Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Geez, This Is Not Going Well

Dedicated Confessors will recall that as a result of my intensive analysis of BaD Radio, found in the trailblazing trilogy:

Part 1:  http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2010/08/general-unified-theory-of-bad-radio.html;

Part 2:  http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2010/08/general-unified-theory-of-bad-radio_05.html; and

Part 3:  http://myticketconfession.blogspot.com/2010/08/general-unified-theory-of-bad-radio_09.html,

I am trying to listen more frequently to BaD Radio to see if it worms its way into my affections.  I don't dislike it now, it just doesn't feel like part of my Ticket routine yet.  For example, I didn't used to care for Rich Phillips, now I think he's quite good.  I'm educable.

I don't have a lot of time to listen to BaD but if I'm in my car I tune in to see what's up.  Alas, in the last week or so I have had two unpleasant encounters with the broadcast work of Dan McDowell:

(1) Late last week I hit the switch while Dan was calling attention to the inability of two athletes -- Herschel Walker and Magic Johnson -- to pronounce a word.  I was driving so couldn't jot this down, but I think the word was "aggressiveness"  -- Confessors, correct me here if I'm wrong.


All the programs make fun of athletes who say something dumb-sounding.  (Although I think it was BaD that introduced us to the "Phong is ringing" Deon classic.)  Usually the misspeaking is noted, we all get a giggle out of the dumb jock, and the show moves on, perhaps with a new drop in the drop machine.  But Dan was absolutely pounding these guys, repeating the clips endlessly, comparing the pronunciations side by side.  All but saying man, can you believe how stupid these two guys are?   It ended up not being a passing amusement, but an exceptionally nasty and mean-spirited piece of radio.  

I couldn't help noticing that Donovan was not in the studio during this presentation.

(2) This next one was priceless.  Fight Night pre-game.  Dan was on the air with George.  I believe someone remarked that Rich Phillips was the ring announcer.  Then, apropos of absolutely nothing, Dan managed to take a shot at Rich and George in the space of one short question, asking George (and I may not have the words exactly right, but this is close):

     "How often are you in the studio for Rich's five-minute Tickers?"

-- taking a shot at Rich for his longer 5:30 a.m. Tickers, and suggesting that George wanders in to his own program only at the last minute.  George put an end to this with his ready response, not sounding particularly amused:

     "Every single day."

And that was the end of that comedy initiative.

I know, I know, hosts jab each other all the time.  But this came out of nowhere -- it was a double-shot that felt as though it were taken for the sake of taking a double-shot, with no comedy predicate for either of them (i.e., (i) Rich's five-minute Tickers are listeners' first catch-up on the sports news of the day and night before and a useful foundation for the Musers' show, and (ii) George isn't known for being late to his shows).  In fact, I have a dim recollection, could be mistaken, that George ignored the question the first time around, and Dan repeated it. 

*    *    *

But, as I have noted, many readers are big fans of both Dan and BaD Radio.  I will honor that by continuing to listen, and looking forward to more enjoyable broadcasting in the course of future listening opportunities.

19 comments:

ap said...

For what it's worth, the fight-night audio you speak of was actually not intended for on-air consumption -- the hosts (bob, dan, george, gordo) all thought they were still in a break.

The Plainsman said...

Thanks, AP, I do appreciate it.

However, I'm not sure it changes my reaction to Encounter Number 2. In Part 3 of my Bad Radio Trilogy, I speculated that maybe Dan rubs his colleagues the wrong way. That adverse rubbing can take place (and is probably more likely to take place), IF AT ALL, off air. It was still a shot, and George's dismissive reaction might be some evidence of that rubbing.


ALSO: With respect to Encounter Number 1: I received an email from a reliable source that the segment also featured Tom Grieve struggling with the pronunciation of "aggressiveness." I didn't hear it but I accept the accuracy of my emailer's report. I can say that I heard what seemed like at least several minutes of this bit (I did not hear the beginning), and while I was piloting my jalopy at the time and may have missed something, I recall no reference to Grieve, and I know for sure that the repeated side-by-side comparo featured only Walker and Johnson.

