Saturday, October 8, 2011


I've been wanting to post this for awhile, and now that (I hear) Bob Sturm is returning it seems like the right time to do it.

How was BaD Radio without Bob?  Commenters have made reference to it from time to time, mainly in connection with (1) how much they missed Bob and (2) whether a particular plus-one was getting the job done. 

You can still comment about those things, but I have a very specific question for y'all:  How was Dan as the Host-in-Chief? 

Even though he had fill-ins and plus-ones, the few times I caught a few minutes of BaD it sounded like I expected it to sound:  A single-host show with a color guy (no Donovan jokes, please) and Donovan.  Dan by far the most prominent voice.   I thought it sounded pretty good.  (Prompting one of my more absurd STDs that is so absurd that I will probably keep it in the can.)

A lot of Confessors are big BaD fans, think it's the best show, so I'm sure there must be some STDs out there on how the show fared in Bob's absence.  How did it sound to you the past couple of months?

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DinosaurMex said...

I missed Bob, greatly. I think Dan did a very good job. And I also think that Dan shines when he's more straight host than sports humorist. When he is the former, the latter, when employed judiciously, is much more effective. The only thing I find troubling about Dan is his propensity toward conspiracy, "alternate history," and the likes. Bob, on the whole, seems to be able to reel him in. Sans Bob, Dan is free to run with unfounded and rather controversial assertions and claims.

The Bob-less month or so of BaD really did expose Donnie. I want to like Donnie, I honestly do. But he's overbearing. He talks over others; he finds a single point or issue and applies it to everything related to the topic at hand; and he does this over and over and over again. Furthermore his delivery is like nails on a chalkboard: the half-chuckle followed by the same point reiterated for the umpteenth time makes for bad (not BaD) radio. Back to Dan.

In my opinion, the bottom line is as follows: Dan needs Bob, Bob doesn't need Dan. However, Dan can definitely hold his own. But I don't know what kind of situation in which Dan could thrive in as a solo host. I'm not sure it would be a primarily sports-driven program/station.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but did anyone here the Orphanage this morning? They thought they were off-air for a bit. And WHOA!!! They were letting fly some stuff they definitely didn't want to see the light of day, especially about Corby. Evidently it was posted up at Unticket but has now been taken down because of the original poster being requested to do so by Gordo, or something like that. It'll be reposted but without the, what they thought was, off-air stuff. All I can say is, Cobra and Cobra-ette (and do I dare say Sister Cobra), we hardly knew ya.

Little Weak Jeremy said...

OK, since I was with my kid all day today and didn't hear a word of this until after the Unticket audio was taken down, can somebody dish on the Orphanage today?

The Plainsman said...

Off topic is AOK, but I hope we can get back to the thread.

Uh, Anon, can you be a little more specific, assuming you can do so without excessive reference to clinical processes?

Thanks for letting us know. AP may also be able to fill us in.

I couldn't tell from your account, but if it really is beyond the pale in terms of invading Corby's privacy, probably best to let it continue to beam to Alpha Centauri and repose in the UnTicket's secret archives.

Anonymous said...

Here's the PG version: There was mention made of pot cookies/brownies in Corby's backpack that his wife's dog ate (whether they were married at the time, wasn't made clear) and Gordon referred to Corby performing an act of gratitude (as the Musers put it) on his sister in a bathtub. Now he said "we don't know if it's absolutely true," but jeez a whiz, that's a helluva thing to say. And remember, this was, so they thought, off-air. So they weren't doing schtick for the listener.

Anonymous said...

To add to the latter part of the tales of Corby: If you ever do get to hear it, which I'm sure it'll be posted up somewhere soon enough, you'll quickly notice that it doesn't seem like Gordon's trying to be shocking. It seems more like he's trying to either soft pedal or at least say, hey, I really don't know and I'm not going to say it that it happened for sure because let's face it, it's pretty f'n f'd up. Maybe I'm hearing it wrong, but that's how it came off, at least to me.

Anonymous said...

One more: Whatever is true or not, or a joke or not, they definitely didn't think they were on the air at the time.

The Plainsman said...

Well, so much for my attempt to do a nice little BaD Radio thread.

Hokey frackin' smokes, Bullwinkle.

Greggo isn't the only one who has bad weekends.

What does a site dedicated to Responsible Ticket Journalism do about this?

At this point, I think, not much.

I did not hear it. Anonymous has given us about as delicate an account of this as seems possible. If others would care to confirm or elaborate on what they heard, feel free, but this is pretty incendiary material so I will be keeping an eye on things.

And while Anonymous has given us a good report, the one thing we can't be sure about was whether this was a bit. Anonymous says that was not the gestalt of the broadcast, and we'll go with that until we get other reports. Although why would Gordon feel the need to soft-pedal something if he thought he was off-air?

