Where Are They Now? Todd Pettengill

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October 16, 2012

Be careful the next time you pick up the phone. If you think the caller is being a little zany and over the top, odds are you’re getting pranked by award-winning radio broadcaster and former WWE announcer Todd Pettengill. Along with Scott Shannon, Todd co-hosts “Scott and Todd in the Morning,” a daily four-hour program broadcast each morning on 95.5 WPLJ in New York City. But he’s best known to WWE fans for his role as a host and backstage interviewer at numerous WWE events in the mid-90s and for his inimitable parody songs at the Slammy Awards. (CLASSIC PHOTOS | CURRENT PHOTOS | VIDEO PLAYLIST)

Born in the small town of Hagaman, N.Y., Pettengill started in broadcasting at age 13.

“My mom knew a guy who ran the local station in Amsterdam, N.Y., WCSS,” Pettengill told WWEClassics.com. “She said, ‘You should go over there, you need a job.’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m 13, I need a job already?’ ”

Pettengill wasn’t an intern or errand boy. WCSS put the teenager on-air right away, making him a popular figure among his peers.

“It was cool, especially in high school,” he explained. “It’s a small town. You’re the big man on campus, saying, ‘I’ll mention you on my radio show.’ ”

The experience was invaluable and set Pettengill on a lifelong journey through the radio industry. He moved on to New York's state capital Albany, one of the top 50 radio markets in the country at the time. Hosting a morning show, along with holding several different positions in programming over his six-year tenure in New York’s capital city, prepared him for the biggest move of his radio career.

In 1991, Pettengill headed south to New York City, joining the staff at WPLJ. Teaming up with Shannon, who had been hired shortly before him, the two found radio magic and have been on the air ever since.

Not too long after coming to The Big Apple, Pettengill received a phone call that would present him with one of the most unique job opportunities in television.

“Mr. McMahon called me,” the DJ revealed. “He listened to the radio show and said, ‘You’re kind of funny, do you have any interest in coming up and auditioning for a job?’ ”

Pettengill, admittedly, wasn’t a wrestling fan and didn’t think the job was for him.

“I didn’t watch it as a kid,” he explained. “I’d see Mr. McMahon in his blue jacket once in a while, interviewing Andre the Giant, but I was never a huge fan growing up.”

The WWE Chairman, however, insisted that the radio host would be a good fit as a WWE announcer.

“He said, ‘That’s great, I want somebody who has an outside perspective, who can bring a different look to it,’ ” Pettengill told WWEClassics.com.

So he came north to WWE’s TV studio for an audition, the memories of which stuck with him for more than 20 years.

“Mr. McMahon handed me a bottle of water and said, ‘Here, sell me this,’ ” Pettengill said. “That was my interview, I had to sell a bottle of water and convince people to drink it.”

Pettengill quickly realized what the purpose of this unusual task was, and used his skills to storm through it.

“He knew right away whether I could think on my feet,” Pettengill explained. “Doing radio really helped because you have to fill time, you have to be able to talk and communicate.”

Todd impressed the WWE Chairman with his salesmanship and was hired. He was thrust into an unfamiliar universe with massive, hulking Superstars and gorgeous Divas. Pettengill, who said he wasn’t star struck coming into the job, found that his new co-workers were very cool.

“I think the only guy that ever gave me a hard time was Razor Ramon,” he recalled. “I used to have stubble and grew a mullet like him. He’d say, ‘Dude, you’re stealing my stuff. I have the stubble, I have the mullet.’ It was all in good fun.”

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