My emailer also reports that Donovan was present, but I could have sworn I heard an actual reference to him being absent for that segment owing to an unfortunate encounter between his own jalopy and his garage. As I say, if my emailer says he was there, he almost certainly was.

All errors of listening, not to mention of judgment and interpretation, are mine.

ap said...

No worries, Plainsman. As I posted over at the UnTicket, I look forward to your analysis on the Rich Phillips incident from yesterday morning.

Some clarification on the "aggressiveness" encounters - If my memory serves, there were actually two segments focusing on this topic in what I think were back-to-back days. The first focused on Herschel Walker's slip and compared it to Magic's, then later that night, it happened to an announcer (TAG?) during the Rangers game. Speculation was that TaG actually heard it on BaD Radio and it disrupted his vocabulary subconsciously. Naturally, Dan brought TaG's slip-up to air the following day. I believe Donny was present during the second encounter. I've got all this stuff archived if you'd like to review it.

Cheers,
-ap

The Plainsman said...

Aha, so my listening wasn't so bad after all. If your recall is correct, I heard the first one but not the second one, which is the one to which my reliable sourced was referring.

I usually hear a big chunk of the Musers but I don't have a strong recollection of a Rich Phillips incident on Wednesday. I'll travel over to The UnTicket later today to check it out (if it's up).

Rich is the Ticket's Man of Mystery. My regard for his broadcasting skills and on-air persona has grown over the past couple of years, so I'll be interested in the item to which you're referring. If you haven't clipped it, could you advise on what happened?

ap said...

Certainly - DP clipped it before I got to it, and the ensuing comments have been quite entertaining to say the least:

http://www.theunticket.com/rich-phillips-vs-the-musers/

To give you some context, in the hours leading up to the altercation, the internet stream (my sole source of Ticket goodness) was alternating between regular, internet-commercial, rotten radio and local-sport-blackout modes.

Cheers,
-ap

The Plainsman said...

AP, I most certainly did hear that altercation and don't know why I didn't make a note of it. Probably shaving or something. I will definitely have a comment on it, although I'm not sure I can top your own commenters. Thanks much for your archival services.

ap said...

No worries! It would be disingenuous of me to accept credit for DP's work though -- I just try and keep the truck from crashing into a ditch while he's gone!

Douglas Sutherland said...

Dearest Plainsman,

First, thank you for your blog. I have been listening since the tender
age of 11 and have been a very sheltered and reclusive p1. As much as I love the station, I have never been to a Fight Night, Ticketstock,
Summer Bash or a road show (except when The Hardline came to my college campus five years ago). I love that a big fan of the Ticket can form his own original opinions and voice them in a well versed and informative way. You state that it is solely your opinion and you always do it in a way that is both declarative and respectful, and that is very refreshing.


I’m a loyal listener to a fault. I find myself defending all the hosts
(or on air talent, no matter their official occupation) just because I
regard them very highly. They have gotten me through many tough times
in life and never cease to make me crack up in my worst moods. So when
some guy came down on Danny on something as stupid as a Facebook post, I came to his full defense. Similarly, I found myself creating those same thoughts in your analysis of Dan McDowell over the past month.


There is no doubt Dan is an acquired taste. And I remember listening on his first day, so I can safely say that I grew up with the Bob and Dan show. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read The Ticket book (if you’ve mentioned it in your blog I apologize. I have only discovered your blog recently), but Dan’s chapter does a great job of outlining where he comes from. He was a sports fanatic who experimented with life (drugs) as well as becoming fascinated with the science of making people laugh. He’ll say it on the air sometimes too. The one that comes to mind is when he and Bob were going to have Elvis Andrus on the phone but something fell through. But Dan said “let’s go to Elvis Andrus” only to go to a dial tone, to which Tom got (seemingly) personally offended. Dan went “off script” and essentially said “I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to have a good, funny, and entertaining show for the listener, so don’t get so offended.”He then proceeded to jump right back in and mess around with Tom.


