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Tennenbaum to Treason.

"Come back, fun! How did you leave me within 30 seconds?!" - Tom, delivering the punchline to his classic sitcom joke
"Mike said he was donating to the Pharoah Sanders Fund." -- Tom, questioning his Associate Producer's suspicious "charitable contributions" to the jazz saxophonist via Tunes in Hoboken
"I don't think there's anything wrong with the idea that this person would fall out of the sky and be the running mate of the oldest President in history." - Tom, lending his support to upstart politician Sarah Palin
"I'm good at slot machines. I'm great at air hockey." -- Tom, touting his skills while in the throes of a losing streak
"You know why we gotta drop the '-ling' out of your name? People in the Southeast are gonna think you're Chinese, and they got no time for that." - Dave from Knoxville, attempting to make Tom and The Best Show safer for a less tolerant market
"Because of the drum solo it allowed me time to ... uh ... get serviced." - Gene Simmons, citing the purpose of keeping "100,000 Years" in the Kiss setlist
"Most are ... most don't." -- Gene Simmons, agreeing that the loyal Kiss fans are worthless slobs who have nothing going on in their pitiful lives
"It's War Paint during the show and then, of course, afterwards when my sessions start, it becomes Love Paint." - Gene, providing the proper terminology for his Kiss makeup
"Hey, Davy! Good show tonight. I didn't know it was a private event." -- An excited Davy Jones fan marvels at his good fortune
"Uh, it seems kinda self-explanatory. I assume it's about gay pimpin'." -- Tom, identifying the premise of the popular Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern podcast
"All she needed was a wet cloth, and she'd start waterboarding a two-year-old." -- Tom, calling out an unhinged Best Buy employee for harassing and torturing a frightened child
"Kid Rock. That creepy facial hair would never cut it in the National Guard. Some guy shows up with that dumb hat on? That dumb hat 'cause he's goin' bald?" -- Tom, declaring the aging rap-rocker and ersatz warrior unfit for military service
"Yeah, what is it, uh, shampoo?" -- Tom, zinging Tyler from the LES with a guess of what he thinks the world could do without
"Women of Newbridge, as your future mayor I command you to kneel around me and feed me Peanut Chews like nem scantily-clad compupines used to feed grapes to their masters back in classical music days." - Philly Boy Roy, sending an important message to female voters
"I wanna make Newbridge the world's largest car wash. Bottomless." -- Philly Boy Roy, unveiling his plans to convert the town into a single erotic business
"Do we really want a guy who couldn't even fly his plane roight to be President? That sets a bad president for the future, don't it?" - Philly Boy Roy, expressing concerns about John McClain's subpar aviation display in Vietcong
"Yeah, there's a shocker. A shirtless guy wearing a football helmet with a baseball cap underneath it holding the hood of a car with some obscene painting on it." - Tom, summarizing the sartorial and artistic offenses that led to Philly Boy Roy's ejection from a Hilton hotel lobby
"I hunt moose!" - Philly Boy Roy, revealing the surprising circumstances of his shocking encounter with Sarah Palin in the Alaskan wilderness
"Well, it took me two weeks to mesmerize 'em all. See, it's easier when you mesmerize 'em. Yeah. I get a little, um, I don't know, tripped up with some words sometimes." -- Philly Boy Roy, explaining his strategy for narrating Encyclopedia Britannica entries

[TBSOWFMU - 9/9/08 / Podmirth / Fan Fiction Contest World Domination Scheme / Myspace / Fotpedia / Newbridgctionary / Headquarters / S&W]

Portastatic - "Trajectory"

( Click here to buy Some Small History)

The Cute Lepers - "Nervous Habits"

( Click here to buy Can't Stand Modern Music)

Skid Row - "Riot Act"

( Click here to buy Slave to the Grind)

Trumans Water - "Outpatient Lightspeed"

( Click here to buy Godspeed the Punchline)

Archers of Loaf - "Wrong"

( Click here to buy Icky Mettle)

Prisonshake - "Favorite Hospital"

( Click here to buy Dirty Moons)

Bailter Space - "Retro"

( Click here to buy Wammo)

Mouserocket - "All Been Broken"

( Click here to buy Pretty Loud)

Bonus Track:

Cock Sparrer - "I Got Your Number"

( Click here to buy TLRx's Rapid Response EP)

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 caller wants to know what's up with Swiss cheese, brutha. Tom is right on his wavelength because he doesn't know why this product has all those holes in it1. The caller gets Swiss chocolate and the Swiss Alps, which he'd loved to ski on if he had enough money, but he doesn't know what ties the cheese to Switzerland. Tom GOMPs him for doing a Jerry Seinfeld routine from 1988. The Best Show is not a forum for aspiring stand-up comedians.

And but so is it my turn? Yes? Hello, people of the blogosphere. Hello? Is it my turn now? I'm not quite ready. I don't know what to do. Do I just start recapping things? Should I play a record or something? What? Oh, you want to hear "Night of the Unborn" from Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath? I'll be sure to pass that along. Omar will be with you momentarily.

Tom Scharpling doesn't want to host this Tuesday night installment of The Best Show on WFMU, but it's not optional. He must go forward and administer his usual three-hour dose of mirth, music, and mayhem. Mike the Associate Producer informs Tom that the flashing phone line contains The Inevitable. Tom wonders if the Grim Reaper has already come to get him at 8:23 p.m. The end of the show is a long ways away, and Tom would rather be home watching the premiere of Fringe, the new J.J. Abrams science-fiction skein on Fox. He forgot to DVR it, so he hint-coughs to alert someone else to pick up the slack. Tom decides to stop messing around and just DO IT because The Best Show is not an unpleasant endeavor like a root canal procedure or some other form of torture. He whips himself into a frenzy substantial enough to handle anything the night may bring him. He wants to start cutting loose and having more fun while he's on the air.


- Spike's usual greeting sends the fun on the run, and Tom yells for it to come back after a 30-second visit. He then admits to using the notion of increased fun to craft an easy joke set-up that might not fly on the dinercom Alice. Tom thinks he attempted material best left to Ralph Hart, the doorman on The Jeffersons. He recalls a classic exchange between Hart and George Jefferson in the show's 11th season premiere entitled "Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Blood and Money." Hart announced that he would never donate blood due to his fear of needles. Jefferson then offered him $100 for the extraction, and the doorman quickly changed his tune. He was now prepared to get drained blind. Tom just re-enacted this scene with Spike as the stand-in for getting a needle plunged into your arm.

Spike says that giving blood is one of the things on his robust Don't Do List, but he does do charitable acts that don't involve parting with his own fluids. Tom is intrigued by this new line of Spike inquiry, so he wants to hear about some of his philanthropic pursuits. Spike says he gives to the Salvation Army and other homeless organizations. Tom reminds him that "give" is when you leave something for people, not when you take something from them. Spike clarifies that the Salvation Army and AIDS organizations have been known to receive a generous check from him2. Tom asks him if he also tithes. Spike says he does not give anything to the Church. Tom mentions that Mike has been bragging about donating 10% of his earnings, but he considers places like Tunes in Hoboken to be legit charities.

Spike wonders if Tunes is a restaurant or bar, and Tom informs him that it's a record store. Spike remembers those old-timey, brick-and-mortar boutiques. Mike claimed that he was "donating" to a "fund" established by jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders. Tom suspects that Mike is shoplifting from Tunes. He alerts all Tunes employees to check Mike's bag when he's in the store because it contains a lining that deactivates the security tags affixed to the merchandise. Tom asks Mike if he still has the bag he used for his crimes. Mike says that he does even though he has no idea what Tom is talking about.

Tom asks Spike for his take on the Presidential election now that it's less than two months away. Spike says he just prays Barack Obama gets in because he can't take the senile old man and the housewife. Tom jokingly denounces housewives, which causes Spike to confirm that he hates all housewives and find this one particularly irritating. Tom thought Spike might find her to be cool and hilarious, but he's not amused or impressed with what he's seen. Tom is excited to see a fresh face appear on the political landscape. He says that there's nothing wrong with the idea that a person would fall out of the sky two months before the election to become the running mate of the oldest President in history. Spike believes that the senile old man could have picked somebody more experienced. Tom wonders why he didn't just cross party lines and select Barack Obama. Spike informs him that he's competing against Obama. Tom envisioned a scenario where they chose each other to form an unstoppable, Survivor-like alliance. He recalls employing this strategy while trying to secure a desirable lab partner in school. Spike thinks it would have been an interesting move.


