WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – The return of Rick Valdez to the Junkies’ airwaves Tuesday brought merriment to all who have followed him throughout his radio career.

Valdez, whose famous debut (and subsequent “thanks for being on George” sign-off) on a Miami sports talker was so popular it earned him a regular spin-off show,  called into TSN’s 1050 in Toronto last Friday.

The beauty of Valdez’s revered call-in segments is the duality of their nature.

You see, Valdez notoriously shoehorns as many Maryland crab and Junkies references into them as possible.

The host of the show – who in this case was Bryan Hayes, inquiring about the booking of embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford on the Junkies last week – is conveniently none the wiser.

The end result is Hayes getting an original and thought-provoking, albeit a bit disheveled interview, and Junks listeners walking away with a broad smile and gasping for air.

Before we break down the zingers of this particular call, TSN is like the equivalent of ESPN in Canada, which legitimizes Rick Valdez more than ever before, and the setup from Hayes couldn’t have been more perfect.

“We head down there now to catch up with the producer of the show, the morning show on 106.7 The Fan, Rick Valdez joins me,” Hayes said. “What’s happening, Rick?”

“Hey, good morning Bryan, er, afternoon. I’m sorry.”

“No you got me,” Hayes said. “We’re on the same timezone. I know up here in Canada we kind of get forgotten sometimes down in D.C., but we’re all in the same boat. Alright take us through this, alright, so my understanding is you hooked this up for the most part. Why does this make sense for you guys to have Rob Ford on the show?”

“We put this together because he’s a lightning rod,” Valdez said. “I mean you just played the clip, and it gets media attention, and it’s good for the show, and if Rob wants to come on and make his picks, and talk about football, life, anything he wants, we’re more than willing to have him.”

Stop the audio.

What makes this just so great, and I know I’ve already mentioned it, but it bears repeating, is Rick Valdez isn’t even Rick Valdez (he’s Matt, the aloof, oft-befuddled mushmouth producer of the Junkies), and he’s being asked to give legitimate insight on something that affects the real-life problems in Canada. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

“Is he getting paid to come on with you guys,” Hayes asked.

“No, he is not,” Valdez said. “He is voluntarily doing this. And it was all a part of a lark email that we sent, a long shot. Me and my other producer Rick, we sit down and go over show notes of who we want on the show, and he’s a lightning rod, prominent figure, and international figure, and we just wanted to have him on because any publicity’s good publicity for our show.”


The more Rick stumbles over his words, which are always just a tad out of order, and the more he struggles to find the normal pace of a conversation (his timing is always just a hair off), and even the more he repeats himself … the better.

In trying to find common ground, Hayes likened Rob Ford’s scrutiny to that of Mayor for Life Marion Barry, who forever ago (1990), was caught smoking crack in a hotel room during a federal sting operation.

“Well, here at least, he’s sort of a uh, jovial figure I guess you could say,” Valdez said.

Definition: Jovial – cheerful and friendly.

“Every news cycle his words are parsed like Old Bay on a crab,” Valdez continued. “He’s just, everything he says is picked up, and it’s just like he’s a part of a joke, but, he’s a serious guy that likes his football and so we just wanted to have him on.”

“And you played the clip earlier, and that’s a good point about women and football,” Valdez said. “You know that’s the type of things that we talk about on our show. You know, one of our hosts, Lurch, his half-sister won a HUGE football pool. His mom, Peggy, I mean she picked teams you know on African-American quarterbacks, and we can’t put our finger on why they did that, and neither could Lurch’s father in-law, who runs the pool. I mean it’s just that kind of stuff that we like that we want to get from him.”

“You have bamboozled him. He has NO idea what’s happening,” Cakes said.

“He has no idea what you’re talking about,” Lurch laughed hysterically.

“Oh my gosh. I’m crying just from the awkwardness,” EB said.

I hope this goes down in Junkies’ lure. It deserves to.


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