Dan is second only to Gordo in my opinion in most intriguing
personality at The Ticket. He lets you in on his personal life almost
too much, but at the same time, he puts up an enormous front. He’s
abrasive and will skate the line habitually, yet thinks it’s too much
to get his daughter’s ears pierced and to let them listen to anything
remotely offensive, but at the same time, he records his infant
daughter saying “cup” because it sounds like she’s saying “cock.” He
knows a lot about sports, but because that’s just about all Bob knows, he seems to realize his role as a “sports humorist” and he serves as a an ice pack at times to Bob’s hot sports talk. He’s so interested in the human condition that he’ll play with it without telling anyone, as he did when he read the memo on the air. As you hypothesized, I agree that he knew he was going to get caught, but he just wanted to see what would happen. He knows the line, but he also knows that he can cross it ever so slightly.


I often think Dan is my favorite personality because he can perform
his work like an expert without making it look like that’s what he’s
doing. It seems like he doesn’t care about his job, wakes up and rolls into work, but is that really who he is? Does the “PS3 (formerly PS2 pot smoking p1”) really want to know that their “leader” worked his ass off to form this persona of someone who doesn’t care and goes on the air with a huge acid hangover? That this guy was so dedicated to becoming who he
is now that he dressed up in a suit and went business to business
selling ad time just so he could go on the air back before he came to Dallas?

...

Douglas Sutherland said...

Dearest Plainsman,

First, thank you for your blog. I have been listening since the tender
age of 11 and have been a very sheltered and reclusive p1. As much as I love the station, I have never been to a Fight Night, Ticketstock,
Summer Bash or a road show (except when The Hardline came to my college campus five years ago). I love that a big fan of the Ticket can form his own original opinions and voice them in a well versed and informative way. You state that it is solely your opinion and you always do it in a way that is both declarative and respectful, and that is very refreshing.


I’m a loyal listener to a fault. I find myself defending all the hosts
(or on air talent, no matter their official occupation) just because I
regard them very highly. They have gotten me through many tough times
in life and never cease to make me crack up in my worst moods. So when
some guy came down on Danny on something as stupid as a Facebook post, I came to his full defense. Similarly, I found myself creating those same thoughts in your analysis of Dan McDowell over the past month.


There is no doubt Dan is an acquired taste. And I remember listening on his first day, so I can safely say that I grew up with the Bob and Dan show. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read The Ticket book (if you’ve mentioned it in your blog I apologize. I have only discovered your blog recently), but Dan’s chapter does a great job of outlining where he comes from. He was a sports fanatic who experimented with life (drugs) as well as becoming fascinated with the science of making people laugh. He’ll say it on the air sometimes too. The one that comes to mind is when he and Bob were going to have Elvis Andrus on the phone but something fell through. But Dan said “let’s go to Elvis Andrus” only to go to a dial tone, to which Tom got (seemingly) personally offended. Dan went “off script” and essentially said “I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to have a good, funny, and entertaining show for the listener, so don’t get so offended.”He then proceeded to jump right back in and mess around with Tom.


Dan is second only to Gordo in my opinion in most intriguing
personality at The Ticket. He lets you in on his personal life almost
too much, but at the same time, he puts up an enormous front. He’s
abrasive and will skate the line habitually, yet thinks it’s too much
to get his daughter’s ears pierced and to let them listen to anything
remotely offensive, but at the same time, he records his infant
daughter saying “cup” because it sounds like she’s saying “cock.” He
knows a lot about sports, but because that’s just about all Bob knows, he seems to realize his role as a “sports humorist” and he serves as a an ice pack at times to Bob’s hot sports talk. He’s so interested in the human condition that he’ll play with it without telling anyone, as he did when he read the memo on the air. As you hypothesized, I agree that he knew he was going to get caught, but he just wanted to see what would happen. He knows the line, but he also knows that he can cross it ever so slightly.
...

