“Oh, the Places Gays Go!” w. Jesse Tyler Ferguson | Crooked Media
Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW! Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW!
May 25, 2022
Keep It
“Oh, the Places Gays Go!” w. Jesse Tyler Ferguson

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss gay travel destinations, musicians being forced to make Tik Toks, Nicole Kidman’s connection to Rebel Wilson, Angela Lansbury’s lifetime achievement award, and more. Plus, Jesse Tyler Ferguson joins to discuss his new podcast, his Tony nomination for Take Me Out, and other Broadway memories.


With our constitutionally protected right to abortion under attack, abortion funds are working nonstop to make sure people can still access (and afford) abortion.Visit votesaveamerica.com/roe to learn more, donate, and take action.




Ira Madison III: [AD]


Ira Madison III: And we are back for an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel: I’m Louis Virtel. I like introducing myself with a little flair, like I’m running PBS’s Masterpiece Theater.


Ira Madison III: Well, you know, this is a this is a sad week for us because we’ve been we’ve been exposed to Deuxmoi.


Louis Virtel: Oh, I know that does suck. Yeah, we had a good run.


Ira Madison III: That has been one of my favorite things that happened this week, by the way, the fact that Brian Feldman, a journalist who I adore, I love his writing, literally just was like, hey, what if you actually just did a search on the Internet and found out who they are?


Louis Virtel: People are like, Wait a minute, I can just type things into Google, tell me more.


Ira Madison III: I can do journalism, which, by the way, is I agree with his reasoning that we should know who they are at this point. They’ve got a book coming out. They’ve got an HBO Max show.


Speaker 3 Yeah.


Ira Madison III: I don’t think you can be anonymous anymore if you have a TV show. All right. Imagine if Aaron Spelling was an anonymous executive.


Louis Virtel:  Yeah, this person can’t be going to meetings with networks and just a hoodie and, like, blackness shielding his face anymore.


Ira Madison III: And of course, it’s just, you know, white women with money in New York.


Louis Virtel: Which is a pilot I’ve been trying to sell it for years. So why aren’t they biting?


Ira Madison III: Imagine it being, imagine Deuxmoi being anything other than white woman living in New York with their obsession with Cipriani and Carbone. Yeah. And Balthazar.


Louis Virtel: Right, right, right. Well, it’s like I brought this reference up before when the in Wayside School when the the mysterious smelly person in the in the trench coat turns out to just be a dead rat. Like there’s layers and layers and layers and underneath. And in this case, it’s just it’s just a pile of white women. Yes. Hiding behind doorways and stuff. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: Is that America’s secret?


Louis Virtel: That’s right. Wow. I’m writing a poem now.


Ira Madison III: All the evil is white women hiding behind a pile of clothes. I have not thought about Smelly Kid in forever. And honestly, I would love a White Side Story TV show.


Louis Virtel: I know. I truly I mean, it was sort of like a watered down Roald Dahl experience in that those books written by Louis Sacker, who most people I think know because he wrote Holes. But those books were like it was about a school and they built the school sideways on accident. So it was 100 stories tall and it was supposed to just be flat. And all the kids had like slightly strange, peculiar stories. The teacher was a little wacky. And then the the gym teacher or the quote unquote yard teacher, a phrase I have never heard elsewhere in life is like the normal one.


Ira Madison III: And the 13th floor was missing. Right?


Louis Virtel: Right. Which is kind of ahead of its time. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: But people did have classes there.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. You know what? That’s a pretty cute idea.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, and you were supposed to look for it and you couldn’t get there. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: I should reread those.


Louis Virtel: I bet. I bet they’re a scream.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Well, we’ve got an exciting episode this week. Jesse Tyler Ferguson joins us.


Louis Virtel: Who is one of us in every way, a Broadway gay an Ackbar going gay in Los Angeles. Actors oriented man. So he brings joy.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. We talk about Take Me Out. We talk about his new Spotify original podcast, a Pride and Prejudice adaptation, because every gay man has one of those now.


Louis Virtel: And by every gay man, you do mean two. But yes, they are. There are multiple ones this summer. Yes. Shout out to my friend Joel Kim Booster, whose movie Fire Island will be coming out soon and is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, set on the idyllic Fire Island gay paradise, which we’ll also be talking about today.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, because we’re going to talk about our favorite gay vacation destinations. We’re turning it to a travel podcast this week because I want some Marriott points.


Louis Virtel: You think they just start hurling them at you? If you’re like, You know what, city is great, Cleveland.


Ira Madison III: We’re also going to get into why Florence and the Machine is being forced to make Tik-Toks.


Louis Virtel: It’s just not right. Think about her flowy dresses. They don’t. They belong on Jupiter, not Tik-Tok.


Ira Madison III: All right. We’ll be back with more Keep It.


Ira Madison III: Summer is here, which means it’s time to start planning those vacation getaways. So Keep It as going full travel pod this week and tell you about some of our favorite and not so favorite vacation spots. You know what my favorite spot is?


Louis Virtel: Go ahead.


Ira Madison III: Shutter Island.


Louis Virtel: You love a flop. 2000s. I guess that movie does have defenders. But you love. Yeah. A dreary 2000s dystopia.


Ira Madison III: You just lock me up at a psych ward.


Louis Virtel: Oh, sure. No, the public has been begging. I was going to say you said summer’s here. And that reminds me by the ultimate summer song of all time is Dancing in the Street by Martha and the Vandellas. And I am now officially requesting it played wherever I go this summer.


Ira Madison III: Is that the official song of the summer, Louis?


Louis Virtel: I think it’s the best one ever. And you know who wrote it?


Ira Madison III: The Vandellas?


Louis Virtel: No, they did not sit around and write it. Um, Marvin Gaye.


Ira Madison III: Hmm. That makes sense. I like Heatwave more than I like Dancing in the Street.


Louis Virtel: I actually have to leave now. Okay, here’s the thing. You would think I like that one more, because Linda Ronstadt did a version. But no Dancing in the Street is it. And I don’t even like the Mick Jagger version.


Ira Madison III: Hmm.


Louis Virtel: Or he and David Bowie are, like, clapping like, there’s no other word, true faggots. And.


Ira Madison III: You know, I also like, you know, there’s there’s been so many songs that have come out after that, but we’re going to have to revisit that at some point. Actually probably during this episode, I’m going to think of I’m going to think of other ones.


Louis Virtel: Like classic summer songs?


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Well, also shout out to something I need to hear every year. And I don’t hear enough at Pride. Hey Mr. DJ by Zhane, which I think is the ultimate, shall we say, Cookout Anthem.


Ira Madison III: Okay. Okay. All right. Anyway. Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Sorry. Oh, yeah. Gay destinations. Can you tell I’m not a travel blogger? Is that coming across us? Okay.


Ira Madison III: You’re going to Palm Springs for Memorial Day. Yes. As most L.A. gays are wanting to do.


Louis Virtel: Right. Which is, by the way, a controversial choice now, because they are so anti music in Palm Springs, as in in most places in Palm Springs, which is this two hour jaunt from L.A.. And, you know, it’s like a desert city, but just the weather is always perfect, even if it’s boiling because it’s never humid there. So it has a sort of glamorous mid-century vibe. Everything looks like the cast of Bewitched hangs out there and drinks. But in Palm Springs now, it’s run by a sort of hostile to tourists demographic that can’t stand music. So if you play music even slightly loud at your Airbnb, you could get kicked out of your Airbnb like in the middle of the day, which happened to me and my friends. We literally played like literally a whisper of a Christina Aguilera song, was heard over the hills and somebody got mad and called the cops over to our place. So anyway, is it.


Ira Madison III: Was it Reverend Moore?


Louis Virtel: You’d think. You’d think. But otherwise, I love Palm Springs. Do you know my favorite thing about Palm Springs is that’s, like, dorky and only for people like us? The Palm Springs Walk of Fame? Have you. You know what I’m talking about?


Ira Madison III: Yes. You’ve brought up the Palm Springs Walk of Fame before. You love this, but I don’t think I’ve ever visited it.


Louis Virtel: Okay. Well, it’s just on the main drag in Palm Springs, which is like an H&M and cute restaurants. And you walk down and the stars say things like it has all of their, quote unquote, hyphenate credits. It’ll be like Beverly Johnson, model, actress, humanitarian. It’s like, okay, I guess. I mean, she probably donated to charity at some point in her life, but it just it’s so the PR that they’re doing is just written on the stones on the street. That’s different than here in L.A., where you do see a name and a, you know, a movie camera icon.


