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Personality Test: Sean McDowell

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Sean McDowell is an on-air personality for WDVE-FM (102.5). A graduate of Upper St. Clair High School and the University of Dayton, he has been hosting the afternoon-drive time slot since April 1993. His first radio job was with WYDD-FM (104.7) in New Kensington in 1978 before moving on to WYTK-FM (95.3) in Washington, Pa., then to WRRK-FM (96.9) in Braddock, where he spent 13 years. McDowell comes from a broadcasting background. His father is the late Al McDowell, who worked at KDKA-TV and radio in the 1960s and WTAE-TV in the 1970s. Working in his hometown means a lot to McDowell, who says talking to and meeting his listeners is one of the favorite parts of his job.

The star who would play me in the movie version of my life:

Howard Hesseman, Dr. Johnny Fever from WKRP…for obvious reasons

Childhood hero:

The disc jockeys on KQV and KDKA (both played music back in the '60s when I was growing up.)

The superpower I wish I had in real life:

The ability to not say or do stupid stuff. Unfortunately, I do both frequently.

I can't live without my iPod, cellphone, DVR or laptop?

iPod Touch … I can definitely live without it, but I like it a lot and I use it a lot, too.

My favorite reality show:

I have never, ever watched a reality TV show … ever.

App I wish I could invent:

I have a nice smartphone, but I don't use it that often. I'm tethered to desktop computers all day at work. I absolutely do not need my smartphone close by ...

The piece of memorabilia from my childhood I wish I still had:

My first drum kit (blue sparkle Slingerlands). I was a drummer for the first 25 years of my life.

Favorite brunch food:

I can't remember the last time I did “brunch.”

Favorite guilty pleasure:

A cooler of cold beer, with my iPod Touch and my headphones, laying by the pool.

Best mistake I've ever made:

Living with the same woman for 25 years, then marrying her.

In five years, I'd like to:

Retire (and that definitely won't be happening).

One word my mother would use to describe me:


Something I would do over if I could:

Fewer drugs in college, then maybe I could have gotten out in less than five years.

Favorite lunchtime spot:

I don't eat lunch, seriously.

Top thing on my “bucket list” to do before I'm gone:

Go to Scotland

My favorite thing about Pittsburgh:

The individual neighborhoods, townships and boroughs, which are sorta like separate cities themselves

Three people I'd love to have dinner with:

My father, my mother and Jim Morrison (all gone)

My favorite sandwich, plus fixings:

In-N-Out Burger, Double-Double … you can only get these out West.

My quirkiest inherited trait:

I save too much stuff, when I should probably get rid of most of it.

Celebrity crush:

I don't think I have any!

The oldest thing in my refrigerator:

Probably some bottled microbrew beer

When I was 10, I wanted to be:

A disc jockey, sadly …

In high school, I was:

On the track team for three years.

Pick one:

A. Pirates

B. Penguins

C. Steelers

D. Other

E. I hate sports

C. I saw The Steelers play at Pitt Stadium in the '60s!

My favorite Pittsburgh athlete:

Probably Jack Lambert

Exercise I hate most:

I like to work out, which I do at least four days a week; nothing extreme, but I do exercise regularly.

The person I'm most often mistaken for:

People sometimes call me “Sean Michaels.” I just say, “Close enough, nice to meet you…”

The song that always gets me out on the dance floor:

I can't dance.

My most-embarrassing junk food:

Gingersnaps, I guess, eaten at night, too

What you'll always find in my glove compartment:

“Cheater” glasses … the print seems to be getting smaller and smaller.

The first band I saw in concert:

The Doors, I was 12 years old, Philadelphia, 1969.

The best concert I've ever seen:

Pink Floyd, Civic Arena, 1973, Dark Side of the Moon Tour; they opened the roof of the arena during the show, and a huge cloud of marijuana smoke poured out …

TV marathon I could watch all day:

“Mannix,” “The Outer Limits” and “The Wild Wild West”

Favorite Pittsburgh-area landmark:

Mt. Washington. I used to work at The Trimont, WRRK; our studios overlooked the Point, the North Side and all of Downtown. It was a spectacular view every day.

The most-famous person I ever became friends with:

Billy Gardell, a dear friend. He is the only really “famous” person I actually know. Swissvale boy. Hollywood big shot. ‘DVE AM show weekly guest.

Saturday mornings, you'll find me:

Up early, seriously. I try to get stuff done early on Saturdays, so I can be worthless later.

Best new gadget I've tried recently:

I guess my fairly new smartphone, but again, I don't use it all that often.

My favorite website:

I spend more time on than I probably should.

My most-treasured fashion accessory:

My well-worn Levi blue jeans

If I wasn't an on-air personality for WDVE, I'd be:

I have no idea; I don't have a whole lot of transferable skills, y'know?!

The movie that always makes me cry:

“The Wizard of Oz”

My favorite Pittsburgh pizza:

The Other Place, Scott Township

The last book I read:

“Fire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970”

Movie I could watch every time it appears on cable:

Any Dirty Harry movie or any Godfather movie

I'm deathly afraid of:

Without hesitation: spiders.

My most-memorable fashion mistake:

I wear jeans and long-sleeve T-shirts every day to work … it's impossible for me to experience a “fashion mistake.”

My favorite “bad” movie:

“Them!” (1954)

My first job:

Verscharen's Nursery, South Park Road

My worst job:

Selling cable TV door-to-door in 1981

Life would be better without:


If I could tour with any two bands, they would be:

The Beatles and Led Zeppelin

I never travel without my:

Girlfriend of 25 years, now my wife, Cindi Lee.

People would be surprised to know that I:

I'm pretty much clueless about today's pop culture/entertainment scene, in the TMZ world we all live in now. I have no idea who most of these people are or what they do.

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