Douglas Sutherland said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Douglas Sutherland said...

Dearest Plainsman,

First, thank you for your blog. I have been listening since the tender
age of 11 and have been a very sheltered and reclusive p1. As much as I love the station, I have never been to a Fight Night, Ticketstock,
Summer Bash or a road show (except when The Hardline came to my college campus five years ago). I love that a big fan of the Ticket can form his own original opinions and voice them in a well versed and informative way. You state that it is solely your opinion and you always do it in a way that is both declarative and respectful, and that is very refreshing.

I’m a loyal listener to a fault. I find myself defending all the hosts
(or on air talent, no matter their official occupation) just because I
regard them very highly. They have gotten me through many tough times
in life and never cease to make me crack up in my worst moods. So when
some guy came down on Danny on something as stupid as a Facebook post, I came to his full defense. Similarly, I found myself creating those same thoughts in your analysis of Dan McDowell over the past month.

There is no doubt Dan is an acquired taste. And I remember listening on his first day, so I can safely say that I grew up with the Bob and Dan show. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read The Ticket book (if you’ve mentioned it in your blog I apologize. I have only discovered your blog recently), but Dan’s chapter does a great job of outlining where he comes from. He was a sports fanatic who experimented with life (drugs) as well as becoming fascinated with the science of making people laugh. He’ll say it on the air sometimes too. The one that comes to mind is when he and Bob were going to have Elvis Andrus on the phone but something fell through. But Dan said “let’s go to Elvis Andrus” only to go to a dial tone, to which Tom got (seemingly) personally offended. Dan went “off script” and essentially said “I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to have a good, funny, and entertaining show for the listener, so don’t get so offended.”He then proceeded to jump right back in and mess around with Tom.

Dan is second only to Gordo in my opinion in most intriguing
personality at The Ticket. He lets you in on his personal life almost
too much, but at the same time, he puts up an enormous front. He’s
abrasive and will skate the line habitually, yet thinks it’s too much
to get his daughter’s ears pierced and to let them listen to anything
remotely offensive, but at the same time, he records his infant
daughter saying “cup” because it sounds like she’s saying “cock.” He
knows a lot about sports, but because that’s just about all Bob knows, he seems to realize his role as a “sports humorist” and he serves as a an ice pack at times to Bob’s hot sports talk. He’s so interested in the human condition that he’ll play with it without telling anyone, as he did when he read the memo on the air. As you hypothesized, I agree that he knew he was going to get caught, but he just wanted to see what would happen. He knows the line, but he also knows that he can cross it ever so slightly.

Douglas Sutherland said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Plainsman said...

OWING TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, MR. SUTHERLAND'S COMMENT DID NOT DISPLAY PROPERLY. I AM PASTING IT HERE IN TWO PARTS. PART 1 OF DOUG'S COMMENT STARTS . . . NOW:

Dearest Plainsman,

First, thank you for your blog. I have been listening since the tender
age of 11 and have been a very sheltered and reclusive p1. As much as I love the station, I have never been to a Fight Night, Ticketstock,

Summer Bash or a road show (except when The Hardline came to my college campus five years ago). I love that a big fan of the Ticket can form his own original opinions and voice them in a well versed and informative way. You state that it is solely your opinion and you always do it in a way that is both declarative and respectful, and that is very refreshing.


I’m a loyal listener to a fault. I find myself defending all the hosts
(or on air talent, no matter their official occupation) just because I
regard them very highly. They have gotten me through many tough times
in life and never cease to make me crack up in my worst moods. So when

some guy came down on Danny on something as stupid as a Facebook post, I came to his full defense. Similarly, I found myself creating those same thoughts in your analysis of Dan McDowell over the past month.

