Thursday, April 26, 2007

News Bloopers

After my recent post showing the video of Tracy Butler losing control of the Vespa she was riding, about five seconds after she got on the thing, and my older post that had the video of the reporter getting attacked by a potential interview subject, I had the urge to pass along a few other news blooper gems from around the net.

You may have seen most of these already. Here are five of my faves:

Grape Stomper - First off, the reporter has a bit of a sarcastic attitude about stomping grapes during this report. Then she cheats. Then she tries to be funny, and fails. Well, she failed when she tried to be funny. That's not to say that this clip isn't hilarious. Granted, what happens to her most certainly hurt, but I dare you to not laugh out loud at her reaction.

Bugging the weatherman - "Oh my God!!!!!! There it is!!!"

Boom Goes the Dynamite - Quite possibly the most infamous "bad sportscast" in history.

All choked up - Just trying to read this story about Saddam's upcoming death by hanging has this woman sounding as if a noose is tightening around her neck.

Snow job - These kids must have heard us do a similar thing many moons ago with Dean Tambling. Gotta love the newswoman cracking up, too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

NHL Wardrobe Malfunction

I know that this has been going on for some time now, but I'd like to know who was responsible for the recent trend of having NHL teams wear their dark uniforms at home, and their white jerseys on the road? I'm still not used to this.

As the playoffs are now underway, I'll probably check out a few games over the next month or two -- stress free viewing since both the Blackhawks and Flyers are setting up tee times right about now -- and I'm sure each time I turn a game on, it will take me a few seconds to figure out which team is home, and which team is away. I wish they'd go back to the old days.

Of course, the NHL is the league that allowed the absolute worst sports uniform choice in the history of mankind, so I don't hold out a lot of hope for any sane decisions regarding uniforms. Those long pants were even dumber than the White Sox wearing shorts and collars. Am I wrong?

With baseball, and to a certain extent football, usually when you turn a game on, a fan can tell by looking at the ballpark who the home team is, so when a team like the White Sox is wearing black jerseys it doesn't confuse me, because I can tell U.S. Cellular Field from Camden Yards, Yankee Stadium, etc. Of course with football, most teams wear dark jerseys at home, as does the NHL, but that's how it's always usually been with football. We're used to that.

The NHL seems to have just decided to change things around a few years back, and I don't like it. Here are how the uniform rules should be for the four major sports:

Baseball - Teams can wear whichever style they choose, but must coordinate with the other team so they don't each choose a dark colored jersey. This doesn't seem too much to ask. Also, until the Pittsburgh Pirates have a winning season, they must wear this uniform for every game.

Football - Home teams wear their dark jersey, road teams wear white -- except in Dallas. As much as I hate the Cowboys, they get to wear white at home. Whatever it is, it just looks right.

Basketball - They still do it right, so no changes need to be made. Home teams wear white, road teams dark jerseys. Just don't laugh at the officials.

Hockey - Let's go back to home teams wearing white, and road teams wearing dark. Especially in Chicago. Each time I stumble upon a Blackhawks game -- which is obviously a road game since Dollar Bill Wirtz still refuses to televise home games -- I always get confused for a minute or so, thinking "Hey, this is a home game", becuase they are wearing the white sweater. Let's get this back to the way it should be. With one exception...

Until the Flyers have a winning season again, bring on the pants.

After the horrendous season my Flyers had, here is a gem for hockey fans, actual footage of the Flyers first Cup clincher against Boston in 1974.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Butler Did It

What do you get when you cross ABC7's Tracy Butler with a Vespa motor scooter?

Proof of the old adage: Before you hop on a Vespa scooter on live TV, take some lessons first.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bowled Over

With the recent cold snap occuring right during Megan's spring break, I decided to take her bowling on one of the days she was off. She was all excited, and I was looking forward to it, too. I was quite the bowler many moons ago. A very kapable kegler, if you will. Gosh, writing on a blog allows one to offer up some krazy and kwite komical made-up alliterations, doesn't it. Well, krazy ones at least.

