Oh-no-rat-oh? Aw-nor-ah-toe?

Dan Onorato, current chief executive of Allegheny County and candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, has a new commercial out and in it, he is sure to tell us how to pronounce his name, because apparently, his name is hard to pronounce.


This is how I pronounce it. On-or-ought-o.

Is that not right? I am putting the emphasis on the “On” and then the “ought.” Is that not right?

Let’s go to the video to see:

YouTube Preview Image


1. I love it that he awkwardly segues from big government and term limits IMMEDIATELY into, “Some of you have a hard time pronouncing my last name.”

Who wrote this? I hope his next commercial says, “My opponent’s plan will cripple the economy of Pennsylvania, and some of you might not know that I volunteer at the food bank.”

2. Then when he is teaching us how to pronounce his name, he inexplicably holds up a card printed on which is … his name. Not the phonetic spelling of his name. Just his name. And he holds up this card with his name after his name has already been shown on the video three times including a bum-bum-bum syllable by syllable appearance of it.

It’s almost comical watching him hold that card up so enthusiastically, like he’s scoring a mambo on Dancing with the Stars.

3. Now, two different readers have informed me that at the end, the announcer mispronounces “Onorato.” I can’t really tell. What do you think?

I love the beta closed captioning available on some YouTube videos and I activated it on this one to see what YouTube thought of the pronunciation of his name:

So yes, he IS mispronouncing it.

It’s not “Been On A Runoff,” Mr. Announcer; it’s “And On Arrival.”

So glad we cleared this up.


  1. Elle C.
    September 23, 2010 12:42 pm

    YES – the announcer definitely pronounces it “On-a-RAT-o”.

    I saw this commercial last night when I was falling asleep and woke up this morning thinking, “Did I dream it, or did that ridiculous ‘how to pronounce Onarato’ commercial really happen??”

  2. spoon
    September 23, 2010 12:47 pm

    Its on-o-RAT-o

    This commercial is a complete joke.
    1) he looks like a painted clown
    2) he has to tell you how to pronounce his name because no one outside SWPA knows or cares who he is.
    3) Can he appear any more fake. We all know he’s a douchebag.
    4) Dan you wanna clean up Harrisburg? Of course you do because you cant do it here.
    5) You didnt raise property taxes, you created new bullshit taxes. Drink tax Dan… drink tax. Keep on taking money that ends up in an account collecting dust.

    What irks me the most about Dan is that he’s always had that attitude of “just do what I say or you’re a fool.” Someone needs to knock him down a peg before he adds Lukey to his payroll. I refuse to vote for this dickbucket.

  3. Biggest Fan
    September 23, 2010 1:02 pm

    I always picture some intern sitting on the floor in front of him swapping his signs: taking sign one, handing him sign two cause he is so SMOOOOTH with them.

  4. bucdaddy
    September 23, 2010 1:03 pm

    Must be using the former Berger & Green ad agency.

    “LOOK AT ME!”

    Needs some exploding budgets in the background.

  5. Kathy
    September 23, 2010 1:10 pm

    Okay, the closed captioning is funny as shit. Which isn’t that funny, but… yeah.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  6. unsatisfied
    September 23, 2010 1:13 pm

    perhaps the brains behind this ad are this former campaign worker:


  7. facie
    September 23, 2010 1:18 pm

    I was waiting for your post/comment on that stupid ad. I was wide awake when I first saw it earlier this week, but I too thought I must be dreaming. When DO first starting talking about mispronouncing his name, I thought he was warming up for a joke (I swear I was thinking something like Steelerstahl).

    If I were from Philly and had never heard of the guy, that commercial alone would keep me from voting for such a doofus. I hate when Philly can one up us.

  8. Lizzy
    September 23, 2010 1:18 pm

    The announcer does say OnorRATo (emphasize the RAT – haha, funny considering it’s politics)

  9. Jake
    September 23, 2010 1:26 pm

    “… And you’ll need to know how to pronounce my name because once I’m ruler of yinz all I’m going to start breaking kneecaps and throwing the crippled bodies into the Susquehanna if it’s not said properly when you genuflect before my throne.”

  10. rickh
    September 23, 2010 1:34 pm

    It’s pronounced “ren-dell june-yur”.

  11. bluzdude
    September 23, 2010 1:44 pm

    He should have used one of those “follow the bouncing ball” devices.

  12. big chuck
    September 23, 2010 1:54 pm

    drink tax….this guys a clown, pronounced clahn. cue the DVE dan the tax man song

  13. Monty
    September 23, 2010 1:55 pm

    New campaign slogan:

    Dan Onorato — Smaller shoulders than the Liberty Tubes.

  14. red pen mama
    September 23, 2010 2:10 pm

    I have not seen this commercial yet. (Sue me, I don’t watch much TV.)

    but the closed captioning has me LOL’ing. I wonder who’s responsible for looking into that. “BTW, campaign staffer, could you please check how closed captioning is going to render my name phonetically?”

    He probably didn’t think of that at all, did he?

  15. Ms Redd
    September 23, 2010 2:27 pm

    You know what they say- as long as they spell it right, that is all that matters.

