As I wrote last week, Humble Howard Glassman was a guest on The Debaters this past weekend. While The Debaters aired on Saturday night, Humble was devouring my wife's lasagna (not as dirty as it sounds), so I didn't get to hear the show.
Luckily for me, Humble had a buddy record the whole thing to MP3 so he could share it on his site. Here it is in all its hilarity.
Between 5 and 5:30 I'm often in my car. Usually when I'm in my car, I'm listening to the radio. I go old school and listen to good ol' terrestrial radio. You know, that AM / FM stuff you've heard your parents talk about.
On the AM dial, I listen to Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports on The Fan 590. Love him or hate him, McCown puts together an intriguing radio show. There's no one better on the entire AM dial, if you ask me.
Recently, a little to the right at AM 640, Bill Watters got his own sports show to compete with McCown. I tried it out, returned when my buddy Fred co-hosted, and gave it another ten minutes earlier this week. The fact is, I find it sloppy and boring and about 10% as good as Prime Time Sports.
Is anybody listening to Watters over McCown?
Now that both Humble and Fred have publicly stated it, I can finally write this entry. There will be no 18th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas show. Not on the radio or in podcast form. After 17 years, this annual Toronto tradition has come to an end.
Fans of the show will tell you this streak wasn't really in tact anyway. Back in 1991 Humble was at CKFM-FM while Fred was still at CFNY and in 2005 the show went on without Fred who had been relieved of his duties at Mix 99.9. Still, we all got together for the 18th annual show last December, against all odds, and it felt awfully special.
That's right, I said "we". I was invited to Dan Duran's house that Saturday morning we recorded the podcast and I took a bunch of pictures. Although I've known there would be no 18th Christmas show for some time, I had no idea I was witnessing the end of an era on December 16, 2006. At the time, I assumed we'd be doing it all again in December 2007. I was wrong.
As a fan, this truly sucks. The on-air chemistry between Humble Howard and Freddie P was awesome. They complemented each other so well, and watching them do their thing was like watching a long-time married couple complete each other's sentences. As a fan, I think it stinks that I can't hear another podcast and laugh my ass off.
On a personal level, it saddens me. I've grown quite close to Howard, we chat often about a variety of subjects and hook up whenever possible, and lately I've spent more time chatting with Fred and getting to know him. Both guys are solid citizens with unique talents and it would be a treat to watch them share a mic one more time. I root for both in their post-Humble & Fred careers, but it's tough when you think they're better when they're together. Like a long-time marriage, it's not necessarily forever. They've moved on, and so must we.
As I mentioned last month, I secured a complete backup of the old humbleandfred.com and I'm hosting it for posterity's sake. You can revisit the 17th Annual Christmas Show web page and listen to last year's podcast. You can stream it from that page, subscribe to the podcast or download the MP3. I covered all the bases. Trust me, it's a year old, but it's still hilarious. And now, it's bitter sweet.
Below is me, Bingo Bob, Fred Patterson, Dan Duran, Scary Bald Headed Pete and Humble Howard Glassman after we recorded the 17th and final Humble & Fred Christmas Show on December 16, 2006.
For waking me up every weekday morning of the 90s, for making me laugh and for helping me through both high school and university, thanks...
When people learn I'm friends with both Humble and Fred, I'm almost always asked what they're up to. The fact is anything I'd be allowed to share would probably already be on their respective blogs, but it's a fair question and I do my best to answer it. Humble and Fred were the morning guys throughout the 90s on the radio station of choice for most of us born in the 70s, so there's naturally a great fondness for them and a genuine interest in their whereabouts.
Humble, who I'm hanging with on Saturday, will be appearing on an episode of the CBC radio comedy show "The Debaters". He'll be taping that in Saskatchewan and he'll be debating Judy Croon who worked with him on Mix 99.9. Fred will host the Bill Watters Show on AM 640 tomorrow and Friday. That starts at 4pm and runs until 7pm.
Another question I'm often asked by fellow fans of The Humble and Fred Show is whether there will be another podcast. Humble and Fred recorded three podcasts following their departure from radio, starting with last year's awesome Christmas show. I was lucky enough to be in the room while two of the three were recorded at Dan Duran's house and I was responsible for making sure you guys could hear it online. I don't know if the guys know I did this, but I grabbed a copy of the old humbleandfred.com and archived it at https://www.torontomike.com/humbleandfred/. You can actually go there and hear all three hilarious podcasts and then you can wonder why the hell these two no longer have their own show.
My answer to this podcast question isn't really an answer but a suggestion they ask Howard or Fred. If it were up to me, there would most definitely be an 18th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show. Unfortunately, it's not up to me.
Now get over to https://www.torontomike.com/humbleandfred/ and enjoy some great Humble and Fred from the past year. It's uncensored, cocked and loaded. And it's hilarious, dammit!
