"Artpop at 10" w. Danny Pellegrino | Crooked Media
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November 08, 2023
Keep It
"Artpop at 10" w. Danny Pellegrino

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss the tenth anniversary of Lady Gaga’s Artpop, Fellow Travelers, Gen V, Kylie Minogue’s Vegas residency, and Crystal Minkoff reclaiming the word “c***sucker.” Danny Pellegrino joins to discuss his new essay collection The Jolliest Bunch, highlights and lowlights of the holidays, and more.






Ira Madison III And we are back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Ira Madison, the third.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis Joan Streisand. I hope you enjoy my 1,795 page tome. I wrote it in beige and ocher ink to match my living room. Guys, the Barbra Streisand memoir is out. I cannot believe it. It’s only 75 years in the making or however long it’s been.


Ira Madison III Ugh, Louis, When have you read that much ever?


Louis Virtel I, honestly, would love to know from myself. I want to interview myself, Edward R. Murrow style, and ask when I’ve ever had the ambitions to read like this. Sincerely, I’m reading fiction for the first time in ages. The Secret History by Donna Tart. Loving. It is really exciting. Excited.


Ira Madison III That bitch.


Louis Virtel Yes, quite. I am so slow at it. It totally takes me a long time to get through very clear writing just because I’m so used to like reading things for trivia facts that I can, you know, spit out at parties and stuff. And when it’s just somebody describing a classroom for a page, I’m like, I can’t do anything with this. Nobody’s going to care.


Ira Madison III So what’s interesting about Donna Tardif, she went to college with Bret Easton Ellis. There’s this podcast called Once Upon a Time at Bennington College, which digs into the years that she, Bret and Jonathan Lethem, sort of went to school together. And the conceit is that a lot of their novels are sort of based on their like Romana clefts. Right. So it’s piecing together what the school was like by looking at their books and stuff. But Donna, I actually have not finished The Secret History that you’re now that you’re actually reading it. I’m going to finish it because I can’t have Louis for top. Finish the book before I finish.


Louis Virtel That does seem very embarrassing for you.


Ira Madison III Yes. You know, doesn’t it? But what’s interesting about him is. I like him as an author because it’s very it’s very almost Hemingway ish, too. It’s it’s not a lot there’s not a lot of describing a building or a classroom or something. It’s just this person did this and we’re moving it along. That’s what I sort of need in literature or some sort of exciting prose, because sometimes the description I can’t even describe anything that well or that long.


Louis Virtel Or No, right. I mean, well, Bret Easton Ellis just has a general kind of bastard leanness in his writing that’s obviously addicting. So that’s Donna Tartt, more classically prose oriented, I’d say. But I’m no, I’m enjoying it so far. And we will get into Barbara’s gigantic tome next week. I mean, literally, like about ten years ago or so, I interviewed her on a junket for The Guilt Trip, and she talked about writing, writing it then. I mean, this is so long in the making. She’s also somebody who really likes reflecting on the past. I think like she has her own sort of I think it’s hard to get, I’ll say, vulnerable moments out of Barbara and an interview. But she’s somebody who I think has a really good memory for like her incredible career. I’m obviously excited to reinvestigate it, I mean, sincerely about Barbara Streisand. If her career only lasted from the time she made her debut on Broadway and I Can Get It For You Wholesale, which is 62 when she’s like 19 years old to before Funny Girl, the movie comes out as in before she even gets to a movie career, she would still be a Kennedy Center honoree. I mean, it’s just it’s crazy that she became that legendary so fast before she even had all these other legs of her career where she became rock and roll. Barbra disco. Barbra became an incredible director. We just talked last week with Allison Williams about how there’s this viral clip of her going around directing Mandy Patinkin and Yentl. Please watch that if you have. And it’s really exciting to say.


Ira Madison III Hmm. I need multiple chapters on Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Right. Who convinced her? I’m very interested in who convinces Barbara to do things because she’s so. What if I stayed in my Malibu home for the next ten months and just did nothing, you know?


Ira Madison III So Peace with the Little Fockers.


Louis Virtel Right. But.


Ira Madison III She starred in a trilogy. Yeah. Yes. People forget that’s a trilogy.


Louis Virtel Tolkien has not. Trust me.


Ira Madison III Ben Zimmer was really gagging the girls in the 2000s.


