Christopher Russo made his Sirius/XM debut yesterday afternoon, and while Newsday’s Neil Best is far too polite to suggest the Mad Dog needs an upgrade in the booking department, what else can be said about a program whose inaugural guests were Gary Bettman and Southside Johnny?
It began at 2:05 with his familiar opening, although he replaced “good afternoon everybody” with “good day everybody,” a nod to listeners in the Pacific time zone.
And within the first hour or so, Russo had pronounced discombobulated “discombodulated,” Darth Vader “Darth Vardar” and carnauba wax “carnoba wax.”
Russo led with Sunday’s Chargers-Broncos game – repeatedly hammering referee Ed Hochuli – “partly because if I lead with Jets-Pats, I can see people out there in Lincoln saying, ‘Oh, here we go again, another New York guy on, blah, blah, blah.’
On Sirius, Russo waited until 2:22 to mention Luis Ayala and Eric Mangini, but only to illustrate what he was not talking about. He didn’t come back to Ayala until 3:57.
Among the first callers were one from Miami and two from Virginia, but at one point five of six callers on hold had area codes that indicated they were from the New York region.
Russo has been so concerned about offending non-New Yorkers that some at the station were worried he was overcompensating.
“They made a good point: ‘Remember, Chris, we have a million subscribers in New York; don’t — the subscribers in New York off,”‘ he said.