"Yeah, of course you do. Give it to me!" -- Tom, responding to a dude from the label who revealed that he had the 2011 RSD Superchunk/Coliseum split 7" for him
"I am going to call shenanigans on that." -- Tom, disputing the claim that attractive girls were present at the Amadeus Nerd Party
"Party for one. Right here. Happenin' ... now. And it's pretty good." -- Coco Hames, flying solo in her London flat
"I think he's a savant. Gifted in ways that no one can explain." -- Dave from Knoxville, describing the mysterious mind thing of Fredericks
"... or enjoy." -- Tom, putting a different spin on the peculiar New Port Richey brainspace
"First of all, it's science-fiction. A deer sees white pants coming at him, he's gonna run away. He's gonna see that from 200 yards away. Some dude with white pants and the light reflecting off his goofball sunglasses. Big Buck Hunter. Shameful." -- Tom, pointing out the shortcomings of this hipster shoot-em-up
"In this part of Jersey it would have had Zubaz on instead of a pink diaper, though." -- Ted Leo, explaining the regional attire worn by the dangling van monkeys of Bloomfield
"Wow. Heather Graham, the guys from Jawbreaker, and Spike. It's like a red carpet!" -- Tom, marveling at the NYC celebrity parade
"I'm taking creative writing and English literature with a minor in food services." -- Emma, detailing her path to becoming Canada's finest chalkboard prose stylist
"Welcome back. We knew you'd be back." -- Flight Attendant, welcoming Ted Leo back to the slums of coach
"Laughinstock. Food. Laughingstock. Food." -- Mr. T (via Tom), considering a Brisk Super Bowl commercial offer
"He's like an out-of-shape person that they hooked up to an air hose who just kept inflating. Like, 'I'm gettin' bigger! I'm gettin' bigger!'" -- Tom, revealing Hulk Hogan's workout regimen
"Whaddya think? It's a gold disc, isn't it?" -- Herb Wilkinson, predicting Billboard certification for his "Living Hardcore" single
"It was, and I'll tell you, the soda turned bad, and it really sent those elk sausages barking at the door. They were barkin' loud!" -- Herb Wilkinson, describing the severity of his digestive distress
"Like those Harry Turtledove books where the Nazis win World War II and basically Wall Street is now called Adolf Hitler Avenue." -- Herb Wilkinson, placing American Hardcore: A Tribal History in the historical fiction genre
"They also brought along a lot of these lesser gangs with them who were awful fighters. Gangs like The Painted Willies and Tom Troccoli and his Dogs. Terrible gangs. Real bad. Bad fighters." -- Herb Wilkinson, lamenting The Black Flags' association with subpar forces
"I thought those were guns and spears and canons. Those are drums?!" -- Herb Wilkinson, discovering that American Hardcore does not contain photos of weaponry
"I picked it up, and I flew it over to Leftbridge. And then I hovered above Leftbridge, and I dropped Rightbridge onto Leftbridge. Smashed it. And that's why there's no Rightbridge or Leftbridge now. It's called Middlebridge. Yup." -- Herb Wilkinson, detailing the logistics of the Lady Foot Locker blimp bombing that killed 712 citizens
"Are you bleeping everything I'm saying?! Okay. Well then he shoved me, and then I shoved him into this wall full of . And they all turned on and then we both got stung." -- Herb Wilkinson, attempting to provide the obscene particulars of the Del Sparrow's Erogenous Zone device zapping
"Well, it's a satanic march if you ask me." -- Herb Wilkinson, denouncing scum-rockers The Buckingham's hit single, "Kind of a Drag"
"Oh my ... what is this?! OH MY GOD! Noooooo! Nooooooooooo! WHAT IS THIS?! AHHHHHHH, I'm gonna, AHHHHHH! No! No! Nooooooooooo! No! No! Noooo! Noooo! Oh my God. Oh my God (whimpering). It's so much worse than I could have ever imagined." -- Herb Wilkinson, reacting to his first exposure to MDC's "Business on Parade"
"Oh, why don't you shut up. Piece of filth!" -- Herb Wilkinson, refusing Tom's recommendation to visit a licensed medical doctor
"Goodnight, Dumm Oaf." -- Tom, bidding farewell to his new meal ticket
"Who was behind the counter? Andrew Dice Clay's girlfriend?" -- Tom, inquiring about the identity of the circa-1988 Hat Check Girl at the Museum of Natural History
STP - "25 Miles/Safer"
( Click here to acquire the other side of the "Smoke 'Em" 7")
The Vivians - "Midnight"
( Click here to acquire the rest of I Fear)
Sloan - "The Answer Was You"
( Click here to buy The Double Cross)
Quintron - "Ring The Alarm"
( Click here to buy Sucre Du Sauvage)
Tyler Jon Tyler - "Faster Than Light"
( Click here to buy Tyler Jon Tyler)
White Mystery - "Pumpkin Crème"
( Click here to buy Blood & Venom)
Milk Music - "Fertile Ground"
( Click here to read the Still Single review of Beyond Living; the slab's already OOP!)
Prisonshake - "I Hear Your Name"
( Click here to acquire more of the Singles '87-'89 box set)
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
Hey everybody, guess what? The moment you've been waiting all week / month / year / decade for is here. Here comes a three-hour oasis from the six-day, 21-hour walking nightmare that is your personal horror business. It's me! Omar! Best Show recap! You sick dips wanted The Best, and now you're going to get The Best. Boing! Get ready because the contents of fetid-fudge-filled filth buckets may rain down on your dumm oaf heads just like on I Double Dare You To Do What You Can't Do On My Television. I always wanted to eat at Barth's Burgery with dearest Alasdair Gillis and especially my beloved "Moose" McGlade, a fair-skinned catalyst for many a youthful parachute pant rummage, an unholy din of zipper and nylon squeaks that would often extend well into the wee hours. Barth seemed like a cool chef, an early practitioner of a crude strain of molecular gastronomy and "road-to-table" cuisine, frequently cited as a pioneering influence by more modern purveyors like G. Achatz, W. Dufresne, D. Barber, and A. Reusing, among many others. (Alice Waters, writing under her "Hollie N. Dazed" byline, once called him "a sick and erotically intoxicating stallion" in the militant culinary fanzine Chez Guevara.) Some critics, however, lamented Barth's "flagrantly low" health inspection scores and aggressive use of cigarette ash as a garnish.
Tom declines to mess around tonight because he has a fully-loaded three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem planned for all the sadsack listeners who can now pry their painted faces away from their crusty Hot in the Shade CASSettes and DVR'd backlog of Gene Simmons Family Jewels episodes. He announces that special guest Rob Schrab will check in to discuss his new art drawings book. The rest of the show will contain some secret surprises, i.e., stuff you couldn't even imagine happening is actually gonna happen. Tom wonders why he's not getting all kinds of free stuff. Last week a degenerate mailed him a bag of weed. He wants records and DVDs. What's next? A handgun in the mail? Unbelievable. Criterions, yes! Crippler? No!
- A presumably Spock-eared and frilly-shirted Amadeus in Manhattan calls during a lull in the weekly sci-fi party held in his apartment. He wants to ask Tom about anger management. Tom wonders why Amadeus thinks that he would be a suitable advisor on this issue. Amadeus says that Tom seems balanced, and Tom considers that to be a fair enough justification to proceed with the on-air therapy session. He speculates that Amadeus's anger level is elevated because the sci-fi nerds are feuding. Amadeus says that he may have a problem with anger because last week he broke a taxicab's window with his fist. Tom believes that he is coming unhinged, a sort of T. Bickle on the other side of the glass type deal. Amadeus requests some guidance. Tom wonders if his Dune book is no longer cutting it as a calming influence. Amadeus says the earlier entries in the series serve as a more effective emotional balm for his fragile psyche. Tom asks Amadeus for the name of the sandworms in the Dune books. Amadeus doesn't know, but he's confident that one of his guests can identify the creatures (paging Patton and Hodgman!). Tom asks Amadeus how many nerds are present. He guesses that it's all guys. Amadeus claims that there are a lot of attractive girls in the group. Tom calls shenanigans on that one. Amadeus says it's a matter of taste. Tom clarifies that he meant that he doubted that there were any girls present. He's sure that the guys imagine these non-girls to be attractive. Amadeus thinks that's unfair. There are at least a couple of ladies milling about.
Tom asks Amadeus if he ever goes to the Forbidden Planet bookstore in NYC; however, he actually knows that Amadeus goes there. Tom was just posing a rhetorical question for the benefit of the listeners. Tom wonders if FP does the Wednesday pulls for him. Amadeus prefers to deal with his own purchasing system. Tom asks Amadeus to name his favorite superhero. Amadeus picks the mutant Wolverine. In fact, he's drinking out of a Wolverine-branded glass right now. Tom wants to know what made Amadeus punch a cab window. Amadeus says the cab was on his foot. Tom says that if the cab drove over his foot then Amadeus had every right to punch its exterior. He would have smashed the driver and then shoved him down a manhole. Class of Reagan '84-style! (Per America's foremost conspiracist David Echols, henchmen Ed Rollins and Lee Atwater disposed of a protestor in this manner at a raucous campaign stop in Hammonton, NJ.) Amadeus thanks Tom for giving his permission for the vehicular windowslaughter. We're done here.
- Trevor?, age 12, says he's been listening to mid-2003 shows in the audio archive. Tom asks him what year he was born. Trevor? notices that Tom asks a lot of questions. Tom says that he's in charge, not Trevor?, so he can do what he wants. Trevor? says that much like Donald Trump he's too big to answer a couple of questions. Tom asks Trevor? if he knows what happens to guys who get on his nerves. Trevor? appears to threaten to terminate the call but Junior's already ancient history. Tom has his finger on the button. It takes him half a second to make someone go poof. The verdict: This Telephone Tough Guy has too much turlet water clogging his ears from repeated swirlies.
