Jim Crossan drops his wife off at work, tells her to have a nice day, then meets her five minutes later in a radio studio to do their talk show.
The routine is just one way the 24-hour couple attempts to separate work from home.They are hosts for a radio show called "Crossan and Crossan" on WICC in Bridgeport six mornings a week. The Crossans have worked together for the three years they have been married.
"The priority here is news and information, and our job here is to kind of hold it together, to get the audience to sit through the commercials," Joanne Crossan says. "A lot of people tune in for traffic and then tune out."
The Crossans try to keep their audience amused with tales about their home life and their observations of other people and funny situations.
To punctuate their banter, they use sound effects and have produced a number of tapes of such canned sounds as dogs barking, pigs oinking, laughs, boos and cheers.
Most of their material is spontaneous, and they say the key is that they look at each other throughout their routines.
"It's like dancing around each other," Joanne says. "It's all a matter of knowing each other and communicating silently.
"You have to keep that connection open, and you know if you're on the right track. If I said something hideously wrong, he looks at me like this," she says, making a horror-stricken face.
The Crossans have known each other for 10 years. Both from New York City, they met at Fordham University and dated for several years. Their first show together was in 1985 in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Jim says they were auditioning people off the streets to be his co-host, and one day Joanne agreed to try it. The general manager liked the team and encouraged them to become a radio duo.
The Crossans, who are both 30, took their act to Lansing, Mich., in 1986 and joined WICC in February 1987.
The husband-wife concept is a plus for the station, says Gary Peters, operations manager for WICC, a division of the Tribune Broadcasting Co.
He says there has been about a 10 to 12 percent increase in listeners since the couple came aboard.
"The husband-and-wife team is very unusual, therefore a highly marketable commodity," Peters says. "They did what our objective, which was to shore up the younger people, was. There were some losses in the older end, but we expected that because they're very unusual."
Jim says their best shows are from life experiences.
"We walk around with notepads and write down things that happen," he says.
For example, Joanne says, she was trying to do a fast grocery shopping trip and got behind a family of four moving very slowly.
"These people acted like they were in Disneyland. They were looking at everything," she says. "I called them `The Browsers."'
Joanne is taking driving lessons, and she plans to take a cellular phone to class to call in her observations, progress and tales of others on the road.
They admit that they are not funny 100 percent of the time.
"Comedy is like money," Jim says. "You spend it quickly, and there's never enough of it.
"I used to worry about every show if it wasn't working, but you can't do that. Now I just play a couple of records."