This was the first time that Megan was able to bowl the traditional way, with fingers and thumb in the holes. She had only been bowling one time before, a year or two ago, and had to push the ball with both hands behind it. This time we found a six-pound ball, and she was able to control it pretty easily. And whoever came up with the idea for bumpers on each lane needs to be given a standing ovation. Without them, it'd be a day full of gutter balls for anyone under the age of eight. It's too bad there aren't real-life bumpers that could keep people out of the gutter after too many Jager Bombs at the local watering hole.

Bowling bumpers have come a long way. When they were first in existence, they were inflatable. You would lay them out, down the length of the gutter, and then spend about three minutes blowing air into them before sealing them up and doing the same thing on the other side of the lane. It took awhile, and if you were using them for your little kegler, that meant you had to use them as well. Not the worst thing in the world, but certainly not the way a fine bowler like myself is used to doing it.

Nowadays, bumpers are much more advanced. In most cases, they just pop up from within the gutter -- they're more like rails now -- and appear for those bowlers that need it, and disappear for those that don't. I'd like to see Megan continue her kegling ways as she gets older. It was a big part of my childhood, and it's even where I got my first job (I spent a few months as a porter -- cleaning the place up, fetching stuck balls or loose pins -- and spent a year or so working in the snack shop as a short order cook. We had the best nacho sauce on the planet).

Saturday mornings for me growing up meant two things: Bugs Bunny cartoons, and bowling in a junior league. It was the higlight of the week. Me and my buddies slaughtering our opponents, and then capping off the day with some fries from the snack shop, and then some Kung Fu Master in the game room. In the afternoons, I'd settle in and watch the pros do it on ABC. Anyone remember Marshall Holman? Mark Roth? My uncle Walter Ray Williams? Pete Weber? One of my highlights of watching live sports as a teenager was seeing Pete McCordic's 300 game. I still have that on tape somewhere.

My bowling career took a big hit after I went to college. Well, for that freshman year I still bowled in a league every week. It was my first and only year in an adult bowling league. It was a lot of fun, but it was starting to get pretty expensive. It was about 15 dollars a week, plus all of the extra money poured into the gambling that was such a big part of those leagues. Strike pots, high-game pots, 5th frame pots.

I roared in and out of my only year of adult-league bowling like a tornado -- A 206 average for the season -- and then I faded into oblivion. With college, and then the wonderful world of radio (too much work, and very little pay), plus eventually starting a family, bowling became less and less a priority, and less and less an affordable hobby.

Now we just go once in awhile. But, after taking Megan the other day, hopefully that will spark a bit of a bowling resurgence. In me? Some day. I'd love to get back into adult leagues. I'd love for Megan to take it up as a sport, too. It's the one sport that I was pretty good at, and it was a source of many laughs, memories and good times all around.

Now, if we can just find a bowling alley that also has a Kung Fu Master!

Your bowling video for the day: Check out this amazing bowling trick from Norm Duke...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Imus, Don(e)

If there's one thing that I've discovered during the whole Don Imus controversy, it's this: Imus strikes an uncanny resemblance to Sam The Eagle, from The Muppet Show. Although, I always thought Sam had more hair.

This post isn't even really about Don Imus. Of course what he said about the Rutgers' women's basketball team was wrong. Should he have been suspended? Absolutely. Fired? Maybe.

What drives me nuts at times like these are the inevitable appearances of Rev. Al Sharpton, and Rev. Jesse Jackson on virtually every newscast, calling for, in this case, the firing of Imus. While calling for his firing, did they sprinkle in an apology to the wrongly accused members of the Duke lacrosse team? Not that I heard.

While they were speaking out against Imus, did they also call for a ban on insensitive and offensive lyrics in hip-hop and rap songs? Nope. It'd be refreshing to see Sharpton standing at a podium outside a 50 Cent concert criticizing the lyrics of P.I.M.P., or Jackson in front of the doors of the record company that released Webbie's Gangsta Musik album. The lyrics in these songs would make Imus sound like Mr. Rogers by comparison.

