Panoply of Pledges.
"I am dressed as a janitor tonight because I am here to clean up. I am here to clean up. I am here to get pledges to keep WFMU operable for another year. I am here to clean up. I am here to sweep up the mess ... Okay, I lost the footing on this metaphor already, but I'm telling you right now I am here dressed as a janitor 'cause I am here to clean up, to sweep up your pledges!" -- Tom, explaining the thematic underpinnings of his Week 2 wardrobe
"What's gonna trend tonight? What's really gonna trend tonight? Uh, Gaddafi. Gaddafi. Enough with that. We get it. He's like a bad guy or something, right? Look, I don't follow the news that much. Is he one of the good guys or the bad guys? I can't remember anymore. Bad guy?" -- Tom, trying to make sense of the longtime Libyan leader
"Gingrich/Hodgman 2012!" -- Omar the Scrivener, beating the drum for the ticket that will hopefully bump that current cat out of his litter box
"I know I can always hide out in Toronto when they're comin' after me. If I'm on the run, if I'm accused of a crime I did not commit, I can always run to Toronto and hide. It's lawless up there, though. It's vaguely lawless." -- Tom, going off the grid in the f'd up Canadian capital
"I'm more of a John from Cincinnati guy. When's the next season start on that?" -- Tom, looking to catch another wave of the embattled Home Box Office surf-noir
"You like Showtime better? Yeah. If The Sopranos was on Showtime it would've been a half hour long, and it would have been like ... Jeff Goldblum would've been playing Tony Soprano." -- Tom, responding to Hatch touting the premium cable pleasures of Nurse Jackie
"I just wanna say, IT'S ON LIKE DONKEY KON!" -- AP Mike, lighting asses up to get some fast bucks
"You smell like nachos, Mike." -- Hatch, catching the olfactory aftermath of a 'shroom/salsa/cheese binge
"Look, I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I am not a fan of the Zodiac Killer in any way, shape, or form. BUT. Butbutbut. If you are out there, Zodiac Killer, 800-989-9368. WFMU.org. I can only picture what the Zodiac Killer would look like walking around. This is my plan. This whole thing's set up just to catch the Zodiac Killer. I'm gonna see him in the [marathon premium] t-shirt walkin' down the street with his Zodiac watch on. If I see that shirt plus a Zodiac watch plus he's 100 years old at this point equals you're the Zodiac Killer, and I'm bringing you down. And again, it might happen tonight, there's a lot of people in the building. I've issued this challenge months ago. If the Zodiac Killer is out there, you come up here, I will fight you. And if you win the fight, I will cop to being the Zodiac Killer. I will cop to it. They will haul me off in handcuffs that night. I will be in jail for the rest of my life as the Zodiac Killer, but I'm tellin' you, if I win the fight, you're going down. You're going down, ZK." -- Tom, offering a plea deal to the elusive serial murderer
"ZK! I like that. Maybe I will pledge." -- The Zodiac Killer, digging the whole brevity thing (this is a reference to the feature film The Big Lebowski!)
"Now Brandon from Fargo, that was not a pledge from ... nevermind, let's just keep going. I can't make a Fargo joke now. My deal, Wade! My deal!" -- Tom, Lundegaardening at night anyway
"I could picture Mike at 4 in the morning talking to the horn. 'What's that, Horny? What's that? No, Horny, I can't! No. No, Horny! No, Horny, don't! No. She's a nice lady, Horny! She's a nice lady, Horny! Don't ... yes, Horny. Okay, Horny. You're in charge!" -- Tom, delivering some disturbing dialogue
"What about retro-grunge? You like do a jaunty, ironic version of grunge." -- Tom, suggesting Ted Leo's next musical phase
"I hate how talented you are! WHY AM I SO TALENTLESS? WHY?! WHY DO I HAVE NO TALENT?! Except for just a whine. That's like my only talent. Just like whining What's that?" -- Tom, lamenting his limited skill set after Ted Leo's performance
"These guys, you know what these guys do? They keep goin', and they keep goin' and goin'. They don't quit! They're not like that Jeff Magnum guy, does two albums. Ehhhhhhew, it's hard making music!" -- Tom, giving props to his prolific musical guests
"It's beautiful here, isn't it? You look out the windows here, and you're like ... the natural beauty is astounding." -- Carl Newman, reveling in his Garden State of Mind
"I have Get Shorty-style powers! I can learn Ted Leo songs in a matter of minutes." -- Carl Newman, channeling John Travolta for his "Bottled in Cork" cover
"He kinda sounds a little bit like John McCain. A drunk Mike sounds like John McCain." -- Tom, hearing some Senator Pizza in his Associate Producer's tipsy tones
"You know what the Rollaboard® is full of? Passports, and, weirdly, jars of marmalade in black socks." -- John Hodgman, revealing the contents of AP Mike's mobile luggage
"Good movie, good pledger." -- Tom, thanking "Ghost Dad" from Montreal
"How come #TomThon is not trending, but #lube is trending in New York. Lube! I don't even know what anybody's writing about lube." -- Tom, pondering the peculiar online zeitgeist
"Could John Hodgman read a segment of his book, I Know Everything?" -- Philly Boy Roy, requesting his Last Roights while trapped in the trunk
"Still many tulips there. Many tulips there." -- Ted Leo, reporting on the flower scene in Holland, Michigan, not Holland the country
"Remember that time I was on your show?" -- Kurt Vile, pulling a Christopher Farley
"I am going to throw you off the roof. You have 10 seconds to get out of the building because I'm going to throw you off the roof." -- Tom, threatening AP Mike for getting a bit too "Horny" and "Squeaky" during The Final Push
"I just wanna say, Tom, to paraphrase Arthur Bremer, I'm so excited I can hardly walk!" -- AP Mike, exuding erect excitement 16 ounces at a time
"I would do it if I never had to see him or be on stage with him." -- John Hodgman, accepting a co-starring role with AP Mike in a new production of The Sunshine Boys
"Did he say if he was really high?" -- Carl Newman, wondering if the White Whale winner's $4,500 pledge was crippler-aided
Janitor Joe - "What's Going On?" (Hüsker Düde cover)
( Click here to buy Düde Hüskers: The Twin Cities Replay Zen Arcade)
Cheveu - "Charlie Sheen"
( Click here to buy 1000 Mille)
Eleventh Dream Day - "Divining For Water"
( Click here to buy Riot Now!)
Smoosh - "Promises"
( Click here to buy Withershins)
Rival Schools - "Eyes Wide Open"
( Click here to buy Pedals)
Enuff Z'Nuff - "These Daze"
( Click here to buy Animals With Human Intelligence)
Mars Classroom - "Wish You Were Young"
( Click here to buy The New Theory of Everything)
The D.O.C. - "The Grand Finale"
( Click here to buy No One Can Do It Better)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun and pledge:
"Standing here like a loaded gun / Waiting to go OFF / I've got nothing do to / But shoot my mouth OFF" -- H. Rollins
"Now I gotta wet'cha." -- O. Jackson
Yes. Yes! Guess what, everybody? The 2011 Week 2 The Best Show Marathon is officially underway. Host Tom Scharpling gets back in the saddle and allows the phones to start ringing because it's time to gimme gimme gimme some more pledges to WFMU. Go! Go! GO! Go! What? Tom can't believe the Black Flags tie-in ha-caw song is not spinning on cue in what was supposed to be his Moment of Triumph. He plays the role of the listener to indicate the appropriate behavior for tonight's program: "Hey, Tom, I am going to not think about it anymore. I am going to ... Do It." The process of weeding out the chumps continues.
And so just like last week the Phone Room is eerily quiet. Tom becomes physically ill at the sight of a lone busy phone surrounded by thumb-twiddlers and chit-chatters amusing (and, in one case, pawing) themselves to death. He's trying not to throw up at the sight of this horrifying tableau, which recalls the final sequence of Trent L. Strauss's Medsploitation classic Open Up and Say... Ahhhh! ... For the Last Time! (aka The Stethoscope Stranglings). A second phone rings, but this does not make Tom any happier. However, his co-host for the evening, Expectant Dads co-producer Mr. Rob Hatch Miller, does make him happy. Tom informs Hatch that tonight's show will offer three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem. Hatch adds The Fourth Element: pledges. Tom proposes that The Fifth Element is success. He forbids Hatch from consulting with AP Mike about the elements or any other matters.
