I first heard Imus In The Morning’s radio program on WNBC radio in December of 1971 when he first got into NYC. I was an avid follower of the program until I left the NJ area, but did enjoy watching occaisionally on MSNBC.
Through those years, I never really called in much and never wanted to be on his show, but I have to say that he and Wolfman Jack really did inspire me to pursue my own radio career.
A long time ago Imus admitted publically to his addiction to drugs and alcohol. I got to meet him at a “live remote” at Grand Central Station in NYC back in the days when he was under the influence. At the time, he didn’t have much to say and he seemed to be upset that he had to be there. He managed to get his way through it, and I wound up with a huge autographed poster of him that I kept for a lot of years. Something I wish I still had so I could sell it on Ebay! Others may have said this about Imus and other celebrities, but for Imus it was certainly true. Off mike, back then at least, he was a completely different person than what he was like as soon as that “on the air” light went on.
As I recall, it was in the 70’s that NBC ran ads that asked listeners if they “heard what Imus said this morning”. I think it’s ironic that they actually featured him being controversial. It’s that kind of controversy that led to him taking an unintententional vacation from his celebrity status. In my opinion, sure he might have made some inappropriate comments, but let’s look at it in it’s reality, he’s an entertainer. I don’t need someone to flash a message every few minutes that says, “please don’t take this person seriously”, I just tune in knowing that.