Ira Madison III: I would love for you to be boots on the ground at someone’s getting their square on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah. And it’s someone like Ross Mathews or something. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: But like, when’s the last time it was added to?


Louis Virtel: You know what? They look new ish. That said, it does also have the feeling of being abandoned, which is a nice trick.


Ira Madison III: Alright. Well Scooby and the gang can wander around and figure out that mystery. I won’t be in Palm Springs as, well I’ll be in Europe the entire summer.


Louis Virtel: Wow. Never heard of it.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Well, maybe you should watch more Carmen Sandiego, Louis.


Louis Virtel: Oh, I just made a reference to her in my Kimmel thing last week, and I have to say, I go to that reference too often. But all right.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. I get it, you know what? People always make that joke about me, too when it’s like Ira don’t even know where you live these days. And I was like, you know what? Make a Thomas Crown Affair joke.


Louis Virtel: There we go. That’s much better. Also, by the way, it has to be the original Thomas Crown Affair, even though the other one is better with Rene Russo because Faye Dunaway’s hair and the original Thomas Crown Affair, second to none, the chignon of all time. It’s like. It’s like a Wetzel’s pretzel what she does with her hair.


Ira Madison III: You know, I’ve never seen the Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway version.


Louis Virtel: And you get, of course, the amazing The Windmills of Your Mind song, the Michel Legrand Oscar winner. Anyway, I was going to ask you about Palm Springs, though, quickly. Don’t you think one of the best bars in the world, which has changed names over the years, is that Broadway bar?


Ira Madison III: QUADZ.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Isn’t that the best. Yes.


Ira Madison III: There should be more bars that specifically let you seeing Broadway songs and play Broadway clips as well. Last night I took friends who are visiting from Canada to a hardware bar in New York, and there was like a drag, sort of like Broadway. You know, inspired show. And that was so much fun.


Louis Virtel: No, this this bar in Palm Springs, you go in, it’s like it’s not too big or anything. And they are playing VHS, as in somebody has somehow physically taped together Broadway clips like on a on a VHS. That’s what it seems like to me. It’s what it looks like. They play them on the screen. They’re always the same Broadway clips. You always get whatever Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. You always get Tony’s performances, you always get Victor, Victoria, etc. And people just scream along to this shit. And it’s people of all ages, cause you know, Broadway… Showtunes still, I think, unites generations of gays. You know, that’s still something that connects everybody. And it’s.


Ira Madison III: Everybody wants those bright lights, Louis.


Louis Virtel: Right. I guess. I guess. And I just love it. There’s no other place like it. I mean, I guess there’s probably places like that in New York, but out here in California, we are like at a loss.


Ira Madison III: I mean, it’s really just that.


Louis Virtel: Broadway themed type stuff.


Ira Madison III: There’s I think the edge in S.F. also has like a Broadway and I think those Broadway nights places. This is the only bar I’ve located where it is this every single day. Yeah. And I think we actually need more of that.


Louis Virtel: For sure. No. And like, they’ll play God Bless America and pass out flags for when Kate Smith starts singing it. Kate Smith, dead name. Bars like this keep them alive. Thrilled for it.


Ira Madison III: I also love the like the person who put plays like the videos at QUADZ is like is very like persnickety about what sort of video you request. Like don’t go and request like Defying Gravity. Right. You know, like, you need some taste and which is why I always pull out of my back pocket. Don’t Walk Away by Xanadu.


Louis Virtel: Mmm. Which do they play that there? I feel like I’ve seen a lot of Cheyenne Jackson and some shorts on this.


Ira Madison III: On this. Yeah. They think they’ve played it there. But like that one’s that ones. I think like that one is a good. I request it last night Don’t Walk Away by Xanadu and you know I think I feel like that’s always a song that you can use to impress people. I mean, I actually do know Broadway, but it’s also like you can impress people because like, people usually request like Roxie.




From Chicago. I’m calling out my friend Emmett for doing that last night. He was like, Do you think I can request Roxie from Chicago? And I said, Go ahead and do it, knowing that the drag queen would mock him.


Louis Virtel: Yes, yes. We’ve all heard of that show that we can’t escape at any given moment.


Ira Madison III: I feel like for the first time, I will get to experience maybe some of the, like, European, you know, like gay vacation destinations the girls are always going to.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. I’ve never been to Mykonos. Yeah. What could be what could go on there? I have no idea. It sounds like there’s a beach.


Ira Madison III: I mean, Lindsay Lohan.


Louis Virtel: Right? Is she the she the definitive Mykonos representation over the past few years, that time when she was dancing with that wet, heavy, long hair?


Ira Madison III: Yeah. There’s also the chance that I might find my long lost father and two potential ones right on that island.


Louis Virtel: I was going to say Daddy Mia. But actually, that’s just the that’s just Mamma Mia so…


Ira Madison III: Ummm. And then, you know, there’s other places that the girls love. Like there’s Fire Island, which I still have not been.


Louis Virtel: I went last year, and I, in fact, did an episode of Keep It from Fire Island. I was right there in the trenches. It was my Good Morning, Vietnam, if you will. And


Ira Madison III: I remember Aida had a lot of questions.


Louis Virtel: Oh, now I literally I set up my recorder and my zoom to face a little bit out the window and just the the Queens passing back and forth. It was like its own one act play of Intrigue and Contempt. But here’s what I’ll say about Fire Island. It really is, as most people would describe it, gay summer camp, in that everybody is situated in close little houses, separated by a wooden pier. There’s not much like there’s only like a couple of places you can eat on this island. Food is, in fact, something you should kind of plan ahead of time if you’re going. It’s also if you book any time within a year of staying there, incredibly expensive. I will be there July 4th with a bunch of my friends. But first of all, they have great Broadway representation. There’s always like some Broadway night in their big performance hall where they play clips of whatever Hairspray. And then people get up and dance on stage to Hairspray and come off, and they all sing the songs from Sister Act as all the nuns. And then, you know, you go off into your night and then it’s also gay sex Olympics, which is to say you feel like you’re there. And they have entrants from every continent there. You’re like, Oh, here I am, meeting the most built person from Moldova. Here I am meeting, you know, the horniest man from Peru, which, you know, obviously it’s fun to meet people who are from all over the place just to come together and be gay. It also is because of Instagram to me, it’s likely you will meet people who are there just to kind of connect in an influencer style. And I do have to say, I find that a little depressing.


Ira Madison III: Hmm. Okay. Yeah. I mean, like, I haven’t been, you know yet, but I’m sure it’s in my cards at some point, you know? I, I’ve been to many white islands.


Louis Virtel: White Lillies Island, the follow up Natalie Imbruglia album to Left to the Middle.


Ira Madison III: Oh, Fantasy Island. Fantasy Island.


Louis Virtel: Man. Fantasy Island. I’m sure that’s been rebooted over the years, but what an amazing idea.


Ira Madison III: So many fucking times.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. We keep trying.


Ira Madison III: The original is still so iconic.


Louis Virtel: Absolutely. I’ve never been to Provincetown. I became educated about it, watching an early cut of the Billy Eichner movie Bros, which has a big Provincetown scene. It’s going to be a great movie, by the way, this summer. The gays are, shall we say, eating and not just ass. Why don’t I write ad copy? Why?


Ira Madison III: This summer the gays are eating and not just ass… The Mexican pizza is back at Taco Bell.


Louis Virtel: Picture Dolly Parton saying that. Okay, right. And not just ass. Yeah


Ira Madison III: Umm I also have not been there yet. But I believe a friend of mine is going to be like deejaying like a little residency there or like at some point towards the end of the summer. So I may come back for that.


Louis Virtel: I’m trying to think of  where else I’m going this summer, by the way, I travel because my job has hiatuses in it. I understand this would be generally pretty difficult, but then again, the amount of gay people that are there, I guess everybody has a job you do from home now or you do once a week. I’d have no idea how these people pull it off, but.


Ira Madison III: Vacation days and they only save them for these specific gay events.


Louis Virtel: I guess. But it’s like, does everybody have 25 vacation days? It just seems so extreme.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I you know what? I feel like gays are more adept at that because because they I do have friends who are I’m always like, how are you in Dubai?


Louis Virtel: Yeah. No, it doesn’t make sense. I do think.


Ira Madison III: How are you in the Maldives? But you don’t you have to work.


