10 Questions with ... Kevin And Bean
April 14, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Kevin: K-106 Arkansas (college - don't ask), KZZP/Phoenix, and KROQ/Los Angeles.
Bean: All over the D.C. and Baltimore 80s landscape (WOHN, WINX, WYRE, WNAV, WMZQ, WKTK, WLPL, WBEY, WPRW, WXKS, WAVA, and WPGC). Then KZZP/Phoenix, KXXX/San Francisco, and something called KROQ.
1. Congrats on 25 years at KROQ! What stands out the most about when you first started the morning show in 1990 and what is one of your biggest highlights?
Kevin: Day 1: 5:29 AM. We open up the USA Today and ask each other what we should talk about. I distinctly remember being bummed about the quality of that show. Still get that feeling 3 out of 5 days.
Highlights: We did a Breakfast with the Shriners. It was terrible. They hated it SO MUCH that, one by one, they would say they were going to the bathroom. AND LEAVE. At the end we had one single Shriner left. And Bobcat Goldthwait did comedy for him alone. "Where are you all from?" Also Our "Breakfast with" series. I remember Beck running up into the woods while playing. What? NIN. My Chemical Romance.
Bean: In the beginning it had more to do with the faith PD Andy Schuon and GM Trip Reeb had in us than anything. With our no experience and no track record, they still entrusted us with a morning show in Los Freakin' Angeles! They deserve the award for Balls of Steel.
There are so many highlights. Being five feet away from great KROQ artists like Radiohead, Muse and U2 while they play live on our show. Meeting personal heroes like Johnny Cash, Regis Philbin, and Weird Al. Helping raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities. Free parking.
2. On April 14th, you will be inducted into the NAB Broadcasters Hall Of Fame. How does it feel to be honored with other broadcasting legends?
Kevin: When you start, you don't give the Hall Of Fame a single thought. Not because it's not important, but because that's them. And we're us. It's not like you dream about that. My biggest dream was to work at KROQ for six months before I got fired so I could put that on my resume. If arguably the best baseball announcer ever, Vin Scully is in the NAB Broadcasters Hall Of Fame, then I should be out.
Bean: Honestly, we still expect this to be a Kimmel prank. I don't know how he got the NAB. to play along but well done, James, well done. But please, reveal the truth before I fly all the way to Las Vegas to "pick up" an "award."
3. How would you describe your role on the morning show and what is your show prep routine?
Kevin: My role is to be fun. That's my nature. Bean is funny. That's different, and much harder. And as far as prep, it took us...I don't know...10 years to learn how much work it takes. The best morning shows are the best because of the work they put into it. People who "make it seem easy," only do that because they're prepared. I'm a slow learner.
Bean: If radio shows had movie-type credits I would be "Talking Guy #2." Doesn't sound like much but 20 hours of prep a day goes into those four hours on the radio. You can never do too much research into any guest or topic. I try to mine my real life for content as much as possible too while at the same time hoping my wife isn't listening.
4. Tell us about all the cast of characters/legends who have helped make the Kevin And Bean Show successful for over two decades? Kevin, do you want to talk about some of the past morning stars and Bean can discuss the current team?
Kevin: It has taken a small army of people to try and prop us up. Some of them have gone on to better things, and some have just gone on anywhere to get away from us. (Which could probably be described as "better things.") We've had many producers like Jay "Lightning" Tilles and Frank Murphy. We've had talent like Mike Catherwood, who now host's Loveline and pumps out babies. We had Jimmy Kimmel do sports for us in the mid-to-late 90s. Not sure what happened to him. Adam Carolla was on our show in a bunch of different ways for a while. Matt "Money" Smith did sports. It's impossible to remember everyone, because I really just don't care. I mean, I have a bad memory.
Bean: There's not much turnover on our show year to year but in 2015 we added a local TV features reporter named Allie Mac Kay to the show and she is terrific. It's been fun getting to know her on the air and she brings a whole new perspective to any topic that comes up. Ralph Garman is a successful voice talent, actor and podcaster has been with us since 1999 making every break funnier. Our production guy DJ Omar Khan is the best in the business. And producer Dave Sanchez started as a phone screener and worked his way up to Producer in 2011. I can't believe he has not been hired away by someone. Assistant Producer Christine Fung and board-op Chip round out our incredibly talented team.
5. Allie Mac Kay was recently added to the Kevin & Bean Show after two longtime members of the morning show - Lisa May and Doc On The ROQ exited. How has the show changed and what has been your biggest challenge?
