Approval Ratings – John Dennis

WEEI’sJohn Dennis John Dennis is today’s feature.

Dennis has a long history in the Boston sports media market, having joined WHDH-TV in 1977 and remaining there until 1997, where he went from weekend sports anchor to sports director during his tenure.

Dennis left WHDH in 1997 and began hosting the Dennis and Callahan show on WEEI alongside Gerry Callahan. The show was originally a two hour program starting at 10:00am, but in 1999, the show moved to 6:00 to 10:00am and became a morning drive fixture on the Boston radio airwaves.

Dennis is very good at keeping the program moving, and guiding it in and out of the many commercial breaks. However, his voicemail run-in with Ryen Russillo, and participation in the infamous Metco incident are not among his high points at the station.

Thanks to the Farrelly brothers, Dennis and Callahan have made cameos in a number of movies as well.



Random Quote

I don’t think D&C are unlikeable. They’re passionate and sometimes their comments and opinions can be perceived as negative. But they are incredibly smart, well prepared and far more knowledgeable about sports than Toucher and Rich. That’s why they’re as successful as they are. Toucher and Rich are talented radio guys and they have a following, but if you want sports, D&C are the choice.

— Jason Wolfe, Chat, 8/3/12
  • LJ Sandwich

    Fat, bloated, racist.

    DISSAPROVE 1000 times over.

  • Denise

    Oh, my gosh. He’s HORRIBLE. However, I was tempted to hit “approve” just because of the hours and hours and HOURS of enjoyment I’ve gotten from that voicemail.

    That this uninformed blowhard is still working while a talented guy like Ryen Russillo is stuck doing landscaping, well, God truly is dead.

  • gary

    Thank you Bruce! Dennis has been pissed-off at the world since WHDH canned him over 10 years ago. He should have lost his job after the Metco incident, but Jason Wolfe wouldn’t do it b/o the D & C ratings. Since that time, I have not listened to the show. One of the worst offenders in Boston of “Idiot Media.” Ryen Russillo knows 10 times more about sports than this ass clown.

  • Bill

    Apologies to Bruce if I jumped the gun, but I was curious to see the big picture with respect to the results so far. Could be a slight variation because I took most results through last Wednesday.

    They are ranked by the highest approval ranking first (not hard to figure out if you see who’s on the bottom).

    Mark Murphy 89.9%
    Tom Caron 87.7%
    Stephen Harris 87.5%
    Rob Bradford 87.4%
    Gordon Edes 86.4%
    Michael Silverman 86.1%
    Mike Lynch 84.5%
    Michael Holley 84.4%
    Fluto Shinzawa 83.8%
    Dan Roche 81.2%
    Amalie Benjamin 77.5%
    Kevin Paul Dupont 75.3%
    Karen Guregian 74.6%
    Jon Wallach 74.2%
    Hazel Mae 71.1%
    Jack Edwards 71.0%
    Steve Burton 70.7%
    Bob Lobel 69.1%
    Peter May 55.4%
    Mike Adams 53.4%
    Gary Tanguay 43.6%
    Chris Collins 41.4%
    Larry Johnson 34.3%
    Jason Wolfe 19.9%
    Butch Stearns 17.7%

    Now on to Mr. Dennis….

    • gary


      Nice recap, except Burton had a 70.7% disapproval rating.

      • Bill

        Yup, I screwed it up. His approval is around 30%. Thought it was strange that he was so close to Lobel, but didn’t catch it. Thanks.


    Keeps the show moving and fluid.

    Can be a great interviewer (especially with Lester Munson).

    However, just comes across as an unlikeable guy, much like Ted Knight in “Caddyshack.”

    Self-proclaimed tough guy.

    The verdict? “Disapprove!”

  • ITT

    What are you, 80% disapprove?

  • LL

    Disapprove, brother.

  • Nopointe

    I disapprove, oppose, censure him to a farethewell!

  • media-tor

    Russillo is landscaping, Denise? Something you want to tell us, like he’s currently in your backyard? I would think between his freelance work at ESPN Radio/Comcast SportsNet he’d be too busy to plant shrubs and mow lawns. I do agree though, it’s too bad Russillo can’t land a regular radio gig in the Boston market but we all know why that’s the case.

    It’s Monday, so the masses here must be ecstatic with another EEIdiot to rate. Have to go with “disapprove” on Dennis. As the years have passed he has simply gotten much too big for his britches, both figuratively and literally.

  • Beaker

    Do you not agree that we should disapprove, reject and unfavorably grade here? Is it not a good, noble and honorable thing to do? You’re quoting me by saying that.

