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Joe Pyne
Birth: Dec. 22, 1924
Delaware County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Mar. 23, 1970
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Radio and Television Broadcaster. Born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1925, the son of a bricklayer, he overcame a speech impediment to get into broadcasting, once saying "it occurred to me that this might be a rather pleasant way to make a living”. His early career included being a nightclub emcee and broadcasting tobacco auctions in Lumberton, North Carolina. He joined the Marine Corps upon graduation from high school, winning three battle stars and losing his left leg during World War II (he wore a wooden leg thereafter, and was evidently sensitive about this, since he always appeared behind a desk or podium). He started his radio career in Camden, New Jersey while studying at a drama school in Philadelphia. Pyne’s first broadcasting job came from radio station WVCH in his hometown of Chester in 1948. He became a disk jockey at WMID in Atlantic City, and later moved to WILM in Wilmington, Delaware in 1949, where he started his first talk show, "It's Your Nickel”. A conservative political reactionary, it was at WILM that he started attacking local officials and disputing racial discrimination. In July of 1954, he hosted an hour-long "Joe Pyne Show" on television at WDEL in Wilmington. He then worked in Canada and Arizona before moving to Riverside, California in 1957. There, within a month of arriving, he exposed a narcotics scandal at a local high school. This brought Pyne to the attention of larger stations and networks in Los Angeles. He took his next job at Los Angeles independent television station KTLA, where he started what would become his famous nightly TV insult show. There, he once said to a guest: "I could make a monkey out of you, but why should I take the credit”. The tag line stuck, and he used it often afterwards. Soon, he commanded $2,000 a week for four broadcast days. An acerbic wit, Pyne could be heard telling a caller with whom he disagreed to "go gargle with razor blades”. Pyne returned to Pennsylvania and independent TV station WVUE (then the number one station in the market). During his time there, Pyne’s show was responsible for increasing that station's ratings by a factor of 30. Even so, Pyne longed for Hollywood, and soon returned, taking his TV talk show to Los Angeles. In 1964, the “Joe Pyne Show” was syndicated via Metromedia (now Fox) all across the United States. He routinely ended his shows with the phrase "Straight Ahead." He also hosted a short-lived network game show on NBC called "Showdown”. Pyne portrayed himself in the 1966 movie "The Love-In's." At the peak of his career (in 1966) he had both the syndicated TV talk show on Metromedia stations and a syndicated show on 254 radio stations. "No one conducts the straight, hard-hitting interview as well as Joe Pyne, the master showman of the talk realm," according to the LA Times in 1967. He is considered to be the father of the in-your-face talk-show format for radio and television. He was emulated by Morton Downey, Jr. and Wally George. Pyne’s shows were often verbally aggressive, and at times even physically violent. His unique, aggressive style gave rise to urban legends about him. Viewers wondered whether or not his on-air persona was just a performance. Even the fact that he had a wooden leg added to his mystique (when it first became known, not everyone believed it). On one of his 1965 TV shows, he waved a .45 automatic pistol (which he allegedly always kept in the desk drawer on his set) in the air, challenging the Watts rioters to "make my day”. He often put down his guests, but he didn't always maintain the upper hand. Guests were often not up to his gibes, but occasionally a guest (such as F. Lee Bailey or David Susskind) would turn the tables on him. When eclectic musician and not-yet-famous Frank Zappa appeared on the show, Pyne attacked him with, "So I guess your long hair makes you a woman”. Zappa quipped back to him "So I guess your wooden leg makes you a table”. He was considered the first angry conservative to speak his mind on television, having no reservation about insulting or verbally assaulting his liberal guests or any public figure with whom he disagreed. He often would begin the interview with an insult just to energize the conversation with his guests. However, he did seem to go out of his way to find particularly unusual guests, such as one man in flowing robes and a sequined mask, carrying a wicker basket full of snakes, with whom he alleged he would eventually take over the world. Pyne’s audience was encouraged to participate, too, with an audience member being allowed to step into the "Beef Box" and address Pyne. If Pyne didn't like what he heard, he would tell him or her to "take a hike". In the usual Pyne way, he once said: "I would give it up tomorrow, if I found something better to do. Oddly enough, he so closely resembled FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover (who was riding high in the fifties) to be considered for Hoover's part in the Warner Brothers motion picture, "The FBI Story”. A heavy chain-smoker, he once said that although he realized cigarettes might cause cancer, he would "rather take a chance than be a fat neurotic." When he learned he had cancer, he stopped smoking. For a few months he began broadcasting from his home until he quit radio and TV in 1969 due to the illness. He died of lung cancer at the age of 44. He was cremated, and the ashes given to his family. (bio by: Scott Wilson) 
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Scott Wilson
Record added: Nov 12, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6921611
Joe Pyne
Added by: Scott Wilson
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Remembering you on the anniversary of your passing. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you.
- Jeffrey Maksymowski
 Added: Mar. 23, 2017
Remembering you very kindly, Joe. You're a patriot and a very intelligent, straight-shooter who always stood by your deeply held beliefs. God Bless You, Joe!
- MD Louis
 Added: Dec. 30, 2016
Remembering you today. May you rest in peace and may God richly bless you.
- Jeffrey Maksymowski
 Added: Dec. 22, 2016
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