- James from SEPA recalls Tom's recent story about consuming half a pint of ice cream (mint chocolate elk sausage chip!) and then feeling like he was going to die. James had a similar gastrointestinal experience that he thought might interest Tom. He received a one-pound, hollow chocolate cross for Easter. (I still have the sealed hollow chocolate "Buddy Cross" that View Askew put out to promote Dogma; K. Smith now stores his not-so-secret marijuana cigarette stash in them.) He took one bite off the top, and thought, hmmm, wouldn't it be cool if he could fill the interior with something (elk sausages?). So he peered into his refrigerator, grabbed a bottle of chocolate syrup, and proceeded to fill the one-pound, hollow chocolate cross with said syrup. And then he thought to himself, uh-ah, well, if I take a bite out of this, the syrup is going to ooze out. He put the now one-pound-plus, syrup-filled cross in the freezer for one hour, >>> he takes it out and consumes three bites of the hardened candy and begins pondering death. He was unable to eat the rest of the cross. James feared that he would require hospitalization. Tom wonders if James is like The Island of Dr. Moreau with snacks, i.e., weird combos (or, better yet, weird Combos®! Filled with dehydrated elk sausage-cheese paste!). Tom urges James to use extreme caution and not play with fire by doing crazy mix-em-ups. He also finds the confection to be a bit sacrilegious. James agrees that it might be a little bit.
James says he's a fan of the animated television show The Flintstones. While watching an episode the other day he took note of the engine-free vehicles used by these Stone Agers to scoot around Bedrock. The drivers achieve locomotion via their feet. James thinks it would be more efficient to just walk to their desired destination rather than push around these hunks of boulders. Tom wonders if James is conducting a notes meeting for The Flintstones writing staff. Heave ho. Tom has no creative influence on these scripts. He directs James to consult with the person who did The Flintstones (I think it was famous animator Legs Waxman and his longtime collaborator Nils Brubaker), which is terrible. The bottom line: The program has bigger problems than the primitive, foot-powered cars. Tom points out that after you get the wheels turning, the car will start moving at a speed that would certainly eclipse walking. The thing that gets Tom about the show is that every animal quips, "Eh, it's a living!," to justify their manual laboring.
Julie from Cincinnati Coco Hames from the The Ettes says the thing about The Flintstones is you know, I mean, [unintelligible]. Tom wasn't sure where that was going. He quickly hangs up on Coco after she lapses into foulmouth. Tom can't win around here. He believes that Coco called from Eng-uh-lund, where it is 4 a.m. He thinks that she should go to bed. The garage rock frontwoman is simply too weird and punchy for radio at this hour.
- Ben Kharakh calls, and Tom asks him if he's done defragging. Kharakh confirms that he has now optimized his processing power. He asks Tom if he's heard about the cancellation of the Rutgersfest. Tom did not hear about this. He asks Kharakh about the lineup. Kharakh says the main issue was that there was too much of who was at Rutgersfest (headliners Pitbull with supporting acts Yelawolf, 3Oh!3, Nudeswirl, Flickerstick, and Trixter ft. Matt Pinfield). The excessive partying led to four people getting shot at the 2011 installment. The organizers decided that they could not tolerate gunfire, so they cancelled the festival. Local police are trying to track down two German men who set up a funnel cake stand called "Das Blow Bar" 30 minutes prior to the violent outburst. A student described one of them as looking "like the dude from Hobo with a Shotgun, but with a black mustache and shorter and he actually did have a shotgun that he pointed at my girlfriend." Kharakh says that someone subsequently launched a Facebook group to promote the 2012 Rutgersfest. Rutgers officials banned them from using the Rutgersfest name. The Facebook group countered by declaring it "Ragefest." Six thousand people joined the group, prompting a story by The Daily Targum, the Rutgers University newspaper. Kharakh thinks that Ragefest is a terrible name for a thing in which the whole point is that nobody will get shot. Tom also questions the use of "Rage" in the title. Tom apologizes for not monitoring the Rutgers entertainment situation. Kharakh says that given Tom's journalistic lapse it's good that he called to file this report. He gives Tom the go-ahead to carry on with the program. That's it. Tom is stupefied by the lack of respect. He asks AP Mike if he should take Kharakh's hang-up as a slight. AP Mike responds with something disrespectful.
- Coco returns, sounding a bit like what I would imagine a heavily-medicated cat sounds like if cats could call radio shows, to make sure that Tom is not really being insulted. Tom asks her to keep the language clean. She apologizes for the earlier transgression. Coco confirms that she is in London. She really wanted to stay up late to listen to The Best Show and then I mean you know ... madness. Tom thinks it sounds like a Rutgersfest is going on over there. Coco denies the partying and says she's just located in a room that's quite loud. She's by herself. Party for one. Right here. Happenin' now. And it's pretty good. Coco thinks it's good to be by yourself sometimes. Tom agrees. Coco presses one of the buttons on her phone to emit a short alarm. She asks Tom if he's into sports. Tom likes basketball. Coco asks Tom to assess the current situation of the Orlando Magic. Tom says the Magic are currently beating the Atlanta Hawks to push the series to a Game 6. Coco confirms that this is an accurate analysis.
Coco asks Tom to listen. Tom assures her that he's listening, although he might be the only person doing so at this time. Coco says she kinda wishes that she was listening and that Tom had a question for her because she was like, "Hey, listen everybody. It's really important. I need to listen to my show." Nobody had any good news, so she returned to her apartment to listen to her show, and they gave her nothing, so she was like, "Oh, well. Tom will give me something." Tom thinks that something should be an ipecac to purge Coco's tummy of toxins. Coco asks Tom to deliver the news. Tom says he saw a news story about an American woman in London suffering from alcohol poisoning. Coco is picking up on what Tom is putting down. Tom says he's just teasing her. Coco says she's doing really good and working really hard on all kinds of exciting stuff. Tom asks her how the new album (Wicked Will, 8/2/11) sounds. Coco is very pleased with its progress. She says she really wanted to call in last week but she really oh oh and I'll tell you this um obnoxious habit. Coco lapses into a British accent. She says it's not her fault because she can't just go up to the corner store and request a bottle of water. The foreign proprietors do not understand that request. Coco has to ask for a boodle of wootuh. She really missed listening to The Best Show last week because she was really going to call in. It was 5 a.m., which is fine because she was going to Roald Dahl's house the next day. She was really excited because she loves Dahl. Tom also enjoys his work. Coco says she is a rabid Dahl fan. She was an hour off so her call last week did not work out. Coco tells Tom that he doesn't have to talk to her for terribly long, but she just wanted to check in because she misses him. Tom misses Coco. The Ettes, everybody! Tom says that people who are not familiar with Coco's music will think her band sounds like The Shaggs. Coco returns to her British accent, and AP Mike recommends terminating the call. Tom is with him this time. He asks Coco to please call back another time. Coco asks Tom to please punch her in the face and.
- Dave from Knoxville calls to retroactively ask for permission to appear on the Fredericks Mind Thing podcast. Tom grants him permission. DfK has already taped his appearance, which aired on 4/3/11 (the Freaks & Geeksily titled "Metaphors & Mathematics"). Tom laments that Fredericks appears unable to come up with two ideas on his own. He wonders if he's doing an alternative version of The Best Show. DfK assures Tom that it's nothing like The Best Show. Tom is well aware of that. DfK says that Fredericks took the raw audio of his math discussion and cut it up so it makes no sense. He says it's a beautiful sound collage that he was thrilled be a part of. Tom acknowledges that Fredericks is an Artist. He speculates about the possibility that 100 years from now the consensus will be that Fredericks was a genius of his time. Tom is frightened by the thought that Fredericks is the person people will remember from this era of human history. DfK believes that Fredericks is a savant who's gifted in ways that no one can explain. Tom agrees with everything that DfK said except not including the disclaimer "or enjoy." DfK chuckles at Tom's addendum.
DfK mentions the recent talk about the formation of a street gang known as The Southern Gentleman. Tom confirms that DfK would join forces with Fredericks of New Port Richey and rising star Jason from Alabama. DfK says that based on his conversations with JfA, the two southern gentleman are fighting it out for the role of Curly due to their ample girth. He wonders if they could cast someone else as Moe and employ a Curly and a Curly Joe. Tom seems down with adding a Stooge to the mix. DfK suggests Buffcoat, a resident of North Carolina. Or, if Tom really wants to get edgy with this project, a female Moe: Laurie from Miami/Chapel Hill. DfK thinks that Laurie sounds like someone who could effectively boss people around. Tom agrees. Three Stooges and One Trusty. Sample dialogue: "You know, Stooges are responsible for keeping the station going."
DfK says he's still distressed that he was unable to call to talk to guest Jen Kirkman. He finds her very funny. Kirkman will be performing in Nashville on 5/6/11, and by all rights he should go because it's just a three-hour drive, but his school's graduation ceremony is scheduled for that same night. DfK says there are institutional rumblings that there will be repercussions for a failure to attend, e.g., the school's President will be unhappy. Tom recommends that DfK do his job. DfK says the advice hurts. He wonders when he'll ever get another chance to see Kirkman. Tom thinks she'll probably come back, although it might take 25 years for another Tennessee show. DfK recalls Patton Oswalt making a quip about the 150 people who came to see him in Tennessee. Tom is troubled by the dude on Twitter who opened a fake Gary Puckett account, which might be the greatest thing he's ever seen. Tom sings some of Gary Puckett & The Union Gap's 1968 hit, "Young Girl." He doesn't think the young girl in question is able to hear the conversation going on inside Mr. Puckett's head. He's also not sure if the correct line is "mind" or "life" (it's the former). Either way, better run girl. DfK says he's missed being able to call in due to his busy semester, but he loves the show. Tom loves DfK.
Tom is very excited to welcome the dude Rob Schrab (pronounced SHROB) to the show. He asks Mr. Schrab to describe himself. Schrab says he's 5' 9" (not a very funny height), but Tom was not looking for those kinds of particulars. Schrab considers himself to be an auteur of sorts. He's been called a Renaissance Being for his dabbling in comic books, writing, producing, and directing. Tom thinks it might be easier if he just lists the things he doesn't do. Schrab reveals that he doesn't play basketball like the Orlando Magic. He predicts that Tom would cry if he ever spotted him trying to dribble a basketball. Tom now wants to see it. He can't think of anything else at the moment. Schrab says he will try to track down a basketball and make it happen.