  • Steve

    A racist blowhard idiot prone to leaving obscenity-filled voicemails to friends and colleagues. Perhaps the most loathsome individual in the Boston Sports scene today.

    Thumbs down.

  • Dan

    “What are you? Late 20’s, early 30’s?”

    Disapprove. Lousy golfer as well. Being friends with Brad Faxon doesn’t make you a player John.

    • Nopointe

      He only works 4 hours a day and still has a 9.6 handicap?

  • Nopointe

    Let us not forget the acting stints in a number of Farrely brothers movies.

    Mr. Dennis are you now or have you ever been a member of the Screen Actors Guild.

    • Crap-o

      Nopointe- Are you in SAG????

      I approve of Dino! Him and Gerry have stones, which not to many of the Boston media has.

      #1 in Morning Drive! That says something… doesn’t it?

  • Joan

    I don’t know how he lives with himself.

    • fishercat

      elementry school tattle tale type who would rat out anyone for the love of a lousy buck and then run and hide behind privacy if someone called his backstory into question.

  • Tony

    Strongly disapprove.

    He comes off as extremely smarmy and seems to have a raging, out-of-control ego. (“That would be a lucrative radio career…..”)

    During the whole “The Patriots are running up the score” feud that the morning show antagonists were having with the Big Show cheerleaders last season, Dennis submitted some of the most arrogant comments (about co-workers no less!) that I’ve ever heard.

    To hear he and Pete Sheppard, two grown men, actually talking about “meeting anytime, anywhere…to settle this thing once and for all” (my paraphrasing there) was, for me, perhaps the lowest point in the history of WEEI as a sports talk station.

    D&C are barely listenable for me these days. They really jumped the shark last football season with their constant Pats bashing; first about Spygate, then about running up the score, then about…whatever the hell they felt like bashing them for after that. Dennis was the ringleader in all of that and his snarky attitude is the main reason why I find the show unlistenable now.

    The Rusillo voicemail also is something that this clown should never be able to live down.

  • Chico

    It seems to me, and correct me if I’m wrong, that, given all that we collectively know about the English language and it’s parameters, it’s restrictions, as they were, taking all that into account, it seems, at least to me, anyway, and I’m just one man, that John Dennis loves to use 1000 words when 1o would suffice. Bloviating Blowhard of the highest order. I love how his “thing” was ripping Pedro. Never mind the fact that Pedro is more succesful in his chosen field than Dennis (or, frankly, most of us) could dream of being, he communicates more effectively in English (his 2nd language) than a “professional” like TCF. I wish Rotillo had taken him up on his offer…Dennis seems to be more pudding than man at this point, kicking someone’s testicles up around their ears would be difficult with such wobbly, jiggly hindquarters

    • Dan

      “..more pudding than man…”

      Bravo Chico!

  • ben

    Earns ratings the way Matt Chatham earned Super Bowl rings. Forget about his voice, Gerry Callahan’s back must be sore from carrying this bastard.

    That voicemail message is pretty indicative of what this fraud is all about yet he continues to get respect at ‘EEI.

  • b holmes

    you wanna create a scandal?

  • Brian

    Their show can hardly be characterized as “sports talk,” as both him and Callahan know absolutely nothing about sports within Boston, and even less beyond the 617, as they both admit to not even staying awake for some games. Imagine what would happen if someone called and wanted to discuss another NBA playoff series, or the Arizona Diamondbacks? You’d get laughed off because they don’t know anything about sports outside of the Boston area, even though it’s their job. Listen to Mike and the Mad Dog in NY or Felger’s show (even if you hate him) and you’ll hear people who do their homework and can intelligently discuss any topic brought to the table. God forbid someone want to engage in actual sports discussion of teams outside New England.

    The most sad part of the whole voicemail incident is that Ryen Russillo is one of the most intelligent, insightful, and versatile sports personality in this town, and sports radio fans in Boston should be listening to him in the morning, not right-wing borderline racists who would rather interview Brad Faxon than do their homework on other sports.

  • Nopointe

    A 94 the last time out on the course! Congrats for shooting your age John!

    • Dan

      94 with a 9.4 index? That’s hard to do, especially playing from the senior tees. Given his ego, I would have pegged him for the low single-digit vanity handicap. I’d honestly be shocked if he could play to the 9.4 index. He’s probably closer to a 15.

      • Nopointe

        The 94 came when the course had a rating of 71.3. Before that he put up a 93 on 71.6, and a 91 on a 68.

