I’m ‘Cousin Elmo’

Chances are radio broadcasting’s done with me — so I feel free now to share my little secret: I’m ‘Cousin Elmo.’

As a young disc jockey in the latter part of the 70’s, I thought it disingenuous to learn that some of the talented people I worked with in the radio biz, used ‘fake names.’ Later I realized it was simply a hold-over from the golden days of Hollywood, where actors’ used ‘stage names.’

That’s tradition for you.

About a decade or so into my ‘so-called’ career, as it were, a program director decided I should use the moniker, ‘Tom Cook.’ However, during my first air-shift alone, I couldn’t for the life of me recall that name – so I stuck with my real name.

Looking back, that may have been a mistake as for years I used a make-believe character by the name of ‘Cousin Elmo,’ as my foil. He could say things considered politically incorrect and I, of course, would repeat them.

A strong opinion’s always been a dangerous thing in a public forum.

Today, I often use ‘Cousin Elmo’ – this fake persona — to say shit that might otherwise get me kicked off social media permanently. The amazing thing is that ‘Cousin Elmo’s’ comments are often more popular than anything I have to say under my real name.

I think I’m jealous of the guy!


Published by

Tom Darby

Former radio personality and newspaper reporter

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