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Balance Buddies.

"And I guess general skulking also burns off calories, right?" -- Tom, inquiring about a key component of Spike's workout regimen
"Look, I'm tellin' ya, there's nothing I can do about the wiring in your head. The connections you're gonna make? I can't do nothin' about that." -- Tom, declining to do any electrical work for Julie from Cincinnatti
"I hope he can DIG DEEP and somehow pull it out. As long as they hook up a spigot of Diet Coke that guy will keep going." -- Tom, rooting for $2.5 million/year radio Mike Francesa to somehow carry on without the departing Dawg
"Oops! Uh oh! [giggling fit] Sorry." -- Philly Boy Roy, apologizing for using the non-functional Newbridge Debate Pavilion restrooms
"Some describe Newbridge as something like a fantasy land, so it's not surprising that we've got more candidates than Snow White had dwarves. What? Nothing on that one? Nothing." - Tom, silencing the crowd at the NDP with an ill-advised joke in his opening remarks
"LET'S GET THE PIT GOING THE OTHER WAY! COME ON!! COME ON!!!! THIS. PIT. IS. WEAK! " -- Hammerhead, putting his mayubernatorial platform into action to the sounds of Minor Threat
"And how did I break the ground? With a drumstick. I used it as a hoe. And then I used it as a shovel. And then I used it as a pickaxe." -- Marky Ramone, revealing the only tool necessary to begin constructing his Newbridge amusement pawk
"You don't know what you're talkin' about, man. Crack a comet boot much? Don't sound like ya do." -- Marky Ramone, dismissing Tom as a literadummy in need of sedation
"At one point Simeon, the main judge, he turned from the camera because he was crying 'cause I was so good, and I touched him so." -- Zachary Brimstead, Esq., recounting his powerful American Idol audition performance of "Eat It"
"Yeah, I guess it means that whatever's in that basket, which is made from ham, is traveling downwards, you know, to the Hell region." -- Zachary Brimstead, explaining the new phrase he overhead at a handburger stand
"Geez, I don't know, if you're lookin' for a job, you might wanna go to Eastbridge." -- Zachary Brimstead, offering a "solution" to the problem of jobs being lured to surrounding towns with corporate tax breaks
Like y'know how like three out of the like 135 like stoplights in Newbridge work and the rest of 'em don't and stuff? Maybe we should like fix that stuff and stuff? -- Pudge Palfner, sort of proposing a plan to restore order to the Newbridge roadways
"It just ain't roight. I guess ArmandGeddy can't be too far off, huh?" -- Philly Boy Roy, predicting an epic catastrophe spurred by Domino's entering the sub sandwich business
"Schuylkill Expressway, drink a case. Route 309, drink a case. Roosevelt Boulevard, drink a case. Sumneytown Pike, drink a case. Lansdowne Avenue, drink a case." -- Philly Boy Roy, running through a simulation of his new mandatory drinking game called Cold Case
"What was Jeff Robinov thinking?! He's gotta keep the entire Warner Brothers family in the loop on this one! Si? I mean, can you deny that?" -- Bishop Pablo Fontana, wondering how the WB Pictures President could have failed to notify Entertainment Weekly of the release date change for the next Harry Potter film
"Judging by those previews, it looks like once again Hollywood has totally nailed what it's like to be in a band, yes?" -- Bishop Pablo Fontana, preparing to revel in the authenticity of The Rocker
"Please, again, people, these are not the issues. It does not matter that David Gordon Green did comedy now with Pineapple Express." Tom, trying to put an end to the frequent pop culture diversions
"Oh and the second thing would also be to barge the you-know-whos." -- Timmy von Trimble, sliding a predictable slat in his platform
"And, uh, this comes from the heart when I say you are absolutely, without a doubt, the least fit person in this town to run for mayor. You're a sick person who should be treated and possibly caged. If not barged." -- Dr. Fred Meyers, declaring Tom unfit for public office
"Yeah, well that was something that a supervillain came up with, and is not something that is a good idea." -- Tom, criticizing Dr. Meyer's plan to spray an anti-psychotic mist throughout the streets of Newbridge a la The Joker '89
"Because he's fat, and if he sets off that bomb, lots of people are going to die." -- Associate Producer Mike, justifying his plan to ban Little Mikey Halversom from Newbridge Little League
"I was doing like a Dracula thing. I thought kids would like that." -- Bob, obscuring his face to deliver one of his prerecorded takes
"I have never felt less involved in this town ... like I could not have the pulse of this town figured out less." -- Tom, finding himself on the political margins after the crowd applauds Hammerhead's pro-police-brutality stance
"It's all in the delivery, fat face." -- Philly Boy Roy, diagnosing Tom's problem after killing with his punchline-only version of the Snow White joke
"I would say that probably my ... my biggest thing .. my biggest concern would be how to keep you dead." -- Thor, making the most of his limited airtime

[TBSOWFMU - 8/19/08 / Podmirth / Fan Fiction Contest World Domination Scheme / Myspace / Fotpedia / Newbridgctionary / Headquarters / S&W]

The Cows - "Heave Ho"

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Chronic Sick - "There Goes The Neighbourhood"

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Game Theory - "Throwing the Election"

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Mark Sultan - "We're Sinking"

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Baby Astronauts - "Fishing Song"

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Pierced Arrows - "The Wait"

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Love Child - "Something Cruel"

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Wale - "The Perfect Plan"

( Click here to download The Mixtape About Nothing)

Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun before the Western world perishes in 2023:

- A (road)tripping female caller tells Tom (aka "dude!") that he must stop yapping because her dog is yawning. She wants him to play some music, man. Tom wants her to zip it. The caller estimates that it's been 20 minutes since Tom played a track from New Order, so she and her friend are ready to hear some Howard Jones! Tom hopes that the bored dog flips out and mauls the caller and her companion inside the car. The caller doubts that will happen because it's a gentle Whippet. Tom GOMPs her and warns everyone that this kind of talk will push him straight into the "The Party Zone." He is willing to just have some fun if this is what people really want.

Oh, brudder. Let's make this happen. We got a big recap tonight. This is your shot. This is your SHOT. This is your SHOT. It's go-time for another installment of The Best Show on WFMU. The host, Tom Scharpling, doesn't like the excessive gap that is marring the bed music CD. He's not sure what kind of show he's running because goofball time is clearly ova. Tom promises to fix the glitch on the next go-round. Like the Lou Costello tune that opened the music set, he hopes the WFMU listeners are happy because it will soon be time to head over to the just-completed Newbridge Debate Pavilion to moderate the hotly-anticipated 2008 Mayubernatorial Debates. Since Hammerhead nudged his way into the race back in July 2007, the electorate has witnessed a wild series of hat tosses, poncake-based campaign jams, and mysterious dropouts seemingly prompted by the dirty tricks of a Norwegian chocolatier. The debates will be carried live on a couple of local television channels and, hopefully, simulcast over the radio. Tom does some Open Phone Tuesday as a prelude to the main event.

- Spike busts into his usual spot with a particularly spirited version of his classic greeting. He asks Tom why he isn't running for mayor of Newbridge. Tom says that he's more interested in his current role as a citizen than becoming a politician. Spike, a resident of Queens, knows nothing about the issues affecting Newbridge or the candidates in the field, but he thinks Tom would make a good mayor. Tom thanks Spike for the endorsement and informs him that he will get to hear from all of them later tonight.

Mike the Associate Producer arrives to deliver a slice of cheesecake from Junior's. Tom ordered Mike to walk all the way to Brooklyn from Jersey City. Spike mentions that there is also a Junior's at Grand Central. Tom whispers to Spike not to tell Mike about this more convenient location. He thinks it's funny that he made Mike walk backwards across the bridge. Spike considers trying out this technique. He says that he hasn't eaten at Junior's since his mother occasionally took him there during his childhood. Tom goes on record to declare that Junior's is not the world's healthiest eatery. Spike gets what Tom is saying because he's not the biggest cheesecake person in the world. Tom points out that he and Spike are getting older so they can't keep eating this garbage food. Spike resigns himself to the fact that he's only six years away from officially being old (50). Tom stresses the importance of trying to stay in shape, and Spike says that he's been trying to get there. Tom wants to know more about Spike's exercise routine. Spike reminds him about last week's riveting tale of his walk around the neighborhood. He supplements those strolls by sometimes walking home from work -- his Hellboy-ish government job, not his dungeon master gig. Tom suspects that Spike also burns significant calories by skulking around his basement apartment. Spike adds skulking as the latest item on his lengthy doesn't do list. Tom says that if he were to bet on this issue, he'd put his money on "Spike skulks." Spike says he only skulks at the sight of people under the age of 25.

Speaking of youngsters, Tom asks Spike for his take on last week's bus ride with the H-Man. Spike thought it was fascinating radio. He believes that the promising understudy will really get it down after a bit more training. Tom believes that Spike is the best instructor for this task. Spike says that's why he offered his services two weeks ago when Tom first announced the H-Man's appearance. Tom mentions that he was amazed to hear Spike and the H-Man getting along like old friends/bookends with their mutual love of bloody horror films. Spike says the H-Man seems like a nice kid who just needs some additional tutelage. Tom thinks the H-Man needs to calm down a bit since he's still prone to youthful indiscretions. He admits that the H-Man is not ready to get the keys to the shop and take over the show at this stage of his radio career. Spike predicts that it will take a few more years. Tom makes it clear that the H-Man is still the leading candidate to become eventual replacement.

Spike announces that he departs for his Boston vacation on the Tuesday after Labor Day, giving the Legal Seafood outlets just enough time to stock up on helmets. Tom wonders when he will finally make his trip to the WFMU studio to host The Best Show. Spike says he's always in and out, so he will have to consult his busy schedule. Tom asks Spike to picture the glorious three hours of "Spike Radio" -- taking calls, playing records, and setting the topic table. Spike thinks it would be an interesting experience, but he worries that it might diminish his mystique. He says that he must consider both sides of the tempting proposal. Tom bets that he's equally concerned about the phalanx of cops who would likely swarm him upon arrival. The people waiting for him outside the Magic Factory would finger him as the person who has been looking in their windows. Spike admits that he is indeed concerned about getting arrested. Tom says he certainly doesn't want to do anything to ruin the mystique that surrounds Spike's on-air persona. He thanks Spike for the call and wishes him a good night as part of their gentlemanly sign-off. Spike says he may call back later if there is a topic. Tom looks forward to his next call. Spike tells Tom to carry on with the show until then.

- Jim calls from Stony Point, NY, and Tom accuses him of showing off. Jim says it's a nice town that was formerly known as Grassy Point before the peninsula was subsumed into Stony Point proper. The resulting conglomerate allows Jim to better relate to the disenfranchisement that plagues many people in the audience. He's actually originally from NJ, and he's always appreciated Tom's home state boosterism, especially in the face of increasing attacks from the decaying borough of Brooklyn. Jim says he wanted to point out that there's a perfectly good cheesecake place in Glen Rock, N.J. He wonders why Tom would support the remnants of Brooklyn's infrastructure instead of trying to hasten the demise of the dubious cocaine/kickball economy that's fostered a mutant lifestyle in recent years. Tom loves that Jim is not mincing any words when drawing his geographic battle lines. Jim makes the mistake of telling Tom to listen to him, so Tom gives him the old "Heave Ho" -- a new, nautical-themed variant of the on-hiatus GOMP. Mike approves of reclaiming a seafaring phrase that has largely disappeared from popular use.

- Julie from Cincinnati says she's doing good and notices that Tom sounds very happy tonight. Tom indicates that he's trying. Julie says that nothing is going on in Cincy other than taking Yetta, her beloved dog and aspiring Best Show guest, for a walk. She mentions that Yetta is allowed to join her in the bar if she behaves. Tom emits a quiet "Oh, boy" at the thought of this duo mixing it up at a local watering hole. Julie thinks the "Heave Ho" dismissal is too reminiscent of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Tom points out that the official diamond miners rally song is "Heigh Ho." Julie believes that Tom is right about this distinction, but it's still makes him seem like he's tiny (he's 5' 3"!). Tom tells Julie that there is nothing he can do about the wiring in her head. If he triggers a synapse, he can't free us from her traps. Julie says she's just trying to help because she seriously believes that everyone else will make the same connections because they are just like her. Tom refers to Julie as "Josephine Lunchpail," explaining that she's the common, Everywoman slob. Julie agrees that she's everybody.

Since Julie is supporting Philly Boy Roy for mayor, she wants Tom to ask him about his plans to help the children of Newbridge. Tom thinks it's a good question and writes it down. Julie tells Tom to have a good night. Tom tells Julie to have a better night. Julie tells Tom to sincerely have the greatest night ever. Tom starts getting the worst feeling he's ever had about the show because of two things: solid Spike call and solid Julie call. He thinks this is an omen that the wheels are coming off in a good way, which will probably lead to an epic disaster. Then again, it could be a sign that tonight's show is The One that gets put down as the perfect masterwork.

Tom discovers that Junior's neglected to put a knife in the bag, so he tells Mike to return to Brooklyn to retrieve the missing utensil. Mike leaves the studio to begin another long, backwards journey. Tom says that his quest for 5,000 Myspace friends continues with terribly sluggish results. Mike provides a count of 39 people in the FOT Chat, which is down from an average in the mid- to high-50s. Tom sees this as further evidence that The Best Show is falling apart at the seams and nearing the end of its run. The bottom line: he doesn't like it. Tom says he even lifted his ban on accepting friend requests from bands to try to dislodge himself from 3,500 and speed up the process.


Tom asks Mike, who is apparently avoiding the second cheesecake run, if he's been watching the Olympics. Mike has only been checking it out here and there, but he is a fan of the U.S. women's beach volleyball dynamic duo of Kerry Walsh and Misti May-Treanor. Tom loves it when Six Feet of Sunshine goes up and stuffs a spike right back into an opponent's face. He doesn't think anyone can stop the 6' 3" star, who will make you eat volleyball if you dare to challenge her at the net. Tom suspects he's the only person who actually likes the The Redeem Team. He enjoys waking up and having a basketball game on television at 8 a.m. Breakfast in Beijing! When Tom was watching the U.S. take on Greece the other morning, he noticed that half of the Greek team looked like comedian Mike Birbiglia. Last night Tom checked out the trampoline portion of the gymnastics competition, and he thought it was nuts. Tom wants to avoid coming off like the clichéd sports curmudgeon, but he does wonder how certain events got added to the Olympic slate. He condemns the dolts who subscribe to the Big Four sports theory, especially since they include baseball in that quartet. Tom points out that there are 80,000 sports, and they are all stupid except basketball, which is God's sport. He admires how the hardcourt action is simultaneously oh-so simple and oh-so complex.

Tom says that Mike the Associate Producer was recently bragging about going down to the shore to see the late-great Mike & the Mad Dog broadcast live with Southside Johnny. He wonders how crushed SJ was when he heard the news that the sports talker was ending after 19 years on WFAN. Tom speculates by adapting the lyrics of the hit "Havin' A Party" into a lament that only six people attended said party and nobody really cares about partying with them anymore. Tom's not sure what's in worse shape: the city of Asbury Park or the Asbury Jukes. He thinks you could graph both entities to see how their demises perfectly align. Tom is, however, a big fan of SJ & the AJ's 1983 record, Trash It Up. The band dove into the video age with their brand of sleaze rock, including a clip for the title track complete with a lingerie-clad mannequin springing to life as a writhing video vixen. Tom wondered want the Jukes were doing because they were better than that.


