Pittsburgh comedian and former morning-drive radio host for WDVE FM and Q-92 FM
September 11, 2018 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Joyce welcomes back Jimmy Krenn, Pittsburgh comedian and former morning-drive radio host for WDVE FM and Q-92 FM. Jimmy will discuss his extensive career in stand-up comedy and radio broadcasting and his latest charity work with the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA.

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SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

1:00 P.M. CST



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***                                                        This text, document, or file is based on live transcription.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), captioning, and/or live transcription are provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.  This text, document, or file is not to be distributed or used in any way that may violate copyright law.


>> Welcome to "Disability Matters" with your host, Joyce Bender.  All comments, views and opinions expressed on the show are solely those of the hosts, guests and callers.  Now the host of   "Disability Matters" here is Joyce Bender.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Hi, everyone and welcome to the show today.  I do have some people I want to thank.  But before I do that, I would be remiss to not remember that today is September 11, a day that changed what would happen in the United States.  I still remember, I remember very clearly that horrific event at the World Trade Center, and so I want to say today to all families that lost someone or to friends, we did not forget you.  We will never forget you.

I've so many people that knew people, actually my guest Jimmy Krenn is on already.  How about you, Jimmy, did you know anyone?

>> JIMMY KRENN: I didn't know anyone in the Towers, Joyce, but I do remember that day, because I remember being on the air that morning, and I remember when the first plane hit, they thought it was an accident, a commuter plane and the second plane hit is when it got serious.  As that unfolded, I remember throughout the day, just thinking of those heroes, those brave firemen and policemen that when people walking out of the building, they were walking up the building to save people.  I just remember that and thinking about that, how powerful that was, that in all the evil that was around that attack, there was also God, there was also good, also, with these brave people, that saved, saved a lot of people.  We lost so many but so many were saved on the backs of those brave men and women, it's amazing.

>> JOYCE BENDER: You know what, and I'm glad that you said that, because he is right.  Jimmy is right.  I also want to thank all of those people.  They were the champions.  I mean people that went into those towers, oh, and several of them of course lost their lives.  But it is something how Americans come together, you know, during that.

>> JIMMY KRENN: The bravery, it's amazing, Joyce, that bravery to walk up that building, knowing it could collapse.  It is just a bravery that just goes to show the backbone of our country and the spirit of our country.  They represented it that day, they really did.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Yeah.  I knew the people that lived in New York, I knew how they would come back and be so resilient.  But I want to say that, I think about this, every September 11, I think about people that lost people, and then as Jimmy said, how important it is to think about people that did what they did to save other people.

So, I wanted to make sure, I couldn't let this show go by, being it's on September 11, without saying that.  And I am so excited that today we have Jimmy Krenn who by the way, Erin, my engineer said before, hey, Joyce, get ready to rock and roll with this show.  Not hard to do with Jimmy Krenn who was on WDVE talk about the rock station, so it's not hard to do with having him on.  And he is also not just a premier broadcast personality, but he is a premier stand‑up comedian, and just a wonderful person.  I'm always so excited to have him on.  But then I feel nervous, I'm thinking, I have Jimmy Krenn on, what is he thinking I sound like?  This guy is a radio star.  He is so humble and so nice to be with us today.  Getting back to what I was talking about, isn't it amazing, Jimmy, like how we all remember exactly where we were on September 11?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes.  It really is, Joyce.  Everybody out there listening, it was one of those moments that it was our Pearl Harbor, it was our day, the resilience of the country, and the bravery, like we said.  Yeah, we all remember that, everybody.  You are right.

>> JOYCE BENDER: How you described that, I was at my office, and in the conference room, at a TV.  And just a little bit of trivia here, since that day that that happened, I've always had a television in my office, always, just because that was so haunting, that day.  And you get this, I always want to know what is happening.

But my husband called and said, you know, there has been a terrible accident at the World Trade Center, and so I turn on the TV, and when you see the first plane hit, it's just what you said, I thought, oh, no, what a terrible accident, how terrible!  Then you see the other plane, and right then you know, oh, my God, this is a terrorist.  This is something really bad.  The person, a customer of mine that was visiting that day, there was this look on his face of just total pain and agony, and he said to me, Joyce, can I use the phone?  My daughter lives in New York City.  Thank God, she was okay.


