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Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts

These radio hosts are a real riot...even if they're not real. Here's our Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts, rounded up and ranked for your reading pleasure.

Neve Robinson

by Neve Robinson in Culture

Last updated 14.08.2023

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Fictional radio hosts are found far and wide across movies, video games, books - heck, even on the radio itself. Much like in the real world, these hosts are the heart and soul of radio, so there's got to be some compelling characters at the helm. And we reckon we've compiled the absolute crème de la crème of fictitious presenters on this very list.

From Dr. Frasier Crane to Dr. Johnny Fever, you'd think this was a list about fictional doctors, but fear not. These are our picks for the Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts ever. Though, er, we can't promise one or two aren't medical professionals.

10. The DJ (The Warriors)

Image shows a still from the film, The Warriors. It's a close-up shot of "The DJ", a black woman is speaking in to a microphone. Her face is partly silhouetted against an orange spotlight in the background. s
"It's a special for the Warriors, that real live bunch from Coney, and I do mean the Warriors."
Okay, boppers. It's got to start somewhere...

Kicking off our Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts list is a cult character from 1979 classic The Warriors, and is a unique entry. Why? Because she doesn't actually have a name, and we only see her lips. Nonetheless, her role is integral to the storyline of the movie - in the gang war, she regularly reports the progress of The Warriors' capture effort to all of the gangs and (us as an audience). It's unsure which gang The DJ has allegiance with, but she's an enigmatic and enthralling announcer, that's for sure. If not a bit vaguely menacing. We think the bangers she plays redeem her slightly for that one, though.

9. Jesse Katsopolis (Full House)

Image shows a scene from the TV show, Full House. The scene shows two white men in a radio studio, sat at a desk. One man is leaning over the desk excitedly and is talking into a microphone. While the other man is resting his head on his album and seemingly asleep.
"We're the Rush-Hour Renegades; what happened to the Lunchtime Lunatics? Well, they quit; they got in a big argument with the Morning Maniacs."
Rush Hour Renegades! Coming Atcha!

Okay, so technically Joey Gladstone qualifies for this entry too, but we're Stamos advocates here, so Jesse wins the title. Indeed, Uncle Jesse was not just the sitcom heartthrob plastered over many a teen's walls - he was also an ace radio host. KFLH 95.6 was the fictional Full House station that was home to 'Rush Hour Renegades', Joey and Jesse's radio show. From Series 6-8 the pair had a humorous hosting dynamic, sort of following the 'morning zoo' format (silly soundboards and all). Listen, if you sprinkle in some radio into some gloriously campy eighties nonsense, we're on board.

8. Three Dog (Fallout Series)

A still from the computer game, Fallout. Image shows the radio DJ Three Do, a black male character, facing head on from the shoulders up.
"What's a disc? Hell if I know, but I'm gonna keep talking anyway."
Because one dog ain't enough, and two is too low, it's me, Three Dog!

Our only video game ranking comes in the form of Three Dog, a name Fallout 3 fans should be no stranger to. He keeps players up to date with all of the mildly terrifying gritty goings-on of the day but chases up these bulletins with a nice Nina Simone song here and there. He's a radio host with charisma and a slightly threatening aura, he's got it all. So should you ever find yourself in Capital Wasteland in a few years (say, 2277?) tune in to Galaxy News Radio. Trust us, he's got a cracking catalogue of post-apocalyptic anthems.

7. Smashie & Nicey (Harry Enfield & Chums)

Image shows a still from the TV show, Smashie & Nicey. Smashie & Nicey are two white men laughing on stage. They are lit by a spotlight against a dark background.
"I'll bet you've got a bit of the womble in you, ain'tcha Nicey?"
(Plays clackers) Olé! I love socks, don’t you? They’re sort of great in a inside-your-er-shoe-yet-outside-your-foot-at-the-same-time type way.

If you're a Brit and have a fondness for sketch shows of yore, Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield should be no strangers to you. Nor should their characters Smashie & Nicey, two radio DJs parodying the outdated BBC Radio 1 hosts of the early nineties. They poked fun at disk jockey spiel of the time, and were not only hysterical, but influential on the real radio landscape too. Enfield's comedic imitation of how Radio 1 was becoming less relevant to young listeners (despite explicitly trying to appeal to them) directly inspired Matthew Bannister's decision to let go of many older radio presenters when he took charge of Radio 1 in 1993. An unintentional but interesting example of how fictitious radio hosts can be so effective that they can affect the real ones!

6. DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy (Do The Right Thing)

Image shows a still from Do The Right Thing. DJ Mister Senor Love Daddy (played by Samuel L Jackson) is looking straight into the camera, whilst talking in to the microphone.
"The world's only twelve-hour strong man on the air, here on WE-LOVE radio, 108 FM."
That's the truth, Ruth!

Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing (1989) is a tragic, political, fascinating social commentary set on a Brooklyn block during a heatwave. It's also really, really funny, and that's down in massive part to Samuel L. Jackson's role as DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy, the neighbourhood's radio DJ. He seems to quite literally work 24/7 - he wakes everybody up at the start of the movie, Mookie then delivers him lunch on air, and he even winds down the evening with his slot. Now that's radio dedication. His character is a testament to how community radio in particular can be a real comfort and presence in people's lives.

