In This Episode
Ira and Louis are joined by music critic Britt Julious to discuss Beyoncé’s massive new album Renaissance. Neil Patrick Harris joins to discuss his new series Uncoupled, his life as a gay man before publicly coming out, and more. Plus, a post-mortem on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars 7.
Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It for Ira Madison III. I’ve returned.
Louis Virtel I’m Louis Virtel. I stay being here, except this week I’m in my childhood bedroom in the suburbs of Chicago. So if I regress to an emotional, childlike state, you’ll know why. Because I’m surrounded by things like cuckoo clocks and posters of animals, which is what the Vurtle, a.k.a. Virtel Family is obsessed with.
Ira Madison III Okay, but who stays in this room when you’re not there? Because there’s a distinct lack of, I don’t know, seventies paraphernalia.
Louis Virtel That unfortunately is just my disease. My mom can be swayed into wearing a carpenter’s t shirt that I buy for her every once in a while. But this house is not awash in like, you know, posters of Faye Dunaway movies and stuff.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Okay. Yeah, it’s. It’s just. It’s giving. It’s giving, like, beachside resort.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. Ira can see me on Zoom right now. Every wall in my parents house is a it’s a specific green. I’m going to call it Girl Scout Green. And I don’t know whether when they settled on this, but it’s like clearly a kink of theirs. It’s just everywhere here.
Ira Madison III Okay. Troop Beverly Hills.
Louis Virtel Troop Beverly Hills. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel By the way, if we ever remake that movie, who do you want the Shelley Long role?
Ira Madison III Judy Greer.
Louis Virtel She would be great. She she also kind of reminds me of Shelley Long, but. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, but honestly, I feel like we’re hurtling towards a, I mean, it would be very on the nose because of Abbott Elementary. But I could also see Quinta starring in the Shelley Long role in a Troop Beverly Hills remake.
Louis Virtel That would be fantastic. God, I actually there’d be a lot of good answers for this. I mean, you could throw Sandra in it and be good, but I think Quinta is the more 2022 correct response. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah. We have an episode this week.
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. It’s actually daunting. Sometimes we start an episode of Keep It, and I’m like, will we fail? Here we go.
Ira Madison III Well, we can’t fail twice in a row, Louis I’m kidding. Last week was.
Louis Virtel Wow. No, actually, I want to say thanks to everybody who reached out, not just about Guy being great, of course, but Angelica Bastien. I mean, one of a kind. I mean, I don’t know how else to put this Ira, but she’s one of us. One of these people who obsessively just knows shit.
Ira Madison III Yes, she does like less things than us, but she is fantastic. I adore Angelica. We’ve been friends for years. So.
Louis Virtel We threw down about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I actually felt bad that you weren’t here for the Nope discussion, but I have the feeling your opinions will somehow leak their way back onto this podcast anyway.
Ira Madison III That trash. I’m kidding. I actually liked Nope. But I got DMs myself before the episode even came out that were like the last time y’all all discussed a Jordan Peele film, I didn’t like it. So what’s happening this week? And I was like, first of all, not even on this week’s episode. So stay pressed.
Louis Virtel Yeah, stay pressed before even being pressed.
Ira Madison III To bring back some late to 2010s. I’m saying.
Louis Virtel But like I find myself saying that word sometimes because there’s no other word for it. It’s such a specific version of angst that a person can be like, I saw you use it this week in reference to Diane Moran, who I’m sure we’ll get into during our Beyoncé conversation.
Ira Madison III I read that I love how it did come out because it’s a specific thing that I think is bored of the Internet with someone is being pressed. There’s no other definition of what Diane Warren was this week, but we will be getting into Renaissance this week. We will be joined by the fantastic Britt Julious to discuss Renaissance. And then we’re also going to get into this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, which is finally over .
Louis Virtel It felt like it went on for seven years.
Ira Madison III It did. But I also enjoyed all of it.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah, it was very I don’t know how else to put it, chill. You know, they took away the competitive vibe and created this. I would compare it to whose line is it anyway? You know, the points don’t matter, etc..
Ira Madison III It was very fun. It was. It was. It was nice. It was it was like us doing Keep It up every week.
Louis Virtel Which is a little sickening. As, you know, optimism after a while becomes bleak.
Ira Madison III But of course, it is Drag Race and all of that came crashing down with the finale. And the girls are fighting.
Louis Virtel Right, no.
Ira Madison III As usual, as usual. So we’re going to finally do like a break down of our thoughts on the season, the winners and the contestants and this episode is really just for the gays because our guest this week is Neil Patrick Harris.
Louis Virtel He’s one of the more famous gays. In fact, if you had to rank all the gays, he’d probably be in the top 20.
Ira Madison III I mean.
Louis Virtel Top ten?
Ira Madison III Maybe number one, like globally name recognition at this point since Ellen DeGeneres return to her home planet.
Louis Virtel She lost one of her own Ellen’s Game of Games and she fell into a sandpit.
Ira Madison III Unfortunately, when you lose the Ellen Game of Games, you die.
Louis Virtel No, no. It’s devil in the white city. Right?
Ira Madison III There’s just dead celebrities underneath her stage.
Louis Virtel Kristen Bell is trapped under some floorboards.
Ira Madison III Someone make Jameela play.
Louis Virtel Oh God.
Ira Madison III Anyway, we will be right back with a lot of exciting news.
Ira Madison III Beyoncé released Renaissance, her seventh studio album, to widespread acclaim on Friday, and it’s already well on its way to number one on the Billboard 200 chart. And we are joined this week by the fantastic Britt Julious, music critic for the Chicago Tribune and a freelance journalist to get into all things Queen Bey and Renaissance.
Britt Julious Thank you.
Ira Madison III Hi. Thanks for being here.
Britt Julious So excited, so excited to talk about this album.
Louis Virtel But is it more important to you than the new Shania Twain documentary, which I also saw? Weigh the pros and cons of both.
Britt Julious I didn’t know there was a new Shania Twain documentary, but I do think her personal life is really fascinating. So I would be very interested to learn more about that. For sure.
Louis Virtel You think you’re going to get more insight into Mutt Lange than you do? That’s what I’ll say about this documentary, but anyway
Ira Madison III What I will actually say about Renaissance is and I think I had tweeted this like weeks ago, but we’ve been in such a dormant period since Beyonce’s last project that I was like, There are people in my life, especially since I had moved back to New York and had met new friends there in the past years since the pandemic. There are new people in my life who do not know how deep beehive I am, and I feel like it was. I feel like we were all sleeper cells. And it was reawakened as this album was approaching because like, as we said, you know, before we started recording, I’m like, why am I fighting with Diane Warren on Twitter? Like why? It just came over me. I’m like, protect Beyonce.
Britt Julious We have it together, and then, you know, the rumblings start happening with, like, a new album, and it’s like, okay, I don’t care about anyone else. Like, all other artists are, like, terrible. Like, she’s the only one who can do it. Like, let’s just dissect everything. And, I don’t know, I feel like I don’t always stay dormant. Like I’m usually I follow the Beyoncé tag on Twitter and so, like, real deep beehive, they’re just talking about like random stuff. And I’m like, oh, yeah, absolutely. Like, let’s talk about that. And it’s like. Like, do you talk about anything else?
Ira Madison III But yeah, I joined the Beyoncé community on Twitter because they had the community tabs now. And it is just fascinating seeing people who all day just like at random things to I’ll be like, well, what’s your favorite track off Dangerously of Love? Just randomly in the middle of the day, like just people have discussions and I love it.
Louis Virtel I want to say about her, I like that we get to be surprised that she released a hard dance album, even though she is still the preeminent dancer in pop music. It’s weird that that it’s a surprise. It’s like when Barbra Streisand is suddenly great in a comedy again. It’s like, No, guys, she’s like one of the best comic actresses ever. It’s just also the third thing she’s good at, you know, it’s like, you know, Beyoncé is still the preeminent, like, singer, you know, the superstar in other regards. And to put dancing on top of it is feels like, oh, what a fun new thing you’re trying. Even though it’s also a definitive thing you do.
Britt Julious It’s kind of strange. I mean, I was like, now that you say that, I mean, she’s been around for, you know, almost 25 years now. And she is you know, we’re so used to her being in R&B, touching on hip hop, touching on a couple other sort of genres as well. But it was almost like she, you know, from a fan perspective, is like was she kind of like hesitant to kind of touch upon those sort of certain genres or what? Like, no one was really listening to a lot of, you know, dance and electronic music unless it was like that really kind of terrible, like 2010s, like EDM kind of stuff. So she was like, okay, people are, you know, feeling house a little bit more. So I can kind of go into this genre that I actually really love and just it really hasn’t had its due. So I don’t know, it was kind of funny to think about because she’s just, it seems like a really perfect fit actually, you know, because like that’s a genre growing up with it, at least like in the nineties where it was all about these like diva powerhouse vocals and she is like one of maybe like three contemporary artists who could like pull it off, you know, because most mainstream girls don’t really have the, the range to be able to follow, you know, like a, you know, I guess so yeah.
Ira Madison III It, I would say that it feels like the coming out of the pandemic and this sort of need to be back around people, the need for dance again. You know, we had Chromatica, we had Future Nostalgia, you know, like Jesse Ware’s album. It’s just like people are feeling more like they want to dance and being around people and it feels like it’s the time for that. But what I think about like, you know, other current contemporary pop stars who have like dance remixes that I would hear and like the club of. Like if I’m going to a party in New York, I’m like, there aren’t that many Beyoncé ones, you know? And now I feel like there will be because she’s like, Okay, let’s do this in the way that, you know, it’s I love the harkening back to, you know, like Donna Summer, you know, like it feels like it feels fun, you know, like I was reading this book, like Life and Death on the Dance Floor in New York. And it was just talking about like the old gay clubs and dance clubs in New York and stuff. And there’s this one where they talked about this club, like the Saint, where it was like it opened up and it was like it peaked with like Donna Summer’s Dim the Lights played, and it was like they changed the lighting and there was just nothing but like stars on, like, the ceiling. And it felt like it transported people and they were like, I’m coming back to this every fucking night until I die. It’s just like, it’s nice that Beyoncé has stepped into a role of, like, delivering an album that I feel like that, you know, like I heard some of it out in the bars when I just went out with a friend on Sunday, and I’m just like, This is what I’ve been craving. And deejays are ready to play it. People want to hear it. I don’t know. It feels like, you know, when like a diva like that would drop something in like the seventies or eighties or something. And it just like, I’ve got to get to the club to hear this.
