Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good morning, Sydney

Tomorrow I’m going to co-host the morning show on 790 KABC with Doug McIntyre from 7-9. I’ve done morning shows from time to time during my less-than-celebrated radio career. They’re always fun. Morning drive is radio’s version of primetime. Folks are going to work or school, checking to see the day’s weather, catching up on overnight news and the listening audience is higher than any other time of the day.

Morning hosts generally have more freedom to be creative, there’s always stuff going on, and the money is way better than any other day part. You can actually support a family on morning show wages!

The only minor downside is that it destroys your health and shortens your life.  You have to get up at 3 AM and your entire existence becomes a losing battle to catch up on lost sleep. There’s not a Michael Bay explosion fest Transformer movie you can’t nod off in. You drink 5 Hour Energy as if it were Gatorade. Your idea of porn is a nap.

So although I enjoy actually doing the morning show I’ve turned down a few offers to do one permanently.

Still, I’d love to do one if I could just get up at 9. Now that might sound impossible, but in thinking it through I discovered it is very doable. You just have to be in a different time zone. With ISDN lines it’s possible to broadcast from your home anywhere in the world and sound like you’re in the studio. A number of radio personalities are already doing that. Bean from Kevin & Bean co-hosts the morning show for KROQ, Los Angeles from his home in Seattle. You listen to the byplay between Bean and his partner and you’d swear they were in the same room… or that Kevin was in Seattle and Bean was in LA.

So I did some figuring. If I were to the morning show for a station say in Honolulu I could just move to New York and the 6 AM show would start for me at 11 AM. I could awake at my leisure. Sweet!

Upon more careful examination however, I thought, why the hell am I braving snowstorms and hurricanes and oppressive heat when I’m on the radio in Honolulu? Wouldn’t I rather actually be in Hawaii?

But then I’d face the same sleep deprivation problem.

Unless…

I consulted my time zone converter and discovered when it’s 10 AM in Hawaii it’s 6 AM in Sydney. That’s the answer! Live in Hawaii and do the morning show for Australia. I could be the guy who has that delightful American accent. As long as I don’t have any personal appearances at local Sydney supermarkets I think I can pull this off. I should probably know Australian politics, but I’m sure if I just said the government was a collection of idiots I could pass for knowledgeable, maybe even expert. I’d have to keep my Outback Steakhouse jokes to a minimum and make no more cracks about Nicole Kidman’s face work, but I think I can manage that.
Maybe what I should do tomorrow morning is very slyly audition for Australia a little bit. Doug will be asking me about Syria and I can slip in that Hugh Jackman is a great actor. We can discuss congress trying to unfund Obamacare and I can casually mention that RSVP is Australia’s number one dating site. I'll give the temperature in Celsius.  Doug will never know what I’m doing.

Clear some space you Sydney stations.  Crocodile Kenny is coming!

25 comments:

Michael said...

On Tuesday's Tonight Show, Olivia Wilde did an impression of what actresses who have had facial plastic surgery look like. It was funny and creepy at same time and reminded me of Nicole Kidman.

Mike McCann said...

Ken... here's your station...
http://www.wsfm.com.au/

G'day indeed!

MeanGMAN said...

The last two years of the Mark and Brian show on KLOS, Mark Thompson moved to North Carolina and did the show from a studio in his home. Mark now hosts a podcast with his wife Lynda and Brian does a podcast with former Love Boat actress Jill Whelan. Morning zoo is passe, podcasts seem to be the way to go.

Hamid said...

Ken, having lived in the UK all my life, where Australian soap operas are strangely popular (OK, I watched them as a kid too), just mention Neighbors and Home & Away, the two biggest Aussie soaps. If you really want to impress, mention Home & Away character Alf Stewart's catchphrase "You flamin' galah". Don't worry, it's nothing rude. Here's some more info on it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galah#Cultural_references

Have a great time in Oz!

Hamid said...

Oops, of course you're not actually going to Oz! Have a great time all the same.

Richard Rothrock said...

From the title, I thought this was going to be about that forgotten Tony Randall sitcom, LOVE, SIDNEY.

My bad.........

Zach said...

Tom Barnard does a Twin Cities morning show from his basement in Florida.

Pseudonym said...

Hamid, sadly for your theory, nobody in Australia watches those soaps. Seriously, they have under a million viewers. It's only the poms and local content rules keeping them afloat.

Seriously, though, you couldn't possibly be worse than the local morning show hosts. Literally driving people to suicide?

Hamid said...

@Pseudonym

Ah, OK, I didn't know. We just had another Aussie soap start here, Wentworth Prison, which I've happily avoided.

Zach said...

If you want to impress them mention Water Rats.

Jeffro said...

One problem, Ken. While it may be 10 AM in Hawaii and 6 AM in Sydney, being on the other side of the International Dateline, that's 6 AM tomorrow in Sydney (or 10 AM yesterday in Hawaii). So when it comes to discussing current events, you'll always be a day late.

