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Thursday, February 07, 2008

What's right with Conway & Whitman's radio show illustrates what's so wrong with Adam Carolla's

You should have heard Tim Conway Jr. and Brian Whitman, the night team on KLSX Radio in LA (where Adam Carolla whiles away the mornings) break down Larry King’s Snoop Dogg interview last night. It was a casual radio classic: two guys stopping and starting a tape and riffing on it, cracking each other up, and in the process, entertaining a wide audience.

As we were laughing out loud in the car, we realized that what’s right about these two guys, paired up by management in 2005 after Conway’s partner, old Midwestern comedy writer Dennis Ray Steckler was bounced, demonstrate what’s so wrong about the failed yet highly-paid morning man.

Among other serious deficiencies, Carollas’s got no one to bounce jokes or ideas off. Since he maneuvered the ouster of Danny Bonaduce, a cohost who was more than his equal in experience and charisma (yet who gamely took the second chair), he continues his self-indulgent monotony in a vacuum. His fawning, self-described “news girl” is like a nervous beaten puppy, trying to please her master by parroting the ends of his sentences, while the only other on air voices are those of crew members who act like members of a jock club of which Carolla is president.

In a radio roundup a few years back, weeks before Carolla was handed the microphone, we’d listed Conway & Whitman under “Sad” because of the way they’d simply carried on the Conway-Steckler shtick and bits. In the time since, though, they’ve developed their own chemistry and style, and when they’re doing live shows from bars or casinos, urging women to pull off their shirts, they’ve settled into a rare, classic talk radio groove. Conway has always been one of the driest, most cynical old school wits in radio, more Hollywood Park than Hollywood, and Whitman, a radio impressionist, is quick and very funny, with a very good Rick Dees.

One sour note: We almost didn’t make it to the Larry King bit, thanks to a bit, featuring a woman called “Robin” reading the news in an exaggerated Margaret Dumont voice, that was so annoying we’d switched stations until she went away. Whether she’s a consultant’s addition, someone's wife or another Whitman voice, she needs to go.

You can probably find Conway & Whitman's King-Snoop (and "Robin with the news") segment here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

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The stuff they did with Jesse Jackson was a riot, trying to translate his speeches (Conway and Steckler).

the herald said...

You know, Conway and Whitman love Carolla (Whitman even calls in from time to time playing different people). They also had a bit called "Will Danny Kill It?" Which was basically replaying Carolla segments and making fun of the horrible Bondauce everytime he killed a bit. Which was all the freaking time. So I agree with you for once, Tabloid baby. Conway and Whitman are great. And they have such good taste.

Anonymous said...

Adam also said Brian Whitman's "a sidekick, a co-host, a support player -- not a lead." In comparison to Danny, who's the opposite. Interesting observation.

Anonymous said...

That "Robin" voice is a dead-on impersonation of Stern's sidekick Ms. Quivers. Very funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to agree about Carolla's show, it sucks!!! And it's completely unlistenable. I can't imagine that his sorry show gets any kind of ratings. They seriously need to drop this loser and quick!! He's wasting valuable LA Radio airspace for krissakes!

On a sad note, it was announced last week that Brian David Whitman has left the Conway and Whitman show. It's too bad because these guys had something special. I really think that within another year or two they could've been in national syndication. Well maybe. There was definately some great radio chemistry there. And Brian's endless impersonations were always hilarious. I mean how many people could he do?? So funny, and so gone. Too bad. It was great while it lasted.

Here's a message board created for all the fans of the old (and now CLASSIC) show:
http://pub24.bravenet.com/forum/2032146780

Anonymous said...

Carolla is great, Conway & Whitman was great. They both share an improvisational style of comedy that is brilliant - a level of comedy that a dunderhead like Bonaduce will never understand.