Britt Julious Absolutely. I think it’s like, you know, it’s not just in my mind at least it’s not just that she’s releasing this music, but it’s that this kind of music is being released at all. Like I’ve been complaining to my friends forever, I’m like, No one makes dance music anymore. Like, no one seems to want to have fun. Everything is kind of just like, like druggy and sad and weird and like, emo and like for TikTok and like soundtracking your life and things like that. But I’m like, what happened to the music where you just like, We’re going to get drunk, we’re going to get, you know, like after all, we’re going to have so much fun. We’re going to dance. We’re going to party. Like let loose, do whatever. And so it’s just it’s like if someone of her stature like releasing that kind of music and then just the fact that it’s being released at all, you know, it’s kind of like, okay, you have like the freedom to actually like have fun and like let go of all of your stresses because the world is really terrible and we like absolutely need this. So that’s just this is how I feel. It’s like a kind of one two punch and I’m like, so thankful for it, to be honest.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Hopefully we’re getting a I don’t want to say totally away from what I’m going to call Klonopin core music, but it just that really feels like the definitive sound of the mid-to-late 2000s, you know, just that kind of gurgling under vocal gurgling under music. Obviously, like Billie Eilish is like the Yale of this. There’s so much beneath her that is not as interesting or not as invigorating. I What I like most about this Beyonce album is I like any moment of hers, and I always bring out Blow from her self-titled, which is one of my favorite songs of hers. I love any Beyoncé moment. That reminds me, she is also one of the most dynamic Prince collaborators who ever lived. When you watch that performance when at the Grammys in 2004 with Prince, I thought that was definitive for her in a couple of ways. One, it’s just awesome to see her, quote unquote, keep up with Prince in terms of just star power, whatever. But you realize in that moment those billboards deserved to be the same size, like Prince and Beyonce together. Like I didn’t think one, you know, Prince was towering over her. They seem like absolute contemporaries when she was that young. And for her to on this album bring all the layers to dance that he does, I think is just so fitting for her and so exciting to hear. And I don’t know actually who else would give that to us, even though I didn’t expect to get it from her.
Britt Julious Yeah, absolutely. I mean, there is there like most of the album I can like, you know, hear the Prince influences, but especially on like tracks like Alien Superstar and Pure Honey, like especially that one, which has a very clear kind of sample in the chorus, but is just, you know, it’s it’s so evident and it’s so, you know, I think what I’m someone who, like, loves Prince. Like he’s like my favorite artist of all time. And like, the thing that I loved about him is that he was not afraid to experiment, like bounced between different genres, but also kind of show like their connections and how like, you know, these things can be woven into gather to tell like a really great story. And she’s doing the exact same kind of thing as well, you know, and saying like, there’s like a legacy here, there’s history here. And even though these things might seem really kind of disparate and even if, like, my career is maybe more rooted in R&B, like this is also a part of who I am because that’s like kind of the history of this music as well. So yeah, like she, it’s, it’s funny that she hasn’t necessarily like created a project that kind of screams until now, but then you hear it and you’re like, absolutely. Like, it’s, it’s so clear. It’s so clear.
Ira Madison III The Prince was really what I was feeling. It really just like I mean, like I have a Batman and Prince tattoo on my arm because, like, that’s my favorite Prince album, but it’s like, I love just you will listen to it album and it like, it veers from all sorts of, like, cacophonous sounds, and it’s like, it gives you so much. I mean, it reminds you of like, I don’t know, like I was so into Musicology at high school, I was just like, that album is just like, so interesting to me. And it’s like, it’s dance, it’s R&B, it’s like it’s giving you so much. And I love that the legacy, the, you know, the history lesson that she’s giving with this album, too, of like House, Dance, EDM, you know, it’s like it’s funk. It’s like it’s all there. It’s all these historically, like, black genres, too. And what I love about it as well is that, you know, like there’s a dedication to her Uncle Johnny, who died of complications from HIV, for this album. And I was just thinking that like, you know, like especially is like a gay man who goes out and like, listens to dance music and like, you know, like reveres, like the pop divas, etc., everyone who’s always sort of done it, you know, it’s like there’s always like a discussion about, you know, like a Madonna, you know, like a Kylie, you know, like we have ABBA and shit like that. And it’s just sort of like the people who were black and doing that seemed very much in like the distant past. I mean, and they’re gone too, you know, a lot of them like Donna, like.
Louis Virtel Sylvester.
Ira Madison III Sylvester, like Prince, like their gone. You know, we already have like Tina to still like alive, like off in Zurich or wherever that wherever bitch is. You know, like she’s up in Princess Peach’s Castle. Okay, she does that. She is not returning. It was great to have Beyonce do this as a I think a Questlove like tweeted that she’s you know, she is events artist, you know, like someone was like, you know, obviously, you know, like I’m a big Charli XCX fan and she had had the Show Me Love sample. But then when Beyonce did it, it was like, you know, like it’s she’s an event artist. And Beyonce say releasing music like this means that the music and it going to like number one, means it’s going to shift the music industry because the music industry will know that this music is sellable again and it’s popular and we will get more of it.
Britt Julious Yes, I love that. That was like a sermon I love it. But it’s true. I mean, she is she’s known for, you know, changing the game with that digital drop. Right. So she’s known for like, you know, kind of pushing things forward. And even if she’s not necessarily the first person to do it, she is the one who can kind of show the ways in which it can be done. So it’s, I don’t know, exciting because, I mean, maybe I’m just like getting old, like I’m 34 now, so but I feel like I listen to a lot of, like, contemporary music and I’m just like, there’s no excitement, right. There’s no vitality. There’s no energy. And so, you know, her coming back with this kind of event music, as you said, is sort of like, okay, this is how you can do it. Like this is how it can be done. And yeah, I’m excited to see what other people will maybe do as well. In response to her releasing an album like this, kind of giving other artists the permission in some ways to like, you know, just be a little bit more experimental and hopefully, you know, not just make music that fits within the algorithm that like, you know, works perfectly for playlists that will get to the top of Spotify but actually like has something to say and that gets people really like pumped and motivated.
Louis Virtel Not that she is accepting all these offers, but why did it take until now and this album for me to hear Grace Jones doing this shit again? You know what I mean? Like, I’m listening to this album, that vocal comes on. I’m like, Finally. But what? You can still see Grace Jones out there live in the world. I’m glad that, like, you know, there’s a lot of sampling in this album, of course, as it’s, you know, a classic disco record in certain ways. So it’s going to have Donna Summer in it in addition to a lot of other names, to actually hear Grace Jones in person. It’s like this woman is still here and she is still, you know, like art walking down the street. We need to be using her.
Britt Julious Yes, absolutely. Well, I mean, Grace is kind of known for being a little she doesn’t like a lot of contemporary artist.
Ira Madison III Yeah, she’s prickly.
Louis Virtel Not a fan, not a Stan.
Ira Madison III Did it. Did she say Gaga didn’t have a soul?
Britt Julious I was surprised, I didn’t realize.
Louis Virtel That’s why we like her.
Ira Madison III Oh, come on and listen it. And I know that bitch does not have a soul because I saw the Chromatica Ball Paris, which was fantastic. But there are pyrotechnics in that show and there was a heatwave in Europe and this bitch tried to kill us. She was frying us to death. The pyrotechnics kept going off throughout the entire concert. At a certain point, like if people are tweeting about it now too, it’s like a meme. Like you are ducking down. You are like, my eyebrows are about to go off. She wanted us dead. Anyway.
Louis Virtel Yelling Red won as you go up in flames.
Ira Madison III What I do want to say about the sampling on the album is obviously, you know, like sampling, you know, is like, you know, an art at this point, you know, but real. Some people do it well. Some people do not do it well, you know, and you could tell the difference when a song comes out and like, oh, it’s like it’s like everyone will like, you know, every Saweetie song is a sample, by the way, you know, and it’s you’ll be like, okay, this is cute. But like, there’s a difference when it’s like an album like this where it’s like it’s not just a sample and that, okay, here’s the beat from this song that you already know, and I’m singing over it or I’m rapping over it. This is samples in like the chord from this one song is in this part of the song to take you somewhere else. And it’s what I love about this album is and I can’t wait for my vinyl to arrive to listen to it, but it doesn’t just feel like it’s giving us that music that we hadn’t heard before and harkening back to it. What it feels like is like if a deejay put this on, start to finish in the club, it feels crafted like a great deejay set. It feels like it’s there’s original new music in it.
Louis Virtel Like confessions on a dance floor.
Ira Madison III Yeah, yeah. You know, there’s original new music in it, but it’s like, here’s this Donna sample. Like to turn the club up, you know, like, here’s this Prince moment here, you know, like, it’s. It’s beautiful, and it feels like a whole night out. I’m exhausted.
Louis Virtel But compare that to I would compare that to like, like Missy Elliott, for example, who, like all of her music, has some sample in it. It’s like the difference you’re talking about is the difference between like the Heart of Glass sample and Work It. And this is just the song that came to mind, Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston. That’s just what it is that Stand My me. What’s that?
Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah.
Louis Virtel And he’s just, like, speaking over it. You know what I mean?
Britt Julious Is the effort, right? It’s the effort. It’s like if you’re letting the previous song do all the work and then you just kind of like sprinkle a little bit of something new on it versus like, actually, like having something to say, right. And, you know, making something new out of it, which is like really exciting. I mean, I think of it even like with gosh with like Alien Superstar on his album, right. And she samples. Yeah, I love it. It’s like one of my favorite on the album and she you know samples Right Said Fred right and Drake like a song very recently also you know sampling that as well. And that was a song that I mean, it wasn’t like terrible, but it was like very obvious. Like, this is the sample, this is the connection, you know, and like, is this sample kind of doing all the heavy lifting for this or, you know, can you kind of take the element of that previous song into something because that core, she has an Alien Superstar that is new and that’s beautiful, right? And that’s different. And that’s not the same thing as like, you know, I’m too sexy for my whatever. So, yeah.
Ira Madison III No, I love an interpolation to you know like the moment where she does the like from Tina Marie’s Ooh La La like that is beautiful and it it’s also weird because it’s like she samples that song on two different tracks, but it sounds completely different in the way it’s used on both tracks too.
Louis Virtel Teena Marie. She’s come up a few times and Keep It before, I think, namely, because didn’t J-Lo do that Motown tribute at the Grammys once? And part of it was she did Teena Marie. And anyway, that tribute did not go over, you know, astoundingly well. But Teena Marie, among like music that is now considered like old, that is like it holds up so well. It’s the best dance music. She has a song called Behind the Groove that I would say is one of my favorites of hers. Her big hits, which are like Square Biz and Lover Girl, so good. She was the Rick James protege. And people don’t know who she is. She was called the Ivory Queen of Soul. Anyway, got to get into her music and I’m psyched to see Beyonce sample her. Were there other samples on this album you are particular fans love?
