To listen to the “Who’s on First?” parody from ESPN Audio, CLICK HERE.
When ESPN Radio’s SportsCenter AllNight host Jay Reynolds and anchor Kevin Winter walked into the studio for their 2-6 a.m. ET show this morning, they weren’t thinking of making listeners laugh throughout a one-minute, nine-second dialog.
That changed when the production team learned the Texas Rangers signed Yu Darvish. Reprising a skit that was first heard on national radio 74 years ago this March (The Kate Smith Hour), they collaborated on a 2012 radio spoof of the classic Abbott & Costello Who’s on First routine. The premise was that producers inadvertently recorded Winter telling Reynolds, “Yu signed a six-year, $60 million contract,” much to Jay’s surprise.
“(Producer) Bill Ennever, Jay and I were doing a pre-show meeting and Jay made a joke about ‘You’ getting a big contract, and I replied ‘Who?’ and he said ‘No, he’s on first,’” says production assistant Mike Antoniou.
“We thought we should do something like that for the show, so I wrote a script, and my friend [production assistant] Ali Bronson helped me iron out the finishing touches.”
Winter says: “They performed it in front of us — they wanted us to listen to it so we’d get what they were looking for, and I thought ‘I’m going to have to do this with my head down, not looking at anyone, or I’m going to just start laughing.’”
Thus AllNight’s Yu’s on First was born, successfully recorded, and subsequently played once each hour through the show.
“You hope it’s funny the first time, but more importantly, you hope it’s stays funny the rest of the times,” Winter says.
As for the protagonists, Antoniou is a Yankees fan and Bronson is a Mets fan, which certainly has the potential for another humorous late-night routine.
A portrait of Bud Abbott holding the lapels of comedy partner Lou Costello's jacket.
KW – Hey Jay, did you hear? Yu signed a deal today!
JR – I did?
KW – No… Yu did. A big deal.
JR – it wasn’t that big…I mean, I’ve been here for 16 years. I don’t want to brag….but it was a good contract.
KW – No. NOT you. YU!
JR – What are you talking about? I’m the only one in the studio!
KW – No, Yu! Yu! In Texas!
JR – I wasn’t in Texas today. I was here!
KW – I’m not talking about you.
JR – Then who are you talking about?
KW – YU!
JR – That’s what I’ve been saying!
KW – You’re not listening to me. Yu signed a 6-year, $60 million dollar contract today.
JR – HOW MUCH DID I GET?!
KW – Not You! Yu did.
JR – Are you talking about you?
KW – Yes.
JR – So you got a 6-year, $60 million contract?
KW – Yes.
JR – Wow. Congratulations Kevin.
KW – No. Not me. Yu did.
JR – So it’s my money?
KW – No. it belongs to Yuu.
JR – THAT’S WHAT I’m SAYING. When the person cashes the checks…who signs them?
KW – Yu.
JR – Actually, my wife handles all the money.
KW – NO!. Not you. YU. I’m gonna explain this one more time. Yu signed a big deal. 6-year, $60 million.
JR – I did?
KW – I give up.