        So yeah, his index is a little out of date.

        • Dan

          Those are some easy courses based on the ratings. A course rating of 68 is a joke.

  • mandb97

    king of all douchbags

    • grahamcracker

      or just a concerned father?

  • Davey

    Like Lobel, Dennis longs for the glory days of 1986 … Although his hairline is intact, he is soft, bloated and not aging well … Came to Boston as a cheesy Ron Burgandy type and consistently ran a distant third in the evening sports news race … was wisely dismissed by TV-7 and remains bitter 10 years later … Not likable on a personal level … Stuck in the racist, sexist, gin-swilling mode of the 80s … was embroiled in a controversy with the slimy B’s PR hack Nate Greenberg over the Cheevers firing … Typical country club pig, who is a prime candidate for heart disease.

  • Scott

    Honest to God, if I could buy a magazine with Davey’s scouting reports on the Boston sports media, I wouldn’t even bother with the draft.

  • hank durod

    He makes the morning drive with WBZ much more enjoyable.


  • b holmes

    had it been a tiger….

  • Ironhead

    You don’t know what’s in his heart.

    I do. He’s a *(!$&%$.


  • Feejis

    John was the inspiration for the rest stop scene in Something About Mary.

    True story.

  • NAOP

    John Dennis owes his career to Michael Barkann, who was originally supposed to team up with Callahan 11 years ago. Dennis must have a horseshoe stored with his gerbils, because if not for Barkann’s last minute decision to head down to Philly, the concerned father would be washing balls for quarters at Granite Links. Oh, Fortuna, blind, heedless goddess, the Boston radio audience has been crushed beneath your wheel!

  • green33

    Unparalleled smarm = disapprove

    Talent:position ratio is way out of whack.

    Proverbial guy born on 3rd base who seems to think he hit a triple.

  • Chuck S

    A useless windbag. Flaunts his ignorance of sports daily. While not technically as dumb as Butchie, Burton, LJ and the like, he is 1,000 times more loathsome because of his smarmy, douchey personality. Unfortunate that he gets to sell his particular brand of “suck” in one of the market’s highest-profile positions.

  • Guntfather of SportsRadio

    I’m fatter than him. But he’s gaining on me. His gunt is about 3/4 Phantom Approved.

  • Slug

    The absolute worst – biggest blowhard in sports radio. Prefers to use a ten syllable word when a two syllable one would suffice. Refuses to ask a question unless it consists of at least three parts and two hypotheticals. Couldn’t even leave a threatening message for Russilo without including four asides. Loses additional points for being morbidly obese.

  • KF

    I like Dennis. I enjoy the smarminess. He keeps the show running along, has good pipes, and isn’t trying to create a soap opera like the loathsome Glenn Ordway.

    Best part of the show is the 6-7 hour, followed by the always enjoyable Headlines segment where I enjoy Gerry popping off with some pro right wing commentary.

    Easily the best show on WEEI.

  • Steve From Yellowstone


    Its a toss up with him and Craig Mustard for the most despicable person on the air waves. Butch Stearns and Steve Burton are idiots, but at least you get the feeling with them that they’re just dumb, not complete @^%&%@. Dennis is an arrogant oaf who hates all the Boston sports teams; all his co-workers outside of his morning show bretheren; and all people who are not white, male, 50+ and making over $100,000 a year. Fire him and the ratings not only would be just as good, they’d probably be better.

  • Chris

    He looks like a frigging UNDERTAKER in that picture. In the encyclopedia, next to ‘sports media hack’ is a picture of John Dennis. Even if Dennis doesn’t come to this web site to read his own obituary, hopefully his kids and family do.

  • 02062

    Disapprove with extreme prejudice.

    Spent his entire television career in 3rd place in a 3 station market.

    He left, Channel 7 is now near the top of the ratings. Coincidence? Or, bad timing to a fare-the-well?

    Him and Gerry replaced the fabolous sports babe and the rest is history. While Howard Stern was still on regular radio John and Gerry had their heads handed to them on a consistent basis. Once Howard went to satellite they became #1.

    Let’s not forget the dump line him and Gerry used to have. Which they stole from Ordway who stole it from Howie Carr.

    Originality – he reads the news every morning and Gerry comments on the stories. Just like Howard and Robin were doing for 20 years previously.

    The problem, most of the stories John reads are 24-36 hours old by the time he gets around to them.

    Openly bragged about his relationship with batterer and cocaine abuser Marvin Hagler yet calls Pedro Martinez a “punk”.

