The Pardon the Interruption set with Tony Kornheiser (L) and Michael Wilbon. (Randy Sage/ESPN Images)
Bonnie Berko is not only Pardon the Interruption’s assistant director. She’s also the show’s designated prop manager. Here are some of the favorite pieces she’s bought, collected and curated for the PTI set in Washington, D.C. over the past 12 years.
1. LADY LEG LAMP
One of PTI’s first props, the lamp was purchased as a gift for the show by resident “stat boy” Tony Reali.
2. “PTI GOTHIC”
Berko had this “American Gothic” inspired caricature of Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon created.
Berko has acquired an assortment of Kornheiser, Wilbon and Reali dolls through the years.
4. WALL OF HEADS
This signature PTI backdrop changes daily based on sports and pop culture newsmakers. Executive producer Erik Rydholm prints, cuts and pastes these himself. Seen here: Paul Pierce, Dwight Howard, Tom Brady, Bobby Orr, Kevin Garnett, Lance Armstrong, Mike Tyson — and even Katie Couric.
5. MAD MEN DOLLS
AMC sent Joan Harris and Roger Sterling dolls a few years ago when they learned Kornheiser and Wilbon were fans of the popular cable drama.
6. KATE MIDDLETON DOLL
Berko’s husband, Arty, is an ESPN producer whose assignments include covering the Olympics. Through the years, he has purchased Olympic mascot dolls for the set, as well as this doll of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, which he picked up during a site visit to London before the 2012 Summer Games.
7. STATUE OF LIBERTY
One of her first show purchases, Berko bought this from a local home décor store and drove to the office with Lady Liberty sticking out the back seat of her convertible. When studio guests bring hats and shirts to PTI, Berko often adorns the statue with them so they can be seen on TV.
Robots are a popular item on set (FYI: so are penguins). This one was made by an artist in Illinois.
9. PET JELLYFISH
Berko named the show’s gelatinous friends “Cuff” and “Link” after the pet turtles in Rocky. They were purchased at the annual Toy Fair in New York, a popular destination for Berko to find toys and trinkets for PTI.
10. PTI WINE
Made by one of Kornheiser’s friends, the bottle is a longtime favorite item of the staff. The PTI logo is etched in the glass – not a printed label.
11. EMMY STATUE
PTI received this Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Show in 2009. It’s also a home for the Binghamton Bearcats mascot (Note: Binghamton, formerly Harpur College, is Kornheiser’s alma mater.)
12. NESTING DOLLS
One of the newest additions to the set, these dolls were custom-made just two weeks ago with the faces of Kornheiser, Wilbon and Reali.