The Tony Kornheiser
Show is a sports radio talk show out of Washington,
D.C. hosted by Tony
Kornheiser, which appeared on WTEM from
1992 to 1997; on ESPN Radio between 1998
and 2004; back on WTEM from 2004 to 2006; and on WTWP and then
WWWT in 2007 and 2008; and back on WTEM since
September 8, 2009.
The show also appeared on XM
between February 28, 2005 and April 28, 2006,
between March 5, 2007 and June 28, 2007, and between January 21,
2008 and June 27, 2008.
When The Tony Kornheiser Show
launched on May 25, 1992,
the show was originally produced by Mitch Levy. The sports director
, was both sidekick
reporter of the show. Gregory
(who would later create the sitcom My Name is Earl
) worked as a board op
on the show, and later ascended to producer of the show. When
Garcia left the show, Gary Braun became his producer.
At the beginning, Kornheiser basically had two rules and a mission
- No athletes as guests because Kornheiser thought their
interviews are boring and hard to get the points Kornheiser
- When callers called in, Kornheiser requested them to go
straight to the topic without pleasantries. If a caller asks "how
are you doing?" a "Banned from the Tony Kornheiser Show" soundbite would be played and that call would
- Kornheiser's mission statement: help your friend, crush your
enemy and have free food.
Kornheiser dislikes "how are you doing?" to start a call; he
prefers that callers and e-mailers have funny and creative
comments: John from D.C. always said "T.K. Stack Money" when he
called in; Steve the Sycophant from Virginia, always said "Tony, my
liege and idol" on the phone.
When Andy Pollin
did the news update,
Kornheiser often interrupted him with his comments on the news.
During the first few years, Kornheiser would let a then WTEM
traffic reporter Janet Elliott (then called Janet
Delaney or Janet O'Connor, and also known as Janet "From Another
Planet") sing show tunes
in a segment and
then praise her. During the show, the sales representatives of
sent free food to the studio, which
prompted Kornheiser to say, "This show is about free food." If the
food was not delivered on time, Kornheiser would go ballistic on
Because Kornheiser needed to focus on writing his Style column in
the Washington Post
weekly, he usually did not host the show on Thursdays. Usually
, the Sports Director at
WTEM, would guest-host Tony's Show on Thursdays. Between November 1995
and December 1996, Warner Wolf was named
the guest host of the Tony Kornheiser Show on Thursdays
until he moved to New
York as a sports anchor on WCBS-TV.
Other Thursday guest hosts were Kevin Kiley, Johnny Holliday
, the voice of the Maryland Terrapins
, Al Koken
Late in this tenure, Kornheiser started to read emails from his
listeners. This segment was called Tony's Mailbag
jingle introducing the segment was sung by Gary Braun, a member of
the original incarnation of the show. he always ended his radio
show by saying "If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear white"
as a tribute to the Rolling
The last show before he moved to ESPN
was broadcast on November 14, 1997.
ESPN Radio (1998-2004)
The Tony Kornheiser Show
debuted on January 5, 1998. The show aired between 1 p.m.
and 4 p.m. ET
original producer was Denis Horgan, Jr. and the sports update was
anchored by Dan 'The Duke' Davis
Kornheiser's duties in The Washington Post, The Tony
Kornheiser Show had two studios: one in Washington,
D.C. where Kornheiser and Pollin lived and the other in
Connecticut, where the producing staff and Davis
One of the features of the show was that when Davis reported the
updates, Kornheiser would interrupt the Duke's updates and make
comments. At first the Duke was not amused with Kornheiser's
interruptions and it took Davis a while to get used to it. Later on
they found chemistry and Tony described the Duke as the glue of the
During the first two years, Kornheiser did not host the show when
he wrote a column for ESPN The
. Andy Pollin
, Bob Ryan
, or others would guest-host the show.
