I've often wondered over the last decade or so if Toni Grant would ever again un-retire, as she'd already done at least a couple times. But fortunately, us talk radio junkies were not once more subjected to her ever-cloying, often-prurient, and profoundly-sexist broadcast.
Grant was apparently more than happy to instead simply savor the good life, married to her latest husband, after reportedly following her own oft-rendered advice to her typically emotionally-shattered female callers to never marry for love, but rather always for love AND (big) money. Grant may have done more for gold-diggers than The Dean Martin Show.
I'm surprised Variety adjudged her show "informative"; I found it corrosive to the culture. Grant promulgated a women-are-entitled-to-pampering philosophy that flies in the face of everything I came to know and appreciate about mutual respect between the sexes.
And she often furthered the myth that few men desire intellectuality in a woman. She was clearly dead-wrong on that point; I'd have valued Grant's intellect, had I ever detected much of one. (I don't doubt she was bright, given her academic accomplishments, but her broadcasts always highlighted her obsession with projecting a dainty image to men at the expense of any real cerebral content to her work.)
And then there was Grant's deliberate, clipped speaking style, every bit as affected as that always-exaggerated Columbian accent that Sofia Vargara thinks everyone falls for.
One notorious (and thankfully short-lived) local TV promo Grant did for her KABC radio show portrayed her laying on a chaise longue, adorned in sexy, pink night-wear with a Princess phone handset to her ear. (Well, at least they didn't put a microphone in her hand.)
I did like her dark red hair--presuming it was real, a hefty assumption, I'll grant.
Now, it's not that so-called "shrink radio" is inherently an illegitimate genre; Dr. Susan Forward, the late Dr. David Viscott, and especially Neil Myers and Dr. Joy Browne are all serious counselors and fine broadcasters. (Indeed, Myers has perhaps the smoothest style I've ever heard in any type of talk radio.) But Grant was always all style backed by precious little substance, and seems to have inspired the equally-obnoxious schtick of Laura Schlessinger.
My favorite moment in Grant's career, as it happens, was not on KABC/Los Angeles or her either of her short-lived nationally-syndicated radio shows. Instead, it was on the late Stanley Siegel's excellent "America Talks Back" series for Lifetime cable in the mid-80s, in those days when Lifetime was still a network uncontaminated by the Oprahization of broadcasting.
Siegel was doing an ATB edition he cheerfully admitted was pointless fluff, as it concerned Chippendale's strippers. Grant was also a guest, though Siegel wisely didn't much draw on her typically-saccarine counsel on this silly "issue". After thanking all of his other guests--there were about a half-dozen half-dressed hunks on with them--at the end of the broadcast, he turned to Grant, perched upon a bar stool rather than sitting on a chair (as Siegel and his guests did on all his various programs), and rather than the routine thank-you, instead tweaked her: "Toni--why were you here?" Grant had no answer.