Britt Julious I loved the Mr. Finger sample, which you can kind of hear in Pure Honey just from like a kind of Chicago House standpoint. Like, for me that was really exciting as well. So that song in general I really love because it just had like and I think it probably like the most kind of samples out of like any of the others and it sort of was incorporating kind of like two different songs to kind of create one song. So yeah, that was probably like one of like my personal favorites out of like all of them just because it seemed like it was almost like that was sort of like the story that she was really trying to tell it and like kind of taking it back to, you know, just kind of early house leg, mid eighties, Chicago warehouse like black queer community. And so I thought that that was just a really nice to to hear for for me at least, so.
Ira Madison III My favorite track is still Cozy even after the whole weekend and like Honey Dijon’s production on it and then you know like Dave Giles and Green Velvet like like people off of the Chicago like scene, like I fucking love that song. And my sample on that is like the ad libs from like tTS Madison’s Bitch I’m Black video, just like it, just like underscoring, I’m just like it’s it like really like delivers for me.
Louis Virtel This is one of the few albums I could think of that needs like a bibliography. It’s so intense the, the amount of references and it’s all like extremely intentional. You know, it’s not just, I don’t know, they happened upon the sample and it sounds good. It’s like every sample means something. It’s a quote unquote Easter egg. You know, it’s if it weren’t just fun, dance, move, music, I would consider it diabolical. How diva.
Ira Madison III I also just love like the Still Pimpin sample that opens it up to, you know, from Memphis rapper, you know, Princess Loko. It is great. And I also love that, I love the people who noticed that sample and had to let you know that they noticed that is that sample because the album dropped and Charlie Puth tweeted it was like damn shout out to that Still Pimpin sample that opens up Beyonce’s album. I was like, You better stan, Charles. But it’s just like a I love your bibliography comic, Louis, because it really just feels like a feast for, like, music lovers.
Britt Julious Absolutely.
Louis Virtel Now should we, should we get into the Diane Warren of it all since we’ve all she’s come? I mean, I know you wanted to save this for your Keep It.
Ira Madison III We’ll talk about it. We’ll talk about it.
Louis Virtel She obviously one of the most preeminent songwriters of our time. How many Oscars has she been nominated for? 150,000, I believe.
Ira Madison III How many has she won?
Louis Virtel That’s a lower number. Somewhere in zero ranks. But she tweeted, How can a song have 24 songwriters and then with a eyeroll emoji? Now, she knew what she was doing. She knew she was going to get smoked for that, I assume. And people rightfully said to her, you know, Diane, you know how the music industry works. Please stop. I do want to say also, I do feel people are largely undereducated about how much music Diane Warren has written. So I wanted to almost defend her legacy, even though it doesn’t need defending. But she she actually did figure it out for herself, though, because she believes, oh, tons of the songwriters on here are just the original artists of samples getting credit, you know, like, like the rights that Britt is all listed in the credits, for example.
Britt Julious But I mean, did she figure it out or was it like, oh.
Louis Virtel Was it told to her? That’s probably true.
Ira Madison III I mean
Britt Julious The Dream responded to her.
Ira Madison III The Dream literally responded and then he was like, Come on, Diana. And then The Dream responded. And then she became a full white woman and was like, Well, you don’t have to be mean. And I’m like.
Louis Virtel Oh no, oh no.
Ira Madison III C’mon girl, you were dragging this track.
Louis Virtel Do they have to be nice?
Ira Madison III Yeah. You were dragging this track. And I’m like, listen, she has written for icons, you know, the Vivienne, Rita Ora, REO Speedwagon. I get it. I love Diane Warren’s music. Obviously, she’s even it was even shadier because she has written for Beyonce. You know, I mean, granted, that song is I Was Here.
Louis Virtel But I was I was going to say, I assume it’s not a single.
Ira Madison III Yeah. I Was Hear from Four. Um, her, her, her Song about the globe. I don’t know.
Britt Julious One of my least favorite Beyonce songs. I’ll just be honest. You know, before all this controversy wasn’t my favorite, that’s for sure. So on the record.
Ira Madison III But yeah, I mean, Diane Warren got the smoke and it was funny. It was funny seeing an old school Beehive pile-on.
Louis Virtel Yeah, no, you’re right. It was quite actually.
Ira Madison III Yeah, it you know, it was less murky, obviously, than the than the Kelis of it all.
Louis Virtel Oh, right. Yes. Mm hmm
Ira Madison III You know, because, you know, like for those who don’t know, like Kelis’ Milkshake was sampled and she’s the performer of that song, but, you know, like, not credited as, you know, like songwriter, composer or producer just for that song on the album in general. Because, you know, Kelis has talked openly before about, you know, like conflicts with Pharrell and the Neptunes have led to them owning her songs and her not. And you know, not having money from them. Um, which is why I guess she’s shifted into becoming a fantastic chef. I have had her arepas at a pop up in Koreatown once, and they were fucking fantastic. But the only thing I want to say about the Kelis of it all is that we have talked before of this podcast a lot about how like the music industry has fucked like a lot of people over. You know, there’s, you know, like Pebbles, there’s Diddy, you know, and Pharrell, I guess following in that long tradition. I think that we could acknowledge, like how amazing Kelis is and be like, you have legitimate gripes with this without attacking her. I’m like, I can love the album and not get into the mess up at all because Kelis is fantastic. I mean, talking about dance music. Deejays will still throw on 4th of July on the dance floor and I’m like, turn all the way up. Well, actually, as of the recording of this episode, the Kelis sample is completely removed from streaming sites. So I guess the conversation’s over. Unless you have the vinyls and the CDs like I do.
Louis Virtel I remember. I would. I’m in my home town right now, so this memory is coming back to me fresher. There was the summer of 2006, I believe. I was home from college and Bossy had come out. Except I didn’t. It was an iTunes planet at the time, and I was very nervous about, you know, I don’t have any money in college. I didn’t want to spend money on songs. I would literally I’m not kidding. Bored in my Chicago suburb, drive around in my mom’s car waiting for Bossy to come on. It was sad. It was really sad.
Britt Julious That’s understandable, though. I mean, that’s how we listen to music back in the day, right? You just waited for it to happen and then you get it and then record in that way.
Ira Madison III I do love how that sort of about her being like just so you know, I was the first one to scream on the track.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. No, it’s like she’s talking about her own career. Yeah. She’s like, I’m referencing Caught Out There. Yeah
Ira Madison III Any lasting thoughts on this album? There’s so much more we could talk about, but I’m just like, it’s.
Louis Virtel Have we said the words Virgos Groove. That’s my favorite song.
Ira Madison III I mean, that is a vibe. That is, if that entire song feels like I’m listening to the entirety of Air’s Moon Safari. Like within just like 6 minutes. It’s so good at it.
Louis Virtel And it’s also like and again, it’s a, it’s like a like groove to in addition to being so it’s like you can put it on next to the pool in Palm Springs also, which is sort of important for me in a dance record. Like there should be a sort of like breathe out moment, you know.
Ira Madison III Yeah Plastic Sofas like a great, I love that song too. The vocals details on that are fantastic but it’s a good like inner mission like breathe on the dance floor moment. Then Virgos Groove gets you right back up there. And then the last half of that. It is it is wild to actually have a reset sort of mainstream like pop album that the last half of it is like almost stronger than the first half.
Britt Julious Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it’s it’s truly no skips for me. So and that last half is just I feel like that’s kind of like, you know, some of her most experimental stuff on the record. So
Ira Madison III All In My Mind.
Britt Julious Yeah.
Ira Madison III All In My Mind is one of her most, like, surprising turns for, like, a Beyonce track. That’s giving PC music. Yeah, it’s so fucking good. And also America Has A Problem is just like a really good song. And I like love seeing people mash it up with, like, old, like Detroit, like eighties, nineties, like dance videos because it fits perfectly.
Britt Julious It has that Latin kind of freestyle sort of, you know, from like the, like, let the music play like that kind of go back to it.
Ira Madison III That I love with. Like it reminds you of like if she does like a little rap while it’s what I love where like when the old like early nineties, like R&B divas would like be singing on a track and then all of a sudden start rapping like Mariah on Prisoner.
Britt Julious Flashbacks.
Ira Madison III I fucking love that song.
Louis Virtel I saw a tweet that made me think, which is, you know, a lot of these rappers are lucky that Beyoncé busiest for singing most of the time because, man, when she raps, it’s so. Here I come sounding like a nineties Rolling Stone critic or something, but dynamic like she goes goes hard in quotes. But what a pleasure every time she raps.
Britt Julious She has a good melodic flow. It’s like she’s got energy to it. She’s got, especially like nowadays where people kind of have that sort of ASMR, kind of mumbly rap thing going on. It’s like she’s actually it feel is like nostalgic in some way, but she like, you know, kind of just like rides the beat. So if she wanted to be really good, you know, just releasing a rap album.
Ira Madison III I mean, listen and also she’s done it again and we’re talking about this album this week, but also like the visuals aren’t even out yet. So like we’re going to be talking about it again. And then also there’s, there’s two more acts, okay? I mean, it’s like it’s it’s it is long and we don’t know when they’re coming. It’s like she’s she’s Tom Stoppard now, you know, there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s more to come. It’s like this album ends and it’s like, when you go see a Marvel movie, it’s like the screen goes black. The title card says Beyoncé will return.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Mm. So well until then.
Ira Madison III Until the end. So that I mean, I’d also like to ask I just want to say the album like the Johnny stuff really did get to me and like I’m glad she dedicated that. And it’s just like there’s always been a sort of thing about like people saying like that Beyonce doesn’t, like, acknowledge, like her gay fans the way the other people do. But I’m like to sort of have to look for it. And I know it’s been going around online like her glad speech that she gave about Johnny, too, and just this dedication like, I don’t know, I just thought it was beautiful and it had me.
Louis Virtel Also, it’s nice that she gave us a Joanne album that we like.
Ira Madison III You know.
Louis Virtel Not easy to do. Not all the other girls have that, know what I’m saying.
Ira Madison III To their credit. Yeah, I had to know. I had me calling my grandmother and asking about for like photos of my Uncle Bill, who lived in that era, like the nineties in Chicago and died in the same way because I was like, I just wanted to like feel that connection again that I was feeling from the music. So my favorite Beyoncé album, at the moment, and it really feels like almost like the the queer illuminated her like queer fanbase. So yeah. Thank you for. Thank you for joining us, Britt.
