SYRACUSE — What do a short order cook, a bouncer, and a zamboni driver all have in common? Give up? They’re all jobs that Matt Jacobs tackled before setting his sights on rock and roll. Jacobs, who goes by Big Smoothie on the air at 95X (WAQX), has been holding court during the evenings at the Syracuse active rock station since last summer. But what makes Matt tick outside of the studio?
At Corcoran High, Jacobs played football, hockey, and lacrosse before heading off to Cayuga Community College to focus on football. Though he left CCC after only a semester, it was there that he got hooked on radio.
“After that, I worked every job imaginable,” says the 25-year-old Jacobs. “Cook, zamboni driver, landscaper, bouncer. You name it.”
But radio seemed to lurk in the back of his mind, and after returning to the books at Onondaga Community College, he put the zamboni on ice and set his sights on Syracuse’s active rocker, 95X. After starting out in the promotions department, he moved to the studio as board operator for the Howard Stern Show. Last year he landed the evening time slot, a show he has dubbed, “The People’s Show.”
Outside of work he still plays football for the semi-pro Syracuse Express, coaches Pop Warner football when he can, and still bounces at local bars from time to time.
Why ‘Big Smoothie’?
How did Big Smoothie come about? Hmmm … well it’s actually pretty stupid. I have this t-shirt that says ‘Big Smooth’ on the back and it kind of just evolved with the old PD here and Ryno calling me Big Smoothie. Then everyone started calling me that, so it just stuck.
What were the best and worst movies you’ve seen in the past six months?
Best movie: The Rundown with The Rock. I just got it on DVD. Not sure about bad movies; I don’t get to see a lot.
What annoys you most about the business?
That’s a tough question. There is a lot that annoys me like egos and stuff like that. No one is bigger than where they work and I thank my friends for making sure that doesn’t change with me!
Letterman, Leno, or Koppel?
Letterman, by far.
Who in local radio has influenced you the most?
Well, without a doubt Ryno and Alexis have helped me move to where I am now. Without them I would either not be in radio or still running the Howard Stern Show.
Do you own any CDs that your parents might own too?
Um … No. My father likes the music we play, but he doesn’t have a clue how to use a CD player, and my mom likes slower, older stuff like Rod Stewart.
Which song at your station would you not shed a tear for if it never came up again in rotation?
Man, that is easy. Anything by Pink Floyd or Rush.
Which show would you rather be on and why: Survivor, The Apprentice, or Fear Factor?
Well, since I hate all those shows I would go with … none. I am an MTV viewer and would much rather be on Real World or Road Rules.
What talent would you most like to have?
To actually play an instrument like the guitar or drums.
Name something about yourself that would surprise most people.
I used to sing a lot in school and was All County my freshman year in high school. But I can’t sing as good now.
If you weren’t in radio, what would you be doing for a living?
Working at a bar or still working for the city of Syracuse at one of their ice rinks. Really, there’s nothing I would rather do than radio!!!