David Lee Roth: Amtrak FM

I set the alarm to wake me up to David Lee Roth’s start on radio from the top of the former Howard Stern Building.

I fell back asleep.

I’m sure he’s a nice guy — EMT and all — but Roth reminds me of the business traveler you find yourself stuck next to at the end of a crowded Ramada Inn bar when you’re just trying to read your paper and have your beer and eat your wings and get out of there and back upstairs to the in-room movies. The guy won’t stop yammering but he never says anything. You do a lot of uh-huhing and know-whatcha-meaning and oh-reallying while the thought bubble over your head is a mix of question marks and Zs.

Roth has forgotten to talk like a real person. He peppers his speech with lines like, “I don’t care much about the finality.” And that doesn’t mean anything. He seems to know it doesn’t, for he ends a lot of unfinished thoughts swith “etcetera, etcetera.” He takes calls and then ignores the callers and starts yammering about something related perhaps in his mind. When he thinks he’s being really profound, he pauses profoundly and brings the background music up while he breaths and starts in again.

Things picked up when Roth had on his 86-year-old Uncle Manny Roth. Maybe they should give Manny a show.

OK, I know it’s unfair to judge the show before the first episode is even over but this is a train going nowhere except to a wreck.

: Later in the show, someone calls in to complain that he just keeps talking. She works in satellite radio. Roth says that apart from her and Stern, “Most satellite radio is like a radio archive.”

David, you are an archive.

: But give Viacom credit for some smarts: They’re streaming the shows online, which they should have done long ago. And buried in one of the players is even a chance to subscribe via RSS.

: Jim reviews all the Stern wannabes.