Stand up comedian/radio star Jim Norton joined the Ethan & Lou Show on Friday (2/11/22).

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Ethan & I covered a lot of ground with him asking about his split from Opie years ago, the Joe Rogan controversy, and the dangers of being in radio business.

I’m not just a radio show host, I’m also a radio show super-fan and lately, I’ve been getting more reflective about my industry. I love talking about the performance aspects of the business with people who have lived it.

So, when a guy like Jim Norton comes on the show, I can’t help but talk about radio and that is where our discussion began with Jim Norton. For Jim, the Opie topic is one he’s had to deal with a thousand times, but it would be a first for me, and our audience.

Currently, Norton co-hosts a show called “The Jim & Sam Show”, with Sam Roberts on Sirius XM but Jim became a radio sensation as the third mic of “The Opie & Antony Show.” Once Opie and Anthony had their very public split, the show became “The Opie with Jim Norton Show.” As a listener, I can tell you, that the end of that show was awkward, dramatic and sounded painful.

The two had been squabbling publicly on the show as it wound itself down and it was great radio for awhile but became really tough to listen to at the end. Mercifully, the show did end in September of 2016. The shows from their last months together have become Youtube fodder, some of these videos have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Recently, I went back and listened to some of them on a slow Saturday afternoon and was reminded of how it all sounded on the air. Listeners got to eavesdrop as this personal and professional relationship came apart piece by piece.

We did our booking for Jim Norton last week, and once I knew he was on our interview schedule, I made my mind up, I was going to ask him about Opie. Yes, this is old news for him but I needed to settle my own curiosity.

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We asked Jim what it was like going through this painful breakup on the air, he replied:

“You know it’s like any other thing, you guys know, a radio thing is like a marriage or a family situation. And, there are times where you, whatever your relationship is, with your spouse or your partner, it just goes bad. Like, I will point the finger at him, and he will point the finger at me. So, I figure I was absolutely partially to blame for it. But, it sucked when it was happening because you know your professional relationship is deteriorating and also your friendship is deteriorating or it is long gone. So, it sucked, I mean, I’m glad it’s done but you know, it was just two people that didn’t want to work together anymore. Do you know what I’m saying? It wasn’t like we did something horrible, personally to each other, we just didn’t like working together anymore.”

Norton answered the question how I’d expected he would but I also wanted to know about the audience at that time. We asked what he remembers about the audience’s perception of the split, at the time, Norton said:

“You know I don’t know because I don’t really, I stopped a long time ago, really doing a whole lot of app mention checks and stuff like that because I find that if I listen too much to the audience, then I’m not doing what I want to do. I’m constantly worrying about If they are liking it and I can’t perform well, if that makes sense. So, I don’t know where they kind of tapped out on it, or if they just, some of them still want the drama. Like, some of them still love the fact, and they want us to go after each other. Because, look, I love watching drama too. Like, there is nothing I enjoy more than a good radio fight so I get why people like it but I don’t know at what point, exactly that they tapped out of it, or what point they wanted more, I would love to tell you but I just don’t know.”

Later we discussed the Joe Rogan controversy, bombing on-stage and making headlines when he comes to town and you can listen to all of it in the video player at the top of the page.

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Jim is coming to Foxwoods Saturday February 19th to perform in the Great Cedar Showroom at 8 pm. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Jim perform a few times and despite what he says, he never lets the audience down.

Never miss another Ethan & Lou interview, you can catch up with everything the guys do with the Ethan & Lou Show podcast on Apple, Spotify, Google, our website and on the I-95 Rock Mobile App.

WARNING: Language 

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