Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nighttime radio

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Sunday evening I watched a documentary on call-in radio shows, which mostly focused on André Pelletier, a guy who has been hosting a nighttime call-in show for probably over 20 years now.

Nighttime radio is really pathetic, in the sense of "causing or evoking pity, sympathetic sadness, sorrow, affecting or moving the feelings" - which I'd wager was the original meaning of the word.

So many people out there are lonely, so many people are sad and so many people have to reach out to some guy on the radio because they have no one else in their lives to reach out to.

I don't know how these radio talk show hosts do it. After a week I'd be seriously depressed, and yet Pelletier has been doing it for years. I suppose there's something of a shrink in the guy, he has his callers, regulars almost all. He knows their stories, he knows what to say to cheer them up, he seems to genuinely like and feel for them.

It takes a special kind of person. There's a whole huge world out there while I'm sleeping, and all things considered, I'm glad I know nothing much about it.

Because it's a really really sad world.
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11 comments:

Voyager said...

I have never heard of Andre Pelletier. Is he on French or English radio?
V.

furiousBall said...

i'm with you. i'd chalk it up to the lonely and their undying need to belong to something

Jazz said...

Voyager - He's on French radio, a local station.

Furball - That's what's sad I think, the fact that some people are so alone or shut in or abandoned that they need night time radio to connect with someone, anyone... It's so sad.

pinklea said...

Or maybe some of them are insomniacs, and since most people are sleeping while they aren't, they choose to call radio stations so they have someone to talk to. (At least I'd LIKE to believe this.)

citizen of the world said...

IThere is indeed a lot of sadness in the world, and people feel a need to tell their story to someone.

XUP said...

Pathos. He looks like a very kind person. I wonder how this job has affected his life and his own psyche?

geewits said...

if you cover his face from the nose down, he looks very very sad.

Suldog said...

Used to be a fellow in Boston, Larry Glick, who hosted a nighttime show for years and years. Very funny guy, but there was always, as you say, a bit of melancholy surrounding the proceedings.

I worked as a security guard for a few years and nighttime radio was often my companion. Yes, sad in a way, but a sure lifeline for some who need it to be there. I'm glad I don't need it any longer!

That girl said...

I had no idea these things existed.

That is actually depressing, but obviously a needed service.

Jocelyn said...

It's a little less sad when there's someone like Pelletier in it, though.

Anonymous said...

I just came accross this blog. Andre Pelletier was part of a radio show called Bonjour La Nuit, which means Hello Night. The main host was Jacques Fabi who was hosting it for 32 years. I am using the word "was" as the show is no longer aired, since last night. Corus Entertainment decided to end it. I am so sad this is happening. I was a daily listener myself for more than 20 years. They will be greatly missed, and for many of us, it feels like someone has died. Yes these two hosts are very kind persons, way more than the average. For some elder people or handicaped, they were the world to them as many are just abandonned by their families, or have no one. For them, these hosts were their friends. Now they will feel even more alone. They were also a great presence for night time workers, and for people like me that are insomniacs, their show was a stress reliever which helped us falling asleep. I just thought I'd let you know a bit more about them. I wish them the best of luck. Please excuse the spelling errors, as my main language is french. Thanks for allowing me to express myself.