About Don Imus
Imus broadcast his first program from New York City back in 1971. His life journey has by some accounts been arduous, by other accounts a freak parade, and by still others as a matter for a RICO investigation. It began out in the great American West, California and Arizona, and eventually would make its way on across the country to Ohio and New York.
Imus was born in Riverside, California. Ranching was the family business and he was actually raised on a big cattle spread called the Willows near Kingman, Arizona. Don recalls that period of his childhood fondly and his familiar cowboy persona is completely legitimate. His irascibility appears to be equally legitimate, influenced by more than a few hard knocks along the way. If he revels in the agony of others, as he jokes, it may just be because he’s had a little of that himself. His parents divorced when Don was fifteen, he changed schools frequently, got arrested after a school yard fight, won election in secondary school as class president and was impeached, and, at seventeen, was pushed by his mother to join the marine corps as the best strategy to keep him out of jail. While it all added up to what Imus himself has described as a fairly horrible adolescence, it also disproves a theory that he actually had no parents and instead spawned spontaneously in dust clots behind the Laundromat dryers where one day he would seek shelter. When did all of these events unfold? It doesn’t really matter. And why annoy Don by asking?
Despite the occasional rough patch, Imus did spend a full twelve years in public school and emerged with no formal education…a product of automatic social promotion not even casually tied to merit. He graduated with no honors and no skills, a rare stroke of luck because a broadcasting career required neither. Difficulty continued to dog Imus after his school days: his undistinguished, infraction blotched stretch in the marines, onerous labor in a Superior, Arizona copper mine and a Grand Canyon uranium mine where an accident left him with both legs broken. There was work as a freight brakeman on the Southern Pacific railroad and a back injury suffered in an engine derailment and at one point the indignities of homelessness, hitching, being flat broke. Better, and worse days were to come. This quintessential American and often challenging personal passage materially defined Imus, instilling him with humility, a deep respect for our country and its workers, and a disturbing need to get even. He emerged from the experience with attributes that contributed enormously to the broadcasting distinction he would realize: an intrinsic, conspicuous authenticity, and a unique ability to connect with real people who work hard, serve their country, and care passionately about what really matters in the world.
Once Imus began broadcasting, fame and acclaim came quickly. He was showered with the laurels of radio celebrity including inductions into both the National Association of Broadcasters and radio halls of fame. He was the recipient of four Marconi awards, broadcasting’s equivalent of Hollywood’s Oscars. It got to the point that he would throw this or that slab of walnut with crystal crap glued to it against the wall of his office as a convenient means of intimidating horrified underlings. He was featured on television programs from NBC’s “Today” show to CBS’ “60 Minutes.” He was a guest of Charlie Rose, David Letterman, and of special note, Larry King, in shameless, mutual ass-kissing marathons that challenged the audience's gag reflex.
Don and wife Deirdre will continue to run the Imus ranch for kids with cancer, raise more millions for the Tomorrows Children Fund, the CJ Foundation for SIDS, America’s veterans and their care, autism studies, environmental concerns, and all the countless other things Don does, most with notice neither assigned nor sought.
About Tony Powell
What do you get when you cross the charisma of Eddie Murphy, the irreverence of Chris Rock, and the Old School charm of Bernie Mack? I have no idea, however, I do know that when you add a quick wit, great storytelling ability, and the performance chops of a seasoned pro you have Tony Powell.
Like someone getting chocolate in your peanut butter or you getting peanut butter in their chocolate, accidents have a way of discovering pure artistry. While attending the University of Virginia, Tony Powell was asked to calm an unruly audience. Suddenly all those summer afternoons listening to Richard Pryor, and Bill Cosby albums seemed to have purpose. With his trademark quick wit, and clever impressions, Tony released the comedic genie trapped within to the delight of the unruly audience. Who knew at that moment in time that Powell was about to embark on a comedic odyssey that would lead to appearances on The Chris Rock Show , NBC's Showtime at the Apollo and two appearances on A&E's Comedy on the Road. Powell has made several appearances on The Comedy Channel. Powell has also opened for celebrity musical groups such as The Ojays and the Whispers. He has worked as the studio warm-up act for Bill Cosby and Nickelodeon's Keenan and Kel show. Since December of 2007 Tony has brought his comedic talents, as both a writer and performer, to the nationally syndicated radio program "Imus In The Morning;" heard weekdays from 6-10 AM EST and simulcast on the Fox Business Network..
