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Mr. Tony is Back

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Tony Kornheiser is back on the radio, and there is once again joy in Mudville. Newly reincarnated on ESPN 980 in Washington, DC on September 8, the newly furbished Tony Kornheiser Show is available for live streaming and podcasting. Links are available at This Website Stinks, the official unofficial Tony Kornheiser site.

Fans of his old show will find the same old lovable curmudgeon ranting about everything from the disasters of his daily life and what Hannah Storm is wearing on SportsCenter to fan-baiting tweets by fourth-string football players and the death of Mary Travers. And of course, sports: You can hear James Carville pick football games (he had the Washington with the points over USC). You can hear about the Redskins’ short yardage game, the Giants win at Dallas, and Drew Brees’ scoring spree. You can get Mr. Tony’s take on the Serena Williams meltdown. You may not always agree with his opinions, but he always has an opinion and he will always give you that opinion directly and forthrightly. More importantly you will be entertained, but what do I know?

Although he constantly asserts that this is a local radio show, Tony and his guests, both in studio and on the phone, never limit themselves parochially to the DC area. He discusses Bruce Springsteen with Liz Clarke. He talks about high school football in rural Kansas with Joe Drape, author of Our Boys. He jokes about fasting and golf on Yom Kippur with the dulcet-voiced Nigel. One day he’ll be talking to John Feinstein, and the next Pulitzer-winning reporter Eugene Robinson. The death of Patrick Swayze will get him started on his love for Dirty Dancing, and his time spent working in the Catskills, and family vacations … and on and on he goes, one idea leading to another in a rhapsody of free association that will eventually get to Whoopi Goldberg and her Oscar for Ghost. Local, he says, perhaps, but there is plenty here for the outlanders.

More often than not, his favorite topic is Mr. Tony. There was a long segment about how he lost his credit card and driver’s license at Union Station and how they were eventually returned by a Good Samaritan (together with some conjecture about the derivation of Samaritan). There was a lengthy digression on the importance he attaches to a prime parking space both at the station and at public events. “Take the Shuttle? Mr. Tony?” There are all the old stories: Peter Yarrow’s invasion of his house, Mr. Tony’s fear of flying, his son’s golf game. If you’re a fan, these are like visits from old friends you haven’t seen for awhile and are glad to see are still alive and well. If not, you may be asking yourself, “who cares?”

For those that do care, think about what we have to look forward to. Think about the weekly discussions of American Idol without Paula. Think about Tony’s foray into the mysteries of fantasy football. Think about the dirt listeners are going to pick up about Tony’s erstwhile employer, The Washington Post. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

It was a sad day when ESPN dropped the national broadcast of The Tony Kornheiser Show. It was a sadder day when the Washington, DC show went off the air. September 8, 2009, on the other hand, was a happy day. Mr. Tony is back.

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