“Three Hundred’s Company” w. Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme | Crooked Media
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October 18, 2023
Keep It
“Three Hundred’s Company” w. Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme

In This Episode

Ira and Louis celebrate 300 episodes by discussing The Eras Tour movie, Jada Pinkett Smith, Troye Sivan’s new album, Ice Spice reverence for critics, and social media echo chambers. Drag icons Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme join to discuss their creative inspirations, what the find funny, and crafting The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Tour. Plus, Ira and Louis blind rank pop culture and answer pressing listener questions.


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Ira Madison III And we’re back with Crooked Media’s Behind the Podcast. I’m Ira Madison, the third. And this is the true story of 300 episodes of Keep It.


Louis Virtel Oh, wow. Was this were you referencing The Real World or MTV or. I don’t think I got where you  going.


Ira Madison III Behind the music.


Louis Virtel Oh, sure.


Ira Madison III Behind the Music. You know.


Louis Virtel Here’s Lindsey Buckingham with a testimonial about Stevie doing cocaine in 1987 at the Allstate Arena. I’m Louis Virtel. Yes. 300 episodes of Keep It. And I think we’ve covered almost four topics during that time.


Ira Madison III Madonna.


Louis Virtel Yes, right. Kylie The other Madonna.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Louis Virtel Oscars.


Ira Madison III You know what? Where we had our Kanye West and Trump era.


Louis Virtel Was going to say and Kanye West, because once upon a time we felt like it was necessary to explain Kanye West to people, like we were like Freud or something.


Ira Madison III Let’s not forget Harvey Weinstein.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. That. Remember when. Yeah, that would be difficult issues we discussed, Wolf. Thank God that’s over.


Ira Madison III Also, in honor of our 300th episode, I asked our fans, our listeners, to give us questions. I told them that ask us anything. We love an AMA on this podcast because we have to do less work.


Louis Virtel Right? They give us the material and then we just talk back to it, you say.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. First question from Mr. Marco Boyer.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III Are there any. Keep Its you look back on it. Think that was a majorly bad take?


Louis Virtel You know what? No. Altogether, when I’m dismissive, it’s time for that thing to go. I’m trying to think. I mean, I think occasionally, sometimes an album will come out and then I’ll not like it at the time. And then, like music, generally speaking, I think has a way of growing on you. Like, I remember I didn’t like Kacey Musgraves breakup album at the time, and not that I love it now, but a few of those songs I do really like. So I don’t know if I regret saying that, but it’s hard to judge music altogether right when it comes out, I think, because you don’t know how it’s going to stick with you.


Ira Madison III Of course. I mean, well, of course we doing that later with Troye Sivan.


Louis Virtel Precisely. Yes. Watch me do it this episode. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Actually, I feel like famously you will say Keep It to a movie trailer.


Louis Virtel Yes. Oh, no. I remember at the time we the when Renee Zellweger was in Judy, I said absolutely not and threw things and like was calling Lorna Luft, asking her to cancel the movie. And then, of course, she won the Oscar, and I agreed with her. She deserved to win that Oscar. It was a performance with electrifying moments in it.


Ira Madison III Yeah, all we hear about a movie and we’re like, What are we doing here? I still believe that we will be right about Wonka.


Louis Virtel I have to tell you, I have never seen a movie that large that seems so crazily bad. I can’t believe how bad those trailers are.


Ira Madison III It could be our new wild, Wild West.


Louis Virtel That’s beautifully stated, and I can’t believe we did that, mainly to Kevin Kline. Will Smith, Wild Choices, Left and right. Obviously, some of them are going to be great. But Kevin Kline, not Otto from A Fish Called Wanda, which I believe is the only time the world of zany and friggin hot have intersected.


Ira Madison III Jada Pinkett Smith reveals that she watched a Fish called Wanda for the first time this week.


Louis Virtel Okay, I have to say, maybe we’ll get to that in the Keep It segment. But the Jada Pinkett Smith situation. I want to get to our questions. I’m so sorry. Her talking about how they haven’t been married. I actually was awestruck. I have to say, I stopped in my chair. I feel a little bit dulgent  about whatever it is is going on with them and that it’s like we weren’t even like 1%, correct. What?


Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s I feel like actually it went from annoying to now it’s it became funny. Became a meme. That’s right. Get right with everyone talking about new things she could reveal. I feel like we knew that they had basically lived separate lives. We knew that. But when she said when he went up there and said, you know, don’t talk about my wife, he hasn’t referred to me as that in years. I was like, What are we doing here?


Louis Virtel Right. And then afterwards, she said, I’m leaving this room. Your wife. Like. Like that man. Like, got their relationship back on track or something. So baffling. Like, everything’s a clue and everything is misleading.


Ira Madison III Which actually as a dramatic turn in a marriage. Charging the stage at the Oscars and slapping a man to save your marriage is is kind of you know the thing that we right.


Louis Virtel No, I mean a star is born anybody I mean just yeah. It belongs in a movie and you know we’re going to get that movie. So how about that?


Ira Madison III Yeah, actually, it is very I was thinking about A Star Is Born recently, just like the scene obviously, where Bradley Cooper, you know, pisses himself on stage and how insane that would be to watch IRL and then thinking about watching the slap IRL and it seems so out of body. And if it were in a movie, we’d be like, That’s ridiculous. That would never happen.


Louis Virtel Right. No, This is often the problem with people adapting real life events into movies. Like, for instance, when like a a dark horse sports team, like, ends up like like The Miracle, that hockey movie where, like, they won the Olympics, a U.S. won the Olympic hockey competition. You know, I’m a big sports fan. It’s like this doesn’t work as a movie because it’s extraordinary stories make ordinary movies, you know.


Ira Madison III Mhm. Yeah. Taylor was at that game, by the way.


Louis Virtel I’m sure. Yes. Waving a hockey stick like fucking Jason.


Ira Madison III Speaking of Ms. Taylor Swift.


Louis Virtel Oh, is she in the news again?


Ira Madison III As. As you know, I am a Swifty.


Louis Virtel Right? Whatever that means. You’re basicallly an organized religion at this point. Like if, by the way, I’m a fucking Christian, First of all.


Ira Madison III I’m a Swifty scientist.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III I don’t believe that other music exists.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III No. What happens is what has happened actually, over 300 episodes of this show is I feel like our listeners have seen me go on quite the Taylor Swift journey.


Louis Virtel Well, I think like five years ago or five and a half years ago when we started this podcast, maybe the tabloid stories about her were a little bit. I don’t know. Just general opinion about my dear friend. Like she had tons of fans, obviously, but it’s just accelerated so much. She’s like elevated from I don’t know who at the time. She’s just really a level now as opposed to then when she was like, you know, kind of in this mid-tier, is she going to be a legendary thing? Is she going to, you know, stand the test of time? And now she’s the only thing we remember in time.


Ira Madison III Yes. So being a Swifty, I’m aware of the movie event of the weekend, which was, you know, the arrests for concert film and. Spike. Speaking of Christian scientists, I don’t think I’ve seen videos this crazy outside of sort of a. An exorcism rite of people watching this concert in AMC theaters. I. Am terrified to go and see this film. Not at a time that’s like 11 a.m. on a Wednesday.


Louis Virtel Which, by the way, you can’t do. I went to go see Taylor Swift last night, Monday. I was like, You know, journalism is important to me. I wanted to be an informed person for this podcast. And you can only see it on the weekends because I think the strategy is that she wants everybody to see it in a relatively full theater and some midweek. Obviously, that’s hard and you know, it’s AMC, but you have to pay $20 anyway, even if you’re a part of there like A-list or stubs or whatever. I have to actually give her props. It’s sort of interesting. But she insists, basically, you see it with people falling to their knees and throwing their hands in the sky. I mean, some of these videos was more like the lowest budget Blair Witch sequel.


Ira Madison III They were basically frothing at the mouth.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III In these videos people like and people with their with their phone. Right to their writers are dancing around and somehow they’re all wearing white.


Louis Virtel Right. And then also bracelets like, I’m sorry, Jim Jones. It just wasn’t much different. It just wasn’t that much different over there.


Ira Madison III Talk about a barn burner. It’s given cross burner.


Louis Virtel Also. So, I mean, it’s astounding. I mean, like, I guess if a movie is going to be 2 hours and 45 minutes and the demographic age range is like anywhere from like 35 to 4 years old, people are going to have to run around. You know, people have to run around on the aisles.


Ira Madison III That’s fair. You’re hearing screaming just in the corridors of AMC and you’re like, is it eras or is it star?


Louis Virtel Also, it’s like it’s sort of a budget version of the YouTube sphere experience. Like, oh, sounds are coming from everywhere and I’m really, you know, enmeshed in this sonic atmosphere, except also they’re being terrorized. By the way, I have to say, I’m not a U2 stan, but it seems like I have to go see that concert.


Ira Madison III I want to see it. I when you talked about wanting to see Pink, I was like, you know, I want to see U2 in the sphere.


Louis Virtel I mean, just like I’m not somebody who’s like a stickler for the way music sounds. I’m not like a live music obsessive, but the way it really seems like a one of a kind experience over there. And he still sounds amazing.


Ira Madison III Also, I still haven’t seen Bono live as the fan songs.


Louis Virtel And he did a whole tour where PJ Harvey opened up from I messed Up. I should have been there.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I will say though, that remember when I talked about how Here Comes the Sun terrorizes me because I but I went to high school at Marquette in Milwaukee. There was a retreat that we were on called Chi-Raq, where they repeatedly played Here Comes the Sun every morning to wake us up.


Louis Virtel Sick.


Ira Madison III The song they also played was U2’s A Beautiful Day.


Louis Virtel Arguably the most VH1 moment.


Ira Madison III Also terrorized me.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, so.


Louis Virtel They’re there.


Ira Madison III Scarring.


Louis Virtel As you know, my two favorite U2 songs are Mysterious Ways. And you know what is a fucking banger song? Elevation. Elevation slays.


Ira Madison III Oh, I love Elevation. Yeah, that’s actually a very good album. You know.


Louis Virtel All that you can’t leave behind. Yes. Very definitive of what I will call the VH one era. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, nothing will top calling an album like How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb.