On November 16, 1998, WTEM
moved The Tony
to the 4-7 p.m. slot as a tape delay
show. Kornheiser did
not like the idea because he would lose the callers from the WTEM
On September 13, 1999, ESPN radio
The Tony Kornheiser Show
to his favorite 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
slot to make
room for The Dan Patrick
. WTEM accommodated the move by reducing The Jim Rome Show
to 2 hours.
was furious at the move. He voiced
his displeasure on the air, attacked Kornheiser and demanded WTEM
give him his third hour back. Kornheiser responded to Rome's attack
by his usual sarcastic humor. The producing staff of The Tony
even played several Rome parodies. The
"Snackdown" was one of the most famous parodies in the history of
The Tony Kornheiser Show
. Two phrases, "Clahhsic!" and
"Epic!", both said in a tone mocking Rome, became the staples of
The Tony Kornheiser Show
. Also, Kornheiser's nickname "Mr.
Kornmissioner" was derived from this segment. Kornheiser also mocks
Rome's "tour stops" from time to time on his show, and states that
Rome's "takes" are not his own opinions, but rather made-up
opinions from staff members that he pays to write his takes.
concluded the show on ESPN Radio with
Kornheiser reading emails from his listeners. The jingle
introducing the segment still used the version sung by Gary Braun.
The music that plays in the background during this segment is "Tea
for Two Cha Cha" by Roy Battle (pronounced Bah-tell by Tony) and
the Altones. The band is dubbed "The official house band of the
Tony Kornheiser Show". Later on, Gadget White and opera singer
opening jingles for this segment. Although Roy Battle and the
Altones were dubbed "The official house band of the Tony Kornheiser
Show" there was in fact another local rock band that really made
the show. “Wolf-Spider!” a local rock band from Washington DC was
dubbed the official Rock Band For The Tony's Show and ESPN Radio.
He would play tracks from their CDs on a daily basis. The band was
discovered after he had a plumbing problem at his house in DC and a
plumber that Tony later referred to as “Jim The Plumber” showed up
to clear his drain and handed him a CD and within a week the music
was a regular part of the show.
Although The Tony Kornheiser Show
is a sports-talk show,
Kornheiser spends a lot of segments discussing current events,
music, entertainment and life surrounding himself, including his
dog, Maggie. During Fridays Tony would discuss movies with either
or Joe Barber of
. His love of the music in 1960s insprired
a radio segment called Old Guy Radio
. His other-stuff talk
makes his talk show much more interesting when there is no big
sports event. In essence, his non-sports talk becomes a talk show
version of his Washington Post
Style Section columns. A
collection of memorable clips of witty, sarcastic, or funny sayings
from famous movies, television shows, callers, interviewees, and
cast members have been turned into sound bites that are played
regularly on the show, depending on the situation and
Kornheiser, a self-admitted agitator stemming from his time as a
young adult in the late 1960s, would do many things to provoke
wrath from his bosses, fellow ESPN employees, (especially the
on-air TV "heads") and from ESPN Radio's usual core audience, which
only wanted intense sports talk as opposed to stories about how to
cook a chicken, his mischievous Brittany spaniel
, Maggie, whether or not
the Packers would win on Sunday (a statement used by emailers to
mock hardcore sports fans which exists to this day), or him
kvetching about the people he dislikes, his old age, his kids, and
his lack of hair.
The on-air TV "heads" were featured prominently on the show in a
comedic game called the ESPN Fantasy Head League. It is based on
fantasy sports leagues, except the athletes consist only of
ESPN/ABC sports personalities. The people who appeared regularly on
the show (Andy, Phil Ceppaglia
Stanfield, Ray Necci and Kornheiser himself) participated in a mock
fantasy draft of the on-air personalities, which featured people
such as Dan Patrick
, Mike Tirico
, Dana Jacobson
, and Neil Everett
. Each person on the show would
earn points for the types of shows each head appeared on. More
points were given to higher profile spots, such as the 11 p.m.
SportsCenter, or an ABC Sports program. Proof of his aggitative
nature occurred during his second mock fantasy draft. Management
heard about the draft and immediately pulled the activity while
Tony's show was in commercial.
In late 2001, Kornheiser decided to leave the microphones on when
his show went to a commercial break, as a treat to his internet
radio listeners. The result was the infamous yet wildly popular
"Internet Show", where online listeners could hear what the people
on the show really thought about sports, entertainment, politics,
and other stuff.