Louis Virtel: I do think gays are the masters of out of office emails. Like when you when you read a sharply written out of office email like that queen’s getting laid on a continent you’ve never even heard of.


Ira Madison III: Baby I am going officially on my book leave on tomorrow when this episode drops, which means that aside from doing this podcast, people will not be hearing from me. And I am so I am. I am horny at the fact of being able to write out of office email. That is basically like two and a half months long.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Oh, that’s exciting. Eat ass, pray, love. That’s what you’re going to be doing here. I’m going to stay on this beat. I think it’s funny.


Ira Madison III: And not a single piece of book right.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah. No, I’m worried about your productivity. It does concern me at the other and the other thing I women do this summer, I always go to Market Days in Chicago, which is in August, and I’m from the Chicagoland area.


Ira Madison III: Well, I have not been back sets since I left Chicago from living there. I haven’t been back to market days. And it’s also unfortunate because I miss Chicago.


Louis Virtel: It’s one of the best gay cities for me. I really enjoy it.


Ira Madison III: But you’re at least from the suburbs. Yeah. You know, so if you visit home, you can go into Chicago. I’m from Milwaukee. So if I visit home, just the travel alone to be like, Oh, okay, I’m going to go to Chicago while I’m already in Milwaukee. It’s just like exhausting to me.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah.


Ira Madison III: It’s not like what I lived there. That was just like, Oh, okay, well, there’s an hour and a half away. You could just go down for a weekend or something. And so whenever I do want to go back to Chicago with friends, people always suggest market days, but like my schedule never lines up for me to go back to market days. So I need another reason to go back to Chicago.


Louis Virtel: Also, if I’m driving up that highway to go to Milwaukee from Chicago, I’m stopping at Six Flags. That’s where I’m I’m sorry. I’m not making it to the brewery or whatever you guys do up there. I’m not making it to the Marquette Alumni Brunch or whatever’s happening in Milwaukee that day.


Ira Madison III: You wanna see this production of You’re In Town at the Pabst Theater,Louis.


Louis Virtel: Is there a Pabst theater? Of course there is.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, there’s a Pabst Theater.


Louis Virtel: Oh, okay. I believe you, Market Days I will say so. It’s a few days are now early August. You can what I love about market days and I think this makes it my favorite of all the things I’ve mentioned so far as you can do it at any speed so you can just like hang out and do the actual fest, which is a street fair where, you know, the gays are wearing their crop tops and taking pictures and dancing and there’s lots of wonderful music. And inevitably, Betty Who pops up like, you know, a like a Koopa trooper out of a tube in Mario, there she is again. Like she’s at most pride festivities.


Ira Madison III: But also she’s everywhere that she’s everywhere that’s gay. I’m seeing Vincent in concert tonight, and I’m sure she’ll be there, too.


Louis Virtel: No, imagine if she weren’t. It makes no sense. She’s like the slugworth of the gay community just showing up and whispering in your ear. But if you’re like a circuit queen, if you just like warehouse parties where you’re lizard brained and on Molly, I mean, there’s that at market days, but then tons of house parties around the area. It’s like the most pleasant weather always. I’m never burning up in early August in Chicago, which makes no sense to me.


Ira Madison III: But it’s like local pride.


Louis Virtel: Yes, there is a Pride in Chicago.


Ira Madison III: Pride is so corporate. Yeah, I’m like. And like, people like talks and everyone comes in and if you like people in Chicago, love market day is because it feels more personal.


Louis Virtel: Right. It definitely has blown up like gays from all over the place definitely come there for market days. But it’s more of a for us, by us, kind of gay feeling there.


Ira Madison III: Not you using FUBU.


Louis Virtel: That’s what they meant, right? They were talking about. They’re talking about market days, right?


Ira Madison III: We’ve neglected to mention any place in Mexico, like Puerto Vallarta or Oaxaca.


Louis Virtel: Mexico.


Ira Madison III: But I feel like it’s a lot like I’m not coming from Mexico because I absolutely love Mexico and I can’t wait to go back. But as far as a gay travel destination, I feel like it’s lost its luster because every faggot that we know has decided post-pandemic that they want to either live there or spend like several months there. And some people are just like, well, you just take up residency there. It’s like the Lost Boys down there. You know, I’m sure Mexico wants them to get the fuck out.


Louis Virtel: It’s not like you can just live at a cabana at Mantamar now. It makes no sense.


Ira Madison III: They’re going to adopt the Mariah Carey song as the official Mexico anthem. Get out. They want the white gays to get the fuck out.


Louis Virtel: I love Puerto Vallarta. My first place to go in Mexico, though, is Mexico City. That’s just the best place to visit. I’ve been there with you. But, yeah, tons of stuff to do. Amazing food people. Totally gay. Recommend it. Yeah, I guess that’s all the gay stuff I’ll be doing in the summer. I don’t have.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Ira Madison III: I will, mostly. But my biggest travel… The Mykonos is like a maybe. I will be in Barcelona for, like, 12 days. Or, like an actual vacation. Hmm. Another music festival. Primavera Sound.


Louis Virtel: Oh, that sounds fun. My impression of Spain is still informed by Vega’s fighting stage and Street Fighter. And I understand it’s not just people standing behind a cage pumping their fists. So if it’s anything other than that, tell me about it.


Ira Madison III: Well, and also, that’s an early June. And I’m telling our fans ahead of now, like that’s in a less than two weeks. That’ll be the first time we ever go dark for a week.


Louis Virtel: Oh. Have we never done that before?


Ira Madison III: Now, Crooked Media works us like slaves.


Louis Virtel: Works our larynxes to the bone.


Ira Madison III: Harriet Tubman’s been trying to free us.


Louis Virtel: I like her passing us on the Underground Railroad and just being like not that some of them got along.


Ira Madison III: But they’re getting checks. It’s okay. Corporate slavery. Not really my bag. Not trying to dismantle capitalism yet. But speaking of, I could have saved this for my Keep It, but have you seen those fucking where I think it’s at Walmart. The fact that like Juneteenth is now like a holiday.


Louis Virtel: That is interesting.


Ira Madison III: It you see like there are napkins and plates with the phrase “it’s the freedom for me” being sold.


Louis Virtel: I’m sorry. What I did with my neck. You can’t see the sun up. I fell back as if. As if being punched.


Ira Madison III: I’m disgusted. But also I want to buy some.


Louis Virtel: I was going to say, it would be weird if you didn’t own those. So why don’t you go ahead and give that your money.


Ira Madison III: I’m upset because I wanted that to be our. Keep It merch.


Louis Virtel: It’s the freedom for me. Yeah. When you listen to this podcast, I know you’re thinking liberation but.


Ira Madison III: It’s the trans liberation for me. That’s my Stonewall merch.


Louis Virtel: It’s. Well, it’s the blank for me as like, salable merchandise. I’m. I’m shook, shall we say. I didn’t realize we would we would we would hit this milestone so quickly.


Ira Madison III: It’s what Harry gets for not dismantling capitalism.


Louis Virtel: That’s right. That’s right.


Ira Madison III: Anyway, well, when we’re back. Jesse Tyler Ferguson joins us. And we got to talk about Broadway some more.




Ira Madison III: You know him from his iconic role as Mitchell Pritchett on Modern Family. And now you can see his Tony nominated performance in the Broadway revival of Take Me Out with Patrick J. Adams and Jesse Williams. Plus is the narrator and executive producer of the new Spotify original podcast, Gay Pride and Prejudice. Jesse Tyler Ferguson, welcome to Keep It.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Thank you. Happy to be here. Good to see you.


Louis Virtel: You’re also your main credit as, of course, being occasionally at gay bars where we just see you. So I’m sorry we left that out.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I haven’t been to a gay bar in so long.


Louis Virtel: I will. Okay. Which calls to mind the schedule of a Broadway actor? How grim is it just day to day until you perform? Are you just like, you know, sort of in a bell tower.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson In a bubble? Yeah. Well, I mean, I this is the first time I’ve ever done theater also being a dad. So, yeah, you know, he doesn’t care that my adrenaline doesn’t leave my body till two in the morning and I don’t fall asleep until 2:30. Like, he’s ready to go at 6:30 a.m.. So it’s been exhausting. So I just haven’t I haven’t been going out the very few times I have gone out. It’s been it’s really kicked me in the ass the next day. Yeah. It makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s, it’s it’s a different experience this time, this go round.


