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Ben & Woods Pay Tribute To Norm Macdonald

“He could sit up there in front of an audience [when] no one was laughing, and he loved every second of it,” said Ben Higgins.

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Instead of talking about the San Diego Padres’ recent slide from the National League Wild Card race, Ben & Woods on 97.3 The Fan in San Diego took time on Wednesday morning to honor the legacy of Norm Macdonald. The 61-year-old comedian and former anchor of Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live lost his battle with cancer Tuesday, one that he very much kept concealed from public view.

“He could sit up there in front of an audience [when] no one was laughing, and he loved every second of it,” said Ben Higgins, co-host of Ben & Woods. “We were just commenting on how it’s so rare where, even the three of us, can agree on someone.”

Macdonald was fired from Saturday Night Live in 1998 after he refused to stop mentioning the court case wherein former NFL player and color commentator O.J. Simpson was arraigned and found not guilty for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend. The San Diego sports radio morning show played several clips of Macdonald discussing Simpson on Weekend Update, which had both hosts and producer Paul Reindl laughing.

“The L.A. district attorney’s office has given Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden… over 10,000 dollars for ‘lengthy hard-time duty’ in the O.J. Simpson case,” said Macdonald in the clip from Saturday Night Live. “A spokesman for the D.A. said the prosecutor’s bonuses would have been higher, except for the fact that they let a killer go free.”

The other host of the show, Steven Woods, admired the audacity Macdonald possessed in discussing controversial topics such as the highly-publicized court case.

“Honestly, he didn’t care. If he lost a gig, he’d get another gig,” said Woods. “If I said something offensive and lost this job, it would kill me. He was like, ‘I know what I have. I know who I am. I know my humor plays.’ He gave the Saturday Night Live job away for the sake of his comedy.”

Additionally, Woods reminisced on some of the guest appearances of Macdonald on The Howard Stern Show, extolling his innate ability to comedically discuss uncomfortable topics across the world of sports, news and entertainment.

“His appearances on Stern were through the roof. I’ve always loved that uncomfortable humor. I couldn’t take a sleeve of note cards out and read deliberately bad jokes.”

In a tweet, Conan O’Brien, the former host of Conan on TBS, conveyed the impact Macdonald had on the worlds of both comedy and mediated communications.

“I am absolutely devastated about Norm Macdonald,” said O’Brien, who hosted over 1,500 episodes of his late night talk show. “Norm had the most unique comedic voice I have ever encountered and he was so relentlessly and uncompromisingly funny. I will never laugh that hard again. I’m so sad for all of us today.”

Macdonald’s ingenuity in setting up and delivering the punchline of jokes that would get the viewer or listener laughing was something Woods called unique. In reference to a particularly memorable joke told by Macdonald, Woods discussed how guests are managed when appearing on radio or television. In his discussion, he expressed how it is often emphasized to callers and on-air hosts alike to get to their point as quickly as possible to keep the show moving. For Macdonald though, that punchline often took quite a bit of time to get to, something Woods said was always worth the wait.

“We do radio. We have a clock. We’ve got a little room to stretch, [but] TV shows have a much tighter clock,” explained Woods. “But even when Ben, me, Paul or a caller calls in and tells a story, you see me going ‘Let’s go. Let’s go. We’ve got to wrap it up. Let’s get to the meat.’ [Macdonald] goes on with [a] story for five minutes and the punch-line is so corny and dad-jokey, I had tears rolling down my face. The build-up for the payoff is the joke.”

The discussion concluded with both Higgins and Woods offering their final thoughts on the loss of Macdonald, who transformed his industry through his style of dry humor both on television as an update anchor on Saturday Night Live, and as a stand-up comedian.

“He didn’t want people to think differently of him or show pity towards him,” said Woods. “I think his longtime publicist and friend who was with him when he passed away said, ‘He just wanted to be Norm. He didn’t want people to be like, ‘Oh that’s Norm. He’s so funny and he’s dying, fighting this battle with cancer.’’ He was that committed to getting through it and not wanting anybody’s attention or adulation for anything other than his comedy. I think he legitimately didn’t want to make people sad, ever.”

“What’s really sad is that he could have had another 30 years being funny, deep into his later years,” expressed Higgins. “What a comedy legend that left us way too early yesterday.”