Louis Virtel Oh, by the way, if anybody wants to put six too many words in a title, it’s Bono. Like, Stuck in a Moment, You Can’t Get Out Of, Where the Streets Have No Name. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. Like why you can be three words shorter, throwing your arms around the world around you. That song is called. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Classy Glassy wants to know, each of our favorite interviews on the podcast.


Louis Virtel Honestly, impossible question. People astound me on the show I loved. We just had Patricia Arquette on, who was a fucking amazing interviewee. One of the first I don’t know about first, but like it was our first major pandemic interview, we had Jane Fonda on Who? As you guys know, your favorite movie star and man, does she fucking bring it for somebody who has had a 60 plus year career? The sharpness of her memory and her willingness to, like, reinvestigate every part of her career, every part of her wild. Also, I’ll say persona. I mean, she’s just second to none. You know, we will never have a celebrity like that again. So she’s just fucking awesome. Carrie Brownstein, I loved. I love when we have Gabrielle Union on this show. She’s an awesome interview. Yeah. What do you think, Ira?


Ira Madison III I honestly, you weirdly, you weren’t involved in this interview.


Louis Virtel Oh, you don’t say, bitch.


Ira Madison III I do. In the first year of the show, I was, you know, doing interviews by myself. Oh, right. Yes. Yes. Yeah. Well, you know, you were busy, right?


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s true. Yeah, I did one of our set. Everybody at work with my podcast.


Ira Madison III Yeah, it was. It was sort of like I was just traveling the city with my band of podcaster friends.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right, right, right.


Ira Madison III You know, but I interviewed Holland Taylor. Oh. For first season of our show. And that actually hooked into I feel like what is what we do best in our interviews and sort of what I realize I do best in mind to it was, you know, an older actress who was she came in person to this podcast and I feel like she had no idea what to expect. She was like, okay, I’m like, this millennial is going to interview me. Maybe they’re going to ask questions about Sarah Paulson, whatever. And I asked her questions about her career. I asked about a practice I asked about and the show that she was in, which I had seen. And, you know, I think that’s what she left the interviews. She was just delighted that I knew things about her career and surprised and her team even sent in another email and just said how much she enjoyed that interview. And I think since then, our best interviews are sort of like that, you know, surprising people that we actually know something about them. Because I still think that with this proliferation of podcasts and the saturation of, you know, the genre of pop culture podcast, right, you you mostly just get people hopping on a mic who do not know what they’re talking about.


Louis Virtel Well, I mean, I’ll just say, like from my years of doing, like junket interviews where you’re one of 50 journalists who go in to talk to people, it is pretty astounding how many so-called professionals just don’t know that much about like the people they’re interviewing or don’t have, like an encyclopedia. It’s like, don’t you feel like behooved to have like a strong knowledge base before you go in with these people? And on the one.


Ira Madison III Research.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I mean on the one hand like I understand like you want to ask like three or four main questions that you think are the most sort of algorithmically popular like, So are you asking questions? They’ve been asked a thousand times, but at the same time, I am too egotistical to do that, frankly. Like, I mean, I hate being in a conversation I’ve had 10,000 times, and I think this specifically people on junkets feel that way. So it’s like you want to key into something unusual that you’ve noticed or something you saw or whatever. And hopefully that’s entertaining for people.


Ira Madison III You really cannot underestimate the high that you get from asking a, you know, an actor or a director who a writer, whoever about like a project they did in 1992 that no one ever brings up to them. Right. And they’re so excited to talk about it.


Louis Virtel Right. Because, you know, they have stories they that that are still fresh or something, you know, that still are meaningful to them. Yeah. We had Mary Steenburgen recently. I love Mary Steenburgen. Yeah, I could go on and on.


Ira Madison III I think it’s stories that are fresh. And also there’s just something about the fact that when you were doing interviews maybe for that project then, right, you maybe weren’t asked that question, or maybe you have a different feeling about that project like decades later. And also, you know, like maybe just people weren’t asking in-depth questions about that. I mean, Patricia Arquette was a perfect example, right? You know, just talking about her acting process.


Louis Virtel And finding true romance.


Ira Madison III But she is we are finding out how much she has honed her acting process and then asking her, okay, well, how do you work with David Lynch, that girl, you know, that right at her being like, well, this is how I do it, you know?


Louis Virtel Yeah, No, but plenty of amazing interviews. Honestly, honestly, it’s just rare that people are disappointing, I think. I think when, you know, people come on a podcast, they know, okay, I have to, like, talk a lot. I have to, you know, remember things. So and they usually do.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And even people who you would think maybe they’re not going to be a knock out interview, they’ll end up surprising you. You know, I remember being very surprised by like Rebecca Black.


Louis Virtel Oh, fabulous. Yes. No, she she went there with us. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah. People who people who just sort of know their know their jobs and also care about their work in the way that we care about their work. You know, you can be a random pop star who just makes songs for top 40 or whatever. But if you also want to come and talk to us about your favorite musicians and albums that you listen to, then we’re going to have a great time.


Louis Virtel Yes. So Toni Collette, that’s my last nominee. She was excellent. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Behind the scenes on that one, Toni Collette. I’m shocked she didn’t cancel because Toni Collette was incredibly sick the day that we interviewed her and she had the camera off. I feel like we’ve only had two camera off interviews. Really. Three that I can remember her. Issa Rae. Kathleen Turner.


Louis Virtel Right. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yes. But, uh, she was sick. She was coughing like she is. She literally kept telling us she felt like she was going to die. But she was so on for that interview.


Louis Virtel Yeah. No, she every movie we brought up, she’s like, let me tell you this story. And then this story. We even bothered her to ask questions about Australian accents. She was deeply indulged for being at death’s door.


Ira Madison III We need  Naomi?


Louis Virtel It’s weird that she hasn’t been here.


Ira Madison III Yeah, well.


Louis Virtel And Nicole, too. Well, talking about Australia and Kylie Minogue. Excuse me. I have seen Kylie Minogue on 100 podcasts recently. Have you listened to ours? It’s like. It’s like the Kylie Minogue and Friends show.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But I think we’ll get Ms. Kylie.


Louis Virtel I’m seeing her in Vegas. I will. I will bring a butterfly net and bring her back to L.A.. So just be aware.


Ira Madison III I will be in Vegas soon for Bravocon.


Louis Virtel Oh, wow. Good riddance. You guys have a good time.


Ira Madison III Been bringing a gun.


Louis Virtel Does Andy Cohen go to that?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Okay, so.


Ira Madison III All of them go to that.


Louis Virtel Wow.


Ira Madison III Yeah, it is insane. So that that should be fun, too. If I survive, you’ll hear all about it. So we actually have a bunch more questions from our listeners, and I feel like we’ll just get to them during different segments of the show.


Louis Virtel Okay. All right. Keep It spontaneous.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So we will be back with more. Keep it. We are discussing Troye Sivan’s new album.


Louis Virtel Mm hmm.


Ira Madison III We are playing one of our favorite new games, Blind Ranking, which we do on Checkered Casts, one of our YouTube spin off series that we’ve created. One that we have a whole Keep It universe now.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Lots of options for just talking about nonsense.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So we’ll be doing that. We have some categories for one another, so that should be fun. And our guests this week are just two of the funniest people in existence.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. Utterly delightful. And also they bring to drag and our TV screens something not many people do these days, which is fucking knowledge. These are people who are these are like old school queens who know shit.


Ira Madison III Yes. Jinkx Monsoon and Ben DelaCreme are joining us once this episode, so it’s going to be a fun episode. We’ll be right back.




Ira Madison III Well, we’ve been Feeling the Rush for quite some time. But if you’re sick of hearing that song Troye Sivan finally released his entire album, which is titled Something to Give Each Other, and also this album cover, First of all, I think it’s kind of an all time classic. I love it.


Louis Virtel Is So he it appears some guy is either sitting on his shoulders, are sitting behind him but naked and his and he’s looking up sort of euphorically. And it just it captures the joie of eve of a gay guy get in my life. You know, it’s very sexy.


Ira Madison III Now, once again, people are going to be confused about what positions gay people have sex in.


Louis Virtel Oh, right. I love them. We get that new long tweet from somebody about how they didn’t know gay people could face each other or know each other’s name when they have sex or something.


Ira Madison III Well, now you can fire people to the back of their head.


Louis Virtel It’s what we call the Pez dispenser.


Ira Madison III It’s like The Matrix. You’re just tapping back into the system. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Finally.


Ira Madison III I love this album.


Louis Virtel I like this album.


Ira Madison III Okay, Maybe. Maybe I was being a little bit hyperbolic.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III As I tend to be. But now I’m teetering between, like, this album and love this album. There are elements of this album that I fucking stan and I really think that it is the. He’s talked about in interviews so much how there’s a Janet influence on this album, and I feel like in certain songs it’s giving Damita Jo.


Louis Virtel Okay. Yes, which I think is only an okay album. But all right. What I will say about this album is, first of all, it needs a different title, something to give each other. I keep forgetting the name of this album. I keep having to look it up, but he is very married to being a vibe centric artist, which is to say you put it on and it’s one consistent tone throughout the album and honestly, a vocal that is pretty unchanging too. I would like it if he was a little bit more adventurous vocally. That said, if you’re next to a pool, if you’re in Palm Springs, this ketamine soup is going to work for you. You are in this waterlogged zone of good times. And he and he sets out to do that. And I think it’s a lot of fun. And also, by the way, there’s a lot of romance in this album, a lot of sexuality, and a lot of like putting a lot of what it is to be like a gay guy who’s like horny but emotional. But, you know, all these things, they all appear on the album. I will say about Troye Sivan though, as a pop star, it rarely feels like he’s coming to the fore, like you’re getting a full moment for him where he’s capturing all the light in the room. And I think it’s like ultimately, even though this strong sexuality is important to him, even though being sexy and music is important to him, he is this kind of mild mannered person. And I feel like I don’t want to say he disappears in the music, but it’s just it’s not like, say, George Michael, where the minute he says, Babe, you know, you’re getting like a fucking hot, throbbing guy who’s going to, like, fill stadiums like Troy’s. Troye Sivan is sort of content to be in the middle of a playlist, you know, ultimately in.


Ira Madison III You know, I really like the One of Your Girls video where he’s in drag for it, and I feel like that was one of the first moments where Troy popped, popped to me. You know, the choreography in that video and in.


