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BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Minneapolis 2002 - Mischke

Readers' Choice: Joe Soucheray

Every weeknight at 8:00 p.m., a coup occurs on KSTP radio. Martial music announces the arrival of the Mischke Broadcast, relegating Jason Lewis's right-wing circle-jerk to ruins. In its place a parallel universe rises, where all news is open to interpretation, Willie Dixon is more important than George W. Bush, and beer is beloved. KSTP program director Joe O'Brien describes Mischke as "Garrison Keillor on crack," but even he acknowledges that the analogy doesn't quite suffice. If Keillor is Wonder Bread, Mischke is pumpernickel soaked in bourbon. The cosmos Mischke inhabits is peculiarly his own, whether he's positing that we should recognize a Chinese eunuch rather than Christopher Columbus as the first to land in the New World, or indulging in one of his frequent laments about modern society's reliance on technology. The musical interludes alone make the show worth a listen. One night he's working his way through the Stax/Volt catalog; the next it's John Prine imploring folks to blow up their TVs. We might have put the detonator to our radio long ago if it weren't for Mischke.

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