How it looks being on the radio

imageOne of the advantages of being on the radio is there’s a certain amount of anonymity. You’re never going to be in the grocery store and have someone behind you say,”HEY! Didn’t I see you on the radio? What you said about fruitcake was a disgrace! I LOVE FRUITCAKE! I’m heading to the express line so I can meet you in the parking lot, Mr. Funny Man!”

It’s true there’s always a chance someone could recognize your voice in the grocery store. Which is why radio personalities use a special “radio voice” on air that’s different from their normal speaking voice. For example, many people don’t known it but off the air Howard Stearn sounds a lot like Elmer Fudd.

It’s true. I once heard an off-air tape of Stearn in the studio asking for some visiting strippers to take their tops off…

“Pweeze wadies, pweeze. I’m feewing wike I need to see your bweasts…”

Given that my guest appearance on “The San Francisco Jack” show was my first radio experience to last longer than a few minutes, I was too busy trying not to choke on my own spit or get tangled in my headphones to worry about using a “radio voice” for the hour-long interview on KXCR.

But I figured, “Hey, it’s not like anyone saw me, right?”


Part of the show was taped for a short online promo. The good news is that only my profile is visible. The bad news? My large nose makes that profile rather… distinct. So I’d like to apologize in advance to anyone who might be in line behind me at the store. I swear I’m not staring. I just don’t want to take a chance showing my profile to any fruticake lovers.

Especially if they’re in the express lane.



(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation and a member of the writing team at Long Awkward Pause. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, or Barnes & Noble. Disclaimer: Even if you choose Ned’s book for summer reading, you should still use sunscreen.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

29 thoughts on “How it looks being on the radio”

  1. And the rocket’s red glare (MY EYES!), the bombs bursting in air (AHHH! MY FINGER!), gave proof thru the night (HIC! WHAT PROOF IS THIS?) that our flag was (MY HAIR!)

    I don’t want to say we were clumsy with fireworks, but we had a dog named Sparky…for all of 17 minutes!

    Back when I was a kid, my favourite was the burning school house. I was 32 before I learned there was a firework called that, too.

  2. This is the first time I’ve seen someone on radio – very impressive. You know some recreational drugs will do that too – let you see sounds and hear colors. Are you sure this is a real interview and not bad trip? Ha!

    Actually Ned, your answers were excellent – you nailed that interview. Well done. You get the job – oh, wait, you already have the job – sorry. 😀

  3. Alabama has been the line which we Georgians crossed for alcohol on Sundays and fireworks, well, anytime. But times are a-changing! First it became legal to buy alcohol on Sundays (after 12:30), and then legal to buy fireworks, well, anytime. Next thing you know, the confederate flag will come down.
    Oh, wait. That’s happening too. Welcome to the 20th Century Georgia!

    On another note (and so you know I watched past the 30-second mark), while I was in Missouri (to prove your earlier point about MO fireworks) I was able to find, and purchased (for the adults) the original metal sparklers. Oh man! That was fun.

      1. We’re living the high life (if you have one of the 8 health conditions approved for medical marijuana).

    1. Thanks, Gibber. I’m actually talking with our local Public Radio station about doing a regular show. Or show on regularity. Or irregularity. Or something…

  4. You are just so stinkin’ funny! I can’t even breathe. Now that I work in Georgia once/week I’ll know to head over to Alabama when things get a little boring.
    That happens here in Kansas – they have better fireworks and less teeth (SORRY Mizzou fans – I couldn’t resist!) I’m guessing the ‘less teeth’ is directly due to the fruitcake-producing monastery in SW Missouri – right where our friendship started 🙂

No one is watching, I swear...

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