Larry Egan, who has had a lifelong connection to the Cape, has been co-hosting the local radio show Handyman Hotline since 2006 (think Car Talk, but with home improvement projects), which hosts his second annual fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod this Saturday at Cape Cod Beer.
Can you tell us about your connection to the Cape?
I’ve been living on the Cape full time for 20 years, but I’ve been coming down the Cape since I was two. My father was the project manager for the construction of the Cape Cod Mall back in 1972 and we spent the summer at my aunt and uncle’s house next to Skaket beach in Orleans while he was on the job. Another aunt and uncle of mine had a house just off of Lake Wequaquet, and would host a 4th of July party and golf tournament every year that still continues today. This year will be the 32nd year of the tournament held at Twin Brooks Golf Club in Hyannis (I still have the only recorded hole-in-one).
Why might someone know your name (or your voice for that matter)?
I moved to the Cape in the summer of 1998. I had been the morning host on WMVY (92.7-FM back then) on Martha’s Vineyard, and accepted the position of afternoon drive-time host on Cool 102 (101.9 WCIB-FM). Over the course of the next 8+ years, I moved back to the morning time slot and became Program Director, teamed up with John Garner of the Cape Cod Baseball League to broadcast a Sunday night game of the week, and began the weekly talk show “The Handyman Hotline” that can be heard Saturdays from 1-3PM on 95.1 WXTK. After departing Cool 102, I opened my own handyman business (I Got A Guy Handyman Service) in 2007. I tacked on another gig in 2012 when I became a contributing writer for Edible Cape Cod Magazine…it’s Cape Cod, don’t we all have four jobs?!
How and when did inspiration for the Handyman Hotline show hit?
I had always been a huge fan of “Car Talk” going back to when I was a kid, and it was a local Boston talk show. My parents would listen to Click and Clack and howl with laughter. I grew up in a construction family and, after I had been in radio for a while, I wondered why there wasn’t a “Car Talk” type show for the homeowner instead of car owner – a show where we could have a few laughs, but dispense helpful solutions to problems, and get homeowners in contact with reputable local businesses. The problem was that WXTK, the talk station on Cape Cod, was owned by the competition. After years of sitting on this idea, news broke that the radio group I worked for was purchasing the company that included WXTK. My boss had barely finished telling me about the acquisition when I said, “That’s great. I have an idea for a show.” After reaching an agreement to secure airtime every week, I went about cobbling together our fledgling show. I found the perfect partner in John O’Rourke who had been in the construction business his entire adult life. Then it was time to hit the pavement and find sponsors of the show. The Handyman Hotline went live on January 7, 2006 and six of the original sponsors are still a vital part of the show that’s into its 13th year!
What’s the craziest question you have ever gotten on the show?
Nothing gets the phones ringing like someone calling in with the issue that starts with, “How do I stop these woodpeckers that are attacking…” The toilet, however, is usually a good source of questionable questions. Rich Petze from Anderson Hardware was on the show on time when a woman (and regular caller) called to say that she looked into the toilet tank and it was stained. She asked how to clean the toilet tank. This is the tank we’re talking about, and not the bowl. There was no staining or streaking in the bowl, but just the typical staining that occurs in the tank over years and years. It doesn’t harm anything, and we confirmed that everything was working properly. I believe our answer was along the lines of ‘stop looking in the tank.’ Of course, this opened the discussion to all things “toilet”, and soon we got a call from someone looking for a barbed wire toilet seat. Yeah, there are such things. This gentleman wanted to scare his house guests (perhaps limiting their appearances) by installing one of these novelty seats. A quick search online showed us that, in fact, you can buy toilet seats with barbed wire, nails, razor blades and more in them*
*All above items are actually molded into the clear plastic seat so no one’s delicate backside comes in contact with the dangerous objects.
You have a live event coming up this weekend – what can attendees expect?
The 2nd Annual Handyman Hotline Home Show and Live Broadcast is this Saturday from 11-4 at Cape Cod Beer to help raise money and awareness for Habitat for Humanity Cape Cod and their mission to create affordable housing options for Cape Codders. The experts that are heard on The Handyman Hotline will be there to answer questions and dispense some free advice. We’ll have prizes to win, the Pineapple Caper food truck will be on hand serving up their delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Come hungry, because Pineapple Caper will be donating a portion of the proceeds to Habitat Cape Cod. A talented young musician, Jacob Tobey, will be performing from 11-1, and we’ll broadcast our show from the tent outside of Cape Cod Beer from 1-3pm. Cape Cod Beer will be having their weekly Local Pop-Up Market inside the brewery as well, so there’ll be lots of fun things to check out!
Tell us about your ideal Cape Cod Day.
Well, it should start with an almond croissant from Happy Fish Bakery in Yarmouthport as we ease into the day. Then, lunch would be in Wellfleet on our way to P-Town for a bit of a stroll. A beverage at the Beachcomber before picking up barbeque for later from Russ & Marie’s Marconi Beach Restaurant on Rt. 6 in Wellfleet (impossible to drive by that roadside smoker and not stop!) We’d meet up with friends for a sunset sail on their boat (the best kind of boat…a friend’s) and then back to the house for dinner and a fire pit fire with friends. Shoehorn in a round of golf, and that would be a pretty idyllic day on Cape Cod. Did I mention that my ideal day is 32 hours long? Then again, there’s that beautiful drive along the water down to Woods Hole….