After the news of Chris "Mad Dog" Russo's move to Sirius came down Thursday night, Tom knew that he couldn't miss the Friday farewell. He thinks it did everything it was supposed to do, starting with Francesa's really pompous monologue about all the great times he had with Dawg even though they weren't always the best partners. Tom says he was actually touched when Dawg broke down into sobs during his goodbye call. However, Francesa then ruined the moment by recounting a strained comparison of their departure to the break-up of The Beatles. The person then assured Francesa that he was the John Lennon of the duo. Francesa responded by saying that he didn't care which band member he was as long as Dawg was Ringo Starr. Russo then launched into a three-hour rant about the relative merits of late-period Billy Joel compared to the entire Beatles catalog. (I made that up.) Tom wants to poke a big hole in this Not-So Fab Two vs. Fab Four theory. For one thing, it would only track if a radio show that talked about The Beatles broke up, not the actual band. Tom believes that an appropriate sports corollary to the Fab Four would be if the New York Giants football franchise packed it in after 83 years. He points out that the closest Mike & the Mad Dog could get to The Beatles would have been to do a show where they talked about what the band should or shouldn't have done. Sample dialogue: "Dawg, Rubber Soul was a weird rekkid. Weirduh than About Schmidt. Even weirduh then Weirduh Jon from Maplewood."

Tom puts it bluntly: these radio hosts are not The Beatles. He finds a much greater kinship with the likes of music industry insider Kal "Big Beat" Rudman, Casey Kasem, and Scott & Todd. Tom says that this is the magnitude of their break-up in the real world. He was also a bit baffled to hear grown men struggle to fight back tears as though the ultimate tragedy had gone down. In fact, Mike and the Mad Dog were just reflecting on being together through all the "ups and downs" of the NY-area sports seasons. Tom understands that, in this context, the "ups" included the run of Yankees World Series championships from from 1996-2000 and the three Giants Super Bowl titles. However he has a hard time classifying a local team missing the playoffs as a legitimate "down" in life. Tom is ready to blow the lid off the entire sporting world. He reveals that there is only one team in all of sports: The Athletes. Tom says that the athletes on The Athletes don't care about what anyone else is doing in the same way that he doesn't race home to study tapes of other programs. He has no need to listen to garbage podcasts because he hears the radio show in his head all day long -- from the second he wakes up to the second his head hits the pillow to sleep the sleep of the just. Tom thinks the whole thing is sick.

He is confident that Francesa will somehow find the courage to keep going without Dawg because he gets paid $2.5 million/year to be on the radio. Tom says he's far more concerned about the guy at Best Buy who breaks three toes after dropping a refrigerator on his foot. If that guy returns to work, Tom would hail him as a slob hero. However, he knows that Francesa will be at WFAN as long as they keeping hooking up a spigot of Diet Coke for him to slurp up amidst a new crop of lackeys. He wonders if the YES Network will simulcast the extremely boring sights of that lummox sitting there alone after getting poured into the studio chair. Tom considers following the Dawg over to Sirius to make an anti-Mike point. He suspects that he will be the only person who buys a Sirius radio just so he can hear the new Dawg program. Tom thinks Sirius may have to re-evaluate the salary they are paying their new host based on his inability to drive subscriptions. The only FAN Tom is interested in is the one that cools things down in the WFMU studio.

- Laurie from Miami wants to talk some Olympics since Tom brought it up earlier in the show. She says that she doesn't know what's up with the DJ during beach volleyball, especially the frequent use of Europe's power ballad "Carrie" to celebrate a successful play by Kerri Walsh. Tom is surprised that Laurie doesn't get pumped up by jaunty ditties like Eddie Cochran's "C'mon Everybody" and "Don't Bring Me Down" by The Animals. Laurie concludes that tracks like Chumbawumba's ever-popular "Tubthumping" don't do it for her these days. Tom thinks Laurie just doesn't understand the thematic heft of the song when applied to a volleyball competition. For example, the players often get knocked down while diving for a dig, but they are able to get back up again to play another hit. Tom hopes that Laurie can at least admit that the Walsh & May juggernaut are the best in the world. Laurie agrees and picks Walsh as her favorite. Tom thinks it has to be Walsh. He asks Laurie if she knows how fast her spikes travel. She recalls seeing it stated as 80 mph. Tom says it's actually 900 mph. Laurie says she must have misread the speed. Tom recommends dipping below the headlines to go deeper into the stories and unearth more interesting facts.

Laurie asks Tom if he's been watching any of the equestrian events because the dressage event is the most ridiculous thing ever. Tom hasn't seen any of it, but he assumes that the results are purely a function of the horses that competitors get to ride. He wonders if the horses receive the medals. (They don't.) Laurie says that the individual dressage includes a freestyle routine that is choreographed to music She reports that one guy did a routine set to "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats. Laurie says that the judges pretty much pick the winner based on reputation before the equestrian events even begin. She is disappointed that someone can totally turf out and still win. Tom is surprised to hear about this chicanery. Laurie thinks the corruption takes equestrian out of the realm of a legitimate sport. Tom wants to find that kind of sport. Laurie thinks Tom would deservedly win based on his reputation and performance.

Tom says that he's sick of being passed over in life, and Laurie assumes he's referring to his 33 1/3 series denials. Tom has moved beyond his publishing woes to become nauseated from checking out the iTunes Top 100 Comedy Podcasts chart. Laurie is surprised that The Best Show is not #1. It's not even on the list. Laurie thinks the numbers are skewed because a lot of people listen live on Tuesday nights. Tom says he had to fight back the urge to vomit when faced with this Top 100 sampling:

Laurie suggests that the SMODcast is inaccurately categorized as "comedy" and wonders if The Kid from Brooklyn joined the podcasting ranks. While the world has been spared of his blobcast, Tom is still ill about The Best Show being so neglected. Laurie doesn't think that Benson and Kasper Hauser are bad, but she knows that Tom is clearly better. He rejects the theory that people are just listening to The Best Show live. Tom takes immediate action by putting the Fan Fiction Contest on ice to pave the way for The Best Show World Domination Scheme: Phase I. He still needs to figure out the rules, but, in a nutshell, it will entail gaining more respect for the show. Laurie thinks Tom needs to assemble a street team to promote the his efforts. Tom has to close out iTunes because he felt his stomach clenching up again. Laurie hopes Tom feels better and wishes him luck with the debate. Tom believes the Left Behind book series should focus on The Best Show. The Domination Scheme is in effect as of tonight. Tom will no longer tolerate getting routinely thumped by inferior podcasts.

As if this wasn't enough, Tom still couldn't secure a ticket to check out the state-of-the-art animation on display in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He wonders if fans made and released the film unbeknownst to George Lucas or perhaps just filmed themselves playing a Star Wars video game for 1.5 hours. Tom recalls the Pay Me topic and sets the Clone Wars threshold at $150 plus a free ticket. He wants the full amount of cash in hand before the screening.


Tom asks Mike if he saw Wilco last Wednesday at the McCarren Pool Park. Mike, who was probably too busy with debate prep, missed the show. Tom mentions that frontman Jeff Tweedy made fun of the Brooklyn audience for not being able to clap in the appropriate rhythm. The commenters on Brooklyn Vegan, the worst site on the Internet, were predictably outraged. Tom was even more disgusted by the people who told everyone else not to worry because they can take a little Tweedy's teasing. He concludes that there is not a group of people less sense of humor than the fair folk of Brooklyn. Tom tips his hat to Mr. Tweedy for a job well-done. While some tried to pass it off as just a typical outburst of his cranky persona, he calls it a straight-up zinging. Tom awards Tweedy 2 points to Brooklyn's 0 for taking their cash, zinging them, and then rolling out of town on the tour bus.

He also has an important message for anyone who is about to post on anything on the Internet. Tom informs everyone that they don't have qualify a statement with "Not a fan, but ..." He cites the ultimate collection of never-wheres and losers on Velvet Rope forum as frequent offenders. Tom points out that these recidivists think they are issuing proclamations on the real inner-workings of music industry from atop the mountain because they had a record deal for 15 minutes back in 1988. In a recent "Isaac Hayes RIP" thread, the first person to reply was compelled to mention that while they were not a fan of the soul superstar, they still hoped his family and friends found comfort in this time of great tragedy. Tom doesn't understand why anyone would feel the need to distance themselves from an artist's work before expressing their condolences. He points out that being a fan of Isaac Hayes is not exactly a shameful admission that would inspire rebuke.

- Quality Caller Weirder Jon in Maplewood has an idea for the World Domination Scheme, but he's steeling himself for a GOMP. In addition to the full weekly podcast, he suggests releasing a highlight package for the short-attention-span crowd. Tom asks WJ if he'd also like a third podcast or any other freebies. WJ thinks Tom could insert ridiculous sound effects between the selected calls in the abridged version. Tom wonders if he should also show up somewhere each week to do a little dance. He gives WJ the Heave Ho!

- Gorey Gorcey Corey from San Francisco checks in after some confusion about his name. Tom initially thought he was talking to Leo Gorcey from The Backstreet Boys. He thought they were a good music group. Corey knows The Backstreet Boys, but he's not familiar with Gorcey. Tom thinks it's amazing that bandmate Huntz Hall is still alive at 131 years old. Corey thinks that would probably make him the oldest man on Earth. Tom says Leo Gorcey is the only person who is older than Hall. He then remembers that he was actually thinking of the Dead End Kids, a New York-based acting collective in the 1930s. Corey says they were also known as The Apple Dumpling Gang. He gets Tom with that quip. Tom tells Gorcey to proceed.

Gorcey is originally from L.A., so he knows that The Frosty, Heidi & Frank Show is extremely bad news. He says that the trio's residency in the Top 10 descredits the iTunes chart. He also thinks Jimmy Pardo is "just terrible." Tom says that while Pardo is a very talented young man, there's no reason on Earth for NNF to be thumping TBS. Gorcey doesn't want to kiss too much butt, but he believes that Tom does something really special and operates on a different level. Tom agrees. Gorcey says it means a lot to him and all the other listeners. Tom knows all of this, but it only applies to the 70 people who actually know that the show exists. Gorcey claims that The Best Show does well on iTunes if you consult the "Popularity Meter." Tom wonders if this is something out of Showtime at the Apollo or the applause meter from The Gong Show. Gorceys says that if you type in "WFMU," the results are off the charts (literally?).

Gorcey switches gears to request that Tom reevaluate David Milch's maligned surf noir, John from Cincinnati, on DVD. He liked it a lot, and he thinks Tom would also enjoy it. Gorcey does not enjoy the terrible 33 1/3 books, so he sees Tom's rejections as a positive. Tom thanks him for the sentiment and denies the series any of his future services. He was planning a new new pitch for a book on Paul Simon's The Rhythm of the Saints that would have been written entirely from the perspective of a fly on the wall during the recording sessions. Corey claims that all of the books in the series are written from the POV of the author as a kid. Tom says that this is false. He thanks Gorcey for the call. Tom is all for goofing on 33 1/3, but he wants to at least maintain some level of accuracy about the existing books.


Tom reveals that Mike is writing a book on the Grateful Dead's Dick's Picks, Volume 14. He's a bit puzzled by this entry because he thought the series focused on major works in the rock canon. Tom decides to start beating them at their own game by launching a competing series dedicated to 10-inch records. He vows to write a 400-page tome on the 1980 Cheap Trick EP Found All The Parts and a follow-up on "Everything Works If You Let It", a single from the Roadie soundtrack.

The old clock on the wall tells Tom that it's time to take the car service over to the Newbridge Debate Pavillion. He asks Mike to bring the cheesecake so he can consume it while en route to the historic event. Tom will picks things back up with the 2008 Newbridge Mayubernatorial Debates.

The sounds of the bustling crowd filing into the NDP fill the air as Tom returns to greet the television audience of the greater Tri-Bridge area. He's not even sure if the debate is actually going out over WFMU. Tom says that he's not too worried about his radio thing because he's much more excited about being on television. He thanks everyone for welcoming him into their homes and hopes they will cut him some slack as he enters a new medium. Tom notices that the concerned citizens have settled into their seats, so he's ready to get the 2008 Mayubernatorial debate started with some opening remarks. He elicits the first round of applause after he thanks everyone for coming out to this auspicious occasion for the community.

Tom points out that these elections are a big deal because they only happen once every 10 years. (Newbridge has the longest mayubernatorial term in the country.) He runs down some of the key people who have held this storied position: the astonishing 80-year run of Hutch "Whitey" Hutcherson, the late-great Bill "Whitey" Albablar, a hero to everyone in town, and Rosemary "Whitey" Clerp, the first woman to serve as mayor. After tonight Newbridge will be one step closer to welcoming a new mayor into this prestigious company. Tom provides some background on the Newbridge Debate Pavilion, a magnificent structure with a capacity of 15,000. It was built expressly for tonight's event, and Newbridge has packed it to the rafters. The NDP came together remarkably fast considering that the groundbreaking ceremony was on July 25th. Tom thinks it's a tribute to the human spirit that such a monumental accomplishment could be achieved in such a short timeframe. Due to the accelerated construction process, Tom urges those in attendance to pay close attention to the statement that he was instructed to read.

He informs the crowd that the NDP is built upon what is commonly known as a "temp" foundation. The following guidelines are geared towards allowing guests to have an enjoyable, survivable time followed by a safe trip home.

1. Please do not lean against the walls. If you do need to move around, please take note of your neighbor at the other side of the pavilion. If too many people on one end of the room get up, there could be what is called "shiftage." The NDP ushers will be appointing various "Balance Buddies" to help keep the facility on an even keel throughout the evening.

2. The restrooms are just for display purposes.

At this point, candidate Philly Boy Roy Ziegler says "oops" followed by some giggles to indicate that he has already violated the second guideline. When the laughter dies down he apologizes for the mishap. Tom regains his composure and tells the candidates that it's an honor to have them all gathered here tonight after a tumultuous campaign. He says that some people describe Newbridge as something like a fantasy land, so it's not surprising that there are more candidates than Snow White had dwarves. The joke is met with complete silence. Tom is a bit flustered that he got nothing and realizes that he will be dealing with a tough crowd. He quickly transitions into announcing the candidates for the next mayor of Newbridge:

As a matter of ceremony and respect, Tom asks everyone to rise for the Newbridge National Anthem, performed tonight by local singer-songwriter Barrance Dworkin. The tune bears a striking resemblence to "Just What I Needed" by The Cars:

Newbridge is the kind of place
Where people can be free
And Newbridge is the kind of place
For folks like you and me, yeah
It doesn't matter if you're poor
Or if you're out to make a score
Newbridge is the kind of place
For people like you and me


Newbridge is just what you needed
To grant your fantasy dreams
Newbridge is just what you needed
For affordable jeans
Come to the Jeans Genie special Back to School sale all jeans $24.99 2528 East South Muffler Row

Tom doesn't appreciate Dworkin changing a line of the anthem to a commercial. Dworkin denies promoting a local business and argues that it's the correct line in his song. Tom gets Dworkin thrown out of the venue, and the disgraced performer repeats the details of the Jeans Genie sale as he's being lead away. The unmistakable nasal vocals are a tipoff that it's Barry Dworkin, the reverse-mohawked creep who fronts The Gas Station Dogs. (Was that Commander Giggles on keys?!) Tom is ready to get things underway by reviewing tonight's format. He will ask each of the candidates a series of questions to get a feel for where they stand on specific issues. After this portion of the debate, Tom will turn the floor over to people to address the candidates with their own concerns for the future of Newbridge. Tom begins with a question for Hammerhead of the Newbridge Hardcore Party.


