Talk radio host Michael Savage has written a surprising new book. “Teddy and Me: Confessions of a Service Human” arrives on bookshelves Tuesday, chronicling the man’s friendship with Teddy, an 11-pound, 12-year-old poodle who is with him during every daily broadcast. The gray, curly-locked pup has much wisdom and perspective, according to Mr. Savage, who says Teddy “has always been my friend and always been there for me.”
Though he dwells on his canine soulmate, the author has included previously private vignettes from his life that help explain why 10 million weekly listeners tune in to hear him. Mr. Savage reveals he has a true calling for talk radio, dating back to an early childhood in a Bronx tenement.
He became very “articulate” in order to communicate with his severely disabled younger brother — and as a way to comfort his bereft mother.
“I became an entertainer for my mother. I would imitate people. I would put on faces. I would make sounds and noises and I’d wipe the tears away. She would stop crying. She would smile,” Mr. Savage recalled, noting that he relished speaking before a crowd even as a 6-year-old.
“When I spoke with such a clear voice and wasn’t afraid, the little pipsqueak that I was, and the crowd listened to me, I enjoyed the power, and I discovered something. I discovered I could move audiences, and that means I can change people’s fates, as I learned later in life,” he said, characterizing this ability as both a gift and a burden.
It has also influenced his on-air style.
“In one second I can turn from a kind of maudlin, sad guy into an enraged bull — in one second. It all rages up inside my soul, and in that sense I’m very much alive, top to bottom,” Mr. Savage said.
There are also many endearing photos in the slim volume, which only runs 128 pages. “Teddy and Me” — the author’s 26th book — was published by Center Street, the conservative imprint of Hachette Book Group.