Alternatively known as "The Zoo!"
or "Lo Zoo"
, "Lo Zoo Di 105"
(literally, "The Zoo Of 105 [Radio]"
) is an Italian sketch comedy radio program, that can be best described as "about as much Refuge in Audacity
as possible", basically enough to make you wonder if the radio station broadcasting it, Radio 105
, even has a radar
at all. Which of course is part of its charm among its fanbase.
It all started back in 1999, when DJ Marco Mazzoli was working with his colleague, Gilberto "Gibba" Penza, at New York
for the 105 N.Y. radio show, thus giving birth to what would later become one of the most popular radio shows in Italy ever
. One year later, the show was canceled
due to the excessive vulgarity, only to be uncanceled
shortly after. During the following years, a lot of DJs were introduced, but not much of the supporting cast really seemed to stick aside from Mazzoli, Gibba and the notoriously controversial/divisive parody singer
Leone Di Lernia. Then, after causing two more controversies - namely, a joke about torturing animals and an accidentally aired blasphemy
- the show got canceled twice again for these respective reasons, but each time it got uncanceled and resumed broadcasting (once from a studio located in Miami
, for those curious).
At the end of 2010, three members of the supporting cast abandoned the show for good and started working for one of the main radio stations in Italy, Radio Deejay
(easily the best-known in Italy, which is why long-time fans of the show saw this as the ultimate selling-out, if not a full-fledged Face-Heel Turn
). This Channel Hop
made the show's fandom fear the worst... until
it was announced that famous comedian Marcello Macchia, better known by his "Maccio Capatonda" moniker
, would join the show's crew alongside his fellows. Considering Macchia's own reputation in Italy as one of the funniest - if not Mind Screw
-y - comedians in the country, his recruitment in the show has been perceived as, say, the equivalent of Monty Python
joining Whose Line Is It Anyway?
if some of the latter's hosts happened to drop the show for some reason. In other words, as you might have guessed, the fandom rejoiced. To this day, the show's doing fine (and even got a Live-Action Adaptation
shown on Comedy Central
) and it's not going to stop anytime soon... hopefully.
Its current timeslot is between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM, Italian timezone.The Other Wiki
has a brief article on the show.
List of some of the featured sketches:
- Chuck Norris Facts - Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a Dramatic Reading of the Facts, adapted as a radio sketch. It worked until the Facts stopped being the cutting edge among fads, and then the focus of the Memetic Badass treatment became Bear Grylls of Man vs. Wild fame., and later MacGyver.
- Merde Stellari (Star Shits) - as you might guess, it's a parody of the Star Wars franchise. Notable in that it serves as a Bat Family Crossover for the entire cast of the show.
- Ninfowoman (Nymphowoman) - a sketch involving a woman from another planet who uses her superpowered vagina to fight crime... with "any" means necessary.
- Il Discoretto (Rectuum Disco) - parody of an old radio program about reading love letters. It features love letters from people with weird nicknames talking of their absurd sexual habits, and the host's e-mail addresses, which are sex-oriented parodies of popular italian songs.
- Gay Team - Guess what? The A-Team, but they're homosexual.
- Marcello "Maccio" Macchia's own sketches deserve their own list:
- As a part of his sketches adapted from TV, there's his chronically depressed and constantly broke musician persona, Mariottide. By the end of the episode, the guy - as well as his ditzy son - has suffered enough Amusing Injuries to put the burglars from Home Alone to shame.
- Unreal Radio, radio version of Unreal TV, which in turn parodied Real TV. The sketch is about a reportage of highly implausible facts. Basically the HSQ getting Played for Laughs. Later, it moved into describing the tentatives of an eternal loser named Bino Da Vinobogge to enter into the Guinness World Records as things like "Horsiest Man in the World".
- Jerry Polemica (Jerry Controversy), a thinly disguised - and generally thinnier - parody of Michael Moore, this character talks about such controversial topics as... mundane things that really aren't.
- Babbi Editore (Teddy Press) - fake commercials about either Do-It-Yourself kits or "How To" guides. The range of things includes how to become boozers, or "how to become a politician by getting laid with one".
- Star Gay - while the title is a pun on Stargate, the actual sketch is a gay version of Star Trek. As with any sex joke in the show, expect puns by the bucketload.
- Forse non tutti sanno che... (Not everyone knows that...) - Little Known Facts about famous characters's secret twin brothers, or about how normal things of life (like Christmas, childhood or sex) once didn't exist until the great genius known as Paride from Messina came by and invented them.
- Prank calls have also been a staple of the show ever since its debut. An elaborate one involves voice clips of some TV show host used to make deliberately incomprehensible questions towards the victim of the call. Numerous similar prank calls are repeated, with the same target, and the final one uses said victim's own recorded voice clips.
- "Alan In Love" is perhaps the show's best-known prank call. It began when DJ Alan made a prank call to an old lady, claiming to have fallen in love with her and... well, talking dirty to her. The twist is, said lady not only went "Sure, Why Not?", she actually fell in love with him for real. DJ Alan has since made things up (getting arrested, joining the army, you name it), and by May 2013 the sketch holds the title of "Longest Prank Call Ever". The hag not only believed every single thing he said (or so it seems), she even took part in Alan's fappings. You've read that right. The two actually met in person twice, in events organized for her by the DJs.
Tropes present in the show as a whole:
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: inverted. The new bulding that hosts the studios of Radio 105 as well as Virgin Radio and Radio Montecarlo has been financed by a group named "Finelco", so whenever that word is spoken, Gibba reacts accordingly by replying mid-sentence.
- Black Comedy Rape: Although the show rarely uses the word "rape" as anything aside a purposefully controversial analogue to generic sexual intercourse.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: often used among the jokes, but one instance stands out - namely, when cast member Herbert Ballerina came back from a trip to Thailand, another cast member, Petosauro (see Shout-Out below), made a brief speech about Thailand only to be promptly interrupted by Gibba.
Peto: "Ah, Thailand. Glorious nation, home to sun, shores and..."
- Camp Gay: just about any gay character ever portrayed in the whole show.
- Cluster F-Bomb: enough to rival any Robin Williams stand-up routine. And that's saying a lot.
Leone Di Lernia: "Oh, we're doing fine with this sketch... there's not even a single naughty word!"
Marco Mazzoli: "Nope... Leo, you didn't get it, really - we support naughty words! I
love saying "fuck" on the radio, you know."
- Crazy Awesome: the show in a nutshell. Capatonda's "Unreal Radio" sketches deserve special mention though.
- E = MC Hammer: an Unreal Radio sketch (aired on March the 21st, 2011) had "Professor Incredible Hulk Batman Einstein Bruce Banner Jr."note trying to solve the "Jordan-Chiambretti theorem", which "explains why there are so little short basketball players."
Professor Incredible Hulk Batman Einstein Bruce Banner Junior: "So, the basket is three meters above the ground... [three meters] minus Brunettanote ... equals two..."
- Fountain of Memes: the whole show, among its fandom, whether it may have come from a Running Gag, an Overly-Long Gag, an Overused Running Gag or just a Forced Meme. The fandom gleefully embraces the catchy lines, and therefore Memetic Mutation is always running rampant.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: more like using the radar as a pool-sized toilet, at that!
- Go Mad from the Revelation: show host Marco Mazzoli has, in late February 2012, found out that former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi got away with yet another one of his trials. He didn't take it well.
Mazzoli: "And they have the balls to have the sentence "Law is the same for everyone" written inside courtrooms! I'LL TELL YOU WHAT, IF I EVER HAPPEN TO BE SUED, THE FIRST THING I DO IN THE COURTROOM, I SWEAR TO GOD, I'M GOING TO TAKE A SHIT ON THAT PHRASE!"
- Ho Yay: Mazzoli himself often gleefully alludes to his (alleged) homosexuality, despite being Happily Married with a woman. Of course, he's just joking. Let's just say that in this show nobody ever takes each other seriously - nor is the show itself one to be taken seriously.
- Hurricane of Puns: most notably jokes involving sex.
