In This Episode
Ira and Louis discuss Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic and the musician’s place in pop culture, Lil Nas X’s beef with BET, and what the hell is going on with the Barbie movie. Plus, Jenny Slate joins to discuss Marcel the Shell with the Shoes On, visiting Isabella Rossellini’s farm, and the joys of voice acting.
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Ira Madison III: And we’re back, it’s another episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison III.
Louis Virtel: I’m disappointed, too. I’m Louis Virtel. Welcome to all of this. I threw my hands up in the air. Disappointed, despairing.
Ira Madison III: I got to tell you. We’re going to talk about Elvis this week, everyone. We’re going to talk about music and white theft. That’s probably the BET awards because that involves white theft, too.
Louis Virtel: My favorite Jimmy Cagney movie, by the way, White Theft.
Ira Madison III: My favorite Madonna song is White Theft.
Louis Virtel: Oh my God, we need to get into the true blue era. He’s referencing white heat, which would attribute itself to Jimmy Cagney. But we’re.
Ira Madison III: I was talking about Vogue.
Louis Virtel: Oh that joke? Yeah. The True Blue non singles. Yes, yes. The True Blue non single’s really full of bubblegum endorphins. For all time, I was also just listening to Jody Watley’s 80s output, which sounds a lot like True Blue. So this has been on my mind.
Ira Madison III: I was actually thinking about you. Yes. The other day when I saw my friend Lucas’s uncle, Bruce Barzee, who you might know at this party, and he was wearing a vintage, like, Madonna Erotica shirt.
Louis Virtel: Hmm. I will never forget when I interviewed Lady Gaga for The Advocate in 2008, I was her first interview for The Advocate, and I said to her at the time, she was like a known Madonna fan. And we’re just talking about Madonna and interviews. This is, of course, a far away long ago era. This is not the same era we live in now. But I said, What’s your favorite Madonna era? And she goes, Mm, Erotica. Because they couldn’t even play it at 2:30 in the morning. They had to play it at 2:30 in the morning. And I remember thinking at the time, Oh, she actually does know she’s she’s like, watch the MTV behind the scenes documentaries and stuff. She’s really up to date on Madonna. So that’s kept me impressed with Lady Gaga ever since.
Ira Madison III: You know, they only ever air Keep It at 2:30 in the mornings. On on podcast one.
Louis Virtel: Oh, that’s about it. Right next to 120 minutes. What other what other shows would be out in the middle of the night on MTV Undressed.
Ira Madison III: Speaking of another Madonna connection, we’re interviewing Jenny Slate today, who has her latest film, Marcel the Shell with the Shoes On. And Isabella Rossellini is in that film. And Isabella Rossellini is in The Sex Book.
Louis Virtel: As she should be. The Sex Book would be incomplete without her. I was, by the way, at San Francisco Pride over the weekend and my friend Yohn Hatchell, who is a Twitter gay, nice guy.
Ira Madison III: I love Yohn.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, he’s a huge Kiley fan, but he’s also a huge Madonna fan. And in his living room, he had The Sex Book open and the picture that was on his coffee table for everybody to see is Madonna, like chewing on a guy’s ass. And I just want to say, among the ways she was ahead of her time putting ass eating out there as an MC, eating a dude’s ass, I mean, that that took like 23 years after that to get into vogue.
Ira Madison III: I think I think there needs to be some sort of reunion of everyone who’s in The Sex book.
Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah, Big Daddy Kane and Tony Ward. All those models that are in the book.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I love whenever, like, whatever, Twitter, like rediscovers, like Big Daddy Cane, like being in the book, but also being like, sexy in that period.
Louis Virtel: Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Helen Mirren’s a big fan of The Sex Book. That’s when I became a Helen Mirren fan, and she said, But I don’t know exactly what she was doing then. By the way, I’ve taken notes recently. We’ve been told we talk about Madonna way too much on this podcast and we are literally launching right into classic Madonna. So fuck you. I like who we are.
Ira Madison III: People have had it.
Louis Virtel: Right. I mean, I sort of agree.
Ira Madison III: Well, we’re going to talk about Elvis this week. We’re going to talk about Baz Luhrmann, our favorite director.
Louis Virtel: You need to not say that to me while I’m sitting right here. I, I can’t hit you with a rolling pin from here.
Ira Madison III: You know, I go back and forth on this man, and I used to call him the worst director because I rediscovered that I hate Moulin Rouge years later. Turns out you were right Michael Murray, when you borrowed by DVD of Moulin Rouge in high school, returned it like 12 years later and then were like, it was bad.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, it’s only the Nicole performance I enjoy. But for instance, like the smells like Teen Spirit version, the Like A Virgin. I just. I know there are gay people who love this movie, but it just felt like, I don’t know, like a fancy pop up book or something with lots of colors in it. And then I’m like, okay, but let’s close the book. I don’t want to have a seizure.
Ira Madison III: Right? And then I saw Romeo and Juliet for the first time doing the pandemic. And I wish I had not.
Louis Virtel: Not good. The soundtrack’s good.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. Less said about Australia. The better.
Louis Virtel: Though there is a scene with, I believe, a kangaroo in it, or there’s a scene with a car accident early on where Nicole gets to do hard, broad, borderline commedia dell’arte acting and that I support.
Ira Madison III: But Elvis, I think I like it. So we’re going to get into that.
Louis Virtel: I’ll reserve my opinion until it is time for me to have the opinion, but we’ll get into it.
Ira Madison III: Okay. Well, we will be right back.
Speaker 3 With more Keep It.
Ira Madison III: This week on What A Day Tre’vell interviews Pepper Mint of Drag Race and finds out if she’d ever compete on All-Stars. The suspense is killing us.
Louis Virtel: Plus, Joan Jett Black and Taylor Alexander stopped by to talk about drag as political action. Listen to new episodes of What A Day weekday mornings wherever you get your podcasts.
Ira Madison III: Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic opened this weekend, beating out Top Gun Maverick to the top of the box office and earning mostly positive reviews, especially for Austin Butler’s performance. It’s the latest dizzying music filled film from Lerman. And we have thoughts. I first want to say. Film is back.
Louis Virtel: Go on, Indiewire.com. What do you mean?
Ira Madison III: I will say though, that apparently this weekend was like one of the first weekends where the four top films made over 20 million at the box office. Oh, that’s the last time it happened since 2018.
Louis Virtel: So, okay, I am humbled by that. And also, by the way, I want to say that I’m very surprised that Top Gun lost out to Elvis, because I was just thinking the cultural memory of Elvis, I feel, has taken a major hit in the past 15 years. For instance, when I was in high school or younger, you would grow up and see, you know, maybe a family member even would have collectible Elvis memorabilia or, you know, there’d be commercials for Elvis compilations. When we were in high school, there was the Elvis number one’s collection with Junkie XL remix of A Little Less Conversation that we still love, right? What a great remix. But I just don’t feel like there are many inroads to knowing who Elvis even was anymore. Like, I think you’d be hard pressed to find somebody under the age of 25 who knows about you. Couldn’t they had the thumbs up from the waist up on Ed had Sullivan or, you know, even where the phrase “Elvis has left the building” has come from. So the fact that we’re getting this movie now at a time where I feel like the entire memory of the 1950s has to do with either a kind of Pleasantville vision of suburbia or Mad Men or.
Ira Madison III: Water hoses.
Louis Virtel: It’s interesting. Yes. So I’m pleased we get an Elvis movie. I guess we did have Being The Ricardos recently, too. But for instance, Marilyn Monroe, that’s an image people still remember. And Elvis, I feel like is has just withered a bit.
Ira Madison III: But we need Kim K to start walking around wearing Elvis’ suits.
