Is Lawrence Mooney the funniest man on Australian radio?

Staff Writer

The departure of Matty Johns after 10 years on Triple M Sydney Breakfast cut a significant blow to Southern Cross Austereo at the end of 2018.

SCA decided to use the disruption to its advantage, replacing Johns with comedian and Triple M Brisbane host Lawrence Mooney in 2019.

The move harked back to Triple M Sydney’s history of comedy-driven Breakfast shows, with the chair previously graced by the likes of Doug Mulray and Andrew Denton in the ‘80s and ‘90s, to Marty Sheargold and Peter Berner in the 2000s.

Fresh off a fantastic run at Triple M Brisbane, where he helped The Big Breakfast with Marto, Robin & The Moonman to #1 in November of 2018, it was a no-brainer for SCA to shift Mooney to Sydney.

The comic previously had stints in his hometown at 774 ABC and 3AW, Australia’s unofficial comedy capital, and home to most of the networked shows on the radio today.

Other contenders for funniest man on radio would include Sam Pang, Mick Molloy, Kyle Sandilands, Dave Hughes and Tommy Little.

Mooney was teamed up with Jess Eva, Gus Warland (who has since left the show) and anchor Chris ‘Pagey’ Page, with the new show debuting on January 15 last year.

Any programmer knows that making changes to Breakfast lineups is always a challenge, and typically results in a ratings hit before you rebuild your share.

It’s no surprise that Sydney listeners have shown lots of love for The Moonman, and the show has steadily increased ratings since he started.

Those ratings have been impressive, starting with a 4.6% share of listening in Survey 1 of 2019, climbing to 6% (+0.5) by the second book of this year.

Given Triple M Melbourne’s heritage show with Eddie McGuire is currently on a 5.2% share, you’d think SCA executives would be more than happy with Mooney’s performance in Sydney.

He is well-known around Australia thanks to his live stand-up, as well as regular appearances on shows like Spicks & Specks, HYBPA, Hughesy We Have A Problem and The Project.

With his success in Brisbane, popularity and profile in Melbourne, and steady ratings growth in Sydney, could the Moonman be a contender for a networked Breakfast across the East Coast?

Triple M has experimented with networked Breakfast previously, with the aforementioned Sheargold and Berner hosting The Cage (which was based in Melbourne).

Network executives will certainly be pondering on how to reduce their cost bases even further after COVID19, and insiders told Radio Today earlier this year that at least one of the big three radio networks is planning to roll out a multi-market Breakfast show in 2021.

Triple M seems a good candidate, but with local sport an important part of their content strategy, there would need to be city-specific updates.

It would certainly make financial sense.

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17 Jun 2020 - 9:18 am

Kyle funny?! That’ s funny…

17 Jun 2020 - 10:12 am

Kyle is one of Australia’s greatest comedians mate. get with the program. Thats why he in number one by a country mile. One of the greatest acts on radio – ever !

17 Jun 2020 - 10:15 am

If Alan Jones and Ray Hadley can rate in parochial Brisbane then Moonman will rate really well in Brisbane. Bring him back.

17 Jun 2020 - 10:26 am

TERRY HANSEN?!?!?!?!!?!?

17 Jun 2020 - 10:26 am

Two more interesting points. Triple M started syndicating Moonman highlights nationally this year. Also when Wil Anderson left The Hot Breakfast last year they didn’t replace him. A sign they didn’t see a long term future to the show?

17 Jun 2020 - 11:05 am

In my opinion, funniest man on Aussie radio is Steve Graham on Triple M Newcastle brekky. Consistently funny, and would be very, very good on metro radio.

17 Jun 2020 - 11:13 am

Sam Pang, Mick Molloy, Kyle Sandilands, Dave Hughes and Tommy Little.
Really, what about Marty Sheargold ????Easily the funniest man on radio and television. Leaves those other duds for dead.

17 Jun 2020 - 11:14 am

SCA simply can’t afford local metro shows anymore so expect both of their networks to do some networking of breakfast.

17 Jun 2020 - 11:45 am

Yeah he’s real funny if you’re over 60.

17 Jun 2020 - 11:56 am

No he’s not.

17 Jun 2020 - 12:27 pm

Moonman is what the industry has been waiting for, for a long time! As a listener and a past industry professional, he’s very exciting. That show gets better everyday. Best show in Sydney if not Australia?

17 Jun 2020 - 1:00 pm

I think Ray Hadley is the funniest guy on radio – for over 80’s

17 Jun 2020 - 1:02 pm

ROVE was the funniest. Bring back Rove soon. I miss him.

17 Jun 2020 - 2:43 pm

Marty Sheargold wasn’t on The Cage. He was on The Shebang, which moved from network drive (based in Melbourne) to Sydney breakfast.

17 Jun 2020 - 3:22 pm

Moonman is the funniest man on radio. Sheargold a close 2nd.
Moonman would do well if you put him in almost any market, but I don’t think networking breakfast is going to be a thing for a long time. It’s gotta stay local.

17 Jun 2020 - 3:28 pm

Brendan Jones is the funniest. I love Jonesy and Amanda!!!

17 Jun 2020 - 4:25 pm

Steve Graham Triple M Newcastle.

17 Jun 2020 - 5:01 pm

Chris Page’s fingerprints are all over the great humour of this show. A lot of the brilliant writing is reminiscent of the better earlier days of the Grill Team before it descended into pure sport and smut.

17 Jun 2020 - 6:28 pm

I find it odd that people in this day and age completely ignore the other band. Kyle is not number 1 hasn’t been for a long time. Whist an excellent broadcaster Kyle is not a comedian, their show is star power & story based/observational content done extremely well. Christian O’Connell is really the only ARN comedian on breakfast. Mooney has a strong show and is clearly better without Gus. The girl is still a weakness, he would be better if he had someone to verbally spa with like Mick and Jane do.

Disco Stu
17 Jun 2020 - 8:09 pm

Steve G and his Wayne character was
would be some of the funniest content
Australian radio has produced.

nick bartlett
18 Jun 2020 - 5:11 pm

I have not laughed at anything on Triple since Uncle Doug left the studio in Bondi Junction.

I have not laughed – as in created a spontaneous noise of joy from my mouth – on anything on radio since Peter Moon left 2DayFM.

Kath and Kim are funny. Josh Thomas is funny.

Radio used to be funny.

No joke.

The Dr
18 Jun 2020 - 6:05 pm

No! I’ve heard a few characters bits and didn’t find any of it funny. Too long and not funny! He’s the poor mans Mulray.

18 Jun 2020 - 8:38 pm

All his characters sound like Malcolm Turnbull and all his jokes are dick jokes….if that’s funny.

19 Jun 2020 - 12:49 pm

No he’s not, but that’s not the aim – the best radio personalities need to be compelling storytellers and relatable. Even comedians like Wil Anderson and Dave Hughes are not doing routines on radio, but they use their storytelling ability and quick thinking honed from standup to create engaging content.

19 Jun 2020 - 5:43 pm

I’d say Mooney’s co-hosts are funnier… Both great storytellers. Give them billing in the show, they deserve it.

22 Jun 2020 - 6:56 pm

Akmal … funniest guy on radio by a miiiiiiiiile.

Lee Forrington
7 Sep 2020 - 6:19 pm

The funniest man NOT on Australian radio? Tony Hartney!

31 Aug 2021 - 1:44 am

Kyle and Jackie O on Kiss FM are the funniest and most action packed morning breakfast show in the country, they are number one for a reason, because they shit over everyone else, they are simple the best.


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