Straight From The Mouth
The Morning Mouth's January Interview with Danny & Zack
(Reprinted by permission; Copyright © 2009 Talentmasters Inc.)
Tell us how the K92 Morning Thang began?
Z: Danny and I came to Roanoke in August 2002, and after a revolving door
of producer/co-hosts we found the Holy Grail in Miss Monica in February 2007.
D: Before that Zack and I stumbled through Cincinnati and Philly. But
here's where we've gotten it really going.
Best bit you ever did?
Z: There are two: When we worked in Cincinnati at Q102 we did a Christmas
concert and toy drive for a local orphanage. I didn't even know orphanages
still existed outside of Cider House Rules, but meeting and spending time
Christmas with the kids that we still play on our show to this day, and seven
years later it will still make me cry if I pay attention to the whole thing.
In the more recent past, it wasn't really a bit, but the week Danny and I
spent on the air following the April 16th Virginia Tech campus shootings was
the most meaningful week of radio I will ever do in my career. To be there
for a community that was flat out shattered by tragedy showed the real power
we have in radio to affect, change, and heal people's lives every single day.
I hope no other show ever has to go through what we did, but at the same time
I wouldn't trade that week of radio for the world.
D: I'll add another. In the wake of Britney's head-shaving disaster, we
invited willing women to come to the studio and for every $500 we raised for
cancer research, we'd shave a head live on the air. Zack and I thought we'd
get one or two to agree to participate, we d raise a little bit of cash and
move on. I think we ended up with over 20 women, with these moving stories of
who they were shaving their heads to support or their own stories of cancer
of the local paper.
What's the one show you want to corner at MSBC?
Z: Chad Mitchell/The Fox, Detroit & that jerk owes me money. After that, I
just love picking the brains of some of my favorites: Mojo/WKQI, Danny
Czekalisnki/WRMF, Dana DiDonato/WBLI, Bender/WYOY, Jeff and Jer, and whomever
else is reading this right now and wants to know why their name isn't on this
The thing about your first time ever on the air was?
D: It was an AM station in upstate New York (1230 WIGS The Big Wigs ) that
had gone bankrupt and fired everyone who was making money, so I was hired as
a 14 year old scab. Within two weeks I went from weekends to afternoon drive.
That would have been a bigger deal if anyone else worked there. Actually, the
guy that hired me was an amazing talent named Lee Richards. Even thought the
place was an unbelievable dump, he put on this great show. It was a great
education in what radio is really like.
Z: I did the Little League Baseball Game of the Week on an AM station in
my tiny hometown of Middleboro, MA. During the rest of the week the station
was an affiliate for the Radio Reading for the Blind Network, except for my
little slice of ratings gold from 1-3 on Saturday afternoons. In all honesty,
it was great summer job for a kid in high school, and taught me a lot about
what goes into running your own show. I also got to sell spots and keep the
profits, so I got to feel what it was like to be a sales weasel as well.
Who do you think is the best jock that ever lived?
D: There are so many. I'm an unbelievable radio nerd &so it's not hard for
me to rattle off a top 3. 1) Dale Dorman/Kiss 108 2) Jojo Cookin Kincaid from
Kiss and Q106, San Diego and 3) Paul Cub by Bryant from Z100/NY
Z: You stole my answer! I love the old Jojo Cookin Kincaid.
Monica: Howard Stern. He is such an entertaining individual and I love his
You knew you'd be a deejay when?
D: I got a Sears and Roebuck Be a DJ record player and microphone for
Z: At four years old when I was creating and taping my own variety shows
on cassette to send to my grandparents.
D: Zack's grandma has a cute Polish name. Way better than Nana or Grandma.
Z: You leave my Babci alone!
The five buttons on your car radio are tuned to?
D: There are only five stations in this market, so one for each of them.
The four TV shows you never miss?
M: Grey's Anatomy, Chef Ramsey, Paula Dean and I Love New York.
Z: I Love New York (so I can feel cool and talk to Monica), Lost, Dexter,
and Curb Your Enthusiasm
D: American Idol, Ugly Betty, Friday Night Lights, and Barefoot Contessa
on the Food Channel
Z: FYI: Danny typed that list and then kept shouting "I watch some guy
shows. I swear! Yeah, sure.
