Chatterbox FM is a radio segment in the Grand Theft Auto series. It is one of the shows on Liberty City Free Radio in Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, before becoming a station in its own right in Grand Theft Auto III.
It is owned by Donald Love's Love Media. It is hosted and produced by Lazlow. Chatterbox features a format in which listeners call in with opinions, concerns and complaints, and the host responds with their take on the situation. The station also features two long interviews with Liberty City characters — one with the pacifist, organic food-eating martial artist Reed Tucker, and one with the "cheap pimp from upstate", Fernando Martinez (who would become a recurring character in the GTA series, on- and off-radio). Chatterbox FM is the Triads' favorite radio station.
Grand Theft Auto III
The callers and calls include a man calling to tell Lazlow that he needs a nanny to spank him (a call so popular it would spawn a similar call about witches in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and even its own commercial in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas); a man calling in regard to taxes (which he pronounces like "Texas"); Toni Cipriani calling with an embarrassing story about his mother; a man who hates clothes ("Does a lion wear clothes? And the lion is the king of the jungle!"); and Maria Latore calling regarding relationship troubles with her boyfriend, Claude (the mute protagonist of GTA III; Maria complains that "he don't talk too much" Don't forget "he's always working and hanging out with the guys").
One caller calls in to talk about turnips, and Lazlow responds, "This isn't 'Gardening With Maurice'". "Gardening with Maurice" would later be heard on WCTR in GTA San Andreas, a game set nine years before GTA III.
One of the calls is from a SPANK addict; he refers to Lazlow as a pansy, and rants about conspiracies and government brainwashing involving toothpaste.
One of the callers mentions killer bees, saying that they will "take over"; another caller to Chatterbox said the same thing in GTA Liberty City Stories, a game set three years before GTA III. The caller in GTA Liberty City Stories says that honey is "bee shit", and that killer bees will come.
One caller is a Colonel in the United States Military, who talks about the Australian-American War. It is unknown whether the war was actually fought, because neither Lazlow nor anyone else in the games seem to think it happened. It's likely that the war was entirely made up in the caller's head.
A caller who indicates he is fond of eating animals of any kind says he sometimes finds pigeons that have notes attached, commenting "it's like a fortune cookie with wings". Another caller, a woman from "Citizens Raging Against Phones" (C.R.A.P.), a pressure group against the use of telephones, declares that the group uses carrier pigeons in the place of telephones, but that they keep going missing, implying that these are the pigeons the prior caller is eating. In Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, the predecessor to C.R.A.P. was Citizens United Negating Technology, and its caller to Chatterbox warns that they will first shut off "the internet, then we're going after the phones."
Reed Tucker is a guest on Chatterbox. It is said by both Lazlow and Reed that he has a food market ("Now and Zen Dojo") in Trenton, but none exists in the game. After the Reed Tucker conversation, a caller yells at the end of the call "free Kevin!", reference to infamous computer hacker Kevin Mitnick. Reed appears on talk radio again in GTA San Andreas, making a comment about masticating that the show's host interprets as masturbation due to Reed's lisp.
The replies Lazlow gives to his callers are usually comically caustic and opinionated. A common reply to nonsense callers is "Well I'm sure that's a lesson to us all." Lazlow offhandedly mentions that he is only hosting Chatterbox because he "got kicked off the rock station"; he is heard hosting V-Rock in GTA Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (with Cousin Ed). When he first takes the Chatterbox job in 1998, he is referred to as the host "run out of both Vice City and San Andreas."
The guests on the station were voiced by: A.M. Watson, Abbi Davis, Ami Plasse, Bernie S., Cameo Carlso, Dan Houser, David Connell, Debi Mazar, DJ Rush, Frank Chavez, Frank Fava, Hank Stewart, JD Leeds, Jay Crutcher, Jennifer Kolbe, Joe Casalino, Karin Bykowski, Keith Broadus, Kim Schaefer, Kit Halsted, Kyle MacLachlan, Laura Bykowski, Lucien Jones, Mellowvision.com, Michael Madsen, Navid Khonsari, Nick Mandelos, Paul Maloney, Porkchop, Reed Tucker, Renaud Sebbane, Sabby and Sherry Wohglmuth.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
In GTA Liberty City Stories, which is set three years before GTA III, Lazlow's callers are diverse but generally offensive, including someone who wants to knock down the Liberty City cathedral, a Gothic girl wanting to cast spells on Lazlow, a foul-mouthed cannibal who asks why he can't eat people, a man obsessed with shaving, a 7-year-old boy with a very foul mouth, and a man complaining about Vinewood ("if I see one more damn movie with ten kids, a dog in a wheelchair and some damn baseball championship. I'm going to start killing people and blame it on Vinewood"). Ma Cipriani, the mother of the game's main character, also calls in, but gets angry with Lazlow, calling him Lazarus, and threatening him with a Mafia assassination. This is a homage to GTA III, where Toni calls Lazlow explaining how much his mother controls his life.
Grand Theft Auto IV
In Grand Theft Auto IV, when Lazlow is first mentioned on the radio, raising funds for his new radio project, Integrity 2.0, he is referred to as the host of the "long-defunct Chatterbox FM". The station also lists every other radio job Lazlow had, including working at V-Rock, in 1984 and 1986, and Entertaining America on WCTR in 1992.