Two popular internet show segments involved Rich Eisen
telling the Bea
joke, and Kornheiser ripping an angry emailer who
proclaimed that he hated Tony's show. Eisen heard the Bea Arthur
joke at the Friar's Club comedy roast
of Jerry Stiller
in 1999, where the
joke was told by Jeffrey Ross. Kornheiser's tirade against the
angry emailer, firstname.lastname@example.org, was peppered with foul language
and vitriolic sentiment, a hallmark of the Internet Show, and
Kornheiser's rants in general. The red89hawk segment also featured
an E-mail Jihad, a barrage of angry emails from listeners directed
at the person criticizing Kornheiser. The Internet Show was a forum
of real emotions from real people engaging in informal
conversations, and would regularly contain explicit topics and foul
language. As Kornheiser once said during the Rich Eisen
internet show segment, "That's why we
always say, this is the X-Rated portion of the show."
The Internet Show was cancelled on January 4, 2002 when it was
alleged that racist remarks were made during one of the segments.
It was reinstated in February 2002. The Internet Show was pulled
off the air for good in the summer of 2002, when show producer
Denis Horgan Jr., a friend of Kornheiser, was fired for
inappropriate e-mail conduct. Tony criticized management on the air
for Horgan's firing, and was subsequently suspended from ESPN Radio
for one week. This suspension became known as Kornheiser's
"Vacation" when the topic of his "disappearance" arose. The
continuous arguments with ESPN Radio
management led to Kornheiser's departure.
Ray Necci replaced Horgan as the show's producer in the summer of
2002. 14 months later, Chadd Scott replaced Necci as producer.
Kornheiser's last show on ESPN Radio
aired on March 26, 2004.
WTEM (2004-2006) and Extreme XM (2005-2006)
On November 10, 2004, Kornheiser returned to WTEM
with the cast of
- Andy Pollin (co-host and news
- Gary Braun (co-host)
- Keven Sheehan (news reporter)
- Marc Sterne (producer, who is nicknamed "Nigel" and uses a
British accent. His authenticity was questioned on March 24, 2006,
but had proof that he was from England, showing his English Badge
on Channel 8. However, the authenticity of his daily appearances on
Channel 8 is also in extreme doubt, so the mystery remains).
Actually, the origins of the "Nigel" character can be traced to an
episode of the show in which Tony was reflecting on a story he'd
seen the night before that was similar to the kind of contests on
Man vs. Beast, a Mr. Tony favorite.
Gary Braun said that he and Marc Sterne had reconstructed the
origins of story (it was something from England involving midgets
and lions or something like that). Braun and Sterne then launched
into a very funny skit in which essentially, this story was the
result of an English bar bet. But, so taken was Tony with Sterne's
British accent that he asked him to read all the sports updates in
that accent. He nicknamed that character "Nigel" and after a while,
ceased referring to Sterne by his actual name, and referred to him
exclusively as "Nigel". From time to time, actual Englishmen would
write into the show asking after Nigel's credentials saying things
like: "He sounds a little like Dick Van
Dyke in Mary Poppins, is he for
real?" at which point Tony, ever the one to push the inside joke,
insisted that not only was Nigel for real, but he was in the
country illegally. This incident is typical of the show, in that it
is a long-running inside joke that the listener has to have been in
on for some time. (The mocking of Jim Rome and the constant
references to the non-existent simulcast on Channel 8, two of the
The show was heard online on SportsTalk
from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET
, after which the show
was repeated until 1 p.m. ET
. XM Satellite Radio
began broadcasting the
show on February 28, 2005 from 11 a.m. through 1 p.m. on Extreme XM
. Since Clear Channel programs Extreme,
Kornheiser was not compensated for this additional venue.
