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Category Archives: Classic Chris and Dave
Life after WDGC finds me at NIU campus in DeKalb, IL. I stayed away from radio during my first year, but decided to join the staff of NIU radio station WKDI-FM in the fall of 1985, my sophomore year. As a newbee to the station, I land the Sunday morning 6-9am time slot. Not exactly the best time for a college student, nor does it typically provide the best audience size. But I take it anyway, and I drag Dave Jackson with me for my first show. Here is one bit where we are on the air together. My college radio career lasted exactly two weeks. I did not like the fact that I could not do my own thing – I was forced to abide by strict station format – no personality radio. Oh – did I mention – this wasn’t even a real radio station. It did not broadcast over the airwaves. It was more like cable radio. Only those in the college dorms could pick it up.
Season 3 Episode 9: This episode of “Get a Life” is from the very last Chris and Dave show – The Final Chapter. By now, we had the delivery and timing down for this. Included here are actually two callers. The first one is by far the liveliest contestant we ever had. The second caller is Fred Moore who wins the Grand Prize for the season! He was such a good sport that evening and never said anything about us talking for six straight hours on that last episode of the Chris and Dave Smorgasbord.
Season 3 Episode 9 – Chris and Dave: The Final Chapter. On this last broadcast of the Chris and Dave Smorgasbord, we invite WDGC-FM General Manager Fred Moore on the show to present several recognition awards to him including a sentimental plaque and a very seedy tie.
Season 3 Episode 8: The second to last Chris and Dave broadcast. This time we broadcast live from the moon! Of course we didn’t really think anyone would believe this – we were just having fun. I think we got a real kick out of doing the fake broadcast from the Carlisle six weeks prior that we decided to do something totally ludicrous that even the most gullible of listeners wouldn’t fall for it.
Season 3 Episode 8 – Baba Gonesh and his presentation of Comedy Camel. The question still stands – Do camels have tails, and if so are they hairy?
Season 3 Episode 7: Baba Gonesh stops by the studio to share a little “Comedy Camel” with the gang. Hey – these are just recycled elephant jokes!!!
Season 3 Episode 7: Another episode of Get A Life. The first life given away is a bit of an inside joke. Peet lost his job as buyer of Home Hardware earlier that day, so the life being given away ties in with that real life event.
Season 3 Episode 7: Canadian astrologer Mystical Melinda guest stars on the Chris and Dave show and takes calls from the listeners.
Season 3 Episode 5: Another episode of “Get a Life”. This caller was a real downer. In hindsight, she may have actually called to get a new life but all she got was this lousy bit.
Season 3 Episode 5: Chris and Dave try to get the skinny on the opening night performance of Roger Waters’ Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking Tour. We spoke to the events manager at the New Jersey Meadowlands Arena and got a verbal description of the performance.
Season 3 Episode 4: After getting the F-bomb delivered on a recent show, Chris and Dave take things into their own hands by creating their own delay system out of two reel-to-reel tape decks. It actually worked! So maybe it was a little late after 2 years of random incidents, but it was a feel-good to have finally accomplished this after so many prior failed attempts.
Season 3 Episode 4: This is an abbreviated episode where Peet delivers the prize for the caller. He is going off complete memory here because he lost the script. He almost slips with a word here…but then recovers before it goes out over the air. “We don’t have to cut off your…” what?
Season 3 Episode 4: Without a working delay system, Chris and Dave were often working without a safety net by taking live on-air phone calls. Here’s a caller who, besides being an absolute moron, calls up to request a song during a talk show. When we give him the business, he drops the F-bomb on us. One of a handful of times we were glad General Manager Fred Moore was not listening.
Season 3 Episode 3: Chris gets fired from his part-time job as a telemarketer for Time Magazine. The first half of this bit is Chris describing the job and what pressures the salespeople are under to meet a minimum quota. The second half is spent going through some actual scripts with Dave as the customer. After this job I returned to my safe and cozy job at Disc Jockey Records.
