Friday, March 1, 2013

Free Phil Hendrie

The greatest radio entertainer of our day now has a free podcast where you can hear extended bits by a genius of the voice.

Phil Hendrie does what he presents as a regular call-in radio talk show with guests. But he's also the guests. He has conjured up a dazzling array of characters, male and female, more than a hundred now, who he "interviews," doing his own voice and theirs. Hendrie's "guests" are colorful people who say provocative things that prompt the unsuspecting callers to want to set them straight. He interrupts the guest, the guest interrupts him. Often it seems like they are on two different planets, making it seem like Hendrie has a bipolar mind. His remarkable display of talent is what makes the show entertaining, but it's also fun when self-important callers are hoodwinked. If you listen to radio a lot, you eventually realize that those who call in to radio talk shows represent a tiny fraction of the audience, and that most of them are now practiced at it and are calling in because of a sense of their own importance. On Hendrie's show the caller goes back and forth with the "guest" while Hendrie continues to play host, occasionally interrupting himself to take the side of the caller. Often the "guest" starts interrogating the caller, turning the tables, while Hendrie, as himself, defends the caller.

When I was on the road I'd come across Hendrie's show occasionally, usually in California, and was checking his web site recently, thinking about subscribing to the podcast of his complete show, when I discovered he'd started offering the free podcast, too. These are about thirty minutes long and contain complete segments of him interviewing one of his various "guests."

Any reservations I have about the ethics of what Hendrie does are overcome by his amazing display of talent, and by the fact that the "guests" Hendrie creates are the embodiment of what is hypocritical and ignorant and egotistical in the world. He creates these people to show us just how stupid people can be. You can subscribe on ITunes, too. 


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