In this tenure, The Tony Kornheiser Show
included a sports
score update segment that was called "Andy Polley's Happy Funtime
Sports Extravaganza". The Extravaganza was usually the sports
update at 20 minutes past the hour during the second hour of the
show, and was introduced by carnival music and a random soundbite
from the show's database. Also, Darius Rucker
of Hootie and the Blowfish
another version of the opening jingle for Tony's
During this time, the holdovers from the ESPN message board days,
referred to as bloggers
by Kornheiser, held a members-only
golf tournament on August 1, 2005. Kornheiser spent time in the
months before the tournament, which he dubbed "The First and Last
Annual Nerds in Paradise Golf Closed Invitational" (derided by Gary
Braun using the acronym "FAGLAP"), trying to make deals with golf
courses and hotels in the Washington DC area for the best deal.
the winning host emerged as Reston National Golf Club, in Reston,
They, led by hotel manager Mark Driscoll, gave the bloggers the
"Mr. Tony Treatment," including an extravagant dinner after the
golfing that evening. To the shock of people like Andy Polley
and Kevin Stanfield, noted
curmudgeon Kornheiser was visibly moved by the whole affair. Some
of the better-known bloggers that attended were AJ in Nashville,
Korry in Virginia and Brandon Borzelli, who Kornheiser noted wrote
the funniest emails in the show's history .
The Tony Kornheiser Show
on April 28, 2006 so that Kornheiser could change his sleep
schedule to accommodate his future role as the color analyst on
ESPN's Monday Night
. Kornheiser had stated that he planned on
returning to radio after the NFL Football Season. From time to
time, Kornheiser would call in to his replacements, Andy Pollin and
, to discuss matters such
as The Sopranos
, American Idol
, and 24
WTWP/WWWT and XM Sports Nation (2007 and 2008)
completing the 2006 season on
ESPN's Monday Night Football, Kornheiser
considered offers from WTEM and WTWP to return to
DC area radio airwaves.
23, 2007, Kornheiser decided to go to WTWP to host
The Tony Kornheiser Show.
Effective February 20,
2007, The Tony Kornheiser Show
aired live on weekdays from
8:30 to 10:30 a.m., with a repeat that aired immediately afterward
(on Fridays the last half-hour was preempted by The Politics
). WTWP is owned by
and programmed in conjunction with The Washington Post.
deciding factor for Kornheiser to join WTWP was his
desire to work for a station affiliated with The Washington
Post, where he had been since 1979.
For the new incarnation of the show, Kornheiser retained Marc
"Nigel" Sterne as producer. Andy Pollin and
Gary Braun remained at WTEM and Triple X ESPN
The main cast of the show
- Brennan Haselton, the news reporter.
- Joe Barber, the entertainment editor of WTOP.
- David Aldridge of The Philadelphia Inquirer and
TNT when Barber is
- Jeanne McManus, former food editor of The Washington
Post, a.k.a. "my dear friend Nancy" in Kornheiser's
Washington Post Style columns.
McManus appeared on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. In McManus'
absence, Sally Jenkins
, Liz Clarke
of The Washington Post
, or Janet Elliott
would fill in. Kevin Stanfield filled in when either Barber or
Aldridge was away. Arch Campbell,
movie critic of WJLA-TV, and
John Feinstein also made cameo appearances as co-hosts.
On May 9,
2007, for the first time in the show's history on WTWP, there were
only female co-hosts when McManus and Clarke co-hosted the show
Before that show, Clarke said Kornheiser
was in the middle of "the estrogen
sandwich." It happened again the next day when Hamilton and Jenkins
were co-hosts, where Kornheiser called himself "the meat of the
Several frequent guests on the show had been limited by their
affiliation with ESPN; Kornheiser had stated on-air (most recently
on March 13, 2007) that ESPN management enacted a policy that
prevents ESPN employees and commentators—the majority of whose work
appears on ESPN—from appearing as guests on stations that compete
with ESPN Radio affiliates. ESPN has since relaxed this limitation
as it applies to Kornheiser. Before speaking with Mel Kiper, Jr. on
April 10, 2007, Kornheiser said, "we have dispensation to have a
certain amount of ESPN people on."
Because the show was broadcast on a long-form talk radio station,
Kornheiser was not required to focus primarily on sports. As a
result, this incarnation of the show focused more on pop culture,
entertainment, news headlines, and the daily lives of Tony and his
co-hosts. The last show in 2007 was on June 28, 2007 signalling
Tony's return to the Monday Night Football
booth for the
2007 season. Kornheiser vowed to return to WTWP in 2008 and "do the
radio seriously." As a tradition when quitting the show from
the last show before hiatus ended by playing "Famous Last Words" by
. With the demise of
Washington Post Radio
on WTWP, and the Post affiliation
being the key reason Kornheiser joined the station, it was
initially unclear whether or not the show would return. However,
Kornheiser agreed to return to the station, now known as WWWT
, beginning January 21, 2008. The show aired live
from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and is replayed from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Tony Kornheiser Show
also aired on XM Satellite Radio Channel 144
, and was available in the
United States and Canada, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. from March 5, 2007
to June 28, 2007. XM carried the show again, in a live time slot
(8-10 a.m.) between January 21, 2008 and June 27, 2008.
