Over The Counter Culture

Matty in the Morning Radio Show

By: Mimi Walker


If you’re not a morning person, much like 90% of people around you, I suggest you turn your radio dial to 107.9 FM while on your daily commute. At least you’ll be granted a sliver of good laughs to ward off the grossness of morning-shrunken eyes and fuzzed thoughts in traffic.

Matty and his crew try to figure things out that add color to the gray matter in our brains, such as how desperate the girls on The Bachelor are, or why Rihanna is getting worse and worse every day, or the comedic irony of Dennis Rodman going on a missionary trip to North Korea.

Honestly, I’m not being facetious. I could listen to them all day.

The contrasts between the three personalities (Matty Siegel, Billy Costa, and Lisa Donovan) complement each other so coolly, that’s it practically reminiscent of hearing a Plinko-like conversation in one of the common rooms of Emerson’s Little Building (Plinko being the game in The Price is Right, where you never know where the chip will fall…).

The main player, Matty, is dry, wry, and always slightly in a fog when it comes to pop culture. But it seems that he wants to stay in that fog, and he should, because that makes for great comedy; he shows up to work, gets informed of the news, and tries to process it. Here’s a collection of recent gems:

Matty: LeAnn Rimes is certainly not on my radar…LeAnn Rimes was a pilot in a

movie?! That’s some weird casting…A bush pilot? I bet she was…Jim the intern is following LeAnn Rimes?! Oh, it’s just on Twitter…listen, you two aren’t kids anymore, so why do you care about this anymore?…(whispers) Why do you care?…Paula Deen’s still fat even though she’s lost weight…Do something, Jim, help me…Joan Rivers looks as fake as Bruce Jenner…

It’s essentially like probing the thoughts of a cynical, slightly misanthropic uncle at Thanksgiving, one that is obviously disinterested in life but can’t help but roll a sneak-attack of tiny little jabs at the subject matter. It’s kind of irresistible.

Then you have Billy, the jokester/attention seeker. He’s loud, and without a filter. Some of the things he says are just flat-out batty. Billy has to take a shower every time he enters the bathroom. Billy judges women by their muscular biceps. Billy simultaneously wants to be the Pope and Michelle Obama.

Billy, Billy, Billy. Don’t you know it’s all about Billy? But it’s fun that Matty can’t resist ragging on his life and existence. Billy, however wacky he is, brings an essential element of zany entertainment to the show.

Lastly is our sweet ingénue, Lisa. Her first job is being the traffic reporter for the show during breaks. During the segments, Lisa is the quintessential girl-next-door with a hint of spice. Any conversation between Matty and another is enhanced by Lisa’s healthy, hearty giggling. Upon hearing a screaming goat inserted in place of “Oh! Oh!” in the chorus of Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble”, she is subtly begging for more. Lisa is also the show’s traffic reporter, and she is quite astute at fitting in all the roads and all the conditions clearly in just a few seconds. Lisa is well-informed on interesting girl material. She loves “Access Hollywood”, “Extra”, “Fashion Police”, Us Weekly Magazine, People Magazine, and In Touch Weekly Magazine. But she’s very erudite in local news as well, like Mayor Menino’s current state or the reasons why the Fung Wah bus line was expunged from Boston. She is always able to further the conversation and is always upbeat, knowing every detail inside and out. Her nuggets of wisdom are especially cute and thought provoking, like her remarks on how uncomfortable it is for men to eat a good meal on a date when the lady eats a little salad. Women actually should enjoy that lasagna, food is a social stimulant, so just go for it and have fun! Lisa will always root for the underdog.

The show has other great embellishments. The crew on the show is excellent, always providing amazingly timely sound bites that make the humor of a situation more obvious. For example, upon us learning that Billy’s first words upon meeting Jessica Simpson were “Nice feet”, we hear a seamless inclusion of that old-timey classic “Happy Feet” by Cab Calloway.

But by far, the most hilarious segment of the show is the “Right Now” piece, when listeners call in at a certain hour just to fill Matty and the gang in on the unbelievable details of their lives. Shortly thereafter, Matty will make fun of them under the guise of giving lame advice. One show this week may feature a disgruntled truck driver, who complains about the bad reputation of the profession, only to receive a tribute country song.  Another call may have a woman with a teenage son whose childless boyfriend constantly nitpicks her babying him. The boyfriend may even namedrop Matty as an inspirational parent (Matty: “Tell him to shut up! He’s a mooch!”). Other beautiful non-sequiturs are peppered throughout a call, such as loose possums in the house or complaints about only 6.5 hours of sleep a night. It’s a wonderful way to connect an insular cubicle of insane commentary with the insanity of quotidian New Englanders.

All in all, during “Right Now”, Billy will guffaw like a goof, Lisa will express sweet sympathy, and Matty will basically tell the person “I…why…what!…I don’t…I can’t…well…look here…as much as I’d love to keep chatting…you aren’t a great person”.

That dynamic is the whole show in a nutshell. Dry, giggly, and ridiculously excessive. It’s addictive.

This entry was published on April 22, 2013 at 8:36 am. It’s filed under Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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