>> JOYCE BENDER: No matter who you are, no matter where you are, you remember, and you know what, here you are, you had to talk about it on the radio.

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes.  It was very intense, because I'm a comedian and I had to switch into a serious mode, because it was nothing more serious than that, Joyce, and you know what is amazing, when you are talking about that, Joyce, there is no way we could ever prevent it, there is no perfection out there but it is amazing how great our country responded, there are so many people today who, through the years, through all the years have done a great job doing their best, and I'm sure a lot of those people sacrificed their lives, some of these people in our country, to keep us from having another attack.  They thwarted so many attacks, the FBI, CIA, how it brought them together and made them stronger.  That actually made our country stronger in certain ways, that attack, pretty amazing.


Well, as you mentioned, you are a comedian, and broadcast personality.  Here is my first question:  When you were a young boy, did you ever think this, like did you ever think, I want to be a radio star?  Or did anyone ever encourage you that hey, you are really funny, you really should be somehow in entertainment?  Did that ever happen when you were growing up?

>> JIMMY KRENN: It's funny, Joyce, no, I come from a blue‑collar family, and my grandfather was a trumpet player.  He was an entertainer.  I was always, would listen to him and listen to stories about his days on the road as an entertainer.  I was always intrigued with it.  But I didn't find out until I was about 12 or 13, I would start entertaining at parties at our home, at Christmas parties, Easter, whatever gathering, and I would make the family laugh.  It was a powerful feeling to be able to do that at will.

I knew I had something, but I had no idea I could do it for a living.  I never thought of doing it for a living, and no one else.  Everyone thought I was funny and it was a powerful thing.  But to do it for a living was a million, million miles away.  It just kind of happened as I got older, as I kept at it, it was like almost a hobby and it turned into a career, after college, I had a Bachelor of Science in business of all things.  Could you imagine me as a businessman?  I'd be fired from 20 corporations by now.


The comedy club is what did it, the comedy club boom happened.  Every city had three or four clubs.  That enabled me to go out on the road and make a living at it, from the start, right out of college.  My poor mom and dad, here I have a Bachelor of Science degree and all that debt from college, at IUP, and I say I'm going to be a comedian.  What?  I go out on the road.  Fortunately it went well.  I became a headliner in two years and started to make a full time living and developing my act from there.  That got me ready for radio.

I never thought of radio, ever, not for years, not for years, until I discovered VE, those years.

>> JOYCE BENDER: I always thought stand‑up comedians are so talented, and have so much courage, I mean isn't it nerve‑racking to go out there and be thinking, oh, my god, I've got to make these people laugh through this whole thing?

>> JIMMY KRENN: You know what, it is, and I think it's a combination of things.  If you look at, I'd say most, I can't speak for everybody but I'd say most stand‑up comedians if you look at their psyche, if you look at my psyche, you will see someone who has high anxiety.  You have to have this fear, this incredible fear along with having awareness and perception combined.  That anxiety somehow channels into comedy.  As I look back and analyze it, a lot of us, go through up and down, depressed, things like that and dysfunction, and that is where the comedy comes from.  Somehow even through depression or through anxiety, I can get to the broader perspective.

So that lets me almost see a story, so I can tell a story just from seeing it from a broader perspective.  Most comedians are like that where they can pull themselves, they are feeling it, they can somehow pull themselves to the broader perspective to see what is going on in life.  They can turn that anxiety or depression, and you can almost out of release, it's like a release valve, you can almost see the comedy.  You can see the comedy in it.  You write it down and spew it out.

It takes a while to develop, not too long because you have it already in your mind, but it is getting up on stage, doing it over and over until you perfect it for your act.  But it's basically, that is a common theme I think with comedians, have a high anxiety, a lot of fear, and a natural thing, like I say God blessed me with that talent.

>> JOYCE BENDER: That is interesting you would say that, because I've heard this before, how different comedians battle depression or whatever.  I've never been able to totally understand that, how could you be in that state and yet go up on stage and make everyone laugh?  You think it's sort of like cathartic for the person?  You think the comedian ‑‑


>> JOYCE BENDER: Yes, you do.

