There is no secret to what has made Frank "From Gloucester" Iacono arguably Boston's most recognizable sports radio show caller. He knows what the people want, and is a master in talk show buffoonery.
"I'm the No. 1 caller because I'm a character," said the 81-year-old Gloucester resident, known for lighting up the phone lines at WEEI Sports Radio Network, and for his devotion to the New York Yankees. "I meet so many people in Boston and out of town, and they say 'Frank we know you're a Yankee fan, but we love you because you're a character and you're funny.' Everybody knows that I'm the No. 1 caller."
With his distinct voice and unique and amusing personality, Iacono has been calling WEEI programs for 16 years, and is mainly identified for his call-in contributions to "The Big Show" which is hosted by Glen Ordway and airs from 2-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The final 15 minutes of the program each day are dedicated to the "The Whiner Line," a regular feature which consists of listeners calling in and leaving humorous complaints/whines on a voicemail system, which is played at the end of the show. The best "Whiner Line" callers of the year are honored by the station at an annual event called The Whiny Awards.
"The Whiner Line is all about being a nitwit and a wacko, and I happen to be one of them," said Iacono, a frequent contributor to the segment, ending his whines with his trademark send-off phrase of "ciao."
Well, from now on, Iacono can't be considered anything less than an elite nitwit. He is now radio wacko royalty.
At last Thursday's 8th annual Whiney Awards at Showcase Live in Foxborough, Iacono was inducted into the Whiner Line Hall of Fame. He was honored with a gold trophy in the shape of Ordway, in front of what he says was a sellout crowd that included Red Sox hero Luis Tiant, Celtics hero Cedric Maxwell and other local personalities. Iacono was the only person inducted to the Hall of Fame that night.