Louis Virtel Quiet still is. I mean, Escape at Dannemora. I mean, honestly, he’s not quite can’t miss, but pretty close to it.


Ira Madison III On camera, though. Yeah, on camera. I don’t know if he’s in Escape at Dannemora because I’m never watching that. But I do believe that it’s good from people that I’ve heard.


Louis Virtel What a pop culture conosuirm you are. Yes.


Ira Madison III Have you watched Escape at Dannemora?


Louis Virtel So. No, I have not. I have to say. Yes. Even though we love we love Miss Arquette.


Ira Madison III See, the the none watching mirror has two faces. Ira and Louis.


Louis Virtel God. Unfortunately, that was good. Unfortunately, that was good. One last thing that I’m looking forward to in this memoir, I just saw a CBS Sunday morning interview with Barbara Streisand. Of course she does. One of those and something she talks about is being extremely detail oriented, as we all know about her. I hope she gets into the nitty gritty about, like some details she couldn’t let go of on the set of some movie. You know, like how in the main event with Ryan O’Neal, she was just like, I think the boxing ring should be more cerulean and less sky blue or whatever. I want to get into her fixations on esthetics that she cannot let go of that seem to dictate like why she loves her house so much because she’s made every choice very specifically. That’s why she lives in this strange mall zone. So I hope we explore that some more to.


Ira Madison III Oh. I mean, I hope she just talks about exploring every bit of how gorgeous Ryan O’Neal is.


Louis Virtel I thought you were gonna say Andre Agassi, but. Okay. Yes. Uh huh.


Ira Madison III You know, I mean, that’s sort of The Way We Were, sort of celebrity. Right. Because Ryan O’Neal used to be that man.


Louis Virtel And now I would. And now if I saw him on the street, guess what? I’m going the other way.


Ira Madison III If I saw him dying of thirst, I would let the vultures have their way with him.


Louis Virtel All right. Hope you’re doing all right.


Ira Madison III Yeah. This week, we have got a returned guest. We have Danny Pellegrino coming back to the podcast to talk about his new book, his new memoir essays, The Jolliest Bunch: Unhinged Holiday Stories.


Louis Virtel I want to say about Danny Pellegrino. I think he’s the only guest we’ve ever had who is like an exact Venn diagram mid-section between you and I. Like, it’s truly the Brazil world and then me, like a nineties, like actress, nostalgia, like, both really combined.


Ira Madison III The only thing I watch is Bravo, right?


Louis Virtel No, no. You know nothing else, right? You are stupid.


Ira Madison III Actually, I have been watching some other things, and we are going to bring back our What We’ve Been Watching segment. Oh, so we can get to the things we’ve been watching that we haven’t really brought up on the show yet. And we’re also going to discuss. The 10th anniversary of an iconic piece of pop culture, and that is Lady Gaga’s Artpop.


Louis Virtel And we will discover once and for all if people are actually nostalgic for this thing or if it just became kind of a meme that people repeated because saying the words art pop is so like on the nose, pretentious, like where people just enjoying themselves or did they really enjoy the album or get into that?


Ira Madison III Well, it could mean anything. No.


Louis Virtel That’s what I mean. She said it herself.


Ira Madison III All right. We will be right back with more. Keep It.




Ira Madison III It is the 10th anniversary of the very polarizing Lady Gaga album, Artpop as an album with bangers, ballads and R. Kelly.


Louis Virtel Not any more, though. I went to listen to the album on Apple Music and that song is gone.


Ira Madison III Absolutely. It’s been replaced by the one with Xtina.


Louis Virtel Correct? Well, actually, no, not on this version. There was simply no do what you want at all. And yet, also, the song with T.I., is there not much of an improvement, I have to say?


Ira Madison III Well, to those of us who have art pop on physical media, correct, I, I have the original record, so I gave that one a spin before we decided to talk about it a decade later. Where the album seems to finally be getting its flowers. But. Louis, what do you think about this no skips album?


Louis Virtel Thank you for telling me the opinion I should be having before I begin to express mine. I think this is the odd case of an album where there’s no one track that I think is what I would describe as bad or offensive or something I necessarily would skip. I think it’s that there are too many kinds of one song in a row, and after a while it can feel like a barrage of noise. So I think it’s an album that’s hard to pick up again and again necessarily because and I actually kind of had this problem with Born This Way, too. It’s just a lot of production happening at you, a lot of not that she’s screaming, but she is wailing throughout the album, you know? And I think she also.


