Too Tuff To Break.
"I would have also paired up George Jones and a ticket refund counter." -- Tom, adding some visuals to the surreal "We Go Together" video montage
"Okay, write down your predilection and then you'll tell me what it is after I say what it is." -- Marky Ramone, challenging Tom to guess his big announcement
"You didn't say nothin' about the 1/8th notes on the high hat, how fast they are." -- Marky Ramone, lamenting an omission in Tom's critique of his drumming
"You do Marky Ramone's throat lozenges, you have the crystal-clear voice of Marky Ramone." -- Marky Ramone, promoting the latest product in his signature series
"You're just diggin' it deepah and deepah and deepah. And I'm gonna play hardah and hardah and hardah on your head." -- Marky Ramone, vowing to deliver a 2B beating for Tom's supposed insults
"He looked like he was turning into The Hulk. Like a Caucasian Hulk." -- Tom on Roger Clemens' transformation into a 'roid-raging monster at his landmark Congressional hearing
"You know, I don't hate Spike, but, I mean, I don't want to be considered an "us" with Spike." -- ROY '08 candidate Steve from North Hollywood, distancing himself from a less desirable member of The Best Showverse
"Jerky Boys, though? Really? The Jerky Boys. The Jerky Boys. I can't even expound on it. The Jerky Boys." -- Tom, digesting the rough comparison to the phone prank duo
"Oh, I just pulled up that site. Oh my God. He's not even a kid." -- Martin from Edison, getting his first honest-to-blob peak at the self-proclaimed Voice of the People
"Willy Wonka. That guy had some problems. First of all, how did that stuff clear inspections? Got those Oompa-Loompas, were they wearing gloves?" -- Tom, questioning the sanitation standards at the famous candy facory
"This guy looks like he ate The Gorch. That's how big that guy is." -- Tom, assessing the Brimsteadian girth of The Kid from Brooklyn
"The singer from The Smiths, you thought he was whiny?" -- Tom, trying to comprehend Lisa from Brooklyn's issues with Morrissey
"I keep thinking the bad guys will win in the end and take it all away, but somehow it all seems to keep working." -- Tom Scharpling, rejoicing in The New York Times
**Pledge tonight during The Best Show and get the 2008 "We Did It Again" Fun Pack! T-shirt. Sticker.
Brian Michael Palmer Weaver Neil Numberman poster. This one's for all the marbles. Tom is counting on you.**
Dust - "Pull Away/So Many Times"
( Click here to buy Hard Attack)
The Black Hollies - "Bruised Tangerines"
( Click here to buy Casting Shadows)
The Dirtbombs - "I Hear The Sirens"
( Click here to buy We Have You Surrounded)
CoCoComa - "Go Ahead"
( Click here to buy CoCoComa)
The Makes Nice - "When It's All Gone"
( Click here to buy This Time Tomorrow)
The Poster Children - "Jeremy Straight"
( Click here to buy Flower Plower)
Psycho and the Birds - "Hybertech Green"
( Click here to buy We've Moved)
Atlas Sound - "River Card"
( Click here to buy Let The Blind Lead Those Who Can See
But Cannot Feel)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
The Best Show is back for another Tuesday night installment, and its host, Tom Scharpling, is playing with the Big Boys. This isn't sandlot. Tom's not partaking in recreational kickball with coke-addled hipsters in McCarren Park. He joined the big leagues of professional radio broadcasting, although he did get pushed into the super-secret submarine studio for the final show before the two-week 2008 WFMU FUNdraising marathon. The station, nearing its 50th anniversary in April, hopes to raise enough monies to keep bringing it for another year and embark on some exciting new projects: building a booster FM antenna, a Free Music Archive to combat RIAA mongrels, and producing Dungeon Justice and Doo-Wop Chamber with Spike & Montgomery Davies (Wednesday from 8:00 to 8:35 p.m. starting in June). The bottom line: WFMU and The Best Show have a lot riding on this. It's go time. If you want to keep getting the mirth, music, and mayhem, you gotta pledge money, money, and money. Tom is not messing around anymore. He's tired of the clowntime shenanigans. He's sick of it, and so is Mike the Associate Producer.
