Onrait's star shines on Olympic Morning

With the 2010 Games wrapping up, we leave behind our favorite guilty pleasure of the Consortium coverage: Jay Onrait on Olympic Morning.

If you’re a regular viewer of TSN you know Onrait isn’t a sports head. Looking for insightful commentary from the Stanley Cup playoffs or a deep emotional feature on Joannie Rochette? Jay is not your man.

He’s a goofball, and he’s made that his niche on TSN with partner Dan O’Toole, usually around 2 a.m. when few people are tuned in. He goes for cheap jokes and deadpan humor and usually nails it.

So it was sheer brilliance that the programmers moved him out of late night (and into early morning with the 3 a.m. PT start time) and onto the desk with Beverly Thomson and a cast of unsuspecting, half-awake correspondents on Olympic Morning.

Each day, while Seamus O’Regan and Melissa Grelo were chugging coffee on camera just to get moving, and the correspondents were wandering around Robson Square in the darkness wondering why anyone was even awake, Onrait was bringing the funny. Onrait’s act gave Thomson a spark, often cracking her up, and brightening a morning show that too often seemed like an infomercial for eTalk.

Here’s one of his best:

Onrait’s been lighting up Twitter, too. When a fan asked when he sleeps, he replied:

“Commercial breaks when I am not tweeting. Bev sings me to sleep. "Glass Tiger" songs usually.”

The formula came together perfect for Olympic Morning, with the four-hour time difference between coasts, there’s never anything Olympic or event related while Onrait and Thomson were on air. CTV tried to jam the show full of cross-brand personalities, but Onrait’s frat-boy act was the foil that kept the show from becoming “Canada AM goes to the Olympics.”

Even Leah Miller, who’s been hanging around Olympic celebrities for two weeks, said her most memorable part of the games was “being here on Olympic Morning with you, Jay!”

The country agrees, Leah.

What to Read Next