Charles Barkley laughing on Inside the NBA Photo credit: Inside the NBA

Apparently, Charles Barkley thought WFAN’s legendary afternoon show was Mike is the Mad Dog, not Mike and the Mad Dog.

Mad Dog, Dog, Doggie, Christopher, Russo, there is no shortage of names available for the SiriusXM Radio host. But Charles Barkley opted to use a different one. Barkley joined Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo’s SiriusXM show Thursday afternoon, and while he graciously referred to the Hall of Fame radio host as a “legend,” he also couldn’t stop calling him “Mike.”

If Barkley made the blunder just one time, it could have been brushed off as a temporary lapse. But Barkley (a repeat guest on Mad Dog Unleashed) called Russo “Mike” at least four times during the Thursday afternoon interview. And beyond that, Funhouse, who posted the clip on social media, did a Twitter search and found that Barkley similarly referred to Russo as “Mike” during interviews in 2020 and 2019. Barkley’s right, Russo is a legend, but repeatedly calling someone the wrong name is far from legendary status.

And Barkley definitely knew who he was talking to. He even made a First Take quip at the end of the interview, telling Russo (or Mike) to “keep kicking Stephen A.’s ass.” Somewhere, Mike Francesa is smiling at the fact that his former partner, who has reached new heights with his ESPN fame, sat there quietly as Barkley kept mistaking his name.

Francesa, however, would NEVER let someone keep calling him the wrong name. In fact, the one time David Diehl called Francesa “Frank,” the Sports Pope quickly squashed that bit and reminded the former New York Giants offensive lineman that he was speaking with Mike.

So why hasn’t Russo corrected Barkley at any point in the last five years? Russo isn’t as pompous as Francesa, but it’s been five years! Reminding Barkley that he’s talking to Chris, not Mike, at least once over the course of five years isn’t pompous or arrogant. Although I probably shouldn’t be one to tell Chris how he should handle this situation considering someone called me Brian in an email yesterday and I just let it slide.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to