Another Golden Globes has been run and won and Ricky Gervais has done it again – he’s made the second most boring awards night of the year (sorry ACRAs) a must-see TV event.
What is his appeal?
In my humble view, Ricky has perfected the art of not giving a fuck.
And it made me think about some of our most successful performers on radio right now who have also nailed this skill.
One of the best listener descriptions of Kyle was from a taxi driver in Sydney.
I was catching a cab to work one morning and the driver was this young Aussie dude with scruffy blonde hair and blue eyes. He looked like he’d just conquered a 6 foot left handed barrel at Manly. He was listening to Kyle and Jackie on 2Day which was unusual because despite their huge audience it was rare for me to meet any young guys who were listening to them.
I asked him what he liked about Kyle and his answer was plain and simple. “Kyle’s excellent. He doesn’t give a fuck and that’s what I like about him.” Bang! That’s just saved me $3,000 in pizza, sushi and lemonade that I would have spent at the next listener focus group.
If you think about it, the 3 most successful male FM broadcasters right now all share the same personality trait. Mick Molloy, Marty Sheargold and Kyle Sandilands have nailed the art of seemingly not giving a fuck.
And this is what their fans love about them.
You could use another F word to describe the 3 of them – fearless.
Or another word that almost starts with F – unfiltered.
In the case of Marty Sheargold, he now wears his lack of interest in celebrity culture, and most of the Nova playlist for that matter, as a badge of honour. It’s funny, it’s now unique show content and the audience are totally in on the joke. This is not the result of a role definition meeting where Marty was asked to be the guy who doesn’t care about stuff – Marty would have walked out on that meeting as soon as he saw the whiteboard.
This is who he is. And it’s one of the reasons why Kate, Tim and Marty are so successful, because they’re unconventional.
Mick Molloy has arguably the greatest track record of any FM performer of the last 25 years and he’s done it by saying what he wants in a way that only Mick can. Mick is all the F’s. Fast, funny, fearless and despite the fact that he’s a total professional, he sounds like he doesn’t give a fuck.
Kyle is the same. He says what thinks. Let me say that again, because it’s important – he actually really does say what he thinks.
God, that takes guts and skill.
Kyle is walking a tightrope every morning and whilst occasionally the safety net gets a working over, the end result is worth it.
What does this mean for you?
Let’s be clear, not giving a fuck when you’re just starting out is probably not a good career move. But there’s nothing stopping you from starting to think really deeply about the sort of performer you want to become, remembering as Mick often says “he’s only ever 5% more or less than the real Mick” on the air.
When you start to have success and when you can see that you’re building a fan base then you’ll be able to buy another F word – freedom to not give a fuck and truly be yourself.