Are you happy? Do you love the city you live in? Are you proud to be a Torontonian?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you might want to disable the AM band on your radio. I caught ten minutes of John Oakley this morning on AM640 and I wanted to move as far away from Toronto as possible. It's all doom and gloom with a horrible mayor, an incompetent council, no hope, no chance for a bright future, the city of Toronto is going downhill, getting too expensive and becoming a violent pit of despair where only the evil rich can wallow in this cesspool of greed and corruption. It's bad people, and if you live in the 416, you're not only an idiot but you're going to die very unhappy.
A pal of mine listens to CFRB 1010 and he hears pretty much the same thing over there. I think most talk radio on the AM dial thrives on bashing this city and getting listeners all riled up about how much better things used to be and how bleak the future of Toronto is with fools at the helm.
After ten minutes I started to wonder what's wrong with me that I'm actually happy, love my city and am proud to be a Torontonian. And if I disable the AM band on my radio, how the hell will I ever hear Leaf games when I'm stuck in my car?
As a long time fan of the Humble & Fred morning show, I was poised to dislike their replacement on my favourite radio station. A quick search of this blog for the term "blundell" gives you an idea as to what I think of The Dean Blundell Show. I've never liked it.
I'm not a fan of his radio show, but Dean Blundell also writes a column for Eye Weekly that I do enjoy. I find his radio persona moronic and insulting yet I find his columns bold and titillating. Earlier this month, he wrote about his wife, and I actually read it out loud to my wife because I couldn't believe the honesty he committed to print. His most recent column for Eye Weekly calls out Toronto radio personalities. He doesn't name names, but most of the identities can be guessed fairly easily. It makes for one hell of an interesting article.
My friend Fred Patterson, one half of the aforementioned Humble & Fred Show, posted Blundell's article on his blog and invited readers to guess who's "the paranoid ageing huckster who's ego is the bruised by years of abuse" and "the guy who tells you how awesome he is before he tells you who he is" and the "guy and gal with fake names who's radio careers have more miles on them than Pamela Anderson's knees". It was a highly entertaining entry, but Fred unpublished it. You'll no longer find it on his site. Apparently, Blundell's article is causing some trouble for Alan Cross and The Edge and Fred didn't want to get in the middle of a shit storm.
As it turns out, Dean Blundell makes a great columnist. There's a guy who seriously needs a blog. I know I'd check in daily to read what he's got to say.
Here's a Toronto Mike exclusive for ya. One of my radio friends just told me the morning guys at 92.5 JackFM have been let go. I checked around and nobody else has this massive news bomb. Ben and Kerry are best known for those ads with the two grown men slipping out of a giant egg, which you'll see below.
I never heard a second of the Ben and Kerry morning show, but maybe you did, so this exclusive report is all about you.
Fred Patterson, or Freddie P as he's often called, is best known as one half of the Humble & Fred morning show. I met him through Humble Howard and helped him with his popular blog, torontomike.com.
Q: How did Fred Patterson get his start in radio? Tell us about breaking into the biz and that little yellow house in Brampton.
A: After leaving Seneca College in 1978 I took a job at CKFH (now the Fan) writing traffic reports for the morning man who at the time was Brian Barker.
I worked three hours a day for $2.50 an hour. I had to walk half a mile from my house in Scaborough to the bus stop at Birchmount and Eglinton at 4:30 in the morning. CKFH was basically at Yonge and College.
I went all that way to earn $7.50 a day but it was worth it because it put me in the environment of a radio station that leaned heavily towards sports.
Before long I was working the board for Blue Jays baseball and helping out on Bob McCown's original sports talk show, "Talking of Sports."
It was great but I wanted to be "on air" at the folks at FH thought I was too young and green, so at McCowns urging I started to look around and that's how I ended up in Brampton at CHIC 790 - a disco station that needed a news and sports announcer.
It wasn't long before David Marsden hired me to do sports on CFNY (CHIC's sister station) and that's where I stayed for 22 glorious years.
Q: We're missing your voice on Toronto radio. What's next for Freddie P?
A: I have no idea. I'd love to get back into radio but I'm a realist. It's a different business today with less competition and way more interest in bottom line. Ideally I dream of having my own talk show in Toronto, but so do four thousand other people.
I miss the radio station environment and the interaction with people. I'd love to get up each day and have a show to create and present in my own way.
People might laugh at the comparison, but my website has been great therapy for me and in a way constructing it is much like you would a radio talk show. Take a subject, analyze it, give your opinion, piss off a few people, and then wait for the response.
Q: People my age are particularly fond of Mr. Goohead. I want to know the origin of Mr. Goohead and when we can expect a major motion picture featuring the character.
A: When someone makes me an offer. Fat chance.
