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April 2015: Media

| April 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

Volkman low resEddie Volkman with Ashley Lobo

 

It’s been a long time since Eddie Volkman has done a solo radio show. “1987 was the last time it was just the Eddie Volkman show,” he points out. I’ve done a lot of things on my own over the years, but this is the first time I’m being billed as a solo act since 1987. My last name for the last 20 years wasn’t Volkman. It was ‘And Jobo‘.” The show is actually a podcast – Eddie V’s Road Show – part of the Radio Misfits network, and Eddie hopes it won’t be too difficult for his fans to find.

“I will always post a link on my Facebook page and Twitter, but it will also be on Eddievolkman.com. That’s something the Radio Misfits set up for me. I have this team of people working on the show. Ed Silha is the guy behind it, and Tony Lossano, and they helped me with everything from the equipment to the marketing to the logo design to creating a website for me. Tony is the one that recruited me. I wasn’t sure how to go about podcasting, but he set it all up. We take the show on the road, and we have a crew of about five people.”

For the first time in many years, Eddie finds himself a little nervous. “It’s funny to be nervous about something after all I’ve done,” he admits. “I’m in a band – I sing. I do standup comedy. But this is a like a new thing, and it’s weird to have those butterflies again.” The biggest change, of course, is flying solo, and there are advantages and disadvantages to that new reality.

“The disadvantage is that I’m just not in the habit of it,” he says, pointing to one of the causes of his discomfort. There’s no back and forth handoff. The other thing is that Jobo tended to be a little more dominant. He was always the DJ patter guy, and I was always more of the punchline-humor guy. So taking the lead hadn’t been my thing, and I didn’t care. The advantage obviously is the content is now all my own. The reason Jobo and I clicked all these years is that each one of us did what the other one couldn’t or didn’t want to do. I’m more like Saturday Night Live as opposed to Fox News. I’ve always enjoyed doing the comedy bits and parody songs and I talk about family more, and I don’t have to talk about booty calls or anything like that. I’m beyond that now.”

If that sounds like a bit of a swipe at Jobo, Eddie insists it isn’t, although he does admit to being a bit upset with Jobo after he turned down an offer for the duo to host mornings at WLS. “The thing that frustrated me was that he went back and forth and agreed and then un-agreed, and strung it out for like six months. That’s what upset me. It looked like it was a done deal on numerous occasions, and then it wasn’t. It really took a toll on me and my wife. I also got frustrated because I’m so linked with Jobo that people can’t see past us as a team. That’s one of the great things about the podcast. I can show everyone that I can do it on my own.”

And despite having the podcast, Eddie is still looking for a landing spot on the terrestrial radio dial, with or without his old partner. “There’s a lot of ifs and maybes and almosts out there,” he says. I’ve got my fingers crossed – I know my agent is constantly taking and making calls. Stations know that if they hire me or Jobo or both of us, we bring a slew of advertisers with us. That’s attractive for most stations.”

It didn’t sound like it a few months ago, but Eddie & Jobo are still on good enough terms to work together again. “Jobo and I talked not too long ago,” Eddie says. “To tell you the truth, we didn’t really talk that much even when we worked together, even when he lived three floors below me. He kind of went about his own business. He has a totally different lifestyle than me. Now he lives 140 miles away, but we still talk occasionally about job possibilities. He said he was about 90% recharged, but I wouldn’t want anyone to do anything they don’t want to do.”

One thing they will continue to do together is United Auto Insurance commercials – they are under contract for two more years. Those commercials have been hilariously lampooned by the WGN-TV morning news. “I probably get asked about (Jeff) Hoover and (Mike) Toomey‘s impersonation of Jobo and me (on WGN-TV’s Morning News show) more than I get asked about anything else,” Eddie says with a laugh. “I’m friends with those guys. We talk on Facebook all the time. I think it’s hilarious. When you get to the point that you’re being parodied, that’s like having your own bobblehead. You’ve made it. They’ve never been horribly negative. I don’t think Jobo took too kindly to it because he doesn’t like to watch himself on TV or listen to an aircheck, let alone watch an impersonation. If I have any complaint it’s that they make me look like the boring one. Hoover’s out there wiggling his ass and bouncing off the walls as Jobo, and Toomey’s Eddie is the straight man saying stuff like ‘That’s right Jobo’. I’m livelier than that. C’mon, Toomey, step it up!”

Eddie doesn’t feel the need to step it up himself, because he’s never stepped down. “I’ve never stopped performing during these two years we’ve been off the air. My kid has gone from 1 to 3 years old during that time, so I’m doing voices all day long now. I’m constantly entertaining at home. If the podcast audience appreciates me as much as the toddler – I’m all good.”

-Rick Kaempfer

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