Radio game awaits D’Amore Friday

Radio game awaits St. Mike's administrator D'Amore Friday

July 22, 2019
Mark Tarnacki
Staff Writer
poster for radio show

When the public radio show Says You! does a show from the St. Mike’s campus this Friday, Associate Dean Jonathan D’Amore, below left, will be a contestant.

Saint Michael’s College Associate Dean Jonathan D’Amore will be featured as a player “on one of the toughest games in any media,” according to the executive producer of public radio’s long-running popular show Says You!, which will be taped live from the College’s North Campus Elley-Long Music Center on Friday, July 26 at 7:30 p.m..

The show also will do a second Vermont broadcast the next day, Saturday, July 27, from the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre, also at 7:30 p.m. Hosting the Vermont broadcasts along with Saint Michael’s are the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and Pentangle in Woodstock.

Saint Michael’s President Lorraine Sterritt will welcome the Elley-Long audience. The Center holds 300 people, and some tickets are still available through the website

The radio show’s executive producer Laura Sher said D’Amore “is game to match wits with members from our original cast public radio’s Says You!, aired locally on Sundays on Vermont Public Radio for the last two decades.”

Professor D'AmoreD’Amore said he has long enjoyed listening to the show and is excited if a bit nervous about competing on the live taping – but he’s more than ready to have some fun. “I’m looking forward to representing St. Mike’s and to finally having a chance to put to productive use my many years of English grad school experience pretending to others that I know what certain obscure words mean,” he said. The show frequently invites figures from communities hosting broadcasts to be contestants.

The producers’ first call for this coming Friday’s show was to the new chair of the Saint Michael’s English Department — who happens to be Jonathan D’Amore’s wife, Associate Professor Maura D’Amore; like her husband, Maura is an author and scholar, and therefore seemed a likely candidate given that the show is typically on the lookout for “literary types,” Jonathan says. But she told them she thought a better contestant might be her husband and asked if they would consider him. They did, and made the arrangements, and he has had about a week since to prepare by listening to archived recordings of earlier broadcasts.

D’Amore says he is not a veteran of the airwaves by any stretch and can recall only one time being interviewed on the radio perhaps 15 years ago about a book he wrote on the legendary old-time baseball player Rogers Hornsby. Still, says the longtime English professor, “teaching is improvisation, so I think that’s good practice.”

On its website, Says You! bills itself as “a public radio game show of bluff and bluster, words and whimsy.” Following the death of show creator and longtime host Richard Sher on February 9, 2015, original panelist Barry Nolan took over as host for two years. In 2017, Nolan returned to his seat as a panelist and Gregg Porter of Seattle’s KUOW-FM was named host.

The show’s publicists capture the spirit and essential information of Says You! in the following press release about the upcoming Vermont shows:

“Says You!, a nationally broadcast comedic game show – brings its signature wit and wordplay LIVE to Vermont, after a record-breaking 22 years on public radio and on the road! Join us for a live performance featuring the show’s signature wordplay – five rounds, two teams, and throw in an organic Vermont audience – it simply doesn’t get any better. The cast is looking forward to summer splendor with friends and family in the Green Mountains.”

“Two teams of close friends square off to tackle perhaps the toughest game played on any appliance,” the release continues. “Civil discourse is required no matter what the subject matter and amidst all of this adult bantering, children are in charge — of keeping the score! For those who want to start the laughs rolling a little earlier, join the cast for a pre-show special event. Tickets and information are so easy to get at Those attending the Q&A will have preferred VIP seating and a chance to get to know the people behind the voices broadcast each week.

“From Memphis to Monterey, from Seattle to San Francisco, SAYS YOU! has sold out theaters across the country. SAYS YOU! is public radio’s quintessential quiz show, aired weekly from coast to coast. Take one word, add two teams, create three definitions and throw in a live audience: and that’s SAYS YOU! Played in five rounds by two teams who vie for accuracy in the most literate and liberal of arts at the hilarious expense of the English language. Join us as our host challenges our cast and audience with the most difficult and intriguing questions on the airwaves. Since 1996, when SAYS YOU! was 100% locally-sourced and artisanally-crafted, its effervescent, erudite cast and host have served up wit and wordplay with a unique twist. Curious listeners know our motto: It’s not important to know the answers…it’s important to like the answers. If you like SCRABBLE, crosswords, anagrams, and Jeopardy! — you’ll love SAYS YOU!”

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