Look, I'm not here to tell Imus what he can or can't say, or what 50 Cent, or Webbie can sing or rap about. It's the double standard from Sharpton and Jackson that is so disturbing -- in this case, Sharpton especially. A black woman fabricated a story about being raped by white members of the Duke lacrosse team. How come we don't hear Sharpton criticize her? If she was white and the team members were black, I'm sure Sharpton would have had plenty to say.

Let's look a little closer at Sharpton. This is the same man that in 1989, after a white woman was raped and beaten in Central Park by a group of black youths, claimed that the victim was a "whore," and that "the boyfriend did it." Matias Reyes later confessed to the crime in 2002. He was black, and not the boyfriend.

Back in 1987, Sharpton became the spokesman for Tawana Bradley, an African-American girl who claimed she was raped by a group of caucasian men, which was revealed later to be a hoax. Sharpton had to pay over $300,000 in libel damages to New York prosecutor Steven Pagones, who Sharpton accused of participating in the rape.

Don't forget the Crown Heights incident, his stance that Bernie Goetz should have received the death penalty, basically for defending himself against being robbed by four African-Americans, the massacre at Fredi's Fashion Mart (scroll to "1995"), etc. Gee, you'd think a "community leader" would be a little more responsible than that.

So, Imus has been silenced.

How do we silence Sharpton?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Greg Proops

Thanks to Greg's suggestion to me after our radio interview, my wife and I were able to get back stage a few weeks ago to meet the gang from Drew Carey's Improv All-Stars.

Here's what Greg and I talked about on the morning show...

Mike Williams: Are there still unaired segments of Whose Line Is It Anyway? I know you guys filmed so many games, have they all aired by now?

Greg Proops: That’s a good question. We did the show for years, and then ABC Family started airing them and I think they got two whole new seasons out of it. I think we’ve had about 50 news shows come out since we stopped shooting. And now BBC America shows the old English ones that we made for America as well so there’s millions of things floating around. Plus there’s two DVD’s out that will probably have stuff on it that I haven’t even seen.

MW: There’s an uncensored version within the DVD’s, right?

GP: There’s an uncensored version where there’s adult language and a couple of goofy things that happened that ABC couldn’t put on. They had a censor in the booth because we couldn’t submit a script beforehand, because we had no script. So they would actually have a censor watch the show, but nothing too awful happened.

MW: Whenever you would come on, it always seemed like you were the trouble maker.

GP: I think the censors felt that way as well (laughs).

MW: Yeah, there was always that little sly smile, and it just seemed like there was a little more of an edge to the show when you were on.

GP: How kind of you to say, thank you. Yeah, I think there was. Heaven knows she (the censor) looked at me with a jaundiced eye. I can’t help it. I don’t know what it is in me. There’s an imp that lives inside of me that has to be set free.

MW: You mentioned the BBC version, and that’s kind of where you got your start in television a long time ago meeting up with Mike McShane and then getting noticed by the creators of the British version of Whose Line back in the early 90's, right?

GP: That’s right, my goodness you’ve done your homework. I don’t like to talk about my age, but I was 11 when I auditioned for the show, and I did it through the age of 20. I’m from San Francisco and Mike was too, and we both got on the show from there back in 1948 when it went on the air originally.

MW: There’s such a different feel between the two shows.

GP: I think so, yeah. I think the English version had more air to it. The English version had 24 minutes to it, compared to 22 because of commercials. I think the American one was more of a breakneck pace and the English ones had a lot more relaxation to it. They’re both good, and they’re both very fun to do. Heaven knows Ryan and Colin were on all the English ones as well. I’ve loved working with everybody, and I still work with everybody, from both shows. When I go to England I work with all the English guys.

MW: Do you go over there to voice Bob The Builder?

