T.D. “Tommy” Mischke, the quirky and well-loved radio host, announced on his WCCO-AM show last night that he’s leaving the station.
“This show tonight will be my last radio program,” Mischke said near the beginning of his show. “I finally find myself coming to the end of what I can offer this medium. I suppose you can say I’ve reached the bottom of the tank creatively. And I have felt it coming for quite some time.”
Follow the link above to hear last night’s show. It’s the sound of a man who’s ready to move on.
“It’s sad to come in thinking, to some degree, your best shows are behind you,” he said.
He told listeners that he had no immediate plans for life after WCCO-AM. After he was fired in 2008 from long-time employer 1500 KSTP, he moved to City Pages and then WCCO-AM.
The Atlantic’s James Fallows wrote a good profile of the man in 2000. He described his first experience listening to the show:
The show was somebody talking, but he didn’t seem to be answering callers and he wasn’t sticking to the staple AM topics of sports, money, politics, and “relationships.” Instead he was talking about … Larry King, and why the column King publishes in USA Today should be considered uniquely preposterous in the realm of modern letters. He read from the column, and he used a funny voice to imitate King saying the same things to his new, much younger wife.
Then, with a fully orchestrated version of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” swelling in the background, he suddenly started singing: “When I find myself alone on the toilet, / Brother Larry comes to me / with those written words of wisdom, / Look at me.” He ranted on for ten minutes about life’s nuttiness and the oddities of fame.
The effect was like overhearing Robin Williams entertain himself at home. In the dark of the Minnesota woods, which was broken only by the neon glare from tribal casinos, it made me wonder, Who is this guy?
This fan website has a lot of archive audio, for those who’ll miss Mischke.