Kirk & Callahan made it to the White House. (WEEI)
Listeners of the Kirk and Callahan morning show turned their dials to their respective WEEI affiliates Wednesday morning to hear co-hosts Kirk Minihane and Gerry Callahan recap what appeared to be a strenuous night of travel before accompanying the Patriots on their trip to the White House in Washington D.C.
The top of Wednesday’s show led with just that, as the guys talked about how the Uber driver was ignoring producer Chris Curtis because he didn’t understand him and K&C delved into the uphill climb the Celtics now face down 0-2 to the Bulls in their first-round playoff matchup.
Gerry even told producer Ken Laird that he loved him after Ken went home for a few days and Jet Striar filled in. Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder.
That was before the tail end of the first segment, when news first broke on Twitter that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez apparently committed suicide in his jail cell in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Kirk and Gerry were forced to turn away from what appeared to be a show loaded with inside radio and the Patriots’ trip to the White House and instead shift to the biggest news story on the country.
“Aaron Hernandez is dead, which means we are off the hook,” Callahan said moments after the news broke. “We don’t have to live through more appeals. We don’t have to put the families though more appeals. We don’t have to listen to sleaze bags like Jose Baez [Aaron Hernandez’s defense attorney] anymore.”
“Is this the wildest story of all-time, from beginning to end?” Kirk asked. “I obviously have no sympathy for Shayanna Jenkins [Hernandez’s fiancee] this morning. But it is, as you would say, a fascinating story from beginning to end. It’s unbelievable. This guy was ready to be a Hall of Famer. I mean, really. He was going to catch 500-600 passes for the Patriots. And he pissed it all away because he wanted to be a gangster.”
“He would rather have been Tony Montana instead of Joe Montana,” Gerry added.
Kirk and Callahan spent the majority of the remaining three and a half hours discussing the death of Hernandez, one that still remains so mysterious and bizarre a day later. Frequent caller and K&C insider Rabbit called in and offered up his theory on the situation.
“I spoke to [Hernandez] yesterday as a matter of fact,” he said. “When you’re a member of a gang, the one thing that they do not tolerate is homosexuality. It’s not allowed. You have to be terminated. He knew it was going to be non-stop trouble for him. [Hernandez] said that the rumors were B.S.”
This was in response to ABC News’ Michele McPhee’s assertion that Hernandez may have been homosexual.
Just when you thought there wouldn’t be any big stories left on the docket for the day, Kirk read the statement from Tom Brady that he would be forgoing his trip to the White House for “personal reasons” in the fourth hour of the show. Brady later Instagrammed a picture of his parents, as Wednesday was their wedding anniversary. Tweets from Mike Reiss and Jeff Howe relayed that Brady’s mother was in Boston for the day and is still struggling with illness.
“It’s as good a theory as any, I don’t know,” Kirk said. “I would not be at all surprised if it involved his mom, but I think [Brady’s] always struggled with this Trump thing anyway.”
“That’s too bad,” Gerry added. “I’m telling you, he just doesn’t want to deal with the backlash. He doesn’t want to deal with it. It is a distraction.”
Things like 9/11, which Gerry and former co-host John Dennis covered when it happened back in 2001, or the Boston Marathon bombing, where Kirk, Gerry and Dino came in while the manhunt was still going on in Watertown, are when the show is truly at its best. Things happen that need to be covered.
As Kirk and Gerry have said, their show is a morning show that covers a wide variety of topics set on a sports station. 95 percent of what they cover is sports, but when certain things call for added attention in the news world, the show does a good job of delegating its coverage to what’s important.
After fielding numerous calls with conspiracy theories as to why Hernandez killed himself and some on Brady’s absence from the team trip to D.C., the real fun got started after the show, as Kirk, Gerry, Curtis and Program Director Joe Zarbano headed to South Lawn and the White House for the Patriots’ ceremony.
The guys sat in on Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s press briefing, one that was interrupted by Rob Gronkowski, in the White House briefing room.
They ran into old friend Jerry Thornton, formerly of WEEI and now of Barstool Sports, hanging out at the White House, before heading out to South Lawn.
The parody accounts, as usual, had fun with the pictures Curtis posted on the Kirk and Callahan Twitter page.
Perhaps the biggest moment of all was after the ceremony was over, and President Donald Trump was hanging out on a White House balcony with Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan, when the Krafts told Trump about Gerry’s support of him throughout the campaign when Trump shot Gerry a wave.
Trump even said hi to Kirk.
Then it was back to Boston, where the guys returned to do their Thursday show in the friendly confines of 20 Guest St.
After Thursday’s show, the ratings were released for the winter ratings book, which featured plenty of highlight-reel moments, including Evan Drellich’s tirade, a return from John Dennis and a shouting match between Pete Sheppard and Alex Reimer. The show earned the No. 1 spot in the morning ratings in the coveted demographic of men age 25-54.
Kudos. There might not be a better two-day stretch in K&C history.