Martin Mull appears in his feature film debut as a zoned-out record spinner. He plays Eric Swan, a libidinous disc jockey with eyes for everyone female. The character is self centered, smarmy, quick tempered, and overbearingly insincere. During the course of the film, Swan beds a supposed girlfriend, encounters a female fan with a peculiar physical "gift", and barricades himself in due to a severe emotional breakdown, all within the confines of QSKY's studio.
Also rounding out the cast are Cleavon Little, who plays the Prince of Darkness, QSKY's overnight host; Eileen Brennan as "The Mother", the 40-something nighttime DJ, Michael Brandon as Jeff Dugan, the station's morning DJ and program director, and Tom Tarpey as new sales manager Regis Lamar, the bane of the disk jockeys' existence.
In addition, the film includes live appearances by Linda Ronstadt, Jimmy Buffett, Tom Petty, and REO Speedwagon. Steely Dan perform the title theme, and Dan Fogelberg, Joe Walsh, Boz Scaggs and Queen also contributed soundtrack music. The film utilized such future hits as We Will Rock You (in a protest rally sequence) and Life's Been Good integrated into the plot.