“How to Perform at Coachella Without Really Trying” w. James Marsden | Crooked Media
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April 19, 2023
Keep It
“How to Perform at Coachella Without Really Trying” w. James Marsden

In This Episode

Ira fills in Louis on his Coachella weekend and Frank Ocean’s alleged performance. Guest co-host Nichole Perkins, host of The Prince Mixtape, joins Ira and Louis to discuss Prince’s legacy and his underrated albums, bad rom coms that they love, new Netflix series Obsession, Timothee Chalamet dating Kylie Jenner, and HBO Max’s makeover. Plus, James Marsden joins to discuss his new comedy series Jury Duty, playing heartthrobs in rom coms, and more.

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Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. Ira Madison, the Third.


Louis VIrtel I’m Louis Virtel and discerning listeners will notice I am probably a little bit more coherent and awake than Ira is because he spent the weekend at Coachella and then flew back to New York, whereas I just played word games with friends over here. So if I seem sharper, that’s what’s going on.


Ira Madison III But I have to start this episode off with an inquisition. Angry as hell.


Louis VIrtel I don’t blame you.


Ira Madison III I am mad as hell. And this episode of Keep It. We’re just getting right to the point with Coachella and how Frank bin Laden will be charged with treason. He will pay for his crimes.


Louis Virtel I’ve never heard of an L like this in any kind of festival history of just he didn’t deliver or bailed on his own concept, which was, I guess a bunch of ice skaters were supposed to be behind him at this Coachella thing, which would have been decadent and, you know, queer for all the queer people there. And he was not a fan of that concept suddenly and scrapped it. And then the dancers who were on ice skates were suddenly walking around behind him. And, you know, it was equally as treacherous to me. I watched some of the livestream of Coachella, and I’ll be honest, I did not realize that they broadcast it so, so amazingly, like you can watch all these stages all the time, and they were getting close ups of the audience. If I were in that audience, I would not love you looking at my face. I kept thinking of the people standing there, and the pupils were looking like, it was giving they ate the bad berries, you know what I’m saying?


Ira Madison III Yeah. So Coachella was this weekend and the headliners were Frank Ocean, a criminal. We’ll get to him in a minute. BLACKPINK and Bad Bunny. Of course, BLACKPINK was sort of a pseudo headliner because Calvin Harris returned to the desert this year. I love it. I love it. All the announcements for Calvin Harris this year where Calvin Harris returns to the desert, sort of about the end of a marvel movie by Calvin Harris will return.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. Mad Max. Calvin Harris Road. Yeah.


Ira Madison III So he played after BLACKPINK, but the headliners seemed solid. Frank Ocean was originally booked for 2020 to play Coachella, but we all know what happened there with COVID. It was originally Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and Rage Against the Machine. When the festival was rescheduled, Rage Against the Machine dropped out and Travis Scott said he killed a bunch of people at Astroworld, was not a headliner anymore. And so last year we had different headliners because I wasn’t ready to do the show then. But he came back this year and there’s been a lot of talk online. And pardon my congestion because I was in the desert inhaling.


Louis VIrtel In the trenches, really.


Ira Madison III In the trenches and inhaling dirt and other things.


Louis VIrtel Oh, you don’t say.


Ira Madison III I’m barely a human being, by the way. That is why I would not want to be that close at Coachella, because I don’t need the camera showing me in the crowd.


Louis VIrtel I mean, I couldn’t believe these people basically volunteered to be, shall we say, outed.


Ira Madison III Watching people peeing in a water bottle so they could save their place in the front of the line to see Rosalia or something. It is disgusting to me. But Frank came out, he did a show. And this is the big conversation from the weekend because, you know, everyone’s talking about whether or not he ruined his career, whether or not he terrorized the entire Coachella audience, whether or not he’s even going to be brought back for weekend to whether he fulfilled his contractual obligations on first Saw. I do love Frank Ocean, and I understand that he, as an artist, is not someone who is present.


Louis VIrtel So there’s like a tempestuous quality to him. You know, some artists are very kind of botherable about unshakable and things like that.


Ira Madison III He hates his fans, which is fine. I love what artists hate their fans.


Louis VIrtel No, it’s real. That means they’re not obsessed with relatability, which is our, you know, chief complaint here at Keep It.


Ira Madison III Yeah, and I love his work enough that I don’t mind that we don’t get, you know, all the accouterment that goes with a lot of other megastars, you know, like he sort of just releases a shit. Sometimes it’s weird. Sometimes you, you know, it’s you can’t really get into it. Like that time he does the latter on a livestream, but we’re going to do album shit like that. So I mean, going into Coachella, you sort of assume that Frank Ocean wasn’t going to show up. That was the whole running joke. I feel like leading up to the festival, everyone kept saying like, okay, so when are you going to pull out? You know? And then we heard it seemed like he was going to pull out, but that was just it turns out that the original stage he had built, which is allegedly an ice skating rink, he did want to do it anyway, scrapped it last minute. And so then they had to figure out how to do this show. They are without the original plan.


Louis VIrtel And by the way, hour of like people are already standing in the stands as he decides he doesn’t want the stage in concept anymore. So they have to fucking melt the ice, which I can’t believe they couldn’t generate some other way to put this together in the desert, but they literally had to melt it like a giant Bill Nye experiment.


Ira Madison III And that is where you start to get annoyed, right? Because contempt for your fans.


Louis VIrtel Yes.


Ira Madison III It’s fine, you know, But there’s there’s a point when regular contempt for your bands crosses over into disrespectful. And I feel like, here’s the thing. It really seemed like he didn’t want to fucking be there, so I don’t know why he was there. I don’t know what possessed him to go through with the deal. Did you? Coachella? And it was very moving when he opened the show by talking about his brother who died in a car accident in 2020 and how he used to go to Coachella with his brother every year. And, you know, this seemed like a way to honor his brother, which I thought was beautiful, you know? But then the question is, is it honoring your brother by doing a show at a festival that you both loved and basically destroying the entire performance before it even happens?


Louis VIrtel Right. And so he ended up performing for, what, like 40 minutes and doing a stripped down version of something with confused dancers everywhere.


Ira Madison III He was an hour late. And, you know, I’m always expecting weird shit or like lateness from people, but, you know, like, you could be late if you’re headlining. Not on Sunday. Something has a curfew and everyone knows that there’s a curfew, even within minutes past the midnight curfew before he actually shot it off, you know. So if you’re going to do this, there’s a lot of shit going on that you know, you won’t be able to accomplish. And I just feel like everything from being an hour late is one. You’re killing everybody’s fucking highs. You know, he was joking about what drugs are people on when he first hit the stage. I’m like, Well, not any more of a bitch.


Louis VIrtel But the answer has to be all the major ones.


Ira Madison III So an hour later, I think my bus shows were off. So not even not even on the correct drugs anymore. Just standing at, you know, like a crowd of fucking people with your friends and like, you’ve got that good spot. And it’s like as our kids are like, if you have to, if you have to go piss girl. If you want to go get another drink, you’re going to have to navigate through that fucking crowd and then somehow try and find your way back When it’s pitch black. It’s not going to happen. You know, so you’re basically trapped there, and that’s when you start seeing people peeing in water bottles and you’re discussing the what?


Louis VIrtel Woodstock 99 takes off, as it were.


Ira Madison III Yes. With less of the mayhem that happened there.


Louis VIrtel Yeah, right. Yes. Yeah. Mayhem being a very generous word. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So then we get this performance. And that performance isn’t even a fucking performance. He is, first of all, just playing the studio versions of the song most of the time and bopping to them on stage.


Louis VIrtel Oh, unacceptable.


Ira Madison III Bitch, if I wanted to, If I wanted to listen to your old albums at home. Put that on Instagram live.


Louis VIrtel Yeah, right, Right.


Ira Madison III It was basically COVID, you know, just watching people by to sit at home. We could have done that. I had to come all the way to the desert. So what, you do that and then when he does say it’s fucking great, like we got a great new rendition of White Ferrari, we got to hear Chanel. These are like songs that were moving when he didn’t sing, when he it didn’t seem like he was putting some effort into it, but otherwise it seemed like it was thrown together. It seemed like there was no real plan. And honestly, it felt disrespectful. And I know that annoying bands can be fun. And I get, you know, like the comedy, you know, these are. Bougie, rich kids, these influencers, these tech talkers, whatever. But like that, truly awesome is not 100% of the people who are at Coachella. You know that. Like, these are all adoring rich people. You know, it’s like, Oh, they didn’t get what they want from Great Ocean, you know, They want them to dance for them, you know, like he works for them or something. You know, it’s like a lot of people. There are people who have like saved the money up to see one of their favorite fucking artists perform, who hasn’t performed in years, who hasn’t even acknowledged that he exists on this plane in years. And they’re like, really fucking disappointed. And I was sad and I felt bad for him and I felt bad for the audience, and I just felt pissed off.


Louis VIrtel Well, this also makes me upset at Coachella for not just naming the rightful headliner Bjork, who was also at Coachella. And I just want to say the footage I have seen of Bjork at Coachella is so unlike every other performer in that, you know, to use our favorite word, vibes are very present at Coachella. You know, it’s like a beet centric experience. It’s, you know, you can you can sort of hang with your friends. Bjork was delivering, from what I could tell, Stark orchestrations. It was like Strings Galore. It had to feel like the aliens were landing when she was getting into like the deep pomegranate cuts. But at the same time, I mean, she’s one of these people that, you know, at the end of our lives were to be like, okay, who are our Mozart? Like people, you know, And Bjork is one of them. And if you got to see that live, I’m so, so jealous of that because she and of course, she was dressed like, you know, she fell off the sun in her whatever, like sort of outfit that has cilia on it or whatever she chose that looked phenomenal.


Ira Madison III Listen, it was phenomenal. But I will also say that I’m very glad that I got to experience that. But I’m also I would prefer to go and see it at the Met.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. Not when you’re freezing out there. Yeah.


