From the Archives: Unmasked With Opie and Anthony

Unmasked with  and Anthony

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“We started as guys in our early 20s, but very similar– from Long Island, you know with our girls and stuff. And our lives have changed in drastically different directions, but the show has always been there as the show. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in each other’s lives, we can get on that mic and fucking do a show and it’s the Opie and Anthony show and you know it. You just know it.”

As part of our new podcast sharing select archival episodes of ’s epic interview series Unmasked, this week we are going back to 2014 to share an episode full of great stories- some of which might not be true- but they’re still great stories.

In 2014, just a few months before SiriusXM fired , Opie and Anthony celebrated twenty years in the business together by taping an Unmasked episode with .  It was a gigantic evening- and O&A fans packed out Carolines- it was standing room only- to hear Gregg ‘Opie’ Hughes and Anthony Cumia share stories about their 20-year career. Halfway through, they were joined on stage by , who joined their show in 2004.

The Unmasked series which began in 2008 with a brilliant hour with Patrice O’Neal has taped nearly 200 episodes since, documenting the careers of the most interesting comedy writers, directors, filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, satirists, political comedians, comedic musicians and of course, stand up comedians in the business. It is a veritable archive of the greatest comedy of our time. Past Unmasked guests have included , Bob Newhart, , Dan Aykroyd, Simon Pegg, , Jim Jefferies, Gilbert Gottfried, Bobcat Goldthwait, Louis C.K., David Brenner, , and over 150 more comedy greats.

The hour is a blast to listen to- full of stories about how Opie and Anthony met, the evolution of their show philosophy over the early years, and how they used getting fired to their advantage. Later on, they share some of the outrageous stories of the golden years at WNEW when they were at the peak of their popularity, including their rivalry with Howard Stern, and of course, they talk about the infamous “Sex for Sam” incident that put the brakes on their careers for a few years.  There are major ups and downs to their career, and the stories are great.

It’s been three years since this episode was recorded, and since then there have been multiple breakups and team changes and alliances and freeze-outs. Even as they were recording this episode, they were only a few months away from breaking up the team- Anthony was fired from SiriusXM later that year, and Jim and Opie made the decision to stay on. It wouldn’t be long before friction between Opie and Jim led to another change in the lineup and the two would helm separate shows, and of course last week, the news came that Opie was fired from SiriusXM almost exactly three years after Anthony.

If you are a long time O&A fan, you’ll love hearing some of the Opie and Anthony backstory, and reliving some of the most memorable moments of their career. If you’re only recently finding out about the show, it’s an interesting history lesson.

Recorded on April 17, 2017 at Carolines on Broadway Comedy Club in front of a sold out house, this is Unmasked with Opie and Anthony with Jim Norton.

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