"What’s up, nipple dicks!” screams the Blue Tornado into the microphone. “Oh, yeah, what’s up, Nipple Dick Nation!” chimes in the Tropical Fish. “We’re hangin’ and bangin’ all night long, but in the morning, because we’re the only morning show at night!” And so begins the “Blue and Fish in the Morning” show on East Village Radio, whose street-front studio stands on First Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets and is about the size of a small walk-in closet.
For the past year, Rory Albanese and Jimmy Donn, both producers at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, have hosted “Blue and Fish” every Thursday night at 8 p.m., after taping the final Daily Show of the week. They plan each show on the cab ride downtown. Donn describes his character, the Tropical Fish, as “the guy who I wanted to be when I was 14,” who drives a “vankini” (you know, a van full of bikinis) and has an “upskirt cam” on his shoes. Albanese’s Blue Tornado drives an electric blue Corvette, is thrice divorced and attended half a semester at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Another Daily Show producer, Ryan Middleton, or the Human Pushover, runs the boards and takes abuse from the hosts.
“Blue and Fish” is one of the few comedy shows on East Village Radio, a station that has been broadcasting live on the Internet since 2003. Its Website hosts podcasts—on French pop, “dirty south” music, something called the “musical masturbatorium”—from more than 60 D.J.’s and hosts, including Mark Ronson and the indie-rock experts at Other Music. The show often draws a crowd—especially when the wait is long at Lil’ Frankie’s next door—and hosts are known to invite passersby into the fishbowl studio.
Every week of “Blue and Fish” features a guest (often from The Daily Show) appearing under a radio name—John Oliver is London Fog; John Hodgman, Dr. Mrs. Fartfire. On a recent Early-Nineties Hip-Hop Night with guest Demetri Martin, a.k.a. Woof Woof, conversation bounced from Houlihan’s (“I don’t usually eat at possessive restaurants”) to Tag Team’s “Whoomp! (There It Is)” (“I listen to this song whenever I want to find something in my apartment”).
Hodgman is in the booth next week for Ladies’ Rights Night, citing Benjamin Franklin’s famous line, “The older ladies, they can hang and bang.” He also mentions that Franklin was the nation’s first postmaster general. “Like Kevin Costner!” screams Fish.