This week, a Murdock, Hunter & Alice interview with humorist Dave Barry, my “Celine Meets The Simpsons” song and one of the Weekly News & Reviews Blues takes us back to a week many, many years ago.
Hang on, we’re going back to my early radio days. First, you’ll hear a comedy demo tape I sent to Ross Schafer with the hope of getting involved with “Almost Live” and, as you know, I didn’t. Then, we’ll go back even further to the first episode of my college radio comedy program, “Tim Hunter’s Return to Normalcy.” Damn, seems like just a few years ago….
I sit here, looking out at a New Year before us. What will we do with the opportunities? How will we handle the challenges? Will things break us, or will we emerge stronger than ever?
Awful heady stuff for a sunny, Wednesday afternoon in the Pacific Northwest, but I’m reminded that I owe endless thanks to God above for being in my current situation. As my brain keeps slinging the concepts, I continue to get my biggest rewards from grabbing those passing thoughts and converting them into tangibles–jokes, comedy bits, blogs, you name it. And I would not be living this dream if things hadn’t fallen into place exactly as they did.
But it’s one thing to have the pieces fall into place–are you going to take advantage of it? I believe I am doing exactly that, doing creative projects on a daily basis in the 10-ring circus I call my career. I spoke with Bill Wright this week, producer of those Wizard of Oz audio books I voiced back in the 1990s. He’s got a new TV project that he’s asked me to join in, that would put a spotlight on some unsung heroes of World War II. Cool stuff. Tomorrow, I have meetings with two of our Create Impulse clients, Sole Perfection Shoes and NW Plus Credit Union, with new radio and TV spots, and coming up with other marketing concepts a part of those sessions. Next Monday, I shoot video for the Northshore Schools Foundation, to help them tell their story. Oh, and this day also included this blog, my latest edition of the Wacky Week podcast and my daily contribution to Radio-Online, a show prep service for disc jockeys. A steady, busy flow of projects that some people would call work, but for me, they’re outlets. And by getting those ideas out of my head and into some exterior form, I can begin brainstorming about whatever comes next.
The corporate headquarters for Tim Hunter Creative Services is right here in the corner of my little man cave downstairs at my home. This room has been a green screen studio, an audio recording studio and is the home of the Logitech keyboard from which everything originates. It’s my space, my creative setting. To my left, a collection of CD’s and DVD’s that contain radio bits, sound effects, background music and more. Just above them is a collection of celebrity photos I’ve gathered over the years from people I’ve interviewed, including David Hasselhoff and Katey Sagal. Go further up and you’ll bump into Seahawk photos and memorabilia. To the right, at eye level, is a collection of the people that inspire me and keep me going. My kids, the grandkids, my wife and the picture of my dad from his memorial. Up from there, my Husky Hall of Fame, with lots of pictures of me with players. There’s a JP Patches Nutcracker, a photo of my radio mentor Larry Nelson, autographed pictures of Kathi Goertzen and Stan Boreson and a bunch of odds and ends that demonstrate I’m pretty much a freak. I mean, how many people have their own St. Tim candle?
It gets drilled into me more and more as we lose people over the years, we watch stores close that we thought would be around forever and everything we know is turned into trivia for the next generation, we don’t need to make every day count–we need to cherish the seconds. If you’re starving for a resolution, get in the habit of hitting the brakes routinely, look around and realize as much as humanly possible, just how fortunate we truly are.
Take a breath, enjoy what surrounds you and savor this gift while you’re able to fully embrace it. That’s my plan for the New Year and beyond.
2018, come over here and give me a big hug!
Right before the start of the New Year, I like to polish the old crystal ball (no really, I polish it. That’s not an euphemism) and create a collection of bold predictions of things I feel will happen in the year to come. I make them with 100% accuracy. Oh, they’re rarely correct, but it’s accurate to say that I always make them.
Nostradamus actually predicted the world would end in 2018. Then again, he also had the Mariners winning the World Series last year.
So, bet the house–here’s what I predict will happen in 2018:
- President Donald Trump will post something offensive and awkward on Twitter. (OK, that’s my one softball)
- A small girl from Kansas will throw a bucket of water on Hillary Clinton, causing her to melt.
- Disney expands their Star Wars franchise by launching a new TV series, “Dancing with the Ewoks!”
- Meryl Streep admits she knew it all along. Then reveals she meant that “She Devil” was her worst movie ever.
- Bernie Sanders gives a riveting, 20-minute speech about the unfairness of our society. No one in the bathroom is impressed.
- Al Franken announces that he’ll run for president as the candidate of the newly-formed “Honky-Honky” Party.
- In an incident that causes Jeff Bezos to give up drinking, he gets so stewed one night that he actually buys Amazon from himself.
