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Catching up with former 99xer Rich Shertenlieb

Rich Shertenlieb (center) at a panel about promoting a show with Todd Schnitt (left, formerly of Atlanta's Mix and Real Radio 105.7) and Chris Krok (formerly of WSB-AM) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Rich Shertenlieb (center) at a panel for the talk show boot camp Nov. 14 with Todd Schnitt (left, formerly of Atlanta's Mix and Real Radio 105.7) and Chris Krok (formerly of WSB-AM) CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

At a talk show boot camp here in Atlanta earlier this month, I caught up with Rich Shertenlieb , who became a popular stunt guy with 99X’ Morning X earlier this decade. He’s now part of the Fred and Rich morning show at a sports station in Boston with fellow former 99Xers Fred Toucher and Crash Clark.

They spent three years on rock station WBCN-FM until it died a couple months ago. Management, aware of their popularity, moved the trio to the Hub, a new FM sports talk station. They’ve done very well among younger men.

“The people of Boston have embraced us,” Shertenlieb said. “I think the reason it works is we’re three friends and have always been friends.” He said one way to just get a bit going is to ask what Crash did over the weekend. Or get Fred on one on his rants about personal liberties.

“I’m sometimes his therapist,” said Shertenlieb, who is clearly the good-natured side of the show.

If you don’t know Shertenlieb’s name, you might recall his classic bits back in the day on 99X.

At a Star Wars opening screening, he went before the packed house before the film started and revealed spoilers. The booing fans didn’t realize he was just making plotlines up.  I loved when he went on one of those tour of homes, stuck in some loud metal music in one person’s CD player and let it blast while the tour guide got seriously peeved. He almost got arrested at a Home Depot for supposedly using a toilet on the floor.

He also has done hilarious movie reviews in verse to the theme song of “Magnum P.I.”

That's Rich with the "Iron My Shirt" counterprotest sign at the Masters in 2003

That's Rich with the "Iron My Shirt" counterprotest sign at the Masters in 2003

And the bit that got him the greatest notoriety? At the Masters tournament in 2005, Martha Burk protested the club’s all-male policy. At the protest, Rich held a mock one-man counterprotest with a sign that said “Iron My Shirt” on side and “Make Me Dinner” on the other. (see above) Many reporters fell for it and one one even printed his fake name Heywood Jablome in his newspaper. (The show did a similar bit last year with Hillary Clinton.)

Shertenlieb, who grew up here, spent four years at 99X. He left in 2003 before the Morning X splintered into the Fred, Jimmy and Leslie show. Too bad because he and Fred would have made a great team on the station. At 99X, he was nurtured by Chris Williams, now program director at Project 9-6-1, who undoubtably wishes he had the Toucher and Rich show.

Shertenlieb, who had a great uncle play for the Celtics, said the most obvious difference between Boston vs. Atlanta is the fact Bostonians love their pro teams more than their college ones. In Atlanta, it’s all about college football.

Among his favorite bits in Boston was pretending to be a gospel station while interviewing an anti-gay person who was protesting Heath Ledger after he died because he was in “Brokeback Mountain.” During the commercial breaks, they created fake commercials for gay sex and such, which incensed the caller. They also messed around with Food Network’s Guy Fieri, creating a song for him that mocked him but it went by so fast that Fieri didn’t realize what had happened.

He says celebrities sometimes come in with some up-and-coming act they want the station to promote. That’s what Tommy Lee did one time withTheory of a Deadman. Just to mess with Lee, the show only asked questions of the band and ignored Lee, who kept trying to break in and be acknowledged. “The publicist,” he said, “got really pissed.”

12 comments Add your comment

Tony

November 23rd, 2009
11:28 am

We miss you, Toucher, Rich and Crash! If Boston gets sick of your schtick, here’s hoping someone in Atlanta will give you a new home.

atlBOY

November 23rd, 2009
7:26 pm

well said, Tony

Chief Wiggum

November 23rd, 2009
10:18 pm

Rodney, your subjects in your picture look REALLY happy to have their picture taken. It almost looks like you broke in to take the pic, and Schnitt is coming for you, while Rich gives you the evil eye.

Brian

November 23rd, 2009
10:34 pm

I miss Toucher and Crash. Will someone in Atlanta pick them up?

Bill Campbell

November 24th, 2009
9:59 am

AINT THESE GUYS UNEMPLOYEED??

C

November 24th, 2009
9:29 pm

I listen to the podcast of Toucher, Rich and Crash all the time. They seem a little stifled in the Sports Talk format, but they are still great. Funny, smart, accessable. They talk about Atlanta and 99x all the time on their show and you can tell they would love to get back here.

Fat Kid

November 27th, 2009
11:45 am

Rumor is their show in Boston is HORRIBLE! The only reason they made it to the new station after WBCN failed is because they were under contract and were getting paid anyway. When the contract is over…they are gone. The Boston listeners think that they suk because they know nothing about Boston sports. Rich doesn’t even watch sports! They are not funny whatsoever….not that they ever were here in Atlanta hence them being fired from 99X.

Crash

November 27th, 2009
12:06 pm

Atlanta radio….can I PLEASE come back??? It is SOOOOOOOOOOO Cold and this place sux! I won’t give tickets away in exchange for lewd acts anymore. I promise..

Jimmy

November 29th, 2009
2:04 pm

Rodney,

You really think those bits Rich did were funny? Putting the heavy metal cd on at a tour of homes? The iron my shirt sign was slightly (just) amusing but not that great. And then they went and just copied the idea (literally) up in Boston because the brain trust of Crash, Toucher and Rich couldn’t come up with anything new and thus ruined any funniness it ever had. Rich is a very nice guy though. I give him that.

Jimmy

November 29th, 2009
2:05 pm

Great hat Rodney by the way.

CG

December 5th, 2009
9:09 am

FAT KID … the “rumor” you heard is wrong. T&R Show is really good. The listeners are loyal and they love them! BTW, Rich does watch sports. You’d know any of this if you listened to the podcast, which obviously you don’t. You should though.

Panfilo Ciamei

December 18th, 2009
1:16 pm

toucher rich and crash rule believe me we love em here more than ster or opie and anthony sorry atlanta and the are best on a sucky format face it the fact that their show is still great showcases their talents so f u to anyone who says different