Legions of Mike Francesa fans are thrilled at the idea of ‘New Yawk’s Numbuh One’ man returning to the airwaves, the longtime host of WFAN apparently headed back to his afternoon show after five months away from the station. And no one might be more thrilled than Bill Buchanan.
Whether you know him as The Fake Francesa or Mike Zaun, the Long Island native is the genius behind the Francesa parodies that have been an internet hit over the past few years. Whether straight-up lampooning the veteran radio host or doing spoofs setting, such as setting his character spoof Mike Zaun (a play on the ‘Mike’s On’ jingle that starts the show) in colonial times or the Civil War era, Buchanan’s work is widely hailed for both its clever ingenuities and spot-on imitation.
The news that WFAN might be welcoming back Francesa was met with glee by Buchanan, who spoke exclusively to Metro about the return of the legendary radio host.
“Personally and selfishly I'm happy Francesa is back at the FAN. One of my favorite things to do is to be eating lunch, preferably a large chicken cutlet sandwich, and listening to Mike deal with callers. Twitter adds to that fun obviously,” Buchanan told Metro.
“I think he will remain ‘Numbuh one’ (sic). I know a lot of people listen to him for his encyclopedic sports knowledge. But personally, I don't like regular sports talk. I love sports but I don't really care to hear other people talking about it like it's a serious thing. As Mike has said, sports is something that we get to yell and scream about even though it doesn't really matter. I listen to him for his personality and the funny things that seem to follow his existence. That's impossible to replace.”
Details of the new show have yet to fully emerge although reports have indicated that WFAN has in fact talked with Francesa about a return and that it is presumably for his old time slot or something very similar.
That current time slot has been filled in recent months by the ‘The Afternoon Drive with Carlin, Bart and Maggie’ featuring Chris Carlin, Maggie Gray and former NFL star linebacker Bart Scott. The show had fairly solid ratings and even beat out archrival ‘The Michael Kay Show’ on ESPN Radio here in New York.
Buchanan said he’s sad that the trio likely is getting bumped from the prestigious afternoon drive slot but thinks they can thrive in a setting with less pressure. The show likely gets moved to the 1-3 PM slot.
But don’t expect a slew of new videos to be in the work now that Buchanan’s muse will be back on the airwaves soon.
“No, I don't plan on making anymore YouTube Francesa videos,” Buchanan said. “Lately I've been playing around with Instagram and making random things on there for fun. So maybe a few Mike impersonations will pop up from time to time. But I'll always look at those videos and think about what a fun time in my life that was.”