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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.
- 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 Chick and the Only Sane Woman. Frequently called upon to rein in the guys amidst their MILF jokes.
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.
The show broadcasts nationally from 6-10 AM on weekdays, and over 2008-10 the best bits were played on Superstation WGN television at midnight (thanks to the modern miracle of a TV camera in the studio). Since the mid-1980s, a series of albums compiling recent highlights from the show have been released; at this point the frequency is one or two multi-disc sets per year (two to four discs each).
The Bob and Tom Show contains examples of:
- 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 Nineties who fit this trope, but being the lowbrow show it is, every gay character/celebrity is presented as this.
- Catch Phrase
- "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".
- Closer to Earth: Kristi, of course.
- Greatest Hits Album: 1999 brought out the two-disc Greatest Hits Volume One, but most of their compilations of previously-released material are themed rather than show-spanning and usually include "new" material that fits the 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) featured the many send-ups of Harry Carey, the legendary Chicago Cubs announcer, 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, Christmas; included some material that appeared on It's a Wonderful Laugh)
- The Mr. Obvious Show (2005)
- My Job Sucks (2008, Donnie Baker skits)
- How the Character Stole Christmas: "The Griswold That Stole Christmas".
- Lounge Lizard: Dick Mango (Griswold), who comments on current events in parody medleys with his band the Dick Mango Trio.
- 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: Plenty of these.
- 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.
- 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.