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Lionel
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Let’s first get to the oft-asked question: What’s with the name “Lionel”? Lionel what? No last name? Nope. Mononymous, like God. Get over it.

The nom de radio actually comes from Al Pacino’s character in the 1973 film classic “Scarecrow.” Why? Simple. Ben-Hur was taken.

A native New Yorker born elsewhere, Lionel has been performing spoken word (radio, podcasting, stand-up comedy, aggressive whispering) for over 25 years (113 dog years).

Don’t even try labeling him, his politics or his ideology as such is for naught: The polymath Lionel is the quintessence of sui generis. He has a black belt in Realpolitik and answers to political atheist. While just out of college he was a District Aide to Florida U.S. Senator Richard (Dick) Stone and then worked on his statewide campaign. As Lionel is wont to say: “Stone was the only Senator with his Dick in parentheses.” (You had to be there.)

Carol Channing scares Lionel as does the size of Lincoln’s ears.

He implores and entreats his audience to critically think and analyze, to parse topics and peel the layers of the issue onion. He insists that his audience be fearless in asking any questions about anything.

The stylishly barbate Lionel loathes trite shibboleths, playbook and bumper sticker labels as well as restless leg syndrome.

Lionel started as a mere radio caller whilst in law school in his home town of Tampa (cf. Tampa Bay) and was given his own talk radio show in 1988 on 970 WFLA – a weekend show (Sunday, no less). For reasons yet to be fathomed, he then jumped to middays, then afternoon drive all in less than a year. The rest is . . . well, you know the line.

Lionel was a Florida “MASH unit” prosecutor in every division of the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office and then he jumped ship, found Jesus and shifted to criminal defense trial lawyer. So when a legal issue needs dissecting, who’s better to consult?

Lionel hosted his own show "Snap Judgment" on Court TV and has appeared as a guest on virtually every news commentary show. Then again, who hasn’t?
In talk radio Lionel’s “committed” afternoon drive in Tampa on 970 WFLA-AM, morning and afternoon drive in New York on the heritage 77 WABC-AM, evenings in New York on yet another historic station 710 WOR-AM and then mornings and middays on Air America Media.

He broadcast on perhaps the first Internet radio station ever on eYada.com and was nationally syndicated on Premier Radio and Rex Broadcasting. He provided daily commentary on New York’s WCBS 880 Radio during President Clinton’s impeachment proceedings and takes credit for the Senate’s failure to convict.

Lionel’s performed standup comedy throughout the tri-state area for years and plays a respectably wicked rhythm and flatpicking guitar in his bluegrass trio “Lock ‘n Load.” The immaculate twang of bluegrass meets spoken word.

He produced a CD in 1996 considered by some to be the greatest recording of its kind in recorded history: You Don’t Look Like You Sound (1996, Music Masters/BMG). N.B. “Of its kind.”

He advocates the criminalization of men wearing sandals with socks as well as backpacks on subways. He’s a proud logodaedalus, sesquipedalian and accomplished manualist (channeling his performance artist hero, the great Le Pétomane) and he often goes to bed without saying goodbye.

He emphasizes the absurd and recondite and there’s a lot to emphasize. He has often said that he’d rather be the editorial cartoon than the editorial.
Politics, music, popular culture deconstruction and decoding, memetics, numismatics, name it – Lionel will tackle the issue. Talk radio, spoken word and commentary in general are supposed to be fun, last time Lionel checked; that’s why he never listens to it. He’s the Harold Stassen of talk entertainment. For revamped, rejuvenated, retrofitted and reinvented talk radio, Lionel is where to go.

He has consistently been the Number One rated talk host during his time period and day part in New York. Talkers Magazine, the talk radio industry journal, listed him in the HEAVIEST HUNDRED: The 100 most important radio talk show hosts of all time. Lionel was honored by his inclusion in the Talkers inaugural 2013 Frontier Fifty described as “A selection of outstanding Talk Media Webcasters” for his pioneering efforts in spoken word podcasting.
Lionel is the author of “Everyone’s Crazy Except You and Me . . . And I’m Not So Sure About You” (Hyperion).

Lionel’s been a legal analyst, commentator and an excruciatingly early morning anchor on New York’s PIX 11 News and is a regular featured guest on TV, radio and shortwave shows of all types. And as they say on QVC, but wait, there’s more. The twice Emmy® nominated Lionel also provides a relentless stream of audio and video podcasts on his website LionelMedia.com.

