Dylan Ratigan hosts a show on CNBC called Fast Money. It's on every day at 5 o'clock when the stock market is in session. It's a show for stock traders. So the format basically is Dylan and four other traders screaming at each other about stuff that non-traders can only vaguely understand and making really dark jokes about the market and the state of the economy. For a full hour.
That wouldn't necessarily be great TV, except for the fact that Fast Money has also got more stuff happening on the screen than any other show on television. If you took mushrooms, and then you took some speed, and then watched some old episodes of Hollywood Squares, it would look like Fast Money. There are charts that keep popping up in the corners. There's a ribbon running on the bottom with stock prices. There are flashing green LED lights behind the traders and graphics that rotate and flip. It's probably a good idea to watch it with a drink in hand so you don't risk having a seizure.
My favorite part is when they play a little trumpet theme for "Chart of the Day," because it's the kind of trumpet theme they always use in cartoons to announce the arrival of a king.
And whichever way the chart is going, it's never good news.
Fast Money is like an amusement park of trading. It's also filmed at a studio on Times Square in Manhattan and there are windows onto the street so there are always tourists wandering by in the background, putting their faces up against the windows and waving to themselves. I saw someone once waving to herself, then pulling out her cellphone to call someone, and then waving to them.
One night, one of the special guests (who are experts in some particular part of the market and are usually boring as sh*t) was going on about how we were basically facing a financial meltdown/Armageddon and a guy in a Winnie the Pooh costume wandered by. Maybe he was taking a coffee break from the Disney Store down the block? The show is that surreal.
So I highly recommend Fast Money. Tivo or DVR it and you can fast forward through the commercials and replay the jokes when you don't get them the first time because they're usually based upon some obscure trading lingo. Or just to see Winnie the Pooh wander by again. I'm still waiting for Eyore.