Recognizing XM Channel 202's excellence, 2009 edition


Last year‘s Satellite Radio Awards were a smashing success, so let’s do it again! Only this time I’m throwing out the idea of handing out awards to the whole of satellite radio (and these awards are obviously just for fun), and instead will focus my energies on the channel that I spend 99 percent of my time tuned into: XM Channel 202 The Virus. If It weren’t for 202 I would have killed my subscription some time ago.

This year will be a little more organic, too, and the awards will be spread around different “moments” or whatever that made the $15 per month (or whatever it is) totally worth it. You’ll see what I mean.

Personality of the Year: Chris Stanley, also known as Pepper Hicks, from Ron and Fez. Of all of the guys on 202, Pepper is easily the most entertaining of the bunch. It’s not that he’s necessarily as quick as Jim Norton or Anthony Cumia, or, I don’t know, ridiculous (and I mean that in a good way) as East Side Dave, or as thought-provoking as Ron Bennington, or as level-headed-despite-the-management-shit-storm-surround-him like Opie, but there’s something about Pepper that puts a smile on my face every time he says the word “yeah.” He has also single-handily brought the word “clusterfuck” back from the dead. He could read the phone book and it’d be tremendous. In short, Pepper Hicks is the man.

Shock of the Year: Bobo’s arrest for stealing $10,000 from Mel Karzastan’s office. Let’s get this out of the way: Bobo is an acquired taste at best, so putting up with him for many, many months was something of a chore. The boys were right to tease 92.3FM for its “fugitive” radio bit, which led to Bobo inserting himself into the bit. Fine, it happens. But on November 20, when The Fugitive was finally captured and brought to justice, well, it made up for all those months of near-torture. The boys’ handling of The Fugitive is the definition of a bit that paid off. Bravo to all parties involved.

Feelgood Story of the Year: Sam and East Side Dave getting their own slot on Saturday nights. I like Special Delivery, especially when Sam and Dave talk about things they’re clearly passionate about. (Invariably that’s WWE for Sam and film for Dave.) They’ve been using the “pop culture experts” gimmick for a little while now, but I’m not sure how much the world needs to hear more wacky dolphin news.

Most Annoying Moment(s) of the Year: Sirius XM’s interference with Opie and Anthony. I, for one, love it when Opie “goes inside” and tries to explain the radio business and why it’s falling apart, but that only happens when Sirius XM manage to upset the balance of the show. (I don’t know if I’ve ever heard Ron and Fez complain about management; that’s just not the show’s style.) The most glaring example was the Homeless Shopping Spree. Yes, management somewhat salvaged it by turning it into a talent show but it simply wasn’t the same. I wanted to see Homeless Fez make a comeback! I’d say that management is sucking the life out of the show, but let’s keep things positive. Honorable mention (I guess that’s what you’d call it here) goes to all the message board drama that was brought to the Ron and Fez show earlier in the year. Yikes was that hard to listen to.

Bit of the Year: East Side Dave vs. Fez in the Siren Series. I seriously cannot hear a siren anymore without half-expecting Ron to whip out some questions and have Dave and Fez try to outsmart (well, sometimes) each other. Batman, Star Wars, other topics I can’t remember because they occurred months ago—all brilliant, all worth sitting through endless Pajamagram commercials for. Honorable mentions go to Bill Burr’s Yankees rant (“just a bunch of knock-around guys”) and when Ron and Dave sang U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday” at the top of their lungs during one of Fez’s live reads. I still laugh at that just thinking about it.