How radio reinvigorated former TV host Ed the Sock

Generally, it would be a stretch to assess someone’s profession trajectory to that singular sock. You know, the one that goes missing but somehow often turns up. At the back of a dresser drawer. Powering the dryer. Inside a health club bag. Or, in Ed’s scenario, a radio station in Oshawa.

It is a fitting metaphor, really. Simply because Ed, following all, is a sock. And like the nonsentient version, this sock generally manages to reappear.

Ed the Sock, the gravelly voiced, caustic puppet that released his job on neighborhood Tv set some 25 decades ago, with stops — and restarts — at almost as several stations and platforms as that rumoured Crosstown LRT, is back again. Again. His most recent gig is overnights at 94.9 The Rock, using calls and texts, bantering with listeners, dishing on men and women, politics and pop culture — in amongst back-offering tunes of Billy Idol, Nickelback, Nirvana and the like.

Nirvana is also how the gentleman inside Ed describes his new gig — even though subtly deriding the medium for which he is very best remembered.

“I experienced determined that tv was just not the place that I grew up in,” explained Steven Kerzner, diplomatically, through Zoom.

His surly puppet counterpart continues to be synonymous with MuchMusic, which he still left in 2008. Ed was absolutely that station’s most sarcastic — and, arguably, most entertaining — host. Today’s incarnation of what is now basically identified as “Much” serves as regular cannon fodder on the weekly communicate demonstrate Kerzner (properly, Ed) hosts at Sauga 960 AM with his spouse and extensive-time creative lover, Liana.

“The persons who are living (in Television set) now … it is not the position wherever I could experience snug accomplishing what I do best.”

Are living radio, he suggested, instead provides “a sensation of authenticity and group and immediacy that used to exist in the tv I manufactured … a perception of connectivity that I had been lacking. Undertaking radio genuinely woke me up. It reinvigorated the Ed in me.”

But hang on. How does a former acid-tongued Tv set temperament, whose attraction was largely built upon his overall look, changeover to an audio-only platform? “Ed is a lot more about his views,” Kerzner asserted. “People go to him simply because they want to know what he has to say. Not for the reason that they want to be amused by a puppet with eco-friendly hair and a cigar.”

But again to what Kerzner states he does very best — or, at the very least, what first gained his boundary-pushing sock a faithful next in the late ’90s — and how that would enjoy to audiences in 2023. Mainly because it is probably even the executives at Citytv who greenlit “Ed & Red’s Night time Occasion,” which ran for far more than 10 decades, would nowadays cringe for the duration of the puppet’s innuendo-filled kibitzing with scantily-clad female porn actors (and in some cases very little folks) wading in a hot tub.

Kerzner, 52, does understand what society now deems anathema. The sizzling tub bits, he reported, were being “a item of the times. Burlesque … a rejection of Television conventions.” And whilst he acknowledges, “What show can you do right now that was just the way it was 20 decades in the past?” he emphatically insists that Ed has normally been a feminist.

“Those females were never objects,” he claimed, stressing that they ended up paid out for their appearances. “They experienced names, they had been spoken to. They experienced agency. It was entertaining. Nobody was harm.”

Doug Elliott, the program director at Rock 94.9, was aware of Ed’s polarizing temperament when he put the puppet on his station. (It’s unclear who to begin with approached who. Elliott mentioned Kerzner arrived to him Kerzner stated it is the other way around.) But he’d also observed Ed’s evolution.

“Over the several years, Ed has, um …” Listed here Elliott paused, looking for the right terms: “the character, as a result of self-training and anything has genuinely designed. Ed’s enlightened, quite perfectly-rounded.” Elliott claimed he had no misgiving about his new seek the services of for an overnight shift. “He’s a excellent communicator. And this is an prospect to promote an audience which is genuinely been overlooked.”

And to be honest, Ed (and, by default, Steven) has lengthy embodied progressive views. “We ended up pro homosexual relationship, professional homosexual legal rights, professional trans individuals,” Kerzner pointed out. “I also have a tricky and quickly rule to in no way mock anyone’s faith. And we used comedy (to categorical this position).”

He’s also a massive booster of pandemic security protocols and vaccination, putting up a video of Ed carefully confronting anti-mandate protesters at Queen’s Park, which would make both of those camps on that contentious topic chortle heartily.

And whilst Ed now works by using radio to wax heatedly on many of the tropes exploited by personal radio — (so. significantly. Trump. ugh) — there are also a ton of mild, and continue to funny, additional personable moments, which an right away live demonstrate affords. Like the listener expounding on why he enjoys his graveyard shift and bosses at the steel factory. Or the Amazon worker who confident Ed that, of course, he’s permitted breaks so doesn’t have to pee in a bottle whilst undertaking the job. Individuals types of real conversations — particularly the silly types — are a refreshing tonic in opposition to a social media landscape fraught with vitriolic shouting.

“I connect with it my nighttime neighbourhood,” mentioned Kerzner with a smile, including that his new bosses are the most supportive he’s at any time experienced — indicating, probably, that he, far too, has mellowed since his confrontational times in Tv. The overnight shift, he said, “is these kinds of a experience of one more universe. Folks out there are their very own local community.”

Liana, who performs as a peer counsellor and hosts a clearly show on mental overall health at Sauga 960, agrees that Ed has evolved.

“I now will need considerably less runway to influence him,” she claimed about nudging him toward a lot more modern day considering, in particular when it arrives to females and gender. “The stuff that was viewed as funny (early in their occupations) just isn’t humorous any longer.” She’s not, nonetheless, persuaded that he’s softened, automatically. “But has he matured? Nicely, I’d absolutely hope so in 20 several years.”

All this personalized growth begs the dilemma: could Ed not be retired to that sock drawer, leaving Steven — as Steven — to then believe the studio mantle?

“There’s tons of Stevens out there,” explained Kerzner. And Ed lets him licence that a human voice just cannot. “Ed is a person who is understood, regarded.

“Why would I put apart several years of do the job and earned attention and passion to set the focus on me? That would be a foolish ego move.”

Ed the Sock can be heard midnight to 5 a.m. Wednesday via Sunday at 94.9 The Rock. And, with co-host Liana Kerzner, Fridays from 9 to 10 p.m. on Newstalk Sauga 960 AM, with repeats on Saturdays.

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