Louis Virtel: I mean, don’t give her ideas. I mean, sounds like she’ll just do it.
Ira Madison III: I will say, actually, speaking of one of those, what are the most iconic moments of someone like doing an Elvis sort of like thing with one of his suits was I feel like people watching this film are maybe even too young to remember that the type when Britney did her first Vegas show and she was wearing the well, Elvis all white suit.
Louis Virtel: Oh, right. I totally forgot about that.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. And that would have been a reference to him back when we were still constantly making references to him. And it’s it excited me like looking up Elvis stuff after this. I always love doing that after a biopic. Mostly because you get to remember that pop culture is always referencing itself. Like you may think that like we talk about it now in a way that like, people didn’t discuss it before, but they did. And you you think of like Colonel Parker, and we’ll get into the Tom Hanks portrayal of this man, which is unhinged to put it lightly.
Louis Virtel: You know what it’s giving to me? We already brought up Goosebumps this episode. I’ll bring up another nineties favorite of this podcast he was giving Dr. Vink from Are you Afraid of the Dark with who just shows up, huh?
Speaker 3 Yeah. Yeah.
Louis Virtel: He’s showing up with an amulet and. And tempting you with something strange. Like, I didn’t realize Colonel Tom Parker was so, like Maria Ouspenskaya-esque, you know, like a strange gypsy woman here, too, and tends to ensnare Elvis.
Ira Madison III: But I was looking up, like, references to Colonel Parker. Right. And apparently there’s, like, this, like, even like an old Flintstones episode where you remember the Flintstones episode where Fred records an album. Like a single. He records a single, and then, like, he becomes like a like a pop star briefly. And like, there’s, like a Colonel Parker-esque character who becomes his manager. So, like, even in like 1961, like, people knew who Elvis’s manager was and were making fun of him in, like, an animated cartoon for kids.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. That seems very Animaniacs of the Flintstones. I’m surprised they had the gall and the nerve.
Ira Madison III: I feel like every old Flintstones episode is actually a pop culture reference to something that was going on at the time.
Louis Virtel: Well, of course, the entire show is, you know, Jackie Gleason was considering suing because it’s just a rip off of The Honeymooners and every and every way, it’s just The Honeymooners.
Ira Madison III: But first, let’s talk about Austin Butler, who I thought was fucking amazing. And I would say there’s not enough of him in the movie.
Louis Virtel: Yes. To me, this movie has the problem that and I’m sorry to do this, I just brought up Madonna that Evita has, where it feels like it’s all music video and fast segways and you never feel like you’re just in a scene with the with the person the movie is supposed to be about. Like you never feel like you’re getting to the heart of Elvis. You’re just. Watching a montage of Elvis.
Ira Madison III: I would almost relate it to Luhrmann’s Great Gatsby, you know, where you have this narrator talking about, you know, Leo’s character, which makes sense because that’s how the book is actually written. But Tom Hanks is narrating this entire fucking movie and you’re getting all this back story about him. And I’m like, Can I just watch a movie about Elvis?
Louis Virtel: Yeah, because you also don’t get really a fully dimensional take on Colonel Tom Parker either. You just understand that he’s a scheming, manipulative, so-called snowman who ensnares Elvis. That’s it. You don’t get to like. And at the end, he’s sick. You know, there’s nothing more interesting there. There’s you know, the dynamic doesn’t really deepen between that character and Elvis either. But to me, this movie.
Ira Madison III: The Snowman, as he’s referred to, every time they say snow job in the movie, I kept thinking of stepmom.
Louis Virtel: Right. Austin Butler. Yes, he’s good. There’s something about the way Austin Butler looks, where he does resemble Elvis in certain ways, and I think in particular, they really nail it during the Elvis comeback years. So late sixties. I think in particular he does. But there’s something about the way he looks where it’s just it’s odd and also extremely off to compare it to another Tom Hanks movie, The Polar Express. There’s something life-like and Elvis-like about him. And then also he’s like a totally different person, he looks like. Now we call this Adore Delano, but who used to be Danny Noriega on American Idol? That’s who he kept looking like to me.
Ira Madison III: Hmm. Yeah. I thought the performance was good. And I just do wish that we had more scenes with Austin Butler, because I feel like there’s moments where he’s really tapped into the role, like, he is so, like, really into Elvis. And it makes sense because the entire press tour was giving you Gaga, A Star Is Born, right? And Gaga at Gaga at the House of Gucci, which is which is actually hilarious because the end of the movie, I did not realize that Elvis was once being considered to be the Kris Kristofferson role in A Star Is Born.
Louis Virtel: And Death took that opportunity away from him. But what really should have taken it away from him is that it’s the world’s longest fucking movie. And it is also terrible. And I blame Barbra.
Ira Madison III: Can you imagine if he had been in that?
Louis Virtel: I mean, he would have been a better actor than Kris Kristofferson, as my dad will tell you, if that was that’s my dad’s one pop culture sticking point is that Kris Kristofferson was such a bad actor, and we put him in tons of movies at the time.
Ira Madison III: But the movie truly just sort of ignores the character that you came to see. I think like it feels very Baz Luhrmann in that he has A.D.D. and has to focus on everything else that’s happening and all the music and all the spectacle and some interesting way to get into the story. But Tom Hanks in this fat suit as Colonel Parker was the most absurd thing I have seen on screen in quite some time. It is simultaneously worse. And somehow more mesmerizing than Jared Leto at House of Gucci.
Louis Virtel: Yes. Well, I will say it’s a little bit. It’s not as extreme as Jared Leto in House of Gucci, but it is jarring.
Ira Madison III: Where does the accent come from?
Louis Virtel: No, you’re telling me that’s how Colonel Tom Parker talked?
Ira Madison III: It is not. It is not. I watch video clips that is not outside of Tom Parker talks.
Louis Virtel: It makes no sense. And also, just a weird role for Tom Hanks to take. Ultimately, I don’t feel like it taps into the best of his abilities. You know, I think of great Tom Hanks roles and I think of empathy or I guess just that that’s what he brings. And in this role, I needed like a slightly more menacing quality, I think. I think I needed to be a little bit more afraid of Tom Parker in this movie.
Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. I feel like it’s a bit like Road to Perdition, where he’s playing against type, where he plays like a mobster in that film. But it’s so out of left field, and it feels like it’s like nothing really commits in it, because we also don’t know anything about this man. I had to like Google after to find out like how he was born in the Netherlands and illegally immigrated to the U.S., but like never fully got his citizenship here, but renounced his Netherlands citizenship. So he sort of was like a man with no country.
Louis Virtel: Mm hmm. I think also, this movie just needed to have a little bit more to say about Elvis. I’m glad that we went through all the eras, because obviously we got musical performances and just all these songs that are really great. Obviously, Elvis’s music is great, but I feel like the best version of this movie would have just focused on the comeback era where because then when you get, first of all, the best Elvis special where he’s on that square stage in the round and people are, you know, cheering for him as he brings back all these old hits and he’s not a has been anymore. You also get the crux of his relationship with Colonel Tom Parker, who’s, you know, trying to force him into making a Christmas special, into performing these very safe songs. And Elvis is, you know, turning all these famous other hits on their head and creating a whole new generation of fans for himself. I think maybe if we had just focused on that, we would have gotten a more complete story, because otherwise, what does this movie have to say about Elvis? It’s saying he got popular. And by the way, it has nothing to say about how fast he got popular other than he did know B.B. King and he did know Rosetta Tharpe. So there was some relationship with black artists that’s important to him.
Ira Madison III: Let’s get into that.
Louis Virtel: Yeah.
Ira Madison III: This movie.
Louis Virtel: You would think it was midnight in Paris. The way he was mingling with these people.
