Butthead, Be Gone

You probably didn't take much notice, but the longtime morning-drive radio duo of Stevens and Pruett is no more.

The pair, whose repertoire for the past 27 years seemed to consist solely of tediously juvenile fart and titty jokes, was broken up when Mark Stevens left KLOL-FM February 23.

We hadn't planned to look into the event, but we received a distressingly high number of e-mails and phone calls wondering what "the real story" was. One rumor making the rounds, that Stevens had been fired for using a peephole into the ladies' bathroom at the station, was not true. (It was based, actually, on a depressingly typical routine the pair had done a couple of years ago.)

As far as we can tell, there wasn't anything salacious behind the parting of the ways. Among the things we learned that surprised us, though, was that a) Stevens and his partner both pull down salaries comfortably in the mid-six figures; and b) both are sixtysomething years old. When they act like teenage boys on the air, they're reliving the teenage days they experienced during the Truman administration, for crissake. (That's Harry S. Truman, a former president, for all you KLOL listeners.)

Instead of reacting to some scandal, management simply decided they weren't getting a good return for their investment. "They did a lot of focus-group studies, and it kept coming back that people liked Pruett but they thought Stevens was a jerk," says one person familiar with the situation. "They kept trying to get [Stevens] to change, but he wouldn't."

Another insider says, "this departure was a couple of years in the making," as ratings dropped and Stevens stuck to his obsession with interviewing porn stars and strippers. Advertisers started getting leery of being associated with the show.

For most of Houston, the loss of the city's most venerable team of boob-related humor is no great loss. For fans of Stevens, the story is simply his shtick had finally grown old.

This Year's Model

The Houston Chronicle published its annual Best Dressed issue again, unfortunately.

Each year the paper picks out ten society types who spend untold gobs of money on clothes; each year they publish profiles trying to convince us that these women are not frivolous spendthrifts. When it comes right down to it, the paper would have us believe, these gals would just as soon wear clothes that the hoi polloi might even be seen in.

This year, for instance, we learned that Diane Connally "is most comfortable in sweats"; that whatever we readers do, "don't expect Marsherria Wilson all gussied up in pastel-colored ruffles and frilly floral prints. She just doesn't have time for it"; that "on most days [Elena Davis] can be found in apparel from her favorite discount stores, Wal-Mart and Target"; that "sweats often make more sense than sequins" for stay-at-home mom Melissa Schnitzer; and that a "typical day will find [Phoebe] Tudor taking the children to school and running errands in jeans or sweats."

Gosh, maybe you'll run into these folk one day at Weiner's and they'll invite you back to River Oaks for coffee and a chat about how rambunctious kids can be.

Best, though, was Linda Quick. We were told the Foley's executive exemplifies "the growing trend to dress more casually in the office. For an interview Š Quick wore a Chanel cashmere sweater and black Armani wool pants and a Fossil belt."

Just like casual day at your office, we bet.

The Muse Cometh

In honor of National Poetry Month, the Houston Chronicle is holding a poetry contest, wherein readers vote for their favorite famous poem.

We feel they're missing the boat.

Each week they already offer an anthology of passionate free verse, a searing collection of heartfelt odes to the human spirit, to the never-ending questions of humankind.

We're speaking, of course, of the "TV Mailbag."

Here are just a few of the verses published in the past few weeks. While we have rearranged them and added titles, the text of each is printed in its entirety.

Curiosity, Never Sated
By T.L.A., The Woodlands

Could you please
tell me if
you are planning a Biography
of Dick Van Dyke?
I have watched him for
many years
and he has played
many roles.
I would like to know
about his family life.

Requiem for Andy
By E-Mail

I need to know how
Andy died
on Charmed last season.

The Restless Heart
By G.W., Beach City

Is there any clue
to how long the character Caitlin
will remain
on Nash Bridges?
The show has become a
real yawn
with Nash having the
same love
interest every week.

I Have Measured Out My Life
with Coffee Spoons

By M.B.R., Cypress

I'm writing
to see why the Statler Brothers,
Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase
haven't been on
since last fall.
I
watched them every week.

Who needs nationally known poems? The Chron should honor local writers, for crying out loud.

E-mail the News Hostage at rich.connelly@houstonpress.com.

 
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