‘Bubbapalooza’ to sponge up the laughs for City of Champions

February 19th, 2010 by


The Pittsburgh region will reap yet one more reward for the Steelers’ winning the Super Bowl earlier this year.

The victory over the Arizona Cardinals earned us a concert from trash-talking shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge®. “Bubbapalooza” lays siege Saturday to the Palace Theatre in Greensburg.

“This is unlike anything we’ve ever done,” Bubba says. “This is a free show, because I vowed to my listeners that whatever team won the Super Bowl gets a free Bubbapalooza.” The brawny Bubba rankled censors for years on terrestrial radio before Clear Channel Communications fired him in 2004 after Congress put pressure on radio to clean up its act.

After two years in limbo, Howard Stern stepped up to offer Bubba his own show on Sirius-XM Radio’s channel Howard 101. “The Bubba the Love Sponge® Show” airs 3 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. He also hosts a morning show carried on several terrestrial Florida stations.

Nearly 1,000 tickets to Saturday’s show have been given away to callers to the radio show.

He was born Todd Clem in Indiana but legally changed his name to Bubba the Love Sponge® Clem in 1999. He also trademarked the name. His radio show is a scrum of locker-room put-downs, celebrity interviews and adult humor. A recent guest on the show was Pittsburgh native, wrestler and Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, whose recent legal troubles have overshadowed his accomplishments. The show also has followed the legal travails of Hulk Hogan.

“I think it’s the nature of the beast,” Bubba says. “I think anybody that’s in the limelight will have legal problems.”

Bubba’s own legal problems included animal cruelty charges when he slaughtered a wild boar on the air during the airing of a segment titled “Roadkill Barbecue.” He was acquitted after pointing out that the animal was legally trapped.

As for the show, well, what you hear on the radio is what you’ll see, he says.

“I can’t promise you that it won’t be too gross and over the top. But that’s our listeners. And we pretty much do a kind of dual rendition of what we do on the air. We beat each other up. We tell dirty jokes. We sing dirty songs.

“It’s like Donny and Marie meets Jerry Springer meets ‘Jackass,’ with a little bit of spoken-word methamphetamine.”

Bubbapalooza is sold out, but tickets still are being given away on the air. Some last-minute tickets may be available the day of the show.

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