When I first arrived to Los Angeles in 1996, I immediately began listening to KROQ in the morning. Being a radio junkie, I had heard about "Kevin & Bean," and wanted to finally check it out for myself. I've listened to plenty of morning radio, and had just lived in both Washington, D.C., and Chicago, where the morning radio shows I heard were... all right. But missing real personality.
"Kevin & Bean" had personality. It wasn't trying to force sophomoric gags on you or unearned laughs. By the time I started tuning in, Kevin and Bean had been doing the show for six years, while Jimmy Kimmel had already been there for two — so I missed the early trials and errors. By 1996, the elements had all come into place. Kimmel was scripting fantastic bits and providing sports reports. Adam Corolla would join in, mostly in character. Lisa May chiming in on traffic, Doc on the Roq on news. Kevin and Bean orchestrating it all.
As Kimmel left and Ralph Garman joined the show, "Kevin & Bean" climbed to even greater heights, including many ratings books at No. 1. The show's bits were even further honed, and took full advantage of Ralph's voice skills and improv abilities. They not only referenced the top news and pop culture stories, they gave sharp commentary on them via satire and parody. "Kevin & Bean" had plenty of sophomoric stuff, but it was funny — and balanced by some really smart takes on the world. At one period of time, "Psycho Mike" Catherwood provided even more voices and takes, and the show was on fire.
Lisa and Ralph were eventually let go, and the way both of those exits were handled were unfortunate. Mike went off to pursue other things. But in came Allie Mac Kay, who gave the show new energy and a fresh perspective. Other players, including Johnny "Beer Mug" Kantrowe stepped up. A year and a half ago, Jensen Karp joined the show, another sharp writer and producer who injected the show with more original ideas.
After 30 years, "Kevin & Bean" had been inducted into both the NAB Hall of Fame and Radio Hall of Fame. Bean, who had done the show remotely for the last 20 of those years, departed at the end of 2019. "Kevin & Bean" was reborn in 2020 as "Kevin in the Morning with Allie & Jensen," but apparently the station's new management wasn't patient. And opted to throw away 30 years of history, just like that, on Tuesday. "Kevin & Bean" is no more, and now "Kevin in the Morning" is no more either.
Which is a shame. Especially during this coronavirus crisis, we need all the virtual human connection we can get, and "Kevin in the Morning" was family, a group we heard from and interacted with every morning over the airwaves (or on the podcast). Kevin Ryder, in particular, had developed those relationships with KROQ listeners over 30 years. To be so cavalier with its listeners shows a great amount of disrespect by the KROQ and Entercom management. That's truly a slap in the face, and extremely short-sighted by them.
I'm heartbroken. And yeah, quite a bit angry at KROQ and Entercom. But also grateful for having had "Kevin & Bean" and "Kevin in the Morning" in my life for the 24 years I've been out here. Part of what made my lengthy commute so bearable all these years was knowing I had a full hour and a half of the show to accompany me on that drive every day.
But even more important, I'm grateful to having known the "Kevin & Bean"/ "Kevin in the Morning" team personally. Ruben and Destiny. Beer Mug is truly one of the good guys. Omar created two different openers for my podcasts over the years. Christine was so kind to invite me to see Local Natives at the KROQ Sound Space just a few weeks ago, after seeing me post a pic of their album on Instagram! Dave Sanchez, the man who kept the K&B/KITM ship floating for these past several years as producer, thanks for always having me on, especially in November, when I got to spend the entire day with the team. Jensen, you were a fantastic addition to the show this past year and a half. Allie, you brought a fun evergy and an important voice/perspective to the show every day.
And Kevin, after 30 years, you and Bean are radio legends. KROQ can't take that away. Grateful to have had "Kevin & Bean"/ "Kevin in the Mornings" in my life, and to have even unleashed "Bruddah Mike" on your listeners. Thanks to you and the entire team for everything.