Ira Madison III And, you know, it was actually pretty warm that night of all the nights. But, you know, that was like just in Kelly who just perform and she was fucking amazing by the way. And then Bjork is playing and you know, it is, it is dark. It’s giving concerts, it’s giving, you know, two tickets to the show. Please. You know, you wear you’re you’re wearing a ball gown. Yes. You’re wearing a tux. So was it fun seeing that in the desert? And it was you know, it was definitely a bite. It was that the vibe that I was on?


Louis VIrtel No, I really think it is like very funny what she was doing. It’s like getting like a Yoko Ono performance art performance suddenly in the middle of your, you know, set.


Ira Madison III So I watched like a half of that and then want to see this amazing dead drama and then came back for a break. I was sad, but that’s also the beauty of Coachella, to be honest. I love a music festival because there’s so many artists playing and, you know, you can either rush to see bits of every artist that you love or you could just sort of like My Sun was all about vibes. I was high and I was like, wander from place to place, but I was out running. So like I was playing on the other side of Ghajar that you get over that after the first day, you know, like, this is just I going to see a bit of Bjork art and I’m going to wander over here and see a bit of Drama, and then I’m going to come back and see Frank. So that is the joy of it. And I will say other highlights were, Rosalia, who’s a fucking start.


Louis VIrtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Should have been a headliner. Bad Bunny was great. There are some annoying sound issues, but overall it was a really great performance. So I had a really good time this year for the year that people were sort of knocking as like a year with like a bad line up.


Louis VIrtel Yeah, right, right, right. I wish I were a bigger fan of Blackpink. It’s not that their music isn’t better. I just. I need something more. A little bit more like a signature moment from them. Their music sounds like it kind of could be by anybody.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, listen, they were fun. I like the beat.


Louis VIrtel But I’m weirdly a fan of Ava Max, who I think gets the same criticism. So I don’t know. It’s just. It’s personal.


Ira Madison III You know what I’m going to say about this? Ava? Max. I don’t think that she has a gay person on her team.


Louis VIrtel That’s interesting.


Ira Madison III You know, And I think that. I think that, like if you asked her her favorite drag queen, she would not have an answer. I don’t see her as like the kind of pop star who’s like hanging out at, you know, like with like Gaga or people would be you see them at the Abbey or they’d pop up at a New York gay club like Splash as a bat, and they’re just partying with their gay entourage. But it’s not that great. I don’t know. She has that. And I feel like that’s very telling because that is that is why she hasn’t crossed over yet.


Louis VIrtel She did have a weird midday listening session to her new album at Rocco’s in West Hollywood. But that.


Ira Madison III Eactly.


Louis VIrtel That felt bizarre.


Ira Madison III There’s no get out of this. You’re right. She went to Lance Bass’ bar.


Louis VIrtel Right.


Ira Madison III For a daytime jam sesh.


Louis VIrtel She needs to zoom with like Rina Sawayama and figure out what she has there.


Ira Madison III Anyway, I’m less angry viscerally today, two days later. But in that moment on Sunday. I wanted to be the hunt.


Louis VIrtel No. Betty Gilpin. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I wanted the audience to be supplied with weapons and give a head start about regulation. That is what I wanted on that, because you have, as you cannot.


Louis VIrtel He’s Samara Weaving in Ready or Not. Yeah, that’s right.


Ira Madison III You cannot just like overstate how insane it is to be preparing for Coachella crowds out in the desert, getting your abortions, getting whatever drug you’re going to get all together, and then just standing there for an hour not knowing what’s going to happen. And I will say. A lot of people are late for, you know, fucking Kanye was fucking late. He was like, you know, like Bad Bunny was late. BLACKPINK started 30 minutes late because of technical difficulties. I think that Coachella should also do something better about letting people know a time frame.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. As far as I know, we didn’t get any video from Frank Ocean. Like the Adele video being like, it’s not ready.


Ira Madison III Oh, yeah, He did cut the live stream, by the way, last minute. There’s got to be no livestream of it.


Louis VIrtel Which is sort of like him being like, This is going to suck.


Ira Madison III Which is also very hilarious because when you do bring up the Take Talkers and the influencers who are at the festival, your show is going to stream anyway. Everyone I was texting right outside of Coachella was watching it through someone’s like Tik Tok live feed or like seeing it streamed on someone’s Instagram live.


Louis VIrtel Meanwhile, it’s like Drone Paradise. You can be watching these wild dolly shots all over the place of of this. You don’t need a random TikToker to tell you what’s happening on Rosalia’s stage.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And lastly, of course, you know I saw Charli XCX for the 900th time in the past year.


Louis VIrtel I love that all her song titles are like Woosh. And just like Game noises.


Ira Madison III She did the macarena during her song Welcome to My Island the Her Side with Caroline BoJack. And it’s kind of cunt.


Louis VIrtel Can I just say about the Macarena you absolutely know there will be a blacklist script about how that came together at some point I just it’s like among the things AI can generate, I believe a script for the Macarena biopic is possible.


Ira Madison III So honestly, overall, it’d be from a screenwriter who did Air, Alex Convery, but there’s like 600 biopics on The Blacklist already, so why not add the Macarena into it?


Louis VIrtel Why not? Ira, Who the hell is on our show today?


Ira Madison III Well, we have a guest this week. Now that I’m done ranting about Coachella, we’re going to introduce our guest host, Nichole Perkins, host of The Prince Mixtape, a live podcast about Prince Albert.


Louis VIrtel Get in right into the monegasque intrigue. Yes. Does he understand how fabulous his mother, Grace Kelly, was? We’re about to find out. No, we’re talking about Prince, Minneapolis’s own.


Ira Madison III Yes. And Nichole is going to be here to talk to us about Prince. He has so many goddamn albums. So we’re going to talk about Prince Blindspots. We’re going to talk about Prince records that maybe some of our listeners should revisit or visit for the first time. And then we’re also, because Nichole is, has been the host of the Thirst Aid Kit, a fantastic podcast that I used to listen to before it ended. We’re going to talk about some of our favorite rom coms and the leading men in them.


Louis VIrtel Imagine a rom com without a hot leading man, just doesn’t work. And when Harry met Sally, no shade. Go ahead.


Ira Madison III You think Billy Crystal ain’t hot?


Louis VIrtel Okay, moving on. He’s not my Mr. Saturday night, if you know what I’m saying.


Ira Madison III You don’t want to wake up in his bed on a Sunday morning and drape his Oxford over. You walk into the kitchen, he get some coffee?


Louis VIrtel No. Analyze that. Because he’s not hot.


Ira Madison III Like we couldn’t do a show talking about hot leading men without having a hot leading man. On this episode of Keep It too. So Louis and I interviewed the absolutely gorgeous James Marsden.


Louis VIrtel A toy.


Ira Madison III When I tell you that it was very hard to ask this man questions while looking at him on Zoom, some people should actually turn their cameras off.


Louis VIrtel It’s just safer, right?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis VIrtel No, it’s like one time I was at a screening where Nicole Kidman appeared afterwards and I didn’t know she was going to be there. And I was like, Why is this person looking at me? It was crazy. This is all wrong.


Ira Madison III So we’ll be right back with Nichole Perkins joining us. We have some absolutely thrilling news to share with you. It’s about us. So that’s why it’s thrilling. Keep It has been nominated for the podcast, television and film category at this year’s Webby Awards. But here’s the thing. We need your help to make sure we clinch that win public voting is set to close tomorrow. So we’re calling on all of you to head over to Webby.co/vote. Find the podcast, television and film category and cast your vote for us. And let’s not forget to give a huge shout out to our amazing team who works tirelessly to make every single episode worthy of a Webby. And we already have one. So what are you waiting for? Get over to webby.co/vote and let’s make this happen. With us today, we have an incredible poet and writer who you know from the podcast, Thirst Aid Kit and This Is Good For You. Her new podcast is a deep exploration into the life, music and legacy of the artist forever known as Prince. Please welcome today’s guest host, Nichole Perkins.


Nichole Perkins Hi.


Ira Madison III Hi.


Nichole Perkins I’m really excited to be here.


Louis VIrtel Oh, thank you. How nice. We’re thrilled to have you. Okay. Just broadly talking about Prince. What did you want to accomplish with this podcast? I mean, there’s I mean, there’s so many things to talk about with Prince, but is there sort of an over arching message about him that you felt, you know, sort of needs to be shared?


Nichole Perkins Yeah. I mean, there’s so much more to Prince than, you know, eyeliner, heels and lace. And so I wanted to make sure that people knew that people who are hardcore fans, people who are medium level fans and people who are just like, you know, maybe I know Purple Rain and that’s it. So there is a lot of information for all entries wherever you fall on that spectrum of Prince fandom. There’s something there’s something for you. And also I just wanted to like, share share some good music. And Prince has over 40 years of good music to share.


Ira Madison III Yeah, that is one of the I feel like I don’t want to say daunting things, but I guess it started things about, you know, really tried to be or called myself a Prince fan, you know, because I love Prince. I really have a Prince logo tattoo on my arm. Ah, I got it after he died, I was with the Batman, it’s within the Batman logo. That’s actually my favorite Prince album.


Nichole Perkins It’s a good choice. Excellent choice.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Thank you. But when I look at Prince’s discography, there are so many albums and some of them that I truly never even heard of. Like, I do not remember the Chocolate Invasion, but, you know, and then there’s there was the there’s an early prince to listen to. And then of course for Louis and I use, well, you know, like our particular age group, you know like then there was the resurgence of Prince sort of within the late nineties. But, you know, sort of early mid 2000, you know, you had you had Musicology, 3121. So there’s so much to take in that I feel like, can you really call yourself like a big Prince fan if I haven’t listened to like 40% of his music, maybe even 60?


Nichole Perkins I mean, I think so. I think so. I think a lot of even the most diehard from day one fans, they have a certain era that they stick with as like they’re, you know, top five, top ten and Prince albums or something like that. And it usually is wherever you first, you know, it first hit you it where you know, at that point in your life or whatever, like some of his later albums are not necessarily my favorites, but I recognize what he was trying to do. I recognize where he was experimenting with, you know, his musicality or he was trying to also teach about musicality in a world that was becoming increasingly digital, increasingly solitary when it comes to being just a, you know, one person band, as we see a lot of times now. So I think a lot of his later stuff was him just trying to show how much of a community music really should be. And so he was very much into finding numerous new musicians to work with, new singers to work with, and he just kind of wanted to like he wanted people to remember, in my opinion, that music is a band and it is like it is a group effort and that just you siloed away someplace, punching buttons.


Louis VIrtel Do you have a favorite, a person who inspired Prince? I think of this because in talking about how he has all these albums that, you know, maybe aren’t to my taste or I haven’t even heard some of them, I would compare him to Joni Mitchell, maybe where she had a particular period that was the most popular. And then as the years went on, she really was courting basically different types of music listeners from the from the people who, you know, had Springboard had her to the fame she achieved. Prince loved Joni Mitchell toted or touted Joni Mitchell on track on Sign of the Times. Who of his surprising influences do you sort of love most?


Nichole Perkins Wow. Okay. So I have to say, like James Brown was a big influence for your friend Santana. I don’t think a lot of people know that Santana was a strong influence for Prince as well. He really was into a lot of women singers. So Aretha Franklin and Chaka Khan, those were big influences on him as well. Like a lot of his music, I think was he was trying to make sure somebody could sing, would be able to sing like over his music, even though like he was the singer himself for most of his stuff. But those are some of the ones that come to the top of my mind fairly easily. Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Santana. James Brown.


Louis VIrtel When I saw Prince at the Forum, like everybody in L.A. did in 2011 or whenever, that was the opener with Chaka Khan. And then Whitney Houston popped out of the audience for a second. And it’s just so crazy to think now, like and now it’s just Chaka is with us. I mean, it’s just like, so, so crazy. But I’m heartened to hear that he is such a fan of her. I was telling Ira, I don’t know if I said this on air. Chaka Khan, one of the few people who the talent level and the sauciness and personality are both a ten. She didn’t need one to fake the other. You know, they were both in tandem pumping at all times. And Prince is sort of like that. The personality matches the talent level.


Nichole Perkins Absolutely. Absolutely. Chaka, I think she’s just gotten so well. She’s always been, I think, kind of upfront. But, you know, once you get older in life, you’re just kind of like, look, I’ve lived long enough for you to take everything I’ve got to say. You’re just gonna have to deal with this. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I do really love it like he would sort of gather, you know, like women that he loved and music, you know, and sort of elevate that, you know, obviously that of these six you know, we have Sheila e you know I always throw out Rita Ora there, too, because he loved that girl and he had her on a hit and run, bears run. And so, you know, he supported Rita. If no one else in the world does. But do you have other favorites of people that he’s sort of like championed or sort of like crafted their careers from the beginning?


Nichole Perkins So this is something that we talk about in the podcast. Our prince was a mentor to a lot of up and coming female singers, but sometimes it was a little tainted with his own personal desires to, shall we say. So like Carmen Electra, not to say that she is a fantastic singer or anything like that. Sorry, Carmen, but she is one of the people that he kind of mentored. Right.


Ira Madison III And yeah.


Nichole Perkins And yeah.


Ira Madison III Of course there’s this Gerard’s there’s third album as well.


Nichole Perkins Right. Right.


Ira Madison III And in the Batman era.


Nichole Perkins Yeah. Kim Basinger.


Ira Madison III Kim Basinger. Yeah.


Nichole Perkins Yeah. Kim Basinger. I think she did a maybe she tried to do an album. I definitely know she started singing around the time that they were together.


Ira Madison III Kim Basinger that I was thinking, I’m not sure. And if you if you track it down online and listen to it, it’s not great. But the music is good.


Nichole Perkins Right, Right. So he he worked with a lot of people. I don’t know that the what my favorite or not people that he necessarily crafted from the beginning. But obviously we know Lizzo was one of his proteges and she is doing phenomenally. Janelle Monae, those are some of the ones that are, you know, very talented at doing their own thing. You know, Prince also, he has a song with Madonna from some of her or one of her love.


Louis VIrtel Song from Like a Prayer.


Nichole Perkins Yeah, Yeah, that song. It’s a good song, right? I just it’s a lot of people that he’s kind of, like, touched. He had did a song with he worked with Patti LaBelle several times. There’s a song called Yo Mr.. I think it’s called Yo Mr. Yo Mister, how’s your daughter? And it’s very much like a you know this young girl is out she’s become a sex worker And so like, what did you do to put her in this position mister? Anyway, so that’s s he’s Stevie Nicks, obviously Stand Back. She really liked, this is I think this is a very familiar tale but she really liked Little Red Corvette. And so she wanted to use that and Stand Back. And so he came to the studio and performed, you know, played some instruments for her for that song. So he’s kind of he’s kind of been like all genres, all talent, even on his album Rave on to the Joy Fantastic. You’ve got Gwen Stefani, Eve, Ellie DeFranco, Sheryl Crow, like he’s going to put his fingers. And I’m not going to say that he’s kind of like he has been throughout, like, music history, you know, throughout recent music history. He has touched a little bit of everybody, obviously, Beyonce, of course. I see a lot of Prince’s mentorship and Beyoncé in her solo career just from like her reticence with interviews. The thing is her archival work that she’s doing for herself, that kind of stuff. He famously told her that she needed to learn how to play the piano. She did. You know, she started playing piano, that kind of thing. So I see a lot of his influence in her work.


Ira Madison III I love.


Louis VIrtel Of course, is a very rewarding performance to watch Prince and Beyonce perform in the mid 2000s. What an incredible performance.


Ira Madison III Fucking amazing performance. And I just love I love the concept of Beyoncé with Prince, with him telling her, Giselle learn how to play the piano.


Nichole Perkins Right. Right. Like, if you are a songwriter, you need to learn how. You need to learn scales. You need to learn how to play the piano. I am not a musician, so I have no sense of the terminology. But that’s what he told her.


Louis VIrtel So speaking of Madonna, I feel something I always say about Madonna fans is there’s no such thing as a madonna fan whose favorite song is Like a Virgin. And do you feel like there’s a, you know, a extremely well-known Prince song or whatever that you don’t in particular care for or like you sort of don’t like? I don’t know about don’t like having to talk about it, But it’s centralized in his career in a way that you’re like, I’d rather not.


Nichole Perkins Right? If you tell me your favorite Prince song, it’s Purple Rain, and I’m like, Okay.


Louis VIrtel Oh, so you have a radio. So you’ve been to Target?


Nichole Perkins Yeah, right, Right. Like, it’s a beautiful song. It’s a beautiful song. But I think most Prince fans, most of the more serious one, are going to just be like, Oh, okay, whatever. Like, I mean, almost anything off of the Purple Rain soundtrack, they’re just going to be like, Oh, that’s cute. But what else? There was a tweet that Desus Nice had a long time ago that he was like, You know, if you ask a prince, something about Prince fans will tell you that their favorite Prince album is this Japanese. Bootleg from 1967 or something like that, which is obviously ridiculous. But that’s pretty much how it how it goes when you’re a diehard Prince fan.


Ira Madison III I want to ask a bit then, you know, what is a Prince album you know what might be a lot of people’s blindspots? Like what do you think is a Prince album that isn’t one of the more esoteric ones, but maybe sort of like an album that if you listen to Purple Rain, if you listen to controversy in 1999, you know, what album or albums do you think that people should listen to that? It would be like, Oh, this is a vibe, this is fun. I didn’t know that this album even existed and it gives me everything that I want for Prince.


Nichole Perkins I’m going to say Love Sexy. And that’s from 1988. And I think part of the reason that a lot of people overlook it is because when it was released, it was one continuous track. I think now it’s been separated and so that each songs are, you know, different tracks. But at the time it was just one huge track. So you could not rewind or fast forward. I mean, you know, you can put a particular song on repeat or whatever, you just have to keep rewinding and fast forwarding it. So that was a little off putting for people. But when you go back and listen to it, it’s a fantastic album is so, so good. You’ve got Glam slam also this like the esthetic of the album of that time period for Prince was so Incredible, is one of my favorite like style esthetics of his. So love sexy. You’ve got glam slam Anastasia.


Louis VIrtel Is that Alphabet Straight?


Nichole Perkins Yes, Alphabet Straight, which is one of my favorites. Just because there’s like a line where he says, I’m going to put her in a backseat and drive her to Tennessee, which is where I’m from. So I was like, Oh my God, he knows my state exists.


Louis VIrtel Jackson Yeah.


Nichole Perkins Yeah, yeah. It’s just a really good album. When Two Are In Love, which was I think is on that album. Yeah, it’s a little Our Love is a very sexy love song that was on that album. It’s just really, really good stuff. So I would say, I love sexy. People need to check that out. I would also say the Gold Album from 1995 and actually that was just rereleased, is being rereleased now on vinyl and CD and all that kind of stuff. It’s a really good, really great album. It leans more into his rock side a little bit, and I think that was also a little offputting for a lot of people. There’s a song on there call 319, which, if I remember correctly, is featured in the movie Showgirls.


Louis VIrtel So yes, right.


Nichole Perkins I don’t know if it’s still in Showgirls right now because of licensing issues or whatever, like if you look at it now. But when it first aired, it was in that 319 I Hate U, which is one of my favorite favorite favorite Prince songs. Yeah, it’s it’s a solid album. So Love, Sexy and Gold album. I think people should revisit.


Louis VIrtel Ira, do you have a favorite sort of hidden gem of Prince’s? I’m thinking of a couple right now that I really love, just in terms of singles or songs.


Ira Madison III Yes. What I talk about sort of like the resurgence of Prince. You know, I really get sort of like people, my specific age group, you know, I’m 36 now. People sort of discovering him when we were kids, having known him as like elders and artists that our parents listen to. But when he came out with Musicology 2004 I think people obviously respect this album and love it, but I really think that like some of the songs on this album, Beyond the single Musicology, are some of my favorite songs.


Louis VIrtel Is that Cinnamon Girl, right?


Ira Madison III That cinnamon girl that’s the marrying kind and the going into transition into If I was the man in your life, it’s actually maybe some of my favorite music that Prince has ever made.


Louis VIrtel I would say I loved 3121. Namely, not just the song Black Sweat, the Music video Guys. Prince was, first of all, so hilarious. It just needs to be said. Like he did things on camera where it’s like it’s like he was predicting the era of gifts. It’s as if, like, you will watch me on repeat, like shooting a side eye at the camera during this one section is it’s so such a funny actor, which is interesting because he’s obviously also a Razzie winning actor.


