Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Messing With Talk Show Callers

I'm a sucker for some of the ways audio talk show hosts mess with callers. While the newscast of Robin Quivers was my favorite consistent feature of the Howard Stern Show (which I haven't heard since it went to satellite), one of my favorite occasional bits was when Howard would take a call from someone like Ian the Drunk and put other callers on with him, or when he'd take two callers on hold and connect them with each other, priming the pump with the occasional drop. Nobody beats Phil Hendrie, of course, who made a career out of messing with callers.

Two things Tom Leykis does that have always made me laugh hard:

1) When the caller asks "Is this Tom?" or says "I want to talk to Tom" right after Tom has started the call by identifying himself, and Tom handles it by saying, “Oh, did you want to talk to Tom?” and then does his whole set-up again, which includes the buffer music. I've heard him keep that up for an entire segment so that the caller never gets to say what he or she wanted to say.

2) When the caller has not turned off the show on their listening device, and rather than telling them (again) to turn it down/off, Tom tells them to turn it up - as loud as it will go. I heard one time, back when he was on FM radio, when he let the call loop back on itself what must have been a dozen times.

I guess I’m still a 13 year-old boy in some ways.

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