Ira Madison III: Which which is. Which is actually not true with how he actually related to B.B. King. We get it. Like they would have met a couple of times. I’ve read I read up about it, but they weren’t just like hanging out at the local blues store, doing, you know, like like bebop with each other. And I do want to say that an Elvis film should explore, obviously, what we now know about Elvis, with that he took, you know, like music and recordings like that, black people had done, you know, and like was able to be successful and popular because he was white. I think that the film touches on that and I think obviously, you know, like Elvis was supremely talented as well, but it doesn’t really touch on that and like what it means in terms of just like the music industry. And it instead becomes this weird film where he’s this like white kid who like stumbles into like a Baptist church, you know, and then like is like taken over by the music. It was sort of like the opening of Eyes of Tammy Faye. I’m tired of seeing this scene in films where, like, the young kid wanders into church and then all of a sudden is taken over by the Holy Spirit. And then it felt absurd where there are turning points in Elvis’ life that are just like. Black. Like black things happening in the world are sort of like the impetus for growing, particularly when he is sobbing to Martin Luther King being shot. And it’s sort of like helping propel him into who he wants to be artistically. And then when RFK is shot and it propels him again, even though RFK was actually shot during rehearsals. And so that actually did shake him a bit. But there just seem to be so many moments, you know, where like it feels like MLK and like the civil rights movement and all this turmoil is, you know, like weighing on Elvis’s soul and making him become the musician he’s supposed to be.
Louis Virtel: Well, also, I would say this is a movie about Elvis periodically watching the news. That’s what it is. You know. Like I’m messing with the guitar here and turning to my left. Oh, MLK. He always said the right thing. Like what? That’s what you have to say about MLK, by the way. I don’t know if he was talking to anybody in particular during that scene. I mean, it was hilarious, right?
Ira Madison III: And then the moment about Colonel Parker feels like one of those Republicans on Twitter who always likes to use one of the random older quotes of MLK, that sort of aligns with what they have to say when he leaves the room. He’s like, you know, MLK said rock and roll was evil.
Louis Virtel: Right. People say lots of stuff. You can use whatever they say to justify wherever you’re coming from.
Ira Madison III: I’m sure I said before Phoebe Dobson was evil at some point in 2002.
Louis Virtel: Right when she was a threat to take over. I remember it was Pink versus Phoebe Dobson and you know the world went one way. Oh, well, let’s just talk about the music for a second, though. Do you have a favorite Elvis song they featured at the end? They played In The Ghetto, which I think is one of Elvis’s crowning achievements. And I’m glad that we got a basically an entirely full performance of Suspicious Minds.
Ira Madison III: I love Suspicious Minds, but Suspicious Minds is one of my favorite fucking songs and I think it’s beautiful. I actually I’m shocked that we didn’t hear much of Blue Suede Shoes. And I was I was sometimes I think, does Blue Velvet is Blue Velvet an Elvis song? Or is Blue Suede Shoes an Elvis song? And mostly Blue Velvet was a Lana Del Rey cover of the. Wasn’t it originally Tony Bennett song?
Louis Virtel: But there’s several versions.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, I mean, whenever like, Lana Del Ray was policing something I just always assume it used to be an Elvis song.
Louis Virtel: Also, Blue Suede Shoes, the rare case of Elvis lifting from a white artist. Because that was a Carl Perkins song originally.
Ira Madison III: But I don’t know. I mean, there’s some others. I mean, I’m glad we didn’t hear All Shook Up.
Louis Virtel: You’re glad we didn’t hear it?
Ira Madison III: I’m glad we didn’t hear it because I think, you know, I’m still haunted by that stage production.
Louis Virtel: Oh, of course. Is that also the one that maybe Celine Dion covered once upon a time?
Ira Madison III: Oh, no,she wore an Elvis suit while doing You Shook Me all night Long.
Louis Virtel: Okay. Well, then that’s her fault, Drama. She messed up. As a historian, I’m disoriented now. Also, do you know what? I kind of wish they’d gotten into more. And I just want to say it’s an extremely long movie, so there had to have been time somehow. But Elvis’s movie career, like after he comes back from Germany, after he comes back from being drafted. I needed to see Ann-Margret in this film a little bit. I needed to see, uh, do you know who Carolyn Jones is? She played Morticia Addams in the original Addams Family. She had she did a movie with him called King Creole, which I think is probably the best Elvis performance and maybe movie. But I would have loved to see her haunted ass face in this movie. She’s also an Oscar nominee nominated for The Bachelor Party, one of the first Paddy Chayefsky written films. But I mean, honestly, honestly, if this movie were truncated, I think I would maybe even consider giving it a thumbs up.
Ira Madison III: It’s very long. It’s very long.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, it’s kitchen sink-y. Yeah. And Wikipedia-y.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, it’s very long. And yet also doesn’t include enough where I need the Priscilla film. How do you leave out the fact that Priscilla was having an affair with Elvis’ karate instructor? How do you keep that out and that he hires. He thought about hiring a hitman to kill the instructor and that’s why he knows karate as he was doing, you know, in the special and then later does it when like someone runs up on stage after him. And also I need the Priscilla film just to take place after Elvis’s death for when she was on Dallas for five years.
Louis Virtel: That should just be a movie. Priscilla Presley on Dallas for five years. Let’s just get into that many series. And also, again, there really should be a in the maybe post-credit sequence in this movie. They should go through explaining how it is Riley Keough, Elvis’s granddaughter, is such a good actress because it simply doesn’t make sense compared to what Elvis would bring on the silver screen, generally speaking.
Ira Madison III: One of the shocks, by the way, was seeing Dacre Montgomery from Stranger Things, who was so hot playing Steve Binder, who was, you know, Elvis’s like collaborator on the 68 special. But he also directed Diana Ross Live in Central Park.
Louis Virtel: Oh, is that the one where it’s raining on her?
Ira Madison III: Yes.
Louis Virtel: One of the unbelievable heroic performances of our time. You got to YouTube that if you’re unfamiliar.
Ira Madison III: I love where they used to play that like in gay bars all the time. But you know what? We’ve lost our history.
Louis Virtel: But we do. We need to support specifically these gay bars. And I’m thinking of one in Palm Springs. I’m pretty sure I brought it up recently that just put yeah. Quadz that just plays VHS tapes or converted VHS tapes to CDs of old television specials. You know, I’m talking about Granny Liza with a Z bars. That’s what.
Ira Madison III: He also directed the Star Wars holiday special.
Louis Virtel: Legendaric. A word I would rarely say.
Ira Madison III: Where is Steve Binder’s biopic?
Louis Virtel: So in short, the movie does have some good things going on, but it also has 7000 other things going on. And one of them really isn’t a meaty role for Austin.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. I mean listen, I thought he ate, but I would like to. I would I would have liked him to have a full meal, you know?
Louis Virtel: Yes. Yes. He just it was just a peanut butter and banana sandwich. You know, it was. That’s not going to fill you up.
Ira Madison III: It was past apps, okay. Like Baz Lurhmann was handing out canopes and there was a whole there was a whole fucking of like turkey in the back. Okay. There was mac of cheese. There were other side dishes, but Baz Lurhmann is never interested in that.
Louis Virtel: No. In fact, I can just fully say I just don’t make his filmography. I brought up before how his greatest accomplishment as Elizabeth Debicki’s performance in The Great Gatsby. But something about Moulin Rouge, even like Strictly Ballroom after 20 minutes, how do you not get it already? Like you like he delivers on a vibe and delivers on a kind of frenetic, thrillingly random thing. And then he keeps doing that. Like, You can’t keep being random. You have to, like, settle into something. You have to, I don’t know, endear us a little bit as opposed to just, you know, throttle us with spectacle, which is his only mode of artistry.
