MJ launches new morning show in New York City
After nearly 3 years removed from pulling double-duty with the MJ Morning Show and The Schnitt Show, MJ got the itch to return to his crazy schedule of hosting 2 radio shows per day.
On Jan. 26, 2015, MJ became part of "The Len Berman and Todd Schnitt Morning Show" on 710 WOR-AM in New York City. Berman, 67, is a longtime New York-based TV sportscaster, while MJ returns to the No. 1 media market for the first time since the early 1990s when he worked for Scott Shannon's morning show on WPLJ-FM.
MJ's new morning show runs from 6-10 a.m. live from the iHeart Media (formerly called Clear Channel) studios in Manhattan. The show is different from the MJ Morning Show as it runs on a news/talk AM station rather than the Top 40 CHR stations that the old morning show aired on. You likely won't hear too many crank calls, parody songs, or crazy parking lot stunts, either. But it is another opportunity to listen to MJ in the morning. You can stream the station online and on the iHeartRadio mobile app.
Loyal MJ Morning Show fans are likely disappointed to hear that MJ had 3 offers on the table to relaunch the MJ Morning Show. In fact, in one case, he said he could have brought back some of the old crew members to the show because of the contractual agreement he was offered. No word on who he meant, but it was probably Froggy, Fester, and even Meredith. The reason MJ gave for turning down these offers and accepting the one in NYC was that he could not pass up an opportunity to work on such a legendary radio station in such a major market, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.
This new show in New York City probably nixes any chances of the old MJ Morning Show ever returning to radio. But as long as MJ is on the air somewhere, you never know about a potential reunion of some former cast members - or at the very least some ongoing updates of what everyone is up to these days.
Where are they now?
Since the MJ Morning Show aired its final broadcast on February 17, 2012, the show’s former crew members have gone their separate ways. Some are still in radio, while others have moved on to very different career paths. As of July 2013, here are updates on what some of the crew members are up to these days:
MJ – The former captain of the MJ Morning Show continues to be successful in radio. He remains as the host of the 12-year-old, nationally-syndicated talk show The Schnitt Show, which is based out of Tampa, Florida in the same Clear Channel building where he hosted the morning show for 18 years. The Schnitt Show airs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET in over 50 markets. It’s more politically-oriented and focused on news and current events compared to the pop culture focus of the morning show. MJ said not to long ago that he intends to move to Colorado at some point in the next few years. No word, though, on whether he’d continue to do the show from out there or if he has any plans outside of radio in his future. He is an investor in a new restaurant chain called PDQ and is involved with a new piece of software in the auto industry.
Froggy (2) – We all loved Froggy’s humor, crank calls, and bad-boy personality. But unfortunately, his comedy is no longer being showcased on the airwaves. Believe it or not, Froggy is working for a family-owned shelving and fixture business called Madix Store Fixtures located in Tampa that he apparently intends to take over some day. His father-in-law owns it now. According to LinkedIn, he works as a manufacturer’s representative for the company. This seems like a far cry from radio, but you’ve got to give him a lot of credit for starting a career in something totally new.
Hurricane – We all remember the MJ vs. Bubba lawsuit from earlier this year. Ironically, Hurricane is now a member of the Bubba Radio Network, working for MJ’s radio rival Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. He is currently an executive producer of the show, which he joined in the fall of 2012.
Meredith – Along with Hurricane, Meredith is also still in the radio business. For about six months, she worked for 98.7 The Fan in Tampa, an FM sports talk station where she served as a producer on the station’s Kirk and Dinger Morning Show. Now, however, she holds a similar role on Wild 94.1 FM’s Orlando & The Freakshow morning program in Tampa, which is in the same building as 98.7. Apparently the early-morning alarm clock jolt doesn’t bother her as she has continued with a morning work shift.
Dave the Dwarf – Dave was always known for doing appearances around town, especially at strip clubs. He has continued doing these gigs at Showgirls, a club in Plant City that he used to promote all the time on the MJ Morning Show. Now at 49 years old, Dave is several years past the age of 45 that the oldest dwarf with his condition apparently lived to be. He has had some health issues over the past few years, but he’s still going strong at 3’2’’.
