The Distorted View Show
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|The Distorted View Show|
- 1 History
- 2 Features
- 2.1 Introduction and Bizarre Audio
- 2.2 The "Distorted News"
- 2.3 Voice mails
- 2.4 Other
- 3 Distorted View Sideshow
- 4 Other works by Henson
- 5 Awards
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Tim Henson began experimenting with Web-based comedy in 1996, and began producing episodes of the Distorted View Show in 2000 through telephony company Tellme, under the name Distorted View Daily. The show was broadcast over telephone to listeners. As its popularity increased, the show was soon featured on several Internet radio broadcasts and on FM radio. The show moved to Mp3NewsBreak in 2002, but the company ultimately collapsed. In 2003, Distorted View partnered briefly with Sirius Satellite Radio. On December 6, 2004, Distorted View began as a podcast and has continued ever since, resulting in over 1,300 episodes of the show.
While billed as primarily a podcast that presents bizarre news stories, the Distorted View show also integrates other sources of aberrant material, including audio clips ripped from videos (usually pornographic ones), unusual songs, or the occasional Canadian public service announcement. All of the components of Henson's podcast deal with adult themes, including (but not limited to) sex and sexual fetishes, drugs, domestic violence, unusual accidents, animal abuse, and racism. Henson approaches these topics with parodies, skits, and off-the-cuff commentary.
While the light and insensitive manner Henson uses while discussing these topics may be considered offensive by some, he insists on the show that it is all done in jest. Upon the listing of Distorted View on the UK iTunes he recommended that the potential new European listeners should keep an open mind and treat the show as a "daily 30-minute vacation from compassion."
Introduction and Bizarre Audio
A typical episode of Distorted View will open with a selection of audio which will play uninterrupted by Henson's live commentary. This audio is very often a Great Moments introduction. Introduced with Henson's prerecorded "Distorted View Daily...proudly presents," followed by the clip's context, this intro is usually humorous audio of, for example, a bizarre or ludicrous situation or someone's ignorance or overreaction. Other possibilities include Fictional Sponsors (including Grandma Jigaboo's Old Negro-Style Waffle Batter, a parody of Aunt Jemima or the unfortunate Levenge Group legal firm), a bizarre or satirical song.
After Henson's initial greeting, recitation of what news stories will be covered in the show, and the playing of the show's theme song, there is a block of time before said news stories' coverage during which Henson plays a variety of different featured strange clips. There is a veritable pantheon of different semi-regular segments and common themes which Henson touches upon. These include:
Standard advice show structure—but with the Devil.
Satan also makes irregular "appearances" during the show—often when the devil is casually spoken of, abruptly interrupting with a deep and sinister laugh. He will then have a chatty exchange with Henson, expressing a gripe, threat or an attempt at self-exoneration.
Segment concluded with Satan dramatically hissing, "Satan, away!" followed by a zooming sound ordinarily associated with super-heroes leaping to flight.
Black and White
The short-lived Black and White segment consisted of the playing of two clips: one of black participants and one of white participants. The clips were of the members of either race 'acting crazy,' as Henson put it. After playing both clips Henson would analyze them using a sophisticated computer named the Blackulator Caucasiatron (currently on loan from M.I.T.), which would determine which race had emerged as the most crazy as defined by either clip.
The segment began and ran occasionally during early 2007, recurring again in spring 2008 for at least one episode.
A semi-regular segment, Black Friday is a bit wherein audio from television and especially radio trailers for blaxploitation films are played. Previous Black Fridays have included Coffy, Mandingo, and Boss Nigger. This segment began in early summer 2007 and aired every Friday. The bit has only aired occasionally since the Fall of that year, possibly due to the show running out of appropriate movie promotions.
Linda Finkle Hall of Fame
The "Linda Finkle Hall of Fame" is a feature in which Henson showcases "musical" artists who are generally talentless and garner scathing reviews from Henson. Simply having a bad song is not enough for entry, the song must have been made and promoted with all seriousness and belief that it is in fact a good song. This of course adds to its comic value. The title of the segment refers to aspiring musician Linda Finkle, whose tracks such as "Georgie Porgie" and "Beautiful Day" set the standard for the rest of the Hall of Fame's entries.
Stemming from Henson's playful infuriation at the 'uselessness' of the Yahoo! Answers service, the Sabotage Yahoo! Answers segment began as an effort to—obviously—sabotage Yahoo! Answers. Listeners were to post ridiculous or offensive questions to Yahoo! Answers or respond to normal Yahoo! users' questions with ridiculous or offensive answers. Henson would then read the answers or questions his listeners submitted, in the latter case also reading the responses garnered from uninvolved Yahoo! users.
