Saturday May 30th, 2009 – Chicago, IL
Slight change of plans today. I came back from the UFO Conference in Galena, IL to be live in studio with Jerry’s Kidders this morning on WGN. I could have done a phoner but it’s much better when we’re all in the studio and can see each other. The energy is better.
We really are like a band playing. Everyone has a role and that’s what’s so fun about it. We’re learning those roles well and we bounce back and forth and there is a synergy with all of us when it works correctly. Today we had a nice flow going and everyone nailed it.
It’s fun to see the people laugh outside the studio on Michigan Avenue. We’re in a glass fishbowl and lots of people are walking around at that time. They look in at us like apes at the zoo and when we wave at them they love it. We do too because we’re used to crowds.
We added a new angle to the mix today by putting musical sound cues at the end of our news stories. Personally I hated it but I didn’t hate the fact that we’re trying something. If we didn’t we’d never get better so I played along and didn’t say I didn’t like it until later.
This whole thing is a work in progress and we all know it. Putting music cues at the end of our jokes sounded good on paper and we may be able to do it occasionally in the future but not after every story like we did today. It was too much and we all knew it but nobody listening had any clue so that’s the good thing. Nobody knows we were experimenting.
That’s another part of why this is such an attractive project. Nobody was angry but after the show we had an in depth meeting of how we can make the show better. We all agree a more slickly produced show would probably sound better but we also never want to let go of our back and forth banter off the cuff. There’s a fine line and we want to tiptoe on it.
We’re still only a few weeks into this on WGN so we’re still growing anyway but that’s not an excuse for not wanting to improve this whole project from top to bottom. All of us believe in it and we genuinely enjoy hanging out not only in studio but at lunch afterward.
I heard some unsettling news that Bill Leff lost his job over at WLS. Bill is one of a few guys I know who have done both comedy and radio and done it well. I respect Bill both as a comic and a radio personality and I hate to see him lose his gig. I know he has a family.
Things like this make no sense to me. If the station is losing money in piles how does it help to fire Bill Leff? It doesn’t. Bill is a pro and deserves to be on the air somewhere. He was on the Roe Conn show. I don’t know Roe but I haven’t heard he’s a tyrant. I’d bet it’s not a clash of personalities between them but just a budget cut that really isn’t necessary.
There are a lot of nervous people in the radio business and Jerry is one of them. He’s on the air on weekends but not nearly at the salary he was making at WLS. He’s also got kids to feed and he can’t feed them on the fun we have with the Kidders on Saturday morning. Radio should be fun and it totally can be but when the ax drops the laughs fade far away.
I’ve been where Bill Leff is and I feel bad for him. It SUCKS ASS big time and not just any old one. I’m talking a big old ripe, raw, unwashed, nasty, hairy, dragged through a big pile of mud, sweaty, disease riddled pig’s ass. With a boil on one cheek and a wart on the other. And diarrhea. In a closed room. With no windows. In August. At high noon. Get it?
The guy isn’t a particularly close friend but he is a peer and we’ve known each other for probably 20 years or more. He’s paid his dues and worked very hard and I respect anyone who does that, friend or not. Entertainment is difficult but Bill has found a way to make a living for many years and if anyone knows how difficult that is I surely do. Kudos to him.
That being said, why is he off the air but a weasely low life like Mancow Miller still on the air? When I was at the Loop Manclown was VERY mean spirited to us after we were fired the week before Christmas. My partners had wives and kids to feed just as Bill does but that goof went on his low rated ‘show’ and bashed us with venom. We won’t forget it.
At one time he replaced Bill Leff and his partner Wendy Snyder who I think the world of. It was ‘Wendy and Bill’ and they were very good. Wendy is also my age and is very talented and funny and also has a family and was making an honest living doing her job.
Snakes like Mancow are everywhere in radio but he’s the longest slithering serpent of the bunch. He allegedly bought his way onto WLS in Jerry Agar’s spot and now is trying to deny that happened. I have word from more than one source that it’s true and that’s an absolutely horrible thing to do not only on his part but the station’s for letting it happen.
Wendy and Bill were doing fine as was Jerry but somehow demons like Mancow get a halfwit station manager to bite on his hype bait and the results are never pretty. Mancow’s only real talent is his ability to fool ONE idiot at a time who makes decisions in radio. He has never had talent and in fact has vampire-ized many others who do have it. It’s evil.
I think he’s a plain old bully and I never have suffered bullies well. I’ve been around for a long time and have seen a lot of bastards including my father and in my opinion he’s up there with the scummiest of the scum. Or is it down there? There’s no love lost with me.
Now I hear he’s just pulled off a lame radio stunt where he faked a waterboarding so he could drum up some publicity for his ‘show’. The guy is a chameleon and jumps on what is hot but he’s never had an identity. When Howard Stern was hot he tried to play a shock jock but couldn’t pull it off. Now he’s trying to be a talk show host and he’s over his skis.
It’s not often I get so pissed off at someone but he’s always the villain off the air in this kind of situation. I was around pro wrestling and the bad guys in the ring were always the nicest guys out of it in real life. Mancow apparently doesn’t know when the show’s over.
Jerry is out of a job because of a clown like that and so are Bill and Wendy. I’m still not over the nasty things he said about us when we got it. How classless can you get by taking pot shots at the jobless? At Christmas? The karma train has a circular track. Choo-choo!!