Tom mentions Schrab's new book, But ... I Can't Do Anything Else!, an oversized hardcover art book on the Image Comics imprint. Schrab says it's full of art that he's done over the past 10 years working on movies and TV programs. Since he comes from the world of comic books and the visual arts, he tends to draw a lot of production material and concept art. The drawings in the book come from projects that didn't break through. Schrab says they were in danger of decaying in a box in his closet, so he rescued them for mass publication. He's pleased to report that the book is doing well. Schrab thinks it offers a neat look behind the process. Tom loves the book and Schrab in general.
Schrab mentions that Tom took care of him when he was at death's door and broke. Tom purchased a bunch of Scud: The Disposable Assassin pages. Tom says it may be his favorite comic along with the spin-off book, La Cosa Nostroid. In a nutshell, people hire robots to kill someone and then the robots blow up when the assignment is complete. A disposable assassin! This particular robot, however, figures it out before he blows up. Schrab is convinced that Tom has in fact read the book. Tom says he's teasing the story for listeners. Schrab says the other cool thing about it is that in the future you can buy a disposable robot assassin out of a vending machine just as easily as getting a candy bar, package of cigarettes, or some Lance Toast-Chee crackers. From reading Scud, Tom sensed that Schrab was more obsessed with movies and pop culture than just being into comic books. While Schrab greatly appreciates comic books due to his love of art and graphic design, he was never a big superhero fan. He really loved a lot of the independent, black-and-white comic books. Schrab has also always been a huge action movie fan. He wanted to write and direct, but he lacked a camera back in the early 1990s. He drew the first issue in 1993 on his kitchen table. Schrab used to refer to Scud as being his "reel." He used the credit "directed by" instead of drawn or illustrated by. Tom remembers this. He recalls that Schrab would cite songs that might make for a good soundtrack while you're reading the comic. Schrab would also suggest voice talent. At one point he targeted John Malkovich as the voice of the title character. Schrab approached the work like a movie as much as possible. He wanted the action to be storyboarded rather than just having splash pages all over the place. People responded positively to this more cinematic sensibility.
Schrab and Dan Harmon, the creator of the NBC laffer, Community, moved to Lipstick City after Scud was optioned as a movie by Oliver Stone's production company. Schrab suspects that somebody told Stone about it, and he thought it was a good idea. They optioned it for a two-year period, working with the same studio that did the Judge Dredd film. Schrab and Harmon wanted to move out to L.A. to be closer to the project and its development. They found out the hard way that comic book people usually don't write the screenplay. Schrab met Harmon while doing standup at a place called, oddly enough, The L.A. Freeway in Milwaukee, WI. They also collaborated on improv and radio stuff during this time; Schrab did Scud on the side. This relationship morphed into writing scripts and screenplays.
Tom mentions that Schrab was also the head honcho on The Sarah Silverman Program. Schrab and Harmon created the series with Ms. Silverman. Schrab worked on it for five years, and the show had three seasons, one of which was cut in half by the writer's strike. He likes to say that they had four seasons. Schrab thinks the show had some great stuff, but it was never properly promoted. Tom says that some of Schrab's direction was mindbogglingly good, especially considering the budget constraints. Schrab says that during the last season, most people knew that the show would not return. He pushed it as much as he could directing-wise. He recalls an episode where Stephen (Steve Agee) and Brian (Brian Hussein), a gay couple, want to have a baby, so they build a robot together and bring it to life by praying to Satan. The robot subsequently goes on a rampage. Schrab says the show really went off the rails to become an atypical episode, as he tried as hard as he could to goof off and milk the budget for all it was worth. Schrab also built the robot costume. The new book contains the concept sketches on the Robot Bastard page. Tom says the show will live forever. He has told people that Schrab is like Muppeteer Jim Henson. Tom bought three of Schrab's cardboard laser guns. Schrab takes a toy gun and then builds an elaborate cardboard piece around it. The guns have moving parts. Schrab painted intricate designs on the cardboard. Hot glue was also involved in the construction process. Schrab says that he gets a kick out of the scratch-built, Joel Hodgson/MST3K aesthetic. Since he likes to save as much money on production as possible, he'll cannibalize whatever he finds in the trash.
Tom admired that Schrab took the Scud option money to make a short film in the days before people could makes movies with their phone. Schrab says it was a 15-minute short called Robot Bastard. Paint, broken toys, a guy in a cardboard robot suit. And not just a refrigerator box with Sharpie® scribblings -- the design had some character to it. Tom commends Schrab for finding ways to insert some heart into things that are usually devoid of any emotional pull. Schrab looks back at it now and is embarrassed by the ways in which he could improve it. His girlfriend, Kate, has Canon EOS-7D cameras that shoot in HD and she's running around the backyard shooting kung-fu films that look amazing despite no money. The bottom line: It's an exciting time for independent filmmaking. Tom mentions that in 2003 Schrab and Harmon co-founded Channel 101. Their first television project was the Heat Vision and Jack pilot, which was not picked up by Fox. They used the money to buy cameras and develop Channel 101 as a venue for a competitive, miniature series of shorts. Tom notes that it's become a sort of UCB for filmmaking.
The Lonely Island started on Channel 101 with a The O.C. spoof called The 'Bu, which ran for 12 episodes. Schrab knows that they showed a lot of those episodes to Lauren Michaels, which led to their contributions to SNL over the years in the form of digital short films. Channel 101 offered them a platform to show their work to an audience and gauge the response. J. D. Ryznar's Yacht Rock, a behind-the-scenes expose on smooth rock from the 1970s, began on Channel 101. Plus, Derek Mears, the current Jason in the Friday the 13th film franchise, and Chris Romano and Eric Falconer, who are now in their third season of Blue Mountain State on Spike TV, are also Channel 101 alumni. Schrab tries to drag his team into his projects like Children's Hospital and The Sarah Silverman Program. Examples include Sevan Najarian, a brilliant after-effects special-effects artist, Myke Chilian, a fantastic animator, and of course his lovely Kate, who brings it at various levels of production.
Tom asks Schrab what he's currently up to. He pitched a show to the Cartoon Network, where he's developed a relationship based on his work on two seasons of Children's Hospital. The proposed Jet Packula is about a vampire from the future battling the monsters of the past. Schrab just turned in an outline, and he hopes to write the script and then shoot it. He asks Tom about the show Evil Genius. Tom informs Schrab that he cannot talk about worky-work stuff on the air. Schrab says that he's a fan of Tom. Tom is on record as being a Schrab fan. He says that one of the greatest moves he's ever made was buying all those Scud pages. Tom believes he ripped Schrab off. Schrab says he needed the influx of cash. He points out that if Tom had not purchased them, they would be sitting in a box in his closet. He simply lacks the wall space, and he doesn't want to look at his own art. He wants to focus on the next thing rather than agonizing over what he screwed up, e.g., doing that crosshatch a little tighter. Tom did plan to talk to Schrab about the looseness of his crosshatching. Schrab says he's much better at it now. (Tom doesn't know what crosshatching is!) He does know that Schrab's book is available in comic book stores and Amazon. He will also appear at the San Diego ComiCon in July. Tom thanks Schrab for coming on the show. He urges him to keep it going.
Tom thinks that was a nice conversation. He asks Mike and Ted Leo if they agree. Ted says it sure was nice. Yes, Ted's in the studio. Tom cites this as proof that nobody would be able to get a read on this installment. Ted says it was amazingly nice. He thinks it's insane that Schrab has done so much. Emma from Toronto agrees that it was an extremely nice segment. Yeah, she's there, too! Emma from Toronto is now matriculating in Munntreal. And today she's from New York but currently in New Jersey. The bottom line: a geographical nightmare. Emma is excited to be in the studio. Tom asks her if it was exciting to meet AP Mike. Emma says it was very exciting. She had never allowed her imagination to grapple with what such a meeting would be like and so she didn't have any expectation of what might go down in that scenario. Ted thinks that's probably a good thing.
Tom mentions Arthur Kade, a shaved ape from Philadelphia who thinks he's going to be a movie star. Kade just tweeted, "Did I really just hear that there's now a videogame application for dogfighting? That's beyond awful. How does anyone even buy that?" Tom thinks Mr. Kade might be misinformed about this application. He doesn't believe that Steve Jobs would make such an application available in his application storefront. Emma suspects that Kade is inquiring about this application to learn more about it. Tom does an impression of Kade looking to use the $200 burning a hole in his pocket to purchase the application. Ted does an impression of Kade saying that he's getting tired of playing Big Buck Hunter at the arcade. When Tom sees a Big Buck Hunter game at a bar he wants to render the gun attachment inoperable by breaking it over his knee. He doesn't like seeing the weird Williamsburg dudes shooting about. Tom places the game in the science-fiction genre because in the real-life wild a deer could spot a dude with white pants and goofball sunglasses from 200 yards away. It could easily scurry to safety. (I'm currently working with the Peckinpah estate on a videogame adaptation of Straw Dogs, where you can virtually stumble around a field with a shotgun just like that weenie academic Dustin Hoffman! If your glasses get cracked, you lose! Good day, sir!)
- Cruz from Staten Island calls to talk about two things. First, his novel, Million Dollar Eyes. Cruz is prohibited from discussing the second item because he addressed the host as "Little Tommy Meatball."
- Ben from New York says he just got turned on to The Best Show by a couple of people. He enjoys what he's heard. Ben conducted some deep background research on Tom and discovered that he has worked with the comedy duo known as Tim & Eric. Tom dismisses Ben because this is not The Monster.com Radio Hour. He will not review his resume on the air.
- Andrew in Philadelphia confirms that there is indeed a dogfighting application. He says that yesterday convicted dogfighter and current Iggles QB Michael Vick condemned the application. Tom salutes the hero for his stand. He doesn't believe that Vick is sincerely sorry for his own dogfighting applications. Tom suggests that Vick's only mad about getting caught. He scolds Kade for the inconsistency of complaining about the dogfighting application while also flaunting his 50-yard-line seats at Iggles games. Tom accuses Kade of liking a dogfighter who can throw a football. Andrew says it was impossible to cheer for the Iggles this past season even when they were playing well.
Tom asks Andrew how things are going in Philadelphia. Andrew says he spent a nice day outdoors. The local Wawa outlets are also treating him pretty well. Tom hopes that he does not frequent the madhouse Center City location. Andrew says he used to go to that Wawa as a teenager when attending shows at the Trocadero (Tesla?!). This Wawa was known for selling cigarettes to underage customers. Andrew says that any place that close to a Greyhound terminal in any city is a nightmare. Tom prefers to dine at the Reddings Market. He asks Andrew if he knows what they have there. The answer: Everything! Including the finest elk sausages in the northeast!
