Talk radio is, basically, an entertainment medium, and it was proven Wednesday night on the stage of, appropriately enough, the Comedy Works in conservative Greenwood Village, where Denver's top talk-show hosts squared off in hyped "battle."
You'd expect to get plenty of meaninglessness from a two-hour event featuring 10 yappers skilled at yapping plus two moderators.
I mean, what were they thinking? How could a panel of 10 normal people converse intelligently in such a setting, much less 10 talk-radio hosts?
And sure enough, it was pretty stupid -- and enjoyable for a while.
The ten talk show hosts were brought up on the comedy stage five at a time.
The first group was: Rick Barber (KOA), Peter Boyles (KHOW), Jon Caldara (KOA), Craig Silverman (KHOW), and Heck of a Job Brownie (KOA), who said we have Peter Boyles to blame for getting him into the talk-radio biz.
KOA's Steffan Tubbs (KOA) and April Zesbaugh (KOA) presented them with a "lightening" round of questions to which they had 15 seconds to respond.
The in-depth segment gave the yappers 30 seconds for their answers.
Asked what talk radio show he listens to, Caldara said, "What kind of loser listens to talk radio?" (Barber and later David Sirota admitted to listening to no talk radio, and Rosen said he enjoys his own podcasts the most, which may explain his re-use of old newspaper columns.)
To the question, should marijuana be legalized, Caldara said, "Of course. It makes Craig Silverman's voice bearable."
Silverman replied that he was "distracted" by the light bouncing off Caldara's bald head.
Things got testy when Caldara joked that Boyles wanted to hurt illegal immigrants.
"You've been funny all night, but that's offensive," Boyles shot back.
Round two featured five more white men: Dan Caplis (KHOW), Thom Hartmann (syndicated, and my own favorite talk-show host), Tom Martino (KHOW), Mike Rosen (KOA), and David Sirota (AM 760).
This group was more interesting because they actually disagreed more often than not, as Sirota and Hartman are on the political left.
Asked who they favored for president, Caplis said Cain or Romney, Hartmann sort of said Obama, Martino said Cain, Rosen said Romney, and Sirota said he did not "give a shit."
Mike Rosen thought the smartest thing Obama did as President was "pick Joe Biden as his vice president, which makes Obama look smarter."
To the question, is Obama a socialist, Sirota said, "He and half the Democratic Party are corporate socialists."
Similarly, Sirota is ready to administer drug tests to welfare recipients as soon as bankers are tested for drugs.
At one point, Michael Brown kneeled at the crotch of Silverman, as if he were bowing to him, after Silverman said he planned to register as a Republican to ensure that the GOP picks moderate prez candidate.
"That's how Brownie got a job from Bush," said Caldara, who unfortunately gets my vote as the winner of the battle. The 15-second format suited his shallow worldview and potty mouth, as he acknowledged after the event.
The lightening rounds kept coming:
In 15 seconds, if Obama's Jobs Bill isn't the answer, what is?
Fifteen more seconds for, how would you solve I70's problems?
What has the Tea Party accomplished, if anything?
Does global warming exist?
Has the war on terror made us safer?
Do you want to build a wall on the southern border?
Is America in danger of losing the title of the most powerful nation in the world?
Sometimes, the guys got an extra two minutes to discuss this stuff, not just the 15 seconds.
Yes, it was ridiculous, but hey, it wasn't American Idol. It was much better. You could be entertained and learn something, which is right in line with modern politics.
But in the end, the battle of the talk-show hosts proved my mantra that the best talk-radio shows have plenty of guests (and callers) on the air to take the focus off the yapping hosts.
With no guests and no callers, it gets boring, like this event did. I may like talk radio, but no way will I be attending next year's battle.