American radio has long had its share of colorful and memorable personalities, from the bustling early days of coast-to-coast network radio, to the rise of top 40 music on AM and FM, on through to the loud, opinionated and often obnoxious talk show hosts who dominate today’s airwaves.

While radio isn’t as dominant of an entertainment force as it once was, the battle for ratings is always ever-present for any radio station. In the upcoming 8 episode comedy web series MR. FROST, a once thriving, yet disgraced former radio star proves to be the shot in the arm that a struggling radio station needs as it struggles to fill an unexpected vacancy.

The series, created by Joe Thomas (JOHNNY DYNAMO) and Dennis Mareno. and set to premiere December 15th on its official web site and on, focuses on WLBD, a local radio station that’s got a big problem on its hands. One of its most listened to personalities, Dr. Martin Tinsdale, has suddenly disappeared from its airwaves.

As a result, the station’s frustrated general manager Gary Brubaker (played by Brian Feys) is forced to scramble for someone to fill his time slot. With no one willing or able to hold down the fort, his last best hope may be the riskiest of all – his old college friend Lazlo Frost (played by Greg Standifer), a highly unpredictable, yet incredibly popular shock jock whose reign as one of Detroit’s top talkers came to an abrupt end after a disastrous on-air hoax.

Since then, Lazlo has become an industry pariah, and his personal life has been just as miserable. Once Gary reluctantly decides to put him back on air part-time, though, things really begin to pick up for both Lazlo and WLBD. Suddenly, the once downtrodden talker’s career is revived, bringing big ratings for the station, and big headaches for its advertisers and staff, including its other popular talk show host, Traci Appleton (played by Chelsey Fuller).

Known as the station’s resident expert on love and relationships, Traci has incredibly not been in any successful romance of any kind. Traci hates Lazlo with a passion, and desperately wants to break out of the small radio market hellhole she finds herself in.

Having once auditioned for AMERICAN IDOL (a fact not known by the station’s staff), Traci still tries her luck at any karaoke bar she can find. In addition, she also aspires to become the next Chelsea Handler.

Curtis Gordon also stars as WLBD’s webmaster Jimmy (aka Masterflash JZ Webio). Although he’s long wanted to be a DJ, Jimmy was given the perfect opportunity to enter the radio industry when Gary hired him to build the station’s web site. However, his personality often puts Gary on edge, even though Gary can’t find it within himself to fire him. Worse, Jimmy also proves to be a constant thorn in Traci’s side every day.

The series’ cast features Gillian Fitzgerald as the station’s receptionist, Sam Fitzpatrick, whose beauty and innocent charm comes with a sharp sense of humor and wit. Currently single, yet still looking for the perfect soulmate, Sam is everything that Gary’s not. Yet, she finds herself clashing with Traci, who harbors a real sense of jealousy towards her.

Perhaps the only sane member of the staff is Angela (Sarah Turner-Holland). Although painfully shy in public, and with no desire to even be on the air, Angela wants to take her talents to the music industry, but feels satisfied working at WLBD. However, her patience with Gary and his often manipulative management style gradually starts to wear thin.

In addition, Jeremy Curtis plays WLBD’s longest serving employee, overnight talk show host turned sportscaster Marty Martingale. Single and constantly losing at the game of romance, Marty has an uneasy relationship with Lazlo.

While Marty’s always ready to lend an ear to Lazlo’s gripes, it’s Lazlo who ends up having to get Marty out of trouble as a result of his mounting gambling debt.

After having worked on developing the concept of JOHNNY DYNAMO, the idea for MR. FROST came to co-creators Thomas and Mareno rather randomly.

“Dennis and I were joking around one night, right after we created JOHNNY DYNAMO, and we kinda simultaneously started throwing out new series ideas,” Thomas recalls. “Zombie, vampires and then this idea of doing a show about a talk radio station full of quirky misfit types. Everything after that just fell into place.”

Having worked together for some time, though, Thomas and Mareno find inspiration in more places than one might think. As Thomas explains, just where they find their spark as filmmakers is both unique and incredibly diverse, and it makes for a very successful working partnership. “I find inspiration in a lot of different types of films and television shows,” says Thomas.

“One day I’m into drama and the next it’s comedy. I’m not much into the slapstick stuff and I am inspired by intelligent writing more than anything. I find a lot of inspiration in the most mundane things. Dennis, on the other hand is the exact opposite – he loves the slapstick stuff and big action flicks. That’s probably why we work so well together.”

Just as the fictional radio station depicted in MR. FROST finally got a boost from the arrival of a talented, yet extremely volatile talk show host, Thomas and his production team’s fortunes instantly improved once they finally, yet unexpectedly, landed the actor who’d bring that character to life.

“We played around with the idea for MR. FROST for quite a while but could never come up with an actor that could pull it off – until Greg Standifer walked in to audition for another project. 24 minutes later, we had our Lazlo,” Thomas remembers. “It only took us 24 minutes because it takes Greg a while to calm down after he makes an entrance.”

Although the first episode was shot 3 different times (the previous two with a different set of actors), the third time was truly the charm for Thomas as he sought to achieve one of the most important elements any filmmaker can have on set – chemistry between actors. It was a goal that Thomas strove for as he went about casting MR. FROST.

“Every member of the final cast went through changes except for Greg Standifer – he was the first actor cast and the only one that stuck through all 3 changes,” Thomas says. “All of the actors came to us via other actors; as a matter of fact, a couple of the cast members were actually recommended by the actors they replaced – go figure!”

With each episode shot over a period of 4 days, and with the sets being located inside a pre-lit, stationary warehouse, Thomas and his team had quite a blast working on MR. FROST.

“The cast are an absolute bunch of goofballs and since our crew is the same on all our projects. It’s a 4 day vacation for all of us,” he says.

That “working vacation” was made even more enjoyable thanks to the comic talents of one of MR. FROST’s cast members. “It’s a really fun, party atmosphere – we just stopped letting Curtis Gordon tell jokes. He started telling a first joke at lunch on day two of episode one and finally go to the punchline toward the end of episode 3,” Thomas adds.

Thomas feels that MR. FROST is a unique comedy not just because it’s one of the few web series shot on a ready-built set that’s easily available for production use, but perhaps more importantly, because it pulls no punches in its approach to comedy.

“From an audience standpoint, I think we just don’t take ourselves too seriously,” Thomas says. “Nothing is off limits or taboo, and we’re not worried about preaching or offending.” In short, MR. FROST promises to be a comedy that’s delightfully wacky, outrageous and totally unpredictable.

(Note: Regarding closed-captioning, Thomas says: “We will be adding closed-captioning in the very near future.”)




TWITTER: @MrFrostSeries