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes, from pain, the opposite of pain, from pain comes pleasure.  There is that thin fine line between pain and pleasure, so through my pain, I can somehow get that, like I said, get that pleasure out to people, to get them to laugh at their pain, because if I can make my way through it, they are seeing they can make their way through it.  It is almost a comedian is a person, man or woman on stage who is just saying, hey, we are all in this together, because if you listen to anyone says, whether it's a one liner or story, it's something that the audience can relate to, and how they relate is we are all in this together.

If I tell a story about my family, and maybe they don't have the exact family but they will have somebody similar, some crazy uncle, crazy aunt or whatever I'm talking about, my act must lead to storytelling now, I do impressions also but mostly storytelling.  That is where they relate, to the stories.  That is how a comedian connects, through that pain somehow.

>> JOYCE BENDER: You shouldn't have told me this, that you do impressions.

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes.  Oh, yeah.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Who do you do impressions of?

>> JIMMY KRENN: I do Jack Nicholson, everyone does.  But I was watching the departed yesterday, and I just can't get him out of my mind.  (chuckles).

>> JOYCE BENDER: You know what, I love people that can do impressions.  I do.  That to me is like, I just love it.  Have you always done that also?

>> JIMMY KRENN: I have.  I usually, I feel like the voice or hear the character, and then I'll see something that relates.  For instance, my one dog Larry, he is like really laid back, and I'm telling you he is a Chihuahua, he is about 7 pounds and laid back and I look at him and his face, he always looks a little out there.  He looks like Matthew McConaghy to me.  He is so laid back.  I look at him and think about that voice and I'll practice, going, all right, all right, all right, Matthew McConaghy, just keeping it real, Jimmy.  I'm just a dog, man.  I'm just a dog relaxing, all right, all right, all right.  I start doing the voice, practice through the day and feel the voice and somehow write the character.  I usually use people around me, dogs, whatever, but I'll practice listening over and over for a while, to get the voice down.

Some come quick.  Some take a little time.  I kind of mix them through my show.  One dog is so intense, it's unbelievable; he looks like, Liam Neeson.  He has piercing blue eyes.  He even barks like Liam, like hello.  If he could talk, I would be afraid.  I want you there but I'm a beagle for ten years, be very careful, I can run a bunny rabbit [inaudible] I will find you.  I will find you.  He gets an intense look.

>> JOYCE BENDER: You are doing that, all I can think of is Taken, the movie.  You are doing that, and you know what, I'm going to tell you, that is, I feel that takes great talent to do that.  But I also feel it is a big part of comedy.  You were mentioning about your show.

How can people follow you now, what do you do now?

>> JIMMY KRENN: The best way to follow me is on Facebook on my fan page, if they run out there, go to the Jim Krenn fan page on Facebook, I do a couple videos a week.  I always put my pod costs up there, Jimmy Krenn no restrictions.  They can get an app on phones, if you go to the app store, it's absolutely free, it's Jimmy Krenn no restrictions.  I do a weekly show, one hour podcast where I do what I did on the radio which is tell funny stories, tell about my life, and I'll get funny stuff in the news, nothing political, nothing offensive.  I try to keep it within FCC rules, so I don't swear, it's safe around everyone.  You can get the Jim Krenn, no restrictions app or on Facebook check out the fan page which I have the podcast up on there, along with the videos.

>> JOYCE BENDER: That is awesome.  How about do you ever go out and perform anywhere?

>> JIMMY KRENN: All over the country.  It has been so much fun.  I was in Portland two weeks ago, what an interesting city, what a beautiful city.  If anyone is listening from Portland, I love your city, wonderful people, great restaurants, great vibe to the place!  I traveled a lot all over the country and do comedy clubs and corporate gigs, my agent talent network in Pittsburgh, I go to Los Angeles every two months and perform out there to do some showcase stuff, basically do that, in and out of town a lot, on the road maybe a third of the year is on the road and the rest of the time is around here.  I'll do small theaters around Pittsburgh.