Nichole Perkins But that’s also something that we talk about in the podcast is how funny he is. And people don’t really know that he was funny and he was a practical joker. He like to pull pranks and stuff like that. So someone talks about a prank where he put he’s like catching a bus or pretending to catch the bus and he acts like the door has closed on his hand and as a hand pops off, like stuff like that.


Ira Madison III Not him being Regina Hall in Scary Movie. I also love when you talk about Prince being Buddy. I feel like there are always videos going viral of what he would have people on stage. There’s obviously the famous. Kim Kardashian video where Kim comes up on stage and she’s not even dancing and he’s like get her off the stage. But there’s this Instagram account that I love, Velvet Coat, which recently shared a video, feels like it’s the eighties. Well, like or early nineties, of this woman dancing on stage that he invited up. But then she’s like following him over to the piano and he’s like stepping up on the piano and she’s trying to crawl up on the piano, and he’s like Security. It’s like, you need to be over there.


Nichole Perkins It’s like he was on The View and Sherri Shepherd got a little too she got a little too close. And she said something to him basically like, I love you. She was she was having a fangirl moment and he was just like, Oh, I’m out. He walked off the set and did not come back.


Ira Madison III Sherri Shepherd Be unprofessional on TV. I’m sorry, I like this is off topic but she took Wendy show and the results are while she is friends with Sheryl Lee Ralph but she was talking about how Sheryl Lee Ralph said it is and then the fact that he does like yoga in the park in L.A., you know, to teach like black men how to, you know, do yoga and how their mental health. And she started sort of simulating like doing like downward dog and like humping the floor, like she was humping this man that she’s done since he was a child. And I’m like, I could see why Prince was like back up off me.


Nichole Perkins Yes. Yes. She got a little a little a little thirsty, no pun intended.


Louis VIrtel Even at the end of his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction performance, when he just throws the guitar up in the air. I mean, like, it’s so nutty, you know, you have to laugh. And by the way, he then walks off and everybody else in the performance is simply left on stage. It’s so funny.


Nichole Perkins Yeah, he was yeah, he was going to leave his mark on it one way or another.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Another one of my favorite blogs too is my friend Kelley Carter, journalist, talked about how she whenever he would invite people to his home like journals and things, you know, like give interviews or stuff or talk to them like there’d be no recording or even writing down what he sat at my bedside, so. Fantastic to me.


Nichole Perkins Yeah, I don’t know that I would have remembered anything other than, like, what he smelled like if I had ever been invited.


Ira Madison III Just remember vibes from the night.


Nichole Perkins Right? Right.


Louis VIrtel Do we have any sense of how much of his insane vault might could be released over the next. Blank and blank years? Are you optimistic we’ll be hearing a lot of this stuff ever or. No.


Nichole Perkins I don’t think so, because, I mean, who knows what his estate will do? Of course, I don’t think that there is a way to release everything that is in that vault within my lifetime. Like because he was just constantly working, you know, constantly working like he like every single day that he could. And because he he learned how to record it by himself, he built it. He was one of the first few people to have his own studio and his, you know, in his own residence. So he would just like, go record stuff and lay it, lay it down or put it away or something like that. There are a lot of stories of him recording something playing at one time and then erasing it, that kind of thing. So I don’t I don’t think we’ll ever get all of what with all of what is in his vault. And a lot of it is just from my understanding, a lot of it is, you know, repetitious or whatever, like demos and things like that. So, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t think we’re going to get I think we have any idea of how much is in there or how much is and how much has been lost, period. Just in his own artist temperament. You know, he just kind of deleted a lot of stuff on the show. Someone says that he played a song for her and then deleted it and she’s just like, I still am haunted by that song because it was so fantastic and I wish the world could hear it. But he because it was a very personal song for him. It was like a romantic breakup song. And I was just like, I want that saw. I want there has to be a copy someplace. But she was like, Nope, he deleted it.


Ira Madison III That is also a bit of like the cruelty of art, I would say, you know, like you’re this you’re not just like someone struggling a guitar for like your girlfriend or boyfriend. You’re like, in a dorm. Like I wrote this art for you, Like you’re fucking bread and you’re like, Here’s this beautiful, heartbreaking. Are you like, Okay, I’m going to delete it. It’s gone


Nichole Perkins It just breaks my heart.


Ira Madison III I’m sure the vault actually probably just has other lost albums that he made for women that he dated. And if so, I hope there is a nod to Louis album, somewhat in that boat.


Nichole Perkins Oh, my God. I’m sure there is. I’m sure there is.


Louis VIrtel A fine talk show host. I remember the era vividly.


Ira Madison III When we’re back, Louis and I sit down with James Marsden to discuss his new TV series Jury Duty.




Ira Madison III Our next guest is your favorite part in any movie, show, franchise, musical. He’s Cyclops. He’s Corny Collins. He’s Teddy Flood, he’s Sonic’s friend. And in the new show, Jury Duty, he’s taken on the very demanding and sought after role of James Marsden. So please welcome the Keep It,  James Marsden.


James Marsden How’s it going, guys?


Ira Madison III Good.


James Marsden Well, I like that intro. Your favorite part of every movie or TV show you ever watched.


Ira Madison III It’s just that you really are.


James Marsden Even the ones I’m not in? Terrific. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Listen, I watch. I do watch a lot of movie musicals and wish that you were in them. You can’t really overestimate how great the role of Corny Collins is. So thank you for that.


James Marsden Well, I appreciate that. That was probably the most fun I ever had on a movie set before it. It was it was just a full on party and it made me realize how badly I enjoyed doing that, how badly I want to get on stage and do that eventually. But, yeah, thank you. Very, very kind of you. It’s aging well. The hairspray and the Corny Collins. Yeah.


Louis VIrtel Jury Duty is a staggering show. I.


James Marsden That’s a good way to put it.


Louis VIrtel If people haven’t seen it, it’s a show where one guy who doesn’t know what’s going on is for real, a part of jury duty and everyone around him, Truman Show style is cast. And this man named Ronald is so, first of all, smiley but so clearly gullible that you just know you’re about to be taken on a huge adventure with this guy. And James Marsden plays himself and is touting his own accomplishments and in, shall we say, an ostentatious way throughout the show. How how long did it take you to be convinced to do this show? Because I’ve not seen anything like it. So did you need, like a particular producer to tell you, Well, don’t worry, it’s all under control and this guy is not violent or whatever you need to be assured of to be a part of this project.


James Marsden It was. I probably put the most thought into signing up to this project that I do for anything I ever do. Really? Because mainly because it’s it is so it’s such uncharted territory, not only for me. Before I couldn’t think of any sort of comp for this type of show. It’s just very different in its design. I was approached by David Bernard, a friend of mine who I’ve worked with a few times before, produced the White Lotus and and he him alongside Lee Eisenberg and basically the creators of the office who I love in that respect. And they came to me with this idea of a sort of courtroom comedy all taking place during the course of jury duty, people serving on jury duty, where you have one celebrity playing themself, a sort of heightened, exaggerated version of myself. I’m careful to point out and make sure that I point that out.


Louis VIrtel I believe you.


James Marsden And then a bunch of improv artists like young, you know, relatively unknown improvizational actors and one person who doesn’t know that the entire thing is fake and scripted, not scripted from a dialog perspective, there’s no scripted dialog. But, you know, there was situational comedy. There were beats that were written into seven or eight scripts. And I got excited about because I just love that style of comedy. I’m a big Christopher Guest fan, you know, The Office, Larry David, Larry Sanders Show. And so that appealed to me to get in a room and just sort of mess around with these. Really gifted improvizational artists. And the scripts were laugh out loud, funny and crazy. And I got to make fun of myself and and sort of send up the entitled Hollywood celebrity in a very fun way. And that’s the one element I wasn’t prepared for was the wild Card, which is this man who is here thinking that he’s serving jury duty. And there’s a, you know, a low budget documentary film crew following us around, creating a documentary on, you know, a fake. Right. He thinks it’s a real documentary, but that sort of one of our ruses that we do. And I just it didn’t occur to me how I got excited about doing all the improv stuff. But I’m also realizing the first couple of days with this guy, like, you know, we’re keeping him in the dark for three weeks of his life. It’s just a long period of time to be messing with somebody now. It was important to me that and I and I voiced this several times throughout to the producers and the showrunners that I’m not doing anything to humiliate him or make fun of him. We’re just going to surround him with a lot of foolishness, right? A lot of like characters that are behaving strangely and in occurrences that that are sort of out of the ordinary. And that’s where the comedy comes from. But boy, it was a it was a tricky one because there were certain beats that were that were meant to be so much more ridiculous that we couldn’t push because, one, you got to get him to the finish line, right? We have to get to the end of the three weeks where we, you know, we reach a verdict and you can’t you know, you’ve got to got to keep him believing that the whole thing is real. So it was this delicate dance for for a couple of weeks of and I, of course, was playing this. Really. Like you said, ostentatious, self-absorbed, egocentric, you know, Hollywood jerk. But I had to kind of keep him close to me as well. So you’re you’re constantly. I’ve never done anything like in my life. It sounded like a challenge. It sounded like something that was original in a time where everything’s just being duplicated and reimagined and remade. And so I kind of dove in and crossed my fingers. You know, by design, it’s a little bit of an experiment. But at the end of it, they told me, sorry, at the beginning they said, this isn’t a prank show. We’re creating a hero’s journey for somebody so that hopefully by the end of the three weeks, he’s someone of character that we’re celebrating. He’s somebody who became the leader, who united all of us. And that’s exactly what happened. So are the collective sigh of relief. Is this heard around the room?


Ira Madison III He’s so genuine, too. You know, and I think it’s because, you know, I think maybe a good part is that like, it’s not like, you know, the show Joe Schmo, which we remember from the 2000, which was about I mean, to a person, you’re breaking it. Really let’s I feel like it really lives on the fact that he is such a sweet and genuine person. I mean, I feel like I was immediately pulled in when you meet him the first day, but then the next day he comes back because he finds out you’re James Marsden. He’s like, I want Sadik. You know, Have you watched it? Because he met you and he wanted to talk to you about it. And I think just finding someone like that is so lovely. Yeah. Just like lightning in a bottle.