Tom hears a strange background noise -- a sort of guttural yelp -- that sounded like someone in distress. Spike says he doesn't know what it was, but Tom doesn't believe him unless his apartment possesses the personified properties of the Monster House. Spike says he lives at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Tom tells him to avoid giving his home address on the radio, and Spike cackles at the thought of living there. Tom remembers that it's actually the location of the house on The Monsters. He thought that was a good show, although it's been a while since he's appraised any of the antics of patriarch Herman Monster and family. Spike longs for the days when shows were this good. Tom points out that The Monsters aired in the era before color television, and Spike notes that it was also prior to the reality television boom. Tom is surprised to find out that The Monsters was a sitcom because he thought it was one of the first reality shows. He asks Spike to name his favorite member of The Monsters. Spike goes for Grandpa Monster because he was always a fan of Al Lewis. Tom also enjoyed the actor. Spike says that Desperate Housewives is one reality show he can do without. Tom tells him that it's a scripted series, and Spike says it should be a reality show. Tom gives him the Heave Ho for making no sense. While Open Phone Tuesday is on hiatus this week, Tom will give callers 30 seconds to show their stuff.

- Tim from the West Brighton neighborhood on Staten Island gives it a try with some alleged gossip w/r/t Hate Pit resident Mickey Dolenz. Tom stops the clock. He asks Tim if West Brighton is near Sedutto's or The Lemon Tree haircuttery. Tim says that he lives on the other side of the island near the Ferry. He generally avoids haircuts, but he does enjoy browsing the plentiful racks at Jim Hanley's Universe. Tim and Tom agree that it's a quality store staffed with Salt-of-the-Earth comic book folk. Tom salutes the crew of Staten Island slobs who are just trying to get by in life. Tim includes himself in the S.I. slob category and realizes that Tom is a slob based in New Jersey. He thinks that New Jersey and Staten Island really see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues even though they would rather not admit it. Tom compares the synergy to the 1985 Wolfgang Peterson film Enemy Mine, which follows the adventures of human pilot Willis E. Davidge (Dennis Quaid) and Drac pilot Jeriba "Jerry" Shigan (Louis Gossett, Jr.). The unlikely duo put aside their interstellar hostilities and learn to cooperate in order to survive after crashing in a hostile alien world.

Tim agrees and starts to further discuss the alliance, but Tom has heard enough about it for now. He says that he's not in a very good mood tonight because he's been on a bit of a losing streak in his personal life. The Kid is on a skid, and nobody is buying what he's selling. Tom went to Atlantic City for a work function and couldn't win a nickel at the Star Wars slot machine. He was not pleased about getting his clock cleaned because he's generally good at playing slot machines. He then tried his luck at The Wheel, a boardwalky gambling game where you try to win money instead of an iPod that doesn't work or a large stuffed animal. Tom struggled to get his rhythm going. He says these gambling runs are just a goof, not a means to put food on his table with the winnings. Tim asks Tom if has a monetary limit. Tom says he cuts himself off at a couple hundred bucks, but he's certainly not looking to just hand the stash over to the house. After finally scoring on a couple of spins, Tom suffered a setback at the hands of a guy who looked like Pugsley Addams crossed with somebody big. Tim wants to say that the guy resembled the family's faithful manservant Lurch, but that would hit too close to their home. Tom says the guy looked like Pugsley Addams as a 6' 5" adult. Tim thinks he knows a guy who fits that description. Tom realized that his luck would run out every time they rotated this oversized buffoon into the mix. He grabbed the wheel like a caveman and spun it as though he was trying to start a motorcycle or lawnmower, causing bettors to wait five minutes for the wheel to stop due to the excessive torque.

In addition to his casino woes, Tom bombed harder than he'd ever bombed before on a business phone call to discuss something he had been working hard on for three weeks. Finally, Tom is disappointed that he hasn't won one game of air hockey in the past week. While he's good at slot machines, he's great at air hockey3. Tim, who is less skilled on the aerated surface, thinks he should square off against Tom to help restore his eroding confidence. Tom is not willing to go down to the minors because he only plays the best talent in the sport. He fears that the multiple losing steaks will carry over into tonight's show. Tim thinks Tom will do okay just like he usually does. Tom informs Tim that he's not crazy about his 'tude. If Tim didn't promise a Mickey Dolenz story, he would have been Heave Ho'd for that comment. Tim says he's trying not to exude any 'tude. Tom places Tim on thin ice for giving him a tour of the wrong side of Staten Island. He wants Tim to try to be a gentleman when calling Jersey City instead of behaving like he's strolling down Hylan Boulevard. Tim apologizes and proceeds with the knowledge that he's in a very precarious position.

He says that a friend who writes for the Staten Island Advance was interviewing Davy Jones for his upcoming concert with David Cassidy (billed as "The Ultimate Idols") at the St. George Theater. Tim says that Jones was apparently talking some smack about his former Monkees bandmate. He alleged that Dolenz buys coach plane tickets and then demands an upgrade because of his fame. Tim thought it sounded a bit ridiculous, but he can't imagine why Jones would make something like that up. Tom imagines Dolenz boarding a Continental flight with his regular ticket and then requesting a move to the elite class while doing his James Cagney impression. Tim says that he would do the same thing if he were Dolenz. Tom warns the people of Staten Island to brace themselves for the arrival of the least talented Monkee. He also wants them to reflect on just how talentless some of the band members were. Tim asks Tom if he really thinks Davy Jones is less talented than Mickey Dolenz. Tom knows that Dolenz is in the The Hate Pit for past transgressions, but he at least tripped over the better Monkees songs. Tim is glad that Tom's rage doesn't blind him to lucid musical analysis. Tim asks Tom to name the most talented Monkee. Tom immediately says Mike Nesmith. Tim says that's who he thought it was going to be. Tom gives him the Heave Ho.

- Jason from Brooklyn via Manhattan wants to talk about The Best Show World Domination Scheme: Phase 1. Tom stops the clock to hear a proposal for a "Best Show Blitz" where all the listeners and fans agree to hype the show in various online forums, blogs, and other media outlets on the same day. Jason wonders what day would be best for the promotional romp, and Tom begins singing an impromptu "Best Show Blitz" theme song. Jason suggests Tom's birthday or Dogmo's birthday, but Tom rejects these options and turns his attention to the bizarre Davy Jones tour dates. However, Jason appears uninterested in such trifles.

Tom likes the general idea and will work on selecting the day. Jason says that he looks forward to reading about the details on the FOT forum, where he posts under his full name of Jason Grote to avoid any confusion with the British Jason. Tom reveals that Mr. Grote is a very talented playwright, and Jason is flattered by the compliment. Tom says that if he announced himself at the beginning of the call he wouldn't have been so curt with him. Jason says he was reluctant to intrude on the show with his resume. He thanks Tom for giving him so much joy over the years. Tom appreciates all of his support and participation in the name of the Good Guys, slobs, and Joe Lunchpailers overcoming evil in the world. He has to let Grote go because he is a little too jumpy. Tom views The Best Show as his opportunity to offer a bit of comfort to the listeners who grind out 12-hour workdays at the worst jobs imaginable and then slink back to the horror houses of their existence. He believes that he does his part by offering an oasis in a vast desert of despair. Tom was actually ripping a page from the oft-quoted script book of Paul Stanley, a stage banter master who relies heavily on sexual innuendos. When he isn't working blue, Stanley often demeans his loyal fans by claiming that a KISS show is a 90-minute reprieve from the drudgery of their day-to-day lives. Tom thinks the real drudgery is a band having to perform "100,000 Years" for 100,000 years.

- Power Caller Dave from Knoxville says it was a thrill to hear a rare appearance from Jason Grote, who usually speaks with his typewriter. However, he is a little curious about the suggestion of Tom or Dogmo's birthday for the Best Show Blitz. (Mr. Grote later credited Dave for the idea.) Dave thinks Grote is a Great Guy who is doing Good. He has another idea for TBSOWFMUWDS:P1, which will focus on making Tom safe for the Southeastern region of the U.S. to increase the show's popularity. Tom is ready to hear about how he can infiltrate this new market.

1. Drop the "-ling" from the last name.

Tom thinks it's a good idea. While he knows that Dave is from Knoxville, he's not sure what state it's in. Dave says it's in Kentucky Tennessee. Tom asks Dave if he's willing to promote the show by distributing flyers at local Ku Klux Klan rallies. Dave says he will be able to spread the word very quickly because he attends two rallies every week. Tom doesn't think that Dave really attends any white power conclaves, but he assumes that he knows where they are held. Dave says that it's hard to turn a corner in Knoxville without bumping into a meeting. Tom speculates that they take place in the downtown square after the mayor dons his hood. Dave says the "-ling" must be excised because people in the South will mistake Tom for a Chinese man. He notes that ethnic misconceptions are prevalent among people who have little time for Chinamen. Tom assigns more power to the people of China to deal with this xenophobia.

2. Drop the "c" from the resulting Scharp.

Dave says the offending letter needs to be extracted because it will cause people to think that Tom is a member of Al-Qaeda, the international Sunni Islamic terrorist organization. Tom is surprised to discover the extent of the mental sleaziness in the region.

