Well, I think it’s about time to end this series. I haven’t quite managed to post a new one every day, but when you count the Soup of the Day, the reviews and the Will Dylan Eat It? series (more coming soon), not to mention taking time off for booze and porn (that will be the last “booze and porn” excuse, I promise – maybe), I haven’t done too badly. On average, I’ve had something new posted every two or three days, which comes close enough to hitting my goal to make me happy, especially considering the kind of work that goes into things like my review of Superman: Doomsday or a typical Will Dylan Eat It. Between myself and the Maitre d’, we’ve put over thirty articles online in the month since the Buffet went live. This means that we have the Holy Grail of webdom: content. It also means that if you’re reading this and think it’s marginally funny, you might want to sign up and post a comment or two.
Just because the Chef’s Article-A-Day is closing doesn’t mean I won’t be posting. For the moment, we just won’t have that fake pressure of “having” to post something semi-regularly, which frees up the Chef’s porn-infested imagination because he can relax some. The schedule’s probably even going to remain the same, except things will go under Mystery Meat or some other category instead of this one.
There, now that the shameless cry for attention and recognition is done, we can get on with the final section of the Chef’s college scrapbook. Behold on your right the horrors of 1998. I created that cruddy thing for the original Dead Air Time web site sometime around then. I’m not sure why it was saved in .GIF format. I probably didn’t know any better back then. It actually looks worse than I remember. It contains most of the cast members, their hangers-on, some of our skit characters, and assorted inside jokes that I’m not going to explain because after ten years they’re just not funny anymore. Except maybe the lemur with the giant inflatable cartoon hammer. That one’s still good.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, and by now you’re probably wondering yet again if the Chef has wandered off into the wastelands of senility. I probably will in a few days, but not just yet. Let me go back a few pages and explain just who the hell those weirdos in the picture are and why they’re part of the world’s worst photo mosaic with the title of a bad college radio show on it.
Note that the Chef “borrowed” some of these jokes from the original “History of Dead Air Time” article from 1998. – Editor
The history of Dead Air Time begins with the history of comedy itself. Comedy dates back to 12,000 years ago, during the Paleolithic period. This was a time when the flint hand-axe represented the height of technology and you had a fear of going outside because you might get hit by giant pterodactyl droppings. Comedy was invented when an enterprising Cro-Magnon named Unga would throw rocks at his friend Urka to amuse their mates. Sadly, this early comedy was fairly limited. The only dynamic was the invention of the wheel, which allowed Unga to roll large boulders on top of Urka. Unfortunately, this resulted in the death of Urka, which meant that they couldn’t repeat the gag for a new audience. Thus, the secrets of humor were lost for thousands of years until the ancient Egyptians rediscovered it when a slave accidentally used mummy wrappings as bathroom tissue.
Fast-forward a few million years, three weeks and two days from Urka’s funeral, to the year 1997. A balding but no less enterprising Cro-Magnon named Peter B. Yohe found the fossilized remains of Urka’s crushed body beneath the dirt floor of a barn in southwest Virginia and proclaimed, “Hey, let’s do that to Phil!”
Fortunately, comedy had made great strides in the intervening millennia. Instead of mere rocks, Pete had access to a much more effective way of hitting someone over the head and dragging them back to his cave (well, dorm room, but there’s very little difference). This weapon of comedic mass destruction was known as the radio.
For reasons unknown even to himself, Pete went to the college station and decided to sign up for a two-hour time slot at 9 on Friday nights. Not many people listened to the college station, partly because its transmitter was a Playskool baby monitor and it was hard to pick up the signal from more than fifteen feet away. The other part was that I don’t think anybody wanted to admit they listened to the college station even if they did. As small as the station’s audience was normally, it was even smaller on Friday nights. Most of the listeners were probably frat boys who were too drunk to change the station.
As things turned out, Pete realized that he couldn’t fill those two hours of air time with bad comedy and worse music by himself. Naturally, he recruited a couple of friends into helping. Here’s where I come in, folks. Phil and the Chef were tapped as assistant talent, and after moving the large boulder off of Phil, we agreed.
At the time, I was a Mass Communications (also known as Mass Communism due to the professors’ political leanings) major and, if I remember correctly, so was Phil. It seemed natural for us to be involved. Of course, Mountain Dew also claims to have ‘natural’ flavors, which I suspect is the same kind of relationship.
I’d like to say that the first show was a success. I’d also like to say that I have a twelve-inch wang, a billion dollars in the bank, six homes and a Ferrari in my garage. Sadly, none of those are true, and I don’t even have a garage. The first show wasn’t a disaster, but it certainly was rocky. At first, the show didn’t even have a name. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t until the second hour that the name “Dead Air Time” popped out of Pete’s mouth, meaning our show actually had a title and some illusion of legitimacy.
That was one thing that had been drilled into everyone at the DJ orientation meeting. The one unforgivable sin in radio is “never let there be dead air”. Dead air time is the one thing you don’t want on the radio (well, actually, there are others, but we’d get around to most of those eventually). So naturally, our show became known as Dead Air Time.