Features: How to Speak Philadelphian: The Best Philadelphia Accent

Wip Host Anthony Gargano!

“Yo, Cuz. How ya doin’?”

He’s got it down — that South Philly jab of locution, with a lot of last night in his voice. But for Anthony Gargano, the 10-to-3 WIP radio guy, it’s not just the sound, it’s what he does with it.

He crash-lands into words, simple words, that push a point of view. His run-of-the-mill Phillies trade patter, for example: “Nah, I hear you, but Wagner has gotta get you something BIG, he’s gotta get you BIG, that’s my BIG chip, Wagner.”

He pummels our mother tongue, softens it up like he’s tenderizing meat, and gets you running with him. Even when he’s just reading an ad, you’re reading Anthony, and reading Anthony means you’re getting Philly: “They give graduation parties, pooool parties … ” No elongated italics in his script, but you get his “pool” of booming cannonballs and brewskis and wild bikinis.

He’s got a Sopranos delight in the moving body parts of long words, too, especially when he’s annoyed, as he is with the Eagles’ R-rated cheerleader calendar: “I just think it’s un-ness-ess-airy. I’m not standing on a milk crate of morality here. I just think it’s un-ness-ess-airy.”

Yet in the end, it’s a voice, and sensibility, and wordplay, built on sheer joy. “I’m pumped up!” he yells, kicking off a show. “It’s CAAAAMP.” Never was such a blunt, nothing word made so rolling and important and, well, big — no mere football season beginning, but life springing anew in Iggles Nation.

That’s why Gargano gets the nod for Best Philadelphia Accent: The way he speaks is his calling card, the sound of a man letting you in on the fun. Gargano embraces his sound—our sound—so much, he’s turned it into his job. His career. His livelihood. What better homage than that?