Why Does Sports Commentator Tony Kornheiser Wave a Canadian Flag? So Many Reasons

Melissa Willets - Author

Feb. 7 2024, Published 11:05 a.m. ET

Tony Kornheiser attends 2014 ESPN The Party at Pier 36 on January 31, 2014 in New York City
Source: Getty Images

If you are a fan of writer and television and radio commentator Tony Kornheiser, then you've probably seen him wave a Canadian flag during or at the end of his TV show appearances. He also references the country to the north on the radio quite often.

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If you don't already know, Tony is known for the aptly named radio program The Tony Kornheiser Show. You may also recognize him from Pardon the Interruption.

Either way, let's explore his many connections to Canada. Read on for the full details.

Tony Kornheiser reacts to the crowd as he receives the honor at Nationals Park July 9, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Source: Getty Images
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So, why does Tony Kornheiser wave a Canadian flag anyway?

OK, so the first obvious question is: Is Tony Kornheiser Canadian? Well, not exactly. He was born in New York City and lives and works in the United States.

However, his mom Estelle is from Toronto, so there is that connection.

But his mom hailing from the country is not the only reason that Tony seems to have a real fondness for Canada. In fact, not only does he wave the flag, but he is apt to say, “Good night, Canada,” on air, per ESPN,

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Historically, Tony wanted to throw Canada a little love since his additional segment with Michael Wilbon does not air outside of the U.S.

“It has to be at least seven or eight years now since I started doing this,” Kornheiser explained previously about waving the flag, adding, “I get asked about it routinely — by as many Americans as Canadians. I always tell people that I’m so popular in Canada, I could get lucky in Nova Scotia. Canadians really seem to like it.”

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There are other reasons that Tony Kornheiser waves the Canadian flag.

To say that Tony is a bit of a Canadaphile is definitely a true statement. He has said he very much likes Canadian sports, specifically hockey. Tony also enjoys music from the country, as well as other cultural elements like literature.

Meanwhile, not only is his mom of Canadian heritage, but according to at least one report, his co-host Michael has some Canadian blood as well.

The maple leaf flag is also used as a bit of a white flag of surrender for Tony, who may need to make peace at times given his strong opinions and reputation for being a bit stodgy.

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So now you know the many reasons why Tony waves a Canadian flag — and let's just say fans love the unique move that has become his trademark.

Well, OK, not everyone loves it, with one person tweeting, "Tony Kornheiser, stop waving your Canadian flag after PTI is over. This is AMERICA!!"

You can't please everybody, but many fans are, well, fans.

"Tony Kornheiser gleefully waving the Canadian flag for two straight minutes on PTI is possibly the greatest thing I've seen on TV all month," one viewer gushed back in 2017.

And someone else expressed in 2021, "I’m glad Tony Kornheiser has stayed true to waving the Canadian flag at the end of each PTI episode over the years."

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