Al Dukes gets a lot of flak from listeners and co-workers alike – a notable one didn’t even know his name, hence one of the best Dog drops you hear – but he has been an integral part of the Entercom family and New York radio for exactly 20 years.
That’s right: March 5, 2001 was Al’s first day in NYC, producing for Ron & Fez on WNEW. Since then, he has worked at WNEW, K-Rock (now ALT 92.3), and WFAN, working alongside such luminaries as Ron & Fez, Chris Booker, David Lee Roth, and Boomer and Carton (and now Gio).
Craiggy wanted to celebrate his “main man” Al on Friday afternoon, so he had Al come on the show to re-live some of the best memories of his career…and that became “This is Your Life: Al Dukes,” as Craig surprised Al with call-ins from Ron Bennington and Chris Booker!
“We reached out to David Lee Roth, but he doesn’t remember doing a radio show,” Craig said. “But seriously, I love you. When Boomer and I first got hired, they asked us who we wanted our producer to be, and Boomer trusted me because he had never done this before, so I said that there was this guy we have to hire, who is still in the company.”
Al was working on the Opie & Anthony Show on 92.3, which had just gone from Free-FM format back to K-Rock at the time, as the “dump guy” preventing any FCC violations, when he, Boomer, Craig, Mark Chernoff, and a female producer Chernoff wanted to bring in sat down in a diner to talk turkey.
“We were all sitting there, and Al and I are looking at each other, and Chernoff goes ‘it’s gonna go so great,’” Craig recalled. “So the woman leaves, and Boomer didn’t know about that kind of position, and he goes, ‘she was great!’ and Al and I were kicking each other under the table like, ‘NEVER!’”
Al didn’t think Boomer would work as a radio host, and Chernoff wasn’t sure Al would work as their producer, but 10 years later, they were No. 1 in the market for a long time until Craig left in 2017.
“When Boomer didn’t have that ego of coming from something else and being really great, I knew it would work,” Al said. “He trusted the radio guy to do the radio stuff, and you could bust Boomer’s chops and he wouldn’t get offended by it.”
And now, a few years later, Al is still the producer of the WFAN Morning Show with Boomer and Gregg Giannotti (and host of the Warm-Up Show with Jerry Recco), and Craig is back with Evan in afternoons.
There were quite a few classic clips played by C-Lo, including the infamous “Angry Al” rant from Ron & Fez and the “White Trash Tommy” urine test bit from Boomer & Carton…and when it was all over, Craig hoped Al had 20 more years in him, while Al was happy with 10, hopefully most of them from home.
“Man, it was great to talk to Ron and Booker…unfortunately we couldn’t David Lee Roth, but it is what it is,” Al told WFAN.com afterwards. “It was cool hearing from them. I didn’t even know how he would get a hold of Ron, he’s not exactly a reachable guy. The time did fly by, from working with Ron & Fez that first day 20 years ago until now. It was great that Craig played those clips. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off the clock and need to go have an Al’s Boring Beer!”
Happy Anniversary, Al – hope you have all the grilled chicken and sweet potatoes you can handle!
If you missed it, check out "This is your Radio Life, Al Dukes" below!