At the height of the trash talk show mania, one stood out for me even amongst the many others: The Richard Bey Show. Produced by WWOR in the New York area and syndicated nationally, I became aware of it as a teenager once my family moved to the tri-state area, and for awhile, like many, I was hooked.
The show was much more playful than many of the others, offering “games” that allowed for competition or revenge, had sound effects that were designed to add additional humor to the mood, and seemed like a real-life version of another show I enjoyed as a teen, Night Stand with Dick Dietrick.
Many of his classic shows were contests and competitions, such as the above “Mr. Punyverse and Ms. Thunder Thighs.” When conflicts and anger came up, Bey would diffuse it with games like “Wheel of Torture,” which brought people together.
Long before Springer had fights that they had to edit out to seem less violent, Bey’s guests sparred verbally and got into angry confrontations (complete with sound effects) and the common refrain “Where do they find these people?”
Bey’s own website has episodes of the show from its hey-day, and for those who are fans of trashy talk shows, you’ll find a lot to like, but YouTube’s got even more for those who want to just get to the best bits.