Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wednesday nights: the best worst talk show ever - Seven Second Delay

Imagine a radio show where two hosts bring in their iPods and hook them into the control board. Imagine that one of the hosts is the station's perpetually exasperated program director, the other is an Ed Wynn soundalike and fairly successful comedy writer with self-esteem issues. The comedy writer (Andy Breckman, creator of Monk) claims his iPod - filled with Billy Joel, Beach Boys, James Taylor, and John Cougar Mellencamp - is PERFECT, the best iPod in the world, and that the station director's (WFMU'S Ken Freedman) iPod must be horrible because it contains "bad" music, i.e. the kind of free-form "hippie" music WFMU plays.

So the guys put their iPods on shuffle, then have callers review the first 10 seconds of each guy's songs, without telling the listeners who's iPod they're listening to, and the callers have to say which song is "better". After Andy's songs reach an early triumph with voters, the whole show ends up in a tie. Meanwhile, both hosts disparage the show, each other, and the listeners (well, Andy disparages the listeners, Ken shows them a fair amount of respect).

That was two weeks ago. The whole show was - I swear - incredibly funny. It almost always is.

So tonight (Wednesday) night, between 6 and 7 on WFMU (91.1 around the city and 90.1 in the Hudson Valley), I advise you to listen to Seven Second Delay. Call in, too. (Make sure to tell them you're a "first-time caller, long-time listener".) It's really really funny; here's a fine Slate piece on the show (which nominated it as a "Podcast of the Week"):

The show is a long series of efforts by Andy to come up with clever ideas for segments that involve listeners, many of which crash and burn. But they're usually very funny. (In one of Mike's favorites, Andy and Ken brought in their kids and made a Solomonic listener declare which one was the better father.) Breckman also shares Hollywood stories from time to time, and the show's "benediction" sounds more like a prayer you'd hear at church or synagogue in Beverly Hills:

Dear Lord
May My Show Succeed
And May The Shows of My Friends Fail
And Yet May I Still Be Perceived
As a Team Player

You can hear archived shows here or here (as a podcast). You can also download the shows for free as an iTunes podcast. Listen.

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