Starting with the January 23, 2008 edition of the show on 3WT,
various listeners and celebrities would do the opening voiceover
for the show. Tony aired his dislike of the current 3WT voiceover
guy on the January 22, 2008 edition of the show. As a result, he
invited his listeners to record an mp3 of the opening sequence
("Previously on the Tony Kornheiser Show..." and "The Tony
Kornheiser Show is on now, on 3WT") and submit that recording to
Nigel. The list of contributors has included:
-Bill Lehecka (Frequent E-Mailer)
-Neil in Rockville (Frequent E-Mailer)
-Dan Levy (Frequent E-Mailer and creator of "Phil's Mom" charity
-Wesley Shears & son Cowen (Frequent E-Mailer)
-Carla Corroto (Frequent E-Mailer)
-Greg Tantum (3WT program director)
-Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian
-An anonymous sultry female voice
-Christopher Walken (Marc "Nigel" Sterne's impression of the
-David Creek (Listener)
-Isaac McKeithen (Listener)
-Nick Mielke (listener)
-Roger in England (Frequent E-Mailer)
Bounds (one of the chief newscasters for Seattle's KING-TV)
The Tony Kornheiser Show
went off the air on June 27, 2008
as Kornheiser prepared for Monday Night Football
on August 11, 2008, because of the format change, WWWT was
cancelled and Bonniville stated it no longer will air The Tony
. In a recent interview with Dan Levy, it was
revealed that The Tony Kornheiser Show
will not return to
the airwaves until Kornheiser is no longer contractually obligated
to Monday Night Football
WTEM (2009 - current)
On May 18, 2009, ESPN announced that Kornheiser stepped down from
the Monday Night Football booth and was replaced by former Oakland
Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden
, which swirled a lot of rumors where
Kornheiser would host a radio show. Then Kornheiser decided to
return to WTEM, which was broken on Twitter
by Jim Zinzi, a longtime Kornheiser listener whose wife ran into
Kornheiser at the beach. Effective September 8, 2009, The Tony
aired live on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12
The current incarnation retains the "softcore sports talk format"
from the previous one at 3WT. On every show, Kornheiser and
producer "Nigel" are joined by two rotating co-hosts, usually a
"guy chair" and a "chick chair." The main cast of characters
Other notable characters include:
- Andy Pollin, co-host of
WTEM 's The Sports Reporters, substitutes as a
news reporter when Sheehan is away.
Czarniak, sports anchor of Washington's NBC
station, serves as an occasional guest co-host.
The new incarnation also saw the debut of several new features,
- Daily PTI
preview with PTI producer Matt Kelliher
- Every Friday during the football season, Ron Jaworski and James Carville offer their picks to select
NFL and college football games. Jaworski's picks are then compared
against those of the show's resident monkey Reginald in a
showdown called "Jaws vs. the Monkey."
Famous catch phrases, references, and soundbites
- Affirmation Baby! or (insert word ending with -tion)
Baby!: Kornheiser's running gag based on Stuart Scott's catch phrase "Affirmation Baby!"
The phrase was derived from a game of celebrity basketball, during
which Scott and Michael Jordan were
on the same team. Scott fed Jordan an assist, who promptly executed
a dunk. After the basket was scored, Scott gazed and waited for
Jordan to turn around and acknowledge him. When Jordan finally
turned around and pointed his finger at Scott, Scott uttered the
phrase "Affirmation Baby!".
- Andy Polley: Andy
Pollin's nickname on the show. The name "Polley" is in
reference to an irate caller who called the show and screamed "Andy
Pollin, you are an idiot!" after he heard Pollin's comments of
Rafael Palmeiro. However, the caller
mispronounced Pollin's last name as Polley. Denis Horgan, Jr.
recorded the "Andy Polley" soundbite and
the staff often played it on the show when Andy Pollin speaks. The
nickname has stuck ever since.