>> JOYCE BENDER: My question is, because we, we have listeners in 17 countries now, so hey, just in case you too decide to go to Kazakhstan like me, my question is, when you go to your Facebook page, would it show these places you are going to be?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes.  It gives where I'm at, I always do that, and the videos also, I mention where I'm going to be.  The other fun thing is about the podcast, the podcast shows who is listening, how many listened from different areas of the world, and the funniest thing, the greatest thing, I think, for some reason, my fourth or fifth most listener is in Amsterdam and I don't know why.  My friends in Amsterdam, hello.  It's amazing.  And Egypt also, I have listeners in Egypt and the United Kingdom, transplanted Pittsburghers or they discovered the show through the app, I have no idea.  But it's exciting, when I see that, see people from around the world.

That is the power of the show and the power of social media now, is amazing how it's connecting.

  (audio breaking up).

>> JOYCE BENDER: It really is.  I mentioned I have listeners in 17 countries.  My big country is Ireland.

>> JIMMY KRENN: I love it.

>> JOYCE BENDER: I'm not sure why.  But I always on every show, I applaud the people in Ireland, because they are getting out, they are spreading the news about disability and listening to people with disabilities, I mean seeing them move forward and what they can accomplish, and listening to them on my show, people that are successful, and I mean I just really am so impressed.

I want to say to all of you in Ireland, keep fighting that fight, because you are helping more people in Ireland with disabilities fight for quality of life.  Now I'm going to be having a listening audience in Kazakhstan, because I just went there only a week ago with the U.S. State Department to talk about the employment of people with disabilities.

But you are right, so there you go.  Anyone listening to this, no matter where you are, Ireland or Kazakhstan, now you know how to get that podcast.

That is really great.  That is amazing though, isn't it?  How today ‑‑

>> JIMMY KRENN: It really is.  (overlapping speakers) you mentioned Ireland, which is one of my favorite, Dublin was one of my favorite cities, what a beautiful place Ireland is.

  (audio breaking up).

So kind and so friendly and hanging in the pubs with them, I just couldn't get enough.  I can't wait to get back to Ireland.  It is so beautiful there.  The people are so nice, really nice.  Loved it there.

>> JOYCE BENDER: They are really, they really are listening a lot to this show, and as I said, that impresses me so much.

But I wanted to ask you, in case our listeners don't know, Jimmy really is a superstar.  He was on WDVE radio for 24 years.  He was awarded 14 times as the top entertainer in the city by Pittsburgh Magazine, and was nominated by Billboard Magazine as one of the major market personalities of the year plus he has been on TV and magazines and newspapers.  I'm just so impressed with you, Jimmy.  I'm also so glad that you shared with everyone about the podcast and how they can follow you.

I know you have talked about this before, but for our listeners, how did you first begin your career in entertainment?  How did you first get involved?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Well, I started when I was in high school and I won a talent show.  I started winning talent shows.  After college, I auditioned at the Pittsburgh comedy club.  It was when the comedy club boom was starting.  I got the audition.  They let me M.C.  What happened was these clubs started going up in every city, was getting two and three comedy clubs.  It was cable TV was still, this is early to mid '80s so cable TV didn't have comedy on.  The only way you could see stand‑up, you had to go to a comedy club.  You could see some things on HBO then.  There wasn't like now, comedy central didn't exist.  It gave me a place that I could learn the craft as I was actually entertaining people, and the pay was rather good.  I was able to make a full time great living.

I started to branch out and work clubs all over the East Coast and northeast, and a gentleman named Rick Masina helped me in New York and started working out of New York and started just doing it, it went for 7 years.  I did it for like 7 years, and what happened was I was ready to move to Los Angeles full time.  Right before I moved, I had it set up to come home to Pittsburgh.  I knew once I moved to L.A. I wouldn't get back a lot.  It's far away.  I'd get back a couple times a year only and to see family and friends, because I was on the road a lot for 7 years before that.

I came home and did a club here in Pittsburgh.  Here it was tied in with WDVE.  At the time the radio station was ranked 17th in the market.  It was dropped because they had lost the morning show a couple years earlier.  I went on as a guest, and I did some voice impressions and characters, and they liked it.  They said would you come back again the next week, after I did a guest spot for promoting this club that I was doing.  Yeah, I'd love to do that.