You should know this, as this date confusion was a frequent joke on M*A*S*H whenever Radar or Klinger had to make a call back to the US.

But hey, maybe you can expatriate to Fiji or maybe even New Zealand (Auckland or somewhere else on that part of the North Island).

Jeffro said...

Also, you can live in Florida (same timezone as NY) and broadcast to LA. The only thing you have to deal with besides the occasional hurricane is the all the nutcases—unless you fancy yourself one of those nuts.

Snoskred said...

Hamid - Wentworth is actually one of the better Aussie shows, it is not a soap opera. Highly recommend giving it a watch. ;)

Would absolutely love to have you as a morning radio host here, Ken. We have some real nitwits on the radio, I steer well clear of it.

Canda said...

But no one ever says anything memorable that will live on past him (or her) on morning drive radio.

You've done that with your scripts.

Cap'n Bob said...

Just remember that you'll also be in a different day, not just time zone.

And really, Ken--a popup for your book?

D. McEwan said...

Having spent a lot of time working in morning radio, yup, the hours are hell on earth, particularly given that I'm naturally nocturnal anyway. At least I was in my 20s, so I could survive it, but I was routinely spending 14 or 15 hours a day in bed on the weekends. Plus, that whole time, I was also acting in stage plays in the evenings, so going to bed before midnight was simply not an option.

One of my oldest, dearest friends, is currently a morning radio personality out in the Palm Springs market. The trick is figuring out when to call him. The window-of-opportunity between when he arrives home and when he hits the sack is about 10 seconds. When calling, even on weekends, more often than not, I get his wife telling me: "He's asleep already."

Mike said...

Australians are not known for being shy and retiring, Kenneth. If you're broadcasting in Australia, you'll need to speak Strine and learn how to sledge. Luckily, I can give you some pointers.
1) Australians get very nostalic for the old days. So start every programme with the cheerful greeting "Mornin' convicts".
2) Australians are obsessed by sport. So take advantage of every opportunity to remind them of their country's performance in the 2012 London Olympics.
3) And to remind them of their recent Ashes performance, bake them a special cake like this.
It'll be bonza, mate.

Kathleen said...

D McEwan: My dad was a morning man for many years. He got up at 3, was at the station by 4 (though he went on the air at 6), came home (if he didn't have sponsor lunch, meeting, etc), had lunch, took a nap, then spent 5-6 hours at the typewriter writing his comedy bits, comic lead ins to spots, etc. He did this in Cincinnati for 13 years, 6 days a week. He was a night owl also and would go to bed about midnight (usually falling asleep over a book). He was very good friends with Al Lohman his whole life (I remember Al at our house in Wichita in the 50's when he and my dad worked there. Ach!!! Ken's post and your comments brought back alot of memories. Radio guys are the best!

VP81955 said...

Talk up the ABL (whose season is about to start). Craig Shipley and Graeme Lloyd would.

Breadbaker said...

Actually, right now you'd be talking up the AFL Grand Final, which is Saturday (or conveniently at 7 pm tomorrow for those of us on the west coast USA. Hawthorne versus Fremantle. Sadly, my beloved Collingwood Magpies are not in it.

YEKIMI said...

I could never do morning radio because I'm also a night owl. When I was writing jokes for a morning DJ I had to get up early once or twice a week and take them up to the studio and that was hell for me because 8/9 AM was my middle of the night. I do remember a couple of times of him coming out of the studio to meet me and he was still dressed in his pajamas because he had woken up late and didn't feel like changing. Said the bosses didn't care because, after all, who could see him? It also helped that he was the #1 DJ in the market and the powers-that-be would have killed their own mother if he had requested them to do so.

Video didn't kill the radio star, voice-tracking did. Cannot stand when they have someone based in a city halfway across the country talking about something happening in my area and they can't even pronounce the name of the county/city/whatever correctly. Same goes for traffic reporters; the traffic for our area is now done out of Detroit and the way they mangle some of the road names you're not even sure what street they're talking about. Heaven forbid there's an emergency, I can remember one time they were telling people to avoid a certain roadway because it was closed for an accident....only the accident had been cleared and the road had re-opened 6 hours earlier!

Craig L. said...

If nobody has been clear enough about the International Dateline Issue, let me point out that the Monday Morning show would require you to work on Sunday. On the other hand, living in Australia and working mornings in L.A., a 6AM starting time would be 11PM (same day, briefly) in Sydney and on the east side of the country 9PM in Perth.

Marco said...

LOL!!

D. McEwan said...

Kathleen, Al Lohman in your home! What a treat. I loved Al with all my heart, and I'm glad to say, he was very fond of me. What a swell, funny, terrific man. I treasured every moment I ever spent with him. When, back in 2000, I encountered him after not seeing him in 20 years, Al acted like I'd been out of the room for ten minutes.

Kathleen said...

D. McEwan: My father also treasured his friendship with Al.