  16. Angie
    September 23, 2010 2:28 pm

    lmao @ Monty

  17. Samantha
    September 23, 2010 2:44 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that he doesnt blink at all during the commercial?

  18. Suz
    September 23, 2010 3:06 pm

    It matters not, ’cause I ain’t going to vote for him no matter what. Will look for the no-blink thing the next time that I see the commerical (with sound dahn, of course.)

  19. Tam
    September 23, 2010 4:05 pm

    The whole name on a card thing is a riot…but what about those eyebrows and hairline? Over man-scaped?

  20. CrashJK
    September 23, 2010 4:14 pm

    He’ll lose by 10 percent or more…what a joke of a campaign so far….I’m glad too

  21. bob
    September 23, 2010 4:21 pm

    oh yes announcer mis-pronounces his name. i wont be able to find him on the ballot now. ha

  22. AmyLa
    September 23, 2010 4:28 pm

    It’s so ridiculous! Like the stupid PA voters can’t figure out how to even get close to pronouncing his name. Does he think we’re idiots? The only idiot is the make up artist that thought giving him giant, oddly-colored caterpillars for eyebrows was a good idea.

  23. Jen
    September 23, 2010 4:38 pm

    A couple of weeks ago I had a phone survey in which the surveyor had problems pronouncing Onorato and Markosek. I wonder if that messes up their survey results if the person they are calling doesn’t understand who they are talking about.

  24. Stellabella
    September 23, 2010 4:54 pm

    When I first saw this commercial, I was in awe of what his face looks like when he doesn’t have a scowl on it. It’s obvious he’s kissing some serious butt to get the vote. If he would have just went on there and said, “It’s On-or-ought-o” because I SAY IT IS, Suckers! Pronounce it wrong and I’ll tax your asses off!” it would have been much more believable.

  25. burghbird
    September 23, 2010 5:14 pm

    If you are familiar with the Castle Tavern on Rte 88 in Castle Shannon, you know that from Day 1 of the Drink Tax, their roadside sign takes awesome digs at Dan. On Monday, I passed it and it said “Dan, if we say your name right, will you fix Port Authority?”

  26. Virginia
    September 23, 2010 5:17 pm

    Burghbird, you must get a picture for me!

  27. Norm
    September 23, 2010 6:53 pm

    I say good move pr wise. He gets to repeat his name and it sticks in your mind. then people blog about it.

  28. Bram R
    September 23, 2010 8:21 pm

    “I hope his next commercial says, ‘My opponent’s plan will cripple the economy of Pennsylvania, and some of you might not know that I volunteer at the food bank.'”

    Yes. This. Already.

  29. S
    September 23, 2010 9:07 pm

    I love the “these people in Harrisburg”, did I miss his facebook breakup with Lukey and Swendell? And when he says the change we need, does that mean a water tax to build the Harrisburg connector? The only reason I need to know how to spell your name is so I know which one not to vote for.

  30. Virginia Hendricks
    September 23, 2010 9:24 pm

    omg. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  31. BeauJacques
    September 23, 2010 10:43 pm

    @spoon, & @big chuck-

    I really see no reason to insult clowns!!

  32. empirechick
    September 24, 2010 12:25 am

    @Samantha – Commercial was just on (again, for the seemingly 100th time tonight), and by my count, he half-blinks his left eye once. That’s it, through the entire 30 second commercial.

    isn’t that proof he’s an alien? or something…

    Doesn’t matter – after his double talk on the arena (claiming he never backed any plan, even though he was firmly with Fast Eddie’s Harrah’s gang), I didn’t like him. After the scare-old-people-to-death drink tax (this is the only option – otherwise we have to raise property taxes), there was no was in hell I would vote for him. Not a fan of Corbett AT ALL, but it ain’t gonna be Dan the Tax Man.

  33. Greg
    September 24, 2010 7:15 am

    The down side to NOT voting for Governor, is that we’re stuck with him as County Executive.

  34. Sooska
    September 24, 2010 8:34 am

    *sigh* Amateur. Dan just isn’t ready for prime time.

  35. spoon
    September 24, 2010 8:51 am

    @BeauJacques clowns put the laughter in slaughter

  36. Angry Mongo
    September 24, 2010 9:53 am

    “In the voting booth, no one can hear the pronunciation.”

    Yeah, I first thought, “What a stupid commercial” then I thought, “Hey that guy announcer guy said ON-A-RAT-O

    Maybe I should do a shirt with a person, representing Dan, standing on a rat.

  37. Donncha
    September 25, 2010 12:49 am

    Here is the thing about that commercial: precisely how would Onorator — or any governor — change the operations of a separate branch of the government as in the Legislature? To do that would require a Constitutional convention to rewrite the state’s constitution. Is he calling for that? Because without it, I’m not sure what he’s proposing to do. Governor’s submit a budget, yeah, but legislatures pass them in the form they want.

  38. Marcy
    September 25, 2010 8:24 am

    Lord, it’s an awful, low-rent amateurish mess of a commercial. And the closed-captioning made me laugh out loud, thank you for sharing it!