Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Written by: Craig Shelton
Date Posted: 07-07-2010

I will began by stating the obvious: Tom Joyner aka The "Fly Jock" has enjoyed a remarkable run as host of the Tom Joyner Morning Show. Tom Joyner is deservedly known also as "The Hardest Working Man In Show Biz." Now that I've stated the obvious, I'll ask the question that I'm sure many of Tom Joyner's current listeners and former listeners surely ask themselves. Tom my man, WHAT THE HELL IS SO DAMN FUNNY, TOM?!

The Tom Joyner Morning Show (TJMS) airs weekdays 5am-9am on Magic 102 FM., and has done so for well over a decade now. Joyner is joined in studio daily by his morning show co-host Sybil Wilkes and comedian J. Anthony Brown. The trio has been a staple in morning drive radio and Joyner has been a exemplary contributor nationally to social and political issues concerning the black community. OK Tom, all that's wonderful, but I'm here to talk show content & general entertainment value.

It's clear the Tom Joyner Show intends to entertain, but just "who" is it the TJMS attempting to entertain? With all the laughter we hear in studio, it’s clear that Joyner and his co-host are entertaining themselves, but what about the listeners? Who's entertaining us? Most of the laughter we hear during the TJMS is, or comes off as inside jokes way too many times. The problem is, too much of the time  IT'S NOT THAT FUNNY, TOM! You guys just sound unscripted most of the time. Conducting a morning radio show unscripted is not trend setting, nor is it viewed professionally as an industry no-no. The only time sounding "unscripted" becomes an issue, is when the show begins to sound like there was no show preparation. Personally I love a good funny bit in the mornings driving into work or while listening in my office. What I don't need is to listen to aging, unprepared host, attempting to cover up their lack of show preparation by force feeding bad comedy down my throat.

The TJMS crew is an intelligent, socially aware trio. The trio is seasoned as a unit exhibiting seamless continuity once the "on air" red light goes on weekdays 5a-9a. What the trio does not offer is the appearance of the same continuity at work in regards to preparation. I observed too many instances of Joyner & crew attempting to force the issue with the laughter, but without a single "laugh out loud" incentive to go there.

In recent weeks, a story came out of Africa regarding a woman that has engineered a new condom for women that works as a rape deterrent. Joyner reported that the African woman developed the condom after she became determined to do something about the unsettling static regarding African women being sexually assaulted. Sybil Wilkes, who's obviously a black female took the story seriously and showed immediate sensitivity towards the obviously serious intent of the story and the seriousness of the subject of rape in general. Joyner predictably attempted to make a play on words, looking for a comedic angle when Wilkes encouraged Joyner "not to go there with this one". Joyner continued to work to get a reaction, but Wilkes and J.Anthony Brown, both steered clear of Joyner's "death march" as the show came up on a station break. Don't worry Tom, "I'm not a tree-hugger."

Joyner returned from the break for a short segment before the top of the hour break and made no mention of the story, instead promoting the Tom Joyner Family Reunion-Orlando Labor Day weekend promotion. (

I find myself listening to the TJMS with the  same look on my face that I get listening to some black ministers. I've gotten up and walked out of church services on numerous occasions after they suddenly change their temperament from speaking in a subtle tone to suddenly going into a freaking rain dance or something!

My point Joyner is the same black folks you're constantly pointing out as beautiful and intelligent, really are, beautiful and intelligent. Joyner we don't want or need a song and dance. It’s like Ice Cube said: "How come n*gg*as always gotta show their teeth"?

If it’s really funny as black listeners were more than happy to get a good laugh. If it’s not funny, don't force feed us crap and expect us not to "have a voice". We don't want to hear you and your crew being insensitive and disrespectful to our fallen stars before their family can get through the grieving process and bury their loved one (i.e., Gary Coleman). Stop under valuing our listeners' intelligence Joyner with some of the foolish antics, because I'm sure you or your co-host can't answer the initial question I posed earlier in this article: "WHAT'S SO DAMN FUNNY, TOM"?!


Craig Shelton
HMW Blog Link:
HMW Facebook:


Tina G said...

I wish we had something local because that show is wack. Every now and then I am entertained but for the most part, I listen to get upset

Earlis said...

Don't get me started on Tom Joyner I can't stand that Negro...enough of the sophisticated coon jokes..ok...Tom was death to a lotta local morning programming accross the nation..I loved funky Larry Jones and the 102 morning crew..what a loss to the community....a lot of local event information was flowing
this way... Local news local stories on the community.. Local humor we could relate to...if I had power the Tom Joyner Show would be history in h-town..gone like fart in the wind.

Andivo41 said...

Wow it's really an eye opener! I stopped listening to 97.9 long ago and 102 barely catches my attention. they should bring back the locals, it was great back then.

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord I found someone who feel the same as myself about the TJMS. A few weeks before Christmas I decided to start back listening to the radio. I had not tuned in for years, except when I was driving.

I got to listen to TJ and company for a week before they left to go on vacation. Now, I remember why I stop listening to Magic 102. Skip Murray and the rest of the crew did such a wonderful job while TJ and Company were gone. Once again, I enjoyed the magic of 102.

I am so sad to see the holidays gone because the crew covering the holidays are gone except for "Uncle Funky Larry Jones". I LOVE all the Magic 102 DJ's (Kandy Eastman, Jeff Harrison,Marcus Davis, KMJQ, Nzinga, Marco Spoon, Dr. J. Thomas Smith, Val Wilson and the others).

I DON'T enjoy all the BAD jokes made on the TJMS and especially those made at the expense of other people. I especially didn't like the joke made about Janet Jackson and her fiancee; the joke about the obese lady and others. I don't think the music station is about jokes. Let's hear some decent news reports and the magic of the music. I can find jokes on YouTube if I wish to hear them.

Thanks Mr. Shelton, although I'm almost three years too late in finding this blog.

leonard jefferson said...

That's why the radio have "on & off knobs.
Black History facts, Jeff Johnson, are informative. I for one enjoy hearing about "Black News", because I don't get it any other time.
LV Merrick