James Marsden Well, he you know, he needed to be whoever the person was needed to be, someone who was open to an adventure. Right. And I think he voiced that in a few early interviews. He said, I’m on stage in my life where I’m just sort of open to new adventures and and and some discovery and a real curiosity about. You know, whatever’s next in his life. And it was also really vital that it was someone that we cheer for the end, right? This guy’s supposed to be our hero and bring us all together, and we’re just this kind of crazy group of weirdos, and. And he’s this sort of moral core of the center of it, and he gets to have fun, too. But. But, yeah, I mean, you just don’t know what he’s. I don’t know anything about him. I didn’t know anything about him. We were all of us were just a bundle under of the first day when he came in. It was all orchestrated. I sit here, this lady comes up and asks for a photo. I hand the photo to the camera, to him to take the photo. Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. You just don’t know, right? Like if you do. Really trying to get him to turn right when he wants to turn left. We got to turn left and you got to pivot. I didn’t know if he’s going to know who the hell I was. I didn’t know if he was going to do anything I’ve ever done. And someone, you know, took the photo and he said, I think I recognize you. I didn’t know it from. And then I somehow bring up Sonic because I’m an a title actor, wanted to just talk about myself. And he said, Sonic, Oh, I you know, I didn’t see that. I heard it wasn’t a good movie to me, was like it was perfect because, you know, it just that’s you just and then I had to respond accordingly in character. But that was where a lot of the comedy came from, was not knowing what he was ever going to say or how he was going to react. No one knew what was going to make him feel uncomfortable. Not really what was going to make him laugh, what he’s gonna respond to. And so it was this. It was this adventure where we had to kind of be malleable and nimble and kind of shift along the way as as we learned more about him. But that was also part of the fun of it. And we and we stayed very protective of him throughout. He didn’t know. But, you know, like you said, it’s The Truman Show, but in jury duty at the end of it. He’s realizing that for three weeks, everyone he’s surrounded himself with were all actors and that’s going to have a big impact on you if it’s not a positive point, you know? So we made sure that at the end of it, we were celebrating his spirit, his pure heartedness, and and hopefully that the journey along the way was fun.


Louis VIrtel Did you have favorite things you came up with to lampoon yourself as the weeks went by? I mean, I won’t spoil anything, but in the first episode you just popped out of nowhere with Ally McBeal Season five and I did a full Scream. You should be saying that in general, I hope that becomes your actual catchphrase.


James Marsden I always like I like to start with the turkeys first and then go right. I can’t just always lead with the big hits. But not that Ally McBeal was a bad show. I think the last season we sort of closed it out. Yeah, I think the joke there was that I was trying to get this curmudgeonly old judge to notice me who didn’t notice me in the courtroom. I’m, you know, ripping through my credits, trying to get out of jury duty. And he’s like, you know, if John Ratzenberger can sit in my courtroom and you can sit in my car. And, of course, you know, try to think of what the hell he’d ever seen me in. So I throw the appeal out, you know, hoping that that was his some sort of generational thing that you would have got. But yeah, I think I mean, all of it was fun. I mean, the idea of. You’re playing this character who’s pretending to be, you know, affable and but clearly egocentric jerk who isn’t interested in any conversation that doesn’t involve him, whether he’s aware of it or not. You know, it’s like he’s holding this confidential script. And but, you know, I can’t tell you about it, but I really want you to ask about it. And no one gives. No one cares. No one in the courtroom knows who I am or cares, but I do. And it bothers me because it’s like this is usually, you know, when you go to the jury duty, you’re like, that’s the great equalizer, right? There’s no hierarchy of, like, celebrity in the set. Like everyone’s they’re doing the same civic duty and it’s like standing in line of DMV. So I liked the idea of playing this guy who’s used to be being coddled and, you know, maybe as a posse or do you know and now he’s here with nobody. Nobody gives a crap who he is and and kind of watching him embarrass himself. I just think to me, playing somebody like a Hollywood entitled, spoiled, you know, celebrity comes with this opportunity to play the hot shot and then throughout the course of the show. You watch him kind of fall on his face and embarrass himself. Right. And he just becomes a sort of you know, it’s it’s my way of lampooning myself or lampooning kind of, you know, the Hollywood. But it was all it was just kind of all of that. Like, I get into character and I I’ve never done method stuff, but I decide to, while I’m on jury duty, get into the method thing a bit to prepare for this role. And he’s so and I mean, the idea that this guy thinks that none of this is as important as me booking this role on this movie is just kind of says says enough about the fun. Of playing yourself, but playing this really exaggerated, heightened version of yourself. I mean, I just I like I like I liked the idea of sending sending up that sort of that character, that celebrity in this show. Anyway, I’ll give you more examples, but I won’t spoil it.


Ira Madison III That’s all good. It seems like it would even be, you know, like, uniquely prepared for like a role like this where you’re thinking on your feet. Because what I think about your career, you’ve done so many different things. I mean, you know, I feel like we were first introduced to you through like a lot of great teen movies. Well, it was great to be. I loved Disturbing Behavior. I remember going to theaters to see Gossip, of course. But then, you know, you also have the X-Men franchise, but then you’ve also got like a slew of like rom coms, you know, and and Enchanted. I mean, out of all of those genres. And I see people clamoring for you to be in more rom coms online all the time. Like, which one excites you the most out of all the genres that you’ve done?


James Marsden I mean, I don’t know. I definitely, you know, I definitely love comedy and feel like the rom com is, is is like extinct at this point. I don’t know that they’re even making them anymore.I’ve been trying, but I feel like there’s an appetite for those types of movies now, especially we’ve all been with the been through the last couple of years. It’s some nice sort of like funfair would be really welcomed. So I do I enjoyed 27 dresses that was sort of we kind of hit it with that one. And it was one of those that, you know, now I still get people stopping on the streets and talking about it and people still rewatching it. We feel very proud of that. But yeah, I don’t know. I mean, it was Disturbing Behavior. I still can’t believe. So it’s better, deeper and deeper. And I don’t know. I mean, I love them all. What I’m proud of, most of what I’ve accomplished and hopefully continue to do, being given the opportunity to to not, you know, to to jump around genre design, to play these different characters where you’re not just the guy who’s in a romantic, you know, that you cast in romantic comedies, but you’re also the guy who. Plays John Kennedy in The Butler or as Cyclops in the X-Men. You know, so that’s that’s the thing I’m most proud of what I’ve been able to achieve. And it came from just trying to get whatever work comes your way. And, you know, so early on, people are saying, Why did you do that job? I did it because they gave the job to me and I made the best and I made the best of it. But then it became the pattern became like, oh, I was the guy who was able to sort of jump around quite a bit and and that and it and it kind of catered to my skill set to do that. I was like I was very in a self-deprecating way. I would always say I’m like, you know, the guy who’s not great at anything but good at a lot of things. So I was sort of Swiss Army knife. But but I do love comedy. It gets me excited to go to work in the morning. You know, if you know you’re doing a drama. I love the challenges of that. I just did this movie. It’s Michael Keaton and Al Pacino. And it was like, you know, I really had to do some heavy lifting to do, like emotionally and for the character. And as much as I love that, the challenge of that, you know, you definitely it’s hard to hang that up at the end of the day when you go home, right? You just look just emotionally worn out. And with comedy, it’s like on the show jury duty. I would just I would go home. It’s like, what are we doing tomorrow? What bits are we doing tomorrow? And I would just write down a whole list of things that maybe I could say to make fun of myself, depending on how he would react. So I guess I just get comedy gets me. It’s it’s one of the reasons I got into the business. Like I used to love SNL. My goal when I was in high school, I was like, I want to be a regular on SNL. I want to be one of the cast. And I ended up going to L.A. because I had a better opportunity there than I did in New York. But otherwise I would have come to New York and pursued that because I always felt like more of a character actor than your sort of leading man guy.


Louis VIrtel Though I will say. I mean, you get I’ll call it this, I don’t know about second best version of that, but other version of that, which is you provided a viable boyfriend for Liz Lemon, one of the most unstable and horrifying characters in television history. How? Yeah, I mean, like, I just as the years go on, I just don’t think anything has matched Thirty Rock. I just whatever it did the whiz bang of it how smart it was about TV and like crazy. James Marsden in jury duty like characters on that show. What was it like providing a foil and a boyfriend for Liz Lemon?


James Marsden Well, I was I was nervous at first, to be honest, because I had the same reverence for the show as you did. But I thought it was probably the smartest, most sharply written comedy in in years. I think it was. I mean, the writing on this show is, to me, the real star of the show. I mean, obviously everyone’s great on it, but it’s it’s it’s so crafted and so specific and so meta. It just I was like, where do I fit in in this world? Oh, the sort of dopey, sweet, puppy eyed boyfriend named Criss Cross who just, you know, is Gaga in love with her network? But like I was looking back was like, okay, who’s been here? Is Jon Hamm and Matt Damon and all these people. I’m like, boy, I got to bring it. And I remember thinking the first. This is not the first season. The first season I was on, I forget was like seasons five or six. I think I was unaware of whether or not it was working. I was like, If this feels good, feels fun, but I have no idea. And then you watch the episodes like, Oh wow, that really does work. But to the degree where I was like, okay, well, that was fun. I kind of went in and did a bit on 30 Rock and and what’s next? And then Robert Carlock called me and he said, Hey, want to see if you want to come back for another season? And I was like, Really? I would. I did not anticipate that phone call. I thought that that was like, oh, sort of mildly amusing and maybe it worked. He was no kidding. We want her to end up with you. Like marriage. Yeah, like marriage. You have a whole wedding and everything, like. Okay, of course that felt good. Like, you know, it was a it was a great experience. I love working with Tina. Just we just had a just an easy, fun rapport of these two. I think both had a sort of brand of weird as well, right? Just kind of odd. And that’s where and that’s how it worked because there was these two oddballs who fell in love with each other. Yeah, very proud of that. I just. I thought that was just the smartest. I mean, if you’re lucky, you just work with the best minds in the business. Just work with the best directors in the business. And if you’re lucky enough to do that, you’ll have a longer career. And. And I’m very, very lucky and grateful to have been a part of that crazy, crazy, brilliant show.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. You can’t rank the guest stars in that show. Everybody is. So it’s like they mold everybody into being like, amazing. I can’t think of one person who was deficient, you know?


