The New Shock Jocks
The studio is crammed in the back corner of Tootsie's Cabaret, a sprawling strip club near the Miami-Dade/Broward County line. The walls are painted pitch-black. Leopard-print pillows cover two couches. Computers, microphones, Web cameras, and cables are strewn throughout the small room. Glass windows allow club visitors to watch the taping.
At 7:00 p.m. the lights go down. The speakers power up. A large, handsome man with gelled hair, a neatly trimmed beard, and a gold chain around his neck takes a seat behind a desk in the middle of the room and wraps headphones around his ears. A thin, dark-haired woman wearing tight-fitting jeans and a black top gets comfortable on the couch, moving the microphone closer to her mouth. A small sign illuminates: ON AIR. Music starts.
"Coming to you live from Miami, Florida, it's time for the bad boys of Internet radio," intones the sultry announcer on the couch, who's known as Nurse Lisa. "With your host Dr. Johnny and his sidekick Platypus, it's time for the Smut Doctors."
It happens this way every Monday night at 7:00, when the two reprobate strip-club disc jockeys, 35-year-old John "Dr. Johnny" Todora and 30-year-old Mike "Platypus" DeSuno, broadcast live over the Internet to a weekly audience that, according to the pair, numbers 20,000. For one hour they trade jokes and barbs and interview up-and-comers in the adult-film industry. This week Vivian West, an attractive, busty, five-foot-tall 23-year-old wearing a short gold skirt, glitter makeup, and black spike heels, is here to talk about her recent stint in front of the camera lens.
Dr. Johnny doesn't waste time. "So you just did your first film," he says.
"I've done three," Vivian answers.
"Guys or girls?"
"Guys," she replies. "I did two boy-on-girls and a four-way blow-bang."
"Way to get yourself eased into that industry," Platypus interjects. A former high school band geek wearing a black shirt, jeans, and small, round eyeglasses, the sidekick shakes his right foot anxiously as he awaits the opportunity for a calculated jab.
"So let's go to the four-way blow-bang," Johnny says, trying to keep the show on track. "It sounds like a new kind of chewing gum." He holds up his right hand and smiles broadly, as if advertising a product. "Four-way blow-bang -- now in strawberry!"
The room erupts in laughter. Platypus leans back, placing his hands behind his head, and bellows a rapid-fire chuckle into the microphone in front of him.
"Now, have you ever blown four guys at once?" Johnny asks.
"No, that was a first," Vivian responds.
"So, when you're doing this, obviously there's no practice," Johnny says. "You know where to start and obviously you know where to finish -- with a towel. But what happens in the middle ... for the people at home who want to blow four guys at once in a blow-bang?"
Leaning back on the leopard-print pillows, Vivian stares intently at Johnny as if she were the target of a probing interview on 60 Minutes. "You just have to keep your energy up and go from one to the other to the other," she answers with a straight face. "It was really funny -- I was wearing this really pretty pin-stripe little teddy. My hair was all up, Farrah Fawcett curly. I had all this pretty pink makeup, and all of a sudden there were four penises coming at my face, and the next thing you know, my lipstick is all smudged."
"That'll happen," Johnny says matter-of-factly.
But it gets worse, as Johnny soon points out. Vivian wasn't filming prude-as-your-papa's porn. She'd signed a contract to participate in the extreme fetish series, Suck It Up.
"The guys came in this little dish on my tits, and I had to suck it with a straw," Vivian says, angling her blond head toward the microphone.
"Honestly, you seem like a very intelligent individual when I talk to you," Johnny says. "I mean, you're a lunatic, I'm sure. But you seem to have a good head on your shoulders."
"Oh, completely, I'm an intellect-chewal," she says, stumbling over the word.
Johnny continues his verbal assault. "When someone says to you: 'Listen, I'm going to jerk off in a glass, and you're going to suck it up with a straw,' at any point do you go, 'Eww!'"
"Yeah, it was pretty nasty, to be honest with you," she replies. "There was a pretty nasty taste in my mouth for a long time."
"That'll do it," Johnny says. "The bowl was probably dirty."
"The weirdest part was, it all tasted different, from one guy to the next."
"Guess that jiz!" Platypus interjects again.
"Kevin!" Johnny jokingly speculates about the name of one of the blow-bang participants.
"Billy!" Platypus follows.
