Radio's Dave And Chuck The Freak Are Coming Back -- In A Video Game App
The popular morning radio duo of Dave and Chuck the Freak, off the air since November, will soon return – in a video game app, complete with images of Detroit, an evil mayor character and flying penises.
The unusual marketing gambit is being done on behalf of Dave Hunter and Charles Urquhart, who, along with sidekick Lisa Way, left alternative-rock station "89X" in November for unnamed station.
Their departure ignited intense speculation in metro Detroit’s radio community over where the show will appear next. (89X is Windsor-based CIMX-FM.)
The app, to be released later this month, is the product of Red Piston, a Windsor company that pitched Dave and Chuck on the concept a year ago. The game will be available on both iPhone and Android platforms and will sell for under $2.
“In the game, Lisa is captured by an evil mayor of Detroit,” said Red Piston’s Jakub Koter. “You go to different levels and fight evil characters. It’s similar to Mario.”
The game will contain the voices of Dave and Chuck, and the personas of some listeners who call the show will appear as characters. The game will come out in new releases every two weeks for three months.
The timing of the app release is probably not random. The contracts for Hunter and Urquhart were believed to contain non-compete clauses that presumably would keep them off the air for six months, a period that would end this spring.
While the identity of their next station remains secret, that outlet likely will enjoy a ratings bonanza because the “Dave and Chuck the Freak” show regularly finished first or second in the important demographic of males from 18 to 34 in the region’s highly competitive morning market.
Hunter and Urquhart were not available for comment.
Their show, which made its debut in 2001, included news, talk, listener call-ins and topics ranging from current events to bathroom humor to sexcapades. The show attracted attention from non-listeners in 2009 when it posted billboards in Detroit that featured the word “bitches” with symbols substituting for some letters.
The word “penis” is a familiar one on the show, and the game will contain killer penises that must be avoided.
While it’s uncertain where in Detroit Hunter and Urquhart will land – or even if they will wind up at a station in the local market – Red Piston coincidently is planning to open an office in Detroit.
Koter, one of the company’s three founders, says the three-year-old firm is searching for space on the Detroit side of the river because of the creative atmosphere and opportunities.
“We just love the vibe here,” he said. “It seems like a place that gets things done. No BS. “
Red Piston has designed 90 apps in the past three years, mostly for U.S. customers. They do video games for fun.
“We love making games,” Koter said. “We thought this one would be perfect. This game will be unique. I feel that they’re the only ones that could pull it off.”