The morning show tryouts were loads of fun. The station has a very advanced coffee-making machine that helped ease the pain of being up from 1-4am.
Monday and Tuesday morning I did the show with Mike Schatz and Mark Harris, friends and colleagues from my improv days. I chose them because after years of us working together I know what their strengths are and I thought we’d compliment each other nicely. Mike has had some radio experience. Mark is an airline baggage handler. Anyone who knows him has been trying to change that.
We had a good time during the Monday show making Mark nervous about losing his baggage job. Mike admitted having had a problem with Ambien and Mark accused Mike of getting a red nose when he drinks. Mark really took a liking to talking about Atlanta’s water shortage and kept wanting to return to the subject. “We’re drinking the very same water that the dinosaurs drank,” he told everyone twenty-five minutes after we stopped talking about water.
Tuesday was more of the same, though instead of just talking I tried a few different things such as reading some pieces of mine. We took a caller, too. We were worried that soliciting calls at 2:45a would net us nothing but drunks but we wound up getting a Bail Bondsman who told a great story about drawing a gun on a fugitive who had two children clinging to his legs as he brandished a deer rifle. The caller’s main concern though was finding out when we’d be going back to playing music. Speaking of: Mike brought a guitar along and had a song prepared but I nixed it once he explained what a “rusty trombone” was.
Wednesday I was paired with Jimmy Baron who helmed the popular Morning X show on 99X for many years. I worked for 99X back in the day so we’d crossed paths a lot, though I never got to spend much time with him. You can tell he’s a veteran because when he walked in the studio he turned on all the lights to raise the energy level. That had never occurred to me, so I’d done the first two shows in near-dark. He’s older and wiser so he had a couple of prepared bits including a great interview with a Deliverance type who thought the Pope was Jewish (because he wears a beanie). We also learned that Poland and Yugoslavia have identical national anthems. I admired Jimmy’s ability to seamlessly segue into the next topic. I think we went lull-less for the full three hours.
Emboldened by the 15 second profanity delay, we decided we’d take callers even though it was around 3:45am. I expected little, if any, humanity was out there but when we gave out the number the board lit up. One caller was delivering newspapers. Another was a car detailer. Another called to say she missed Jimmy. Not a single one tried swearing, which I found surprising. The board operator Chris must have found it surprising as well, as I watched him poised to dive over the console and hit the dump button in case anyone got naughty.
I learned our endeavor made the Atlanta Journal Constitution.