"Were you burping up sperm?" Dr. Johnny then asks Vivian.
"Yeah, yeah, I was," she answers without hesitation.
Johnny leans back, pleased with himself. "Who else can ask that question?"
Not many people. At least not on the air.
Since pop princess Janet Jackson revealed her right breast to the nation Super Bowl Sunday 2004, the Federal Communications Commission has been cracking down on shock jocks with unprecedented zeal, leveling several six-figure fines and threatening more. Last month U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., a Wisconsin Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, told media executives he would even support legislation that would jail indecent DJs.
As a result, many have fled the commercial dial. Late last year the genre's king, Howard Stern, inked a deal with Sirius Satellite Radio that will take him off public airwaves by January 2006. Gregg "Opie" Hughes and Anthony Cumia, who two years ago were fired by Infinity Broadcasting after playing sounds of a couple having sex in New York's St. Patrick's Cathedral, have also headed to the new radio medium.
But satellite isn't the only redoubt for lewd and lascivious radio. For the past five years Hollywood residents Dr. Johnny and Platypus have used the unregulated, uncensored Internet to broadcast their obscene show. On the Smut Doctors> (www.smutdrs.com), they'll say anything, discuss any topic, and stop at nothing for a laugh. In fact their work would likely make hardened Stern fans blush -- and the government can't do anything to silence them.
"Is there anything we won't do?" Johnny says, pausing for dramatic effect. "Not really."
Johnny's mother Frances, who lives in -- no joke -- Beaver County, Pennsylvania, isn't surprised her son started something like the Smut Doctors. "John was always the class clown, an outgoing guy," remembers Frances, a hairdresser. "Actually, we always thought he'd become a politician."
Johnny, a fair student in school, would produce radio shows on a small tape recorder with his friends, his mother says. And he didn't stop there. "After he moved out of the house, I found a bunch of VHS tapes," Frances recalls. "They were television shows that he and his friends made."
Today Frances has no problems with her son's alter ego, Dr. Johnny, who discusses personal and taboo topics with the subtlety and sensitivity of a jackhammer. "That's today's society," Mom says. "I don't think it's a bad thing, because he does it as entertainment. He's in the adult-entertainment business. I'm proud of him. He's like Howard Stern."
"I come from an Italian family," Johnny explains. "I could be bashing heads open on the street, but as long as I bring home money, the family is fine with what I do."
A tall, stout man whose beard seems never to grow, Johnny moved to South Florida fifteen years ago, following the heat and sun. He took a job at a strip club, thinking it would be temporary. It turned into a calling. By early 1999, at 29 years old, he was operating a consulting company and working as a freelance DJ in several South Florida clubs.
That year Mike DeSuno, then a 24-year-old Chicagoan fresh from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting, landed a job as a disc jockey at T's Cocktail Lounge, a strip club on South Congress Avenue in West Palm Beach.
"After you graduate from radio school," says DeSuno, also Italian American, "you quickly discover that you're only qualified for one thing -- working in a strip club."
During his first few weeks in the business, DeSuno, who took the stage name Platypus, kept hearing about Johnny. "Everyone said, 'You've got to meet Johnny,'" Platypus remembers. 'You gotta learn from Johnny.'"
As a consultant, Johnny considered T's Lounge one of his primary clients. He often worked as a DJ on big nights. "He was the master," Platypus says. Johnny took a liking to the eager young jock and tutored him. The pair quickly became friends, and two years later they both accepted jobs at Tootsie's Cabaret, the larger sister club to T's Lounge.
Every craftsman says his trade is an art, and strip-club disc jockeys are no different. On a sunny April afternoon, Johnny and Platypus sit at a table near Hollywood's Young Circle, about a mile from the waterfront house they rent together and eight miles from Tootsie's. It's 2:30 p.m. They just woke up and raced over in Johnny's black 2005 Porsche Carrera 4S.
Wearing yellow-tinted sunglasses and a T-shirt that reads, "I Know Jesus -- He's My Gardener," Johnny claims naked women don't make a strip club great; disc jockeys do. "If we're doing our job, you won't notice us," Johnny says, taking a drag from a Marlboro Light. "Rarely will you find someone who will say, 'Hey, that DJ is great!' But we're the ones who create the general atmosphere. We're like ringmasters. We lead the whole room. No one in there has any clue what's going on. From the entertainers to the bar backs to the customers, it's a room full of followers."
"We're like the guys at the airport with those big cones, directing the planes," Platypus adds.
"It doesn't sound very glamorous when you put it that way, but that's what we do," Johnny says, pausing. "I have cones."
DJs at strip clubs receive a cut of all tips given to dancers. The more drinks customers buy on your shift, Johnny explains, the better your chance of winning coveted Friday and Saturday night gigs. A good DJ working prime time in a popular club can earn in excess of $80,000 annually, Johnny claims. (He and Platypus declined to specify how much they make.)
Laid-back and self-effacing, Johnny often calls himself fat or ugly. He's neither. But a decade and a half in strip clubs has taught him a lot about women, he claims. Some might call him a misogynist. In truth he's just jaded. "For a long time it was a goal to see if I could trick girls into sleeping with me," he says. "It's like smoke and mirrors, because I'm not going to walk into the room and have somebody say, 'Wow, he's hot!' So it became a game, to see if I could do it, how many girls I could get."
Johnny's Motorola RAZR V3 cell phone chimes, signaling that he has a text message. It chimes again. And again. And again. "Rapid-fire text messaging -- it's gotta be Christina," he says, referring to a petite, blond, Romanian-born exotic dancer he's dating. His girlfriends, mostly strippers or nude models, come and go, he asserts.
Long ago, Johnny explains, he and Platypus realized that creating ambiance at strip clubs isn't a long-term career. So five years ago the two began talking about their dream: radio. They wanted their own show. "We were drunk one night, trying to figure out a name," Johnny says. "We were bullshitting back and forth, and I finally said, 'Let's be the Smut Doctors,' because we knew whatever we did would be on the Internet, and there'd be no laws, no rules to govern us. We could do whatever we want, be as nasty as we want."
During the dot-com boom of the late Nineties, Johnny operated a sideline business, XXXContentStore.com, which sold sexually explicit photographs to adult-oriented Websites. While running that company, Johnny says, he gained the know-how and contacts to start a show.
In summer 2001, Johnny asked Kevin Godbee, director of sales for an adult Internet company in Boca Raton, to be the Smut Doctors' producer. A lanky man with glasses and long blond hair that flows past his shoulders, Godbee agreed, and in July of that year the show was born. For the first year tapings were done in a spare bedroom at Johnny's house in Hollywood.
The early Smut Doctors shows had hiccups, Johnny concedes. At first they tried to cram in too many people. Johnny and Platypus recruited two female counterparts known as Nurse Lisa and Nurse Jaslene to join producer Godbee and a regular "news correspondent" on the show. That of course was in addition to guest interviewees, who, like today, were primarily adult-film stars performing at local clubs. Any given show during the early days had as many as a dozen voices vying for listeners' attention. It was amateurish. "You could never tell who was talking," Johnny admits.
Johnny and Platypus eventually axed Nurse Jaslene and the news correspondent, leaving only Godbee and Nurse Lisa, who also works at Tootsie's and asked not to be named in this article. But there were still other problems with the Smut Doctors. One night, Johnny remembers, he was listening to the show. He noticed a recurring word. "Fuck, fuck, fuck," Johnny says. "We sounded like a bunch of pubescent teenagers."
As a result Johnny put an empty fishbowl in the studio. If anyone used profanity, he had to drop in a dollar. The fishbowl stayed for three months, until everyone, including Johnny, learned to use four-letter words sparingly and only for effect. Although the naughty language was curbed, stunts became more dramatic. Among the most memorable, Johnny and Platypus say, was tricking one guest into having sex on air with someone she believed was a pizza delivery man.
"When we started, I said, 'This is the line. We won't cross it,'" Johnny says. "After the first show, it seemed like the wind blew the line away. I drew the line again. Then the wind blew it away again. Now I can't even see the line."
After the rookie shock jocks had taped the Smut Doctors in the spare bedroom for a year, Johnny, who had been promoted to a management-level position at Tootsie's Cabaret that included booking the featured dancers, persuaded the owners to give the show a permanent spot in a small room at the rear of the club near the kitchen and next to a space used for storage. "The show becomes a way to promote Tootsie's and who's performing here every week," Johnny says.
The location had another benefit: The dancers who perform at Tootsie's, many of them adult-film stars on the national strip-club circuit, offered a built-in network of guest interviewees.
By January 2002 the Smut Doctors had become a professionally produced weekly show operating in the untamed, lawless world of Internet radio.
Around 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, Lauren Kain -- an attractive light-brunette, five-foot-six, 106-pound porn starlet wearing blue eye shadow applied heavily, as if by a Sharpie -- takes a seat on the leopard-print couch in front of Dr. Johnny. She wears an orange-and-black bikini with a Detroit Tigers logo, in honor of her hometown ball team. The music begins. The show commences.
"Have you seen that?" Johnny asks Lauren, pointing to a ten-foot dildo standing in the corner of the studio. "That's our penis-on-a-pole."
"I did one almost that big," she replies.
Johnny's setup works perfectly. Earlier he had researched his guest and discovered she had acted in an adult film with Mandingo, a black adult-film star known for his natural endowment. Johnny is obsessed. He wants to talk about the experience.
"Is that the biggest penis you've ever had?" Johnny asks.
"It took me about ten minutes to get on top of it," Lauren replies.
"Really?" Johnny says, raising an eyebrow. "You got on top of that?"
"God, what did that hit, your rib cage?"
"Pretty much. It felt like it." Lauren pauses. "I'm really tight too," she says, nodding her head seductively.
Johnny blushes. "Stop that," he says. "Yeah, you're flirting."
The show goes on for another seven minutes as Johnny, Platypus, and Lauren discuss in excruciating detail the logistics of handling Mandingo. Then comes the commercial break, and in the tradition of such shock jocks as Howard Stern, it's a prerecorded spoof ad taped and edited on a common personal computer. Most of the spoofs, including this one, use Johnny's and Platypus's digitally altered voices.
Monotone announcer: This part of the show was brought to you by ...
Overenthusiastic pitchman: Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops! Didn't get laid last night? No problem! Your friends will think you did when they smell your breath after you've eaten one of Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops! If you love the taste of pussy, then you'll love Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops, coming in flavors such as Dripping Wet and Wild, Hot Cinnamon Cunt, Creamy Creamsicle, Minty Muffstuff, Poppin' Cherry Pop, Juicy Orange Juice, and Sweet Pink Pussy!
Monotone announcer: For a limited time, you can enjoy Lisa's Luscious Pops in Peachy Poontang, with just the right mixture of peachy pleasure and poontang extracts. You'll also find Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops in Dr. Johnny's book How to Dump Chicks Fast.
Awkward-sounding man offering testimonial: Lisa's Pussy Pops worked great. Ha! The bitch, I call her a bitch, left quickly after she thought I -- ha! -- was eating pussy all night. Thanks, Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops! No more clingy bitches hanging on to me.
Overenthusiastic pitchman: If you act now, we'll throw in not one but two of Lisa's Ass Candy! Flavors include Chocolate Brown Eye and Mocha Rimshot! Lisa's Luscious Pussy Pops -- not only good to eat but fun to play with!
Even before Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction," this type of talk radio would have been rare on the commercial dial. Now it's nonexistent. The FCC used "Boobgate" as an excuse to clean up the airwaves. Less than a month after Super Bowl XXXVIII, Clear Channel Communications fired syndicated Tampa DJ Todd "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem after the FCC leveled a record $755,000 fine for Clem's airing of sexually explicit content. Two months later the FCC hit Stern with a $495,000 penalty after Coral Gables lawyer Jack Thompson filed a complaint about a February 24, 2004 segment in which Stern and his cohorts discussed the personal hygiene product Sphincterine.
"Yeah, that's basically it, Howard, yeah," he replied. "I had a bad experience and my girlfriend ... was in a spontaneous mood and she caught me at a bad time and ..."
To the conservative Thompson's horror, the show went on to discuss in detail what "swamp ass" smells like and how it can inhibit oral sex. Crude, sure, but tame compared to the Smut Doctors. Unlike commercial radio shock jocks, Johnny and Platypus operate with impunity. That's because the government has so far left alone Internet radio.
The bandwidth-and-bytes competitor to radio waves reaches an enormous audience. According to a recent study by Arbitron, which measures radio listenership, 39 percent of Americans have tuned in to Internet radio. That number is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, and some of the nation's largest companies have already invested heavily in the industry. Yahoo!, America Online, and Microsoft run competing services.
