Video: Mr. Leonard on the Buzzard Morning Zoo
Earlier that September ’85 morning on the Buzzard Morning Zoo, head zookeeper Jeff Kinzbach made mention of an anti-depressant with an unusual side effect. Some users experienced an orgasm while yawning. That story was referenced throughout the morning show, including this phone call from assistant public service director Mr. Leonard.
Mr. Leonard was one of the most popular characters on the Buzzard Morning Zoo. He was billed as the “assistant public service director” of WMMS, never showed up for work, and all of his bits were done on the phone. The Mr. Leonard character had a high-pitched voice, gave bad advice, and would do virtual interviews in the role of eccentric caller or, ultimately, sidekick. When he called in during a celebrity interview, he’d always ask, “How much money do you make?” He was irreverent, smart, and made a lot of wel0-deserved money.
I first heard Mr. Leonard on John Lander’s top-rated morning show at KKBQ/Houston, a rival station to KSRR (K-Star), which Malrite had recently acquired from Cap Cities/ABC. The character was the creation of John Carrillo who went by the on-air name of John Rio on KKBQ. I was impressed enough to steal Rio, who was not under contract at KKBQ, for our station. Under a separate deal, he was already doing morning show bits for Scott Shannon at Z-100/New York, which Malrite also owned, and this put him firmly in our camp. Suits and countersuits between KSRR and KKBQ followed and were quickly settled and Rio relocated from Houston to Cleveland in late 1986.
Also featured in this video: Ed “Flash” Ferenc, Len “Boom” Goldberg, and Captain Kenny Clean.