As Tony’s big
head news breaks tonight, here’s an alternative to the speculative stories you’re about to read about his future. It’s a video of a speech Tony gave last year at a TEDx event.
I remember the first time Tony and I ever spoke. It was 2004 and I was about to become mtvU’s first Head of Programming. I had no clue what I was in for, and I had no clue why Tony was calling me in Los Angeles.
“Hey, it’s Tony DiSanto,” he said. “I work at, like, MTV. I heard you were gonna come here and run creative for mtvU so I wanted to just reach out and, you know, say hi and see if you need anything.”
You know who Tony really is? He’s the guy who randomly popped into my office one day in 2006, asked if he could make a call, phoned up a show runner and gave 20 minutes of notes on a rough cut — from memory.
He’s the guy that punks you on email better than anybody you know, and breaks into your office phone to re-record your outgoing message.
The guy who watches your pilot and explains how you could have gotten more from that one shot if you approached it like Scorsese in that one Scorsese movie you never saw but of course Tony saw 50 times so he can tell you time code.
The guy who lets you re-design his office when you’re stressed.
The guy who plays dumb so you won’t notice he’s an intellectual. Though he is. More than you are.
The guy who (with Shirine) is the first to send you a gift when your new baby is born — and it’s the stroller you and your wife always wanted but gave up on because it was too expensive.
The guy who never put his head down when MTV’s ratings were in the shitter, not once, not ever. And now that we’re back on our feet again, thanks in huge part to him, he’s leaving to do what he’s always loved — to make stuff.
Sad for us? Yeah. But ultimately, it’s inspiring. Mofo is about to return to what he does best, and what he does better than anoyone I know. Make shows. And hopefully some movies, too.
Thank you for always wondering what I was up to, for betting on it whenever you could, for everything you’ve taught me, and for that incredible stroller, which Theo still loves to this day.