At a studio in Albertson late on a Monday night, the Grindhouse Radio gang is at odds on the air over a hot topic: Which actor should portray James Bond next?
“What do you think of Tom Hardy?” asks co-host Kim Adragna.
“He’s not 007 — no way!” snaps ringleader Brimstone, an ex-pro wrestler.
“I could see Idris Elba as an absolute 007,” co-host/tech master Stephen “Zambo” Zambito suggests from the back corner as he’s running the knobs.
This is the kind of pop culture banter that composes this two-hour weekly internet radio show broadcast on Long Island-based stations WLINY and Village Connection Radio as well as worldwide affiliates like iHeart Media and iTunes.
“We are a no-holds-barred madhouse of mythological proportions,” says Brimstone, aka William M. Kucmierowski, 42, of Levittown. “Our goal is to blend a mix of current news and events, comics, music, geeky gadgetry, sports and movies. We want to be everyone’s weekly fix of pop culture and nerdisms.”
HOW IT BEGAN
After retiring from pro wrestling in 2008, Brimstone formed Hound Entertainment Group and branched out into comics, video games, even a hot-sauce line. He toured the pop culture and comic book convention circuit for a decade. But radio was on his list.
“I’ve been thinking about doing a radio show for a long time,” he says. “I always liked being in the hot seat, and I can talk. But I had to find the right people to do it with.”
In 2015, Brimstone found partners in his two interns, Zambito, a 25-year-old Five Towns College student from East Setauket, and Adragna, 22, of Merrick, who ran the radio station at SUNY Farmingdale.
“I keep things locked in — in terms of electronics — and bring some form of sarcastic comic relief,” Zambito says. “Kim ropes us back into topics before we go off the rails.”
Adragna handles Grindhouse’s social media and gathers all the talking points. “I try to keep everyone in line,” she says. “We focus on what’s trending.”
The two-hour program features not only colorful conversations with the trio, who will appear at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, but also specialty segments by field reporters on comic books, sports, music, video games and technology. Each week there are call-in guests such as voice actor Charles Martinet (Super Mario), rapper DMC (Run DMC) and actors Kel Mitchell (“All That”) and Ernie Hudson (“Ghostbusters”).
“It’s a cool thing to have iconic people on our show that don’t do many other programs,” Brimstone says. “We don’t really conduct interviews. It’s more of a conversation.”
One subject they tend to steer away from is politics.
“There’s enough negativity going on in the world, so we don’t want to add on to that,” Adragna says. “We prefer to stay upbeat.”
At one point in the show, Brimstone announces he’s interested in seeing the McDonald’s movie, “The Founder.”
“I don’t know,” he says. “Maybe it’s my love for Big Macs.”
Zambito has an idea.
“I think we need to eat some McDonald’s while watching the McDonald’s movie,” he suggests. Adragna gets excited because fries are her favorite food — she has a “frytabolism,” she quips. “It may ‘ketchup’ with me. Ooooh . . . get it?”
Episodes always close with all three hosts collectively singing a song. This week’s tune is the theme from “Cheers.”
“There’s a magic that happens when the three of us come together,” Brimstone says later. “We want to make fans feel like they are sitting in the room with us joining in on some of the off-the-cuff fun.”
MEET & GREET
WHEN | WHERE Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at Broadway Mall, Hicksville