3. Select a new first name.

Dave believes that Tom Sharp is still problematic because the Biblical first name is closely associated with Catholicism. He points out that Richard Nixon earned 99% of the popular vote in Tennessee in the 1960 Presidential Election due to concerns over John F. Kennedy's religious faith. Tom thinks this is all too heavy, but he wants Dave to continue outlining his plan. I vote for Col. Goober Sharp.

4. Transcribe and then "southernify" each episode of The Best Show.

Dave thinks this is a revolutionary possibility that could initially work in the South and then expand to international markets4. He plans to replace the ABBA box with a Journey box to better relate to Southern sensibilities. Tom recommends filling the playlists with some selections from the country music duo Big & Rich. He asks Dave if he knows Cowboy Troy, the hick-hop artist and frequent B&R collaborator. Tom mentions that Mike is always bragging about meeting him at an Arby's. Dave is not familiar with CT and wonders if he plays a role similar to Wee-Man., Kid Rock's late, hype man/vertically-challenged emcee.

Tom says that Mike got Cowboy Troy to autograph a Beef 'N Cheddar® wrapper, but encroaching grease stains have rendered the signature illegible. Dave asks Tom if he's ever caught Mike chewing on the wrapper to take advantage of its legendary ability to hold the sandwich's flavor for a long time. Tom says he's never seen Mike tasting the prized collectible, but it's possible that the aforementioned stains are saliva. He tells the people of the South that they will just have to take him in his current, Jerseyfied form. Tom warns them that The Best Show is about to roll into town and take over. Dave is ready to head up any necessary reconnaissance missions. Tom asks him to go to the Klan rallies to let everyone know about this funny show they need to hear. Dave says he'll have the posters up by next week. Tom thanks him for the call.

- A caller says that even though he agrees with Tom on the drudgery of performing "100,000 Years," he wants to say that the song absolutely served its purpose during live shows. Tom wants to know more about its function in the setlist. The caller says that its inclusion allowed him enough time to "get serviced" during the drum solo. Tom asks the caller to identify himself. The caller asks Tom who he thinks it is. Tom asks him if it's who he thinks it is. The caller thinks Tom knows who it is. Tom guesses that it's Kiss bassist Gene Simmons. The caller confirms that he is indeed the God of Thunder. Gene says that he wanted to inform the host that he will be sued for defaming Paul Stanley, the band KISS, the trademark KISS(tm), and the brand KISS.

Tom thinks that Gene has to admit that he and Paul are guilty of describing their audience as worthless slobs who have nothing going for them. Gene agrees that this is an accurate description. He believes that KISS is a lifeboat in an existence that is disastrously adrift. Gene compares it to the end of Titanic when the titular passenger liner sinks, depositing a sea of humanity into the sea. Gene laughs at his ironic turn of phrase. Tom guesses that it's an example of irony. Gene says that you can almost see the big KISS logo and stage lights float across the water. The fans desperately cling to these illuminated rafts for two hours before losing their grips and dying pitiful deaths.

Gene asks the host to give his honest take on the KISS, and Tom mentions the original lineup reunion in 1996 with full "clown paint." Gene objects to Tom belittling their makeup, although the official foundation color is in fact called "Clown White." Tom asks Gene how he would describe their cosmetics. Gene prefers the term War Paint during the show and then Love Paint when he begins his post-show sessions. Tom doesn't like this transition even a little bit. Gene claims that Tom loves it so much that he's pawing himself. Tom says that Gene could not be more wrong about his response. Gene remains convinced that Tom is in the midst of a sick self-pawing, but he won't judge him for the rummage.

Tom looks at KISS as being something that meant a lot to children of the 1970s, who were then able to recapture their youth with the shows in the mid- to late-1990s. It served its purpose and then the law of diminishing returns took over. Gene wonders how on Earth Tom could come to this conclusion. He asks him if he's seen any recent KISS concerts because the fans wanted the best-ever lineup, and they got it: Simmons, Stanley, Tommy Thayer, and Eric Singer (aka "The Catman"). Tom says that most people would argue that the most beloved quartet includes Peter and Ace. Gene only has a vague memory of these two people. He asks Tom if Peter's tenure in the band preceded the arrival of guitarist Vinnie Vincent. Tom says that Peter Criss was the band's original drummer and certainly predates the 1982-1984 Vinnie Vincent invasion. Gene thinks that sounds right. He also says that the name Ace Frehley possibly rings a bell. Tom is bemused by the revisionist KISStory.

Gene asks Tom to guess how much money he has in his wallet. Tom recalls playing this game many times in the past, but today is a different day. Tom guesses $10,000. Gene pauses to retrieve his wallet and assess its contents: 20 $100 bills and a check for $2 million. Tom wants to know why he would carry a check of that value. Gene says it's payment for merchandise, such as t-shirts, ponties, and other garments in KISS's line of women's lingerie. Tom points out that these checks represent not actual sales, but the initial investment from people attempting to market products featuring the KISS brand. He accuses Gene of hoodwinking many misguided entrepreneurs into thinking that there is actually public demand for this stuff. They then (literally) lose their shirts. Gene asks the host if he has a check for $2 million or 20 $100 bills in his wallet because he doubts it. Tom admits that he doesn't, and Gene thinks he's been vindicated. Tom says that Gene can declare victory if he's only interested in the accumulation of money. Gene wonders what else there is to be interested in aside from money and lovemaking. He asks Tom if he's seen him in action. Tom asks Gene to stop referencing his sessions.

Gene wishes Tom the best of luck with the show and asks him to repeat his instructions to rock 'n roll all night and party every day. Tom refuses and tells Gene to recite the phrase he made famous. He obliges with a very flat rendition and bids the host goodnight. Tom thinks Gene's reading really conveyed a sense of just cutting loose and having fun. Gene says that's because he's smoking a cigar with his feet propped up, which is how he parties at his advanced age. He forbids Tom to judge him for it. Tom asks Gene how he manages to still squeeze into his outfits. Gene says that it used to take the band two hours to apply their makeup, but now it takes three hours to put the tights on. He has to continually tailor them to allow for safe passage. Tom guesses this wardrobe malfunction gives new meaning to the word "tights." Gene laughs at the undeniably clever quip, but he will still sue Tom for it on grounds of defamation of character. Gene argues that since he's living Tom's fontasy life, Tom con't make these kinds of comments. Tom denies that Gene is living his fantasy. Gene corrects Tom on the pronunciation of "fontasy" and gets him to say it. He bids the host farewell.

- Julie from Cincinnati checks in, and Tom dubs her a Quality Caller. Julie identifies herself again to make sure Tom is aware that she's on the line. Tom inquires about her dog, Yetta, and Julie says she just walked her to the bar and back but on the way there she stopped to see the family of pit bulls who live down the street and are kind of scary because a few weeks ago a few pit bulls came calling on Yetta and she thought that's where they came from but it wasn't. Tom struggles to find an entry point into this thicket. Julie explains that Tom asked her about Yetta so she wanted to tell him that she took her to call on the pit bulls that she thought called on her but she took her to the wrong house. Tom questions Julie's use of "call" as something lifted from The Age of Innocence. Julie explains that it's an elegant, 19th Century way of saying hello. Tom thinks it's exciting to hear something from The Magnificent Ambersons. Julie is excited by the reference and notes that her use of the dated term is as tragic as the family's post-industrial freefall.

Julie has a serious question for Tom. In a nutshell, she wants to talk to Spike on his radio show. Tom agrees to pair them up if she calls the next time she hears his voice on the air. Julie explains that she doesn't want to talk to Spike, but another FOT wants to hear this meeting of the minds. She says it's problematic because she's often not home when he calls early in the show. Tom asks Julie if he expects him to be some kind of miracle worker. Julie says that Tom doesn't have to do anything to facilitate the encounter. She suggests that Spike should call and request to talk to her. Tom tells Julie to call on Spike right now. Julie tells Spike to please call because she would really love to talk to him. She admits that she's lying, and Tom gives her the Heave Ho. He doesn't want to put with Julie's own weird show. Mike does his own show. Spike does his own show. The people in the FOT Chat are doing their own show. There's only one show. This show. The Best Show.

- Matt from New Orleans calls to celebrate surviving the frightening experience of Hurricane Gustav and his introduction to The Best Show. Before he forgets Tom wants to go back to the Davy Jones Band tour dates5, particularly a private event back in August at the Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, CA. He argues that Jones should not have taunted his Santa Ynez fans by listing this show on his website. Matt says that Tom has made him a little jealous that he was not invited to this exclusive gig. Tom imagines that it would be very exciting to receive the prized invitation in the mail. He also suspects that half of the Jones public shows become "private events" due to poor ticket sales.

