As many of you know by now, today is (allegedly) the last show of the Ron and Fez Show. Allegedly because the Ron and Fez Show has a long history of using shoots and works to keep the listeners guessing, so you never know… But the show has announced that today will be their last day, and we would regret it dearly if we missed the opportunity to say goodbye, and thank you.
Since our inception as a website, we have worked closely with our friends Ron Bennington and Fez Whatley, and they have worked closely with us. They’ve helped to promote our site, and comedy in general, in ways we could not begin to thank them for, and we have done and will always do anything we can to support them in return.
But our thanks isn’t just for our professional collaborations with the show. It’s also to thank them for their 17 plus years of a show unlike anything you have ever heard, or will ever hear again. There has never been a show more honest, and more deceptive. There’s never been a show as smart and as street at the same time. And there has never been another Ron Bennington, or another Fez Whatley.
Ron Bennington is a true genius and that word is not being used lightly. He is the fastest mind, the fastest wit in entertainment today. He has been referred to as a puppermaster, but the truth is, he knows how to orchestrate a bit flawlessly. Nobody can do more with less than Ron Bennington. Throughout the history of the show, whoever walks in the door (regardless of skill or talent) has always walked out thinking, “I could do a show with that guy” because he can turn anything in into great radio. His combination of street, carny, comedy, performance skills, and truly original creativity just doesn’t exist anywhere else. And above all that, his ability to appreciate the art and creativity of others is rare and comes through in every interview he does. He does four shows of his own (Ron and Fez, Bennington, Unmasked, Ron Bennington Interviews), and then shows up on other people’s shows. He is an iron man. To those who don’t know him, he remains an incredibly undervalued, under-appreciated performer, interviewer and creative talent. But those of us who listen know that it’s no exaggeration to say that Ron Bennington is one of the funniest people walking the planet.
Fez Whatley has been going through some things. He’s been struggling with his identity, and his sexuality, while dealing with a progression of anxiety, depression, crippling stage fright, and a series of heart attacks, but he never stopped showing up for work, for 10 years. Many believe he should have, and have told him so openly, but he’s stuck it out and bared open his wounds in front of his audience for ten years. For some, that has been an inspiration, for others its been compelling radio. And for others its been a source of frustration. But Fez stayed, and Ron stuck by him, which could not have been an easy decision for either of them. There’s a bravery in that and its the same bravery that led him to play a gay character before he realized he was gay, in front of a less than welcoming audience. Fez has always been willing to be something that people didn’t necessarily want him to be. Before Fez started to have problems, he was fall-down funny all the time. His timing, and his ability to riff, and his willingness to do anything to make his audience laugh have earned him a place in comedy history no matter what happens next.
So we want to thank Ron Bennington and Fez Whatley for 17 years of Ron and Fez and many more of great radio. For the last year as the flagship show of the SiriusXM comedy networks, focusing on the best comedians in the country for 16 months. If you love comedy, you love Ron and Fez. If you don’t know them, or if you came on board late, get a free trial of SiriusXM next week and listen to their week of the best of Ron and Fez through the years. Go to YouTube and search through archives. It would be impossible to explain to you what you will hear, until you hear it for yourselves, just like it would be impossible to summarize the best and the worst of the history of Ron and Fez. If you are a listener, maybe you can share in the comments section what you’ll miss most.
When you listen to Ron and Fez, you will laugh, you will cry, and you will find out why for 20 years the rest of us have found ourselves feeling like we’ve found a second family with the cast of characters who have come in and out of the show. Get to know a long list of interns and think of them as your extended family, the weird cousins you see once a year; find yourself wanting to keep up with the regular callers– truly the best and the funniest callers in radio; get an education in comedy, music, art, film, television, travel and food that will be unmatched anywhere; appreciate the universe, large and small in ways you could never imagine; love, and hate the story lines; find yourself downloading a collection of live reads for products you have never heard before; talk about drugs and alcohol, addiction, sports, and every topic under the sun with Ron and Fez and their guests.
Whatever happens in the future, we’ll always have the archives where you can find how how many nine year olds you could beat up, and whether a giant lobster could beat up a tiny rhino. Learn why there are so many Ron and Fez marriages, Ron and Fez babies, even Ron and Fez affairs, and Ron and Fez friends for life, and learn why there is no more intimate medium than radio.
Thank you. It’s been an honor.