Ask radio star Mike "Cowhead'' Calta what he wants for his birthday, and he'll tell you what he doesn't want.
Anything with a cow on it. He probably already has it.
Instead, try a six-pack of Budweiser, his drink of choice, or something even more appropriate, like a cane or Grecian Formula.
Yes, though he might not act like it, the radio jock is turning 40.
To celebrate, the star of the afternoon drive-time Cowhead Show on WHPT-FM (102.5 The Bone) is hosting a 40th birthday party Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Much like his radio show, he promises fun and surprises — plus "a lot of drinking.'' His favorite band, the Mooks, and his own band, Pitbull Toddler, will perform.
From his home in Land O'Lakes, Calta spoke with tbt* about turning the big 4-0, surviving in radio and hanging out with Charlie Sheen before his pretty horrible show in Tampa.
First off, happy birthday! So, do you embrace birthdays?
I normally don't care but this one is a little bit different because now my age is catching up to my hairline.
Any plans for your 40s?
I don't know. I'm very unhealthy, and I'd like to try to stay alive to 50. I think I'm going to have another kid. I should probably do that pretty soon.
So what was it like interviewing Charlie Sheen?
Charlie was surprisingly normal. He was sober. I thought he would be a lot more chaotic than he was. The show itself was a mess. It had no structure to it. He didn't even want to be there. It was interesting. That's going to be a major part of entertainment history, and I have my own little notch in it.
Any lasting fallout from your joking about Roger Ebert's cancer?
No. Most of the people in my listening audience recognize that a lot of the things I say are meant to be funny, not hurtful. Then someone will write about it, and two people will hate me for about two days, and then they are back to loving me on the third day.
With all the changes happening in the media these days, how do you keep your job in radio?
One thing that's remained consistent is that people like to be entertained. I concentrate on trying to do the funniest, most entertaining show I can every day while people are stuck in miserable traffic. That's been my one goal and, thank God, it seems to be working.
How are things going with your band?
This thing is ridiculous. What started out as, "Hey, we should do this," has turned into almost a part-time job. We're booked through the end of the year. We're in high demand, and I've had to tone it back because between work and the band I'm not getting to see my son much.
You've got the fifth annual Cowhead Cruise coming up next month. What kind of craziness happens?
It's insane. It's like there's no boundaries. We broke three speed boats two years ago. They give you an excursion where you can rent speed boats and it turned into a giant race between me, Bert (comedian Bert Kreischer) and Galvin (from the Bone crew). All three of our boats had to be rescued from the middle of the ocean. Galvin grounded his boat. My boat hit Bert's boat. We were a mess — and we were sober.
Did you get your deposit back?
No, no. We ended up having to pay. Thank God it was a lot cheaper in Mexico.
How do you think your 40s will be different from your 30s?
I imagine that things will be exactly the same. … I'm still sitting around at home playing video games. I spent most of the morning trying to find those naked photos of Scarlett Johansson that were released on the Internet. I can't imagine that's going to change.