THE NEXT BEST THING

THE NEXT BEST THING

Jon announced he wanted to play segments from Howard’s first day at WNBC, but he couldn’t find any of them. Given this, Jon said he asked Howard yesterday why there was no tape of his WNBC debut, and he responded it was because he got so sick that day he couldn’t go on the air for a full show until later in the week, so no tape existed from his official premiere.
In the first clip, which took place on September 2, 1982, Howard explained how “embarrassed” he was for missing time, before welcoming “Arnold Schwarzenegger,” voiced by Fred, into the studio. Since Robin hadn’t yet joined the show at that point, Howard went on to introduce his newsman, Neil, Roz, his traffic reporter, and his producer, Fred, who, at the time, was known as Earth Dog.
Following the tape, Gary recalled Robin became a part of the program two months after its debut, while also pointing out the name Earth Dog was known at the time as meaning “white trash.” Gary also pointed out he noticed Howard was trying to behave in the clip, even though signs of the true person was coming through as he made fun of some of the songs he was forced to play for a countdown WNBC was having at the time.
Jon then got back to the clip, which next featured Howard and Fred, in disguised voices, calling the WNBC offices to say how much they were enjoying the broadcast. After criticizing the station’s general manager, Howard proceeded to play a song parody, “Roz in the Sky with Diamonds,” for Roz because she was giving her traffic reports from a helicopter.
Gary commented when the tape was done that Howard offended “the close-knit family” at WNBC as soon as he got there, even though it wasn’t intentional. Gary also said Howard’s relationship with Roz deteriorated shortly after the first few broadcasts, largely because she didn’t want to work with Howard for several reasons, including the fact that she also did traffic reports for his enemy at the station, Don Imus, and her loyalties were to him.