Listeners of WFMU's weekly phone-in show 7 Second Delay
(7SD) know Andy Breckman as the lovable, huggable, light-hearted
co-host; a radio Everyman whose angst-ridden encounters with life's
little speedbumps touch the hearts of millions and stimulate
reflection on The Human Condition.
The reality, of course, is that Andy Breckman is a bubbling
cauldron of tranquilizers, vodka, anxiety and fear. He's no
different than any other volatile, deranged individual -- all he
wants is to push innocent bystanders onto the tracks and be given a
fair shake. Is this too much to ask?
7SD, which debuted on WFMU (91.1
FM) in 1992, is unlike any radio talk show currently on the air,
in that it has almost no listeners. Andy's girlfriend Beth tunes in
occasionally. Co-host Ken Freedman's wife, Hank, shields their two
young kids from the radio during airtime; they want their tots to
benefit from positive role models. Some guy known as
"Mick from Lodi" calls regularly, checking in like a
barfly at some skanky topless dive. Andy claims he has fans (a
common delusion among folk-singers). Actually, it's a fact that 7SD
beats Dr. Laura in the Wednesday 6-7 PM slot--a phenomenon partly
attributable to 7SD's appeal, and to the fact that Dr. Laura is
heard 9-11 AM. On the upside, if you're tired of standing in line at
the bank, sick of waiting at the supermarket checkout, and fed up
with lengthy queues at the video store--dial up 7SD. There's
never a long line of callers.
Radio is an illusory medium. Listeners think 7SD is Andy's show,
because he does most of the talking. But Ken selects each program's
topic (often rejecting up to 35 of Andy's knuckleheaded schemes);
writes the script (overseeing a staff of 20 gagwriters-all
volunteers, of course); screens callers; cues the pre-recorded
laugh track; and conducts the orchestra that plays the show's faux
James Bond theme. Ken, who runs the program, is Hootie, Andy a mere
As WFMU general manager, and thus the man responsible for Andy
remaining on the air, Ken views the show as a public
service-outpatient therapy for a severely disturbed individual who,
unless otherwise distracted, would be lurking in school-yards and
tripping fire-alarms at the Empire State Building.
7SD is Ken and Andy's modest little attempt at humor. It's
Reaganite in concept. Call it Trickle Down Mirth: You make a few
people chuckle, they feel good. Next day, they go 'round making
others guffaw, thus sharing the comic wealth. Of course, like an
economic cycle, there are downturns, and on 7SD it's not all laughs.
One time Andy and Ken called a nursing home and made an elderly lady
cry on the air. "It was so poignant," insisted Breckman.
"We touched a nerve." Critics disagreed: "A new
low," they sneered, "even for WFMU."
"Our shows make all these abrupt left and right turns as far
as subjects and topics go," Breckman observed. "That's
because I can't focus, I have no training in this stuff. Or, for
that matter, in much of anything else." Some would dispute this
confession of ignorance Andy knows four jokes-all quite funny in
1972-which he pathetically rotates like bald Uniroyals. He has an
impressive familiarity with the washed-up band Poco, knowledge he
generously shares with listeners. Sadly out of touch. he once made a
reference to "Beck': he was, naturally, talking about Jeff.
But don't let Andy fool you: he's not the patsy he seems. Though
he's capitalized on his alleged reputation as a "loser,"
in 1992, he shocked everyone-including his family and closest
friends-by copping the People magazine "Sexiest
Man Alive" honors. You're probably expecting a punchline
here-but no joke. Look it up. He finished second the following year
(right behind Alan Greenspan).
Making people laugh is a great public service; but equally
important to Ken and Andy is the small but essential role they play
in the international Zionist conspiracy. As Jews, it's their
birthright to control some facet of the media. Ken runs WFMU. Andy
has been on probation with the Elders of Zion since age 13, when he
added bawdy limericks to his Bar Mitzvah haftorah. Unable to
legitimately participate in Jewish media domination, he's cultivated
a little sideline his "lemonade stand"--writing
screenplays for Hollywood studios. Andy's movies have been severely
underrated, particularly by the ticket-buying public. And yet,
there's a lot you can say about them. Most of the dialogue is in
English. And, as Breckman likes to point out, "They're always
But 7SD is where Andy and Ken hope to etch out a legacy. Every
week, for one hour, they have a chance to make history. So far,
every week, they've blown it. But there's always next time. As long
as Ken remains the show's co-host and WFMU general manager,
there's little chance of cancellation.
7SD will persevere, honoring a proud tradition that stretches
back to 1892. That year, in what history records as the world's
first radio-relayed message, Nathan Stubblefield transmitted these
immortal words to his friend Rainey Wells across a yard in
"Rainey, I'm a long-time listener,
a first-time caller, and I love the show!"
Listen to Seven Second Delay every Wednesday from 6:00 - 7:00pm (Eastern) on...
-> WFMU 91.1FM, Jersey City, NJ & 90.1FM, Hudson Valley, NY <-