Louis Virtel The Rush video was great.


Ira Madison III Mesmerizing. Oh, the Rush video as well. Yeah. Yeah. I’m not as big of a fan as got me started. Yeah. As the other songs on the album. I think the sample does too much work for me, to be honest.


Louis Virtel But you’re right in this video. In this video where he’s in drag also, it’s like nobody is better suited to a drag look than Troye Sivan. Like he already looks like Scarlett Johansson. And then you put him in drag and he has all the comments of like of a lady. And then the subject of the song, which is talking to a straight guy and saying, If you ever get desperate, come to me and you can treat me like one of your homies. It’s sort of funny and romantic and, you know, some desperate, like classic, desperate longing there.


Ira Madison III And Russell Lynch is gorgeous.


Louis Virtel Yes. By the way, do you know what he looks like in drag, though? Those two twins on that one horrible season of Big Brother. That’s what he looks like. I don’t even remember their names, but they were twins and everybody figured out they were twins immediately.


Ira Madison III Yes. Well, the early season or the.


Louis Virtel The latter one’s.


Ira Madison III The latter one. Yeah. Where they were. Davon immediately said her face is fatter.


Louis Virtel Yes. Correct. Yes. Legendary. Correct. I also think if you’re going to be a vibes artist, there are few people in that genre who jump out. Lana Del Rey is one of them. She has become she has stuck to her guns, done her. I come in at this sound, at this decibel level and that’s it. And people fucking love it. I feel like he likes pop sounds more than she does, but I need him to commit to a pop hook a little bit more. At the end of the record, there’s a song called How to Stay With You, and that is finally transitioning from vibes to a groove. And if he would make the full transition to groove and get into the I’m so sorry to bring him up. Charlie Puth Arena I would love that.


Ira Madison III Okay, I get that and I get the groove element versus vibes. I know you don’t love Damita Jo as much, but I love I love.


Louis Virtel Strawberry Bounce on that album.


Ira Madison III Is this Strawberry Bounce, R&B Junky, Island Life, I feel like that is a vibey album, but it also grooves you put, like you put at least like Island Life on or the song with Kanye, those those are things that like, they could get a party started, you know, and at least have a throwback element where you’re like, Oh, I remember this song. I remember this where I was when this came out, and it sort of shifts you into a party. But I also feel like it’s easier for black people to start the party. Uh huh. You know, right, so to speak. You know, you sort of trust that they’re inviting you to a party that’s fun. I still don’t necessarily know if a white gay man inviting me to a party, if it’s going to be fun or not.


Louis Virtel No. Oh, no, totally. That’s it. Troye Sivan I think is a great appreciator of pop music, which unfortunately, apart from certain other pop artists, like you get the sense that he like, not only is he a Britney stan, he’s got his favorite eras and they’re underrated moments or whatever. You know, he’s just like, in that way, I’ll say a traditional gay guy, which is cool. Mm hmm. And so I think this album is extremely listenable again, when it’s when somebody is that vibe oriented, you’re really going to turn it off because it sets a mood and whatever you’re driving, it keeps it consistent. You know, it’s nice. It just gets a little samey after a while, and his entire career is sort of on the same, you know, pool float. You know.


Ira Madison III It’s interesting because you remember his song Dance to This with Ariana Grande.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III I feel like for the most part, she’s sort of the same. It’s interesting that she has these wild swings from time to time. I think a lot of it was her association with Nickelodeon early on and then her friendship with Nicki Minaj and then also her very public relationships. Yeah, but for the most part, Ariana is also just hanging out.


Louis Virtel Right. But I guess.


Ira Madison III Especially as a live performer.


Louis Virtel Yeah, but Ariana wants a monster pop hook, you know what I mean? Like, so she sort of combines the feeling of like an R&B artist with also like, Katy Perry level production. You know what I mean? It’s like always somewhere in between those two things.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And listen, I mean, I love Leland, who wrote and produced this album with Troy. I think that the.


Louis Virtel Writing is great. I think the writing.


Ira Madison III Is yeah, the writing is great. I think Lila can pull out a master hook as well. I think he writes all those songs for Drag Race. So those hooks, when you hear Drag Race Song, they do not leave you.


Louis Virtel Sometimes I need to see the YouTube video 25 times for the song to stick, but they do occasionally.


Ira Madison III Yeah. So I think all the elements here are fantastic, but I do just want studying that early pop of Britney. For instance, one of the boys, the video sort of invokes that, and I think the song Silly sort of invokes that as well. But we grew up on hooks.


Louis Virtel Mm hmm.


Ira Madison III You know.


Louis Virtel So it’s just like I can’t really tell if he really wants to be like a superstar in the vein of these other people. I think he’s sort of content to be on the level of someone like Robin, who, you know, has her superfans and people who are going to see her every time in concert. In fact, the last time I saw Robin, I believe he opened for her. Yeah, but like.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Is that.


Louis Virtel Exactly. Exactly. People who have their thing, Carly Rae or whatever, you know, they have their thing, they do it well and they, you know, do it on a certain stage that’s not as large as, you know, a football field.


Ira Madison III Yeah, which is great because we don’t need every artist to be shutting down a football field when they show up to a game, you know?


Louis Virtel Also, especially, I mean, like when I talk about, like, Taylor Swift, somebody who couldn’t be any larger. A big part of what she does is that the prime demographic for the thing is everybody between the ages of like 65 and three, you know, whereas like Troye Sivan can be like this is for a certain kind of adults only. And so, you know, maybe that means like, like even Beyonce, somebody who I would say makes adult music for some reason, she like, jumps like you can be like a young teen or something and still be really into Beyoncé. But Troye Sivan, it really feels like even though we’re we have this Gen Z is like primed to like somebody like him was very open about his sexuality and like rad and free and all that. I really feel like it’s about a certain sector of adulthood that’s supposed to be into it.


Ira Madison III He’s still he’s still making music for the Quiet Storm is what you’re saying?


Louis Virtel Yeah. That’s the one. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah. But I’m interested to see what the next tour looks like for him. I’ve seen him open for people. We’ve seen him open for Kim Petras, seen him open for Robin. So I’m interested in what the sort of visual element of a tour looks like. I think he’s sort of swinging in that area of pop star who’s now going to be headlining the Super Bowl.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right.


Ira Madison III For instance, you know.


Louis Virtel He’s too chill. I’ll say it like Australian, you know what I mean? It’s like Australians are like naughty Canadians, you know, they’re like they’re like, self-effacing, but also like all about good times. Thumbs up.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And Kylie mostly hangs out in the Vibe arena, too. But I would love a Fever from Troye Sivan.


Louis Virtel Yes, yes, yes, yes. Kylie also has like, I mean, you’re right. She she’s sort of similar in this way, but she also has a very enticing come hither vibe that, you know, like a classic sort of like forties sexpot sort of vocal going on or something.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And I think that Troye has also become a bit more open with making jokes about being gay and his sexuality, etc.. But I still remember the earlier interview where the interviewer asked him if he was a top or bottom. And his response to that was not what you would expect from say a Madonna in the nineties.


Louis Virtel Mm. Right.


Ira Madison III You know it wasn’t, it wasn’t playful or it wasn’t even a full, you know, drag of the interviewer either. And I think that’s what you need and perhaps you need for a mega pop star to really hook you, you need a little attitude.


Louis Virtel Completely attitude. Attitude.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. You need attitude or a sort of simmering beneath the surface cunty-ness. Because I wouldn’t say Taylor really has attitude, but there’s so much that she does where you feel like if the door closes, you will be shot point blank in the head


Louis Virtel Right. There’s also a sense of Taylor Swift that she just controls the narrative. Like you don’t really know what happens behind the scenes. Like we we get a certain window into what she does and it’s, you know, happy and red lipstick and.


Ira Madison III Well, that was emblematic of last weekend when the Eras tour concert film premiered and Beyonce showed up on the red carpet and it was at the event with her and people were flabbergasted, shook. Even though I recall her attending Taylor Swift’s 25th birthday, and I also recall her, you know, how she gave Taylor that award after Kanye snatched it from her.


Louis Virtel Of course.


Ira Madison III On MTV and started that narrative. And so it makes perfect sense that Taylor would look up to Beyonce. And also it makes perfect sense that Beyoncé would sort of be a friend, almost mentor type to Taylor. But with the whole narrative of Renaissance versus Eras all summer, it was just jarring to see them both on a red carpet together, right? Which right then reminds you that you really have no idea what these women’s relationship with each other is.


Louis Virtel Totally.


Ira Madison III They don’t show us.


Louis Virtel By the way, speaking of people who have strange relationships, I’ll say this quickly. To hear that the Madonna tour is apparently going to be fucking great. What a relief. What a relief. I really I mean, I also want to say this. And, you know, I love it when people.


Ira Madison III The set list is cunty.


Louis Virtel That’s what I mean, though. I don’t want to know the entire setlist. I took a passing glance and let me just say, if you are one of the very nice people who might come up to me in the future, by other means, please do talk to me about whatever. Do not tell me what is on that stage. Because, by the way, I am seeing this woman in motherfucking March, So I’m going to do this. I have to. I have to hold off for a long time before I see any of this shit. But. But literally, I was in Starbucks the other day and I’m always wearing my Margaret Donna Summer shirt right now. I’m always wearing something like this. And this guy who works there always comes up to me and he’ll be like, Tell me some story that he’s like 48 or something and has somehow met every pop star in existence. This bastard comes up to me as I walk and he goes, Oh, Louis, I have to tell you, when she does, Nothing Really Matters, right at the top of the show, I’m like, Please do not spoil this for me. I did not ask for this.


Ira Madison III That reminds me of the Renaissance tour, which is why I also saw it in Europe, because she started in Europe and then went to the U.S. and the concept of waiting five six months to see the tour while it was online constantly stressed me out.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right, right. But anyway, yes, lots of concert things to look forward to in the future. And apparently the Eras tour when I will actually see it in a theater next Friday, hiding from, you know, screaming raves in the aisles.


Ira Madison III Um. We have a question from Rita Staples.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III How do you choose which guests to have? This is actually very interesting. Or maybe it’s not interesting, but I feel like some people think that we have the guests sort of foisted on us all the time.