Ira Madison III Raaa Ha ha ha.


Louis Virtel Yeah, that. A lot of that. She also reuses some themes, too, like unlike Donatella and fashion and stuff, it’s like, all right, we’ve kind of already done the tacky fame thing that she was obsessed with on her first two albums that had the word fame in it. But at the same time, I still think Applause and Yes, Do What You Want are among her top five singles or top five songs, which I would say include Poker Face and Just Dance. And I hate when people are dismissive of those two songs. The reason Lady Gaga is a star is because of Just Dance and Poker Face. Those are unimpeachable, fabulous singles. And then also in the top five, I would put so happy I could die from the Fame monster.


Ira Madison III But oh, okay. Well, those are three perfect songs. Yeah. So you I mean, Happy In The Club with a bottle of red wine?


Louis Virtel Yes. Are that, like, kind of like that’s the first song I would describe as ketamine core. You know what I’m saying?


Ira Madison III It’s also Bravo, Mom Core.


Louis Virtel Yes, right. Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yelling about wine.


Ira Madison III Listen,  this. This has bangers. What? I’m talking about G.U.Y. as a single. That is a massive fucking pop song.


Louis Virtel Yeah, I think the chorus needs an extra something. That said, the way she sings it, the video is, of course, very memorable. But again, nothing is bad about the song. It’s just it’s almost in a way, like she had better songs before is all you can say it like it’s an album that looks worse compared to other things she has done.


Ira Madison III I think I would put this up. There is one of her best albums after the Fame monster, to be honest. I think that cohesively it tells a message. And yes, there’s always the idea that she’s obsessed with this fame and sort of, you know, what she’s talking about in terms of how you view people, you know, how they killed Marilyn Monroe. There’s actually supposed to be a song on this album called Princess Diaries, which was about her and her mom’s obsession with Princess Diana, too. It ended up being replaced by the R Kelly song, which is, Ooh, But that’s hard, too, which is very weirdly about ownership of body, which is sort of crazy considering what we knew about Art Kelly then too. Yeah, right. And then crazy considering she also shot a music video for that shot by Terry Richardson. She was she was off her rocker at that moment, let’s say. But now Diana telling him he feels less about fashion and more about the resilience of this woman who has sort of held a crumbling empire together and her face has changed constantly. And we are looking up to her still as an icon and a star, even though she’s sort of internally crumbled because of, you know, the death of her brother, Johnny. And I feel like, you know, Gaga has this internal loss, etc.. And fashion, to me feels less about like the actual, you know, fashion, exclamation point. I feel like it’s really just about sort of, you know, looking good and feeling fine when you’re not feeling fine.


Louis Virtel Got it. Yes.


Ira Madison III My hand to heart. So sorry.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Look at you. So I’m really welling up over Artpop. In Donatella, she does have that very funny verse about don’t puke when you’re walking the runway or whatever. I mean, like, the lyrics are very also, like her delivery is stone faced on all of these songs, generally speaking, even while she’s wailing. So it’s almost like you’re feeling she’s lost humor entirely, but the lyrics are funny. It’s like she’s less allowing herself and the audience to see a wink. Whereas on the fame and the fame monster, it’s like hardcore winking, you know what I mean? Just like it’s very in the style of Kesha, who is popular right after that, you know, just like we’re covered in glitter where wearing something ridiculous, I’m falling down in the gutter and I’m going to sleep in the gutter while dancing to pop music.


Ira Madison III You know what’s interesting about the album to me is the fact that it was very much maligned because there was a lot of noise it felt, and it was very EDM heavy too, and I feel like people were sort of tired of that. It reminds me a lot of we’ve talked about Hard Candy before with Madonna right here was sort of what was happening in the Sphere at the time, and people were like, Well, this is just a rehash. And now years later, it holds up a bit more. And Madonna has actually talked about how much she loves that album because Pharrell had her and the Neptunes had her, you know, like pushing her voice and like, pushing, like, sonically things that she would do differently. Than she ever had with any of her previous collaborators. And I feel like when you think about this album and I think about this quote that Lady Gaga gave on it at the time of the release, how do you know she was channeling Andy Warhol? But instead of putting Pop onto the canvas, we wanted to put art onto the soup can. And I think she wanted to make the inaccessible, accessible.