Britt Julious Thank you for having me. This is a lot of fun. I’m really excited to talk about Beyonce more because I feel like most people I know they like her, but do they love her? No. They have, you know, some knowledge.
Ira Madison III And so sometimes you be having a conversation with people where you’re like getting excited and then you see that look from them and it’s like they’re looking for the exit. They’re like, Where’s my pepper spray? If this bitch starts naming producers, I’m out of here. She starts talking about samples. Let me go.
Britt Julious Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Thank you. Up next, Neil Patrick Harris joins us to discuss his new series Uncoupled.
You’ve seen him in How I Met Your Mother, Gone Girl, A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Matrix, Resurrections. And now in Netflix’s new series, Uncoupled. We’re thrilled to welcome to Keep It. The number one most famous gay man in the world. Actually, we decided this in the intro. The legendary Neil Patrick Harris.
Neil Patrick Harris What’s up?
Ira Madison III Hi.
Neil Patrick Harris How are you? Nice to see you.
Ira Madison III It’s nice to see you too.
Louis Virtel I can’t even decide what I would call your primary credit at this point. Like I like. I still want to say, like, award show host, but obviously, you’re also a Tony winner. You’ve got How I Met Your Mother is still lingering there. What feels like your signature moment? Do you feel you’ve had a signature moment?
Neil Patrick Harris That’s a really interesting question. I think probably most people, I don’t know, probably How I Met Mour mother would be the main one. I mean, I the longest period of time and that was nine seasons. And each season was always one year between them because it was a CBS show. So like almost a decade on that. But people will still come up and say like, Hey, Doogie, I loved you in A Series of Unfortunate Events. So I feel like that one man that may have left more of an indelible mark, but I don’t know. Now that uncouple is happening, maybe. Maybe this side of my my bare ass about to get Botoxed, I may be more indelible and derierable.
Ira Madison III And I think It’s just the name. I think it’s just the name, the moniker Doogie Howser that has endured. Because I feel like it became such a moment culturally that people who have never seen it know that you’re Doogie Howser though.
Louis Virtel That’s true.
Neil Patrick Harris It is true. So strange. Yeah. 20 year olds will say, aren’t you that guy from Doogie Howser? I’m like, dude, the show isn’t even on Netflix or anything.
Ira Madison III It’s not streaming at all. I have I’ve not seen an episode of this show in decades. I don’t even think I remember anything about it. I do know. I guess there’s a spinoff on Disney.
Neil Patrick Harris Yeah, right there is. Written by one of the How I Met Your Mother writers, Kourtney Kang.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel But we had Kat Dennings on this show once, and she talked about how ever since she was on Two Broke Girls like she’s now a loud person. Did doing a multi-cam for that long transform how you communicate? It feels like it would just change what you think, how loud you need to be in order for an audience to hear you.
Neil Patrick Harris Oh, that’s a very interesting question. It didn’t I don’t know that it made me any louder. I think it made me. Maybe a little more overt or at least comfortable and confident in in my own comedic ideas and choices as a performer. And I say that unique to me and our show, because Cat was on a multicamera show that was live in front of a studio audience.
Louis Virtel Right.
Neil Patrick Harris So I do think you need to be a bit louder in that scenario because you’re talking over actual laughs and there’s a group vibe of a crowd of people who are, you know, 12 feet above you that are, you know, highly caffeinated, being told to, like, really give it. And so that probably changes the dynamic. We were a multicamera show with a laugh track because there were so many little scenes that flashed back and forward and Ted And then there were all these it was there was three times as many scenes in the script for that, our show than, say, a Two Broke Girls. So we were just I was just imagining where the last would come. I was trying to get the camera guys to laugh because that was always fun. Then I felt like, okay, I think where I’m going is is in the right direction. But I would I would know from the table read when we all sat around with scripts first time I would know that they laughed twice at this line. Right. And so when I would be when we were recording it, I would definitely tee it up and say half the line and then pause, because I know they’re going to add a laugh. And then I would find the second half of the line, and then I would wait again, cause I knew they’re going to get a big laugh. So I actually got to weirdly kind of help orchestrate the laughs on that show. So I guess the technician in me was happy about nine years of that kind of work.
Ira Madison III Well, here’s a question. You learned that from that sitcom. You were on Doogie for four years. Did you know you were funny as a kid? Like, did you know, like watch being on the show? Were you like, I am being funny. I am learning the skill of being a good comedic television actor. Or were you just like, I’m a kid and I’m like doing a job?
Neil Patrick Harris Well, I’ve always related to adults really well when I was younger and my parents, Ron and Sheila, who are still alive and likely bingeing this podcast at 76 years old in Albuquerque. They talked to us always like we were people people and not little kid people. So we always enjoyed their sense of humor, because sometimes I feel like adults talk to kids as if they don’t get jokes. But in point of fact, we listen to a lot of Smothers Brothers albums and a lot of Bill Cosby comedy. He had LPs and his long form like dentist stuff. So we we all had a good sense of humor. Doogie was kind of a dramedy. It was in Wonder Cade. No, sorry, that’s a different chapter. Wonder Years. Fred Savage. And. And it was filmed single camera and not multiple cameras in front of an audience at all. It was a Steven Bochco show, what we were doing. So that was the comedy was really subtle at best. The guy who played Vinnie Max Casella was my sort of funny sidekick. So Doogie was sort of the nucleus center of that. And while I appreciated what guys, what comedy timings would be, I wasn’t really the one to deliver the punch line so often on that show.
Ira Madison III Hmm.
Louis Virtel Also, speaking of being into things like Smothers Brothers albums, etc., you’ve your interests have always struck me as a bit like old fashioned, like you have the magic part of your personality. I associate it with loving game shows, which I’m also obsessed with. Have you always felt like a secret little grown up growing up? Like, were you somebody who didn’t relate to other people your age because you had weirder interests than they did? And how do you think that’s benefited you? You know, in your career. Do you still have those interest?
Neil Patrick Harris Well, I always liked performing. I always was drawn to anything that was kind of showy. I grew up in a small ski resort town in the middle of New Mexico, so it was mostly sort of football centric and farming. There wasn’t a lot of outlets for performance, so any time I would go to a Six Flags Middle America, yes, I liked the roller coasters, but I was really intrigued by sort of the the the show with the like. This is six or eight 20 something dancer-singers that would do an Americana review and then there’d be like all these costume changes and the set would move around. I would love that kind of stuff. And I would. I loved pep rallies and I loved the church choir, and I was just kind of always looking for outlets I loved when when the state fair would come into town once a year into Albuquerque and we’d go up to Albuquerque to Big City. And it was so great to to see the pitchmen at the carnivals trying to say to to say whatever is necessary, be a fast patter to get people to drop a dollar, to come inside to see the two headed lady. Like I always found that that style of pitchman performance to be kind of great. It was similar, I think, to game show hosts of the eighties, you know?
Louis Virtel Oh, sure.
Neil Patrick Harris Because there were a lot that was a lot of there were fewer channels on TV. And it was really trying to keep the moth to the flame by look over here and here’s tell them what they want and here’s the next round and here’s how it goes. And you’re going to be first, John, what’s your choice? And I always thought it was both exciting to watch kind of like an opiate because they were so enthusiastic, not overly so like freakish, but but they were confidence. But it was also very succinct. And I like vocabulary and I like being able to not to use the specific words. And I say that because I think that speaks to the old timey stuff. I love vaudevillian things. I love good, good, like classic clown acts like a Buster Keaton that you can see that it’s well thought through and plays to multiple levels, to multiple demographics, which is interesting as I’m saying that I guess that’s a through line for me is the notion of multiplicity within performance. I love Jim Henson and and Walt Disney are probably my two idols growing up and I think in large part because. They were creating content designed for more than one person to watch simultaneously, which I always just found kind of fascinating. Kids and adults can watch them, appreciate them in different ways. And I think you could say the same for a Charlie Chaplin or a Buster Keaton or a P.T. Barnum. Like P.T. Barnum was trying to get everyone to come and see this thing, but it was also like a wink and a nod, because if you stuck around long enough, you’d get to see, you know, dancers showing their tits in behind this curtain. So there was kind of two things happening simultaneously.
Louis Virtel You would fit right in the Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney Say, Say, Say video, that’s where you belong, haulking a tonic. Yeah.
Ira Madison III I actually find it hard to believe you’re not in the old one with that Steven Spielberg directed where, like, every celebrity pops up.
Neil Patrick Harris Which one?
Ira Madison III Which. What is that, Louis?
Louis Virtel Oh, Liberian Girl.
Ira Madison III Liberian Girl ends with like it’s the Liberian Girl. Music video is random celebrities of that time are on set. Literally of all ages too like but on set.
Louis Virtel It does feel like they were there.
Ira Madison III Waiting for Michael Jackson and then like Steven Spielberg’s there too, like I think he directed it. And it’s like then Michael Jackson like descends from the sky like a director’s chair. And it’s like, that’s a wrap. And the video is just shooting everyone walking around looking for Michael.
Louis Virtel It’s baffling.
Neil Patrick Harris I went to Neverland once. And Michael wasn’t there.
Ira Madison III Wow.
Neil Patrick Harris But it was it was a big benefit and apparently he might have been there but in disguise. And it and I got to wander and see all kinds of things. I never really ever met him. But he loved magic. And I loved magic and he loved Disney theme parks, as did I. So I felt weird kinship and connection with the part of Michael Jackson that sort of loved the entertainment of it all.
Louis Virtel What did you do? Have any lasting memories from walking around at Neverland? Is there like a, you know, to an image burned in your brain?
Neil Patrick Harris Two. And I don’t know. You know, it’s hard to it’s hard to know if my images are were based on the allegations that we’re sort of at that time pending? I think. So this was like pre all of like the downfall of Michael and the legal stuff. But that was, I think, happening. So there was I think I was looking at it through a different lens, but I did sort of recognize that in the arcade that he had in sort of his main house with lots of amazing video games. I didn’t notice there were like multiple doors and that they were all kind of locked. And I remember thinking, Well, this is so interesting because I wonder who has access to which doors. I thought it was weird. Not weird, but interesting in the cinema when we saw the cinema that there was a big movie theater and then sort of behind it and up above, almost like a mezzanine were two, I think glass enclosed like rooms with beds in them. And that was all a cast so that you could see like you could watch the movie, but like watch it in pajamas in bed, which I thought at the time was kind of, Wow, that’s very cool. I wonder who gets to go in there. After that, We walked around the zoo at Neverland. There was a zoo there, and I found that a little bit.
