The Last Days Of Opie And Anthony
by Rob Brink
Stance August 2002
This interview took place just two days before a married couple, trying to win NYC radio jocks Opie and Anthony's “Sex In Public” contest, got caught getting it on in the Big Apple's holiest place—St. Patrick's Cathedral. A week after the stunt, Opie and Anthony found themselves out of their four-million-dollar-a-year jobs, where they reached millions of listeners in seventeen cities across the country.
After a brief hiatus, the duo found a new home for their show on XM radio. Only about three of the following questions and answers ever made it to print in Stance, back in 2002, but I have included the full, unedited interview for all you O&A fans here.
How many cities are you on in?
O: About 20.
How many listeners?
O: We don't know, but don't want to know, that may freak us out, whether it's a lot or too little.
Now that you are syndicated, what is your goal with the show? Do you have a mission?
O: Obviously to put out a quality radio show every day, just because we are syndicated doesn't mean we made it, we still have to prove ourselves in all these cities. And so far so good, in most of the cities we are killing. Then it's a matter of keeping up that quality.
A: Once you get there, now you gotta hold it, and there are other markets that we arent in that we want to get into.
O: We want to do a TV show but no one has come up with the idea yet for a TV show. But we don't really have an idea at this point.
What was your craziest or best moment on the air?
O: There's so many. Having a girl flash on the Today Show was pretty special, she did the whole W.O.W thing for us live on the Today Show with the W.O.W logo on her belly. That was a pretty huge moment.
A: Blind boxing was just one of those things. People always ask us “Is there some line you have?” And that one came close, because when we are standing there watching two blind guys beating the crap out of each other. That was one of those times where I said “What are we doing?”
O: We had a pregnant girl jump rope and run up and down stairs in the studio hoping that she would give birth in the studio.
How far along in the pregnancy was she?
O: She was right there man!
And you guys would want her water breaking and placenta in the studio?
O: Well it never happened anyway.
What was your worst?
O: We don't really regret anything, you can't really be in this type of radio and regret anything.
Do you two ever get to the point where you can't stand each other? How do you deal with that when you have to go do a four-hour radio show together?
O: When it comes to the show, we've always been on the same team and we really take shots at each other. For some reason we can hate each other going in to the studio but still turn out a good radio show.
A: We butt heads every so often, but that's kind of normal. But you gotta go in there and do the show, but usually by the time the show's over we are like “What? Huh?” and its over.
Who is the hottest chick in the world right now?
O: Tiger Woods' girlfriend (Elin Nordegren) is pretty hot. And Anna Kournikova.
A: I think Janine Garafalo is really sexy.
A: No, you print that I'll have to kill you.
Now that you've proved your heterosexuality. If you had to make out with any guy on the planet, who would it be?
A: Ewwwahhh! I'm not getting involved in this one.
Oh come on, if you had to pick one.
A: I don't have to pick one.
O: We'd have to have some kind of option.
Well, I'd say Brad Pitt if you asked me, and I'm totally straight.
O: But, see, you're thinking about it.
Oh, is that gay?
O: We've had the discussion on the air. If you are thinking about it, it's a little weird. Like, I couldn't come up with anybody, because I wouldn't think about it.
Oh, so you're that straight?
A: Even if you could just throw one out and come out with one, when our fans and listeners read it, do you know the world of hurt that will come down on us on that day over the phone?
I thought it would be fun.
A: Are you insane?
O: God, I'd have to think of the ugliest dude so anyone that reads this would go "He was obviously kidding."
A: Yeah, pick Steve Buscemi. And kissing is another thing, more so than just the sex act.
O: Kissing makes it romantic. You'd have to go right for the "Hob the knob."
A: I think the kissing is what makes it gay. (Laughs).
O: At least like, if you had to do it to survive, like "Who's knob would you hob?" then I would almost understand.
Well what about when you are with your girlfriends and they say “So and so is a good looking guy” is there ever as time when you agree?
O: I guess you'd have to be blind, I mean you can see why girls think Brad Pitt is a good looking guy.
A: Is that your pick Opie? (Laughter)
As far as your show is concerned, what are you most proud of?
A: Its no single thing, but being able to do this on a daily basis for as many years as we have been doing it, and the popularity of the show seems to be going up, knock on wood. We are doing better and better. I am really proud by where we are right now and where it looks like we are headed. I am amazed by it on a daily basis.
O: I am proud that the listeners get what we are all about. I love reading email from the listeners who say that we made their horrible commute an enjoyable experience. Just imagine that—we all get stuck in crazy traffic, but there are people out there that don't mind being in the traffic because of the service we provide with this radio show and that definitely makes me really proud.
Who has influenced you guys as far as radio is concerned?
O: No one now, I think radio in general just blows. But when I was growing up on Long Island, of course I listened to Howard Stern. To fake and make believe we didn't would be ridiculous. I really learned my part of the O&A show from Brother Weese in Rochester. He's a morning guy up there who is a down to earth guy who relates to his listeners in a way that is a lot different than anyone else I have never listened to. Beside those two guys, I can't think of anyone else…maybe Casey Kasem.
How about influences just in general?
O: Growing up I was into Andy Kaufman. I was into how he was able to fuck with his audience. I really took a lot from that. I took a lot from Sam Kinison, how he could be out of his fucking mind and pretty much say what the average person or comedian wouldn't say.
Anthony, you seem to be the quiet one.
A: You hit me on a day when I had to sit and listen to an insurance salesman for a half hour. Almost lulled me to sleep.
O: I was into Nirvana and what Kurt brought to music, which was the balls to do something completely different than anyone else at the time. I admire that because there's not a lot of people out there in the creative field that are willing to take that chance. Tool is a band that has taken chances obviously, and always has. And speaking of Tool another person I admired growing up was Bill Hicks. He was pretty amazing.
Any advice for kids who want to be on radio or have their own show one day?
O: Two simple words: Be yourself. There's a lot of phonies out there that act like they are tough and act like they are cool, but they are listening to the wrong advice from those stupid program directors out there.
A: One thing I learned, is more importantly than knowing when to listen to your superiors, is learning when not to listen to your superiors, and go with your instincts.
O: We've said that in a lot of interviews, and no one prints it, especially trade magazines, they are scared to print that. Ant and I would have never gotten where we are today if we had listened to our bosses. I think there are a lot of professions out there that that's very important. There was a lot of asshole bosses who thought they could control us and tell us what to say and do, and we just constantly got in so much trouble it wasn't even funny, but we had a vision and knew we had to go for it.