There is no doubt Dan is an acquired taste. And I remember listening on his first day, so I can safely say that I grew up with the Bob and Dan show. I’m not sure if you’ve ever read The Ticket book (if you’ve mentioned it in your blog I apologize. I have only discovered your blog recently), but Dan’s chapter does a great job of outlining where he comes from. He was a sports fanatic who experimented with life (drugs) as well as becoming fascinated with the science of making people laugh. He’ll say it on the air sometimes too. The one that comes to mind is when he and Bob were going to have Elvis Andrus on the phone but something fell through. But Dan said “let’s go to Elvis Andrus” only to go to a dial tone, to which Tom got (seemingly) personally offended. Dan went “off script” and essentially said “I’m not attacking you. I’m trying to have a good, funny, and entertaining show for the listener, so don’t get so offended.”He then proceeded to jump right back in and mess around with Tom.


Dan is second only to Gordo in my opinion in most intriguing
personality at The Ticket. He lets you in on his personal life almost
too much, but at the same time, he puts up an enormous front. He’s
abrasive and will skate the line habitually, yet thinks it’s too much
to get his daughter’s ears pierced and to let them listen to anything
remotely offensive, but at the same time, he records his infant
daughter saying “cup” because it sounds like she’s saying “cock.” He
knows a lot about sports, but because that’s just about all Bob knows, he seems to realize his role as a “sports humorist” and he serves as a an ice pack at times to Bob’s hot sports talk. He’s so interested in the human condition that he’ll play with it without telling anyone, as he did when he read the memo on the air. As you hypothesized, I agree that he knew he was going to get caught, but he just wanted to see what would happen. He knows the line, but he also knows that he can cross it ever so slightly.

I often think Dan is my favorite personality because he can perform
his work like an expert without making it look like that’s what he’s

doing. It seems like he doesn’t care about his job, wakes up and rolls into work, but is that really who he is? Does the “PS3 (formerly PS2 pot smoking p1”) really want to know that their “leader” worked his ass off to form this persona of someone who doesn’t care and goes on the air with a huge acid hangover? That this guy was so dedicated to becoming who he

is now that he dressed up in a suit and went business to business

selling ad time just so he could go on the air back before he came to Dallas?

The Plainsman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Plainsman said...

PART 2 OF DOUG SUTHERLAND'S COMMENT STARTS . . . NOW:


I believe you could dedicate an entire post to Dan's on air
relationship to his wife, and it reinforces the fact that his on air
persona is very calculated. He often says that he can't wait to get
divorced, and what a joy it'll be once his kids leave as well, so he
can "take after Rhynes" and go out to The Barley House every night.
He's actually very good at keeping up this front, and he can get away
with it because his wife learned a long time ago never to listen
because (as he puts it) he took her outside, turned her around facing
the house and said "the things I say got us this" which reminds me a
lot of Howard Stern in a sense. The things he says don't necessarily
reflect who he is, but they reflect the kind of persona that has
gained him popularity and notoriety.


How fun would it be to listen to three guys who absolutely love their

wives? Donnie is more on the fence in that regard, and serves as the
middle of the road between Bob and Dan. Bob's religious upbringing and
genuine moral fiber forbids him to admit to anything but the fact that
he is head over heels in love with his wife, which is great. Dan,
again in his comedic mindset is only abiding by the reason why Bruce
Gilbert brought him in to join Bob in the first place: his on air
personality is nearly totally opposite to Bob's. So while one is the luckiest husband in the world, the other prays for the glorious day
that the divorce is finalized.



Granted, I know about some of the things Dan did in his early years, and maybe that’s why I can understand where he comes from. It could be also be because I’m 23 so his style of comedy runs right in my wheelhouse. But I wonder just how much of the talk we hear about Dan on the air is real. I know you mentioned about how Mike and Corby were talking about how “fun” he is at a concert, but it seems to me that he simply is a home body like a lot of us (me) who spends most of his time in his own mind; much like Gordon. Which is strange considering their relationship seems somewhat tumultuous.