SCHARPLING: The people in this town feel that things are at a crossroads. The schools are out of date, the roads are in need of serious repair, crime is on the upswing. What do you consider to be the most pressing need in Newbridge.

HAMMERHEAD: Well, you know, Tom, pretty much everything you just said is super-important, you know, and I think it's all, it's all kinda bad stuff you've just been talking about. And I think we need to really change stuff. But I think everybody here knows the real problem that Newbridge faces.

SCHARPLING: And what is that?

HAMMERHEAD: I've seen way too many weak pits at shows.

SCHARPLING: Too many weak pits at shows? I'm not sure what you're in reference to.

HAMMERHEAD: Hodcaw shows. Yeah.

SCHARPLING: Okay. Hardcore. Okay, so too many--



HAMMERHEAD: Listen. You let ME talk!



SCHARPLING: Please. Okay, the floor is yours ... uh ... Hammerhead.

HAMMERHEAD: Yeah, you're damn right it is.

SCHARPLING: Okay, I'm sorry, sir.


SCHARPLING: I am shutting up.

HAMMERHEAD: Listen everybody. Newbridge is an embarrassment to hodcaw. I don't like it. I haven't liked it since like 1983. [Applause] Thank you. You all agree with me. I love it. Here's what we gotta do. I'm gonna show all you guys how to get a pit going, alright? [Applause] I'm not talkin' about a weak pit, either.

SCHARPLING: Okay, what are you referring to, Mr. Hammerhead.

HAMMERHEAD: Okay, everybody up. Where's Brimstead?

SCHARPLING: I don't think he's here yet.

HAMMERHEAD: Uhhhh, alright, everybody up and, uh, throw on, I don't know, some Minor Threat, alright?

Tom spins "Screaming At A Wall" and bedlam ensues. At one point Hammerhead yells for Ziegler to catch him in an apparent stage dive attempt. Tom is horrified by what he sees. Hammerhead decides to redirect the pit in the other direction and gets extremely agitated by the weakness of what he's trying to churn. Tom begs everyone to calm down and stop moshing, especially considering the structural fragility of the NDP. The music stop and the crowd wildly applauds Hammerhead's spirited efforts.

HAMMERHEAD: That's what I'm talkin' about! I held up my end. Nobody else did!

SCHARPLING: Wow. First of all, that was terrifying, what I just saw happen. That was one of the most terrifying things I saw .. thousands of people. You had the whole front of the pavilion up on their feet.

HAMMERHEAD: Damn right I did. You see me swingin'?


HAMMERHEAD: I was punching people! Wasn't that hilarious? Wasn't that great?

SCHARPLING: It was terrifying, no--

HAMMERHEAD: We gotta get our aggressions out. Yeah!

SCHARPLING: No, we don't, we don't. We're trying to find a qualified mayor here and let the people know what issues you stand for. Can I just ask you what non-hardcore-related ideas or remarks you have for Newbridge?


SCHARPLING: (chuckling) None? Okay. Oh, wow. I, uh, alright, fair enough.

Tom moves down the diaz to pose the next question to Marky Ramone, the multi-talented drummer and erotic novelist whose most recent project involved a signature line of condoms.

markymayor.pngMARKY: Hey, everybody, how you doin'? Good to be here.

SCHARPLING: Thank you for coming tonight and being a part of this forum where we can talk about what is best for the town of Newbridge.

MARKY: Absolutely, it's something I care very deeply about and, uh, you know, first of all I wanna say thanks to everyone for makin' my book, Hey Ho, Let's A Drummer's Life, a bestselluh. Uh, very exciting news, I'm currently workin' on a screenplay with a hot new writer screenwrituh. His name's Troy Duffy.


MARKY: Yeah.

SCHARPLING: Oh, I know, that's the guy who ... wow. Okay. That's the guy who did Boondock Saints.

MARKY: He did The Boondog Saints, yeah.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, Boondock Saints.

MARKY: Boondog Saints.

SCHARPLING: Okay. Alright, now that's what your working on.

MARKY: Yeah.

SCHARPLING: That's exciting.

MARKY: Yeah.

SCHARPLING: So you, as a candidate for mayor for the Gabba Gabba Hey Party, I will ask you a question about Newbridge and its finances.

MARKY: Okay, shoot!

SCHARPLING: Marky, Mr, Ramone, a lot of talk has been made about Newbridge and its fiscal health coming into the 21st Century. Some people say we are headed for a recession. Other people say we are headed for a full-on depression. What is your stand on this very pressing issue?

MARKY: Well, you know, Tom, that kinda thing don't really bother me. I mean, it actually, if it does anything, it reminds me of this time when the Ramones was going through a tough stretch. We was just comin' off the Pleasant Dreams tour and John didn't wanna do the band no more. And I said, "Hey John, why don't we just take a breathuh, but he goes, "Hey Mawk, why don't you just shut up and play the drums." And then Joey goes, "Hey John, you can't talk to Mawk like that..."

SCHARPLING: Okay, is ... how does that relate to the goal of stimulating the economy in Newbridge?

MARKY: Well, I got a one-word answer for that: The Marky Ramone Amusement Pawk.

SCHARPLING: (chuckling) Okay, that's a one-word answer. That is not exactly a one-word answer, but what is The Marky Ramone Amusement Park?

MARKY: Well, I've already broken ground on it.

SCHARPLING: Really? Ground has already been broken on The Marky--

MARKY: Yeah, it's gonna be a fun theme pawk.


MARKY: Guess what the theme is.

SCHARPLING: Um, Marky Ramone?

MARKY: Yeah, and Marky Ramone and The Intruduhs, The Marky Ramone Band, Marky Ramone and the Speed Kings, and probably even a little bit of The Ramones.

SCHARPLING: Okay, get some of them in there, too?

MARKY: Yeah.

SCHARPLING: Now where has the ground been broken? And how? This is all news to me.

MARKY: Well, it's out on that field where they wanted to have the Olympics back in 1976, you know?

SCHARPLING: Uh huh, yeah yeah yeah.

MARKY: Before that swarm of hummingbirds puked all over it and poisoned it.


MARKY: And how did I break the ground?


MARKY: With a drumstick. I used it as a hoe.

SCHARPLING: Uh, okay ...

MARKY: And then I used it as a shovel.


MARKY: And then I used it as a pickaxe.

SCHARPLING: (chuckling) Okay.


SCHARPLING: I was asking because it's news to me and pretty much everyone else here.

MARKY: Okay.

SCHARPLING: When did you get permission or clearance for this?

MARKY: Well, define "permission."

SCHARPLING: Um ... when did anyone grant you the right to do this undertaking on that property?

MARKY: Well, it's funny you ask that question because on the way over here in the Marky Ramone Mobile ...

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. The Marky Ramone Mobile. What is The Marky Ramone Mobile?

MARKY: It's a 1978 Pacer with my face painted on the hood.



SCHARPLING: I think I saw that in the parking lot.

MARKY: Sometimes I'll zip around town in it.

SCHARPLING: You weren't exactly zipping in it, though. It seemed--

MARKY: Yeah, I'm havin' some problems.

SCHARPLING: How many miles do you have on that?

MARKY: Kinda embarrasin'.

SCHARPLING: It's alright.

MARKY: 872,000.

SCHARPLING: Oh my God. And it's still running?

MARKY: Define "running."

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Well, I saw it in action, so I actually know what you're talking about with that.

MARKY: Well, anyhow, I was drivin' around, I was thinkin' about that time that we was doin' the Lollapalooza tour with Metallica and Soundgahden, you know?

SCHARPLING: Mmm-hmmm. Mmm-hmmm.

MARKY: And CJ wanted to go into Chris Cornell's dressin' room to get a beeh.


MARKY: Well John got mad and he said, "CJ, you can't go in there, you gotta ask [Road Manager] Monte [Melnick] to get permission from Soundgahden's tour manager."


MARKY: And I didn't think it was like that big a deal.


MARKY: So I said, "Hey John, just let the kid have a beer ..."


MARKY: "Chris ain't gonna mind." And you know what John says?

SCHARPLING: What's that?

MARKY: John goes, "Hey Mawk, why don't you shut up and play the drums."


MARKY: And I go -- and this is a classic Mawky Ramone zinguh -- I go, "But John, we already played today. The road crew already packed up my drums." (laughing) Even John had to laugh at that one.


MARKY: But he didn't. He just got madduh. And madduh.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. Okay, um ... well, Marky do you have any kind of vision for where you would take Newbridge if you were elected mayor?

MARKY: Oh do I. You know, if I'm elected, I'll begin and end every day by playin' the drums over this massive PA I'm gonna install all over town.


MARKY: For all different things, you know, like when it's time to wake up, time to crash. And this PA ain't gonna be cheap stuff like you hear at a lot of outdaw festivals.


MARKY: No. These are gonna be high-quality speakuhs.


MARKY: Like when we used to play in Rio.


MARKY: You know we were as big as the Beatles down in South America.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, yeah.

MARKY: You'd hear this chantin' all day long: Ramonés...Ramonés ...Ramonés. But you know what the best chants were?


MARKY: The best chant was when they'd go: Maaaaaawk ... Maaaaaawk ... Maaaaaawk ... Maaaaaawk. [Applause] Thanks everybody.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. So that, yeah, you guys were popular in Rio. I do have to say that idea, though, for this sound system throughout the whole town, sounds cost-prohibitive.

MARKY: Oh, I got it all figured out, though. See, the money's gonna be diverted from the city's school lunch program.


MARKY: You know, it's my experience that kids are always great at scrounging up food.

SCHARPLING: Scrounging up food.

MARKY: Yeah. I mean, there's pizza places all over town, which leads me to my next thing.


MARKY: My Pizza Voucher Program.

SCHARPLING: (chuckling) Pizza Voucher Program.

MARKY: Yeah, I got the best slogan for it, too.

SCHARPLING: Okay, what is your slogan for your Pizza Voucher Program?


SCHARPLING: (laughing) Leave ... Okay. Are you sure that ... it sounds you're saying you want to slice children.

MARKY: No, I wanna give 'em slices. And drumsticks, too, 'cause what parent don't want their kid to play drums?

SCHARPLING: Alright ... fair enough.

MARKY: Hey, I bought this book yesterday.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. What was the book?

[Awkward pause]

MARKY: I just bought a book.

SCHARPLING: (chuckling) Oh, okay--

MARKY: I just wanted to tell you that I bought a book. I didn't want people here thinkin' that I'm a dummy. I read, too, you know. Yeah.

SCHARPLING: Okay. Alright, so tell us about the type of books you read then.

MARKY: I pretty much read comet books.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. Comic books?

MARKY: What's that?

SCHARPLING: Well, I think you just said ... What did you say, you said comet books?

MARKY: Yeah, comet boots.

SCHARPLING: No, no, I think they're called comic books.

MARKY: You're such a literadummy.


MARKY: They're the books with all the drawin' in 'em.


MARKY: Like Hagar the Horrible, Family Circuits.

SCHARPLING: No, that's ... well, first of all, I think it's Family Circus, and they're called comic books.

MARKY: You don't know what you're talkin' about, man. Crack a comet boot much? Don't sound like ya do.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, okay.

MARKY: (chuckling) Hey everybody, it seems like someone here needs to be sedated. (More chuckling) [Applause] Thank you, everybody.

Tom informs the enthusiastic audience that he needs to keep things moving along to the next candidate, Zachary Brimstead, Esq., who is finally making his way towards the stage. The morbidly obese barbershop legend is gasping for breath and needs to settle in before fielding any questions. Tom grants him the requisite time to get comfortable. Brimstead requests a cup of water and immediately grabs one from Marky Ramone's podium. For reasons that are not entirely clear, he calls Ramone a "cretten." Brimstead asks Tom and the audience if they know what he will do now that he is hydrated. He will, of course, remove his restricting cumberbund. Tom is not thrilled about beholding what is sure to be an unpleasant spectacle. Brimstead apologizes for his tardiness and explains that he was busy killing at the American Idol auditions.

Tom heard that they were being held earlier today at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, and Brimstead calls him a fool for not stating the specific location as inside the IZOD Center. (Mr. Brimstead clearly missed an opportunity to appeal to old-school Jerseyites by referring it as the Brendan Byrne Arena.) While Brimstead has never gotten through in the past, he is confident that he will go all the way on the show's eighth season because they couldn't get enough of his rendition of "Weird Hal" Yankovic's "Eat It." Tom is surprised that the panel was actually unable to get their fill of the song. Brimstead says it was odd that they kept filming him doing the Yankovic parody because all of the other kids had to do "Crushed," the new single by former AI contestant David Achuleta, or some other BS. He says that the judges kept burying their faces in their hands as they struggled to come to terms with just how good he was. The main judge, Simeon, was forced to turn away from the camera after getting overwhelmed by the touching performance. Brimstead claims that English guys don't want people to seem them cry. Tom suggests the possibility that Simeon was laughing at him.

BRIMSTEAD: Wait. (Tarzan-like) Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

SCHARPLING: No, I'm just saying because in American Idol, in the auditions, there's kind of a tradition of, uh, there's kind of That Guy, who they find at every audition.

BRIMSTEAD: Well, I have overheard someone say that: "We've been lookin' for That Guy, a guy who's a lock for all the commercials." That's ME.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) So, they said that, when you were up, you overhead someone say, "This guy's a lock for all the commercials."


SCHARPLING: Okay, I think I have an idea of where you're going to fall on the American Idol spectrum.

BRIMSTEAD: Yep. The crème della reese!

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Okay, you know what, please, if we could just stick to the matter at hand.

BRIMSTEAD: Okay. [pause] Which is what?

SCHARPLING: Um ... this debate.

BRIMSTEAD: What are we debating again?

SCHARPLING: (exasperated) This is a debate for the election, for the mayubernatorial election in Newbridge.

BRIMSTEAD: Newbridge?! That place is a DUMP!

SCHARPLING: Hold on, that place?

BRIMSTEAD: I hate it there.

SCHARPLING: You're here!

BRIMSTEAD: That town's going to hell in a hambasket.

SCHARPLING: You're here! This is Newbridge.

BRIMSTEAD: Oh! I thought my skin felt weird.



SCHARPLING: (chuckles) What did you say? Hell, that it's going to Hell in a handbasket?

hambasket.pngBRIMSTEAD: Yeah. You never heard that?

SCHARPLING: No, I've heard ... I know what Hell .. it sounded like you said something different.

BRIMSTEAD: Hell in a hambasket. It's something I overheard someone say at a handburger stand the other night.


BRIMSTEAD: Yeah, I guess it means that whatever's in that basket, which is made from ham, traveling downwards, you know, to the Hell region.

SCHARPLING: To the Hell region?

BRIMSTEAD: Yeah, very quickly because of the grease dripping from said basket.



