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-The Five Spot

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

the original shock jock!

You know being a Washingtonian and all that, you find DC has many elements to it – southern charm, yankee loyalties, and a whole bunch of crazies! When you think about the funny men that have come out of this town… a la Martin Lawrence (favorite comedian of all time) or Dave Chapelle, you can only wonder the influence Petey Greene had on them. Petey had the #1 radio show in the District and a television show that aired on BET.

Now if you never got a chance to see the Kasi Lemmon’s Talk to Me that featured Don Cheadle as Petey Greene – get it on DVD, but don’t fret – see if you can catch PBS’ Independent Lens Adjust your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene. Petey was a fool of dynamic proportions, but he wasn’t nobody’s fool. He talked about stupidity, education, the value of money, drugs, penitentiary – all elements plaguing the black community in a very mundane style because he lived it himself. He was never preaching to the choir. And I must add he’s the only comedian that can use the N-word and I don’t cringe, maybe because he used C-word just as liberally.

Now fast forward 25 years, and who do you hear on the radio? Russ Parr, Donnie Simpson, Steve Harvey, and Ricky Smiley. The last two aren’t based in DC. So, that leaves Russ and Donnie. Russ has a syndicated radio program so you’ve probably heard him in the morning in your city. Donnie is not syndicated, but he used to be the host of Video Soul on BET (back, back in the day!)—so I’m sure you remember the “cat with green eyes”. I can’t listen to morning radio. Everybody is goofin’ the f*** off and it’s just not funny—it’s stupid. Now, I will say Donnie is a more serious cat, laidback, but he’s still boring. Now, if I had a Petey Greene that I could listen to in the morning – I’d be hooked like a dope fiend. Nobody is talking about issues of substance in a meaningful way unless it’s clichéd. We have real shit going on in the world and you can’t tell listenin’ to the radio. Now, I understand people want comedic relief from entertainment, but it at least has to be entertaining.

I get that times have changed, but when you can get the aide to President Carter to come on your show to discuss abuse and call her a broad on the show and it’s funny as hell (sorry feminists) – yet people got the point -- you’re somebody! There are so many other classic Petey moments that I could share, but I won’t spoil it -- watch the documentary. RIP Petey Greene .

Howard Stern ain’t got nothin’ on you!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, he was the man. Don Cheadle did a great job of playing him but I cannot wait to see the real deal in action! I agree with you about the morning radio shows. They suck.

I do listen to Michael Baisden sometimes (afternoon show, also syndicated). I like his format because he touches upon a lot of issues important to the community- health, politics, economy, education... in addition to providing comic relief. But he ain't no Petey Greene.

Great post!