Radio Show Nostalgia

Recently, I dicovered a big box of cassette tapes in the garage. They revealed themselves to be a collection of recordings from the Peak Computing Show, a call-in talk radio technology show that Todd Stauffer and I did back in 1996 and 1997. Initially we aired on a little rathole of a station in Colorado Springs, but later moved to 630 KHOW in Denver. I copied these to MP3 to preserve them, and was astounded at:

  • How bad they were. Listening to a caller explain obscure error messages in Windows 95 does not make for compelling radio. And while we’re at it, I wasn’t exactly Walter Cronkite myself.
  • How much fun we had. Heck, I was on the radio! Telling jokes! What more could I ask for?

So I figured I’d share some of the more interesting bits.

Despite the fact that I suspect Todd never really liked me, I think that we had some good chemistry on the radio. 

 Here’s one of my favorite clips, in which we argue about jazz.

We also had a running gag in which I tried to award nonexistent pajamas as a show prize. [Yeah, I know… Comedy gold.]

Taking a cue from Rush Limbaugh, “fans” of the show would call in wishing us well with “dingos.” Hmm. It kind of made sense to us at the time. There were all sorts of variations: megadingos, cyberdingos, Mac dingos, PC dingos…

This guy really liked the show.

This kid must have been coached by his parents. Awwww, he’s so cute.

The hghlight of the show, for me, was a little bit we called Dank Showcase, Cyberspy Radio Theater. Concept: old-tyme radio theater embedded in the show. Dank was a superspy saving the world from evil each week, voiced by me in my normal voice, while Todd played all the other roles–The Chief, Andre the Q-style gadget guy, various bad guys–all while employing a variety of accepts. We’d also enlist Donna, the call screener, and the producer as needed if there were a lot of voices in a particular week. I invented Dank when the show was promoted from one-hour to two hours, and I was frightened at the thought of filling two hours each week with nothing but Todd’s boring Mac news and phone calls about IRQ conflicts. I wrote each episode of Dank in a few minutes’ time right before the show, and Todd would rarely see the script until the theme music started playing on the air. And it shows.

Here’s a series of Danks based on the Y2K bug, which was kind of a big deal at the time:

Dank travels through time I

Dank travels through time II

Dank travels through time III

Dank travels through time IV

Dank travels through time V

Dank traveles though time VI

Here’s a series I based on the movie The Fifth Element:

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid I

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid II

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid III

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid IV

If you’re dying to know how it ends, sorry–I apparently don’t have the those tapes. But here are the original scripts:

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid V (Microsoft Word)

Dank and Case of the Giant Asteroid VI (Microsoft Word)

And finally, here is one we produced ahead of time using sound effects and stuff. We only did a handful of these, becuase we rarely got the radio studio early enough to do anything except grab a soda.

The Dankmobile

Sure, this stuff is really, really rough. But it was a lot of fun.

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