The words of the profits were written on the studio wall

As I frequently mention on the air, I was a big fan of the late Doug Hoerth and a heavy listener of WTAE (1250) when it was in its all-talk heyday — a lineup that included, at one point, O’Brien & Garry, Lynn Cullen, Hoerth, Ann Devlin, Myron Cope, Phil Musick and Larry King overnights. It was a murderer’s row of Pittsburgh talk radio.

When I was in high school, I mostly got to listen to Hoerth in the summertime and on weekends, so I vividly remember how disappointed I was in 1990 when his “infamous Saturday show” (a freewheeling panel discussion/trivia contest hosted by Hoerth and his buddies) was shortened so that WTAE could pick up repeats of a new syndicated show by someone named Rush Limbaugh.

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The words of the profits were written on the studio wall

Top complaints about “Wonder Woman 1984”

(Warner Bros. Entertainment)

“Wonder Woman 1984,” the second movie installment starring Gal Gadot in the title role, debuted last week in theaters and on HBO Max. Although eagerly awaited by fans, many are reporting their disappointment and frustration.

What are some of their complaints about “Wonder Woman 1984”?

  • Adaptation is very unfaithful to the source material, George Orwell’s classic novel

  • Not a single song from Van Halen’s album on the soundtrack

  • Fans dislike Wonder Woman’s new catchphrases, “whoopsy-doodle” and “whatchu talkin’ about, Steve Trevor?”

  • Gene Hackman’s role as the villain in the first movie has been reduced to a tiny cameo

  • Celebrities popping out of windows as Wonder Woman scales the side of a building include Bill Cosby, O.J. Simpson and Bernie Goetz

  • Scenes where Wonder Woman can fly, run faster than Mach 1 and turn her plane invisible are believable, but losing a fight to the Target Lady seems unlikely

  • Blooper reel at end featuring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise feels forced

  • Where were Debra Winger and Lyle Waggoner?

  • Product placement for Reebok Pumps, Trapper Keepers and Cabbage Patch Kids is tiresome

  • Far-fetched subplot about how a failing, amoral, lying businessman with a stupid name is able to gain control of the United States just because he had a successful TV show
Posted in Tongue Firmly in Cheek | Comments Off on Top complaints about “Wonder Woman 1984”

Then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free

(There are several updates at the bottom of this post)

I don’t often get legal threats, but I’m kind of tickled to get this one:

———- Forwarded message ———
Date: Mon, Oct 26, 2020 at 10:41 AM
Subject: Offensive Twitter Posts
To: WRCT General Manager
Cc: WRCT Business, WRCT Social Media, WRCT Public Affairs

To whom it may concern,

I am reaching out to you as a community member about an offensive
Twitter post that was shared among someone portraying to be with your

Jay Thurber had posted online some hurtful things about me over the
summer that was just brought to my attention. I am a decorated first
responder with nearly a decade of service. I started when I was
14-years-old and I do not appreciate the hurtful lies being spread
about me.

Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 1 Comment

Trump, Trump, Trump ’til our grandkids take the car keys away

News item:

It will be fun, fun, fun under the California sun for many well-heeled attendees at today’s Donald Trump fundraiser in Newport Beach — the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday morning that the Beach Boys would be the main attraction performing for the president and his supporters at the Orange County campaign event, with tickets ranging from $2,800 per donor to $150,000 a couple for co-chair status. As hardcore Beach Boys fans know, the group booked for the tony fundraiser is a licensed touring edition led by Love, who has not been shy about appearing with Trump in the past. (Variety)

I’ve written some new lyrics for Mike Love to sing to President Trump the next time he performs for him. I hope he likes ’em.


Off the Palm Beach parkway
There’s a place I want to stay
That’s where I always like to go
To hide away from the law
Golf balls in the sand
Charbroiled hamberder in my hand
It costs the taxpayers a hundred grand
Every time I want to go
Down to Mar-a-Lago

Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The pants exemption card

Apparently the pants exemption card I posted on Facebook and Twitter back on June 24 went viral on those services as well as Reddit, so here’s a high-resolution one as well as a downloadable PDF.

I’m going to go ahead and release it under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0) license.

You’re welcome to have fun with it, but please credit Jay Thurber and link to

Remember, kids: Don’t let the LIBERALS at Big Pants push you around! You have the freedom guaranteed by our pants-less founding fathers!