- Indecisive Parody: Ninfowoman. It's supposedly a Wonder Woman parody (with a spoof version of the theme song from the TV show to boot), but she is more like "Franchise/Batman as a slutty woman with a mighty clitoris".
- Inherently Funny Words: by now, shouting "Canaglia!" (scoundrel) for no reason is a Running Gag on the show.
- Letting the Air out of the Band: often employed.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: due to each sketch having its own characters, and the abundance of sketches themselves throughout the years.
- Long Runner
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: played very straight. The show's cast approved (and openly supports to this day) twice-per-year reunions in Milan with the fanbase, known as the "Cumpa Day" ("Fellows' Day"), although the one held in 2011 had the fans so excited to meet the cast that they nearly made them fall over when they first exited the studios, and this unfortunate instance nearly caused this tradition to be discontinued. Anyway, the cast is still amicable with the fans, if only a lot snarky towards them as well.
- Pet the Dog: Santina, the victim of the aforementioned "Alan In Love" prank call, has been found out to be not particularly wealthy. So the show's crew unanimously agreed to reward her patience with them by donating some money to her.
- Mood Whiplash: in this show, the focus may shift from audacious sketch comedy to somber, serious and topical rants before you can even notice it. And then it shifts back again to comedy.
- N-Word Privileges: parodied. The show's whole cast misuses whe word "negro" (Italian for "nigger" as well as... well, "negro") on purpose because of it actually being the Italian archaic equivalent to the word "black". Of course, the word is also used to address black people as well, but even then, it's still very tongue-in-cheek.
- No Indoor Voice: Gibba.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: in a sense. The sketch based on Maccio Capatonda's ever-sad character Mariottide, Casa Mariottide ("The Mariottides") has "The world's saddest sitcom" as its subtitle. And since when sitcoms have ever been sad to begin with?
- Poe's Law: After having informations that the catering at the Music Festival of Sanremo offered food with an horrible taste, it spreaded a Running Gag about the Festival host Gianni Morandi being a coprophague. He probably haven't liked it, since now they have to bleep his surname every time they make a joke about it.
- Pungeon Master: Maccio Capatonda's pal, Herbert Ballerina. Holy Incredibly Lame Pun, Herbert!
- Refuge in Audacity: good Lord.
- Self-Deprecation: usually done to the radio itself, although it's more likely to be just another quip between the DJs.
- So Unfunny It's Funny: any joke by Herbert Ballerina.
"THAT'S! NOT! FUUUUUUNNNNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!"
- Sophisticated as Hell: all the friggin' time.
- Sound to Screen Adaptation / Live-Action Adaptation: as mentioned in the description, this program became a Comedy Central show in 2011.
- Shout-Out: the cast member behind some speeches - including the disclaimer that also serves as this page's quote - is nicknamed Petosauro. In English, that translates into "Fart-saurus", that may or may not be a reference to "Fart-zilla".
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: although the show in general has plenty of swearing, the main host, Marco Mazzoli, is known to be the most... spicy of the group. Hell, even the official website's bio about him says it all:
Censoring him? That task can't be accomplished.
- Take That: unlike other shows, this one is not afraid of giving away these like candies. Justified as the targets of these deserve every single bit of their snark.
- Talking to Himself: aside from each cast member covering various roles in sketches, this trope is also the goal behind the show's prank calls. It goes like this - first, the victim of the prank is fooled into thinking there's a real TV show host calling him or her (thanks to archived voice clips of said host); then, the victim is asked various, deliberately Mind Screw-y questions in order to trigger various reactions; then, after the victim's first Rage Quit, this is repeated until the aforementioned reactions cover a wide array of words; finally, one last prank call is made, only this time the voice clips aren't those of the host, but those of the victim him/herself. That's every bit as funny as it sounds.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: the intro to the Memetic Badass-based sketches.
- Trash Talk: one of the show's staples.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: the DJs constantly snark, quip at or even insult each other, only to shrug it off like it's no big deal. This even includes Your Mom jokes, which would fall into serious "Dude, Not Funny!" category under normal circumstances.
- Your Mom: way more common than you'd expect it to be.