Just as old-school Emily Post was eclipsed by modern Miss Manners when the era of midcentury etiquette transitioned to the trends of the ’80s and ’90s, could it be that 21st century dos and don’ts will be defined by “bro” logic? It will be if Comcast SportsNet has anything to say about it. We’ve been told that next month the local cable sports channel plans to launch Table Manners, an eight-episode series that features the stars of WJFK-FM’s The Sports Junkies— John Auville, Eric Bickel, Jason Bishop, and J.P. Flaim, also known as “Cakes,” “EB,” “Lurch,” and “JP.”
They’ll keep their day jobs, hosting their popular morning rush hour sports/news/pop culture talk show, but for Table Manners they will convene at the Palm at Tysons Corner, where waiters will serve them food and drink while they “have a conversation with a different athlete, coach, [or] celebrity,” according to our source.
The Junkies, a crew of friends who grew up together in Bowie, Maryland, began the radio show in the ’90s after college. The tone is decidedly bro-world. The pretense of sports savvy but no culture is the hook for Table Manners. In one of the promotional spots now airing on Comcast, the Junkies are dressed in black tie and white tie. Flaim sports a top hat, Auville a monocle; Bishop wears white gloves. In another spot, Bickel says, “I don’t know how to handle a wine glass. I don’t know how to cut my steak properly. I think we have good manners, we’re just not that smart.”
Tim Seymour, general manager of the Palm at Tysons, says he does not know who will be teaching the radio hosts the finer points of dining etiquette—perhaps the notoriously opinionated Palm waiters?—but he says those details will be sorted out at a production meeting tomorrow morning. Shooting begins on Monday. “We have had a relationship with the Junkies for years,” he says. “We go on the air with them. We periodically bring them steak and lobster. When they got the idea to put this together, the only restaurant they really wanted to do it at was here.