Tom urges listeners to get #TomThon regionally trending by Twittering it into oblivion. He wants it hashtagged up, down, and also every which way. Hatch starts a #TomThon chant to get everyone riled up, but all the volunteers left the room because their phones are not ringing. Tom can't imagine what other topics could be trending on the Twitters. He considers recent newsmakers like Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi, Charles Sheen, and Sheen's elixir of choice, Tiger Blood, as possible competitors. Tom admits that he doesn't follow the news that much, so he can't remember whether Gaddafi is a Good Guy or a Bad Guy. While reasonable people could disagree about Gaddafi, Hatch agrees that the safe play is probably to label him a Bad Guy. Other New York trending topics throughout the evening included the newly invented side dish Mac 'n' Cheese and lube.
Tom likes to shed his normal show attire -- "Cabo Wabo Tequila" t-shirt, frayed denim shorts, and the puffy white sneakers he wrestled off of Danny Spitz's feet outside of L'amour in 1987 -- for the Week 2 marathon shows. In the past two years he's transformed into a chef and donned a yachting outfit inspired by Ted Knight's Judge Smails character from Caddyshack. Tom dressed as a janitor for this evening because he's here to sweep up pledges and keep WFMU operating for another year. The legendary trash bin emptier is gonna wield some of his considerable custodial clout for this one. (While I was unable to detect it on the live video stream, eagle-eyed JW and Melissa in Milwaukee, WI, used their pledge comment field to order Host to wipe the fudge off of his dark blue coveralls.) Tom announces that he will provide listeners with guests galore.
Ted Leo and Carl Newman are both back with SURPRISES up their sleeves (presumably part of their new KISS costumes purchased from the skeleton-stacked closet of Gene Simmons); 5+-Tool Player John Hodgman will offer his witty commentary on the proceedings; and rising troubadour Kurt Vile, fresh from his in-store mini-tour (Wawa, mostly), will celebrate the release of his new album. Hatch reports that Tom has only received one $15 pledge so far. Tom fears that the show is doomed, so he turns on the "Do It" sign to get things rolling. Much like gustatory road warrior Guy Fieri, he's In It to Win It. Tom explains that he can no longer fool around because The Best Show is a big-time operation that demands respect. While other programs attract small potatoes, The Best Show has become a celebrity magnet: Chris Elliot, Martin Short, Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins, Zach Galifianaki, Aziz Ansaris, Jason Woliner, and basketball legend Steve "Wojo" Wojciechowski, among many others.
Tom informs listeners that if the pledges come in, everyone can have a fun time. He believes that this ruling is in line with the real-life tradeoff of wiggling in your workstation all week so you go wild on the weekend (Cf. Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend," Poison's "Nothin' But A Good Time," Cannibal Corpse's "The Cryptic Stench"). Tom promises to avoid PBS's tired tactics like using a rod to prop Cousin Brucie up against a doll stand so he can talk about that The Coasters concert he saw 99 years ago. The bottom line: hot, fresh stuff is going down when he takes the helm.
Tom nearly died on the air during the first hour. Will he avoid a nervous breakdown and rescue the station from financial peril?
Week 2 Cape-Wearing Volunteers and Other Support Personnel
Board General: Glenn Luttman
Number Cruncher: Chad
Celebrity Pledgetaker John Hodgman
AP Mike (his final appearance on The Best Show)
DJ Terre T
AP Mike, currently trending at #buzzed, is skulking around the premises. At one point he takes to the microphone to inform listeners that "it's on like Donkey Kon!" Tom says that AP Mike has become the secret weapon of the show after six years on the job. Hatch detects the smell of nachos emanating from AP Mike's body. AP Mike says that the source of the aroma is a mushroom / salsa / cheese concoction. Tom has no tolerance for hearing AP Mike talk about how this was a phenomenal hors d'oeuvre.
