There’s a ‘Dennis and Callahan’ Hazing Going Down
There’s a delightfully awkward dynamic developing over at WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show ever since Kirk Minihane joined the two longtime anchors as a third host. Boston Globe sports media columnist Chad Finn wrote about it last week, after Minihane moved to a booth separated from the two original hosts.
The party line is that NESN and WEEI just want to see how having Minihane set apart from the other two works for a couple of days. Reasonable enough under most circumstances, right?
Not right. Finn continues:
One doesn’t have to be an accomplished conspiracy theorist to watch the simulcast and notice that Dennis often appears to treat Minihane as a threat and yet also with a “what’s your name again?” casual condescension. (He openly revels in calling him “Minnifield,” just as he infamously called Ryen Russillo “Rotillo.”)
Another place to watch the tension play out is on social media—social media: home to passive aggression since the days of the thinly veiled AOL Instant Messanger status—where the staff actually seems to be promoting the tense atmosphere for comedic effect. Minihane’s Twitter bio, for instance, reads: “Performing an undefined role on the Dennis & Callahan show since February 21, 2013.” They often joke that he’s not allowed to talk to the guests, as when Minihane quoted Dennis on Twitter asking folks to listen in to their interview with Jackie Bradley Jr., then added, “I know I’ll be listening.”
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) April 2, 2013
It seems like a lot of listeners and online commenters agree that Minihane adds a refreshing energy to a fairly tired formula, whether or not they let him speak or call him by the right name. To see why, just look at this clip, in which he contests Callahan’s characteristically overstated assertion that without Bradley’s breakout performance, the Sox would have lost to the Yankees on opening day. Though the Sox won by six runs, only two of them scored by Bradley, Callahan says Bradley “set the tone.” Minihane pushed back: “‘Setting tone’ stuff to me is just something that talk show hosts do for a living. I get it, that’s fine. But there’s no way to prove it. It’s not tangible.”
This is getting interesting.