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Man’s Best Friend was Bad Dog

March 11, 2011

Rick: A good friend of both Ron and myself ended his years-long battle with leukemia Thursday afternoon.  John “Bad Dog” McCormack was a much-beloved morning radio personality whose heart was as big as his laugh and his immense legion of fans.  John was a natural lover of people, considering everyone he met a friend.  No matter who you were, he had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person on the planet.

He was as well-known for his charity work with the Ronald McDonald House as for his legendary Twilight Phone prank calls.   With a quick wit and a ready joke for every occasion, we often called him the Morey Amsterdam of radio.  Upon that cue he’d jump into an impression of the Dick Van Dyke Show quipmeister that would impress Rich Little.

I fondly remember spending many a Thursday night with Bad Dog editing Twilight Phones for his Friday show.  (This was back in the days before digital editing, so what would now take just a few minutes would often run into three, even four hours with a razor blade, a roll of splicing tape and a lot of trial and error.)  Inevitably we’d go grab dinner first, and he made those adventures in dining even funnier than the prank phone calls we’d spend the rest of the evening whittling down to broadcast length.  One of our favorite midtown dives he aptly called “Ptomaine Tavern”.  During a particularly unforgettable meal, there was a moment when he suddenly and inexplicably slammed the salt shaker down on the table.  I thought he was just being funny, but it was only after we left the restaurant that John confessed he was killing a cockroach.

He spent his life spreading joy and encouragement to everyone around him.  Anticipating that his days were drawing to a close,  he was determined to shield us from sorrow even after his passing.  Per his request, John’s  Facebook page posts his parting message to us all:

“I have gone to be with God and He is holding me tightly and I am surrounded by many of the Ronald McDonald House kids.  Do not say you have lost a friend… one is only lost when you don’t know where they are… you know where I am.  I thank each and every one of you for your support and prayers.  I love all of you and that will never go away.  When you are having a bad day, think of my laugh or a Twilight Phone or the time we met.  None of us is guaranteed tomorrow.  Make every day great, be the spiritual leader of your family.  May peace be with you.  Your friend, Bad Dog.”

Thank you Johnny Mac, for all the laughs, and all the love.

Click below to listen to a classic Twilight Phone: “The Zoo Call”


4 Comments leave one →
  1. Phlo permalink
    March 11, 2011 10:16 AM

    A comedic genius with a heart of gold. Thanks, Rick, for putting this “Twilight Phone” up. I hope a compilation can be put together like the cassette box set in the early 90′s of all this stuff. I loved his phony names: Gabe DiBartalo, Barry Weurtsensteuber, Preston Babcock, and, of course, Macky (“Out of the kindness of our heart”) Dean Courtney!

    • March 11, 2011 2:48 PM

      You’re so right! It’s amazing that Bad Dog was able to keep a straight face just saying the absurd names he concocted.

      Brilliant idea to have all his classic Twilight Phones re-released in a CD collection! Will join you in that hope. Thanks for posting, Phlo.

  2. March 12, 2011 9:46 AM

    His twilight calls were so funny. His laughter will be missed.

  3. william tims permalink
    March 30, 2011 6:05 AM

    I didn’t know. I wish I still didn’t know.

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