Ted Leo Set #1
Tom suggests that the next TLRx album should be titled Born to Rock and feature cover art with a Photoshopped guitar in a baby Ted's crib. Ted says that if he followed the arc of certain other bands from a different era, he would have gone through the boots-and-braces phase into the mohawk phase into the tigerprint spandex and tank top phase. Tom thinks it's a good time for Ted to fly the flannel as part of a retro-grunge phase, putting a jaunty, ironic spin on the popular 1990s music genre (Gruntruck, Skin Yard, et al.) based primarily in Seattle, WA. Ted isn't sure you can do a jaunty, ironic version of grunge. Tom suspects that somebody out there is already doing it. He envisions it as a kind of 6Ts grunge sound. Carl Newman points out that Ted could emerge as "a grunge Andy Capp."
The Senator from Bloomfield - "The Little Smug Supper Club" (NEW SONG; a sonic salvo from the slobs to the snobs)
The Gentleman from Essex County - "(What Turns) Up In The Dark" (The New Pornographers cover)
AP Mike, now trending at #intoxicated, is hovering like Marlee Matlin's shady assistant, Jack Jason. He yells that he's supervising John Hodgman, who is currently stationed at Phone #1. Hodgman wants AP Mike to get his weird, Rollaboard® luggage away from him.
Carl Newman Set #1
Tom points out that performers like Ted Leo and Carl Newman keep going and going and never quit like Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum, who bailed after two albums. Magnum, between sips of a soy latte at Jittery Joe's in Athens, GA, raised his fist in the air, whined, "Ehhhhhhew, it's hard making music!," and promptly retired. Carl says that's not exactly how it went down. Ted, however, is prepared to side with Tom on this one. Carl thinks Magnum is one of those genuine souls, whereas he's just trying to make a livin' as a workin' man. Tom tells Carl that he will put any of his work up against Magnum's songs on the oft-celebrated The Aeroplane Over the Sea record. He rates The New Pornographers's Challengers as the superior effort. Carl says that Tom embarrasses both of them when he makes such bold pronouncements. Tom compares Carl to the boxer Muhammad Ali and awards him 10 victories in fictional bouts versus Magnum. Carl says that when Tom gave him a warm welcome, it was nice, but now the discourse has become an embarrassment for all involved. Tom argues that he is simply speaking "Truth to Power." Carl respectfully disagrees with Tom's musical taste. Tom understands Carl's take on the matter, but he assures him that he is providing an honest assessment of the relative merits of the Newman vs. Magnum catalogs. Carl thanks him for it, although he finds it a little crazy. He fears it may devalue how much Tom likes him. Tom says it just proves that Carl keeps Doing It at a consistently high level of songcraft. He is driven bonkers by how good Carl is at making music. Carl says that he feels the same way about Tom's work. Ted Leo welcomes Carl to New Jersey. Carl says he is overwhelmed by the astounding natural beauty of the Garden State. Tom admits that he enjoys Magnum, but in his heart of hearts, he knows that Carl is better.
Carl Newman ft. Ted Leo - "There Are Maybe Ten or Twelve"/"Bottled in Cork" (TLRx cover)
Carl attributes his ability to learn Ted Leo songs in a matter of minutes to the superpowers he shares with John Travolta's Chili Palmer character in Barrance Sonnenfeld's Get Shorty. Since Tom has the two dudes there, he asks them what they each learned from covering the other one's songs. Ted says he learned a lot about arrangement, particularly the interesting things you can do in short spaces in songs. Carl says that he learned that his lyrics are not very good. He simply doesn't put very much effort into them. Tom disputes this assessment. He announces that Ted and Carl finished in a two-way tie for first in the Nice Guy Olympics (Newbridge 2020!).
Tom gives AP Mike, now trending at #wpmayhew, the option to go home because everything is under control. AP Mike says he's making his "victory lap." Hodgman says he will walk out if AP Mike touches him again. Tom realizes that when AP Mike is drunk, his voice sounds like Sen. John McCain's.
