Doug Tracht (1950 - ), the Greaseman, Nino Greasemanelli, Johnny Avacado, is a radio shock jock who got just a little too shocking when he spouted a racial comment that, for all intents and purposes, ended his career in February of 1999. This was a career that began in 1968 in the Ithaca college radio station. Ironically, he was given the status of "Honorary Brother", by an African American group from Atlanta who loved his show not so very long before the incident. I've heard that since then the NAACP has officially "forgiven" him, although I cannot find reference to it on teh intarwebs. However, I would think that someone has given him the nod, because he's got his show back on the air and it's on several radio stations around the country.
FWIW, I think that it's unlikely that he's really a racist, but was trying to be funny and politically incorrect, and opened his mouth before he engaged his brain. Even so, I've heard more bigotted comments on Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony, and they're still on the air. (Not that it makes what he said any better.)
update:I've heard that Opie and Anthony are no longer on the air. I'm not familiar with the details, but apparently someone (or someones) got arrested for lewd behavior in public at their behest during a radio contest, and O&A were run out of town by a pitchfork weilding mob. But I digress. O&A's demise is beyond the scope of this write-up.
Aside from that insensitive and unfortunate remark, which has no need to be repeated here, and despite any feelings I may have about him, I've decided to do a writeup on him anyway, because the Grease was insanely funny in his time. He was a remarkable storyteller, who used sound effects to counterpoint his baritone voice, as he went on wildly, about bizarre tales of sexual antics, policework, his time in the war and other stories of maniacal derring-do.
Some of his most popular and recurring bits were:
- Sgt. Fury
Every now and then Greaseman would have a flashback to his time in WWVN. He would go back to that time when the name on his uniform said Greasmanelli, but everyone knew him as Sergeant Fury. He would describe an unsavory event that happened during this time frame. The sound effects reigned supreme when he would do this bit. The sounds of machine gun fire, helicopter blades, vietnamese voices, explosions, tank engines, were liberally scattered throughout. If you were in your car, you could turn the volume way up on your radio and you could almost imagine you were in the foxhole with this lunatic.
- West Virginia
Cue the banjos! The banjos would blaze in, sometimes mid-sentance and you would hear a story of Appilachian family life (if you know what I mean, and I think you do).
Sometimes a caller would call in and discuss a topic. Sometimes this topic would remind the Grease of a time when he used to strap on a gun, pin on a badge and become A Lawman. When it did he tell a story over the music of S.W.A.T. where he and his partners would run down some riff-raff. The account would always end with the same two words: "Book him!"
- My DADDY!
Oscar Greasmanelli was an even bigger horny pig than his baby boy Nino. Tales about Nino's Daddy were always about how big of a puss hound Oscar was, and the trouble it would get him into when the woman's husband found out what was going on, or when he was caught trying to bamboozle the woman herself.
- Clinton and the Punk
Not Bill. Clinton was his pet name for Clint Eastwood. He would enter a little fantasy after taking a knock on the head where he would be living an alternate lifestyle with Clint Eastwood. Clint was the dominant one always calling Nino "punk". The bit would always end with Nino bending down to pick up a remote control, or look under the bed for a pair of boots, and getting a big surprise from Clinton.
- Emporor Tuchasfacius
This was a really bizarre bit in which the Greaseman would portray himself as the Roman Emporor Tuchasfacius. The plots of the stories ranged from stopping coup attempts to walking down the street, but the plot wasn't what was funny. It was all the characters names. Each character would have a filthy Roman sounding name. I believe his wife was named "Sleezebagius", and they had a daughter named "Chlamydia". You get the idea.
In each of these bits, you would hear tons of "code words". For instance, you can't say "pussy" on the air, so when the Grease would talk about it, he would refer to it as "the scamper". Fucking became "hobbling" and male genitalia would be referred to as "the hydraulics" or "doo-dads". There were dozens of these code words scattered throughout much of the show, and if you were not familiar with Greaseman's lexicon, you could easily become totally confused when he started in with them. On a good day, it would often sound like the Grease wasn't even speaking english at all!
And when he starts eyeballing your bomb bays you better run. Cause he'll make you squeal like a pig.
A point of interest: The popular phrase Who's Your Daddy? can be traced back to Greaseman. No, really.