Season 3 Episode 3: We could never guarantee that any of our mail sent to us by our listeners would ever get to us. Often times we would find that other staff members would open our mail and post in on the station’s bulletin board before we would even get it. So we decided to establish a P.O. Box. But since we were cheap, we decided to ask Peet’s mom for permission to use her P.O. Box. This is us calling her to get her permission before giving the address out on the air.
Season 3 Episode 3: This the debut of the game show “Get a Life”, which was one of more popular features in season 3. Peet wrote all the “life” prizes that we gave away. Often times we didn’t even read the script until we got on the air so that it would be spontaneous. The life we give away on this first bit is another risque topic for a high school radio program, but somehow we got away with it. Fred Moore must have been out of town. You’ll hear that the kinks had not yet been worked out with how this game show would work, but the concept is still there.
Season 3 Episode 2: Chris and Dave’s live “broadcast” from the Carlisle Banquet Hall in Lombard. This was actually a fake remote broadcast with actual party sound effects to create the illusion of a real party taking place. Dave and I put together the background atmosphere soundtrack at the College of DuPage radio station sound effects library that morning. The show was apparently so realistic that listeners actually started to show up in droves to the Carlisle looking for Chris and Dave and the free food. The Carlisle called the radio station to complain as we were packing up for the evening. This was our little “War of the Worlds”. Too bad we didn’t get this good of a turn out for our real remote show from the Barn three months earlier! We actually got this idea while listening to all the other radio stations broadcasting from the Taste of Chicago. We thought it would be cool to have our own “Taste of the Smorg”. This is the entire broadcast from that evening.
Here’s a rare gem! The theme song from the 1984 season of the Chris and Dave Smorgasbord radio show. The artist is the Peter Moon Band out of Hawaii. In the 25+ years that have gone by since we signed off the air for the last time, I never heard this tune used anywhere else, nor do I even know whether the Peter Moon Band is still around. And please don’t email me about this. Chris and Dave switch to Friday nights for the third and final season at WDGC-FM.
Following a 6-week hiatus after getting suspended for parking my car on the radio station’s lawn, I wrote this script for General Manager Fred Moore to read. This opened up every Chris and Dave show in Season 3 (Summer of 1984). This bit served as a constant reminder that “Fred Moore doesn’t go to sleep at 8 o’clock.” The fact that Mr. Moore did this for us showed us he really wasn’t out to get us.
Chris and Dave took a break from one another during the 1983-1984 school year. Each did their own separate show. For a very brief period, Dave teamed up with Jerry and the result was a disaster. The chemistry was definitely not there. So this bit was Chris’s attempt to get the two together to hash out their differences.
Part 2 of 2: The Dating Game broadcast from Dave Jackson’s solo Sunday night show “Open Mind”. Find out who Kathy picks for a date at Ponderosa.
Part 1 of 2: This is a recording from Dave Jackson’s “Open Mind” Sunday night radio program. Chris joins as a special guest and hosts the Dating Game with Dave. Kathy Kelly, host of CATV’s Suburban Showcase, takes calls during the program and picks one lucky winner to take her to Ponderosa, which Chris and Dave judged as the restaurant having the best salad bar in the western suburbs.
Chris and Dave call various restaurants in the Downers Grove area in search of the best salad bar. The selected restaurant will be the destination for Chris and Dave’s winning couple of “The Dating Game” which airs the following evening. Peet joins Chris and Dave for this broadcast. The bit ends with a blooper.
There once was a “shopping cart lady” who frequented many retail outlets in the area. I spotted her on several occasions in different stores in my area, just walking aimlessly around the store for hours and filling up her shopping cart with miscellaneous merchandise. When she was finished, she would just leave her shopping cart behind for the store personnel to unload and restock the merchandise. One Saturday afternoon while working at my first job at Disc Jockey Records in Bolingbrook, the shopping cart lady came into our store and filled out a job application. This recording has me reading her application on the air. It’s not clear from this bit, but I can assure you that the shopping cart lady was not hired by our record store.
