Dave Ryan hits a milestone

After 20 years on the radio, KDWB's Ryan has grown up

"In a cast, I look for very strong identities and different personalities," Ryan says. "It's kind of like Gilligan's Island. If everyone were smart like the professor or hot like Ginger, it would have been a boring show."

According to Ryan, there have been four different casts in the nearly 20 years Dave Ryan in the Morning has been on the air in the Twin Cities. And though each cast member is important, perhaps the most vital is the lone woman.

"I'm the female that we're trying to talk to," says Bonsett. "I'm the heart of our demographic. A lot of our listeners say they like me because I give the guys crap right back. If Dave says something stupid, I'll tell him. I won't just agree because he's the host."

Dave Ryan's hijinks over the years
courtesy of KDWB
Dave Ryan's hijinks over the years

Corey Foley, who was the show's female co-host from 2003 to 2007, saw her role in a similar way.

"I didn't want to be the giggle box," Foley recalls. "So many women in radio are just there to laugh at what the guys say. If Dave said something dumb, I'd call him on it."

Ryan is most comfortable when talking about life with his family — his wife Susan, his 20-year-old daughter Allison, and his 11-year-old son Carson. Much of his humor is self-deprecating.

"I'm obviously a dad and older than everyone else on the show," Ryan says. "I don't pretend that I'm 30. I don't pretend that I know everything about the Kardashians. I think people appreciate that because not that many people are hip."

He does, however, try to retain some modicum of cool. He got his pilot's license and runs marathons. He recently started collecting Harleys, and attended the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally for the first time this past summer. And during one morning show a couple of years ago, he got a microphone tattooed on his calf.

"I think people have realized that just because you're over 40, you don't have to start acting like your Aunt Gladys," Ryan says.

Back on the Booty Cruise, things are starting to get strange. Grown women, most of whom are now thoroughly inebriated, are chasing a man who resembles a human Q Tip.

"Gaaaary!" they scream in unison.

The man scurries into the men's room and a couple of women actually attempt to follow.

"Gaaaary!" is Gary Spivey, a psychic who regularly appears on Dave Ryan in the Morning. He's clothed in all white, and wears a giant white Afro wig that, he later confides, is permanently woven into his real hair.

According to Ryan, Spivey is extremely popular with the morning show's listeners. In public, he's often harassed this way, Ryan says, because people are desperate to ask him pressing questions about their futures.

As Spivey hides in the bathroom, Ryan grabs the microphone and warms up the crowd. They can ask Spivey questions, Ryan promises, but they'll have to ask those questions in front of everyone else.

"If you look around the room, you'll never see any of these crazy bitches ever again, so you can ask that question about that guy and that other guy and that married guy," Ryan tells the audience.

Spivey emerges from the restroom amid a cacophony of screams. Ryan runs around the dining room with the microphone, fielding questions like he does on the air during "Group Therapy."

"My husband doesn't have sex with me. What should I do?"

"Am I ever going to get pregnant?"

"Is this guy I'm with worth it?"

Ryan is compassionate and reassuringly conspiratorial.

"What's the deal with this guy? She's obviously a great girl."

"What do you think, Gary, will she be able to have a baby soon?"

"Is this the one, is this guy her soul mate?"

The women seem to implicitly trust Ryan with the questions. They wave their hands in the air, hoping to be noticed. 

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