Bob (from Bob and Tom) — the exit interview

By Ed Wenck, NUVO

INDIANAPOLIS – In 1983, two morning radio guys moved from Petoskey, Michigan to a much bigger market: Indianapolis. Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold began a run on an Indy rock station — Q95 — that may be completely unrivaled in its longevity and success. That run will end for Bob as 2015 comes to a close.

On November 5, Bob and Tom — and the rest of the show, including Kristi Lee and Chick McGee — were inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame. During his induction remarks, Bob announced his retirement:

“When I was a teenager, I was a real smart ass. I didn’t get along with my Dad. And he said, ‘If you continue this behavior, you’ll amount to nothing. But you will make it to the Big Mouth Hall of Fame.’ I made it, Dad.

“I always thought you had to die or be retired for five years to be considered for any hall of fame. Thank God I’m not dead, but I am going to retire at the end of this year and walk away from the mic. Thank you for this great honor.”

In 1995, the Bob and Tom show transitioned from “local behemoth” to “syndicated juggernaut.” Yours truly had a front row seat for the rapid expansion of the show — I worked down the hall from Bob and Tom as half of the Wank and O’Brien Show on X103 (now known as Alt1033) from 1996 to1999. As some voices came and went (Pat Carlini and Mark Patrick, just to name two), the nucleus of the show remained constant: Three dudes and a woman making fun of the news of the day, hosting touring comedians and sprinkling the drive-time slot with sketches (both pre-produced and live, “on-the-fly” bits).

The show – which will continue after Bob departs (“Do you know how many bits my voice is on?” he reminded me just after our interview) – is heard on over 150 radio stations, produced over 50 compilation CDs and DVDs and racked up 5 “Marconi Awards,” radio’s answer to the Emmys or Oscars. It’s also spawned TV shows and comedy tours. The show’s done a lot of charity work too, including a famous bet with former Colts center Jeff Saturday that Saturday would never score a touchdown. During the AFC championship game in 2007, Saturday fell on a fumble in the end zone — and cost Bob and Tom $5,000 donated to Saturday’s charity of choice.

Kevoian — avid guitar player, radio Hall of Famer, sporting his signature ‘stache and Dodgers ball cap — brought in our partners at NUVO for a sit-down interview in the Bob and Tom studios right after a show on a recent Friday. Click here to check out that entire interview.

You can also click here to check out the travel blog of Bob’s wife, Becky. Bob says they plan to do a lot of traveling in his retirement.

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