Tom asks Matt to provide the odds that Jones does "Daydream Believer" at these solo shows. Matt ignores the question, and Tom accepts the fact that he simply doesn't want to talk about Davy Jones anymore. Matt does want to thank Tom for giving him this wonderful show. After hearing a lot about it over the past month in the blogosphere he subscribed to the podcast in iTunes and stored up six installments. Matt says that he was finally able to devour them in the time he spent stuck in traffic during the retreat from and subsequent triumphant return to New Orleans. He thought they were spectacular shows, including the historic H-Man broadcast. Matt says his eyes have been opened to the genius of The Best Show. Tom tells Matt that it's his pleasure to have him on board.

Tom checks out the often disheartening iTunes Comedy Podcast rankings to find The Best Show at #16. Matt does his fair share of podcasting, so he's interested to hear what outranks The Best Show. Tom is sick to his stomach when his sees The Bugle, The Christian Comedy Podcast, WMMR's Preston & Steve, and Gay Pimpin' with Jonny McGovern forever overhead. Matt has listened to The Bugle, which isn't that good, but he's not even sure about the premise of Gay Pimpin'. Tom thinks it seems pretty self-explanatory: an expose on the trials and tribulations of gay pimping. Tom gives more power to all the great behind people these competing podcasts, but seriously. Matt thinks he's doing his part for TBSOWFMUWDS:P1 because he signed up all of the friends who let him crash at their homes. Tom thinks it would be hard for people not to appreciate a guest who stays for free and messes up their computer. (Sample dialogue: "Hey, man, I'm gonna stay two more days and I'm gonna subscribe you up to things that you don't want!") Tom spares Matt the Heave Ho, but he does let him go because the conversation has reached its natural conclusion.

The calm before the storm

Tom went to Best Buy to return some computer speakers, which were the worst he ever owned, and got the added treat of seeing an employee ruin the life of a two-year-old. The kid was understandably hiding behind his father when this weird adult approached him. The woman proceeded to get right in his face, call him a "crybaby" about 35 times, and hold him aloft at the weirdest possible angle. Tom says that all she needed was a wet cloth to subject the toddler to a waterboarding. The kid began crying, and Tom wanted to shed his own tears to show that he did not approve of the torture. The undeterred close-taunter continued her attacks. She then turned to look at Tom, and he was at a loss at how to respond to this spectacle. Tom wasn't going to yell at her because the kid's father was standing nearby, although he was too caught up in exchanging his Xbox 360 to notice what was happening to his poor son. Tom opted for one of those strained grins to try to appease her. She fixed her gaze back on the kid, who is now freaking out, and claimed that Tom was laughing at him. Tom was doing no such thing. He saw this child's life being irreparably harmed by this woman, and it was no laughing matter. Tom tells the kid that he was with him on this one.

Tom is ready to launch a topic and gives listeners three options:

1. The Scales of Justice: on one side, it's the things you do know about; on the other, it's the things you're not sure about. I'm Not Sure About It!
2. I Can't Know Everything.
3. You've been given a shrink ray. You can aim it at one person. Whom do you aim it at?

He announces that these are not the actual topics for tonight's program. Tom recalls last week's call from budding rock music scholar Trembling Eagle regarding the lack of respect given to the purity and nuance of UFC and MMA matches. He claimed that less people die in these events compared to boxing and other violent sports. Tom disputes this with a story he read about the death of former UFC champion Evan Tanner. He does acknowledge that Tanner died out of the ring after succumbing to heat exposure while wandering the California desert. The bottom line: Tom has no time for this kind of combat.

Tom got to the theater early for a recent Hamlet 2 screening to allow for plenty of time to get settled for the Coogan laffer, but he made the mistake of getting there too early. The kind of early where you have to endure a series of terrible, 4.5-minute-long commercials6 before you get to the exciting trailers for fun, forthcoming features. Exhibit A: Kid Rock's "Warrior" recruitment video for the National Guard. Tom did not enjoy seeing shots of Kid Rock and his band of dirtbags, who would never cut it in a reserve military operation, rocking out in front of a crowd of adoring Guardsmen intercut with footage of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. driving his dumb stock car around a track. Tom is confused by the seemingly mixed message of the clip because he doesn't think there is any division of the National Guard that allows enlisted volunteers to take NASCAR-grade vehicles for a spin.


Tom begins watching "Warrior" on YouTube to provide a play-by-play and refresh his memory. Kid Rock puts on his hat and guitar followed by DEJ putting on his helmet so the rocking and racing can begin with less risk of head trauma. Tom then describes one particularly horrifying sequence (shot in a yellow, desert-ish tint) where a battalion of National Guardsmen are patrolling a town called Over There Not Here and encounter some Foreign Kids playing soccer. The ball gets kicked into the middle of the dirt road just as the American Jeep pulls forward. One Foreign Kid is frozen with the terror of getting machine-gunned to death as he goes to retrieve it. However, his fears evaporate when one of the guardsmen gets out and kicks it back to the delight of the Foreign Kids. It turns out that the National Guard is comprised of Good Guys who love the pitch just as much as Foreign Kids. Meanwhile, Kid Rock continues to pump out his generic rock, and Tom fails to remember any of his previous military service.

He respects real military personnel and doesn't believe that Kid Rock's performances to captive audiences and tanks rides during USO tours qualify as a valid service record. Tom doubts that Rock's creepy, unpoliced facial hair would gain the approval of his commanding officers in the National Guard. He is certain that the dumb hat that hides his baldness would also be confiscated. Tom gives Kid Rock a thumbs down for this and "All Summer Long," the latest hit single from his Rock N Roll Jesus LP. He thinks it may be the worst thing he's ever heard in his life. Tom wonders who actually wants to hear a composition that starts off with a sample of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" merged with the dimwit's bad sing-rapping about seasonal hijinks and then transitions to a sample of "Sweet Home Alabama," an obscure Lynyrd Skynrd outtake from the Nuthin' Fancy recording sessions. Alas, the real topic appears on the table: Does The World Need This?

- Julie from Cincinnati, who appears to be using a DeepTone 500® voice modulator, returns to say that she had and then forgot a great idea for the second fake topic. She turns the device off to switch to her normal voice, and Tom reacts as though he just listened to "Barracuda" at full volume. Julie, who now appears to be using a ThoughtScrambler 700®, says that she often enters the vehicle of a co-worker for jaunts like a field trip into the city to purchase baseball tickets. However, the friend's in-car playlists include Miley Cyrus, who is horrible but likable, and the Kid Rock tune Tom just reviewed. Julie says she's not sure if it's the worst song of all-time, but it's definitely on her list of things she doesn't want to hear again. Tom gives Julie the Heave Ho for saying something that is unfit for families. He helps out all callers by painting a picture of the typical Best Show listener: a 10-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl, a 19-year-old nerd of either gender boy, a 25-year-old professional, a homeowner, a 39-year-old boy, a 59-year-old boy8, and a 69-year-old boy.

- Laurie in Miami thinks Tom is always a winner, but Tom still feels like one of the wounded bums in Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland." Laurie suggests unlocking the power of The Secret by visualizing his desires. Tom isn't familiar with this self-help technique. Laurie knows that Tom has heard of that Oprah thing, but she wants to move on because it's old news. Tom also wants to embrace 2008 by focusing on hip stuff like Zach and Cody.

Laurie says that her military commercial of choice has always been the late-1980s United States Marine Corps spot featuring a soldier fighting a dragon. Tom points out that it was technically a "fire monster." Laurie suspects that the USMC took it off the air because they were inundated with registrants looking to slay the animated beast. Tom speculates that it was dropped as false advertising after all the fire monsters died. Laurie thinks Tom just nailed it. She follows J. Grote's blitz and DfK's Southernification with an idea for a TBSOWFMUWDS:P1 slogan -- The Best Show: We're Takin' Ova! Tom likes it, and Laurie gives him the option of the more traditional "Over." Tom sticks with her original construction even though it makes it sound like the program originates out of Boston, MA. Laurie thinks this would attract more New England listeners, but Tom has no interest in pretending to be from another city.

Laurie also has something for the topic that relates to the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. Tom watched a good portion of the VMAs before shutting it off in rage. Laurie asks him if he bailed when Jordin Sparks called everyone who engages in pre-marital sessions a common pejorative for a promiscuous person9. Tom didn't make it that far, but he thinks the American Idol winner should take her commentary to the PAX Network. Laurie agrees that support of promise rings is a cause Sparks should save for an appearance on The 700 Club. Tom says that Mike, who befriend evangelical host Pat Robertson at his gym, reneged on his promise to book him on the talk show. Laurie asks Tom if Mike wears a promise ring. He does not. Laurie concludes that Mike must be one of them. Tom says Mike is a lot closer to the scandal-prone J. Swaggart than J. Sparks or The Joyce Brothers. Mike confirms that he is footloose and free of fancy.

Tom says that nobody should care what Sparks thinks about any subject because she is terrible. Laurie thinks MTV was unwise to invite her, especially after she showed up wearing her Junior Prom dress. Tom wonders what cruise ship will employ her three years from now. Laurie predicts that she'll end up on the Carnival Fontasy class because she's living in a fontasy world if she thinks anyone is interested in her opinions on lifestyle choices. Tom wonders what he will do without Laurie on the line 10 seconds from now.

