Rebecca De Mornay's biological father was the late Wally George, a right wing radio and television personality whose studied abrasivness bordered on the comic. His early radio career included a stint at a 5000 watt radio station located On the top floor of a whorehouse hotel in Eureka, California, which had the unintentionally revealing call letters of KHUM. For Humboldt County, you see. That's where Eureka was located. Still is.
By the time I worked there, a decade later in the mid-60s, the station had changed owners and call letters. It became KINS "Friendly 980." I understand the KHUM call letters have been resurrected, so to speak, by a Humboldt County FM station.
Wally George was long gone by then, but his reputation lingered. According to one old-timer, Wally would fake epileptic fits and throw office furniture into the street. He was one of a colorful crew which included a DJ who collected stray dogs and kept them chained in the studio during his record shift, even when they had to pee. Eventually the stink became overwhelming. The urine leeched into the walls and stained the wallpaper in the hourly rate hotel rooms below. While this Saint Francis of dogdom was commendable in spirit, the station managment let him and his dogs go before the dogs could go any more.
Another announcer was an aged Thespian named Frank Robinson Brown. He had a Shakespearean voice, especially after downing two or maybe five shots of whiskey in the whorehouse hotel bar each morning before going on the air to read the news while wobbling precariously on a bar stool in the studio. He would read the news flawlessly in mellifluous pear-shaped tones, then fall off his bar stool at the end of his newscast. But I was told that he fell with elan, with style.
Someone once told him, "You'd better slow down. You're going to hit the skids." His response: "My good fellow. Here I am working in a 5000 watt station in the town brothel in a small fogbound radio market, and you tell me I'm going to hit the skids?"
I met him years later, after he'd sobered up and was peddling a self-published book of lyric poetry. I admired him.
And Wally George? Wally moved on to be an emcee in a topless strip club in Santa Monica, then to a syndicated television show called Hot Seat out of Anaheim, a show with such a conservative bent that it makes Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity look like left wing bliss ninnies in comparison. You can Google it. It's almost a self parody. The show aired live between 1983 and 1992 with segments sold in syndication thereafter. I'm sure it's still floating around in the ether someplace.
Since then AM radio has evolved. Maybe devolved. Now it's an anvil chorus of conservative blather, foreign language broadcasts and the sort of money mad Bible thumpers that Jesus would kick out of a temple and off the air. FM radio, with the exception of NPR and a few brave and broke independent stations, is so largely consulted by suits and programming so automated, so predictable, that's it's blander than tap water. Lukewarm tap water.
Well, shoot. I miss the Wally Georges, the Frank Robinson Browns and their broadcasting brethren -- and no, I don't include that fat gasbag Rush Limbaugh, although he can change my mood from blah malaise to self-righteous anger with a flick of a dial. I mean, it's entertainment, right? Even the His Gasbagness admits that.
I wonder of Rebecca De Mornay is a Republican?
Or worse, a Limbaugh Dittohead?
Or worse, a Limbaugh Dittohead?