SCHARPLING: Yeah, um, you know what? Hell in a hambasket.


SCHARPLING: Fine. Let's just move forward here, and I will ask you a question.

BRIMSTEAD: About what?


BRIMSTEAD: Hey, there's no need to yell, Fat Stuff.

SCHARPLING: (reeling from the baffling insult) What?!


SCHARPLING: You're heavy ... you're like 400 pounds heavier than I am.

BRIMSTEAD: Well, in one region.




BRIMSTEAD: Some of those ladies out there know it, right?

SCHARPLING: Stop ... stop ...


BRIMSTEAD: See? Thank you. Mmm.

SCHARPLING: Eww, don't cheer him!

BRIMSTEAD: A billion served! Whaaaat?

[Applause continues]

SCHARPLING: Don't, no! Don't cheer him!

BRIMSTEAD: Thank you, everybody. Let me stand up.

SCHARPLING: No, no, don't stand up!

BRIMSTEAD: (standing) Uh huh. Drink it in!

SCHARPLING: (whimpering in disgust) Ewwwwwww.

BRIMSTEAD: Drink me in!



SCHARPLING: Calm down, everybody, please, please be seated.

[Applause finally dies down]

BRIMSTEAD: Okay, let me sit. Hold on, hold on. [emits a yell while straining to squeeze into his seat, applause greets his safe return] Ohhh, thanks again!

SCHARPLING: Don't cheer that!


SCHARPLING: That's disgusting!

BRIMSTEAD: Oh, and by the way, as I was coming in, someone said you didn't know what party I'm affiliated with.

SCHARPLING: Yes, you were listed as unaffiliated.

BRIMSTEAD: It's called the Barber Pole Party.



SCHARPLING: (laughing) Oh. Oh, sorry.

BRIMSTEAD: Get your facts right.

SCHARPLING: Okay, you know what, we're just gonna move forward here. I'm going to ask you a question about Newbridge--

BRIMSTEAD: Sounds great, blob.

SCHARPLING: Oh ... gonna move forward. Employment is a huge issue for the people of Newbridge.


SCHARPLING: With Eastbridge and North Southbridge offering corporations huge tax breaks, we've seen an troubling amount of jobs leave our town for other towns.


SCHARPLING: What would you recommend as a solution to this problem, Zachary Brimstead?

BRIMSTEAD: Geez, I don't know, if you're lookin' for a job, you might wanna go to Eastbridge?

SCHARPLING: (laughs) That's ... Well, no, this is a debate. You're supposed to offer the people of Newbridge a solution on this.

BRIMSTEAD: Well, if you think this sinkhole can be fixed ... I don't.

SCHARPLING: So that's it? So you think the people of Newbridge are pretty much just uh--

BRIMSTEAD: They're screwed!

SCHARPLING: Oh, great. Great.

BRIMSTEAD: Mmm-hmmm. Maybe all the dumb kids can fall into that hole.

SCHARPLING: That's ... that's fantastic.


SCHARPLING: That's a great option.

BRIMSTEAD: Good riddance.

SCHARPLING: No, that's horrible.

BRIMSTEAD: Mmm-hmmm. Right, people?

SCHARPLING: No, that's horrible.


BRIMSTEAD: Thank you.

SCHARPLING: Why are you people cheering this?!

BRIMSTEAD: They love me! I make [censored for broadcast, presumably too erotic]

SCHARPLING: (laughing in horror) That's horrible. That is the worst thing ...

BRIMSTEAD: What did I say?

SCHARPLING: No, you said ... it did not ...

BRIMSTEAD: (to the audience) Do you want more?

SCHARPLING: No,, no they don't want more.

BRIMSTEAD: Yes they do!

[smattering of applause fades to silence]

SCHARPLING: They don't! Thankfully ... yes, thank you people. Thank you.

pudgeposter.pngTom wisely decides that it's time to turn his attention to the much more reserved Pudge Palfner, the youngest candidate in the race at age 18. Pudge infuriated Tom with his initial flurry of calls because he showcased a complete inability to commit to an opinion on any topic. Tom's questions on everything from Talladega Nights to the state of New Upper Westbridge High were met with Pudge's milquetoasty mantra: I 'unno. However, Pudge gradually won him over by revealing the incredibly brilliant mind lurking behind his extremely shy demeanor and lack of self-confidence. The teen sensation put a new twist on the Schrödinger equation for Physics Today, devoured Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day in less than eight hours, and penned a piece on Gustav Mahler for the dumb renowned Classical Music. NOTE: Pudge's father, Kip Palfner, is a razor-cane-wielding trivia enthusiast and Tom's Consolidated Cardboard co-worker.

Since Tom struck out with Brimstead, he gives Pudge the opportunity to answer the same question about stemming the flow of jobs out of Newbridge. Pudge mumbles something barely audible about his idea being kinda stupid and stuff. Tom asks Pudge to come out from behind his podium so everyone can actually see and hear him. Pudge emerges to say "hi" and stuff. He thinks his presence is stupid and considers leaving the debate. Tom assures him that he's off to a great start. Pudge is concerned that the voting public will think he's stupid and stuff because he's clearly not worthy of sharing the stage with so many great minds, especially Mr. Ramone. Marky appreciates the compliment and rewards the kid with a copy of his new two-disc set, Stot of the Century. He warns Pudge that he better not catch him selling it at the CD Submarine.

Marky thanks everyone for supporting him and making SotC #1 on the Newbridge chots. Tom wants to know if it really achieved the top spot in sales for the entire town. Marky clarifies that it was #1 on a CD Submarine chot that exclusively tracks records by drummers who were in The Ramones. Tom tries to get back to Pudge, but Marky is reminded of the time the band was doing an in-store appearance. Tom cuts him off because he has to make the most of his limited time with the other candidates. Pudge thinks there's something that could be done to maybe bring like jobs and stuff and like a lot of money into town maybe and stuff. He unveils his three-point plan to rejuvenate the Newbridge economy and improve the overall quality of life.

1. Entice the film industry with tax credits. Since Newbridge is renowned for having a wide range of cool scenic locations and stuff (Lake Newbridge, the ocean, the Newbridge Mountain Range, the Newbridge Rain Forest, 20 square miles of inner city, vast farmlands, etc.), Pudge thinks it could be a great alternative for movie studios looking to reduce their production costs. He then threatens to leave the debate because his idea seems too stupid. Tom says it's a great idea and urges Pudge not to get so down on himself.

2. Appoint official Health Inspector. Pudge thinks something should be done to prevent last year's Anthrax poisoning from ever happening again. He says that he felt like really bad and stuff when Scott Ian and Joey Belladonna got sick while eating at Los Amigos. Pudge points out that the Health Inspector position would replace the current policy of allowing restaurants to grade themselves. While Tom wasn't expecting the scare to involve the NYC thrashers, he thinks upgrading food safety standards is a valid concern.

3. Fix traffic lights. Pudge supports the idea of repairing the 132 broken stop lights throughout Newbridge. At this time, only three lights are functional.

Tom tells Pudge that he has provided very thoughtful answers to his question. Pudge says that he's now leaning towards dropping out of the race because he's too dumb. He fears that he would mess stuff up and stuff once he was in office. Tom tries to convince him that he did a great job, but Pudge decides to leave. He apologizes for wasting everyone's time as he exits the stage. Tom begs him to stay because it would be a shame to give up after delivering such lucid ideas for the future of Newbridge.

Roy Ziegler interrupts to say that the only real shame tonight is Tom's poor job of moderating the debate. He wonders whose back Tom waxed to get the gig and calls him a dunce. Tom takes the insult as the perfect cue to move onto the next candidate. Ziegler greets the audience and receives a surprising standing ovation. Tom informs the radio listeners that Ziegler is celebrating his positive reception with a little victory lap/dance. Ziegler reminds the boisterous crowd that he's not their mayor yet, but he's certain that he will win the election. Tom tells everyone to sit down and stop encouraging his Phillyite nemesis. Ziegler now realizes that he sat on his hoagie and pack of Peanut Chews during the excitement. The audience laughs at this regional food squishing. Tom doesn't understand what they find so amusing. Zeigler says they love him.

Tom officially introduces Mr. Roy Ziegler aka Philly Boy Roy, noting that he's unaffiliated after getting kicked out of the Republican Party. The party recently withdrew their support of his campaign after finding out about a 1988 robbery of a Dairy Queen on Roosevelt Boulevard. Ziegler intended to just steal their stash of 4,000 miniature baseball helmets, but he ended up murdering the manager in the process. Tom notices that Ziegler is wearing a protective suit and gloves for the event. Ziegler explains that he's wearing nuclear waste team removal gear because he doesn't want to get infected by various New Jersey toxins. Tom assures him that it's safe to remove his radioactive suit. Ziegler asks the ladies in the audience if he should disrobe, and they voice their approval with a round of applause. Ziegler threatens to remove everything, but he then promises to retain his t-shirt and shorts. After Ziegler manages to unzip his outer layers Tom reveals that the t-shirt is emblazoned with "I'M YOUR NEW MAYOR AND YOUSE KNOW IT!" Ziegler says that he's wearing it to display the fact that Tom does know that he will be the next mayor of Newbridge. He wants Tom to pick a good question for him to answer because he's not scared of anything. Tom is ready to resume the debate.

SCHARPLING: As I had mentioned earlier in my opening statements, the roads in Newbridge are a major concern for people who live here and bringing our infrastructure into the 21st century is going to set us back for years to come while the project is being undertaken. So, as our mayor, what are the steps you would recommend we take?

ZIEGLER: That's it, I'm mayor now?!


ZIEGLER: I love it!

SCHARPLING: No, you're not mayor yet.

ZIEGLER: Thank you, everybody, this was easier than I thought it was gonna be.

SCHARPLING: No. You're not mayor yet.

ZIEGLER: But you just said I was, didn't he everybody?

SCHARPLING: (laughing) I didn't say ...

ZIEGLER: Didn't he? He did!

(confirming applause)

SCHARPLING: No, no, I said ... I said "as your mayor," as if when you're elected you will be that. I did not appoint you mayor--

ZIEGLER: You don't know what you're talkin' about.

SCHARPLING: I did not appoint you--

ZIEGLER: He's already going back on his promise, everybody! I would never do that when I'm mayor. Well, I'm mayor now! He just said so!

SCHARPLING: You're not mayor.

ZIEGLER: I sure ... yes I am.

SCHARPLING: You are not mayor now.

ZIEGLER: Okay, so let me answer your question the best I can.

SCHARPLING: Okay, please.

ZIEGLER: Now my son, Roy, Jr., helped me write this. (mild applause) Oh, Roy's got some fans.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, yeah.

ZIEGLER: Okay. So ... um, I just wanna say this.


(Ziegler proceeds to read from prepared notes as though he's an ESL student. Tom offers some help with particularly challenging words.)

ZIEGLER: Fellow Americans, there are certain roights that each and every cit-i-zen of Newbridge should have. And I plan on making sure that they are there for each and every one of you. These are your alien roights. For example, each and every cit-i-zen of this fair city should get free X-rated fare on cable any time they wont, whether it be at two in the morning or on a Sunday afternoon.


Everybody should have access to listening to their favorite tunes in the manner they are accustomed to. The idear of listening to nem Hooters or early Rundgren -- before he started working with that bum Albert Grossman -- on a crummy sound system just ain't roight. So I propose that every family should have a great stereo in every house. But there is a price to be paid for such a lu ... lu ... lux-ur-y, so from this day henceforth, Stereo Stamps will replace Food Stamps. Such is my decree.


I will also introduce The Ziegler Plan, a strat-a-gem that shall bail out the people of this godforsaken sinkhole. What is The Ziegler Plan? It is a tribute to a great and noble American clan that has been here as long as anyone else, except maybe Indians. My great grandparents came to Elvis Island with a dream in their hearts, and it is named in their honor. The Ziegler Plan calls for the immediate building of 25 WAWAs in Newbridge, and the immediate destruction of Newbridge's six Cumberland Farms stores, which are sick. And also the destruction of any and all Domino's because you know why, roight? Did you hear what they're doin'?


ZIEGLER: They're makin' subs there now!

SCHARPLING: They're makin' subs at Domino's?

ZIEGLER: It just ain't roight. I guess ArmandGeddy can't be too far off, huh?

SCHARPLING: Arm? What's that? ArmandGeddy?


SCHARPLING: What is ArmandGeddy?

ZIEGLER: Crack a Bible much?

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Crack ... I'm sorry. ArmandGeddy.


SCHARPLING: No, I don't know what that is.

ZIEGLER: It's that guy who was in that rock band in that film Black Sheep and the good-looking kid from Rush.

SCHARPLING: Wait. Mark Arm?

ZIEGLER: I don't know what his name is.

SCHARPLING: From Black Sheep. Okay, when Mudhoney had a little--

ZIEGLER: He calls him a jagoff.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. (chuckles) Okay. And Geddy Lee, I guess is what you're saying. What did you say? Crack a Bible much?

ZIEGLER: Yeah, it's in the Bible.

SCHARPLING: What are you ...you're a big reader of the Bible?

ZIEGLER: Well, they call me Bible Roy.

SCHARPLING: (incredulous laughing) Bible Roy.


SCHARPLING: Who calls you Bible Roy?

ZIEGLER: The guys at the pool hall, why?

SCHARPLING: And why do they call you Bible Roy?

ZIEGLER: 'Cause my pool cue is made from shellacked pages of the Bible ... a Bible I stole.

SCHARPLING: Well, that's not ... that doesn't make you holy. That makes you ... that's worse.

ZIEGLER: No it ain't.

SCHARPLING: You're being so judgmental about it.

ZIEGLER: You don't know what youse talkin' about.


ZIEGLER: Well, let me tell you about the second stage of The Ziegler Plan.

SCHARPLING: Please, let's go forward.

ZIEGLER: I'm gonna airlift New Jerseyites - those who are non-infected, of course - to the safe and majestic land that is Philadelphia.


ZIEGLER: Just like they did at the end of the Korean War.


ZIEGLER: When they was getting all nem people off that rooftop in Vietcong.




ZIEGLER: Oh yeah.

SCHARPLING: (sotto voce) Okay.

ZIEGLER: Hey, you know when I was campaignin' up here last week?


ZIEGLER: I saw a story on the news.

SCHARPLING: What was it?

ZIEGLER: Oh, and let me just say, Meghan Chan, the job of being my mistress when I'm elected mayor is yours.


SCHARPLING: Wow, you're crackin' people up.


ZIEGLER: Thanks, everybody, yeah. Anyhoo, she was sayin' that there's this game that all the kids in Newbridge are playin'. It's called Beer Pong.


ZIEGLER: Yeah. And it's ruinin' a lot of lives.




ZIEGLER: It's ruinin' the lives of a lot of kids at Newbridge Community College.


ZIEGLER: Hey, Tom, didn't youse flunk outta there?! (giggling fit)

SCHARPLING: I didn't flunk outta there.

ZIEGLER: Well, one of my first orders of business would be to ban Beer Pong.

SCHARPLING: Okay, I understand that stand to try to curb that kind of recklessness.

ZIEGLER: Absolutely.


ZIEGLER: And my next plan would be to teach everybody how to play Cold Case.


ZIEGLER: Now that's a real drinkin' game.