Louis Virtel: Well, I hope you survive it, because actually it sounds like it would kill me anyway.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson It would. You’re not cut out for it, Louis. I can tell.


Ira Madison III: So you are. People can’t see the zoom, but you are wearing a baseball cap. And I have a question. Do you care about baseball?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Care about it. I appreciate it. We went to we got a private tour of Yankee Stadium before we started performances. And I was happy to go. I was, you know, it’s like a once in a lifetime opportunity. And I was like, sure, it’ll be I’ll be interesting, it’ll be fun. And I was actually shocked at how moved I was by the by the experience to be on the field completely by myself with all the stands empty. And I mean, it was a very profound experience. It made me actually really want to go back and see a game. I haven’t. But it made me want to. It made me think about it. And…


Louis Virtel: I feel like among sports movies, most of the good ones are about baseball. And there’s like a dreamlike quality associated with the sport which doesn’t follow any of the other ones.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson No, that’s very true. I mean, League of our Own, you know, Field of Dreams. I mean, there’s lots of really classic baseball movies, and they’re also like the types of movies that I feel like you don’t have to really love the game in order to get swept up with the with the story and certainly the case with the play. I mean, that it’s more about the play, Take Me Out. It’s more about these relationships and these friendships and, you know, and what it means to be gay and that that and that field and and and it sort of just told through the lens of baseball, I mean, that’s sort of just the way that the story is encapsulated. But it’s it’s really not about baseball. It’s. Yeah.


Louis Virtel: What’s your history just with this play in general? And Richard Greenberg, who also wrote The American Plan, this is a playwright who’s written gay things for, you know, 30 some years now. Just had you long experienced him? Have you have you auditioned for plays using his material a million times?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson No. But I did see this play. It was performed 20 years ago in New York. And I saw it at public theater and then went to transferred to Broadway, I saw it two more times. And, you know, again, I’m not a huge baseball fan, but this play just really resonated with me. And specifically, the performance of Denis O’Hare, who played the role that I’m playing now. It was a great performance. And it was it was it was a big performance. I mean, he was acting. He was really acting. It was I don’t know if you saw it, but it was it was quite a performance and just it was showy and it stayed with me for a very, very long time, so much so that when I picked up the play to reread it after I’m offer only now, so the role was just offered to me so I didn’t audition. Of course. Of course.


Louis Virtel: Oh, thank God.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yeah, but afterwards I was offered and I reread the play in like line readings that Denis O’Hare gave came flooding back to me. Like, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can remember the way he said that one line. So that was really intimidating to like, you know, step into these shoes that were obviously so beautifully filled before, but then to also figure out how to make it my own. Not like literally his performance was hanging over me. So yeah, that was my experience of the play. And it has, you know, it’s known for these great monologues, but I would, you know, if I was auditioning for something, I’d certainly pick something shorter, they were too much or too long to learn. Maybe I was lazy. I was a lazy ass back then.


Ira Madison III: Okay. Well, speaking of your iconic credits, too, I think one of my favorites and probably one of Louis’ too was when you were just a part time guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance.


Louis Virtel: Fuck yes. Lines flooding back to me. I’m going to Carly Rae Jepsen this one and say great job, but you’re referencing her previous judging stint.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I can’t believe you remember that. Yeah, I mean, I love that show and I’m glad that it’s back. I, I think I, I mean, Cat Deeley and I have become very close friends since doing that, but I think she was like my end. Like, I was just obsessed with her.


Louis Virtel: She’s amazing at that job.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson She’s great. She’s so great. yeah, I just wanted to be her friend. And, I mean, that’s, like, why I initially wanted to be on this show. And then, of course, I fell in love with that. The show itself and the dancers are unbelievable. And they’ve all gone to, like, do such great things. And they’re all on Broadway. They’re all there, every single one of them is in West Side Story, the movie. Every single one of them.


Louis Virtel: Yeah.


Ira Madison III: And I truly love running into someone from So You Think You Can Dance like in the wild. I feel like they’re still shocked when someone’s, like, you were on season seven.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I know. I’m obsessed with Cat Deeley. Also, like, here are your top five. Carlos, Katina…


Ira Madison III: She had the bad accent. I loved the opening. Like, where they always like, they they introduced all the dancers, and then she joined them on stage and danced for, like, a few steps. Yeah. I hope you still talk to Cat Deeley often.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, I know. I haven’t spoken to her in quite some time, actually. She went back to England for a bit. So, you know, too complicated to call when you have to plus in front of the number, I’m like no. +001. But she. Yeah, she’s back now. She’s back in L.A. She’s doing the show again, so hopefully I’ll be see her soon. Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel: Now, obviously, the Tonys will be coming up soon. And you’re nominated against two of your two main costars in the featured actor category. I was about to ask what that’s like, and I realize your entire career has been being nominated for awards against people you are in the theater program now.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson That’s right. And then also losing. Also losing. Also, you’re leaving that out. Yeah. There was one year of Modern Family when every single adult cast member was nominated. And so I was up against three of my male costars, Ed O’Neill and Ty Burrell and Eric Stonestreet and then myself. And I was like I’m not winning this unless you’ve got a legend and like two power powerhouse comedians, like, they’re not gonna go with the straight man. Pardon the pun. But like, you know, it’s yeah, it’s it’s something I’m very used to and I honestly I love I love it when that happens because it’s just such a testament to the fact that I’m in, I pick a good ensemble and I’m surround myself around really talented people. I mean, I take it as a compliment.


Louis Virtel: It’s interesting to me, though, because in particularly particularly because of the Emmys, where it’s all about the episode you pick, right? In the Tonys, it’s just the entire thing. So it’s sort of like a different rubric, actually.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson 100%. And like the fact that you could be nominated multiple times for the same role and got a one shot, the one shot deal with the Tonys. And also it’s you know, once you’ve been nominated, then they start to come. I mean, I’m sure some of the voters have seen the show before the nomination comes up. But there is a point where like you’ve been nominated and you know that there are people coming and they’re watching that performance and they’re deciding as they’re watching that performance that they’re going to vote for you or not. Like that is massive pressure. Massive pressure. And I actually had to call out of my very that the first performances after the Tony nominations came out because I had food poisoning and I was, not to get too graphic, but I was I was vomiting all night and I burned my vocal cords. Basically, my doctor was like, you got to take 48 hours. And it was like right after the nominations had come out and they had to like basically cancel people’s tickets because, like, they’re not allowed to see the show if they’re not if they’re not seeing that the people are nominated. So, you know, I felt like I was burdening so many people because my my burned vocal cords. But, you know, it’s a lot of pressure. Certainly.


Louis Virtel: I have never thought about that. You continue to audition for these people after you are nominated. Yeah, it is so unusual.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yeah, yeah. Like, you know, the Emmys. It’s like it’s in the can. They they’ve edited together. I just want to present this thing. I don’t know. What do you think of this? And in my case they’re like no every single time. Pass.


Ira Madison III: Well, speaking of Tonys, does it feel good now to have another Tony nomination in the house? I mean, Justin has one already.


Ira Madison III: He has two, right.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson He has two that little fucker. He I was, you know, after he won his first, I was I’m so happy for him, it’s very exciting. But you know, he I’ve been in this business for 25 years and I’ve never been nominated for something. And he, like, dipped his toe into the pool and they’re like, Oh, here’s a Tony. Another. Shouldn’t happen as easily. He has one for Oklahoma and he is another one for the inheritance. And I was having a discussion with him the other day was like does a performance Tony trump two Tonys? Like for producing? Like that does is that is that is that better or is that the same? I think I think his consensus was it’s the same.


Louis Virtel: So I’m going to jump in and say that it’s not.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Yeah, we are very we are very staunch, especially when we talk about like EGOTs and we love yes, we love competitive awards.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Right? Yes.I agree with you.


Ira Madison III: Yes. Which is why we question Whoopi Goldberg’s Tony win.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Because one of because hers was for like a special Tony?


Ira Madison III: Yeah. It was for producing.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, interesting. Oh, and I guess John Legend too.


Louis Virtel: Was she even on set? We don’t know. Right, exactly. Yeah. And John Legend.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson John Legend, too. Oh, well, let’s take this up with them.


Louis Virtel: She’s a fraud. That’s not talent. Yeah.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson She made up for with that performance in Ghosts. that’s for sure.


