15 Things You Didn’t Know About Jim Zippo

We have a lot of unique characters here at 98.7 KLUV.  From Bernie Mack to John Summers; from Rebekah Black to Peter Z to Jenny Q. One of the more interesting people we have here is Jim Zippo.  We’ll be honest, we think this list could be 30 items long, but we asked Zippo to keep it to the 15 best.  From Top secret clearance to Quentin Tarantino he’s interesting.

Here’s Jim Zippo with his 15 Things You Didn’t Know:

1. I am not related to the Zippo lighter company, but I have done some fun promotions with them.  No, I don’t smoke.


2. I know Chuck Norris personally.  So don’t mess with me.  Talk to the boot.

3. I once broadcast a radio show live from Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania, Romania! Yes, the actual location.  Elvira, Mistress of the Dark was a guest on the show.

4. I was a contestant on THE GONG SHOW (around 1976) with Chuck Barris…the singing shark. Jim Zippo & the Seaweeds. I was the first TRIPLE GANG GONG…by Peter Lawford, Susan George, and Rip Taylor!

(The sample Gong Show photo is not of me, but I was even stranger)

5. I had a .45rpm record called “The 400 Mile Gas Line”, that was number one (!) on Dr.Demento’s “Funny Five” countdown.

6. I’ve always been surrounded with unusual pets. Here’s a photo of my mom sleeping with 3 pets: a cat, a raccoon, and a dog.

7. In fact (continued from #6), at one time I had pet kangaroos named Matilda and Rocky.

8.I am married to a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader (the lovely Lori Zippo) and our 20th anniversary is coming Jan.11th, 2012. We have 3 fantastic kids together.

9. In the US Air Force, I learned Russian, Chinese, Morse code, and was trained to type 70 words a minute. Also had a Top Secret Security clearance, tracking possible terrorist flight messages.  I could tell you more but I’d have to…well, you get the idea.

10. I am an avid film memorabilia collector; Quentin Tarantino made a sizeable purchase from my collection. (SEE CHECK!)

11. I am originally from Lake Arrowhead, California.  This picture is of me with my brother Marc in the snow, probably 1963.  I’m the taller one with the dark hair.

12. I was great friends with Wolfman Jack.  We did several network radio shows together, and we did oldies cruises in the Caribbean many times.  I was greatly saddened to hear of his sudden passing in 1995.  Radio still needs him.

13. I hosted a late night TV show called FILMS FROM THE FUNDIMENSION in Dallas 1986-87 on Channel 39.  I dressed as Video Pirate, and my sidekick was Fred The Gorilla.  It was a lot like Mystery Science Theatre 3000.   Except with a gorilla.  And with me dressed like Johnny Depp.

14. I hold the world handshaking record: 8,515 shakes in one day (KFXM, San Bernardino, Ca. ’76).

15. My first radio job was in 1974, KFXM San Bernardino, California, morning drive dj.   So I don’t have to say “4 decades of the Zip Dude” until 2014. Whewww.

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