A lot farther – How about Pago Pago in American Samoa? American Samoa’s self-described #1 Hit Station, KKHJ-FM 99.3, says it has a lot to offer that most would find superior to a radio gig in Fargo ND in the dead of winter. For starters, there IS no winter in Pago Pago. The offer comes after O’Brien’s run as host of NBC’s Tonight Show comes to an end.
We can’t possibly put it any better than did KKHJ-FM VP/GM Joey Cummings, so here is the complete text of his letter. Many thanks to radio veteran Larry Fuss for bringing it to our attention (not coincidentally, Mr. Fuss is President of South Seas Broadcasting, Inc., the station licensee).
Dear Mr. O’Brien,
We heard you were considering a radio job in Fargo, North Dakota, once you leave The Tonight Show. Seriously? Fargo, North Dakota?
As an alternative, we’d like to offer you the opportunity to co-host “Samoan Sunrise” on KKHJ-FM in Pago Pago, American Samoa. You’d have to get up early each morning, but we offer many things you won’t find in Fargo:
* Palm trees
* Lovely Polynesian women, some with grass skirts
* Lots of NFL football players (how many of those come from Fargo?)
* L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
* Tisa’s Tattoo Festival (perhaps you could get the NBC peacock tattooed on your buttocks)
* We are closer to the equator
* We are closer to the International Date Line
* The Pacific Ocean (they can’t offer that in Fargo!)
* Government-paid health care! (The only place in the U.S. that offers such)
* Sunshine and warmth year ‘round!
* Palolo (yummy sea worms!)
Although we can’t pay much (minimum wage in American Samoa is $4.35 per hour), it’s quite possible you could get a job at the StarKist tuna cannery to supplement your income. You’ll eventually come to appreciate the fine aroma.
Things have been cleaned up rather nicely since the tsunami last year, so we have already found you a nice place with an ocean view. The pig farm next door doesn’t smell too badly and the pigs are actually quite friendly.
Before you make a serious mistake and end up in some snow-bound place like Fargo, we urge you to consider our generous offer. We look forward to hearing from you. Please don’t call collect.
Vice-President & General Manager
RBR-TVBR observation: We strongly suggest that Mr. O’Brien accept this gig – and the moment he does, it will set off a mad scramble among RBR-TVBR’s editors to see who gets to fly out there and cover his initial days and weeks on the station first hand. Meanwhile, if O’Brien plays his cards right, he could end up getting paid to tour the globe.
Remember on game shows back in the day, when some extremely lucky contestant would win a tour of the world? Bells would ring, postcards of famous landmarks would flip across the screen, and whoever was playing the role of Don Pardo (in many cases, it probably WAS Don Pardo) would be chanting, “Paris! London! Rome! Cairo! Bombay! Tokyo!” etc., etc., etc.
With our luck, back in our days living in the Washington DC area, we’d win an all-expenses-paid trip around: The Beltway.
“Clinton!” Don Pardo or his portrayer would yell. “Reston! Lanham! Upper Marlboro! Springfield! Alexandria! College Park! Oxon Hill! Largo!” [Editors note – we either lived or worked in all of these places – and they don’t exactly rate high up on the exotic scale.]
Conan, take our advice: Rather than get stuck on the Beltway tour, go to Pago Pago and see where else you can wind up while you’re at it – we’ll likely be trying to follow.