New Blog in Broadcast Dialogue Magazine “Let the Fun Begin”

Remember when we used to have it.  You know, before downsizing and recession mongering.
Way before political correctness and pepper sprayings.
And before carpel tunnel had set in to both our wrists and our brains.
I don’t mean the fun we had on the air, I mean the fun we had with each other.

The REAL fun.

The stuff of legend.

I sat in a “state of the union” sort of meeting the other day, and my op manager asked that question.  And besides all the other stuff he filled us in on…it was that little question that stuck with me the most.  That, and the fact that the sales department had scored all the good muffins first.
Sadly the room was full of blank stares and fearful sideways glances.  Nervous eyes bounced like crazed windshield wipers, desperate to catch a hint of what the right answer might be.  No one wanted to be the odd man out.  It was obvious that they didn’t remember the fun, or maybe the meeting coffee and muffin were just kicking in.
(see “revenge of the bran hoarders”)

All he asked was, “Remember when radio used to be fun?”

I in turn asked the question to my brain.  The few synapses I have left sizzled a bit…and then the memories came, followed by a more obvious question.

“Why am I not in jail?”

But we’ll get back to that.

Many of us have been so busy worrying about the economy, our futures, the ridiculous amount of multi-tasking we do, the changing technology, and Paula Abdul’s next career move…that we have forgotten the spirit of our what we do.
Well…not forgotten…just not really thought of in a while.
We have set aside our very essence. (And by “essence”, I don’t mean that big bottle of Brut, that one of our ex news guys used to gargle with.)

Fun. Dammit. Silly.  Immature.  Goofy.  A thousand paper balls waiting in the overhead cupboard stuff.

One of my first radio gigs (while still in college), was to stand ass deep in snow at the base of a looming AM tower at 3am, and scrape micro-waved raccoon bits from the inside of the tower shack with a spatula.

That has nothing to do with the fun thing, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

If you’ve been in the radio biz for at least fifteen years…you remember some fun.  Twenty years…THE fun.
Twenty-five or more years…you are no longer capable of remembering the fun you had…that’s how much fun you had.

Remember the time you wore the cow suit to the BMG after-awards party and got milked…or the time you assembled a fifty foot long-twenty foot high plywood radio dial on your GM’s front lawn at two in the morning…or when you went through the entire station and covered every single photo on every single desk with a shot of your own face?

I CAN’T BE THE ONLY ONE WHO PULLS THIS CRAP!

The Moffat guys were the kings.  They would use helicopters, chainsaws, tv cameras rigged with high-powered hoses.  They would move people’s houses while they were away on vacation.
They weren’t pranksters…they were artists.  Gods.  And there were so many more…in CHUM, STANDARD, BLACKBURN…

THEY KNEW FUN.

Before you start…I know times are different…blahblahblah.

But fun isn’t.

I would love to see two things happen.

1.    I want to hear from you with your legendary prank story.  Maybe you pulled it, maybe you wore it, or maybe you just love telling the tale.  We’ll put together a bunch of the best (anonymously if necessary) and print them asap.  No need to start your story with “I was drunk when…”, as that will just be assumed.
2.    Have some freakin’ fun again.  Teach those young serious professionals what all this noise and heart and soul is really about.  Don’t get fired, don’t destroy anything, don’t hurt anyone…and most important…don’t get caught, but for God’s sake…go have some fun.  Please be careful not to harm any animals or engineers in the making of your fun.  (you can rent the cow suit from me)
3.    I know I said “two things”, but I’m on a roll here.  Lastly, I would like to see more muffins at our next meeting, because I swear each sales person took two.

Let the fun begin…again.

Send your fun to mark@killervoiceovers.ca