- The Animal Revolution: The idea that
animals—who are threatened by the expansion of the human
population, and the encroachment of cities and suburbs upon their
habitats—are revolting against humans. Examples include rabid
otters chasing golfers on the course, captive lions on top of a
Mexican meat processing plant killing a man attempting to feed
them, cats growing wings as the precursor to an animal air force,
alligators banging on doors in South Florida and the "rat in the
mouth" story. Brennan frequently fills the news updates with
animal-centric stories to fuel this particular source of
- Banned from the Tony Kornheiser Show: when a
caller asked "how are you doing?" this soundbite would come up and the call was off.
There were three versions of the "Banned from the Tony Kornheiser
Show" soundbite. The first two versions
were recorded by the WTEM station announcer and
a caller during Kornheiser's first tenure on WTEM. Charley Steiner
recorded the third version when The Tony Kornheiser Show
was on ESPN radio.
- Buried Like Cheese: Kornheiser's phrase for a
situation in which someone or something is cut down at the knees,
crushed, destroyed, eliminated, humiliated, etc. ("_____ was
buried like cheese")
- Clean out the mouse cages, Harry, and carry the urine
specimens upstairs: Purported title of Kornheiser's
upcoming novel in which he crushes his enemies. The "Harry" in
question is believed to be Harry Jaffe of Washingtonian
Magazine, who claimed that Kornheiser was unavailable to
comment on a story he was writing, where in fact he had never
contacted Kornheiser. Some chapter headings suggested by the
- The Cheese Boy: Dan Steinberg's nickname by
Kornheiser. Steinberg does blogs called
D.C. Sports Bog on the website of The
Washington Post and his blog takes over Kornheiser's
columnette space on the paper. Kornheiser complained about it to
Andy Pollin on Pollin's show on WTEM and called Steinberg "the Cheese Boy" because
Kornheiser thought Steinberg only wrote about "cheese" every day
during the 2006 Winter
Olympics. Later Steinberg called Kornheiser "The Bear" because
Kornheiser warned him on the radio not to poke the bear.
- Clahhsic!, Epic!,
Tour Stops and Takes: the terms
said in a tone mocking Jim Rome.
- DC CAP : DC College Access Program, a charity
which Kornheiser and Wilbon often talk about that assists DC
students in acquiring funds to go to college. This charity is the
beneficiary of their annual golf tournament. Additionally, listener
and e-mailer Dan Levy has created an extensive line of DC CAP
charity merchandise related to the TK Show, which includes
everything from “I Roll With Phil’s Mom” t-shirts and bumper
stickers to “Wilbon’s America” coffee mugs.
- Death Star Radio: A term used by Kornheiser to
describe the show and its host station, WTWP. If he mentions it
leading to an ad break, it is often accompanied by the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back. The term
originates from a segment of the show where Tony recounts a
Washington Post article detailing
the possibility of a catastrophic, thermo-nuclear explosion of a
giant, unstable star close to Earth. Mainly,
this functions currently when Mr. Tony feels he needs to rant about
people he hates and Nigel cuts in with the "Imperial March."
- E-mail Machine: since Kornheiser did not know
how an e-mail worked and always got e-mails from the fax machine
sent by the ESPN Radio producing staff
before the Tony's Mailbag segment, Kornheiser described
the fax machine or the computer as the e-mail machine.
- FAGLAP: not-quite-accurate acronym for the
message board-created golf tournament in which TK, Gary and Andy
participated in on August 1, 2005. in Reston, VA, at Reston
National Golf Club. The "official" name of the tournament, as given
by Kornheiser, was "The First and Last Annual Nerds in Paradise
Golf Closed Invitational."
- Fat, Bald and White or Fat, Bald and
Orange: another self-depreciating description of
Kornheiser. Originally he mentioned himself as "fat, bald and
white." After PTI was launched, some listeners noticed
that his face looked orange on TV and began to call him "fat, bald
- Gettin' It Done: A phrase used to describe a
woman that is still considered sexy or attractive at an advanced
age (i.e. Helen Mirren is
still gettin' it done!). The phrase is also used for someone
or something that is exceeding all expectations.
