Podcast: Matt Kelliher, PTI producer

Matt Kelliher has been with Pardon the Interruption since its start in 2001. With the show set to celebrate its 10th birthday on Saturday, we caught up with PTI’s producer for the “Front & Center” podcast. Matt discusses the show’s beginnings, the use of the “rundown” bar, the relationship between Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon (including one day when they almost came to blows) and samples some questions from our PTI Birthday Trivia quiz (coming next week to Front Row).

iPad / iPhone Version

In the video below, we share some of the highlights from that first show which aired on Oct. 22, 2001.

 

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  • Tom B

    I love PTI. In the 10 years its been on, I can easily say I’ve watched/listened to (podcast) 95% of the episodes…and I think its hilarious that the opening line of the first episode (giving the name of the show) was totally flubbed by Tony! Thanks for that laugh & SO many more.

    • David Scott

      I think he thought he was at a PTA meeting for his daughter!!! May have been the first mistake, wasn’t the last but the show motors along because of the incredible rapport of Tony and Mike. Glad you liked it and thanks for sitting inthe Front Row for a bit.

  • http://www.AthleticScholarships.net Joshua Zimmerman

    Wow! This show has come along way since it’s humble beginnings. Glad to see that Tony and Mike are still going strong after 10 years!

    • David Scott

      It really has, hasn’t it Joshua? The commitment from ESPN and the telented staff of Erik Rydholm have built PTI into a signature show for the network. Here’s to many, many more years.

  • Chuck

    Look how orange TK was!
    Especially when he brings his hands below his face in the opening segment. He looks like C. Thomas Howell in “Soul Man.”
    Those were the days. I remember that was the running joke for a long time, even in his columns for the Post, and this makes me extremely nostalgic. I remember watching this in the newsroom of my university’s student newspaper where I was a sportswriter. My boy and I watched it relentlessly, and thought, “That’ll be us one day.”

    • David Scott

      Brings back some great memories for sure, Chuck. Did you and your boy ever get your own show?! Appreciate your comments and thankf ro checking in to the Front Row.

  • Cyrus Balanlayos

    I’m still amazed at who noticed and emphasized the ‘PTI’ portion of the word ‘interuPTIon’ in the logo. 10 years and going strong!

    • David Scott

      No doubt Cyrus – it’s sort of like when you first discover the ARROW in the FedEx logo! Thanks for visitin Front Row.

  • Zhenya

    Been watching the show since day one and continue on a daily basis today: Best show on ESPN by far… the chemistry between these two is unmatched.

    • David Scott

      Thanks Zhenya – So true about their chemistry. You can see it’s not forced – they genuinely respect and like each other. Appreciate your comment and happy to have you in the Front Row!

  • Peter Roberts

    Tony Reali (or Statboy as he appears to have been known back then) looks as if he was still in high school back then! Amazing that these guys have been going for 10 years, I first stumbled across this show in 2008 while in the Netherlands, one of the best sports shows and something I watch absolutely every single day.

    Happy birthday Mike, Tony and Tony, and to all the PTI crew from one very happy viewer from the UK!

    • David Scott

      Yep, “Statboy” was just starting out then – and look at him now! Appreciate you visiting Front Row, Peter. Come on back and bring your friends whenever you like!

  • Damian Lopez

    I love that Wilbon’s love for Northwestern and TK’s Long Island roots are showcased since day one! Great show!

    • David Scott

      They are certainly loyal to where they came from – just another appealing factor about the show.

  • Joe Sexton

    PTI is one of only two sports programs that I will DVR when I can’t be there to watch it “live”. (The other is Around the Horn.) There is a lightness to the proceeding, unlike so many other sports shows that take themselves and the subject matter way too seriously. Through the lightness, though, there emerges a real substance that helps me see beyond and behind the hype and the glitz to what I consider a much better understanding of sports in general and particular sports and their players.

    • David Scott

      Bravo, Joe. Great summary of the way a lot of folks feel re: PTI. Thanks for stopping by the Front Row and sharing your thoughts.

  • Aden

    Im a die hard NFL fan however living in South Africa its very hard to watch any of the games since we hardly get any, so I always make an effort of watching of staying up extra late just so I can watch Tony and Mike.

    • David Scott

      Glad we can be of service to you! You can try the PTI podcast in iTunes as well – and there’s always the Watch ESPN app!

  • Paul Knapp

    Did Tony plan on saying “we’ll try and do better the next time” at the end of every show, or is it just something that stuck after the first time?

    • David Scott

      We will have to investigate the answer to that one!

  • Chuck D

    Any way we can get the whole episode? maybe some ATH

    • David Scott

      Chuck D – We will look into it and if possible will post here at Front Row. Thanks for suggestion. ATH turns 10 next year, so we’ll save that premiere for then!

  • Thomas Harris

    Best show on television!! Hope for (at least) 10 more years!!!!

    • David Scott

      Certainly in a lot of peoples’ Top 3. Thanks for visiting Front Row – come on back any time!

  • http://www.NoPunIntendedBlog.com Tim

    Something I wrote two years back celebrating the 8th birthday of PTI:

    “What Kornheiser and Wilbon understand far better than just about any other debaters on television or the radio is that civility does not compromise the integrity of one’s argument; indeed, it may even enhance it (remember, the show’s title itself is politely stated). They are two friends who argue about sports, occasionally with some passion. Our entertainment as viewers does not derive from their disagreement or juvenile name-calling but rather from a level of discourse that respects its audience. They don’t pander to the lowest common denominator of sports fan who yearns for snap reactions and simple solutions; rather, they handle sports issues in context and, during the course of the show, usually remind you why they have earned their respective pedestals.”

    http://npinopunintended.wordpress.com/2009/10/24/happy-time-for-pardon-the-interruption/

    • David Scott

      Well written. Thansk for sharing.

  • http://csaproductions.com/blog/ Brendt Wayne Waters

    7.5 minutes of highlights and the entirety of Five Good Minutes is included? How much of a diss on TK and Mike is this?