Louis Virtel: Oh, God, no. Also, if we didn’t have that, like, Oscar win, there’d be a massive hole in terms of just, like, broad comedy wins. Like, you would have nothing to kind of look to. Right. You know, it’s just, you know.


Ira Madison III: Honestly, she made up for it. When I say she she’s one of my favorite Broadway performancers because I did see her when she was in Xanadu.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson On the Forum? Oh, Xanadu.


Ira Madison III: She did like a stint in Xanadu and it was actually it was fantastic.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I saw her do A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and she replaced Nathan Lane and I was like, That’s interesting passing. I was like, Oh, that makes so much sense. She’s so great. She’s great.


Louis Virtel: Oh. Oh, that’s awesome, too. Yeah, I completely forgot she was in that. Yeah. Is there. Is there a particular show you’ve seen the most times?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, well, when I was when I was young, I would second act shows a lot. And I saw the second act of the Who’s Tommy probably like 20 times.


Louis Virtel: Really interesting choice.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Loved it. Love. Yeah. Sorry not worth going is it? I’ve also seen Well I also used to bartend at the Winter Garden Theater and Cats played there. So I saw Cats probably the most of any show I’ve ever. And that was, you know, not by choice.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I used to I.


Louis Virtel: I was going to say.


Ira Madison III: I used to bartend at the Majestic. And so I have seen Phantom of the Opera far too many times to count.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, my God. You bartended as well.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I did that when I first moved to New York in 2007. I did that. I did a couple stints at I did like a couple of nights at a Chorus Line. And then I moved over to the entire preview and sort of like first two months of opening of August Osage County.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, wow. I thought I saw that show twice. Yeah, that’s a long play.


Louis Virtel: Oh, my God. Yes.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yeah. And I. I worked at the gift shop across the street from Phantom Opera Theater Circle, so I folded. I know. I foded Phatom of the Opera T-shirts after intermission. Best part about the people would come flooding over from the theater because it’s the search for cheaper at our store than they were at that theater. And they would just like rifle through them, like looking for that medium. Looking for a medium, looking for a medium. And then after that and then it would be like the storm would settle as the second act began. And they all went back to the theater. And I just had to deal with the aftermath of the Phantom of the Opera T-shirt.


Louis Virtel: Good Lord. No way. What kind of insights do you have after watching Cats that many times? Like, would you be looking for, like, just wild minutia that none of us would even notice after a while? Like if Skimbleshanks was off that night. Like what are the insignts on that.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson If there was a new Grizabella on, I would always like stay. I could leave after intermission because then my job was done as long as you know packed up the bar and like did all tallies and everything. But sometimes if there was a new Grizabella, I would stay just to hear her memory. You know, and it comes pretty late in the second act. You really have to commit to that. I will say this is kind of funny. It’s like it’s not answering your question, but it’s it’s a fun piece of trivia. I actually had a friend who is in the show. I mean, I became friends with him later in life, but he was like, Oh, I was in Cats when, when you were bartending and and I was like, Oh, that’s interesting. Yeah when you auditioned for On the Town, we were auditioning, and they were audtioning for On the Town at the Deloitte Theater in like 1997, you know, it’s a big dance show and there’s three great parts and for guys. And so all of the cast of Cats was auditioning. And I ended up getting the role of Chip, the part that Frank Sinatra played in the movie. And I guess my friend Abe was telling me that they were all backstage putting on their Cats makeup, and someone was like, Did you hear? Did anyone here like what happened with On the Town? And as they’re like pulling on their whiskers, they’re like, Yeah, the bartender got it.


Louis Virtel: Oh, my gosh. Just bitter, vicious cats. Bitter. They’ll see. That should be a show. Yeah, pretty good. And cats hearing about the people, the the orbital people getting shows. The documentary.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Pretty Kitty has nails. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: Are there any I mean, because you’ve been doing Broadway, you know, for a while, are there any roles that you still like? You want to make sure you play on Broadway before you die or and conversely, oh, is there like a role that, like, you really wish you had gotten?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, well, yeah. I mean, I, I’ve always wanted to play the baker in Into the Woods and it’s, it’s come into my orbit a few times and I have never been able to make it work because of schedulingand a lot it because of Modern Family, I was there was two times that I could have done it and I had to say no both times. And Charlie and, um, Merrily We Roll Along. Mm.


Louis Virtel: Love that documentary, by the way.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Oh, yeah. So good. What else? I mean. I love doing. I like. I like. I’d like doing Shakespeare. I would love to play Bottom in Midsummer Night’s Dream. I got to play Francis Flute in the park, and I’d love to play Bottom some day. Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I like to work out. I like working on new stuff. So, you know, stuff that hasn’t even been written yet. There’s certainly people I want to work with for sure.


Louis Virtel: Who is still, like, exciting to you? Who are you like I’ve got to work with them at some point? And while I’ve been intimidated by them a little bit.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Robert O’Hara I want to work with them. Rachel Chaffin. Marianne Elliott. I mean, her range or her production, Angels in America is going to stick with me forever. Oh, and that’s another I mean, prior to Angels in America I’m too old now. But like that’s that’s a role that sort of my fingers that. Also I had the opportunity to maybe do a one point in the scheduling didn’t allow so you know life happens.


Louis Virtel: There’s something about that play where I would be surprised to see any version that wasn’t basically magical. There’s just something on the page that in order realized in any capacity, maybe if you did it entirely with black boxes, it would still be great. There’s something that I just can’t explain


Jesse Tyler Ferguson No, I’m reading this. There’s an oral history by Angels in America that I’m reading backstage. It’s easy to pick up and put back down. And it’s fascinating because they go all the way back to the very, very, very early readings of it. And it worked on every level. It worked when they were doing student workshops up at a Juilliard. It worked when they were doing it at the Eureka theater in San Francisco. It worked on Broadway. It worked on HBO. It works on every level. It’s just one of those plays. It’s going to be like, you know, like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf or Long Day’s Journey Into Night. That’s going to be something that always works.


Louis Virtel: By the way, Ira, did you see the. I guess you wouldn’t have been here for it. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Zachary Quinto.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson No. I know I missed it. But I’m Justin went and saw it. He loved it.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yeah. And Zachary Quinto. Fabulous. I mean, it was. I was. That needs to be stated if we don’t get to it anywhere else in this episode.


Ira Madison III: Look, the book is The World Always Bends Forward, right?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yes.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. I’m quoted in it twice.


Ira Madison III: Are you?


Louis Virtel: That’s too bad. I would put that book down. Go ahead and return that book.


Burn it.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson It’s so interesting. It’s so interesting. I love there’s a part where George Wolfe and Marcia Gay Harden are wrestling about a wig that she was determined to wear as Harper. She put her whole performance into this hair, and George is like, You don’t need it. Like, I need it. We don’t need it. I need it. The wrestling off of her head and she was grabbing for it, crying. Please give me the wig and throwing it across the room. He’s like, You’re not going out there without a wig. It’s just fascinating. Crazy actors. Love it.


Louis Virtel: Marcia Gay Harden, something about she to me has like she’s a mixture of like the softness of like a Diane waist with the gravitas of Robert Duvall. Like, she comes that like there’s like a hardness to Marcia Gay Harden Yes. There’s something very specific.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I saw her at an airport. We were traveling in for something, and it was right when God of Carnage, the movie was coming out, and I asked her if she was going to go see it. And she did. It’s not going to work on the podcast, but she, like she fluttered our hand out to her. That was her response to  “Are you going to see the movie?”


Louis Virtel: It was like, All right, I like that.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Absolutely not.


Louis Virtel: It’s also very weird, very weird realization of that play, if you haven’t seen that movie, is called Carnage with Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yes. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: A Yasmina Reza classic. Yeah. I just side note about Marsha. I just worked on Uncoupled Neil’s new show with her. And I want to tell you between takes. She was just reading this book on dreams. And whenever you talked to her, she was like, Dreams are very important. Here’s this book. Order it and start learning about your dreams. So that’s where her headspace is right now.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I love it. I love it. She’s so great.


Louis Virtel: I’m so psyched to be off track with you. Talking about just women of the theater.


Ira Madison III: *Laughter*


Jesse Tyler Ferguson The last time I saw you, Louis, is when you were on set. You were on one of our final days of Modern Family with Jimmy.