Does it matter if it was a bit? I think so. Bits might be made-up -- off-air stuff is in-station dish. Over-the-top bits can be written off as Gordon being Gordon. Off-air stuff is long-term political dynamite. So in evaluating what we're hearing, we should keep in mind that it MIGHT have been Gordon having an Andy Kaufman moment.

I am doubtful we will ever hear the clip if The (Incomparable) UnTicket has taken it down. I don't know anything about legalities, but I am guessing that The UnTicket pretty much exists by the good graces of Cumulus. I mean that in a positive way for both parties. The UnTicket reposts The Ticket's entertainment product -- descriptions and accounts, as it were. Cumulus could probably put a stop to it, but The UnTicket undoubtedly increases interest in the station and solidifies the community of P1's, so it is in Cumulus's interest to more-or-less support this popular outlet for its product as long as it doesn't cause any harm. A damaging clip -- different story. So when The Ticket drops DP a line and asks him to take something down, he obliges. The Ticket is nice to The UnTicket, and vice-versa. I can't say for sure that's how things work, but it's a fair guess.

I don't know where else one would find a clip like that. Some P1's are probably rolling on The Orphanage for their own archives -- man, you think I'M a geek -- but whether one will emerge and where that might be, I don't know.

Although this site is not above trafficking in rumor that passes the "ring of truth" test, this stuff is so private, lurid, and inherently unsourceable that I will not comment on the events described in the broadcast. I urge Confessors not to do so.

Ticket-related matters, however, are fair game.

(1) Who was producing/board op? Is there a T.C. angle to this?

(2) Whether this was a bit or not, intended for air or not, or true or not, it surely isn't going to do Gordon's already shaky relations with some of his colleagues any good.

(3) I think The Rant had gone away by the time I got to DFW. Could this have been some hearkening back to those halcyon days of tasteless weekend radio?

OK, guys, I know, I know -- too much prose about a passage that I did not hear, will probably never hear, and about which we have had precisely one report. If it turns out to be a nothingburger, then more the fool I.

I actually hope that turns out to be the case.

East Texas P1 said...

Back to the original post. I must be the only person who thinks Bad radio is simply bad. Bob is pompous know-it-all (he is a sports genius but the arrogance ruins it all) and Dan is a whiny geek.

Donavon is really the only one I can manage (makes me really in the minority). Some of it may be due to his East Texas ties (school and area).

Got to say the Hitler piece about Bob was greatness.


Anonymous said...

If Gordo asked for it to be taken down, then I highly doubt he/they thought he/they was/were on air at the time. If it was a bit, then it means the content was purposely said on air, and so, it would obviously be a matter for permanent public consumption. If it wasn't, well, that's when you get the voice that said such things requesting it to be taken down. OR Let's say it was a bit. Gordon and I believe it was who Danny said a couple of times, to the effect, "Julie will go nuts if we talk about this on air." So if Gordo went ahead and said what he did for the sake of a bit, then well done. But at what/who's expense? I believe there was a time at the station when Gordo didn't get along well with some of his coworkers, at least from time to time. Is it still the case? I've no idea. But something like this, if in fact it was a bit, can't be too good for relationships. I still believe what was said was meant for off air, fellow co host ears, only.

birq said...

About the original topic: As I've mentioned before, these past weeks have exposed Dan's weaknesses and highlighted the need for a strong leader so he can be a +1, which is where he's the best fit. I think Mex is on the right track -- If Dan is going to be the main voice on a show, he should focus on 75% serious, but if he's going to be the +1 to a straight man, he should focus on 75% sports humorist. I think he's stronger as a sports humorist, personally, and like the balance that he provides to Bob's sports bully.

About the Orphanage: If it were a bit, there's no way anyone would have asked for the audio to come down. Gordo has said much more offensive things on the air when he's messing around. This was a screw-up and it was obviously embarrassing enough to call in a favor.

The Plainsman said...

Agreed, Birq. Another reason it wasn't a bit -- liability. Them's suin' words. For all of Gordon's envelope-pushing, he's not so irresponsible as to purposely expose Cumulus to gigantic liability for defamation. (He may have done so anyway since it went out, but the point here is that he couldn't have intended that those items be broadcast.)

Again, I ask who pushed the button, or failed to push it, to allow (or fail to prevent) these utterances from going out to The Orphanage's vast audience? I didn't hear it, have no idea who was producing or on the board.

Interesting contrast with The Fan -- they make their public catastrophes worse by re-publicizing them. The Ticket more effectively manages this by requesting that the offending material be taken down and soldiering on with the showgrams. There may be chaos behind the scenes, but these guys know where their bread is buttered and aren't going to let this get out of hand. They also know that this stuff will fade with time, as it has already started to do. If someone sues, all bets are off, but that seems pretty unlikely, too.

