Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

ValleyWho: OK, so now who?


As we approach tonight’s 8 p.m. deadline to vote in the ValleyWho Sweet 16 round (go here!), I thought it would be fun to ask some of the now-eliminated ValleyHopefuls who they’re supporting in the competition.

Here’s what they had to say:

STEFANI BOOROOJIAN: “Honestly, I’m pulling for Richard Kiel. What is so bizarre is that I had scheduled an interview with him the day this contest was revealed. He is so genuine and nice and was concerned about beating me. Needless to say, he squashed me. But that’s OK, I still want him to win.”

ANTHONY TAYLOR: “I’m picking Audra McDonald to win this whole thing. She doesn’t need my support, but she’s a great representative of what I believe is one of Fresno’s greatest assets: the theatre and arts scene here. Plus, she’s from the Peach Regional like me so she’s got cred there too.”

RAY APPLETON: “There is only ONE name. William Saroyan. How could it be anybody else? Really!!!!!”

ART DYSON: “It would be difficult for me to select only one from the remaining list. It was from William Saroyan’s writings that I first learned of Fresno. I have also been moved and motivated by the works of Mas Masumoto, Phil Levine, Audra McDonald, Theodore Kuchar, and Pop Laval. Bob Mathias was a great inspiration during my youth.”

GNARLEY CHARLEY: It was a honor just to make the top 64. Team Gnarley would like to endorse The Highway 41 Waving Lady”, a true Fresno icon. I’m Gnarley Charley and I approved this message.

Responses to "ValleyWho: OK, so now who?"

Heather says:

This is cool. Props to these guys for being such good sports about the whole thing.

Stephen says:

I agree with Heather. I want to know why Ray didn’t push his minions to vote for him? He would’ve taken the first round easily!

kidcapri73 says:

There is only one Fresno celebrity/icon that is unmatched by anyone, before or since. AL RADKA! He was a football star at Fresno State and also served as student body president. For 30 some years, he was the image of all things Fresno, hosting live, weekday movies, kids shows and the Three Stooges! He even brought the Stooges to Fresno for a personal appearance, Moe, Larry and Curly Joe! He hosted Saturday live dance show with Al spinning records and local teens dancing in the studio. He also hosted late night movies on Saturday nights and he was often way more entertaining than the film. For years, he would host the 24 hour Jerry Lewis and UCP telethons. He wrote many catchy jingles long remembered by anyone who watched television in the ’60′s and ’70′s. Producers Dairy, Lamoure’s Cleaners, HTR (Halwood Truck Rentals) and who can forget those crazy commercials for Oberti Olives, Subway VW’s,Me ‘n Eds Pizza and the hilarious, live Lesterburger commercials (Lettuce! Let Us Eat It!) and the other previously mentioned advertisers. He was a major force behind Fresno’s Hot Stove Dinner, making it one of the biggest and most popular in the country. He was simultaneously on radio as well, creating many zany characters as his partners. When Al mentioned his advertisers as being a “good pal”, he really meant it. No one has been more popular for as long as Al was and no one ever will be. His nickname of “Mr. Fresno” was well earned and most deserving. Who else could possibly be called that? Here are some links related to Al, check out the Oberti Olive commercial on youtube. VOTE FOR RADKA! VOTE FOR RADKA!

Jody says:

Agreed, Heather. This is classy stuff. Note, though, that none of them mentioned a certain YouTube singing sensation. Take that, #TeamBeatty.

Roberto Vino says:

Another consideration should have been Phil Roman. Below is the first paragraph of his biography and the link to it.


The farmlands of Fresno,CA produced a gifted Mexican American artist with a fertile imagination. Young Phil Roman drew his way from a comic strip in the high school paper to advance as one of the top positions in the colorful but highly competitive field of animation. A true success story, six-time Emmy-winner Phil Roman has produced and directed animated series, theatricals and commercials for four decades.