SunSounds of Arizona is a reading service for the blind. I have had the good fortune to create two entertainment programs for SunSounds, the first of which was in the early years, called STUFF and SUCH and eventually simply, STUFF.
As a volunteer reader of public information found only in print, it was my job to read well and to read accurately. I was reading the words of humorists like Dave Barry. Once a week I wrote a short play and acted the different roles, sandwiching the ditzy dialogues between those articles by humorists in print.
These comic scenarios of mine became so popular that I decided to risk converting one of Dave Barry’s creations to a play. It was called Thirty Minutes Eye-Witless News. There were perhaps a dozen characters and again I played them all. I sent a copy to Dave. Shortly after he landed a four season Gig on TV called Dave’s World. I was later told that my play gave his manager the idea for that very successful sitcom.
In about 1989 Garrison Keeler who does Prairie Home Companion announced that he was marrying a Swede, leaving the show and moving to Sweden. (NPR continued to rerun old tapes.) On the weekend following The Keelers’ departure I aired a five-minute spoof of his show and called it Prairie Dog Companion; instead of “Coming to you from Lake Wobegone” my show came from “Lake Dogonit”.
A year or so later Gary returned to the show. Years later, I found myself in a conversation with Keeler about his DSL service, I was in that business for a while and he had heard that I might be able to help him. When I answered the phone Keeler recognized my name and we had a chuckle over Lake Dogonit.
In 1995 STUFF was canceled. Exactly three-years later a local television station began an ad campaign airing a number of STUFF- esque jingles which were similar to the song that I had written in 1981 to sing my way into the original STUFF radio show.
Today I am known as Retail Man; my show is Retail Store Ads. I read the ads from Big Box and Department Stores as well as transcripts of taped interviews with sales people and floor managers from these various stores.