Mike is coming unglued to the point where he's reverted back to thievery. Yes, Tom caught him going through his bag again. He's not crazy about it and plans to have a talk with Mike after the show. Tom set his bag down before going into the other room to do his usual pre-show stretching exercises. Upon his return, he startled Mike as he dug through his belongings. Mike claimed that he dropped his wallet into the bag. While he's been on his best behavior of late, Mike's criminal past includes a December 2006 heist of the Russian Snickers bar that Purple Shirt smuggled (amidst his underwear) back into the country per Tom's request. He lifted the foreign treat from Tom's candy bag and ate it like a hungry dog. At the time, Tom admitted that his plentiful stash was very enticing since it was loaded with both kinds of candy: chocolate and fudge. Mike makes up for his recidivist rummaging by shooting one of the three Supercallers to the front of the line to start off the show. Membership has its privileges.
- Supercaller Dave from Knoxville says he's not sure how he managed to end up in such an elite class of callers. Tom informs him that he made it happen with hard work and focus. He points out that nobody will confuse Dave with a bon vivant like Peter Benchley, and Dave thinks he might need to take some offense to that. Tom says he just meant that Dave is more of a blue-collar stalwart, a reliable meat-and-potatoes caller, and not some McSweeney's dude coming in with an obnoxious pedigree. He bets that the the only Pedigree Dave has is a supply of the dog food. Dave says he opts for the lower-end Purina® Dog Chow® due to his teacher's salary. He remembers that Tom feeds Dogmo human flesh, but he can't recall her beverage of choice. Tom reminds him that Dogmo washes it down with human blood. While Tom has been pushing this vampire diet for the past year, Dogmo is still more interested in the traditional Beneful® grub.
Dave called to share a recent cultural event (or what passes for one in Knoxville) he attended with his mother, the great Martha from Knoxville, who last fall became the first member of the family to set foot in New Jersey. He bought her tickets to a George "No Show" Jones concert for Christmas, and Jones managed to perform last week as scheduled. Dave says that the promoters joked about Jones's erratic attendance record by making a pre-show announcement billed as terrible news: George was actually in the building. Dave tolerates Jones and noticed that he doesn't get much rotation on WFMU. Tom says certain programs will play his records, but he doesn't cart up much country. Dave doesn't blame him for avoiding the genre. He appreciates Jones's voice, but he got tired of the show after about 30 minutes.
He was more intrigued by the surreal, cutting-edge visuals on the video screen behind him during "We Go Together", an ode to classic combinations like peanut butter and jelly. The beginning of the clip montage featured legendary country couples like June Carter/John E. Cash and Jones with his third wife, Tammy Wynette (current wife Nancy Sepulveda was at the show). A flag-waving sequence then dissolved to a mom holding an apple pie to remind everyone in the crowd that they are still on U.S. soil. Then things got more interesting. Dave spotted a familiar silhouette of a man looking through a window as the sun streamed in. The camera panned back, and there was a cut to a long hallway in an old building with very high ceilings. Tom Hulce as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart appeared, and a cut back to the window revealed F. Murray Abraham as Antonio Salieri. Dave thought it was odd to include this sequence in the middle a package with duos like the Earnhardt boys and Hank Williams, Jr. standing next to a statue of Hank Williams. Tom imagines someone on the production team (Dorvid?) trying to convince a skeptical Jones that his audience is familiar with Milos Forman's Amadeus. He predilects that Jones had a screaming fit after the show because his fans were baffled by the incongruant composers. "I haven't seen that many powdered wigs since the last Newbridge Colonial Days festival!," Jones might say if he knew actually knew about the Newbridge Colonial Days.