The last thing you TiVo'd was?
Z: My Big Breasts and Me . some documentary on BBC America that got me in
trouble with my wife. They need to invent a way on Tivo to change the name of
the show you taped so I could've changed that one to Fantasy Football Preview
D: Mr. Warmth the Don Rickles movie.
The best interview question you ever asked was?
D: to American Idol Kimberly Locke about Clay Aiken 's sexuality and she
totally outed him live on the air.
M: To Good Charlotte. I asked the guys if they liked big butts. We all
know that Joel Madden has dated some skinny women, Hilary Duff and his
current boo, Nicole Richie. I wanted to know if he liked a little thickness.
He answered yes to the question.
Z: I'm not allowed to ask questions. Danny banned me. And he may want to
do the same for Monica in the future.
You had a caller once...
D: Who admitted she thought her father and brother killed her high school
boyfriend. He'd been hitting her so they put the bad dude in a van and he
never returned to school. For years she had been unable to get any straight
answers from her family so we hired a private investigator and tracked him
down in a prison in Arkansas.
You had a couple in the studio once...
Z: Who both failed lie detector tests about cheating on each other. They
still ended up getting married.
D: And *SHOCKINGLY* later divorced.
Z: Remember, we do a show in the South.
You once hung up on...
D: Here's the deal. A lot of celebrities hate doing radio, some of it is
our own fault because a lot of DJs make a name by treating guests badly.
However, I do try to treat our guests well so if they treat us poorly they
get banned forever. A partial list: Chad Michael Murray, Dustin Diamond,
Apolo Ohno, Tim Meadows, and Scott Stapp.
They once hung up on you...
D: Jennifer Lopez. I asked her about the insurance policy she took out on
her ass. It was in US Weekly so it was definitely true, right? She
disconnected from us at that point.
What was your worst remote experience?
D: A local cabinet maker that sunk his entire advertising budget into one
radio remote for his grand opening. When the remote started and crowds
weren't beating down the door to buy cabinetry, he looked at me, and this is
a burly woodcrafting man, with tears in his eyes and said feebly where are
all the people?
Z: I once had to do play by play for musical toilets at a minor league
baseball game. I knew at that moment that I had officially arrived.
D: Wait, another one: I was supposed to broadcast live from the grand
opening of a new roller coaster at a major amusement park. After the station
hyped this broadcast for a month, it was when I got there that I was informed
the coaster would never be opening because it was shattering people s rib
cages on takeoff. So I was instructed not to mention a word. Here comes
another 10 hits in a row live from Wheezy World!
What's the best, worst part of the day?
D: Best is the four hours I'm on the air. Worst is when it's 9pm and I
don't wanna go to bed!
Z: I'll agree that the four hours is the best, though the times during
spots when Danny and I are fighting like a married couple is probably the
worst. He argues like a woman making it impossible to win.
D: Maybe I do, because I argue on point. Zack is a hurtful
The on-air bit that doesn't work anymore?
Z: I'm not really a fan of that question. I hate when I hear shows at Boot
Camp trash other shows with things like "You do War of the Roses? Meanwhile,
I see that same show doing Love Court and Brainbuster Trivia on The Aircheck
Channel in my hotel room. Every show is different. If a bit works for you and
it gets you ratings, then do it! Who cares what anybody else thinks?
D: Plus, there's always a way to reinvent a bit that works.
Z: Yes. And after Mojo reinvents it, we copy it from him and it works!
You wish radio would never...
D: Go away. Awww. No but seriously, I am regularly freaked out by the fact
that my five year old nephew has an ipod but no radio. I love this business
and I'm legitimately nervous of the future.
Your wife told me once...
Z: My wife speaks in a tone that doesn't register in my brain.
D: Come on, don't you love it when she tells you all about what happened
on the Today Show that morning?
Your GM would kill you if...
Z: I'm honestly not sure if we could do anything that would make him want
to kill us. We re lucky enough to be working for one of the last family-owned
radio groups in the country, and I count my blessings for that every day. No
red tape, a local owner that cares about his employees, and easy access to
petty cash. What more could you possibly want?
D: Yeah, sometimes it stinks because he doesn't give us a lot of material
for the air.
Read previous Morning Mouth interviews.