Kevin: Sports teams sometimes just need to change up the chemistry. Same with us. That last thing we want to do is get stagnant and not evolve. Lisa May started as our traffic reporter, and then we gave her a much larger role. She put up with our B.S. for over 24 years. We love her. Her split from our show was difficult because lawyers took that situation completely out of our hands and were unnecessarily cruel to her. That sucked for us, and sucked for our listeners who love her as well.
We brought in Allie to change things up and challenge each one of us in different ways. And she's been better than we could have imagined. It's exciting to continue to move forward with yet another person who we feel will contribute a lot to the show.
Bean: Change is hard. And when you upset a listener's morning routine he or she will let you know it. So there has been a lot of back and forth on air, on social media and one-on-one with listeners explaining what's going on and why. Ultimately, we are trying to offer the best product we can and hope that, if given time to adjust, the majority of the listeners will agree. But we will always be grateful for the many years of contributions from Doc, Lisa May, and everyone who has been part of the journey. The show has never just been about the two names on the door.
6. What segment of the show do you enjoy the most?
Kevin: "Confess Your Crime." Which is odd because I've been told that didn't happen. We also do "Would You like to Take That Back?" We play clips of one of us trying to be funny from a previous show, and give that person (Bean) a chance to "take it back."
Bean: Whenever one of us completely mangles a thought, starts a sentence and can't figure out how to end it, or loses our train of thought while talking we package it into something called "A Moment With.." and just replay it for days. The utter failure of communication skills from alleged Hall Of Famers entertains me to no end, especially if I am the one who had the collapse.
7. What annoys you most during the show?
Kevin: I'd have to say I annoy me the most. If making mistakes, running the controls and speaking the English language were translated into a batting average in baseball, I'd be hitting a solid .129.
Bean: Well, we're not the first morning show to say this and we won't be the last, but I'd sure love it if we could drop what's left of the music we still have to play. It's only 3 or 4 songs an hour but that's all time we could spend making fun of Jaden Smith instead.
8. What's it like working for Kevin Weatherly?
Kevin: It's almost impossible to find yourself in a situation where your boss is truly a good person as well. That's Kevin. That helps us get through the times he gives us bogus advice.
Bean: Will he see this? Um, he's.... great?
9. What are you most passionate about?
Kevin: Live music. I LOVE our station concerts like Acoustic Christmas and Weenie Roast. I LOVE going to shows. I LOVE Coachella. I love live performances in our station. Music is magic. Don't print that last part about the magic. Also, I hate learning.
Bean: Learning. The older I get the more I realize how fast time flies and how short life really is. I feel like there are a million books I want to read, a billion subjects I want to know more about, so many places I want to visit, songs I want to hear, and on and on. We've lost some folks in our industry lately who were entirely too young and it has me appreciating every precious minute.
10. Who is your favorite air personality not on your staff and why do you like them?
Kevin: Jonathon "Johnny B" Brandmeier. He was on the air doing mornings in Phoenix when I was mowing lawns for a living. Or, as I like to call it, doing "landscape architecture." I used to listen with headphones and think, "That dude is really having fun." "I should do that." Also Rodney on the ROQ. He's terrific.
Bean: Can I name three? All of whom should have been inducted into the Hall Of Fame long before Kevin And Bean? #1 John "Records" Landecker, my first and biggest radio inspiration, still sounding fantastic doing nights on WLS-FM. #2 Don Geronimo, who taught me what a great morning show should sound like back when we both worked at WAVA in the 80s. He is as good as ever doing a podcast now, of which I am a paid subscriber. And #3 Steve Dahl, who really was my first exposure to a post-radio personality. No bells, whistles, sound effects, or high energy chatter, almost no guests, just a smart funny guy who talks. Endlessly entertaining. Steve will give you a unique point of view on almost any topic. He is on air at WLS-AM now and has a subscription podcast too. All three are legends.
What's one thing that would surprise many people to learn about you?
Kevin: There's nothing in this world more important to me than my kids. There's not a close second. Also, I hate Christmas music.
Bean: I believe in Christmas music every day. I carry my favorite 1,000 holiday songs with me on my phone at all times. It's my favorite genre, by far and I have been collecting it for decades. You should see my basement.
What are your hobbies?
Kevin: Photography. Music and video editing. Ghost-riding the whip.
Bean: Christmas music! Got any songs you love that I might not know about? Write me at Bean@KROQ.com. Thank you, and Happy Holidays! #hohoho
Anything else you would like to add?
Kevin: It sort of annoys me when white people call themselves "brother."
Bean: I always read "10 Questions With..." and always wondered what a brother has to do to get interviewed by AllAccess.com. Thanks so much!