Ira Madison III Was Bubbles still trapped there?
Neil Patrick Harris We did. Oh, that’s a good question. I don’t think I saw Bubbles. It was more lions and like wild animals, which I thought was just kind of a drag for them because they didn’t it didn’t feel like they had giant acreage with which to roam around. How we went to the giraffe enclosure, which was outside, and I guess the giraffes sort of walked up to us. This is my only weird Neverland story. And so we picked some leaves or something, and this beautiful giraffe comes and I hold my arm up to offer the leaves, and it leans down and it takes in this big giraffe tongue. And then it looks at me up close with its eyes and tears. It just shoot out of its eyes breaks out like a burst of tears. And then it walks away. And my friend Emma, who was with me, who can vouch that? So we were both jaws to the ground like, well, is that a sign? Was that just a giraffe saying things have happened to you?
Louis Virtel You know, that might have been Michael. That might have been Michael. What’s it like, a drip?
Neil Patrick Harris It was’t like a drippy eye. Look at my face,I’m tearing, I’m sending tears and then I’m walking away. It was a very light.
Louis Virtel S.O.S. from a giraffe. Oh, my God. Oh, you should you should have had Jack Hanna in there that moment. There should have been a freedom trail for that giraffe to walk out on.
Ira Madison III Well, speaking of tears, let’s talk about Uncoupled. Do you like that segway?
Nice. I like. you shoud write.
Louis Virtel The Smothers Brothers. Yeah we know.
Ira Madison III But I mean, you were talking before, you know, about, you know, multiple things going on in the performance. And I think what people are really loving about this is, aside from people who’ve seen you, you know, on stage in theater, this is like a new Neil for people. And it’s even a new Neil for people who’ve seen you on stage. I feel like, one, you’re getting to play, you know, like everyone’s calling it like a gay Carrie Bradshaw and two, you’re being like, very emotionally open and dramatic, I think, in a way that we’ve never gotten to see you before. So how does that feel? How did it feel doing that? And also, how does it feel with the response to it?
Neil Patrick Harris Well I can’t really comment to the response to it because I’m I don’t know.
Ira Madison III I mean, you’ve gotten texts you’ve got from like friends and people who’ve seen it.
Neil Patrick Harris I honestly, I, I have always. I’ve always been extra reticent and almost too, to my own detriment, to take praise for something that is currently happening with anything more than in an informational way. And I don’t know. I mean, you can ask Geoffrey Richmond. He’s our boss. I mean, he will come up and say the most glowing, glorious things about dailies, about, oh, you think you’re going to get what your work on episode two Neill And I’m just thinking.Right now, I’m not saying that because. The producer of the show and you’re what else did you get supposed to say? I don’t think he feels the opposite necessarily. But I’m not so good with with accepting any kind of large scale praise. I was aware of how like the overall like was it mixed? Positive, mixed negative. And I think it was like mixed positive in a way that that was helpful. The tonal shifts within Uncoupled were the thing that I was most concerned about when we were filming it, because I just didn’t know if people were going to want to watch it. Darren Star Funny Sex and the City Show. And then why are people so dramatic and crying or whether they wanted to watch a breakup show with actors like Tisha doing really good work and Marcia Gay Harden being really dramatic for like, angry work and myself the same and then like, right but I’m pratfall and I didn’t know if they would be that jarring. So that was always my concern. And at the end of the day, I think. That weirdly, that that duality hasn’t necessarily been done, at least with these characters, you know, in this time in 2022, in the middle of the summer. And so I think there’s not a lot of comparable content. And then. I think both sides of of what I previously said get to enjoy it for both reasons. So I should have shouldn’t have second guessed it so much because I think someone said wisely and it might have been Jeffrey that. That is what a relationship is. My life is fun and funny, and then you get sucker punch sometimes and you have to deal with like real issues. But then life is still fun and funny or life is shit and and your relationship is all consuming. And then, you know, you get too drunk and you make an ass out of yourself, which is funny. So you don’t. It doesn’t need to be one type of show, but. I certainly loved. I certainly loved playing it. I thought it was really it was fun to be doing. It was a little bit of a magic trick to me. And I love magic, right? But I think I think it was fun to be doing a Darren Star show, the same guy that is currently doing Emily in Paris, which doesn’t delve too deep into the emotion of relationship. And so you think it’s that. And then you get like you get to watch me give a really heartfelt, emotional speech and then you think, Oh my gosh, I was not expecting that. Which leaves an impression. So for me, it’s been it’s been really fun. I’m proud of everyone that’s on the show. Like, I just I keep telling people, Did you love Brooks? Did you love Tisha? You know, I just I’m I’m a I’m a proponent of like the whole thing. So, yes, it’s been fun. I love Benji and I love I don’t know that the timing is good right now. So fingers crossed.
Ira Madison III I will say side note, fuck Darren for us not shooting in Paris though.
Neil Patrick Harris Because well, now that we’re not, if things are going.
Ira Madison III Well think season two might if we get.
Neil Patrick Harris To season two which we’re all now I’m wondering okay they must have some algorithmic numbers like was retention good? Did people watch all of them?
Ira Madison III Like I told you, I know ski weekend. No, ski weekend episode I’m talking about MykonouS.
Neil Patrick Harris That’s part of this. They make it.
Louis Virtel Uncoupled in San Tropez
Neil Patrick Harris Someone like next year it’s going to be Mykonos. The next year it’s going to be P-Town. Next year it’s going to be Fire Island. As long as it’s warm, I’m happy.
Louis Virtel Obviously, this role would be closer to your real life in that you’re playing a gay man who is exactly your age. There’s no like magical realism component to the show, but it does still require research in any way. I heard you had to like find out, like what Grindr was basically and have it like, I have a tutorialed to you.
Neil Patrick Harris I didn’t do any research. I guess I did a little bit of real estate research. Just I mean, not a deep dive. Just I think I paid closer attention to people who were who were selling things on TV shows, million dollar listing types of people just to see kind of where the zeitgeist is as far as that goes.
Ira Madison III Gay men all know real estate agents.
Neil Patrick Harris True. And I know some gay real estate agents. And I was and what I like about my friends who are real estate agents is that. They’re not over the top. So I didn’t want Michael to be an over the top. You know, I didn’t want his suit to be have a vest and a pocket square and colorful ties as a self-tan. I kind of want him to be a regular person, that was that was a little able to hide behind the idea of selling something and not looking at himself and in turn, getting, like, messier and messier while still trying to maintain the air of everything’s okay-edness.
Louis Virtel Yeah, because those people are supposed to be calming clients ultimately, you know, they’re not sort of like they’re not they’re not giving the P.T. Barnum like show, as you were describing.
Neil Patrick Harris Well, some do. Some are really like. I think they’re they’re they should be good at kind of reading the room and reading their client and then seeing if they want more information or if they want less. As far as the the app learning, I, I did, I listen, I know the Grindr exists, but I just have, I’ve always been with David. And so if I ever, like, created a profile on Grindr, that would be very weird and he would be very suspicious. And if I said no, no honey. It’s just for research. Even more suspicious. So we just never did that. But we had friends who were on it. And I’m always still amused when. When someone I mean, we’ve had super hot friends who were just really pretty handsome people who make their livelihood taking their shirts off. And so, like, having those people show me their accounts on Grindr, that’s fantastic. That’s like Willy Wonka. Because that you you have literally anyone within a 20 mile radius willing to do anything that you want and you don’t need it. The specifics are remarkable. But yeah, I thought. I thought watching. I don’t know. Tell me what you think about this, Ira, because some of the some of Michael’s reactions to those things, like their Barebacking and Prep and Grindr. Some of his reaction seemed to me when we were doing them a little dated, as if I kept wondering, does Michael not watch Netflix or listen to podcsts or watch the news or know that these things exist? Right. Because I know about Grindr.
Ira Madison III I’m going to say this.
Neil Patrick Harris I mean, that doesn’t mean that I have to be on it. And so I was a little concerned that it would feel a little dusty in that regard. A little Golden Girls. But I’ll go on.
Ira Madison III I think it works. I think it works. And I’m going to say this in the non shadiest way possible. But if it seems like new information to Michael, a lot of it was also new information to Darren because I feel like Michael is sort of an avatar for Darren and Darren is a Leo, just like me. And we know Darren Star and Darren and Michael are a little bit self-involved. And so I can see Michael not knowing what’s going out in the rest of the world because it just didn’t concern him. I could see his friends talking about Grindr at a party and ihe’s like not listening.
Neil Patrick Harris Because it doesn’t concern him.
Ira Madison III A lot of this stuff was new to Darren.
Neil Patrick Harris Now that is totally accurate. But I think there’s an added benefit to it, having talked to people recently, is that I think his naivete towards these things allowed a wide swath of people who are watching to learn about it in a safe way as well. So I think you get straight men and you get women able to learn about Grindr in like an informational way that I think really actually helped us in the storytelling.
Ira Madison III So yeah, when Darren makes a show, it’s not I mean, there’s a lot of queer content right now, you know, and I think as queer men like Louis that I could attest, we do like a show where you watch it and it’s like, it’s for us explicitly, like it’s not explaining things to the audience, but this is a Darren Star show. It’s on Netflix. It you need, one, to have big numbers to get even a second season on Netflix, you need everyone watching this show. And I think that there needs to be a bit of Will and Grace style, like explaining what gayness is to people in 2022.
Neil Patrick Harris I appreciate you saying that, because that was yeah, I was a little wary of that because I know that the queer community can also be quick to judge themselves. And so I didn’t want it to feel like we were potentially out of touch in in some of in some of the wokeness of current culture through Michael’s lens.
Louis Virtel Well, also, I think like straight people have certain like landmarks of gay relationships that they know and are very proud to know. Like they’re always bringing up how they know about a top and a bottom is are like what up there is. And I think because they have those things, they think they know everything, but they are a little behind. So but they’re going to watch a TV show about this. There are things that are going to have to be explained to them if they’re going to get it, you know, so it’s just necessary.
Neil Patrick Harris And I think too that’s a really, really valid point. And and understood I think as well, a break up show is universal and so relatable that people are looking for differences so that they can connect in both directions. Right. I feel like people say, you know, I just went through this and I’m a straight woman and I have that same feeling. So there’s things you latch on to on the show that are subjective to you because you have had a similar experience and there’s differences that you can learn from, so you kind of get to grab it from both sides.