Clip, laminate and save this card, and if someone tries to say, “Sorry, we require pants to enter this Dollar Tree,” reach into wherever you’re keeping your wallet and pull it out!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“You are a very foolish man.”

Working from home these last few months of The Plague Year has given me a lot of time to work on my audition tape for “The Jerky Boys.” I really need to start taping these calls, I guess, for use on the show …

(Phone rings. Caller ID says “Elizabeth, PA.”)

Me: “Hello?”

(noisy sound of call center)

Me: “Hello? Hello? Are you OK? Hello?”

Caller: “Hello, this is Allen from U.S. Pharmacy, how are you?”

Me: “Lynn? Hey, Lynn, how are you? Are you OK? Everything OK there?”

Caller: “Uh … yes, sir, thank you for your concern. Do you need any medications?”

Me: “Sure. What y’all got?”

Caller: “We have Viagra” (pronounced “vee-AH-gara”) “Cialis, painkillers …”

Me: “How about that marijuana?”

Caller: “Marijuana, sir?”

Me: “Yeah, the mary-ju-ana. Cannabis? Wacky weed? Wildwood flower? A little Tijuana mama-jama?”

Caller: “Uh … yes sir. What is your card number?”

Me: “My what now?”

Caller: “Your medical marijuana card number.”

Me: “I need a card now? This feller down on the corner don’t never ask me for no card.”

(dial tone)

Me: “Hello?”

(Phone rings. Caller ID says “Glenshaw, PA.”)

Me: “Hello?”

(loud click and buzzing noise)

Caller: “Good day, this is (unintelligible) from R.D. Chemists. How are you today, sir?”

Me: “Well, I’m pretty good, there, son, how are you?”

Caller: “You have recently ordered drugs from us, sir, and we want to know if you are ready for refills.”

Me: “What all kinds of drugs did I order there, fella?”

Caller: “Uh … ” (stifles a giggle) “are you on drugs right now?”

Me: “I’m on a lot of drugs, son. What in particular do you need?”

Caller: “I don’t need …” (sighs) “… we sell drugs … You ordered … Wyagra” (pronounced “WYE-ag-ra”) “and Cialis.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I know her.”

Caller: “You know who, sir?”

Me: “Wyagra Seealis. I went to high school with her.”

Caller: “Sir, well, we are talking about different things. We sell Wyagra and Cialis. We have good deals on Wyagra.”

Me: “Yeah, she gave me a good deal one time after school. Under the bleachers.”

Caller: “You are wasting my time, sir.”

Me: “She didn’t waste my time, I’ll tell you that much. How’s Wyagra doing?”

Caller: “You are a very foolish man. Go away.”

(dial tone)

Me: “Hello?”

Continue reading

Posted in (sad trombone) | Leave a comment

We’re taking steps to protect you, our valued listener

You may be wondering how the entire Radio 9 organization is responding to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Rest assured, we are taking steps immediately to protect our host and you, our valued listener, from exposure:

  • Jay Thurber has been wrapped in a protective layer of Saran Wrap, with a double layer over his mouth.
  • All music is being brought to a rolling boil before broadcast, and then held at 160 degrees F before we serve it piping-hot to you.
  • The oldies “Boogie Fever,” “Rock’n Pneumonia & Boogie-Woogie Flu,” “Breathless” and “Dizzy” have been removed from the playlist as “insensitive.”
  • Jay Thurber also has requested that we no longer play “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?” by Frank Zappa, for what he says are “personal reasons.”
  • Record needles now administer vitamins B12 and C to boost immune system response.
  • All staff have switched from a competing cigarette to the smooth, filtered taste of Chesterfields, which 4 out of 5 doctors agree causes no harmful throat or lung irritation.
  • A Lysol wipe has been inserted between the first and second audio amplification stages of our transmitter, to filter germs from the broadcast signal.
  • Our microphones have been covered with non-lubricated, reservoir-tip prophylactics.
  • We are sanitizing all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant. If the disinfectant runs out, we have already purchased a flamethrower.
  • We are using our feet to press all of the buttons and handles in the studio. Although this has caused a number of serious technical foul-ups, listeners are not likely to be able to detect any difference in the quality of the show, such as it is.