The segment eventually left the podcast to find a new home in the updated Distorted View Website, where listeners can post and view other listeners' efforts to sabotage Yahoo! Answers and any other site they attempt to sabotage as well
Sextastic Tuesday is the most well known recurring feature of Distorted View, and it is simply a bit in which Henson reads a pornographic story. However, the stories he reads are not normal. Usually, the stories involve either a bizarre fetish or weird fanfiction. Some of the most infamous Sextastic Tuesday stories include a story of a woman who inserted rotting meat and maggots into her vagina, and a story in which syrup mascots Aunt Jemima and Mrs. Butterworth have lesbian sex.
"Vagina Power" is an Atlanta based Public-access television show hosted by Alexyss K. Tylor, an African American woman. Aimed primarily for a female African American audience, the show mainly consists of Tylor speaking frankly and openly about various love and relationship issues in the African American community. Tylor is known for her very outspoken and in-your-face way of speaking, colorful vocabulary, and off-the-wall analogies.
"Nannerpus" is a parody ad used by Denny's to promote their "Serious Breakfast" campaign. Nannerpus is a singing pancake stack topped with the top half of a partially peeled banana. The production values of the commercial are deliberately low. Tim has referred to Nannerpus as a real breakfast item, seemingly unaware that it is in fact a parody food intended to make fun if things like IHOP's Rooty Tooty Fresh N Fruity breakfast.
The "Distorted News"
Originally the news segment of the show was introduced by Henson as news of the weird. This phrasing introduction was scrutinized for its resemblance to a syndicated news humor column called "The News of the Weird." When Henson's use of the phrase was called into question, he caved in without resistance; and to distinguish his treatment from the column's timid satire, he rebranded it Distorted News or simply "Crazy, Bizarre, Twisted, Fucked-Up News".
Henson's struggles in his niche market have also pitted him against the "Superfreak Sideshow" people for his use of that domain. Upon learning of this conflict, Henson defecated in his underpants and personally delivered them to the company in question.
At the end of every episode Tim will play about ten voice mails left for him by his listeners. Tim will also occasionally do entire episodes composed of voice mails to "clean out the box". Tim's reaction to his listeners calls varies from joy at their actions, to outrage (usually at his inability to hear the call) to complete nonchalance, sometimes ignoring the call all together. Voice mails have also created various new avenues for the listeners to contribute, such as coming up with the self-explanatory "bizarre sex terms", callers leaving clips of themselves defecating, or informing Tim of something, often remarking about a mistake on Tim's part. As the Voice mail section has grown multiple callers have become regulars and this has actually lead to callers insulting and fighting each other over the phone, although Tim almost never gets involved. A long-running joke on the Voice mail is that whenever multiple people inform Tim of something that is common knowledge, they end the call with "and Wing was on an episode of South Park" referring to when Tim debuted Wing on an episode and received a flood of people informing him that "Wing was on an episode of South Park"
While many recurring references come in the form of repeated audio clips, other references are merely things Henson says in the normal commentary or bits of his show. Many of them, predictably, are references to particularly memorable clips he has played.
Without fail, Henson will immediately follow up his assurances that he has no biases against any group of people with the phrase "...except the Jews." Occasionally he'll follow this up with the ominous pronouncement of "I'll get you, Jews!".
Henson has a severe dislike for the elderly and promises that as soon as he is in any kind of powerful position, he will institute the mandatory euthanization of all people over the age of 65. He bases this dislike on the smell and overall crotchety, self-important demeanor of the elderly people he has encountered.
Is Don on the Phone?
Clips of Casey Kasem losing control on his radio program are a beloved, occasional component of Distorted View. One particular clip features Kasem being unable to transition successfully to a more serious tone for a death dedication after coming out of an up-tempo record. In particular, Kasem expresses his exasperation this way:
- ...You know, they do this to me all the time. I don't know what the hell they do it for, but God damn it. If we can't come out of a slow record, I don't understand it. Is Don on the phone? Okay. I want a goddamn concerted effort to come out of a record that isn't a fucking up-tempo record every time I do a goddamn death dedication. Now, make it—and I also wanna know what happened to the pictures I was supposed to see this week!...
Now it has become a recurring joke for Henson to, when, for instance, he is expressing his confusion at the sheer ludicrousness of a news story he is reading, say "I don't understand" and immediately follow it with "is Don on the phone?" Occasionally he will follow it up with more references from Kasem's tirade.
Jigoo! refers to audio from a pornographic video featuring men whose fetish is to have their head repeatedly smashed between a woman's thighs. One man in the clip, after being hit by the legs of one woman, shouted something that sounded a lot like jigoooooo!. It is now, within the Distorted View universe, an acceptable noise for a man to shout while climaxing. It is also a common greeting between listeners.
Although the spelling of the word Jigoo! is disputed, the one currently given is the most widely accepted within the Distorted View Community.
