Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blog Review:// An Inconvenient Tumor

For the past three years, and two with my wife, I/we had a morning ritual.

Wake up after making several attempts at deals with the devil. Breakfast, caffeine, play with puppies, shower, etc.

Then on the drive to work and for the rest of the morning we listened to the Adam Carolla Morning Show on 97.1 Free Fm.

Adam Carolla as you may know from Loveline and The Man Show is an extremely gifted complainer and generally funny guy that eased my wife and I into a stressful work day.

Adam started his radio days on the KROQ and subsequently Mtv show Loveline. Behind the screens they hired a young fat kid named Bryan Bishop. The world of radio I've been told is a hive of villainy. A festering cave of back stabbing and malcontents. Adam Carolla does not suffer fools and had a revolving door of backstage employees. Bryan Bishop however, was a sweet kid who worked hard and always always had a smile on his face.

When Howard Stern left terrestrial radio and went to satellite, Carolla took his place in 17 markets across the country. Doing the morning show meant Adam had to quit Loveline and when he left he specifically picked the very best, most responsible, and stand up staffers. Bryan Bishop, now thin, was the first to be hired.

The first year of the show was bumpy and the ratings were all over the place. Bald Bryan, as Bishop was nicknamed, moved around the staff in many different jobs until he proved to Adam that he had lightning fast reflexes on a sound board and was able to record, splice, and playback clips almost instantaneously.

97.1 Free Fm fired most of the on air staff after the first year and saddled Adam Carolla with Danny Bonaduce as a sidekick. Curiously though Bald Bryan became an on air talent as well. His job was to stand in the booth with the cast and punctuate Adam's ideas and points with often hilarious clips or Bryan's own sarcastic optimism.

Adam jockeyed for Bryan to make pay as an on air talent with CBS radio, 97.1's parent company, to no avail. He was just a tech. Carolla refused to believe that hard work should go unrewarded and paid Bryan out of his pocket to make up the difference in his salary.

After the second year, CBS radio rightly removed Bonaduce from the cast. Carolla and company never seemed to click with Danny's alpha male bravado. Bald Bryan was firmly placed into the sidekick chair and never let it go.

A few months ago, with the country in the economic toilet and radio even further in the sewer, 97.1 flipped formats from talk radio to Top 40. This action lead to the firing of every single person on the station. Bald Bryan was without a job.

Adam Carolla started a daily free podcast on iTunes. An hour or so a day recorded in his home or office with a menagerie of guests. Bald Bryan has been on the show before and the May 13th episode seemed another opportunity for Bishop to entertain his fans.

However, thirty seconds into the episode you learn that Bryan has inoperable brain cancer.

I wrote the very brief history of Bald Bryan above off the top of my head and for a good reason. I spent five hours plus every morning for three years with Carolla and his band of misfits. I heard Bryan's fledgling voice grow into a confident personality. In a very real way, Bryan became one of the biggest stars in Los Angeles radio. He was the bright eyed, optimist giving a small path of sanity through Carolla's hilarious but mostly crazy rants. Bryan was the anchor.

I feel as though I know him. And that is a bit of hyperbole but think about the relationships in your life. Who do you talk to in a frank and open way for 25+ hours a week. I don't even have that much time with my wife Monday to Friday.

I have to admit I was teary eyed this morning listening to Bryan regale the listeners, his friends, his fans with the struggles he and his fiance have been going through for the last couple of weeks.

During the podcast Bryan plugged his blog, hibryan.com. There isn't much there right now but he does implore everyone to click over to his fiance's blog, An Inconvenient Tumor.

And here is where the review starts. But this isn't really a review as much as a long winded endorsement.

Christie soon to be Bishop is an open and frank individual. She is also terrified and optimistic in the face of what might be every single couple's greatest fear. Two weeks ago she was planning a wedding, now she is taking the greatest love of her life to a radiation clinic.

The blog is touching, heart warming, and generally positive while at the same time slightly horrifying.

My heart can not go out enough for her and Bryan.

I think the most we all can do is go to her blog and leave some well wishes.


4 comments:

Derek said...

I agree with you completely. It really was heartbreaking listening to that podcast. I kept hoping he would say, "but then we found out it there was a surefire way to get rid of it".

I, too, have never met Bryan, but feel like I know him. Through listening to him on the radio and on his film podcast, I got to find out a lot about him. I know his wifes name, where he went to school, his hopes, his fears, and all the nuances that come through listening to someone for hundreds of hours.

I wish him the absolute best.

Lady Glamis said...

Thank you for this. That's so sad. I'll go over there this afternoon.

Chris said...

Bryan apparently is in need of some donations. I'm working on putting together a beer pong tournament to raise money for him. Please show your support at pongleague.com. Also check there for more updates on the matter.

Bryan said...

I just stumbled across this wile searching Google for something else. This is the first time I'd seen your write-up. Thanks for the kind words.