MJ is unsuccessful in defamation lawsuit
After nearly five years, MJ’s lawsuit against Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem is finally over. But it didn’t turn out in MJ’s favor. On Jan. 30, a jury ruled in favor of Clem on all counts of defamation. MJ had filed a civil suit against Clem, a longtime radio rival in the Tampa market, in March 2008 for defaming he and his wife, Michelle, on Clem’s morning show, which currently to airs on 102.5 “The Bone” in Tampa. Clem called Michelle a “whore” and accused MJ of tampering with Arbitron radio ratings and contests on the MJ Morning Show, including “Mangle Mouth” and “Pick Your Plastic.” His main focus was on the fact that Clem suggested he was a criminal for these actions, which he believed to be defamation of character.
The trial began on Jan. 14 in a Hillsborough County, Florida courtroom. Testimony from MJ’s side came from himself, his wife, Fester, Meredith, Tommy Chuck, BJ, and others associated with the show. This group made the case that MJ, his wife, and many of the crew members had been both verbally and physically attacked by Clem’s listeners. They also received numerous death threats via e-mail and phone calls to the studio. During the trial, MJ’s attorney, C. Phillip Campbell, was arrested for DUI, bringing national attention to the already heavily covered case that was streamed live online and featured daily in newspapers, TV reports, and on MJ’s Schnitt Show flagship station in Tampa, 970 WFLA.
In the end, the jury felt that everything MJ’s camp claimed was not considered defamatory. The jury deliberated for less than three years, seemingly indicating that its members had made up their minds rather quickly. There is still an ongoing investigation into the DUI incident, and it remains to be seen how much MJ will owe since he was unsuccessful in the trial.
On Jan. 31, the day after the trial, MJ held a news conference on his Schnitt Show with TV and newspaper reporters in the studio, asking him questions about his reaction to losing the case. He made it clear that he’ll always stand by his decision to file the lawsuit and said he wanted to stand up for his reputation and his family. Aside from a brief statement he made on-air in 2008, this marked his first official acknowledgement of the case on the radio. He never talked about it on either his morning show or his afternoon show while it was going on. This is why he felt it was never a “radio war” since it was one-sided and he didn’t engage in it on the air.
R.I.P. to MJ's dog Scarlett
Jan. 30, 2013, the same day MJ got the unwanted verdict in his defamation trial, he and his wife had to put down their 17-year-old female Jack Russell terrier, Scarlett. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in 2012 and was not expected to live past Thanksgiving. The couple has a male Jack Russell named Romeo who is about the same age. The dogs were infamously the center of attention on the MJ Morning Show when one of them escaped from the house and went missing. MJ had to leave the show to help find the dog, which he ultimately did in a short amount of time. He had a vet come to the house to euthanize her and put her out of her suffering.
Meredith joins 98.7 The Fan in Tampa
The first former member of the MJ Morning Show finally landed a job. And it might be a bit unexpected where she ended up.
On Friday, August 3, Meredith officially joined "The Kirk and Dinger Show" on 98.7 The Fan, a brand new sports talk FM station in Tampa that launched on August 2. This is the first-ever sports station on the FM dial in the Tampa Bay area and represents what appears to be a shift in radio as more talk stations begin to pop up on FM instead of the traditional AM dial.
Since the MJ Morning Show ended on February 17, Meredith had been searching for a full-time gig in radio. It's a bit surprising that she landed on a sports station since she had never done much work in sports. Plus MJ and the crew rarely talked about sports, although they did showcase Meredith's obsession with Tim Tebow on the show quite frequently. She is working as a producer for the new show and will apparently be an on-air personality on the program along with her behind-the-scenes role. The three other hosts include former Tampa Bay Lightning star Chris Dingman, a guy named "Pants" who is also a producer, and Kirk McEwen, who is the main host who used to work in the Balitmore/Washington D.C. market.
As far as I know, Fester, Froggy, and Hurricane are still looking for jobs. Who would have thought that Meredith would be the first of the bunch to land one? Congratulations to her!
By the way, to stream "The Kirk and Dinger Show" live online to get your daily dose of Meredith, visit www.987thefan.com. It airs weekdays from 6-10 AM ET.
Congrats to Hurricane on tying the knot!
On Friday, April 6, 2012, Hurricane became a married man for the first time in his life. At age 46, he married a girl named Peggy who is 20 years younger than him. The two got engaged on October 16 of last year and had known each other for over six months at the time. They first met at the Green Iguana Bar & Grill in Tampa.
During his 18 years as a member of the MJ Morning Show, Hurricane was always a bachelor. He apparently had a longtime girlfriend, but he rarely revealed anything about his personal life, even though MJ would occasionally try to pump him for information.