Unless some tape emerges or something changes, this is probably the end of it.

Although I'm still interested in the technical aspects of this. While occasionally a word or two will leak out during ad breaks, I personally can't remember a time when an entire off-air conversation was broadcast.

Which is curious, and which will have me listening to see if I can tell if anyone from behind the scenes is, uh, missing for the next little while.

The Plainsman said...

Birq: Back to Point 1.

Some here have said Dan did a good job as host-in-chief. You are a dissenter. What about Dan's performance did you find lacking?

birq said...

I think he did a fine job, I just think it was apparent that he's better with Bob. His strong suit is playing the yuk monkey -- shooting the wheels off a segment; poking holes in Bob's bully bluster; long, winding, drawn-out run-on introductions to thoughts that could very well be summarized in a single brief sentence. I think he has a good sports brain, and I think he's a perfectly good host on his own, but he's better with Bob, and Bob is better with him.

When Bob was gone, Dan had to try to define a new balance between sports humorist and show runner. I think he did an admirable job, but it never matched the gestalt of BaDD with Bob.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Orphanage Corby's Sister bit live. I've been listening a lot to the Rant archives, and I just took it as Rant-y rantings. I guess I should've been more shocked. Hell, I even texted to my P1 friend they were doing a bit about Corby's incest that sounded like a Rant reunion. I didn't get the feeling they thought they were off-air.

-Anon B

The Plainsman said...

Interesting, Anon B. I credit your ears, too. If so, curious that they were willing to re-Rant but wanted it taken off The UnTicket. Perhaps someone got a call after the broadcast . . . .

Anonymous said...

Interesting.... the scrubbed audio is up at the unticket, but comments are closed in that thread...

-Anon B

Anonymous said...

That was no bit. Gordon let something fly that he shouldn't have brought up, regardless of whether he was on air or not.

Anonymous said...

To add...You get to a certain age, a certain point in life, and you'd like to think you're past such crap. For all of his philosophic posturings, Gordon is the same twit he was back in high school. Everything is off-limits when it comes to his life. But when it comes to others, all bets are off. It's one of the reasons I'm not a Gordon fan. Yes he does a funny fake Jerry, among other bits, but at what cost? Nearly everything funny he has to say or do is at the expense of another. Actually, Plainsman, I think a "State of Gordon" posting by you would be a fine idea.

Mitchell George said...

WHY are Bob and Dan talking about hockey right now, no one cares. I know the Ticket is the home of the Stars, but C'MON BOOMSTICK KNOCKED OUT THE FIRST WALKOFF GRANDSLAM IN THE POSTSEASON EVER!

birq said...

I flipped over just as the postgame started and Bob said, apologetically, that they are contracturally obligated to talk Stars, so that's what they were going to do. Sucks. I know they wanted to talk Boomstick.

The Plainsman said...

Anonymous: I did a short little piece on my current Gordon thinking a couple of weeks ago. You can find it here:

I am a Gordon admirer but I thoroughly agree with those that wish he would eliminate or at least reduce the sex/body cavity stuff. As I said in that little piece, I think he's bored; facing a fish-or-cut-bait with his career. His TV show got good reviews but couldn't support itself. His Quick column was also real good (my opinion), but newsprint is not a growth industry. He's doing the entertainment-news junkets and while I never see the results, I guess he must be pretty good at that, too. He's frequently marvelous with the Musers, but there are only so many times you can recycle the Tom-Hicks-taking-a-bubble-bath-in-unicorn-tears gags. So I think he's kind of between pillar and post. Bored. Reaching for the marginal outrage to keep things fresh. Sometimes crosses the line into punchout territory. Occupational hazard.

People talk about Mike R sometimes not giving a damn about what he says on the air, but I'm starting to get the same feeling about Gordon. He may not be actively looking to move on, but he may be thinking it's inevitable if he's going to reach a new and different audience for his talents, with a deeper well of material from which to draw. What that might be, I don't know -- but entertainment news/commentary/hosting is not a terrible speculation, even if a wholly unsupported one.

I also wonder if the blue-er content of Gordon's stuff and The Hardline might reflect some influence of the Cumulo-Ticket Overlords to continue to appeal to the portion of the widely-diverse Ticket demo that enjoys that type of humor.

Let me say that I would regret Gordon's departure a lot. But I'd understand it. Since the changing of the sports scene doesn't really change his act, he's bumping up against burnout. That he's sustained it for all these years is a tribute to his talent. I hope we continue to enjoy it.

Mitchell George said...

"Like an older couple visiting an ultra-lounge for the first time" -Gordon