What happens when you lock a well-known local media personality, a former cop, and a hippie in a recording studio with no rules or restrictions? That is the question being answered every morning during the Twin Cities Hit Show.
Monday through Friday, former KSTP reporter Rusty Gatenby, policeman-turned-comedian Chuck Gollop, and naughtybilly pioneer Courtney McClean host a live podcast unlike any morning show you'll find on "terrestrial" radio.
"The idea came up for me to do the show with Chuck, which I thought was a horrible idea," laughs Gatenby. "Then Chuck mentioned bringing in Courtney, who he knew from the comedy world, and I thought that was an equally horrible idea."
All jokes aside, the chemistry between the three was almost instantaneous, creating a 90(ish)-minute program that breaks the mold of the usual breakfast bunch morning fluff.
"We talk about things that other morning shows can't," says McClean during a fast-paced call with all three hosts. "We have more freedom over our subject matter, and we have the ability to share our opinions without trying to play a certain role on the show."
Much like they do during the program, Gollop seamlessly slides in to compliment his co-host's point. "It's interesting because we're three very different people," he says. "You've got a news guy, an ex-cop, and a hippy bouncing ideas off of one another, and you get to hear three unique viewpoints."
The show kicked off on February 17, and the crew have recorded a new episode every weekday since. With Gatenby's 30-plus years of broadcasting experience, he serves in the role of ringleader for the show, directing the conversation while holding his own alongside the two professionally funny people sitting beside him. The trio share personal anecdotes and offer friendly but unfiltered feedback.
In addition to their back-and-forth banter and commentary, the show has pulled in a steady stream of guests including musicians, comedians, small-business owners, and erotica authors. While it may not seem as though there is a common thread, McClean insists there is only one criteria to appear on the program.
"We want to talk to people who are interesting and fun to be around," she says.
"We all have very unique points of view, and we like getting guests who can help create a unique and different listening experience for our audience," adds Gatenby.
While still relatively new, all three hosts agree that the show's format is beginning to click. However, they are open to the idea of pushing their boundaries even further.
"We've got some really great ideas for upcoming shows," says Gatenby. "We're going to take road trips, do some really weird and fun things, and just continue to evolve the show day-by-day."
Though Gatenby, Gollop, and McClean have each enjoyed individual success in their respective careers, they agree that podcasting allows them new freedoms that they have never experienced before.
"We all did this entire interview without wearing any pants," Gatenby laughs.
The Twin Cities Hit Show can be heard live every Monday-Friday at 9:30 a.m., or you can download episodes anytime on iTunes. Visit www.twincitieshitshow.com for details.