Fictional characters, pseudo-celebrities, comic songs, and even an on-air prostate exam have all made their way into the Bob and Tom Show, a syndicated radio program that got its start in Indianapolis in 1983 with two local personalities, Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold, on WFBQ. The Bob and Tom Show, syndicated in 1995, became a success in 40 states and 156 markets, and Bob and Tom remain two of Indiana’s most successful media personalities.
Video shows Frank Caliendo on the Bob and Tom Show in Indianapolis. Caliendo describes a memorable meeting with Hollywood actor Tom Cruise.
Fifty-eight-year-old Kevoian, always with his much-photographed Dodgers cap and trademark mustache, joined the Indianapolis media after living in Los Angeles and serving a short stint in Michigan, while the 54-year-old Griswold came from Cleveland to join the Clear Channel Communications radio team. What they didn’t know then was how successful their on-air marriage would become in Indianapolis culture. Bob and Tom brought their own brand of comedy to the world through their variety show, with regular real or fictionalized appearances from sports stars, Hollywood celebrities, and a few well-timed phone calls from the likes of President Bill Clinton, Larry King, and Dr. Phil, all performed by the Bob and Tom Show staff. The show’s skits add to the daily doses of humor, and there’s generally a great deal of attention paid to women’s chests.
Since their start, Kevoian and Griswold have added two more personalities to the team. Kristi Lee serves as the Bob and Tom Show’s news director. Lee, who was raised in Indianapolis and attended Ben Davis High School, also often finds herself the focus of the group’s jokes. Chick McGee, an Ohio native, joined the Bob and Tom group in 1986 as another funnyman for the crew. McGee was the lucky one to undergo that prostate exam, but he did it for a good cause: to raise awareness for prostate cancer. Steve Allee, the show’s music producer and accomplished jazz pianist signed to Owl Studios, is another famous Indianapolis person.
Much has come from all their time spent behind the microphones at the WFBQ offices. The Bob and Tom Show has received dozens of awards over the years, and Kevoian and Griswold have produced more than 50 albums of songs and comic skits, including “Odd Balls,” My Job Sucks,” and “Man Boobs.” All proceeds from the album sales have been donated to charities. In late 2008, a television show on WGN America began airing, documenting an hour from each day’s radio broadcast. Not bad for a couple of funny guys from Naptown.
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