5. Cecil Gershwin Palmer (Welcome to Night Vale)

Image shows the illustration for the book, Welcome To Night Vale. A purple circle contains an eye, as well as a radio transmitter, an aerial and phone lines. This purple circle is set against a black background.
“Monday would like you to leave it alone. It's not its fault that you are emotionally unprepared for your professional lives."
I like my coffee like I like my nights: dark, endless, and impossible to sleep through.

Podcasts are home to fictional radio hosts too, you know. Welcome To Night Vale is a refreshingly creative format in which the twice-monthly podcast is a seemingly never-ending linear spooky story. Set in the made-up town of Night Vale, located in a desert area somewhere in the southwestern United States where all sorts of strange, spooky and supernatural events are considered ordinary and everyday. It's basically conspiracy city, and it's such an immersive world that you'll start wondering whether the resident radio host at NVCR Cecil Palmer is real (and if he's lived for 100+ years). We don't know what Cecil looks like or really who he is, and that adds to the mystery of it all. Cecil has a crystal clear creepy radio voice that really leaves us itching for the next instalment.

4. Dr. Johnny Fever (WKRP in Cincinnati)

Image shows a still from the TV show, WKRP in Cincinnati. Image shows a white, middle-aged man from the shoulders up, Johnny Fever, looking directly at the camera against a blue background..
"No, I try not to have any ideas. They only lead to complications."
I am not a role model. I'm a radio DJ.

An oft-forgotten gem of a show, all of the fictional radio hosts in sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati more than qualified for this list. But we chose Dr. Johnny Fever, the mustachioed veteran disk jockey who drew parallels to real-life radio legend Skinny Bobby Harper. He's a confident, smooth-talking radio powerhouse with a flair for controversy. He got fired from his impressive L.A. radio slot for arguably the most salacious reason of all: saying "booger" live on air. A rock'n'roll advocate, you'd never catch the good doctor spinning any disco on his show, lest he "throw himself in front of Donna Summer's tour bus". Sorry Dr., you're brilliant, but dissing Donna is sacrilegious in our books.

3. John Shuttleworth

Image shows the character, John Shuttleworth, leaning back and looking at the camera with an odd expression of intrigue on his face.
"The funniest word? Tuna mayonnaise"
The Earth may be dying, but there's still some lovely people knocking about.

When Graham Fellows (aka novelty punk prince Jilted John created the John Shuttleworth character in 1986, he likely didn't know what a hit the character would be among radio listeners. It all gets a bit meta really - Radio Shuttleworth, for example, is a radio show about a fictional radio show. Shuttleception if you will. Fellows is so gifted at his vocal characterisation that he's introduced a myriad of Shuttleworth family members and supporting characters into the mix, so convincing even that we often forget that his wife Mary isn't a real person. The nerdy and endearingly eccentric Shuttleworth dreams of making it in music, but unfortunately his PSS portable keyboard skills aren't quite there yet. Still, 'Pigeons In Flight' is an undeniable tune. Sheffield's biggest musical act? Pulp? Arctic Monkeys? ABC? Nah, Shuttleworth for sure.

2. Dr. Frasier Crane (Frasier)

Image shows a still of the character Frasier, from the show of the same name. Frasier is a white man in his 30s or 40s. He's wearing a white shirt and red tie, is sitting at a desk and talking in to a microphone whilst wearing headphones.
"Good grief! Have you ever in your life heard such a bunch of whiny, provincial crybabies?"
I will not have you turning a minor, albeit annoying situation into a Martin Scorsese film!

Not only is Dr. Frasier Crane one of the funniest sitcom characters of all time, he's one of the best radio hosts, too. The Cheers character changed quite drastically when he landed his own show, but maybe for the better. His psychotherapy-cum-talkshow garnered quite the fanbase, and in turn had many an anxious caller-in asking Frasier for advice. Though ironically, often the events in Frasier's erratic life echoed that of his callers' pleas. Even his brother Niles substituted for him a few times (though, er, with varying levels of success). Frasier's voice was radio gold and he was an asset to KACL. Though we're not sure it quite beat Bulldog's The Gonzo Sports Show. Ha. Frasier would hate us saying that.

1. Alan Partridge

Image shows the character, Alan Partridge, wearing a blue short sleeve suit jacket and holding his arms out. Patridge, a white man in his 40s or 50s, is on the red carpet, and a small crowd is behind him looking in the other direction.
Smell my cheese, you mother!

Coming in at the coveted number one spot for the Top Fictional Radio Host (and not just in Norfolk) could it have been anyone else? Alan Partridge is perhaps the most iconic radio host in history, fictional or not. Steve Coogan's character is tactless, washed-up, has an inflated ego and lacks any modicum of self-awareness...and he's 'ruddy' hilarious for it. His often mortifyingly cringe radio quips establish him as a terrible radio host but a memorable one, and isn't that really all that matters? Partridge has tackled radio, TV, literature and even charity appeals, so maybe he really is the celebrity he thinks he is. And as radio hosts go, he's got quite the accomplished music taste - after all, his favourite Beatles album is The Best Of The Beatles. Partridge, we love and hate you in equal measures.

Thoughts On Our Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts?

Did our Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts disappoint? We hope not, but we do somewhat expect the rallying cries of Parks & Recreation fans in the comments for a certain couple of shock jocks. We're braced and ready, so let us know across our socials what you think of our Top 10 Fictional Radio Hosts. We want to know, *for real*.

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