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Ron & Jen’s Great Escape, February 7, 2024 – Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien

by Ron St. Pierre and Jen Brien, commentary

STOP THE INSANITY/1990’S INFOMERCIALS

Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought, for ONE second, I would be saying “I MISS SUSAN POWTER”. REMEMBER the bleach blonde short-haired housewife who took America by storm in the 1990’s with her “STOP THE INSANITY” infomercials?  I sure do. She would scream for a good 30 minutes, saying “FOOD DOESNT MAKE YOU FAT! FAT MAKES YOU FAT”! 

Aaaahhhh… the good ol’ days. Late night TV never felt so good. Alone with your thoughts at 3am, probably stoned, watching some guy scream at you to place “tiny ads” in magazines all over the country to become a millionaire. He was some kind of real estate mogul.  Suzanne Sommers had her “Thigh Master” cranking away working on her thigh gap… Ron Popeil helped us make the perfect pasta with his “Pasta Maker”. TONY ROBBINS was hawking his “Personal Power” kit for a gazillion dollars… and if you got tired of ordering late night useless crap that you probably still have in your closet (MY THIGH MASTER is around here somewhere!) you could always rely on MISS CLEO and her 1-800 number to help you through life, and she could even tell you YOUR FUTURE! (for 99 cents a minute) Hahaha. So awful.

I mention this because you all will be PLEASED to know that the SUPERBOWL advertisements  for 2024 are staying away from politics and WOKE and kickin’ it old school, bringing back wacky lol ads… things we loved from our retro past, and some are meshing real time with retro to create inter-generational ads that’s a perfect combination for all. In short, we SHOULD have fun again watching the ads as much as we will enjoy the game. This according to the BIG TIME ADVERTISERS, themselves. 

You know, I sure hope so. They used to have a lot of fun before everyone became super angry, and vigilantes for some social cause. 

We want to watch football, have fun, and enjoy a decent half time show without the talent pretending to put her fingers in her crotch and smelling them (remember RHIANNA LAST YEAR… repulsive)

Yea. I hope we have fun this year. I’m tired of feeling like $@!T every day about things I can do nothing about. 

Here’s to the sock puppet from PETS.COM, THE CLYDESDALE HORSES… Mean JOE GREEN and his can of COKE, and that whacked out APPLE 1984 AD…

LET’S GET BACK TO FUN.

If only for one night. The world can be all pissed off again on Monday morning.

Till next week, Jen

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WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

This year Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday fall on the same day. Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season and Catholics between the age of 18 and 59 should fast and abstain… not exactly what the decadence of Valentine’s Day is all about. Pew Research says RI’s population is 46% Roman Catholic, so lots of folks have some hard choices to make. Forget about the possibility of a dispensation being issued to relax a Catholic’s obligation to fast and abstain. Not even a bishop has the juice to issue dispensation on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.

UNFORGETTABLE… THAT’S WHAT IT WAS

The Blizzard of ’78 celebrates its 46th year this week and many of my media friends have to dust off their memories as the years pass. The blizzard formed Sunday, February 5th and didn’t break up until February 7th, but not before it dropped 27.6 inches of snow in Providence – and much more towards Woonsocket and Salty’s immediate fav, Foster-Glocester. I was a puppy broadcaster at age 23 having just made the “big jump” from suburban WNRI in the Woon (leaving in August of ’77 just after Elvis’ demise) to Providence ranked WHIM/WHJY as the 6-midnight “announcer” on 94 WHJY… then JOY, beautiful music going against powerhouse WLKW. I drove my ’75 Chevelle from Pawtucket to the then Eastern Avenue studios thru the snow, knowing that heading there mid-day for  a 6pm shift was likely the only way I’d get there. WHIM 1100 AM was then a daytimer, signing off at sundown, BUT 94 WHJY was (is) a 50,000 24/7 powerhouse. Myself, and the PM WHIM drive time jock, Jim (Aubin) O’Brien, somehow managed to keep those two stations on for 34 consecutive hours (WHIM when it could resign on air) before other on-air people could make it in to East Providence… but MY story doesn’t end there.

I also worked at NBC 10 on weekends as an in-studio camera operator for the 6 and 11pm newscasts (now those babies are all computerized) and I had to get to the OUTLET COMPANY for that weekend. The other longtime in studio guy and I, also from Pawtucket, walked to Downtown Providence from the Bucket ON ROUTE 95, which was closed. HOW DID I NOT INVEST IN A KODAK INSTAMATIC at the time? Sports Anchor Ken Bell and I took in the PC-North Carolina game (February 13th) in which the Friars pulled off a 61-59 upset over the 7th ranked Tar Heels. Ken and I fondly remember that experience whenever we see each other. Ken had a nearby hotel room set up by the powers that be as an on-air guy… that weekend I slept on the beds in the OUTLET DEPARTMENT STORE’S bedding department. You can’t make this stuff up… and I wouldn’t change the memory for the world!

-Ron

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Read all of Ron & Jen’s columns, here: https://rinewstoday.com/ron-st-pierre-jen-brien/

Ron St. Pierre is a veteran broadcaster whose career has spanned over four decades. Ron has programmed, performed on and managed WHJJ, WPRO, WWRX, 790 The Score in Providence, as well as WBZT and WKGR in West Palm Beach and WABC in New York City. Ron also anchored sports on WPRI Ch 12 in Providence. He is a member of both the Rhode Island Radio and Television and the City of Pawtucket Halls of Fame. He was born and raised in Pawtucket.

Jen Brien has over 20 years of radio broadcast experience having hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ with Ron as well as her own shows on WRKO and WBZ in Boston, WXTK on Cape Cod and WHAM in Rochester, New York. Jen was born and raised in Woonsocket and served six years in the Army MP Canine Unit.

Hazel, Ron’s dog, makes regular appearances.

“Ron and Jen’s Great Escape” podcast, a more lighthearted look at the events happening around us, can be found on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, with new episodes premiering each Wednesday and listen to Ron and Jen’s Great Escape on NewsRadio 920 and 104-7 FM, Saturday morning, 7am!

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