Friday, June 03, 2011

Retro Friday: Kevin & Bean's Infamous 'Unsolved Mysteries' Hoax

"Gene Baxter and Kevin Ryder were lying." That Robert Stack soundbite from "Unsolved Mysteries" still shows up from time to time on KROQ's "Kevin & Bean" morning show, but with little explanation.

"Kevin & Bean" is now No. 1 in Los Angeles, nationally syndicated and celebrating 21 years on the air. But back in 1990, they were brand new to the station and still getting a handle on the show. (And it was quite a different show vs. today. The duo regularly joke about their show's unprofessionalism, but these days it's actually an extremely well-polished, well-executed affair with a staff pulling the whole venture together.)

In those early days, Kevin and Bean tried out all sorts of different things -- and that's when they got fellow KROQ DJ Doug "the Slug" Roberts (now known as "Sluggo") to call in and pose as a man who had killed his girlfriend.

It definitely got them attention -- from the authorities, who started investigating the case. "Unsolved Mysteries" even did a bit on the case, but Kevin and Bean stuck to their guns and denied any involvement. In the end, the truth came out -- and K&B were suspended for a brief time and ordered to pay a fine. Here's the 1991 story from the L.A. Times:

The three KROQ-FM disc jockeys who concocted and broadcast a phony murder confession that generated a lengthy law enforcement investigation will pay out of their own pockets a $12,170 bill from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deptartment, the station's attorney said Monday.

The sheriff's department had presented the bill to the station earlier this month to compensate for the 149 hours that a homicide detective spent attempting to solve the murder case.
Kevin and Bean still get in trouble from time to time -- but now mostly for pretty harmless stuff, like the time France president Jacques Chirac thought he was talking to Jerry Lewis. The difference now: Fans are in on the jokes and impersonations -- so much so that sometimes they're accused of faking real guests.

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