GP: I do, sir. I’m hot with the under-fives. If you have a two-year old, you’ve heard me talk and do the Bob The Builder voice. People will say, "Do the Bob The Builder voice," and I say "I am doing it!" I did a funny voice when I did the auditioned and they said ‘no, just do your voice," so I guess that means I’m funny.

MW: Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood came through town a few months ago, you’re on tour now with Drew Carey, Chip Esten, Jeff Davis and the rest of the Improv All-Stars, and I know Ryan Stiles will be joining you for some shows in June, so it’s good to see that even after Whose Line stopped making new episodes, it’s great to see that you still have the improv bug because the fans certainly enjoy watching all of you perform.

GP: Yeah we work together all the time, I can’t shake these guys. Ryan comes along with us for a few shows in June, then I’m doing some shows with Colin and Brad later this year. I work with Wayne Brady all the time, too, and I can’t stop seeing Drew, I can’t get him out of my life. It’s been fantastic, we’re all still friends – if that doesn’t nauseate your audience too much.

MW: Well that’s just it, everyone involved with Whose Line, and some of these other projects really seem to get along. There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of competing, or one-upmanship going on – even with a big star like Drew, who from what we’ve heard is very generous, it just seems like everyone gets along really well.

GP: Drew’s a lambchop, we couldn’t do it without Drew. He hates it when I say that. I’ve thanked him before on stage and said, "he’s the reason we’re all here,"and he’ll say, "no I’m not", but of course he is. But we do get along, and we all do our own thing, too. I do standup on my own. We all have our own bag. Ryan is a gentleman farmer. Brad is an international gangster. Chip this year was on The Office, and The New Adventures Of Old Christine, so he’s all over the map.

MW: Well you’re pretty busy, too, on TV Guide Channel we’ve seen you pop up on the red carpet...

GP: Yeah, yeah working with Ms. Rivers, and Ms. Rivers. I do a live show in L.A. with a lot of these same guys helping out here and there. I can’t get away from any of my television friends, Mike.

MW: Did you have favorite games on Whose Line?

GP: The ones that I was in I really enjoyed. The ones Colin and Ryan were in, not so much.

MW: I always loved Foreign Film Dub, but you never did it enough.

GP: I loved Foreign Film Dub, I always thought that was pretty funny. I also liked Film and Theater Styles. I actually like doing the live shows more, Mike. I know the TV show may seem more glamorous, but the live show’s much more fun because we get to hang out together, and we actually do hang out together, we’re friends. It’s like being in a gang. A gang of actors who are smarty bootses.

MW: What actors, comedians, or TV shows make you laugh?

GP: I love Entourage on HBO. I like Absolutely Fabulous. My favorite comedians are Margaret Cho and Louis C.K. To be honest, when we’re doing the show I like to watch Drew and Ryan. They make me laugh.

MW: How hard is it to keep a straight face on stage?

GP: I never keep a straight face. I break more than any comedic performer since Harvey Korman. I made up my mind a long time ago that I’m not that great of an actor and I can’t hold a character, and also if you do something funny, I’m going to laugh at it. I laugh a lot, so the answer is yes, I have a difficult time keeping a straight face on stage. Especially when you have the weak concentration level that I do.

MW: Overall, do you feel that comedy as a whole is in good shape – standup, TV, movies, are we in a good time now for comedy?

GP: I think so. Because of Whose Line, or at least with Whose Line being one reason, you’ll find that high school kids, college kids, kids all over America are having improv groups which is very exciting because it’s good fun. Everywhere I go there’s loads of standup going on. I just like to see intelligence and opinion in comedy. When I do improv, obviously, that’s not my job, but when I do standup on my own it is, and I think that’s important. I like to see a little content as well. I grew up in the generation of George Carlin and Richard Pryor, Robin Williams and Lily Tomlin, and I really respect that kind of comedy, when there’s content and it’s funny.

MW: Any advice for aspiring improv comedians out there?

