It’s a small wonder that 106.5 “The End’s” Woody and Wilcox are still working together.
Less than a year after being paired up to host a morning show at San Diego’s KPLN in 2003, they were dumped to make way for Howard Stern, king of terrestrial radio at the time.
Needing to put food on their families’ tables, Wilcox took a job in sales for a golf company, while Woody bounced around a comedically wide range of odd jobs: He worked at Petco, sold wine over the phone, bartended, delivered subpoenas, sold used cars, was a bailiff for a judge, and became a baggage handler for American Eagle after the airline deemed him too heavy to be a flight attendant.
“He’s not kidding,” Wilcox says.
Never miss a local story.
“I’m the same size as I was then,” says Woody, who weighs in today at 206 pounds.
“Which is funny, because you feel like you’ve seen bigger flight attendants,” Wilcox adds.
“Totally. Totally,” Woody says. “Every time I get on a flight, I go, ‘You’re fatter than me!’ That’s a great way to ingratiate yourself.”
All the while, Woody continued to send out tapes and – finally – a station bit. That station, it turned out, was a 60-hour drive from San Diego: KBFX in Anchorage, Alaska.
The culture shock was significant. They’d gone from a place known for mild climate and extensive beaches to a land where daylight lasted five hours in winter and the lawn needs to be mowed every other day in summer.
“Like being on a different planet,” Woody says.
And, perhaps because they were so out of their element, the pair landed in hot water in 2008: Woody put a vulgar twist on an old Alaskan saying that already was widely considered derogatory, and ended up offending scores of listeners.
The uproar led to a two-week suspension, condemnation from the Alaska State Legislature, death threats, national news coverage labeling them “shock-jocks,” a litany of apologies and – ultimately – a better understanding of their adopted home.
“We would meet with members of the Native Alaskan community for hours at a time,” Wilcox says. “We learned stuff about the culture of Alaska, specifically native Alaskans, that we never would have learned if we hadn’t gone through this.”
The show rallied after that, and in 2010, Clear Channel asked them to re-locate to WEND in Charlotte to replace the syndicated “Bob & Tom” show, bringing them to a Top 25 market. They’re now syndicated in eight other cities – including their old station in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks, Alaska.
And they’ve had a third wheel for four years: Chelsea Paxton, who joined the show as an intern in 2011.
There’s a lot of laughter these days at Paxton’s expense, in fact. One of Woody and Wilcox’s favorite current on-air pastimes is flagging and isolating comments she makes that are totally innocuous, but if played out of context can sound lewd, or suggestive.
Then they give an example of how they do it. Woody plays a clip from a commercial she did where she was talking about adventures in wearing contact lenses: “I lost a contact, or I ripped one at a terrible time.” Then he just plays “I ripped one at a terrible time.”
Paxton rolls her eyes. “They’re like older brothers,” she says. “That’s how I explain the relationship.”
That gag, in fact, is a twist on a bit they call “Fun With Golf” (or “With NASCAR,” or “With Football”) where they play clips from broadcasters out of context to make them sound dirty.
“I mean, it’s juvenile and moronic,” Wilcox adds, “but we’re more than up front about that.”
Meet more personalities behind Charlotte’s top morning-radio shows