- Tom fills the void with a call from the great DJ Terre T, host of WFMU's Cherry Blossom Clinic, every Saturday from 1500h. to 1800h. EST. She announces that this Saturday there will be a live band in the studio and asks Tom if he's familiar with the all-girl garage-pop group The Friggs. Tom says that he's still trying to get over their upsetting breakup. He vows to follow up his successful, years-long efforts to reunite Big Dipper (and a more recent quest/threat to do the same in early 2009 for Volcano Suns despite J. Weigand's insistence that it's futile) by orchestrating the reformation of The Friggs. DJTT says that Tom's thought has made it happen: The Friggs are the band she has lined up for a performance on this week's installment. Tom is shocked by the power of that Oprah thing and tells everyone that this is now must-listen radio. DJTT mentions that The Friggs are also playing a reunion show this coming Tuesday at the Knitting Factory in NYC. Tom is much less happy about this booking because it's competing with The Best Show. He gives his full-on support to the radio appearance, but he cannot endorse this particular gig. He softens his stance as long as people who attend The Friggs concert subsequently listen to the 16 September 2008 episode of The Best Show via the archives.

DJTT echoes Tom's sentiment that the delusional K. Rock fancies himself a combat vet from his time inside the USO trenches10. Tom says that Rock may go as far as putting himself above the soldiers because he's seen thousands of their faces and rocked them all. He's glad people go Over There Not Here, but he knows they are not exactly playing to discerning crowds. Tom thinks the troops would go bananas for him, Mike, Spike, and Stevie Blue because it would be anything. Tom actually wants to make this happen so he can hear Spike start their show with a "Heeeelllloooo, troops ..." greeting. Mike is on board. DJTT thinks Spike could create a special Dungeon Boot Camp to discipline any insubordinates. Tom adds James and JfC to a bill now known as "The Best Show Cavalcade of Freaks." DJTT thinks the inclusion of a woman is wise considering the target demo. Tom believes TBSCoF will truly test the limits of what the troops are willing to accept as "entertainment," such as a James monologue on the sordid tale of how his name became a verb. Tom imagines that the sweat-soaked mutant would James the troops and then run off the stage. DJTT thinks it sounds like a fantastic way to honor the boys and girls of America.

Tom reminds everyone that this Saturday's CBC ft. The Friggs is mandatory. DJTT thanks him for the plug, and Tom thanks her for the call.

- Nate from St. Paul says he heard last week's podcast in which Tom asked him to offer some local perspective on how the RNC was tearing his not-that-conservative town apart. He reports that it was a massive headache for everyone involved, and since he lives a few blocks away from the Xcel Energy Center, he had a great view of the bizarre police presence on every block. The overzealous officers were fitted with full-on riot gear and drew weapons to initiate pre-emptive raids on suspected protesters. Tom doubts this level of force was warranted and asks Nate for the biggest protest in terms of total headcount. Nate says there was a 10,000-person anti-war protest that descended from the state capitol before getting cut off en route to the XEC. A smaller group of self-proclaimed anarchists got tear-gassed after breaking some windows. The police arrested about 800 people11 throughout the convention.

While the RNC is worthy of the topic, Nate's entry is the once-ubiquitous series of McDonald's commercials promoting McCafe, their foray into fancy coffee beverages. Nate recalls two Pseudo-Hip Ordinary Guys sitting in a coffeehouse discussing the breaking news that the fast food giant is now selling cappuccinos. They are excited to finally have an unpretentious place where they can enjoy coffee and talk about football. Nate can't recall the additional benefits of the venue change because he muted the spot on sight after his initial viewing. However, the gist was that these guys were now free of the burden of trying to be smart to fit in with the snobby clientele at Starbucks.

Tom says that in his experience Starbucks does not exactly play host to the raconteurs of the Algonquin Round Table. He generally observes five people shouting instructions into BlueTooth-enabled devices about banal tasks like fixing a broken garage door opener. Nate references the one guy banging out blog posts on his laptop. Tom considers himself lucky if he sees one such self-published scribe during his visit. He will not make the switch to McD's because he doesn't want a milk-laden Coffee Drink that smells like a Quarter Pounder with Cheese12 and adopts the flavor of a Filet-O-Fish due to the proximity of the brewing w/r/t to the grill surfaces. Nate is not enthused by the prospects of low-grade coffee paired with a box of Baked Apple Pie. Tom fears that a layer of the mysterious "special sauce" from the Big Mac will float to the top of his cappuccino to compliment the cinnamon. Nate makes a hearty "Ew" sound at the thought of this dare-ready potion.

Tom thinks it's great that McD's is trying to capture a piece of the gourmet coffee explosion in its dying days when nobody has money for anything. Nate thinks they may have more luck with this ill-timed push than their ill-fated attempt to sell burritos. Tom points out that hut dogs are the only thing the restaurant has not tried to sell. Nate suspects that hut dogs are one of the few foods they could actually get right. Tom's amazed they've never hit the menu, but he considers the downside of whiny customers clamoring for relish and McSauerkraut. Nate is grossed out again by the ghastly in-house condiment. Tom thanks him for the call.

- The Amazing Tyler from the LES returns with something for the topic. Tom guesses that he could do without shampoo. TATftLES and Tom both laugh at this poor-hygiene joke. Tyler actually offers "The Star-Spangled Banner" because it's boring, violently militaristic, and nobody ever knows the words to it. Tom speculates that Tyler's alternative anthems would be "Last Nite" by The Strokes or "Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Tyler says he's good with anything else as long as R. Barr or W. Hung are singing it. Tom suggests David Peel's "The Pope Smokes Dope."13 Tyler's excitement at his LES brother is cut short by a Heave Ho.

- Mike from Brooklyn greets Tom with his usual stentorian tone, indicating that he would have held considerable sway w/r/t button pushing had he been a passenger on one of the two explosive-rigged ferries in Straight Up: The Dark Knight, Batman 2. Mike compares himself to the stoic convict played by Tiny Tim. Tom questions The Joker's intentions with this little psychological experiment, and Mike agrees that it was half-brained. Tom, who liked SU:TDK,B2 a lot, was satiated after the truck flipped and the hospital blew up. However, there was still 30 minutes of running time featuring Two-Faced Gotham D.A. Harvey Dent running around town as a coin-flipping vigilante. Mike thinks that Two-Face's murder of his limo driver was as exciting as any of the vehicular flips. The bottom line: Tom would have done a bit more trimming at the editing console.

Mike says that he would have increased the amount of screen time given to Eric Roberts as Sal "The Boss" Maroni. Tom agrees that Maroni was a character worthy of more narrative flesh. Mike praises Roberts for his pretty convincing turn as a Generic Mobster, especially in the scene where he broke his legs after Batman threw him off a fire escape. Tom does an impression of Roberts's Paulie character from The Pope of Greenwich Village informing his cousin, Chahlee, that the caped crusader dropped him out the window.

Tom mentions that the pre-Hamlet 2 entertainment also included an attempt to ram NBC's Chuck down everyone's throats via a chat between its lead, Zachary Levi, and Christian Slater, the star of the network's split-personality thriller, My Own Worst Enemy. Tom jokingly suggests that it came off like a completely natural conversation that just happened to be filmed and then turned into a promo. Mike didn't know that Slater was the star of a television series. Tom says that while "My Own Worst Enemy" is a great song, it's TV companion is not so good. Mike reveals his two-way tie for the topic:

1. The Metallica YouTube channel where fans can upload their interpretations of the band's songs.

Tom wonders if it's possible for the fans to actually make them good. He has never boarded the Metallica train due largely to his belief that their genre of music, heavy metal, is for children. Tom argues that age 16 is the appropriate milestone to retire one's orthodontic night brace and any heavy metal recordings. He doesn't want to know people who listen to bad Dio records ironically or Metallica records sincerely. Tom is not impressed by Metallica's scant discography of four albums14 of seven songs each in their 25-year career. He does express a desire to listen to some of the new Metallica tracks from their first album in nine years. Tom thinks the best thing the band has ever done is Some Kind of Monster, the documentary on their therapy-aided recording of St. Anger. Mike also loves the film. Tom says he's a fan of performance coach Phil Towle, and Mike says the best scene is when the band asks Towle to leave shortly after he made plans to move his family to the Bay Area and officially join the Metallica camp. Tom mentions that AP Mike is a fan of Torben Ulrich15, the tennis-playing gnome and father of Lars.

2. The fifth season of Home Box Office's Entourage.

Mike can't not watch it, but he doesn't need it. Tom says he'll watch the show until they stop making them. He knows that it's the worst thing going, but he'd still push people into oncoming traffic to get to a television playing a new episode. Mike knew he was hooked during the season where Entourage followed The Sopranos. Tom notes the jarring transition from the fade-to-black/WTF series finale to a half hour of J. Drama complaining to baby bro about difficulty installing a DVD player in his Cadillac Escalade or the poor cell phone reception down in the Valley. He thanks Stentorian Mike for a successful, top-notch call.

