Straight From the Mouth
The Morning Mouth's May Interview with Toucher & Rich
(Reprinted by permission; Copyright © 2009 Talentmasters Inc.)
Rich: Fred, Crash and I met each other while working at 99X in Atlanta around 2000.In October of 2003 I moved to Texas to work for the syndicated Kidd Kraddick show, which is where he met Adolfo Gonzalez who was only 18 years old at the time. Fred was then moved to mornings and along with Crash, they were part of the new morning show at 99X.In May 2006, the four of us started an afternoon show at WBCN in Boston where it took less than a year to become number one with Men 18-44. In December of last year, we were moved to mornings. If Phil Hendrie were on the show, I'd be working with my four favorite people in radio.
Crash: I started in 1989 doing traffic reports in Atlanta on six stations including a hip hop station with a character that make Imus seem sensitive. Since then I've worked on numerous morning shows, had my own show working every daypart possible, was fired three times by the same company, excel at bar appearances but cry that nobody does wet t-shirt contests anymore and couldn't be happier working with two of the best in the business. It's makes being 42 in radio a lot more fun than introducing Steppenwolf songs while wiating to interview the whacky joke guy.
You just got moved to mornings after kickin' butt in afternoons.How does it feel to be wakin' up again at 3am?
Fred: Who gets up at 3am?In all seriousness, why would that be necessary?
Crash: 3am? Thanks to Sports Center and Channel 4 news, I don't have to get up until 4:30; 3am is for suckers.
Rich:I'm a sucker.
Just checked out your web page. Lots of pretty people there. What's the farthest you've let Adolfo get with any of them?
Crash: Adolfo's stuck on 2nd base, apparently he can't read English or steal signs, he's pathetic.
You're famous not only for some of the stunts you've done, but getting them on national TV. Is this by design, or does it just turn out that way?
Crash: That's all Rich, he's the master with balls the size of Jupiter. Not even Colt Seavers could match Rich's stunts. I'm only famous for getting fired three times by the same company.
Rich: Getting on TV is pretty easy. Act inconspicuous, make your sign real big, be louder than everyone else, wait til the camera is rolling to make a scene, and stay way past everything in your body tells you to run.
Did you ever have Hillary on the show after your stuntage at her expense during the campaign? Couldn't believe that the media took so long to figure it was radio stunt.
Fred: Since Hillary lost we decided she wasn't worth having on.We only book a-listers like Guy Fieri.
Has management ever turned you down on a bit?
Fred: Hell yeah. All the time.
Crash: There was this one time I wanted to get in a boxing ring with the PD after I was fired the third time but Leslie Fram (then PD of 99X) wouldn't agree.
Rich: Sure. Sometimes even after we've already done it.
Where do you draw the line on comedy? Been reading lately about how tough a time comedians are having with Obama. When they do a dig, it often garners a few boos and hisses. For instance, would you add comedy to
Fred: We cannot do anything that would seem even the most obtuse way to have to do with race.
Crash: I keep all my comedy far from the blue line, just ask Fred, he never has to use the dump button on me. As for the Swine Flu, those jokes are all old, better to save the funny for a good AIDS punchline.
Rich: I don't like to make fun of the mentally or physically handicapped. If you're just dumb, however, you're fair game Adolfo.
Since you've been on in Boston, who's been your biggest guest catch?
Fred: I think it shows the quality of our "gets" but Aaron Ward from the Boston Bruins has become sort of a 5th member of the show.With the recent success of the team that has been a lot of fun.
Crash: That's yet to be seen, we've only moved up to B list celebs, but we're gainging respect.
Rich: Sometime D-list guests are the best guests. Our listeners would argue that the best guest we've ever had was Rich Cronin, singer of the 90's boy band LFO. He had stories about Lou Perlman's shirtless all-boy Top Gun watching parties, having sex with Jennifer Love Hewitt, and sleeping with 400 pound groupies. If you're reading this, interview this man now.
Have any of them swore they'd never coming back?
