Scotty Crane & Johnny Seattle, Broadcasters, WCKG
105.9FM Shaken, Not Stirred
following interview was conducted with Scott Crane,
upon request, on the 5th March 2004, after Scotty
sent us a request to showcase some of his work, including
his parody of Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of Christ'.
Scotty got his request, and we got what we wanted
- the interview, and new friends "in the business"
up in Chicago.
and Johhny tell it straight in this entertaining interview
(much of which was prepared in the past), but the
interviewer at that time didn't run it, so we will!
(that's the disclaimer folks).
"Welcome back to 'Shaken, Not Stirred' --we meet
once a week and systematically alienate 95% of the
American public. You, my friend, are part of the five
percent. What does that mean? Well, I'm not sure there
really is a common denominator-- but you're probably
not a Christian Scientist, a fundamentalist, a right
wing extremist, a left wing extremist, or a cop. And
there's a very high probability that you get hammered
once in a while, and-- say, call your high school
gym teacher, stalk a meter maid, live in a tool shed,
that sort of thing. Whatever your problem may be,
and you do have one-- Scotty and I are willing to
accept you for whoever you are-- as long as you're
doing the best you can. That's all we ask."
"Shaken, Not Stirred" radio show
Broadcast 10.06. - WCKG 105.9 FM - Chicago
How do you define political
correctness, and what is hypocritical about it?
SCOTTY: Well, I think the underlying principle of
political correctness is probably a good one-- one
grounded in sensitivity and understanding and tolerance
-- the problem, I think, is the PRACTICE and EFFECT
of political correctness -- which seems to be a
sort of collective suppression--
JOHNNY: Right. It's become a convention-- like politeness.
SCOTTY: It's kind of ironic, really. I mean the whole
idea is to embrace multi-culturism -- but in practice,
it seems to have the opposite effect -- people don't
speak their minds because they're afraid of crossing
some line. So in effect people QUIT acknowledging
differences -- because they quit having dialogues.
JOHNNY: Diversity is supposed to be our strength.
SCOTTY: Instead, people want to pretend it doesn't
exist. We should know. We're middle-class white guys.
JOHNNY: Yeah. We're down.
Our idea is to fight suppression by lampooning everything
and everyone we possibly can.
JOHNNY: It's better than our original idea -- which
was chia neckwear.
Really, though. You can call our humor centrist, or
politically incorrect, whatever, the fact is we're
creating dialogue -- And we're doing it with laughter
and painful subject matter. We'll offend people -
it's inevitable. It comes with the territory. But
we don't exclude anyone - especially not ourselves.
JOHNNY: Without diversity we'd be sunk.
would you say to those you have offended?
you tell me what's funny about: Homeless Native Americans?
Paraplegic Viet Nam Veterans? Homosexuals? and Prostitutes?
I give up. What?
There are certain things that those types of people
do, that in the right context can be extremely funny.
There's no categorical imperative for humor. But every
joke has a voice and a motive, and we trust ours.
Sometimes we push the envelope. There's been times
when we feel we've crossed our own lines, and we won't
air a skit, because it's too dark, or the motive isn't
And to tell you the truth, we've done a bit of audience
research, and the people who've seen the dark side
of life, seem to laugh the hardest when they can relate
to the material -- when the jokes hit home.
So basically were doing a public service, were like
Bob Hope in a war zone.
Your skits are imbued with a
pervasive cynicism and futility - what happened to
It killed the cat didn't it?
That was curiosity.
Well, anyway -- joking about painful stuff is a defense
mechanism, right? So in a sense it's there to perserve
gone wrong with radio today?
Where to begin? I guess for starters, it's unimaginative.
This is liable to sound kind of hoaky: But in a general
way, in a collective way -- radio just doesn't believe
in itself, anymore.
TV took all the wind out of its sails. Then cable
TV. Then the Internet.
Radio just doesn't look at itself as a medium for
So it sets the bar too low. It panders. When it does
find a good thing it tries to stretch it out, or water
it down, in order to "maximize its inventory
value." I guess the root of the problem, like
just about everything else in our culture these days
-- is money.
Yeah. Have you ever called the ad department of a
radio station? Jesus, they're like sharks. And it's
that way all the way up the ladder.
You've got radio executives implementing practices
like this new compressor -it takes the pauses out
of peoples sentences -- all so they can squeeze an
extra thirty seconds of "inventory" into
an hour's worth of programming. No matter that it
destroys cadence, and rhythm, and dramatic pauses-they've
generated a couple hundred bucks of revenue.
Right. Why not create better programming and sell
your "inventory" for higher prices. Create
a demand. That way your sales reps don't have to act
Yeah. They can drive red Fiero's and wear cowboy boots.
The bottom line is -- that radio has largely abandoned
the Theatre of the Mind. It's abandon it's greatest
asset -- this collaborative relationship between program
and audience -- the creative dynamic between storyteller
and listener. It's completely unlike the cinematic
sensibility, which is dictatorial -- Radio, at it's
best, is suggestive; it relies on the listener's input.
Now, radio executives will argue that radio is more
collaborative than ever.
JOHNNY: I guess you could say that our personal target
audience doesn't even listen to the radio anymore,
beyond background-- because there's very little worth
We're here to bring those people back.
At least the ones with nothing better to do.
is right with radio today?
