Sleeping in, but practicing the wisecracks

Staying up late with Conan. Sleeping in past sunrise. And still collecting those morning radio host paychecks.

Kirk McEwen and Mark Ondayko have been on easy street since 98 Rock (97.9 FM) yanked the popular team from its lineup in October. That'll all be over tomorrow, when their contract with their old station is officially up, and they can start work as the new morning crew at WHFS (105.7 FM). The alarm clock will go off at 4:30 a.m. again.


"Over the course of this break, I've been getting up about 8:30 or 9," said Ondayko, who developed an appetite for daytime talk shows. "It is so cool to find out who the daddy is on The Maury Povich Show. I'm not kidding. That show just cracks me up. That show and Jerry Springer."

McEwen said he'll miss watching Conan O'Brien, since he'll have to be in bed by 10 p.m. or 10:30. He has philosophical - and mechanical - issues with the VCR, so watching the show the next day isn't an option.


"I don't tape stuff and watch it. I feel like that's cheating," he said. "I'm not technologically savvy. It would take me a couple of months to figure out how to tape shows."

Despite the early-to-bed, early-to-rise downside, both men said they're eager to get back to work. (They'll share the studio with producer Jeff Shamrock, who promises to be "a humor touchstone.")

"The hardest thing was not being able to test my witticisms," said McEwen, who resorted to making wisecracks to himself.

"I listen to people talking in the mall and think of what I would say," he said. "A woman would say, 'I don't think I have enough money for this blouse.' And I'd say, 'Lady, I don't think you'd fit in that blouse.' If I'm behind her at the Gap and she's holding something up, I'd say, 'Honey, you might want to get with Jenny Craig before you get back with Gap.' It's just a matter of staying sharp."

Toronto's no Baltimore

A guy claiming to be a good friend of John Waters called WHFS' Ed Norris Show yesterday to say Martin O'Malley showed up - uninvited - at the director's annual Christmas party and bullied his way in the door. Ticked off, Waters has vowed to make future movies in Toronto instead of Baltimore, the caller continued.


"Every single thing the caller said was incorrect," said Lindsay Bowlin, Waters' assistant. "Governor O'Malley and his wife were invited, and any movie he's ever directing is not being made in Toronto. They will always be made in Baltimore."


More reasons not to answer the phone

The 2007 Baltimore mayor's race reached a milestone this week: first push poll.

At least that sounds like what was going on when somebody claiming to be taking a survey for the city of Baltimore rang up Christina Antoniades the other day.

"I thought it was going to be about trash pickup and crime," said Antoniades, a freelance writer who lives in Homeland.

The caller opened with a legitimate line of municipal inquiry. ("What are the most important issues to you?" That sort of thing.)

But Antoniades said the caller quickly swerved into political territory. ("If there were an election tomorrow between Sheila Dixon, Patricia Jessamy, Keiffer Mitchell, Andrey Bundley, Joan Pratt" - and maybe some others; Antoniades didn't catch all the names - "how would you vote? How are you leaning?")


Then came the push part.

The caller went into a long bit about Mayor Dixon being accused of sending business to Utech without disclosing her sister's employment there. "How does this make you feel about her? Do you feel that she is dishonest, honest or you're not sure?

"It was very clear that it was a statement and then it was just followed with a question that was just lame," Antoniades said. "Quite a few of the questions had to do with Sheila Dixon. ... It did not seem legit to me at all."

Asked about the poll, Dixon spokesman Anthony McCarthy said he hadn't heard of it but was sure it didn't come from City Hall.

"I am going to make a huge leap here and say I am confident the city of Baltimore is not involved in this poll," he said.

Connect the dots


William Donald Schaefer made it clear he wouldn't take a freebie when he moved into his new office in Ed Hale's tower last week. "I'm not going to let you give me an office. I want to pay rent," Hale says the former comptroller told him. Hale did some faux calculations and came up with a way-below-market figure: $200 a month. The famously frugal ex-mayor and governor didn't want charity but couldn't resist a deal. Schaefer's reply: "All right." ... Bob Ehrlich's former chief of staff has landed a job. Chip DiPaula will be chief operating officer of Petrie Ross Ventures, a retail property development firm. ... Rumor had it that Victoria Schade, an Ehrlich appointee to the Maryland Department of the Environment, was escorted out by armed guards after O'Malley became governor. Cries of hypocrisy from the former governor's camp, since Ehrlich was accused of partisan housecleaning. The story's only half-true, said Schade. "It wasn't my choice to leave," she said. But, she added, "I was definitely not escorted out. They were friendly enough about it."