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Hey! Did you know you can hear samples of almost everything we have?

ANOTHER GREAT SOURCE OF SHOW PREP MATERIAL

by Dan O'Day

This is the second in a series of articles designed to break through the the barrier of the "DJ mentality" with the message that there is no shortage of original show prep material...if you just know where to look for it.

And where do you look for it?

Everywhere. Anywhere. It's all around you.

For example, TV GUIDE.

I have in front of me a recent issue of this weekly publication. Let's see what ideas it contains. (I do NOT expect you to love each one. But can you find ANY ideas that you could turn into something interesting for on-air use?)

The cover story is entitled "The Best Show You're Not Watching."

Thought-Starters: (Remember, at this stage all we do is list ideas. We do not judge or edit while we compile our list.)

1. What is the worst TV show you ever saw?

2. What was the one best moment you ever saw on TV?

3. What's the first thing you ever saw on TV?

4. What TV show are you embarrassed to admit you enjoy?

5. What TV character does your spouse most resemble?

6. Which TV show most closely resembles your life?

7. Who remembers "WINKY DINK & YOU"?

Also on the cover: "Martha Stewart's Prime-Time Celebration (With Miss Piggy!)"

Thought-Starters:

8. (Dumb Morning Show Character)'s Tips for Stylish Entertaining

9. Real-life embarrassing moments at public events (start with your own, air others from callers)

Advertisement for Ford: "A lot of people are surprised by car prices, but how many are pleasantly surprised?"

Thought-Starters:

10. If other professions operated the way car dealers do.

(Example: A doctor quotes you a price for taking out your appendix. You agree, and then he returns to tell you, "Gee, I'm really sorry, but my Sales Manager just won't go along with that deal. But he did say if you'd also get your gall bladder removed, he's sure we can work out a great price for you....")

The ad features a photo of a man, alongside a photo of a car. The man is black. This reminds me of the mid-to-late 1960s, when black people finally started appearing in "mainstream" print ads and TV commercials:

11. Okay, we've got a long way to go. But in what ways are things better among the races than they were when you were growing up?

12. Okay, we're facing a lot of problems. But in what ways are things better today than when we were growing up.

13. What was your favorite TV dinner when you were a kid?

14. What was the one food that you hated but that your parents made you eat?

15. What is your favorite, dumb personal recipe? (Example: spaghetti with canned chili instead of sauce)

16. What is your spouse's weird eating habit?

17. What was your High School Cafeteria Meal From Hell?

18. What's the one thing you learned in high school that you still use today?

19. Humorous list of classes they should teach in high school

20. Idiosyncrasies of various parts of the country. (Example: In Cincinnati, instead of saying, "What?" people say, "Please?")

21. Different food names in different parts of the country (or world). (Example: What most people call a "milkshake," people in Massachusetts call a "frappe.")

22. Describe your absolutely perfect, ideal meal (money no object).

An advertisement for a women's razor features a man pulling off his t-shirt, with the caption: "His razor has never even seen an underarm. And you're going to let it shave yours?"

Thought-Starters:

23. What did people use before there were deodorants?

24. Is there anyone in the audience who shares a razor with his or her spouse?

25. True or False: Women think it's sexy for men to shave in the shower.

26. The most embarrassing thing to happen to you on a date. (This was suggested by #25, which reminded me of the time, many years ago, when I was so excited about my date that evening that I nicked myself while shaving. I still bear the tiny scar.)

A Message from the Editor talks about TV Guide's "fresh new look and exciting new features. Thought-Starters:

27. Fake commercial for the new, improved Mafia...with a greater emphasis on "Customer Service"

28. Fake commercial for U.S. Post Office, boasting about how much better their service is

29. Fake commercial for TV network, boasting about the "fresh new look of their new TV shows." (Examples: "A widowed father of eight marries a widowed mother of six...and the laughs ensue."

"He's a hard-boiled detective who plays by his own rules."

"An attractive young couple with virtually nothing in common try to make their romance work...and the laughs ensue.")

30. News feature comparing current political candidates promises with the ones they made the last time they ran for re-election.

31. Translating political doubletalk

A) A Political Dictionary

B) Simultaneous "translation" of politician's speech

An article about BAYWATCH'S Pamela Lee (aka Pamela Anderson)....

Thought-Starters:

32. If people really acted like the stars of BAYWATCH

(Example: Pamela Lee attends a funeral wearing a black string bikini.)

Example: David Hasselhoff goes to a job interview with an executive recruitment firm...and spends the interview time oiling his pecs & biceps.)

33. "Where Are They Now" feature on older TV, movie or music stars. (Could be a weekly segment.)

34. "Where Are They Now" feature on local celebrities of the past (mayors, star athletes, etc.)

In "Ask TV GUIDE," a reader asks, "Daniel Davis steals the show as the butler on THE NANNY. Is his English accent real?" Answer: He's from Little Rock, Arkansas.

Thought-Starters:

35. Comedic "little known facts" feature

36. Deliberately dumb trivia contest in which all the answers are incredibly obvious

Advertisement for a "one-cup coffee machine"....

Thought-Starters:

37. Other inventions that are needed for single people

38. Humorous things that could be sold via vending machines (e.g., rent a lawyer)

39. The weirdest thing a listener (or listener's spouse) eats for breakfast

Review of show, "HIGH SOCIETY"....

Thought-Starters:

40. Have Shakespearean scholar (contact university) review dumb sitcom or action series a though it were high drama

41. Have the mayor review tv shows

42. Have entertaining, real old codger review youth-oriented films

43. Send intern, producer or listener out to report on the cost of popcorn & soda at all local theaters

44. Morning show host movie premiere at 4:00AM on the day the big movie opens

45. Have your sales manager (real or fictitious) review movies, always from a mercenary point of view (e.g., "Those kids in E.T. should have charged a fee for getting that alien back to the spaceship....")

Advertisement for automobile: "Why walk on the wild side when you can drive it?"

Thought-Starters:

46. Dumb commercials parodying real ones (e.g., a spot that gives you bad breath, for use when you just don't want to kiss that guy)

"Claudia's First Kiss" - (article about a character on "PARTY OF FIVE")

Thought-Starters:

47. Listeners share stories about their first kisses

48. Most romantic thing your spouse ever did

49. Bad date stories

50. Ideas for romantic dates

51. Unusual places for honeymoons

52. Listeners' favorite movies

53. Listeners' least favorite movies

54. Survey local bigwigs (mayor, police chief, etc.) to ask about their all-time favorite movies... BUT you've set them up with bogus answers. (Should be funny to hear, and it lets them poke gentle fun at themselves.)

Ad for "New Frosted Cheerios"....

Thought-Starters:

55. New Sugar-Coated Chocolate Fudge Toothpaste

56. Kellogg's All-New Children's Cavity-Starters

Article on Diedre Hall, about her tv movie: "NEVER SAY NEVER: THE DIERDRE HALL STORY." This is the story of how she overcame...infertility. (I'm not making that up.)

Thought-Starters:

57. "I Want My Waist Back: The True Story of Sally Struthers And Her Fight Against Cellulite"

58. Tabloid headline: "Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas' Startling Confession: 'I'm Really A Vegetarian!'"

But Dan, what is your point?

If you only look at the front page of the newspaper every day, your ideas tend to be very similar to everyone else's. If you look in unusual places, you're more likely to find original inspiration.

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