Tom would have also paired up George Jones and a ticket refund counter. Dave says that in the middle of the concert Jones made a pitch for his favorite beverage. Jones told the crowd that when he stopped drinking alcohol, he switched to an exotic drink called water. Over the years, he branched out to an energy drink called FlakeOut!, which was on sale at the venue's concession stands. Tom thinks the drink will appeal to people who, like Jones, already miss 85% of their commitments and need some help flubbing the remainder. Dave encourages people to check out Jones for at least a half hour if he books a date in their town and actually shows up for it. Tom does not approve of Jones and his handlers turning his wildly unprofessional behavior into a joke punctuated with the free-jazz crescendo rim shot favored by The Tonight Show band. Tom wishes he had that sound clip. I'm not a fan these prog vibrations, but I gotta respect what Eubanks & Co. are doing. Dave tells Tom to have a terrific show, and Tom plans to because he started it off on the right fute. Dave hopes Spike is next and wishes Tom a great week.
- A caller asks Tom how he's doin' to the tune of The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated". The sound is broken up by cellular crackling, but Tom heard enough to know it's Marky Ramone of The World Famous Ramones, returning to the show for the first time since 2006. Marky was a strong presence throughout that year, giving listeners a succulent taste of his foray into erotic fiction and taking the time to judge a rap battle between MC Steinberg and Ted Leo. He even unveiled his plans to reform The Ramones with an all-drummer lineup. Marky last called during young Freddie's Danielson Family bachelor party to offer his congrats to a fellow sticksmen.
Marky is getting ready to sound check, so he walks outside to get better reception and perform his musical greeting for the third time. Tom tells him that he didn't have to start over. Marky claims he only did it twice and then does it for the fourth time. He says that he's been keeping busy in the past two years, playing shows with Marky Ramone and the Intrudahs, Marky Ramone & the Speedkings, Marky Ramone Band, and the new Marky Ramone Group. Tom seems impressed that he's maintaining four active bands, but Marky says it's all the same guys. He admits to regularly changing the band names so he can charge difference prices for his roster of acts. The Marky Ramone Group is currently the most lucrative draw because it's the newest. Tom assumes fans are excited to hear some new material, but Marky says they never get it. He is certain that his fans and Tom will be really excited about some big news. Marky makes sure that Tom is strapped in and helmeted to receive it without injury. He doesn't think Tom will ever guess what he's about to announce. Tom thinks he has an idea and suggests that he write it down to see if he's right. Marky agrees to let Tom write down his predilection and then reveal it after he says what it is. Tom lets the grammar mishap slide and gives him the floor.
Marky announces that he's putting out a Marky Ramone condom as part of his signature Marky Ramone Safer Sex Kit. Tom actually read about it online at Shovel.com. The prophylactic tagline is "Too Tuff To Break," a play on Too Tough To Die, the title of The Ramones' 1984 album that Marky did not play on. Tom knew that Richie Ramone played drums on that record. Marky says he thought Richie used too many jazz fills, but Tom actually thought it was one of the more driving Ramones albums. Marky says that if he was playing on it, Tom would have heard the 1/8th notes on the high hats a lot clearer than what Richie was doing. Despite this criticism, Marky does not want to slag Richie off or nothin'. Tom thinks that he kind of just slagged him off, but Marky argues that he's just offering a constructive critique that is permissible per the Drummer's Code. Marky grants Tom card blanche to critique his drumming. Tom says he's not a drummer, modestly ignoring his stellar work with Von Scharpling, but he thinks Marky gets the job done. Marky wonders if that's the best critique Tom can offer. Tom says his drumming is solid, ably holding down the beat and keeping everything on time. Marky is disappointed that Tom did not mention the speed of his 1/8th notes on the high hat. Tom explains that since he's not a drummer, the more complicated techniques go over his head.
