed by scabs, leading to a lowering of television standards and the debasing of our culture. Tompkins says he totally disagrees, and he thinks he can hammer home his point that Shout! is offering valuable, high entertainment with his final -- and best -- show.


8. To Hunt, Gut and Kill a Slob

Logline: TV executive hires six international assassins to hunt, gut and kill a slob/ape/DJ.

Tom could see this one coming, and Tompkins wants to talk to him about casting the lead role. He asks Tom if he remembers Hang the DJ, a Trent L. Strauss docudrama that was in the works back in 2006. Tompkins says the television show will follow a similar plot with Tom being hunted, gutted, and killed. Tom declines the part, but it's too late. Tompkins has already hired the international assassins, and they flew into Newbridge International today. He does not envy Tom. Tompkins gives Tom a bit of wisdom about clenching down on a bandanna when he's being gutted so he doesn't look like too much of a p in his dying moments. Tom says none of this will happen. Tompkins gets texts from Boris, Thor, and Pablo. They are outside WFMU, and Pablo informs him that he's climbing up the side wall. He can see Tom in the window. Tompkins warns Tom that Pablo will blow the window out and parts with a "Look out!" Despite the warning, Tom remains safe in the studio. He directs Mike not to let anyone in the building if they resemble an international assassin.

- Heath from Wisconsin:

1. Sodey of Choice: Diet Mountain Dew
2. iPhone: Definitely Yes
3. Funniest Thing You Inappropriately Laughed At: [Wisconsin-style toilet mouth]

- Alex from Parsippany:

1. Craziest eBay Purchase: n/a
2. Longest Book Ever Read: Some hefty Russian tome
3. Cartoon Character You Most Relate To: Batman

- Colin in L.A.:

1. If Your House is Going to Explode, You Would Rush In and Save: Computer
2. State You Don't Understand: Oklahoma
3. Longest Gone w/o Food: 3 days (traveling sans money)

- Sebastian from Boulder calling from Baltimore:

1. 14th member of Ocean's Fourteen: Robert Loggia
2. Cash in Wallet: $40
3. Person You're Completely Jealous Of: n/a

- Mike recently succumbed to the pressure that he was missing out on Home Box Office's The Wire, the greatest television program ever made according to its enthusiasts. He decided to take a crash course so he could catch up in time for its fifth and final season. While Mike caused some agitation on the FOT board by not declaring it the medium's finest product, he does think it's consistently good. He watched the polarizing "Unconfirmed Reports" two nights ago and gives it a strong 8/10 rating. He's intrigued by the storyline involving the self-destructive detective Jimmy McNulty taking some drastic measures to circumvent the Baltimore Police Department's budgetary cutbacks and ultimately take down stoic drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield.

Tom wonders if McNulty has a fun quirk, such as eating jelly beans or lollipops, and Mike informs him that his quirk is the not-that-fun alcoholism. He points out that in the first season Det. Lester Freamon passed the time by whittling dollhouse furniture. Tom appreciates this quirk and thinks it's worthy of The Mystery wheel. Mike mentions two of the homicide department's higher-ranking officers: original hard-ass William Rawls, who has moved through the chain to posts such as Colonel and Deputy Commissioner for Ops, and the jolly Jay Landsman, a portly sergeant with a penchant for spank mags and fast food. Despite the claims of his friends that The Wire is funny, Mike has not laughed at Landsman's quips or any of the show's other attempts at humor. Tom is certain that the show will not bring the laffs like The Sopranos or Deadwood.

Mike wants to consult some of the Baltimore-based listeners to assess the accuracy of the season 3 wake for Det. Ray Cole, a loyal and respectable cop who was as full of s hit as every other sad sack motherf**ker wearing the badge of Baltimore city po-lice. His fellow officers smuggled Cole's dead body into Kavanagh's Irish Pub and honored him with a jaunty and suitably-drunken rendition of The Pogues' "Sally Maclennane". Old King Cole was called. He served. He is counted. Tom thinks this sounds like the plot of Weekend at Bernie's. Mike says he has not seen Jonathan Silverman or a dead cop wearing a striped shirt and blue windbreaker. He explains that they simply spread the body out on a pool table and make no attempt to convince anyone that the police officer is still alive. Tom finds this display a bit rude because some customers might want to play a nice game of pool. Mike says he got the impression that the pub was closed to the public for these police wakes. Tom would seek out an alternate venue for his billiards fix.

Tom notices a kook named "JfromC" on the chat dismissing the humor of Paulie Walnuts profanity and Tony Sopranos beatdowns. He was not referring to these moments. Tom thinks you can throw a rock and hit a funny moment on The Sopranos, such as Walnuts asking Tony if he wants him to send a kid to get some food at Baja Fresh. He positions The Wire vs. The Sopranos as Snobs vs. Slobs class warfare. Mike says he gets the sense that The Wire fans believe they will receive honorary college degrees by watching the show. Tom compares it to elitist Led Zeppelin fans looking down at the idiots who liked the band without conducting the proper musical analysis. He thinks the snobs are sick and wants them to knock it off. Tom remembers that he needs to be more positive so he praises Julian Schnabel's new film, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly . He's very impressed that Jean-Dominque Bauby wrote a book by blinking his left eyelid. Tom has not written any books. Pamela Anderson has written four of them.

- Mike gets to play the game:

1. State You Don't Understand: Delaware
2. Preferred Candididate from Opposite Party: John McCain (cranky, good for some laughs, hated by right-wing; Tom would say John Edwards)
3. Longest Book Ever Read: Rising Up and Rising Down Don Quixote or Bleak House
4. Priciest Meal: $100 at the Flamingo Diner Keens Steakhouse
5. First Band You Care About: Kiss (due to peer pressure)

[More to come. Bonnie!]

On the next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Rutgers sophomore Luther Teasley reports from the frontlines of the "Fat Bitch Freakout" at the Grease Trucks, Matthew Tompkins returns to discuss the 2008 Battle of the Shout! Network Stars special (tease: Nancy McKeon vs. Bill Fagerbakke in the nonagon; Park Overall vs. Dan Frischman in a kayak race), Bob Mould announces that he's reforming Hüsker Dü and Sugar to be the dueling house bands on 180 with Hulk Hogan, and a fun topic called Who Would You Send Up Mt. Everest with Ricky the Sherpa Who Would You Bury Alive?

In the meantime, fill up your brandy sniffer, pull a cigar out of your thermidor, and nestle up to a hottt fire for a nice chat:


That video of "amateur" Young Frankenstein is fantastic. Who knew Tim Heidecker was such a fantastic singer!