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"Radio's all about guys with subpar intellects killing four goddamn hours a morning."
Adam Carolla, radio host

The Dumbass DJ is, as the name suggests, a DJ who is a loud, obnoxious boor who makes moronic quips between songs. When used in fiction, the character is almost always intended to be unlikable; expect everyone else to respond with open derision and hatred. In the very rare cases that you're supposed to like them, they frequently become The Scrappy, a Creator's Pet or (if very lucky) So Bad It's Good.

Stereotypical Dumbass DJs hold a morning slot for a Top-40 station, and try (sometimes successfully) to amuse their audience with with Toilet Humor, Refuge in Vulgarity, and ridiculous overacting.

Expect them to describe themselves as "wacky," "crazy," or "edgy," insult callers and guests, and scream half of their lines. See also Large Ham Radio; Shock Jock.

Examples of Dumbass DJ include:


Comic Books

  • A Judge Dredd comic centers around a DJ who keeps hearing voices in his head telling him that nobody likes him and he should kill himself, until finally he breaks down and does it. The coroner investigating his death explains that he was a dormant esper whose psychic powers were just surfacing, and the voices were what his listeners really thought of him. The coroner says the DJ didn't deserve to be hated that much... until he hears a recording of his radio show. Worse still, said DJ was able to air his show twenty four hours a day with the aid of a sleep machine and an extended mix of a particularly annoying record.

Film

  • Arguably, Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam.
  • In the Comedians Of Comedy documentary, Patton Oswalt complains about his upcoming promotional stop at a radio show, predicting that the deejays are probably going to be blisteringly unfunny. When he gets to the radio studio in the next scene, a morning zoo crew has a Whoopee Cushion in the studio that they apparently use on-air.
  • Bill Murray gets to wake up every day for the rest of his life to the sound of two yammering deejays in Groundhog Day. "Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today!"
    • The first sign he's finally escaped the loop? Their spiel changes.
  • Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element.
  • Johnny Crunch from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
  • Shakes the Clown (Film) featured a brief bit with a pair of DJs who were actually named Loud and Obnoxious.
  • The two DJs in Dead Air 2009 start out like this, until a zombie apocalypse gets going outside their studio. They drop the dumbass, insulting schtick once they realize that something really nasty is actually going on.
  • Rockin' Roger from Suck, played by Henry Rollins and proving to be Too Dumb to Live when he insults the vampire band in his studio on air.
  • Handsome Dan from Wayne's World 2. Not only does the name not describe him well, but he's too busy selecting music and preparing his comedic sound effects to pay attention to what his guests are saying. That is, openly and remorselessly insulting him on his own show.

Literature

  • The Tim Dorsey novel Hammerhead Ranch Motel had Boris The Hateful Piece Of Shit (Yes, that was his legal name, though the FCC required him to honk a foghorn when saying the last word when on the air). He was killed when Serge disguised himself as a lotion boy and slathered his body with homemade coconut oil-scented napalm.

Live Action TV

  • Law and Order SVU had an episode about a teenage boy who was inspired by a particularly Dumbass DJ to commit a crime.
  • Tom Servo of Mystery Science Theater 3000's voice was intended to sound like a Ted Baxter-ish radio DJ.
  • Harry Enfield's sketch comedy characters Smashie and Nicey combine this with aging rock star syndrome.
  • Radar from M*A*S*H becomes a bit of one in episode "Your Hit Parade".
  • A sketch in Big Train is about a terrible pun making DJ who repeatedly interrupts the start of a song to make stupid puns on the word "Bean", until he runs out of puns and goes down into a basement to yell at a group of chained children who were supposed to be writing his jokes for him.
  • Frasier has the radio station hire two of these in one episode.
  • Parks and Recreation had Crazy Ira and The Douche, whose entire shows seem to revolve around fart jokes. The soundboard operator looks like he wants to kill himself.
  • The "Z105" skit[1] on Saturday Night Live features Ben Affleck and Jimmy Fallon as two morning show DJs and old college rivals battling it out with their impressions: TuSpock ("Live large and prosper, Biotch"), Sherlock Homo ("Elementary, my queer Watson"), Man in the Can, Man in the Box, Sanjay, Rajneesh, the Gay Three Stooges, and of course, Andrea with the weather... And we're baaaack!
  • In Hi-de-Hi!, which is set in a 1950s holiday camp, Gladys is Radio Maplin's DJ. She spends all her time making unfunny, stilted jokes, trolling for gifts from the campers, and indulging her delusion that she can sing.

Music

  • The song "Falling Down" by CunningLynguists is about three people who have a really, REALLY bad day on the same day, and eventually collide. In the beginning, a annoying radio DJ announces a traffic jam, then directly insults the listener, and to top it all "We're gonna play three full hours of the Baha Men!"
  • David Cross recycled a bit of his stand-up routine (see below) to play an obnoxious DJ in the music video for "Juicebox" by The Strokes.
  • The Queens of the Stone Age album Songs For The Deaf had Dumbass DJ intros to several tracks.
    • A dumbass DJ closes "No One Knows".
  • To a point, used in the beginning of the Dead Kennedys song 'M.T.V., get Off The Air'; Hi! I'm your video DJ! I always talk like I'm wigged out on Quaaludes!

Radio

  • Chris Morris' aptly named Wayne Kerr from On The Hour, who keeps up his Dumbass DJ schtick even when broadcasting from a war zone.

Stand Up Comedy

  "We're here with funnyman David Cross; David, you didn't know it yet, but you're just in time for the Friday Morning Fart Song! ("What? No...") All right! You're listening to the Gator and the Lunatic!"