- Laurie from Miami/Chapel Hill checks in, and Tom requests an immediate decrease in the treble. He prefers that Laurie's high frequencies be more attenuated in order to emerge from the call without any significant inner-ear trauma. Tom asks Laurie how things are going in The Ettes. Laurie says that she now has a Britney Spears song stuck in her head. It's "Big Fat Bass" from Femme Fatale. Laurie speak-sings (who does she think she is, Craig Finn?!) a suggestive line: "I can be the treble, you can be the bass." Tom wonders if Laurie attempted a spoken word cover of the Spears track. Laurie assures Tom that he does not want to hear her sing. Tom does and begs Laurie to cut lose and sing it. Laurie says that Britney doesn't even sing anymore. She also laments that the aging pop starlet has forsaken proper dance for strutting.
Laurie says she just wanted to mention that Miami is not part of the South. Tom tells her that everybody knows that. He didn't want to say it to Dave from Knoxville. Laurie says that if she's part of any Best Show gang, it will involve Coco Hames and Julie from Cincinnati. Tom thinks there is a television show about that trio. Tom suggests that Laurie pitch an article about Miami not being part of the South to Trusty Magazine. Laurie laughs with a force that Tom believes is too great for the moderate amount of humor contained in his quip. Laurie agrees. Tom says it was that funny. Tin roof. Busted! Laurie will be done with school in time for Ted Leo's 5/12/11 solo appearance at
The Dean Dome Local 506 in Chapel Hill. Tom asks Ted if Laurie is opening for him. Ted thinks a spoken-singing set is a great idea. Tom does a cover of Laurie's spoken-word Spears. Laurie says she could do a tambourine solo. Ted gives her the greenlight to bum rush the stage at any point. Laurie will consider the offer. Tom's with Mike on this one.
- Greg from Bloomfield wants to tell a brief and heartwarming Bloomfield story. He was having a really miserable day today. His car was towed, so he had to travel on foot like Fredericks Flintstone, on bike like David Rainey, and bum rides from car-having associates. Greg had to go to the DMV, which is of course an emerald nightmare. Tom wonders if the DMV is really still that much of a nightmare. Based on his recent experiences, it's a pretty breezy process. Blast right through it. Greg says he's had some positive DMV experiences, but today the computores were down statewide. Tom wonders if he was registering a boat. He thinks the lines should go slow for those boat weirdos. ("I got a boat. I wanna register my boat." -- Tom / "How do I get vanity plates for my boat?" -- Ted) Tom thinks that it sounds like somebody has a case of the Bloomfield Blues. Greg confirms the diagnosis. He was biking home from a DMV branch that did not exist, and he happened upon a WFMU DJ in his neighborhood. Tom is hesitant to broadcast this information over the air. Heave ho. He wants to respect the right to privacy. Ted approves of the decision, although he was curious about the rest of the story. Emma thought that maybe Greg saw a monkey hanging out of the window of a van. Her money was on that. Ted points out that in this part of New Jersey, the monkey would have been wearing Zubaz instead of the pink diapers favored down in Alabammy.
- Adam from Bed-Stuy-do-or-die/Crown Heights, Brooklyn, checks in with an update on his gentrification efforts. Tom asks him if he's keeping the neighborhood the way everyone wants it. He thinks Adam knows what he means. Adam hears the message loud and clear. He's seeing what he wants to see. No interlopers. Tom suspects that they would run J. Rambo out of that neighborhood. He points out that all Rambo was trying to do was walk through town, and the rubes couldn't handle it. Adam doesn't think things are still like the Billy Joel Bed-Stuy. It's a softer Bed-Stuy now. Tom would love to see Rambo, armed with rocket launchers, take over Bed-Stuy. Blow the whole place up.
Adam has an exciting and unusual Best Show-related sighting that happened two Thursdays ago. As he was checking out at Trader Joe's, he saw a guy next to him that he thought he recognized. Big dude, sweaty. Tom wonders if it was him. The dude got on his phone to discuss The Days of Our Lives being cancelled. Tom doesn't believe this. Adam swears that he encountered Spike (confirmed with correction). He freaked out. Since Spike was on the phone, he didn't interrupt him. Adam was with his girlfriend, and he didn't know what to do. He wanted to get a picture and talk to this Best Show legend. Adam even failed to inspect Spike's basket. Adam says that when you live in New York, you often see famous people and you deal with it. Yet when he sees Spike he freezes up and doesn't get any proof that it happened. Tom asks Adam to not call Spike a famous person. He wants to recalibrate Spike's stature. Adam suggests "infamous" as a more accurate term. Tom asks Adam to name some other famous people he's seen in the city. Adam cites Heather Graham (Emily's Reasons Why Not) and the guys from Jawbreaker. Tom thinks the parade of Heather Graham, the guys from Jawbreaker, and Spike is worthy of the red carpet treatment. Heave ho. Ted says he really would like to know what Spike was buying at Trader Joe's. Emma wonders if he really would, or if he's just saying that at this moment. Ted says he kinda would. Tom considers the possibility that Spike had a copy of Jawbreaker's Unfun in his cart. (Tom knows his Jawbreaker. He should have Blake Schwarzendruber on the show!)
Tom says that the other day he had to go to New York City for a very high-powered meeting. He deposited his vehicle in a parking garage. If you don't find your own spot as you ascend the levels, the top two floors are staffed with valets, i.e., weird dudes standing behind a podium. Tom is not in the parking garage business, so he's willing to accept that they have cracked the code with this format. Tom gives the guy his keys, goes to the meeting, and returns a couple of hours later. Tom decides to ask the guy if the garage had a Little Boy's Room. Tom often throws people off when he requests said room. The guy informed Tom that he could drive down, pull his car over, and then ask the woman for the LBR key. However, he wasn't sure there would be a place to pull over. He suggested taking the elevator down and then coming back up for his car. Tom wasn't sure how to proceed. The guy asked Tom if he would like to urinate in the corner right up there. He pointed to a corner 20 feet from the podium. (Presumably this explains the "Covered Peeing Available!" sign) Tom asked him if he was the manager of The Shank. Instead of speed bumps, they would install Georgio, the Human Carpet Dude. Sickening. Emma confirms that the dude would remain at the podium while Tom relieved himself in the corner. Ted says he's not entirely opposed to this makeshift urinal. Tom points out that there was an operable LBR on the premises. Ted believes the dude was embracing the realities of what goes down on the fifth floor of a parking garage. Tom rejects the idea of making NYC worse and reducing the comfort level. Ted sees his point. He asks the key question that all urban planners must answer: "Why do we build cities if we're just going to live by the laws of the jungle?"
YouTube clip of the Brady Bunch trapped in Sam the Butcher's meat locker]
Tom asks Ted if he'd ever play a 5 a.m. show at The Shank. He recalls the row of Port-o-Toities. Ted thinks that's horrible because you know they are not getting emptied ever. Tom said there was a 45-minute line to buy cans of beer. Tom told one of the guys from The Black Lips, a band that has established a high tolerance for less-than-stellar accommodations and lack of cleanliness, that he saw them play at The Shank. Even that guy said it was terrible. Tom recalls that the lights and the sound went out. Tom saw Ted Leo play in December 2009 at The Meat Locker in Montclair, NJ. His jacket still smells like smoke. Tom compares the experience to entering a new ecosystem. People were sweating, the sweat was evaporating, going up to the roof, and then raining down on people trapped in this underground terrarium. (Sounds eerily similar to ZB's Barbershop Eros shows.) Tom thinks there was three years worth of environmental activity in the basement of this Mexican restaurant. Emma finds it hard to believe that this would happen in a place called The Meat Locker. Tom doubts that the meat even wants to be in that Meat Locker. He thinks the legitimate meat locker industry should be offended that this sweat lodge bills itself as The Meat Locker.
Emma confirms that she is done with her current semester at school, but she'll be back in a week. She is a young lady studying creative writing and English literature with a minor in food services. Ted regrets his mistake of not having a backup vocation. Tom concludes that Emma could land a gig writing the daily specials on a chalkboard. Emma hopes to make a living from her writing in that way. Taking the board over to the corner and spending six hours crafting the prose, going over the word limit because that's just how she rolls, creatively speaking.
Tom asks AP Mike about the silent phones tonight. AP Mike suggests that the callers are showing Tom respect. Tom says he gets no respect from anyone. Zilch, zero, zip. The Rolling Stone Top 10 podcast list is still burning a hole in his gut. The Best Show was omitted. Tom believes the writer of the list should get his head examined for defects. Tom realizes that this is his fate. He is the dude who influenced everybody else and didn't get 10 cents for the effort. Tom didn't set out to be like Memphis power-poppers Big Star. Nobody wants to be Big Star. You accept it after you realize that you flopped and nobody bought what you were selling. Nobody is buying what Tom is selling.
- Ex-protégée Ryan from Dayton, OH, says he's a big fan of Rob Scharpling's Scud He mentions that Ben Hedlund, creator of The Tick, went on to produce Firefly. Ryan thinks it's a weird phenomenon where these small-press comic guys somehow "got in." Tom wants to hear more about the legendary Restaurant Row in Dayton, OH. Ryan is not familiar with this stretch of local real estate. Tom heard there's an area where it's nothing but Red Lobster, Outback Steakhouse, and 30 other eateries. Ryan says these are located more in the surrounding suburbs and not Dayton proper. He's surprised that Tom does not have similar spots in New Jersey. Tom says that New Jersey doesn't have them in the weird row configuration. Tom heard it was a neighborhood unto itself. Ryan says this is indeed the case in towns like Middletown, OH. Tom asks Ryan if people there still "freedom cruise." Ryan isn't sure. He doesn't know what it is. Tom says it's another term for drunk driving. Ryan is sure this still happens. Tom thanks the Ohio Fredericks for the call. The club is open.