"Internet radio offers a limitless spectrum of channels," says David Porter, director of business development for Live365.com, a California-based Internet radio service. "Commercial radio must represent the community. Internet radio doesn't have that obligation."
Porter's company provides a service that enables anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create a live radio show for monthly subscription rates that start at $9.95. Live365.com claims an audience of 3.5 million to 4 million each month. Most of the service's 12,000 advertiser-supported shows are music-oriented, but nearly 1000 are similar to AM talk radio or rush-hour FM shows. Just as Johnny and Platypus do on the Smut Doctors, these DJs can say anything. "There's no censorship police," Porter explains.
One rogue disc jockey who enjoys that freedom is Brandon Windsor, a 29-year-old in Memphis, Tennessee, who for the past eighteen months has broadcast his Mr. X Radio Show (www.mrxradio.com) on Live365.com. His show, akin to a low-budget version of the Smut Doctors, discusses sexually based topics hilariously and intelligently.
"I've been a talk-radio junkie for a long time," Windsor says. "I was looking for a hobby, and I thought I could be a voice in the wilderness. I thought I could be entertaining."
Guests on Mr. X have included adult-film stars, prostitutes, and practitioners of bondage, domination, sadism, and masochism. Despite foul language and sexually explicit content, Live365.com representatives and government authorities have never troubled Windsor. His greatest challenge is building an audience. Although Live365.com data cannot specify an exact number of listeners, the Mr. X Radio Show is broadcast about 900 hours each month, according to reports provided by Live365.com. The show's average listener tunes in for about twenty minutes. That illustrates one of the major challenges of Internet radio: attracting the public.
"My goal is to try to get a wide enough audience that this could become a full-time job," Windsor says. "I'm trying to build that audience through word-of-mouth and guerrilla marketing."
Those are the same tactics Johnny and Platypus have been using to market the Smut Doctors. In fact they recently took their guerrilla campaign to the sand and streets of Fort Lauderdale Beach.
It's nearing 7:00 p.m. Sunday, April 11, and Johnny has gathered roughly 100 people at Beach Bums, an open-air bar that exploits the sophomoric charm that once made Fort Lauderdale Beach a hot destination for fraternity brothers aiming to get tan, drunk, and laid. The crowd is here for the annual Smut Doctors Scavenger Hunt.
With a bar extending toward the sidewalk and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Beach Bums is packed with players ranging in age from eighteen to late thirties, many of them female strippers covering only the essentials with clothing. There are also men transfixed by the vixens.
Three young women dance on the bar, their moves fluid but mechanical, as if they were performing tricks for which men generally pay in dollar bills. "Shake it, girls, shake it!" says the Beach Bums disc jockey over the loudspeakers. "Shake it like a colostomy bag!"
Three years ago, Johnny says, he set up the scavenger hunt as a way to entertain a woman he was dating. The girlfriend didn't last. The hunt did. The game has since become both a marketing tool and an excuse to be a jackass on Fort Lauderdale Beach. Through it all, Johnny acts as judge and ringmaster. "For one day I get to be the king of Fort Lauderdale Beach," he says. Most participants are friends, friends of friends, and strippers.
The game is set up like a traditional scavenger hunt. Johnny gives each of four teams of ten to twenty people a Polaroid camera and a list of objectives. Since each group has only 30 shots in which to document 50 objectives -- among them simulating sex acts with strangers and building a sandcastle -- the game requires the teams to double up tasks in a single photograph. For instance, if a team member were to take a picture of a teammate humping a tourist in front of their sandcastle, it would accomplish both objectives using only one shot.
To complicate matters, the participants must down shots of hard liquor at several bars during the evening. Tasks become increasingly more difficult -- and daring -- as the night progresses.
At 7:15 p.m. Johnny walks into the main bar at Beach Bums. One of the team captains is Platypus, and he wants everyone to know his group is the most enthusiastic.
"Platypus! Platypus! Platypus!" yells his team of twenty, packed with a dozen male friends and several dancers from Tootsie's.
Johnny quiets down the crowd, calls a beginning to the game, and briefly explains the rules. "Go, go, go!" he says finally, spurring the groups to action.
The teams sprint down A1A in an attempt to accomplish the most in the least amount of time. Meanwhile Johnny aims to promote his Internet radio show. A friend holding a television camera trails behind as he and Zoe Britton -- a petite 28-year-old nude model from Texas wearing a short skirt and tight-fitting top -- walk down the beach together.
