Shock jocks Opie and Anthony, famous for faking Mayor Tom Menino's death, are back on FM in Boston.
Gregg "Opie" Hughes (left) and Anthony Cumia (Photo / David Bartolomi)
You were kicked off FM radio years ago but have been on satellite XM Radio since 2004. What are the rules for satellite broadcasting?
Anthony Cumia: We draw our own lines. We're not going to go sacrifice a baby they might frown on that.
Has it been hard not having any rules to break?
Gregg ''Opie'' Hughes: Well, I got to tell you that being back on regular radio, it's kind of fun to skate around some things again. I'd forgotten how much fun it can actually be. When we went to XM, it was like Oh, yeah, total freedom! But now that we're back on commercial radio for the first half of the show, it's fun to talk in code and see how much we can officially get away with under the new FCC guidelines.
Anthony: I think the shock jocks - the ones that just did the real heavy sexual content - weren't able to adapt, and that's who made the biggest noise. Howard [Stern]'s one of them. But you can work within the guidelines. You have to be clever enough to pull it off , but it is absolutely doable. We've spoken about some despicable things on FM radio.
Now that you're back on 'BCN, are you hearing from long-lost Boston-area listeners?
Anthony: Yeah, it's kind of weird. We get a lot of phone calls and e-mails and MySpace comments from people that are like, 'Dude, I used to listen to your show when I was like 13, and now I'm graduating college.' A lot of the oldtimers are there.
How did you wind up in Boston the first time?
Opie: Anthony and I started working together in the summer of '94, doing nights on WBAB in Long Island, and things were going really well. We had instant chemistry, and it was very obvious we had something. Ron Valeri, who was the program director at [Boston's] WAAF, was coming to Long Island to visit his wife's family. He liked what I was doing and gave me a call. Next thing you know, they were offering us afternoon drive with the Opie and Anthony Show.
Wherever you've lived, city officials have come in for some serious mockery on your show. Is Mayor Michael Bloomberg getting the same treatment now that you're based in New York?
Opie: Nah. I look at a lot of these politicians as characters, and, unfortunately, Bloomberg's kind of boring as far as becoming a regular character on a radio show. We had a lot of fun with Lord Combover [Rudy Giuliani] back in the day. Even Mayor Menino was a character that was fun to goof on, but we never found that angle on Bloomberg.
Did you ever make amends with Menino about the fake death thing? Are you guys all friends now?
Opie: He's still holding a grudge, unfortunately.
Anthony (with a message for the Boston mayor): Fix your [expletive deleted] tunnel, and don't worry about a radio show that hasn't talked about you in years.