Louis Virtel We’re trapped here.


Ira Madison III Yes, we’re trapped. I think it’s where they get an interview that they don’t particularly like or want to listen to that in their mind, they think, well, they were forced to do this interview. But now, for the most part, we have an email that goes out every other week or so with a list of names, and Louis and I select the people that we think would be interesting to interview and we approve them. And then our team goes out and tries to book them for the show. And also we suggest names as well and try and grab those people from time to time.


Louis Virtel Yes. Sharp ear listeners may know that sometimes I just shout the names out on the podcast and ask them to come out. So that’s my tactic.


Ira Madison III And someone asked who would we like as dream guests on the show. And they said, be serious. You’re not getting Taylor, Beyoncé, Madonna, Kylie.


Louis Virtel Not true.


Ira Madison III First of all bitch, I bet we could get . I bet we could get Madonna. You just see’s very accessible. She’s on tour right now, but I feel like I could stumble upon her at an after party in New York and just say, Listen, do you want a voice note interview? I will three- way call in Louis.


Louis Virtel No, I have to say, weirdly, the upside of the pandemic for this podcast was suddenly all celebrities were stuck at home and they were like, we were as viable an interview choice as any talk show or whatever it was. And so you realize ultimately that if they want to give interviews, they want the interviews to be interesting. And so I don’t know, it sort of always feels like anybody’s on the table. Ultimately.


Ira Madison III What you’re saying is that we need to create another global pandemic.


Louis Virtel That really worked out for us. Yes. I was recording from my closet. I couldn’t have been lower, actually.


Ira Madison III Meggie. Meggie315 wants to know when is Pat Regan co-hosting?


Louis Virtel Has he not been on the show?


Ira Madison III He has not, actually. Which is shocking.


Louis Virtel I see him work out at the same place sometimes. And he.


Ira Madison III Because he moved to LA.


Louis Virtel Adorable. Yes. Uhuh. Yeah, that’s possible.


Ira Madison III We did a show together, quick, quickly, before he moved to L.A., like a few months ago, we did like a live comedy show together, but no we’d love to have Pat on.


Louis Virtel Mm hmm. Coming soon there. That’s a threat to viewers and Pat Regan.


Ira Madison III Evan H. Johnson wants to know who has a better taste in movies.


Louis Virtel Well, I will say we both have wide-ranging taste.


Ira Madison III That’s fair. I think that would be hard to delineate because we we do have I feel like for the most part, we fall into the same category of like there’s a there’s a Venn diagram of movies. The center is very large on what we’re like. It’s very rare that like, you would see a Tar and you would think, Oh, Ira’s going to hate this movie.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right. I will say you have more specific genre interests. I think my taste does sway older.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Louis Virtel Because, you know, MAGA. Which is my whole thing.


Ira Madison III I would say that if you’re thinking of things that we would really sort of differ on Terence DAVIES just past. And I would say that I like House of Mirth.


Louis Virtel Uh huh.


Ira Madison III I don’t have any particular interest in any of his other films.


Louis Virtel Oh, including A Quiet Passion, which I saw in a theater full of people who were 250 years old. The world’s oldest people turned out to be fascinating for that movie. But secondly. Terence DAVIES, the Emily Dickinson movie with Cynthia Nixon. When people were in line for that movie, I said, one, take it for A Quiet Passion, please. Everybody else I saw online said one ticket for Emily Dickinson. They literally could not bring themselves to say the words A Quiet Passion or they did not know the name of the movie, which is how, you know, you shouldn’t name the movie that anyway.


Ira Madison III Actually, I saw that as he before he passed, he was working on a Noel Coward biopic.


Louis Virtel Oh, God.


Ira Madison III And I would have loved the fuck out of that.


Louis Virtel I love when we it’s I’m sure would be one of those movies where, like, the person is preternaturally witty all the time, like popping with aphorisms and one liners and stuff. I always bring up Mrs. Parker in the Vicious Circle where Jennifer Jason Leigh played Dorothy Parker. Not a movie I’m obsessed with, but if you want to see people just, like, lightly roast each other and, like, exchange glances and be rich looking and also, like, wildly bad alcoholics. Q Movie?


Ira Madison III Yeah. Gosford Park, but good.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Gosford Park, unfortunately is too fucking long. It’s like you don’t get to the good part.


Ira Madison III It’s like Gosford Park. It’s like baby we’re just. We’re on the walkway.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Really good performance from Helen Mirren in that, too. Yes.


Ira Madison III All right. When we are back, we will be joined by the delightful Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme.


Ira Madison III Well, there’s no way that we could celebrate our 300th episode without bringing you something special. We have two esteemed icons with us who both have made a name for themselves as drag icons on Drag Race and beyond, not only serving countless showstopping looks, but bringing vaudeville comedy stylings back to the mainstream. They are known on both stage and screen. Most recently, even the Broadway stage. Truly, no one does it better than these queens. Please welcome to Keep It, Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme.


Jinkx Monsoon Hiiii! Thank you!


Louis Virtel We are so thrilled to have the both of you. Both. Just like, literally, if all you did was your single, your original Snatch Game appearances, you would be legends alone. But you have given us so much else. Also, I have to tell you, like, the first thing I want to ask about is your relationship to each other. Because you both, I feel like, have immense knowledge, like pop culture knowledge. And I was wondering, is that a huge part of how you guys connect.


BenDeLaCreme Pop culture knowledge of the 19? Whats?


Louis Virtel Yes. Oldsss yes. Yes.


Jinkx Monsoon We both. We both draw from a vintage well of inspiration. And we we recognize that within each other very, very early on. De La, I would say, has a lot more contemporary knowledge than I do and chooses a vintage aesthetic. I was born in the Victorian era and in having a really hard time catching up.


BenDeLaCreme I just taught Jinx about Doja cat. So we’re really, you know, we’re doing well.


Louis Virtel There should be like a My Fair Lady ish musical about you teaching Jinkx things like Doja Cat.


Jinkx Monsoon How to be a human in the modern world.


BenDeLaCreme Absolutely


Ira Madison III Well, I know that Louis and I, you know, we sort of have that same dynamic. We were talking about this earlier, Louis’ aesthetics and tastes sort of swing older and mine sort of swing more contemporary. But we both meet in the middle and I just want to sort of know where would you say was a sort of cultural touchstone that first intrigued both of you, where you were like, this is this is what I love, you know. Like Jinkx, what was it about the Victorian era or whatever or, you know, like something from, you know, like the 1920s or a film that you saw that just hooked you?


Jinkx Monsoon I think I’m going to let DeLa talk about it. But I think one thing that is very that touches on what you’re talking about is our shared love of the body of work of Charles Bush and people Charles Bush, Varla, Jean Merman, Lady Bunny, Peaches, Christ, these queens of the old guard who paved the way for us to have the kind of career that we have and not just the drag queens. I mean, Elvira’s a drag queen, but not just having drag queens like Elvira as well. Pee-Wee Herman There’s all of these drag inspirations that, like we both worship and revere first and foremost, and that’s where we start. Our process, you know, is like with a shared love of those things.


BenDeLaCreme And I think it’s like, you know, with those things in particular, you see it with a lot of the queens that were really coming up in the nineties, which is, you know, a lot of what Jinkx was just mentioning as well as sort of like Pee Wee, late eighties, early nineties. There was this like extreme nostalgia for the sixties and fifties. And so I think both of us came into kind of mid-century through that like nineties vibe, but then.


Jinkx Monsoon We’re actually quite nineties.


BenDeLaCreme But that really got me into like things like, you know, of all of the sort of grand dames of that era and the like forties as well that all of those queens are referencing and you know, everybody from Ann Miller to Ann Margaret you know we.


Louis Virtel Yes.


BenDeLaCreme That whole range.


Jinkx Monsoon To Anne Hathaway.


Louis Virtel Right. The last stand. Yes. No, but like when you watch Paris burning, it’s people in the eighties and nineties who are worshiping people like Betty Grable, you know, So it’s like even like as a kid in the nineties, like shows like Animaniacs, that’s how someone like me would learn who like Jerry Louis was. So I felt like growing up, we had ways we had ways into the past that, I don’t know. I wonder if people still have that now. Do you think they do?


Jinkx Monsoon It’s drag queens.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I guess that’s it.


Jinkx Monsoon It’s us. It’s us.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


BenDeLaCreme I mean, I think in some ways, like reality TV is a little bit the death of that, right? Like, we all got that because it was like. Older people scripting things for us, teaching us about that, you know, which I think is really which is why I really love scripted stuff. I love writing and creating that kind of thing, because you’re passing all of your references along to somebody else to fall in love with.


Jinkx Monsoon I joked a lot about how if you’ve read Fahrenheit 451 and you know the people at the end of the book, they’re like, they memorize books so they can keep the book alive. Drag queens do that with pop culture, you know, like we might win with famous women’s facial expressions. Like, I mean, if you think about the fact that you mentioned Snatch Game, so I’m just going to bring it up. DeLa and I, Little Edie. Paul Lynde, Maggie Smith, Judy Garland. These are not contemporary queer icons, but I am so glad that Gen Z knows about these people, because these people are, I mean, Maggie Smith a little different, but these are queer icons for a reason. I mean, Maggie Smith too, but she’s still around. She’s still got lots to do.


Louis Virtel There’s something in particular about Snatch Game. It’s like, not only are you keeping like celebrity names and stuff alive, but like it’s just an old school idea of what a personality used to be like in a way. Like, like image is so much more important and like, the world of, like, social media. I feel like people aren’t as obsessed with, like, what a one of a kind person, you know, like Paul Lynde was, you know, like, like snarky people, like, are people snarky anymore, you know? So I’m really appreciative of Snatch Game for, like, crystallizing that like old vision of a celebrity, too.


BenDeLaCreme Or if they are snarky, is their intelligence behind the snark, Right? Like, we see Real Housewives throwing things at each other, but that’s like a different version of snark.


Louis Virtel Right. Yes.


Ira Madison III Well, I think even the question of reality TV versus scripted, you know, I think that my comedy senses came from watching things in the eighties and 96, etc., And you’re sort of imitating people who were funny, imitating jokes that were written by intelligent people now. And I think if you have a collection of gay men around at a party now, if they’re referencing, you know, a Real Housewives thing, which I do love, but they’re really just sort of referencing another human being who’s not necessarily that intelligent or snarky or coming with or just like a performance or, yeah, you’re just quoting something, you know, and but there’s no history behind the thing that you’re quoting.


