79f: Howard Hesseman / Randy Newman
Steve Marvin.....Harry Shearer
Ken Bleiman.....Bill Murray
[ open on Stereo 105 studio, disc jockey Steve Marvin bobbing his head at the console as Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" wraps up ]
Steve Marvin: Zep -- "Stairway" -- What a dynamite way to start off a morning! Hey! We kicked off this set wih Bob Segar -- Rock 'n Roll really does never forget, does it? Weird thing about Rock 'N Roll!
[ as he patters, the station's secretary enters the studio with Howard Hesseman in tow. Steve indicates for Howard to sit as he shakes his hand without missing a beat ]
Steve Marvin: And -- uh -- we squeezed, right in the middle there, Linda Ronstadt -- "Heart Like a Wheel", from 1975. Hey, that's hard to believe, isn't it? Good morning! From Stereo 105's wild Madman of the Morning! I'm Steve Marvin, with you until Ten!
Cosole Voice: [ as Steve presses a switch ] I DON'T BELIIIIIIEEEEVE YOOOOOUUUUU!!
Steve Marvin: [ laughing ] Will you get out of here! That's a crazy guy over there! Hey! It's 7:19 in the A.M., Stereo 105 Free the Hostages Time!
[ Steve pots it over to a commercial and turns to the Secretary ]
Steve Marvin: Yeah?
Secretary: Howard Hesseman, this is Steve Marvin.
[ they shake hands again ]
Howard Hesseman: Hi, how you doing there?
Steve Marvin: I'm doing GREAT! We're #1 in the morning! You kidding me? You know, ratings don't hurt!
Howard Hesseman: No.
Steve Marvin: [ as he switches out a record ] Hey -- I love your show. It's the BEST thing on the tube!
Howard Hesseman: [ flattered ] Oh -- thanks. We have a lot of fun doing it.
Steve Marvin: Really? It looks like hard work.
Howard Hesseman: Well, it's that, too, I --
Steve Marvin: Oh, yeah? [ he taps a pencil ] Well, that show and "Mork & Mindy" are the only two things worth watching on the tube -- unless you're, you know, a "60 Minutes" freak or something.
Howard Hesseman: Yeah. Well, I guess there are a few of those --
Steve Marvin: Hold it! [ he places his headphones on and leans into the mike ] Available at all Records Plus stores for only $5.99. You get MORE than records... at Records Plus! [ he removes his headphones ] Yeah -- so, uh, how much time you got, Howard?
Howard Hesseman: Uhh -- they said it would be in about fifteen minutes, I guess...
Steve Marvin: [ stunned ] Wow! I am so far behind on commercials, man. I will TRY to give you a second segment because you're a Network guy! Okay?
Secretary: [ to Howard ] Can I get you something?
Howard Hesseman: Uh -- yeah, I could use some coffee real bad.
Secretary: Oh, God, I'm sorry. They don't unlock the coffee machine until about Nine. We have Coke, Pepsi, uh... Two Fingers.
Howard Hesseman: [ interested ] Two Fingers, the tequila?
[ she smiles at Howard ]
Steve Marvin: Hold it! Hey, read this! [ he shoves a sheet of paper into Howard's hands and thrusts the mike at his face ]
Howard Hesseman: Uh -- [ reading ] Starts Friday at a Black Hole Showcase Theater near you. Check theaters for showtimes, and check your newspaper for theaters.
Steve Marvin: [ hitting the control buttons ] Great! Hey, that was dynamite! You could actually do this for a living! [ he chuckles ] So! What do you want to talk about -- the show?
Howard Hesseman: Uhh -- yeah. You know, I'm on one of those promotional tours that the networks likes you to do, particularly when they're moving your show to a weaker position for the second or third time --
Steve Marvin: [ busying himself with a record and not really paying attention ] Uh-huh.
Howard Hesseman: Often, on a different night. And they always do that right at the point where you're really starting to get some good ratings.
Steve Marvin: Yeah, well ratings don't mean SQUAT! You know that better than anybody. Hey! Here's what we'll do: I'll aks you what's new about the show, you'll tell me about the time change, uh, and you'll tell me about being a disc jockey on the air. Alright?
Howard Hesseman: Fine. Uh -- this mike?
Steve Marvin: Hold it. [ into his mike, as Howard tries to get his attention regarding which mike to use ] We have a guest this morning, here at Stereo 105, and it's a joy to see him, and he MUST feel right at home here because he's from WKRP in Cincinnati! On the show, he's Dr. Johnny Fever, but to us he's better known as plain ol' Howard Hesseman. Howard, welcome!
Howard Hesseman: Thanks, Steve. Uh -- it's a little early in the morning for me to be saying "Thank you" to anyone, but... if I could mean it, I would.
Steve Marvin: [ laughing ] Howard! It's not too early for Dr. Johnny Fever, is it? He's a morning guy at your station, am I right?
