Chris Carlin, the long-ago "Mike and the Mad Dog" producer nicknamed "The Continent," now is well into his second season of not being SNY's Mets studio host, a gig he held from 2009 to 2013 but that eventually grew a bit stale.

Serving as the main host of "SportsNite" has allowed him to express far more of his colorful personality.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"It was fun doing Mets pre- and post-game but I feel I excel when they let me be an idiot," he said. "If they let me just go have fun with something and point the ridiculousness out in a story, that's where I feel like I can do the most damage."

Carlin also is a co-host of "Loud Mouths," an early evening debate show on SNY. So he still works nights, but he has more predictable hours combined with less predictability in what he can say and do.

"It was fun and I learned so much about the game itself," he said of the Mets job. "But everybody likes to change it up, and that was a good change for me."