Ira Madison III: I feel like maybe he should do like short films or something, if only because even when he was doing television, like. The pilot for the Get Down, which, you know, I loved parts of the Get Down. But like even that is like sort of all over the place, you know? And it’s just. I have just come to the conclusion that I don’t think is a great director. I think he does. Yeah, he does vibe the music, the music montages, the elements are always fucking fantastic. But when he has to deliver drama, anything with like a dramatic weight or purpose, when there’s no music playing it, it’s it’s useless.
Louis Virtel: I also think our country is still in debt from what The Get Down cost. So I blame him for our current economic struggles. Gases. Gas prices are up because of Baz Luhrmann securing the rights to whatever funk classic you had at the beginning of The Get Down.
Ira Madison III: Favorite moments did include Elvis sitting on the Hollywood sign to clear his mind.
Louis Virtel: That was so out of like an Apple commercial starring Elvis.
Louis Virtel: And also, by the way, I do want to be clear. Elvis takes a meeting at the Hollywood sign.
Ira Madison III: Yes.
Louis Virtel: Where e talks about it’s when the comeback special is about to happen. And he’s sitting there remarking on why. When I first came to Hollywood, I used to sit up here and think of being James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. And then that comes up a couple of times in this movie. And then he asks whoever these people are to comment that his career is in the toilet. And then he says, I knew I liked you. And then they become collaborators.
Ira Madison III: Also, Elvis wants to fuck his mother in this film.
Louis Virtel: Yes, they have a very close relationship.
Ira Madison III: Their faces are always rubbing against one another in scenes. And I was like, What is going on here?
Louis Virtel: Yeah. Also, his childhood was just exactly nightmare alley. Right up and down. It’s a misty carnival where, you know, freaks in the background and a little bit of debauchery. It’s like when the night when Nightmare Alley came out, Baz had to be like, Damn it, bitch. That was my thing.
Ira Madison III: I’m still giving it a thumbs up. I love that we’ve just shifted into at the movies now.
Louis Virtel: I’m totally down for it. Please. You ever just watch Siskel and Ebert? Oh, my God. It’s so watchable.
Ira Madison III: Can we backdoor Keep It to an At The Movies, reboot?
Louis Virtel: I think that’s easy. I mean, who’s doing that right now? Come on, I pick us.
Ira Madison III: But no thumbs up from you. Do you give it one of those old middle thumbs?
Louis Virtel: There’s a Sesame Street episode, if I’m not mistaken with Siskel and Ebert, where Ebert tries flying the half thumb or a thumbs halfway up. And it doesn’t go over well with Gene, as you can imagine. Do I give it a half way up? I would say thumbs down just because I don’t know. Nothing was lasting about it ultimately. Like everything Baz Luhrmann does is just a, you know, a glittery cookie you throw down the hatch.
Ira Madison III: I think it’s I think it’s something to experience. I don’t know if I don’t know if it’s a amazing film, it’s not. But I would suggest that anyone see this in theaters. It feels like cinema to me, even though it is a mess.
Louis Virtel: Okay, so you’re all over the place as usual, but going with thumbs up. Ultimately, you love mess.
Ira Madison III: I do.
Louis Virtel: The saint, Maria Kondo.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. When we’re back, we’re joined by the immaculate Jenny Slate.
Ira Madison III: You’ve seen her in so many things Parks and Rec, The Crawl Show, Obvious Child, and heard her iconic and very lovely and soothing voice in Bob’s Burgers, Zootopia, Q Force. And now she’s returning to her breakout role as Marcel the Shell with Shoes On? Don’t be suspicious. It’s Jenny Slate. Welcome to Keep It.
Jenny Slate: Hi. Thank you for having me. Don’t be suspicious. Indeed. Don’t be.
Ira Madison III: I truly, though your voice is the most soothing thing I’ve ever heard. It’s like I want. I want more than Marcel. I want. I want books on tape. I want I just. I want, like, a more podcast things. I want. I just want to listen to your voice at all times.
Jenny Slate: Jeez. And I want all those compliments. So let’s get in the business together. I it’s so funny, I. That’s so nice to hear. And also, i. I. When I was little, like, not because I liked how my voice sounded, but I just thought it was fascinating that you could, you could, like, hear yourself and hear something new that you didn’t think about when you were speaking and you thought you knew everything. I used to record myself all the time doing like really boring what, you know, like, what I thought would be shows for adults, but they would be like cooking radio shows, which maybe those exist now, but it would be like long instructions on how to cook something that I didn’t know how to cook, so it’d also be gross.
Louis Virtel: When you were a little kid, would people come up to you and just be like, you have an amazingly resonant voice, let’s figure out something to do with it? Or is this a talent you developed on your own? Because as I’m sitting here listening to you, I’m just clutching the desk in front of me and enjoying it so much. So I’m sorry if that’s creepy. It’s true, though.
Jenny Slate: No, it’s not. Nobody ever said that to me growing up. And in fact, I never, ever thought about being like a voice actor or anything like that or radio person, I guess, you know where you like. You hear Terry Gross and her beautiful voice, and I never thought about it. I stumbled into my first voice work. I kind of still don’t know how I got my first job, like voice acting job, which was in the movie The Lorax. I mean, honestly, this is such a bat, like a sort of a what is it a pessimistic thing to say or cynical? But I guess I must have been part of a package I actually really don’t know. I’m like, why am I in this movie? At that at that time in my career? I mean, now I think, yes, I’ve done a lot of work and I proved myself. But at the time it was like The Lorax starring like Danny DeVito and Taylor Swift and Zac Efron and Betty White. And they were like, and Jenny. It was odd, but I obviously didn’t bat an eye. It had a general with like, like, you know, a preliminary meeting for those who aren’t in the industry, a general meeting a.k.a a date with a stranger from your industry where you talk about professional things. I’m the only one in the world who likes general meetings, but I love them. And I talked to this really nice lady, and and then I ended up getting a part. So maybe it’s from that. Maybe.
Ira Madison III: I used to like them when you know pre-pandemic the general meetings and set the stage for people listening where you would you know hop in the car and just like you get like I don’t know where you lived, but like I would I lived with like West Hollywood. There was a period where I was living like Virgil Village. But it’s like every place that you are assigned to have a meeting ends up being in Santa monica or Burbank.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. Studio City, right?
Ira Madison III: Yeah. So it’s just I enjoyed, you know, the the journey of being in the car alone. And then you get there and you do meet a stranger. And it truly is like dating a stranger in your industry in the sense that you have that first date you’d never see or hear from this person again, even though they’re like, We got to work together, we’ve got to do something together. And then six years later you’ll be like working on something, and that person will be like, Oh, hey, I remember you.
Jenny Slate: Yeah, yeah. I mean, I find it’s real. First of all, I know exactly what you’re talking about. I love the long drive because also in that time, especially if you’re meeting someone who’s like whatever, like important in one, like they run a, they run a company that they make a lot of movies. There’s something it’s really important in the car ride to like listen to the songs that remind you of yourself, you know, in the coolest way and make you feel really good. And I like to sing really loud, get some energy out. And it’s I always found it to be to be pretty fun. And then I actually think they are fruitful. But it’s just an exercise in patience. It really is like somebody I had a general meeting with like five years ago. Now I’m doing like a couple projects with them, but it’s and I mean almost everything now that I enjoy in my career took a long, a long, long, long, long time. Like I made my comedy special after doing about like 15 years of stand up. And I made the Marcel movie after 12 years of co-creating that character. And, you know, like, everything kind of seems to take me a long time in including getting jobs from a general.