This is the bit that could have had me thrown off the radio for good (or my dad thrown in jail), if Mr. Moore our General Manager had only heard it while it was going on. I decided to have my girlfriend and her best friend on the show one week to guest DJ for an hour. They ended up taking calls, and boy did they ever attract an audience! Somehow the show evolved into a date line. The caller in this bit is actually my dad who was 43 at the time, but that little detail was not revealed to anyone. During the call he is trying to pick up these girls who are both about 16 or 17. This is seriously risky stuff. The second voice you hear on the phone at the end of the call is that of Peet, who was living with my dad and me at the time. The other voices you hear in the background in the studio toward the end of the bit are those of a few WDGC staff members who heard this going out over the air while driving in the area. They came in to yell at me for what I was doing. They couldn’t believe I was letting this dirty old man try to pick up these girls. I tried to explain it was my dad, but they wouldn’t hear it. They ended up describing this to Mr. Moore on Monday morning, but somehow I went unpunished. Go figure!This is from the Smorgasbord Saturday Night program where I teamed up with Geoff Beran for the season.
Admittedly, we stole this concept from Chicago Radio’s Steve Dahl where he tried to call the U.S. Embassy back during the hostage crisis in 1979. I remember when Fred Moore got the bill for this phone call. International calls were pretty expensive back in 1983. Somehow he knew it was us and made us pay up. I remember having to save several weeks’ worth of allowance to pay for this. What a way to spend New Year’s Eve. Dave Jackson fills in for Geoff Beran on this episode from Season 2.
This was always a great way to run out the clock on a late-night show. One of the more popular features of Season 2 (Smorgasbord Saturday Night) was Talent Line. It wasn’t anything too original, but it allowed our listeners to call in and have 15 seconds of fame. Co-hosting this season with me was Geoff Beran.
Here is a really rare gem. Wayne Lela, Downers Grove local and resident of the Tivoli Hotel, made a run for President of the United States. He didn’t do so well in the New Hampshire primaries, but he began his campaign on the Chris and Dave show. This is an exclusive interview with Wayne during a summer broadcast of the Chris and Dave show. Wayne also had a classical music radio show on our radio station late night Sundays. A 33-year old “moral conservative”, Mr. Lela would regularly tune in to high school station WDGC-FM to monitor rock and roll lyrics, language, and program content. He would then submit a list of complaints to Fred Moore (and quite possibly to the FCC). Surprisingly, Wayne never gave Chris and Dave a hard time – and there were certainly opportunities for him to do so! He even made an appearance at our Tivoli Bowling Alley remote broadcast and played the drums. It’s funny listening back to this broadcast now at age 41. At the time of this broadcast I was 16 and I knew next to nothing about politics or what a “conservative” or “liberal” really meant in terms of policy.Wayne considered himself a conservative, yet now knowing a great deal more about politics, there is very little conservatism in Mr. Lela’s 1984 platform described during this broadcast. You can occasionally find some of Mr. Lela’s social commentary out there on the internet. Funny how it all started back on the Chris and Dave show. By the way, Ronald Reagan went on to win that election.
Dave and I ended up doing a Wednesday morning show during spring break 1983. Dave had a directory of all the high school and college radio stations in the country. We thought it would be cool to call a station in Wyoming and talk to one of the on-air talents there. We ended up reaching a young gal by the name of Tracy Blake who worked at station KYDZ-FM. She was a pretty cool sport about it and that conversation is presented here. I wonder what she is up to today.
Chris and Dave speak with Bear Bryant from Lindenwood College Radio Station KCLC-FM in St. Louis Missouri. It was pretty cool being put on the air on their station as well. This was from a special Wednesday edition broadcast of the Smorg show which we covered during spring break. Dave had a directory of other high school and college radio stations in the country and we spent the morning calling around and talking to other deejays.
Jerry loses his radio show after being required to re-audition for a program. This is Jerry calling Chris and Dave to explain what went down.
