Three ‘kings’ talk local, world news on cable TV

BY JAMIE ROMM Staff Writer

CHRIS KELLY staff Savino Cuppari (l-r), and brothers Steve Perri and Jim Perri, known on air as Savy, Andy and Eddie, talk politics -  local and national -  on their own cable TV show. "Real Talk" is broadcast from Steve's basement studio in Middletown where basic equipment ranges from hand-lettered cue cards to high-tech cameras. CHRIS KELLY staff Savino Cuppari (l-r), and brothers Steve Perri and Jim Perri, known on air as Savy, Andy and Eddie, talk politics – local and national – on their own cable TV show. “Real Talk” is broadcast from Steve’s basement studio in Middletown where basic equipment ranges from hand-lettered cue cards to high-tech cameras. MIDDLETOWN – Ladies and gentlemen, meet the self-proclaimed “Kings of LocalAccess.”

The three “kings,” known on air as Andy, Eddie and Savy, or in the other 167.5 hours of the week as Steve and JimPerri and Savino Cuppari, are hosts of Comcast cable network’s “Real Talk” television show that airs on Channel 97 at 8:30 p.m. Tuesdays.

“We’re kind of a mix of ‘The Daily Show’ with Jon Stewart and ‘The Man Show’ with Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carrola,” said Middletown resident Steve Perri. “We look at weekly issues in the news that are both local and around world and just give our opinion. We figure there are enough boring news shows on TVthat our take comes acrossmore entertaining.”

Topics as wide-ranging as President George W. Bush or the war in Iraq to issues inMiddletown, LongBranch (where the Perris grew up) and Asbury Park are fair game on the half-hour show that also appears on cablevision at 10:30 p.m. Saturday nights on the local access channel.

“We are three guys with three different personalities who just get along together,” Savino said. “That’s part of what makes the show funny- how different we are.”

Jim and Steve are brothers, with Savino being the “adopted” third brother of the group.All grew up together in Long Branch, or as they refer to the area, “The Big Twig.”

“My brother and I basically call each otherAndy andEddie, aswe just shorten our middle names,” Steve Perri said of the group’s on-screen names. “Savy is basically us shortening Savino’s name, with no significance whatsoever.”

Filming out of a studio equipped with three cameras in the basement of Steve Perri’s house in Middletown, the trio have been on the air for over a year and feel they are ready to take their showto the next level: Comedy Central.

“Wewant to seewhere our popularity can take us,” Savino said. “We want to see [that] we can do it.Wewant to get in front of people and not choke.”

When they are not filming, the three “kings” have jobs that are very different from what their on-air personalities portray.

Steve works for a natural gas utility five days a week while Savino works for a sheet metal fabricator in Neptune and resides in Ocean Township.

Jim,who lives inOcean Township aswell, is the director of a small private school for children with behavioral disabilities in Fairfield.

But once the cameras start to roll, the rigors of everyday life are forgotten as they riff on topics such as politics.

Each episode beginswith Steve reading a description of what “Real Talk” is all about, which he claims “eventually” he will have memorized.

Fromtherehe reads one of themanynewspaper clippings placed across their desk and waits for either Jimor Savino to comment.

In an episode that aired early last year, they discussed a potentialHillaryClinton vs. RudyGiuliani presidential race in the future.

The three claimto be independent voters, with Jim even admitting he voted for Ross Perot in the past, and say that Hillary Clinton would be their choice.

“Sure,Giulianiwas a greatmayor, but not exactly a presidential person,” Savino said.

“Seeing Bill [Clinton] as ‘firstman’would be entertaining,” JimPerri joked back.

On the topic of theDemocrats taking over theU.S. Senate, the trio congratulatedAmericans formaking a change.

“When you see something you don’t like, you have tomake a change,” Steve Perri said.

“The people came out and said they wanted a change, and they got one by voting,” JimPerri added.

Steve sits in themiddle and serves as the moderator of the program, reading articles for his cohorts to comment on.

Savino sits to Steve’s left, alwayswearing a ski hat as the other two comment on his choice of hat every week.

Jim sits on Steve’s right and is the bestdressed of the three, generallywearing a button down shirt.

They all agree that the show is ready to evolve.

“The showstarted as just three guys having fun talking about the news,” Steve Perri said. “Now we want to do more, start taking phone calls on air, bring in local news personalities to comment, and reading the feedback we get.

“Acall-in portion could be a lot of fun.We have many ideas sprouting out of what we do.”

Steve said that they read every e-mail and post the e-mail address at the end of each program: realtalknj@hotmail.com, and believe that receiving responses helps to make each show better.

They all feel that their fans want themto take the next step.

“Most of our viewers come from towns such as Middletown, Red Bank and most of the Bayshore towns,” Steve Perri said. “They are the ones who tell us that our next step should be to get a national audience.”

Until then, the Kings of LocalAccess will continue to sit on their thrones each week in the confines of Steve Perri’s basement, having fun and speaking theirminds.