The majority of sports talk programming revolves around passionate and opinionated hosts talking about the local or national sports stories that matter to each brand’s audience. But equally as important for an on-air personality is to let the audience in on who they are while showcasing their own unique ability to laugh, be authentic and invite self-deprecation into each day’s show.
Last week I stumbled upon a program in Salt Lake City which I thought captured this well. “The Big Show” on 97.5/1280 The Zone features Spence Checketts and Gordon Monson, and they perform a regular feature called “The Not Sports Report”. Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it content to build an entire show around? No. But it’s entertaining.
In the span of four and a half minutes, the listening audience got to hear Gordon be fun, silly, and self-deprecating, which is a nice change of pace from the strong opinionated host he is during everyday sports subjects. The presentation of this particular feature made him sound like someone you’d like to strike up a conversation with if you ran into him outside the studio.
What I enjoyed about the bit is that it was relatable (pick up lines guys can use to meet girls) and it showcased a character (Stingray Steve) in a very cheesy way. The delivery of Stevie is so over the top bad that it makes the bit funnier. Gordon then analyzes Stevie’s bad lines and proclaims to have the solution yet his lines are equally as bad. When you combine that with him delivering the lines in a confident way over the Pink Panther music, it makes it even more enjoyable.
I’ll admit, I’m not usually a bit guy. Through my two decades of experience I’ve found that many sports radio hosts find their material to be funnier than the audience does. I’ve been guilty of that myself. But when executed well, it can break up a show in a positive way and become fodder for future conversation with the audience.
Any local listener in Salt Lake City who tunes into the show because of Monson’s strong sports opinions, will appreciate that he can let down his guard and face the music whether the audience is laughing with him or at him during a fun feature. And sometimes it’s the simplest and most basic parts of a show that can provide the most memorable content.