James Marsden Yeah. No, they always make sure it works. Always make sure it works. And it was it was my I would come into New York, you know, once every six weeks. You know, go to Silver Cups studios out there, shoot an episode, go back. And, you know, it was I was kind of in and out recurring, but it was such a great thing to pop in and be in the hands of those brilliant writers. And then just to get there and play with Dean on set was just a dream.


Ira Madison III Hmm. You know, in doing this character for jury duty, obviously, you know, you’re coming up with moments yourself to make fun of your past roles or like, bring up things that you think may jog people’s memories. Was this fun for you to, you know, sort of go back and like, are you a person who like offhand, you’re like, you remember everything you’ve ever done? Or were you like the moment where you were like, Let me look at my Wikipedia and remember that I did, you know, Sugar and Spice in 2001 and bring that up?


James Marsden You know, I do. Then I don’t say this arrogantly. I do forget certain projects that I was in. No, I’m not, because I’ve done so much, but because I just, you know, as you just like you do it, you do you work on something and then you do your best to have a good time, You move on to what’s next. But I feel like I was maybe a little more prepared to talk about previous projects because I wouldn’t I, I needed to be prepared for what he might recognize me from. So I had to go back and refresh my memory. But yeah, I think the character that I’m playing, the the very self-involved James Marsden, would, you know, would be able to recite everything right. Like basically walking around with a t shirt I IMDB page on.


Ira Madison III Was there something that you like relooked at from like your past roles where you were like, Oh, maybe you had forgotten about it, or like you hadn’t thought about it in a while, but was like a great experience that you sort of wish was a film or project that people remembered more.


James Marsden I mean, it’s funny that you couldn’t make this movie nowadays because it’s so, I would say, offensive in some ways. But the movie that he brings up in the show that Ronald brings up is a movie called Sex Drive.


Ira Madison III Yes.


James Marsden And, you know, it’s raunchy, raunchy comedy. And it was when I when I got the role, I was like, do I really need to be in a coming of age comedy? But that maybe no one’s ever going to see. And I thought, this is something about the character. Like I grew up with someone in Oklahoma in high school that was so similar to what this character was. I was like, I’m just going to do whatever the hell I want because no one’s going to see this movie and I’m going to have fun doing it. And turns out that’s the recipe for a lot of times for success, because, I mean, not the movie didn’t really do anything, but for me it was that’s what Will Ferrell saw me in. And he was like, You’re so funny in that. Would you want to be an anchorman, too? And and it was the movie that that Ronald brings up. I forget which episode it is, but he brings it up. It’s like you’re in one of my favorite movies of all time sex drive. It’s like, Wow, But don’t tell anybody about that movie because that probably get me canceled nowadays.


Ira Madison III Really great soundtrack, though. You’ve got Fall Boy, MGMT, the 2009 time capsule.


James Marsden Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think there’s some Sonic Youth in there as well. I’m not sure. But yeah, it was a great I mean, it was just a fun I was just like a real, a real another real jerk in that one. But, but there’s something fun about playing that character where you get to it as long as you get to kind of, you know, be made fun of while you’re doing it. So that’s one. He came in and I was not ready for anything at all. He brought his DVD and we you sign this. And so me and the writers then once he came in knowing that movie, we had this idea it’s not in the show, but we had this idea to find a life sized cardboard cut out of me in character as as Rex from Sex Drive, and that when jury duty was over, I was going to give him this as a gift.


James Marsden But he would have fucking loved it.


James Marsden Yeah, for sure. And then I had this other idea too. Like, he’s the car I drive in the movie is called The Judge. This Orange GTO, 66 GTO called The Judge. And I was going to, when we revealed it to him, I was going to see if we did have time to do it. But the read, see if we could rent one and I’d pick him up and take him for a drive in it. But. But it was so funny that that’s the movie he brought up. I mean, you just saying now sugar and spice like Jesus. I was in that, right? God, yeah. It’s I feel very proud to have been a part of so many projects. But yeah, you do. You do start to forget and try to think something else I wish somebody would have seen more of, Oh, there’s a movie I did with Bernard. We produced this called The D Train with Jack Black.


Louis VIrtel I think the movie is so good and you are so good in it. I love Kathryn Hahn and it’s you and Jack Black. Yeah, great Move on.


James Marsden Jack Black.


Louis VIrtel Very weird. Yeah.


James Marsden Very. And that’s what I like about it. It’s not cookie cutter buddy buddy comedy, right? You think it’s going to be.


Ira Madison III Mike White, too


James Marsden Mike White. You think it’s going to be that? And then it just, you know, it it takes a turn looking me like I’m not spoiling. I don’t want to spoil it for people, is it? Someone’s got to go watch it this weekend. But just anything that just tries to subvert the obvious and not just go down the easily well-traveled roads. And I just think anything is just left of center a bit on. I just I’ve always gravitated towards that kind of material. And the D train is one of those I think they probably people probably saw the poster of like was this buddy comedy with with Jack Black and James Marsden and. And yeah, I don’t know if you watch the movie and it’s certainly not that. You know, it’s it’s a sort of darker, funny, darker version of that. So that’s that’s one that I’m proud of, but I wish more people would have seen. But yeah.


Louis VIrtel Unexpected queer content in that movie too. I just want to say for people who haven’t seen it yet, go and check it out.


James Marsden I know it’s right. We can see spoilers on that now because. Yeah, it’s exactly exactly that and done in a very kind of heartbreaking but also funny way I I’m trying to think of the right way to describe it but yeah that’s that’s like white that’s that’s kind of his his brilliance there is like how do you take something that’s can also can be kind of dark and you find yourself laughing at it as well but yeah, yeah, that one’s a that’s another one I’m really proud of.


Ira Madison III Well, thank you so much for being here. I mean, of course, honestly, like I said, we we love you in so many things, but, you know, we, you know, the rom com and we and I need to find Marc Shaiman and just make him write a Hairspray sequel. If it’s just about the Corny Collins show.


James Marsden You know, Marc and I at that, I think this is even before we did Hairspray, I got approached by Clive Davis to do an album like, of, like standards like Michael Bublé. And I was going to meet him in New York and I called Mark. I want you to come with me to this meeting. I was like, Play the piano and sing or whatever. But we were flirting with the idea of doing an album for a while, but I’d rather just do a full on, full blown musical again. I don’t think anybody are sick of.


Ira Madison III Yeah, and he’s so great it though. I mean I fucking love some like it hot.


James Marsden I just it’s so good It’s it’s he’s so great and such a talent. I knew about him from when I was in college listening to Harry Harry Connick on, you know, When Harry Met Sally soundtrack. And I was like, who? And early Connick Records is like, who is doing these orchestrations? And it’s like Nelson Riddle, like. And then I figured out with Marc Shaiman and then started seeing like, Oh my God, he did the South Park movie and like this and that. And I started hearing his sound and his orchestrations, his big band, you know, horns and drums. And so I just I became a fan very, very early on with Marc. And then serendipitously, we ended up working together on Hairspray, not because I knew him, but because it just worked out that way. And such a crazy, gifted, gifted human being and lucky to be have some really, really great memories of even just his apartment here in New York, just growing up with a bunch of people and singing. And he’s the best is the best. And I love to do something with him again.


Ira Madison III Alright. When we’re back, Nichole Perkins rejoins Louis and I to discuss our favorite underrated rom coms.




Ira Madison III Okay, I don’t even really like the phrase guilty pleasure in the first place, so I’m ignoring that these are guilty pleasure rom coms,  but Nichole, you hosted Thirst Aid Kit with them. I absolutely love that show. And, you know, you were always talking about partnered on that show. And that leads me to romcoms. And, you know, we just had James Marsden on this episode, so I wanted to know what you and Louis, some of your favorite, maybe underrated romantic comedies are.


Nichole Perkins Okay, so I’m going to say this one. I also do not believe in guilty pleasures. I think you should be loud and proud with whatever it is that makes you happy for. An hour and 30 minutes or whatever. I’m going to say this one. Okay. Just bear with me, okay? It’s this movie called She’s Out of My League. And it came out in 2010.


Ira Madison III Jay Baruchel was in that


Louis VIrtel Yes, I remember it well. Yes.


Nichole Perkins I think he is so cute. I like I have a thing for really skinny man. Like, I like a little cigaret looking dude. I call them French. I call them a French fry of a man. Like, I that’s my thing. So I know a lot of people when I say, you know, someone might say they’re just like, What are you talking about? He looks like an adolescent. That’s why he does not look like he looks like a grown man. He’s just slim, you know, It’s okay. But I think he’s so cute. He has really pretty eyes. And then movie is about he plays his character as a TSA agent and he falls for Alice Eve, who is like a party planner or something like that. Like she does even seems like an event planner or something like that. And, you know, she comes from a wealthy family. I think there’s I think the movie is set, if I remember correctly, either in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. I think it’s Pittsburgh. And his family is very, you know, working class. And there’s just a lot like his friends are bombs. You know, it’s very much that whole like. Bromance Judd Apatow era of like rom coms and stuff. Right. And like, there’s a there’s a scene where he’s trying to, like, save his pubic hair. It’s just it’s disgusting and it’s so much. But it’s just a cute little movie that is, you know, that basic lesson of don’t count yourself out. You never know, you know, just because you don’t have all of these things, it doesn’t mean that you’re not a good person, that someone won’t fall in love with you kind of thing. And it’s just a really sweet, silly, ridiculous movie.


Ira Madison III Hmm. I loved Jay on the series Undeclared on Fox, and so I feel like I was obsessed with his just like the face then. And when she thought about him, about that movie, it’s like 2010, which is a period where I was I was already living here in New York, but I was in grad school then, and it was definitely a time where on the weekend, much like high school and college, like whatever fucking movie came out, I would probably go and see her that weekend. Like, does it matter the quality of it. You see it, you see the trailer, you’re like, This is fun enough, I’ll go see it.


