The majority of people that follow me on Twitter have no idea why I use the name @ProfessorSnack and from time to time I’ll get asked about it. I usually respond, but with the character limitation it’s often a short but not full answer.
A year ago a DC metro radio station flipped formats and became 106.7 The Fan. But prior to that it was known as 106.7 WJFK and its format was talk radio. Over the years it had been home to a number of great shows including Howard Stern, The Don and Mike Show, Ron and Fezz, The Mike O’Meara Show, and Big O and Dukes.
Most of these shows are around still. Some of them on terrestrial radio and some in podcast form. It’s sad to see talk radio fading away, but I have hopes that as the podcasts become more accessible and known, there will be a new growth and resurgence of the talk radio format. But that’s a different topic.
The Big O and Dukes Show (www.bigoanddukes.com) found its ways to mid-days on the WFJK lineup. Chad Dukes (@chaddukes) and Oscar Santana (@oscarradio) host the show and it’s produced by Drab T-Shirt (@drabtshirt). I could describe in detail why I like the show but I recommend instead that you go to their website and click one of the podcast links.
One of the segments that was created by Chad Dukes was called Snacks of the Round Table. It was designed to spotlight new (or new to the group) snacks. The premise is that each person brings in a snack that they have not tasted. Everyone participating tastes the snack and gives it a score of 0-5 with 5 being the highest.
Part of the premise was that they would bring in a couple of listeners who could also participate. The idea being it was another way that they could interact with the listening audience, have fun eating, and maybe come across snacks that others might not otherwise see or try.
I had just come out of a supermarket when I heard that it was a Snacks of the Round Table segment coming up, but no listeners had been lined up to come in. The opened it up to any listeners who could get to the radio station in 15 minutes. I happened to have a new snack and could get there in time. So I dialed as I drove.
I don’t remember a lot of specifics other than I had a new cracker that I took and someone brought a new seasonal flavor of Pop Tart. I do remember having a great time, probably being too self-important, but the one thing I did was take it seriously. A segment like that falls apart if you don’t hold to the “rules” and spirit of the concept. For whatever reason, there must have been something that I did ok because I was asked to come back the next time they did a Snacks of the Round Table.
Snacks became a recurring segment every few Fridays. There were always guest participants, friends of the hosts, other radio people, and other listeners. I was lucky enough to participate in almost all of them. I only won once, and as happens in radio, I had a following of listeners who enjoyed not liking me. I’m not positive, but I think there was a segment that enjoyed liking me as well, but the others were certainly more vocal.
One day, one of the producer’s (John Normand – @JormandBigCat), made the comment “That’s why we call him Professor Snack” in reference to me. Unfortunately, no one actually called me that, but Chad and Oscar latched on to it, mainly to tweak Jormand, because I hadn’t won hardly at all, and also because up to that point I was always “Jeff D Wright”.
When I first joined Twitter, it seemed that a lot of the people I was following were friends, listeners, or affiliated with Big O and Dukes, so it made sense to use Professor Snack so that I would be recognized. Once I started interacting with more people I thought it might not make as much sense to everyone who didn’t know the back story. I tried changing the name for a while, but it seems even those who had no idea why I was called that still wanted me to use it. So it’s back.
I like it.