Tom asks AP Mike if he wants to wrap the show up a bit early tonight. He tells AP Mike to go pull his car around. Tom realizes this would be a mistake. He'd hear screeching tires and then AP Mike would return to say that he deposited the car in the Hudson River. Ted notes that in the three minutes he was gone there would somehow be 10 McDonald's bags strewn about the vehicle. Emma declares this the real Freedom Cruising. Tom asks Ted about the solo tour he'll be embarking on. He imagines that Ted has some surprises up his sleeve for these shows. Ted says today was the first day since he got ill a couple of weeks ago that he's been able to play and sing. His surprise will be how frail and pale and weak he will be on stage. Tom announces that tickets are still available! He asks Ted to tone down the hype machine. Ted assures everyone that he will have great opening acts. Live! Tonight! Frail!
Ted contracted a crazy respiratory infection while in Spain. He had to seek treatment at a hospital because he thought he was experiencing a collapsing lung. Tom was worried for Ted, and Ted felt it from afar. Tom was concerned about Ted flying back to the U.S. with a lung ailment. Ted says he did get upgraded on the return flight. Tom assumes it was a real treat for the person who paid $4,000 for that seat. Ted says that bandmate James Canty was not upgraded. Tom thinks he can take it. He thinks it might be good for James to get stuck in coach. Coach Canty! Tom imagines Canty being denied pretzels while Ted is dining on filet mignon.
- Pepper/Pat Burn in Jersey City calls to plug a cancer benefit he's doing in Montclair, NJ. Tom wants to make sure the benefit is anti-cancer. It is. He wouldn't put anything past some of these weirdos out there. Pro-cancer benefit at The Meat Locker! The Stay Awesome Fest will take place on Saturday, May 7th at 8:30 p.m. The lineup features Verona, NJ's The Miasmics playing a reunion show; Vic Ruggiero with special guests from The Slackers doing a set with Glen Pine; King Django; and They Live! Pat reveals that the venue for this festival is indeed The Meat Locker. Ted admits that he does love The Meat Locker. Pat saw Ted there, and that's where he got the idea for this benefit. Tom says the idea he came up with that night involved purchasing the building and having it demolished. However, he does support the benefit and would play The Meat Locker in half a second if he had talent. Pat mentions that it used to be a rehearsal space before they gutted all the rooms and converted it into a DIY venue. Pat says all the proceeds from the $10 tickets will go to friends of his family. Tom thinks this is truly an awesome event.
- Will in Los Angeles, CA, says Emma's presence provided an added incentive to call the program. He has some wind-up robots in the office in his apartment that Emma sent him some time ago, and he doesn't think he ever properly thanked her for them. Will does that now. Emma says she was so happy to send him the robots. She heard through the grapevine that he was a fan of robots. Tom wants to know when these robots were shipped. Emma thinks it was two Christmases ago. Tom is outraged that Will is just now thanking her for the robots. Emma points out that Will previously thanked her over the Internets. Will realizes it is late. He believes he thanked her via Twitter, but he doesn't think that counts. He's not sure of the etiquette. Emma thinks that counts. Tom lets it go. If Will and Emma are cool with it, he'll accept it. Will tells Ted that he's glad to hear that he's back home and on the mend. He's also glad that Ted got to fly first-class. His wife is a big fan of it, and thanks to her he's sampled its pleasures. Tom is surprised to hear that Will's wife enjoys first-class. Ted thought he was the only one. He's a new convert. Will had never done it because he perceived it as a waste of money that he could put to better use. Tom confirms that it is a huge waste of money, but if you're on the plane and you can sit up there then you sit up there because it's great. Will says that after he tried it, he now wishes he could do it all the time. Tom mentions that there's one less seat in the row. Ted now feels like he should fly more because he gets the upgrade due to frequent flier mileage accrual. He's not sure he can go back with the riff-raff, especially now that he's experienced the flat-bed sleeping accommodations. Tom tells Ted that he's most definitely going back. Ted knows it. Tom hopes the flight attendant welcomes him back to coach. Tom thanks Will for the call. He recommends calling President Obama to congratulate him for winning the 2008 election.
- Samir in Florida elicits an excited response from Emma from Toronto. He says he enjoyed the interview with Rob Schrab. Samir didn't know too much about him beforehand, but he's liked some of the stuff with which he's involved. He plans to further explore the man's work. Samir would like to share a story involving a recent run-in with a lady. He was at the hospital because his fiancee's family member was having surgery (successful). Samir was waiting in the reception area of the hospital at a late hour. The desk was not staffed at this time. An Indian woman arrived to visit a patient, but she didn't know where to go. She looked around and shrugged. She saw Samir and began speaking to him in Punjabi, a language that he does not speak. It's similar enough to Hindi that he was able to understand her and direct her to call the person she's visiting to get the room number. She sat down and talked to Samir for 20 minutes about the perils of his impending marriage to a non-Indian girl. She asked Samir if his fiancée was a smoker. She's not. The woman said that's good because "I know these white women and, you know, they stop going to the church and that's when they start smoking and drinking, so it's good that she doesn't have that problem." Samir says that sentence has stuck with him. He was amused that this woman was dispensing advice after meeting him 20 minutes earlier. Ted assumes that Samir called off the wedding. Samir says he ordered his fiancée to start smoking. Tom thinks that Samir should get this battle axe fired. Samir says he has no idea who she is or where she's from. She just left after that without even visiting anyone. Emma thinks she's Samir's guardian angel swooping in to set him straight. Tom tells Samir to keep doing what he's doing and let it go. He compares it to the movie Crash. Tom didn't see it, but he thinks it had to do with stuff like this. Samir wonders if Tom is suggesting that his call was boring and overrated. Tom denies this. Samir knows what he means. Tom thanks him for the call.
- Daniel calls from the Scarborough section of the poutine-slicked streets of East Toronto. Emma knows this Daniel. He goes on the record as being a fan of first-class flying. Ted wants to start an Internet newsgroup (alt.firstclass) to discuss the joys of this elite cabin with fellow enthusiasts. Tom thinks this is a fringe group. Emma announces that she is doing a first-class fanzine (Hot Towel #1 drops in August). Daniel was on a flight back from Los Angeles and seated in coach and saw a guy a couple of rows ahead of him and he was sort of eccentric looking and it took him until the end of the flight to realize that it was Pauly Shore. Daniel wonders at what point Mr. Shore realized that he simply could not afford first-class tickets anymore. Tom recalls flying coach with David Byrne from Talking Heads. Tom does an impression of Mr. Shore in full-on Chillin' with The Weez mode telling everyone that he's flying first-class before realizing that the financial numbers were no longer adding up. Ted concludes that if you're paying for first-class you probably don't really care about money. The Weez had it at one point. Tom and Ted imagine all that sweet Son in Law, Encino Man, and In the Army Now caysh. Daniel bets that he was back in coach before the Pauley Shore is Dead project.
Tom loves when those dudes try to do the thing to themselves as a preemptive strike. Like the terrible Jean-Claude Van Damme playing himself in JCVD. Tom wants JCVD to do a weird Super Bowl commercial where we all laugh at him. We get to do that to him. Tom imagines an actor like Mr. T taking a call from his agent, who offers him a commercial where he's the punchline. Mr. T would mull it over for a night, weighing in his mind the pros and cons of becoming a national laughingstock vs. eating food. The next morning he calls his agent to agree to do the Brisk spot where he climbs out of a toilet. Daniel suspects that self-proclaimed winner Charles Sheen is right on deck for this treatment. Tom thinks Sheen has already slithered past it to the point where the 5-hour ENERGY® and ExtenZe® people would turn him down. Daniel accepts this analysis. They would opt for Hulk Hogan and Troy Aikman to promote their pornographic medicine. Tom doesn't believe that Hogan is a true Man of the People. He cites ripping off poor people with TV rental scams and flexing his weird, shiny muscles that lack definition as evidence of his failure to connect with the common man. Tom downplays the quality of Hogan's muscles because they are simply long and inflated. He believes that Hogan is essentially an out-of-shape person who was hooked up to an air hose to get bigger. Tom points out that if you legitimately exercise for a week, you will add some definition to your arm muscles.
- Lin from Fresno, CA, completes the robot trilogy that launched with James from SEPA and continued with the Ben Kharakh sequel. (Schrab should encase them in cardboard!) Tom asks the little droid what's up. Droid apologizes to Tom. Tom called him a weakling a couple of weeks ago during his call about the Das Racist show. Droid later realized that he called right after his night school class while he was a bit rundown from the workday. Tom recalls him whining about the prospects of the kids in Fresno making fun of him at the Das Racist show. Droid listened to Tom discussing Class of '84 and his advice for teachers. He went back strong the next day. Tom wants to know if he killed a student in the auto shop by dropping a car on his head. He recalls the Straussian scene in which a student is buzzsawed. Droid admits that he wasn't quite that strong. Tom recalls seeing the film at age 12 at a midnight showing. He's not sure what he parents were thinking. He stayed at the movie theater all day long with his friends on his birthday. They were pretty cool back then. Tom assumes that in Canada they will let kids into anything. Emma confirms that it's a cinematic free-for-all. Ted says he was never denied entrance into R-rated fare, plus you could just sit there and screen it again. Tom did get denied at times, but that day it was all clear. Tom does an impression of the younger him requesting two tickets to Road Warrior in a voice that sounds like Peter Brady circa 1972. It was the most violent film he'd ever seen until catching Class of '84 later that same night. People were on their feet screaming at the screen when the teacher was going ape. Tom points out that in this scenario they would be the ones getting killed. Cheering for their potential murderer, teacha-teacha. Tom force-quits the caller.
