Thursday, April 7, 2011
Chicago's WLS-Am radio announced today that it was giving recently defeated Alderman Bernard Stone a radio hosting tryout in its Saturday evening 7 to 9 pm slot.
You've got to hand it to old Berny Stone. The 83 year old ex-Chicago Alderman sure doesn't let the grass grow for long beneath his size 13 wingtips.
After his resounding defeat Tuesday, the last digital ballot scanner hadn't yet been rolled out of the polling places in his North side 50th ward and he was already on WLS-AM trolling for a new gig.
Early on election night, Stone gave a post-mortem telephone interview to WLS election show jocks, Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft. Sounding remarkably chipper after his 62-38% trouncing, he hinted that he might want to try his hand as a radio commentator for the clear-channel Chicago talk station.
Stone said that he had been an actor early on in his career and offered that he could do a better job on-the-air than Rod Blagojevich and some of the other ex-pols who have been given a microphone at WLS-AM.
To that, Proft quipped that he might have to get indicted before getting an offer from them.
For sure, Chicago has a peculiar history of meting out radio gigs to convicted ex-pols.
After being sprung from the federal pen, former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski ended up as an election night commentator on WLS. Indicted ex- Governor Rod Blagojevich was given two Saturday afternoon hours to bloviate on the station before his trial started up in earnest.
Most recently, WGN radio gave an early evening 3 hour slot to the felonious former City Clerk, Jim Laski.
The most successful of this genre was former Chicago City Council President, Ed (Fast Eddy) Vrydolyak (his 3 year run at WLS was before his recent indictment and incarceration.)
Having met Berny Stone and spoken with him one-on-one in his Lincoln Avenue office, I must say that, theatrically, at least, he may bring more to the table than many of the others have.
While he speaks in a gruff Chicagoese, his is more of the old, West-side, sing-songy Yiddish variety than the Milwaukee Avenue "dems and dese and dose" with which Laski polluted the airwaves.
And who knows? Maybe Berny will repopularize Catskills vaudevillian humor during his Saturday evening WLS gig.
If he can stay awake.