I like radio.  I was doing it once in a while in the comedy clubs, I'd have the show in each city but it was for a few minutes, but this was sitting for a couple hours doing radio.  I liked it.  It was fun.  The theater of the mind, I started thinking of potential.  That station had 50,000 watts, so I knew that it had a potential to reaching a lot of people.  It went through Maryland, parts of Ohio, western P.A. and Pittsburgh here obviously.

What happened, after I got the gig, within a year they went from 17 to first.  I had 800,000 listeners.  With 800,000 people listening, it was amazing for me as a young man to have that many listeners and that kind of following for my comedy.  It was the wildest thing to walk out and have people recognize you or recognize your comedy, and the coolest thing was to be able to touch people's lives with it.

Amazing, I didn't realize it until then how healing it could be, for people out there listening, how healing it could be to have someone, maybe a familiar voice, and comedically, there was a young lady, my first year on, she called and said thanks for making me laugh from 8:30 in the morning until 9.  I have to drive to get dialysis.  I found out I have kidney disease and it just gets me there.  It hit me.  I'll never forget that, how important it is what we are doing, what an honor it is to be on radio and what we do.

I had to get that girl there, and I always thought of that throughout my career.  There is someone else out there I have to get to where they have to get to.  If I'm the comedic thing to get their mind off things, make them laugh a little; that is my job.  My job is, comedian's job is to heal, try to heal people.  Get them through the day; that is the job.

That is how it all started.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Wow, what a story, how powerful.  I can't imagine the impact that had on you.  By the way, before we go to break, and I'll talk more about this later.  But I want to tell you how I became friends with Jimmy.  As you all know, I'm living with epilepsy.  And I am the Vice‑Chair of the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central P.A.

But I've been involved on this board for a very, very long time.  We have a walk every year.  You will see like Abby's army, like 100 and some walkers, and Abby is this little girl with very significant epilepsy, she is nonverbal, has a difficult time.  She is not ambulatory.  Her father, who is Alan who is also on our board gets this huge group of people out there.  Then there are a lot of other children with epilepsy, and there are some people that have lost their child, and I know Jimmy knows this, because we give out these scholarships awards, and it's a lot of times the money is given by parents who have lost their child to sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

So, this is how I met Jimmy, because he is so wonderful, that every year, he comes with another local TV star, Andrew Stockey and every year he comes and spends the whole time there, and gives out shirts, as people come, around the hallway with the walk or run and spends time talking to you, anyone there that wants to.  I know he doesn't realize this, but you have no idea, Jimmy, how many people say to me, oh, is that Jimmy Krenn, and are so thrilled that he is there and that he comes.

This is how I got the tie‑in to Jimmy Krenn with disability, and with that, we are going to go to break.  Then we will be back with advocacy matters, our weekly on the half hour news update on what is going on in the world of disability today.  This is Joyce Bender, America's voice, where disability matters at VoiceAmerica.com.  Don't go away.  We will be right back with Peri Jude Radecic and Advocacy Matters news.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Hey, welcome back, everyone.  We have our fabulous guest with us, Jimmy Krenn, comedian and radio star.  But as all of my listeners know, every half hour we have Peri Jude Radecic, advocacy matters, giving us an update in the news.  So what do you have to talk to us about today?

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Joyce, there are so many things, congress is back, and Arkansas, Medicaid expansion, 4500 people last week, we have a lot to cover and we will cover those issues in upcoming shows.  But what is really important, and I think why advocacy matters so much, it really matters for a hurricane like Florence.  We have people with disabilities who are looking at the hurricane and wondering if emergency preparedness and first responders are ready to help them, and I know for decades disability advocates work with federal, state and local emergency management and first responders to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind when disaster strikes.

We have worked with Red Cross shelters to make sure they are accessible.  Group residences now have evacuation plans in place.  Transportation should be available to evacuate all people, including people with disabilities.  We have numerous emergency preparedness guides that have been written and distributed, so that we know how to prepare for a situation just like Hurricane Florence.

These guides have been written and prepared by the university centers on excellence for developmental disabilities, funded by the developmental disabilities councils in all of these states.  Hurricane Florence is absolutely going to be a test of our advocacy and the implementation of all those policies and practices that we have worked so hard to put in place for people with disabilities.