Louis Virtel Right? And some of that occurs also, it must be said about this album, like, you know, we were talking before about how Slater or Kim Patris or but maybe even Moana or something. There are all these artists right now who are making music that just sounds like what music sounds like in 2023. It’s like all fits into the same soup, to use a word. You just used ARTPOP and Lady Gaga in general, it must be said, have never been beholden to any trends. That’s sort of an interesting thing about her. Like when The Fame came out in 2008 2009, we were not clamoring for hard pop banger things, you know, like that was pre teenage dream. That’s, you know, like we did have kind of like Pussycat Dolls before then. But obviously we had just gone through a giant emo period we just gone through. You know, it was a very Flo Rida centric era, you know, like hip hop and pop sort of melding with rap in it. So I feel.


Ira Madison III Like she knows the indie sleaze a bit, you know, because would you think what you just mentioned, like hip hop and pop like that, that was sort of the vibe, right? But what the fuck? Also, when you put it on now, what the fuck else sounds like Beautiful, Dirty, Rich?


Louis Virtel No, Right, Exactly. That also at the time felt like a very genuine extension of the life she had built, the same way Madonna’s first album feels like, Oh, she to step right off the floor at Danceteria and put down this record that felt like, Here I am, a kind of mouthy, sarcastic, cocaine obsessed New York socialite e person who’s like at the club every night. And then I’ve turned that into the fame, you know?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel So I feel like all her music stems from the life she is living and music she really wants to hear. You know, she’s not like someone like I’ll say Ariana Grande. Who is that? Oh, I don’t even like my first couple albums anymore. Like Lady Gaga. I never went through that period, even though I think she she does have a song on the record about how she’s sick of people saying they liked her when she did the fame as opposed to her later music.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Mm hmm. It’s interesting to even think about the conversation about, like, it used to be that Gaga is pretentious, right? You know, very, very haughty, putting on these airs about what it means to be a pop star because she’s presenting. But. Now stripped away from that being in that time and being like a decade later, like it doesn’t really feel like retention. It feels like thank God someone was creating a singular identity for themselves. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Right. No, it’s just that’s not really on the docket necessarily anymore. You know, it feels like all music is designed to be put into the same Spotify playlist so that there’s not any pangs or vibes outside this very narrow lane people want to stay in. And Lady Gaga is like still singing at the top of her lungs or throwing in references that people don’t necessarily know. You know what I mean? She’s not somebody who’s putting out a music video, and the theme is Mean Girls, because everybody’s heard of it. I don’t mean to be shading Arianna Grande this hard. I really don’t. IT’s not like I hate her. I don’t. Yeah


Ira Madison III Uh huh. Are you friends with her ex-husband? Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yeah, yeah, that’s. That’s right. I’m lobbying for right, whoever. Yeah. Me and Pete Davidson are on the same group chat.


Ira Madison III She don’t even remember her ex-husband’s name right now. She’s moving on to the sponge.


Ira Madison III But speaking of Gaga. Yeah. Screaming at the top of her logs, which she’s currently doing in a Rolling Stone song that I’ve heard once and will never again, I’d tell she foisted on us at a concert, probably, but I was. Who am I kidding, my precious? I’d like to tour. Yeah, We’ll never hear it again. Oh, I will say lastly about this album, a lot of people try to comfort the song Dope as a throwaway as we’re skipping it, but I think that also utilizes one that Gaga really does well when she is singing a song, a ballad, whatever. What she does with her instrument is so fucking interesting and exciting. And I just find like the way that she sings the chorus, the way she goes into the verses, comes back out of them, is so sonically interesting to me on that song. And I feel like she always tends to do that on a song she’s always giving you. She’s always zigging when you think she’s going to zag. And I think that that is what can make a song that would sound boring in the hands of anyone else, just singing it, you know?


Louis Virtel Mm hmm. I also think this album maybe contains her most touching song, which is Gypsy. That, to me, feels like a diary entry about what it’s like to be Lady Gaga. Like she’s this pop adventurer going out into the world. And you can hear the the debate between the thrill of being on your own and then weighing the loneliness of that, too. I feel like that’s something that comes through in her persona, generally speaking. So that’s, I mean, fabulous song.


Ira Madison III It shares that thematically with my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, which is where Stevie Nicks basically covers the same ground in Gypsy.