Louis Virtel: Now, here’s my problem with generals. I found I would always enjoyed, like the quote unquote interview and the conversation and the date like atmosphere of it. But then inevitably you get to the part of the conversation with the like, so what are you into right now? And I would say like the TV I liked and maybe it’s just I was meeting with too many men, but I would say I loved this show like Lady Dynamite with Maria Bamford. And it was like it was and it was like I had said, Oh, I love the works of Leni Riefenstahl. Like people like, if you didn’t say the number one most popular show. You were completely freaking them out.
Jenny Slate: Yeah, yeah. You kind of like, that is true. But I also there is no point in being there, at least for me, if if I’m to show something that doesn’t really exist, you know, like I would much rather go in there and be like, Oh, by the way, I also love Lady Dynamite, and I play the therapist on that show who has sex with her brother.
Ira Madison III: Yeah.
Jenny Slate: Or I don’t know if they go all the way, but they’re definitely there and they’re definitely doing some stuff. But played by Jason Mantzoukas, who’s incredible. But I think it’s better to say what your true references are as a creative person because. Because if not, then you then they end up calling you for something. If they do something that you really don’t want to do. And then you have to insult them. And at least for me, I live I have lived with the guilt that like I misrepresented myself or what I was interested in just to be included. And like, who? What a fool’s errand that is. That’ll slam you down in the end, really?
Ira Madison III: I want to talk about the process at getting Marcel from, you know, this short like 12 years ago to like a feature like film now. First of all, it’s beautiful. I told a friend. I told a friend I was seeing it, my friend, Juan. And he was like, I laughed, I cried. It was so emotional. And then I did all of those things. So it’s really a lovely film, but like where has your mind been with I create this character years ago and then I’m going to decide to make a film out of it. But also the process is going to take so long.
Jenny Slate: I think it’s a little bit of of what I was just saying, but then also really boosted by Dean Fleischer Camp, who I co-created this character with, and he directed the film and we co-wrote it with Nick Haley. I, I think he is like a very, very good example of, of a true artist and. And it works really well because we have really different personalities like Dean is, he’s really in terms of what he wants to do and what what work he thinks is quality. He’s really uncompromising and that helped me to, in my own way, adopt that belief system and and figure out how to stay there. But I think it comes from being satisfied at first. Like we really liked the character, we really liked how he was and we liked his world. And so when we were presented with really just conversations from studios and stuff like How do you maybe we’ll make this into a movie? And I don’t remember those, those pathways really feeling like they worked for us. And it wasn’t a discussion at the time. But I think one thing that we knew is either we won’t make a movie and we would have to be fine with that and just keep making shorts and and try to be happy that way. Or we will. And it just won’t be a traditional process. You know, you cannot ask for everything. And I think the process also was long because we were moving through like really, really real feelings that we were both trying to understand as, as different people and. It just everyone’s like, oh my gosh, you know, the movie took seven years to make. And it’s not like every day you’re on like day 30 and you’re looking forward to year seven and being like, How are we going to do this? Like looking up from the bottom of the mountain. It’s more like a general. Like, I’d like to travel the world. Hopefully I will. And you go like place by like moment by moment by moment. It’s not it didn’t feel, at least to me, like my patience was running out or that I was strenuous. And also there’s like lots of different artists involved in the film itself.
Louis Virtel: Speaking of nontraditional choices and a nontraditional journey, I have to bring up two words that I feel are very important in regards to this film and they are Isabella Rossellini Yeah, there are very few celebrities nowadays who it’s not that she’s intimidating, actually, it’s the opposite. It’s that she has a regality, but also seems rad like she comes from the Ingrid Bergman universe. But she also seems to want to hang. And like, you know, her Instagram is full of life. She’s, you know, just a cool, unusual celebrity. And I thought I was wondering, how did she get involved with this?
Jenny Slate: Isabella is that kind of like living bridge from before to now? And not just because, like, she’s here, but she also remembers, you know, Hollywood in her in her own mother, Ingrid Bergman Stein But but that also she, like, just learns and learns and learns and learns all the time. She’s always reaching for what interests her. And, you know, we thought it would be it was a very, very huge wish that she would be in the movie. But I don’t think we really thought we would get her at all. And then I think her agents brought her the treatment. We didn’t we didn’t start with the script. Although one ended there ended up being a script after improvising and writing and improvising and writing and editing and improvising, writing, whatever. Isabella just saw the treatment, like the long form paragraph document of what we thought the movie would be about. And she said that she had no idea who Marcel the Shell was at all, so she was not a fan. And her kids were and her children told her, You should really do this. And that astounds me that as Isabella Rossellini, she came to our, you know, like where we were recording, which was like a a house that we rented in Silver Lake where Dina and I both lived. And like, we lived in that neighborhood and and and rented a house there, and that’s where we recorded. And and she just showed up there and like ordered Postmates with us. Like, that is the story. She was just willing to really do it how we were doing it. And that is. Incredible. We never even thought that far ahead. You know, when we thought, let’s ask Isabella, we weren’t like, Oh, right. And then she’ll like show up here where we’re in, like weird outfits and have microphones taped to our foreheads and she’ll do that with her and let our litter like dogs sit on her. Crazy.
Ira Madison III: I love the fact, too, that, like, the recording got to be, you know, more organic with her being there because I know you, we’ve both done voice acting before, you know, and it’s I hate sort of like the fact that, you know, like sometimes you’ll just be not in the room with the people that you’re working with, you know? And I want to say that Isabella Rossellini did I’m not shocked that she did this because she did. I don’t know if you know my friend Steven Dodd, who created the new Queer as Folk, but she did his movie Closet Monster, where she played.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, right.
Ira Madison III: A hampster named Buffy. And that is truly one of the moments where I was like, I love this one bit from that. And her 30 Rock character.
Louis Virtel: The big beef and cheddar.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, yeah. The big beef and cheddar line is in my head every day that it’s never going to leave it.
Jenny Slate: Nor should it. Yes. And she’s like she loves I think she thrives on the experimental. And she was like really, genuinely fascinated by how we were trying to do this movie.
Ira Madison III: Well she was married to David Lynch. So you must thrive on the experimental.
Jenny Slate: You got to be into that. She was into that and yeah you know like and we were really dedicated to having like natural sound. We never recorded in, in a studio at all. And when we were in Nana Connie, her character’s garden, we were actually at her farm, which was like, so nice of her. She made us lunch and showed us all of her animals and it’s crazy.
Ira Madison III: What is lunch from Isabella Rossellini like? Does she make you ham sandwiches? Does she make you Tostitos pizza rolls?
Jenny Slate: You know that it was a beautiful feast. It was beautiful feast. You know, like lovely salads and grained base dishes and a roasted chicken and she was at the head of the table. And we were just in her house and it’s like beautiful old to me. It it almost seemed like like a converted, like it was a farmhouse, but also just like there was so much old, like old planks and stuff, you know.
Louis Virtel: Now, do you have a favorite V.O. experience outside of the Marcel Universe because you’re so experienced but that now, and I imagine a lot of the time it’s very tedious or you’re having to get 700 takes of a single line. So I was wondering if it ever was just pleasurable and ideal.
Jenny Slate: You know, it actually almost always is. I really like it. It’s such a weird job to have. I mean, obviously I love in the past, like Bob’s Burgers and we would all be together and you know, like we would just go on crazy runs that they would never put in the show, just like me and Kristen Schaal doing whatever we wanted to do, you know. Yeah, like that that I love is the, is the ensemble thing and just the shows that are so, so funny. I mean, every time I record Bob’s Burgers or the Great North, I feel like I just ruin so many takes by laughing so hard and that I enjoy and there are just so many. It seems like a limiting performance experience or something, but it really isn’t because actually you’re just like putting everything into one tiny beam. I don’t know if you feel this way, but like that’s how I feel about it. And during the pandemic, I was I live in Massachusetts most of the time, and I was newly pregnant and I hadn’t told anyone about that. And it sort of felt like a double isolation in a way. And so to be able to go into my little linen closet here and just still do my acting basically was was a major lifeline for me. Yeah. Yeah. I love it.
