Imus and Co. will not be returning to WFAN, and that makes me sad. Not just because of tradition's sake, and not just because a truly great station has lost one of its key sources of revenue. I'm also going to miss the daily slices of life that Imus would provide from the station - Joe Benigno said this yesterday, Steve Somers got the craziest caller last night. I've heard Imus fans claim that losing the Imus show as a wakeup buddy feels like losing a family member. Well, if losing the Imus crew is like losing a nuclear family member for you, then losing the 'FAN must feel like losing your aunts and uncles and cousins.
I'm especially going to miss Mike and the Mad Dog - that famous WFAN afternoon sports duo of Mike Francesa and Chris Russo - that has dominated New York sports talk radio for over fifteen years.
Believe it or not, their radio success almost never happened.
In an April 20th interview with Robin Finn of the New York Times, Francesa and Russo discussed how they were "a duo thrown together -- to their mutual horror -- in 1989 at the suggestion of Mr. Imus." Both of them wanted to host the afternoon show, but neither wanted to cohost together. At the time, Russo was the sports reporter for Imus in the Morning; Francesa worked the midday slot at WFAN. Although Francesa and Russo essentially hated each other during the first few years of Mike and the Mad Dog, they perservered, and the duo eventually became the #2-rated afternoon show in New York City.
The Finn article adds, ''Who taught them about timing and chemistry? Mr. Imus. Sigh." Sigh, indeed.
In honor of Frandog, here are two "unbelievable" videos that I found on the Youtubes. The first, a video that has gotten over 120,000 hits, is a rant that Russo did back in February on the troubles of Pacman Jones. Watch the first minute or so here.
But wait...what's this? Apparently a fan decided to parody Russo's rant, and also did a HYSTERICAL, pitch-perfect parody of Mad Dog. ( Watch it here.)If you watch any Youtube video this week, make sure it's this one.
Pure brilliance...on both vids. ("THROW 'EM OUT!!!") By the way, which is your favorite Mad Dog?