- The Golden Boy: Kornheiser's description of
- Google It or Hit the Google
Key or Use the Google Key: Kornheiser's
way of asking Phil Ceppaglia to use
Google to search for a specific topic.
- A Haiku: A Haiku is
originally a form of Japanese poetry. Traditionally a haiku
consisted of a pattern of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. This form of
poetry has become a staple of the daily e-mail reads during
Tony’s Mailbag. Though many listeners submit Haikus, the
current poet laureate of the
show is “Shad from DC.”
- Hitler? Who said anything about
Hitler?: A catch phrase from The Producers, often used by
Gilbert Gotfried, that Kornheiser
often says during off-beat, comedic segments of the show.
- I believe I had that: Kornheiser's standard
acknowledgement that he'd predicted or called a certain
development; see, for example, the ultimate veracity of the
balloon boy hoax. The development
need not be particularly surprising.
- If you're out on your bike tonight, do wear
white: Kornheiser's signature sign-off, which is from the
Rolling Stones' song, "Something
Happened To Me Yesterday."
- Junior: Tony's nickname for John Feinstein. The nickname originated when
Tony likened Feinstein's bad temper to that of John McEnroe, Jr.. Two "Junior" soundbites
exist on the show, one of which is Sean
Connery asking where Junior is in Indiana Jones ("Junior?"),
and the other is of Connery screaming "Junior!" from the same
movie. Another Tony nickname for John was "Little Sheriff
- Kim Jong-il: Kim reportedly aced five holes
and shot 38 under par in a June 2004 golf tournament. As a result,
he is frequently referenced in the show during comedic and off-beat
segments for his prolific golfing skills. His skills are often
exaggerated for laughs.
- Leave Britney Alone: The soundbite from
youtube video is frequently played when the subject of Britney Spears' career is discussed.
- The Littles: The nickname for the radio show
- Malter Time!: The rally call at the end of a
speech Mr. Tony made when he was running to be host of the
- Mr. Kornmissioner: when Kornheiser hosted
either a mock draft or Snackdown, one of his callers called him Mr.
- Mr. Tony: Kornheiser's nickname. The nickname
is derived from the Mr. Tony Experience. This
nickname is sometimes intentionally misspelled by emailers as Mr.
- Mr. Tony Experience: Much like how
Wilbon's America describes the lifestyle of
Michael Wilbon, the Mr. Tony
Experience describes the lifestyle of Kornheiser, which includes
activities such as going to sleep by 9 p.m. and waking at 5 a.m. to
walk the dog, being afraid of flying or anything remotely
dangerous, carrying a stun gun and wearing an orange cape, lifting
one-pound weights in the morning, begging various sponsors and
people for free food and gift bags, eating at The Palm, begging for product, begging
for a Pontiac Solstice, being
invited to major political/entertainment events and dinners but
rarely attending, believing that chimpanzees equate to sheer
comedy, being spotted by famous celebrities and political figures
for being the host of PTI,
drinking Johnny Walker Blue, joking
about Linda Cohn's twelve toes and how
she got them the hard way (A set of 7 and a set of 5), loving women
who drink and smoke, being technologically inept, and kvetching
about being fat, bald, orange or anything in general.
- Naked Mole Rat: Kornheiser's derogatory
nickname for D.C. media blogger Dave Hughes.
- No, Tony or Yes, Tony:
soundbites played during certain occasions
when Kornheiser is wrong or right about something. The voice of
both soundbites is David
- Old People's Network (OPN): A fictitious
network that broadcasts programming geared for elderly men and
women. Viagra and Geritol commercials are frequently seen on the
network. Some of the shows on OPN include:
- Listen Up: A game show where Wink
Martindale whispers a phrase, and the first contestant to hear
the phrase and repeat it wins a prize.
- Lost: A reality show where elderly people are placed in random
locations, and they must find their way back to the assisted-living
home while only being able to mutter two phrases, "Do you know who
I am?" and "Where's the cake?"