Ira Madison III: It’s it’s a really fun and like weird muscle to work out because, you know, like you said, like listening to your voice and discovering new things. I think Louis and I have both gone through the process of I used to hate listening to anything that involved me. And then there’s also the point when you have to get used to what you hear in your head is completely different from what other people hear. And like this voice doesn’t exist. It’s because it’s rattling some time in your skull or something. How do you practice or flex the muscle of coming up with different voices, coming up with different ways for your voice to sound and like, do you record it and then like listen to how it sounds or do you just go with I feel like it sounds different.
Jenny Slate: There is so much that gets lost like and with my stand up to like there’s just so much that gets lost. I did I did start recording my stand up a few years ago, like four years ago because I was like. Someone would be like, Remember that thing you said? And I would just be like, No, I don’t. And now I’ll never know what it was. And it’s so annoying because this is actually my job, but then you know what I mean? But then the second part of that is that, yeah, this is my job, but the only reason why I have it is because it’s like an extension of how I’m like, like playful as a person. And so that’s how it always starts, is like seeing a weird object or finding my body in a weird posture or finding myself in a really weird situation and then finding a like a voice to match that. It’s weird that also I wouldn’t just use my own voice, but that’s not my that’s not my inclination. A lot of the times and I feel like Marcel is the only voice of ever created that. I’m like, I don’t really know another voice like that. Like, I haven’t it’s not I’m not mimicking anything else, everything else. I’m sort of like mimicking an accent. I’m pretty bad at, like, real accents. Like, I can’t do a real British accent, but I can do like Mrs. Doubtfire is like, hello? Like, I have nothing. I have nothing at all. But I do think at first it just comes from having fun, which is such a silly answer. But it really, really is true that like all of my best things, that or when I say my best things, the things I like the most come from either actively having fun or trying to figure out why something isn’t fun and where the the blockage or the injury is. And that is like, that’s how I know how to do it now. But I don’t record the voices when I do them, and I think it’s just too embarrassing. Like, if I come up with a new voice, I’m just not going to grab my voice memo and make a voice memo. Although I will say there’s a song in Marcel the Shell that he sings towards the end. If people haven’t heard it, I sort of don’t want to spoil the surprise because it is deeply random, but it’s a song that I recorded at like two in the morning when I was singing covers to myself as Marcel, and we were about a year into recording the movie, and I sent the voice memo to Dean and asked like, Is there any way we could use this? Because I actually think it sounds really good. But yeah, I don’t know though.
Louis Virtel: Also that’s that’s very fascinating that you sometimes just sing covers as Marcel. Do you have particular favorites that you would go to?
Jenny Slate: Oh, my gosh, I have a lot. I love Marcel because I think his singing voice is, like, better than mine, you know? Like, I really do think. And, like, I love to sing Dionne Warwick.
Louis Virtel: Oh, yes. Marcel and I have Marcel and I have that in common.
Jenny Slate: Who doesn’t? When I was a little girl and I would be like, we had water skiing at camp. I have no idea why I ever even tried it. I hate taking physical risks, but for some reason I did it and I would be behind the boat and the only thing that would cut me down is singing like, keep shining, keep smiling, keep smiling, which goes first. No, and you can always count on me. That’s What Friends Are For. That’s what I would sing behind the boat. And Marcel sings that. And I think it’s really good.
Louis Virtel: It makes me wish we got Gladys Knight and Elton in this movie, too. That’s all right.
Jenny Slate: You know, I might. My dream is like an album of covers with Marcel, but in a duet with the original artist, I think that would be, like, so cool. Yeah.
Ira Madison III: I would listen to that. That sounds really sweet.
Louis Virtel: Keep Shining should be the name of the album. Yeah. Mm hmm.
Jenny Slate: Keep Shining.
Speaker 3 Marcel and Friends.
Ira Madison III: Um, I want to ask you a bit, too, about, you know, your your stand up because, you know, you have you’ve had this project for so long and now it’s stand up still, like, I think that you enjoy as much as, you know, like I think a lot of people remember you had Big Terrific you know with Max Silvestri and Gabe Liedman and then you did your own stand up. But like is that is that a thing that you still enjoy as much? Have you been like excited to get back to it now that people are back in public spaces again? Or have you just been so focused on making this project?
Jenny Slate: Oh, no, I’m definitely excited to get back to it. I do think the pandemic was a great break for me. I am kind of that person that like even if I have a dinner planned with my favorite person and they’re like, I have to cancel, I’m like, Oh, great, I’ll just stay home and do nothing. Like, I love a cancelation. It has not. It has nothing to do ever with the person. It’s just I actually just think it’s from that weird trembling, like shyness combination, like laziness combination that I have. But I really missed standup. And not having the pandemic, you know, not having standup to do during the pandemic also means there’s a backlog of experience that I haven’t like funneled through the mic. And, and I also feel like, I don’t know, I like to try to get real. But now this stuff that I’ll be talking about in I mean, I’d like to make a next another standup special if they’ll let me if someone will let me and I, I think that what will be cool about it is that it will tell a story backwards, like from now. You know, there’s no way for me to go into a room or get up on a stage and not say like, Oh yeah, I had a baby during the pandemic. I, like exploded my vagina with a mask on. And that is something that is like I remember about myself and I kind of have to like, call it out like it’s a positive thing. It used to be that after I moved to L.A., after getting fired from SNL, that I would go into any meeting and be like, you know, I got fired and everyone would be like, We don’t care. Nobody cares about you. Nobody cares. But it’s the opposite with having a baby that they’re like, Actually, people do care and it’s a nice thing and the best thing and in general that has happened to me in my life. So I think the special would go from like having a baby, but then to kind of talk about like how I got there because my last special ended up ended with me like literally saying I’m so disappointed in all men that now I just like masturbate to the moon because there’s like nothing left. And it’s like, wait, hold on then. How did you how did you get here? And I just I’m excited to do it, but I also think I’m scared because a lot of it will be having to fashion things that are ugly to me or embarrassing or shameful into like a bit of beauty and fun. And I think that’s like why I do stand up to repurpose the things that I really say don’t belong and that I think they feel bad about me and not make fun of myself, but truly just like repurpose them, like just find a way to, to make them into something new. And, and if people can laugh at them while they also love you rather than laughing at you and ridicule, I think I think you like give it a new place to to live, you know.
Louis Virtel: Is there a particular emotional experience in that universe right now that you’re having trouble converting into comedy?
Jenny Slate: Yeah. I mean, I think I think it’s really hard to talk about feeling like you’re not enough. Like a feeling that comes from you. That like. Like when I met my husband, I was like so pumped about him. And also so I’m trying to find other words than like insecure or jealous because they weren’t about the other people. They were about me. I felt like really frightened about the like the world of social media. Like it really weirded out that at this point you can meet a total stranger and they have this weird online connection or portal that’s supposed to be innocuous to like everyone they’ve ever maybe like, slept with or known, and that they get to like still see pictures of that person like in their bikini on their like vacation to Thailand and like how weird that is. Like, like, how weird it is. But maybe it’s only weird to me and there’s something wrong with me and, you know, like starting to make jokes about, like, how painful it is to not be able to accept the way our world functions. And like, how do you build your own self-confidence when there’s also a part of you that’s like, you’re so weak, you’re so insecure, just whatever. And like, I’m, I don’t know, like, I, I’m reluctant to say any of the things that I’m toying around with because I’m still like, maybe it’s bad and I’m easily discouraged. So usually, like, the way I make a joke is to say it for the very first time on stage, the way that it comes to me, because usually that’s like how I want to please people. So I’ll, I don’t know, like so far I’ve been right on. But maybe this is when I started to truly eat shit. I don’t know. I watch all of Hacks I like, ate every episode, like, cried through every episode, love it so much, relate deeply to Jean Smart’s character. Even though I’m 40, I’m not like, like, not that far along. But yeah, I just think that things like I just want to make, I want to talk about the things that I’m that I, that I know that in my life I’ve settled now and I’m happy. I feel safe and good. And I just want to talk about what it used to be like when it was bad. Because I don’t know. From everything I’ve learned, it’s so cool to get past a fear. But you’re kind of a fool if you think it’s not going to come back and tap you on the shoulder again somewhere down the line.
