For greater than three a long time, John Walton and Steve Johnson dominated the radio waves with their present, Walton and Johnson. And whereas the title might not have been all that distinctive, the present actually was (and is!).
The Houston-based Walton and Johnson radio present is, based on its Fb web page, a “mixture of ‘stream of consciousness,’ opinionated and compelling discuss, celeb visitor[s], musical parts, fictional characters and well-known impersonations, nice skit writing and manufacturing coupled with highly effective interplay.”
Whereas the present continues to be very a lot on the air, it skilled a large shift after host John Walton handed away in 2019. Nonetheless, the Walton and Johnson viewers — often called the 10-percenters — is as devoted as ever.
What occurred to ‘Walton and Johnson’?
On July 2, 2019, Steve Johnson made the stunning announcement that his co-host John Walton had died the earlier night, citing medical points that Walton had stored personal for a while.
“His medical points have been too quite a few to beat,” Johnson wrote. “He had been receiving remedy during the last month however continued to undergo. He made the choice to return house yesterday and spend his final hours along with his household. He went out on his personal phrases.”
“I’ll at all times cherish John as not solely a companion however a pricey buddy. His wit and humor outlined him because the distinctive particular person all of us knew him to be. He won’t ever get replaced. He had a voice and he had one thing to say. Your loyalty and help for him and his craft was at all times a mutual sentiment. John cared deeply for all of you. He cherished to make you all giggle.”
Following the information of Walton’s dying, the present’s varied social media pages have been flooded with feedback of disappointment and help from its many followers.
“In complete shock of this tragic information of John’s passing,” a fan named Ashley wrote. “I’ve been listening to the present since my dad would drive me to center faculty. Cherished the present then and now in my late 30’s I adore it nonetheless. I’m very proud to name myself a 10%er.”
Clearly, the present may by no means be the identical with out Walton, however it has nonetheless remained in syndication for the reason that host’s dying. Steve Johnson continues to be a number on the present — which continues to be referred to as Walton and Johnson — and is joined by producer Kenny Webster.
The ‘Walton and Johnson’ present has been criticized for partaking in “the radio model of blackface.”
As standard as Walton and Johnson is, it has additionally been marked by controversy through the years. A number of months earlier than Walton’s dying, Vice’s Michael Patrick Welch revealed an article criticizing the present for what he known as “the radio model of blackface.”
The Walton and Johnson radio present was distinctive in the truth that it appeared to be hosted by 5 people: Walton, Johnson, after which three different hosts who would present up recurrently. There was the militant Black man Mr. Eaux, a stereotypical homosexual man named Mr. Kenneth, and a self-titled “redneck” named “Billy Ed.” Solely, because it seems, these final three have been all voiced by Johnson himself.
My latest @VICE story is a deep dive into the 35-yr-old Walton & Johnson radio present, which options 2 white hosts imitating a black man, a homosexual man & a “redneck” to simulate 5 hosts. Many I talked to referred to as it “blackface.” Feat @EFCuttin amongst others https://t.co/2r2bUDqPll
— michaelpatrickwelch (@mpatrickwelch) January 22, 2019
For his article, Welch interviewed David Ahrens-Bryant, a person from New Orleans who’s each Black and homosexual. “I used to be listening on my option to work and it took about two days till I assumed, ‘One thing about these 5 guys doesn’t sound correct.’ I went house and did web analysis, and I used to be appalled. I haven’t listened since. […] They’re attempting to be insidious about it. They are saying it in a manner that they assume we will’t hear. However I hear it, and it’s racist.”
Offensive although the present could also be, it clearly nonetheless has a devoted following. It’s syndicated all through the U.S.’s Gulf Coast and boasts a big viewers who seemingly can’t get sufficient of the controversial present.