Flying off half-cocked
A Johnny Dallas victory? Anger simmers (mine included) over the release ofCharlie Hodge and “Chicken Wing”
While making a trip to the office about a week ago, I tuned in to KLBJ-FM to hear the next installment in the sophomoric shenanigans of host Charlie Hodge (“You got that right!”) and loyal co-host Matt “Chicken Wing” Sadler on the Rock & Roll Halftime Show. Like many listeners who tuned in that week, I was surprised to hear music instead.
Of course the show would take breaks and cut to music and commercials routinely, but usually, it’s not several songs right after the other. With a solid block of songs and commercials that didn’t lead into Charlie making more prank phone calls, I was confused but not worried. It wasn’t until I got into the office that I heard the disheartening news. Charlie and Matt had gotten the boot.
Information has been mostly scant as to why KLBJ gave the dynamic duo the pink slip. The station has simply stated it was all about the ratings. They weren’t where they wanted them to be, and research had shown that listeners wanted to hear more music during the workday. That’s certainly understandable reasoning; ratings are definitely the most common cause of radio and TV programs getting the plug pulled on them. But when it came to the Halftime Show, the abrupt ending seems to have fueled the flames of fan outrage.
Fans have taken to the Charlie Hodge Show and KLBJ 93.7 Facebook pages to air out their displeasure and, as Charlie would put it, fly off “half-cocked” at the classic rock station’s executive decision. Most have already threatened to take the station off of their pre-sets. Many of the more devoted fans also haven’t shied away from taking shots at the Dudley and Bob morning show, lamenting why they weren’t the ones who were shown the door.
While I may not be a long-time listener, the firing stills stings. It was only a couple of months ago that I got hooked. Charlie and Matt would make the drive to the office much more fun everyday, and it wasn’t long before I realized that perhaps no one loved this city as much as Charlie. He understood that this city is an oasis of unique awesomeness that has to be protected from the invading hordes of fun-sucking LA Dumbfaces (Californians). He even commented on the asinine attempts to ruin the fun in other cities, such as when New Braunfels effectively banned beer on the Comal River.
Although, I’ll admit that I won’t miss the “freedom nuggets” of Alex Jones from Infowars.com, but because I don’t personally buy into conspiracies doesn't mean I wasn't entertained along with other listeners.
Even if you don’t consider the obvious passion that Charlie expresses for this city, the man certainly made me and many others laugh. Whether its disparaging the Dong of America (Florida) or telling the story of how he tried to roundhouse kick a vending machine but instead landed on his ass, Charlie had the simple everyday goal of making our workday easier to get through.
While many of the reactions may seem to be “half-cocked,” the top brass of KLBJ shouldn’t be too surprised at them. Even if Charlie and Matt didn’t quite get the numbers shows like Dudley and Bob drew, the show still had quite the following. It remains to be seen whether those fans can stay true to their word and take a bite out of KLBJ’s ratings. It might just be the first salvo in a war against Johnny Dallas.
Until new developments arise, you can still catch Charlie Hodge live at the Austin Variety Show’s Smoke-Out fundraiser for the Red Cross of Central Texas to benefit victims of the Central Texas wildfires. Fans should go and support their favorite radio personality, but mostly they should show some support to the families hit hard by the wildfire devastation.
As for me, I’ll do the best I can to keep the spirit of Charlie alive in Austin. By that I mean I’ll get to work making prank phone calls to Waffle Houses in Florida.