Fred: I hang up on guests all the time.Jonah Hill seemed like he was being a jerk so I yelled at him.However, he called in the next day to apologize which was great.
Crash: The one's Fred hangs up on.
Rich: Just this morning, Fred tried to hang up on a guest and the hang-up button was stuck -- so I literally watched him hit the phone console in total frustration for 30 seconds over and over while this guy rambled on about boring garbage.
Seems like you have tons of things going on with each show.Where do you generate most of your ideas?
Crash: Usually on bar napkins after a three day bender or when I'm pissed at my wife.
Rich: In church. You should try it you drug-taking alcoholic bastards.
Let me get into your minds a bit: Morning Radio jumped on American Idol perhaps more than any show ever.How do take it beyond what everyone else is doing and make it special?
Fred: We have never talked about the show.I guess that might be a mistake.I personally have never watched a whole episode.I have relatives that are always high so the whole Paula Abdul thing has no relevance.
Crash: By ignoring it.
Social networking is taking over the world.How are you incorporating platforms like Twitter, Facebook, etc. into your show?
Fred: Very, very, important. The station has zero dollars to promote the show so we have to be aggressive and use everything that's available. I honestly don't know why you wouldn't take advantage of it. As if radio people are such big stars that it isn't necessary.
Crash: We reach out to all our listeners one at a time, that's the beauty of having so few of them, it's easy to Twitter and Facebook each one to tell them where we are and what we're doing.
Is PPM starting to have an effect on how you do your show?
Fred: Oh we get notes.
Crash: I think we all agree that getting the show broken down weekly, daily, hourly and soon minute by minute only takes the pressure off.
I want to go back to bits: give us 5 of the most amazing things you've done since you got to Boston?
Fred: The fake Praise 104 interview with the religous nuts.Every commercial we played was for a gay establishment.We had Guy Fieri on and acted like a super corny "rock n' roll" show replete with DLR like guitar licks.The great thing is he liked it so much he called us after it to tell us we rule.Jackass.
Rich: Bits involving alcohol became somewhat of a show crutch for a while -- but what a beautiful crutch it was!We did a bit called "The F'ing Champ" which was simply a bracket-style tournament amongst the members and staff of the show as to who coul
Crash: Got drunk and talked to a horse.
Got drunk and yelled at a crowd.
Got drunk and interviewd Alan Thicke.
Ran for mayor of Quincy, MA.
What's the worst most humiliating thing you've ever put Adolfo through?
Fred: He does it to himself.His interviews are wonderfully awful.
His skills with woman are delightfully horrendous.His ability to behave in any kind of acceptable fashion is a disgrace.He was raised like an animal and has come out the other end totally unprepared to function as an adult in society.That said I like him.
Crash: One time we made him take a shower, you should have seen the look on his face.
Rich: Adolfo is the greatest, most fascinating guy I've ever met. The most hits the WBCN web page ever received in it's history was the day we posted pictures from Adolfo's trip home to Dallas where he took pictures of the inside of the house he grew up in. One of the filthiest things I've ever seen. Also, If you show up to a bar with Adolfo, you're drinking free all night. Easily the most recognized member of the show.
Any thoughts on syndicating your show? Has CBS approached you about this?
Fred: Ah no. CBS has not approached us.
Crash: I'm all for it, I'd love to be able to hear the show when I move.
How has success changed you? (Each of you must share one expensive toy you gave yourself when you re-uped.
Fred: Honestly since we have moved to mornings it is like we are starting all over.It really doesn't feel like we are doing well. It feels like we are lucky to have a job.
Crash: Success has never changed me in 20 years working in radio. I've done nothing but spoil myself with lavish divorces, trips to Disney World and expensive Tommy Bahama shirts. My one expensive toy since we re-uped was writing two checks to the IRS to pay off my balance from 2006.
Rich: I can afford a parking space. Yup. Something that's free almost everywhere else in the country. And I had to rent it because now that we're doing mornings, I would get mugged walking five blocks to the free parking in downtown Boston at 3 in the morning. Woopee!