There is over 23 million people that are in that direct path of Hurricane Florence, if you count South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.  About 9 percent of those people are people with disabilities.  That is 2.1 million people with disabilities in that direct path.  There are a lot of people with disabilities in the path of high winds, storm surges and significant flooding.  There is a lot of resources that are available to help.  We have got them all posted on our website.  There is a disasterassistance.gov has a brief questionnaire from FEMA that will provide a list of places for you to look and call for assistance if you need it.  In North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, they all have emergency management websites that will give you the latest on where your local shelters are located, what are the evacuation routes, and how to find them and how to access transportation.

The disability community has also put a lot of effort into writing guides.  The southeast ADA center has prepared an emergency preparedness guide for much of the southeast including south and North Carolina, and the Virginia Commonwealth University published a guide for Virginia.

I want to say, and all of this is posted on our website which is disabilityrightspa.org.  If you find barriers on your path to safety, you have to report those to our disability rights network, because we are the place where we can do something about that to remedy that.

We also on our website have links to the protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in South Carolina, disability rights North Carolina, and the Disability Law Center for Virginia.  We have all of that on our website, where you can call and E‑mail them to report any allegations of discrimination or barriers on your way to safety.

Again, all of this can be found on our website at disabilityrightspa.org.  Advocacy matters, and in times like this, we want those policies and practices that our community worked so hard to put in place to matter.  We hope everybody in the path of Hurricane Florence gets to safety, and we hope our advocacy matters, today and through the rest of this week, Joyce.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Wow.  This is so, I'm so glad you talked about this, Peri Jude.  This is so extremely important, and of course, pertinent and relevant right now.  I do have just a couple questions for you.  If you live in one of these areas, do you have any idea, do you feel that this is all in place, equally, or do we not know?  You are in a wheelchair and you need help and you can't get out, I mean how is this all together for people with disabilities?

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Yes, you know, I think it's going to vary county by county, and state by state.  Certainly some states look like they have it together better than others.  I think we are going to find it hit and miss, honestly, throughout these communities.  So again, if you know somebody with a disability and you live if one of these states, and you check on them, make sure that they have a path to safety and if they don't have a protection and advocacy system so that we can intervene and get some help, call us.

>> JOYCE BENDER: They are all supposed to have an interpreter, you know, on the screen, where you can see a sign language interpreter.  If you are deaf, because this show is of course open captioned, I'm just wondering how about that person, what should they do?  (overlapping speakers).

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Joyce, at least all of the governors' press conferences have been signed, and I know all of the state emergency management press conferences have had ASL interpreters.  But again, at the local level, I don't know how far down that goes and I don't know what is happening at the shelters.  The shelters should be opening today.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Okay.  One more time, the website?

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Yes, go to our website, it's disabilityrightspa.org, and we will have information about North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, on how to get to that information, and the emergency preparedness, and as well as FEMA and disasterassistance.gov, where you can enter your information about where you are at, and find local resources for you.

Again, if you find barriers, we also have information about our local protection and advocacy agencies where you can report those barriers.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Wow, well, I so appreciate you going over this.  You know, I'm very honored to be a trustee of the board, and I just want to say, see this really important work that they are doing and that Peri Jude is doing.  You need money to do all of this.  So please, take time to go to that disability rights, Pennsylvania, and make a contribution.  Peri Jude, thank you so much for what you are doing.

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Sure, we will continue to follow this, Joyce.  We will give an update on how things went, we will stay in touch with our sister agencies.  We will certainly let your listeners know if there were any major problems.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Okay, good.  Thanks, Peri Jude.

>> PERI JUDE RADECIC: Thanks for your advocacy too, Jimmy.

>> JIMMY KRENN: My honor, thank you.


>> JOYCE BENDER: Jimmy, there are things you don't even think about, that a lot of people don't think about.  But if you know someone in one of these areas, for example, that uses a wheelchair or is blind or deaf, whatever it is, you should take time to reach out and say, hey, do you need any help?  Because ‑‑

>> JIMMY KRENN: Absolutely.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Terrible thing to be left behind.  Jimmy, do you have, since you have so many listeners also, do you want to say anything about this?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Yes.  I agree, Joyce.  We are all in this together.  You have to reach out and help, because the people out there listening that are disabled, they help us in so many ways.  They are warriors.  I look at people who are disabled as warriors.  One of my best friends I befriended when he was in Childrens hospital, and what he's gone through, and when I call him, he is in his 20s now, and we are best friends.  I talk to him all the time.  But I could be down‑and‑out, when I call him, he picks me up.  He picks me up.  I always tell him, Eric, you are a warrior, what you have been through, you are a warrior.  To help out, we have to help out.  We have to pitch in.  We are all in this together.

