Super Sonic Rascals

April 30, 2008: Text To Speech

I've gotta ask: has there ever been a worse run of shows in Seven Second Delay history? We're living through Andy and Ken's NYC Ghosts & Flowers here. I'm very interested in what's suddenly reinvigorated Andy with the will to sabotage the program every week. I'm curious why he apparently won't think about a show idea for more than ten seconds beforehand, won't commit to a concept and will switch topics before they've even begun. Might be time to get that therapist on the phone again, or do that call screener reunion or grab hold of any idea that's been waiting in the wings for far too long, because right now we need a good show badly.

Take that as an invitation, commentators and culturists, to flood this space with your show ideas. Or anything. Incidentally there are some good ideas in the massive playlist comment thread (has a new record been set? Intriguing!) Highlights include:

Who gets more listeners to commit crimes in one hour?

Playback an old show and do an audio commentary over it. Invite listeners who called in to the old show to call in and comment.

Call a company and see who can get forwarded to the most people.

Line up 10 call screens and have them screen calls for 5 minutes each. At the end of the show Ken and Andy rate the screeners.

Read the callers 3 different horoscopes without revealing the dates. The listener has to figure out which horoscope is for them.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to throw my weight behind the audio commentary idea.

Firstly, it could be pretty hilarious, especially if A&K put some thought into it before hand. And secondly, if they do it over a good show, it might provide some inspiration.

Duncan said...

I see a lot of potential in the horoscope idea. It could also work with Andy and Ken questioning callers about the kind of day they had and based on that guessing which horoscope is theirs.

And getting listeners to commit crimes struck me as really funny.

Anonymous said...

How about "Name my pet"? Listeners call in, describe their pets, and Andy and Ken pick out a new name for the pet.

Anonymous said...

I don't really think that the shows have been that bad over the past couple of months. As a long time listener, no time caller, who loves the show, I would say that things are about where they always are. I didn't really think the Facebook show was any worse than many other shows. As a matter of fact, the only show I ever found unlistenable was the tug of war thing. That was bad. These are

I think it might have something to do with the blog. The blog is great, but people that comment on blogs are usually highly committed to a thing and unrealistic in expectation for its greatness.

Related to that, would say that Andy and Ken should never, ever, ever look at that playlist when doing a show because its only going to make them sad. And sad is bad radio. That is unless they resort to bringing back the cookie-puss voice to cheer them up. That was the greatest 1/2 hour of radio ever...

acidjazzy said...

I actually didn't mind the tug of war show. My least favorites would have to be "Radio Word Search" and "Channel the Radio Dial". My favorites would be "Sneezing at Embassies" and "Mnemonic Devices" and the classic "You Probably Won't Win Squat".

Would it be a good idea to get users to vote on favorites and least favorites, and then analyze the winners and losers to try and finally come up with a working definition of a "Good Show"?

Here's one idea off the top of my head - Andy has a bag of phrases and zingers that he uses over and over and over again. "I'm on the world wide web", "That story had something for everybody", "I'm not being sarcastic", "Your names a palindrome", "I'd need a Korean boy and a calculator in a locked room to work that out", etc etc etc.

What we should do is make a comprehensive lists of these, and challenge Andy to go a whole show without using any of these phrases. The trick is to have a really good show idea (one that Andy can get involved in), and to have a good "punishment" for the times he does use them.

Anonymous said...

Following up on the sad thing making for a bad show, maybe there could be some kind of cheerleading show. How about a show entirely devoted to complimenting Ken and Andy? Not sure what the game would be, but a show full of unadulterated praise might bring them back to form?

Anonymous said...

Oooh. That's a good idea. Battle of the compliments. Listeners call in and compliment/are complimented by Ken and Andy. Whoever gives the best compliment (listener vs. Ken/Andy) wins.

Duncan said...

I don't think we'd ever reach a consensus on what makes a "good show," as this comment thread seems to indicate. I think we can agree that we've come up with some pretty good ideas right here though!!

I like the idea of electroshocking Andy every time he falls back on a Breckman comedy staple. I'd love to see him manage without "stop screaming at me", "I call them cans", "[x] is an interesting word".

Anonymous said...

