In his first time on WFAN since being arrested three years ago, Craig Carton was a combination of apologetic and his old, obnoxious, entertaining self.
After the official announcement on Thursday morning, Carton took the mic at 5 p.m. and spent a little more than an hour displaying the energy that fueled “Boomer & Carton” for a decade.
He began with an abbreviated version of Chris Russo’s classic, “Aaaaaaaand, how are you today, everybody, …” opening. He then noted he was working from the “iconic” Mike Francesa studio. He and Francesa did not get along when they were on the same team.
After the radio shenanigans, Carton honored his wife, Kim, “the most amazing person I know on the planet,” for sticking with him through prison.
After apologizing to the listeners for his mistakes and his subsequent exile, Carton sounded a lot like the old Carton.
He said he called Michael Kay on Thursday to say, “My job is to beat you, good luck.”
He said the producers for the HBO documentary on him had reached out to Francesa to be in the film. Francesa, according to Carton, responded, “No chance.”
Carton also had a message for anyone in the business who felt they should have had the plum afternoon job instead of him.
“You had plenty of time to get better at what you do,” he said. “You didn’t. That’s on you, that’s not on me. Got it? Good.”
Later, his old partner, Boomer Esiason, called in and the two joked about who would be in charge of the FAN’s softball team.
For the final portion of his return, Carton’s new partner, Evan Roberts, joined him.
When Roberts joked about backing out of the new job, Carton chided, “I can see if Bart’s number still works. … I shouldn’t have said that.” Roberts laughed.
The FAN tried to recruit ESPN’s Bart Scott to be Carton’s partner before going with Roberts. Carton and Roberts will debut full-time on Nov. 9 in what will be a 2-7 p.m. weekday program.