"Hey, want to be on television?" Johnny asks indiscriminately of female passersby. He's holding a microphone bearing the Smut Doctors logo. It's all part of his plan: "Put a camera in front of someone," he says, "and they'll do just about anything."
The first to bite is Natalie, a short brunette with good looks so generic they're forgettable. She's walking past the steps at Beach Place with a tall man whose brown hair is slicked back and sculpted with gel. "Hi, Natalie, I'm Johnny from the Smut Doctors," says Johnny as the cameraman focuses on the interview. "Who's your friend?"
"This is Jess," she says. "Don't worry about him -- he's gay."
"Now, Natalie, how many guys have you slept with?" Johnny asks.
"I'm a slut," she says, rubbing Johnny's crotch with her right hand as she grab's Jess's crotch with her left.
"Have you ever had sex for money?"
"If you were to do that, what would you charge?"
"I don't know," she answers. "I'm a cheap whore. A couple hundred bucks, maybe?"
"This is going to be on television?" Natalie asks as her friend Jess pulls her away.
Johnny and the cameraman stroll through Beach Place. From all angles, people converge on them, trying to be on camera or simply sneak a peek. The two then move to the steps of Beach Place, where they see Platypus's team constructing a sandcastle. The buzzing team members, two of whom wear T-shirts that read "DEA: Drunks Enjoying Alcohol," are running back and forth from the ocean, carrying wet sand in plastic beer cups.
Just then a short man with black hair and three piercings in his left ear approaches Johnny. He's Max Bravo, the director of creative services for The Radiate Group, a marketing company in Boca Raton. "We've got to get together," Bravo tells Johnny as he thrusts over a business card. "The whole beach is talking about you right now."
Johnny and Platypus have big plans for the Smut Doctors. Later this year Tootsie's Cabaret will move to a new, larger location on the corner of U.S. 441 and Miami Gardens Drive. Current plans have the Smut Doctors studio located directly in the middle of the club so patrons can ask questions and become live audience members.
Internet radio is still a long way from the broadcasting big leagues. Banner advertising on SmutDrs.com, mainly for porn-peddling Websites and the male-oriented site HornDog.com, generates only enough revenue to cover expenses and the occasional pizza, Johnny and Platypus say. But they hope to hone their skills on the Internet and eventually follow Howard Stern to satellite radio.
"I can't be a strip-club DJ when I'm 50," Platypus says. "I look at this as a training course for radio. Hopefully one day we could package this thing and sell it or go to a radio station and use this as our resumé."
Johnny and Platypus have an on-air rapport both effortless and amusing. But like any couple, they have the occasional falling out. During the April 18 show, two weeks after the scavenger hunt, the Smut Doctors taped the weekly segment "Dear John," in which listeners write in questions about their relationships and sex lives. Despite their occasional misogyny, Johnny and Platypus tend to offer good, perceptive advice. One of the letters read during the show is from a male listener questioning whether he should marry a woman who refuses to give him oral sex.
For some reason Platypus doesn't say anything in response. Johnny wonders why. "What do you think?" he asks of producer Godbee, who's sitting on one of the couches.
"Platypus isn't talking because Mrs. Platypus is outside," Godbee says into the microphone, referring to the sidekick's girlfriend, a petite, pretty Thai-American named Serena, watching from the other side of the studio's glass windows.
"You can't talk about this while your girlfriend's outside?" Johnny asks. "Give me your opinion."
"My opinion's the same as yours," he says. "I'd like to have food [cooked] for me. I'd like to have my house cleaned. I'd like to get my dick sucked every once in a while, but I don't need it every day. I'm not that crazy dick-sucking type."
"Plat," the sexy Nurse Lisa interjects from the other couch, "do you get those things?"
"I think you're all ..." he responds.
"Well, do you?" Johnny interrupts.
Platypus remains silent. He doesn't want to talk about any of this. "Kevin," Johnny says jokingly, "put out an ad for a sidekick -- one with balls."
A few minutes later, Johnny ends the show and then turns to Platypus. "You okay?" he asks earnestly.
"Good show, everybody," the sidekick says as he walks out of the studio, ignoring the question.
Platypus and Serena leave to talk in the other room. Johnny notices the conversation and shakes his head. "I come off as a big asshole on the air," he admits, laughing.
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