Louis Virtel Yes. The only thing I don’t think about that song is at the beginning when she says so I’m back to The Velvet, the Velvet Underground or whatever, and I never knew what that meant for the longest time. And it turns out The Velvet Underground is just a store where she would buy like moon pendants. And I was like, I thought it was way more energetic than that. You’re just talking about going to a fucking store, okay? You know, when you put your heart to a song and it turns out, Oh, you just do this, totally don’t get the reference. It’s like, Oh.


Ira Madison III You  didn’t know about? You didn’t know about marketing and integration in 1982?


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Yeah. No kidding.


Ira Madison III That’s how you had to do it. That was payola.


Louis Virtel No, it’s as we tape this, it’s Joni Mitchell’s 80th birthday and her in her song California. She is singing about longing to go back to California after college. She’s, you know, on vacation in Europe, having, of course, a extremely exotic time, if you believe the lyrics of Joni Mitchell. But anyway, she says in the song, I’ll even Kiss a Sunset Pig. And I kind of had a vision of it being like farmland. California, you know, like I’ll even kiss a dirty pig, you know, where I grew up in fucking the Redlands. I don’t know where they might have pigs. Know a sunset pig is a cop I did like. Yeah, I’m very late. I’m very late in this in this life. To understand that pig means cop.


Ira Madison III Just like I got that. I didn’t know that. That. But as soon as you said such a pig, I figured cop.


Louis Virtel No, I was. Yeah.


Ira Madison III See you didn’t have to dodge the po po as a kid. Okay. You know, back where I come from, the streets that I was raised on.


Louis Virtel This is so painful for me. Oh, my God.


Ira Madison III Oh, okay. My.


Louis Virtel You and Joni. I want to.


Ira Madison III You never know if you’re going to live or die.


Louis Virtel Joni. Yeah, She woke Saskatchewan, and she would simply be running the the Rangers. They were out there.


Ira Madison III Baby, when my sister, when my sister was put in, when my sister Joni Mitchell, was putting on that black face. That was her real face. Okay.


Louis Virtel Don Juan’s reckless daughter. That was Don Juan being.


Ira Madison III That’s my kinfolk. That’s my skinfolk.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. I am so sorry.


Ira Madison III Go Blue by Joni Mitchell.


Louis Virtel So now Blue lives matter. Now Blue lives matter. Now. Help! Disease. Oh, my God.


Ira Madison III We will be right back.


Louis Virtel We’re going to euthanize this one.


Ira Madison III We’ll be right back with Danny Pellegrino.




Ira Madison III Our guest today is exactly like his show, iconic. He’s a comedian, writer, host, New York Times, bestselling author and just overall hilarious and great. You know him from his podcast, Everything Iconic. And now he’s back with his next book, The Jolliest Bunch: Unhinged Holiday Stories. Please welcome back to Keep It. Danny Pellegrino. Danny,  it’s always good to have you here.


Danny Pellegrino I love you, buddy. It’s so good to see you and Louis. So good to see you. I am so grateful to be here. Thank you for having me.


Louis Virtel Now, what kind of stories can we expect from a memoir about your family and Christmas, etc.? You’re an Italian family. I imagine you’re a spirited bunch.


Danny Pellegrino Yes. I mean, it’s a lot of Midwest, a lot of nostalgia, a lot of growing up in the nineties. In the book The Jolly Bunch, and I really wanted it to feel I sort of described my first book as like National Lampoon’s Vacation, and this one’s like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or, you know, I love all those holiday movies that we watch a million times a year, like Home Alone or A Christmas Story. And so I wanted the book to feel like that, where it’s hopefully really, really, really funny and then also has a little drama, a little heart and smallmouth in it as well. I keep giving this analogy, but the movie, like Home Alone one or two, it’s got this cartoonish vibe, like really silly and funny, and then at the end it hits you at that moment where Catherine O’Hara comes and meets her son and sees him and it’s really like beautiful moment, heartfelt moment. So that was the kind of vibe I was going for with so a lot of unhinged family stories and then hopefully some stuff that is heartwarming, too.


Louis Virtel Home Alone, I want to say, by the way, is the rare case of it is 100% zany, except the trick they pulled is they cast amazing actors. So then it turns into something better than it should be because everybody in it is like, you know, the greatest comic actress ever or like an Academy Award winning Joe Pesci or whomever. Right, Right. I know watching Joe Pesci in those movies try to not swear and like, just hang out. I don’t he’s like making no animal noises or something, but it’s so good.


