David Lee Roth started his first day as heir to a slice of Howard Stern's radio kingdom by saying, "Six a.m. What am I doing on the radio?"

As the four-hour show unfolded Tuesday on WNCX FM/98.5, it became clear Roth had no clue.

His show, originating from New York, was mostly excruciating, sometimes funny. It probably prompted anyone who isn't a die-hard Roth fan to dive for the channel buttons.
CBS Radio, formerly Infinity Broadcasting, divvied Stern's talk-show domain to three people: Roth, the former Van Halen frontman, is heard in Cleveland, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dallas and West Palm Beach, Fla. Rover--morning DJ for Cleveland's WXTM FM/92.3 -- is on in mostly Midwestern cities, and comedian Adam Carolla replaces Stern in selected Western markets.

Roth's first day behind the microphone was filled with illogical ramblings and parental advice from a man who is not a parent. Other than his sole in-studio guest -- his uncle, Manny Roth -- and a handful of call-in listeners and unnamed sidekicks who served as a live laugh track, the show was all Roth. No contests, no skits, no reading from headlines.

The best thing you could say was that he kept things clean.

Roth criticized the poor air quality at Ground Zero in New York, then suggested the site be used for schools, artists and student housing.

He blamed neglectful parents for Federal Communications Commission regulations (guidelines exist because parents don't want to take time to explain sexual behavior to children), overweight kids (parents don't teach kids about dangers of junk food) and AIDS (parents don't teach about condoms).

The show improved in its second half, as Roth interviewed his uncle about his experiences running Cafe Wha? in New York, where many stars of the 1960s performed.

An interview with Roth's flight instructor -- he's learning to fly helicopters -- perked things up.

By 8 a.m., Roth was declaring that being a radio host was a breeze, much easier than dragging oxygen cans up stairs, which he does as an EMS technician.

Unless Roth gets better fast, it's his morning radio gig that will need a whiff of oxygen.
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