SCHARPLING: (chuckling) Cold Case.


SCHARPLING: Please, what is Cold Case?

ZIEGLER: Well, you know the show, roight?

SCHARPLING: The TV show, Cold Case?



ZIEGLER: Well, you know where it takes place?

SCHARPLING: It's in ... um ... Philly, right?

ZIEGLER: My beloved Golden City, yes ... yes.



ZIEGLER: Well, here's how the game works. Each time one of nem characters says the names of a Philly highway or road you gotta drink a cold one.


ZIEGLER: A cold case of beer.

SCHARPLING: A cold case.


SCHARPLING: (laughing) Oh, that's terrible.

ZIEGLER: Schuylkill Expressway, drink a case. Route 309, drink a case. Roosevelt Boulevard, drink a case. Sumneytown Pike, drink a case. Lansdowne Avenue, drink a case.


SCHARPLING: Oh, these people ... come on.

ZIEGLER: Sounds like a fun game, don't it? And it's gonna be law. Everybody's gotta play it.

SCHARPLING: Everybody?

ZIEGLER: Oh yeah.

SCHARPLING: Everybody. Children?


SCHARPLING: Well, that's terrible.

ZIEGLER: Children need liquid, too. They gotta stay hydrated.

SCHARPLING: They need liquid, not liquor, though.

ZIEGLER: Who are you, Tom Broke-off?

SCHARPLING: (laughing) No, I'm not Tom ... you mean, Tom Brokaw.

ZIEGLER: Who's that?!

SCHARPLING: He's the guy ... look--

ZIEGLER: You don't know what you're talkin' about.

SCHARPLING: I really don't think putting a drinking game into the law books is what we're looking at here. That's not exactly the answer we want. Thank you--

ZIEGLER: That one guy was roight.

SCHARPLING: Which guy?

ZIEGLER: You are a munch.

SCHARPLING: (laughs) Okay, thank you very much.

Tom moves to Bishop Pablo Fontana, who threw his papal beenie into el ring this past April after an action packed year. The "Pop Culture Pontiff" made an ambitious attempt to convince Pope Benedict XVI to make a stop in Newbridge during his first papal visit to the U.S. The doomed quest was ultimately derailed after Fontana was excommunicated by the Catholic Church for using an "apparatus" -- a supercharged version of the "device" that got Judge Montgomery Davies disbarred. Pudge Palfner once revealed (and offered photographic proof) that the "apparatus" in question was constructed from a foundation of 13 lbs. of burlap and 100 pounds of aluminum siding, lubricated/feuled by 7 gallons of canola oil, and equipped with a plunger.

Prior to losing his diocese Fontana stabbed Reverend Ken Miller from Newbridge Episcopalian during a mad dash to get another dessert fix at the 2007 Colonial Days street festival. He succumbed to the cocaine-laced funnel cakes that were being served by Werner and Rutager, two German brothers who had a memorable run as Newbridge drug barons before going into hiding. Fontana, along with most of Newbridge, was admitted into the Newbridge Acres treatment facility to replace the cocaine addiction with Blue, a sleep-inducing herbal balm smuggled into town by an Austrian night nurse named Wilhelm. In happier news, Fontana befriended The Hold Steady talker Greg Finn while counseling the singer for the Greenpoint band ! I Hate You The Ghost of Anwar Sadat to help him overcome a 3.7 review on Shovel.com that was ghost written by the band's guitarist as an act of sabotage. Fontana was excited about collaborating with Finn on the charity anthem "This Sinking Feeling Has Got To End," but he denied payment because the tune didn't rock like Big Dipper.

FONTANA: Hello, Tomas. How ... um ... how are you?

SCHARPLING: Um, I'm doing okay. Thank you for being here.

FONTANA: Uh ... uh ... are you feeling quite bless ... blessed?

SCHARPLING: Um ... well, it's exciting to be here, it's exciting to be on television, and I think on the radio. I'm assuming this is going through over at WFMU.

FONTANA: I think ... I think ... I did uh hear that, and I just want to say to you that I see you are doing this debate with some sort of uh portable uh uh voice modulator.

SCHARPLING: Mmm hmmm. Mmm hmmm.


SCHARPLING: No, no I'm not. This is my real voice.

FONTANA: (chuckling) Yes, yes, Tomas. Preserve the illusion. Whatever gets you through the night as uh John ... John Lennon and Elton John once said. Now, speaking of, did you know that May Pang said that Lennon got the idea for that song when he was channel surfing?

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Um, I did not.

FONTANA: Kind of interesting, yes everybody?

SCHARPLING: It's moderately interesting.

(crowd applauds the trivia tidbit)

FONTANA: Thank you. No, I think they agree with me and they think that you are, like other person said, a munch.

SCHARPLING: No, please stop calling me that. It's moderately interesting, but that's not why we're here today. To do rock trivia. Let's stick to the matter at hand.

FONTANA: That is a good idea, yes. (pause) You know, where are you keeping that voice modulator? Is it ... it's some kind of wireless device, yes?

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) You know what, let's just keep things going forward--

FONTANA: 'Cause it ... it's just sounds weird to me and does it not sound weird to everybody else, yes?


SCHARPLING: (laughs) Thank you, people, for not ... um, I'm just gonna move on and my question to you is about the libraries in Newbridge.

FONTANA: Oh, yes. Libaries very important.

SCHARPLING: Yes. You know, with the advent of the Internet, the role that a library provides in the community has obviously changed. What would you propose that Newbridge do to upgrade our libraries? You know, keeping one eye on the technological advancements that do provide information in a different capacity, while still not short-changing the invaluable role that a library provides to a community?

FONTANA: I think I see it now.

SCHARPLING: See ... see what?

FONTANA: The ... there's an antenna sticking out of the back of your shirt.

SCHARPLING: No, there's no antenna--

FONTANA: I see ... we all see it.

SCHARPLING: No, there's no antenna sticking out of the back of my shirt.

[some cheers from the crowd]

FONTANA: Tom ...just ... I want you to confess to me, okay? There is no shame in it?

SCHARPLING: No shame?! Wait, you're gonna talk to me about shame?

FONTANA: [very hesitantly] Yeeeaaah.

SCHARPLING: You were ... you were defrocked!

FONTANA: Tomas, I believe the correct term is "frocked"

SCHARPLING: No, it's not frocked. It's defrocked.

FONTANA: Well, that's neither here nor there. Let me address ... uh ... you ... uh ... your question?

SCHARPLING: Yes, please.

FONTANA: Libaries do have a very important role in our lives. For example, I was reading the ... uh ... new issue of ... uh ... Entertainment Weekly?


FONTANA: And it's the one with the Fall Movie Preview? And it showcases 95 of the flicks that will be in theatros this year.


FONTANA: And on the cover is Daniel Rrrrrrrrrradcliffe, and he's hyping the upcoming release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?


FONTANA: And, to me, this is where it gets interesting because this film was supposed to be released on 4,000 screens ... uh ... this coming November, si?


FONTANA: But Warners just pushed the release date to next July?


FONTANA: Which is odd to me -- some are saying it's because the studio made enough bank with The Dark Knight? And this does not help the bottom line to have two tentpole rrreleases on the same calendar year? Si?



FONTANA: But here's where it gets even more interesting to me. EW got hung out to dry on this one. They give the cover to film that isn't going to hit theatros for another 11 months? (laughs in disbelief) There is no way EW's Managing Editor Rick Tetzeli can be happy about this, especially when you consider that they've got ... they're both part of the same uh uh uh parent company?


FONTANA: What was [WB Pictures President] Jeff Robinov thinking?! He's gotta keep the entire Warner Brothers family in the loop on this one! Si? I mean, can you deny that?

SCHARPLING: Um ... I'm not exactly sure what any of what you just said has to do with libraries.

FONTANA: Well, Tomas, reading is fundamental, I guess. I should say there is one thing I would love to bring up, and I think it's important issue facing any town, especially Newbridge?


FONTANA: And that is: Fontanetics.

SCHARPLING: Fontanetics.


SCHARPLING: What is Fontanetics?

FONTANA: Uh, Fontanetics, it is a life-based belief system that I have created? And if I'm elected, Fontanetics will be the mandatory religion of ... of ... of Newbridge.

SCHARPLING: Oh ... okay ...

FONTANA: And it is a great religion. You get all kinds of good stuff from it. I guarantee you?

SCHARPLING: So ... you're ... you're ... I'm kinda skeptical of this whole thing. A religion ... Fontanetics?

FONTANA: Oh yeah.

SCHARPLING: I don't know how that plays into the role of being a mayor.

FONTANA: Well, guess who the object of worship is ... in Fontanetics.

SCHARPLING: Uh ... (laughs) I'm gonna probably guess it's you.

FONTANA: It is me, yes!

SCHARPLING: Yeah. Uh huh.

FONTANA: And my brother Rrrrrodriguo ...

SCHARPLING: Uh huh ... yes ...

FONTANA: He's the Jesus of Fontanetics.

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) That's your brother?!

FONTANA: Oh yeah, did you not know that Rrrrodriguo, you know he makes the famous pins.


FONTANA: The drum pins.

SCHARPLING: The drum pins.

FONTANA: Yeah, some people say we have similar voice.

SCHARPLING: Uh, yeah I can hear the ... I can hear it. You guys are prob--

FONTANA: Little lilt.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, you're related. I can hear that.

FONTANA: Yes. He's my go-to hombre.

SCHARPLING: Uh, Rodriguo is?



FONTANA: But I want to say this Fontanetics not just a religion.


FONTANA: It's also a production company--


FONTANA: Yes, we're developing a variety of projects for the silver screen and the idiot box alike.


FONTANA: For example, there's Father Fontana's Celebrity Fart Patrol.


FONTANA: Whaaat? It's on The Shout! Network.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. What is ... I'm not even gonna say the name of the show.

FONTANA: We call it FP.


FONTANA: It's a hidden camera show. Basically, I will expel gas next to famous people.


FONTANA: And we watch their reactions. It's funny, yes?


FONTANA: People, do you want to see such a show?


SCHARPLING: Oh, please What is wrong with the people of Newbridge?

FONTANA: The masses, they have spoken?


FONTANA: Just like they did when Colonel Rrrrratzenberger was installed as Pope?

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. (chuckles) Oh, you're a big Pope ... a big fan of Razenberger?

FONTANA: You know what else I'm a big fan of?

SCHARPLING: Oh, what's that?


FONTANA: This movie, The Rrrocker?


FONTANA: It looks like it's going to be a winner, yes?

SCHARPLING: Oh, I don't know about that.

FONTANA: Judging by those previews, it looks like once again Hollywood has totally nailed what it's like to be in a band, yes?

SCHARPLING: (laughs) I don't know, it looks a little ...

FONTANA: I think they got it! They usually get it pretty right, but they totally got it right on this one?

Tom remains unconvinced about the verisimilitude of the Rainn Wilson laffer. He reminds all of the candidates that an election is an important thing. While the people of Newbridge are apparently very responsive to cheap applause lines, Tom asks the panel to maintain their focus on informing the community on the pressing issues of the day.

VON TRIMBLE: That's right, everybody, let's get serious! Come on! (Tom laughs at the high-pitched outburst of support) Sack up!

SCHARPLING: Who's saying that?



timmycense.pngVON TRIMBLE: Timmy!


VON TRIMBLE: I'm down here.

SCHARPLING: (laughs) I can't see you. Where are you?

VON TRIMBLE: I'm inside that guy's incest ... uh ... incense thing.

SCHARPLING: Timmy von Trimble?


SCHARPLING: He's got ... the little thing hanging off the Bishop's podium?

VON TRIMBLE: I guess it's supposed to have incense in it ...


VON TRIMBLE: But it doesn't smell like it.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, you're right, that does ... it smells ... uh ... yeah. What is that? What is inside that, Bishop?

FONTANA: Tomas, you got me. It's a little bit of what my friend ... uh ... Bryce?


FONTANA: He calls Pineapple Express?


FONTANA : Good ... it's very good stuff.


VON TRIMBLE: Did you see that movie yet?

SCHARPLING: I haven't seen it. I'll probably see it tomorrow.

FONTANA: Well, it's hard for me to believe ... uh ... that ... uh ... David Gordon Green has such a thing for comedy. I mean, my question for everybody here is: where did that come from?

SCHARPLING: I ... uh ... you know, I don't know. (wild applause for Fontana's query) Please, again, people, these are not the issues. It does not matter that David Gordon Green did comedy now with Pineapple Express. You should be paying attention--

VON TRIMBLE: Yeah, he stinks!

SCHARPLING: David Gordon Green does?

VON TRIMBLE: And the guy whose thing I was just in.

SCHARPLING: Oh ... uh ...


SCHARPLING: You're talking about the Bishop, yeah.

VON TRIMBLE: Yeah, I can't believe I have to sit next to that trash. That guy's the worst.

SCHARPLING: Okay. Well, Timmy Von Trimble, this is a surprise, otherwise known as Timmy the Two-Inch Racist.

Von Trimble "appeared" in 1972 after his parents' anti-aging genetic experiment went awry, and he gradually became indoctrinated with hate while living in a dollhouse and pooping into a thimble. When Tom first talked to Von Trimble back in 2005 he thought he had earned an endearing fan who embraced his unique condition by leading a relatively normal and fun life of entwining himself inside a Slinky, listening to Creedance Clearwater Revival, and flipping through laddie mags. However, Von Trimble's call took a dark turn when he denounced a variety of non-white television personalities (including the late-great Bernie Mac) and espoused an affinity for White Power music groups, such as Brutal Attack, Norse Savage, and anything released on the neo-Nazi Panzerfaust label. Tom wholeheartedly disapproved of his worldview, and the mini-racist made the first of his many threats to climb into Tom's mouth to stab him with a pin from inside his body.

Von Trimble is a former mayubernatorial candidate who presumably withdrew due to pressure from the Halversom clan. After throwing his Mommy-made Doc Martens into the ring last October he unveiled his Scarface-inspired campaign slogan: "Get ready to meet your little Mayor." Von Trimble also had "Get ready to meet my little boot" printed on stickers that he applied to the bottom of poles across Newbridge. He promoted a platform that promised great, wonderful things (e.g., schools, housing, health care, food, water, and clothes) for some residents. The Von Trimbleites Party candidate was also one of the early adopters of the emerging trend to politicize Tom's death. He threatened that his first act in office would be to send Tom through a "stomping machine" -- a mile-long gauntlet lined with all the townspeople. As Tom crawled along this trail, each member of the angry mob would take turns stomping him with their boots.

VON TRIMBLE: Hey! Shut up!





VON TRIMBLE: Been watchin' the Olympics?

SCHARPLING: Uh, yeah. I actually have.

VON TRIMBLE: Did you notice these Chinese cops? (gasping laugh) They look like children.

SCHARPLING: Wait. Is that--

VON TRIMBLE: Even though they're adults!

SCHARPLING: Is that like some sort of veiled racist remark?

VON TRIMBLE: No! Not at all! Hey!


VON TRIMBLE: So ... um ... before you ask me one of these dumb questions?


VON TRIMBLE: I wanna talk about a real problem in Newbridge.

SCHARPLING: (sotto voce) Oh, boy ... a real problem ...

VON TRIMBLE: Yeah, I think you know what it is!

