[Update] The trailer for Mr. Frost is now available for viewing on YouTube and is at the end of the article for our readers’ viewing pleasure.
The newest offering from Johnny Dynamo producer Joe Thomas is another YouTube series, this one about a talk show radio station titled Mr. Frost. Described as a cutting edge comedy, the show follows the fortunes of Nashville station WLBD which is stuck at the bottom of the local ratings and their star host goes missing. Station owner Gary Brubaker, played by Brian Feys, fires the missing presenter and calls in a favor from an old pal to come and save the day and, hopefully, the station’s ratings.
The plot revolves around the world of talk radio, sponsors, and the diverse world of local radio presenters. The show features at least one disc jockey’s who is still in college and a station owner who has an iMac for his desk but will not cough up enough money to replace his receptionist’s computer, which has been broken for at least two days. While this radio station is billed as “Nashville’s talk radio giant” the one college DJ leaves his listeners with one last “tune” before leaving. The station engineer is press-ganged into doing the missing doctor’s spot and Angela, played by Sarah Turner Holland, plays jazz in-between nervously announcing each disk. Brubaker’s pal, Mr. Frost has not yet shown up to save the day.
On day two the saviour of the station shows up, Lazlo’s luggage is missing and the man is a complete drama queen and his glittery T-shirt even announces the fact. Waking up on the wrong side of the couch he slept on, Lazlo Frost spits coffee at the engineer, storms around the station in his briefs and by the pilot’s end finally takes the mic and begins to save the station. The pilot has a good mix of characters and while some have slightly better delivery than others, the show looks like it will deliver in its comedic aim, though it may take a bit of time to “warm up.”
Mr. Frost, the new YouTube series from Johnny Dynamo producer, writer and director Joe Thomas has teamed up with Danny Mareno (Johnny Dynamo, The Body Sculptor) and Emily Steele (Checkmate, Are You Listening) to come up with a concept that revolves around the world of local radio. Apparently things are still pretty much as they have always been in the world of audio entertainment. Young DJs, as in still in some form of higher education, and an owner/station manager who appears to love giving his staff a hard time is still the norm.
For example, Brubaker is furious that his star attraction has left him hanging again. His answer is to ask an old friend to come in and help. First glance at the scenario shows that the man who calls the shots, likes a “bump” in his coffee, does not interact with his staff equally and is not above surprising his station employees with a prima donna presenter who has been missing from the world of big time radio for some time. The white haired gent is not a gentleman at all, he is a business man who is not above picking on his staff and seems to get along with his sports guy more than anyone else.
In the pilot episode, due to “air” on December 15, 2014, the punchline to this new comedy plays on the old gag of the overweight disc jockey with the falsetto voice, or that old (very old) non-Politically Correct joke about the butch looking guy with the “gay” voice who tells Jesse James that, in reference to robbing all the women and raping all the men, “That’s all right deary, I know exactly what you mean.” It works on that level alone, but it also feels very familiar to anyone who has worked in local radio.
As Lazlo Frost, Greg Standifer (Johnny Dynamo, The Body Sculptor) fluctuates between a sort of “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert with a mix of Don Pardo thrown in for good measure. While the pacing is a little uneven, the version seen by this reviewer was a rough cut, the show is funny enough with a lot of care taken to build up to the pilot’s underlying joke about the coffee. When given a cup of station coffee Frost immediately spits out his first taste and declares it tastes as though it were brewed in someone’s a**. Later this joke is brought home with Frost’s first meeting with Traci, played by Chelsey Fuller, the relationship guru on the WLBD roster. This amount of care for an underlying joke show what Joe Thomas does best, which is giving every bit of the script his full attention.
The show stars Jeremy Curtis as Marty the sports guy who apparently likes to bet a little on the side, Curtis Gordon is Jimmy the webmaster, who may be better known as the stage manager on Nashville and Gillian Fitzgerald as Sam the receptionist. Johnny Dynamo creator Joe Thomas has come up with Mr. Frost, a new YouTube series that will please a lot of younger members of the audience who will recognise the characters that the producer and writer has put into the show. Radio stations have always had a roster of diverse and fascinating people who entertain listeners daily and this little fictional peek behind the mic should be very entertaining. Mr. Frost is due to air December 15, 2014 on YouTube.
By Michael Smith