Louis Virtel Know in a way this show is the ah, an unmarried woman of 2022, which is one of the great break up New York stories of all time. I just need a break. I need a shot of Jill Clayburgh, undersung actresses as of late, but she was great in the seventies and eighties.
Ira Madison III Wouldn’t be a week on Keep It if Louis wasn’t shouting out Jill Clayburgh. I mean.
Louis Virtel Come on now.
Neil Patrick Harris Wasn’t she, wasn’t she the weird.
Louis Virtel The mother of Lily Robb weird.
Neil Patrick Harris Wasn’t she in that weird? Who is the actress, that maybe Jill Clayburgh, who was in, Mm,
Louis Virtel We Are Not Starting Over with Burt Reynolds?
Neil Patrick Harris No it was more contemporary.
Louis Virtel Cannonball Run?
Neil Patrick Harris No, She was older. And she was a drug addict in that movie with. You know, God, this is going to be all edited out. The movie with Jennifer Connolly.
Louis Virtel Oh, are you talking about Ellen Burstyn?
Neil Patrick Harris That’s what I’m thinking.
Louis Virtel Requiem for a Dream. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Requiem for a Dream. Yes.
Ira Madison III Now, you.
Louis Virtel Jill Clayburgh played Kristen Wiig’s mom in Bridesmaids.
Neil Patrick Harris Got it. Yeah.
Louis Virtel Mm hmm.
Ira Madison III She was in Love and Other Drugs, though.
Neil Patrick Harris Nice.
Ira Madison III Right, right, right.
Neil Patrick Harris You guys.
Louis Virtel Thank you for pulling that together.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Of, I guess one last question I want to ask is everyone’s been talking, you know, about the concept of, you know, playing like someone going through a breakup and like having to rediscover that life and how it is to play that. And I think you talked a lot about that in interviews. But what I’m interested in is, you know, you publicly came out obviously in 2006 and people in that era where, you know, like if you were coming out as gay, you you did it in People magazine. But playing the things of like Michael, like discover, like going to a gay bar again, you know, etc.. What was it like being in this show and I guess revisiting your gay youth, which would be Michael’s gay youth, because what was your New York life like before David, before you came out?
Neil Patrick Harris I didn’t come out till very late, and I think it was mostly because I lived in Los Angeles and had worked on television. And so I felt very still in my own body. Like I was used to like hitting a mark. And standing still so that they could do a wide shot and then a close up and they didn’t have to work super hard. And so I did that for four years. And when I was done, I didn’t really know how to move my body. And so I didn’t I didn’t feel comfortable in my skin. And I certainly in the nineties wasn’t about to go like, see, like see what the dating scene is like because I think within that initial those initial first steps, you you seek a little anonymity. So like, you’re not sure if you want to if you want to grind up against somebody or like a weight to be grinded up against with on the dance floor. Or if you’re going to wear something loud and like sexual or wear something conservative. So there’s a lot of unknowns. But being a television actor, going to rage and like standing in the corner at the nineties, that that was that would have certainly been fodder for lots of people to whisper in the ears of others. And back then there weren’t as many examples of representation. So I just never really went out. I had a great group of friends. I lived in Studio City and I hung out with them a lot and I was always kind of the fun. Barney Stinson sidekick friend. And then when I went to San Diego to do Rent, the second national tour of Rent, that’s when that’s when I got to be more full bodied because I had to move around more. That’s when I got to go to the East Village and get my hair dyed from Patricia Fields and get a blond haircut and put fingernail polish on. So I got to wear myself up a little bit in my visage, and that’s when I started being like, Oh, New York is the shit. Like here, people are kind of sexy just by design, but they’re not interested in what anyone else is really doing. And there’s all kinds of places that are open, super late that you can walk to that you could just take a subway to. So it allowed some anonymity to just kind of explore and see what things I thought was sexy. That said. I started once I started dating people. I just kind of I dated them for a while. I wasn’t good at the. We’re fooling around, but so that, you know, I’m also fooling around with four other people and saying the same to them. I felt disingenuous telling person one that I wasn’t seeing anyone else if I was. So I wound up just sort of dating one guy until it ran its course. And then that became apparent me like really obvious. And so then we just decided to go our separate ways, but sort of remained friends. And I did that four or five times and then and then started dating David. So it wasn’t a super single experience. I guess when I was younger I would go out in L.A., but but two straight ish clubs, but like trendy Hollywood clubs like Roxbury and and the Viper Room. And places like that. So it. And it was all kinds of people. Like, I didn’t feel like there was a a different partying world that I wasn’t participating in. But I just I didn’t have any game at all. So I would just kind of hang with my my little cluster of friends and show off my fake I.D. and, you know, drink a lot of vodka and cranberries giveaway. And then. And then go home tipsy. I don’t know.
Louis Virtel Yeah, I feel like trendy clubs were a good way to, like, if you are sort of anonymous as a gay person, like, you wouldn’t be called out for going there. Even when I hear stories of like old Studio 54, it’s like going there didn’t mean you were gay, really, because everybody wanted to go there. So it could be.
Neil Patrick Harris I feel like, you know, like those stories are singular to New York, though. I don’t feel like that’s the same vibe in L.A.. In L.A., it was totally much, at least in that time. A If you’re going to West Hollywood, you’re like, What’s up with that? It was L.A. was a beauty. But back then, L.A. was like, Are you a movie person or a TV person? You have to decide now. Are you doing pilot season or are you going to be an independent movie person? Like that was, you had to make these decisions. I think I think New York by design is more fluid.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And I think it was also probably pre the sort of like, you know, the David Cooley, Lisa Vanderpump before the case of we were also like the Abbey is famous enough that everyone goes, yeah, yeah, it doesn’t matter if you’re gay.
Neil Patrick Harris The Abbey was a place that I knew was like a real gay moment. Like, if you went to the Abbey, it was because you were gay, or at least like dabbling. It was a place in the valley called Oil Can Harry’s.
Louis Virtel Oh, I love that bar. I miss it so much.
Ira Madison III Yeah, we used to love it.
Neil Patrick Harris Is it not there anymore?
Louis Virtel It recently only closed down. Yeah.
Neil Patrick Harris No. So when I was a kid, I would drive past that to go to my agents and I would I it was like the. The Death Star. Like, I always wondered what is this Oil Can Harry’s and what goes on in there. And I was very curious and only went, gosh, five or six years ago for the first time. And it was a like a country bar at that time. Not a bunch of people in Western wear, which I wasn’t expecting. But Oil Can seems like like very sexual to me. It felt lubricated. So Oil Can Harry’s a lot. It was like a wet room.
Louis Virtel It’s a very old school gay bar name, like manhole or something like that again, a straight person would name. Yeah, you know, but no, but it was like the last bar where you would go to it and definitely you would hear Turn the Beat Around by Vicky Sue Robinson or whatever Got to be Real or something, you know. So I totally missed that bar.
Neil Patrick Harris I just can I tell you what is exciting about Uncoupled is I love that at 49 I am able to talk about like contemporary gay dating and culture a little bit in a sort of safe-ish Darren Star kind of way. But I’m just so proud of the generations below mine, right? That the 20 year olds, the 30 year olds, because of their innate fluidity and inclusivity and positivity about it all. Like the fact that so many straight people go to gay clubs to dance now because they know how fun it is and that there’s not a lot of aggression is such a great like that was not the case when I was dancing in the twenties. It meant something different. And when I talk to kids now who say. That if the friend was gay, that would obviously not bother them. But if they’re gay, friend wanted to give them a blowjob and then they would say, fine. They wouldn’t think that it meant anything if that’s what the friend really wanted. And I said that wouldn’t you wouldn’t then go around and think, Oh, my gosh, I got a blowjob from a guy. Does that mean I’m gay? Does that mean I’m gay? And he was like, No, that might be my friend. I wouldn’t care. Wow. That’s such a different time. And I love that. I think I think the tipping point has happened. You have podcasts like these. You have TV shows like Pose, like Uncoupled now, where there’s so many examples of different kinds of this of this kind of inclusivity that given the political conversations that are currently happening and in this political cycle of an election cycle, I just don’t feel like there’s too many ways to step too far backwards. And I think that’s a really it’s like a lovely time with 11 year old kids. It’s easy. It’s easy to convey emotion on the show because I live emotion with my kids. So I don’t know. I’m I’m really I’m proud of it all.
Ira Madison III Oh, well, thank you, Neal. I don’t want you to think our podcast is that progressive, though. This is basically Laugh-In.
Louis Virtel Oh, I’m defintely the Ruth Buzzi and Joanne Worley.
Neil Patrick Harris Pearls that went around my neck.
Ira Madison III No, thank you for being here. And honestly, like, I love how this show turned out. It was great working with you.
Neil Patrick Harris Likewise. And I and I hope I hope there’s a season two. I hope you’re a part of it. And I can’t wait to see what what new stories everyone gets to tell.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Up next, we get into Drag Race All-Stars.
Louis Virtel <A.D.>.
Ira Madison III The RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season seven finale aired over the weekend. And spoiler alert Jinx Monsoon was crowned the Queen of all Queens while Raja beat out the rest of the bottom four for the title of Queen of She Had Already Done Had Hers, marked the end of a season that included some big changes to the format and a more complimentary, less shady tone. What do we think of this season overall?
Louis Virtel I mean, massively entertaining. Everybody on the stage deserves to be there and really bring something. I don’t think anybody would even say I would suggest that Yvie should have won this season. But she was magnificent throughout. That’s like somebody who I would put in the quote unquote, bottom two of the season still gave us, you know, signature personality, unbelievable lip syncs, unbelievable looks. I will say the the thing I would criticize, which is that we didn’t get any critiques at all the entire season. The judges were mainly super flattering to the contestants, which does make them look great. To me, when it came to the final verdict after the lip syncs, because they were so always complimentary. It’s like they could give the victory to whomever they wanted without having to weigh what was bad about each performance or what they didn’t like about each performance. And so that felt a little bit slick to me because, for example, on a show like Project Runway, I feel like when you’re looking at the bottom two, the two worst outfits of the week or whatever, it’s usually about weighing which of the cons is worse, you know, which which of the infractions is more worthy of elimination. And so I felt watching this as particularly this final lip sync, where I, I didn’t think Jinkx dominated all three, all three of the ones she had to, in order to win. It felt like they sort of arbitrarily gave it to her based on what the final game was when they just wanted to give it to her in general, for having a great season.
Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, that ADR of, you know, like the Queens like performance all season will also like be considered and I’m like, yeah, okay. And it’s like just say that up front because I mean, that happens sometimes on Project Runway, you know, like I feel like, you know what I will say, the one show where it doesn’t happen on enough and it annoys me and it truly is “the competition” is Top Chef. Like they will said they will send home like someone who’s been a strong fucking champ all season because they fucked up a dish that week. But they’re very upfront that like it’s the competition each week.
Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right. And I was happy to see Raja pick up the whatever this like, bottom rung thing they figured out was even though I thought she was the second best performer all season. I just love that kind of drag queen, where, first of all, let’s talk about the speaking voice where like everything out of her mouth is like this. Like everyone’s everything’s a.
Ira Madison III That is butter. you know, that is honey. Like she could she could drag you to hell and back and you’d still be like, I want to keep listening to your voice.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Right now her voice is like an audio eyeroll, you know, and fabulous in that way.
Ira Madison III She would have been great as a teacher on Daria. Yeah.
Louis Virtel I was just thinking I’ve been sleep deprived the past few days, so I’ve been feeling like. Mr. DeMartino. Thank you for bringing that up.
Ira Madison III Drinking your iced coffee and your eye bulging.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Yeah. That like the old Visine commercial, veins popping out. No, but what’s interesting about Drag Race to me is, like, I watch it every week. There are times I’ve skipped this this season because, because nobody’s eliminated, you’re sort of given the freedom to skip every once in a while. You know, there’s not urgency to watch the episode before Twitter has their takes or whatever, but it’s such a natural part of my TV diet. It’s like Jeopardy and that, of course, I’m watching it. Like, it’s not like something I’m trying out. It’s not like something I even think to recommend in a way, because it’s it’s like eating breakfast every day or something. There’s so no other show that does what it does, which with its like super casual intersectionality, they always have like a bunch of contestants who are from a bunch of different places, a bunch of different influences, styles, things that matter to them. And in particular with the All-Star season, it is just super interesting to watch Queens from old seasons compete with Queens from new seasons because the nets, the requirements for what it for how to be good on Drag Race are always changing and you’re always worried like, are we leaving Queens behind? Like, has the definition changed so much that someone like this is the name coming to mind? Pandora’s Box doesn’t matter anymore, but then you see them mixed with the new queens and realize, Oh, they’re still sisters and they’re still updating what they do too. And they still have ways that they can, you know, force the show to make progress and stuff. You know, it felt like in certain ways, you know, Jinkx Monsoon came back and we’re like, oh, here comes this quaint old style queen. And then as the season went on, it’s like, Oh, no, we’re still behind her. The show is lagging behind Jinkx Monsoon and what she’s able to do. So that was really cool to see.
Ira Madison III I mean, I think you and I both saw the RuPaul’s Drag Race Drive In last year or something. And like Bianca, you know, like perform and that like even she’s picked up like lip syncing a bit. Yeah, but even in a comedic way. But it’s like you have to like you learn a new skill, especially if you’re a drag queen that you’re like, you want to continue to have people coming to see you, etc., you know. What I will say about this season is the finale was very weird in that Ru wanted to crown Jinkx and I think we’ve all heard, you know about like people complaining to production throughout the show being filmed, you know, that they felt the show was being slanted towards Jinkx and then also crowning Raja because I think she wanted to celebrate Raja coming back, you know, and every like how much like Raja has played a part in like the history of Drag Race, but would you not be moaning, exchange, losing to Jinkx Monsoon and then being like, okay, but can I get the 50k?
Louis Virtel Yeah, right.
Ira Madison III It is wild.
Louis Virtel You lost, but not in the correct brackets.
Ira Madison III Yeah, there is. There’s another competition. And I’m like, well, if I’m good enough to be at this bracket, then why can’t I just be the winner of that bracket?
Louis Virtel Yeah right that does suck. Somebody outlined that Monet is exactly has the exact same track record as Parvati from Survivor in her first season. She got six and the second season she won and now she’s the runner up which, that’s pretty good company to keep. I mean, like, if you associate any name of Survivor, it’s that one.
Ira Madison III But I mean, you talked about TV diets and like dates that like when people ask what shows we watch. Like, I don’t even recommend RuPaul’s Drag Race to people anymore because I just assume you watch it. It’s like it’s wild that this show has become one of those in the sense of like Survivor. I just watch. Big Brother. I just watch, you know, like, it’s like, this is why like, I just watch Days of Our Lives the way you watch Jeopardy, you know? It’s like it’s become a show that’s just like, it’s always on. And if you are a person, if people know that you watch it, they talk to you about it and you don’t bring it up. You know, around like people who don’t discuss it, you know, but like you always had people to talk about Drag Race with because it is literally always on. It’s truly become our sports in a way that sports in a way and that like there’s always someone watching it at a bar. It just I’m.
Louis Virtel Screaming out, Oh, right.
Ira Madison III Like they post viewing parties, you know, like it’s it’s a part of our community in such an interesting way.
Louis Virtel No, it’s its own industry. And I just love how they cycle through these queens and then cycle them back in like they and it would be weird if they didn’t. Like, we want to keep hearing from these people and there’s no better forum for them than this show. And obviously being good at drag is not the same thing as being good at RuPaul’s Drag Race. But you want to see them put through the ringer again. You want to see some urgency put behind a lip sync. You know where there’s something about bringing a competitive angle to Drag that makes that gives it the ferocity. That is the signature thing about drag. So it only enforces that the qualities of drag we love.
Ira Madison III What do we think of the editing in that finale?
Louis Virtel Oh, well, I’m very curious about they did a Nicki Minaj song, right. And they cut out.
Ira Madison III Swish Swish.
Louis Virtel Yeah, so I’m sorry. That’s what Katy Perry’s Swish Swish.
Ira Madison III That is a Nicki Minaj song.
Louis Virtel Minaj verse was cut out and then I heard that they actually filmed it and Jinkx basically just watched Monet do the entire rap and then they went on with the lip sync. Now, that I think almost constitutes unethical cutting that out of the final lip sync.
Ira Madison III Let’s talk about ethics and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Monet X Change. I mean, I also hated the editing of like she did an interview with Vulture with Paul McCallion. And it’s the great interview, by the way. But she talks about how like she opens up, like they don’t even really show you what she’s doing at the beginning either. Where like she has a lipstick with.
Louis Virtel Oh yes.
Ira Madison III With Jinkx’ name on it. So like the eliminations that they used to do it All Stars like and I think that it’s really funny and clever but they didn’t show it they also did not and I’m like is this pair I’m like, this is on Paramount plus you know, so like what was the like standards and practices that didn’t let us get to see like Monet like simulating like topping Trinity on stage during their lip sync the cutaways it was so weird.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Right obviously they weren’t literally having sex in is lip sync. They ended up sort of simulating a sexual act and they treated it like Elvis on fucking Ed Sullivan. Like anything from the waist down. That’s like, girl, it’s not 1956 and I’m paying for this channel.
Ira Madison III GIF leaked the Snyder footage. Yeah.
Louis Virtel That was puzzling.
Ira Madison III Who was your favorite? Like Queens overall this season?
Louis Virtel Favorite queen. I mean, I would say Jinkx because it’s not a given that somebody with old fashioned tendencies, a Neil Patrick Harris, if you will, will, necessarily flourish in a competition where you’re supposed to be the next hot thing. You know, so for her to give a dynamite Judy Garland impression during the Snatch Game and by the way, speaking of not givens. You’re never sure if you’re going to be watching anything remotely entertaining, let alone something that doesn’t make you might have set yourself on fire.
Ira Madison III Jesus Christ.
Louis Virtel So for her to come on with a full plan, full impression, and then also improvizational seemingly improvizational things that were brilliant, like spelling sandwich S A N D W I D G, like I don’t think of Judy Garland as somebody with that kind of vocal tick. And she it’s for her to point that out with that joke was super observant and hilarious.
Ira Madison III I really liked Shay this season and I really loved her like her performance at the end. I mean, it’s interesting that like we always when we get to these like talent show parts of drag race, it’s usually always like a queen doing like an original saga at this point and performing. But there’s really just something a way, like her song was like it just felt on another level, you know, and the dancing, the fluidity, the Janet influence, the attitude. But yeah, it’s yeah, the attitude is there and it’s truly like I was watching that song that she was doing was like the pay phone to the dancers. And I was like, I wouldn’t just go see Shea do like a drag show. I would go to a Shea Coulee concert.
Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right. No, She’s a ferocious. Which, but you don’t always get out of drag anymore. You know, everyone’s pretty cute and pretty pageant-ty, generally speaking
Ira Madison III Yeah, so overall
Louis Virtel So honestly, nobody messed up. I mean, like, I want to sit here and be like, and guess who was a fraud? Blank. But they weren’t. Everybody brought something.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Even queens that I’m not, like, immediately. Like a stan of, like a Trinity, you know? I feel like they delivered.
Louis Virtel Yeah. I thought Trinity actually won that lip sync against Monet in The Fighter when they did So What by Pink, which, by the way, Trinity seemed to be dressed for.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel And also, just So What by Pink is one of the. It’s so like raging gym teacher songs, raging female gym teacher song.
Ira Madison III I think I just loss my husband. I don’t know where he went.
Louis Virtel jilted at the town bar vibes. Yeah. Also like Jess. Also the lyric. Jessica Simpson. Ah, the nerve that she couldn’t even finish the praise, by the way, anybody’s name could have fit in that blank. If you’re having a syllable problem, you don’t have to use Jessica Simpson, anyway. Poor Jessica.
Ira Madison III But isn’t that so Pink? I feel like we don’t get enough interviews with her any more because she’s sort of become like. A different kind of pop star and that like she’s crossed over to, just like she has a very huge fan base. But it seems to be of like straight women and the kind of gay men that we don’t talk to.
Louis Virtel No, she’s very placid now. I would compare her arc to Queen Latifah and that when she came out, it was about a certain kind of hardness, an attitude. And there are elements thereof. But like, you know, she’s like kind of edging into a territory where you’re going to be covering some standard soon, aren’t you? I know it.
Ira Madison III You know what I mean? Once the old bows don’t let her hanging from the ceiling anymore. Yeah, right. I feel like she the Jessica Simp line, but it’s like she used to be, like, a real, like a bitch in interviews.
Louis Virtel A real bitch. Yeah. Yeah. Uh huh.
Ira Madison III I feel like one of the last ones we got was like she was on Watch What Happens Live and she talked about how, like her old beefs she had happened like Christina Aguilera as she was like, I mean, like, I would have beat that bitch up and I’m like, she would.
Louis Virtel No, right? I’ve seen the biceps. I know it’s possible.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Pink. I’m. I’m. I like her.
