Writer Josh Cohen talks crazy radio stunts, fans and charities with the “KVJ Morning Show” co-host.
WHO: Jason Pennington, co-host of the “KVJ Morning Show” on 97.9 WRMF, founder and front man of Value Meal Killah and The Snack Pack
WHAT: The Ron Zacapa “Tremont” Rum Manhattan paired with grilled Spanish octopus with roasted sunchokes, crushed olives, chorizo and Swank Farms kale; the Korean lamb ribs marinated for 24 hours, chargrilled with kimchee and dipping sauce; and the salumi and cheese board including Parmigiano-Reggiano, manchego, Calabrese, chorizo, house pickled vegetables, fig jam and spiced pecans.
WHERE: The Cooper, 4610 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens / 561.622.0032 / thecooperrestaurant.com
1) I first knew that I wanted to be a radio personality when: I was a little kid. I knew I wanted to do anything in entertainment. I come from a really big family and you had to be entertaining to get attention. Making someone laugh was always the best validation possible.
2) The single worst thing I’ve ever attempted to consume as part of a crazy radio bit was: a 300-day-old duck egg that was black and disgusting. It was either that or the raw turkey heart and innards during an on-air cooking segment we did for Thanksgiving.
3) The one radio stunt that I thought was going to kill me was: the popcorn coffin. I was attempting to break the world record for most popcorn consumed in one sitting. I locked myself inside of a Plexiglass box filled with popcorn for four days, eating nothing but the popcorn for the entire time. I think they said I had eaten 590 gallons of popcorn before the paramedics broke me out of the box. I hadn’t slept in four days. I couldn’t remember my full name or feel my hands. I had to be hospitalized in the cardiac unit for the next two days.
4) If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would probably be: a mental health counselor. Before I got the job on this show I was preparing to work toward my master’s degree in mental health counseling. I like that other people are screwed up in the head just like I am.
5) The biggest misconception that fans of our show have is: that we only work from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. That’s so far from the truth. Kevin wakes up at 1:30 a.m., I wake up at 2:45 a.m. and Virginia is up by 3 a.m. There’s a lot of work and preparation that goes into doing a successful radio show every morning that you’re actually proud of.
6) Of all of the charities and causes that I’m involved with, the one that holds a special place in my heart is: Little Smiles because there is nothing better than helping little kids who are involved in the toughest of fights. Little Smiles brings so many different people together from different backgrounds. … It’s just awesome to help kids dealing with serious health challenges.
Having originally joined the “Kevin & Virginia” morning show in 2004 as a show producer and on-air stunt sidekick, Jason Pennington became co-host of the rebranded “KVJ Show” in 2007. During his tenure, the radio personality has participated in zany and outrageous radio stunts resulting in his temporary, and harmless detention nearly a dozen times, and his hospitalization on no less than seven occasions. In 2011, Pennington’s attempt to set a world record for the most eggs broken by head-butt topped the list of TruTV’s “World’s Dumbest Record Breakers 6.” A kidney donor himself, Pennington is involved and active with the Kidney Foundation of Palm Beach. In addition to co-hosting the “KVJ Morning Show” weekdays on 97.9 WRMF radio, he continues to write, produce and perform original music with his ensemble, Value Meal Killah and the Snack Pack, available on iTunes and Spotify. He currently resides in North Palm Beach.
ABOUT THE DRINK:
The Ron Zacapa “Tremont” Rum Manhattan:
2 oz. Ron Zacapa Centenario rum
3/4 oz. Amaro Montenegro
1/2 oz. Carpano Antica Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes Bittertruth Mole Bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill with ice and stir for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain over one large ice cube. Garnish with expressed orange swath.