Ed Wank & Dave O’Brien

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Ed Wank & Dave O’Brien

“We have a great opportunity with the jobs we have and the access we have to be able to experience these things and share the experience with our listeners” — Dave O’Brien

Radio DJs Ed Wank and Dave O’Brien play up their surprise for winning an award for their morning show on 93.1 Radio Now. “Was it for our fart jokes?” O’Brien wonders aloud while “Stacy’s Mom” plays over the air.

Seriously, this team, together on the Indianapolis airwaves for six years, understands its role in helping expose people to a little culture within the comedy.

“We have a pretty broad range of experiences we bring to the show,” Wank says. “We try to bring some of what we do in our lives into the show. We may go to see the production of The Lion King or a ballet at Clowes Hall. Then we try to tell the audience about it in an entertaining way.”

O’Brien agrees. “We have a great opportunity with the jobs we have and the access we have to be able to experience these things and share the experience with our listeners.”

Each week, they bring in Mayor Bart Peterson or somebody from his cultural tourism office to talk about what’s happening in the city. The arts are important to these guys. “I grew up in a family of arts patrons. I want to do the same for my kid,” O’Brien says. “I go to everything from the symphony to the Wiggles.”

That morning, a porn site created by an Indiana University student came to their attention. But, instead of lurking at the base level, Wank and O’Brien fielded a call from a person who had posed nude for an art school figure drawing class. “People on other shows would have dismissed the caller,” Wank says. “Instead, we went with it and it turned out to be great entertainment. It was informative. That caller took the show down an entirely different path.”

While the focus is still playing the hits, the Wank & O’Brien Show appeals to a broad audience. One day, they tested the audience to see who was listening. They put people with doctorates and inmates on the phone together. They matched up Palestinians and Israelis, short and tall people, old and young. “We found out we had such a variety,” O’Brien says. “It really defied what people thought the stereotypical listener would be.”

— Jim Walker

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