- Daniel from the fancy Wicker Park/Bucktown area of Chicago calls with a slobs vs. snobs first class story. Tom asks him if he lives on Urge Overkill Lane or Effigies Row. Daniel says the street has a little brown sign honoring UO. He recently flew first class for the first time thanks to his employer. It was kind of surreal. He was wearing a hoodie and since it was only an overnight trip he had everything in a carry-on backpack. So he was called ahead to board and an older couple wearing sweatshirts was also present. The woman put out her hand and stopped him from boarding. She asked him if he was "first-flights." Daniel didn't understand this terminology. He wonders if perhaps his bag is unzipped or he's otherwise doing something stupid. Daniel informs her that he has flown before. They both realized that she's misspeaking. She meant to say, "Oh, you're first class?" He was deflated and mumbled, "Yeah." He boarded the plane and discovered that he is seated directly behind this societal arbiter. Daniel fumed for a good 45 minutes, but he got over it because first class is magical. Ted says that Daniel should have bumped her champagne all over her lap as he walked to the bathroom. Tom recalls the incident where the kid kept kicking his seat during a flight. He pretended he had to go to the bathroom and as he walked back he smashed the kid's seat so hard that his head probably slammed into his seat. Boom! Whoops. Tom says he will fight anyone. Daniel regrets not having the presence of mind to get his revenge on the woman. He felt it was probably a lose-lose proposition -- he didn't want to confirm their worst suspicions about him. Daniel was a prisoner of their weird, de-facto disposable income elitism. Tom says that Daniel should have turned first-class into his class. An unforgettable experience. Ted declares it First Class of '84. Yes! Tom thanks Daniel for the call.
Ted asks for Tom's permission to bring up a quick Hulk Hogan thing. Tom is happy to accommodate the request. Ted remembers an article from Pro Wrestling Illustrated from the mid- to early-1980s. The title of the six-page lidblower was "Hulk Hogan at The Crossroads." This was around the time he played Thunderlips in Rocky III. The piece grappled with the concerns about whether Hogan was going to go Hollywood and become a movie star or remain committed to professional wrestling. At the time some felt that two minutes of screen time with no lines in Rocky III would propel the Hulkster to stardom. The next Eddie Murphy?! Tom thinks Hulk Hogan and his weird family are sickening. He would love to see what happens when the primary camera shuts off. Tom wants to see the after-hours Hulk Hogan, the late-night bandana fixing sessions. He goes out on a limb and suggests that Hulk Hogan just might be losing his hair. Emma is taken aback by this ("Whoah."). Tom is like Carlos Mencia. He says the things we all think but are afraid to say out loud.
- Well-known wrestling fan Greggulator checks in to find out if Tom and Ted were familiar with current WWE wrestler CM Punk. Ted knows him as the sXe wrestler. Greggulator says that CMP plays a villain who will casually slip in Fugazi and Youth of Today references into his interview segments. He reports that CMP did a rant about celebrating a sXe Thanksgiving, which entails not overeating. CMP told the people in the crowd that they were disgusting. Tom roars like CMP. The Greggulator is down with this wrestler's style. He mentions that CMP is so sXe that he refuses to take Pepto Bismol to soothe an upset stomach. (The only time he'll go over the counter is to SMASH you!) Tom concludes that that is a pretty sXe policy decision. Greggulator says that CMP is like every preachy, whiny sXe 15-year-old when they find out about Ray Cappo. He's surprised that CMP has not gone Krishna to further alienate wrestling fans. Ted thinks that would be a great wrestling gimmick. Greggulator thinks it would also be good to see a generic Williamsburg, Pitchfork-reading hipster wrestler who would enter the ring on a fixed-gear bike and berate the crowd for not having the latest Blah-Blah-Blah album. Tom wonders if this guy could only wrestle ironically, opting for stale, weak moves that he recalled from his childhood. Ted suggests using the Von Erich claw, the camel clutch, and a clothesline finisher.
Greggulator tells Ted that he, too, grew up in Essex County, and he saw Chisel perform during his formative punk rock high school years. Greggulator asks Ted about his time at Seton Hall Prep. He lived in West Orange and knew a lot of kids who went there. Greggulator did not think of it as the kind of high school to produce punk and indie rock superstars down the line. Ted says that he went there with Matt Sweeney (Skunk, Chavez), and fighters from gangs like Lethal Aggression, Hatred, and American Standard. The Greggulator finds this class roster fascinating because the only Seton Hall Preppers he knew were the kids who frequently beat him up. Ted says that his younger brothers had more of that kind of experience. Greggulator just wanted to find out if Ted had a bizarre, unique existence as a solitary punk kid in a Catholic high school. Tom loses Greggulator. He's so sorry about this. Ted says he was more of a lone ranger in his town, but not at school.
- Max from Queens, another discarded protégée, calls to keep things positive. A couple of nights ago he had a dream about The Best Show. Tom asks him if he was in his house. Max was listening to the show and he was really excited about a guest. Tom hyped the guest for an hour and it turned out that Tom just revved an electric power drill when people called. Ted thinks that metal machine music is a really good idea. Tom won't go full-on Freddy Meyers on Max, but he will say that he will not "do it" with him. This is a weird sex dream. Tom makes it clear that he's not opposed to people who would choose a same-sex encounter, but Max is off the table. He recommends that Max type out his dream and review its content before telling everyone about it in public.
- Jason from Huntsville, AL, calls because he will not let some dude from the west coast (Will) out-polite him so he preemptively thanks Emma for a gift in case she ever sends him one. Tom believes that Jason is a true Southern Gentleman. Emma tells Jason that that's the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to her. EVER. It's done. It's over. Never gonna get better, and it's never been better. Tom wonders what kind of life Emma is living. Jason is glad he could help the rest of her life be a downward spiral. Tom wonders if Emma's existence is similar to the Frank McCourt weepie, Angela's Ashes. Emma says it's rough stuff in Montreal. Tom tells Jason that his monkey story last week was a raging success. Everybody can't get enough of it. Jason gives most of the credit to Nikki the monkey and Tom. They did the heavy lifting. Tom thanks Jason for the call.
- Herb Wilkinson checks in to ask Tom for a favor and also do him a favor. He recently wrote a song that he thinks has the potential to become a gold disc. Herb wants Tom to help him get the composition in front of some of the better record labels and the better singers out there. While he does host a radio program, Tom downplays his industry standing. Herb assumes that Tom has way more connections that he does. He thinks Tom is pretty hooked into the scene. Tom says he is to a degree. Herb asks Tom for permission to perform the song to display its quality and help him pitch it to the right people. Herb remembers a music mogul from back in his day named Clive Davis (Whitney Houston, Ace of Base, The Right Profile). He would love for Tom to get his song to a radio friendly unit shifter of that caliber. Tom says it's not ideal, but he's willing to give the song a listen over the phone. Herb admits to not being the greatest singer, but he thinks the story'll come through anyway.
In '78 things were going down
The Middle Class rolled into town
Their force was undeniable
Their might was so reliable
The Bad Brains made their mark
Led by H.R.
Whose words and deeds created quite a spark
Revolution was in full swing
So in came Morris, and in came Ginn
California feared their reign of terror would never end
A shot was heard around the state
Mackaye and Nelson stood prostrate
Their iron wills showed up to save the day
But darkness moved through Jersey skies
The Misfits saw fear in the eyes
Of women and children scared of their devil cries
Black Flag's generals slowly changed
From Morris to Reyes to Dez to Hank
They were getting slower
Their hairs, they were growers
Until their legion numbers slowly sank
T.S.O.L and SSD did fight
To see which side had more might
But The Minutemen rallied and showed that they were right
We're living hardcore
Out there in the streets
In our beds, between the sheets
The screaming, the stabbing, the dying ...
Herb lost his place, so he plans to start over. He repeats the first line, but Tom calls a halt to the action since it was a very long song. He assures Herb that he got the gist of the narrative.
Herb asks Tom to confirm that it is indeed destined for gold-disc status. Tom thinks it's a very weird subject for a song. Herb promises that if he recounts the backstory of how he wrote the song, it will better sell the entire package. Last week Herb was doing work in the garage after breakfast, and something suddenly felt wrong in his lower-back bathroom area. Tom says he doesn't need any further explanation of the nature of this sensation and its location. Herb says he really needed to go to the lav like pronto. Tom got the urgency of the situation. Herb says it was very, very painful. He suspects that he consumed a Pepsi that had turned. Herb drank it with his usual breakfast fare: stuffed pancakes, ostrich eggs, elk sausage, and French fries. Just as Herb mentions the meal's meat component, a little mouse with a satin cape and sash scurries past him. Tom wonders what the pancakes were stuffed with. Herb says it was ricotta cheese, jelly, and some elk meat. Tom seems skeptical that the soda caused Herb's bathroom area issues. Herb says that the bad Pepsi really sent those elk sausages barking loudly "at the door." Tom gets it.
Herb says that with no time to spare, he raced to the toity attached to the bedroom of his 19-year-old son, Geoff. Herb informs "Wes" that it was very bad so he was in the bathroom for a marathon session. Tom asks Herb to refrain from providing any of the particulars of his bathroom activities. Since he would be stuck there for awhile, he looked around for some reading material. Herb rummaged through his son's textbooks and discovered a Magazine. He doesn't think Wes would believe the contents of this Magazine. Tom has heard about this Magazine from previous callers, so he would rather not discuss it on the air. Herb says he can't even tell him what's in it because once you know about it you'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.
Herb found a book underneath the Magazine, and he instantly got sucked into the story. Tom asks Herb to give the book's title. Herb says it's a novel called American Hardcore. Tom doesn't think that is a novel. Herb says it's actually a book of fictional alternate history like the Harry Turtledove books where the Nazis win WWII and Wall Street has been renamed to Adolf Hitler Avenue. Herb says the author of American Hardcore is Stephen Blush. Tom tells Herb that he could not be more wrong about the book. He says it's a non-fiction book that chronicles the domestic hardcore movement. Herb agrees that the book does examine the gangs of miscreants trying to overthrow the government and assassinate our dear President Reagan. Tom says it's actually about bands. Herb insists that it's about street gangs just like he described in his song. The early gangs included The Middle Class, based in Orange County, CA, and a band of urban warriors from D.C. called The Bad Brains. Tom finds the term "urban warriors" to be offensive. (The group's members are black.) Herb says there was another gang in California called The Black Flags. They employed a rotating cast of commanders, and they gradually started fighting their battles at a much slower pace. Herb says they lost a lot of battles during their later years because their hair got in their eyes. The Black Flags also subcontracted a lot of terrible gangs with awful fighters. Herb says that The Painted Willies and Tom Troccoli and his Dogs are two examples of the subpar squadrons.
