Monday, March 29, 2004

Jan and Dean off the airwaves

Surf radio king Jan Berry -- one half of Jan and Dean -- is dead at age 62, of lingering effects related to the 1966 car crash that derailed his career. One hopes that the grief of singing partner Dean Torrence is ameliorated by the fact that the male-female ratio in Surf City has now shot well above the already-advantageous two girls for every boy.

In happier news (which I heard thanks to Jay "Scoops" Pinkerton), Toronto shock radio DJ Dean Blundell has been suspended without pay, along with cohorts Jason Barr and Todd Shapiro, after Jackass regular Steve-O paid a visit to the Edge 102.1 FM studios in which he "urinated on the studio floor and performed a gag he called Unwrapping the Mummy, using duct tape and his genitalia." (In perhaps bigger news: I had been under the impression that Steve-O had been the only one to survive the filming of Jackass: The Movie; however, he was miraculously accompanied by Chris "Party Boy" Pontius and Jason "Wee Man" Acuña.)

One might say, "But it's just radio, right? You can't actually see it, so what's the problem?" Well, aside from the studio audience who apparently has nothing better to do in the morning than come watch a radio show where the studio audience can't even at least hope to get their dirty faces on TV, there's the matter of the studio's Webcam.

Program director Alan Cross -- already an infinitely cooler DJ than Blundell, thanks to his brilliant series "The Ongoing History of New Music" in which he shows he knows his shit so thoroughly that the producers of Rock & Roll Jeopardy quake in fear at the very thought of him picking up the buzzer -- immediately called down to the studio to demand that the show be stopped. When that didn't work, Cross got very cross indeed; he sent security to physically remove the guests and suspended and fined the DJs. Barely in the job for two months, Cross is already kicking ass and taking names.

And no ass needed to be kicked off Toronto radio more than that crass dolt Blundell, who has unsurprisingly received prior complaints and is singlehandedly responsible for making me turn off morning radio for good. Just one of a seemingly countless number of third-rate Howard Stern knockoffs that infest North American airwaves, Blundell neglects only to rip off the the part of Stern's act known as "being halfway funny." (Well, that, and the fact that Stern actually has a chance to affect the world around him -- it's very possible that the 2004 Presidental election will be affected by his relentless Bush-bashing.) That doesn't mean there isn't a lot of laughter coming out of Blundell's show -- it's just all coming from him and his cronies. Listening to the show, you get an inescapable feeling that you missed the private joke that they're all hee-hawing about, but that it's probably at the expense of you, the listener. You also get an inescapable feeling that you want to punch Blundell in the face.

Anyway, in short: Blundell is a jerkoff. I wanted him off my radio. Now I've got what I want. Mr. Cross, let's make it permanent.

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