Marky wants to know what Tom thought he was going to announce. Tom reveals that his silly predilection was that Marky was going to announce his candidacy for the Newbridge Mayubernatorial race. Marky recalls playing in Newbridge a couple of years ago with The Intrudahs. He says the show was supposed to be at The Palladium, but then it got moved down to The Colisuem. The show was bumped again to a club called Buzzy's. Marky says he was supposed to play Buzzy's proper, but he ended up at Buzzy's Downstairs, a smaller room in the basement. He thinks Newbridge is a nice town, and he's kinda intrigued about the hotly-contested election. After just a few moments of reflection, Marky decides to throw his leather jacket into the ring. He says he will get an apartment in Newbridge to fulfill the rather lax (a cot or P.O. Box will suffice) residence requirements. Marky believes he could really help the town by addressing issues like the sinkhole located the edge of town near Lake Newbridge right where Tinkerbell's Tennis Teepee was before it sunk. He remembers hearing something about attempts to fill the increasingly large hole with colored stones. Tom said town officials unsuccessfully tried to turn it into a tourist attraction with rides. Marky loves the idea and wants to do Marky Ramone's Fun Park. Tom confirms that this is not a Ramones-themed amusement park, which is already on the fringes of entertainment, but a Marky-centric attraction. Marky does him one better by suggesting a Marky Ramone and The Intrudahs park. He's confident that after its success, there would be companion parks for The Speedkings, the Marky Ramone Band, and the Marky Ramone Group.
Tom gets something caught in his throat and excuses his coughs. Marky recommends Marky Ramone signature throat lozenges, which will be out in 4 months. Tom wonders why anyone would back a lozenge with his endorsement. He doesn't think Marky has much credibility for this type of product. Marky says he's always been known for his crystal clear voice, so people will use the lozenges to gain similar clarity. Tom doesn't recall hearing Marky sing that much. Marky says he doesn't do any singing -- he was referring to his renowned speaking voice. He assumes Tom had to adjust his levels because he was so clear. Tom did not have to do this. Marky plans to run on a Gabba Gabba Hey platform, and Tom correctly predilects that the audience will say "Gabba Gabba Hey" when Marky comes out to make a campaign speech. Marky thinks Tom must be in his mind. Supporters will also start chanting something else when they are waiting for his arrival. He doesn't think Tom will ever get it because he's so stupid. Tom guesses "lobotomy." It's another Ramones catchphrase: "Hey, ho, let's go!"
Marky bluntly declares that his act in office will be to kill Tom. Tom thought he and Marky were on friendly terms. He has no idea why Marky is so mad at him. Marky says he turned on Tom because he's stupid. He plans to play 1/8th notes on his head, wrap him up in a custom-made leather jacket, and do a bunch of hard rolls with his signature Pro-Mark drumsticks. Tom asks Marky if those sticks are 5B. He thinks Tom must be kidding because he uses 2Bs, heavier, more manly sticks that give you more oomph from the 1/8th notes on the high hat. Tom says he thought Marky would opt for a lighter stick because he's playing so fast. Marky feared that Tom was going to make a crack about his age. Tom denies it. Marky thinks Tom is just digging it deeper and deeper and deeper. Consequently, he will punish Tom by playing harder and harder and harder on his head. Tom informs Marky that he misinterpreted an insult that he never made. Marky misinterprets this explanation as Tom admitting to insulting him. Tom says that he is incorrectly processing his words as insults. Marky asks Tom to process what he will do to him. He grabs his sticks and gives Tom a preview of what he will bang out on his head. He returns to the phone to reprise his opening melody: "Ba ba ba ba, ba ba ba ba, you're gonna get murded."
Tom has no idea what he did to deserve the death threat, but he suspects it's the same thing the listeners did to deserve a second dose of ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" and Dengue Fever's "Tiger Phone Card". He went back to the well on ABBA because Tommert didn't like it the first time around. Tom approves of the band standing firm on licensing fees required for John McCain to use the song at his campaign rallies.
