Skip to main content

Remembering the time a new punk rock icon was crowned courtesy of a naughty nine year old on Wife Swap

Carson Matlock of Wifeswap season 3
(Image credit: Wifeswap)

Back in the mid-00s, when Wife Swap was a staple of TV, the world was given an icon who exhibited an unmatched enthusiasm for all things punk rock. His rebellious spirit were underpinned by numerous pockets of wisdom and countless moments of hilarity which made him an instant hit with viewers. Our punk rock king in question? Nine-year-old Carson Matlock, who appeared on wife swap's third season back in 2005.

For those unfamiliar with the US Wife Swap series, it was a weekly reality show based on the British show of the same name, in which two households from different walks of life would literally 'swap wives' for the week. Chaos would often ensue.

On episode two of the third season of Wife Swap US, the matriarch of the Matlock family had been swapped with the mother of the Collins family, Shannon. In true Wife Swap fashion, the two women were very different people from very different families. As it happened, the Michigan-based Matlocks were bohemian punks who were self-proclaimed "anarchists". Uh oh!

They often took their kids to rock gigs, offered their children free domain to live their lives as artistically as they pleased and, it's safe to say had a general "no fucks given" attitude. Their only rules? Don't "kill your sibling" or do "anything that would have the police come". As you can imagine, the Matlocks' way of living was more chaotic than most, especially in comparison to the Texan Collins family, who were conservative and organised around traditional family values.

After settling into the Matlock family, Shannon Collins begins to try turn Carson away from his love of punk rock, which she deems inappropriate. Some of Carson's best moments (which can be watched in the TikTok video below posted by @lilithisdead_), include the time Shannon tries to get him and the rest of his family to rid themselves of their black clothing.

"No more black clothes", she orders. "Bright and clean."

In response, the mohawked, red-faced Carson replies, "If you're gonna make us wear bright little clothes, that are all 'life is all flowers and sausages', we can wear the clothes we want to! If you're gonna make us wear bright clothes, I'm gonna wear a shirt that says FUCK SHANNON if I can!". UH OH!

The episode is dotted with plenty more highlights, the biggest of which is surely the scene where Shannon (rather unfairly) gets Carson to cut off his mohawk. "What are you thinking, Carson?" she asks warily, while the boy removes his locks with scissors. This is when we're treated to possibly the best bit of wisdom on the whole show, as Carson answers: "Punk's not about fashion, it's what's in your heart that matters". We couldn't agree more.

Check out Carson's best moments below:

@lilithisdead_ (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - ✞*✧・゚․lilithisdead˚﹒ꨄ *✧・゚:*✧ (opens in new tab)

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music. '10 bands that rip off Black Sabbath but get away with it' is her favourite article she's written with Louder so far. When not writing, Liz enjoys various creative endeavours such as graphic design, as well as reading about rock’n’roll history, art and magic.