I reckon it should be a two week thing: first week, whole show without any Breckmanisms. Second week - ONLY Breckmanisms!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and some sort of forfeit if he fails.

Like... make him listen to something by Sonic Youth really loudly.

Anonymous said...

This from Listener John who is mastering the new SSD DVD - a list of marathon jokes from year's past. I only remember ONE of these punchlines.. -Ken

Week 1: The staff of WFMU is on a boat. The boat starts sinking. Who gets saved? (If I had to guess, it would be no one because Andy isn't on the staff anymore)

Week 2: What is the difference between a WFMU disk jockey and a black widow spider?

How can you tell if lonely hippies have been to your house?

What do you call a lonely hippie without a girlfriend?

What goes clippety clop, clippety clop, BANG!, clippety clop?

What's white and twelve inches long?


Why is Halloween Michael Jackson's favorite holiday?

What do Michael Jackson and Santa Claus have in common?


Why does Michael Jackson love 28-year olds?


What is the difference between Saddam Hussein and WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman?

Does Michael Jackson shop at K-Mart because the sign said "Boys Pants Half Off"?

How do you make a WFMU listener really angry?

Anonymous said...

Personally, I blame Ken the Rain Man of freeform radio, who cannot think of a new idea himself, cannot get his (busy, nonradio-pro) co-host to discuss issues ahead of time, and can't -- or chooses not to -- control the situation when it begins to spiral out of control.

Clearly Ken does not act or fail to act because he thinks it makes god radio -- it is obvious that he is pained by the shows being lousy. But he seems completely out of his element with regard to maintaining the show on an even keel. Why can't someone with decades(?) or radio experience properly move the show at the beginning instead of letting it go off the rails?

Yes, it CAN be funny at times, but it is also painful at others, and this is NOT by design. That's part of the problem -- no design, or lousy design, and no one on the air wants to drive the show forward.

Joe said...

Should they end it then, after 15(?) years, or maybe have it on hiatus ater the 2001 season?

Does Andy need a new cohost?

I like when Kelly cohosts it, cos she won't take no guff from Andy

But if the shows not funny anymore, and Andy starts to lose the will to live in the opening

AllisonLeGnome said...

I really don't think it's been THAT bad. There hasn't been a show yet (okay, maybe Facebook, but that's it) that I regretted taking the time to listen to. I'm not a longtime listener, so I've been listening to recent archives and old ones more or less evenly, and there's not a huge difference. The main difference in recent shows is that they give up on the topic too quickly- a lot of the old ones only got good partway through. (Other information learned from listening to the archives: anything involving small children is good.)

wellbasically said...

The best shows have simple ideas. Also Andrea should be on the radio for every show. Andy has some problem with men.

Joe said...

Shes the fifth Beatle!

Andrea Silenzi said...

Thanks, guys! I felt so beat up after all those mean comments on the playlist. But, I'm almost over it... after the show, Andy told me to toughen up. He said that's the price of getting myself involved in the show biz. Show biz?

Joe said...

As long as you don't mention Hot To Trot to Andy I think you'll be alright!

Tootsie just got reissued on dvd with bonus features if anyone gives a damn; oh well, perhaps Andy will read this..

DC said...

A few of these are variations on old jokes that I've heard before (sorry, my pledge money goes to other shows so I never got these from Andy).

Week 1: The staff of WFMU is on a boat. The boat starts sinking. Who gets saved? (If I had to guess, it would be no one because Andy isn't on the staff anymore)

Actually, I think the punchline is "the listeners". Get it?

What goes clippety clop, clippety clop, BANG!, clippety clop?

An Amish drive by shooting. I heard that one from Jackie "The Joke Man" Martling.

What's white and twelve inches long?

Nothing. I heard that one in the 8th grade.

Joe said...

So anyway, about the Tootsie extras..

Raj said...

"Cause there's twenty of them."


"The cop is driving."

(Op, sorry! That last one is an answer to a joke in my head.)

Joe said...

"Instead of being Michael Dorsey the great waiter or Michael Dorsey the great actor, why not just try and be Michael Dorsey?"

Anonymous said...

I think I heard another curse. Right at the very end of the show. Someone lets loose a barley muffled s-hit.

Joe said...

No shit..

was it my imagination or did Ken say Asshole on the air once, during the Halloween show?