    Racist, homophobe to the nth degree.

    I hope he doesn’t live to be as old as Don Gillis.

  • Regnad Kcin

    There are few things that could prompt me to actually phone or email a radio station’s program director. However, a couple of months ago, I did just that. After finding that I really enjoy listening to Boomer Esiason (and Craig Carton) on WFAN, I emailed Jason Wolfe at WEEI. I told him that his morning show was terrible and that D+C were the worst possible examples of the arrogance and narrowmindedness that comes to some people with some success. I won’t repeat it all, you get the idea. To my surprise and to Wolfe’s credit, he replied to my email with a simple thanks and while not agreeing with me at least acknowledged my right to having an opinion. Good for him. Unfortunately, D+C are still on the air and I listen to WFAN instead of WEEI until 10:00. A few other points to ponder – It was just a week or so after my email to Wolfe that Dennis was roundly booed at The Garden at a Bruins game I believe. I also find it fairly obvious that the rest of the on air staff at WEEI have NO respect for either D or C.

  • Ryan

    bigoted – metco – smarmy – voice messages – pompous – hateful

    There really aren’t enough reasons to disapprove. I’m stopping at every Kinkos and library on my way home to disapprove over and over again. Not enough bad things can happen to this prick.

  • Big Fat O

    Another know nothing radio host whose only knowledge of sports was reading a teleprompter but thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

  • JohnnyApps

    I approve of John Dennis.

    -While I think he’s a snooty country club kind of guy who thinks he’s a much better golfer than he really is and has become arrogant following the huge ratings success of the D & C show on EEI over the years…I like him because he keeps things moving in the morning, does interviews well, and has a good radio voice and is a commanding presence on the show, especially in the morning when you need one.
    -D&C is definintely the best show on WEEI. I like the fact that both John and Gerry will disagree with and criticize the local teams and players instead of always unabashedly agreeing with and supporting the Sox and Pats. The Bis Show guys are such ridiculously ball washing homers it’s disgusting.
    – D&C is also a much more diverse program than Dale & Holley and The Big Show. Those two shows never talk about anything else other than the Sox and Pats. D&C talk politics, golf, and other sutff. The Big Show seems to be exclusively Sox and Pats.
    – D&C do way too many Brad Faxon interviews. Those are brutal.
    – I think these guys are crazy overpaid. Anyone know what these guys make?

  • Mike H

    To be completely truthful, I forget whether this memory is of John Dennis or Gerry Callahan, but I believe it was Dennis.

    You might remember D & C’s boy crushes on Tony Graffanino in 2005. After Game 2 of the ALDS, the game in which Graffanino let the ball go through his legs, D & C made it a point to deflect any and all criticism away from their golden boy, choosing instead to bash Manny for not legging out a double in the top of the first.

    But that’s not the worst part. I remember distinctly that Manny’s hit to left-center was cut off on the warning track by LF Scott Podsednik, who quickly got the ball in. Later in the game, in the top of the 9th, Golden Boy Graffanino hit a ball to the same place, except the ball made it to the wall. Graffanino turned on the jets and just beat the tag at second.

    Despite the fact that Tony is, in all likelihood, slightly faster than Manny, and that he was safe by a split second, D & C took the opportunity to say the following (almost an exact quote):

    “So while Manny watches his line drive and loafs to first base, Tony Graffanino, out of PURE DETERMINATION AND HUSTLE, takes the extra base.”

    Whether they were in love with Tony or just racist, who knows, who cares?


  • Lance

    Miserable petty person who has made me enjoy waking up to my iPod a necessity. Unlistenable to anyone with even a modicum of intelligence. Failed pot-stirrer who’s epitaph will read “made some money” and nothing else.

  • T.J.

    to be fair, he’s good at his job. He interviews well, keeps the show moving at a fair pace, and for doing a four hour show, doesn’t let things get too repetitive. So in that regard, I approve.

    As a person, I don’t know him, I only know the personality he puts forth on the radio which, while not nearly as acerbic as Gerry, is pretty grating. So I approve of his work as a host but disapprove of his (radio-only?) personality, but there are maybe a half dozen people who do a radio sports show who don’t have some annoying shtick (Jim Rome anybody?) so I’d say he’s in the majority.

  • LJ Sandwich

    It’s funny how the few people who have commented that actually approve of this a-hole, all say the same thing.
    “good interviews, keeps the show moving at a good pace…”

    Even the WEEI trolls can’t say many nice things about this prick.

