"Radio's all about guys with subpar intellects killing four goddamn hours a morning."
The Dumbass DJ is, as the name suggests, a DJ who is a loud, obnoxious boor who makes moronic quips between songs. When used in fiction, the character is almost always intended to be unlikable; expect everyone else to respond with open derision and hatred. In the very rare cases that you're supposed to like
them, they frequently become The Scrappy
, a Creator's Pet
or (if very lucky) So Bad, It's Good
Stereotypical Dumbass DJs hold a morning slot for a Top-40 station, and try (sometimes successfully)
to amuse their audience with with Toilet Humor
, Vulgar Humor
, and ridiculous overacting
Expect them to describe themselves as "wacky," "crazy," or "edgy,"
insult callers and guests, and scream half of their lines
. See also Large Ham Radio
; Shock Jock
- A Judge Dredd comic centers around a DJ who keeps hearing voices in his head telling him that nobody likes him and he should kill himself, until finally he breaks down and does it. The coroner investigating his death explains that he was a dormant esper whose psychic powers were just surfacing, and the voices were what his listeners really thought of him. The coroner says the DJ didn't deserve to be hated that much... until he hears a recording of his radio show. Worse still, said DJ was able to air his show twenty four hours a day with the aid of a sleep machine and an extended mix of a particularly annoying record.
- Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning Vietnam.
- In the Comedians Of Comedy documentary, Patton Oswalt complains about his upcoming promotional stop at a radio show, predicting that the deejays are probably going to be blisteringly unfunny. When he gets to the radio studio in the next scene, the morning zoo crew pulls a whooppee cushion prank on him, which they seem to think is the height of hilarity.
- Bill Murray gets to wake up every day for the rest of his life to the sound of two yammering deejays in Groundhog Day. "Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today!" The first sign he's finally escaped the loop? Their spiel changes.
- Ruby Rhod from The Fifth Element managed to be effeminate, sleazy, and hammy all at once.
- Johnny Crunch from The Adventures of Ford Fairlane.
- Shakes the Clown featured a brief bit with a pair of DJs who were actually named Loud and Obnoxious.
- The two DJs in Dead Air start out like this, until a zombie apocalypse gets going outside their studio. They drop the dumbass, insulting schtick once they realize that something really nasty is actually going on.
- Rockin' Roger from Suck, played by Henry Rollins and proving to be Too Dumb to Live when he insults the vampire band in his studio on air.
- Handsome Dan from Wayne's World 2. Not only does the name not describe him well, but he's too busy selecting music and preparing his comedic sound effects to pay attention to what his guests are saying. That is, openly and remorselessly insulting him on his own show.
- Elderly actor Byron Orlock suffers through an interview with one of these in the horror film Targets.
- In Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, one of the signs of the changes that North Norfolk Digital is going through is that the morning show is now hosted by a team of these.
- Downplayed example: Wink Wilkinson (John Candy) from Little Shop of Horrors. Likely modeled on Murray the K (see Real Life).
- The Tim Dorsey novel Hammerhead Ranch Motel had Boris The Hateful Piece Of Shit (Yes, that was his legal name, though the FCC required him to honk a foghorn when saying the last word when on the air). He was killed when Serge disguised himself as a lotion boy and slathered his body with homemade coconut oil-scented napalm.
- Law & Order: SVU had an episode about a teenage boy who was inspired by a particularly Dumbass DJ to commit a crime.
- Josh Weinstein, who performed MST3K's Tom Servo in the show's early seasons, has stated that his voice for the character was intended to sound like a Small Name, Big Ego radio DJ.
- Harry Enfield's sketch comedy characters Smashie and Nicey combine this with aging rock star syndrome.
- Radar from M*A*S*H becomes a bit of one in episode "Your Hit Parade".
- A sketch in Big Train is about a terrible pun making DJ who repeatedly interrupts the start of a song to make stupid puns on the word "Bean", until he runs out of puns and goes down into a basement to yell at a group of chained children who were supposed to be writing his jokes for him.
- Frasier has the radio station hire two of these in one episode.
- Parks and Recreation had Crazy Ira and The Douche, whose entire shows seem to revolve around fart jokes. The soundboard operator looks like he wants to kill himself.
- The Douche had actually graduated college with an impressive literature degree, but after taking the job as The Douche, his show persona eventually merged with his real personality to turn him into a full time The Douche.
- The "Z105" skits on Saturday Night Live center on one of these, as played by Jimmy Fallon. This particular skitnote has Ben Affleck as a fellow Dumbass DJ — and old college rival. They battle it out with their impressions: TuSpock ("Live large and prosper, Biotch"), Sherlock Homo ("Elementary, my queer Watson"), Man in the Can, Man in the Box, Sanjay, Rajneesh, the Gay Three Stooges, and of course, Andrea with the weather..."And we're baaaack!"