Tom enjoyed last week's much-needed Roger Clemens congressional hearings about decade-old Jose Canseco get-togethers and buttock abscesses. He thought it was very important that the committee aimed its focus on figuring out whether a 47-year-old baseball player, who is built like one of the creatures in Where The Wild Things Are, took steroids and HGH. Tom thought Clemens looked like he was turning into a Caucasian Hulk as he became increasingly enraged with his former trainer's testimony. Tom thinks Clemens is a great guy. He was pleased that politicians were concerned with an issue that affects so many Americans.
- While Mike couldn't vouche for him, Steve from North Weird-O-Wood obliterates the 30-second rule with an auspicious debut. Since it's cold and rainy, he has the time to stay inside and stream the show live. Tom wonders if he's taking rare refuge from his job as a street performer. Steve says Tuesday is usually his only night off, so he's always out running crazy errands and doing classes. Tom wants to make sure he's not rollerblading in Venice Beach. Steve assures him that he refrains from that as much as possible, especially since Venice is too much of a trek for him.
Mike let Steve through because he has a promising idea for a 2008 Best Show slogan: There Will Be GOMPs. Tom thinks it's really good and envisions it with the same lettering and Bible-leather background. Steve is also a fan of Tom v. Everyone, which he would gladly vote for in a general election if TWBG gets knocked out in the primaries. Tom says that people thought TvE was too negative, so there was a general shift to Us vs. Them. He rejects the move from Star Wars to Star Trek -- the power of the individual to a united society -- because he's not sure who is included in the "us" collective. Is it James? Julie from Cincinnati? Hesh? He doesn't even know if Mike is on his side half the time. Steve points out that Mike lets questionable callers like Spike and James on the air and serves as an accomplice to the people raining death threats on Tom. Steve doesn't hate Spike, but he doesn't want to be lumped into a group with him. Tom points out that whenever the WFMU marathon comes around, Spike goes the way of the dodo bird. When it's pledge time, he's off at one of his Tuesday night costume parties.
Steve is a very short-term listener so he's not too familiar with the annual pledge drive. His brother, John from Harrisburg, hooked him up with funny clips, and he's in his fourth week of proper fandom. Tom dares to say that Steve is a prime candidate for the 2008 Rookie of the Year trophy. He is showing Tom something tonight, exhibiting none of the stammering or stuttering that marred Eddie's first call. Tom thinks Steve has a fearless streak a la Sam Cassell. Steve admits to being nervous because he doesn't want to get GOMPed. However, if the call ends amicably, he gives Tom the go-ahead to GOMP him just for fun because There Will Be GOMPs, whether people deserve them or not. Tom likes Steve's self-sacrificing attitude and willingness to jump on the GOMPgrendade. He wishes every caller took this generous approach. Steve says it's worth it because there bigger things besides each of us alone, and The Best Show is one such thing. Tom salutes a top-shelf call. He says that Steve just bought Mike three mutant calls, including one from his not-so-apt pupil Larry the Perv.
Tom tells the young padawan that he still has a lot to learn about the show after only a month of listening. Steve says his brother continues to tutor him, and he's been studying up on the exploits of Timmy von Trimble and Philly Boy Roy. He's hungry for more. Tom calls him a champ and says he'd earn ROY honors over Julie from Cincinnati if they were given out tonight. Steve is up for the challenge of the long journey through 2008.
- Sarah reminds Tom on the chat about Jonah Bayer's recent article describing the show's comedy stylings as "... essentially the Jerky Boys for the indie-snob sect." What? Tom considers Bayer to be a nice guy and a friend, but he can't believe he missed the boat that badly. Tom can't even expound on it beyond repeating those three dreaded words: The Jerky Boy
s. Tom fails to see any creative kinship with the abusive, profane Frank Rizzo telling people that he will rap them in the head with a ratchet for a variety of mysterious transgressions. The Jerky Boys. The Jerky Boys. Tom is still digesting it a week after its publication.
The Bayer piece led Tom to check out the fancy The Jerky Boys website, which is exclusively a Johnny Brennan enterprise after Kamal got shuttled. In addition to removing the plural, Tom would dump the entire "boy" because Brennan looks like he's 60. The site features a merchandise section where silly-assed rubbernecks can purchase ultra-glossy 8x10s of horrible caricatures of their most favorite, hilarious, and horrific characters autographed by their legendary "creator", Mr. Brennan. Tom wonders if Brennan fancies himself another Walt Disney dream maker. You can choose different poses of Rizzo, flamboyantly Jewish Sol Rosenberg, or flamboyantly gay Jack Tors to accompany a personalized greeting. If you prefer something a bit more intimate than hilarious drawings, you can purchase an 8x10 of Johnny B for the same low price of $24.95 plus $4.65 for USPS Priority Shipping. Tom can't believe Brennan is making people foot the postage bill to the cent.
The image shows Brennan, sporting a "cool" leather jacket, standing behind a cheap desk in a makeshift office, surrounded by his characters like Walt Disney amidst the dwarves (as in Snow White's seven, not HeWhoCannotBeNamed) and Mickey Mouse. Tom thinks the office is something out of one of the elaborate cons in David Mamet's The Spanish Prisoner, a fake location that could be easily disassembled without a trace (probably by Ricky Jay) 90 minutes after construction. He also admires the modern decor, complete with racks of CASSettes (I enhanced the image and spotted The Offspring's Smash, Filter's Short Bus, and Bush's Razorblade Suitcase) and a circa-1996 computer monitor. Tom wonders if he could get Johnny B to insult himself in the personalized greeting. He would test how far the Jerky Man would go for $24.95 with a request for "I, Johnny Brennan, am the least talented man alive." The Jerky Boys. Tom points out that he's not bothering people at home. His show brings joy to people instead of torturing some poor slob working in a garage to put food on his family's table. Tom hopes the derelict monster gets pranked while he's waiting for an important call from his accountant during tax season. The Jerky Boys.
Tom is convinced that Brennan will do anything for money to cling to the scraps of his fading "career." If Tom contacted Brennan about attending a party where people would hit him with fungo bats as he walks through a "gauntlet of horror" followed by a blast from a fire hose that would launch him 20 feet into a stack of bricks, he would likely work out an appearance fee of at least $850. Tom wonders if the practice of typing "first" in the comment sections of online discussions is the modern equivalent of prank phone calls. He looks forward to Alan Arkin's work in First: The Movie, where he would reprise his confused mobster from The Jerky Boys film, wondering what is going on with all these message board firsts.
- Martin from Edison calls to suggest bringing Johnny B into the studio for the marathon to raise money by subjecting him to humiliations. Tom says he doesn't want to be near that guy, even if it's for a good cause. Martin realizes that it would be difficult to get him to leave. Tom has picked up on a mutant trend with people like The Kid from Brooklyn, a 750-lb. blob who doesn't let his first-grade education prevent him from voicing foul-mouthed opinions on every subject under the guise of populist straight-shooting. TKFB now offers a premium membership where you can pay to get exclusive video rants. Tom thinks the reality of this misguided monetization hit home after nobody paid for the content to offset the costs of the increassed bandwidth. Tom points out that nobody is willing to pay a penny for this brand of "entertainment." Martin pulls up the website and is horrified by what he sees. He also discovers that The Kid From Brooklyn is not a kid at all. (Nor is he from Brooklyn.) Martin was expecting someone in their early 20s. Tom thinks The Kid is getting crushed under the weight of his hat. He also can't believe the rude monster wrote a book with a predelictably profane title: Go F*** YOURSELF: The Kid From Brooklyn's Book of Rants and Other Stuff. Tom says TKFB probably thinks a book is just a magazine with sturdier binding.