Louis Virtel: Okay. Ominous yet true?
Jenny Slate: Yeah, I think so. Sorry.
Louis Virtel: Oh, like Crypt Keeper vibes.
Jenny Slate: I know that always have them a little bit. I always them a little bit. Like I’m just always my at my worst when I’m like, oh man, I thought I was over this and then it comes back.
Ira Madison III: I’m just imagining like, I had from, like, a creepy, like, Goosebumps cover. I don’t know, like.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, Goosebumps right.
Ira Madison III: Just reaching out and touching you.
Jenny Slate: Hello. Yeah. Sorry.
Ira Madison III: But I lastly just want to say that I am excited that you are included in the pantheon of people who played Harley Quinn, one of my favorite comic books so. Gaga, Margot Robbie, and you.
Jenny Slate: I know just a touch of me though just about like about seven lines. But I mean I’ll take it. I’ll take it
Ira Madison III: That might be all the lines that Gaga has in Joker Two for all. Yeah, right. It’s a musical, so who knows?
Jenny Slate: It is. I don’t know anything about what’s going on. She’s going to be in that movie. I’ll see it.
Ira Madison III: She is um.
Jenny Slate: I’ll see it.
Ira Madison III: She’s. She is. She’s in heavy talks, as they say, to be Harley Quinn opposite Joaquin Phenix in a musical sequel to Joker.
Jenny Slate: Wow. Look what they did.
Louis Virtel: It feels like something that happened at a drunk general, does it not? What if what if we had started it into a musical? You know.
Jenny Slate: It’s really I mean, and maybe it will be so wonderful. I mean, I’ll I’ll go and see it. But I didn’t know that. And also, I’ve never heard I mean, maybe I’ve heard it and I just didn’t Keep It in my mind. But the phrase heavy talks is like titillating. I would love to be in some heavy talks.
Ira Madison III: Heavy talk sounds like a eighties film starring I don’t know, like Rob Lowe and.
Louis Virtel: Steven Seagal. Heavy Talks.
Ira Madison III: Yeah, Heavy Talks of. Thank you so much for being here, Jenny. Congrats on the film. It is truly exceptional and congrats on the long journey to getting it made into a feature film finally.
Jenny Slate: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Thank you so much.
Ira Madison III: And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. Keep It. Louis, what is your Keep It?
Louis Virtel: I just want to say there’s a lot less suspense when it’s just the two of us, when we’re, like, passing the hat and we’re, you know, there were three and it was a bunch of key bits. I really felt conspiratorial. Now it just seems like two gay guys bitching, which is fine.
Ira Madison III: It works for Las Culturistas.
Louis Virtel: Does it? My Keep It this week. I don’t know why it’s fun to clown on them. They’re like my friends. I don’t know. My Keep It this week is to all of the promotional stills or just candid stills we’re getting of the Barbie movie. Not that I don’t like looking at them so far. We’ve gotten Ryan Gosling in Malibu Ken gear, bright blond hair, denim vest, plasticine abs looking cute looking like somebody’s twink husband who gets the Maltese in the divorce. But here’s the problem. We’re already getting all the candy colored looks from this movie. This movie does not come out for another fucking year. I have the weird feeling we are going to O.D. on the promo materials for this. What I’m assuming is going to be a great movie because Greta Gerwig is in charge of it. A couple of people have noted this on Twitter. It feels like we’re going to get a version of the Brady Bunch movie where the Kens and Barbies are in their own doll universe and everybody else looks at them with contempt and confusion. And I hope that’s the case because that’s obviously a really fun vibe. But man, we are still so far out from this that I just hope it’s still novel by the time it comes out. My God, 2023 words I don’t even like to say out loud, let alone realize that’s when we’re getting the fucking Barbie movie.
Ira Madison III: I’m trying to remember what other recent film had it, where it was just like we just constantly kept getting stills for it and.
Louis Virtel: Well, you know what one version was is Joker, which we have stills yet for fucking ever.
Ira Madison III: We kept seeing him, seeing him just like dancing on stairs, being like, What the fuck is happening in this film? And then we saw the film and at least we know Barbie will not be like a Todd Phillips film.
Louis Virtel: Oh, my God, no. Your lips to God’s ears. That’s like, Keep It up. Keep It up to not resembling Joker.
Ira Madison III: See you. Keep It up. There was a movie announced today, a new Pedro Almodovar film.
Louis Virtel: What. Our fave?
Ira Madison III: And it is another short film. I love him in his era of making short films now.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, he did this one recently with Tilda Swinton called The Human Voice, which is just I’m going to call it a demented take on The Sims.
Ira Madison III: This is going to be a 30 minute Western called The Strange Way of Life, which is described as his answer to Brokeback Mountain.
Louis Virtel: What? Oh, my God. First of all, that seems saucy and a little underhanded, which I love.
Ira Madison III: Mano Rios is costarring in it. Right alongside two of the only men I will allow to play gay, Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke.
Louis Virtel: Although they’re on the list. All right, I’m going. I’m going to form my own it after a certain point. Straight, man I want to see play a game who are capable of it. I guess Andrew Garfield already did it because he did it on Broadway. Has he done it on the silver screen yet?
Ira Madison III: Well, he’s done it in our apartment.
Louis Virtel: Okay. I don’t know what that means, nor will I ask.
Ira Madison III: All right, that’s that’s all of your Keep It. Just to the Barbie stills?
Louis Virtel: I just am worried we’re going to get burnt out on this Crayola wonderland. And I would prefer, you know, I think all movies should be this color, let alone just one that’s about Barbie. So I hope we still love it a year from now.
Ira Madison III: You know what I will say, as a known fagot who grew up in the era we did, never had a Barbie fascination.
Louis Virtel: Me neither. Me neither. Nor did I have even kind of like a gay curiosity about like those types of dolls. I know that’s like half of gay men’s childhoods, but I don’t know. And I can’t really explain it because I would play with, like, quote unquote action figures and stuff. Like, I had all the toys of like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Streetfighter and stuff like that. And I was obsessed with the Chun-Li doll, so there was like a a girl doll element to my childhood. But Barbie never did it for me. I guess I don’t really. I didn’t really understand what Barbie was up to, like just getting into a car sometimes. I did that already.
Ira Madison III: As she had her one black friend and her cousin Skipper. There seemed like a lot of, like, high school dynamics going on. And I already had enough to figure out like I did. Like, I remember the Barbie cartoons of things to, like, never even watch them.
Louis Virtel: No. And then there came, like, the Barbie computer games and stuff. Yeah, maybe I had three brothers. Maybe I never even allowed myself to consider that Barbie could be a part of my playtime universe because I was too busy with whatever the fuck they had bought. Lego, everything.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. I feel like I know more about the extended Malibu Stacey universe than I do Barbie.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. What’s going on there?
Ira Madison III: Maybe The Simpsons ruins Barbie for us, actually.
Louis Virtel: Mhm.
Ira Madison III: But you didn’t watch The Simpsons as a kid, so that’s not even correct for you.
