Walt Bodine's last day on the radio is Friday, but first, Bodine stares down a lion

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Walt Bodine says goodbye Friday morning.
  • Andrea Silenzi
  • Walt Bodine says goodbye Friday morning.

Walt Bodine's final broadcast is Friday morning at 10. Our friends at KCUR 89.3 have really done a great job of paying tribute to Bodine in the waning days of his 72-year career. Click here for the best of Bodine, including a fabulous show from 2004 with This American Life's Ira Glass.

Today's tribute to Bodine features a documentary on the radio legend, along with a clip from an old episode of Nightbeat, likely from the 1960s, in which Bodine interviews a Kansas City man who brought a lion named Cleo into the studio.

Movie critic Russ Simmons will introduce the clip. After the jump, here's how Bodine remembered his encounter with Cleo:

Well here I was on a rock-and-roll station, 10 till 1 at night, with a lot of very strange callers, and being told the show shouldn't be too classy. So one night, I told this guy who said he had a lion on Roanoke to bring it down. To my amazement, when the door of the studio opened and he came in, he had a full-grown, I mean, metro golden lion, and he brought it in. This lion spent the next hour roaming the studio at will, because who tells a lion what he can't do. I also had the feeling that he wasn't that well under control by the guy who brought him in. My most nervous time was when he was sniffing at the calves of my legs.

Take a listen to the full bit with Bodine and the lion here. And tune in to 89.3 at 10 a.m. to hear today's show, which will include a 2009 documentary on Bodine.

Expect Bodine to be joined by old friends and past guests on his final show. And on Friday, May 4, a new show - Central Standard Fridays - begins. The show's host? A rotation of Bodine's buddies - Simmon, Monroe Dodd andThe Pitch's Charles Ferruzza.

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