Danny Bonaduce 1959-2009, and Beyond … Probably

Partridge Family child star. Reality TV train wreck. And now, morning-radio host on WYSP. But through it all, Danny Bonaduce has really just had one role to play

After firing Kidd Chris last May for broadcasting a moronic racist song, ’YSP was without a morning-show personality, and getting hammered in the ratings by Preston & Steve on WMMR. Bonaduce was doing an afternoon show on KLSX in L.A., and WYSP operations manager Andy Bloom, who in the 1980s helped make ’YSP the first station outside New York to carry Howard Stern, vocalized what everyone in management was thinking: Bring Bonaduce back here to recapture the glory.

For the first four months, he was doing the ’YSP morning show and the L.A. afternoon show, both from here. He’d wake up at 4 a.m. to pound a heavy bag in the basement gym of his apartment building. It was just blocks from the studio, but he’d usually ride his Harley or scooter to work rather than walk. When all’s been said and done — and for him, it pretty much has — Bonaduce may be the most famous person living in Philadelphia, and multiple generations of fans want autographs, camera-phone snaps. There are no quick walks through the city.

After his morning show, he’d work on ideas for the next day, or meet with potential sponsors. Then he’d go home, maybe pitch some reality TV show ideas to producers; he has at least three projects in the works, one of them being Danny 911, in which he’ll arrive at the homes of troubled people and help, like a funhouse-mirror Pat Croce. Then he’d train more and return to the studio before 5 p.m. for the L.A. show.

“He’s just a machine,” says Bloom.

Bonaduce admits, “I found the antidote for all the world’s ills, for me personally: work.” So far, so good.

In February, feeling settled in Philadelphia, he bought a house in Old City. The timing wasn’t perfect; days later, he learned he’d lost his L.A. gig because KLSX switched to an all-music format. But it’s okay; now he has a place for his kids to stay when they visit from California.

Don’t worry for Bonaduce’s public exposure. He says the bigwigs at CBS Radio are hopeful that if he makes his show number one in Philly, they can syndicate it to other markets. And even the Old City house is getting a TV show: One of those cable home-design programs is going to decorate it. Bonaduce’s life in the media is a fine example of using every part of the cow.

BY HIS ESTABLISHED standards, Bonaduce’s potential for pain in a three-minute boxing match against the steroids-tainted 1986 AL Rookie of the Year seems minimal. But for weeks he’s been professing dread, even though Canseco looked like a chump in his only prior celebrity fight, last July, when Channel 10 sportscaster Vai Sikahema, a former Eagle, knocked him out in less than a minute. Bonaduce reckons his own record going into the fight is 12-and-0, including wins over Donny Osmond and Barry Williams (a.k.a. Greg Brady).