Death Defying Radio Stunts
(The Best of WFMU's Seven Second Delay)
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A full-length CD on Gadfly Records

Liner Notes to Death Defying Radio Stunts
by Irwin Chusid

7 Second Delay

Track Listing for
Death Defying Radio Stunts

1. Angel vs. Devil
2. 100 Bottles of Beer
3. Giving the Listeners an IQ Test
4. More Bottles
5. Harrassing Toll Booth Attendants
6. More Bottles
7. Passover
8. The Last Bottles
You can buy the Death Defying Radio Stunts CD from:

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 Blowfish.

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 in focus."

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 Kentucky:

"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 <-