It's amazing what people who are disabled out there do for everyone, because they get it.  They really do.

>> JOYCE BENDER: There was something I wanted to talk about before the end of the show today, and that's I was reading an article the other day, and what it was about is the future demise of traditional talk radio.  What they were referring to is of course, you know, in your car, how you have access to talk radio.  It's Alexa, with Google, with all of this, social media today, what we are doing right now, to be honest with you, what we are doing right now.  And my question to you is, what are your thoughts about that?

Do you think that is a serious issue to think about?  Do you think that talk radio, they somehow have to become more relevant, in order to, all these young people today and millennials and keep them interested, what is your opinion?

>> JIMMY KRENN: I think talk radio will always live on.  It is just transforming.  It is going to change in a corporate type way of listening because we are listening now more on the Internet.  But I think because of the Internet, it's become ...

  (audio breaks up).

Less corporate, you can be more freer, you can have more talent out there.  More choices, I think talk radio is going to thrive because of the Internet and social media and podcasts.  Traditional radio we have will always survive to a degree, but as the technology changes, yes, I do think we are going to switch over more to the Internet, even in our cars we are going to have more choices.  It is going to give the audience more choices.  As far as talk radio, it will survive and thrive.  We are going to have more choices, more talent out there, and it is going to be more entertaining for people.  It is going to be fragmented a little as far as more choices.  But it is going to still survive and thrive.  It is just in a different way, just with new technology, that is the only difference.

It won't go away, let's put it that way.  It is going to get bigger, but like I said, in the new technology way.  That's all.

>> JOYCE BENDER: Yeah.  But that still is a change from what we think of as traditional radio.  Do you know what I mean?  But ‑‑

>> JIMMY KRENN: Oh, yeah.

>> JOYCE BENDER: But as you just said, look how many people we can reach on talk radio.  Look how many people with your podcasts can be reached.


>> JOYCE BENDER: It's just a new day.  I'm not meaning it will totally go away.  But I do think there will be a change.  I do think that.

>> JIMMY KRENN: Absolutely.  And for the better, because what happened is, the new cars, the way cars are now, and that is the main audience I think for talk radio, a lot in the cars, going to and from a work or driving around, I think because they can get the Internet now in their cars, that is why I think it will change, yes, it will change for the better.  Your show, you will have more listeners on your show, more listeners on other shows, that won't have to have a corporation holding them to certain ways.  It will be more free, in other words.

I think it is going to be great.

>> JOYCE BENDER: You know, before break, I was talking about how I met you and how you come to the walk every year which always so impresses me.  You also, I know you got a lifetime achievement award from Animal Friends.  So first of all, I guess that you love animals, right?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Absolutely.

  (chuckles)  Absolutely.

It's a great organization.  It has been around forever.  I grew up in the strip district, an area in Pittsburgh right by downtown, and animal friends growing up, I lived in an alleyway apartment.  We weren't allowed to have dogs.  I'd walk down to Animal Friends as a kid.  All those dogs were my dogs.  They are shelter dogs.  I could visit them.  After I got on the radio and started to see the power of the radio and being known that I could help others; that was one of the charities I helped at.  I saw the good they do not only getting people pets but they have different programs where they train dogs, for veterans that come home from war, posttraumatic stress disorder, and they also have dogs they bring to the hospitals to visit people, because someone is in the hospital, they can't have their pet there obviously.  They have dogs that come visit.  I have a friend in a senior home.  They bring dogs to the senior home.

It is definitely a powerful organization.  They touch a lot of people with these animals.  These animals are so innocent and so pure, so yeah.  It was easy to get involved with them.  They do great work there, wonderful work.  Really I enjoy it.

>> JOYCE BENDER: That is great, that is interesting, by the way, interesting story of how you came to be focused on them.  That is really something.