GP: Find a local comedy club and get as much stage time as possible. Ryan lives in Washington state and he opened up an improv theater there, and all the kids in his town come out an do improv all the time, and he sits in with them, and I think that’s beautiful that he keeps it going and all those people get a chance to do improv with someone like him, and on their own, too. I think that’s the real critical key to it. You never get better unless you do it all the time, and you have to do it with people that are better than you. At least that’s always been my key (laughs) is to do it with people that are better than me, and I try to hang with them.

MW: The computer age has spawned a lot of comedy, too.

GP: Oh yeah, there’s sketch shows and entire episodes of comedy online, plus youtube and sites like that. People are a lot more resourceful about creating their own comedy, and I think that’s fantastic. It’s awesome to have a million different ways to do it. When I started we still have to dance in front of a fire wearing animal skins.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

A couple of Easter "eggs" for you before I go to bed...
  • Zach who?

  • Nice to have The Sopranos back, although knowing these are the final episodes makes it bittersweet. For some reason my favorite part of the opening episode was Christufah calling Tony a day late to wish him a belated happy birthday, only to have Tony hang up without saying a word.

  • No, I didn't see the Entourage season premiere. I haven't watched an episode, and at this point, I'd have to start at the beginning to get the full effect. And I may do that eventually. Thanks to this wonderful thing called the internet, I've caught up on The Office, am in the middle of catching up on Battlestar Galactica (I'm halfway through season 2, so shhhhh), and also have on my target list Friday Night Lights, and The Wire. Entourage may come up at some point, but I'm in no rush.

  • Back to The Masters: It really is one of my favorite weekends of the year. I never like it when a no name wins the event. I was hoping Tiger would have made a couple of more putts to keep things really interesting, but he just didn't have it Sunday. I had to shake my head though when I heard one of the announcers suggest that Tiger must have been "under the weather" for him to have the kind of ordinary day he was having. Come on. It happens. He didn't play a great round. Get over it.

  • Why is it when I sit down to watch America's Funniest Home Videos -- which isn't often -- I sit through sixty minutes of pretty entertaining clips, and when they go to award the prize money at the end of the show to the three "best" videos, they pick the lamest, easiest to stage crap that you could imagine. Did you see the ones tonight? The husband that moved the bottom lip of the sleeping woman up and down while he imitated her voice...the dad with the metal detector moving it all around his little girl...even the winning diaper cream on the face kid could have had that setup by his parents. Totally frustrating.

  • I'm serious. When does football start? The Phollies are 1-5 for the second year in a row, and for the third time in the last four years. This is supposed to be a team that will contend for the division title.

  • Megan lost another tooth, her 7th, and I had a lot to do with it. The tooth was already pretty loose to begin with. Saturday we were playing "the ball game" with one of those bouncy balls that you can buy for $1 at the grocery store. You know the ones, they're about the size of a bowling ball, real light, and bounce great down a flight of stairs. So we were doing just that. She was at the bottom of the steps, I was at the top bouncing the ball down toward her. She thought the ball was going to bounce low, so she leaned over as the ball bounced higher than she expected, and the ball hit her in the mouth knocking out her tooth. Should have had the video camera rolling.
Hope you had a great day. Im off the radio until Thursday, but I’ll still be updating the blog for the three of you that read this thing.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

An Improv-able Visit Backstage

As I mentioned on the show recently, my wife and I had the good fortune to be able to meet Drew Carey and the Improv All-Stars backstage -- well, more like below stage -- in between their two shows March 24th at The Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet. I'm the one in the Vic Mackey meets Simon Cowell black shirt. My wife is the smiling woman on the right.

The woman that isn't really smiling all that much is Kathy Kinney, who joined me on the morning show a few days prior to the event. She played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show. Don't let the look fool you, she was very pleasant, as they all were.

Greg Proops, who also hopped on the phone lines with me for an interview (transcript coming) a few days prior to the show is the dude on the far right. Our visit was quick, although we could have stayed a little longer. They were scarfing down their dinner, however, and we didn't feel it was appropriate to sit around and watch them eat.