As an actor, he has recently appeared on several national television commercials (Visa, Dawn Detergent, Ritz Crackers, Snuggle Brand Fabric Softener). Tony was also the radio voice of ''Mr. Chill'' for Miller Genuine Draft and the U.S. Army reserves. Powell’s voice talents have also been featured in national radio spots for Fila and Heineken. Powell is a college campus favorite as well. He has performed at over a hundred colleges and universities.
Growing up in East New York, Brooklyn, survival requires one of three things; you either have to be a great fighter, fleet of foot, or be a whole lotta funny. Let's just say, Tony Powell ain't no Ali or Usain Bolt, he is however, a whole lotta funny.
About Connell McShane
Connell is the news anchor on Imus in the Morning, heard on radio stations all over the country including flagship 77 WABC in New York. The show is also simulcast on the Fox Business Network.
Since joining Fox Business for its launch in 2007, Connell has spent time covering the financial crisis, providing live reports from the scene when Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers collapsed. He's also reported on the rise of China from Shanghai and Beijing, and covered the European debt crisis from Dublin, Ireland.
Prior to joining FBN, Connell worked at Bloomberg Television where he served as a news reporter and an anchor. Before that, he co-anchored the syndicated morning show The First Word on Bloomberg Radio.
A graduate of Fordham University, Connell began his career in sports broadcasting. He served as the play-by-play voice of minor league baseball’s Pittsfield Mets during the 1998 season.
About Rob Bartlett
Rob Bartlett started performing stand-up comedy in 1978 hoping it would lead to a career in acting. Nearly 30 years later, Rob has become one of the most versatile performers around. He is a successful actor, standup comedian, radio personality and writer.
Rob started in stand-up comedy at Richard M. Dixon's White House Inn, a talent showcase club on New York's Long Island run by the presidential look-alike. In the early years, Rob supported himself by day as an elevator operator and telephone salesman for radio advertising. It was at Dixon's club where Rob met a 17-year-old Eddie Murphy, and the two became fast friends and formed two-thirds of the improvisational trio The Identical Triplets.
When the trio broke up shortly after Eddie's debut on Saturday Night Live, Rob went on as a solo act and became a headliner in comedy clubs and colleges across the country. He has headlined at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Atlantic City's Tropicana and Hilton Hotels, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort and Casino. On television, Rob has appeared as a stand up comedian on the MTV Half Hour Comedy Hour, Standup Spotlight on VH1 and on Late Night with David Letterman and Conan O'Brian.
In 1986, Rob became a regular in-studio guest of Don Imus at radio station WNBC 66AM. When the station was sold and the Imus in The Morning Program moved to the WFAN studios in Astoria, Rob became a contract player, and has since written and performed some of the show's popular cast of characters.
He has brought some of them, such as Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, Camilla Parker Bowles, former president Bill Clinton and Dr. Phil to the new Imus In the Morning set at MSNBC.
Rob appeared in the films The Sex O'Clock News (1984), Spin the Bottle (1999), Table One (2000), and provided the voice of Boss Baker Bunny in the animated feature, The Easter Egg Escapade (2005)
Rob's television credits include starring roles on the Paramount/CBS comedy special What's Alan Watching? ABC's Move the Crowd, and a recurring role on NBC as attorney Milton Schoenfeld on Law & Order, Special Victims Unit. Rob is very proud to have been voted one of the "Top Ten Worst" wrestling announcers in history for his short-lived stint at color commentator of the WWF Monday Night Raw. He is also the voice of Marty, the hyperactive dog, on the popular cartoon series Kenny the Shark.
He wrote and starred in the Public Television special, Rob Bartlett's Not For Profit T.V. Special, produced by CPTV, which was nominated for five Emmy Awards and won for Best Writing and Best Entertainment Program.
Rob made his Broadway debut as author and star of More to Love. His Broadway Credits also include Amos Hart in Chicago, Mr. Mushnik in the 2003 revival of Little Shop of Horrors, and as Herman in the 2005 revival of Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate. In addition to his recent return to the cast of Chicago, Rob portrayed Speed, one of Oscar and Felix's card playing cronies in the original cast of the revival of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick.
His other stage appearances include Golden Boy and Pardon My English for City Center's Encores!
and won a Drama Desk award for his role as Marcus in the Off Broadway Play 'Tabletop' .
Rob lives on Long Island with his wife Sharon and their three sons, none of whom are working yet, much to their dismay.
Visit Rob Bartlett's website