by AK - August 14, 2013
Rick and Suds Chronic/part-time stunt dude/all-around weirdo: Inadequate Dave.
Rick Riley may remember parts differently; Some of these memories I’m blocking out of my consciousness.
Somewhere around 1997, Rick got a letter from a fan. It was a long, rambling, hand written note on like 5 pages of yellow legal pad sheets. It was from a guy named Dave. To summarize the entire thing, it was something like, “Hi, my name is Dave. I’m down on my luck. I lost my job. Your show keeps me from shriveling up and crying” or something to that effect.
Dave had worked for a local, non-network TV station in their department that schedules commercials to run, and due to cutbacks and downsizing and a need to get rid of Dave, they did. He’d only moved here a few years earlier. He’d allegedly graduated from Boston College or something.
Dave was so moved to hear his letter read on air that he called.
And none of our lives would ever be the same.
He sounded like such a nice guy… very well spoken and articulate and just plain down on his luck…and he LOVED the show with a passion. Rick even quizzed him and he knew every show bit (Newssss from aroundddd the Planet-anet, Key West Police Blotter, Pay Phone Challenge, Top Ten Tabloid Trash Headlines, on and on) he knew every bit played, and he even knew the regular callers (He expressed a fondness to meet a guy appropriately named “Mr Donkey-ass”). He just was soooo down on his luck..and said very plainly that he wanted to work for the show any way he could.
And Rick said okay.
“Maybe you could do a Pay Phone Challenge? We could pay you $125 bucks, but you’d have to agree to do, and succeed at whatever the challenge was… Adam won’t mind at all… he hates trying to get the pay phone to be answered”
“Okay by me” I said from the control room. See, as cellphones became more and more common, pay phones were harder and harder to find. Plus, in order to combat drug sales, many of them couldn’t receive incoming calls. Throw in that it’s 7 goddam AM… and NOBODY has time to answer a pay phone, let alone take off for a few hours to try and win $125 bucks… so it started to become a real hassle to get someone to answer the phone. A few times I would just grab someone walking down the street and beg them to answer the phone for a chance to win money. Once I even told a friend in advance where I’d be and asked him to show up.. Turns out he did the bit doing traffic reports on the old Space Coaster Swing over I-95, and actually made it onto the Best of Rick and Suds Video. At one point, we even started giving out the pay phone location in advance in hopes someone would drive there to pick it up. But I digress.
So the idea that at least for one week I wouldn’t have to go thru that riggormarole, was good for me. Off the air we got his number, and when I went out for Pay Phone Challenge, I called him, and he showed up. In his 1986 blue P.O.S. Stock Camaro, all run down and faded blue and filled with clothes and garbage. Poor Dave.
The deal was we were putting him in an industrial dryer at a laundromat with a paper cup and 49 golfballs, each with a number on it. We spun him 6 times, and he got the dollar amount for whatever he caught in the paper cup. The golfballs made such a huge racket that one the air it was ear-candy, and with the helpless whimpering of super sad Dave sooo eager to please, it made for a great bit. Afterward I got his info, and told him we’d mail him a check.
A few days later, Dave called again. He wanted another chance. So Rick and Suds goofed around with him on the air a little, and said okay. The next time we did a pay phone challenge and as the bit ended, successfully completed by Dave, he asked Rick if he could be called Super Dave, since I was called Dangerman Adam. Rick told him so far, he’d been okay, and the name Super Dave was already taken, so he was given the moniker “Adequate Dave”.. Off the air, behind the scenes, the guy was starting to drive me bonkers.. On and on and on .. So after the show, I hand him his check from the previous bit, and he starts hemming and hawing…he couldn’t cash it because he didn’t have a bank account, and the company didn’t use a local bank. So I had to go to my bank with him.. Standing behind me in line like some 5’8 120lb child… just talking non-stop in my ear…Ba-Ba-Ba-Ba-BA-ba-ba-ba.. Hopping around like an anorexic Peter Pan with ants in his pants wearing a button down dress shirt and an old skinny tie, all pit stained from doing the stunt.. And I start looking more closely at him in the bank lighting… and I notice…
“Are you wearing make-up dude?”
“noo.. Makeup? Noo.. I;m not wearing make-up. Hey when am I gonna meet Mr. Donkey-Ass? Maybe we can do a stunt togeth…”
“Dude are your eyebrows tweezed??”
“Eyebrows, no.. Hey can Gilbert and I do a pay phone challenge together”
The next day I tell Rick and Suds, on the air, about the eyebrows and make up, and on cue, Dave calls in to defend himself. Like he’s got anything else to do? No WONDER he’s unemployed. Who wants this child-like make-up wearing muppet on their staff? Nice guy, but wow.
“Didn’t I do a good job?” says Dave. “Aren’t I ‘Super Dave?‘”
“Adequate Dave” says Rick.
“Inadequate Dave the eyebrow Tweezing, Makeup wearing, unemployed weirdo living in his Camaro” I pipe up from in the control room. And “inadequate Dave was born. Only I ever called him that, but after that I never referred to him any other way. EVER.
And Rick started to invite him to tag along more frequently after that.. Mostly because it was probably decent radio to hear the 90’s Gen X version of Laurel and Hardy being forced to spend time in the station van driving around getting ready to shave old ladies beards and asking people to borrow their socks. And every. Single. Time it was nails, screws, knives, and a cheese grater on a chalkboard on my nerves. The guy just got weirder and weirder.
One day, while driving around to help some guy empty out the storage unit he both stored his things in and lived out of, Dave mentioned that he’d been thrown out of his house at a young age with only some clothes and a few books in a pillow case or something. I mean this guy was a mess, and it started making sense. But not that much.
And I never let up. I would rip into this guy like a monkey into a cupcake, and he was always smiley and happy. At some point for me, it stopped being a bit.. I really started to dislike the guy. Just always calling, and always sucking around..
That’s about the time Rick proposed we set up a boxing match and I think just hearing the suggestion gave me excitement I cannot describe. OH MY GOD I’m GOING TO PUMMEL THIS WEIRDO SO HE’LL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO PLUCK OFF HIS EYEBROWS and WEAR MAKEUP!
About a week or two prior my mom called me and in her very jewish motherly way, asked me not to do it. That made me want to kick his ass even more.. Then, as I started to think about it, it occurred to me it was a no win situation for me. If I kicked his ass, I’d look like a bully beating up a make-up wearing, eyebrow tweezing, unemployed, orphaned 120lb man-boy, and if I lose (very highly unlikely), that’d be even worse. So I dealt with it the only way possible… I abused him mercilessly every opportunity I could. Nothing was off limits. Ever.
And I did that until the day I left the show, even including him in my on air “Last Will and Testicle” where I left Suds my password to AsianWhores.com, Rick Riley the AOL2.5 disc he’d received in the mail and given to me for my birthday, and a dress to go with his makeup and tweezed eyebrows.
This is how I remember Inadequate Dave looking… (photo missing)
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