Toronto Radio Legend Mike Cooper Retires

The longtime co-host of 98.1 CHFI’s “Erin & Mike in the Morning” told his listeners Friday morning that he doesn’t “take back a single joke, a single word, a single laugh or a single smile,” that he “I loved it all.”

A local radio vet, Mike Cooper got his stripes by faking his own assassination on-air on April Fool’s Day 1976, which got him canned from CHUM. A year before at CHUM, Cooper set the world record for riding a Ferris Wheel. 21 days, 3 hours, and 58 minutes he was on the Wheel at the CNE. All he got for it was getting mugged and a new Austin Marina car.

He slept on the Big Wheel on a piece of foam and had a five-minute potty break each hour during the ’75 marathon.

“It’s a hell of a view and I’m so sick and tired of it,” he told Jeff Davies of the Star, in an interview just after the event. “I know how just about every game on the midway works and they’ve got you, I tell you.”

While Cooper will continue with Coop’s Classics Saturday evenings on CHFI, he’s ready to sleep in and spend more time with his first love and wife, Debbie. “I’ve taken care of millions of people over the years and now it’s time to take care of one: my beloved wife and childhood sweetheart Debbie,” Cooper said in an emotional statement to his  listeners.

After the early morning announcement Friday, #MikeCooper, and #CHFI were both trending on Twitter. Many giving thanks to the man who they’ve listened to most of their life – even local competitors gave homage to the radio host.

 

When I was doing radio co-op at CJEZ (now known as Boom 97.3)  back in the ’90s,  I helped out Anwar Knight with the overnight show. We were getting prepared to welcome the new morning man in the wee-hours of a fall morning. We were the first two people to introduce the new morning man to his new digs. The new morning man was Mike Cooper. A man both Knight and I grew up listening to on CFTR.  Cooper came into the studio and asked me if my name is Shane, and if I was handling the board.

“Yes, Sir”,  I said nervously, as I stood a foot away from one of my radio heroes.

“YOU SUCK!” Cooper screamed at me, storming out of master control.

I was heartbroken. They were even laughing at me in the newsroom. I didn’t know what to do. Was almost in tears.

Cooper came back into the studio moments later, and with his staple huge grin and trademark bad-boy giggle, he stuck out his hand and revealed he was joking, and that he remembered the bits I would do with Tom Rivers a decade prior on CFTR – where Cooper was the afternoon guy.

One of the nicest, most genuine people in the industry and a great inspiration to many you hear on radio, today. It’s true, good guys sometimes do finish first. Thanks for it all, Coop. Time to sleep in.

 

 

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