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Mike Elliott hangs with old pal Jimmy Kimmel

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This week, I have an opportunity to dish about my morning show partner of almost 14 years, Mike Elliott. Off the air, he is kind of shy and non-assuming. He’s a great father. He loves his hair. At one time, he had the highest-rated morning radio show in America (per capita) with a 28 share - unheard of numbers today. He is extremely funny and has a soft spot for robots.

That probably isn’t the juicy sort of dish you were hoping to read, but it’s all true. Oh, and he has some famous friends. One friend in particular happens to be one of America’s most beloved late-night talk show hosts, Jimmy Kimmel. Mike recently spent a few days in Los Angeles with his old pal and former morning show sidekick.

Dow: When did you meet Jimmy Kimmel?

Elliott: I met Jimmy in the fall of 1986. He was about 19 and going to Arizona State University. I was doing an afternoon show in Phoenix with Kent Voss. Jimmy used to call and berate us on the air and he was so funny, he became part of the show. We called him “The Angry Guy.” He would threaten us with bodily harm when we said things he didn’t agree with. His tagline was (said with a Brooklyn accent) was “Because if yuz don’t change yer attitude, I’m comin’ down there and I’m gonna break yer freakin’ heads!”

I was offered a job in Tampa Bay. Part of the deal was that I could bring in my own staff so I brought Jimmy and Kent to Florida to do the show with me. Kent was my morning show partner and Jimmy was our producer. Everybody at the station hated Jimmy because they didn’t think he was funny. He was the first to be fired. That still amazes me.

Dow: After Tampa, you both went back to Arizona?

Elliott: Yes, Tucson. We did the show together there and were both fired at the same time for once, so that worked out good.

Dow: (laughing) Why were you both fired?

Elliott: We drove our program director nuts. We would break into his office in the middle of the night and put hot dogs in his desk. I think that was the beginning of the end. From there, I flew to LA every weekend and worked at K-Rock, where Jimmy eventually landed. He stayed in LA and I came back to Maine for family reasons and to start a business. I lost all of my money the old fashioned way - I owned a radio station.

Dow: A few weeks ago, you spent a few days with Jimmy in LA. What sort of shenanigans were involved in that reunion?

Elliott: I accompanied him to this big gala fundraiser that he hosts every year and sat with him at his table in the VIP section, which was really cool.

Dow: Charlie Sheen was there, right? Was he sober?

Elliott: I didn’t run a breathalyzer on him and the blood samples are not back from the lab.

Dow: What is Jimmy’s life like these days?

Elliott: His schedule is laid out for him pretty much like a politician’s. It’s non-stop until he does the show. He’s totally relaxed and in control. What really impressed me is that he is the same guy I knew years ago except he has more confidence. Not in a cocky way, it’s more like “I’m doing what I love and I’m good at it.”

Dow: The many millions of dollars haven’t changed him?

Elliott: He has a nicer car now. He used to drive an old beat-up Mazda RX-7.

Dow: What is one thing you know about Jimmy that would surprise most people?

Elliott: Jimmy is the hairiest man I have ever seen naked. Yes, I’ve seen a naked Emmy-winner. I was able to check that off my bucket list early.

Dow: Why was he naked?

Elliott: We were scheduled to do an appearance together and I showed up a little early to pick him up. He apparently didn’t feel it was necessary to put on a robe. I’m sure he waxes now, but seriously, I thought he was a human-zee.

Dow: What were you and Jimmy doing in the photo (accompanying this column) taken on the set at his desk?

Elliott: We were going over the script for the Snooki/Beavis and Butthead sketch that ran on Oct. 25. I was offering suggestions and he was immediately shooting them down.

Dow: Mike Judge (the creator and voice of Beavis and Butthead) was there too, right?

Elliott: Yeah, after the show we all went out to dinner. I spent quite a bit of time talking with Mike Judge and found out that we’ve both gone through some similar experiences over the past year or so. He’s actually quite shy, which surprised me. If you engage him he’ll talk, but he isn’t one to initiate a conversation. Mike is a great guy - very genuine and approachable.

Dow: As part of that sketch, you also met Snooki. What percentage of her head is actually made up of dishwater? Is there even a nugget of brain in there?

Elliott: I believe that Snooki is primarily constructed of space-age polymer. She seemed very nice. I just kind of shook her hand … and then headed immediately to the men’s room to wash it.

Dow: Do you think Jimmy will take you up on your offer to vacation in Maine?

Elliott: I’ve been trying to get him to come here for the last few years. He loves Maine lobster. Back in the old days, I used to tell him how people buy the lobsters off the boat and cook them outside in barrels of boiling water. Whenever we would have a stressful day, he would ask me to tell him about it as if it was a bedtime story. It made him feel peaceful. I keep working that angle. “Come up here and we’ll give you all the lobster you can eat.” 

Mike Dow is part of The Mike and Mike Show airing each morning on Kiss 94.5. Check him out at www.Facebook.com/MikeandMike and www.MikeDow.Net.

 

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