Louis Virtel: Know, I, my mom made me afraid of The Simpsons. She had heard it was whatever satanic. My mom became a rad person eventually, but she was for like 10 seconds, Piper Laurie and Carrie.
Ira Madison III: That explains so much about you.
Louis Virtel: By the way is still with us, the great Piper Laurie still here. Yes. She spoke at something a couple of weeks ago. And I was like in tears hearing that she was just out and about and being cool anyway. Ira, what is your Keep It this week?
Ira Madison III: Piper Laurie is still alive. Find her on. Keep It in six weeks.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, sure. Yes. Yes.
Ira Madison III: I’m sure there’s a short there’s an older actress like AOL Message Board that they should chat on whether like, have you heard of this podcast? Keep It because they’re all just coming on it.
Louis Virtel: Right? No. Mary Kay Place is like like it’s going to be me next.
Ira Madison III: My Keep It goes to the BET Awards.
Louis Virtel: Oh, but I didn’t see them this year, and I do watch them every year routinely. I think they have the best performances.
Ira Madison III: They do usually have the best performances. I’m still just mad about the entire Little Nas X situation.
Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah.
Ira Madison III: You know, and it’s it’s not. It’s and I do want to point out that we at least got out of it his new song, Life of the Party, which is fantastic and starts with him chanting Fuck BET, which I find is hilarious. I like when musicians or artists just sort of like start hating on like a network.
Louis Virtel: Oh.
Ira Madison III: Or like a conglomerate.
Louis Virtel: That’s very Neil Young, this notes for you, with his snarling MTV put downs.
Ira Madison III: And I feel like it reminds me of when Kanye West had like fuck SNL and the whole cast in a song but then changed it once he got on SNL. I feel like Little Nas X would not change tune and I actually don’t know how this ever becomes reconciled because it’s still this idea that, you know the black network, which should be supporting him, isn’t supporing him, you know, and it’s it’s the same way, you know, like we weren’t getting awards for Pose, you know, is because it’s like it’s gay shit. So it’s like it’s not being supported in the way that it should be. And he, he had a lot of stuff to say in the press, too, about how it wasn’t just the not being nominated. It was, you know, them last year during his performance, you know, like sort of like making him swear that he wasn’t worshiping Satan and then saying that like his performance was like the most awful thing they’d ever see it after he, like, kissed a man on stage. So like once he got offstage. So it’s been like a year of awfulness and then to also like have a tribute in there in memoriam to this, you know, Internet star Kevin Samuels, who mostly had like a lot of videos with titles like Women Should Let Men Use Them and How Much Does Your Submission Cost? And Modern Women Are Average At Best. Um, that felt like a slap in the face. Um. Just mostly because. This is what BET does and reminds you of the BET I grew up with and I thought that we had sort of moved past that.
Louis Virtel: Yeah, that feels very, very old. I mean, it just sounds like I don’t know. Tipper Gore is the name that’s coming to mind. She’s not the exact parallel. But like somebody from the eighties condemning you for listening to whatever gay thing was happening at the time, Boy George or something.
Ira Madison III: I would condemn people for listening to Boy George, Louis.
Louis Virtel: Oh, come on. I’ll Tumble For You. That’s the song.
Ira Madison III: You know, Boy George used to have me blocked on Twitter.
Louis Virtel: Really? Does that mean he’s on Twitter now?
Ira Madison III: I think so. Boy George, well because Boy George was in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for a long spell because he was the close friend of housewife Dorit Kemsley and her husband, PK, whose full name was Paul Kemsley, was Culture Club’s manager. And Boy George lived in their guest house.
Louis Virtel: Okay. That is information you would think I’d have known. Because. My day is different now. Did he look like he did during the taboo era with Rosie O’Donnell, where he had the black drips coming down his head?
Ira Madison III: Not that horrific.
Louis Virtel: Okay. Because that really was a shock for the ages.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. So, like, I didn’t I didn’t like him on the show at the time. So I tweeted about it and then I was blocked.
Louis Virtel: Oh, okay. Okay. Well, you brought it on yourself. Now I understand. Well, now I’m going to be listening to Boy George the rest of the day and think about how he hates your guts.
Ira Madison III: It sounds like a good day for you. I’m inching closer to making you watch a single episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Louis Virtel: Get this. Last weekend I was in San Francisco, and my friend Alex, who I always go up to see, is obsessed with the entire Housewives universe. So I did see a full episode of whatever this new vacation thing is with Dorinda.
Ira Madison III: Real Housewives, Ultimate Girls Trip to Ex-Wives Club.
Louis Virtel: Yes. Okay. Is it really an ultimate girls trip if they’re just fucking sitting around? Is it? Don’t lie to me, Andy Cohen.
Ira Madison III: The last one was a trip to Turks and Caicos, and this one now is like Bluestone Manor, which Dorinda owns. It’s in Massachusetts and the Berkshires. And these are ex housewives who are now, like all gathered. I need your thoughts on Dorinda.
Louis Virtel: Dorinda, I was wondering why she would have been kicked off the show. I don’t know any of the lore of housewives.
Ira Madison III: She drinks too much and gets messy and it’s just sort of like she was sort of removed from the show for sort of for her own good. To be honest.
Louis Virtel: Her drinking was. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf level? I mean, you could see it from the last seats in the theater. No, but it was weird to see it, like Jill Zarin. I watched the first season of New York, so that’s like a name that kind of looms large to me, and not bringing anything. Vicki, I can’t believe we have her on TV that long. Not bringing anything.
Ira Madison III: Talk. I mean, did you did you see her talking about vaccines.
Louis Virtel: Vicki or Jill?
Ira Madison III: Vicki.
Louis Virtel: Oh, no. I mean, I don’t really need to see her opine on anything, to be honest. So I liked the religious woman on this season.
Ira Madison III: Phaedra Parks.
Louis Virtel: Oh yes. Phaedra’s funny.
Ira Madison III: She is very sweet. If you forget the fact that the reason she was fired from Real Housewives of Atlanta is because she did make up a rumor that Kandi Burruss tried to drug and rape someone in her dungeon.
Louis Virtel: I mean, I’m simply speechless. The writer of No Scrubs and being just a full criminal and I guess murderer.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. So that came out at a Real Housewives reunion that Phaedra was the one who made up that rumors. So that’s she’s been gone from the show ever since then. And then were you happy to see Eva Marcelle?
Louis Virtel: Yes, though. I hadn’t missed her.
Ira Madison III: I will say that as someone who watched her on Housewives of Atlanta, she was always pregnant and so she was boring. But she just gets stoned on this trip. And so I find her very pleasant and enjoyable.
Louis Virtel: Yeah. I mean, like this, it’s. It feels like a very Covid era show. They’re like playing ring toss indoors to pass the time.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. All right. Well, I’m glad that Alex Merryman was good, for one thing. And that’s making you watch Real Housewives.
Louis Virtel: If he has one legacy in this life, here it is, is that he’s also going to be a heart surgeon. But arguably, this is his more towering achievement.
Ira Madison III: I wouldn’t let him operate on me.
Louis Virtel: Well, it’s not really up to you if you’re in his hands after a while.
Ira Madison III: He’s he’s giving me Izzy okay? He’s cutting L-vacs. All right. That’s our show this week.
Louis Virtel: Thanks to the great Jenny Slate for being here. God, what a pleasure.
Ira Madison III: Yeah. And we will see you not next week.
Louis Virtel: Right.
Ira Madison III: Because we’re off again.
Louis Virtel: I have to say, I feel bad that we did this but guys I’m going to be in Fire Island. You don’t want me reporting from the trenches in whatever state I’m in.
Ira Madison III: So we’ll see you again in two weeks.
Ira Madison III: 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 and Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.