'Dwayne from Swedesboro’ was a fake Missanelli caller created by a Fanatic producer
Turns out the caller was really "Pat from the Office."
Missanelli: "The only thing I can tell you is that 'Dwayne from Swedesboro' showed up live here at the radio station."
Myrtetus: "He was not allowed back here. we were told -- right?"
Missanelli: "He was not, but he was 'Dwayne from Swedesboro.' 'Dwayne' was a real person when he came here. We met 'Dwayne.' "
Myrtetus: "Somebody was breathing."
Listen to the full exchange:
Myrtetus shared a 2011 story about fake callers on his Facebook page last month, noting that, "At the Fanatic our callers are authentic."
Neither Missanelli nor 97.5 The Fanatic responded to a request for comment.
One Fanatic staffer, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid getting in trouble at the station, said it's common for radio shows to pull these types of stunts when things are really slow, or a program needs to spice things up.
"It's like learning reality shows aren't 100 percent real," the staffer said. "It's show business."
Ed Ryan, editor of the radio trade publication Radio Ink Magazine, said most industry insiders know calls are staged: "If hosts can write and perform entertaining bits and the caller is an 'actor,' who's hurt if the audience enjoys the content?"
But not everyone shares that opinion.
Bomani Jones, an ESPN analyst and co-host of Highly Questionable, blasted Egan on Tuesday morning in a series of Tweets calling out the producer's decision to make his fake character black:
Tom Taylor, a former Delaware Valley radio program director who writes the Tom Taylor NOW daily newsletter about radio, thinks the situation leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
"Will some fans feel betrayed? How will the cross-racial angle play out?," Taylor wondered. "This is a complicated situation, and it may bring extra attention to the station, because there's lots to talk about and chew over."