"Is Hodgman filming a 1970s detective movie or something?" -- xoswiss, USTREAM Live chat
John Hodgman laments that AP Mike is constantly undermining everything tonight. He reveals that AP Mike changed the spelling of the names on all of his pledge cards. For example, he added an extra "l" to Jason Woliner's name. AP Mike then accused Hodgman of spelling it incorrectly. Tom thinks this is a ridiculous act of marathon sabotage. (Tom later marveled at AP Mike's ability to grind anything to a halt, e.g., rolling his "R"s when saying "the Caribbean" to celebrate a pledge from Puerto Rico, a completely unnecessary flourish that disrupted the flow when precious show time was ticking away in the final hour.) Hodgman says that AP Mike was also touching him and breathing his creepy beer breath on him and trying to show him his luggage. He asks Tom if he's seen AP Mike's weird luggage. Tom says he's heard a little bit about it. Hodgman finds it strange that AP Mike is always walking around with a Rollaboard® as though he's about to board a plane. Tom suspects that AP Mike has to be ready to flee because he knows that the hammer could fall at any moment. He wonders if AP Mike discards his wallet and then retrieves another one that contains a new identity.
Hodgman discovered that the Rollaboard® is full of passports and jars of orange marmalade nestled inside black socks to avoid glass breakage. (My inside sources reported two additional oddities: A 1988 Kevin McReynolds Kenner Starting Lineup action figurine and a tattered TIME magazine dated November 1979.) Tom appreciates the (troubling) forethought involved in this protective packaging. Hodgman agrees that AP Mike is a sociopath with a plan. Tom wonders if the marmalade is for use as a spreadable condiment during the continental breakfast at whatever hotel he's pretending he stayed at. Hodgman says that AP Mike skips from Residence Inn to Residence Inn, working the continental breakfast line, exiting the hotel, and then bolting across the street to the Courtyard by Marriott. Tom pictures AP Mike having a
penelope panoply of room keys for hotels to create the illusion that he is a frequent guest instead of a man constantly on the run. Hodgman imagines AP Mike trying to use a Radisson key in a Courtyard by Marriot room as though the two competing lodges had developed some sort of sharing program. AP Mike would then attempt entry with an AAA card and a wallet-size picture of John Hodgman's daughter. Hodgman makes it clear that these items are not legitimate room keys. AP Mike believes that Hodgman has gone too far. Hodgman does not deny stretching the sordid tale past its breaking point.
Tom asks Hodgman if he is an actore. Hodgman says that is false. He has, however, been paid to be a fraudulent actore. Hodgman is indeed an authore, personality, product pitchman, and podcasting barrister. In short: an all-around cool dude. Tom mentions that the T-Mobile woman has taken up residence in the Mac vs. PC neighborhood. Hodgman has no idea what Tom is talking about. Tom explains that he is horrified by the people that the competitors put forth as their Hodgman substitutes. He looks at his television and sees a parade of one-armed, hunched-over, dysfunctionally obese, sometimes headless NERDS. Tom believes that Hodgman could file a successful defamation lawsuits against some of the companies that are producing these offensive spots. Hodgman points out that one of the horribly disfigured people is his former The Daily Show colleague, Dan Bakkedahl, who personifies the sluggish 3G network in the service of promoting T-Mobile's speedier 4G option. He's excited that a very funny guy is getting work. Tom assumes that Hodgman would now classify Mr. Bakkedahl as a former friend. Hodgman says they have an active friendship. He's delighted that he's making money off the same bad suit that yielded him his fortune. Tom is not delighted by the fact that former Macintosh Justin Long has been replaced by some weird Eurotrash dude who does not speak English.
Speaking of nerds, Tom wants to dig deeper into the Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) experience, a recurring topic when Hodgman appears on the program. Hodgman agrees to discuss the basic contours of the conferences, but he must remain mum on the behind-the-curtain dirt. Tom wants a one-liner to describe the gist of TED. He thinks it might be "Eggheads all gathered together to try to fix the world." Hodgman explains that it's super-smart billionaires, venture capitalists, world leaders, policymakers, and minor television personalities getting together for one week in Long Beach, CA, to talk about the issues of the day. These people give talks to each other, those talks are recorded on video, and the recordings are then posted online for public viewing. Hodgman was invited to spend a certain amount of money to be there when a soldier in an exoskeleton walked on stage to a dead hush because everyone thought they were going to be killed. Hodgman asks Tom if he's ever seen Paul Verhoeven's The RoboCop. Tom has seen the satirical sci-fi actioner. Hodgman says it felt like the scene where they were demoing the first model of this part man/part party machine cop. (When viewing Eythor Bender discuss his creation, he recalled Jeroen Krabbé at the climax of The Fugitive. I was expecting to see Harrison Ford emerge from the back of the room and reveal that the bionic appendages were pumped full of liver-fucking Provasic. Actually pretty much all the TED presenters are a bit Krabbé. Something is off. I'll get Joseph Pants on it. Or, if he's too busy, James Pants. Any Pants'll do for this investigation. Pants rummage!) He says that standing ovations are very common at TED because you often see some amazing things. For example, Hodgman saw a dude take the stage and print out a human kidney on a 3D printer. Everyone applauds virtual organ creation, but when a soldier walks out in an exoskeleton: a dead hush. 1,000 extremely nervous people. Tom wonders what would happen if the exoskeleton reached behind his back. Hodgman says that any sudden movement would be greeted with a quick and intense zapping.