Nichole Perkins Right.


Ira Madison III So Definitely saw She’s Out of My League in theaters. And I loved that because he’s a TSA worker. It makes the ending with the racing to the airplane funnier.


Nichole Perkins Yes. Yes. They did a lot of cute little twist on, you know, rom com tropes in the movies. I, i, I love it. It’s one of my favorites.


Louis VIrtel I hope those How to Train your Dragon checks are fat. I hope it really banking. Those movies are cute, actually. Well. My. If I. I don’t know about underrated, but I will say I think this satisfies the prompt, which is if the movie’s on, I will watch it till the end. So there must be some level of affection occurring there. And I have a personal connection to this movie because the beginning of it was filmed in my hometown when I was in middle school, and so I literally got to see the high school I would soon be in because it’s featured at the beginning of the movie Save the Last Dance. And let me say something about this movie. First of all, I did not realize what a hit it was. This movie costs like $13 million and made $130 million. I don’t think of it as like, you know, sort of a towering entry in this genre in any way. But there’s just something about one, a surly female lead. It’s just you don’t get a lot of them, you know, Like usually if a woman is leading a movie, her whole thing is I’m full of charisma. And Julia Stiles thing is, I am avidly avoiding having charisma. You know, I arguably, like begrudgingly in this film. So there’s something I really like about that. But also like this woman having to learn dancing like she’s a ballerina and then she wants to, you know, learn hip hop. There is something actually vulnerable making about that performance. Like you actually are kind of gripping the table, like, am I watching something I shouldn’t be watching? This feels almost too personal and somebody would be putting this on film. But for that reason, it’s pretty good. You know, It’s like it gives you it exposes a side of a personality that I don’t think you would otherwise see in a rom com. Yeah, I just find it to be a really pleasant movie. And yeah, one of the few that’s been filmed in Lamont, Illinois, Straight Talk with Dolly Partonm another entry.


Nichole Perkins Is that the one with Kerry Washington and she’s a teen mom? Okay.


Louis VIrtel Yes. Uh huh.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And famously the the line what’s she doing? Two step?


Louis VIrtel And she was so just journalistically accurate. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Ah, another one of my favorite I love the interracial comediess so much because that has that scene where they’re like canoodling on the train in Chicago and this older white woman is looking at them. Just a partizan.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. I think a good area to look for when you’re thinking of, like, underrated rom coms or whatever is the best Kiss MTV Movie award. You know, like, rarely does a good movie end up in that category, but it does have a couple of moments that should be celebrated.


Ira Madison III Okay, well done. Attack Spiderman two.


Louis VIrtel Or the I cannot get over. One of the craziest nominations in that category is the Jeremy Irons Lolita Like a Kiss with Dominique Swain. But I think. GROSS MTV.


Ira Madison III I feel like the best movie to ever win Best Kiss is Cruel Intentions.


Louis VIrtel They were like, Here is the kiss.


Ira Madison III You got Selma Blair, you got Sergio Gallo. They’re like, We are the entire summer that that movie came out, like every everyone had women telling each other down.


Louis VIrtel No, Also, it’s.


Ira Madison III It was SNL, it was commercials.


Louis VIrtel Yeah. No, the lips interact in that scene like mealworms in a petri dish just whoa. Like moving. And you could you could feel the sticky and the temperature in the kiss. Unusually immersive.


Ira Madison III Tragically, that film does not hold up as well.


Louis VIrtel I agree. No, you obviously you would just go watch Dangerous Liaisons. Be a human being. You’re an adult.


Nichole Perkins You know, I had some friends over a couple of weeks ago, and they’re all millennials. And I, for whatever reason, I can’t remember why, but I put on Dangerous Liaisons and I was like, This is what Cruel Intentions This was the remake. And they were just it was like, What.


Ira Madison III This is what it was.


Nichole Perkins And I had to like, say, okay, now this is Buffy’s character. Like, I was trying to, like, draw the parallel so they could understand it and they were riveted. And I was like, okay, you have to go. Like, obviously, you know, they were over and we were talking over so much of it. But I was like, You have to go home now and watch this from the beginning to the end, because they were looking at baby Keanu. They, you know, they seen Michelle Pfeiffer and then they were just like their mouths were drop.


Louis VIrtel Yeah, baby Uma.


Nichole Perkins Yeah, but great movie.


Ira Madison III I mean, those are Dangerous Liaisons is fucking fantastic and always due for a revival. And as amazing  Sarah Michelle Geller is in Cruel Intentions and Ryan Phillipe so sexy in it. And Reese Witherspoon is just like, so sweet. And then of course, you have Swoosie KURTZ.


Louis VIrtel Who is also in Dangerous Liaisons. Yes.


Yes. That is that is just a great fucking cast, but it doesn’t all really jell together. But I’m glad that Cruel Intentions was brought up because my film has Swoosie KURTZ in it as Oh.


Louis VIrtel Wow, this is my episode. All right.


Ira Madison III That’s my underrated rom com. And this is not a surprising box office hit. The budget was 22 million and the box office was 19.9 million.


Louis VIrtel We love to see it. Exactly what I want to look at out of Wikipedia.


Ira Madison III Definitely a flop. Tell me if you know this movie from the cast. Kirsten Dunst. Ben Foster, Cisco.


Louis VIrtel Oh, God. Is this. It’s not. Crazy, Beautiful. What else? What could it be?


Ira Madison III No, that. Although that is a lovely Kristen Dunst movie, this is. Get Over It.


Nichole Perkins I have never heard of that.


Louis VIrtel Love titles like that, by the way.


Ira Madison III Oh, wow. So let me tell you something about Get Over It, Nichole, Get Over It is loosely based on a midsummer Night’s Dream. And so, of course, the students of the high school in the movie are putting on a midsummer Night’s Dream.


Nichole Perkins Okay.


Ira Madison III Because you have to you can’t just have it be based on Midsummer Night’s Dream. You have to really hone in on the fact that this is based on Shakespeare, because this is 2001 and this is the era of. Oh, you know, and. Right. Adapting every Shakespeare. Beckett to a teen movie. Ben Foster is trying to win back his ex-girlfriend, who is just a dud. And he joins the school play that she’s in with her new boyfriend. So he joins a midsummer Night’s Dream so that he can win her back. Also has Zoe Saldana of Mila Kunis. Shane West plays the other love interest. Carmen Electra is in this movie. This starts out with him being dumped. He’s being left like a cardboard box with all his stuff in it. And he’s leaving her house and the movie kicks off with vitamin C not appearing because he knows he doesn’t want.


Louis VIrtel To stay exactly one year. Yes, right.


Ira Madison III The stigma Vitamin C appears and she and everyone else in the town starts appearing behind him, singing Captain & Tennille’s Love Will Keep Us Together, following him while he’s just, like depressed, walking back to his house. So that’s how the movie kicks off. I think it’s fantastic. And Sisqo is like, I think like a D.J. kind of character. It’s very similar to Usher, like, and she’s all that we’re there all day having to record those day. But yeah, Sisqo, I think, has everyone do this dance routine because the early 2000 was also about teen movies. Just having a choreographed dance routine happened in the middle of a movie for no reason.


Nichole Perkins Where is this? Okay. You say Zoe Saldana and Mila Kunis were in this. Is this the one where they make out?


Ira Madison III No, that is that apparently is there’s 2007 film called After Sex.


Nichole Perkins Oh, okay. Much different.


Ira Madison III But anyway, Get Over It is it’s really a film that I feel like has stuck with me for years. I’ve never forgotten the movie, and I feel like I’ve never forgotten it because of the title. I just think that the title Get Over It is a great title for a movie and very much a teen movie from like the early 2000.


Louis VIrtel You know what I’d like to rewatch? Speaking of Kirsten Dunst is Does the Cat’s Meow hold up, do we think?


Ira Madison III I don’t think I’ve seen the Cats Meow, Louis.


Louis VIrtel All I know is it was at the beginning of that show, The Jinx, Right. Like, because that story is partly based on this or something. And so I’ve always intended to rewatch it, and I never did.


Ira Madison III I mean, less than Peter Bogdanovich, rarely does Raabe.


Louis VIrtel Except for the 15 times he did. But Nickelodeon at Long Last Love, I can go on and on. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I can. Anyway. Yeah. I mean, I feel like at some point we should revisit most of the Dobson’s discography. And there’s a lot of horror movies in there, right?


Louis VIrtel Just like, why not sort of things?


Ira Madison III Cause she was that everything. All right, we’re back. Keep It. And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s Keep It, Nichole, as our guest of honor. What’s yours?


Nichole Perkins Okay. There is a new limited series on Netflix called Obsession, starring Richard Armitage, Charlie Murphy and Indira Varma. It’s a new adaptation of this novel called Damage by Josephine Hart, which was made into a movie in 1992 starring Jeremy Irons.


Louis VIrtel I love that movie. Yeah.


Nichole Perkins Okay. So this is all the same, right? And so Richard Armitage is this very well-respected surgeon married to Indira Varma, who is a barrister. And they have a great relationship. They have two adult children, one of whom is a son named Jay, who brings home his fiancee. And Richard Armitage and the fiancee, Charlie Murphy. They start having an affair. So the father is sleeping with his son’s fiancee. And it’s only four episodes. Thank goodness, because it is so not good.


Louis VIrtel Oh, that’s too bad.


Nichole Perkins It’s supposed to be this erotic thriller. And Netflix actually recently tweeted out like the timestamps of when the sex happens in each episode. So like, oh, you know, if you’re watching this with your family, step away. First of all, why would you be watching an erotic thriller with your family in the first place? But yeah.


Ira Madison III Famously I did see the movie Unfaithful with my grandmother, which was a mistake.


Louis VIrtel Oh, God.


Nichole Perkins That is one of my favorite movies.


Ira Madison III But yeah, favorite one of my favorite was Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez are so fucking hot, that movie. But I did not get to see that hallway scene with my grandmother.