BenDeLaCreme I will One of my one of the things that drives me most crazy about contemporary humor is that audiences have been trained to think that recognition is is a joke. Like if they recognize something being repeated that gets a laugh, right? Like all you have to say if you want to make certain people laugh is occur, right? Like.


Jinkx Monsoon And with Hanny, you know, I was like,.


BenDeLaCreme That’s not a joke.


Jinkx Monsoon I you know, I just want to I just want to say Marilyn Monroe could sing, could tap dance. She knew how to play rudimentary piano. And Carol BURNETT, all of these stars of yesteryear, they had to do everything because an entertainer had to do it all. And some some some like combination of it all. If you look back like everyone had to know how to carry a tune, everyone had to know how to do a soft shoe to even be in entertainment. You had to have qualifications to be there. Nowadays, you can get famous for pretty much anything. That’s great. More power to ya. But I prefer to watch people be famous for talent.


BenDeLaCreme I think it’s like those Drag queens. Before Drag Race. Before Drag Race, we had to like produce and write and direct and make our costume. You know what I mean? Like, it was all about sort of like doing everything yourself, because we were mostly doing it on smaller scale and didn’t have a lot of resources. So I think there’s like a commonality there with those old stars, you know.


Louis Virtel Is there an old TV show or like format of entertainment you wish you could have been in that is now long dead.


Jinkx Monsoon Oh, yeah. I think I would have excelled in a show like I Love Lucy. Honestly, like, I mean, I learned comedy from I Love Lucy. I would have said absolutely fabulous, like if I could be like an American transplant. But, you know, that show never dies. I Love Lucy, I watch that and I’m like, this was like when Vaude, this was vaudeville on television, you know? And I loved that Dale and I. I mean, you said it in the introduction, and I don’t call it that enough. But Della and I yeah, we’ve brought vaudeville back to drag. And with The Jinkx, the Dahlia holiday special, back to television.


BenDeLaCreme Yeah, I think it’s like a lot of that stuff is just the stuff that we’ve kind of, like, forced upon our audiences. You know. The things. Right. The things. My answer to that question is vaudeville, the kind of broad comedy of the early nineties, late eighties. All of that stuff, that old variety television shows and burlesque, right? Like these things that we’re just doing. And thank God they resonate with the people who come to see us, because I think we’d be doing that regardless. But it seems to work, so.


Ira Madison III I like that you mentioned the eighties and nineties too, because I feel like, well, for one thing, what I talked about things that inspired my comedy. It was also like, I Love Lucy because for a specific age of a millennial, when you were watching television, Nick at Night existed, and so you were watching I Love Lucy. You were watching, you know.


Louis Virtel Get Smart.


Ira Madison III Welcome Back, Carter, Get Smart. You watching Bewitched. So you were into these things. But then also rewatching of rewatching like Family Matters recently, I watched the entirety of the series and I watched the entirety of it and how broad, not just Steve Urkel was, but the rest of the show. And when it delved into sci fi and other comedy, just remembering that our comedy sitcoms that we watched in the nineties were even more vaudeville inspired and bigger. They were funny. And I feel like.


Jinkx Monsoon Whether it was Friends or Living Single.


Ira Madison III Right?


Jinkx Monsoon Like, honestly, like, I mean, it’s all about bits. In the old sitcoms, it was all bits and shtick and kooky characters and everyone had an archetype. And think of Seinfeld. It’s like these four complementary opposing archetypes, and I guess that happens in reality TV. You get this lady on this rampage and this little tirade and.


BenDeLaCreme All that stuff was it was it was like written and directed and acted as.


Jinkx Monsoon Curated.


BenDeLaCreme Staged as as theater like Will and Grace particularly. You look at it now and it really just looks like you’re watching a play, like a really good play. But it is, yeah.


Ira Madison III You get more of that, I feel like in some of the cheaper sort of VH1 ish era of reality television, obviously, you know, like a Flavor of Love or I love New York, those were created by people who knew comedy and there are bits in them. Even just watching the show House of Villains, which has New York back on it, and these other villains on TV who are coming to find out who’s the best reality show villain. And that feels almost a drag race ex because it is informed by the history of funny people on reality TV and they’re doing bits and games that feel like there’s at least some sort of thought process behind this. You know.


Jinkx Monsoon I think you’re describing the difference between like a reality show, a reality TV show that’s literally just reality and like a game show. Well, it is reality based. Yeah. Not literal, but but like, you know, drag show, Drag Race, they don’t like to call it a game show because it is because it’s also a lot about the humans involved. But RuPaul loves game shows and the whole thing is set up like a game show with heart, you know And I, I the reality TV I want to consume is like Lego Wars and.


Louis Virtel Competition.


Jinkx Monsoon Nail’d It. You know, I want to enjoy I want to see joyful competition. I don’t want to see people fighting right now because I don’t think I need to mention how much fighting already exists in the world. I’m like in entertainment right now. I’m really happy to support and enjoy and celebrate friendships. And for a while now this has been a growing trend with shows like Broad City Key and. PEELE And, you know, there’s a lot of examples, but like when the show is created by the people who care about what the show is about and they’re at the helm, you get authenticity and you get that joy and you get to see and celebrate a friendship. And that’s why I feel so honored to have found someone like DeLa. I have other people I collaborate with. You know, I have a great music partner, a great comedy partner, and we all are a wonderful artistic family. But Taylor and I, there’s clearly something in our chemistry that brings the best out of both of us. And when the audience sees that, that’s what they’re responding to, as well as the jokes, as well as the sexy stuff as well as the drag. That’s why I’m so proud of this show. It’s not just a fun show to perform. It’s not just I it’s not just a good gig, which it is. It’s it’s just this like it’s this community building event that gets better and better every year. And Dale and I. I mean, like, I don’t know, we’ve worked really hard on it, so that’s why I feel happy to say I’m extremely proud of it.


BenDeLaCreme And it’s also the thing about the sort of not highlighting highlighting friendships rather than conflict, right? Conflict is so revered in contemporary entertainment and Jinkx and I have a really hot, odd couple dynamic, right? Like it’s very like.


Jinkx Monsoon A really HOT odd couple.


BenDeLaCreme Really hot odd couple.


Ira Madison III Odd couple was pretty hot.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Mr. Klugman, woooh!.


BenDeLaCreme But but but yeah, I mean, we we have this sort of archetypical internal struggle thing going on, but over the years we’ve been really intentional about being like, how do we really increasingly more and more make this about the bond between two people rather than feed this sort of cultural hunger for two people against each other, you know, And so we’ve maintained that kind of opposing view thing while also really, I think, trying to cultivate that in our audience of like we want to see people succeed together, you know?


Jinkx Monsoon Yeah. And, you know, in the past, like De La just kind of mentioned in the past it was about our opposing characters kind of clashing and coming to a middle ground where you took the lessons from both sides of the argument. Right now, we’re focused on showing how two people who are fundamentally different can coexist in a harmony when they leave space for the other one’s personality. You know, like what I love about what Jinkx and De La have become together as a duo, is that Jinkx is this slutty, addictive hottie, vain, bitchy person. And then De La is like innocence personified. You know, like De La is like this this toddler is in a gorgeous female goddess body and this and then you put them together and they’re constantly like, Oh my God, we’re so different. I love you so much. Let’s do everything together. You know.


Louis Virtel Also, what does the format of a holiday show bring out of the both of you and bring you together? What is it about like the holidays that, like, you know, is powerful for the both of you?


BenDeLaCreme Well, you know, I’ve been doing holiday content since like 2007. I’ve been doing holiday shows and I met Jinkx just right around that time. And that was like the first project that I was like, Hey, will you come and be a part of this? And I had started those shows in Seattle, really, because as someone who dreaded Christmas every year and really didn’t like going home to my sort of New England family who like, grinned and like, pretended that we were having this very genuine exchange. But really everyone was like clashing like through their teeth. But I was like, you know, these ideas of family and homecoming were so felt so alienating to me that we’re sort of bombarded with at that time of year. And I was like, I want to make something where queer people can come together and be their chosen family. You know, at this time of year and like, reclaim those ideas. And so, you know, and Jinkx came and and started kind of working on in that world with me. And so when it was time for us to both sort of move to our next project and come together and work on this, that’s really where it stemmed from, was wanting was like the queer need for something really joyful at this time of year. And it’s this balance between Christmas is so inherently gay with lots of sparkles and singing, but it’s also it also doesn’t always include us. So I think that’s why this is like comes from a place of passion.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I really find that holiday specials in general is something that has, I guess, survived the test of time, because there’s always a holiday special. Going from the vaudeville era to to even now, I feel like there’s always a different version of a holiday special. And I’ve always enjoyed watching it, you know, going back to. Yeah, I know. You know, even going back something. Traditions are alive, like the stop motion ones and the way that a lot of queer comedians now have. Our friend Matt Rogers, for instance, you know, like people have people really embraced the holidays a bit more now. And I find that just a really fun way to bring out comedy.


Jinkx Monsoon Well, I think in so many ways and in so many communities where we are at right now, at least here, that I can witness in America and our culture and society is a lot of people who have been putting up with bullshit and just kind of putting up with it because that was our only option was to put up with it. We’re just tired of doing that and. So we’re not gonna anymore. And so I think that within that holiday thing, it’s kind of like. It’s nice to just, like, have some nostalgia and some joy. And what I like about what we do is we also put it in the context of where we’re at right now. And I don’t like to talk about our show like it’s an altruistic community service because it’s it’s entertainment, right? You know, like it’s a it’s something that we do for work and and we hope people enjoy. But year after year, our audiences have allowed us to create. Something more than just a show. You know, it’s because the audiences come and support us the way they do and go on the journey with us every year, whatever our show is that year. And it is entertaining and it is nostalgic and it’s drawing on everything we’ve talked about. And then we talk about what’s going on this year and what can we as a community do to protect and bolster each other as we go back out into the rest of the world after winter is over and everyone starts being an asshole again?