Tom believes that Herb did read the book because he knows the names of the bands. He tells Herb that the book is about a form of rock 'n roll music called "hardcore." Herb, age 62, asks Tom about the gang called Minor Threat, who avoided all drugs and naughty stuff in favor of yelling at kids and hawking their overly inexpensive merchandise. Tom doesn't understand how Herb didn't notice all the pictures of guitars, drums, and people playing instruments. Herb thought those were guns, spears, and canons used in battle. Herb says he doesn't really follow music. In fact, he forbids anyone in his family to listen to any rock music. Herb says he has not been on speaking terms with rock music for the past 30 years. He tells Wes that he can really lose his marbles if somebody crosses him. Tom informs Herb that his name is not Wes. Herb thinks he sounds like a Wes. He admits to doing some bad things in the heat of anger, such as breaking a town. Back in the early 1980s Herb was feuding with the owner of a pizza place in Leftbridge. He loves to put a ton of oregano on his pizza. While Herb was piling the herb on his slice, the owner yelled at him from across the restaurant. He accused Herb of abusing the oregano privileges. The two men got into it, and the cops were called. Herb says that he was essentially banned for life from entering Leftbridge. However, Herb eventually got his revenge. His brother-in-law pilots the Lady Foot Locker blimp. Herb got him drunk one night and swiped his keys. He flew the blimp over to Rightbridge and lowered four huge, super-strong Hindenburg-grade chains onto it. With Leftbridge secured to the blimp, he flew Rightbridge over to Leftbridge and then dropped Rightbridge onto Leftbridge. Smashed it. Herb says this is why the two former towns are now the single entity known as Middlebridge. Tom is baffled by this terrible act of townstacking. Herb says that nobody was really killed. He then admits that 712 people died in the town-on-town violence.
In 1970 Herb was perusing the racks at Del Sparrow's Erogenous Zone out on Route 3007, in the spot that is now a Worst Buy. Tom has heard of DSEZ, but his dad did not take him there when he was a kid. He's also avoided Worst Buy due to the odd name. Herb says it's the store that stocks all the merchandise that other stores can't move: footballs made out of dried ketchup, mouse-sized washing machines, and all the Pout solo albums. Tom remembers when the members of Pout all released their solo albums on the same day. Herb never listened to the albums, but he read in USA Today that The Creature's effort was considered the best. Tom was a fan of The Cougar's solo effort. Herb is not familiar with him. Tom says he probably heard a bit about Pout because they were from the area. Herb reminds Tom that he also read that USA Today article about the solo albums. Tom mentions that the albums bombed hard.
Herb was in DSEZ to gather materials for that night's spank fiesta when a long-haired guy grabbed the exact 8 mm film box that he was about to snag. The coveted reel in question was The Love Nurses. Herb recalls that the erotic fare during this period was much more innocent than today's works. Tom has no idea if that is true. Herb longs for those days on some level; however, the upside is that today's storylines are much stronger. Herb and the Long-Hair got in a heated argument about The Love Nurses. The Long-Hair shoved Herb. Herb shoved him back. Then the Long-Hair hit Herb with a . Tom tells Herb that he can't say that on the air so he bleeped him. Herb then hit the Long-Hair with a . Tom also refuses to air this portion of the story. Herb apologizes. He then shoved the Long-Hair into a rack of . Tom had to bleep him again. The Long-Hair shoved him. Herb shoved him into this wall full of . Tom tells Herb that he cannot talk about what was on the wall. Herb says they all turned on and they both got stung. They took the fight outside to the parking lot and battled for four days. Herb says that people were actually selling programs to spectators. Officer Harrups eventually arrived on the scene to break it up. Herb says that back then Harrups carried a giant belt that he would smack on the ground to make a very scary and ominous sound. Herb replicates the sound of the belt hitting the ground ("Wa-poooooo!"). It turns out that the Long-Hair was the bassist for a scum-rock band called The Buckinghams. Tom recalls their #1 1967 hit, "Kind of a Drag." He would not file it in the scum-rock genre. Herb considers it to be a "satanic march." Tom thinks it's pretty safe fare. Herb insists that it's awful and evil.
Ever since that fateful day nobody in his family ever ever ever ever has or will listen to rock 'n roll. Tom guesses that Herb's son has managed to hear some rock music. Herb asks Tom if he really thinks that his son would go behind his back to besmirch his mind with that scum. Tom says he probably has done that. Herb enters Geoff's room and finds a 3-CD set called Golden Treasury of Maritime Speeches. He drops one of the discs and discovers that it's blank CD like he's seen at Staples. Geoff labeled the disc to indicate a speech called "Business on Parade" by 1600. Herb pops it in the CD player. The speech is actually a hardcore song. Herb goes ape, yelling and wondering what he's listening to, the most frequent cry being simply, "Nooooooo!" Herb stops the disc and appears to be physically and emotionally drained by the sonic assault. He says it's so much worse than he could have ever imagined. Tom asks Herb to clarify the 1600 citation. Herb says that it's written as the Roman numeral equivalent: MDC. Tom says that's the name of a rock group, an abbreviation that stands for Millions of Dead Cops. Herb laments his son's transgression: "Oh, Geoff! Geoff, no!"
He checks the second track on the disc as his world starts crumbling apart. Herb is greeted by the gang/band Black Flag. Tom tells Herb that "Slip It In" is not fit for radio airplay. Herb is intrigued by the title. He asks Tom to explain what the song is about. Tom says it's really inappropriate subject matter. Herb decides to give the track another listen via headphones. He wants to know what he's talking about when he grounds Geoff for life. Herb initially dismisses the track as garbage, whimpering about how disappointed he is in Geoff. However, there's an abrupt shift in Herb's mood as he emits sounds that suggest he's taking some sort of bizarre sexual pleasure in the dirty dirge. Tom yells at Herb to stop doing what he's doing. He admits to liking parts of the song. Herb is not doing well, and he doesn't like Tom's tone, which has been getting on his nerves all night. He calls Tom a "piece of filth." Herb demands that Tom show him some respect because if he doesn't, he will "bottle him." Tom has no idea what that threat means. Herb says his new business venture is coffin bottles. He hopes to answer the age-old question, "What will I look like as I lay in my coffin, and what would that look like if it was inside a huge bottle?" Herb says it's a real, life-sized coffin inside a gigantic bottle. He carves the person out of a large chunk of industrial soap and then he squeezes it into the bottle. Herb says other craftsmen opt to split the bottle, insert the soap-corpse inside, and then weld the bottle back together. He shoots it through and then it sproings back to life.
Herb feels sick as he surveys the devastation of his crumbling world. His '11 reality was 86'd! Herb thanks God for the balm of his primary care physician, Dr. Prefontaine, who helps him deal with pain management issues. Tom asks him if he knows his doctor's first name. Herb thinks it starts with a B. Tom wonders if it's Bryce. Herb thinks that is right. He says that Dr. Prefontaine has a bare-bones office in the woods behind where the old Lady Foot Locker used to be at Newbridge Commons. Herb says that Dr. Prefontaine currently prescribes him a very helpful herbal tincture. He's actually preparing a dose of it right now. Tom asks him what the medication is called. Herb checks the side of the bottle, but the print is bit smudged off. He can see the word "Emerald," but he can't make out the rest. Tom mentions Emerald Nightmare. That's it! Tom hears a soft explosion (frog-fart power) of some kind. Herb says he heated the tincture too quickly and set off a small blast. He says that his stomach hurts. Tom is glad that he's okay. Herb appears to set off a much more forceful explosion. Herb says now it really hurts. He yells for the hardcore-loving Geoff to come to his aid. Herb thinks he's okay. Tom recommends seeking legitimate medical attention. Herb prefers that Tom shut up. He calls him a "piece of filth" again. A third explosion disconnects the call. Good heavens!
Tom asks Ted Leo if he can believe that's what it's like Out There. Ted is speechless. He also has to leave. Ted asks Tom if he'd like him to check up on Herb Wilkinson on the way home. Tom would appreciate it. He says that Ted's departure reminds him of the sentiments expressed in Semisonic's smash hit, "Closing Time." You don't have to go home, but you can't. Stay. Here. I know who I want to take me home. I know who I want to take me home. I know who I want to take me home. Take me home. Tom performs the chorus, giving it a bit more of a country twang, backed by Ted Leo.com on mouth-drums. He bets that Semisonic uses setlist stationery (press runs of 500) with Closing Time" (tease), "Closing Time," and perhaps the sequel "Opening Time" pre-printed on the sheets. Tom thanks Ted for stopping by the studio in advance of his tour, which starts tomorrow night at the Brighton Music Hall in Boston. Tom thinks everyone up there will be giddy because the Celtics are still alive in the NBA playoffs. No beatings! Ted points out that if the Celtics win, there will still be beatings. Tom likes to take to his computore to tease the people of Boston about resisting the temptation to beat minorities. He says there's always one goon who boasts that Massachusetts is the first state to pass same-sex marriage legislation so, you know, nice try. Tom is certain that there are plenty of people there who hate that law. He makes it clear that Ted Leo loves the people of Massachusetts. Tom loves Boston, too, but he wants its residents to admit that some bad stuff has gone down there. The bottom line: You can't whitewash history.
Tom would also like to see Boston keep a convenience store open for 24 hours. He is not pleased to report that Boston is the only place where the 7-Eleven is only open from 7 to 11. Tom gives a thumbs down for certain things in Boston and a thumbs up for other things. He welcomes the residents of Boston to the club of living in a city that is not perfect. Tom has been teased about New Jersey for his entire life, but Boston goes nuts over the slightest jab. He thinks New York is the worst, especially during the 2003 blackout where people were dancing around on rooftops with free ice cream. Tom had the same blackout and was without power for eight days. He goofed about it on the air and some dude called up to ask Tom if he thought it was funny that a dialysis patient wouldn't be able to get help during the blackout. AP Mike was barely paying attention to the show, but he laughs about this morbid scenario. Tom says that after the show AP Mike will comment on things that he thought were funny but were not what Tom was trying to say at all. He predicts that AP Mike will commend his riffs about dialysis patients. Tom thanks Ted and Harpo Leo for coming down. Ted departs for Middlebridge to check on Herb. Tom wishes him a safe tour.
