Comedy Is NOT Pretty: Dismissed from 1560, Comic John Wessling's Heart Still Belongs to Radio
In the meantime, he continues writing and doing comedy, but to keep up his radio chops, he produces the podcast Ripped Foul. He started it while still on the air as a means of honing his craft, but the now regular, uncensored show gives him a chance to continue to do what he loves. He says the response has been "surprisingly positive" and he attributes that to the fact his show is akin to a regular conversation between fans.
"[The] uncensored sports comedy perspective is a lot more congruent to how sports fans communicate with one another than the weird, inorganic guys in suits at a sports desk," he said. "Why are they wearing suits? Are they going to court? Did they just get done selling insurance all day?"
Ripped Foul is about as unlike terrestrial sports radio as it gets. While he does feature guests like former 1560 program director Chance McClain and even our own Craig Hlavaty (talking about the Astrodome), and he does talk a lot about sports mixed with pop culture, it is mostly Wessling in a very loose format cursing a lot. It is jarring and often extremely funny.
As Wessling explains, the audience may be significantly smaller, but technology is changing the way people listen and that is opening up new opportunities that didn't exist before. "The delivery methods of getting to the consumer are changing by the day," he said. "The hard part is creating the content."
Still, there is no question Wessling would jump at another chance to be on a station where the FCC limits your ability to drop F-Bombs and sponsors, bean counters and "radio experts" constrict your creativity. There is something about the medium that he, like so many others in his field, find irresistible. "I'll always be, in my heart whether I have a job or not, a radio guy."