Bubba the Love Sponge Show lost recordings and crank calls (1980's-2000's)
|This article has been tagged as NSFW due to its pornographic subject matter.|
|Logo for the radio show.|
Todd Allen Clem (better known by his stage name "Bubba the Love Sponge") is an American radio personality known for his "crank calls" (edgy prank calls) and vulgar humour. Before Clem had his own show, he was a host on WGDR in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he became well known for the crass and vulgar sense of humour he used while on air, causing at least a few complaints from viewers. He was also known to crassly insult his crosstown competitor Danny Czekalinski, and at one point he even claimed that Danny was a homosexual suffering from the AIDS virus, which was a bold and scary claim at the time.
All of this eventually caused the local Roger's Department Store to cancel their contact with WGDR, which in turn caused management to explicitly tell Clem what he could and couldn't say on air. Clem apologised to Danny, but less than one week later, Clem again insulted him on air. On December 20th, 1988, a 13-year-old girl called Clem on air to defend Danny and Clem responded by making sexual references to Danny and the girl, getting him fired the very next day.
Clem then worked on WLUM-FM from roughly 1989 to around 1992, and by 1999, he had legally changed his name to "Bubba the Love Sponge". Around 1996-97, Clem started to make prank calls to various contest and product hotlines, often with crass and vulgar jokes relating to their products, such as comparing Vlasic Pickles to his genitals, even going as far as to sing a parody of "Hickory, Dickory, Dock". Viewers soon started recording these events and later uploaded them on popular video sites, leading to a resurgence in the popularity of his prank calls. While around a hundred of these are available (covering everything from Princess Diana's funeral parlour to the Barbie Support Line), many others are still lost, including the aforementioned 1988 calls and incident that lead to his termination.