There isn’t a day that goes buy where Lionel isn't stopped on the street and not reminded by a faithful viewer and L-Train fan of his signature valedictory: Comment as you see fit! And do they ever.

And when it comes to the lecture circuit and public speaking, Demosthenes himself would weep at Lionel’s command of the mother tongue and his hypnotic death grip on an audience.

Lionel detests magicians and mimes, and in his free time Lionel enjoys spelunking, horology and making haggis for friends. But that’s a joke because he’s a vegan. Hardcore. Plant-based, Sparky.

Newsweek called Lionel “[a]n intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor.” (April 23, 2007)

This quote from the legendary record producer Jerry Wexler perhaps says it best.

“He wears the mantle of Lenny Bruce, with Lenny’s own tropisms: The Oblique, The Irreverent, The Tangential, The Concupiscent, The Polymorphous Perverse, The Arcane, The Numinous. And yet Lionel brings to the table his own savory: A love of the mother tongue and a gonzo vocabulary that puts his logo on all his works, whether talk-show hosting, standup-comic spritzing, or hanging out – with himself a minor art form.”


He’s married and lives in New York with his beloved wife.

(Contains gluten but GMO free.)

Entries by Lionel

Leave Monica Lewinsky Alone!

(6) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 7:26 PM

Monica Lewinsky reemerged in the media this week and my heart breaks for her over the hell and trauma that a girl of 21 had to endure. And that she must be reliving today. She was the butt of cruel and horrible jokes. REPEAT: And she was only 21! There...

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Olfactory Terror at 36K Feet

(1) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 1:01 PM

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Christmas Day. The Crotch Bomber. Fruit of the Boom. It was in all the papers. Airline terrorists certainly pose a significant risk and have again captured our attention and justifiably so. Authorities are more vigilant than ever to screen, search and perhaps profile airline passengers for the...

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Gelt For Geezers: Obama's New Healthcare Plan

(3) Comments | Posted August 11, 2009 | 9:43 AM

The natives are restless and royally PO'd. Remember when the term "town hall meeting" inspired a Norman Rockwell vision: peaceful, good-natured and respectful citizens politely addressing an assembly, raising their hands meekly, waiting their turn to be called? Those days have gone the way of, well, Norman Rockwell.

Nope. Now...

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Olbermann Versus O'Reilly: It's a Shoot

(22) Comments | Posted August 4, 2009 | 10:36 AM

On July 31st, the New York Times ran a story entitled "Voices From Above Silence a Cable TV Feud," detailing the almost pathological and utterly boundless mutual abhorrence that MSNBC's Keith Olbermann shares with and for Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. (For purposes of brevity, these two gentleman shall...

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Gatesgate: They've All Got It Wrong.

(63) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 11:58 AM

When Henry Louis (Skip) Gates Jr. was arrested by Cambridge Police Department Sgt. James Crowley on July 16th, it was a glorious day for talk radio and commentary in general because it dealt with everyone's favorite subject: race. No subject invigorates national discussion like it, especially when the subjects included:...

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Why Rush and The Right Are Blameless For The DC Shooting

(31) Comments | Posted June 15, 2009 | 1:30 PM

James W. von Brunn, the 88-year-old white supremacist alleged to have opened fire on June 10 at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, killing 39-year-old security guard Stephen Johns, is and was nuts. The insane von Brunn, as of today in critical condition at George Washington University Hospital after being...

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The Hangover: Proof Humor Is Dead. D'oh!

(31) Comments | Posted June 10, 2009 | 12:03 PM

Let me state this unequivocally and in terms that fans of this dreck will understand. The Hangover sucks.

This is the worst movie that has received the most attention. A movie written for children. Retarded, short-bus, bicycle helmet, severely mentally-compromised kids. It's "written" for simpletons who find South Park deep....

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Obama in Cairo: The Immutable Sapience of the Good Book(s)

(2) Comments | Posted June 5, 2009 | 12:10 PM

I was most impressed with the president's June 4th address at Cairo University in Egypt wherein he, I absolutely feel, assuaged the fears of many Muslims who question the intentions of the United States. And after eight years of Dubya, why shouldn't they have questions?

Obama spoke eloquently about the...

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Stop Repeating and Retelling What Rush Says!

