Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Anything, they say, but vanilla

Queer radio making waves in Ottawa

Danniel: Matt’s the calm one.

Matt: No, you’re the funny one, I’m the straight one.

Danniel: If we were both like me, nothing would get done.

Matt: Yup. And moving along Danniel!

The two men laugh; Danniel Oickle composed, coffee in hand and legs crossed, and Matt LeBlanc, leaning back in his seat, shaking his head paternally at his co-host. 

They’re a radio version of Laurel and Hardy – comical, slapdash and satirical. They leap off each other’s ideas, finish each other’s sentences and roll their eyes while disagreeing frequently and heartily.

The Oickle and LeBlanc creation is Anything but Vanilla (ABV), Ottawa’s new queer-oriented radio show. Tackling everything from politics to fashion, ABV hits Ottawa’s airwaves live every Tuesday from 5-6 on CHUO 89.1 fm.

“As far as we know, it’s the first radio show of its kind here. So there’s an element of this being quite socially significant. It feels great to be a part of it.”

Anything but Vanilla began last year in September quickly gaining notoriety for its balance of news, texture and fluff.  Concerned about inclusiveness, Oickle and LeBlanc have frequently hosted guest interviews with members of the transgender and lesbian communities.

LaBlanc nods, “Many of our guests are women. Because this is about Ottawa’s queer community, we intend to offer a variety of perspectives on issues.”

But it’s the nitty gritties of the fluff – The Fashion Bashin’ and The Hanky Code – that has attracted not only Ottawa’s gay men to the radio, but also a solid fan base of straight women, which Oickle appreciates.

“I think they love the Fashion Bashin’! And they love the dirt! I mean, we try not to offend…. well, we don’t try that hard.  We definitely can be outrageous and a tad vulgar, like the Bathhouse Etiquette Show, oh and the cum recipes! But if I’m told not say fuck, well then I’ll just apologise. Like I am sorry, that last week I said fuck.”

Chuckling, LeBlanc steps in, “We do get a lot of feedback, that people are finding the show meaningful but also really funny. “

Oickle waves a hand dismissively, “Only straight women give feedback! I think we’re too fickle as gay men. We love it but we just can’t be bothered.”