What a week this has been. Hugh Hefner, Monty Hall, and Tom Petty passed away, the horror in Las Vegas happened, and now a hurricane is moving on New Orleans. Hef and Hall were older, in their nineties, and had lived full lives. Tom Petty, while not in his prime, still seemed to have plenty to share with us. There’s no rationale for Las Vegas, and Mother Nature is just out of our control. In a storm, we just hunker down and work to help the stricken pick up the pieces; when celebs pass on we remember how they affected us and the culture.
As your local afternoon radio entertainer, it’s my belief that you turn on the radio for a few reasons: to be informed about current events that affect us locally, to be entertained by the music that you love, and yes, to chuckle some. During a week like we’ve just had with the Vegas event, and one of our key and core musicians passing away, the chuckle part was the hardest.
Upon awakening Monday morning and hearing the news from Nevada, I can tell you I didn’t feel funny or even want to go on-the-air, and then the at times confusing and conflicting reports about Tom Petty started to come in. More hammer blows. But I knew you dragged yourself out of bed and went into the office or plant or wherever you earn a living, and I would too. That’s our work ethic. We go. We carry on in spite of the emotional turmoil, hurt, and anger that might be under the surface. We go and do our jobs.
That’s part of what makes America great.
Being funny in public can sometimes be a ticklish proposition in the face of tragedy. One runs the high risk of being thought insensitive to news events taking place. But that isn’t the case, not ever. One of the few talents I ever felt I had was to be able to see and speak of the positive side of life, point out quirky conflicts and anecdotes, and through some personal past struggles, it is what has maintained my own sanity.
Even as a child, I could cause laughter in other people. I was the class clown to the teacher's chagrin and my mother's dismay at the notes that were routinely sent home. I always felt like I’d be the guy cracking jokes on the gallows and making the hangman’s day brighter.
I can’t answer for people like some of the big-time late-night television comedians, but one of my core beliefs is: you tune into the radio to be informed and entertained. That’s the job. You have your own problems, and on some level, you’re watching late night television or tuning into the radio to get away from your own thoughts, to be made to smile, to laugh, to be informed and entertained, not to be lectured to. Laughter through pain, that's the best medicine.
Honestly, we know we’re not super funny every time we open our mouths, but we try to be. If you’ve listened for any period of time, you know almost no subject or political party or ourselves is off limits, and we’re completely fair in picking on everyone and everything. But some weeks, some days are really tough. Earthquakes, storms, floods, and celebrities passing on and reminding us of our own lives can be a real downer, so you look and listen for relief. We hope we give you some.
Laughter, not lectures.
We carry on, life goes on, and we’ll stay busy being funny.