In the role of former BYU Football Coach LaVell Edwards, Matt Mullaney has been bringing down the house during the run of “CSI: Provo.” His many zany characters and hilarious one-liners have made Matt an audience favorite. But have you ever wondered what Matt is really like? Who is the man behind those crazy characters? We recently sat down with Matt to bring you the answers to those questions. Straight from the horse’s mouth, here are 10 things you didn’t know about Matt Mullaney.
1. He Worked For 12 Years As A Traffic Reporter On The Radio
“You may not recognize me because I reported under the pseudonyms ‘Hazmat O’Malley’ and ‘Chopper Dick,’ and later after budget cuts, ‘Chopper Dick’ became ‘Scooter Dick.’ After graduating from the U of U in Theatre, I was told about job at a radio station for a traffic reporter. They wanted someone to do traffic reports with some kind of persona. So I put a demo tape together of different dialects and characters. One of the personas I created was “Major Traffic,” an English fellow kind of like Commander Bragg. The radio station liked the tape, but at the last minute they decided to hire me to do the reports as myself and not as a character.”
2. His Dream Job Is To Be Game Show Host
“Historically, my favorite game show is ‘The Price is Right,’ but only until the end of the Bob Barker era. I can't watch Drew Carey...the chump stole my job! Something about watching Bob Barker really made me think I could do that.”
3. His Other Dream Job Is To Be A Professional Gambler
“I started getting into poker by watching tournaments on ESPN. It was really fascinating because they had the ‘Pocket Cam,’ which lets the viewers see which cards each player has, and then how they played those cards. I’ve read over 100 books on how to play poker and really got excited when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series Of Poker in 2003 because he was just an average person. I thought if he could do it, then maybe I could.”
4. He Met His Wife At Desert Star
“My wife (The former Emily Taheri) had been working at Desert Star as the technical director for about 6 months before I got up the guts to ask her out. I always thought she was cute but I was intimidated by her even though she is very small in stature. We both had a love for the theatre, so for our first date we went to see ‘Always Patsy Cline’ at the Grand Theater on Sept 20th, 2005. We had such a good time and things just took off from there. We were married exactly one year later on Sept 20th, 2006. We’ve been married for 5 years, have no kids, 3 cats, and now my wife tells me she wants a puppy.”
5. He’s a Motorcycle Nut
“I first started riding motorbikes when the radio station got a Vespa scooter. I soon became “Scooter Dick” and rode around town on the Vespa doing traffic reports and talking to people on the street. I had a blast on that scooter and probably put 10,000 miles on it going no faster than 40 miles an hour. After a while it was time to upgrade to something with a little more power. So I got a Ducati Monster 800. It was an amazing bike and let’s just say it had a lot more power. I got 3 speeding tickets in the first three months.” After that, Matt got a new bike: a Honda Shadow 600.
6. He Works As A Singing Telegram (No Kidding!)
Matt can be seen around town singing his little heart out dressed as a police officer, an ape, or Austin Powers. I’ve been in some pretty awkward situations, as you can imagine. One situation in particular was really uncomfortable. I was hired to sing for someone’s birthday, but they wanted me dressed up as Cupid. So I fashioned a giant diaper out of an old bed sheet, put on some wings, and away I went. When I got to the place and started doing my thing there wasn’t a happy face among them. I try to be funny and make people laugh, but I didn’t even get a smile. So there I was, singing and dancing around in a ridiculous Cupid costume, and I got nothing. So I just sang the song and got the heck out of there! I guess I don’t have the body to play Cupid.”
7. He’s Less Wacky In Real Life
Though Matt is known for playing quirky characters on stage, he is much different in real life. Like many actors, Matt is a quiet, private person off stage. But when he goes onstage and becomes a character, a whole different side of his personality comes out. Those who know Matt off stage are often surprised to see what he's like when he cuts loose
8. He Played Santa Claus In A School Play In The Third Grade
“This was my first time on the stage and it was then that I realized I had a passion for the theatre. I remember having so much fun, though I don’t remember any of my lines or even what the production was about. I just recently played Santa at Desert Star in Desert Star’s Christmas Vacation: The Bi-Polar Express (2010). So you can say that I’ve been playing the role of Santa for over 40 years.”
9. His First Desert Star Show Was Ghostbusters In Black (1999)
“This was a really fun show. I got to play a professor who started out as a Jerry Lewis type character who was then possessed by the entity Drool, which caused him to speak with a lateral lisp. I remember working very hard at getting these voices down and I still use them today when a character calls for them. I also remember having a blast during the olio. We dressed up as the Beatles, wigs and all, and played a song. The other actors played guitar and bass and I got to play the drums. I thought I was pretty cool.”
10. For Valentines Day Last Year, He Bought His Wife A Mustang GT
“That was a great deal I found while working at Larry Miller Toyota. Emily loves her car. Sadly, I don’t work in the car business anymore, so this year she got a nice box of Nerds.”
Come see Matt as LaVell Edwards in CSI: Provo
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