Friday, November 06, 2015

Dan Aykroyd Predicted Voice Tracking

Dan Aykroyd predicted voice tracking back on Saturday Night Live: Season 2, Episode 3 back in 1976. In the skit Aykroyd plays a DJ hosting both the AM and FM sides of KLOG, one which is a mellow free-form FM station and the AM which is high-energy pop. Each with a different respective persona the chipper Kip Casey and dark and gloomy Kenneth Wardell. You can read the whole transcript here.
"Yeahhhh.. Black Sabbath. I guess all you folks who got out to the Dead concert last night at Wildcat Stadium kinda know where my head's at today. But, hey, you know, I heard the City Council might cancel all rock concerts because of damage done to the astroturf. If you have to smoke cigarettes, put them in your beer can or carry an ashtray. If you smoke anything else, smoke it, then eat it. It won't kill you, but cigarettes will. It's a shame this kind of thing is still going on. I guess some of us didn't learn anything from the 60's. Hey, we're coming up to news time right now with Bernie Phillips, let's find out. I'm gonna take a little break and find out what's happening in the news with Bernie Phillips at the KLOG News Center"
For the final punchline Aykroyd  does the voice of Bernie Phillips on both stations simultaneously.  The bit, which is only a few minutes long, writes every radio joke that's ever been. It points out the hypocrisy that regardless of the branding or personality of the station, it's news segments are exempted. It's play on the old one-man-show aphorism. It covers stoners, the "free form" nature of FM radio in that era and the false excitement of Top 40 radio. It's a classic that's not been topped since.

Despite the fact that the writers of WKRP have long held that it was (partially) based on people and events at WQXI. I have long suspected that this short SNL bit was part of it's parentage.