Today I listened to the last broadcast of the Mark and Brian Radio Program. They've been on the air for 25 years and I've listened to them for 17. And as they have been talking all week about the show coming to an end I have found myself teary eyed on more than one occasion. Leading up to full on ugly cry this morning as they said their final goodbyes. I felt a little silly about it. After all I don't know these guys. Not really. I've met them at a function, briefly, and they were lovely, very polite and kind and nice (especially Mark) and I've listened to what they wanted to share with all of their listeners on their show. But I wasn't really expecting how emotional I would be when the show ended.
Part of it was listening to all of the people in the room with them, and them as well, getting emotional and sobbing. Part of it was Mark had written out a thank you letter and included his sister and parents in the thank yous and they are all three gone. What he would have said to them, what they meant to him, what they still mean to him. It was all very moving.
But what I realized is that the honest truth of it all is though I don't know them, not really, they were still a big and consistent part of my life. I have distinct memories of specific bits they did through the years, where I was when I first heard the bit. They have been with me in New Mexico and in Oregon. When we lived in Colorado Springs the fact that M&B didn't broadcast there was added to my list of gripes about the place. I have laughed until I cried over funny things they have done. And I have cried with pure sadness for them when tragedy hit their lives.
Christmas isn't complete around here without a visit from Elfis (an Elvis impersonator from the North Pole). I say soup in a goofy voice that is lifted directly from a character Brian does in many sketches. I have gotten impressions of what sort of person a celebrity is by how they are on their show. I was one of the handful of viewers who watched The Adventures of Mark and Brian on TV and really believe they were just ahead of their time with that show and if it debuted in the past 5 years it would have been a huge hit.
They have made me laugh on days where I didn't think anything could. And this, for me, is their greatest gift to their listeners. They made us laugh. And they did it without being mean and nasty. A lot of radio shows went the Shock Jock route and they never did. They stuck with the comedy show on the radio format. Two guys being funny, talking about what was going on in their lives, in the world and with the family members, which is what they called everyone who worked with them. Family. They did it with old fashioned radio skits. Characters and comedy set ups. Miniature Theater where they would take an old corny joke and turn it into a play. Simple things really, but very well done.
And as they broadcast their goodbyes this week they also remarked on how surprised they were at the well wishes they were receiving. At the number of people who reached out to tell them how important they had been in their lives as well. The impact they had on their audience. Just by being funny. By making people laugh when they needed it. For the daily reminder from Brian as they would sign off "Be Good Humans".
I will miss them. I will miss their show. I will miss the laughs. And now I will ponder what sort of impact I am making in my daily life. Who am I affecting that I don't realize? And is it positive? Could I look back in 25 years and be pleased with what I have done? Things to think about...
Be good humans....