Sunday, October 07, 2007

Danny's in the Clear

I can't help loving Danny Bonaduce. Sure, he's flawed as hell, but damn if he isn't also consistently funny.

I became a fan of Bonaduce's in the '90s when he had a show on The Loop 97.9 in Chicago. That was also the peak of Kevin Matthews' career, and both his and Danny's shows stuck (although their time slots moved) even after The Loop moved over to the AM dial. As it happened, that was excellent news for me, since I could pull in AM 1000 all the way from Fucking Monroe, whereas previously I could only catch Kevin in syndication and Danny in carefully-timed trips through Chicago on my way to the cottage.

The glory days soon ended (I'll take a stab and assume it was somehow related to ClearChannel, but I have no evidence to back that up and it's too late to surf Wikipedia for the answer now), and Danny moved on. I discovered a while later that he was doing a morning show in L.A. -- Jamie & Danny on Star 98.7. I streamed that show at work some mornings, and after I started work in Madison and had the opportunity to fly out to Pasadena I actually woke up to him on my hotel room clock radio. That brought me back. It was pretty surreal.

He had a daytime talk show for a while somewhere in there -- I think it was filmed in Chicago, so it was probably before his tenure at The Loop came to an end (Lisa can confirm, as I believe she and her sister attended at least one taping) -- and then there was "The Other Half," which was contrived, but -- again -- consistently enjoyable.

"Breaking Bonaduce" was the first exposure a lot of people had to Danny since "The Partridge Family" and, in it, he played a character. He's always playing some character. Anyway, due to the way the producers chose to focus the "story" as they filmed (originally, the show was going to just be called "Being Danny" but the cranberry-and-vodka slamming and the subsequent stint in rehab was way better TV, so the rest of his life made it only as far as the cutting room floor), there was quite an adverse reaction to his existence. We true fans have stayed true, though, and when I first saw the video from the Really Awards on Jimmy Kimmel's show, I was A) laughing my ass off and B) absolutely positive that i) charges would be filed and ii) Danny would be exonerated.

And so it has come to pass. If the earth-shattering news (well, it certainly shattered Danny's world) of his divorce from Gretchen brought listeners to Adam Carolla's show in droves, I can imagine this will have about the same effect. And if you know Danny, you know that he is therefore thrilled to have done his job. It's all about whoring himself out wherever he can so he can mention 97.1 FREE FM and the Adam Carolla Show. We're listening, Danny, and we love you!

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