Louis Virtel: Oh, my gosh. And by the way, what an education that was for me. Ira, we did this bit where Jimmy played the documentarian who appears at the end of Modern Family, and he had been shooting the mockumentary the whole time or whatever. And like we gave I assume we gave the Modern Family cast their scripts what milliseconds before or something? And they were just like, look at it, put it down. Go through it three times. Do it a different time. Every time. And every time I was laughing, I was like, Wow. Stone throws. People who could not be any better at their job.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Well, yeah. For 11 years, hopefully. We were pretty good by that point. Yeah, that was kind of fun.


Louis Virtel: Primed. I mean, it must’ve been one of the last things you guys did as a cast. Yeah, because we came out so close to the finale of Modern Family.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson That’s right. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of fun.


Ira Madison III: So you’re also the narrator and executive producer of Gay Pride and Prejudice, this new podcast on Spotify. Is it the Summer of Pride and Prejudice? Like did every gay get together and be like I want to do a Pride and Prejudice adaptation. You got this. You got Fire Island.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I know. And I’m actually I’m actually not the narrator. Your notes are correct because they messed up that they put it in the press release of me being the narrator. But I actually have a I have a role in it. I play, who do I play? Gosh, I recorded it so long ago. Colin is my character’s name, but it’s a it’s a pretty faithful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice just takes place in 2015, right after marriage equality was legalized. But yeah, it’s interesting because in the movie we saw that Fire Island was coming out, which is, you know, an adaptation of gay pride in our Pride and Prejudice, rather. But it’s, you know, it’s what I love about about oh, my God, you can’t I think of author’s name? Jane Austen. Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They’re so adaptable. Here’s I mean, you know, Clueless. One of the greatest movies ever adapted from Jane Austen. So it’s it’s fun for people who are who are loyalists to Jane Austen, which Zachary Brady, our writer, is, because they can sort of see that the parallels and the you know, how we’ve taken her work and updated it. But for people who don’t know her work at all, like it’s still just a great story. So I love it that it can be reinterpreted so many times.


Ira Madison III: There’s something about her and then Oscar Wilde and also the early reviews of Dorothy Parker, where I ask, why is this still so funny? I mean, namely Jane Austen, because it’s like a 200 years old. That just doesn’t make any sense. Why is this resonating so well? What do you think about it still holds up?


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Gosh, I don’t know. I mean, I think she’s just she’s really great at writing relationships. And I think that that’s just, you know, something that’s always interesting and always maintains an always maintained interest. And, you know, it, I don’t know. It’s just it’s just great storytelling. I mean, she’s got it’s sort of timeless. It’s like Shakespeare. It’s just like it can be it can be interpreted and reinterpreted and it can withstand, you know, different ideas. And it doesn’t buckle under the weight of like and different interpretation, which I just think is.


Ira Madison III: I mean, also, she was mostly, you know, sort of like critiquing like the sentimental novels of the time, too. So I feel like, you know, when you when you know that it’s satire, too, it’s like. And she’s making fun of the people she was around. Yeah, that’s always. That’s always going to win for her.


Louis Virtel: Yeah.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Yes. Yeah, for sure. 100%.  I mean, case in point. But that’s very exciting for people to hear it. And it’s also it’s also fun to go back to the days where, like, you know, it was impossible to binge things like you had to sort of wait a week for the next episode. Like do we miss that? I think I kind of miss that.


Louis Virtel: Oh, I miss eventized anything. So yes, absolutely.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Things that come up to binge now, I just never get around to them anymore. But if something is weekly, I’m actually hooked.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson Mm. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. True. Same.


Ira Madison III: All right. Well, thank you, Jesse.


Louis Virtel: Yes, thank you again, Jess. It’s also so good to fucking see you. Thank you for doing this with us.


Jesse Tyler Ferguson I know, you too. Love you guys, appreciate you having me.


Ira Madison III: So apparently celebrities are being forced at gunpoint to make Tik Toks by the record labels.


Louis Virtel: I mean, which is that Tik Tok, I’d want to see.


Ira Madison III: Which is so funny to me.


Louis Virtel: Yeah.


Ira Madison III: Well, now it’s created an entire genre of celebrities just being like well, you know, like, I’m only here so like I don’t get fined. Like, they’re literally just posting TikToks being like I’m being forced to make a Tik Tok, which in some way is accomplishing the viral Tik Tok thing. But the label want it.


Louis Virtel: Right? No. Guess what I’m talking about? Halsey right now. Guess what? I’m usually not talking about Halsey.


Ira Madison III: Halsey.


Louis Virtel: God love the girl. But is it crazy? That to me that Halsey’s definitive pop cultural moment is still In A Star Is Born when she says “how great” while presenting Allie with a Grammy.


Ira Madison III: I mean my moment is still when one of The Chainsmokers tweeted at her “Fuck you, bald bitch”.


Louis Virtel: Okay. We still have not uncovered what was going on there. Who got a hold of their account if it was just a Chainsmoker, you know, chain smoking, if you will, and letting loose such a crazy, strange and unbelievable story. I mean, it’s uncomfortable.


Ira Madison III: And mostly it’s from the thing of like listen, you know. Music is not just sellable, now, you know, like the way that it used to be, you know, like you have to like you have to, like, convince 14 year olds and other people to TGZ, which is what I refer to Gen-Z as, you know, TGZ the Gen Z.


Louis Virtel: Oh.


Ira Madison III: SomeTGZs around here. You have to sort of like get them into a song. And that’s how you drive a song to number one these days, which is like that’s the reason why like a Kandi Burruss song from her musical but she her Chitlin Circuit musical but she did, A Mother’s Love, called Legs, Hips and Body is like treading right now.


Louis Virtel: That is just unbelievably bizarre. Well, it’s also like why we don’t talk about Bruno, which was I think barely meant to resonate beyond the movie, became this Macarena sized phenomenon.


Ira Madison III: Right. That and like you, then you have the celebrities like or the Lizzo who lean all the way. Yeah I like she will not… Like it’s about damn time I’m like it’s about damn time I stop hearing this song.


Louis Virtel: I actually do like that song.


Ira Madison III: It’s been out. I do like it a lot, but I’m like, girl, every every time I open my phone, someone’s performing it. I’m like, How did you get a Tik Tok on the Chase app? I just checking my account.


Louis Virtel: Imagine like, Oh, I’ve, I’m in the hall. It’s about damn time. But here’s the thing. Here’s the thing about people being obsessed with getting a viral moment on TikTok. In this particular moment, the app is cool. I’m not saying it won’t be cool for another few years or something. I do think there is a shelf life and how relevant this app is. I have the feeling Gen-Z will start feeling about TikTok the way they currently feel about Lin-Manuel Miranda, which is to say. They they believe it’s for older people and they themselves kind of roll their eyes at it, because let’s just talk about what is actually on Tik Tok. Do you think seven years from now you’re going to be looking back at you performing the Cabbage Patch while explaining photosynthesis and thinking, oh, that was cool. No, I’m sorry. It is largely the lamest content on the Internet.


Ira Madison III: What I actually enjoy about it is that like, it’s almost sort of democratized, like not fame or just like going viral, in a sense, because, like, Instagram was all about looks, you know? And first of all, I miss old Instagram. I know I sound  old saying this, but I’m like, I’m sorry I can’t open Instagram now without hearing someone screaming at me now. Like, like a video, like from somebone you follow or even one of our fucking friends was like, I’m making like a live video or reel. I was like, I just. What happened to pictures?


Louis Virtel: Yeah, right. Please.


Ira Madison III: I just want to see the pictures.


Louis Virtel: I want vacation slides. I want it boring, and I want it narcissistic. That’s it.


Ira Madison III: But because of like Tik Tok and everything is like people just get on there and they talk or they make like a funny joke or something. And you know what? It’s a lot of ugly people. And I love that and I love it. It’s democratic, you know?


Louis Virtel: I will say the thing about TikTok is you can obviously sort of algorithmically get to a place where you’re what you see every day is one attuned to your interests, but to extremely specific. It’s not like Instagram where you like you’re just sort of at the mercy of the people you follow and you have to be interested in their ongoing lives because one time you thought they were hot, which I believe is a punishment. So I will give Tik Tok points there.


Ira Madison III: The about the amount of times I’ve had to do that like force unfollow thing for someone it’s like I met you in 2016.


Louis Virtel: Right? No, I saw you at Revolver Bar. We were screaming over the whatever, the Janet Jackson montage playing inside and I was just being nice and so were you. So let’s end this here.


Ira Madison III: But, you know, like this, there’s a lot of talk about pretty privilege in the media lately.