Mah Deekgot Hooaad
The phrase Yo deekgit hooaad and eventually Mah Deekgot hooaad stems from a video in which two black men are working out. One man, instructing the other on the attitude one needs to successfully 'pump iron', likens the intensity to when one is going to have sex with someone. Specifically, "when you're fuckin' somebody...and your dick gets hard." In the man's manner of speech, however, the phrase sounded more like "And yo dick get hooaad". Deekgot Hooaad became a staple of the Distorted View culture when Henson returned to the show after a weekend and remarked that he was obsessed with the phrase and couldn't stop saying it (albeit in an exaggerated manner). Since then it has evolved into a reference Henson rarely brings up but comes back in waves occasionally during the voicemail segment. Therein a listener might comment on something Henson did or something they were doing that made their "deekgit hooaad."
The spelling of the phrase Mah Deekgot Hooaad is uncertain. Its shirt, sold at the show's website, spells it Digget Hoawd.
Henson's alternative pronunciation of the word mayonnaise is a direct result of off-the-show attempts to irritate waiters and waitresses. His intent, he explained, was to insist on pronouncing commonplace items in bizarre ways and insist on that pronunciation when at restaurants. He therefore now pronounces mayonnaise on the show as 'meyownus', mustard as 'mustred', parmesan cheese as 'pramesan', and bananas as 'banaynays'.
"Our Friends at MIT"
Often Henson, in the need to feign some sort of objective or high-tech analysis system, will refer to an imaginary supercomputer "on loan from MIT" which is assisting him with whatever bit he is 'using' it for.
Distorted View Sideshow
Henson had longed to be able to turn enough of a profit doing the show so he could quit his day job and focus on Distorted View full-time. Donations and website sponsorships were his preferred method for this, however it became clear that source of income was simply not enough to live on. Also to insure donations of any kind Henson would have to dedicate a large portion of each show to, in his words, "beg for donations so I can quit my stupid job." This hindered the show's creativity as well. The solution was The Super Freak Sideshow, or Sideshow for short. Opened in November 2006, Distorted View Sideshow is a members-only extension of the Distorted View podcast and web site. This has the advantage of allowing DV to still remain accessible to the public at large, thus attracting new listeners, but also allows for a steady income for Henson (he was finally able to quit his day job in 2007).
The Sideshow features include full access to the Distorted View archive (over 1,000 shows), pre-recorded extensions of the regular podcast, live "aftershows," and a personalized RSS feed for each member. Membership was $5 (USD) per month or $50 per year and the Lifetime membership was available for a 1 time charge of $200. In 2012, this was changed to $6.99 a month, $69.99 a year, and $299.99 for lifetime. The Monday-Friday Distorted View Show itself remained free. Starting in Summer 2008 Henson began moving more formerly free days (usually the Thursday show) into the paid-for Sideshow and added a regular Saturday show as a further incentive for listeners to become members. If the show is put on hiatus for a time to a family emergency or loss of power Tim will usually post the first show he comes back with on the "free side" to make it up to all listeners. Starting in winter 2010 a new program called "Butt Fudge Sundae" began to be released on Sundays for only sideshow members. The show is produced and hosted by longtime show fan and contributor Corey Sundae and is focused on musical parodies, Internet clips and themed shows.
Other works by Henson
Apart from Distorted View Tim Henson has done work for several other podcasts. He produced an episode for the Dawn and Drew show when they went on vacation, he has appeared on fellow Ohio podcast the PK and J show, with whom he is now good friends. Early on in his career as a podcaster he also produced a show called the "pseudo-cast" which were short on-off episodes from podcasts that he would like to hear, most notably a podcasts for and by a depressed, suicidal teenager, similar to Tim's Raine character. Additionally, Tim has appeared on an episode of the popular Los Angeles-based podcast Nobody Likes Onions. This same teenager later made an appearance on Tim's election day mini-casts, reading some "political" poetry. Aside from podcasting, Tim is also a self-proclaimed "soda geek" and revels in all things soda related. In 2009 he started a parallel blog/vlog about soda related news, originally intending it to be a parallel podcast. Tim has since forget about Fizzled Out, as he tends to forget most things he does.
- In 2005 and 2006, Distorted View won Best Comedy Podcast at the Podcast Awards.
- In 2007, Distorted View was nominated for Best Comedy Podcast at the Podcast Awards.
- In November 2005, Distorted View was a finalist for Best Podcast in The Weblog Awards.
- Distorted View typically ranks in the top ten user-nominated podcasts each month at Podcast Alley.
- On November 28, 2005, the Columbus Dispatch profiled Henson.
- In 2008, Distorted View won Best Mature Podcast at the Podcast Awards.
- How Did Distorted View Get Its Start? (Official Site)
- Release notes for last version of MP3NewsBreak
- Podcast Awards Announced
- 2006 People's Choice Podcast Award Winners
- Nominees for 2007 Podcast Awards
- 2005 finalists for Best Podcast at The Weblog Awards
- Top podcast statistics at PodcastAlley.com
- Central Ohioan's shtick earns him award for comedy