Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Time, Long Time

While not exactly Dean & Jerry being united by Sinatra, Mike & the Mad Dog reunited for one day last Friday by appearing on each others show. It was like they never left. The chemistry was immediate, it was lively, and above else, they held the attention of the listener. (Favorite dog ALL TIME Dog moment: when Sports Illustrated gave Lance Armstrong its Sportsman of the Year Award, the Dog Yelped: "MIKE, YOU CAN'T GIVE THE AWARD TO A GUY WHO BIKE RIDES THROUGH EUROPE!! Another great Dog moment: his classic rant against PacMan Jones: GET HIM OUT!! )

Mike & the Mad Dog are on the list of my favorite radio talk shows of all time. Here are some others, in no particular order:

Bob Grant

The Godfather of political talk radio. The OC: Original Conservative. In the 70's, Bob was the voice of reason on the airwaves. He railed against big government, toxic liberalism and the welfare state when current radio hosts were in diapers. Great callers like Jimmy from Brooklyn and the incomparable Vintage Frank. With Mr. Grant, a caller never knew what he was going to get. Bob could be receptive to caller, and then turn on him in mid call. Awesome. Liberals got him fired a couple of times, because that is what they do when they don't like your point of view, but Mr. Grant has always picked himself up and come back better than ever. A true master behind the mic.

Howard Stern

When I started listening to Howard, he was in his 20's. He is now in his mid-fifties. The key to Howard's appeal is twofold: (1) he makes his seemingly mundane life entertaining as hell; and (2) his sense of timing is impeccable, he knows just how to milk just enough from a bit, and when to move on. In addition, Howard is an interviewer without peer. Listen to his interviews with Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder, these guys have done trillions of interviews, and yet Howard was able to get them to say stuff that no other interviewer could get. Remember when Howard ran for governor? He ran on three issues: (1) the death penalty; (2) the removal of toll booths; and (3) road construction should only be done at night. He eventually dropped out, but when Pataki beat Cuomo, the new governor had him up on the podium on inauguration day. Love his comments when Robin does the news; his never-ending attacks on Baba Booey, and his broadcast of prank phone calls.

Michael Savage

The greatest monologist of them all. He can talk about pasta, weave it into the a discussion about immigration, or plants from the Fiji Islands, and wind up talking about Marxism. Combines intelligence and entertainment in a way that makes him a true original.

Art Rust Jr.

The true pioneer in sports talk. Had a show on WABC in the late 70's and early eighties. Loved boxing, and treated callers with dignity and respect. The one show that a called several times.

Steve Malzberg

A master with audio tapes. Catches liberals in contradictions time after time. A hard hitting conservative, he tells it like it is.


The only liberal talkie to make it. Why: he is entertaining.

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