Louis Virtel: Oh, my God. Pretty privilege. Is there a funnier pair of words? I mean, I think it does accurately describe something, but it’s so funny.


Ira Madison III: It’s I’m sorry. I’m not ugly. I’m like someone actually described umm…Someone described. This is sober. Someone described like the pretty privilege of sort of like mantra as, when did social justice target bullying people into fucking you?


Louis Virtel: Oh! Oh, my God. It’s too true. It’s too. It’s about. It’s people being offended that whatever they’re not getting the attention they want. When that kind of attention is truly not personal, it’s like it’s not about your. So anyway, we can get into this another day.


Ira Madison III: But but TikTok is it’s democratic because I like I get Tik Toks from people who I don’t find attractive.


Louis Virtel: But like, are there artists you like watching on Tik Tok? As in they belong there and they create content.


Ira Madison III: Charlie Puth.


Louis Virtel: Oh yeah, I guess so. Yeah. That’s a good answer. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: He likes Tik Tok. He like, he tweeted like I adore TikTok and it really opened my eyes as to how music can be made and perceived by the listener. But never compromise your art. Create art that is an extension of you will always rise to the top even if it doesn’t go viral. And I’m like, okay, bitch. But like, otherwise you’re just walking around with shirts that say “Cocks” on it.


Louis Virtel: That is what he’s doing. And socks and sneakers.


Ira Madison III: That’s sort of like a parody of what Nick Jonas did.


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: It’s like it’s like seriously. And I can’t tell if this is like a Charlie Kaufman-esqe version of, like, gay baiting.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, it’s slightly arch, but also slightly indulging in the exact same things Nick Jonas indulged in.


Ira Madison III: Like, like just photos where, like, there’s a good close up of, like, his crotch.


Louis Virtel: Right. Yeah. He he does love being shirtless, too. You know, I mean, I’m going to support it. Ultimately, that’s his artistic freedom. And also this counts as artistic freedom in 2022.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I’d love to support his album.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Not just these like straggly one song releases that we get every nine months or something.


Ira Madison III: But I guess maybe that’s the Tik Tok thing. It’s very it is funny, though, that like someone like a Florence Welch is like being asked to do this and… I, by the way, maybe I’m part of the problem because I have not listened to the new album yet, but only because I’m waiting till like I’m waiting to be of the right heads. I love Florence. I want to be at a right… Like Ceremony was like one of my favorite fucking albums. I’m waiting to be in the right headspace. So to, like, take her in. And just be, like wandering like the canals of, like, Amsterdam or something, like I need to be, like, in a field.


Louis Virtel: No, it’s like Kate Bush. You need to be walking around a foggy bog in order to fully appreciate what she’s throwing down.


Ira Madison III: Because the problem is, like, we’re tired of the like one minute songs, but also if an album comes out and it is over an hour of like oh I need somewhere to sit with this.


Louis Virtel: Right. This is homework.


Ira Madison III: I can’t just put it on.


Louis Virtel: No. Which is exactly what you could do. But anyway. Like, for instance, Carly Rae Jepsen has an album coming out. Does this mean she right now is thinking, all right, I should put on some gray sweatpants and jive to my own songs for hits like is that actually going through her head right now?


Ira Madison III: Probably.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. I feel bad because I’m I just don’t think she’s a jiver. Shall we say? Shall we say she’s too Canadian and polite for that.


Ira Madison III: She could jump and she can wail, but she can’t jive.


Louis Virtel: The Brian Setzer triad not completed.


Ira Madison III: Do you even have a Tik Tok account?


Louis Virtel: No. I think I signed up to watch something at some point a couple of years ago. My Jeopardy clip had like a Tik Tok moment. And so it was sent to me a lot. I was like, All right, should I maybe get an account? But honestly, I am so happy to opt out. It’s the 35 year old in me. I love not watching Tik Tok. If you think love is, what if you think watching Tik Tok is fun, you should try not watching Tik Tok. Whew.


Ira Madison III: I like when people do throwback videos though of like all the style jokes, things like you could have. Like, maybe someone should have an account that’s dedicated just to posting old clips from your verbal voguing.


Louis Virtel: Oh, right. And who knows if that will get me cancelled? I mean, I haven’t watched those videos in 12 years, but yeah.


Ira Madison III: I think your hair would just get you cancelled.


Louis Virtel: Did you know that Supercuts actually routinely are not super? I was not aware. I went on national television. I was a panelist on Chelsea Lately with that haircut. Can you believe my life? What was wrong with me?


Ira Madison III: All right, we’re. We’re back. Keep It.


Ira Madison III: We’re back for our favorite segment of the episode. As always, it’s Keep It.


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: Louis, what’s yours?


Louis Virtel: My Keep It is in some ways supportive and I hate a kind of milquetoast Keep It. But it’s to the Tonys because they have decided to give Angela Lansbury… Get this ….A lifetime achievement award. Guys… You should be giving her four lifetime achievement awards. It is insane that she would be getting an honor like this now when she is in her. I’m checking my watch late nineties. This is somebody who was first nominated for an Oscar in the movie Gaslight. That is from 1944. I’m going to let you do a little math. How many years ago was that? It’s not 68. It is 78 years ago. That is 78 years ago. Costar of Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. And now you’re giving her a lifetime achievement award because you could give Sutton Foster a lifetime achievement award right now. You could give Kelli O’Hara a lifetime achievement. Lin-Manuel Manuel. People who are like my age deserve lifetime achievement awards and in Broadway. And Angela Lansbury getting this now. I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve it. Oh, quite, quite contrary. She has five competitive Tonys tied with Julie Harris. The only person ahead of the both of them is Ira?


Ira Madison III: Tonys?


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: Justin Mikita.


Louis Virtel: It’s not. The original Justin Mikita. Audra McDonald, who also has a Tony in every category she can compete in and play. Best Actress, featured actress. Musical actress, musical supporting actress. Anyway.


Ira Madison III: We’ll start writing the play, bitch.


Louis Virtel: I know. That’s right. She’s capable of that, too. You’re right. The problem with Audra McDonald. Lazy. That’s what I think. Yeah. But anyway, I’m psyched that we’re going to get Angela Lansbury winning this award at the ceremony. I mean, like the countless amazing performances.


Ira Madison III: I’ve always thought that we should start giving people that maybe that this way, you know? But I feel like we should start giving people lifetime achievement awards a little bit later in life. Or maybe people just afraid that they’ll die.


Louis Virtel: Right? No. Yes. I’m afraid she’ll die. She is. She’s Eva Marie Saint, years old. She is Olivia de Havilland, years old. You know, it could happen at any time.


Ira Madison III: I always forget that one, she’s in Gaslight.


Louis Virtel: Yes.


Ira Madison III: And two. I always forget that. George Cukor directed it.


Louis Virtel: Right, George, one of the great director of women in quotes, which usually just means gay. You haven’t seen the women recently, Roz Russell in that movie Unforgettable.


Ira Madison III: I would love to ask her, what do you think about the phrase Gaslight becoming a phrase?


Louis Virtel: No. It’s weird that the 1944 best actress winning film Gaslight became like Word of the Year in 2016.


Ira Madison III: What was it up against?


Louis Virtel: As in for Best Actress?


Ira Madison III: Yeah. That year? Yeah. What was it? What? The 17th Academy Awards. I’m just imagining other phrases that could have become like the big word of 2016. Wilson. What if we just been walking around saying Wilson?


Louis Virtel: I mean, I’m not not saying that word. So in a way we are.


Ira Madison III: Or double indemnity. I don’t think we use the phrase double indemnity enough.


Louis Virtel: What a great title. By the way, we talked about this movie recently, but yeah, remember when movies had titles?


Ira Madison III: Also, I look up the 45 best picture winners, Gaslight and Double Indemnity lost to Going My Way.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Bing Crosby. Yeah. Bing Crosby. Bing Crosby once had a choke hold on. I was going to say boomers. No, the the greatest generation, the Depression era people.


Ira Madison III: I thought he I thought he was just that Christmas bitch.


Louis Virtel: No. Right. Who has a rough relationship with his kids? Yeah. Ira, what is your Keep It?


Ira Madison III: My Keep It this week. I’m sorry, gays. But my Keep It this week…


Louis Virtel: No you’re not.


Ira Madison III: My Keep It this week goes to Nicole Kidman.


Louis Virtel: What did she do?


