Tom Mischke

Naming the best AM radio personality is a perennial stumper. That fact is not due to any great mystery about the identity of Minnesota's best AM host. Everybody knows it is Mischke. Now in his 15th year at KSTP 1500 AM, he is among the best radio hosts in the nation, let alone our little scrap of flyover territory. No, the challenge is to find a new way to describe Mischke's peculiar brand of genius. The Atlantic Monthly's James Fallows, who once happened by chance on a Mischke broadcast, described the idiosyncratic St. Paul native as the most original voice to appear on radio since Rush Limbaugh. Mischke has earned similar praise from the likes of Garrison Keillor, various other media eminences, and, of course, his legion of loyal listeners. If you need a Mischke primer (and can't catch his show, which runs weekdays, noon to two), check out, an excellent archive of Mischke shows assembled by a devoted fan. There, you can discover his blend of earnest meditations, madcap musical numbers, and absurd improvisations. When he's not in his own bizarre universe, the host can be heard conducting deft interviews with retired bank robbers, ancient major leaguers, geriatric morticians, and, a Mischke staple, drunken listeners. (This last cohort has shrunken somewhat in the wake of the broadcast's move from late night to noon.) Surrounded by political shouters and sports morons, Mischke is doing something completely his own. If you find the words for it, let us know.


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