Video Games

  • Nearly every DJ in the Grand Theft Auto universe is obnoxious or dysfunctional in some way or another.
    • One admits to cannibalism.
  • DJ Stryker in Burnout 3: Takedown. Bonus points for being a real radio DJ.
  • There's rather a lot of DJs in some of the venues on Second Life (at least outside the really professional, first-tier places like Dance Island) that Will. Not. Shut. Up. Some can pull this off; others, not so much.
  • DJ Juanito from Tropico 3. The expansion pack even gives you an option to shoot him.
  • ClapFM is run by one of these. Notable for his liberal and gratuitous use of canned farting sound effects.

Web Animation

  • One of the stock radio personalities mocked by Strong Bad of Homestar Runner in the Strong Bad Email "radio". In addition to "The AM Morning Crude Crew", whom he describes as "bad stand-up comedians you can't heckle... or jeckle... or throw high-ball glasses at", Strong Bad briefly makes Strong Sad act like a fast-talking shock-jock.

 Strong Sad: What's the phrase that pays that plays for days? It's numbitty-nine-oh-two, "The Sturge." Don't you touch that zabbitablah!

    • Even Homestar, who's normally at least half-reasonable, drunkenly shouts at his radio while the morning crew is on and ultimately throws a glass at it (a tumbler glass, not a highball glass as he says).

Web Comics

  • Sam and Fuzzy had DJ Positive. Then again, Fridge isn't exactly the right type of person to comment on people's jerk quotient: Most humans seem to like him well enough and his daughter was a pleasant person who looked up to him.

Web Original

  • Loading Ready Run once did a sketch about a pair of shock jock DJs doing a really dreadful morning show, with phone pranks failing, awful music and everything going wrong. Their boss comes in and announces he is the Devil and that they are in an Ironic Hell. Only he's just yanking their chain and it's just a bad morning. Only it is hell.
  • DJ Mac Megahertz on Hero Factory FM. The guy fails at just about everything (though not as badly as some of his colleagues), but that's why the show is so hilarious (or So Bad It's Good). If they only had a figure of him.
  • A Derrick Comedy sketch involves two of these stuck in their recording room due to the "Wolfpocalypse" while still keeping up their schtick.

Western Animation

  • Garfield from Garfield and Friends despises radio deejays. When Jon becomes one, it's played for Poke the Poodle.
  • In an episode of Daria, two wacky morning deejays ("Bing and the Spatula Man") set up camp for a week at Lawndale High, to Daria's obvious non-delight.
  • On an episode of The Simpsons, two idiot DJs end up owing Bart Simpson an elephant or risk losing their job to a machine, which comes pre-programmed with "inane chatter":

 DJ 9000: Hey-hey. How-ab-out-that-wea-ther-out-there? Woah! THAT-was-the-cal-ler-from-hell. Well-hot-dog! We-have-a-WEINER

Idiot DJ #1: Man, that thing's great!

Idiot DJ #2: Don't praise the machine!

Boss: If you don't get that kid an elephant by tomorrow, the DJ 3000 gets your job.

DJ 9000: Those-clowns-in-Cong-ress-did-it-ag-ain. What-a-bunch-of-clowns.

Idiot DJ #1: *laughs* How does it keep up with the news like that?

    • The writers admit on a DVD commentary that they think Radio DJing is the lowest rung on the entertainment ladder, and attracts the worst performers.
  • One episode of Family Guy has Brian get a radio show that displaces Dumbass DJs "Weenie and the Butt", whose show mercilessly abused prerecorded sound bites. His show starts off as the wannabe intellectual (but incredibly boring) The Lunch Hour, but at the prodding of Stewie and the executives turns it into "Dingo and the Baby", a definite example of Lowest Common Denominator (as seen when they have a bikini-clad woman attempt to catch hot dogs in her mouth to win a boob job). After Brian realizes what he's become and quits, the episode ends by showing that Cleveland and Quagmire have replaced them.
  • The South Park episode Ass Burgers from season 15 featured an annoying radio show called "Big Harry and Mike in the Morning". Presumably, Stan was the only one who found it intolerable since the major plot of the episode was his growing pessimism toward society.

Real Life

  • Truth in Television: Many "Morning Zoo" DJs fall into this category, though occasionally there are those who are genuinely funny.
    • "Bubba the Love Sponge".
    • Many other types of DJs can fall into this trap, too. You've seen them - the ones who never learned to mix or put together a set, and drown their terrible music in clips of air horns, samples from old movies, and their own endless chatter - they're constantly on the mic, telling the guests to "get on the floor," yelling at women to shake their asses, and proclaiming their own awesomeness. Mobile and party DJs are particularly infamous for this.
      • Pauly D falls to this example well. And nearly every other "celebrity DJ" who is a guaranteed crowd-bringer simply on the fact that he/she is well-known and popular.
    • And unlike the radio guys, they don't even have the excuse of having to generate four hours of content five days a weeks starting at 5 AM. Incidentally, this has led to the format losing popularity; at its peak circa 1990, your only alternatives to a morning zoo-type format were NPR or Rush Limbaugh. Now, most rock stations have moved to playing more-or-less their rest-of-the-day format, with or without "More Music in the Morning" rebranding, usually leaving one station in town with a morning zoo format.
      • Unfortunately certain cities still haven't caught on, thank god for MP 3 jacks and CD players.
  • Michael J. Nelson's essay collection Mind Over Matters has a chapter titled "Wacky Morning Misrepresentation" devoted entirely to taking the piss out of Morning Zoo show DJs.
  • Tim Westwood, an embarrassing 'wigga' who refers to himself as 'The big dog'.
  • Chris Moyles, whose show mostly consists of playing top 40 music and news, and making fun of his cohosts. The show is quite funny on occasion but it doesn't change the fact it is lowbrow humour.

Notes

  1. Note for non-Americans -- the video is on Hulu, which means it can't be viewed outside America.
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