Puns vs. Porn
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Puns vs. Porn

In a somewhat likely yet technologically backwards media foray, television wizard Moses Znaimer is once again putting pornography where it is least expected—on an oldies AM radio station. Certainly no stranger to media in this city (having, of course, co-founded both Citytv and Muchmusic), Znaimer first made the prudish amongst us squirm in the 1970s, when the mild-by-porn-industry/filthy-by-broadcasting-standards Baby Blue movies became a regular part of Citytv’s Friday night programming. Chugging right along into the, er, analog age, Znaimer’s latest (supposedly) groundbreaking initiative is Midnight Blue, “the first-ever, R-rated, late-night radio show,” according to Karen Lin, communications associate for Znaimer’s Zoomer Media. “There is no other show like it.” Airing on the New AM 740 (acquired and renamed Zoomer Radio by Znaimer in the spring of 2008) from Monday to Thursday at the apparently no-holds-barred time slot of—you guessed it—midnight, Midnight Blue is a collection of sexy, sexy songs intended to appeal to the Zoomers. An actual term coined by gerontologist David Demko to describe “a baby boomer who leads an active, adventurous lifestyle,” the Zoomers are the demographic that Zniamer counts as his peers (and, fingers crossed, sure financial bets), and they make up the New AM 740 audience.
Kin calls the music selection “raunchy and risqué,” but Torontoist’s sneak peek at a sampling of the show’s playlist proves there are more puns than pornography (and there is no denying that we really, really love puns). A couple of featured song titles include the Swallows’ “It Ain’t the Meat It’s the Motion,” Bull Moose Jackson’s “Big Ten Inch Record,” and the especially hilarious “Sweet Honey Hole,” by Blind Boy Fuller, which isn’t exactly a pun, but does cause a bit of (ultimately unwarranted) search engine reluctance. These and the rest of the show’s staple tunes are old R&B tracks spanning the 1920s to 1950s and are the result of a great North American scavenger hunt by the New AM 740’s Program Director Gene Stevens. “Gene has traveled to many destinations including New Orleans, Chicago, and New York in search of these rare recordings,” Kin says. “[They were] once distasteful and banned.” Conceptually unique? Sure. Digging through and sharing niche music archives has proved a successful programming idea. But automatically calling it groundbreaking under the established Znaimer brand seems a little far fetched, especially when the content is more funny than controversial. If you’re jonesing for some midnight Blue action, even if it’s not of the Baby variety, visit AM 740’s live stream or, of course, listen on one of those old-timey thingamajigs.