Mr. Goohead was a real spring board for me. It was his creation that led to my move from sportscaster to morning show co-host. It showed that there was another side to me.
The first episode happened in 1987 with the "Time Change" episode on the Steve Anthony morning show. The clocks and just changed and something inspired me to call a Chinese restaurant and screw with the guy. The voice just came out and the name came from my brother in law who used to call people gooheads.
It got such a great reaction I just kept thinking of concepts and doing them.
At the same time, it was one of those things that after 15 years I grew tired of. Morning shows changed and so did the Humble and Fred Show and prank calls simply didn't inspire me any more.
I still have over a hundred episodes and feature them on my website. torontomike.com
Q: What happened to that BBQ show you hosted on television? Admittedly, my memory is a little hazy, but I remember you giving grilling tips. Was that a cool gig?
A: The money and the experience were fantastic. The product wasn't so great.
I was hired with the understanding that CTV wanted Fred Patterson, the down to earth every day guy who worked on CFNY. I was going to do a relaxed presentation, very casual and off the cuff.
But then the sponsor got involved.
Chinette plates decided they didn't want that image. They made high class paper plates so you couldn't have a guy sloppin' stuff on and off the barbeque. You know, reality.
Instead it turned into a formal and stiff segment that I wasn't especially proud of.
Q: You've done quite a bit of podcasting since you left radio. There's the work you do at beer.com and those awesome Humble & Fred podcasts we did from Dan Duran's house. Will there be another Humble & Fred podcast this Christmas?
A: They were well received so It would be a shame to let the tradition die. But who knows what will be happening by Labour Day let alone Christmas.
Q: What's your favourite movie?
A: The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Call it timing. The right movie at the right time for me and nothing has surpassed it.
Q: I've noticed a conservative slant at torontomike.com. When did you sell your soul to the devil?
A: How does the saying go. NDP at 20, Liberal at 30, then you grow up and become Conservative at 40. And I know of what I speak because I've voted for all three parties over the years.
Believe it or not, I'm not partisan. Just give me good honest government. Like that rat Mike Harris who did nothing but do what he said he was going to do. Some of it backfired, but nobody can say he lied to them.
It absolutely amazes me that after 13 years of corrupt Liberal government at the federal level, and four years of Liberal deceit at the provincial level that anyone could even dream of voting for that party.
But people seem to be so anti-conservative they're willing to forgive and forget anything.
Q: I'm a little young to remember Pete 'n Geets, but I hear amazing things. What was it like being a part of that genius?
A: Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.
Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.
I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.
And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.
The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.
Q: Is there anything else you want to share with the Toronto Mike crowd?
A: Yea. You don't know what you've got till it's gone. Don't be sad it's over, be glad it happened. Eat lots of fibre and teach your children well.
AM 640 is making some changes. Their Leafs Lunch show did well, so they're throwing The Bill Watters Show with Jeff Marek in the afternoon slot to try and steal some of Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports audience from the Fan 590.
I'm bummed about this move. I don't listen to much AM 640, but their current afternoon drive guy is top notch. When they move Mike Stafford to make way for The Bill Watters Show with Jeff Marek, they're moving him from the rare block of time I actually listen to AM radio. Others sing Stafford's praises, but there's a publicly declared bias that may mute the sentiment. That doesn't mean the praise isn't justified, because it is.
I've never met Mike Stafford, so when I tell you this guy is the best in show, I mean it. He knows a lot about a lot and tempers that with a good sense of humour and a sensitive touch, but not too sensitive. Also, his knowledge of Simpsons trivia is second to none, although the current format at AM 640 (whatever this current format is) doesn't give him much opportunity to flex that muscle.
If only the AM 640 nerds would give his blog an RSS feed...
No, you didn't miss me on CBC radio last week. A week ago Olivia contacted me to appear on Metro Morning while they discussed Crocs. This entry has made me an authority on the subject. That's how things work in the world of Web 2.0 dontcha know.
Toronto Mike will not be part of this debate. Here's what Olivia told me earlier today.
It's Olivia from Metro Morning...we spoke last week about setting up a Croc shoe debate on our show.
Just wanted to let you know we are running the interview tomorrow. It was short notice because of an article published in the Toronto Star this morning about Crocs being banned in certain hospitals...instead of saving it for a rainy day like we originally planned, we decided to run it ASAP so it doesn't look like we're stealing the story.
We have two guests - a local shoe designer versus a nurse who wears Crocs to work. Because we're pressed for time, I have to cancel a couple of different angles (a podiatrist, two retailers) including yours. I apologize for that - but appreciate that you took the time to talk to us.
The interview may run at 8:15 tomorrow depending on, once again, time constraints. Tune in to see what happens!
Could this be the end of the Ceeb as we know it?
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