(This clip contains rampant filth)
Tom saw a clip of The Kid From Brooklyn arguing with his equally obese rival, The Guy From Boston (seen here with his #1 Fan). He's distressed that copycats are making TKFB look like some kind of trailblazing Thomas Edision for loudmouth video blogs. Mike says that he heard about a guy from Queens doing the same thing. Tom decides that it's time to stop the Internet. He considers going to The Kid's March 20th book signing at a Barnes & Noble in Edgewater, N.J. so he can see them wheel the monster into the store to the delight of people who can't even read. Tom wonders what he's waiting for when the likes of The Kid From Brooklyn are published authors. He thinks TKFB's bespectacled face on the book jacket looks like a melting John Lennon.
Martin says he was unable to nab a volunteer slot for The Best Show. He opted for Teenage Wasteland, but Tom thinks he may need some extra, non-phone help. Martin says he'll do whatever it takes. Tom asks him if he would be willing to pick up The Kid from Brooklyn and bring him to the studio. Martin requests a dumptruck to transport a man of this size.
- Matthew from Greenpoint asks Tom if he's ever considered pranking The Kid from Brooklyn like his 2003 call to country superstar Kenny DuPree. Tom is not interested in conversing with a guy who would let someone push him out of an airplane while equipped with a possibly broken parachute for the right price. He thinks The Kid from Brooklyn is an example of what you get when real-life writers take over for the pros: the rise of the blobs. Matthew also hopes to get a spot on Tom's additional volunteer staff. Tom fires him up about the glossy, shiny, 16x24 poster, t-shirt, and sticker trifecta.
- Tom puts a topic on the table to find out what listeners thought they figured out before discovering that they were the problem. For example, Tom was hearing all about Neil Gaiman's GRAPHIC NOVEL The Sandman, but he couldn't get off the ground with it. He didn't like it even a little bit. Years later he realized his mistake. Boom. Click. The book did not stink.
Tom quickly trashes this topic in favor of three more violent options:
1. Who would you like to launch into the middle of the ocean via a giant catapult?
2. Who would you like to lure into a patch of quicksand?
3. Who would you want to subject to Willy Wonka's torture devices: chocolate river suction tubes, the TeeVee, flesh-ripping squirrels, or the full-meal chewing gum that turns you into a bulging blueberry.
Tom thinks the eccentric candyman had problems, and he doesn't understand how his factory passed inspections. He's not sure if the Oompa-Loompas were wearing gloves, but he is sure that squirrels running around candy vats is a clear health code violation. Tom decides to return to his original idea to stay positive. You learned a lesson, you grew, and it made you go Nooow I Get It.
- Julie from Cincinnati calls to say that someone recommended The Sandman to her as a suitable follow-up to
The Kid From Brooklyn's James Aggey's A Death in the Family, which changed her life and stuck in her brain. She thought the first book wasn't bad, but it didn't quite deliver the cranial adhesion she was after. Tom is concerned that Julie is calling to tell him that he is wrong, but she assures him that he's perfect. Julie is disappointed that Tom abandoned the Willy Wonka torture devices because she'd like to throw her COMrade (aka co-worker) into one. Tom GOMPs her on suspicions of being a COMmunist like the retiring Fidel Castro. This is America! Land of apple pie and Mozart!
Mike praises Tom for doing a very topical program in the spirit of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olberland. Tom thinks that he needs to start going off on Olberlandish tears during the show. He goes to CNN to see what he could get mad about. Mike mentions the controversy regarding Michelle Oblama's comments about being proud of her country for the first time in her adult life. Needles to say, Maurice Kern and his Houston cronies really ran with that one. Tom starts looking fodder for a Bush rant, and he becomes bored with the opening graph of a story about the President's elation over his warm welcome in Tanzania. Mike doesn't think anyone pays attention to the lame duck these days. Tom thinks he could probably pull off a rant from his memory of past incompetence. He desperately wants to carve out a niche and stop trying to be everything to everybody. The Dolt From Brooklyn locked down a niche, even if it is a terrible one. Tom visits the George Bush website to see if the President updated his blog. He does not enjoy the weird content, which includes a merch section with plush RNC elephants that only a monster would give to a kid.