- Speaking of Amazon, they introduce 30-minute deliveries of all beef products. Their new service is called Amazon Prime Rib.
- The Seattle Times announces they are replacing all newspaper delivery boys with drones. Both of the remaining subscribers express concern.
- YouTube introduces a new channel for video selfies, called MeTube.
- Russia Vladimir Putin wins re-election by a landslide, two months before the actual election.
- France bans Smartphones from elementary schools starting in September. In a popular move, congress votes to ban all cell phones from the oval office. Thank you.
- After fighting bankruptcy for years, Sears finally closes all of their stores. However, no one notices until 2019.
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange vows in a ceremony performed by Mr. Bean. Meghan honors the memory of Benny Hill by tying a piece of elastic to her bouquet for the toss.
- In December, Mommy accuses Santa Claus of forcibly kissing her, underneath the mistletoe last night.
- In North Korea, Kim John-un is finally forced out and replaced by Christopher Plummer.
- Melania Trump records a song to raise money for charity. The way it works is, if you make a donation, she won’t release it.
- Garrison Keillor attempts a comeback, changing the name of his fictional town of Lake Wobegon, to Lake Whoa-is-Me!
- Finally, TaylorMade announces the first ever self-driving golf ball, allowing golfers to focus on what’s really important–tracking down the beer cart.
I had to hurry up and get this list out before they all come true. Thanks for stopping by throughout the year and letting me take you on a tour of what’s running through my mind.
Have a very Happy New Year and all the best in 2018.
Notice I didn’t include my prediction about you and that…well, enough said.
Episode 5 digs out our Hunter & Alice demo, when Alice and I were pounding the pavement, trying to find a new radio home. Oh, and yes, that’s Bryon the Producer. (better known now as Bryon Mengle)
Look, for starters, I love Christmas. I’m a bit of a Christmas nut. Love the songs, the love traditions, feel it’s not Christmas if I haven’t over-done the house. You know, that kind of a Christmas guy.
I write up a family Christmas letter with an assist from my wife, mail out cards to over a hundred people, and put together a Christmas CD that has become a tradition. This year, I produced the 17th annual edition of “Ho Ho Brother” and, if I may say, it was my best version yet. I’m already working on the 2018 version.
But something I also took on several years ago was doing a Christmas parody song about the holiday season. Through my Destination Marketing buddy Scott Burns (actually, radio brothers who never had the chance to work together on the air), I met a local singer named Alana Baxter. I would write the lyrics, Scott helped me record and mix her songs, I experimented and learned about shooting video and while they were rough, we still managed to pull off some pretty good holiday tunes, including “It’s Silent Night”, “He rides a sleigh”, (yes, that’s me in the cow costume), “I won’t hate you very much tonight (It’s Christmas)”, and the salute to the Starbucks holiday cup debacle, “Where are you Christmas?” .
But lately, the project has gotten pretty challenging. Alana got a medical degree and moved to Hawaii. Last year, while she was in town for the holidays, I managed to write and record a song with her, called “All I need for Christmas (is booze)”. Fun concept, but we hurried through it. I wrote it quickly, she came over and recorded it with the idea of releasing it this year. However, when it came to put it all together, while listening to the tracks, it just wasn’t up to par. So, I called in some Hawaii radio favors and connections (thanks, Chip Begay and Dan Deeb), Alana slipped into a studio and I got some in-tune, fresh vocal tracks. I had already put in 5 hours mixing down a preemptive video, but when the vocal tracks didn’t match the old version, I had to start from scratch.
12+ hours of remixing and re-editing of video later, we have a song. I hope you enjoy it. “All I need for Christmas (is booze)” is too late for this year’s Christmas CD, but it has inspired me to already begin working on the 2018 edition, which will include this.
It wasn’t easy, but totally worth the effort to keep the tradition alive–here is Alana Baxter and “All I want for Christmas (is booze)”.
Merry Christmas to all!
A couple of decades ago, a typical morning for me started with an alarm that went off at 2:17am. A random time I had embraced as the official starting point of my day, if I wanted to get in everything I hoped to accomplish. I’d shower, grab something to eat, sit down at the computer and do a little show prep for the next Murdock, Hunter & Alice Show on 92.5-KLSY and then climb in the car and head to the Bellevue Studios. More often than not, I’d arrive in the garage and there, having his morning cigar, was Matt Riedy. (pronounced REE-dee)
Matt was the morning guy on Smooth Jazz, one of the five stations that lived inside the Sandusky cluster. Once you walked in the lobby, you’d head down a different hallway to each station, so most days, you didn’t really see the other folks. Then again, we were there from 4am-noon, spending the bulk of our time in a studio or our office, so most of our encounters with people from the other stations were just in passing.
