Best Traffic Reporter

Tony J.

Traffic jams aren't very sexy, and they sure as hell ain't fun. There's not much inherent excitement in the business, and the problem up until Tony J. arrived in town is that most Eye in the Sky copter guys and earnest, deep-voiced morning-show reporters were just plain dull. If you have to relay unexciting information, must you be so...boring? Enter Tony J., traffic guy weekday mornings and afternoons for hip-hop station Q-95.5 FM (WFUN). Tony kicks off his segments with a bellow of "Traffic! Trayayayayayfficck! Tra-tra-tra-traffic!" He sounds like a ghetto Nutty Professor and looks like a combination of Dave Chapelle and Jimmy "J.J." Walker, a pure spaz who provides the necessary information with style. One day he raps it -- "Stay away from southbound 170!/There's a tie-up too on 143" -- the next day he screams it. He'll croon it, he'll bang it. And while most traffic guys sound about as exciting as Les Nessman, Tony J. has starred in a movie, made a comedy concept album that riffs on Blacula and sells fantastic "Traffic with Tony J." trucker's hats, to boot. The guy manages to make traffic on the radio dial a destination, an adventure, a celebration.
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Previously in Best of St. Louis