It was actually Proops' idea for us to meet them in the first place. Following our interview the other day, Proops suggested we head backstage and say hi. He told me to talk to their publicist Michael Mills to set it up. I'm not usually one that tries to line up a lot of these kinds of things, but I'm a fan of these guys, so what the hell, I emailed Mills -- or "Millsy" as Proops calls him -- and off we went.

Once Mills knew we would be at the 6:30 show, his plan was for my wife and I to meet him at the side of the stage right after the show ended. As we got to the stage following the performance, we noticed a group of about ten or twelve people standing off to the side near a door that we assumed led to the dressing room. We figured we would join that group for a mass meet-and-greet, which would have been fine.

Honestly, I wasn't expecting that much anyway, after Mills had emailed me a day or two before the show warning me that he didn't know who would be hanging around after show number one because they "had a dinner planned." Great, this is Mills' way of creating the excuse for everyone to not be there, except for their limo driver, or wardrobe guy. That's the pessimist in me.

After a minute or two of waiting by the stage, Mills showed up. He approached me and introduced himself. I asked about the group of people gathered by the side door, and he said they were friends and relatives of Laura Hall (the piano player with the group, and on Whose Line Is It Anyway) who is from this area. Then Mills said it would be easier for my wife and I to just head to where we were going by going up on stage, and avoiding that group.

Ok then. Now I was starting to get excited. It was only five minutes after the show was over. Maybe everyone from the show was still here. See, we had thought that "a dinner planned" would be something at a nearby restaurant. You know, they do the show, then run across the street to some private room where a nice meal would be waiting for them. Something like that. Well, the nice meal was catered to The Rialto.

Mills took us down a couple of flights of stairs, and next thing I know I'm being introduced to Proops. He was walking in our direction, I shook his hand, he seemed to remember me, and before he got away, I got a picture with him. At this point, I've also realized that everyone from the show, except for Sean Masterson, who I'd never heard of anyway, was down in this same room as well. They were all having their dinner before they had to get ready for the second show.

After the picture with Greg, Mills told everyone who I was, and then my wife and I went to each of them and said hello and shook their hands. The group was sitting at a bench table, four on each side, sitting across from each other. For us, hardly minglers with celebrities on any basis, let alone a regular basis, this was a pretty cool moment. NO ONE else was there. No other fans, groupies, posse, nothing.

A few seconds passed after the initial introductions, and Chip Esten said to us that we should get a bite to eat if we wanted. Nice guy. It made us feel welcome, even though we both knew we probably wouldn't stay too long. A few more seconds passed, then I asked if they would be so kind as to pose for a picture. They all got up and took the picture at the top of this post.

Drew was the first one over to me. He asked if I was the guy from the radio. I told him yeah, and he thanked me for doing the interviews and plugging the shows. He asked me to mention is anyone wanted to buy pictures from the show, they could get them online here. After the picture was taken, they all went back to their seats to continue eating. Chip then told us that we should at least have a piece of cheesecake. Who knows, maybe he popped for all the food and didn't want it to go to waste.

As tempting as it was to grab some food and hang out with everyone, we both felt it was best to let them have their time to themselves. We graciously declined the food, and after they apologized for not being able to mingle a little more, I apologized on our behalf for interrupting their meal. We said so long, and walked out of their with some amazing memories. Of course, two minutes after we left, we were kicking ourselves for not sticking around longer.

Oh well, I think we did the right thing. So, to Drew and the Improv All-Stars, thanks for a hilarious show. But even greater thanks for the backstage hello -- the real highlight of the night.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Play Ball

Ahhhh yes, opening day is here. Six months of biting my nails while watching Phillies games on Yahoo's game channel. Well, maybe only four or five months, as I'm sure they'll be eliminated from serious playoff contention by Labor Day.

They'll probably fall within the 83-89 win total like they've done the last few years, and fall short of the postseason. Again.

I know, you don't care about the Phillies. So, what are my predicitons for the Cubs and White Sox? I think they both miss the playoffs, too.

The White Sox will win 88 games and finish 3rd behind Cleveland and Detroit.