- Matt from Chicago currently in Tampa, FL, calls to shoot his own perspective into the Hulk Hogan discussion. He is actually a professional wrestler known as Matt Marquee. He just finished training in Tampa at Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW). Tom wonders if Violent J from Insane Clown Posse also wrestles in that league. Emma adds Fredericks to the FCW stable. Matt was hoping that Fredericks would attend the show, but it appeared that he did not make the trek from New Port Richey. Matt wrestled against his roommate for the training program. He won because he's awesome. Tom points out that he won because that's what some dude (Mould?!) wrote. Matt did consider mentioning that it helps when the victory is scripted. Tom considers getting into wrestling, but he's more interested in fighting dudes for real. Lay 'em out, BOOM!, right in the nose, etc. MMA s-hit. Tom will not even spend five seconds training for these matches. He's got it all in there (points at chest). The "it" in this case is unbridled rage. Tom keeps a long list of people he's mad at. Matt suggests inviting them on the show and making a frickin' Wrestlemania event out of it. He mentions that Tom could not use that name without getting sued. Matt asks Tom if he had a favorite wrestler when he was younger. Tom did not, although he did like "Macho Man" Randall Savage III. He thinks Savage should have strapped a bong to his head. Tom points out that Savage had the weird shutter glasses before Kanye West. He adopts the Savage persona and then concludes that the wrestler used heroin due to his penchant for nodding off. Matt confirms that Savage was among 40 heroin addicts in "the business."
Tom informs Matt that he's not in "the business" yet. Matt says he's working on it. Tom is sure that he'll get there. He selects Matt Marquee as his favorite wrestler. Matt loves the endorsement and plans to display it on signage. Tom wants to be his manager. Matt says that if he lands a match in New Jersey, he will call him to create a Dream Team. Tom proposes a gimmick where he will beat/smack Matt Marquee right in his dumb face. He will call Marquee an idiot and demand that he beat his opponent. Marquee will robotically respond with "Yes, Master." Matt realizes that he is just a big oaf in this narrative. Tom changes Matt's wrestling name to Dumm Oaf. Matt is not pleased by the revised moniker, but he says there have been worse names in wrestling. Tom asks Matt to give him a "Yes, Master." He delivers a good line reading. Tom wants to make this happen. Matt agrees to make the change as long as Tom is in his corner. Tom tells the Dumm Oaf that he'll talk to him later. He wants Matt to call as Dumm Oaf going forward. He'll do it. Tom bids goodnight to Dumm Oaf.
Tom hears all these podcasts boast about landing famous people. Tom takes this guy and makes him a star. He don't need no famous people. Tom blesses God for allowing Ted Leo to make an appearance, but he'll make anyone a star. This guy is going to parade around town telling everyone that he's Dumm Oaf from The Best Show. Who'da Thunk It?! Tom drives his catchphrase home with the vigor of the Canadian sex offender who called a couple of weeks ago. Emma did hear the guy who used that as his pickup line, attributing it to Tom. He's never said that in his entire life. Emma felt that the gentleman was misguided at best. Tom thinks Emma knows how he feels about Canadian people. Emma asks Tom if he hates them. He thinks they are great in general, but a bad Canadian is The Worst. They take a good thing and turn it evil. Emma confirms that Canada has the most supervillains per capita.
- Geneva crawls out from under the wreckage of Project Protégé. She laments that that's all she's known for within The Best Show universe. Max. Greggulator. Wallace Wackiman. Geneva realizes that she was unfit for the title. Tom says that nobody was worthy. It was a flawed program that he no longer wants to talk about. Geneva thanks Emma for her Secret Santa loot, which got rerouted about three times from Montreal before finally arriving stateside this past January. Emma recalls the intense experience of tracking the wayward package through the irritable bowels of the postal system. Geneva was thrilled to get it as an off-season gift. Tom wants to know the details. Geneva received some tea from Emma's favorite Montreal café, a really awesome mug with a "G" on it, and a really nice postcard containing a really nice message. Tom thinks that is a fantastic package. He doesn't think he's ever met anyone nicer than Emma. She's sure that he has. Emma says that she just likes sending presents. Tom says that he has met nicer people. Emma understands. She wants to prevent Tom from making false claims on the air. Tom compares Emma to Ralph Nader. Geneva says she is also a fan of Canadians.
- Nick from North Carolina calls with a story from 1988 (sadly it did not involve the release of Dokken's Beast from the East double live-in-Tokyo album). Nick was visiting New York in 1988 and went to the Museum of Natural History, which had just opened. He approached the hat-check counter, which was unattended, but there was an older woman standing near it. Nick thought she might be the Hat Check Girl. He told the woman that he would like to check his bag before proceeding into the museum proper. She was shocked by the request, and a younger couple behind her were equally aghast. They began whispering amongst themselves. The woman looked at him and said, "Do you think I'm the Hat Check Gull?!" Tom asks Nick if Andrew Dice Clay's perpetually whiny girlfriend was behind the counter. Tom does an impression of an ADC bit involving a trip to the Museum of Natural History in which his girlfriend uttered the same baffled query.
Nick told her that he didn't know if she was the Hat Check Girl. She looked at him and asked him where he was from. Nick told her that he hailed from Winston-Salem, NC. She (now speaking in a British accent) asked him if the Winston-Salem Hat Check Girls looked like her. (I assume that she also asked him if he ever saw the members of Let's Active walking around town.) Tom thinks Nick is doing an Austin Powers impression. He asks him if there was a racial component to the encounter. Tom is a little bit scared of Nick because he sounds a little hateful and a little like a Southern version of Michael K from The Cynics. Nick says that in the 1980s he played from Athens, GA, to Boston, MA, and the only time he saw the N-word was in a Beantown bathroom. Tom gives Nick the Heave Ho. The only place that is not hateful is New Jersey. Nick isn't off the hook, either. Tom admits that New Jersey stocks its share of monsters.
Gene Hackman from The ConversationStan from Matawan, NJ, points out that there is only a 15-mile portion of the turnpike that smells bad. He wants to reconnect with Emma after their initial meeting at a 2008 Ted Leo show and on the subway. Stan stared at her and got a clipping of her hair. Emma faintly recalls Stan and feels bad about it but also scared because he might be a different person than the Stan in her mind. Emma gives Tom the throat-slit signal and mouths "hang up on him."
Tom's friend Jake gets on the microphone to turn the show into Kid's Corner. Jake has appeared on 7 Second Delay. He has a working relationship with one of 7SD's co-hosts, Andrew Breckman, the (self-proclaimed) King of WFMU. Tom turns Jake's microphone off. He turns it back on. Tom asks AP Mike if he's working on another Faces of Death video. AP Mike says his video series is actually called The Faces of Massa's Tavern, his uncle's bar in Bayonne. Tom recommends that families gather together to listen to regulars talk about throwing a dog out of a window. Next up is the uncle himself. Imagine an episode of Cheers directed by Lukas Moodysson and you've got the general vibe of the series.
- Matt in Seattle, WA, says that pretty much every time he's called Tom eventually hangs up on him so he just wants to say, "Gotta go, bye!" Tom still beat him to the hang up. He denounces the defeatist attitude. Emma has no idea what he was gunning for with that call. Sad.
Jake feels like he hasn't earned the honor of speaking live in the studio in the same way that Emma has. Emma suggests that she hasn't earned it. Tom tells Jake that he has earned the right to speak. Tom asks Jake to confirm that he is a young man in a rock group. Jake says that today was his last day in this rock group. The music will continue in other places with other band members. Emma says it will also live on in our hearts.
- Mike from Chicago calls to see if Tom heard that someone manufactured a GG Allin Halloween mask. Tom saw it but thought it was Billy Corgan. He asks Mike if he ever sees Corgan walking around town. Tom performs a bit of the chorus of "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," a song that has been known to inspire ill-advised tattoos. Tom doesn't understand how more than 10 people purchased the Smashing Pumpkins albums considering Corgan's nasally vocals. He asks Mike if they are still a popular group in Chicago. Mike claims that they are. Tom does an impression of a Chicago dolt asking a fellow Chicago dolt if they want to attend a "Smumpkins" show. Tom asks Mike to pick his favorite member of the band. Mike selects embattled ex-bassist D'Arcy Wretzky. He goes with "Today" as his favorite tune. Tom dismisses the Pumpkins catalog as "junky pop" and chastises Corgan for thinking he was making Art. Mike doesn't want Chicago to just be known for producing the Smashing Pumpkins. Tom points out that it is also known for being incredibly tough. Mike touts the Bulls' rout of the Indiana Pacers earlier tonight. Tom is shocked to hear that the #1 seed in the East defeated the #8 seed. He congratulates the Bulls for being so great. Tom thinks they should have routed the Pacers every night. He likes the team, but he's grown weary of their fans. Tom saw the Pacers play the Nets, and the Nets took those dudes to the final minute.
He wants to hear about some of the superstars on the Pacers. Jake mentions Tyler Hansbrough and Darren Collison. Tom clarifies that he was not asking for the roster of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He wants to hear about the 2011 Pacers. Jake adds quality player Danny Granger. Tom wants the people of Chicago to boo the Bulls in the streets until they get their act together. Mike says that there's a feeling in the city that this is their year. Tom recommends getting over that feeling because the Bulls are new to this. The playoffs are different. Tom knows what he's talking about because he's a winner. Every Tuesday night is Game 7 of The Finals for him. Mike awards Tom a blowout victory. Tom sees the greats in other endeavors, and he gets it. Game recognizes game. Jake wisely adds the great Roydon Hibbert, A.J. Price, and Rick Schmidts [sic(k)]. Tom informs Jake that the Dunkin' Dutchman is no longer an active player. Jake believes he could still suit up if need be. Another classic Pacer: Reginald Miller. Tom interviewed him once and thought he was a very nice guy. The nicest of any of the players that he ever interviewed. Tom definitely sides with Reggie Miller in the Spike Lee feud. He thinks that Spike Lee might be the worst Twitterer of all-time. He recommends that Spike stop using "we" when referring to the Knicks because he's not a player. Tom is not a fan of Spike's attempts to rally 'Melo and Stoudamire. He says that if Spike Lee's filmography was an NBA player, he would be shooting 2 for 18 (11.1%) from the field.
Tom thanks Emma and Jake for visiting, AP Mike for doing whatever he was doing, and everyone else for listening. The Best Show may or may not return next week, but you can set your watch to the fact that Solid Gold Hell will start five minutes late every week. [Cue riffage.]