Every week since 1991, Jones has stopped by Mike’s house to share his deepest (but not necessarily deep) thoughts. What ‘s on Jones’s mind as he ambles up the Noonans’ driveway is anyone’s guess. Could it be a book he’s reading? Something about sports? Religion? Could it be something that happened to him at lunch? “What makes a man like him tick?” Mike wonders. “What makes a man like him at all?” he finds himself wondering more often than not.
Jones has always been a curiosity to Mike: A single, never-married, heretofore childless, south-side Chicago son of two Irish immigrants, now knocking on the door of middle age as a city-dwelling, Transcendental Meditating, hockey playing, Cubs rootin’, grocery-store vegan.
As for Mike, a man from what some might describe as more conventional stock, he is a Naperville living, beer-lovin’, 40-something father of four. With his wife since 1991, married on 9/11 (1999), Mike can now be found most days ferrying “wee-Noonans” to various sports or dance practices.
Like a modern-day (and more effeminate) Laverne & Shirley, the pair is determined to get to the bottom of what Prince called “this thing called ‘life’”: Family, Politics, History, Women, Business, Money, People, Fighting, Life, Kids, Pop Culture, Philosophy.
Uncensored. Unfiltered. Unafraid.
Who is Jones?
Transcendental Meditation Practitioner
Hockey playing Triathlete
Grocery store Vegan
Chicago City Dweller
Sensibly Consuming 100% Irishman
Bored by Politics
Peace, Love, & Understanding
Second City Alum
Cast member and former producer of A&E’s “Paranormal Cops”
Who is Mike?
Married Father of 4
Old School Catholic
Martial Arts Studying Marathoner
Longtime Resident of Naperville
Beer Swilling 100% Irishman
Alum of 97.9 The Loop, US 99.5, and more
(Whatever, Jones. Show off.)
About The Show
Mike and Jones met while attending the, then, all-boys Catholic high school, Marist, on the southwest side of Chicago in 1988. They even roomed together for one solitary year at Marquette University in Milwaukee until Mike fled south to join his future wife at Illinois State University. Without Mike for the first time in five years, Jones stood strong and stuck it out in “the good land” graduating from the “Harvard of the Midwest” in 1996. In the years that followed, Jones found it in him to forgive Mike for this cowardly betrayal and clear violation of the vaunted, albeit unwritten “guy code”.
Jones believes the best part of any radio show is always the deep camaraderie – and sometimes the real rivalries – that exists between the show’s hosts. “When hosts let down their guard and honestly share their private lives, their thoughts and fears – their secrets – even if I don’t necessarily know who every person is that they’re referencing, or the back story on every personal anecdote, I’m riveted. I don’t think I’m alone. In fact, I believe that’s what radio should be,” Jones says.
Mike’s views on great radio are quite similar to his on-air “brother”, “The problem is, few hosts let their guard down and let you into their lives, even if they’re given free reign to do so by the suits. Most radio people I know put on a facade, even going to the extreme of putting on a fake voice. I know; I’ve done it. Radio hosts pretend to be something they’re not. We love every record, and every concert is going to be “the best time ever”. The ridiculous radio names many people use and others are forced into by management is a perfect example. I’ll protect the innocent, but, c’mon, guys!
Radio, while the ultimate theater of the mind, should still be real, authentic, and intimate. Over time, as corporate America has homogenized the content and commoditized the talent, it has come to represent nothing of that ideal authentic expression that audiences crave. Even worse, when radio hosts get into a studio together, the walls go up, and their interactions and banter sound stilted and contrived. The laughter is forced and reactions staged. We’ve seen and heard it happen firsthand. In fact, we’ve done it ourselves. There seems to be something about getting around a radio console that robs most radio shows of their magic. When I was starting out in radio a program director named Lonny Tyler once said something that no other radio guy ever told me: ‘Pretend you’re talking to someone on the phone. It’s just you having an authentic and personal conversation.’ That advice always stuck with me, even if I didn’t always adhere to it. So many people in radio and entertainment have never grasped that. Guess Lon didn’t talk to them all. If only more people would pretend they’re riding in the passenger seat of a listener’s car, just having a conversation. It’s more important to be interesting than funny. Not every topic is a laugh riot. Be real, life is not all laughs.
We’re not the only 40-something men trying to sort stuff out. Its just that most 40-something men go on auto-pilot when it comes to sharing passionate opinions, introspection, and plainly admitting that they still have no frigging idea what they’re doing or why. Jones and I have this gift of blankness when it comes to that. We don’t have the ‘fear of admitting something’ gene.
This show ain’t for everyone, but it’s for someone. That dude right there in Tinley. Yes, you. And you, in Topeka. We’re huge in Topeka. You three in Sweden, we’re having you on soon, we swear!
If nothing else, however, Jones & Mike is for the guys in town who are man enough to admit they’re still figuring a few things out, just like we are.