I wanted to ask you, obviously, giving back is important to you, across the board.  So why is that?  You do a lot of charity work.  Why do you do that?

>> JIMMY KRENN: It's like getting back to my friend Eric earlier.  It is a give and take in a sense.  I actually want to give because it's what I get from helping these organizations.  You get such reward from seeing, like we do the epilepsy walk, I've done it almost 20 years.  You get to see these families where the money that went to research helps, the child grew up, I see the child in their teens and high school and they are playing ball and the reward is amazing when you see that.

Like I said with my disabled friends, it's so powerful what they give me as far as perspective.  I was talking earlier in the show about depression, stuff like that.  I remember being depressed three weeks ago.  I was doing this promotion.  I was down‑and‑out, through some personal stuff, I'm sitting there woe is me and the guy next to me used to listen to me and he was in a wheelchair.  We were talking.  He is in a chair and disabled.  He said he fell off a ladder ten years ago.  He was happy as could be.  I mean happy as could be, attacking life.  I told him, man, you just healed me right now.  I was depressed.  I'm not now, because I watched this person fighting.  He was a warrior.  They are fighting, they are showing us the way that everybody has a card, and he is saying, this guy is telling me, Jimmy, I got a card, I'm dealing with it.  You could deal with whatever yours is.  Deal with it, man.

It's powerful thing, so it's easy to get involved with these organizations and charities because I get so much out of it.  I don't think I'm giving, I should give more actually.  I get way more, in other words, out of working with these organizations and meeting these people than I give.  I actually give way more enlightenment, get way more inspired.  They heal me in many ways.  The people I've met through these organizations and charities, Epilepsy Foundation or Diabetes Foundation or even Animal Friends or any organization I work with, it's amazing how they heal me, which is the wild thing.  They give more than I give, I think, really do.

>> JOYCE BENDER: I don't know about that but you are really a good person.  I will tell you, you have got to, Jimmy, what is your Facebook page again?

>> JIMMY KRENN: Jim Krenn fan page on Facebook, and they can go in the app store and get the no restrictions app.  Every week, I hope everybody tries the podcast.  It is free.  Go in the app store.  Get Jimmy Krenn, type in Krenn, no restrictions, it will come up.  You tap it, you get it for free.  I'd love to get you on the podcast sometime, whenever you can.

>> JOYCE BENDER: I'd love to be and I will.  But I want to say, Jim Krenn, go to get that podcast.

Tell other people about it, because you will love it, and you know what, isn't it great to follow a nice person.  I always like to promote people that are good people, and he is a good person.  So Jim, before we end the show today, I wanted to ask you, over the past year, what would you say you have been the proudest of?  What accomplishment over the past year?

>> JIMMY KRENN: I think without a doubt, the proudest is the fact that I get to do, seriously, get to do all the charity work that I've gotten to do.  It's the proudest thing I could do.  That is why God gave me or anybody any notoriety, is to use for that, because we are all in this together.  I swear to you, that is the proudest thing I can do, all the charity work.  It is not really charity work, I should say.  I'll be in a golf tournament, I did a golf tournament for a woman shelter, and they are thanking me.  I'm not Mother Teresa here, I'm golfing.  But the proudest is that I get to use that notoriety that I've been given to help the organizations that I get to help.

That is definitely the proudest thing and the main reason why I exist is to do that, I think is to help others.  You serve others, it gives you enrichment and it's given me such happiness.  It is the proudest thing, the charity organizations I work with like Epilepsy Foundation and other places I get to work with, really is.

>> JOYCE BENDER: See what I mean when I told you that he is a good person?  Well, Jim, I want to thank you for being with us today.  It was such a pleasure to have you on this show.  Thank you so much.

>> JIMMY KRENN: Joyce, it's my honor.  I thank everyone out there for listening.  I appreciate that so much.  I appreciate you, Joyce, for all you do, I really do.  Thanks, Joyce.

>> JOYCE BENDER: We end every show with a quote and today it's the governor.  He said in life, ask yourself this one question:  Is it right?  If it is, do something about it.  This is Joyce Bender, America's voice, where disability matters at VoiceAmerica.com.

Talk to you all next week.



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