Congrats to Hurricane and Peggy, and I hope they enjoy a wonderful marriage! This means that Meredith is the only former member of the show during its final years to not be married. She is allegedly still dating Anthony, who works as a "sales weasel" at the radio station complex where she used to work on the morning show. Who knows, perhaps 2012 will be her year to tie the knot as well!
Video of the final show
Here is exclusive video of the final 11 minutes of the last MJ Morning Show broadcast on Feb. 17, 2012. This video was apparently taken by Sid the Intern:
Follow the crew online
Now that the MJ Morning Show is over, several former crew members are keeping listeners updated through social media on what they are doing and where they will end up in the future. Here are links to each of their accounts and e-mail addresses:
MJ - @toddschnitt
Fester - @fester933flz
Hurricane - @HurricaneFLZ
Meredith - @kissmew
MJ - facebook.com/toddschnitt
MJ - firstname.lastname@example.org
Fester - email@example.com
Hurricane - firstname.lastname@example.org
WORDS WITH FRIENDS
Fester's screen name - djs7174
2/17/12: The Final Show
The final MJ Morning Show was broadcast on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. I always had wondered what the final show would be like. Because MJ and the crew were known for pulling tricks out of their sleeves, it only made sense that there would be some cool surprises. I thought there would have been one final parking lot stunt. I thought we would have heard from more former crew members, like BJ, Joey B, Froggy 1, Chip the Midget, or even Jason Buffoon Boy. Just for one morning, they could have all gotten together (or called in) to reminisce about the show's 18-year run. But none of them made an appearance. There was no parking lot stunt. There were no big surprises. There was no final Crotchety call. There was no turkey fryer fire explanation. I hope I am speaking for all the big fans out there when I say that the final show was kind of a letdown. Maybe I'm just disappointed it's all over, though.
Yes, it was nice to hear a mostly music-free broadcast for once. It was great to hear from Kristen and LaMosa the Interns, who set the bar high for the internship program. It was nice to hear MJ and Kane talk about how one was leaving and the other was taking over. It was nice to hear Tacoboy's voice again. And the final few minutes of the show were certainly quite compelling as each of the crew said their goodbyes and MJ got choked up a bit. But let's put it this way - it wasn't how I expected the final broadcast to go. I was hoping to hear a little something extra, a "wow" moment, a revelation or something a little shocking. But it never really materialized like that.
So we all carry on without the show. Monday, Feb. 20 marks a new era on 93.3 FLZ, Z107.7, and RadioNOW 97.9 FM. Kane will take over in Tampa, but there is still no word on what will happen in St. Louis and Jacksonville. One thing is for certain: our mornings will never be the same. At least we had some great ones for so many years.
Click here to listen to the final few minutes of the show when everyone said their farewells and MJ signed off for the final time.
Click here to watch the FOX 13 segment on MJ leaving the morning show.
Dear MJ Morning Show crew and fans:
From the bottom of my heart and the bottoms of all other fans' hearts, thank you MJ and crew for 18 wonderful, hilarious years of radio entertainment! You all will be sorely missed in the car on the way to work, on the way home from the nightshift, on the way to school, and at various hours throughout the day on iHeartRadio and the podcasts.
If the show did not exist, this fan page would not have existed. It probably would have been bought up by a Michael Jackson fan before or right after his untimely death. But I am glad I was able to secure it and put it to (somewhat) good use. I will continue to run the site for as long as people are interested. Thanks for all the mentions on the air over the years, and thanks for letting me hang out in the studio with you guys. I still have the recording of my first time in the studio from 2006 where I actually got to put on headphones and talk into a microphone on the air. I will always cherish that experience.
As stated, I will keep this website going to update fans on what happens to the rest of the crew. I will do my best to keep in touch with them and find out where they land. Hopefully they will be working on-air in some capacity so that we can listen to them either on the radio or online. Thanks to everyone who has supported this site and participated in the forum and contests. I would also like to send a special thanks to the moderators - FLSurfboy, Nerrej, bpdfs, and Jbaby3 - for helping me with the forum over the last six years. Plus a shout-out to my good friend Jeff Wray for helping with the hosting and technical aspects of the site. As with the website, the forum will remain online for as long as there is interest in reminiscing about the show and discussing where the rest of the crew members end up.
Good luck to all and to all a good...morning!
MJ Morning Show to end Feb. 17, 2012
There are certain days we all know will come along in our lives at some point. The only question is "when?" We now know the answer to the question of when the MJ Morning Show will air its final broadcast.
On Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012, it was announced via social media sites Facebook and Twitter that the MJ Morning Show will come to an end on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. This move would give MJ a lot more time to focus on his nationally-syndicated afternoon show "The Schnitt Show" and would allow him to spend more time with his family. He had been doing both the morning show and the afternoon show simultaneously for over 10 years.
Here is what was posted on MJ's Twitter feed:
“Let me be first to officially announce that Feb. 17 will be the last broadcast of "The MJ Morning Show." 18 great years! I can now focus 100% of my energy on the growing national footprint of "The Schnitt Show." This also lets me spend more time with my family!”
There is no mention of what will happen to Fester, Froggy, Meredith, Hurricane, Dave the Dwarf, and the interns who help out on a regular basis.
UPDATE: On Friday, Jan. 20, the show was off the air as the crew apparently was "very emotional" about the news of the show's upcoming finale that they decided to take a three-day weekend and regroup. The crew will return live on Monday, Jan. 23 to discuss the news.
UPDATE 2: On Monday, Jan. 23, MJ discussed a few details about ending the show. The main reason is to give him more time to spend with his kids so that he can drive them to school in the morning and attend more school functions. He admitted that he didn't want to wake up one day and wish he had done more for his kids when they were young. He said the crew will bring back several former morning show members to reminisce about their time on the show. He also said there was no special significance to choosing Feb. 17 as the date for the final broadcast. In addition, each broadcast leading up to the final one will include short clips from some of the funniest and most memorable moments that have occurred throughout the program's history.
UPDATE 3: On Tuesday, Jan. 24, MJ talked about how in November 2009, he had strongly considered ending the MJ Morning Show at the end of that year. The station's "Jingle Ball" concert would have taken a special moment to recognize the crew. But he decided to keep doing the show primarily for the sake of the careers of the rest of the crew. In the summer of 2011, he had also thought about giving it up after the show was shortened and more music was added, but he kept at it.
MJ also talked about Hot 101.5, a competing radio station in Tampa that went on the air in July 2011 and continues to poke fun at MJ. He wasn't too thrilled with what the station was doing, but he said it made him feel much worse when other kids at Chloe's school were talking about it and she was having to defend her daddy. He recommended that people do not listen to Hot 101.5, especially because the station's new morning show host was a member of a show in Sacramento that indirectly killed a listener after she got water intoxication during a morning show contest called "Hold Your Wee for a Wii."
UPDATE 4: It is now official who will replace MJ, at least in Tampa. On Tuesday, Jan. 24, it was announced that "The Kane Show" out of Washington, D.C. will begin airing weekday mornings on 93.3 FLZ starting Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. Kane started at 93.3 FLZ as a night show host in 1998 and has been associated with the station on and off since then. Froggy 2 was an on-air member of his show for a few years before joining the MJ Morning Show in 2002. In 2004, Kane became the station's afternoon show host and has worked remotely from D.C. since then. Here is the official press release with more details about this move.
As of right now, there is no word on whether Kane's show will also air in Jacksonville or St. Louis. This officially means that Fester, Froggy, Hurricane, and Meredith will no longer be part of the morning team on the show's current stations.
UPDATE 5: Former members who appeared on the show prior to the final broadcast include: Dave the Dwarf, Anthony "Sully" Sullivan (the pitchman), Dave Legarreta (laughing maintenance man), and Dana the Intern (aka. Dumbass Dana).
Froggy's final crank call aired on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 during which he called Richard and Judith and came clean that it was Froggy from the MJ Morning Show calling them, not an old man named Donald. He then proceeded to throw MJ under the bus by claiming it was "Todd Schnitt" who made the calls. Richard threatened to sue him and the radio station for the harassment.
On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012, Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn proclaimed that Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 would be "MJ Morning Show Day" in the city of Tampa, Florida.
Jerry Springer called in to the show on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012. The show did numerous events with Jerry in the 1990s.
FINAL SHOW: The final show aired on Friday, Feb. 17, 2012. It primarily consisted of listener phone calls wishing the crew farewell and good luck. The crew only played a few songs early in the show. Kane, Tacoboy, LaMosa the Intern, and Kristen the Intern appared on the final show. MJ and the crew each had a chance to say their goodbyes and thank the listeners. MJ got very emotional at the end of the show, which ended at about 9:13 a.m. ET. Fester had to carry it to the end until MJ got it together to say for the final time, as his voice wavered: "This is the MJ Radio Network."
The contest has ended. Thanks to everyone for entering! There are definitely a lot of avid MJ Morning Show fans out there as evidenced by all the great entries.