  • joe

    Agree with the comments above – snotty, miserable and petty. I think the last time I listened to WEEI in the morning was the day after the Randy Moss trade. He went on and on how awful and terrible it was. Did he ever admit how wrong he was? Anyways, the guy comes off as a total arrogant, jerk that thinks his opinion is fact.

  • Scott

    Shows good command of a Thesaurus.

  • Nico

    I read this blog through google reader, and this is the first time I have clicked on the actual blog post itself so I could come on and rate DISAPPROVE for this despicable individual. Why he is even on a sports station boggles the mind.

    He couldn’t understand the difference between A-Rod’s calling “MINE!” during a pop-up and a fielder faking that a ball got through to the outfield, or pretending a ground ball had been hit in order to cause a runner to slide. He is so dense it is pointless listening to his arguments.

    And his questions to guests are always scripted and contain at least four clauses and take thirty second to read.

  • Sluggo

    No talent. Haven’t listened to him or his loathsome partners since pre-Metco slur days. I feel like washing my hands with hot, soapy water just writing this about him. Ech.

  • GG

    Nothing wrong w/ having an opinion and having it turn out wrong. But Dennis has been so wrong, so many times and so forceful in his reasoning. The Bruschi, should he retire or not,debate that he stoked for days was a real low point along w/ Moss and running up the score. I still prefer EEI over the Fan

  • Stephen Starring

    The ABSOLUTE WORST – the only time I listen to EEI in the AM is when he is on vacation

  • buttercup

    The only other person I can think of to have more dumb luck fall right on top of them in the Boston Sports landscape is Tameeka Messier.

  • Larry Q

    Haven’t listened since their walk on the beach. Their show commits the cardinal sin of being boring. Whatever the topic you know what each one of them is going to say.

  • Bill Bleak

    Loudmouthed PANIC MONGER……..constantly trying to “stir the pot” to the point you can tell HE doesn’t even belive in his own “opinions”…..during interviews asks questions so long you forget what the question is……spends the entire 4 hours telling you that he’s not a “Rumpswab”…”cheerleader” or a “fanboy”……a complete and utter BORE…..DISAPPOVE with 2 thumbs down and a certain finger up

  • ron

    dreadful, I will not listen anymore. he makes me feel ashamed to be white middle class. constant complaining, sarcasim, and negativity, with a touch of racism, how is that good radio?

  • aldo_cella

    I don’t think he actually likes sports.

    So, when do we get to Craig Mustard?

  • KF

    It’s over the top to call Dennis a racist. Just because he and Gerry disagree with points of view in the black community, doesn’t make him a racist. The Metco comment was taken totally out of context and was obviously not said with any malice.

    Want to see a racist, go on and watch Reverend Jeremiah Wright clips.

    • hank durod

      Nice try Callahan.

  • Chris M

    It’s comforting to know a big time radio station will employ a subtle racist and negative nancy like John Dennis. It’s just great that he gets paid most likely six figures to feed his ego and spew hate and nonsense every morning, minus any sports knowledge.

    One of the many underrated things he and Callahan do is taking calls and not even listening to the callers. They’re too wrapped up in their own discussion. Therefor, any intelligent discourse is out the window. Forget it when “Headlines” comes up; it’s just Gerry arguing his conservative points, not sports.

    I’m glad I’m not in my car until after 10 most days. That way I’m not even tempted to melt my radio with this oxygen thief’s breathe.

  • Wyatt

    Awful, just awful. But it is the “C” in D & C that made me quit listening.

  • Regnad Kcin

    My own negative opinion of Dennis aside (posted earlier) I can only imagine what his reaction might be, should he actually read any of these posts. Obviously, he and I are cut from different pieces of cloth, but I cannot express the shame and profound humiliation that I would feel to know that so many people have not just a low opinion of me as a professional but an even lower opinion of me as a man. This is truly sad. Is it possible that he can connect with this in any way? If the answer is no, then all this is sadder still.

  • Brian

    Disapprove x 1,000,000. However, a lot of you are missing the point about his views on the local teams: every host’s opinion on ‘EEI is staged and planned out well before it hits the air. Their ratings are high simply because most ‘EEI listeners are too stupid to realize this, and they believe the hosts are genuinely disagreeing with each other.

  • Paul

    Anyone notice how he always seems to be yelling into the mike?

  • Jon

    Callahan is better than Dennis. Discuss.

    • Angry Old Bastard

      LOL…that’s like trying to answer the question: which is better to have, gonorrhea or syphilis?

  • bholmes

    when i said i was rooting for the throat polyps it meant nothing. i could have said any deadly disease.