Thursday, January 8, 2009

AM Radio

One of the benefits of working from home that I didn't get to mention in my previous post is that I can now avoid listening to morning radio. Don't get me wrong...I love listening to the radio, but for some reason station directors can't quite figure out how to make decent radio before 10:00 AM. 

The formula is pretty much the same. Take two men, ages 35-54. Give at least one of them (possibly both of them) a stupid nickname. Something like Boomer, or Wank, or Goober. If only one of the deejays gets a nickname, then make the other one go by his last name. Add a female deejay, but don't give her top billing on the name of the show. She will have three primary duties during the Wank and Goober Show: 1. Reading the News (while Bobo and Chachi make stupid jokes about the news) 2. Weather and Traffic 3. Providing the female perspective to all of the idiotic things that Hambone and Sloppy talk about. Now throw in some really bad sound effects (a bike horn, a cowbell, possibly a siren), a few stupid games for callers to play, and a handful of cliche topics to discuss. Now we're good to go.

The underrated show Crank Yankers (2002 - 2007) did a great bit on this. I think it was Patton Oswalt and Jimmy Kimmel starring as Boomer and The Nudge. They'd just call people out of the blue, say they were from some fictional radio station, and get people to play their idiotic games. I guess you had to be there. Maybe you can find it on YouTube or something. 

I used to think that the formula was only used on stations that I listened to, and I was just really really unlucky. Then I did some research, and found that it doesn't really matter what genre of music you listen to, you're still going to find the same formula. Two middle aged male idiots. A token female. Stupid games. Etc. It happens on pop stations (probably the worst offenders), country stations, Spanish speaking stations, R&B stations, and oldies stations. At least I think it was the same format on the Spanish station. I don't really know what the deejay was saying, but it sounded pretty consistent with my description. Then again, it appears that Telemundo follows this format for all of its programming. 

Alright, back to morning radio. I forgot to mention that prerequisites for these AM deejay jobs include being very overweight and having poor vision. Actually I'm just assuming that is the case because it's always the wacky morning DJ doing the testimonials for both the local bariatric weight loss surgery center and the laser vision correction place. Which means even if you avoid the deejay during the morning, you're going to get a steady dose of MadDog throughout the day. Damn, I just talked about laser vision correction, which probably means that one of my ads is going to be about Lasik. Oh well.

I really think that a radio station could take advantage of this void of good morning radio. I've got a crazy thought that you could just play the same music that you play during the day and people would still listen. Then again, I'm only one person. And I watch The Today Show during my commute up the stairs.


Liz said...


I too hate morning radio shows, and your definition was spot on. I've never really thought about how they are all the exact same formula

Love this blog BTW

Kate Q said...

What makes it even worse is when they are regional natives with horrible accents. They always manage to find the ones with the most pronounced accents to have an all-speaking job. I tried to think of how to phonetically spell anything with a Western NY twang, but I think it's impossible. The "a" is very nasally. Meax=Max, eeeapple=apple, etc.

Christy said...

Seriously, you crack me up. Since I got laid off last week, I also now "work" from home. ;) Speaking of the Today Show....they jumped the shark when they added Kathie Lee and a FOURTH hour!! Pretty soon it will be it's own channel..Today Show, all day, all night.

Nate said...

Kathy Lee (or KLG) probably deserves her own post. I feel bad for Hoda, she was once a respected journalist. The best part of the 4th hour of Today is from 10:00 - 10:05, when KLG has to apologize for something inappropriate that she said the day before. Or, when KLG has some washed up Broadway star sing a song that KLG has penned about weight loss, or a mother's love, or something else.

Nate said...

Kate Q - Good call with the regional accents. They really play up the southern accent here in Charlotte. And in areas where there isn't really an accent (like Indiana) they just default to an uneducated hillbilly accent. Usually the guy with the nickname takes on that accent.

Christy said...

Just thought of another shark moment...Grey's Anatomy having Izzie start seeing Denny. I know they had contractual disagreements, but why did they have to make her character go crazy?! They could have just transferred her to another hospital and be done with it.