THE SATURDAY NIGHT CIRCUS, 1977

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While the practice newscast we posted two days ago was my first attempt to be a radio staffperson, it wasn't the first time I tried to be on the air. That distinction belongs to a beloved call-in show that aired in the early days of WUSB called "The Saturday Night Circus." It was alternately hosted by Ed Goldberg and Paul Harris. My friends and I would spend the night trying to get on the air and do something memorable or funny.

In the first excerpt (an Ed Goldberg episode dated October 15, 1977), my friend Al is doing a pretty good job talking about the recently argued Bakke case on affirmative action (the topic of the night), but, as was often the case, the call had ulterior motives and soon took a turn. Following that was my first-ever attempt, where I called myself "Star God" (seriously, WHAT was I thinking), went nowhere, but my second call was actually on topic. However, I was in the same house as my friend Al who had other plans and a phone extension. There are a bunch more calls included here.

The second excerpt is a Paul Harris episode dated October 22, 1977. His shows had a very different flavor and he tolerated less nonsense, as I was about to prove. My friend Al had an amazing conversation about Lenin, Stalin, Marx, and the Bolsheviks as parallels to The Beatles while I made a ridiculous argument about how driving faster was a great way to save gas (based on an actual argument a kid in one of my classes had made). I didn't make it very far.