BROCKET 99 – Reservation Radio (1986 comedy tape)
If you grew up in Canada in the 1980s, there is a chance you may have heard of Brocket 99. This was an underground comedy tape that made the rounds in trading circles back in the day, and if you heard it, it was probably some lo-fi later generation copy. Fair warning: there are some out there who find Brocket 99 very offensive. It’s a spoof of a native radio station on a reservation in Alberta, Canada.
The host of said radio station is “Ernie Scar”, played by creator Tim Hitchner, who also played most of the guests on the show. Every other song that Ernie Scar plays is by AC/DC (sometimes two in a row), though the best tune is “Kaw-Liga” by Hank Williams Jr. The station ads usually involve alcohol in some way. There are ads for Lysol spray (to get “ripped”) and Dr. Scholl’s foot powder (just put some in your moccasin). Other contributors to the program include “Franklin Born With a Tooth”, and “Harley Squirrel Nuts”.
Obviously, in this country, the rights and well-being of native communities is a critical issue. Teen suicides are only getting worse in native communities and their voices are not being heard. I have long stood up for our native people, knowing full well their tragic history. You may wonder, fairly so, how I can listen to this tape. I believe the tape is clearly an over-the-top parody. I don’t think it was created out of hate, though Hitchner had to remain anonymous for years until his death in 2011. It seems more like a pastiche from somebody who’s familiar with these kinds of radio stations. I’m sure a lot of this originated in Hitchner listening to reservation radio stations in his youth. Radio people like Hitchner check out everything on the airwaves. Much is just plain funny, regardless of the ethnic slant. After “Kaw-Liga”, Ernie Scar proclaims “I fucking love that song”. And now, thanks to Brocket 99, I do too. One AC/DC track (guess which one) ends with Ernie advising to “Take your dink and sink it in the pink!” Not everything is good, but some is.
Whatever your stance on this form of comedy tape may be, I remain torn. Some is legitimately funny. Instead of judging, I’ll leave this one up to you.