10 Dumb Things That Almost Got Me Fired as a Radio DJ
Yesterday, I reported on a story about some crazy Florida radio DJs who were suspended after an April Fool’s joke went horribly wrong. Radio disc jockeys are America’s true attention-getters. Yet, sometimes their wacky stunts will get them fired. But if they can pull it off, the risk may be worth the ratings.
That got me to thinking….”Geez, I’ve made some seriously dumb mistakes in my radio career, too!” I mean DUMB. DUMB! Some by complete accident. Some totally intentional. Let’s share just a few…
Stealing License Plates From Our Competitors Station Vehicle
One late night before a concert (that I knew my competitors would also attend) I snuck into the parking garage of their studio with a philips screwdriver and took the license plates off their station vehicle... knowing full well that they would be using that ride.
Their night show guy got a traffic ticket. I talked about it for at least a week on my night show.
Told Listeners that 50 Cent and Eminem Were in Town, When They Really Weren't
I told my audience that the biggest rappers in history were going to be arriving at a hotel in town.
The hotel soon became overrun with rabid fans. The plan was to have an SUV drive by and throw some .50 cent coins and a bag of M&M's out the window... but my accomplice chickened out at the last minute.
The listeners were out for blood. It took me what felt like FOREVER to gain their trust back.
Dropped the "F" Bomb
I forgot to turn the mic off. As a song was playing, I dropped my pen on the floor. As I bent over to pick it up, I hit my head on the studio counter.
Only it wasn't that...
I remember reading an email from a young boy... It read, "Sir, why did you swear on the radio just now? My mom is still crying..."
Mispronounced the Name of a Big Spending Client
It was supposed to read SALON. Not SALOON!. Whoops. While clearly an honest mistake, I think I had been saying the name of my show sponsor incorrectly for weeks before it even got noticed...
Ran Through a Christmas Parade Without Clothes On
One year, I had to drive a crappy radio station minivan in the Christmas parade amidst all these amazing floats and flashy decorations. I felt we needed a much larger presence in the parade...somehow...
So, I stripped down to my boxers, put on a Santa hat... along with strategically placed station bumper stickers... and pranced down the parade route.
The audience was appalled. The general manager had a conniption.
Still, it was better than the minivan.
Instead of an FCC Emergency Alert Test, Played the Sound of a Farting Goat
It was a mistake. Honestly. I had the wrong volume slid up on the mixer.
Said the word "Penis" 50 Times in a Row
This was actually during my first week as a college radio DJ. One of the first things we received in our broadcasting class was a list of words we COULDN'T say on the air. The one word that WASN'T on the list? Penis. So I decided to take advantage of that fact.
Live...on the air.
I recall my instructor telling me I will never last in this industry.
Pretty sure that word was added to the list soon after.
Butchered the National Anthem in Front of 10,000 People
I was booked to host a completely unorganized sporting event that ended up having no one on hand to sing the National Anthem.
Being the only kinda-sorta celebrity, someone jokingly mentioned that I should sing it before the kick-off to the game. So I did.
Let's just say Rosanne Barr did a much better job with her version.
Played Tone Loc's 'Wild Thing' on Repeat, For Three Days
Fun Fact: When we originally launched this radio station, we first called it Wild 107.5, and had to find a clever way of getting the word out about us.
Somehow, someway I was able to convince the station manager to play Tone Loc's "Wild Thing" non-stop for..three...full....days..
Yeah, that didn't work out as well as planned...
I can't remember exactly how many paying clients dropped their schedule as a result.
Threw Up All Over a 5-Year-Old Boy
One of my first jobs in radio was to dress up as the radio station mascot, "The Free Money Bunny." One very hot day, I had to dress up in my bunny costume for a station event...
In 100 degree heat, I had just chugged a huge bottle of Gatorade before I had to greet some kids.
Still a bit queasy, I leaned over to high-five a young boy...only to PROJECTILE VOMIT strawberry sports drink...through the mouth of the bunny suit...all over the kid's sandals.
Safe to say, the boy grew up scarred with an indescribable fear of rabbits.