BenDeLaCreme And the beautiful thing about comedy, I think, too, is that it’s like you can insert messages like this that are really sincere in a way that I don’t think we’re all super comfortable with. Like, you know, like sincerity is like, not super in vogue, but when you, like, wrap it up in a bunch of dick jokes, then people are able to hear it, you know?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Being funny, I have to say, is a pretty uninfuriating way to be smart. You know, like lots of like lots of attention in the world. There’s lots of ways of like, Oh, God, that’s annoying. I don’t want to hear that. But funny, like, Oh, now I’m listening, you know?


BenDeLaCreme Yeah, Yeah.


Ira Madison III Speaking of even a community coming to support you, Jinkx. What I. What I really loved about your Chicago run was any time I was seeing any other show like on Broadway at that time, you could when the show got out, you’d be hearing just like a roaring down the street or something. And people would be like, What is that? And I’m like, I think Chicago just let out. And people were waiting to see Jinkx. And just thinking about Broadway in general now and how it’s always dying. Everyone is always like, Broadway is dying. How do we bring it back? And just to see so many people coming to see you in Chicago. How did you feel being a part of the show and how do you think that maybe infusing drag queens or some other sort of new element into, you know, a profession, a sort of space that is sort of needs something else in it to keep going? Like, how do you see your run in Chicago as something that could be emblematic of how we can help Broadway be more fun and more? I don’t know. Such a draw for people.


Jinkx Monsoon So how can my live performance fix Broadway? Yes, thank you!


BenDeLaCreme Jinkx saves Broadway!


Jinkx Monsoon No, I. I actually spent a lot of time thinking about this because, you know, it was a wonderful time and it was an objective celebration of a step forward in a community that’s been very. Okay we all know, the four of us know how fucking fagotty Broadway is,.


Louis Virtel Right?


Jinkx Monsoon But then why has it been heteronormative this whole time? Like, what the fuck? Like, I mean, queers are literally running the entertainment industry and hiding behind the scenes, and that’s not going to be true anymore. Like I said, you know, we’re. We’re done putting up with the bullshit. So what I think what people were responding to was, one, the authenticity I was talking about. Like they saw just how fuckin much I love playing that role and they saw how seriously I took it. Hopefully they also saw a member of their community like Have a Dream fulfilled, which means that other members of the community could have their dreams fulfilled. Like the same year I did that, Alex Newell won a Tony, as two two. Tony winners were.


Louis Virtel Oh right. Yes.


Jinkx Monsoon Gen gender defiant people, you know that’s. So it’s the authenticity is at the heart of it. And it goes into casting. I think Broadway needs to like, you know, just blow open what we thought about casting. And we’ve been doing it slowly. It’s time to take leaps and bounds rather than little baby steps. You know, we’ve been we’ve been you’ve seen gender blind casting in the conversation of race and casting for a long time. And the conversation of gender in casting has been kind of like we haven’t visited that for a while because it’s just the assumption that a woman could play a male role authentically and a male could play a female role comedically only. And I hope that with my performance I showed that a person can play a role. Authentically. No matter what genitalia the role has and what genitalia the actor has. And I proved that, like, I proved that. And that’s what I’m proud of with my run on Chicago. You know, like, I feel like I served the role. I served the show. And that’s why it was a success. On top of the sensationalism of a drag queen playing such an iconic female role.


Louis Virtel De La, do you have an ideal Broadway role like one that you think- “I could insert myself in that”, you know, ancient production and bring something new to it?


Jinkx Monsoon Well, you know, I think part of the reason that Jinkx and I work so well as a team and complement each other so, so much like I like Broadway has never been an aspiration for me. Like Jinkx has this very Broadway specific set of skills as a as a performer, but as a director, you know, like I’ve managed to, you know, but both as a producer and a director working on this show for the last six years, doing a bunch of other sort of touring productions and and sit down productions, I’ve been able to really hone those skills. And I love doing that so much. I mean, I that is the skill set that I would be really excited to bring to Broadway is like, you know, the the writing, the direction, the production aspect of it, because that’s really equally a passion for me as much as the performance.


Louis Virtel  A little Mike Nichols here, if you will, and I wouldn’t be surprised. I mean, it’s totally and by the way, I’m married to Diane Sawyer. If you just did. I think that would be kind of chic.


Jinkx Monsoon You know, and it’s another thing that like really like we costar in our shows that we create together and we also bring different skill sets to the table. And over the years, we have really learned how to lean in to our skill sets, both as performers and behind the scenes. And I know that I want my future to be with DeLa in it. And I know that sometimes it’ll be us like writing something together. Sometimes it’ll be us performing in something together. And hopefully sometimes it’ll be like De La directing me or, you know, maybe we’re not. Neither of us are on stage. We have like in the last six years, we have, like, done things we never thought we were going to do as drag queens De La produced, directed and starred in a film we wrote and starred in that film together. We’ve produced De La’s, produced a successful, successful holiday tour for the last six years that’s only grown exponentially, and I now consider myself like a writer when that’s not at all what I like set out to be. And so just like how De La never had Broadway aspirations, she’s now considering that because we have seen that when we put our kooky heads together, we can do a lot of really cool stuff.


Louis Virtel And you both already have. Jesus Christ, thank you so much for being here. You are as sensational as we knew you would be. So thank you so much for being with us today.


Jinkx Monsoon Thank you for having us.


Ira Madison III And The Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Show tour kicks off November 12th in the United Kingdom and the 2023 Jinx and DeLa Holiday Show tour will visit 30 cities in Europe, the U.S. and Canada before the end of the year, including a stop at the iconic Dolby Theater in L.A. where the Oscars are traditionally held. We will be right back with our blind rankings.


Ira Madison III Continuing our tricentennial celebration, we decided to give you guys a treat. We’re playing a game we usually reserved for our video series Checkered Cast on Keep It’s YouTube channel, but we are going to blind rank pop culture. We’ve got a couple segments that we created for each other. So I’m going to start with you, Louis.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III And have you blind rank Madonna singles.


Louis Virtel Okay. So you’re going to give me them one at a time and I’ll put them on a ranking of five.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Louis Virtel I find this to be cruel, but. alright.


Ira Madison III I know. Because you don’t know which ones are going to come up.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III So


Louis Virtel And also, it’s hard because this is something I specifically have ranked to myself before. So I’m hoping to put them in the positions that I’ve already chosen out for myself. But I have the feeling you’re going to bamboozle me.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. Alright. First song is Take a Bow.


Louis Virtel All right, Well, among ballads, it’s in the upper tier for me. And my favorite Madonna ballad is I’ll Remember, but Take A Bow, nine weeks at number one. It’s my friend Elise’s favorite Madonna song.


Ira Madison III Elise Neal?


Louis Virtel The same. Yes, that’s right. I think it’s a pretty gorgeous thing. I love the album Bedtime Stories, so I’m going to put it at number four.


Ira Madison III Okay. Hankie Panky.


Louis Virtel What’s so interesting about this is. I was watching an old game show called Debt, which is a pop culture game show hosted by Wink Martindale. And if you won it in the final round, they could ask you an extra question about your specialty pop culture topic. And if you got it, you doubled your winnings or you lost all your money. This one woman’s specialty topic was Madonna songs and Winx question was this song goes and he read the lyrics to Hankie Panky and she had to identify the song. This woman guessed Material Girl, I booed the television. Booed the television.


Ira Madison III How do you get Material Girl from the lyrics to Hankie Panky,.


Louis Virtel Which is a very Sondheim, like the lyrics to that song, are very literate and specific and naughty anyway. Hankie Panky, I’m Breathless on track, I think is pretty amusing. It’s the soundtrack to Dick Tracy, so there’s lots of like big band influence on it. That said, it’s definitely number five. I mean, it’s a fun song, but not the sort of historically important Madonna.


Ira Madison III Okay. Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina.


Louis Virtel Oh, well, Jesus Christ. You’re just just. This is ridiculous. That would definitely have been six or seven. I mean, I could think of singers who have done versions of Don’t Cry For Me Argentina. I prefer including Nicole Scherzinger. But I guess I’ll put it at number three, since you’re being cruel.


Ira Madison III Okay. Frozen.


Louis Virtel Would I put Frozen above all these other ones? Probably. I think Frozen is a pretty shocking lead single from an album. And I think at the time Madonna said that she had consulted a rabbi or something who told her to pick it. This is the kind of life she lives.


Ira Madison III Very Millie Bobby Brown becoming a feminist by visiting a psychic.


Louis Virtel Right. That’s one of the great tabloid stories of the past year. By the way, Frozen is great and also can’t think of another song that’s like it. So I think that alone was something that distinct hits like number two on the charts. Like, that’s very admirable. So I’ll say that’s at number two, and I can’t wait to discover what’s about to be number one.


Ira Madison III Express Yourself.


Louis Virtel Oh, definitely. My favorite Madonna song is Vogue. But Express Yourself is so the dead center of like what Madonna represents. Do like don’t let them walk all over you. You have ambition, you have your feelings, have power, and you should represent them. And, you know, get that man to, you know, go down on you or whatever the song’s about.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I think. I think that was about appropriate.


Louis Virtel Yes. Express Yourself is a song for the ages. Definitely. And my favorite song of Like a Prayer. No apologies to Like A Prayer, but I do express yourself. And the video. Of course, the video is inspired by Metropolis. Unbelievable.


Ira Madison III I love that video.


Louis Virtel Okay, so I will pick an artist for you and I think I will do Janet Jackson.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Louis Virtel She came up earlier in the episode. Okay. The first song I pick is Son of a Gun.


Ira Madison III Mm. Ha ha ha. Who thought you’d get the money, too? Grew greedy motherfucker tried to have their cake.


Louis Virtel And eat it, too. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Okay. I should have been on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III For one


Louis Virtel There we are. Finally.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. Also, I saw Priscilla. It sucks.


Louis Virtel Does it really?


Ira Madison III It’s mid. It’s mid.


Louis Virtel Mad. I don’t think I’m allowed to talk about Saltburn yet. But I saw that I thought Jacob Elordi was excellent, and he was my favorite performance on it.


Ira Madison III I think Jacob Elordi is very good. And Priscilla, although 60% of the lines needed subtitles. But it’s very well overall. You know.


