RADIO SHOW HOST
“My show is revolutionary, not evolutionary.
I keep reinventing myself, not like the other dinosaurs in this business right now.”
Mancow is a famous radio talk show host known not only for his wild antics on the air but also for his publicity stunts off the air. He was a stage actor, small-market radio DJ, and promotions director for radio stations before making it big in shock-talk radio. His show is often a lightning rod for controversy and multimillion-dollar fines. His success has translated into millions of radio fans, national television appearances, and even book publishing.
THE EARLY YEARS
Erich Muller was born on June 21, 1967, in Kansas City. His first love in performance was acting as he appeared on stage in more than one hundred professional plays. Muller stayed close to home after graduation from high school to attend Central Missouri State University. Warrensburg was also where he got his first taste of radio at KOKO-AM. His responsibilities consisted of running the mixing board and playing commercials during Larry King’s syndicated radio program.
RISE TO FAME
During Muller’s senior year at Central Missouri State, he was a full-time student holding down a full-time job as promotions director and weekend radio personality at KLSI-FM in Kansas City. Despite the overloaded schedule, he graduated from CMSU with degrees in public relations and theater.
After graduation, he moved back to Kansas City for a radio show of his own. His hard work paid off when he landed a high-profile position as morning drive host on KBEQ-FM, Q-104. The show had low ratings when he took over, but the Holy Moly and Maxx Show, as it was called, was a ratings success and quickly helped the station rise to No. 1 in the city. Because of that large amount of ratings success, bigger opportunities presented themselves. From Kansas City, Muller took a giant leap to one of the biggest radio markets in the country: San Francisco.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
Muller, now known as “Mancow” on the radio, hit the airwaves with a splash on Wild 107 in San Francisco. The show was again a big success, drew large ratings, and brought the station plenty of publicity. But a stunt by the morning crew brought the station more attention than they wanted, along with more than a million dollars in fines. Mancow was able to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in the middle of the morning rush hour while his morning sidekick got a haircut. The stunt was designed to poke fun at President Bill Clinton, who was accused of shutting down air traffic in San Francisco while he received a haircut on Air Force One. Mancow’s stunt got the attention he wanted, making national news headlines and making the name Mancow known across the country.
At the age of 28, he left San Francisco for another radio job, this time during morning drive in Chicago. He landed at WKQX, Q-101, where he hosted Mancow’s Morning Madhouse. The Madhouse has been a lightning rod for criticism and FCC penalties despite the fact the Muller claims on the air to be a very spiritual person. He is quick to point out that Mancow’s Morning Madhouse is a show, meaning that the character you hear on the air is not necessarily a true reflection of who he really is. In his mind, he is an actor. He has faced millions of indecency fines over the years, yet he attends church and reads the bible regularly.
His legions of fans are now spread across the country thanks to the syndication of his show, which allows him access on numerous television programs. Thousands of his loyal fans finally got to see him on TV in 2004 when he became a regular correspondent for the network television show Fox and Friends.
He may be a dichotomy to many people who listen to his show, but the youth actor-turned-radio show superstar is doing exactly what he says he was born to do: Entertain.
*The name “Mancow” came from the half-man, half-cow he portrayed in a play at CMSU.
*Muller was performing in the stage version of On Golden Pond as a child when Henry Fonda stopped by to watch the
show. Fonda later went on to make a film version of the show.
*He wrote a book called Freedom Road: Journeys with My Father.
*He appeared in Lee Jeans and Wal-Mart ads as a child.