Gary Dell’Abate Talks Phlegm Production and Why the New York Jets Are So Bad

“You used to hear it a lot more in the studio,” the executive producer says of his throat clearing

October 25, 2021

The New York Jets were blown out Sunday by the New England Patriots, losing to their division rivals by the hard-to-believe score of 54 to 13. With the team falling to 1-5 on the season and no turnaround in sight, Howard brought in sports lover Gary Dell’Abate to assess the dire situation.

“Why do they suck so bad?” Howard asked his longtime executive producer.

Gary couldn’t explain it. “They’ve really got to a point now where they are genuinely the laughing stock of not only football but sports,” he said, pointing out the only thing the team exceled at was drafting promising quarterbacks and squandering their potential.

“They’ve won one game this season and I don’t know that they’re going to win another game,” he continued, explaining their newly drafted QB Zach Wilson injured his knee Sunday which forced the team to send in lesser-known backup Mike White. “I thought he was the water boy who put a jersey on,” Gary said of White. “I’ve never heard of this guy.”

While Gary missed watching the Jets play competitive football, Howard said he missed hearing Gary clear his throat in the studio. He felt the notoriously phlegmy staffer’s throat clearing had subsided since he started working from home.

“You don’t hear it [because] I have a cough button,” Gary said. “I still clear my throat all the time … You used to hear it a lot more in the studio.”

Not every tactic Gary used to disguise his throat clearing over the years had been quite so effective. “In the beginning it was so loud I was like, ‘I’m going to throw up. I’m going to vomit,’” Howard recalled. “Finally, I said to Gary, ‘Do you mind leaving the room when you clear your throat?’ … So then, for a while, before walking into the studio, I’d hear Gary practicing talking and clearing his throat before he comes into the studio.”

Stern Show staffers Will Murray and JD Harmeyer shared similar Gary-related experiences. “It was disgusting. The whole staff would kind of look at each other and go, ‘Oh god, here he goes again,” Will said, revealing Gary had even tried clearing his throat in different rooms but to no avail.

“You heard it right through the door?” Howard wondered.

“Absolutely,” Will said. “There’s no stopping that.”

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