SCHARPLING: Yeah, well, let me guess. Uh, does it have anything to do with ... uh ... I dunno, people of color, for example?

VON TRIMBLE: Of course it does!


VON TRIMBLE: You know that guy Nate won't let me into the Pleasure Tent anymore.

SCHARPLING: Uh, the Pleasure Tent, the roving adult ... uh ... bookstore.

VON TRIMBLE: It's like a Quonset hut.




VON TRIMBLE: Well. Old Nate caught me doin' something with one of those smaller marital aids.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. Okay ...

VON TRIMBLE: Yeah, and I got thrown out.


VON TRIMBLE: Basically what I was doin' was I--

SCHARPLING: (urgently thwarting the reveal) De-de-de-dadadada ... DADADADA! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! This is not what we're here for.


SCHARPLING: This is supposed to be a debate where we're talking about issues!

VON TRIMBLE: Well, that's my #1 issue.

SCHARPLING: What's that?

VON TRIMBLE: Well, you know, to get outta bein' [in] persona au gratin ...

SCHARPLING: Uh huh ...

VON TRIMBLE: Uh ... land out at the tent over there.

SCHARPLING: Uh, okay ...


SCHARPLING: So that ... so that seems to be what you're basing your candicacy on -- that you be allowed to go into the Pleasure Tent.

VON TRIMBLE: I need pleasure, too.

SCHARPLING: Ewwww ... just stop--

VON TRIMBLE: Little guys need pleasure, too!

SCHARPLING: Stop! Stop! Dadabada. I don't care.

VON TRIMBLE: Oh and the second thing would also be to barge the you-know-whos.

SCHARPLING: Oh. That's fantastic. So that's like a straight-up racist thing.

VON TRIMBLE: No it's not!

SCHARPLING: It's not even veiled anymore.

VON TRIMBLE: [unintelligible] You don't talk to me like that. I talk to you like that.

SCHARPLING: Well, you are talking to me like that.

VON TRIMBLE: Hey, I wrote a song for the election.


VON TRIMBLE: You wanna hear it?

SCHARPLING: Um, do I have any choice? [Von Trimble starts performing the musical intro] I guess I don't.

VON TRIMBLE: (singing) First you take our jobs ... then you take our women ... and then ...

SCHARPLING: No, stop it! Then you take our women. Who's you? Stop. Get out of here. Get. Out of here.

VON TRIMBLE: (leaving) I'm gonna get you!

SCHARPLING: Get out of here, Timmy!

VON TRIMBLE: I'm gonna get you!

SCHARPLING: Somebody ... somebody put a cup over him or something.

VON TRIMBLE: I'm gonna get in your ear!


VON TRIMBLE: I'm gonna get in your ear canal!

SCHARPLING: I'm gonna move on ...


Tom proceeds to the mysterious Tor Halversom from the ominously named Chocolate, Machine Gun, and Switchblade Party. Halversom, a cross between William Wonka and Anthony Soprano, burst onto the Newbridge scene and postponed the traditional July election day by flooding every polling location with streams of his family's Norwegian chocolate. He appears to have reduced many former candidates to stammering in fear like Ralph Cramden when they dropped out the race to "spend more time with their family." While he has not been officially linked to any crimes (get to work, Harrups!), there are strong suggestions that he or his henchmen were involved in the severing of Merle Allin's toe and Glenn Danzig's pinky finger, which were both discovered on the outskirts of town. Allin appeared to be a very minor player in this election, but Danzig was clearly one of the frontrunners - Tom was planning to vote for him - after unveiling a very sensible platform centered around instituting a mentoring program in the understaffed Newbridge school system, expanding library hours, raising the minimum wage above $3.35/hr, wiring Newbridge for Wi-Fi without raising taxes, and reinvesting tax dollars into the local economy to spur job growth. In short: Danzig would have likely cleaned up during tonight's debate, so Halversom had to take him out.

SCHARPLING: Mr. Halversom, thank you for being here tonight. Um, I'm gonna ask you a question about the generation gap in Newbridge. Over the last decade or so there's been what a lot of people call "the graying of Newbridge." Um, the percentage of retired and senior residents of Newbridge has grown over six percent over the last 10 years. And this has had a very real impact on the tax structure of the town since many of the retirees in the town do not feel they should have to carry the tax burden that schools demand. So, this creates a real ... kinda puts people at loggerheads. What would you propose as a possible solution to this matter?

HALVERSOM: ... (total silence)

Tom informs the radio audience that Halversom has stepped away from his microphone to run his hand across his throat in a "cutting manner." He briefly stammers before moving on to Dr. Fred Meyers of the Mental Health Party. Meyers, who is Tom's former/current therapist, recently called the program to celebrate his retirement by outing Tom as a troubled, fragile man and major character in his bestselling tell-all tome, He Ate My Fudge: In the Psycho Trenches with the Unfixables. Tom welcomes Dr. Meyers to the debate.

MEYERS: Tom, let me say, um, basically how glad I am that you could not in fact get those 37 signatures required for this ... uh .. this election. And, uh, this comes from the heart when I say you are absolutely, without a doubt, the least fit person in this town to run for mayor. You're a sick person who should be treated and possibly caged.

SCHARPLING: Oh. Thank you.

MEYERS: If not barged.

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Okay, well, thank you for that. It has no place in this election for you to put me on the spot with anything like that. I'm going to ask you a question now, just to keep things moving forward, about the situation over at Muffler Row.


SCHARPLING: Now Muffler Row, as we all know, was once a thriving business district, where it had people coming from miles around to get their cars worked on and to eat at the Captain's Donuts at the end of Muffler Row. But, as we all know, the district has fallen on some pretty hard times, so what would you propose as a solution to this situation?

MEYERS: You know, Tom, that's a really great question, and I'm very proud of you for asking it.


MEYERS: Especially when you consider your fear of public speaking, based on that incident at Disco Camp back in 1979.

SCHARPLING: Okay ...uh ... I really am not going to talk--

MEYERS: You've really come a long way.

SCHARPLING: I'm not going to talk about that now, so I would ask that you please stick to the topic at hand and answer the questions.

MEYERS: Okay. Well, the thing I would do if elected is make every citizen's mental health records public. That way everything's out in the open ... uh, for example, a patient of mine named Keith Boudreux, um, has what is commonly referred to as "flagrant terror."


MEYERS: And it's brought on by a chemical imbalance that he suffers from, and ...uh ... his condition has been corrected by a daily does of 20 mg of an anti-psychotic. So my recommendation would be that we do that for all the people of Newbridge ... uh ... same thing we did for Keith.

SCHARPLING: Now, first of all, I'm going to ask you to please not to state people's names. I know that's ... a lot of politicians will state a regular person's name ...

MEYERS: Sure, yeah.

SCHARPLING: In the course of campaigning, but you just did it in a way that I don't think is particularly flattering.

MEYERS: Well ...

SCHARPLING: You're giving the mental health history of one of your patients.

MEYERS: Oh, well, okay, I'll talk about someone else then. Uh, I mean, you know, I think a person going down to Lordon's Sporting Goods would ... uh ... want to know if Steve McKinney's on the sales floor, there's a good chance he might break into hysterics if you ask him how his wife Nancy is.

SCHARPLING: Again, please ...

MEYERS: Of course, Nancy has been withholding love-making sessions from Steve since she found his stash of Buns of Steel VHS tapes last year, so ...

SCHARPLING: Again, this has no ... no real ... uh ... place in the debate, so I'm gonna ask you to stay on topic.

MEYERS: Okay, okay.


MEYERS: Fair enough.

SCHARPLING: So getting back to the Muffler Row situation ...

MEYERS: Right.

SCHARPLING: How would you remedy the Muffler Row situation?

MEYERS: Uh, I would prescribe drugs for everybody.


MEYERS: To keep them balanced and leveled. It's the only way, Tom, I think you know that. Don't we all agree with that, people?



MEYERS: Thank you, yeah.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Wait, you people actually are looking to be medicated?

MEYERS: Oh, totally, yeah, yeah.

SCHARPLING: What is wrong with the people of Newbridge? Please. Please. I'm gonna ...um, so you're going to somehow force the people of Newbridge to what, take a pill every day?

MEYERS: Absolutely. And if that doesn't work, we'll dilute the medication into a mist, and we'll spray it out through the streets like in that first Batman movie?

SCHARPLING: Uh huh ... (laughs) in the first Batman movie?!

MEYERS: Yeah, that was actually Maurice's idea.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, well that was something that a supervillain came up with, and is not something that is a good idea ... and who is Maurice?

MEYERS: Maurice Kern.


MEYERS: Yeah, from Kern Pharmaceuticals. He's actually out in the audience tonight. Hey, Maurice! [Applause] Stand up, yeah. Stand up. Great.

SCHARPLING: No, no, sit down. This is not ... why is ...

MEYERS: He's a great man. Great man.

SCHARPLING: No, please, people, sit down and do not applaud Maurice Kern from Kern Pharmaceuticals.

MEYERS: Tom, I don't like how you're behaving right now.

SCHARPLING: Uh, well, I'm sorry, I --

MEYERS: Tom, you're getting sleepy.

SCHARPLING: Um, I'm not getting sleepy.

MEYERS: You're going to your Peace Place.

SCHARPLING: Please, please. Stop that.

MEYERS: You're getting sleepier.

SCHARPLING: (laughs) No, I'm not getting sleepy.

ZIEGLER: Yeah, make him do sick stuff!

SCHARPLING: (laughs) No, stop it. Roy, it's not even your place to talk right now.

HAMMERHEAD: Make him touch himself!

SCHARPLING: Eww, stop it! No! Stop!

BRIMSTEAD: Make him buy us handburgers!

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Noooo ... what are you ...

BRIMSTEAD: Come on, I'm hungry!

Tom has understandably heard enough from Dr. Meyers, so he gives the floor to Mike. He discloses that he has a relationship with this candidate from his longtime work on the other side of the glass as the Associate Producer/Call Screener of The Best Show on WFMU. Mike somewhat reluctantly entered the race last October after putting out some feelers at a Pancake Breakfast event. He attracted a positive buzz from his proposal to widen the mote around the old, abandoned Newbridge blimp hangar. The hangar was infested by weird, scary birds that were spawning and increasing in size. One of these mutant birds plucked Toffy Von Trimble, Timmy's older brother, and almost carried him away. Mike was encouraged to run for office by family and friends, who spent a night patrolling outside a Stop & Shop to get him the required 37 signatures. Tom thanks Mike for being here and gives him a simple question.

SCHARPLING: What is there in Newbridge that you would change, if there is one thing?

AP MIKE: Well, Tom, as you know, a recent issue that's come up ... uh ... I've really been involved with is the armed bomb near third base over at the Newbridge Little League Micro Stadium.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, yeah.

AP MIKE: It's been there since World War II. I think it was a munitions dump previously ...



AP MIKE: The kids just play around it now ... uh ... somehow it's never gone off, but little Mikey Halversom almost detonated it when he slid into it.


AP MIKE: So my main issue is to get Little Mikey Halversom banned from the Newbridge Little League baseball.

SCHARPLING: So ... (chuckles) wait, so that's ... that's what you're running on? That you wanna get Little Mikey Halversom banned from ... uh ... Little League.

PALFNER: Are you sure you wanna do that?

AP MIKE: That's right.


AP MIKE: Because he's fat, and if he sets off that bomb, lots of people are going to die.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Okay, so ... wow, so that's actually what you're campaigning on ... is kicking a kid off the softball team because you're worried about the bomb that's over at the Little League field.

AP MIKE: I think it's a life or death issue, Tom.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. Mike, can I please ask you a question? Um ... and be honest, if you could ... um, are you ... uh ... drinking again? [Mike was drunk during the
program two weeks ago

AP MIKE: Define drinking.

SCHARPLING: Um ... have you consumed alcohol tonight?

AP MIKE: Uh ... there was a little.

SCHARPLING: How much is a little?

AP MIKE: Well, I got a new tattoo before the show.

SCHARPLING: Oh God. What is the tattoo of?

AP MIKE: Give me a second, I have to take my shirt off.

SCHARPLING: No, no, please, please, please ...

AP MIKE: Here we go ...


SCHARPLING: No, don't cheer it

BRIMSTEAD: Hey! Well, if he's gonna take his off, I'm takin mine off!

SCHARPLING: No, please, please (laughs)

AP MIKE: Can you see it, Tom?

SCHARPLING: Ohhhh, God. What is ... what is that thing?

AP MIKE: Well ...

SCHARPLING: I can't make it out from over here.

AP MIKE: I told 'em I wanted a zeppole.


AP MIKE: But ... uh ... it's kinda hard to tell what it is and ... uh ... I may have to go back to have it touched up.

SCHARPLING: So it's a ... you got a zeppole tattooed on you?


SCHARPLING: So right now you have a calzone, you have a Zune that's playing the "Red Band" trailer for Tropic Thunder, and a zeppole tattooed on your ... torso.


AP MIKE: Yeah, we worked out a sketch for my next one, which is going to be Bruno S. and Super Dave Osbourne staring at each other.

SCHARPLING: Bruno S. from Strotesick.


SCHARPLING: Yeah. And Super Da ... Great. It's nice to see you have no respect for your body. You know that these tattoos are not going away anytime soon.

AP MIKE: I didn't know tattooing could be so addictive, but I think I've ... uh ... got a little bit of that going now.

SCHARPLING: So you're on board ... so now you're hooked on getting tattooed?

AP MIKE: Yeah.


AP MIKE: Once you get started, you can't stop.


FONTANA: It is true, once you get started, you just can't stop doing it.

SCHARPLING: Okay, Bishop, thank you.

FONTANA: Yes, yes ...

Tom (sort of) thanks Mike for his responses and says that he really won a lot of people over tonight with his brave stand on the Little League controversy. If the phone line is working, he thinks it's time to open things up so the listeners can find out more about the candidates. Tom reminds everyone in the NDP to try to stay seated for the final half hour of the debate. He asks them to signal one of the Balance Buddies if they plan to move around in order to ensure that there is a minimal amount of shiftage. Tom says that he felt several shakes, especially during Hammerhead's impromptu hardcore mosh pit that got the evening off to rousing start. He's actually amazed that the NDP is still standing after absorbing the mayhem. Hammerhead wonders if there would be a similar impact if he decided to stalk the stage while giving an answer. Tom says such movements are also forbidden due to structural concerns. Marky Ramone asks Tom for permission to stalk the stage if Hammerhead starts doing it. Tom denies the request and gives out the number to solicit some calls to help voters find out who is best suited to become the next mayor of Newbridge. He mentions the weird silence, and Marky says this is what they call "Silent Phones."

He wants to take the opportunity to send greetins out to Newbridge's two Olympians. Tom was unaware that the town had sent anyone to the Beijing games. Marky says that the athletes are Mike and Sean Monroe, the brothers of Reggie Monroe, the infamous Survivor: Thailand contestant who was booted after getting caught having a flagrant pant rummage. He reports that these Monroe boys had an unfortunate incident of their own. In a nutshell, they were busted for selling pot to a uniformed Chinese policeman. Tom is not pleased to hear that they traveled to the other side of the world to represent their town and country by selling drugs. The international arrest reminds Marky of the time the band was playing a show in Columbus, Ohio, and some guy out front was smokin' a joint. John asked Monte to tell the guy to quit smokin' pot because he was trying to do his job. Marky told John that the guy was just tryin' to have some fun. John then suggested that Marky shut up and play the drums. Dee Dee concurred, and Marky was disappointed because he thought they were buddies. Marky is unable to remember any additional details, and Tom thinks it's a fantastic story. He's ready to throw it over to The People.

