The shock-jock craze of the '90s may have been spearheaded by Howard Stern, but he was far from the only one in the limelight; among his most prominent competitors was Chicago's Mancow, who tempered the crude humor, aggressive putdowns, and outrageous stunts typical of the genre with an opinionated, Bible-thumping populism. Born Matthew Erich Muller in Kansas City in 1967 (usually going by his middle name), Mancow worked as a child model and appeared in numerous theater productions (one of his college majors). His radio career began at age 18 when he was hired at a small AM station in Warrensburg, MO. After working his way up to his own afternoon show, he moved on to larger FM stations in Kansas City (where he hosted his first morning show in 1989), Monterey, CA (where he was fired for saying the word "ass" on the air), and the San Francisco Bay Area. It was there that Mancow pulled off the stunt that made him a hot commodity: in response to the news story that President Clinton had shut down an airport runway in Los Angeles to receive a haircut aboard Air Force One, Mancow got a haircut on the Bay Bridge, causing a huge traffic jam and resulting in his arrest. The stunt made headlines nationwide and Mancow soon received an offer to move to Chicago and take over the morning show on WRCX. "Mancow's Morning Madhouse" debuted in July 1994 and within a year was the top-rated morning show in Chicago, beating out even Howard Stern. Beginning in 1995, he won the Billboard magazine Radio Personality of the Year award three years in a row; his show grew more and more popular in national syndication (beginning in 1997), and he began making frequent appearances on daytime and nighttime talk shows. In 1995, Mancow released the first of several CDs documenting some of his best comedy bits, Box of Sharpies; Fat Boy Pizza Breasts followed the next year. In the summer of 1998, Mancow jumped to rival station WKQX in a deal that made him Chicago's richest-ever radio personality; he also issued another CD, The One Eyed Man Is King, which was followed by the self-released White Cotton Panties in 1999. In 2001, the FCC began to crack down on Mancow's on-air antics, fining him several times in the span of just a few months; by the following year, his syndicated show had begun to take a small downturn in popularity. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi