Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Morning radio

Now that Howard’s gone there’s nothing to listen to on the radio in the morning. Certainly not if you’re looking for a laugh. (Sure, Howard is on Sirius but unlike sex, I feel it’s morally wrong to pay for it). Locally there’s Kevin & Bean on KROQ but I can’t take that head banging music at 7 A.M. (When will we finally see the “tender” side of Metallica?). Don Imus has gotten so bitter and craggy he’s morphed into his own face. The hole left by Rick Dees’s departure is no hole at all. The best I can do is XM and their three comedy channels.

But my choices seem to be the old school “classic” comedians station which should be renamed “I dunno, at the time they seemed funny” or the X-rated current comic stations, which is really the “Lewis Black challenge” and no one seems to come even close. Four out of five women comics are lesbians and that’s their whole act. How many times can you hear “If God wanted us to be with men he wouldn’t have invented vibrators” jokes? And if they’re not lesbians they’re Sarah Silverman clones (and even Sarah Silverman is becoming a Sarah Silverman clone these days).

What’s a commuter to do? I’d listen to NPR but then I’d have to hear the news. And the Jerry Lewis book on tape was not nearly as deliciously appalling as I had hoped it would be.

But then last week, a miracle. A great morning show. A great comic. Everything I had been craving all this time, all in one. Elayne Boosler was filling in on the Stephanie Miller syndicated show.

I’ve always been a fan but hearing Elayne handle this show reminded me of just how much better she is than most of her carpet munching or testicle collecting peers. She’s not the current “Flavor of the Month” but she is topical, relatable, quick, and very funny. Here are a few examples of what she said this week:


You know what Al Jazeera means in English? Fox News.

What's the difference between a blog and a diary anyway? Well, I guess the Blog of Anne Frank wouldn't have had as much cachet.

Why are the Muslims so mad about the cartoons? If you can't draw the prophet and they've never seen the prophet, how do they know it was a picture of the
prophet? I thought it was Mandy Patinkin in a turban.

I think gay people should be allowed to marry each other. Just so they stop marrying Liza Minnelli.

On the news I saw two men in their eighties get married after living together faithfully for fifty three years. Who thinks this destroys the sanctity of marriage? Rush Limbaugh and his fourth ex wife.

He calls us elitists? Unlike him, I don't send my maid out when I need drugs. When I need a fix I get in my car at four in the morning and go downtown. And I know my drug dealers kids names.

I don't know if Barry Bonds is using steroids, but he did win the Kentucky Derby last year.

Athletes are upset that Bonds may have an unfair advantage because he distorted his body? Welcome to the world of women. You can't even watch the Oscars if you don't have implants.

Botox? Women spend five hundred dollars to get a shot of animal botulism in their foreheads, yet, they worry about mad cow disease. Eat a bad hamburger for two dollars, see if you like your face frozen like that before you spend
all that money.

The whole country gets ridiculous plastic surgery now. You know women are getting "vaginal rejuvenation"? Do they send it to Miami for a week?

Yes, women are getting their vaginal lips shortened. I can't imagine why. I guess it makes your legs look longer.


Elayne still tours and according to her website is involved in a number of projects, including the “Tails of Joy” animal rescue foundation which she started. (www.tailsofjoy.net)

I wish she toured more. I wish she did more SHOWTIME specials. But most of all I wish she got her own radio show. I mean, they gave one to Mickey Dolenz and David Lee Roth for godsakes. Why not someone who’s good? VERY good.


Tenspeed & Brownshoe said...

I saw about 2 minutes of Elaine hosting a show entitled

It was one of the most painful 2 minutes of my life--excluding of course, the time my ex-wife read an article about how men love prostate massages and decided to put the theory to test.

However, the quotes you attributed to her are pretty hilarious. I'm sure when it was written for her they were just as hilarious.

Wow, why do I hate Elaine Boosler so much? I don't know...I always have. Gimme Sarah Silverman any day.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree about Elaine Boozler -- her stand-in for Stephanie Miller was not too hot, not too cold, just right for the morning drive.

I like Miller and her voice guy does the best Bush impression I've heard. But the show is always on the defensive, reacting to things said on rightwing shows. I wish they'd go on the attack, rather than react all the time.

By Ken Levine said...

Elayne writes ALL of her own material. I assume BALDEDASH is her AfterMASH.

Anonymous said...

Well... I invite you all to come to New York and visit a few comedy clubs instead of listening to old standup CDs on the radio. You'll see plenty of funny female comics, and most of us talk about things besides the four hacky topics that apparently dominate XM's comedy programming.