- When Did That Happen?: A show based around the concept of
kvetching about and wondering when high-tech gadgets and
advancements in technology (i.e. Bluetooth sets, cell phones, etc)
- Passport Nissan's Altima: Advertisements were
made for the new car in the summer of 2007, in which it gets,"34
miles per gallon and has more cool features than the Camry or
Accord." The car is jokingly referenced to during news segments in
which cars are involved, such as "OJ would have escaped if he was
driving Passport Nissan's new Altima."
- Phil the Showkiller: Phil Ceppaglia's nickname. The name was born
when Ceppaglia mistakenly passed along to Kornheiser the wrong
hometown for a caller. When the caller corrected his hometown
on-air, Kornheiser began lambasting Ceppaglia and called him a
showkiller, saying, "Phil, you're killing the show!"
- Phil's Mom: Ceppaglia's real-life mother, who
calls the show before the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball
Tournament to pick the winners of each game. She is famous for
picking teams that have little to no chance of winning (Picking
Davidson to beat Ohio
State), not knowing where many of the schools are
located, using flawed logic (or none at all) to pick winners
(Picking Oklahoma to win because it was a great musical), and for
mispronouncing the team names (Okay State (Oklahoma
State), Murray Street (Murray State), Markwet (Marquette), La-Lafayette (Univ. of Louisiana at
Lafayette), Val-para-eee-so (Valparaiso), Mon-mouth (Monmouth), Fair Dickinson (Fairleigh
Dickinson), C-Conn State (Central
Connecticut State), Bay-lore (Baylor) and Cretin (Creighton University)).
- Rolling With Phil's Mom:
This phrase refers to Ceppaglia's mother, who blindly picked
Mason, a Cinderella team no one expected to even make the
2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, to win the National
Championship. Due to George Mason's stunning run through the
tournament, her pick turned out to be far more accurate than anyone
thought, which led to Tony's listeners jumping on the bandwagon and
proclaiming that they "Roll with Phil's Mom".
- Rat in the mouth: A news story about a 90 year
old man in a nursing home stuck with a dead rat in his mouth. Is
made fun of often and is cited as an example of animals' rebelling
- Sales Weasels: Kornheiser's description of the
sales staff at WTEM.
- Satchmo: Satchmo is Louis Armstrong's nickname. Kornheiser
thought it was a cool nickname and he wanted to be nicknamed
"Satchmo". The e-mailers began to call him Satchmo.
- The Scarlett Johansson Getaway Bag: Bag that
must be packed in the event that Scarlett Johansson comes knocking at
- This show is about my dog or This show
is about free food: Kornheiser's catch phrase to emphasize that his show is more
about his life, not sports.
- This Show Stinks: Kornheiser's self-depreciation about his show. The
show's past and present email addresses,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and now
email@example.com are based on this catch phrase. Note that
firstname.lastname@example.org was actually selected by his
- Throwing up on himself: Term used to describe
choking or the inability to perform in a clutch situation.
- Twitching Little Freaks: A term Kornheiser
uses in reference to participants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee,
where they are asked to spell "idiotic" words like "rhodochrostic"
(pronounced by Tony as "ruh-DAH-struh-dik").
- Vacation: The term used by Kornheiser when he
refers to his suspension from ESPN Radio
after being overly critical of ESPN Radio management on the air for
firing his producer, Denis Horgan, Jr.
- WHA' HAPPEN?!: Kornheiser's remark when
something catastrophic or shocking occurs, such as choke jobs in
sporting events, meteoric falls from stardom, career-killing events
and moves, etc. The phrase comes from A
Mighty Wind, where Fred Willard's character, Mike LaFontaine,
starred in a failed 1970s TV show called "Wha' Happened?".
- Wheat Probing: A running
email joke based on Tracee Hamilton's stories of living in rural
notably probing wheat at a grain elevator.
- Where's the cake?: A soundbite from when Abe
Pollin wanted to celebrate the naming of a couple of players to the
NBA All-Star Team.
- Wilbon's America: Kornheiser's sarcastic
description of the lifestyle of his fellow colleague, Michael Wilbon, where business deals are
closed and/or celebrated at strip clubs,
men carry handbags, homes are equipped with
a satellite dish, TVs are at least
32 inches, etc.
- Wilbonia: A place where the inhabitants
(Wilbonians) worship Michael Wilbon
and practice the lifestyle of Wilbon's
References and notes