The winner of the seventh annual MJ Morning Show Trivia Challenge is Keith Bennett of Lakeland, FL! Keith receives a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate for answering all 15 questions correctly. An honorable mention goes out to Jean Sutton of Hudson, FL who only missed part of one question but got the rest right.
Here are the questions and the correct answers:
1. What was the name of the receptionist who MJ used to call and quiz with simple trivia questions? Rhonda
2. What was the name of Froggy 2’s “band” he created to sing kids songs like “Waffle Wednesday?” The Frogawogs
3. In MJ’s Crotchety Old Man calls, Milton Fludgecow has two children – a boy and a girl. What are their names? Chauncey and Estelle
4. Name the celebrity who appeared on the show and said MJ stands for “Most Jerk.” William Shatner
5. Who was the official morning show dwarf before Dave the Dwarf? Chip the Midget
6. In October 2011, Fester and Allison gave birth to their first child. What is the child’s first name? Hadley
7. “Blimp and Shrimp Moving” was a moving company started up by which two morning show members? Fester and Dave the Dwarf
8. Which two MJ Morning Show interns appeared on “American Idol?” LaMosa and Kristen
9. Did MJ win or lose on his “Hollywood Squares” appearance in 2000? He lost
10. Who sang the MJ Morning Show jingle about the show (listen to it)? Peter Cofield
11. In basic terms, what was stuck in Milton Fludgecow’s VCR in the Crotchety Old Man call? Food
12. Name the teen pop star who was born three weeks after MJ & BJ’s first morning show broadcast in 1994. Justin Bieber
13. What are the names of the husband and wife who Froggy frequently prank-called as Dementia Don? Richard and Judith14. Where did Meredith claim she was during the time she got her breast augmentation? At a wedding in North Carolina
15. Where did MJ briefly go to college? Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY
We miss Froggy's creativity
In the fall of 2011, it was revealed on the show that Froggy would no longer be doing his prank calls. This meant no more Dementia Don, no more Rob Ripple, and no more Johnny Stankface. At the time, he was on a schedule of recording three new calls each week for about eight months.
Froggy has also done parody songs in the past, some of which have been funny with a lot of creative thought put into them. Many of these songs were about celebrities and included various audio clips and sound effects. A few years back, he recorded an entire "Frogawogs" album and made it available on iTunes. It was basically a take-off on kids songs.
I think I can speak for most MJ Morning Show fans when I say that "we" miss Froggy's creativity. We miss his more frequent contributions to the show, which have been dwindled down to only his commentary on the various topics MJ brings up each morning. It sure would be nice to hear more out of Froggy. It's really a shame management (apparently Tommy CHuck) took away some of his opportunities to be creative.
But Froggy should also step to the plate and come up with some new ideas for bits, such as parody songs or anything else that isn't a prank call since he can't do those anymore for whatever reason. How about some funny adio compliations? How about some parody songs poking fun at the Kardashians? The sky is the limit, and I hope this post will prompt some action out of Froggy and the rest of the show. With only three hours of a morning show these days, you'd think the crew would have more time to produce and execute more creative bits. Let's hear some!
SUPER BOWL XLVI EGG TEST IS WRONG AFTER IT PICKED PATRIOTS
The final Super Bowl Egg Test in the history of the MJ Morning Show was wrong. The test, which involves writing the names of either team in the game on each egg, putting them in a microwave, and seeing which one explodes first (the loser), picked the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI. The Giants' egg burst first after just 52 seconds. But it was the New York Giants who came up victorious as they defeated Tom Brady's squad by a score of 21-17. Perhaps it was because MJ was absent for the egg test this time. Fester, Froggy, Hurricane, and Meredith conducted the test without MJ for the first time. This may have jinxed the validity of the test's outcome. In fact, it's the second year in a row that the egg test has failed. It picked the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV, but it was the Green Bay Packers who won that game.
HURRICANE RETURNS TO STUDIO WITH TEMPORARY LAPTOP
If you're an avid listener, you probably haven't heard Hurricane on the show much lately. That's because he was working outside the studio in another area of the radio station complex. He was still maintaining the show's website - MJMorningShow.com - and handling other technical duties behind-the-scenes. But in mid-January, he returned to work in the studio after nearly six weeks of being away from the rest of the crew. He now has a tempporary laptop since his old laptop stopped working. Hopefully he is there to stay and the company will provide him with a new computer so he can actually do his job the way it should be done. It's good to hear Hurricane's voice again.
NOTE: This is an MJ Morning Show fan site created by a fan of the show, Greg Lindberg.
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