fake-banter radio ads make me want to strangle a baby in its crib

There’s a new, extremely popular strain of radio ad going around that follows the “fake morning zoo banter” model, and it’s infuriating.

The basic premise is that suddenly you’re hearing “the gang” talking about what’s going on on TV lately. There’s the macho dickhead “shock jock” cracking jokes about the “hot chicks” on the show, there’s the bubbly dickbreath intern whore giggling about what the guy’s saying, there’s the ex-fratboy commenting on the show in “foreign” accents, and so on. THe idea is to trick you into thinking that these people are real DJ’s on the radio having a real, candid discussion in which they just happen to inadvertently shill for the latest NBC/CBS/etc. show -

Shock Jock: Yeah, bro, Surface looks totally awesome.
Dickbreath Intern Slut: I know, right?!
Fratboy Jock: So what time’s it on, anyway?
Shock Jock: 9pm on NBC’s, dumbass!
[insert fart noise or pig snorting or any other given “morning zoo” sound effect[

You know what? FUCK these guys, and fuck this ad campaign. It sums up everything wrong with commercial radio - vacous subhumans put in front of the microphone - and everything wrong with mendacious modern advertising.

This isn’t new. Howard Stern has been doing it for years.

Morning radio is crap. Always has been and once I realized it, I started listening to NPR and it is so much better.

You’re not quite getting what the OP is saying.

This doesn’t have anything to do with morning radio, or Stern’s live ads, or stupid morning DJs.

These spots are put together in a studio somewhere to make it sounds like people having a conversation and distributed to stations.

“Boy, this Earl show looks good. It doesn’t look like a sitcom. After watching a few episodes, you really start to like the guy.”

“Sounds good. When’s it on?”

It is VERY VERY annoying. Yes, baby-strangling annoying.

They still pale in comparison to radio ads that include car horns, or worse, sirens. I hate when I hear those in my car, always makes me think I just cut someone off or need to pull over or something.

They still don’t piss me off as much as the “two people having a casual conversation, in which they seem to know far too much about some marginal product or service and make sure to repeat the product name about 10 times because both have obvious short-term memory issues.” Particularly the subset known as “idiot husband, sensible wife.” As in,

Husband: Well, I think I’ll go out and fix the roof with used cardboard and thumbtacks!
Wife: You’ll just fall off, crack your spine, and become a quadriplegic again. Why don’t you just call Acme Roofing?
H: What’s Acme Roofing?
W: Acme is the top-rated roofing company in the tri-state area - they’ve won accolades from the Better Business Bureau, the International Roofing Conference, and the United Nations. And they use only top-quality, environmentally friendly materials - not like that second-rate stuff you’d be able to buy.
H: D’oh!
W: And their work comes with an unprecendented 50-year guarantee! Acme Roofing is the only logical choice for our roofing needs!
H: Wow! Acme Roofing sounds like a great choice! I’ll call them right now!
W: The number is 555-ROOF!
H: Why do you have their number memorized?
W: Because I’m sleeping with the owner.
Voice-over: Acme Roofing - call 555-ROOF for your free estimate today!

Except for the fact that there is no inane banter on NPR and no ads for that matter.

Satellite radio is the best $12.95 per month I’ve ever spent.

Yes, both companies have these types of idiotic shows on. But, with 150 other choices, I can find something worthwhile to listen to without idiotic morning shows, commericals, product placement, and without having to haul a cd folder around.

I’ll go further…the fact that so much of morning drivetime radio is given over either to shock-jocks or fatuous duos who banter aimlessly through dumb jokes and innuendos, and seem to think they’re the coolest thing since sliced bread – is exactly the problem. It’s also what got me off of commercial rock radio completely, but in retrospect that’s not a bad thing at all.

And you’ll not miss it, I guarantee it. I stopped listening to commercial radio when I started home health nursing–I spent all day in my car (where I do most of my listening). I never realized how often songs are replayed–and the commercials! And what passes for news!

I found NPR and never looked back. I stopped home health a few years ago–but my kids know that when I am driving–it’s NPR.
I would love to try satellite, but have no $$ for such.

I listened to NPR for years. However, it tends to get stuck in grooves as often as commercial radio does, even if the groves are harder to recognize. It seems like whenever a major news story hits, they just keep hitting the same story from every conceivable angle for days on end. I stopped listening all the time when the war in Iraq started, because I got tired of hearing about how many people had died, how many bombs there were, who had been kidnapped that day, how Americans back home felt about all of it, etc. etc. etc. I had the choice between the 10-second snapshots on commercial radio or TV, or the long, drawn-out versions of the same stories produced by NPR. Since I can’t stop the war, or do much to help bring it to an early close, I can at least choose not to listen to stories about it all the way to work and back.

That said, I also HATE most of the morning radio shows around here. I can’t believe the 6am banter about sex, masturbation, getting drunk, getting laid, etc. that is on the radio in the morning. When I drove my teenage daughter to school, I absolutely refused to let her tune in those stations.

We did find one that is a bit more acceptable, and actually interesting and amusing sometimes, at least in the morning. For my afternoon commute home, I tune into an oldies’ station that doesn’t have a DJ, and which has at least three decades (instead of three weeks) worth of songs on their playlist.

I also like to listen to books on CD–especially Harry Potter.

Both of the rock stations here have the “Stupid and Stupider” talk shows on in the mornings. There aren’t words to describe how much I loathe those shows, so I won’t try. I think the stations do it because it’s cheaper than having to pay a live DJ. I could be wrong on that, because I don’t know how much DJs make versus how much they have to pay for that syndicated shit.

Good Og, that’s like half of the radio commercials around here. Like you said, it’s always the man that knows nothing, and the woman that knows all the mechanics at the service department of Acme Ford are ACSE certified, or that all work of Acme Heating and Plumbing, serving the Tri-County area since 1963, is guaranteed for 20 years. Acme Heating and Plumbing - 555-HEAT. That’s 555-HEAT. Five. Five. Five. H. E. A. T. Visit us on the Web at acmeheatingandplumbing.com. 555-HEAT. 555-4328. Acme Heating and Plumbing. You’ll be glad you called.

I’m going to pause my typing, for another Mortgage Minute by Manhattan West. Roger, why don’t you tell the readers of the Straight Dope Message Board about your new 20 year variable APR mortgage for those who have less than 10% down …

“There are sounds in this world that are very soothing…then there are sounds that, when you hear them, they make you want to punch a baby. God forbid you’re in a nursery when you hear the sound! You’ll go on a baby-punching tangent! POW Waaah! POW Waaah! God, help me! It’s the sound that makes me punch infants!”

  • Dane Cook