Nick Cody talks Fox FM, giving up booze for a year & always looking for the radio punchline
Nick Cody has revealed the moment he decided to give his radio career a proper crack and lean into the medium’s quirks and requirements.
Cody said he was one year into his two-year Breakfast contract with Triple M in Brisbane when he decided the radio part of his life needed more attention and dedication.
“I just treated radio as if it was thing I just had to get up early for and that was it,” he told Osher Gunsberg on the Better Than Yesterday podcast this week. “And I thought ‘Come on, mate, you can’t finish this job and then look back in five years and think ‘You didn’t give it a proper go. Just have a legitimate crack at this thing,””.
He said he then stopped resisting the differences between stand-up comedy and radio broadcasting, and instead embraced how the medium works and what he could offer it.
“It’s just such a different style of comedy than stand-up is, and one of the things that I love about it is that… in stand-up, if you were talking about news stories, you could only do it in stand-up for maybe two weeks before that news story’s gone, but it’s a different fuel that you burn in radio. You’re just churning through stuff every day, and it’s just little things that you can talk about, are just so time sensitive that you can’t cover in stand-up. And that’s the thing that I like the most. And hearing people’s stories. I love just random people calling in and telling me when their teeth fell out, or they had to pull out a tooth, or ‘When did your truck get stuck?’ And just all these silly phoners and people have these great stories.”
He also had to learn how to turn off the voice in his head which told him to turn everything into a punchline.
“See I have a problem where it’s constantly looking for a joke, which is also a problem in Breakfast radio, when there’s six people in a car crash and my brain’s going ‘Don’t say it, Don’t say it, don’t say it’, just all the time, ‘Don’t make fun of that news story, don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t stay it,'” he explained.
Gunsberg, who was previously on Breakfast radio on Brisbane’s Hit105 alongside Abby Coleman, Stav Davidson and Matty Acton, said he had the opposite problem when he was behind the mic, and couldn’t turn his serious brain off.
“It was a four-hander, and it was down the line, and that was hard,” he told Cody.
“Something in my heart… I wasn’t able to flick a switch. I can get very serious and try to want to dive into the ‘why’ behind things a little too much, and I just got too serious, too fast, too often. I couldn’t turn it off.”
Gunsberg said it “broke [his] fucking heart” that he was unable to make Breakfast radio work, and praised Cody for successfully making the transition.
This year, Cody has replaced Byron Cooke on the Fox FM Breakfast lineup in Melbourne, forming Fifi, Fev & Nick Cody alongside Fifi Box and Brendan Fevola.
“My favourite thing about radio, and the thing that I realised I love this year, was growing up I played a lot of team sport, and I love footy, played American football, Aussie rules football, I love a team, and what’s what I love about Brekkie radio,” he said.
Cody also explored how giving up alcohol for all of 2020 helped him to focus on improving his radio and navigate the difficult year that was.
“I feel Brisbane for a little bit it felt like doing hill sprints with a weighted vest on,” he said of his first few outings with Triple M Brisbane Breakfast. “It’s ruthless… And then for the first half of the hill sprint, I was also drinking heavily, which never helps a hull sprint.”
Gunsberg noted how this paid off, with Cody’s new high-profile role at Fox.
You can listen to the full chat below.