Howard Hesseman: Yeah. He's -- he's one of those guys that's just been in radio forever. [ Steve hand-motions Howard to move closer to the mike ] And -- and -- uh -- [ Steve hand-motions him closer ] As time has turned on the wheel -- [ Steve hand-motions him closer ] He finds himself playing -- [ Steve hand-motions Howard to back up from the mike ] Rock 'N Roll, and -- [ Steve hand-motions Howard a little to the side, then gives him the Okay sign ] He's doing a morning drive-time shift. You know, I -- I just feel he's the sort of person people really know.
Steve Marvin: Yeah.
Howard Hesseman: He's really a radio man!
Steve Marvin: Yeah, well I'm a radio man, and I've never done anything but play Rock 'N Roll in the morning -- it's amazing! Howard, I LOVE the show, bit I gotta ask ya': When you're doing your show on The show... you don't wear the earphones. How come?
Howard Hesseman: Uhh -- artistic license! [ he chuckles, as Steve begins to busy himself with radio equipment ] We're doing a TV show -- it's not a radio station, you know? And, basically, you're just trying to let the audience hear the music along with us, 'cause we think music's an important part of the show.
Steve Marvin: Uh-huh.
Howard Hesseman: So if I've got earphones on, then nobody else can hear the music, right?
Steve Marvin: Uh-huh. [ now rejoining the conversation ] Well, you have an improvisational background -- Howard Hesseman, of course, who we're talking with this morning. Maybe we should do a little business, take a couple of commercials -- when we come back, do some nutty stuff with the Madman of the Morning. Whaddaya think?
Howard Hesseman: [ unenthusiastically ] Maybe.
Steve Marvin: Hey, before we do that... what;s your opinion of this whole Iran thing, huh? [ he turns away to attend to other equipment ]
Howard Hesseman: Well... uh... I was watching a lot of television, you know, on Thanksgiving Day, and, uh... it's strange, all these big inflatable animals and fantasy characters --
Steve Marvin: The Macy's Parade, and all that.
Howard Hesseman: Yeah. And, uh -- I'm thinking, uh, if the Iranians are really monitoring our television broadcasts to see what the reaction is in this country to what's going on over there... uh, then they're probably developing some really bizarre notions about our religious rights.
Steve Marvin: Yeah, well ALL our rights, probably -- the whole First Amendment's shot. Hey! Howard Hesseman is in with us, and speaking of Rights -- We'll be... right back!
Howard Hesseman: Nice.
[ newsman Ken Bleiman enters the studio ]
Ken Bleiman: Sounds great out there!
Steve Marvin: Oh, yeah? Great!
Ken Bleiman: Howard's level could be up a little more, it sounds like he's far away.
Steve Marvin: Uhh -- it's the same ol' problem with the mikes. Hey! Howard, this is the guy who does our news on our morning show -- Ken Bleiman.
[ Howard reaches up to shake Ken's hand ]
Ken Bleiman: You know, Howard, the one thing wrong with your show... is that the news director walks around in a suit. Nobody would ever do that on the radio.
Howard Hesseman: Uh-huh. [ laughing ] Well, he doesn't always wear a suit.
Ken Bleiman: Oh, yeah? Well, that's good. That's probably more realistic not to do it all the time.
[ Ken begins to set up his news stand in an adjacent corner of the studio ]
Steve Marvin: Howard, do you do characters? 'Cause if you do voices, you know, like a Howard Cosell? I do, uh -- Ken can vouch me on this -- I do a GREAT Frank Gifford --
Ken Bleiman: He's a great Gifford.
Steve Marvin: Thank you, Ken! [ to Howard ] And, if you did a Cosell, we could get nutty, you know?
Howard Hesseman: [ on the spot ] Yeah, I-I-I-I don't do Howard Cosell. I barely do Howard Hesseman. [ Steve laughs condescendingly, hoping to get what he wants ] But, listen, man -- it's your show. I'll do whatever you want. [ trying to change the subject ] W-what's the next record? Maybe we could --
Steve Marvin: Well, we don't have another record until the news -- or, after the news.
Ken Bleiman: Uh -- and I'm gonna run a little late this morning. I got a tape of a guy who was a Rent-a-Cop at the Who concert.
Steve Marvin: Oh. Great!
[ Ken readies himself for the commercial break to end ]
Ken Bleiman: You know, that's another thing, Howard: Uh -- do you mind if I call you "Howard"?
Howard Hesseman: Beats calling me "Phil".
Steve Marvin: [ laughing ] Hey, that is very blithe! [ seriously ] Is that yours?
[ Howard nods ]
Ken Bleiman: You know -- anyway, the strange thing is, a lot of strange stuff happens when you're doing radio news that you guys never cover. Like yesterday. I'm in here, and I come in to do the news report, and the AP wire breaks down, like, two minutes before? And I had to use the weather report from the day before. And I got away with it!
[ Howard nods politely ]
Steve Marvin: Hold it! [ into the mike ] Hey! We are sitting here chewing the fat with one of my favorite guys from radio-via-TV, here on Stereo 105 -- Howard Hesseman! Howard was just telling me during the commercial -- of course, we listen to the commercials, but you were telling me in between them -- that you do this Howard Cosell bit that you want to share with the folks! Let's hear it!
