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Radio / The Bob & Tom Show

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Established in 1983 and going national in 1995, The Bob and Tom Show is a nationally-syndicated Morning Zoo radio show, aired live from the NAPA Studios in the Friggemall Building overlooking beautiful, downtown Indianapolis. Known for its amusing bits and its frequent interviews with up-and-coming comedians, the show serves its intended purpose: To get people out of bed, preferably with a laugh.

The on-air cast of The Bob & Tom Show are as follows:

  • Bob Kevoian, the laid-back, golf-loving, beer-drinking, lady-lovin' man's man of the show. He's rarely seen without his epic mustache or his L.A. Dodgers cap. He retired in December 2015.
  • Tom Griswold, the Felix to Bob's Oscar. Tom is a more uptight, quirky guy who's famous for his hypochondria and his "code", wherein amongst other things he won't buy cereal if he's facing west, and will never enter a place that has a Brink's truck parked outside.
  • Chick McGee (real name Charles Dean), sports desk, is the Butt-Monkey for the group. He's portrayed as even more perverted than Bob, and hardly goes a football day without professing his love for the Washington Redskins.
  • Kristi Lee, news desk, is the Only Sane Woman. Frequently called upon to rein in the guys amidst their MILF jokes.
  • Since Bob retired, several comedians have come in on guest- or permanent basis. The current (2020) roster includes comedian Josh Arnold, producer Ace Cosby, comedienne Jess Hooker (who also does a podcast with Chick), comedian Willie Griswold (Tom's son), and singer-comedian Pat Godwin.

Aside from the guests, the shows features regular call-in guests (actually played by producers Dean Metcalf, Ron Sexton, Steve Salge, and Marty Bender) who'll make jokes about whatever news story the gang happens to be on. Frequent callers include Floyd the Truck-Driver, Jumbo the Elephant, Kenny Tarmac, and Donnie Baker (who has soared in popularity with his stereotypical white trash persona. I swear to God he has). Original pre-recorded skits chronicle the further adventures of these characters, the on-air gang, impersonated celebrities in the news, and such long-suffering souls as Mr. Obvious (McGee) and his perpetually clueless "long-time listener first-time caller" (Metcalf), in addition to a variety of pop-culture send-ups. A Bob and Tom skit ("How To Prank A Telemarketer", featuring guest Tom Mabe) is the number one most-viewed site of all time on the website YTMND.

The show broadcasts nationally from 6-10 AM on weekdays, and over 2008-10 the best bits were played on television via Superstation WGN at midnight (thanks to the modern miracle of a TV camera in the studio). From 1986-2012, at least one CD compilation of then-recent highlights from the show was released annually as a fundraising drive for Indianapolis charities. Since 2020, the show is simulcast on camera to YouTube.

The Bob & Tom Show contains examples of:

  • All Periods Are PMS: This assumption is the springboard for such skits as "UPMS" (a delivery service staffed only by premenstrual women) and "The Best Damn Period Show. Period."
  • Artifact Title: Since Bob retired in 2015, it's been Tom (with Kristi, Chick, and a revolving cast of comedians and show producers).
  • Berserk Button: Chick earned Kristie's ire when he said breastfeeding was over-rated.
  • Breakout Character: Quite a few, but Donnie Baker's in his own stratosphere. I swear to God he is.
  • Camp Gay: Warren Piece was a recurring character phased out at the turn of The '90s who fit this trope, but being the lowbrow show it is, every gay character/celebrity is presented as this.
    • Subverted in one sketch where two men are arguing over the price of coffee (specifically, why a coffee with something costs less than the coffee without it), when a director yells cut and reminds them that this is a gay porno (where we had no idea up until that point).
  • Catchphrase
    • "It's Marlboro time..." (their take on Marge Schott, the infamous Cincinnati Reds owner who in-show hosted Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em)
    • "I swear to God it is," "They have to let you do X, it's state law," and "Shut up, Randy!" (Donnie Baker)
    • "We just landed!" (Kenny Tarmac)
    • "Hey, Mr. Obvious. Long time listener first time caller!" and "[Concept anyone smarter than the caller would know about]. Huh! I never made the connection!"
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Parody: "Charles Barkley and the Chocolate Factory".
  • Christmas Songs: Every year there's at least one new ditty featured on the show, either a parody of a straight example of the form or an original novelty song, and provided by the B&T gang themselves or a guest.
  • Closer to Earth: Kristi, of course.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The point of the skit about the "Joe Jefferson Memory Program", which touts how much your memory will be improved by it, which also is the point of the skit the "Jack Johnson Memory Program".
  • Depraved Kids' Show Host: Barney the Dinosaur, as Ian St. Ian learned when he was forced to interview him on Rock Minute. Barney threatens to have Ian killed if he doesn't "lose the attitude", pointing out that his fortune and reputation would make it extremely easy to pull off the crime. This Barney also tries to work in more adult material than what made him famous into his concert tours (noting that the set list for his upcoming tour will include Jimmy Buffett's "Why Don't We Get Drunk").
  • Elvis Lives: In The '80s and the early 1990s, a frequent guest was Dave "The King" Wilson as a still-alive-and-kicking Elvis defined mostly by his Big Eater tendencies. One song, "Return as Santa", reveals that he's become the new Santa Claus.
  • Funny Foreigner / Non-Specifically Foreign: Hadji (Marc Much) was a well-meaning but goofy Middle Easterner; this was another character quietly dropped in The '90s.
  • Greatest Hits Album: 1999 brought out the two-disc Greatest Hits Volume One, but most of their compilations of previously-released material were themed rather than show-spanning and usually included "new" material that fit said theme. Those are...
    • The first disc of Checkered Past (1995, auto racing — the Indianapolis 500 in particular)
    • The second disc of It's a Wonderful Laugh (1996, Christmas)
    • Indiana Rocks! (2000, state-specific skits)
    • Wild About Harry (2003, send-ups of legendary Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Carey in a year when the famously hapless team almost made the World Series. One of the non-Harry skits mocked Steve Bartman, a fan whose attempt to catch a ball was blamed for this not happening.
    • Mistletoe (2003, another Christmas set)
    • The Mr. Obvious Show (2005)
    • My Job Sucks (2008, Donnie Baker skits)
    • 100 (2016; auto racing — notable as their last compilation to date)
  • How the Character Stole Christmas: "The Griswold That Stole Christmas". Luckily Jimmy "Mad Dog" Mattis had a truckload of beer on hand to cheer everyone up.
  • Lounge Lizard: Dick Mango (Griswold), who comments on current events in parody medleys with his band the Dick Mango Trio.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Donnie Baker fits the redneck subtype of this trope. A typical get-rick-quick scheme of his is a prepaid child support service: illegitimate fathers give a portion of their paycheck to Donnie, who "invests" the money in scratch-off lottery tickets and divvies up whatever winnings there are to the fathers, who can thus pay off their exes.
  • May the Farce Be with You: "Star Warts", a porno version of the original trilogy.
  • No Indoor Voice: Kenny Tarmac, the guy who starts loudly talking on his cell phone as soon as your plane has landed.
  • Parody Commercial: A show staple.
  • Parody Names / Punny Name: Used all the time, but "The DaVinci Cod" skit deserves special mention for the bulk of the segment just having the announcer rattle off a Long List of fish-pun parody names for actors and musicians.
  • Separated by a Common Language: In "Cooking with the King", Elvis goes to England to try fish and chips and is completely confused by his host Ian St. Ian's speech. Eventually they get into a fight over the chips, which Elvis recognizes as French fries ("And they ain't even Ore-Ida's!").
  • Show Within a Show: A common setup for prerecorded pieces; recurring ones over the years include:
    • The Mr. Obvious Show
    • Smoke 'Em If You Got 'Em, hosted by "Marge Schott".
    • After Hours Sports, hosted by "Harry Carey". After he died, this was changed to Afterlife Sports and featured Harry chatting up other dead celebrities.
    • Donnie's Mail Sack
    • Belly Up, a sports chat show hosted by "Charles Barkley" and "James Gandolfini".
    • Rock Minute, a "rock" show hosted by the fictitious Ian St. Ian, sponsored by Gibson and Marshall — "If you don't play Gibson and Marshall, YOU'RE A WANKER!"
    • An afterlife version of The Tonight Show where Johnny Carson chats up (usually recently) deceased names in the news.
    • Larry King Live — A parody of the real thing.
    • Mike Birbiglia's Secret Public Journal got its start on the show.
    • Tim Bedore's Vague But True segment moved over from Marketplace, of all places.
    • The Zany Report by long-suffering comedian Bob Zany.
  • Toilet Humor: From an ad for "Dr. Pooper" (a laxative soda) to the Donnie Baker song "Beer Farts", this show never hesitates to wallow in this. Prior to the Janet Jackson scandal and resulting FCC crackdown, it was worse. The name of their last album before the crackdown? Cameltoe.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The caller from the Mr. Obvious skits. In the most famous one (to the point it's had multiple remakes and Continuity Nods), the caller thinks there is a "critter" in the pipes under his sink and when his wife turns on a "light switch" no light goes on but it makes it "madder than anything". He even tried to get it out once and nearly lost his fingers. The critter is actually the sink's garbage disposal. The sketch lives on this trope.