Latin Excellence | Gonzalo ‘Papi” LeBatard
Papi, whose full name is Gonzalo LeBatard, is the father of host Dan LeBatard. Papi is the star of Highly Questionable. No doubt.
ESPN’s Highly Questionable features three hosts but there is one obvious star. Papi.
Papi, whose full name is Gonzalo LeBatard, is the father of host Dan LeBatard. An industrial engineer by training, Papi began co-hosting with his son in 2011. In 2013 they added Bomani Jones as a host.
Papi brings positivity to the show, whether it is cheering on a D-league team the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, or voting si for as many questions in the ‘si or no’ segment as possible. He brings smiles and laughter to most subjects where Bomani or Dan might be more realistic.
More often than not Papi is cheering someone on. He is also known for his rap covers. Tupac’s birthday? Papi got you with a cover. Need a new rendition of Shirley Ceasar’s “Beans. Greens, Potatoes” jingle with a Cuban twist? Papi is right there for you with a smile.
Highly Questionable started off as Highly Questionable with Dan LeBatard and was filmed in a studio in Hialeah in Miami, Florida. LeBatard grew up in Hialeah where Papi managed a factory for twenty years. He describes the town to ESPN as small, poor and very Hispanic.
That factory forced Papi out at the age of 60. At 68, he walked into work a couple blocks from that now closed factory to be on his son’s show. Now five years later they are still on air.
Highly Questionable was started as an effort by ESPN to reach out to Latino audiences. The show has now moved to film at the Cleveland Hotel in South Beach Miami, Florida. Recently Papi was attacked by a Twitter user who Dan responded to on his daily radio show.
“A tweeter writes in, ‘Hey, fat face, can you teach your father English please?'” Le Batard said. “That one happens all the time. My father came to this country not speaking any English. He’s got a Master’s degree in industrial engineering. He is doing television and radio with me in his second language. He’s smarter than you are.”