(41) Comments | Posted May 31, 2009 | 10:01 PM

I have a simple question for non-conservative Tweetsters, Tweetrices, bloggers, bloggettes and the like: Why do you track, note and reiterate every idiotic statement uttered and belched by Rush, Sean or Beck? Seriously. Why? Have you nothing better to say? Have you no spokespeople or pundits that you'd like to...

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I Hate Hate Crimes

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2009 | 6:33 PM

Hate crime. Hate crime. It's redundant. Almost tautological. And now an indelible addition to our national lexicon. I hate and loathe the concept as it is patently unconstitutional, un-American and antithetical to a quintessential right -- the freedom to hate, loathe, despise and detest anything or anyone.

It's a popular...

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I Know of a Springsteen Cover Band Available for Weddings

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2009 | 9:52 AM

Did you see this? Am I the only one who finds this hysterical?

First, I'm sure you heard of the "Craigslist Murderer," creepy Philip Markoff, currently cooling his heels sans bond in a Beantown hoosegow for allegedly murdering a "masseuse" he met online. He's being held for murder. Repeat: MURDER....

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The NY Air Force One Flyover: Plane Stupid

(2) Comments | Posted April 28, 2009 | 12:45 PM

Fine. So the "plane" pun has been used a thousand times since yesterday. Once more's not going to kill you. Get over it.

But really, what's the big deal? Just because the Director of the White House Military Office, Louis Caldera, authorized a Manhattan flyover of Air Force One, tailed...

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Jumbo Jets Tax Jumbo Passengers

(5) Comments | Posted April 25, 2009 | 11:06 AM

I'd like to discuss the "rights" of the obese. It was reported that airlines will charge more when tubbies find it hard to be seated and situated on airline flights. "United Airlines says it will start charging passengers who can't fit in a single seat, can't properly buckle the seat...

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The "Comedy" Of Mocking The Teabaggers

(2) Comments | Posted April 24, 2009 | 6:04 PM

Get thee to a "punitentiary."

It was a field day for the South Parkers. Tea bag? (Snort.) Get it? Hardy-har-har. Tea bags. Every testicular-nuanced, jejune "comedy" aficionado couldn't believe her ears. In fact, not only did most of the tea bag party attendees not get the sexual references, they didn't...

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He's Not "The Craigslist Killer." He's a Killer. Period.

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2009 | 12:38 PM

On April 14, a Boston med student, Philip Markoff, is alleged to have murdered "masseuse" Julissa Brisman, 26, whom he met on a Craigslist advert. Said murder was alleged to have been committed in a Boston Marriott Hotel room. On April 10, he is also alleged to have committed armed...

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What Would You Not Do to Stop a Nuke?

(90) Comments | Posted April 21, 2009 | 6:21 PM

Assume, arguendo, this hypothetical.

It is Inauguration day. President Obama is about to be sworn is as 44. Virtually everyone in federal office is there. Congressmen, Senators, the Supremes, the new cabinet. Get the picture? You, a federal law enforcement type, have in your custody a man who you reasonably...

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Stevens: Justice Was Served (Damn!)

(3) Comments | Posted April 10, 2009 | 11:52 AM

Former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is irascible, choleric and was the longest serving Republican in the Senate. He rarely smiles and is the personification of the old fart and royal pain in the arse. He's 112 years old and pulls the wings off of butterflies. Mother Teresa would've slapped him...

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Note To Spitzer: Gremilns?!

(2) Comments | Posted April 8, 2009 | 5:39 PM

First, I don't think it was a matter of "gremlins" that lured former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer to become Client 9 with $4K-a-night trollop, Ashley Dupre. No, not gremlins. Demons, maybe. Testosterone perhaps. Satyriasis is my uneducated guess. Gremlins?!

There are no excuses," he said. "I have tried to...
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We Are Our Memories

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2009 | 12:55 PM

What is a memory? Where's its locus? Where is it situated? The New York Times addresses the subject today in an article entitled "Brain Researchers Open Door to Editing Memory."

How on earth can a clump of tissue possibly capture and store everything -- poems, emotional reactions, locations of...
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The G-20 Protesters Are Rebels Without a Clue

(6) Comments | Posted April 2, 2009 | 6:02 PM

"What are you rebelling against?" Johnny (Marlon Brando) is asked by the innocent and shy Kathie in The Wild One.

"What have you got?" he replies.

How many of the G-20 protesters know what they're protesting for and about? Come on, it's about the party.

Oh, sure. I'll bet there...

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