Louis Virtel I think she has a new song. I think she has a new something coming out in the future. I don’t crave Pink, in fact. I mean, she’s a really good vocalist, but, I mean, it’s like, I don’t think you need to reinvestigate any of her catalog or whatever. Like, I’m not like, Yo, you must listen to the what was that album called Try This with. Oh is that the one that has God is a Deejay on it?
Ira Madison III I think so. It’s, um, I don’t know. I like, I enjoy, I enjoy Pink a lot too, but I’d like to work. If her Pink song comes on in the club. I’m there. Especially, you know, this is like a classic. What that was like, really like a banger. Like, you’ll know the lyrics to it. Like, it’s fun. But no, I don’t really like re investigate Pink.
Louis Virtel Except I think you’re surrounded by it. It’s just in the ether. Like, you’ll run into Just Like A Pill walking in the universe, you know?
Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I will say that an underrated Pink’s song from her album, The Truth About Love is like Walk of Shame, I would say, like those songs that Walk of Shame and like, Walk of Shame and like, Sluts Like You. Like that was one of the last albums where I was just sort of like, Oh, okay. Like, I think that was the last Pink album that I actually like when it came out. Like, I listened to it a lot. That’s the one with like Blow Me One Last Kiss and Just Give Me a Reason.
Louis Virtel I think my favorite song by her is Who Knew? I like poetic regret Pink. You know, it’s sort of a Springsteen vibe of like, what could have been had we stayed together, honey, you know, that kind of vibe.
Ira Madison III That’s a really good song. I think my favorite is actually like, this is like, goofy, but I think my favorite picks, I guess You and Your Hand.
Louis Virtel Which is a Pink bitch atitude. Fuck Off go jack off and think about me. She’s so somebody who holds up two middle fingers in a picture that is.
Ira Madison III You know what? I feel like Pink would be your snatch game.
Louis Virtel Oh, I could do that. Yeah, that would be a funny character, actually. Yeah. And you could like, kind of you could kind of, you know, she’s the straight woman, but, you know, kind of dike out or whatever. That’d be fun.
Ira Madison III Yeah. All right. Well, shout out to All Stars. Shout out to Drag Race. I was going to say shout out to Drag Race, not being on the air until Celebrity Drag Race returns. But I’m like this. I feel like there’s like six international versions airing right now, too.
Louis Virtel Yeah. No, you’re never without it. It’s. It’s the air we breathe.
Ira Madison III And I don’t consume all of it anymore. Like some. Like some international ones. I sit out.
Louis Virtel No, I don’t have time for drag race like Eastern Siberia. Or whatever it is right now.
Ira Madison III Drag Race.
Louis Virtel Drag Race, Vladivostok.
Ira Madison III I’m waiting for Drag Race Transylvania.
Louis Virtel Oh, no, that’d be great. Also, you could just sell that right in the room. You all the girls will star in it.
Ira Madison III All right. We’ll be right back with Keep It. And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s Keep It. Let me guess. Hold on. I’m going to stare into my crystal ball. The stereotype of that crystal ball from the Goosebumps cover, Be Careful What You Wish For. And Louis is doing a Keep It about Jeopardy!
Louis Virtel Well, if you listen to last week’s episode, I complained about Jeopardy, and now I’m back for more and I’ll tell you why. A whole bunch of announcements were made about this current season. If you’re sick of me talking about Jeopardy! Guys, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s like what I was born to do. So stop getting in the way of my passions, etc.. They announced a whole bunch of new things, a new second chance tournament where contestants who lost but barely in the past couple of seasons get invited back with the potential that they can get in the Tournament of Champions. But specifically, there’s a syndicated special coming out that they’ve not announced anything for. There’s no host or anything yet, whatever. A pop culture jeopardy and my Keep It it’s to the producers because if you have not reached out to me by now if if my agent is not coming to me with an email in the next 11 seconds, I am going to get on the roof of my parents house where I am and weep in the form of a question. So please just know I’m available. I’m ready to, I don’t know, host or researcher. I think we should do it like Vanna White style, where, like all the clues on the board have to be turned or pulled around. I’ll manually do that. But please know I am dying for there to be a real pop culture game show in the world. Because I mean, as Ira and I sit here, talk, bandying, whatever. Pink, Deep Cuts or Drag Race contestants you’ve forgotten about. It’s like there’s still no place where you can be definitively tested about your pop culture knowledge. Jeopardy gets into it a little bit. There will always be, you know, a plays and playwrights category or a movie category, but that’s 1/12 of the game. And it just kills me that not since, like the World Series of Pop Culture, which is a great VH1 show from the 2000s or Debt, which was a show on Lifetime hosted by Wink Martindale. That was all pop culture trivia. That was really great. MTV’s had a couple of great TV shows, but we just don’t have that. And people are overeducated about this stuff. Like they like stans, etc. need a place to be tested on their knowledge. And it shouldn’t just be at a bar in West Hollywood. It should be on television. And I want these people to thrive. You know, I want the Louis Virtels of the world to win the money they deserve.
Ira Madison III So you know what? I agree. And I would like like, listen, I’m not a trivia minded person. Jeopardy is not for me. But, yeah, I would I would love to compete against you on that show.
Louis Virtel You would. This is what I mean. But, like, that’s what I mean. Like, you look at a show like Jeopardy and say, Oh, I don’t belong on that show. But you have the like the mind for it. You just don’t care about that particular subject matter, you know?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel So like this I feel like, is a real opportunity to get people who would not normally be on Jeopardy and like, exalt the sort of gay nerdom that, you know, really is, like, kind of boxed into the podcast universe, really, you know, like.
Ira Madison III Well, yeah. I mean, there was a tweet recently about how like, I think it was the anniversary of like Best Week Ever. And like, I debuted it, I was sort of like, it’s weird how like when we were younger, like Best Week Ever debuted and like we would watch that and that was sort of like one of the first bursts of people, just sort of like talking about pop culture, like sort of seriously like on TV. And I remember that was the era, you know, when like Chuck Klosterman, sex, drugs and Cocoa Puffs came out, you know, and that sort of inspired me to want to, like, write about pop culture seriously. And it’s weird that entire generation of people who were sort of raised on my Best Week Ever. Now we truly have jobs like podcasting and other things where we’re just paid to do that.
Louis Virtel Right? No. We fulfilled our destiny. We’re now the Michael Ian Black of I Love the Seventies here now in 2022.
Ira Madison III Yeah, you’re you’re I Love the Seventies. You know, like I like I love the, like, the 2000s. So we sort of blend in the middle with the eighties and nineties.
Louis Virtel Yes. Right. Yeah. We meet in the middle. I’m like a Kathleen Turner movie or something and then go back to our respective corners. Ira, what is your Keep It this week?
Ira Madison III My Keep It this week goes to Issa Rae.
Louis Virtel Oh.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Now she is a famous television star and producer and in her new thing is called Rap Sh!t, which stars a young, she’s listed as an actress, but I know her to be a rascal.
Ira Madison III The show is actually fantastic. I was at the premiere and I was really just, like, overwhelmed with how excited I was to, like, see, Aida, you know, like on a screen and, you know, like, see her on the carpet, you know, like, I’m so excited for her. Until the episode two, aired in that theater. And she has to do a face time call with her boyfriend, who she’s dating long distance in the show as she has phone sex. And I was forced to watch Aida acting out phone sex while naked on a big screen. And I didn’t need to see that. Oh, I didn’t see that, Issa. I did not need to see that. I was truly, like, covering my eyes, feeling like a parent, being like a brother looking at his younger sister doing that. I was like, I don’t need to see this.
Louis Virtel Oh, no. I mean, I don’t mean to be paternalistic, but we raised this girl. Sorry. Come on, now. She did this to hurt us.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And I was like, listen, that is. That is one way to just jump into acting. Ah. And listen, she is truly acting in this show. So if you haven’t seen Rap Sh!t, you should go watch it. Everyone.
Louis Virtel You know, I just want to say, it always kills me when like people who do like the job we do are good at acting. Like when I watch Matt Rogers of I guess he has a podcast, but he’s on the show. I Love That for You. And it’s like, Oh yeah, right. You’re an actor. Like watching Fire Island, it’s just not the same thing as being off the cuff and comedic, which is what I think all our friends is doing. But when they have this other skill, when they’re like, you know, secretly, like not every Ellen DeGeneres is good at being the star of the show, Ellen, you know. But she fucking was, by the way. Well, if you ever watch that show, Ellen was hilarious on that show. But anyway, yes, of course, I’m rooting for Aida and we miss her and stuff. And stardom was always deeply in the fucking cards for her, so I almost resentfully sat by with my Winston cigarette as I watched this girl ascend to.
Ira Madison III Last note on that Ellen fix since we started with Ellen and we’re booked in with her now that, you know, like the show is over. And I would honestly be fine with an Ellen return, you know? But you know what I’d like to see? Bring the sitcom back.
Louis Virtel I would like. I would love for her to do it now
Ira Madison III Do it streaming and have it right now and like make jokes about how, like, people thought she was a bitch and just be this is like over it be the angry lesbian that I know she is. Angry at how like people have treated her. Angry about like how she had to become an ice queen to make it in the year, like to make it in Hollywood. Like I want to see that Ellen. It’s only just because we were joking before, you know, but like, you know, like Ellen and Neil Patrick Harris have always sort of been are like two like gays, that it’s like they came out around that same sort of like era. They’re like the stalwarts. It’s like if you mentioned like famous gay man, it’s like Neil. If you mentioned famous lesbian. It’s like Ellen. And I feel like he’s had his, you know, like Uncoupled. You know, there there’s just been this moment of seeing, like, a new side of him. And, like, I don’t know, I want to see a new side of Ellen DeGeneres. Maybe that’s controversial, but I don’t know. I’d like to see it. She was a great actress.
Louis Virtel No, I would like to see her version of Hacks, which is to say, like, I’ve been in the industry for a long time, I know the ups and downs and now you get to be as world weary as I am. You know, I.
Ira Madison III Roseanne without the racism.
Louis Virtel Yes, right.
Ira Madison III And Q and oddness.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. Yeah. And being completely, utterly insane, irrevocably.
Ira Madison III But yeah, you know, a white trash Riddler, as I like to refer to Roseanne, but.
Louis Virtel My favorite Gretchen Wilson album.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Oh, well, that’s our show this week.
Louis Virtel Yeah, it was a lot of show. I hope you can handle it all.
Ira Madison III Yeah. We’ll see you next week. Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord. Our executive producers are Ira Madison III.
Louis Virtel And Louis Virtel.
Ira Madison III Our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.
Louis Virtel Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.