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A radio genius like Phil Hendrie deserves more than a 3-line writeup...

My first time listening to Phil Hendrie, I was with my dad in the car. It was about 9:30 at night, and I can't remember what the topic was. As my dad explained it to me, Phil had a ventriloquist friend call up pretending to be some guest. Whatever they were talking about (always something to do with current events), this "guest" would make inflammatory statements. Really crazy shit. Then the callers would phone in and argue endlessly with this "guest", not knowing that it was all a joke. Our theory was that the audience was 95% people who got the joke, and 5% people who called in and provided our entertainment.

Case in point: A "guest" calls in promoting the release of his book about the attack on the Pentagon, as he was in the building at the time. Over the course of the show, his story changes. First he's in the building, then he's in the parking lot, then his assistant (who's name he can't get right, it changes about 2 or 3 times) drags him INTO the building, then out. Can't get it straight whether his hospital was in Minnesota or Tahiti. And so the callers come on and bitch at him nonstop. They don't even realize that he's joking, which is so amusing.

So, later, I decided to do some research. While reading up on Phil, I found out that he is the guest. That's right, he doesn't have somebody call in, he does the voices all by himself. Not only is he remarkably talented as a ventriloquist, but he's fast, operating a switch that changes the input in his studio from his microphone to a telephone or cel phone. If you listen closely, you can tell that Hendrie and his "guest" will never overlap while talking. They'll get close, but they will never overlap.

What's most amusing is that Phil sometimes even admits that he's the guest during this show. Even after that, people still call. The show is divided into roughly three segments. First, the "guest" calls up and he and Phil talk about whatever the topic of choice is. This is where the seeds of chaos are sewn. Then, the real people are allowed to call in and argue with the "guest," Phil often moderating and in some cases, restraining. Finally, Phil occasionally does a monologue about the topic, expressing his honest opinions.

Oh, and in case you're thinking about calling up the show and having some fun w/ Hendrie, forget about it. They will cut off prankster callers so fast that you'll never know they were on.

For more information, check out his official site, www.philhendrieshow.com. IF you want to hear recent older shows in MP3 or other formats, your best bet is either www.mycrappysite.com or alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.comedy

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