- Hasbro Alvaro from Glenn Mills, PA, says things are better tonight because Tom's been playing all of his favorite songs. Since his entry involves watching television while eating alone at a restaurant, Tom immediately adapts George Thorogood & The Destroyers's "I Drink Alone" into an ode for solitary dining. He notes that the original has a certain menace whereas the cover has more of a creeping sadness. Tom asks Alvaro to name the fanciest place he's eaten alone with a book or magazine.

Alvaro says he recently went to a place called Bonefish Grill to finish a comic book that he was working on. He assumed it was a RubyTuesday-style chain, but the menu signaled that he had made a G. Bluth-style mistake. Alvaro toughed it out and ordered a small plate of calamari. Alvaro noticed that the waitress had him pegged and shot him dirty looks as a result. Tom thinks she should have only been concerned about serving him hot calamari with plenty of marinara dipping sauce and lemon wedges. Alvaro says that she checked on him twice, and the dish wasn't even that good.

Alvaro saw a commercial for a Dane Cook movie that he thought was last year's romcom Good Luck Chuck, but it's actually a new, similarly-themed film called My Best Friend's Girl. Cook's character is named Tank. Tom tells all the Cook haters that their nightmare will soon be over as his career enters its final stages. Alvaro says that he's seen him in Employee of the Month and Serving Waiting ..., and Tom thinks he's confusing Cook with Ryan Reynolds in the latter picture. Alvaro gets mad and hangs up. Tom isn't sure if Cook was in the film, but he knows Andy Milonakis made an appearance.

- Tom calls from Logan Square in NW Chicago, and Tom S. assumes that it's a fancy part of the city. Tom says it's not that fancy, but he does admit to living in an ivory tower. Tom S. asks the hotshot if he had his butler dial the phone for him.

Tom S. says that a high-end baby clothing boutique recently opened16 in his neighborhood right next to an abandoned warehouse and an 80-year-old Western-wear store. He doesn't think a dilapidated part of town has much need for a place where people can buy baby buggies that kind of look like a Model T. Tom S. thinks fixing the sidewalks or sorting out the drive-by shootings should be a higher priority than hip infant transport. Tom points out that babies with faux-hawks do need to find a good supply of ironic t-shirts to avoid getting ostracized at play groups. Tom S. says that they'd get an earful from other parents, not their oblivious peers. Tom agrees that a kid would never complain about another kid wearing a Strokes shirt three years past its pop culture expiration. Tom S. concludes that Tom is right about this unnecessary boutique.

- Thomas from West Orange 07052 says that Whole Foods Market is just too much and too expensive. Tom has also had enough of their healthy alternatives. Thomas says that he's all for health, but he thinks WFM consumes his entire paycheck. Tom recommends a more strategic approach when shopping at these kinds of stores compared to a sweep through a traditional supermarket. Thomas recalls that Tom once described WFM customers as NJ Gov. Jon Corzine lookalikes who studied organic avocados for five minutes. This reminds Tom that he saw some contestants from a morbidly obese Rick Jay lookalike contest that was being held in one of the Atlantic City casino ballrooms. Thomas is amazed that they still use the term "ballroom" to describe a dumpy 2,000-seat club with plastic chairs. He guesses that it's an attempt to give it a sense of Old World class. Tom wonders why things aren't like they were in the Old Days. Thomas is also perplexed by the insane term "banquet room." Tom says that he gets furious when he hears it. He thanks the young man for the call.

- John in Philadelphia 17152 19152 19027 says that earlier guest Gene Simmons's Ladies of the Night: A Historical and Personal Perspective on the Oldest Profession in the World is a book that the world does not need to read. Tom can't believe that Simmons has now published three books before his first. John says that he can understand the KISS-related books, but not this vaguely-academic study with illustrations. Tom points out that Simmons had to throw in a few .jpgs to play to the nitwits in his audience. He wants to meet one of the 15 remaining KISS fans who still buys everything Gene puts out. John directs Tom to read their Amazon reviews, including a five-star rave that refers to the book as being "long overdue."

Tom wants to test the Paul Giamatti quality in John's voice with a line reading from Big Momma's House. John's excited take on "You're not gonna get away with that, Big Momma" is very solid, although Tom counters with an impression that increases the amount of "sh" sounds. John appreciates the advice and plans to work on it. Tom thinks an impression of Giamatti's character in Lady in the Water would connect with locals who still love their M. Night Shyamalan despite his recent critical woes. He says that The Happening, the director's maligned eco-thriller release this past June, remains a tough ticket in Philadelphia.

- Jerry in Boulder calls just as Tom thinks he's stumbled onto Kid Rock's blog. It's actually just a dumb fan thanking him for rubbing his money in the face of the hardworking military. Jerry believes that Rock is a True Patriot.

He doesn't think the world needs Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland remake, but Tom thinks it's a great idea. He hopes Burton brings the same elegant touch he showed in Planet of the Apes. Jerry says he'd like to see something close to his tasteful update of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Tom thinks someone needs to inform Burton that he's allowed to generate his own ideas. He suspects that Burton would have no problem tackling a new Star Wars film with Johnny Depp as a weird Luke Skywalker, Deep Roy as all the Jawas, and HBC as Princess Leia. Since Burton lacks the writing chops for an original screenplay, Jerry thinks he should just remake his own 1990 film Edward Scissorhands. Tom thinks the first one was weird enough.

- Top-Notch Caller Samir in Florida hopes Tom's day is picking up after his rough week. Tom says he's trying to turn it around because that's his commitment to the listeners. Samir says that Tom didn't choose the game -- the game chose him. Or something like that. Tom says it's exactly like that, but he doesn't know what that means. Samir doesn't either.

He does know that there's no need for the glut of reality television spin-off shows, such as two seasons of I Love New York, starring Tiffany "New York" Pollard from Flavor of Love . Samir doubts that fans of the original series want to follow the lives of specific contestants in their own series. Tom says that he got his fill of "New York" from her stint on Flavor of Love. He isn't interested in seeing these characters in a depressing version of the Seven Up! documentary series. Samir says that this version would lack any value as a sociological experiment because nobody would care what they were doing at the seven-year intervals. Tom thinks they should pair up people from Rock of Love and Flavor of Love in the same show. Samir is sure they will if they haven't already17 . Tom mentions that Mike is entering the reality ring with his forthcoming VH-1 show called I Like Mike. Samir hopes that it focuses on the stories behind all of his eccentric tattoos. Tom says that he'd watch a show where producers handcuffed Mike to Mike Francesa and let them run through the swamps. Samir amends the title to the plural I Like Mikes, and Tom greenlights it.


- A caller, billing himself as the future mayor, mimics the sound of trumpets blaring to introduce an important message for the women on Newbridge. He commands the female population to kneel around him and feed him Peanut Chews much like the scantilly-clad compupines fed grapes to their masters back in the days of classical music. The caller begins giggling about his edict and doesn't think Tom will ever identify who he is. Tom knows all too well that he's talking to Philly Boy Roy, the Philadelphia native who is making a strong push in the polls. PBR wants to know if Tom is ready to anoint him the mayor of his town. Tom reminds him that the eventual outcome will be determined by the ongoing voting by the public. PBR prefers to just end the voting right now because he's winning and Tom knows he will win. Tom says he doesn't have the authority to halt the electoral process, and he's not convinced that PBR will come out on top. PBR is applying the pressure because he wants to get a jump on his plan to convert Newbridge into the world's largest car wash. He reveals that the ladies who will do the washing will be bottomless. Tom doesn't like the idea. PBR is giddy about his new concept and can't wait to see it in action. Tom says the people will speak with their votes.

PBR checked out a little bit of the recent Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and he thought that the President's RNC appearance via satellite was an illuminating experience. PBR says that the main thing he learned was that it's President Bush. While Tom missed this address, he was previously privvvy to his last name. PBR says he always thought it was President Butch. He was into him because the name made him seem like a tough guy. Tom cites Butch Patrick as an example of an admirable tough guy namesake18, and PBR adds Tommy "Butch" Bond from the Little Rascals troupe. He says that his problem with the two candidates running for office is that neither of them look like they could beat anyone up. PBR speculates that they may be able to take one of nem Chinese leaders in a fight based on seeing all the cops who looked like kids at the Chinese Olympics. Tom recalls that Timmy von Trimble made the same point during the Mayubernatorial Debate. PBR thinks TvT is a decent kid with some similar ideologies. Tom asks PBR if he would consider naming TvT his Vice-Mayor. PBR says he would consider it after having an enclave, conclave, or some other kind of clave to work out the details and review his options. Tom will wait to see what happens with this clave if PBR wins the election. PBR insists that he is going to win.