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Sports Radio News

Jerry Jones On Listening To Sports Radio: ‘I Like Pain’

“I guess I’m one of the few people that can’t stand it and want to see what people are saying.”

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Jerry Jones
Dallas Cowboys

No one can accuse Jerry Jones of being shy. The Dallas Cowboys owner is always welcoming of the chance to be in the public eye. That includes making appearances on sports talk radio. Friday he was a guest on K&C Masterpiece on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas.

Jones has made headlines on the station before. Some of those headlines have been for getting angry with both K&C in the past and morning men Shan & RJ. On Friday, it was his thoughts on the format itself that made the headlines.

“I guess I’m one of the few people that can’t stand it and want to see what people are saying. Is that human nature or not?” Jerry Jones answered when asked why he listened.

He admits that plenty of people have wondered why he would continue to listen to sports talk shows when the Cowboys are so polarizing.

“I use to have people ask me, ‘why in the world do you listen to talk radio, because they’re wearing your proverbial butt out?’ (And my response was)’I like pain. I just like to hear it. Just put it in me.'”

While the Cowboys came out of Week 1 with a loss, sports talk in Dallas has largely been kind to the Cowboys. The aforementioned Shan & RJ said that Dak Prescott’s performance should be the story of week 1 considering that the Cowboys’ quarterback missed most of last season with a shoulder injury.

Time will tell if Jerry Jones is in for his beloved pain following the Cowboys’ visit to LA to take on the Chargers on Sunday.

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Sports Radio News

Joy Taylor Creates Scholarship At Barry University

“Taylor graduated from Barry University in 2009.”

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Joy Taylor

Barry University is a private, Catholic school in Miami. It also happens to be the alma matter of FOX Sports Radio star Joy Taylor, who announced today that she is giving back to the school and helping some of its current students.

On Friday, Joy Taylor took to Twitter to announce that she had created a scholarship. It will go to students in the school’s department of mass communications.

“It’s my honor to be able to give back to the next generation of journalists and broadcasters,” Taylor wrote. “It’s a personal goal of mine to improve the lack of diversity in my business at every level. Barry gave me that experience. Go Bucs!”

Taylor graduated from Barry University in 2009. She began her career in local radio in Miami shortly after.

She isn’t the only famous alumnus of the school. Barry University awarded Shaquille O’Neal a doctorate of education in 2012. The NBA Hall-of-Famer studied Human Resource Development at the school.

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Mike Golic, Dave Pasch Reunite On Westwood One Next Week

“The pair has the radio call after being on TV together for the first time last season.”

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GolicandPasch
Courtesy: ESPN

Mike Golic Sr. and Dave Pasch are reuniting on the Westwood One airwaves. Rudy Martzke reports that Golic and Pasch are calling next week’s Thursday Night Football clash between the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans.

The pair has the radio call after being on TV together for the first time last season. Pasch is the voice of the Arizona Cardinals and calls college football and basketball for ESPN. Golic exited ESPN last year after spending 25 years with the network as a radio host and football analyst.

Martzke had some thoughts on the pairing that he shared with Barrett Media.

“Very popular duo last season,” Martzke said. “Ton of games, unfortunately, were cancelled including an ND [Notre Dame] game. Chemistry, mostly remote, was lighting up Twitter how great they were calling the games.”

Golic has shown the broadcasting chops and personality to mesh into almost any broadcast team. He seemingly found a great partner in Pasch, who often pairs with Bill Walton on ESPN college basketball broadcasts. Although, don’t expect to see Golic eating a cupcake, lit candle and all, on the broadcast next Thursday.

Pasch actually worked Golic’s final event as an ESPN employee during the 2021 Playstation Fiesta Bowl. The crew built Golic a sendoff video and even brought in a cake for the analyst to eat on air.

“25 years ago,” Pasch described. “Mike Golic joined ESPN, did everything from NFL studio analyst to Monday Night Football and of course a long partnership with Mike Greenberg. Mike & Mike went 18 years. You get your son, Mike Golic Jr. now is an excellent broadcaster, both radio and calling games. Mike’s in the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, the National Radio Hall of Fame, the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame as well.”

On Thursday, it’s back to business for Pasch and Golic as they rekindle their burgeoning chemistry on the Westwood One airwaves.

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