Tom assumes that there's no room for a guy like him at TED. Hodgman confirms that assumption as being correct. He says that the TED brain trust discussed Tom, but he didn't seem like a good fit for them. Tom admits that he's not smart because he attended a community college. Hodgman says he's well aware of the entire dossier ["SCHARPLING, T., HOST - DENIED"] that TED has on him. Tom recalls bungling the word "panoply" earlier in the evening. He concludes that they might invite him as a "before" example. Hodgman says that Tom is one of the most intelligent people he knows. Tom considers himself to be crafty like Bugs Bunny, but as dumb as the day is long. Hodgman disagrees. Tom says he's not even smart enough to know that Bugs Bunny appeared in projects other than Space Jam. He saw a lot of promise in that rabbit for future projects. Hodgman wants to make sure that Tom knows that Space Jam is a cartoon. Tom argues that it was not a cartoon because he saw Michael Jordan running around. Hodgman refused to view the film because it involves sports. However, Michael Jordan is an athlete that even he is aware of. Tom asks Hodgman to trust him on the fact that Space Jam contains other dudes whom the filmmakers realized were terrible. For example, the gangly giant Sean Bradley (7' 6"), drafted by nem 76ers as a carnival act with the #2 overall pick. Hodgman interrupts to say that when he's in the pledge room, AP Mike is molesting him, and now that he's with Tom, he's being lectured about basketsballers. He wonders if the goal is to get him to walk out mid-marathon. Tom asks Hodgman to guess the Mormon manchild's jersey number. Hodgman correctly guesses that it was #76. Tom points out that other teams preferred to select good players to help them win games. (Although, it should be noted, the 1993 NBA draft was pretty much a cesspool of crettens.) Hodgman requests that the conversation shift back to the classic days of Warner Bros. animation.
AP Mike, now trending at #arthur3:goin'Loko, cackles in a way that cuts through Tom with the same precision as Gold & Silver Pawn Shop co-owner Rick "The Spotter" Harrison's wheeze-laughing ("the sound of a thirsty old horse being strangled") over the potential authenticity of a pair of Abraham Lincoln's trousers. He is escorted away from the live microphone. Hodgman realizes that AP Mike is now holding up aerial pictures of his home that he somehow obtained.
Tom says that he would go up at TED to poll the audience on whether or not they had seen Space Jam in a speech titled "Thoughts From a Guy Not As Smart As the Rest of You Eggheads." Hodgman thinks it would be great. He announces that they conducted the first annual TOM conference at TED. He found a guy who recognized his WFMU t-shirt, and they quickly organized TOM #1. Hodgman says that Tom will now have to change the name of his conference if he still wants to pursue it. Tom informs Hodgman that he bought the greatest domain name ever. He writes it on a piece of paper to gauge Hodgman's reaction. Hodgman says that he met worldwide famous composer and fellow TEDdy Bear (I think that's what they call themselves) Eric Whitacre. Mr. Whitacre informed him that he was a big fan and the owner of johnhodgman.com. Hodgman asked him why he was squatting on it. Whitacre said that he didn't want someone else to turn it into a pornography portal. Hodgman laments that he can no longer become a billionaire. He reviews the piece of paper and seems very amused by the URL that Tom has acquired. Hodgman believes that it displays a craftiness worthy of Bugs Bunny.
