Save for NPR, I have not listened to FM radio for a prolonged amount of time probably in over 2 years, and when I have listened, it’s typically been a mid-afternoon spin down the dial in the hopes that my local rock station will play Metallica or Ozzy – a pretty safe bet given that they play Metallica or Ozzy once every 5 songs, at least. But I haven’t listened to FM in the morning since high school. The morning drive time, of course, is the domain of the “zany morning show,” 3 or so hours of the high-larious antics of an unfunny douche and between 2 and 4 associates who, when not discussing issues such as breasts, sex, and pooping, have way too much fun with the 10,000,000 sound effects at their disposal. The great Seth McFarlane and Co. pretty well nailed the format in this clip from “Family Guy.”
Like I said, I haven’t heard one of these things in years. But I was on a business trip this week in Kansas City, and can report that over on 98.9 FM, “The Rock,” the obligatory “porn star masturbating on-air” segment, which was last edgy during the Reagan presidency when porn stars and others making nudity-oriented livings did not get their own TV shows, and sundry other offenses to comedy, is alive and well. And after listening to two mornings worth of this pablum whilst getting myself ready in the morning, I have no other choice but to award 98.9 FM morning DJ Johnny Dare the coveted Middle Finger Of The Apocalypse Award.
Dare is basically the obnoxious morning DJ straight out of central casting: a lumpy dude with hair courtesy of a Quiet Riot video. His show crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s. I was awoken one day by the alarm to a parody tune set to Hinder’s “Lips of an Angel” called “Lips of an A-hole.” (If you need to know anything more about Hinder, they’re touring this summer with Staind and Alter Bridge. Thank you and goodnight.) If I listened longer, I’m sure I would have heard “Freeballin,'” the Shakespeare-esque parody rendition of Tom Petty’s “Freefallin.'” Co-hosts on the show have names like T-Bone and Jake The Phone Snake (?). The show hosted a game of Naked Twister with local female listeners. This last one is something I have never been able to figure out, especially because similar shenanigans featuring naked women in the studio helped make Howard Stern the obscenely rich obstacle to profitability for Sirius that he is today. Who the hell cares if Jenna Jameson is naked on your radio show WHEN YOU CAN’T SEE ANYTHING. Anyway. The Johnny Dare Morning Show is pretty much the same tired old stuff you’ll find on Stern, Opie and Anthony, Mancow, and the rest.
But what puts the show over the top and wins it the Finger is the name of its website: www.corporateradiosucksass.com. Come on. There are few things more irritating than media figures who evince absolutely no creativity, no rebellious spirit, are easily categorized, and who follow a time-tested formula but who nevertheless cast themselves as self-made culture warriors who never miss an opportunity to stick it to The Man. It’s utterly disingenuous – Johnny Dare’s radio station is owned by Entercom, the fourth largest broadcasting company in the entire United States. That’s about as corporate as radio gets except for Clear Channel, and to do a radio show on the leash of somebody like Entercom and then to call your website “corporateradiosucksass.com” is lame, plain and simple.