Ira Madison III: Nicole Kidman is responsible for one of the greatest crimes that has been committed this year. I’m thinking film is Senior Year on Netflix starring Rebel Wilson. Now I will get to Nicole Kidman’s  crimes in a second. First, we’re going to talk about Senior Year.


Louis Virtel: Okay.


Ira Madison III: I was sick like a couple weeks ago on my deathbed, in fact. So I was like, you know what? Why not watch Senior Year? Netflix is shoving it down my throat every time I open the app. So I watched it. And let me tell you, this movie is terrifying.


Louis Virtel: Okay?


Ira Madison III: It’s first of all, Rebel Wilson plays a cheerleader who at 17 like she well before 17. She she’s first of all she’s Australian in the film.


Louis Virtel: Okay.


Ira Madison III: So no accent, no accent work. She her parents move her to the U.S. and she decides that she wants to be popular. You know, like all the kids, she always imagined them like American high school kids. So she, like, becomes a cheerleader. She steals the popular girls like boyfriends. And that becomes like this bitch of a cheerleader that the popular girl has these other girls of, like, mess up a stand in a cheer. And she falls. And then she falls into a coma for 20 years.


Louis Virtel: I will say I do kind of stand the concept of this movie. It reminds me of the Joan Rivers written, The Girl Most Likely To do. You know what that is? Was Stockard Channing in the. Yes, the early seventies. And the point of the movie is she is a quote unquote unattractive girl and then gets into an accident and then they reconfigure her face and then she’s beautiful anyway.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. I mean, that is one of my favorite genres of things. I mean, that what that was, that was the show Insatiable. And then, what was the lawyer show? The lawyer. The lawyer where the the fat girl was, like hit by like a car. It goes into the body of like her skinny.


Louis Virtel: Dropped Dead Diva.


Ira Madison III: Drop Dead Diva iconic TV. Yes, right. Iconic TV. Wow. I should rewatch all of Drop Dead Diva. that show had a chokehold on me, if you could have imagined. Of course. But anyway, she wakes up 20 years later and she’s like, you know, almost 40 and she decides she wants to relive her senior year. But they keep telling her and the audience that that she is mentally 17 years old.


Louis Virtel: Oh, this is disturbing.


Ira Madison III: So it’s very weird that her former high school boyfriend, like her best friend from high school, are both vying for her romantic attention and the romantic attention of a 17 year old.


Louis Virtel: Okay. It’s sort of like in a how the movie Overboard is really problematic now? Imagine if it was worse. Imagine if it was… Let’s let’s add pedophilia to it.


Ira Madison III: I always love goofy sort of like comedies with a cards upwards. Like, it sounds fun at first, but then underneath it, it’s really actually kind of gross.


Louis Virtel: Yeah, you think about it for 2 seconds and it’s shocking. Yeah.


Ira Madison III: The only person who’s done that well, I think is Pedro Almodovar with Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down. Because it leads into the fact that it is creepy. He’s kidnaping her, he stalking her.


Louis Virtel: Right.


Ira Madison III: Anyway, the the movie is sort of a mess. I have so many questions. I’m just sort of like. Rebel Wilson. Are we still doing this?


Louis Virtel: Mm hmm. I do have to say, when Rebel Wilson is in a movie, this isn’t this doesn’t speak well or poorly of her talent. But you do know what you’re getting. You know, like, it’s like exactly that thing.


Ira Madison III: It’s weird, too, because I feel like she started out in Pitch Perfect as sort of, like, fumbly and loud, right? And now, like, she’s shifted, they’ve trying to shift her into, like, romantic lead, sort of like movies like this that like, isn’t it romantic? But like, it’s still with the, like, sort of fumbly loud thing. I don’t completely get it.


Louis Virtel: Yeah.


Ira Madison III: And I think she could just go back to Australia because the reason she’s here in the first place is that Nicole Kidman paid for her scholarship to study acting in America.


Louis Virtel: I. I can’t believe I didn’t know that. And also, is Nicole Kidman just shoving money under tables for, like, struggling Aussies? Here, Margot Robbie, go to Juilliard.


Ira Madison III: Nicole Kidman’s home and away fund. She funds like some local Australian actors every year at sends them away to America.


Louis Virtel: I imagine her yeah donating to Rebel Wilson there’s a note on it that says Don’t fuck this up like Mia Wasikowska or something.


Ira Madison III: I guess she was one of sixteen actors at the Australian Theater for young people who was offered the opportunity to study in America through Nicole Kidman’s plan.


Louis Virtel: That is so strange. Do you know who sort of sponsored Allison Janney at the beginning of her career? Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. She went to KENYON College, where he’s an alum of, and they had a really strong relationship. Joanne Woodward still with us, by the way, oldest living best actress winner.


Ira Madison III: She went to school in Kenya?


Louis Virtel: No, not Nairobi. Kenyon College in Ohio. Kenyon’s own Allison Janney.


Ira Madison III: Someone started. Someone at a party on Sunday had beef with you would describe what movie is like though the straight story is like the most beautiful, like imagery of of Iowa ever.


Louis Virtel: Oh, what. They were like Field of Dreams.


Ira Madison III: They were like, yeah, they’re like, Louis does it’s Field of Dreams.


Louis Virtel: Excuse me. I bet at that field in Dyersville, Iowa, hello to my friend Jessica Hitchcock, who is from there. Guys, it is just a field. I’m sorry.


Ira Madison III: Fields of Field of Dreams deferred.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. Oh.


Louis Virtel: Not many people look at like Langston Hughes around those parts, if you know what I mean.


Ira Madison III: I think that’s our show.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. Thanks to Nicole Kidman for everything else she’s given us but.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, but hot fun in the summer time. Sly and the Family Stone.


Louis Virtel: Oh, that’s the song you think is the definitive?


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Don’t you feel like that song? Like I love Sly and the Family Stone? Isn’t that one of their dorkier offerings?


Ira Madison III: That’s fair. You know, I mean, you know, I was going to say I was going to say Summer Girls, by LFO.


Louis Virtel: As all time? Wow. You know what? You’re gonna stick it to Sly Stone just like that, okay?


Ira Madison III: I don’t even like Girls From Abercrombie and Fitch, but that song makes me think I do.


Louis Virtel: Right. Also, it’s like the the pacing of that song, like the mid-tempo swimming vibe. They really achieve something there. It’s not intuitive. You wouldn’t think a song like that would be a huge hit or lasting.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. And it’s sort of it’s sort of like it’s it’s very sleepy.


Louis Virtel: Yeah. But in a summary way.


Ira Madison III: You know, that’s the only way white people can rap.


Louis Virtel: You’re right. He was leaning into, shall we say, our skill set.


Ira Madison III: Rich Cronin was the original Jack Harlow.


Louis Virtel: Mm. Okay. Discuss Internet.


Ira Madison III: Mm hmm. Okay. You know, I will agree with Dancing In The Streets, but I will say… You know what? You know teenmovies from our era, you know what their favorite summer song is?


Louis Virtel: Hmm. I don’t remember.


Ira Madison III: School’s out.


Louis Virtel: Oh, my God. Every movie is School’s Out. Every movie.


Ira Madison III: I feel like it’s even in Scream.


Louis Virtel: It is. When they. When Principal DeMille cancels school, they start playing Ochool’s out.


Ira Madison III: Yeah. All right, well, Keep It’s out for the summer.


Louis Virtel: Right?


Ira Madison III: Yeah. We’ll be back next week, but I’m out of the country for the summer after this episode.


Louis Virtel: Good riddance, bitch.


Ira Madison III: Yeah, I’ll be. I’ll be Skypeing in from islands.


Louis Virtel: Cute. Which is


Ira Madison III: Shutter Island, in fact.


Louis Virtel: Do you know what island? My favorite islands reference. Road Rules Islands. Look up that season. They nailed it.


Ira Madison III: My favorite island’s reference is that underrated track on Damita Jo.


Louis Virtel: Oh, yes. Wait what’s that song called?


Ira Madison III: Island Life.


Louis Virtel: Island Life. Yes, yes, yes. Which is also the name of a Grace Jones song or album or something.


Ira Madison III: Yeah.


Louis Virtel: Anyway, moving along. Have a good weekend or whatever.


Ira Madison III: We’ll see you next week. Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord. Our executive producers are Ira Madison III.


Louis Virtel: And Louis Virtel.


Ira Madison III: Our editor is Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin is our sound engineer.


Louis Virtel: Thank you to our digital team, Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian, and Delon Villanueva for our production support every week.