(The Handburger clip contains toiletries.)
- Nate from St. Paul says he was wrong about the crazy French robot-disco funk duo Daft Punk. After getting on board for their debut album Homework, he fell out with their music by the time Discovery was release four years later. Nate ignored recommendations from his friends to give the band another try, but he caught a few songs on the radio and got it again. Tom wants him to say it. Nate obliges: Daft Punk ... Nooow I Get It. Tom's not crazy about the Neil Handburger delivery, but he'll take it. He reprises the Daft Punk renewal with a bang-on Handburger impression. He notes that Handburger is another performer who found a niche.
Tom considers trying to finish his On the Air book in the next week and rush it into production at some crummy e-press. He is driven up the wall by the fact that The Kid from Brooklyn lays his fat head on the pillow knowing he's an author just like Pam Anderson, Paris Hilton, George Carlin, and Dennis Miller, who has 10 rant compendiums even though nobody likes him. I'm excited about The God of Thunder's forthcoming prostitution retrospective (featuring a cover design from our very own KickTheBobo!). Mike suggests that Tom could join these prestigious ranks by just transcribing shows and releasing them in book form.
- Lisa from peaceful Bedford-Stuyvesant says she's never seen a guy rolling around town on a Rascal Scooter, although she has seen some fat guys. Tom believes The Kid From Brooklyn's size is partly the result of consuming The Gorch. Lisa says that Brooklyn is embarassed to be linked to this blob.
She says she used to think Morrissey sucked because he was really whiny and boring. Tom is taken aback by the assessment and confirms that she is talking about the lead singer for The Smiths. Lisa says she found him depressed and annoying. Tom wonders what evidence she assembled for this surprising take. Lisa says it was mainly his lyrics and crooning. Tom seems to finally get it. After her heart was broken, Lisa realized that Morrissey was right: life does suck. His music helped her heal and now she is cheerful again. Tom GOMPs Lisa for not committing to pledge next week. He bans her for 10 years, a somber decade in the dark that will undoubtedly be soundtracked by an endless loop of Viva Hate Pit and Kill Uncle.
- Mainiac FOT calls from the edge of Western Maine, a land cloaked in mystery and fear that he can see from the high point of his drive home. He says that he could not connect with Chris Elliot's humor after two episodes of Get a Life. MFOT initially thought it was the dumbest thing he had ever seen, but he stuck with it and eventually realized that he was too thick to appreciate what was going on. He has loved it ever since. Unlike Lisa, MFOT commits to pledge next week. He also gives his support to the TvE and TWBG slogan entries while offering two more candidates, bringing his nomination total to 38 slogans.
1. The Best Show: The Best Show
2. The Best Show: No Slogan Needed
Tom rejects them on the grounds of excess cockiness. He's here for the fight to earn his superlatives. MFOT says that Tom has already earned it in his mind, but Tom does not want to lapse into complacency.
- Eric from Bushwick says he came around to the benefits of excercise and healthy eating. During his teen years, he subsisted on a steady diet of burgers and television, which lead to weight gain. He used to make fun of excercise shows, but by age 22 his substantial gut convinced him to make a change. He's not the slimmest guy around, but he took it to heart. He commits to pledging next week.
As a show of solidarity for Podcast Lackey Mel, a Best Show evergreen and Proud Patriot, only 1:22:22 of this program will be recapped. I salute him for a stellar 104-1 record.
On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: There Will Be Yelling and Pledging. The goal is $1,000,000 in two weeks. Do the right thing to support another 50 years of the finest high school radio station the world has ever seen. Tom dipped into his wallet, now you dip into yours.