The Cubs will win 78 games and finish 3rd as well, behind St. Louis and Cincinnati.

The over/under on Lou Pinella ejections: 5

The over/under on Ozzie Guillen insensitive comments in the media: 5

The over/under on random Sox fans that jump from the stands to attack an opposing player or coach: 0.5

And, the over/under on cringe-inducing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" renditions at Wrigley: 72

I'm hoping for the over on that one.

Enjoy the games. I'll be down to stumps for fingers by the weekend. I need some sunflower seeds.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fool's Day

I'm always a little sad when April Fool's Day falls on a Sunday. That means I don't get a chance to enjoy the day on the air with my usually unsuspecting audience.

Over the years I've had quite a bit of fun pulling pranks on the audience, and coworkers as well. Admittedly, after all of these years, the amount of new ideas, and the creative spark needed to come up with new ways to trick everyone, have gone a bit dry. Thus, it's turned into somewhat of a dry bit.

I even tried to use my laziness to my advantage one year by making the fact that I didn't do an April Fool's gag the gag itself. Always thinkin'.

Here are a few of my favorite pranks from over the years in no particular order:

Dean's Quitting

This was the first gag we pulled, and probably my favorite. Dean Tambling and I hatched the idea a few days before April 1st, took it to our owners Diane and Jeanine, and they loved it. The key was coming up with a scenario that was believable enough so that listeners would buy into it.

We came up with the notion that Dean had received an opportunity to work in Bloomington, which made sense because he had contacts down there and actually worked in that area previously. April Fool's Day was on a Saturday morning, which also was important -- Saturday mornings were the only mornings I was on the air back then (1995).

We talked about Dean leaving and that it was Dean's last day throughout the morning. Many people called in and wished Dean the best.

We let everyone in on it at the end of the show. We even got a nice feature about the gag in the Joliet newspaper.

Mayor Feeney Resigns

This also ranks high simply because of who it involved. Mayor Bob Feeney was a good sport with this prank, and even joked on the air after everything was revealed to be a hoax by saying that he had probably made a few people happy by telling them he was leaving office.

What sold this one was the fact that Dean and I had arranged for there to be a "press conference" where the mayor would make his announcement. We set up our remote broadcast equipment within my studio. The mayor came in to the studio at 8:00am to deliver his "I resign" speech. Listeners had no way to tell that everything was being done right in the 'JDK studio.

The Morris paper, and several other media folks went down to City Hall to cover the press conference. Of course, there was nothing going on there.

After the "announcement", we revealed it to be a hoax fairly quickly. The mayor followed the plan perfectly, and it was at this point that listeners most likely assumed that something would be coming each year on April 1st.

Wind Beneath My Wings

This one was torture for me, hopefully it was for the listeners as well. Another Saturday morning show where the only song I played for three hours was Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler. I kept referencing other songs and artists, but only played Wind.

I took roughly 30 calls from listeners telling me that I was playing the same song over and over, then I would point them to their nearest calendar, prompting them to either laugh, hang up, or ask me "yeah, it's Saturday, so what?"


One year I promoted a joke telling contest. Callers were to call 941-QUIP and leave a joke on the machine, with the funniest joke winning tickets to a comedy club. The joke was on them, however, as there is no "Q" on a phone, thus, they couldn't dial.

Survey Says?

This one was a prank on a couple of my colleagues. With the help of a member of our sales staff sales staff (the always funny Brad Bentlin), I had him call a couple of our on-air guys (Doug Thompson and Don Neushwander) under the guise of being a survey taker.

Thompson caught on pretty quick, but Neush didn't catch on until after answering such classic questions as "When using the bathroom, do you often read a magazine", and "How much toilet paper do you use during a visit". Again, classic.

There were other gags, too, but it's Sunday night, this post is being created too late as it is, and frankly, my memory is starting to get a little sluggish.

Hopefully you had a good April Fool's Day and didn't get caught in anything too embarrassing.

If you did, hopefully someone caught it on tape.