Louis Virtel I felt that way when I watched that movie somewhere of hers with Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning all those years ago. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Mostly, yes. Ah, Son of a Gun. I would put at least I like Son of a Gun, but. It’s not even my favorite off that album, which is Someone to Call My Lover.


Louis Virtel Mm hmm.


Ira Madison III So I’m going to put Son of a Gun at four.


Louis Virtel Okay. I just wanna say Someone to Call My Lover, inspired by the America song Ventura Highway, which is also a fucking awesome song. Anyway, next song, Feedback.


Ira Madison III Oh, we talk about this song all the time. It is one of America’s greatest crimes. And I’m including the war in Iraq.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III That this did not go to number one.


Louis Virtel Right. Right. I think most historians would agree. Yeah. Ken Burns, this documentary is coming out. The documentary is going to.


Ira Madison III This is truly one of those songs that I feel like people because I feel like people our age tend to forget whether songs went to number one or not. It wasn’t a thing that stans out about online. When we were kids, maybe older gay men fought about it at Julius. I don’t know. But they’re like, that Diva didn’t go to number one this week. Did you read Rolling Stone? But I think that I would put that at firmly a two. That is a banger of a fucking song.


Louis Virtel Okay, very good. Next song, Throb.


Ira Madison III Ha!


Louis Virtel From the album Janet.


Ira Madison III Sexy as Hell. That performance on SNL.


Louis Virtel Legend.


Ira Madison III Is, as I call it. And when Throb comes on at a party now to its very because we’re in the renaissance of house music now what do you hear it in a club and I think there’s nothing I love more than being at maybe basement in New York in the in the side room and a DJ throwing on throb or something that just like the crowd gets energized right, to put that at. Three.


Louis Virtel Okay. Very good. Together again.


Ira Madison III I’m going to put that at five.


Louis Virtel Oh, wow.


Ira Madison III I like Together Again


Louis Virtel You don’t like music with elephants?


Ira Madison III You know.


Louis Virtel Who are you? Pink. Go ahead.


Ira Madison III I like to go there again. And I love the message, but I don’t listen to that song that often.


Louis Virtel Got it. And the last one is Pleasure Principal.


Ira Madison III Oh, I mean, that’s number one. That is mine.


Louis Virtel That worked out for you. That worked out.


Ira Madison III Is I think, you know, that’s like my fave. That video, come on.


Louis Virtel Something about that song, just like it’s it’s. It’s so light, seemingly. And then the groove deepens and it just it’s a hard song. Simmons performance on Drag Race, of course, has solidified it even further in my mind.


Ira Madison III Just one of the most iconic. Beats for song too. There are some songs where. You hear just the instrumental and. Maybe you don’t even need to. Like the instrumental is as amazing as the lyrics to put together. It’s an amazing song. The opening to the Pleasure Principle. And when you listen to the long version, right where you get about 40 seconds of that before she starts singing, what a song.


Louis Virtel Right. Fabulous song. Fabulous song. Perfect artist for that song, too. Yes.


Ira Madison III All right. Your second and last category is going to be Best Actress winners.


Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Okay. I need to know. Grip the table, because you’re getting. I don’t have the chakra. That’s right here. I know nothing about chakras. You’re in this one. Okay, I’m touching my chest.


Ira Madison III Okay. I’m not going to try and be as rude as I was during the Madonna one.


Louis Virtel Okay. Yeah.


Ira Madison III So I will go with. First Cher 1988 Moonstruck.


Louis Virtel Right. In 1987, ’88 ceremony. But I will say something that historically is interesting about that win is that she beat a bunch of amazing performances. I mean, she beat Holly Hunter in broadcast news. She beat Meryl Streep in Ironweed. She beat Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, and she beat Sally Kirkland in Ana, which is a fucking awesome performance that’s as close to an American Almodovar movie as you will get. It’s just a it’s a crazy movie. But anyway.


Ira Madison III I have to share that.


Louis Virtel Go and see it if you can find it. I just saw it recently. It was amazing. And Paulina Porizkova is so good at it. Moving on, Cher, that is one of the definitive comedies of all time. I don’t think you could name any golden age of Hollywood comedy, and I would say it’s necessarily better than Moonstruck. I think it’s in the top three. Just so I think Cher is justified winner and an awesome actress ultimate altogether. Do I agree with her when I could debate her win? But I’m happy with her win, so I’m going to put her at number. Thor.


Ira Madison III Okay. Hilary Swank. Boys, Don’t Cry.


Louis Virtel Excellent performance, shocking performance. I will say sometimes with the Oscars, I feel like we’re awarding the brutality of a story more than we are necessarily awarding what’s in the performance. Not that Hilary Swank doesn’t bring in in that movie, but half the it’s like it’s like when people say they fucking love What’s Love Got To Do With It? I’m like, You were watching Angela Bassett be fucking tortured for half this movie. It’s just like, I don’t know, it’s like it is acting, but it’s also like, Oh, like I can’t really stand that. I don’t know. So I’m going to put Hilary Swank an amazing performance. Three.


Ira Madison III Jane Fonda. Coming Home.


Louis Virtel I wouldn’t have awarded it to win that year. It’s not one of my favorite Jane Fonda performances. She certainly looks fab. Jane Fonda in the late seventies. That’s why we do actress thing. That’s what they should look like. That said, I mean, I would I would say she’s kind of handily I would acted by Jon Voight in that movie. I just prefer her and Julie I prefer her included. They should horses don’t they? So I can safely put that in a five.


Ira Madison III Okay. And Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball.


Louis Virtel You know what? I wish I could. I would move a couple of these up because the problem with Halle Berry’s performance is it’s slighter than the average best actress performance. So she comes in kind of late or you don’t realize she’s going to be as central as she is in that movie. It’s a smallish movie. She certainly has an incredible breakdown scene. Her chemistry with Billy Bob Thornton, really good. In general, it’s a movie that people have forgotten about, even if they don’t forget her win. I would not have put her at number two on this list, but I she is she among the positions left? She has to be number two.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Faye Dunaway Network.


Louis Virtel I mean, one of the all time performances. I mean, who. I mean, who has served and lived cunt like Faye Dunaway. I saw James Urbaniak on Twitter right about this performance once. Something she does and this movie is take its a one note satire role. Like, here’s a power hungry network executive who’s like throwing things at the wall to get money for this company, basically. And she really infuses it with a creepy sexuality, a maniacal quality. It’s just very engrossing. I think it’s also definitely her best performance. Obviously, she’s in Bonnie and Clyde and she’s in Chinatown, too. But network, it’s a really deserved win and it’s an anomaly in the category and that the best actress winner is so monstrous. Like we don’t have many wins like that. You know, we have Kathy Bates in Misery and not much else. So I’m happy with that being number one.


Ira Madison III I love that you brought up Misery, too, just because I was talking about that recently. I feel like everyone has been getting Instagram ads for this shirt with Misery on it, and it has James Collins feet, which is very creepy. But I feel like that’s a movie that people more know about than have necessarily seen. Yeah. Yeah. Particularly our age. People beyond, you know, Gen-X. So people should revisit Misery.


Louis Virtel And it’s such a breakout moment for Kathy Bates. She had been in certain movies beforehand, but she was really a stage actor and then that catapulted her and she won the Oscar. It’s like rarely in Ascension like that. Okay, I’m going to give you a quick one. I think we’re going to do horror franchises.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Louis Virtel And I will start with. Friday the 13th.


Ira Madison III Whew. You know. Friday the 13th has hotter men in it, but not a great franchise. I feel like Jason’s a bit of a flop, so I’m going to put that one at. Five.


Louis Virtel Wow. Okay, Next one. Evil Dead.


Ira Madison III Okay, well, the new Evil Dead is really giving it to you. So I’m going to put that at. And I think it’s funny. I think that all the Evil Dead movies have consistently been very funny. And you really can’t go wrong with Bruce Campbell in the original. So I’m going to put that at a three.


Louis Virtel Saw.


Ira Madison III My girls.


Louis Virtel Derranged reaction.


Ira Madison III So like over the trent by default, just thinking about Jigsaw. Saw is such a wild franchise because there are some high highs and then there are some complete pieces of shit.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III In that franchise and then saw ten is magical, but I have to put it out of four. All right.


Louis Virtel Halloween.


Ira Madison III Okay. Ignoring the Rob Zombie films. I will put that at a two because Halloween has an amazing first film and I love Halloween two. I think three is very underrated though. Season one.


Louis Virtel I don’t know about all that.


Ira Madison III And then there are some weird ass movies of the middle where there are psychics and it gets crazy. And then Halloween. H2O is amazing too.


Louis Virtel I also like Halloween H2O.


Ira Madison III Which performance is good and I wish that we had just continued from that timeline for the new ones, which are I think three might end up being a bit underrated in how weird it is. But the second one where this bitch is just like in the hospital, the whole movie. What are we doing here? That’s Jamie Lee Curtis. Shot that in a day. Yeah.


Louis Virtel So speaking of Halloween H2O, by the way, if I’m looking at a baggy sweater, it better be on Josh Hartnett. That’s all I have to say about that. All I have to say about that. Okay.


Ira Madison III So I did, that’s a two.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Okay. Did this work out for you again? Scream.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Oh, you know, that’s my favorite.


Louis Virtel You say that’s your favorite? Yeah. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I think it’s my favorite. It’s. It’s. It’s close to being my favorite film franchise ever. Yeah, I think that there are others that maybe could compete with it. You know, I think that I loved Fast and the Furious, but I actually still haven’t seen Fast and Furious ten yet for some reason. But I think Scream is just there’s no franchise I’m more fucking excited to see. Each time there’s a new film. I think that the highs of it significantly outweigh the lows of it. Even six films in. Yeah, right.


Louis Virtel Because you’re guaranteed to also get laughs. You know, and like, qualified laughs, there’s a lot of wit in those movies, even even the ones I don’t even like. You know, those. Like, there’s a they do a joke pass on those movies, you know what I mean? Like, somebody comes in, it’s like, Let’s make sure we’re laughing, too.


Ira Madison III And I think Chris Landon is going to turn out a good queer version for Scream seven.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I’m excited for that. Yeah, the Christmas one. Exciting. Exciting.


Ira Madison III Yeah. The holiday special. The Scream Holiday Show.