As for the Presidential race, PBR says he's not into either candidate. Tom reveals that his favorite candidate is Barack Obama. PBR responds with a disapproving sigh. He says that he doesn't like the one guy for the obvious reasons, but he doesn't want to discuss it further. Tom assumes that he's referring to Obama. PBR notes that Tom is the one who said his name out loud. Tom wants to delve into this "obvious reasons," but PBR wants to move to Republican candidate John McClain. He says that he initially thought it was WWF magnate Vince McMahon. PBR was prepared to vote for McMahon, but he was turned off by his research into the actual candidate.


He thinks it will set a bad president for the future if the country elects a President who didn't even know how to properly pilot a plane. Tom is a bit confused about these claims of subpar aviation skills. PBR explains the little guys quickly grabbed McClain after his plane crashed in Vietcong. Tom thinks "little guys" is a horrible term for the North Vietnamese natives. PBR doesn't think McClain's treatment was nearly as bad as he's led voters to believe. Tom points out that he was held in captivity for 5+ years, but PBR says he was staying at a nice Hilton property in Hanoi during that time. Tom informs him that the "Hanoi Hilton" was just a nickname for the prison where many POWs were held during the Vietnam War under inhumane conditions that violated the Third Geneva Convention.

Regardless of the accuracy of his findings, PBR says he was jealous of McClain's accommodations because his only visit to a Hilton occurred when he followed Nancy Wilson back to her hotel after Heart played The Spectrum on the Bebe le Strange tour. He laments that they did not end up "interfacing" on that night. PBR says that he thought he would be able to seduce her by screaming her name as she walked through the lobby. He assumed that she had gone deaf from all nem amplifiers at the show because she did not respond despite being a mere two feet away. PBR is certain that if Wilson did turn around to check out his enticing outfit, she would have dropped everything to be him. He says that he wore his best cutoff shorts and tube socks sans shirt even though it was a chilly November evening. PBR had been working out in advance of the show, so he wanted to show Wilson his stuff. Tom thinks this is an exciting visual image. He correctly guesses that PBR was also wearing a baseball cap. PBR says he had a football helmet over it to fully display his Philly sports pride to the visiting musician. Tom is shocked that this didn't work.

PBR says he didn't fare any better with an art piece he brought into the hotel to show Wilson. He removed the hood from his AMC Pacer because it served as the canvas for a painting he did of him and Wilson doin' it. PBR says he knew it would turn her on. Tom thinks it's disgusting. PBR says he ended up getting thrown out of the hotel. Tom is once again shocked to hear that a shirtless guy wearing a football helmet and baseball hat while holding the hood of his car featuring an obscene painting would be asked to leave. PBR says that management was primarily upset that he dragged the hood through the lobby and consequently dug up the new floor tiles.

PBR returns to the President race to say that he does have a soft spot for Joe Vitamin, Obama's Vice-Presidential running mate. Tom tells him that the man in question is Joe Biden. PBR laughs and asks Tom if he cracks a newspaper much because it don't sound like he does. Tom repeats that it's Joe Biden. PBR says that while Vitamin is not from Philadelphia, his hometown of Scranton, PA, is close enough for him. He points out that the documentary The Office also takes place in Scranton. Tom says it's a fictional television series shot in the style of a documentary. PBR doesn't think Tom knows what he's talking about. Tom is pretty sure he's right about this one.


PBR asks Tom what he thinks of McClain's running mate, Cheryl Palin. Tom is forced to issue another correction: Sarah Palin. PBR thinks she really shook things up. Tom says people tend to get all excited when a new figure emerges on the political scene. PBR says he would be lying if he said that he wasn't interested in having Palin as his lover. Tom figured he was going to express this kind of sentiment. PBR says that Rhoda knows he wants it. In fact, the couple had already worked out a deal where PBR can take Palin as a lover, while Rhoda is free to go out with one of the guys from local pop-metal heroes, Britny Fox19. Tom wants to know when PBR selected Palin as his extra-marital paramour. PBR says he met the Alaska governor several years ago when she was still the mayor of Wasilla. Tom asks PBR to explain the circumstances of this unlikely encounter. PBR says he's a big moose hunter. Tom is very surprised to hear that PBR is an avid gamer who generally prowls Split Rock Resort in the Poconos Mountains in Eastern Pennsylvania.

PBR says that he and Palin hit it off over a few drinks at the lodge where everyone relaxes at the end of the hunting day. Tom thinks this is shocking. PBR says Palin's mood shifted drastically over the course of the evening. She started out really noice, but then she got really mad after she caught him outside of her house looking into the window as she changed her clothes. Tom can understand how she would be upset about the peeping. PBR guesses that he must have misread nem signals. Tom thinks this is a disgusting violation of privacy no matter what one thinks about Palin's political views. PBR apologizes for not realizing that he was talking to Dr. Jonas Brothers. Tom believes that PBR was trying to reference Dr. Joyce Brothers. PBR concludes that Tom does not regularly crack open talk shows. He says that Dr. Jonas Brothers is famous for being the First Lady of Self-Help. Tom decides to move forward instead of pointing out the mash-up of the chaste pop-rock band and the longtime advice columnist.

PBR says that one thing that bugs him about the upcoming Presidetuminanawtorial election is the excessive mudslinging between the two camps. He wants to put a crematorium on all of that. Tom agrees that a crematorium is in order. PBR mentions that all the delicates at the convention appeared to be eating up the negative rhetoric. He loves a good verbal punch-up as much as the next guy, but he believes they have been taking to a point where it's tennenbaum to treason. Tom chuckles at his latest verbal punch-up. He informs PBR that the correct word is "tantamount." PBR asks Tom if he ever cracks the Encyclopedia Brittania much because it sounds like he doesn't. Tom admits that he rarely consults this reference book.

PBR says the good news is that Tom won't ever have to crack one again. He reports a NEWSFLASH: the narrated entries will be available on iTunes. PBR wants Tom to guess who they hired to be the voice of the online version. Tom goes out on a limb and correctly guesses that it's PBR. He seems skeptical about PBR's chances for success in his new role. PBR reminds Tom that he's known to be a ferocious reader, so he's not sure why Tom would doubt his verbal abilities. Tom says there is a definite regional quality/appeal to his voice. PBR seems surprised to hear this. He says that his audition tomorrow is just a formality before officially getting the job. PBR is confident that he will nail the three prepared entries because Roy, Jr. has been helping him for the past two weeks. PBR asks Tom if he wants him to blow. Tom is ready to hear a sample entry. PBR begins with Sputnik:


The Sputnik program was a series of robotic spacecraft missions launched by the Soviet Union. The first of these, Sputnik 1, launched the first man-made object to orbit the Earth. That launch took place on October 4, 1957 as part of the IGY and demonstrated the viability of using artificial satellites to explore the upper atmosphere. The Russian word sputnik literally means "co-traveler", "traveling companion" or "satellite", and its R-7 launch vehicle was designed initially to carry nuclear warheads.

Tom is impressed that PBR sounded so professional. PBR thanks him for the compliment. The next entry for the audition is Walt Disney:


Walter Disney (December 5, 1901 - December 15, 1966) was a multiple Academy Award-winning American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Disney is famous for his influence in the field of entertainment during the twentieth century. He's particularly noted for being a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created a number of the world's most famous fictional characters, including the one many consider Disney's alter ego, Mickey Mouse.

Tom is once again startled by the quality of PBR's narration. PBR thinks he demonstrated that he's really gonna get this job. Tom doesn't want to jinx him, but he has to admit that it was not too shabby. The final entry is the mobile phone:


The mobile phone is a short-range, portable electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialized base stations known as cell sites. In addition to the standard voice function of a telephone, current mobile phones may support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS for text messaging, email, packet switching for access to the Internet, gaming, bluetooth, infrared, camera with video recorder and MMS for sending and receiving photos and video.

PBR is convinced that he's going to be a star. Tom is reluctant to go that far, but he is definitely blown away by his performance. He asks PBR is he'd like to do one more entry. PBR says he already did the three entries and thinks it is time for him to go. Tom points out that he only read the ones he's been working on with Roy, Jr., and there is a chance they would ask him to do one on the fly during the audition. PBR doesn't understand why they would make this request. Tom says they might want to test the parameters of his voiceover abilities with something that he wasn't super-prepped to do. PBR appears to be very uneasy about doing an additional reading.

Roy Jr. and two ladyfriends sports Plato staches at his 10th birthday party

Tom asks him if he has the encyclopedia with him, and PBR says Roy, Jr. stole a set today from their neighbors. Tom suggests reading the entry on Plato from the P volume. PBR says they don't have Play-Doh® in the book. He thought Tom was referring to the modeling clay that Roy, Jr. played with when he was younger. Tom says it's Plato. PBR thinks it has something to do with plates and begins looking for Plate-O. After Tom spells it out PBR finds it and attempts to read it. (Tom helps him out with Socrates and Aristotle with varying results.)

