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It Must be Spring: Shecky’s Back

It's as predictable as the cherry blossoms in Washington, as timely as a squirt from Old Faithful and as lame as a circus performer on rubber stilts...It's the return of Shecky Peterson.

It’s as predictable as the cherry blossoms in Washington, as timely as a squirt from Old Faithful and as lame as a circus performer on rubber stilts.

It’s the return of Shecky Peterson.

Every year right after the NAB convention, Shecky emerges from the dark corners of my psyche. Take the smarmiest Vegas lounge act you can think of, give it a radio spin, add a song or two, grease up the hair, loosen the tie, and add a vodka gimlet in one hand and a Shure Beta 58 mic in the other.

You now have a solid idea of what Shecky is all about and why I try to keep him repressed throughout the year.

So grab a table close to the stage, try the veal piccata, drink up ‘cuz there’s a $15 minimum and settle on back for the show.

For the fourth year in a row, complete with the requisite rimshots on the drum kit, Shecky’s back, bay-bee!

Cue the band

(Music intro, polite golf claps from the audience)

Heyy-yy, good evening folks. Good to see you all here. So, any of you manage to make it all the way down to the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center? Am I mistaken, or is the walk from the Radio Hall down the Strip to the Sands now actually closer?

And does it seem to you like mergers and takeovers have finally settled out? Man, that was crazy for a few years. But things seem a lot quieter now.

I was waiting for the guys at Ice Krackers to buy out the voice-tracking product from RCS, then create its own station financing and brokering division. The new company would have been called Krackers, Trackers and Backers.

Maybe if Graham-Patten came into the deal, they’d be Graham-Krackers.

What if Scott Studios picked up power tube rebuilder Freeland Products? Would Scott-Free fit on the sign outside?

And how about if Rane Corp. did a merger with Stormin Protection Products? RaneStorm, naturally.


But Sirius-ly, folks …

Oh, don’t even get me started on that whole digital radio thing! Yeah, it’s working and those guys at Ibiquity make it better every month, but I still don’t know whether to call it IBOC or HD Radio.

Frankly, I like IBOC better. It reminds me of all those great songs that have IBOC in their title.

Songs like “I-BOC a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts,” “IBOC-cycle Built for Two,” “I-BOC Spurs That Jingle-Jangle-Jingle,” or “Baby Got IBOC.”

And let’s not forget the Paul Simon classic, “I Am Just IBOC-xer” or the bane of every school bus driver, “99 IBOC-kles of Beer on the Wall.”

What’s the best we can do with HD? Oh, I don’t know …

H-D sweet?See her wal-king down the street, Now I ask you very con-fi-den-tially, H-D sweet?

See, it just isn’t the same!

Maybe top it off with an encore of “MPEG of My Heart.” And when that one antenna company gets in the act, we could probably do a rendition of “CRI Me a River.”

And what’s with all these “X” things? We’ve got a movie all about the X-Men, we have XM Satellite Radio, Telos Systems has the Xport and the Xstream, and those good old splice tabs we used to use on tape are from Xedit.

I wish I could afford a few of those, except I have two ex’s of my own.


Now the jokes

Okay, so why was the Kinstar low-profile antenna embarrassed?

Someone pulled down its skirts.

What’s the difference between an AM antenna and an outbuilding filled with old reels of Candid Camera?

One is shunt-fed, the other is a Funt shed.

What’s the difference between digital editing software and a raven hooked on billiards?

One is Cool Edit Pro, the other is a pool-headed crow.

What’s the difference between a monopole and a unicycle?

Sit on one then the other, then get back to me.

I once knew a guy named Jack Field, but he was only half-normal.

Why was the shortwave radio collector disappointed when he met with the short naval officer?

He thought a three-foot Admiral was a console receiver.

What did that same collector get for his birthday?

An E-layer cake.

What did Newton and Pascal do before they met their dates for the evening?

Splash on a little Coloumb.

Then there was the engineer who had to open up a studio monitor after his assistant tried to fix it. He took off the front baffle and was shocked to see a slice of moldy pizza jammed into the hole where the tweeter should have been. “$@*%!” said the engineer, “I said replace the piezo element!”


Same engineer is out walking his dog. A lovely young woman stopped to admire the animal. “What’s his name?” she asked. He answered, “RF Burn.”

She asked, “Why did you name him that?” And he replied, “Because he doesn’t heel.”


Then one day that same engineer found out the basement of the station was filled with squirrels. Somehow they chewed through a screen and took up residence there.

He tried poison, but the squirrels only got a little ill, then bounced back. He tried humanely trapping them and releasing them back into the wild, but they always found their way home.

In desperation, he called up an engineer at another station. “My basement is full of squirrels,” he said.

“Yep,” said the second engineer on the phone. “We had them too.”

“What did you do to get rid of them?” the first fellow asked.

“Hired ’em,” he replied. “Put ’em in charge of running the Sunday morning public affairs shows. They were here for one week and we haven’t seen them since.”


Bring down the lights

(Piano player touches a gentle chord.) Okay, let’s send you nice people home with a song. Every year it’s always something schmaltzy and slow, so let’s pick up the tempo a little bit this time.

You all know the Monkees tune “I’m a Believer,” right? Well (loosens tie even more, wipes brow and finishes gimlet), let’s shake this place up a little!

Heyy-yy all you account executives, here’s one for you! (Band swings into overdrive.)

I bought lunch for two with my ex-pense ac-count,
The total bill was $80.23 …
The boss was not too happy,
Boy he looked depressed,
Said I couldn’t even sell R-O-S…

And then I made a sale,
Now I’m leasing a Beemer.
Livin’ large,
On cash that’s not mine.
Got it made (hum-mm) I’m drivin’ a Beemer,
That “No-I-in-Team”-er stuff’s a lie …

Now the engineers on this side of the room!

I put up with guff from the em-ploy-ees here,
Lots of things like, “Who’s our I-S-P?”
“Can you fix my headphones?”
“Where’s the paper stored?”
“I just spilled my coffee down the board …”

I’m on call all day,
And I’m driving a Kia.
Solderin’ stuff, And ordering lines,
O-ver-time? (Ha!) I’m driving a Kia,
I’ll prob’ly be hee-yah ’til I die …

Thank you, thank you, yer a wunnerful audience. See you at the 10 o’clock show.

Al just recently reported in for a new position: production and program coordinator for talker WMET(AM), Gaithersburg, Md., poised for a power hike to 50 kW and a new studio buildout in downtown D.C.