I think there are a few smart radio executives that
are looking forward and seeing that they need to reinvent,
or the ships gonna sink. Most radio programmers just
copy what successful stations do. So all it takes
is a couple of cutting edge radio programmers to really
make some waves. When you look at it that way, it
almost seems hopeful. Then you sober up and realize
that the ship started sinking 20 years ago. And then
you try and figure out where you parked the car last
do you like on the radio currently?
Speaking for myself, Harry Shearer, Phil Hendrie and
Howard Stern are all radio gods. Although, since 9.11,
both Hendrie and Stern have been sounding pretty conservative.
It's a phase. I also think Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla
can be very funny.
do you think of: Tom Leykis, Opie and Anthony, Rush
Limbaugh, and Dr. Laura?
They're all considered innovators of a sort. How scary
would you describe your show?
If it's adjectives you're after, I'd say: Unpredictable.
Audacious. Irreverent. A variety show hosted by two
diametrically opposed personalities, who share the
same mental illness. I see the show as a forum for
philosophic inquiry and potty humor.
is unique about your show?
Well, there's nothing else like it. The format is
unusual. The perspective is unusual. And the content
Yea, and where else are you going to hear Ronnie James
Dio and Dean Martin in the same hour?
is the goal of your show?
To make people pee their pants laughing.
you think it will succeed?
Yes. We're extremely confident it will work. And in
many ways it's already quite a success. I think it's
a much different listening experience than what people,
especially young people, are accustomed to. It's much
more of an active listening. We've had a number of
people tell us that it's a great group listening experience,
as well -- which I think is a very unique quality
for a radio program -- radio listening is usually
an insular activity -- alone in your car and all that.
me about your cast, who does the voices?
Daryl Affleck, Andrew Higgins, Jerald Armstrong, Scotty's
mom-- and of course me and Scotty-- the six of us
handle the bulk of it.
Our cast is about the most eclectic group of people
you could assemble in a small room. A video game designer.
A kaleidoscope salesman. A gay waiter. A professional
Football player. A retired Mob henchman. And a Hollywood
They are a diverse and extremely gifted group of people
who feel as if they've somehow been lured into the
depths of Scotty and I's depravity -- but the truth
is, I think they like it.
They all have one thing in common. They've all got
a healthy sense of humor. And they can all laugh at
themselves. Except for Johnny. I really think he has
It's true. I'm the one with problems. Scott has the
are there not more women in your cast?
It's just a coincidence really. I mean there's about
four of us who do the majority of the voices -- and
we all happen to be male. Aspiring female cast members
are encouraged to send us demo tapes.
Because, as John Belushi said "women aren't funny."
I'm joking, of course. But seriously, he really did
say that. It's a good thing Lorne Michaels didn't
listen to him. Other wise we wouldn't know Gilda Radner,
Tina Fey or even Maya Rudolph. I think part of the
answer to your question is that society in general
has never really encouraged girls to impersonate anyone
other than June Cleaver and Barbie. Consequently,
it's harder to find women interested in this form
of art. Sad as that is to say.
do you create your characters?
More often than not, they just sort of impose themselves
on us. Our only rule is that each character must represent
one or more of the seven deadly sins. (Pride, envy,
gluttony, lust, wrath, greed, sloth.) With that as
a foundation, you'll never run out of dilemmas.
much is spontaneous and how much is pre-meditated?
85% is spontaneous. 14% is premeditated. And the remaining
3% is both.
I'd say most of the show is definitely post-medicated.
you name your influences for "Shaken, Not Stirred"?
Late night Television, beer, and a lot of L.S.D.
are your on air personas different from your real
In many ways we're quite opposite. The volume's about
the same, though. And I am a drunk.
so many drug references?
The dark side of drug culture can be pretty disturbing,
but also pretty funny -particularly in retrospect.
you think it's wise to promote drugs?
I don't think that anyone who really listened to our
show would think we are "promoting drugs."
We paint a pretty bleak picture of drug abuse.
do you see the show taking you-- what lies beyond?
I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it-we've
talked about changing mediums-- but our plate's plenty
full at the moment, so we'll just see what sort of
opportunities the future brings.
there anything you'd rather be doing?
More of the same. The only way I can think of improving
our present situation is to not have to concentrate
so much on business dialogues, sponsorships, promotions,
etc., and be in the studio or at the typewriter creating
me about your upbringing?
We'll let you know when we're finished.
then, tell me about your parents?
Both of my parents were actors. Actually, my Dad started
out on radio. He was labeled "the King of the
L.A. Airwaves," and he was "#1 in the morning"
on CBS radio in L.A. for about five years. He broke
a lot of rules and is considered one of talk radio's
innovators. I remember when I was about four or five,
he'd set me up with a tape recorder, a turn table
and a microphone - and let me play DJ. Basically I'd
just introduce Kiss songs, talk to myself, and sing
along. So I guess for me, a better answer to the question
about my influences, would be my parents. They taught
me everything I know. So blame them.
My father is 67-year-old bodybuilder and my mom likes
you grew up you wanted to?
Be a bank robber.
I wanted to live above a gas station. I liked the
were your heroes?
Willie Mays and John Steinbeck.
The usual, Kristy McNichol and Gene Simmons.
5 words or less, say something funny?
the interview folks. Stay tuned for another totally
original interview and skit, brought to you by Media
Man Australia and Scotty and Johnny at Shaken, Not
- Scotty Crane - 8th March 2004
King of Men" skit - with Sylvester Stallone as
(audio from Scotty Crane's Shaken, Not Stirred
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