By Joel Marshall
A topic is
relatable if other people have experienced, or are currently
experiencing it. What does everyone do? Eat, Drive, Work, Watch TV,
Get Laid and Sleep. Driving references are always relatable since
most people are listening from cars. You can mix and match topics for
optimal efficiency. Ask every commuter who's eating and having sex in
their car to flash their headlights twice. If this results in an
accident, you'll get tons of free coverage. A word of caution-when
discussing TV shows, try and talk about what was on the previous
night since your 7-midnight guy might not appreciate your plugging
that night's "Party of Five".
Its not necessary to have an out of body experience like the
girl in the Talking Heads And She Was' to imagine what your
listeners are doing. Don't wait for a phone call from a pizzeria to
salute dough-slingers everywhere.
- At a computer terminal
co-workers or subordinates
- Waiting on
get-down gorilla sex in the supply closet
through the big pile of junk in their "in" box
Getting beered up
- At the beach
- Playing guitar
along with Dishwalla
B. Being Topical
Magazines like People,
, are tax deductible barometers of that happening "pop
culture". Tabloids like The
scoop the mainstreet media on the fabulous doings of pop icons. They
would appreciate it if you attribute any quote to their rag,
especially if your subscription is comped.The Celeb "A-list"
is always mutating, but chances are, if Liv Tyler's on more than
four covers that month, she's top-of-mind. Avoid extremes -
"Readers' Digest" subscribers may be shocked to hear about
"Details" columnist Anka whipping herself into a frothy
foam, whereas the tattoos and piercings crowd may be similarly
nauseated by a cute story from "Life in These United States".
Try not to be
partisan on extremely divisive issues like abortion, politics, and
whether Jenny McCarthy used to be a man. If you dog Dole, then crack
"As soon as we finish jogging, I'm gonna tear Hillary's panties off!"
Secret Service Man:"Horny,
"Hell no, they're riding up the crack of my ass!"
Hot topics for
Summer, 1996 are a mix of old and new:
- The National
Football League (no-brainer. Why not propose an "NFL sings"
CD, like "Time For Me to Fly" by Emmitt Smith, "Benny
and the Jets" by Keyshawn Johnson, or "White Lines" by
Michael Irvin. Customize to your format and hometeam.)
(computer game from makers of "Doom")
- That friggin'
Macarena- Hokey Pokey for the 90's or a sign of Armageddon?
- Hot Tours:
Kiss, Rush, Smashing Pumpkins
Dilbert/For Better or Worse/Bizarro/Robotman
Remember, keep it
under 10 seconds, because then its time for the TSL contest
with 12 sponsors 14 taglines the contest activator, five minutes of
spots, and the winner playback with the legal disclaimer. That
Say a scoped aircheck of your four hour shift takes 12 minutes.
Subtract everything that youre merely reading from a card ,
like weather, live liners, and promos, and how much truly original
material do you have to come up with? Maybe you are being paid too
much. If you are expected to be timely and topical, then highliters,
except for black ones, are your friends. Using only the articles with
the biggest headlines on the front pages of each section of the
newspaper, highlight the first three words that aren't
"and", "the", or "if". The PD wants you
to keep it under fifteen seconds, your station liner takes up ten of
it, how will you fit that content in the :05 you have remaining? That
two page article on game four of the NBA Eastern finals where Jordan
got 45 and yatta yatta yatta? Thats boiled down to one syllable
- "puh". If the listeners are not on your plane, tou.....
Humor, when done properly, is at someone elses expense. That's
why its impossible to crack any kind of joke without offending
someone. In some instances, the wounded party will call and let you
know. Apologize off air, but don't let it ruin your show. The
Bush-Butz act of 1979 made it illegal to crack on Blacks, Jews, Gays,
Asians, Minorities, Vertically Challenged Individuals, and Aleuts
(Banned bumper sticker: "Be aleut, the world needs more
leuts"). Humorists responded by reworking those old ethnic jokes
and substituting Blondes, White Males of European Descent, Bosses,
and Newt Gingrich. In fact, the very mention of Newts name in
any context can often pass for actual humor amongst a rock and roll
crowd. Same with "Tiggy Legge-Bourke".
humor is always acceptable because you're offending noone but
yourself, and other losers like you. And chicks dig that whole David
If you are not
naturally funny, and your morning guy is the only one who gets to use
the faxed comedy service, learn how to browse the world wide web or
usenet newsgroups for humor archives. One newsgroup,
"rec.humor" has a few ongoing threads that are car
related-perfect for drivetime. "The Best Bumper Stickers
Ever" has yielded such treasures as "Honk if you've never
seen an AK-47 fired out of a car window" and "Help-he's
farted and we can't get out!". The "Best Vanity Plates
Ever" thread gives us: "3M TA3" (read it backwards,
like in your rear -view mirror),"NE14ORL6",
"H8MYXWYF","6UL DV8", and "NOPCME" (on
a urologist's car).
People have short
memories for jokes they've heard, so you can recycle old lines by
plugging new names. For example, "I don't care if the critics
hate 'Striptease', I'd pay $7.50 to see Demi Moore read the
encyclopedia as long as she was naked!" was actually written
about the greek actress Hermaphrodite in 200 B.C