The first caller says he's honored to get a chance to talk to Marky Ramone. Marky asks him if he has a favorite Ramones rekkid that he played on (not the real early stuff). The caller says he likes the entire Ramones catalog, even the late-period recordings. He saw the band play live once, but Marky wasn't behind the kit. Marky asks him if Richie was playing that show. The caller cannot recall the drummer. Marky says that if there were too many jazz fills, it was Richie. Tom jumps in to try to steer things back on topic and get to the caller's question.

CALLER: I went to the library after work today, and I got this DVD called Ramones: Raw. And I'm wondering if I should watch it tonight with my wife or whether that would be a bad idea.

RAMONE: You should watch it, and I think you know why you should watch it, too.

CALLER: No ... I ... uh ...well, why? I mean, it looks good, but I was wondering why you think I should watch it.

RAMONE: They use a lotta footage that I took.


RAMONE: On my camera. In South America, you know, back when we was huge there, and people use to chant somethin'. I'm not sure if you know about what they used to chant, but would you chant with me?

CALLER: Is it Gabba Gabba Hey?

RAMONE: No... You ready?

CALLER: Yeah, yeah.

RAMONE: It's Maaaaaawk ... (the caller joins in) Maaaaaawk ... Maaaaaawk ... Maaaaaawk ...

CALLER: Is that like--

RAMONE: Maaaaaawk ...

CALLER: (coming in late) Maaaaaawk ...

RAMONE: That's really good, you got a handle awnit.

SCHARPLING: Is this maybe who you're thinking of voting for, caller?

CALLER: Voting? Oh, no, I just wanted to talk to ... to Marky Ramone ...

RAMONE: Oh, dump him then.

CALLER: I don't even live in New--

SCHARPLING: Okay, let's keep things moving here, 201-209--

RAMONE: Get Off Of His Live Broadcast.

SCHARPLING: Thank you.

Tyler from the LES of Manhattan, a high-ranking foot soldier on the Harmony Korine Street Team, wants to know if Bryce Prefontaine is at the NDP. Tom informs Tyler that everyone's favorite Deadhead is no longer running for mayor. Bryce threw his Dr. Suess hat into the ring last October after acquiring the requisite signatures and the equally important drive and hunger for political office. He adopted a campaign slogan that was identical to one of the newly-minted Best Show Movie Quotes and subsequent apparel tagline: "Get ready to meet my little friend." In this case, the "little friend" was a little red, white, and blue bong. Bryce pledged to make sure that every Newbridge citizen would have their own little companion to aid relaxation during his administration.

Tom did not support Bryce's plan to distribute bongs (from his new Prefontaine Mansion, a ritzier lean-to in the woods that would include some kind of bathroom facility) to an increasingly drug-addled populace. Bryce tried to ease his fears with a policy to give kids even smaller bongs so all the little dudes could bake on a smaller scale than the big dudes in town. Tom was alarmed that Bryce was encouraging children to get high. Bryce insisted that pot had been proven to open up your whole mind, as evidenced by the undocumented claim that 3/4 of all U.S. Presidents smoked it all through their lives. Despite Tom's objections, Bryce proceeded to officially announce his candidacy at a Midnight Pancake Munchie Party featuring the most potent, hash-filled pancakes in all of Newbridge. Tom questioned the legality of such a menu, but Bryce said Pat Robertson did the same thing when he ran for President in 1988. He asked Tom to join his Party Party ticket as the Lt. Gubanawhatever, but Tom declined the offer. Bryce put his Dr. Suess hat back in his baggy pocket this past June when he withdrew from the race for unspecified reasons. Tom thought his sudden lack of interest sounded a bit sketchy, and this was the same night that Gene Simmons and Horse also abandoned their bids. Tor Halversom entered the race about an hour later.

Tyler prepares to throw his question out to anyone else just as Tom spots Bryce coming out of the crowd and heading to the podium amidst applause. Tom notes that this is an incredibly clap-happy group of people.

BRYCE: They can't help it if they dig me!

TYLER: Uh, is this Bryce?

BRYCE: Absolutely, what's up man?

TYLER: Oh! Hey, man, how's it goin' ... longtime listener ... big fan of yours ...

BRYCE: It sounds like you've been doin' what I've been doin'! Am I right?


TYLER: Yeah, yeah. Um, I just had a question for you ... um ... I was wondering what is your stance on the legalization of medicinal marijuana?

SCHARPLING: (annoyed) Whaddyou think it's gonna be? I'm so sorry to burst in like that ... whaddyou think he's gonna be against it?

BRYCE: I am against it!

SCHARPLING: (laughs) Okay. Wow.

TYLER: That's a surprise.

BRYCE: Yeah, especially in Newbridge because, well, it's no secret -- don't tell Officer Harrups this -- but I have a little side business that you ... you may not know this, Tom.

SCHARPLING: Oh ... (laughs)

BRYCE: Yeah.

SCHARPLING: I've heard about your side business.

BRYCE: So, I would prefer that people came to see me maybe if they need some ... uh ...


BRYCE: Some of that sweet sweet ...


BRYCE: Buuuuuuuuuud.

TYLER: That sweetness?

BRYCE: Yes! Can I mark you down for a kilo? What's your name? Rick?

TYLER: Yeah, sure.

BRYCE: (writing the order) Rick ... oh, here comes Harrups. Great. Thanks, Rick!

Bryce runs off the stage, and Tom mentions that everyone appreciated his weird little interlude. The crowd offers some mild applause for Bryce's flight from John Q. Law.

Joe from Newbridge via Seattle has a quick question for Zachary Brimstead about the banning of trans fats.

BRIMSTEAD: I don' think any kind of fat should be banned except for the fat I'm looking at right now.

SCHARPLING: Um ... okay, I get it.

BRIMSTEAD: It's you.


BRIMSTEAD: Your fat head.

SCHARPLING: Oh ... thank you, great.

BRIMSTEAD: Yeah. No, I think kids should eat whatever they want. I did and look at me! Right, everybody?


SCHARPLING: Why do they ...

BRIMSTEAD: Oh, you want me to stand up again, sure. (standing) Drink it in! Mmmm. (louder applause) Oh, yes!


BRIMSTEAD: Oh, let me sit down. My haunches are ... in a bunch. Hang on.

SCHARPLING: Oh, please.

BRIMSTEAD: (straining to sit down) Ohhhhhhhhhh!

SCHARPLING: Please, please, please, sit down, everybody. Please.

BRIMSTEAD: Ohhh. My goodness.

SCHARPLING: Sit down. I appreciate it.

Brian in Newbridge calls to express concern about how the Mayorial [sic] election seems to be going down. He says the guy from Philly is another delusional representative from a city that is populated by people who don't never ever never not think their poop stinks.

ZIEGLER: 'Cause it don't! You know why it don't?

SCHARPLING: Uhh ... we're not gonna talk ...

ZIEGLER: 'Cause we eat hoagies.

SCHARPLING: (trying to drown out Ziegler's explanation) DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA ... stop it! Stop!

BRIAN: I'm just sayin', they're quick to insult New Jersey, but, you know, every time I go to Philly it smells like a gym sock.


SCHARPLING: Wait ... what's going on? Is Zachary Brimstead bursting in here?

BRIMSTEAD: I was almost gonna burst in then I realized he was insulting him not me. I was ready to get insulted!

SCHARPLING: Okay. Well, you heard "gym sock" and I guess you got insulted.

BRIMSTEAD: Yeah, 'cause I have that gym sock thing.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, yeah. Okay ... but Roy apparently ... uh ... wow.

ZIEGLER: I can take it!



SCHARPLING: Well good, so you didn't even need to argue that.

ZIEGLER: Not at all because when I'm mayor?


ZIEGLER: He's gonna die.

SCHARPLING: Oh, great. Great.

ZIEGLER: Yeah, yeah.

Tom notices that he has overlooked Bob from the Freedom Lovers Party. He asks for a last name, but it's just Bob. Tom finds it strange that he won't disclose his full name since he's running for public office. Bob says that it's not his problem if that turns people off. Tom accepts his stance on the issue.

BOB: Hey, um, so I have something I'd like to say about this whole election. You know, I've kinda waited here all night, and you barely called on me, but uh ...


BOB: So, can I say something?


BOB: Okay. (After a brief pause, the sound of The Police's "Roxanne" fills the NDP) Oh man ... um ... I don't know what that was. (The song continues to play) Um ... No. I'm not sure what ... (BOB appears to be shuffling a CASSette into a player) No ... hang ... No ... um ... what I meant to say ... um is ... (The Police's "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" begins to play) Uh ... what was that? I don't know what that was.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) No, you know what I think that was?

BOB: What?

SCHARPLING: You were playing a tape!

BOB: No I wasn't!

SCHARPLING: (still laughing) You were! What was that?!

BOB: What was what?

SCHARPLING: That tape you were playing.

BOB: I wasn't playing a tape.

SCHARPLING: No. What you did was -- for people who are listening on the radio -- he went and he ducked his arm in front of his face ...

BOB: I was doing like a Dracula thing.

SCHARPLING: Yes, exactly, and then you hunched over ...

BOB: I thought kids would like that.

SCHARPLING: And then you had some thing that you were holding, which was what? A cassette deck?

BOB: No ...

SCHARPLING: What was it? That sounded like The Police.

BOB: (defeated) It was The Police.

SCHARPLING: What ... what happened?

BOB: I brought the wrong tape.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) You ... you ... so you -- you've done this before, where you ...

BOB: No I didn't!

SCHARPLING: You somehow have to record things ahead of time so that you can be um ...

BOB: Who ... who did?

SCHARPLING: You did. Where you record these rants and ... 'cause what, you can't say them out loud?

Tom is referring to Bob's multiple calls to The Best Show back in July 2007 where he repeatedly touted his ability to offer fresh off-the-dome "takes" on topics ranging from the Newbridge Blue epidemic to Lindsay Lohan's DUI arrests as the latest example of young Hollywood starlets with a penchant for self-destructive behavior and flashing their bobalooies for all the world to see. Before launching into each of these takes Bob claimed he had to call back after attending to his rowdy dog. He concluded his evening of premeditated punditry with several failed attempts to comment on the state of the George W. Bush administration. The first take addressed Operation Desert Storm and was aborted in favor of watching Samantha Fox on The Arsenio Hall Show, the second featured recordings of "I Can't Dance" and "Invisible Touch" by Genesis, and the third was an audio love letter to original MTV VJ Nina Blackwood (per Bob, she oozed sex). Tom gave up on getting any new political analysis just as Bob announced that he was entering the mayubernatorial race. Bob claimed that he would discuss his platform, but he became enraged after playing a snippet from the audio version of Henry Rollins's Get In The Van.

BOB: No ... I can say ...

SCHARPLING: Okay. That's fine. You know ...

BOB: Thanks for blowing it for me.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) You brought ...

BOB: See ya, everybody.

SCHARPLING: You brought the wrong tape!

BOB: (leaving the stage) Thanks.

SCHARPLING: What am I supposed to do?! (Applause) Oh, people are cheering him off ... you people will clap at anything! This guy somehow gets a ... uhhh. Unbelievable.

Jerry from Newbridge confirms that Bob is the guy with the dog named Rollins Band. Tom asks him if the eccentric pet name makes him want to vote for Bob. Jerry says it does not. He wants to know if Philly Boy Roy's on-again/off-again entertainment career is going to interfere with his duties as mayor. Tom thinks it's a great question.

ZIEGLER: Oh, no, I don't think it would have any impact unless I really got something going great, then I'd probably dust the town. Yeh, yeh.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) Oh, that sounds like it would have a real impact ...

ZIEGLER: Well ...

SCHARPLING: On what you're doing.

ZIEGLER: Well, it's no secret that I totally shined ... uh ... my last venture: Wawa Records.

SCHARPLING: Yeah. You pretty much gave up everything. You gave up your entire life so you could do Wawa Records and then when that blew up then you went back to your family and all that stuff.

ZIEGLER: Well, it wouldn't have blown up if those jerks in the Rolling Stones hadn't came after me for something I didn't do. (Ziegler planned to release a live album culled from shows that he recorded during the 1981 Tattoo You tour)



JERRY: Didn't you write a Rambot movie or Ramsocky? I can't remember.

ZIEGLER: Rambocky!

JERRY: Rambocky.

ZIEGLER: Cracky Viority much? It don't sound like it.


JERRY: (laughs) Alright. Thanks, Tom.

SCHARPLING: Okay, great.

ZIEGLER: Vote for me!

Nate from Newbridge has the same question about juggling two careers for Zachary Brimstead. He says he's a big fan of the peerless versatility that Brimstead exhibits when putting his unique barbershop spin on popular music.

BRIMSTEAD: Well, thank you! You want some Crüe real quick?

NATE: Yes, yes ...

[Brimstead performs "Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)" at a very high volume]



SCHARPLING: My ears ...

[Brimstead shifts into "Dr. Feelgood" followed by "Shout at the Devil"]

BRIMSTEAD: That's what's called a medley.

SCHARPLING: (laughs) Oh, is that what you call that?


SCHARPLING: That's what you call ... that's called a medley?

BRIMSTEAD: Caller, what did you think of my medley?

NATE: I think it's great.

SCHARPLING: Are you considering voting for Zachary Brimstead?

NATE: Uh, I would highly consider it, although I think, like previously mentioned, the issue of the balance between his entertainment career ...


NATE: And his mayubernatorial duties ...


NATE: Might be a factor.



NATE: I think there is one way that he can absolutely guarantee my vote.


NATE: If he can promise to ... in some time in the near future ... Uh, Mr. Brimstead, have you ever considered branching out into hip-hop?

BRIMSTEAD: Oh, that's a good idea, though. I'm quite interested in some of the R&B ... uh ... beats, yes. Like who are you talking about? I'm talking about Gladys Knight and her Pips.

NATE: No, well, I was thinking more of like trying to see about using a less melodic -- traditionally less melodic -- vocal style and kind of putting it on ...

BRIMSTEAD: Oh, like death metal? Grindcore?

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) I ... I don't know about grindcore.

BRIMSTEAD: You want some black metal?

NATE: Um ... that's worth a shot. Yeah, sure.

BRIMSTEAD: Okay, I'm tryin' to think of something that I could do off of ... oh ... uh ... I can't even say the titles of the records, so maybe not.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, please don't.

BRIMSTEAD: "Force-Fed Broken Glass"? Want that? (Brimstead performs the Cannibal Corpse track, effectively channeling Chris Barnes's guttural vocal tone)



SCHARPLING: That was ... not bad.

BRIMSTEAD: That's all you get! Gotta buy the CD if you want the whole thing.

Tom thanks Nate for calling. Brimstead asks Nate to buy him a handburger, but he's already gone.

David from South Newbridge asks Hammerhead about how he plans to address the police brutality problem in Newbridge, such as establishing some oversight for the police department.

HAMMERHEAD: Well, I wouldn't call those oversights. It sounded like some people were gettin' out of line, and Harrups was just doin' his job.

