March 17, 2006
Jon announced that the next clip was from a game Howard used to play in the 1980s called “Mystery Guest.” Gary noted that, for the contest, Howard and Robin knew who the guest was and would then have listeners call in to ask yes-or-no questions. Gary went on to say that he chose to play this particular tape, whose mystery guest was Gilda Radner, not because of Gilda’s negative reaction to the interview, but to showcase how different the show sounded at the time. Gary added that the bit occurred before he started working on the program, but that he “inherited the mess,” explaining that the show was “blacklisted” by several talent agencies because of Gilda’s response to her interview with Howard. The clip started with Gilda not disguising her voice for the game, which allowed for the first caller to guess who she was. Howard then went on to ask Gilda about her alleged relationship with Gene Wilder, before taking a number of calls that focused on her sex life. After the calls, Gilda admitted that Howard “scared” her, while Howard said that he thought he was respectful to Gilda, but that her agents wouldn’t even shake his hand following the interview. When the tape was over, Gary said that Gilda didn’t “get” the show, even though she came from “Saturday Night Live,” which he commented was “as counterculture as it got.” Ralph responded that he didn’t think Gilda’s reaction was a big deal because “she wasn’t very funny anyway,” but Jon and Gary insisted he was wrong. Gary then noted that the song Howard played in the clip, “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder, was perfect, because they’d recently had a discussion on the air about how often that song used to appear on the program.