"You filthy pragmatists, I'm going to get you!"
A Salute to Jean Shepherd:
"Those who have seen the 1983 movie "A Christmas Story" know Jean Shepherd as the voice of Ralph Parker as an adult. Others who grew up in the New York Metropolitan area during the 50's, 60's and 70's may recall the nightly radio show he did on WOR 710AM five nights a week for forty-five minutes and the two-hour Saturday night "Live at the Limelight" shows.
... a stunt he liked to pull, was the hurling of invectives. He would instruct his listeners to place their radios in the open window of their house and turn the volume way up. He would then yell over the radio things like, "You filthy pragmatists, I'm going to get you!"
Shep often said that there was 5 to 10 hours of preparation for each of his nightly shows, and yet fellow WOR personality Barry Farber, and one of his engineers, Herb Squire say that it all came from the top of his head. Herb claims that Shep would come into the studio with only a scrap of paper with a few notes, or perhaps an article someone had sent him. He would sit down behind the mike, and as the theme song would play Shep would ease into 45 minutes of non-stop chatter. He would start out talking about a particular subject, and through the course of the show, would side track to other related topics. But as his theme music at the end of the show came to a close he managed to tie it all together and bring the show to an end."
Jean Shepherd: Radio's Noble Savage
by Edward Grossman
"10:15 P.M. The WOR news and weather are out of the way. A bugle sounds, and a sprightly theme song comes trotting on the air. The theme has a double meaning: it is the one that calls the horses to the gate at Aqueduct, and it is the Bahnfrei Overture, composed for an operetta by Eduard Strauss, the only member of the Strauss family who did not make good. Presently, Shepherd's clear, rowdy voice intrudes. 'Okay, gang are you ready to play radio? Are you ready to shuffle off the mortal coil of mediocrity? I am if you are.' There is a noise like a mechanized Bronx cheer (BRRAPP!)- it is Shepherd blowing his kazoo. At other times he twangs his Jew's-harp (BRROING!). 'Yes, you fatheads out there in the darkness, you losers in the Sargasso Sea of existence, take heart, because WOR, in its never ending crusade of public service, is once again proud to bring you--(EROICA SYMPHONY UP)-- The Jean Shepherd Program!'"
Shep In Concert! Video Clip
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