Plah-toe (4-um-2-8 B ... C ... um ... to 3 ... 4 ... 8 BC), was ... a ... Cla ... um ... Classical ... Greek ... philo-soph ... philo-sop-er, who, to-geth-er with his ... men-tor, Sock ... Sock ... what? who? ... Socrates, and his ... um ... oh man ... student, Arist ... who? ... Aril-stotle, helped to lay ... the foundrations ... oh man ...

Tom realizes that he is clearly struggling with the entry. He asks PBR how much rehearsing he did for the previous three entries. PBR says it took him two weeks to mesmerize them, which makes it much easier for later readings. He admits that he has a tendency to get tripped up with some words. PBR says he'd be glad to keep trying the Plato entry, but Tom has heard enough. Tom says that if he only has to do the three mesmerized entries, he may end up on iTunes. PBR is hopeful that he'll at least get to settle for the mayoral position, which will probably be the best job for him. He says that Tom pretty much shook his confidence about his narration career. Tom says that he was just trying to prepare him for being put on the spot in the audition. PBR says that Call Screener Mike will also be on the spot.

Tom says that Mike is currently in the lead in the Mayubernatorial voting, but PBR says he will not have the top spot tomorrow. A little birdie told PBR that there's a little scandal a-brewin'. Tom is not aware of any Mike-related controversies, but PBR claims to have the pitchers to prove it. PBR tells Tom to ask Mike what he was doing behind that building with those ladies. Mike says he knows nothing about this supposed incident. PBR is not surprised that Mike is feigning ignorance because he's sick for doing that sick stuff. Tom wonders if this legit or if PBR is pulling some of his usual shenanigans. PBR says he actually used PhotoChop, Radio Hut's graphic software, to doctor the image of Mike. He plans to release the fake image, and he's glad that he's not on the air right now.

Tom says he's been on the air for the last 25 minutes. PBR is very surprised to hear this and blasts Tom by yelling "Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?" Tom says that he just lost his hearing. PBR wonders if it's from seeing Heart live or listening to their CDs. He vows to take Mike out of the mayubernatorial race and get Tom kicked off the air. He also has PhotoChops of Tom doing sick stuff. Tom doesn't think this will happen, and PBR tells him to sleep toight. Tom wishes him luck in the election, and he hopes that he plays fair and square in the waning days of the campaign. PBR makes another failed attempt to get through the Plato entry: "Plah-toe was also a mat-em-at-ickian, wroighter ..." He says that he will keep working on it and call Tom later at home. Tom refuses to give him the number, but PBR says he will get it from Mike. Tom says Mike doesn't have it. PBR bets that he does, but it doesn't matter because he already has the number. He tells Tom that he'll talk to him later and hangs up.

- Andrew in Philadelphia says he recently heard that Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong settled their feud and are reuniting for their first "Cheech & Chong" comedy tour in two too many years. Tom is excited to see the two 75-year-olds share the stage for a dated act about scoring weed. He points out that one of them (Cheech) would rather be acting in film and television roles, and the other one (Chong) just needs the money. Andrew pulls a Marin quote from a CNN.com piece in which he said that dope humor can be as funny today as it was in the 1970s. He argued that the time is right for a crippler revival because it's become much more widespread and institutionalized.

Tom knows the tour will be successful, but we certainly don't need it. He also believes that audiences will have trouble determining if C&C are high or just losing their memory due to old age. Andrew does not anticipate that they will craft much new material. Tom expects "Basketball Jones" from their 1973 album Los Cochinos to anchor the set.

- [Bonnie in GA TK]

- [Listener T in L.A. TK]

- [Squiggy TK]

- [Jason TK]

- [Weirder Jon TK]

- [Others TK]

On the Next ... The Best Show on WFMU: Metallica's James Hetfield checks in to promote the "Fall Back Into Softness" sale at the Jeans Genie (Uncomplicated Drumming Technique with Professor Ulrich instructional DVD with purchase of 10 or more pairs), pharmaceutical empress mario Maurice Kern touts his new FloodBeGoneSoon® capsules designed to aid Houstonians ravaged by Hurricane Ike (side effects: cruciate ligament tearing, volcanic bladder ruptures, mid-afternoon terrors, and increased flooding), Mike unveils his latest culinary tattoo: a slab of lasagna bolognese with both posters for Zach and Miri Make a Porno serving as the pasta sheets.


1. Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmental cheese: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacter shermani. In the late stage of cheese production, P. shermani consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make holes.

2. According to Spike's 2007 tax return, which I obtained from his co-worker Johann Kraus, he also gave $5,000 for "video game R&D" and "foot soldier uniforms" to Tornado Todd's LifeChanges charity/production house.

3. Truth!

4. FOT Martin is reportedly Swedening several installments for Dödsfall Till Toalett Samat, his new Best Show fanzine.

5. JUST ADDED Newbridge show: 28 October / Buzzy's Downstairs (w/ erotic hypnotist Gene Fackelmann and The String Cheese Evidence) 5:30PM / $35 ADVANCE / $75 DAY OF SHOW.

6. My favorite segment of the current FirstLook pre-feature "entertainment" package is the trailer for the new season of Frank TV (TBS, 10/21). Based on these snippets, Mr. Caliendo appears to have given his stable of characters (J. Madden, D. Trump, Dr. P. McGraw, C. Barkley, et al.) an urgent vitality and insightful skewering. I was most impressed with his eye-opening portrayal of veteran actor Jack Nicholson. The physical transformation is pretty SOP: Caliendo is wrapped in a mobster-friendly tracksuit, and a bald wig reveals the requisite acre of forehead leading to a tuft of slightly electrified hair. He is seated in a wheelchair while observing a trio of attractive females exercising in the gym. Caliendo-as-Nicholson instructs said attractive females to increase the heart rate7. One female informs C-a-N that their aerobic workout has already elevated their pulses to appropriate levels. Nicholson issues a swift corrective: he was referring to his heart rate. At this point we realize that Nicholson is kind of a creepy old man and we laugh and laugh because this is a very funny thing indeed.

7. It appears that C-a-N is employed as some kind of personal trainer in the context of this sketch. The idea that a fat, unhealthy senior citizen would be training anyone (esp. attractive females) w/r/t physical fitness is an incongruity that gives the piece a real ass-kick, comedy-wise.

8. (see below)


9. Slut. Per PBR the ultimate origin of slut is unknown, though it first appeared in Middle English in 1402 as slutte (AHD), with the meaning "a dirty, untidy, or slovenly woman." Even earlier, Geoffrey Chaucer used the word sluttish (c.1386) to describe a slovenly man; however, later uses appear almost exclusively associated with women. The modern sense of "a sexually promiscuous woman" dates to at least 1450.

10. I.e., heavily-ridered Qatar Hilton luxury suites stocked with way more than just MREs and spank mags.

11. Including RATM guitarist Tom Morello for "excessive use of a Crybaby Wah Pedal."

12. I still have the QPC wrapper I got autographed by Roscoe Orman at the McDonald's on Rte. 17S in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., circa 1982. VG++ w/ three fading ketchup blots about this big: O

13. "Yeah, he was you 30 years ago." -- Tom, schooling Tyler from the LES on David Peel during the 7/1/08 show

14. Nine LPs, actually: Kill 'Em All (1983), Ride The Lightning (1984), Master of Puppets (1986), ... And Justice For All (1988), Metallica [ aka The Black Album] (1991), Load (1996), ReLoad (1997), St. Anger (2003), Death Magnetic (2008). Omar = yr fact-checkin' cuz.

15. "I would say, you know, if you said, 'If you were our adviser, what would you say,' then I would say delete that. I mean, I don't know for you guys, for me it doesn't cut it, you know."

16. In the spot previously occupied by the The Pierogi Playhouse before Jim DeRogatis ate it.

17. Reality Television Dreams'll Come Through: "New York" from Flavor of Love, a spinoff of Strange Love, which was a spinoff of the F. Flav/B. Nielson relationship formed during the third season of The Surreal Life, tried to find true love on I Love New York and now she's trying to find an acting job on New York Goes to Hollywood. Real and Chance did not find true love on I Love New York so they will try it again on Real Chance of Love. Contestants from the first two seasons of Flavor of Love, I Love New York, and Rock of Love are enduring physical and mental challenges for a chance to win $250,000 on I Love Money. And 13 contestants from the first two seasons of Flavor of Love were once challenged to develop proper etiquette on Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School to win $50,000 and the title of "Charm School Queen."

18. See also Butches Coolidge, Cassidy, and Vig.

19. During a wonderful visit to the set of Remote Control in 1989 Kari Wuhrer assured me that Dean "Dizzy" Davidson was "very good" at lovemaking.


Oh Omar, just when I think I can't love you more, you go and put Truman's Water up for download.

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