- In Hi-de-Hi!, which is set in a 1950s holiday camp, Gladys is Radio Maplin's DJ. She spends all her time making unfunny, stilted jokes, trolling for gifts from the campers, and indulging her delusion that she can sing.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
- "The Gang Dances Their Asses Off" features "Power 102, the Zoo Crew," as performed by the Sklar Brothers.
- Dennis, Dee and Frank try to start an intelligent internet talk radio show, but quickly descend into zoo crew idiocy.
- One episode of the FBI negotiations\hostage rescue series Standoff had one such DJ who was making a hostage taking harder by drumming up support for the criminal and trying to instigate the crowd he had gathered there into a riot. Despite lawyers trying to defend him he is eventually arrested for his interference.
- Would you believe Oscar the Grouch was one for a while? One episode of Sesame Street had him get his own radio show called "The Can", which consisted mainly of insulting people who called in. Bonus points for answering the phone "You're on The Can!"
- The song "Falling Down" by CunningLynguists is about three people who have a really, REALLY bad day on the same day, and eventually collide. In the beginning, a annoying radio DJ announces a traffic jam, then directly insults the listener, and to top it all "We're gonna play three full hours of the Baha Men!"
- David Cross recycled a bit of his stand-up routine (see below) to play an obnoxious DJ in the music video for "Juicebox" by The Strokes.
- The Queens of the Stone Age album Songs For The Deaf had Dumbass DJ intros to several tracks. A dumbass DJ closes "No One Knows". However, the segment is entirely in Spanish.
- To a point, used in the beginning of the Dead Kennedys song "MTV Get Off the Air"; "Hi! I'm your video DJ! I always talk like I'm wigged out on Quaaludes!"
- Nitzer Ebb's "DJVD", off Ebbhead, talks about DJs suffering from "originality deficiency".
- Chris Morris' aptly named Wayne Kerr from On The Hour, who keeps up his Dumbass DJ schtick even when broadcasting from a war zone.
- "The Tim and Phil Morning Show" skits on Martin Molloy were about a pair of DJs who attempt to be this but are woefully ill-equipped to pull it off.
- During the month of October, Opie And Anthony usually run their "Jocktober" feature, where they listen to (and mercilessly poke fun at) radio morning shows from around the country.
- Adam Carolla loves to parody this. One of his regular targets and impressions is the morning drive-time DJ who is too excited to be reading weather weather weather, news top of the hour, at the half hour, traffic traffic traffic weather etc. Also the stereotypical strip club DJ (Him imitating them with a string of strip club cliches, always ending with "Jade, stage five!" while Bald Bryan plays a Cherry Pie music bed).
- Don Imus had his MSNBC simulcast of his Imus In The Morning canceled in 2007 after he called the Rutgers women's basketball team a bunch of "nappy-headed hos." He has since bounced from RFD-TV to Fox Business News while simulcast on WABC radio in New York.
- In 2013, Atlanta sports radio station WQXI canceled their morning show Mayhem In The A.M. after the show's hosts—who were subsequently fired—mocked New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who had Lou Gehrig's Disease.
- David Cross' bit about Morning DJs.
"We're here with funnyman David Cross; David, you didn't know it yet, but you're just in time for the Friday Morning Fart Song! ("What? No...") All right! You're listening to the Gator and the Lunatic!"
- Peter Kay has a routine about wedding DJs who fit this trope, as well as being The Unintelligible.
- The Sklar Brothers do an imitation of a zoo crew style radio show as one of their bits.
- Some of George Carlin's earliest bits have him as deejays Weird Willy West and Scott Lame. West's sign-off song:
We've got the old tunes, the new tunes,
The show tunes, the blue tunes,
The greatest music in town...
But we never play it!
- Nearly every DJ in the Grand Theft Auto universe is obnoxious or dysfunctional in some way or another. One admits to cannibalism.
- DJ Stryker in Burnout 3: Takedown. Bonus points for being a real radio DJ.
- There's rather a lot of DJs in some of the venues on Second Life (at least outside the really professional, first-tier places like Dance Island) that Will. Not. Shut. Up. Some can pull this off; others, not so much.
- DJ Juanito from Tropico 3. The expansion pack even gives you an option to shoot him.
- ClapFM is run by one of these. Notable for his liberal and gratuitous use of canned farting sound effects.
- Sam and Fuzzy had DJ Positive. Then again, Fridge isn't exactly the right type of person to comment on people's jerk quotient: Most humans seem to like him well enough and his daughter was a pleasant person who looked up to him.
- LoadingReadyRun once did a sketch about a pair of shock jock DJs doing a really dreadful morning show, with phone pranks failing, awful music and everything going wrong. Their boss comes in and announces he is the Devil and that they are in an Ironic Hell. Only he's just yanking their chain and it's just a bad morning. Only it is hell.
- DJ Mac Megahertz on Hero Factory FM. The guy fails at just about everything (though not as badly as some of his colleagues), but that's why the show is so hilarious (or So Bad, It's Good). If they only had a figure of him.
- A Derrick Comedy sketch involves two of these stuck in their recording room due to the "Wolfpocalypse" while still keeping up their schtick.
- A fairly popular internet meme has a blond-haired female DJ, supposedly a ditz, making "Dumbass DJ" type remarks. One example can be found here.
- Garfield from Garfield and Friends despises radio deejays. When Jon becomes one, it's played for Poke the Poodle.
- This also happens in D.J. Jon where Jon becomes a DJ and neglected food for Garfield and Odie. Thanks to Garfield's pranks, Jon manage to return back to normal.
- In an episode of Daria, two wacky morning deejays ("Bing and the Spatula Man") set up camp for a week at Lawndale High, to Daria's obvious non-delight.
- On an episode of The Simpsons, two idiot DJs end up owing Bart Simpson an elephant or risk losing their job to a machine, which comes pre-programmed with "inane chatter":
Idiot DJ #1: Man, that thing's great!
Idiot DJ #2: Don't praise the machine!
Boss: If you don't get that kid an elephant by tomorrow, the DJ 3000 gets your job.
- The writers admit on a DVD commentary that they think Radio DJing is the lowest rung on the entertainment ladder, and attracts the worst performers.
- One episode of Family Guy has Brian get a radio show that displaces Dumbass DJs "Weenie and the Butt", whose show mercilessly abused prerecorded sound bites. His show starts off as the wannabe intellectual (but incredibly boring) The Lunch Hour, but at the prodding of Stewie and the executives turns it into "Dingo and the Baby", a definite example of Lowest Common Denominator (as seen when they have a bikini-clad woman attempt to catch hot dogs in her mouth to win a boob job). After Brian realizes what he's become and quits, the episode ends by showing that Cleveland and Quagmire have replaced them.
- The South Park episode Ass Burgers from season 15 featured an annoying radio show called "Big Harry and Mike in the Morning". Presumably, Stan was the only one who found it intolerable since the major plot of the episode was his growing pessimism toward society.
- Leslie Willis a.k.a Livewire of Superman: The Animated Series was one of these before becoming a supervillain. She spent much of her airtime denouncing and mocking Superman in order to get reactions. Her transformation was the result of hosting a concert in a thunderstorm despite the police and Superman trying to talk some sense into her about the danger — in fact, she went so far as to rile up the crowd in order to prevent the police from shutting the event down.
- The Ur Example is Murray the K, who was a major radio personality from The Fifties to The Seventies. Given the era he worked in, he wasn't so much vulgar or abusive as slap-happy and a Jive Turkey.
- "Bubba the Love Sponge". A fair-to-middling radio host turned Professional Wrestling backstage interviewer almost entirely because of the influence of his good friend Hulk Hogan. The idea of a professional public speaker getting an interviewer slot isn't entirely without merit, but Bubba carried over the smarmy, condescending speaking style he (and most morning talk show DJs, for that matter) used on his show and tried his level best to get over at the expense of the talent he was supposed to push and build up. Specifically, a pro wrestling interviewer is supposed to be a piece of walking, talking furniture: Completely unnoticeable except when appropriately reacting to whatever the talent he or she is interviewing has to say. But Bubba would often be confrontational with wrestlers in his interview segments, acting as though he were an "equal", arguing against and cutting down whatever his interviewees had to say and generally deflating whatever buildup or goal the interview was meant to accomplish. It was made worse by Hogan's constant patronage, virtually ensuring that Bubba had constant Protection from Editors in effect and shielding him from any consequences. It got to the point where fans in the live audiences would boo immediately whenever Bubba was shown on screen.
- Finally got what was coming to him, along with a hefty dose of Laser-Guided Karma, after an PR fiasco where he said, "Fuck Haiti!" in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck the country, getting into a physical confrontation with female TNA wrestler Kharma, giving an extremely backhanded apology for said remarks, and then confronting and openly insulting Kharma when she appeared on one of his friend's radio shows to talk about the whole thing. TNA finally gave him the sack after this whole debacle, and arranged for Mick Foley to punch him in the face in his last appearance. A couple years later, he was involved in another scandal after setting his (now former) friend Hogan up with his own wife and secretly filming the encounter with a hidden camera that was eventually leaking onto the internet, presumably with the thought of blackmailing him later on.
- Michael J. Nelson's essay collection Mind Over Matters has a chapter titled "Wacky Morning Misrepresentation" devoted entirely to taking the piss out of Morning Zoo show DJs.
- Tim Westwood, an embarrassing 'wigga' who refers to himself as 'The big dog'.
- Chris Moyles, whose show mostly consists of playing top 40 music and news, and making fun of his cohosts. The show is quite funny on occasion but it doesn't change the fact it is lowbrow humour.
- Chris Evans (not that one), who replaced the most popular morning radio program in Britain, is notorious for being one of these.
- Long-time fans of Wogan, while having no great beef against Evans, tend to find him unbearably shouty and over-excited too early in the morning, compared to Wogan's more low-key laid-back approach.