A new black Hugo Boss suit waits along with Jason Matheson’s “lucky tie” for 10 a.m. Monday when the “Jason Show” makes its debut on Fox 9.
The childhood dream of his own TV show, which began on a rock in Indiana when he was 8, comes to fruition after a Twin Cities career path that went like this: WCCO-TV, Fox 9, MyTalk 107.1 FM, WCCO-TV and Fox 9.
The “Jason Show” doesn’t look like anything I’ve seen on TV, if the run-through I glimpsed this week is typical. A natural entertainer, Jason needs fewer celebrity interviews to keep things interesting. And celebrities had better come prepared to play. Jason has taken pieces from all his favorite talk shows present and past. Some of you should Google Dinah Shore right now. I interviewed him on his sleek set with the new studio smell last week. You won’t see the studio in my startribune.com/video because he wants to make a big reveal Monday. The first guest who’ll “cook” and sass Jason is also a secret. I wonder who’s going to do these people-on-the-street interviews that have been playing around in my head, where I have been the person doing those interviews.
Q: You’re starting to look a little nervous to me, for the first time.
A: I shouldn’t. We just did our first rehearsal today. I’m tired. You caught me at the tail end. I’m in bed usually at this point. As I look at the studio — which I wish we could show you but we can’t — it’s a little surreal.
Q: How long has this been your dream?
A: Oh, my whole life.
Q: You were 5 and dreaming of having a TV show?
A: Yeah. My grandma and grandpa lived in a really small house in the country. They had this rock in their front yard. I used to stand on that rock and do little shows. I can remember standing up there, right as we’re going to see “ET,” so that would have been 1982. I would have been 8. I acted like I had an audience, raccoons and things, whatever is out in the country. And I would talk to the raccoons and do a little show. Then I started getting more obsessed with Johnny Carson. I loved Joan Rivers and then David Letterman. Then I used to force my neighbor kids to be the audience and I would do little talk shows. The parents did not want their kids playing with me. Normal kids would be playing basketball and stuff and they would say, We’re going to go play with Jason. Well, what are you going to play? Talk show.
Q: Hostage situation!
Q: Is Katie Couric going to be flown in to be your first guest?
A: No. I sent Katie a tweet and a direct message on Twitter. I heard nothing. One day I got a message and it just said, Hi and I thought, “Ohhh, she’s going to respond.” Nothing. I just got a Hi. So I sent the message again, saying, “I would do anything if you could just call in, you know I love you.” Chirp, chirp, chirp [as in cricket silence]. I think she’s busy. She’s married now. She heard that I got married, I think. I think our [broadcast] marriage has been annulled. But I miss her. I love Katie, so much. I think she thinks I’m like a stalker at this point. That’s all right. So no Katie. … We’ve taken pieces of all my favorite shows. Dinah Shore’s “In the Kitchen with Dinah,” I don’t have a co-host like the radio show with Lex [MyTalk107.1FM’s Alexis Thompson]. What we have every day is someone in the kitchen and they’ll be the one to play with me that day. So we’re not so reliant on guests like a normal talk show but there will always be a guest that we’ll reveal. And the first guest is very personal. I have a very realistic view of this. If it works, great. Because it is very different. It’s not Here are some skin care tips. … Here’s how to save on lettuce. That’s not our show. Our show goes goofy, funny, strange, some heart elements. If it is canceled I’m blaming Keith [Marler, meteorologist]. I hope people will embrace it. Forget me — the producers Jeff [Orcutt, EP] and Shayne [Stroud, producer] and Eric [Sturm, photojournalist/editor] — have made the show really pretty. I’m aiming for success.
A longer version of this edited interview is online with video. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org; to see her tortured on TV check out the “Jason Show,” before she returns to the “Buzz.”