Nichole Perkins No, no, no. I don’t know how you survived that, but. Okay, So basically, like his character, William is just like he sees her from across the room and is immediately in heat for her. And every time there’s, like, escalating BDSM stuff in their relationship, But it always seems very. Urgent. And lack of care. Which is? I don’t know. I mean, I guess it’s supposed to be, like, super intense or whatever, but there’s this one scene that is driving Twitter crazy. And so his son and fiancee, they go to Paris, the set in London, and they go to Paris for a little getaway. And he follows them, basically, and. They screw in an alley and then when they check, when the sun and the gas, I check out. I can’t remember their names because I’ve just, like, blanked on everything. I’m really sorry that I’m not used to their names. It’s so bad. So when they check out. He the father books the room, goes into the hotel room and like. Scrounge through the bad, looking for her scent like a dog. Right. But obviously the room has been turned over, so hopefully they have changed the sheets. I so thinking of that. He realizes, oh, maybe percent is in this decorative pillow that would not be changed out as office. So he grabs a decorative pillow and he’s you know, Huff and his like just like burying his face. And then he starts masturbating and humping the bed. And it is so uncomfortable, so unsexy, so desperate and pitiful that I’m just like, why is this supposed to be sexy? Like, it’s it’s not. It’s very funny and painful to look at. And it’s just I was like, No, I can’t. I cannot watch this. But I did. But I should not have.


Louis VIrtel The 92 version with Jeremy Irons and Juliette Binoche, I think is probably one of the best erotic thrillers. And also you get an awesome scene from the woman playing Jeremy Irons wife Miranda Richardson, who has a breakdown after this affair bubbles over and the main events of the movie occur and her the way she screams at him and and tells him you should have killed yourself. I mean, it’s I mean, I have not seen any kind of scene in a movie like that before. That kind of intensity, that kind of wrath come from an actor. She was nominated for an Oscar and lost it. Marisa Tomei, that you’re a fact that gay people still debate to this day.


Ira Madison III I recently watched her acceptance speech because I feel like I had never even seen, like the lead up to it. You see all those nominations? People were not happy with it. No.


Louis VIrtel Well, what people don’t say about that year is that Marisa Tomei, as part is so much bigger than all of the performances, with the possible exception of Judy Davis, it’s like it makes sense. She’s doing a lot of comedy in the movie. But anyway, yes, I am so sorry that damage show is not good because the source material I find pretty naughty in a fun way.


Nichole Perkins Yeah. And you know, I found out that that scene in the hotel scene, Richard Armitage, largely improvised it. So I don’t know. I think, you know, maybe they need an intimacy coordinator for even masturbation. So let’s see.


Ira Madison III We need really, Luca, We need Luca directing the scene because one of my favorite snipping scenes in a movie is Timothee Chalumet sniffing Armie Hammer’s underwear and call me by your name. And then, like, how big the bed and like, you know, positioning himself on it like they were having sex. And that was a hot said.


Nichole Perkins That was like this scene. This one was not.


Louis VIrtel Speaking of Luca and Timmy, my Keep It this week goes out to not really Timothee Chalamet but to response Timothee Chalamet. So I guess he’s dating Kylie Jenner now. I’m a pop culture fan. The Jenner’s Kardashians. Not really my universe. I don’t know much to say about them anymore, but I will say people I think are having a sort of knee jerk I don’t know about gross out reaction, but I think people need to respect the fact that Timothee Chalamet clearly cares about fame, because all he seems to date are people who are related to other famous people. I’m talking about modestly Madonna’s daughter. I’m talking about Lily-rose Depp, who is the daughter of Vanessa Paradis, and now this person who I don’t know, it just speaks to it’s like he’s like, I’m going to be a famous person. Well, I better be in the constellation of famous people. You know, I better belong. And I think ultimately, as I’ve said this before with several superstars, I think what cements a celebrity in people’s mind is their association with other celebrities. Ultimately, I think people always underestimate how much Beyoncé getting with Jay-Z ended up kind of raising her to another level. And that is not to denigrate any of her work, obviously, but it’s literally just people remember you if you have a friend, you also can remember, you know, So I’m just saying I thank Timothee Chalamet for doing this. I’m going to call it a momentary relationship. I’m not really seeing a wedding here, but, you know, it just means he’s going to be around even longer.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, we’ve talked about this before the show. I think that’s relationships that become tabloid moments are definitely things that propel people to stardom. I mean, even though they’re even though the stories go back and forth, I like Olivia Wilde, Right. People know Olivia Wilde by name. Now. They know her face by people in the grocery store because of this whole Jason Sudeikis and Harry Styles thing.


Louis VIrtel Right. Exactly.


Ira Madison III What we were getting like our groceries for Coachella this weekend, you know, in the grocery store. And I’m just like, she is on every fucking cover. And I did not realize that Olivia Wilde was like, running the gossip columns, right?


Louis VIrtel Yeah. You missed, like, when it was just one person. Ah, you know, like Elizabeth Taylor or something where it’s just we can’t get enough. And, I mean, these people are ruining their lives, too, but, you know. Yeah, exactly. Now, she’s not just an actor or a director. She’s a character in a narrative, you know what I mean? And people care about their stories like you and your soaps, Ira.


Ira Madison III I sure do. Can’t wait to log off this to watch today’s Days of My Life. And one more thing to say about Jimmy. Ah, this is also going to like people confused that Emily Ratajkowski was like, making out with Harry Styles. And I want to point out that people make out with other hot people in their social circles. Mm hmm. Okay. Like, if if, you know, if like, gay people are written about by, like, Page Six, you would see, Oh, this person made out with like three different people this past weekend. It would become like a news story. Right. Like, if you were these two hot celebrities and you were at an event and you’re drunk, you’re going to make out with each other.


Louis VIrtel Mm hmm. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Like I said, I think Shawn and Camille of being back together at Coachella, they’re not back together. They were at Coachella. Watch it. Bad body. And they decided to make out with each other while they were dancing.


Louis VIrtel That’s it.


Nichole Perkins That makes sense to me.


Louis VIrtel You’re conferring a level of cool on them, which I hope they’re capable of taking. But. Yeah. No, I agree. I mean, literally, I’m thinking of, Oh, this is what I’m about to admit. Louis and Matt Rogers making out at Fire Island last summer. Girl, we are not together. We are bored. That is what is happening.


Ira Madison III But not this teabag spell.


Louis VIrtel Out, right? I mean, it can’t be tea. It’s like molten rock. There’s nothing to spell.


Ira Madison III This is all to say that Timmy is a twink, not a daddy. And he is not going to be raising Kylie Jenner’s kids.


Louis VIrtel Oh, yes, I am curious about that. Yeah.


Ira Madison III All right. I mean, at this point, he’s sort of like one of Hollywood’s pass around men. So they’re going to date for a bit and then he will be on to the next girl.


Louis VIrtel I love you phrasing it in the way that someone like Jackie Collins would put it, a pass around man. Hollywood pass around man. Yeah. Ira, what is your damn Keep It?


Ira Madison III My Keep It This week goes to new media company, Max.


Louis VIrtel Uh, right.


Ira Madison III If you did not know. HBO Max is now going to be rebranded as Max, and I would like to know what the fuck Warner Brothers is basically like Warner Brothers Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav, who is basically the Joker in Hollywood at this point. He’s like terrorizing TV series, canceling things left and right, pulling things from streaming services. But he announced that HBO Max is going to be rebranded as Max, and Max will be the streaming destination for Max and HBO originals, Warner Brothers Films, The DC Universe, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Kids content, along with programing from HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, and more.


Louis VIrtel I find it extremely confusing. HBO is Prestige and Max is your nephew.


Ira Madison III HBO has been a household name for decades, like you mentioned HBO. You know, you know what you’re getting. You know the quality you’re getting. You know that you’re going to have good actors in it. You know, there’s going to be a budget. I don’t give a fuck that this.


Louis VIrtel It’s just a word. It’s the opposite of men.


Ira Madison III And it just seems very weird to take Inception as era of graduate, right? Like to get rid of a very viable grad and just call something Max now. I don’t know what’s going on there, but I don’t like it.


Louis VIrtel I just. Yeah, I find it baffling. We keep being told that the HBO name is a hindrance or that, like, people can expect a kind of quality, maybe an intimidating level of programing that they’re not necessarily up for. They just want something they can veg out to. Maybe HBO doesn’t say that to people mentally, but I just can’t imagine taking it away from the brand. Also, it’s actually shocking how attached I am to brand names. I don’t I don’t know why I’m actually a little bit offended.


Ira Madison III Like, yeah, I mean, the Keebler elves are out there changing that. You know, like, you know, you’re going to get what you got to get. But if anything like Sex and the City, I feel like helped birth HBO, you know, So it’s prestige. So how about the answer would be just greenlight some Sex in the City instead of having to change the name to make it more accessible to people who think that, you know, watching Perry Mason is too much work for them, I guess.


Louis VIrtel I don’t know. It really is baffling to me. I don’t get it at all.


Ira Madison III Well, that’s our show this week. So thank you. One to James Marsden for joining us. Thank you to Nichole Perkins for being here. You taught us a lot more about Prince.


Nichole Perkins Well, thank you. I bet my goal in life is to spread the word of Prince.


Louis VIrtel Let me shut up. By the way, his first ever single, Soft and Wet, that’s probably my favorite single Prince song. And you know who else loves that song? Meshell Ndegeocello, one of my favorite musicians.


Ira Madison III Mhm.


Nichole Perkins I think they worked together.


Louis VIrtel Yep. Mhm.


Ira Madison III Mhm. What’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s favorite Prince song?


Louis VIrtel Well that’s a group. So they probably have individual tastes and if you think they all agree on one that’s your problem.


Ira Madison III It ain’t just one bitch? Learn something new every day.


Louis VIrtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III And make sure you, of course, listen to The Prince Mixtape. The first episode is out today as opposed to this episode. So. Go find the call there. Thank you again for joining us and Keep It. We’ll see you next week. Wrap up. Don’t forget to follow us at Crooked Media on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. Plus, if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a five star review on your podcast platform of choice. Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third. That’s me and Louis Virtel. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Matt deGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for production support every week. And as always, Keep It is filmed in front of a live studio audience.