Sunday, October 01, 2006


In 1992, Loop Scoop Magazine asked me to appear on Kevin Matthews Show (then on AM 1000--10:30-3PM) and interview sportscaster Jim Shorts. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life. The following is a partial transcript of that interview.

By Rick Kaempfer

Jim Shorts is one of a kind: brash, violent, lady killer. But what is he really like? LOOP SCOOP decided the only way to find out was to subject him to the type of tough, uncompromising interview he himself has made famous. We sent out our reporter, Rick Kaempfer, to find out if the "real" Jim Shorts differs from his bigger-than-life persona heard every day on the Kevin Matthews Show.

RK: We've gotten to know your parents over the years. They seem to be loving and giving. Tell us something they did to you, that has screwed you up for life.

JS: They let my brother Glenn throw gasoline on me, and Glenn held up a match to me, but it didn't burst. And they made me go on a weekend trip with my Uncle.

RK: Which Uncle?

JS: I can't say. He's still in prison.

RK: Jim, just out of curiosity, I've noticed your father keeps calling you Richard. Is that your real name?

JS: I can't say. No comment.

RK: Fine. Everybody in radio seems to have a story about a boss somewhere that made them change their name. Are there any bad radio names you rejected?

JS: Yeah, Jack Silver and Shemp.

RK: What do you think of Kevin?

RK: What about your Wang. A recent poll of our listeners showed that only 10% actually believe you two are "just good friends". When are you going to get off your high horse, admit it, and marry the girl?

JS: It is very hard to bridle a stallion.

RK: Well, if Wang isn't the one, what kind of girl are you looking for?

JS: Hair. She has to have hair.

RK: Speaking of hair...Jim, you are as bald as a cueball, but yet you are self-assured, almost cocky. I'm sure your bald fans would love to know the secret.

JS: I call Tom Thayer. He's like my support group.

RK: Jim, what don't you sing anymore?

JS: I do. I'm actually putting a band together. It will be called Jim Shorts and the Melody Makers. And if you're a senior citizen in a rest home, write us and we'll come out and play for you.

RK: Play now.

JS: I'm not a monkey.

RK: Yes, but your child is. Every proud papa has a cute story about their little ones. Tell us about Luger.

JS: I almost cried the first time we clapped our hands together and he did a little backflip.

RK: Having a kid makes us all get a little philosophical. Let me ask you this, and I'll let you go. If a genie suddenly appeared on your doorstep and granted you a wish, anything at all, what would you wish for?

JS: Anything?


JS: Anything in the entire world?

RK: Yup..

JS: A new hip for Red Kerr.

*Kevin Matthews is now on the air in Grand Rapids, Michigan and I caught up with him a few months ago and interviewed him for SHORE Magazine

RK: You were in Grand Rapids for years. It must help returning to town as a known quantity.

Kevin: Yeah. Even when I was at AM 1000 (in Chicago), the signal reached to this part of Western Michigan.

RK: How are things going?

Kevin: It’s been really wonderful. I went to school here, got married here, my son Trevor was born here, and I’m working with the guy who first hired me in radio (newsman Ed Buchanan). It’s good to be home.

RK: How does the Grand Rapids market differ from Chicago?

Kevin: It’s just as competitive, but this is a historic classic rock station (96.9 FM, WLAV), and it’s incredible working somewhere people actually want to work instead of a place where people are handing out their resumes.

RK: Is Jim still a part of the show?

Kevin: Oh yeah.