Listening To “The Best Show”: 12/23/08 Episode

bestshowA weekly recap of The Best Show On WFMU, Tom Scharpling’s call-in/comedy/music show broadcast every Tuesday night from Jersey City. The three-hour program is available for free download at iTunes.

In this week’s episode, our host makes the uncharacteristic move of allowing the inmates to run the asylum. Tom lets certifiable nutjob callers such as Charlie the Addict and Fredericks from New Port Richey babble. At least it’s more interesting than the nice-guy listeners who called in just to extend holiday wishes. Instead of wasting air time, next year just send a Christmas card.

A call-in topic from last week is carried over: Who’s the dumbest member of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young? There are a surprising number of cogent calls, and it illustrates the Best Show’s demographic spread: callers range from high-school kids to guys in their 40s. (And sometimes there’s even a real, live female.) David Crosby gets the nod as CSNY’s dimmest bulb.

Jon Wurster returns! Philly Boy Roy calls in. By the way, the “unmasking” of Wurster as Philly Boy Roy in these recap posts is very intentional: We’re pretty sure his background as a famous indie-rock drummer (Superchunk, Robert Pollard, Bob Mould, et al) earns some cachet with the MAGNET crowd. We should’ve realized this before disaster struck at our 10th anniversary party. Wurster told the story to The Onion:

“I emceed the MAGNET magazine 10-year anniversary party last year, and that was just insane. I don’t want to say I overestimated the audience’s ability for discernment… I thought it’d be funny if I did characters, almost like the radio-show thing, so I grew a full beard and came out before My Morning Jacket as a morning DJ named Bobzilla, and the gist of the bit was that Clear Channel had purchased MAGNET and I was announcing changes that were going to be made, like that Zakk Wylde was going to be on the cover. People sort of got it, and then I shaved the beard in between sets so it was an Amish beard the second time. I came out as a guy named Jarrett McKinney, the “Don Rickles of Indie Rock,” with cut-off dress pants, black socks, a trucker hat, the Amish beard, and a record-store T-shirt, and just made jokes on MAGNET and Guided By Voices. Good-natured, but a Don Rickles approach, like “How adventurous that MAGNET put Radiohead on the cover!” Those guys thought it was funny, but the crowd—oh my God, they thought I was a real guy, and they were booing. It was kind of a thrill to ride the wave of negativity that 800 people can generate. Then I came out before GBV as myself and people cheered. They had no idea that I was the guy that had been out there before.”

But this week’s best bit was Tom’s deconstruction of the Neil Diamond song “Hell Yeah,” which we will let speak for itself: