Welcome one and all! With all of us in isolation lately, plus my opportunity to film The Archer Report, The Hot Seat and Thad About Town stifled due to social distancing and postponing of shows and businesses, I thought I’d switch things up.
This is Thad Talks! The premise is simple: I interview a local #YEG personality and throw it up here for you to get to know them better. Now being accustomed to video and doing most of my work extemporaneously you will have to bear with my grammar and overall writing chops.
My guest this week really doesn’t need any introduction. He’s well known throughout our Edmonton for being a radio host for 100.3 The Bear, one half of the widely popular Worst Show Ever with Yukon Jack, one Scott McCord. Scott began his radio career in Vancouver and eventually settled in our wonderful city, he loves to support the local community and is a massive wrestling fan. So really he’s my perfect guest, let’s dive in!
Scott thanks for participating sir, I always start with a simple wrestling question, who had a better overall career or body of work, Dusty Rhodes or Harley Race?
I get the feeling this question was inspired by a trivia gaffe made on The Worst Show Ever a couple weeks back, but either way - the Common Man, all day. I was always enamoured of Dusty’s style and swagger and look when I was younger, but it started when he was just this fat splotchy dude I saw B&W pictures of in PWI long before NWA/WCW/Crockett was even anywhere on TV in Canada. Who was this guy? How could he stand up to guys who clearly had physiques like Flair/Koloff/The Road Warriors? And then finally he came to WWF, and the moment you saw it all come together on TV a lightbulb turned on. Of COURSE. Never for a second did I think this guy was anything other than what he said he was - poor, tough, lucky, a common man. Respect to everything Race accomplished, but Dusty took Harley’s work and took it to Mars, dude.
You’ve been in radio for a while now, you have worked through a few different markets, but was the inspiration for you to pursue a career in Radio? Where did you start off?
I started in my hometown of Vancouver BC (“We get it McCord, you’re from Vancouver…”) at the former Beat 94.5 (Now a KiSS property) about 20 years ago when they launched. It was the most exciting time of my life. My entrance into the world of radio was a little less glamorous. I was playing Puzzle Bobble (High as a goddamn kite) with my buddy Dave K and we were talking about how Dave Friddmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, etc) producing the next Creeper Lagoon LP. I mentioned to Dave K that Friddmann should produce the next Guided By Voices album and he said, “Man, you know so much about music - you should be on the radio” and at that moment I knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. BTW - I have never once got to talk about GBV/Rev/Lips/etc. on the radio.
When you began with broadcasting career did you ever think you’d get a prostate exam live on the radio? Also please paint a picture of how or why that happened.
I can’t say I did. The prostate exam took life in Ottawa during the height of the Movember thing back in 2013. No beef with Movember, I assume their initial motivations were altruistic, but it eventually just became a bunch of radio guys growing moustaches for the sake of looking silly and getting the clout of armchair philanthropy. So I decided to put my colon where management asked my upper lip to be and got an oil check live on the show. Honestly? It’s not bad at all, and I certainly wasn’t looking for any kudos. It was simply a mechanism to take the stigma away from the medical procedure. Also, guys, if you haven’t got a prostate exam, GO GET ONE. It’s nothing to be embarrassed of at all.
There’s always a push to come up with material for your shows, sometimes you get a scorcher of a bit and sometimes it’s a real stinker, what was your favourite bit that came from your mind during your years in the business? Alternatively, what is the one you look back on and just shake your head at now?
It’s funny, because the stuff I think is great is usually the stuff that doesn’t resonate, and the stuff I think is silly fluff is what resonates - so who knows? The one highlight/lowlight was when we used to do a bit at The Bear in 2011-2012 called Will It Hurt?, which was essentially Jackass but on the radio. CTV was throwing away a bunch of old art and props and we held a poll on the website to see what item we should smash our stunt guy, The Unbreakable Lucas Holt, in the head with. Lucas wound up taking a Rock-Foley Royal Rumble headshot from a 24X36 framed picture of jazz chanteuse Billie Holliday. It made me sick to my stomach and was totally absurd. I like when radio is surreal and unplanned. People were mad with us for being so reckless, but Christ it was bizarre and dangerous, and radio is so so SO safe and manufactured all the time. It was that rare moment of, “Did we do that? Why? What was the point?”
You’ve had an opportunity through your career to interview musicians, celebrities and personalities, which one or two stand out as your most treasured?
I got to meet Malcolm Jamal-Warner, Theo from the Cosby Show, long before The Cosby Show was a dirty word. He was so gracious and humble and self-aware. I also once got a kiss on the cheek from Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child and I will not lie, that was pretty fabulous. She was one of those people who just exuded star power. Like, she was born to be famous, you just couldn’t help but be drawn to her. Also, I once got to interview Ashanti when she had the #1 album in America. She mostly talked about her Mom. The lesson here: Gigantic hip-hop/R&B artists are way more down to earth than a lot of bands that have one Canadian hit and then go away forever.
What was The Bonafide Truth with Scott McCord?
A band from Toronto that I am in no way affiliated with featuring the vocal stylings of a man has a similar career to mine and both spells and pronounces our names the same. What are the odds, right? I legit get fan mail meant for that guy all the time. He does VO work on everything from Paw Patrol to anime to History Network WW2 documentaries. My DM’s are full of disappointed little girls from the Philippines who are upset that I’m not the guy who voices so-and-so on, like… Total Drama Island and Yu-Gi-Oh. I’m like, “Sorry to let you down Marta, but I’m not him!” and then poof, unfriended.
Let’s bounce out of radio for a second and get into something else, you are a man that enjoys himself sports. If you could only choose 3 sports to watch the rest of your life what would they be and why?
Soccer, Horse Racing, and basketball. I love the rhythm and scope and jazz of all three.
You are unabashedly a Vancouver Whitecaps FC fan and supporter, when did this love affair begin and have you always been a big soccer fan?
VWFC represents a lot more for me than just soccer and sport. That team goes a long way back for me, from watching Bob Lenarduzzi and Domenic Mobilio at Swanguard Stadium in the 86ers/CSL days to my Pops taking me to meet Carl Valentine at a pub in Vancouver when I was just 3. It’s family, it’s sport, it’s brotherhood, it’s a warm hug from my Mom when we score, it’s watching my son meet Alphonso Davies last Christmas with eyes as wide as saucers. I don’t understand hockey culture at all, it seems cold and distant and judgmental. Soccer has always seemed inclusive to me, and my colours are blue and white.
You’ve made it know through the radio and social media that you enjoy a taste of gambling from time to time, what do you like to gamble on more? Sports? The ponies? Pro wrestling? Prop bets?
Man, I won’t lie. I LOVE to bet. I could never gamble professionally, or enough that I would see serious economic drawbacks, because as a responsible gambler I have the built-in kill-switch that says, “Enough.” My Grandma Seeley taught me how to gamble early in life, and I do mean early in life, and it’s almost like the Whitecaps - I don’t remember a time without it. She was partially blind and always had a love of cards, Keno, bingo, and especially the ponies. So one of my earliest memories of her is being at Hastings Race Track in Vancouver, wearing a little leather tie and button-up shirt, reading her the program. She was partially blind, so I would read her the program, and my treat for being her helper was getting a dollar or two to put on the pony I liked. It taught me a lot about trusting my own gambling instincts and when to walk away - or, alternately, when to press the gas pedal. I’ll say this about gambling: I’ve lost money, but never enough that it’s affected my day-to-day living. I would say lifetime, I’m a little under a break-even gambler. And I’m okay with that!
Also, never bet on hockey. It’s stupid and never pays.
Ok it’s time to move onto the only sport that truly matters, Pro Wrestling! What are your top 3 companies of all time? What is your top one or two currently?
Oh man this is tough. I’ll say early-80’s WCCW for starters, the stranglehold the Von Erichs and Freebirds had on that territory is still textbook. The rise and fall of that promotion is just fascinating, and if they’d had someone as visionary as Vince McMahon at the time, my god would wrestling be different right now. Next I’ll say 90’s ECW. We used to get it once a week in Vancouver at midnight on U.TV (Later Global) in summer of 1996, and I was working long hours at my first job doing merchandising and renovation at an old location of The Bay that was getting a facelift. I would come home exhausted, 16 years old, making money but pissing my precious summer away while my buddies played grab-ass with ladies and got stoned at matinees of Independence Day. You know that scene in Videodrome where James Woods watches the illegal broadcasts for the first time? It was like that - wrestling broadcast from another planet. It felt dangerous and foreign and like something I wasn’t meant to see.
And then, I guess, WWE. If someone asks you your Top 3 colas, eventually you’re gonna say Pepsi or Coke.
What would be the pivotal moment for you that you fell in love with wrestling? Was there a specific match, wrestler or event that hooked you?
Mania IV and it’s not even close. I was a Hogan kid, but not a HUGE Hogan kid, and even in 1988 I was starting to get wise to his formula. So the idea of a tournament, with no clear path to the Championship for anyone? Sign me up. Wrestling is the best when you’re confused, and seeing something totally new and unprecedented. Mania was the proverbial game of Boggle, shaking up the whole rhetoric of what WWF had been for 4 long years. It’s still a great card (With a fun undercard that no one ever daps up!) all these years later with a really fun flow and energy.
What are your top 3 all time favourite wrestlers?
Oh man. I don’t even know. Flair, HBK, Jushin Thunder Liger. Ask me tomorrow and it’ll be different.
If there was once wrestler you could interview or simply have a conversation with, alive or dead, who would it be?
Can I swerve this question? I don’t want to meet anyone. I don’t want to know them out of character, I don’t want to know their real lives, real names, where their wives work, where their kids go to school. I’m happy knowing none of that. If some information slides through the cracks about a match or a character, cool - but otherwise, I don’t need kayfabe broken. This isn’t a “Don’t meet your heroes” type thing, but I just don’t have any interest in finding out how they make the sausages.
I know you are a family man and your little man hasn’t been quite the age to go to local shows, but I’ve seen you at a few. Do you have a favourite local independent wrestling event you’ve attended?
While we are talking a walk through my chosen industry, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask who are some of the local wrestlers and wrestling-related characters you enjoy the most and why is one of them me?
This is a tricky question, so I’ll say this at the risk of being too diplomatic: Someone is going to come out of this YEG wrestling scene and have a major impact internationally in the next decade. I don’t know who it is, but I have some suspicions, and it might not be who you’re thinking. The talent pool in this town is deep and we’ve all got something to be really proud of here.
You are a man that enjoys his libations, what are your top three #YEG breweries or distilleries? Furthermore, what is your go-to drink when sitting down to watch sports?
Alley Kat! The Scona Gold should be on tap in every pub in Canada.
Blind Enthusiasm! Go to Biera, let them pour you beers and make you food, feel good about yourself (When this pandemic is done, of course)
Campio! The new(ish) kids on the block, with rotating taps and something for everyone.
And when to comes to sitting down for a game/ponies/interview, it’s a double Crown and Pepsi short pour on ice. Think I’ll grab another right now, ‘scuse me for a second.
While on the local subject, you are very passionate about supporting local business and the community. What are your top three local restaurants and what would you consider your favourite local dish?
This is tough, Edmonton has a shockingly good food scene for a town that gets an (Often deserved) rap as being a haven for chain restaurants and safe cuisine. How about this: I’m gonna list my three favourite local joints, and my three favourite dishes at said joints, in no order whatsoever.
CORSO 32: (Tie) Arancini Balls or Lemon Goat Cheese Spread
THREE BOARS: Devils On Horseback
BUNDOK: Sea Bream Crudo. It’s so incredibly light and delicious, it makes me feel like I[m the female actress judge on the Japanes Iron Chef. “This dish makes me feel like I’m on a cloud!”
In your mind what would you say are the ‘Hidden Gems’ in Edmonton, places, people, or things that everyone might not know but should know about?
I legit don’t know how The Ling Nan restaurant remains a locals-only thing. I bring it up constantly in conversations about the city’s best (admittedly Western-leaning) Chinese food and am always shouted down in favour of outrageous grease traps. Remember Ling Nan next time you order Chinese local, and get that Dry Spicy Chicken.
If you could only have one local #YEG sports team you could only watch, which team would it be?
I would resurrect The Edmonton Rush lacrosse team and give them the fair shake they were never really afforded. That team should be as successful here as they are in Saskatoon, and it’s embarrassing that they weren’t. I worked for them for a short time and loved it.
Back to Radio, you’ve worked with a spectacular assortment of co-hosts in your time, which of them would be your favourites?
I can’t pick a favourite because they’ve all been tremendous in their own right. I’ll say this: Kaz, one of my co-hosts in Ottawa, was by far one of the most funny and creative people I’ve ever met in radio or otherwise. She got tired of the absolute horseshit and ego that permeates the industry and left to become a nurse. Fast-forward to 6 years later and she’s on the front lines of COVID19, risking her life every day to make the world a better place. Kaz is one of my most favourite people ever and I fell deeply in love with her and my other co-host Jay Herrington the moment I met them both. The three of us were dynamite and never truly got a fair shake. In another time and place, that show is thriving. Kaz, if you ever read this, you’re my hero for your selflessness and talent and shine. The fact that you went on to something that’s so much bigger and more important than telling dick jokes on the radio is telling.
With the Bear you and your host Yukon Jack have worked tirelessly through The Bear Children’s Fund by creating fundraising initiatives and giving back to the community. I’m a dad, you’re a dad, we care deeply for our kids, is there a moment in mind through your support of the fund that really tugged at your heartstrings? Something that was so profound you had to have a good hard cry about it after.
Can I soapbox here for a second? We don’t work tirelessly. We have a platform, certainly, and we try to use it for good - but that’s easy. I don’t want any kudos for what we’ve done with the BCF, there’s enough radio guys trying to be heroes out there. Ask this same question of someone who works for the Stollery, for the Mustard Seed, for the Bissell Centre, for the Hope Mission Edmonton. They’re the ones working, not the radio people. Our role in it is cream cheese, they put in the hard work, and the things they’ve experienced and the lives they’ve intersected with make my own charity work look like amateur night. My hands aren’t dirty from work. Theirs are, and that’s where the stories lie.
What is your favourite RyMy parody song and why?
Without question, “Put On That Mask”, the Howler Monster Mash parody.
Who would you say were your mentors in the area of broadcasting, as well do you have any idols in the field that inspired you?
This is a long one:
Jeff O’Neill (CFOX), Erin Davis (CFOX now QMFM), David Hawkes (CFOX) - for inspiring me before I was in the business
Brian DePoe (Indie88) - For forever being the coolest, smartest, most well-dressed guy in the room.
Ryan Zimmerman (Rock 102) - For giving me the career advice and the breaks that changed my life
Rob Vavrek (The Bear) - For taking a chance on my shitty haircut
Jeremy Baker (CFOX) and Jason Manning (The Peak Vancouver) - For being the only guys I know in the industry who actually are really in it for the music
Clay St. Thomas (JRFM) and Janice Ungaro (Former Z95) - For having the funniest, most absurd radio show I’d ever heard in the mid-90’s
Rodney Bingenhiemer (KROQ) - For still having good bangs
Angela Perelli (Former KROQ, Current guru) - For teaching me so much in such little time
Yukon Jack (The Bear) - For knowing when and how to shut the F*ck up
If you had never taken your journey into radio, what would be the career path you would have taken? Or better said what would be your dream job outside of radio?
Shoe jockey. Dope smoker. Perpetual underachiever. Pretty much nothing. Radio saved my life. I was headed literally nowhere except for being a boring statistic
You vehemently fought to try to educate the masses about how Owls were not real, that Agenda 21 was the government just dressing cats as ‘owls’ or using robotic decoys. Do you feel vindicated now that this whole pandemic was created just so the government could change the batteries in the owls?
Are you asking me this via 5G? Let me use this as a launching pad to say: I am in no way financially benefiting from the following organizations I have been accused of benefiting from…
The Liberal Party of Canada, The NDP, Ticketmaster, The World Health Organization, The Soros Foundation
Although if any of the three want to chip in, I’m building a deck this summer and that would be nice.
All jokes aside, the Covid-19 pandemic has ultimately changed our world dramatically, this very column came out of it, with so much dread and concern what would you say is something positive you could take out of all this?
The amount of time I’ve got to spend with my beautiful wife and flawless son. When people complain about their spouse and kids…. I get it, but I sure don’t understand it. Wait to marry the right person, have a kid when it feels right to you.
You are known for your daily McCord’s Top 5 lists, what would be your top five favourite or most entertaining regular station contributors, aka the fans that text/call in and contribute to the program?
Oh wow, this is tough. (5) TA3, who without our friendship I would never be answering these questions. (4) Texter, our elitist Regular Show Contributor, who makes me question my life’s every move. (3) Burger, RSC who used to text in at 5AM to tell me what his lunch was. It was just so pure two fatties sharing their love of sandwiches. (2) Vanessa Manning, who I have known since my first shift on the SNARBB in 2005. (1) PamPam, who is easily in my Top 5 Human Beings Of All Time list, and keeps me going a lot of days. She is the greatest and then some.
Bang, Marry, Kill? Bea Arthur, Janis Joplin, or the curvy model from Marylyn Dennis
Last one, if you were to have ever been involved with wrestling what would be the role you’d enjoy the most? Wrestler, booker, promoter, referee, play by play or colour announcer, ring announcer, manger?
None of the above. I’m ringside, drinking beer and chirping everyone with my co-best friends, The Tripod - Cody and Miles.
I’d like to thank Scott for taking the time to answer my questions, for me personally this was one of the single most enjoyable reads I’ve ever been involved with. Tune in next week for another Thad Talks here on the Win Column Sports Network, if you have a person in mind that I should interview please send me a message on social media and stay tuned for many more guests I have in store!
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