There is a story behind the infamous bell that you hear on the Chris and Dave show. It actually started in late 1982 shortly after the HPs came on the show and did their “Mr. Brown Can Moo” tune. Chris went over to a band member’s home to watch them rehearse. Chris saw a bell that someone had as a part of a board game. Chris mentioned that it would be nice to have a bell for the show whenever we did our game shows. The HPs then donated the bell to the show. But after a few weeks, Chris and Dave wanted to move on and not have the HPs on the show anymore, but they kept calling us. When we were a bit more forceful about it they demanded their bell back. I’m not exactly sure how it all escalated from there, but apparently somebody’s mom became involved. Due to the hassle of wrapping, getting to the post office and paying shipping costs to mail the bell back, there was a standoff in getting the bell returned. Eventually another devoted fan of the Smorg Show donated her bell to Chris and Dave – and that one was for keeps! This recording is a series of snippets highlighting the on-air banter about the bell.
Another classic excerpt from late 1982, the first season of the Chris and Dave Smorgasbord. I believe Dave was attending a Rush concert on this particular Saturday, so I asked Jerry to fill in for Dave that evening. Earlier that week, Jerry had found a memo in the radio station that someone on the WDGC staff had typed up as a joke to the rest of the staff warning everyone to be on alert for a “man in red hair seen spreading a disturbing odor across the area”. I realize about half way through the reading of this who they were referring to in the memo.
This was one of the earliest recordings I have on record of Jerry doing his own radio show. Jerry had accidentally left his hat behind in the studio one day and I learned that someone on the staff had gone “number one all over it”. I phoned Jerry to tell him about it. The next weekend, I turned on his radio show and he was actually talking about this incident in great detail. Fortunately I had a tape recorder on hand and I captured the bit. I love how at the beginning of the story Jerry says he doesn’t want to “name any names”, but he pretty much reveals everyone’s identity as the story unfolds.
Dave learns to cook with Judy the Child. This is the first show that used pre-recorded material after Fred Moore imposed new rules on our program. This was recorded in Chris’s home studio.
This is the bit that got us in big trouble toward the end of our 3rd show. Listening to it now, it is quite tame relative to the other things we did, but I don’ t think Fred Moore had warmed up to us quite yet. Plus, this predates all our other questionable bits so maybe we were still operating at a low baseline. I had created a 7-second delay system to prevent any profanities from going out over the airwaves when we put callers on the air. I created the delay system using two reel-to-reel tape decks. The first tape deck recorded the on-air comments live. I then fed the tape from that machine over to the second tape deck that was used for playback on the air. It took about 7 seconds for the recorded tape from the first tape deck to reach the playback heads of the second tape deck. This allowed us to take phone calls live on the air by recording it. If the caller swore or said something inappropriate, we would be able to stop the tape before it got on the air. Well, we abused the technology and this is what it sounded like. This is actually a re-broadcast of the original bit during our final show on the air. We followed it with a re-enactment of Mr. Moore calling us to deliver his 9 commandments.
This is a clip from one of our more favorite on-air moments from Season 1. This enthusiastic bunch of pre-teens called up on our second show. Their band was called the HPs (abbreviation for Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss). This gave us the idea that the phone should be used more during our shows making the program more interactive with the audience. It was strange many years later when I had a child of my own, I would read this story to my daughter and I found myself delivering the lines in the same rhythm as this band’s delivery here.
This bit is from Chris and Dave’s debut broadcast. “Homework Hotline” was designed to help our listeners with their homework assignments. During our first broadcast, we received a call from a sophomore student at Glenbard South High School. She phoned in with some tough Algebra problems. Nothing was too tough for Dave Jackson who had already completed Advanced Algebra the year before. A bit of Smorg trivia: This caller ends up making a significant contribution to the Smorgasbord radio program: For starters she donated the game show bell that you hear repeatedly throughout all three Smorg seasons. She was also one of the two girls on the “Date Line” broadcast from 03-03-84 who chats with the 43-year old man. Oh – and Chris ends up dating her for the next three years.