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Oh, so you side with the police brutal--


HAMMERHEAD: It sounds like everybody else does, too! Yeah!

SCHARPLING: (laughing in disbelief ) I can't even ... I have never felt less involved in this town ... like I could not have the pulse of this town figured out less.

HAMMERHEAD: Oh, yeah! It makes me want to get a pit goin'. Who wants to get a pit goin'?! Com eon!

SCHARPLING: No. No! (applause) No, no, no more! No more!

HAMMERHEAD: Wanna go out there and get one goin'?

SCHARPLING: No, no, this place is gonna collapse if you get a pit going.

HAMMERHEAD: Ahhhh, it's worth it. Come on, let's go!

Hammerhead reprises the Minor Threat pit from the beginning of the debate. At one point Zachary Brimstead moans in pain followed by Hammerhead asking for assistance in breaking the walls down. Tom begs him to stop because the building is starting to shake.

HAMMERHEAD: Oh geez, it is starting to shake. Sorry about that. Yikes!

SCHARPLING: Wow. Oh, let's not do that again.

Dan from Newbridge sees a potential conflict with Bishop Fontana's run for office and the principle of the separation between church and state. However, Fontana points out that this is a moot point after he was frrrrocked.

SCHARPLING: Defrocked.

FONTANA: It's ... it's ... we can ar... go back and forth on that all night. It's ... it's frrocked.

SCHARPLING: Okay, okay, whatever it is. That's fine.

FONTANA: So I am no longer like officially with the ... the ... the ... Catholic Church? So I don't think there is a conflict, but when Fontanetics comes into being then ... uh ... it will ... everything will be ... great? And you will ... uh ... be thinking like me, which is even greater and stuff, so everything will ... will be good.

DAN: Okay.

SCHARPLING: Does that make any sense to you? It didn't make much sense to me.

DAN: What's Fontanetics?

FONTANA: Have you seen Step Brothers?

DAN: Mmmm ... no.

SCHARPLING: I did see Step Brothers.

FONTANA: I was asking him, not you ...

SCHARPLING: Oh, I'm sorry.

FONTANA: (laughing) Fat. Head.

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Oh ... great.

DAN: No, I haven't seen it yet.

FONTANA: It is terrible.

DAN: Uh huh.


SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Okay. Great.

FONTANA: It is what ... it's what I call lazy film ... lazy filmmaking and stuff?

DAN: Right.



FONTANA: Anyway ... uh ... it seems like we have other people to talk?

DAN: Okay

FONTANA: Thank you, caller.



HAMMERHEAD: Hammerhead.

SCHARPLING: Hey, Hammerhead.

HAMMERHEAD: I thought of something else I want to address.

SCHARPLING: What's that?

HAMMERHEAD: Uh, you know how in Little League ... uh ... you can only do 85 pitches if you're a pitcher?


HAMMERHEAD: That's all you can throw.


HAMMERHEAD: I wanna get that pushed up a little bit.

SCHARPLING: Okay. (laughs) Alright. What would you like it pushed up to?


SCHARPLING: Rea ... (chuckles) for these kids?

HAMMERHEAD: These kids are too soft.

SCHARPLING: Uh huh. You're trying to make these ...

HAMMERHEAD: I think I speak for everybody when I say these kids are too soft, right?

SCHARPLING: Ah, well, it doesn't look like anybody's applaud--


HAMMERHEAD: Oh yes! See. Let's go guys, come on!

Hammerhead begins clapping to Minor Threat in advance of more turbulence. Tom asks him to stop pushing Mike around because he's on the floor and seemingly hurt. Hammerhead explains that any injuries are the result of the punches he's landing on the Associate Producer. Brimstead emits another moan, and Tom calls a halt to the action.


HAMMERHEAD: Now that's a pit!

SCHARPLING: That was pretty impressive.

HAMMERHEAD: Finally, you guys get a pit going!

SCHARPLING: Okay. Oh, unbelievable. Unbelievable what this town is all about. I don't have any idea what's overtaken you people.

Josh from Seattle, who will vote via absentee ballot, has a general question for all the candidates because he's still undecided. He says that he's open to voting for the person who develops the best plan to make up for the revenue windfall that has resulted from declining property taxes in the current economic downturn. Philly Boy Roy Ziegler is the first -- and only -- candidate to give it a whirl.

ZIEGLER: Well, you know, there are some countries where they use windmills to uh ... to uh ... make power, so I think the wind fallin' through those would give us more power.

SCHARPLING: Well ... (chuckles) that's not exactly what the guy is asking.

ZIEGLER: What was he asking?

SCHARPLING: Uh, when you say "windfall," caller, you are referencing ...

ZIEGLER: Holland. That's where they do that.

JOSH: Well, I guess what I was referencing is the lack of funds that are gonna be there when the property values drop from the property taxes.

ZIEGLER: Oh, I would just institute a hoagie tax!

SCHARPLING: A hoagie tax?

ZIEGLER: That's all everyone's gonna be eatin' when I'm mayor.

SCHARPLING: Really ... (chuckles) Okay ... that's all anyone's gonna be eating?

JOSH: And ... and .. well ... okay.


SCHARPLING: Um ... alright. You know what?

ZIEGLER: I'm glad I have your vote! Thank you.

A caller asks for Bryce, and Tom says that he returned to his seat in the audience. Bryce quickly resurfaces on the stage to a round of applause. The caller says that Bryce gave him this number. Tom tells Bryce to leave because he's not even a candidate. Bryce stays and asks the caller if he's baked. The caller identifies himself as Matt K. from Newbridge. Bryce appears to recognize him as one of his customers.

MATT K.: Yo, let's deal with that QP, son.

BRYCE: What's that?

MATT K.: Oh ... oh, now you're acting like you don't know.

BRYCE: Well, Harrups is all kinda on my tail. He's lookin' right at me.

MATT K.: Yo, where's my product, son?

BRYCE: Yeah ... um ... oh, that magazine that you wanted?

MATT K.: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

BRYCE: Yeah ... (Audience laughs at the drug code word) that copy of your magazine ... um, it's gonna be ... uh by that log behind Lady Foot Locker.

MATT K.: Oh, where I came through last time?

BRYCE: (near whisper) Yeah ... he's still lookin' right at me. I can't say nothin' else, man.

MATT K.: Okay, okay. Cool, man.

SCHARPLING: Thanks for calling.

BRYCE: Here he comes, I gotta go.


Tom can't believe that people are once again cheering Bryce's attempt to elude the authorities after completing a drug transaction on the air. He points out that his opening Snow White joke was greeted with absolute silence, but the audience has generously applauded bizarre responses and rampant misbehavior all night long. Ziegler wants to try the joke because he suspects that Tom isn't telling it correctly.

ZIEGLER: Alright, everybody, uh, it's no secret that uh ... that there's more canidates [sic] up here then ... uh ... Snow White had dwarves.


SCHARPLING: (laughing) That's not ... no ... (applause) don't cheer him!

ZIEGLER: It's all in the delivery, fat face.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) It's not in the ... you didn't even ... you know what, you delivered it wrong.

ZIEGLER: No I didn't! I said that it's--


ZIEGLER: Snow White.

SCHARPLING: (laughs) You ... okay.

ZIEGLER: That's the punchline. See, you didn't hit Snow White!

SCHARPLING: Oh ... (chuckles) thanks ... uh ... comedy ... uh ... genius.

ZIEGLER: Oh yeah.

SCHARPLING: Gonna take a few more calls then have the closing statements.

ZIEGLER: The great David Brenner taught me that.


A caller says he's leaning towards Philly Boy Roy, but he just wants to know which Presidential candidate he thinks would be most beneficial to Newbridge.




SCHARPLING: He can't run again.

ZIEGLER: Why can't he run again?

SCHARPLING: 'Cause he's been President twice already.

ZIEGLER: Oh, man. Those were good toimes.

SCHARPLING: (laughing) They were NOT good times.

ZIEGLER: Well who's running? Who's running? I haven't really been kept abreast of the -- I'm sorry, I said "breast."

SCHARPLING: That's okay. Uh, John McCain ...

ZIEGLER: Who's John McLain?

SCHARPLING: John ... he's uh ... he's uh ... a Senator--

ZIEGLER: Oh, from M*A*S*H! And uh ... Hello, Larry.

SCHARPLING: No, that was McLean Stevenson.

ZIEGLER: Is he running?

SCHARPLING: No, he's not ...

ZIEGLER: 'Cause I would vote for him.

SCHARPLING: He's not alive anymore.

ZIEGLER: Oh, 'member those fishin' hooks he had on his cap?

SCHARPLING: Um ... yeah ...

ZIEGLER: And do you remember when he ... it was the episode when he ... uh ... he went away and then ... uh ... who was the little kid ... who came in? And he said that his flight went down in the Sea of Japan. Oh, that was a sad moment for television.

SCHARPLING: Yeah, that was a sad--why are we talking about this?! (laughs) This has nothing to ... no, so John McCain is running against--

ZIEGLER: I'll voge for him 'cause I like his name.


ZIEGLER: He reminds me of those fishin' ... uh ... hooks.

SCHARPLING: Oh, well that's fantastic. And there's Barack Obama ... is the other guy running.

ZIEGLER: I don't like the sound of that AT ALL.

SCHARPLING: (chuckles) Okay ... great.


Josh in Newbridge asks for the "moderator," and Tom thinks it is a rude greeting. PBR thinks that it's all the respect Tom deserves. Josh asks Mr. Von Trimble if he has any ideas to address the bedlam that erupted at the last bi-annual Colonial Days street festival.

VON TRIMBLE: Well, um, yeah. You know what we gotta do?

JOSH: What's that?

VON TRIMBLE: We gotta get rid of the ... um ... you know ...

SCHARPLING: Uhhh ... stop.

VON TRIMBLE: Whaaaaat?


VON TRIMBLE: I think we ... everyone knows what I'm talkin' about ...

SCHARPLING: No ... uh, yeah ... you know what?

VON TRIMBLE: Caller, don't you know what I'm talkin' about?

JOSH: I think he makes a point, Tom.

SCHARPLING: Uhhhh. Goodbye.


SCHARPLING: Goodbye. No, get outta here. Get outta here.

VON TRIMBLE: (jumping off podium) I'm gonna get you!

James from South Newbridge asks Marky Ramone about his plans for dealing with the dangerous sinkhole on the edge of town near Lake Newbridge where Tinkerbell's Tennis Teepee was located before it sunk. Ramone is familiar with the attempt to fill it with colored marbles and pave it over, but he's also reminded of something that happened when the band was doing an in-store on the Pleasant Dreams tour. He admits to taking a couple of promo rekkids because he was unaware that it violated store policy. John noticed the theft and asked Marky what he was doing. Marky said, "John, just takin' some promos." John informed Marky that it was rude to steal merchandise. Dee Dee piped up to say that if Marky was taking promos then he wanted some, too. John reminded Dee Dee that that he didn't even listen to rekkids. Dee Dee then unleashed one of his classic zinguhs: "John, I do, too. I listen to Ramones rekkids while we're makin' em!" Marky assumed that even John had to laugh at such a delicious quip, but he didn't. John just got madduh and madduh and madduh. James is satisfied with Marky's response to his question.

The final caller asks Zachary Brimstead if he will be on the bill at the Newbridge Inaugural Ceremony. Brimstead says that he will absolutely perform and claims that he can do the Newbridge National Anthem way better than Barrance Dworkin. Tom is willing to give him a shot, and Brimstead gets the lyric sheet from Dworkin. Brimstead begins the quest to find his wandering note and determines that he needs to tighten it up a bit. He asks the audience if they want to see his cumberbund tightened, and Tom makes it clear that nobody wants to see such a thing. However, Brimstead garners applause by giving people the option of keeping it loose. Tom thinks he needs to get out of this sick town if this is what people are all about. Brimstead supports Tom leaving Newbridge, and wild applause indicates that he's not the only one. Brimstead starts saying "He stinks!," which leads to Marky Ramone trying to start a full-scale "Tom stinks!" chant. Tom begs them to stop and wonders why people don't like him. Marky believes it's because Tom stinks and couldn't even get the 37 signatures on his petition. Tom says he could have done it if he actually wanted to run for office. Dr. Meyers assures Tom that he doesn't have to pretend that he would have made the ballot. He says that he's glad that Tom spared everyone of his campaign. Tom thanks his therapist for his support and asks everyone to stand for Zachary Brimstead's take of the Newbridge National Anthem.

The barbershop-tinged version is a glorious interpretation and features Brimstead's most impressive vowel-rounding since his unique cover of Necko Case's "Maybe Sparrow." Tom stops the music because Brimstead tacked on the same Jeans Genie advertisement. Brimstead says that he promoted their Back to School sale even though he can't fit into any of their discounted pants. (NOTE: the store has apparently moved from 2528 Muffler Row to 2584 Muffler Row in the past two hours.)

Closing Statements

Tom asks the candidates to briefly summarize their primary goal as mayor of Newbridge.

HAMMERHEAD: Uh, probably barging you.

FONTANA: I would think that the thing that is most ... uh ... important to us is probably you either being barged and/or ... uh ... um ... uh ... murded? Murdered. Yes, yes.

THOR: Yeah, thanks for calling on me. No, no, I would say that probably my ... my biggest thing .. my biggest concern would be how to keep you dead. You know, like do we ... we can't bury you because then it's just gonna ... you could get out.

BRIMSTEAD (answering for ZIEGLER): Oh ... man. Probably your murder!

ZIEGLER: He don't talk for me! No, but I have to say probably your murder, too. Yeah. Death by hoagie.

BOB: Your death.

RAMONE: After thinkin' about it a long time I probably have to say that ... uh ... probably killin' you would be the #1 thing that I wanna do. Tired of hearin' your voice.

MEYERS: Mr. Ramone has a point. Uh ... I'd probably agree with that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. First I would expose your ... your records to everybody, online probably. Yeah

HALVERSOM: (runs finger across throat)

PAUL: Yeah, probably getting your office space. You know, that corner office. And then killing you.

PALFNER: Um ... I 'unno, just ... um ... I 'unno, I guess like your death and stuff?

MIKE: My goal is keeping all of these other guys out of office. Vote for me.


Philly Boy Roy calls for the institution of Article 14 of the Newbridge Constritrution. Tom flips through his copy of the document to find out the details. He passes by Article 13 (aka "The Bunker Laws"), which forces residents to watch All in the Family, before landing on a prescient provision:

If in the future the technology exists to allow interaction between citizens via a "personal computor," then mayubernatorial voting may be conducted exclusively said devices' online capabilities. (1971)

Tom is amazed that the forefathers of such a backwards town anticipated the invention of the Internet. He announces that the official poll will go up in a few hours on the Friends of Tom website.

On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Dr. Fred Meyers attempts to convince a skeptical electorate that he was wise to select Sheila Larson as his mayubernatorial running mate. Larson, who is rumored to have given birth to 27 children out of wedlock, is currently employed as an erotic entertainer at the Dockside Dolls nightclub and has never held any leadership position beyond a disastrous six-month stint as a Book Club organizer in 2006. The group disbanded after Larson consistently showed up late from "ski lessons" and threw a teapot when everyone vetoed her pick of Under Orders by Dick Francis.