Tom decides to take a vote on whether AP Mike can remain in the room. Future Grunge God Ted Leo suggests that AP Mike could go, but leave his toy/overlord "Horny" behind. AP Mike stays. He accuses a fellow volunteer of betraying him like Judas. Tom is disgusted by the Biblical ballyhoo.
- Philly Boy Roy calls from inside the locked trunk of a car parked in West Philadelphia. Tom wants to hear more about how this happened. PBR begs Tom to help him out of his confinement. Tom explains that he is currently busy doing the WFMU marathon show with Ted Leo and John Hodgman. PBR says he loves those guys. He asks Tom if he knows about the new herbal supplement called Emerald Nightmare. Tom warns PBR that this product is bad news. PBR explains that he purchased a ton of it after becoming addicted to its pleasures. Since he is unable to pay the dudes back, he asks Tom if he can borrow $81,500. PBR says that someone told him that Tom had that much cash. Tom informs him that last week he raised the money for WFMU, not his personal stash. PBR doesn't know what WFMU is. Tom says it's the station he's been calling for the past nine years. PBR is surprised to find out that WFMU is that high school station. Tom says it's not a high school station. PBR says it sounds like one. He asks Tom if he's still using that voice modulator. Tom says he's not using a modulator. PBR says he sounds like he is.
PBR asks Tom to get Ted Leo to play The Hooters classic "And We Danced" because it's probably going to be the last thing he ever hears. Ted is pretty sure that he can figure it out in the next five minutes. PBR says he might not have that long to live. Tom suggests that Ted could play it at PBR's funeral. PBR requests that John Hodgman read a segment from his book, I Know Everything. Hodgman informs PBR that he did not provide the correct title (it's The Areas of My Expertise). He declines to do any readings at this time. PBR announces that the air is getting thin. He fears that This Might Be It. Tom tells PBR that it's been nice knowing him. PBR bids everyone goodbye. Tom hopes it's not really The End. After PBR sings the chorus of "And We Danced," Tom asks for a more specific location so he can send help. PBR sings another line. Hyman. Bazilian. Boom. The phone goes dead. Ted refuses to believe that PBR has succumbed in the apparent explosion. Hodgman wonders if he should have read from his book. He normally gets paid a lot of money to do that.
Kurt Vile Set #1
Tom's friend Kurt Vile arrives after playing three music record stores in NYC. Kurt says the performances were great, and he will close out the day at The Best Show. Kurt explains that while he's a little bit tired, he'll pull through because he's a rocker with the fire inside of him. Kurt's new full-length album, Smoke Ring For My Halo, dropped today via Matador Records.
Tom mentions that it is only available for purchase today and there is no digital offering in the iTunes Store. Tom loves the album. Kurt loves Tom. Tom loves Kurt. Kurt asks Tom if he remembers the time he was on his show. Tom does recall his 12/21/10 appearance. Tom says the real question is whether Kurt remembers it. He does. Kurt brought his guitar to enable him to perform a song or two for listeners. Tom gives him the floor. Kurt dedicates his first song to his beloved Tommy.
Kurt Vile - "Downbound Train" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
Kurt Vile - "Ghost Town" (from Smoke Ring For My Halo)
Prize Tub Week #2 ($15+)
1. Black Helicopter - Don't F with the Apocalypse LP (screened Raymond Pettibon cover) [Winner: Mike in Mountain Top, PA]