Howard Hesseman: Yeah, I -- I don't think that's actually what I said, Steve. But, uh... if you want me to butcher Howard Cosell so you can do your Frank Gifford bit... I'm game.
Steve Marvin: [ laughing through his embarrassment ] Howard's pulling my leg a little bit because I put him on the spot -- it's a little early this morning, and I understand it! Hey, we are doing something pretty important, Howard, that maybe it could be a, uh, story for one of your shows. I don't know, where do you guys get your ideas for the show?
Howard Hesseman: Well, uh, some of our writers, uh, worked in radio. [ Steve is busy prepping his controls, not paying attention ] You know. And, uh, a lot of times we just take old "Dick Van Dyke" scripts and change the plot.
Steve Marvin: Uh-huh. What we're doing is, we're giving away armbands that say "Free The Hostages", and, uh, I'm sure what you'd like to do is, stick around after the show, maybe autograph fifty or a hundred of 'em. And uh, we could auction them off, you know, raise some money, send the money over to the hostages -- just FORWARD it over to them -- and let 'em know that the Americans are behind them and, uh -- I know I'm putting you on the spot a little bit.
Howard Hesseman: You -- you're gonna forward the money to the hostages?
Steve Marvin: [ not grasping Howard's confusion ] Yeah. Or, uh, open a trust fund for them. Something like that.
Howard Hesseman: Trust fund?
Steve Marvin: Sure.
Howard Hesseman: Uh-huh. Uh -- well, if that makes sense to you. Uh -- I guess politics don't make that much sense to me any more.
Steve Marvin: Well, I'll tell ya' -- at 7:26 in the morning, nothing makes much sense! Especially when you're fighting that traffic. And that's the great thing about radio, Howard. You see, the --
[ Howard impatiently lunges forward and pins Steve's neck so he can get a sensible word in edgewise. Steve repeatedly motions Howard toward a sheet of paper in his hand, information that desperately needs to get on the air. ]
Howard Hesseman: Steve, one of the other things that's really great about radio -- and it's a cliche, but it's true -- it utilizes the imagination of the listener! And that's what's going on in the studio, see? It's not -- it's a lot DIFFERENT from what you THINK when you're listening at home! And that's what's fun about doing "WKRP", Steve, 'cause we get to SHOW the audience that! We get to fill in the GAPS in their imaginations! You know, Steve?
[ Howard releases his grip ]
Steve Marvin: Hey! Thanks for filling in for me, Howard! Because I just had to rush over to the traffic control center for this bulletin: [ he points to his throat and gives an okay-signal to Ken ] The, uh, Eisenhower Expressway is a mess this morning -- uh, avoid Eisenhower if you can, use an alternate.
Howard Hesseman: Uh-huh. That would have been great then.
Steve Marvin: [ confused ] What, you mean earlier this morning?
Howard Hesseman: No, in the Fifties.
Steve Marvin: [ laughing ] The whole Eisenhower thing! [ he honks a prop horn ] You are too fast for me, Howard Hesseman! That is why you're on TV and I'm on morning radio, I bet! Hey! I can't thank you enough for being with us. I guess next time you're on radio, we'll be seeing you on TV, huh? [ he dings a bell ]
Howard Hesseman: Uh -- unless, uh, I'm on the radio doing a radio show like this.
Steve Marvin: Uh-huh.
Howard Hesseman: In which case --
Cosole Voice: [ as Steve presses a switch ] I DON'T BELIIIIIIEEEEVE YOOOOOUUUUU!!
Steve Marvin: [ laughing ] Will you let him alone? He's a guest!
[ Steve honks the prop horn again and pots the controls to a commercial ]
Steve Marvin: Hey, that was GREAT! That's the best interview I've ever done. Swear to God.
Howard Hesseman: [ flattered ] Really?
Steve Marvin: Thank you.
Howard Hesseman: Well, strangely enough, you know, we never did mention the fact that our show is being moved in the time schedule, so, uh -- I think that's the reason they asked me to come here.
Steve Marvin: Oh, well, I wouldn't worry about it, man, 'cause I'll mention it in the next hour. You know, more people are listening then, anyway -- it's rush hour.
Howard Hesseman: Oh, great. Well, I gotta go now. Uh, listen -- thanks a lot. I hate to fly out in the face of a good rush.
Steve Marvin: Yeah, well --
[ Steve pots the controls and points to Ken for the news ]
[ as Ken delivers the news, Steve stands to shake Howard's hand goodbye, then they exchange a series of hand signals as Howard makes his exit from the studio ]
Ken Bleiman: Good morning. The news, for Stereo 105. I'm Ken Bleiman. And the question this morning seems to be: Are rock groups responsible for the violence that occurs at their concerts. One man who thinks so, is a man named Frank Putnam.
[ pull back on scene, as SUPER appears: "coming up next... Will the CIA Overthrow Santa Claus?" ]
[ fade ]