A very special Brooklyn Paper Radio: Gersh breaks up — and breaks down

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This week’s edition of Brooklyn Paper Radio became an hour-long session on the couch for co-host Gersh Kuntzman, who broke up with his girlfriend a night earlier and used the weekly show to, as he put it, “pick through the still-smoking embers of what the hell is wrong with me.”

“A lot,” said Kuntzman’s co-host and longtime cohort Vince DiMiceli.

Let us count the ways. Breaking only for ads from Brooklyn Paper Radio sponsors Atlas Steakhouse, Dr. Joseph Lichter DDS, and Village Care Max, Kuntzman and DiMiceli conducted a chorus of “experts” to sing whatever it is that’s the opposite of a love song.

“Give it to me straight, people,” Kuntzman said. “I broke up with a wonderful woman, it’s all my fault, and I want to know why I can’t get close to the people I love.”

First, Brooklyn Paper Deputy Editor Ruth Brown, herself married to non-journalist who sometimes resents her relentless approach to life, blamed Kuntzman for being uncomfortable wanting to do his own thing in relationships.

“You have to be independent,” Brown said. “My husband I do different things all the time and it’s fine.”

Next, Kuntzman summoned Brooklyn Paper reporter and Conor Oberst fan Lauren Gill for her to lambaste Kuntzman for bringing his girlfriend (whose name was never revealed) to last week’s utterly depressing and equally scintillating Oberst show at Carnegie Hall — a show she did not enjoy. But Gill took Kuntzman’s side.

“You were right to bring her to that show,” Gill said. “It was a great show. Depression songs make you feel happy. That’s okay.”

Kuntzman said he still felt bad. DiMiceli suggested setting those bad feelings to music like Oberst would.

Gill gave way to legendary Community Newspaper Group editor Max Jaeger, who has been in a solid relationship for four years.

“How do you keep the magic going?” Kuntzman asked. “Because I’ve been divorced and have a trail of tears as long as the BQE. So tell me.”

“It’s not like I wake up saying, ‘How can I keep the magic going today?’ ” Jaeger said. “It just clicks and we’re both happy. We’re actually getting closer.”

Kuntzman asked Jaeger if he — Kuntzman — was going about it all wrong because he — Kuntzman — can’t seem to keep his relationships going, as women tend to draw closer and he — Kuntzman — tends to pull back.

“Yes,” Jaeger said, “it’s you. But it’s also natural. You want what you want and if it’s not the right person, it’s not the right person.”

The next guest, Arts Editor and renowned bartoonist Bill Roundy, recommended places where Gersh can get drunk, mentioning cheap bulk liquor at Costco and then good cocktails at the Bearded Lady in Prospect Heights, which has a “nice private couch in the back if things go well.”

Kuntzman protested that he’s not looking for something “cheap, easy and tawdry — at least I’m not for that so publicly on the radio,” he said, adding that he just wants to find a way to please someone.

“There’s your problem,” Jaeger jumped in. “Your insistence on the female orgasm puts too much pressure on her. What’s wrong with you?”

“What’s wrong with me — because I care about the female orgasm?” Kuntzman asked. “I was always told that your first job is to please your partner.” He then turned the attention to Roundy. “Bill, whose orgasm do you care about — yours or your partner’s?”

Roundy had a surprising answer: “Mine,” he said, confusing Kuntzman even more.

The show’s final guest, reporter Caroline Spivack, said she isn’t dating anyone right now — and she’s fine with it.

“But I can’t be alone,” Kuntzman said.

“That’s your problem,” Spivack suggested. “You’re always looking to other people for approval. It has to come from within.”

Kuntzman asserted that he has a large — some would say malignantly large — self-image, but admitted that he still likes a woman to think he’s awesome.

“You are awesome,” DiMiceli said. “But just not that awesome.”

All in all, it was a earnest and heartfelt episode — something you don’t normally get on BPR. So take a listen.

Brooklyn Paper radio is recorded and podcast live every Thursday at 4:45 pm — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, on Mixlr, and of course, on Stitcher.