Trivia / NewsRadio

  • Actor Allusion:
    • The Halloween episode when Dave dressed up as a woman was no surprise to anyone who knew of the many convincing female characters Dave Foley played as a member of the all-male comedy troupe The Kids in the Hall.
    • In "The Trainer", the staff is shocked to find out that Dave is actually Canadian. Dave Foley is from Canada.
    • "Bill's Autobiography" has a scene where Bill is given a tape recorder to write his thoughts for his autobiography, which includes a tape of Dave singing the song "A Horse with No Name" by America. Phil Hartman, during his time working as a graphic artist, designed three of that group's album covers; while his brother John was the band's manager.
    • Joe Garrelli continually espoused his beliefs in conspiracy theories, such as man never landing on the moon; Joe Rogan is similarly known for his comments on conspiracy theories. In addition, Joe and Matthew once faced each other in a no-holds-barred ultimate fighting match and Joe would later attempt to teach Matthew and Max his homemade martial art, "Joe-Jitsu"; Rogan has been a martial artist for most of his life and started working for Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1997, a year before NewsRadio went off the air.
    • Lisa is revealed to originally be from Boston and has a strong Boston accent that she worked with a speech therapist to suppress; Maura Tierney is originally from Boston.
  • Blooper: Dave once referenced the lyric "Doobie in your funk" as being from the Parliament-Funkadelic song "Chocolate City." It's actually from Parliament's "P. Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)" from their 1975 album Mothership Connection.
  • The Character Died with Him: Phil Hartman/Bill McNeal. As coincidence would have it, Hartman's final episode concluded with everyone but Dave surviving the Titanic episode. In the tribute episode to Hartman, however, it's stated that Bill merely died of a heart attack. While a great gesture by the cast and crew, the somber tone of Bill's death didn't ring true for a show as ironic and cynical as this one; particularly since most the mourners would have (in-universe, at least) been jubilant over Bill's demise.
    • It's highly debatable of course, but this could be considered a fitting reaction if the Hidden Depths displayed in "Bitch Session" are taken into account: The entire staff mocks Dave behind his back and turn on him completely when they find out he was spying on them. But when Jimmy tells the staff he'll make it right by firing Dave, they all abandon their grievances and stand up for him. Joe explains that in-fighting doesn't mean anything by comparing it to something insanely violent his brother did to him, saying, "It doesn't mean he didn't love me." When being called out for showing compassion and sincerity, Bill himself says, "Those dimensions are there, they're just unexplored."
    Lisa: "Dave truthfully Bill wasn't always the easiest person to like. I mean we loved him, but a lot of people found him kind of abrasive."
  • Creator Backlash: Jon Lovitz does not like to talk about his role on the show, largely because he replaced a character whose actor (and close friend in real life) was murdered.
  • The Danza: Dave Foley/Nelson & Joe Rogan/Garelli. Phil Hartman's character was named Bill purely to avert this trope.
    • Also notable is the episode "Chock", in which David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, and Brian Posehn show up playing characters named David, Bob, and Brian, respectively.
  • Executive Meddling: Many instances:
    • NBC wanted there to be some Will They or Won't They? between Dave and Lisa; the writers responded by having the two hook up only a couple episodes in, and then having them deal with the consequences of having an affair in the office.
    • NBC was doing a theme night of "Three Funerals and a Wedding" (a parody of the new movie at the time, Four Weddings and a Funeral), and requested Newsradio do a plotline in which a character dies. The writers wrote an episode about a dead rat in retaliation.
    • NBC wanted a "femme fatale" character, which is how we ended up with efficiency expert Andrea. She only lasted a few episodes at the start of season 4.
  • Missing Episode: The episode "Injury" was withheld from broadcast for nearly two yearsnote  due to concerns about the script's excessive use of the word "penis". The word appears three times in the version that eventually made it to air, but was reportedly a lot more in the original version of the episode.
    • Mildly ironic, the word penis was used in reference to censorship on the show.
    • Interestingly enough, this led to the studio being uncertain whether to class the episode as a Season Two or Season Three show, so they decided to include it on both DVD sets as a service to the fans.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Possibly the case for George Hamilton for the episode "Zoso", along with a bit of Executive Meddling. According to the audio commentary, he didn't seem thrilled to be there and didn't like being given direction.
  • Reality Subtext: Phil Hartman's death.
  • Screwed by the Network: The show changed time slots 11 times in five seasons. Network head Warren Littlefield actually admits this was a mistake on a DVD commentary.
  • Shrug of God: The writers admit that even they aren't sure how Bill's last name is supposed to be spelled (McNeal vs McNeil). Reportedly, both versions found their way into scripts depending on who wrote that particular episode.
  • Vindicated by Reruns: The show was not popular at all during its original NBC run (specifically, the show never reached higher than 26th place in the Nielsen ratings), largely because NBC kept moving the show around on the schedule. It also didn't win any awards, save for "Outstanding Costuming For a Series", of all things. When the show hit syndication, however, it gained more fans and is now considered a Cult Classic.
  • What Could Have Been: Ray Romano was originally cast as Joe Garelli but was fired because his particular brand of comedy didn't mesh well with the tone and pace of the rest of the show.
    • The second episode of the series was intended to be a love letter to Howard Stern, with a plot involving various crank callers phoning Bill on the air and saying "Baba booey!" The script was never filmed because the table read was lukewarm, with only the writers finding it amusing.
    • The episode "Chock" was originally intended to be a Reunion Show for The Kids in the Hall, but never came to fruition. So it became a Reunion Show for Mr. Show instead.
  • Writer Revolt: NewsRadio was the king of this trope. The writers intensely disliked the story directives NBC would impose on them and would protest by subverting those demands in some way. For instance, they were told to add a Will They or Won't They? plot to the show. The answer was "they will", in episode two. Later they were told to do a funeral story as part of a cross-series promotional gimmick. They created an episode about the death of a rat.
  • Write What You Know: Many plots were inspired by something that happened to the writers:
    • "No, This Is Not Based Entirely on Julie's Life" is, despite the title, based on associate producer Julie Bean sending her then-boyfriend nude photos of herself.
    • "Bitch Session" was based on a real incident where some of the writers badmouthed Paul Simms, who overheard everything from another room.
    • "Mistake" (which had Dave endlessly apologizing to the staff for an interview where he insulted them) was based on a real incident where show creator Paul Simms griped to Rolling Stone about how the show was treated by NBC. He didn't expect his comments to actually be printed verbatim, and was embarrassed when NBC called him on it (though, lucky for him, NBC didn't fire him for it).
  • You Look Familiar: David Cross, Brian Posehn, Bob Odenkirk all appeared as different characters in different seasons.
    • So did Toby Huss, Dave "Gruber" Allen, and David Anthony Higgins. Not to mention Jon Lovitz (Max Louis was the third character he played on the show).
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