Last month, Ross Mathews made the jump from podcast to satellite radio with his hour-long weekly show Straight Talk with Ross Mathews on OutQ (Ch. 106). You might know him from his work on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, his weekly show Hello Ross on E!, Live From E!, or RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Ross is the gay best friend you wish you had and you know you need, and on Straight Talk, Ross offers advice, sympathy and LOLs to listeners about love, dating, relationships and beyond! Nothing is off limits! He also offers his hilarious take on the world of celebrity, pop culture and news headlines.
With almost a month under his belt, we checked in to see how the show is going, what his hopes are for it, and more. Check out our Q&A, and don’t forget to tune in to Straight Talk on Tuesdays from 5-6 pm ET, Thursdays from 2-3 pm ET, Saturdays from 3-4 pm ET and Sundays from 10-11 am ET. (Here’s a taste of what to expect.)
What’s been the most exciting or unexpected thing so far with your new show?
I have to say, the most exciting thing is when we’re live, and looking up at that board and actually seeing that people are calling in. You know, it’s a call-in show. It’s all about me giving advice and being a best friend for people who need it. So I was a little concerned that the red light would be on, we’d be live, and it would be like crickets. People not calling in like there was no need for my service. And every show we’ve done so far, the lines have just been full. People have been calling over and over and over again to get on. I’ve been so happy that people want this show.
Have you had any repeat callers yet?
No repeat callers yet, but we’ve certainly talked to people who I’ve said, please call back and keep me up to date on this because I want to see how it all plays out.
Who would you love to have stop by your show?
Well listen, I would love to have Lady Gaga on, I think she’s so interesting and I also would love to open her up to the audience and to have the audience call up and ask her for some advice, too. She knows a thing or two about a thing or two, so it would be nice to sort of crack that nut.
You are very candid with all topics — including your personal struggles with weight and how you don’t want that to “define” you. Can you tell us a bit more about why the topic of body image is so important to you?
There are certain topics that are universal. Love is universal — we all want to be appreciated, valued and validated. Work is universal — because we all want to show something at the end of the day. And I think weight is universal — because whether you have always been thin or struggled with weight or wherever you are in your journey, it’s such a personal thing, you know, and issues with weight physically manifest themselves on your body. So your issues are your greeting card to the world, and I think everybody can relate to that.
Why do you think everyone needs a gay BFF?
One, we’re fun people. So deal with that. And two, my best friends, whether they are gay or straight, have been the people who have told me when I was right and supported me, they told me when I was wrong, they slapped me in the face when I was being a jerk. I think those moments when my best friends really gave it to me straight in my life have been turning points for me. I think we all need that. Sometimes when they’re in the eye of the storm, it’s hard to see the truth. It’s all about gaining a little bit of perspective from someone who is seeing it with fresh eyes and only has the best intentions. I only want the best for the callers and listeners. I’m not telling them something because I want to hurt their feelings or because I think they’re doing something wrong. I’m just trying to get them out of their pickle.
Has anyone come back with any success stories, where your advice touched their lives and made a difference?
Whether it’s emails or tweets or Facebook messages from people who’ve listened, who can relate to stories, or even on the podcast, which we’ve been doing now for about a year before the SiriusXM show started, people calling in and saying, “I took your advice Ross, and it totally paid off, and I saw it completely differently, and I never thought about it that way before.” I gotta tell you, it makes me feel really good because as much as we have when we’re laughing constantly, it really is about connecting and trying to have a little real talk with people. And if we can laugh and be real at the same time, that’s what it’s all about.
If you could be the frontman of any band, which would it be?
*NSYNC, but I’d be a co-frontman with Justin Timberlake, and we’d be side by side and go everywhere together and we’d be inseparable. Dual choreography, absolutely, but a lot of intimate choreography where he has to hold me up.
What are you listening to these days? What artists are you loving?
I’m all about music discovery, and picking a vibe and letting it happen to me. I’ll put on 70s on 7 or the 80s on 8. I like just putting on a playlist and letting go of the control. Like here’s the deal, if we’re going to have a dinner party, we’re listening to Donna Summer. If it’s at the gym, I’m listening to Beyonce. If I’m getting pumped for the show, Ariana Grande really does it for me. If we’re going to go to happy hour, it’s like a Michael Buble.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when people are inconsiderate. When they just think about where they’re going and how they’re gonna get there, and they assume the worst of people around them. People can be so inconsiderate and don’t think about what’s happening within everyone’s individual bubble or what they are dealing with and that pisses me off more than anything. When you run into people, think about what is happening in their bubble and maybe take a little moment to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re good people.
What can someone do to cheer you up if you’re having a bad day or they’ve made you mad?
I go to gratitude, and I can do this in an instant. Whenever something really sucky happens or someone’s really horrible and says something mean to me, I can take a breath, look around and go to gratitude. And that’s when you look around and pick five good things. I got my health, I love my dogs, I have my partner, I have my garden, you know whatever your thing is, go to gratitude, five things, right away you instantly feel better and things are put into perspective.
Who is your spirit celebrity?
I was just shooting a TV show with Carnie Wilson, and we were talking, and everything she said I felt like was going to come out of my mouth two seconds after she said it. I felt like, ‘Oh my god, our brain works the exact same way!’ So she, I think, is my spirit person.
What’s something unexpected that you happen to know a lot about?
The Oscars and politics. I’ve memorized who’s won what Oscar and I know everything about politics — I’m obsessed.
Anything else you want you think listeners should know?
If you listen to the show I promise you’ll like it. It’s all real. It’s real deal. And it’s all about providing service — mostly LOLs but then the service.