William Wolf Handel, more popularly known as Bill Handel, is a top radio personality in the Los Angeles area of California. His weekday morning program, The Bill Handel Show, is the most popular morning show in Los Angeles, despite his controversial personality. On weekends, Handel also hosts a legal show, Handel on the Law in which he famously informs callers that they have absolutely no case. Some term Handel a “shock jock” for his forceful expressions and juvenile brand of humor, but supporters describe him as having moderate beliefs and an active support for total political incorrectness. His forceful personality has repeatedly landed him and his radio station, KFI640, in hot water.
A self-proclaimed “Latino Jew,” Handel was born in Brazil to a Brazilian mother and Jewish father who had emigrated from Poland to South America. The family moved to the United States when Bill was a child, and he received the majority of his education in Southern California. After graduating from Whittier Law School, Bill Handel became extremely active in legal cases involving surrogate parenting, and continues to actively support surrogacy for childless couples as director of the Center for Surrogate Parenting.
Handel is often incorrectly identified as having “conservative” views, similar to Rush Limbaugh. In truth, he argues a mostly centrist viewpoint, supporting a tightly-run fiscal policy and the death penalty, but also supporting protection of civil liberties like free speech and hot-button issues such as gay marriage. In fact, in both his work with the Center for Surrogate Parenting and on his radio show, Bill Handel has frequently insisted that not only should gay marriage be allowed but that there should be no additional requirements allowing gay couples to adopt or have surrogate children.
Using an extremely aggressive argumentative style, Bill Handel generally manages to anger far-left and far-right partisans. His radio show became the target of so many complaints, they began issuing a rapid-fire blanket apology at the end of each program, apologizing at absolutely everyone they may have offended. While detractors consider him a loud-mouthed, antagonizing fool, his supporters say that his aggressive style and frequently offensive comments are both political arguments and satire in the vein of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert, just louder.
The Bill Handel Show is a four-hour weekday morning program, which is available live on the radio, the internet and in podcast form. The first hour is commentary, letters from listeners and general banter between Handel and “the Morning Crew,” a group of other radio personalities and station producers. From 6-7 am, the “Handel on the News” segment involves discussion and mocking of daily headlines. The show will then usually feature an in-depth interview with guests or a long discussion on a single topic, followed by a late edition of “Handel on the News.”
Whether or not you agree with Bill Handel’s viewpoints, his presence in the radio world is highly influential. He has won several local and nationwide awards for his work, and will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009. By refusing to accept much of the dogma of either Democratic or Republican doctrines, his show offers a refreshing, if profanity-laced, listening opportunity for a large group of listeners who share similarly mixed viewpoints.