Slade Says…

Signed before even Vicki Gunvalson, Slade Smiley is truly the original Orange County Housewife cast member. Through several seasons we have followed him through thick and thin. With a new radio show, the highest rated season on RHOC to date, and with the love of his leading lady, Gretchen Rossi, Slade is coming out on top. In a very honest and poignant interview he told me all about his journey on Bravo‘s original Housewifefranchise.
Slade Smiley

TBB: Hello Slade! Congratulations on your radio show, Radio Slade! How did this opportunity come about?

 SS: Thank you so much. The opportunity came when my radio managers saw my improv show at the Irvine Improv. They expressed interest in me doing an afternoon radio show. There were no specifics, just a chance to be myself, entertain and make some jokes while all the while talking to people. It’s been very interesting and a lot of fun!

TBB: How do you like your radio gig compared to being on television?

SS: I definitely prefer the radio gig. It’s been an excellent platform for me to work on my improv content, have fun with guests and get paid for it. I can show a different aspect of my personality that doesn’t come through on (RHOC).


TBB: Radio Sladeis still very “young” so to speak, however, you have already hosted an impressive roster of guests. Who has been your favorite interview thus far and why?


SS: I would have to say, and I’m not kissing up here, but Andy Cohen.  I’ve always had an odd relationship with Andy, as they don’t embrace the men on the show, it’s mostly about the women.  What I learned about him was mostly from the book (Most Talkative).  Andy has spent his entire professional career interviewing people.  Gretchen and I were dumbfounded by some of the guests he had interviewed.  He complimented me on some of the prjects we have done together like the first ever Housewives spinoff show Jo and I did called Date My Ex (2008).  I was also the first to integrate music onto the show.

TBB: I confess I became a Bravo fan after ’08. I was drawn in by RHONJsince I live in that area. I hadn’t been aware of an OC spinoff.

SS: That’s the Bravo formula. Each time they create a new Housewivesit draws in more viewers who live in that area. They aim to have one on every “street corner” for that reason. Once those viewers come in they start watching the other shows as well. This was our seventh and highest rated season yet. Our numbers are the highest of all the Bravo shows right now. Few shows have that in their seventh season. Date My Ex was when Jo and I were already split up, and I tried to set her up with other men. It was similar to The Bachelorette.

TBB: Do you still talk to Jo?


 SS: There’s been texts here and there, but not directly.

TBB: Back to Radio Slade, who would be your “ultimate” guest to interview?


SS: My ultimate guest I think, would be Steven Spielberg. I am fascinated by film. I interviewed Alex Kurtzman director of People Like Us, writer/producer of Transformers and writer of the Star Trekfilms. I’ve always wanted to be in film. I’ve been a SAG actor since I was 18yrs old. I really like radio, but if there was a film opportunity I’d consider it.


TBB: What was your favorite RHOCmoment this season?

SS: Gretchen’s PussyCat Dollperformance. I’m very proud of her passion to sing and perform. I don’t think she believed the opportunity would ever arise for her. Other Housewivestried to break into music without it going so well, so she is very protective of herself exploring this. She is on her third single now and I’m proud of her. She’s following her dream.


TBB: Speaking of that dream Gretchen has stated that her new single, Unbreakable was inspired by your son Grayson’s battle with brain cancer. He sounds like an unbelievably strong child. Can you tell us how he is doing?

SS: He still struggles with the condition, because there is no cure, but he has survived longer than the original expectation. Only 3 children in the world have this condition (Diffuse Fibrillary Astrocytoma) so it’s not researched like other cancers. We are very thankful for The Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston which is where he is protocol is being managed now. He’s on experimental drugs. He still has pain and he struggles, but at his last MRI check he was stable. It’s not dealt with on the show because it’s too heavy a topic, but he does have a foundation at amazinggray.org . We also do a lot of work with beckstrand.org which helps the finances of those who have cancer. It’s the only charity of its kind.

TBB: Internet gossip sites have been quite brutal regarding your relationship with Gretchen, despite you both being upfront with your issues during season 7. How do you navigate your personal life being so criticized by the public?

SS: It’s almost impossible to navigate, you more have to hold on, like being on a white water rafting trip. People think they can control it, you can’t. Recently, on Piers Morgan, Billy Baldwin said “You are never as good as the media says you are, so don’t get caught up in BS.  You’re also never as bad” so that’s how they sell. People who are authentic and honest will see the truth always bubble to the surface, we don’t have to worry about people finding stuff out because we have been honest from the start.


TBB: You have been on Housewiveslonger than some of the ladies themselves. You had the reputation of “Housewife Hunter.” However, you seem to have evolved both personally and publicly. Do you feel more accepted by the fans now than ever before?


SS: I would say yes, though the network has never gone out of their way to show the truth of who I am. Part of that truth is, over the long haul they have seen every penny I ever made from Housewives go directly to my son. I don’t receive compensation from Housewivesand never have, but as the network says, they are not a news organization. The viewers during seasons 1 and 2 saw me as a doting father, then they saw my relationship end, they saw me fight for custody of my youngest son, but it has gotten to the point that the truth of who I am has to come to the surface.


TBB: .One person who has not been well accepted is one of my previous guests, Brooks Ayers. I was listening to you talk about this on air recently. We’ve seen Vicki and Tamra attack you and now it seems the tables have turned on Vicki. What is your take on the situation?


SS: I have a lot of opinions. The truth is I think he has a bit of a checkered past, but I can’t judge because all of us have gone through financial difficulties. Just because a guy lost his job you call him a deadbeat? That’s happened to a lot of people these days, and it’s not fair to label someone that because he’s fallen on hard times. My issue has always been with Vicki and her relentless attacks. She has strong opinions of what everyone else is doing, but she changes her tune when it comes to herself. If you think revelations with Vicki have been incredible so far, wait until the reunion show. By the way, Part 2 will be on Monday next week (Not Tuesday).
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TBB: What do you think the world should know about Slade Smiley?

SS: I’m committed to my partner, my kids, and I enjoy creating and entertaining

TBB: Thank you for talking with me today. One last thing, for my husband who says “of all the people on ‘those’ shows” you are the only person he would “want to hang out with”. Are you a football fan?


SS: I am a football fan at a distance, mostly due to being so busy. But, I’ve created some great friends though football like Matt Leinart, he’s a huge contributor to The Make a Wish Foundation to which we both donate a lot of time. We were also both recently houseguests of The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks!


You can listen to Radio Slade weekdays 12-1 PST on LA’s Playlist 92.7, or live stream on their website and various radio applications like Radio 365.

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2 thoughts on “Slade Says…

  1. Pingback: My Close Encounter of the RHOC Kind! | TBB Reality

  2. Pingback: Reality Roundup | TBB Reality

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