Posted in Tongue Firmly in Cheek | Leave a comment

The Who Mourns for a Piece of Yesterday’s Christmas Incident

I’m envisioning an episode of “Star Trek” where they visit a planet whose civilization is based entirely on Hallmark Channel Christmas movies….


(ON-SCREEN: Enterprise in orbit around Earth-like planet)

KIRK (V/O): “Captain’s Log: Star Date 6712.24. We received a distress call from Mistletoe IX, a Class M planet in the Yuletide system.”


KIRK: “Mr. Spock. Analysis?” ·

SPOCK: “A curious atmosphere, captain. About two-thirds of the planet is covered in water. Most of the land seems to be covered in snow. And yet based on the lifestyles of the inhabitants, the temperature rarely drops below freezing.”

Continue reading

Posted in Tongue Firmly in Cheek | Leave a comment

Facts revealed in the new Mr. Rogers biopic

The new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” stars Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, beloved Pittsburgh icon, influential children’s television programmer and one of the best-loved American personalities of all-time.

Here are some of the startling facts depicted in the movie, which opens this week:

  • “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” originally debuted on network radio as “The Johns-Mansville Asbestos Hour Starring Ed Wynn.”
  • “Lady Elaine Fairchild” was not, as most people believe, a puppet, but an actress named Gladys Pryzebelich from Wilmerding who had a rare growth hormone deficiency. When she died in 2014 at age 94, she was buried in a New Balance shoe box.
  • In a 2001 referendum, residents of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe rejected as “too expensive” a proposal from then-City Council candidate Bill Peduto to add bike lanes.
  • Since retiring, X the Owl works occasionally as a docent at the National Aviary on Pittsburgh’s North Side. In his spare time, he enjoys catching voles and other small rodents.
  • For an April Fool’s Day prank in 1973, two PBS staples, Fred Rogers and William F. Buckley Jr., hosted each others’ shows. But the episodes never aired after PBS executives concluded that while Mr. Rogers vastly improved the quality of “Firing Line,” Buckley was easily outwitted by Daniel Striped Tiger.
  • Until budget cuts during the Reagan administration, the Neighborhood Trolley ran along the Parkway East and U.S. 30 to Rogers’ hometown of Latrobe, making the round trip in 28 hours and 14 minutes.
  • Fred Rogers’ red zip-up cardigan sweater, handmade for him by his mother, is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His sneakers were purchased by Dr. Scholl’s as a laboratory standard and are used to test all of that company’s various orthotic products.
  • Stay seated until the closing credits to see scenes from the next thrilling installment in this new Marvel Comics franchise.
Posted in (sad trombone), Tongue Firmly in Cheek | Leave a comment

What to expect during the impeachment hearings

Impeachment is a congressional investigation into alleged misconduct by the President of the United States. At the end of the process, the House of Representatives refers any evidence that has been gathered to the U.S. Senate, which then holds a trial.

In the history of the United States, only two Presidents have faced impeachment — Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Richard Nixon resigned before formal impeachment proceedings began.

Here’s what to expect as Congress begins impeachment proceedings against President Trump:

  • Each day’s testimony introduced by the “Let’s get ready to rumble!” guy
  • Members of House of Representatives will be trying out catchphrases, like “That’s-a good-a testimony!” and “The indictments don’t stop ’til we reach the top!”
  • “Baby Trump” balloon bouncing around in the gallery like a beach ball at a Phish concert
  • Administration officials holding oversized fedoras in front of their faces to avoid photographers wielding Speed Graphics and giant flashguns
  • Witnesses trying to come as close as possible to describing a crime without going over, then risking it all on a “Daily Double”
  • NPR’s Mara Liasson and Susan Davis on the red carpet outside the Capitol, describing who’s hot and who’s not
  • A free small “Frosty” at participating Wendy’s locations if any of that day’s witnesses present evidence that Trump is a Russian operative (limit one per customer)
  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a neutral corner, getting ready to throw in a towel if proceedings become too violent
  • Kellyanne Conway becoming so enraged that she stomps her right foot into the ground, then rips herself in two trying to pull it out
  • An overwhelming sense that the end of American democracy is getting closer and there’s sweet f-ck all that we can do about it
Posted in (sad trombone), Rants, Tongue Firmly in Cheek | Leave a comment