But I do remember those cigar chats with Matt fondly. He was curious how we did things over on KLSY with our contracts and how our morning show worked. (people still wonder about that) You could tell that Matt had a restlessness and that being a Smooth Jazz morning guy was just a stop on his way to something bigger. But it would involve risk. To make it happen, Matt would have to abandon the comfort of a secure job and head down to Los Angeles to pursue a dream along with thousands of others. Eventually, when he felt the time was right, Matt gave up his radio job in Seattle and headed south. He grabbed a part-time radio gig, went on countless auditions and eventually, the career he had envisioned began to happen. The acting opportunities, the voice-over work, the video game gigs. As I’ve watched him succeed, I’m proud to say I knew him back in the days when he was wondering, “What if?”
Twenty years later, we’re both living our dreams. He’s an actor and I’m emceeing Lutefisk Eating Contests. OK, that wasn’t my dream, but I am. Congrats to Matt for showing everyone how to not only dare to dream but also that you can achieve it. I’d like to also pass along a huge thanks to him, as it was Matt who hooked me up with one of his stand-up comedy friends, Frank King. Frank, in turn, connected me with Jay Leno, which allowed me the opportunity to write one-liners for his monologues for 8 years.
Matt just shared his Theatrical Reel of just some of his work. I thought I’d share it with you, so the next time he pops up on the screen in front of you, you’ll be able to say, “Hey, look. It’s THAT Matt Riedy!” (which is what he called himself back in his KJR Radio Days)
I’ve sent a note to the Internet, apologizing for posting such a positive story. These days, they’re pretty rare.
I’ve been noticing that more and more people are posting pictures on Instagram instead of Facebook. My current theory is that all the politics that have permeated the Facebook platform have driven some people out, or at least, limited their interest in friends trying to persuade them to a political point of view.
Over the past year, I’ve become very serious about blocking and hiding posts, which has made Facebook all that much more enjoyable. I usually start with blocking the source, even if it’s a reputable one, because if I figure if I ever want to view that source again, I can do so on my own. Not surprising, you can actually live without seeing a lot of those posts. Step 2 is hiding someone’s bitter, caustic rant, because I don’t want that energy in my feed. Then, if the person just won’t give it a rest, they’re unfriended. It’s that easy.
However, somewhere during my generation, people have decided to tie their political awareness to their real-life happiness. The result is that they’re simply not happy. Watching the day-to-day antics of the political arena and allowing that to determine if it’s a good day or not is a ticking time bomb. Plus, that causes you to ignore all the good things happening around you (and, they are) all because of what’s going on in Washington, D.C..
Well, even though that’s an insane way to live, you’re entitled to exist that way. It’s an unhappy, stress-filled, depressing existence, but that’s all you, baby.
So, it is at this most festive time of year that I would like to offer a Copy & Paster’s Guide to the Holidays. A convenient way to continue your discontent by simply copying and pasting these responses to some of the more commonly-used holiday and seasonal expressions. You’ll be the hit of Facebook!
When someone says…
Copy & Paste This
|Oh, for you! #45 is still president and there is so much injustice in this world. We’re killing the planet and fires are burning up California. You call that merry?|
“Happy New Year”
|How is it going to be ‘happy’? Unless they impeach #45, the tax cut will give more money to the rich, the planet is dying and we’re at the brink of nuclear war. How dare you be happy!|
“Look at this picture of my new niece”
|And look at the world she’s going to grow up in. With #45 as a president, she’s not going to have much of a world left. I feel sorry for her. Put that away!|
“What a beautiful sunset!”
|Yes, but we’ll wake up to another day of #45 as our so-called president. God knows what he’ll do to our country tomorrow, if he doesn’t begin a war and there is no tomorrow. How do you live with yourself?|
|Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you? That was intentional, just like #45 said those awful things on Entertainment Tonight. Excusing yourself is just asking for permission for something you meant to do. You monster.|
“The snow is beautiful”
|You sick bastard. It’s just earth’s way of covering up, just like #45 is doing with the Russia investigation.|
Think of all the time you’ll save and the people you’ll convince!
Or, you could prioritize your life to the positive realities around you. Yes, there is a lot of fixing to do in our world. This just in–there always has been. You think the 1960s and the decades that followed were perfect? However, positive changes occurred, influenced by people who cared and that you must always do. But funnel your energy to methods that will actually cause change. Donate to a group, volunteer hours, believe in positive evolution of our world.
Whining, living a bitter life, those kind of things don’t inspire people to adopt your point of view and you’re better than that. And while all that is going on, you’re missing out on some beautiful sunsets, snowy winter mornings and the sweet cooing sounds of a newborn baby.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.