What’s the First Thing You Ever Made, Matthew Amster-Burton?

Before Spilled Milk, I had very limited radio experience. In the mid-90s, I read the morning news with my friend Dave on our college radio station. The program manager warned us that cracking up while reading news was strictly prohibited. Somehow we managed to comply with this edict, even though we gravitated toward the stupidest news-of-the-weird headlines possible. The headlines literally came clattering off a dot-matrix printer, and after we read the news and our microphone was turned off, we collapsed into hysterics.

Long before that, however, when I was seven or eight, I would curl up in my room with a cheap cassette deck and record my own “radio” show. Thankfully, it was broadcast to no one other than my parents. I don’t remember any of the actual content of my show, although I’m sure it was inspired by (that is, lifted wholesale from) Rick Dees’ Weekly Top 40, which debuted around the same time. All I remember is thinking that if I wanted to make a real radio show, it would have to have commercials. So I made a Jell-O commercial. It went like this:

Snookberry Jell-O!
Snookberry Jell-O!
All the world loves snookberry Jell-O!
Snookberry Jell-O is the one to buy
Six cents apiece–that’s why

I really hope those tapes self-destructed, Mission Impossible-style. But I did teach my eight-year-old daughter the Snookberry Jell-O song, because somebody has to keep the old standards alive.

Matthew Amster-Burton is the author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater. Join Matthew and Spilled Milk co-host Molly Wizenberg in a discussion with Langdon Cook on March 22 at 6pm.