Louis Virtel The Holy Ghost face. Yes.


Ira Madison III All right. All right. When we’re back, Keep It. And we’re back for our favorite segment of the episode. It’s keep it. And before I get to it, I have one last question.


Louis Virtel Go on from our audience.


Ira Madison III The girls are spicy, so I’m going to be spicy for our 300th episode. Why are you girls six years end? Still asking me where Kara is?


Louis Virtel She literally is writing on television. Seriously?


Ira Madison III She’s not missing.


Louis Virtel She’s on Twitter right now.


Ira Madison III Yes. So I think really, just to answer your question, like we all moved on and I think that that is just a very simple answer. There’s no scandal behind it. There was no affair. There was no murder. There was no lawsuit. Like, I think that people have sort of just. Invented some sort of crazy narrative in their brains that has never existed. Mostly because we just never talked about it. But it made no sense to talk about something when we all just parted ways, you know? Do you talk about Suzanne Somers?


Louis Virtel Oh, we didn’t even bring her up. That’s important.


Ira Madison III Oh, yeah. I mean, I love Suzanne.


Louis Virtel I mean, I grew up a step by step, so I thought she was like America’s mom for a moment there. Obviously, on Three’s Company when she had to, like, fight for to be paid better on a show that was a true sensation. That’s a pretty iconic television history moment there. Unfortunately, in addition to being a rad person, she also sucked was a Trump supporter.


Ira Madison III She was like a conservative. Yeah, I’m.


Louis Virtel Persecuted for my beliefs, like one of those people. But like, you know, the ThighMaster. American Graffiti. Lots of great stuff. In Suzanne’s past, it was very sad to hear she died.


Ira Madison III You can you can especially said she had battled cancer for so long. I think that. She did battle cancer, right?


Louis Virtel Yes. For years and years and years.


Ira Madison III Yes. Yes. Yes. Okay. I can also sort of see if you are a person who experienced what she experienced on Three’s Company and. Then later in life, I could see how you could be a person who could, you know, fall prey to. I’m being persecuted for my beliefs, you know, because I sort of was persecuted on that show in the press and unjustly so.


Louis Virtel Precisely. Precisely. No. And also, I love Kathy Griffin. You always used to talk about idolizing her as like an entrepreneur person, just somebody who’s like, all right, I have my thing on Three’s Company and now I’ve got to make a career out of this. Then she was like, you know, infomercial queen and all this stuff. You know, one of these We.


Ira Madison III Had a ThighMaster at home.


Louis Virtel Right. Precisely. Precisely.


Ira Madison III That’s why I’ve got these fires. I still use it while I watch Big Brother. Okay, Louis, what is your Keep It this week?


Louis Virtel Well, I’m bringing back a Keep It non classic thing we used to do, which is Keep It Up. This isn’t a word of encouragement because someone finally did something sustainable. And that person is a space who I saw. I saw you retweet this. You’re talking to Complex and why she cares about music critic’s opinions because they actually study music and care about it. So I feel like I’d rather hear their opinion. I’m more interested in that because at least it’ll be paragraphs explaining why they feel that way, and I’ll be able to understand the person better versus just one little hateful as comment from a private page. At least there’s an author and a face attached. Could anybody have put it better? Oh my God. Valuing qualified opinions, love ads. Yes. I also do some.


Ira Madison III Exactly.


Louis Virtel It sounds like Ice Spice to somebody who’s just like when it comes to reviewing anything, maybe not even just your own work, wants to read and hear what people think. It makes you rethink what you think. I think the insecurity artists have about reading critics that they are worried they will agree with them. And, you know, it’s like everybody’s capable of failure. That’s something we should embrace. That’s something that I think is like life affirming, you know? So if you end up not liking something, you did it. I don’t think that has to be the most humiliating thing that’s ever happened to you or it has to be damaging to you. And so I just think valuing insight, even if it comes from a critical place, because, by the way, you can you can criticize things that are otherwise good. You know, having valid criticisms does not mean something sucks. So I just I just really appreciate it hearing that from her.


Ira Madison III I think that criticism in general and learning it in school is very much. Analyzing the context of something and then placing it in, you know, the world we currently exist in, but also comparing it to that artist’s other works or other contemporary works. And there are there’s plenty of genius artistic geniuses, you know, whether that’s Shakespeare or whether you find that a film director, Mike Nichols, who he brought up or Scorsese. I’m very much looking forward to. Killers of the Flower Moon.


Louis Virtel This weekend. I got my ticket.


Ira Madison III You can compare their works and find missteps and find moments that maybe they learned something about, something they did wrong. Or honestly, you could just be Fran Lebowitz and never read anything about yourself. But then you also have to be Fran Lebowitz and not complain about things and what people say about you. If you’re not reading it, you know you can’t.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right.


Ira Madison III Pick both. Ice Spice and her interview also said she doesn’t consider herself a lyricist. She said, obviously lyrics go into music and I do think about them and I do have in bars in my music, but they’re just super simple. I want them to be digestible. I don’t want them to fly over people’s heads and they never catch it. I want people to hear it right away and be like, okay, that was cue.


Louis Virtel I’m sorry. I’m staggered. I was blown back in my chair. I’m like at the beginning of Back to the Future when Marty gets blown back into that wall. Ira, what is your Keep It?


Ira Madison III All right. My Keep It is, I feel like we have been thrust into the crucible this week or some sort of McCarthy era nightmare where everyone has decided that they want to police all of their friends in a very insane way coming out of the Israel Gaza conflict. And I mean this specifically in the sense that. Immediately there was an attack by Hamas and Israel and people were responding to that, and that was horrific. And then I think what happens online is this sort of insistence that if you point out anything else following that, all of a sudden you’re evil, all of a sudden you are being anti-Semitic. It’s reminding me a lot of post-9/11 in America where you could not be critical of the U.S., You could not talk about historical context. You could not share an article online unless you are perfectly in line with everyone else that you agree with. And I think what happened is we created these very weird echo chambers politically. I think, you know, Democrats, liberals, conservatives, etc., we all shifted into them and we all splintered off. And I think this week has been very eye opening for a lot of people who have realized that they created these echo chambers. But everyone doesn’t actually agree with each other on everything. Everyone just got very used to being quiet and not rocking a boat about something. And I just think that we should do less of crawling into your friends Dems and attacking them and accusing them of things just because you’re feeling some type of way about something. And that’s how I feel. I’ve been like walking on glass all week.


Louis Virtel I will say about this, I mean, the situation is so atrocious that like, I can’t I can’t compare it to any other like, social media. Like, I’m like, I’m not comparing these two things at all. But like Trump being elected or whatever is not even like. Like there’s there’s nothing that’s like. And like, I understand, like the confusion about wanting to hear certain things from certain friends, like maybe it’s maybe even offline or whatever, just because it’s so there’s so much trauma occurring and it’s so ongoing and so horrible. That said, it’s like, you know, social media is such an insane place that like how not just have conversations but like sort things out with people, you know?


Ira Madison III So it’s just and it rewards anger. And I feel like the algorithms give you things that will make you angry and also give you things that will inform your anger. And I just think that lastly, I just want to say, if you were horrified by the Hamas attacks, then you cannot be angry at people who are absolutely horrified at what is currently happening in Gaza where more people continue to die. Palestinians considered continue to die. And I think that we should all be on the side of war is evil and we should all want people who are civilians and do not and did not sign up for this shit to be safe. And that’s how I feel.


Louis Virtel Remember at the beginning of this episode when I said, Well, luckily we never wander into anything outside of pop culture? I don’t mean to make light of that at all, but look at us. Yeah.


Ira Madison III All right. Well, that is 300 episodes of Keep It, Baby.


Louis Virtel And soon we’re going to get good at this.


Ira Madison III Look for it. Honestly, it was very nice to have Jinkx and BenDeLaCreme on the show, because I actually do want to say we could not have started this show and been as popular without our additional trio of me.You and Kara. I think that we had a very interesting sensibility in an era where there truly were not 7000 pop culture podcasts. And so I think that having three different perspectives was very interesting and fun for people to listen to. I mean, also just going back to when parts of America was created, what we were like their fourth podcast, right, on Crooked and their first pop culture one. And I think that we had sort of a great rapport then. And then we also got to really experiment with, I guess, the form of podcasting, because then after Kara departed, then we had a bunch of guest hosts and then we had Aida, who was fucking great, who is still doing well. She literally texted me like a week ago and said, I miss you. How are you doing? And I was like, Girl, you’re on strike. Come back.


Louis Virtel I ran into her on the street like two weeks ago or something. I screamed. It was screaming. It was so good to fucking see her.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. And I think, like I said, bringing Jinkx and BenDeLa on the show and talking about, you know, how they’re interesting sort of dynamics have sort of helped them form, you know, their comedy, etc.. I think, you know, this has actually been one of the best years of our show because I think that throughout all of our different eras of Keep it, it’s really just sort of been about, you know, our brains bouncing up against one another and coming up with what we think about pop culture. So I hope you have enjoyed 300 episodes of our show and I hope you’ll enjoy the rest of them. Wherever it is our show takes us.


Louis Virtel Yes, that’s right. No, I mean, unfortunately, I’m going to talk about this shit anyway, regardless of whether or not you’re recording me. So it’s actually just productive use of my time. In addition to it’s such a pleasure being on this podcast and like bringing us on and seeing what the hell is going to be nominated or not nominated or whatever topic is happening. It’s always a pleasure. So if you’ve been here the entire time or even just two episodes. Thanks for joining us.


Ira Madison III Yeah, and even when we think we’re talking about something stupid or like, are we talking about this again? There’s really nothing like running into someone in the real world where they’re like, I listen to you and I like hearing you go on about these insane topics all the time, and it feels like, Oh, okay, maybe, maybe I am kind of a normal human being doing doing something useful.


Louis Virtel Right. But I mean, probably not. Also, you know, I’m probably.


Ira Madison III Never and I’m probably not, no. All right. Well, that’s our show and we will see you next week.


Ira Madison III Keep it as 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, and Louis Virtel.


Louis Virtel This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Megan Patzel and Rachel Gaewski, and to Matt DeGroot and David Toles for production support every week.


Ira Madison III And as always, Keep It as recorded in front of a live studio audience.