Sorry for such a long rebuttal. I love what you write. Keep it up. Please.

GunnerTec said...

I just have to chime in, here. Re: Dan. I worked as a promotions person for a time back in early 2003. This may not be much in the way of pulling back the curtain but Dan was always gracious and cool, willing to talk to you about whatever. Bob was more apt to take a shot at you or boss you around. Now, the casual listener might deduce that this is how they operate simply by noticing that Bob is more Type A and Dan is pretty laid back.

Of course, together, there really is truth to the fact that they can be brutal to the support staff and "gang up" on you. It was hard to tell if they were serious or just having a laugh at your expense.

All in all, I got the impression that B&D were definitely two dudes, but from a different cloth, who worked well on-air together but went their separate ways when the mic was off.

Anonymous said...

I remember a while back, during some Q & A (either on-air or in that occasional Ticket publication that the hosts contribute to - I can't remember the name), I think it was George who said something to the effect that Dan was either the most professional or hardest working guy at the Ticket. Count me as a Dan McDowell fan - I realized after years of listening that it was Dan's contributions on WTDS that had my attention (in addition to Line 4 Guy), and his pairing with Bob was genius. Something that was part of the BaD Radio magic, early on, was the contributions of Jimmy 'The Saint' Christopher. The mix of Bob, Dan, Jimmy and Tom solidified the show as my favorite on the Ticket. Somehow, with all the changes in the show, it has remained my favorite (I like Donovan, a lot, and am happy he landed with the BaD Radio guys) - it maintains a funny, real edginess that's addictive, more so than the other shows for me (though I like them all). That edge wouldn't be there without Dan McDowell.

Anonymous said...

One other thing I can add: McDowell is responsive to e-mail questions (Corby and Gordo, too; the Old Gray Wolf? Not so much. . .).

By the way, great blog!

Christy said...

I have a theory on your Dan experiment: either you've figured out your opinion on Dan is bringing in readers so you're milking it for all its worth or your lowered opinion of him is genuine...jk, I know it's the latter!

I'm starting to get the sense that...Dan's not of your taste, to put it nicely. His humor and yours does not mesh. at. all. You're the Lee Corso to his...Dan McDowell. What I'm puzzled by is how you've written of your sensibilities time and time and time again - actually, I should just link to the entire blog - regarding other aspects of The Ticket, but you clearly enjoy the upside of the other (offensive) hosts more than you dwell on their downside. What gives?

Regarding your first example of the "aggressiveness" audio: if you think that's offensive (and I'm guessing also racist), then there's no hope. That's Dan being Dan to a T or even BaD Radio to a T. I don't see it being any different than any other time they have audio fun - whether it's Vince Young mispronouncing degree or Deion mispronouncing phone, etc.

Of all things, I was actually offended by their segment on their sports team of jocks with dumb face...

Regarding your second example of Dan and George (audio here at the 2 minute mark):
I don't think George sounded at all curt with Dan (who, btw, only asked it once), and I think it's a funny harmless jab that's like all the other jabs the hosts take at each other. Or, maybe Dan's asking honestly. Besides, those of us who've watched the webcam when it's available have seen the Courage Boys in their seats when Rich does the 5:30 ticker.

Dan's humor is similar to mine, which has gotten me into trouble so I don't doubt you're genuinely offended. I think the anecdote you relayed in the 3rd BaD Radio Entry - when your favorite show The Hardline made an offhand comment about Dan - made a tremendous impression on you and your view on Dan has been molded through those tinted sunglasses ever since. I think it's a lost cause, Mr. Plainsman. I know you say you've warmed around to people you didn't start out liking, but you coming around on Rich Phillips makes more sense than you coming around on Dan.