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Media: November 2014

| November 3, 2014

brucedan300Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft


When Bruce Wolf took over the morning show at WLS-AM, he knew he had big shoes to fill. Bruce says now that he couldn’t have done it without the support of his predecessors, Don & Roma (Wade).

“Don heard me doing a weekend show with Dan, and liked what we did, and recommended us to fill in for them when they went on vacation, and that was before he was ill. So, when he got sick it just seemed like a good idea to keep on doing it.”

Wolf still holds both Don and Roma in high esteem. “I don’t like to keep anything on my desk, because I’ve always believed that you should be able to clear out in thirty minutes when that inevitable broadcasting day comes (laughs), but all I have on my desk is a card from Roma that she sent me a few years ago, a very nice Christmas card, and also a silhouette of a target that had been shot out by her. She sent it to me along with a note saying – ‘Bruce, give me your lunch money.'”

Wolf’s path to conservative talk show host wasn’t that different than Wade’s. Both men were known more for their comedy than their political beliefs.

“That’s true,” Bruce agrees. “Don was like a DJ at one point, doing shtick, and I was doing shtick about sports. But like Don, I didn’t need to become this—I’ve always been this. It would be pretty hard to be genuine if I didn’t really mean the things I was saying. I’m not that good of an actor. It was an interesting transition because I don’t think I ever dreamed of being in this kind of a job. This is the best thing I’ve ever done. ”

Among the other things he lists as his greatest accomplishments is the time he spent working alongside his newest colleague, Steve Dahl. “That was a great two years,” he recalls. “Everything else I did in my career, I was on the periphery – whether it was as a sportscaster on Brandmeier or Steve & Garry or television news. That time with Steve prepared me for this more than anything.”

Although Bruce does admit there are some major differences between those days and his current gig. “When I was partnered with Steve there were times when we would just sit there and talk. Just talk. No calls. No interviews. No commercials. Just talk…forever.

This is not that. It’s kind of interesting, I guess, to fit my freewheeling style into a tight format like this, but you simply hit your marks. I can freelance a little, but I know when it’s time to go to a commercial or a call or whatever. You still have to make the trains run on time. If Mussolini could do it, why not me?”

For the past few years Bruce has been partnered with Dan Proft. “I can’t recall our first show together,” he admits, “or why we were thrown together, although I remember it was Drew Hayes who put us on the air together. I think the reason we clicked is that we both basically believe in the same core principles, we have the same core beliefs. That first year together it wasn’t really something we thought about. The show was constantly moving – do an interview here, talk to Dan here, do the news here. Take a call here. Do a promo here. It was always moving. ”

Although Bruce and Dan mainly talk about politics, Bruce hasn’t completely left the sports world behind. During Bears games, following Bruce’s Twitter feed can be amusing “I usually accumulate those Twitter lines and turn them into a Chet Chit Chat,” he says of his famous long-running sports bit that parodies both Chet Coppock and Chuck Swirsky, and is still a regular feature on Bruce & Dan’s show. “I do love talking about sports, but I’ve never been into the nitty gritty of schemes, and systems, and whatever the linebacker is supposed to be doing.”

Bruce has always been more into the one-liners, and the Twitter world is perfect for that. On the other hand, even though his show has embraced social media, Bruce insists that he should get no credit for that.

“(Show producer) Pete (Zimmerman) handles all the social media stuff about our show. He’s the one that videotapes our interviews, and turns them around, and puts them on Facebook or Twitter, or whatever. That’s his domain and he does a great job of it.”

If you watch those videos, it appears Bruce is the man running the controls. That’s another misnomer he insisted on correcting. “We have an engineer running the main controls in another room,” he says. “This is the extent of my technical prowess: I can punch up the phone calls, and I can adjust the volume on my own headphones.”

And if you ever run into Bruce Wolf on the streets of Chicago, there’s one more thing he wants you to know. “I am not Rich Koz,” he jokes, pointing out the similar physical features of the two men. “He’s apparently my doppelganger. People come up to me all the time thinking I’m Rich. ‘Hey Svengoolie! What’s Up!’ I don’t bother to disabuse them of the notion.” Koz may want to keep that in mind if he ever runs into any legal troubles. “Your honor, clearly these must be the actions of Bruce Wolf.”

Heck, he can even hire Bruce to represent him. Bruce Wolf is also an attorney.

– Rick Kaempfer

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  1. Derek Rehm says:

    Good read, Thank you.

    There are other shows I tire of listen to, and land somewhere else for a month or so, but not Bruce and Dan. They keep me entertained on my commute from central wisconsin to deliver paper products within the Chicago metro. I listen at home on days off and also wake up early and get a fix on family vacations in the City. I look for entertainment, consolation, education, and opinions on political issues.
    Real emotion keeps me coming back every morning. The humor isn’t manufactured either, Dan’s dryness is amusing, and Bruce is just nuts enough to vmcreate big laughs.
    They work well with each other.
    Thanks for the show fellas.