Elayne Boosler is great, but she's not the only one.

Laurie Kilmartin

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering the other day whatever happened to Elayne Boosler. Glad to hear she's still as funny as I remember. Thanks for the update!

By Ken Levine said...


Next time I'm in New York I would love to come see your act. And you're right. It would be refreshing to hear new comics once in a while on XM instead of Larry the Cable Guy.

Warren Benedetto said...

The Boosler quotes are hilarious. If she can be that legitimately funny on a regular basis, I may actually tune into radio again.

Morning radio is the bottom of the comedy barrel. I can't remember the last time I got a legitimate laugh from a morning DJ.

I subscribed to Sirius for a while, but their comedy channels suffer from the same affliction as XM's. It always seemed to be the "Gross Stereotype Comedy Hour," whether it was Def Comedy Jam, Blue Collar Comedy Tour, or Butch Lesbians For Laughs. That gets old real fast.

(Sidenote: Larry The Cable Guy has a movie coming out called "Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector." WTF?????? My IQ went down 40 points just writing the title.)

The only good thing I can say about Sirius comedy radio is that I discovered Mitch Hedberg through them. That kinda made the whole thing worth it though.

Anonymous said...

Why wouldn't Elayne Boosler get a shot at radio? Let's see, the big (empty)suits would say, "too educated, too articulate and too upscale." In short, "Not Street Enough.

And she's not annoying or outrageous enough to create "instant buzz." Remember, in our mass media, fame and acclaim no longer matter. The goal is notoriety.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I'm confused here. You won't pay for radio, but you listen to XM? How do you get XM without paying for it?

By Ken Levine said...

I do pay for XM, primarily for the baseball coverage. But I won't switch or add Sirius just for Howard.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't pay me enough money to listen to Stern. He's the lowest common denominator and not even entertaining - unless you feel like whacking off to a midget feeling up a stripper.

- Allen

Anonymous said...

As one who enjoys whacking off to a midget feeling up a stripper…well, not recently. I have to admit to laying our serious dough for Sirius radio last weekend. What pushed me over the edge was the fact Stern is now re-broadcast all day. Imagine whacking off joyfully driving to and from work!

Ken, Stern is ten times the performer now then when he was on regular radio. I'd like to remind you that Vin Scully can be heard just fine on am 980 KFWB…make the switch!

Bill Nesbitt

By Ken Levine said...


When I do listen to terrestrial radio it is KFWB 980...although I wish Bill Ballance and Elliott Field were still on.

nessahead said...

What about Adam Corolla?

Anonymous said...

Ahh, I see now. That makes more sense. I'm jealous of you west coasters. I got stuck with David Lee Roth out here. No Adam Corolla for me.

Anonymous said...

Alas, there was recently a minor tragedy in the landscape of LA radio as Dicky Barrett's "Mighty Morning Show" was swiftly and unceremoniously dropped by some small-minded suits over at the surprisingly cool Idie 1031 station.

Such a shame, it really was the only good morning show in LA (though I occasionally can stomach Mark & Brian in small doses...)

Frank Strovel III said...

I guess I'm morally bankrupt. I got my SIRIUS last month and I've damn near given up on televison. Sorry, Ken.

By the way, subscribing to MLB.com's audio stream of baseball games is only $15 for the whole season for all games. A much better deal than XM if you have use a laptop.

Anonymous said...

But having the access to all the MLB games via XM while driving beats the mlb.com online option, at least until they create universal wireless remote for automobiles (though Sirius' NFL package may offer a little more useful sometime in the future, now that the league seems hell-bent on having at least one game every other day of the week in the fall).

Anonymous said...

I second ADAM CAROLLA. Kinda has the same half dozen rotating bits, but so does Stern. Carolla is a funny comedian, as is at home in morning radio

Anonymous said...

Maybe there's some podcasters out there that might interest you? Go to the iTunes music store and look through the various podcasting categories. (There are TV-themed shows and even some (alleged) comedy shows.) Maybe something will click with you there. . .


OhioRuthie said...

I think Elayne Boosler rocks! And I agree some showtime specials would be great. After reading some of the negative replies here; I feel like I've fallen into some Howard Stern cesspool. You know, a place where intellectual thought is sacrificed for masturbatory logic. I'm impressed they can at least type...it has to be hard with just one hand.

Rob Bates said...

Opie and Anthony used to be funny if juvenille when they were on the air in New York. Know they're on XM now; dont' know if they are still good.