2. Chris Elliot's The Shroud of the Thwacker (autographed) [Winner: Paolo in Montreal, Quebec, Canada]
3. Superchunk - Majesty Shredding CD [Winner: Rory in Philadelphia, PA]
4. George Harrison All Things Must Pass LP reissue poster (printer's proof) [Winner: AJ in Hamilton, NJ]
5. Conan O'Brien & The Legally Prohibited Band - Live at Third Man LP (autographed) [Winner: Brian in Ann Arbor, MI]
6. GG Allin Bobblehead Doll [Winner: David in Yardley, PA]
7. Step Brothers DVD/The Anchorman Blu-ray (autographed by directore Adam McKay) [Winner: Jeremy in Athens, GA]
8. Stephen Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) (autographed) [Winner: Jonathan in Boulder, CO]
9. Shocking Pinks 7" box from DFA Records [Winner: Duncan in Tempe, AZ]
10. F'd Up - The Chemistry of Common Life CD [Winner: Chris in Somerville, NJ (MA?)]
11. Our Bodies, Our Junk book (autographed) [No Winner Announced]
12. AST Comedy CD Three-Pack: Paul F. Tompkins - Impersonal, Jen Kirkman - Self-Help, Andrew Daly - Nine Sweaters [Justin from Brooklyn, NY]
13. The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion CD [Chris in Seattle, WA]
14. Carl Newman Prize Pack ("As much as you want of my products." -- CN) [John from NYC, NY]
15. Kurt Vile - Smoke Ring For My Halo Test Pressing (autographed) [Tom in Lakeview, NY]
The Final Push
"Chopra?" -- AP Mike, inquiring about the identity of pledger Deepak from Pittsburgh
"I can't take it anymore. I really can't take it. [slurred] Chopra? Chopra?" -- Tom, reaching his limit
Tom compares the flurry of Mouse Wearing A Cape pledges to the time he slayed that Sex and the City slot machine. He couldn't believe how much money kept pouring out of its undercarriage. Tom recalls how he often gets humbled and leveled by e-mails from listeners who were helped through tough times by the joys of The Best Show. He considers it an honor to facilitate like-minded people gathering together around the globe to celebrate the things they like and think are fun. Tom does it for love. He threatens to throw AP Mike off the roof of the building for inserting way too much Horny and Squeaky into his emotional Final Push. AP Mike, stained with the blood, sweat, and tears of his own marathon mayhem, paraphrases Arthur Bremer to warn that he's so excited that he can hardly walk. Tom compares AP Mike to the guy who runs onto the field during the Olympic medal ceremony. He can picture AP Mike, shirtless with FourLoko.com scrawled all over his back in Magic Marker, making a mad dash across the field during Lou Gehrig's dignified farewell address at Yankee Stadium. Tom announces that AP Mike did not answer a single call tonight.
AP Mike, now bottoming out at #fosterbrooks, becomes increasingly skeptical about Hodgman's mustache. He wonders if he could get a Mouse Wearing A Pledge in exchange for ripping it off his face. Tom proposes a Hodgman/AP Mike revival of Neil Simon's 1972 play, The Sunshine Boys. Hodgman agrees to do it as long as he never has to see AP Mike or be on stage with him. Tom suggests two separate stages on two separate coasts. The audiences would be seated in a theater with television monitors that are layered to make it look like the two principals are together. The FourLoko Simulcast Lounge production would be billed as John Hodgman vs. AP Mike in The Sunshine Boys.
White Whale Winner
McG Bradley in Sebastopol, CA - $4,500
Grand Prize Pit Week #2
1. LCD Soundsystem 7x7 Singles Pack: "Tribulations," "Give It Up," "All My Friends" (Franz Ferdinand), "All My Friends" (
Bette MidlerJohn Cale), "North American Scum" (w/ poster), "Movement," "Drunk Girls" (Wooden Shjips mix) [Winner: Mike in Minneapolis, MN]
2. The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards vinyl test pressing [Winner: Pat in Buffalo, NY]
3. Syl Johnson: Complete Mythology box set from The Numero Group (autographed) [WINNER: Dave in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada]
4. Conan O'Brien "And They Call Me Mad?"/"Conan O'Brien Interview" 7" (autographed), Chris Elliot's The Shroud of the Thwacker (autographed), The Other Guys DVD (autographed by Adam McKay), Chris Elliot's Daddy's Boy (autographed by Chris Elliot and Bob Elliot) [Winner: Bradley from Sebastopol, CA; White Whale Bonus Prize]
States/District/Territory Secured (both weeks)
Countries Captured (both weeks)
Region Wrangled: The Arctic
Week #1 TOTAL: $81,500
Week #2 TOTAL: $95,945
WFMU History has been made.
The Grand Finale
Ted Leo, Tom Scharpling, C. Newman, J. Hodgman, K. Vile, AP Mike, et al. - "You May Be Right" (William Joel cover)