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Steve Post is gone, but where is the Enema Lady?

The New York Times has a graceful obituary for Steve Post, talk radio host at WNYC-FM and before that for Pacifica station WBAI in New York City. I listened to Post endlessly on ‘BAI in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and like many others I read his book Playing in the FM Band: A Personal Account of Free Radio (pdf version here).

Some will squirm at my bringing this up, but I can’t resist reminiscing about Post’s Saturday night show The Outside and his famous call-in discussions with an anonymous listener who came to be characterized as “The Enema Lady.” “She had a list of topics to discuss,” Post recalled in his autobiography, “and proceeded to plunge” [insert chuckle here] “right into them. All were at least vaguely anally oriented, and they culminated in a cross-referenced list of scatological passages from the Bible.”


An early WBAI marathon; photo from Playing in the FM Band. From left to right “an anonymous skull,” then Steve Post, Bob Fass, Frank Millspaugh, and the back of Dale Minor’s head. Photo by Paul Busby.

These discussions gradually morphed into dedicated conversations about enema use, for which, it became clear, Post’s call-in guest was an evangelist. “Listener response to the Enema Lady was overwhelming and decisive,” Post wrote:

“Many could be not believe that she was for real, but those who did reacted in no uncertain terms—they either loved her or hated her. Some cancelled their subscriptions to the station, and a few even threatened to (and did) complain to the Federal Communications Commission; others sought desperately to find out who she was and make contact with her—she was their teacher, school nurse, or neighborhood nut, and I must have been asked ten thousand times if she was a put-on.”

Post was, of course, accused of broadcasting in bad taste, and offered this response in his defense:

“In the end (you will pardon the expression), I believe the Enema Lady’s frank and good-humored revelations were a positive force in encouraging others to participate later in more serious radio discussions of their life styles. Certainly, it must be said, she set an on-the-air standard for ‘letting it all hang out’.”

Steve Post, 1944-2004, rest in peace.

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0 Responses to Steve Post is gone, but where is the Enema Lady?

  1. Louie Johnson August 5, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Mr. Post (as he demanded to be addressed by his listeners for awhile) was so much fun to listen to, and his exchanges with his regular callers, such as The Enema Lady, were priceless. I recall one particular Sunday night when she instructed the listeners to go into the NYC subway stations and write on the walls – one letter on each 4″ square tile. Her message was “Give yourself a lovely, warm enema.” About 6 hours later I made a rare subway trip from New Jersey to the city to take my Third Class Radio Operator’s license test at the FCC office on Varrick Street. As I was walking up the steps from the train to the street, there it was on the walls, just as The Enema Lady had instructed. It was at that point I realized the true power of radio and broadcasters like Steve Post.
    I moved to Maine 28 years ago, and when the internet became available did frequent searches to find what Steve Post was doing. I also saw him on CBS Sunday Morning being interviewed about his Classical Morning Music show on WNYC. I have collected every available No Show from the WNYC website, and I treasure them.
    I was very sad to learn of his passing, and am very happy he was a big part of my life.

    • Micky February 15, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      What ever became of Guru Lou?

  2. Jerry Drawhorn August 6, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    There were a whole slew of “Sex Talk” shows on radio and Late Night TV (Dr. Ruth, anyone) during the early 70’s…they were careful about not using the “list” or keeping it fairly technical (or relationship oriented). But these all seemed to end in the ’80’s when the FCC came out with their broad “No sexual or excretory acts or organs” ruling.

    Morning jocks and right wing political pundits still seemed to get close, or cross the line ~ remember that Rush Limbaugh said “I may be wrong … Lindsey Graham is certainly close enough to [John McCain] to die of anal poisoning”hitting both the sexual and excretory limits in one foul stroke. He used that phrase several times over the next few years (Gordon Brown and Obama; Terry McAuliffe to Hillary Clinton; David Letterman), broadcast on his over 500 affiliates, most in the daytime hours. Didn’t get a slap on the wrist from the FCC.

  3. chuck reinsch August 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    Admired Post (and, dare I say the name, Fass) from afar (Seattle) when the rare tape made it our way. The Enema Lady did not “yank my chain”, but Marshall Effron’s ventures into the absurd could be sublimely surreal. Appearances by the talking duck, and the stoned listeners ready acceptance of the vision, became a kind of model for taking said listeners on an unlikely trip. Eventually the last 83 seconds of Effron’s “Nutrino News Network sing-off” was incorporated into my own, so that FM listeners could experience the wonders of AM ionospheric skip.

  4. Elvis2U May 24, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    I only became aware of Steve’s death today, (May 24 2016). Like many of his listeners I felt connected to him as if he were a personal friend in some way. I was reading some of the tributes on the Web and came across this quote from him, “Just when you think you scraped the bottom, you’ve just scratched the surface.” I have been using that expression for years and could never recall where I picked it up from until now. If I can recall a line uttered by Steve one night when the theme of the show was death, “May you have a long a healthy death!”

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