||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2014)|
|Birth name||Thomas Richard Christy|
April 1, 1974 |
Fort Scott, Kansas, U.S.
|Genres||Heavy metal, Death Metal, Technical Death Metal, Progressive Metal, Power Metal, Thrash Metal|
|Occupation(s)||Drummer, radio personality, stand-up comedian, electrician|
|Associated acts||Acheron, Death, Control Denied, Burning Inside, Iced Earth, Leash Law, Charred Walls of the Damned|
Thomas Richard Christy Jr (born April 1, 1974) is an American musician and radio personality who currently works on The Howard Stern Show. Christy began to work on the show after winning the "Get John's Job" contest on July 1, 2004. He is known for his prank calls, song parodies, personality, and stunts performed on the radio show. He is also a stand-up comic and an actor, appearing in and directing several independent films.
Childhood and early music career with Death
Christy was inspired to play drums after hearing Alex Van Halen's drumming in the Van Halen song "Hot for Teacher". Later Dave Lombardo and Pete Sandoval inspired him to play faster. Other influences include Frankie Banali, Mikkey Dee, Bobby Jarzombek, Sean Reinert, Gene Hoglan and Alex Marquez. When Christy turned 10 years old, he began to play drums in the Uniontown, Kansas elementary school band. He played snare drum for a year until his parents bought him a Gretsch drum set from an antiques dealer in Arcadia, Kansas. After school, Christy would practice to Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Kiss and Quiet Riot records. As Christy grew older, he trained as an electrician.
Christy was a fan of the band Death and moved to Orlando, Florida in the mid-90s in hopes of meeting band leader Chuck Schuldiner. A chance encounter with Schuldiner at the Altamonte Mall led to Christy's musical break as he became the drummer in Death, performing on the band's seventh studio album The Sound of Perseverance as well as doing the band's world tour in 1998. A personal friendship and musical camaraderie with Schuldiner also brought Christy into the line-up of Schuldiner's other musical project, the more melodic Control Denied, and Christy played drums on their debut album The Fragile Art of Existence. Schuldiner's battle with cancer that culminated in the Death leader's passing in December 2001 brought Christy close to the Schuldiner family, and former Death manager Eric Greif has stated that they remain very close to this day.
While living in Florida, Christy also continued working as an electrician for Phillips Electrical Contracting in Orlando.
Later music career
Christy announced after signing a record deal in May 2009 that he planned to re-enter the heavy metal scene, forming a new band called "Charred Walls of the Damned". Their first single, Ghost Town was premiered on The Howard Stern Show in November 2009 and is currently in rotation on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
The Howard Stern Show
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Christy first appeared on The Howard Stern Show in October 1999, where Stern would play voice mail messages that Christy had recorded about co-host Robin Quivers. His debut message was featured on the Labor Day Weekend special in 2006. Christy would continue sending in messages but it was not until April 24, 2003, when the show would broadcast from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where Christy made his debut appearance. Christy unsuccessfully played a round of blackjack to win a date with a porn star.
In 2004, John Melendez (then known as "Stuttering John") left the radio show to become the announcer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Richard Christy begged for months for a job with the Howard Stern Show. Stern announced a "Get John's Job" contest which pitted ten Stern fans and contributors against each other in competition for Melendez's vacated position. Each contestant was given a week to display any talents they could bring to the show, after which the listeners cast votes for their favorite over the Internet. On July 1, Stern announced Christy had won with 30% of the listener vote, with Sal Governale being runner-up with 24%; both Christy and Governale joined the show by September.
When Stern moved to Sirius XM Radio in January 2006, he gave Christy his own show that would air semi-regularly throughout the year. On May 15, 2006, porn star Hillary Scott was the first guest on Inside the Porn Actors Studio on Howard 101, an hour-long program which parodied the television series Inside the Actors Studio, with Christy filling the role of James Lipton. In February that same year, Christy had a brazilian wax performed on him and was aired live on Stern's show.
In 2006, Christy hosted a program on Sirius XM channel Hard Attack called "Richard Christy's Heavy Metal Hoedown".
Richard makes several of the show's popular prank calls, often working in conjunction with Sal Governale. Many of the calls involve the use of soundclips, though Richard also calls as characters that he voices, including:
- "Rusty Rivers" - Rusty often makes perverse sexual comments, and often prattles endlessly about the weather, regardless of the theme of the show that he is calling.
- "Nervous Mark" - Nervous Mark calls in to talk shows, claiming to be nervous about being on the air. He can never get his point across because he is always stuttering and stammering. When calling religious and self-help programs, he often cites an addiction to masturbation. The character's full name is Mark Dell'Stevenson, as mentioned during a prank call to Joe Franklin.
- "Rod Stiffington" - Rod is the co-host of the fictional "Jack 'N' Rod Show," where Sal acts as his co-host, Jack Mayhoffer. On the Jack 'N' Rod Show, unwitting guests debate members of the Wack Pack, talking to soundboard clips, or are interrupted over and over by various noises (station jingles, drums, etc.). Jack 'N' Rod have also made calls where they entice their victim to participate in demeaning contests in order to win non-existent prizes.
- "Ethel Mertz" - Ethel is a befuddled grandmother who gets into long-winded stories about her grandson, quilts, and the game of chess.
- "Norma Stitz" - Norma is much like "Ethel Mertz", only her name is a comedic play on large female mammary glands.
- "Simon Buckingham" - An English gentleman, originating as a deliberately unconvincing impersonation of Simon Cowell (to tease Eric the Midget), who frequently uses English phrases such as "tea and crumpets" and "smoking fags."
- "Head Fag at the Playgirl Mansion" - A young man in great interest of Stern staffer KC Armstrong, Christy's earliest character to emerge on the Stern Show through messages left on their voicemail.
Movie and television career
Christy has said he once dreamed of a movie career after he saw Brad Pitt, from nearby Springfield, Missouri, in the film Interview With the Vampire. He even hung up posters of Pitt in his New York apartment, and worked at a computer store owned by Pitt's parents.
Along with Governale, Christy starred in, co-wrote, and co-directed the 2006 short film Supertwink. Supertwink premiered on Howard Stern On Demand, and was reviewed by Richard Roeper, who panned it. Christy also appeared in Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay playing the role of a Ku Klux Klansman.
In July 2007, Richard was cast in his first television role. He cast to play "really creepy guy at end of bar" on Rescue Me. Richard has also announced that he recorded voiceover work for the Adult Swim show Metalocalypse.
Christy has been attached to the movie Body Farm, a Pittsburgh-based film by Bridge City Films set to begin production in November 2008.
Christy recently finished shooting a 6 part comedy series called There Goes Da Neighboorhood, described as "a Black Devil Doll Sitcom of Outrageous Proportions", scheduled for a 2014 release.
- With Acheron
- Anti-God, Anti-Christ (1996)
- Necromanteion Communion/Raise the Dead (1998)
- With Death
- With Control Denied
- The Fragile Art of Existence (1999)
- When Man and Machine Collide (unreleased)
- With Burning Inside
- With Iced Earth
- With Leash Law
- Dogface (2003)
- Cunninglinguistics (2007)
- Charred Walls of the Damned (2010)
- Cold Winds On Timeless Days (2011)
In addition to these bands, Christy has performed live shows with Dream Theater, Tiwanaku, Rick Renstrom, Syzygy, Bung Dizeeze, Incantation, Public Assassin, Wykked Wytch and Demons and Wizards.
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- There Goes Da Neighborhood facebook page, (retrieved December 21, 2013)
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