Ira Madison III I think that is also a plus of revisiting nineties comedies as an adult, right? You know, you’re visiting Home Alone or you’re watching Addams Family Values and you’re seeing movies that were ostensibly for kids, but they have legends in them. And when we were kids, we didn’t know that. We’re just seeing these very funny people, usually funny women be very fucking funny and a few men to, you know, John Candy just fucking every once in a while. Yeah, but now, you know, you watch these movies that are made for kids and they have like, I don’t know who the fuck they put in them. No, they’re not. They’re not giving you this. I feel like we were very spoiled.


Danny Pellegrino Well, and you mentioned Addams Family values. I just watched those movies when I was traveling and they were playing in a hotel. And the way they light Anjelica Houston’s face throughout those movies is so brilliant. And it’s like every time she’s on screen, just her eyes are lit in a very unique way just for that character. And I feel like nineties movies in general had this zaniness or had weirdness, and now everything’s so built by comedy that I think a lot of these scripts, I mean, you know, I know you’re a writer too, but it’s like that when you’re developing something. So often all that zaniness is taken out because it maybe is a little tonally different than the rest of the movie or or it’s doesn’t fit with like what the market wants or is. And I look at any of those nineties movies, even something like First Wives Club, which is a favorite of mine, but I think of that when they’re singing and I feel like that’s the kind of moment that would get taken out of a script now because it doesn’t necessarily fit with their they’re just doing a song and dance number in the movie and it’s like, I think oftentimes those weird, zany moments that we love in the nineties are getting taken out of movies or I don’t know, but I miss them. I miss the sort of craziness of those nineties things.


Louis Virtel First Wives Club is a particular case of it’s interesting what’s left in because it’s kind of a longish movie and it has all these tentacles going all these directions and you’re like, I know STOCKARD Channing had more to do in the original version of this, or, you know, Sarah Jessica Parker, I’m sure had another storyline or something. It’s funny what ended up in the final cut of that film.


Ira Madison III Totally. So back to holidays, though. I always associate you with Daddy’s twins Nostalgia. You talk about it on your podcast, you had it in your first book, but what was the impetus for writing about Christmas, the holidays in general, and also what was the first time where like Christmas became culture for you? Because we all know when we discovered pop culture and we were like, We love this shit. But like, when was it where you were like, Christmas? That’s for me.


Danny Pellegrino Well, I’ve always loved Christmas. I think I came from a family where my mom in particular always wanted to have. That perfect holiday for the kids. So even when I was really young and we didn’t have much money, my mom still did like everything she could to to baked the cookies and to do all those kind of like traditions and and make it as special as possible for my two older brothers and myself. And so I always I remember the moment that my older brother actually he got the Mariah Carey Merry Christmas album. I guess it was ’94 when it came out, but I still vividly remember him getting that album and like me stealing it. And we would listen to it. My mom and I would listen to it driving to the mall and northeast Ohio, like over and over again. And so I think she’s now known as sort of the Queen of Christmas. But I can so vividly remember getting that album and and just being blown away by it. But I’ve always loved the holidays. And when I was writing my first book, there were so many I was loading it with these stories about growing up and family. And I noticed there were a lot of holiday stories because I think the holiday season so filled with emotion and chaos and and everybody’s trying to Keep It together. And obviously, the more we all try to keep together, the more those threads all fall apart. And so I noticed that there were so many of these stories. And so my dream when I wrote the first book was that I would be able to then write this one. And so I saved some of the stories that I was writing for the first book in hopes that I would be able to do this. And and I love David Sedaris has a holiday collection or there’s a book that the Christmas Story is based on that’s like a collection of holiday family stories. And so I really that was the dream of like being able to do that because I like picking up those books every year and rereading them. And I hoped that was the dream of like putting this out. And then hopefully throughout the years people can pick it up and read a chapter two and then or reread some thing that they like from the book. And so that was always the dream. But I always love Christmas. I’ve had a holiday movie podcast for five years now that I do with my friend Jenna, where we recap a lot of like the of TV Christmas movies and these big Christmas movies. And so I don’t know, I’ve always just loved the holiday season. I do. I’m like really basic in that way, but I fucking love the twinkle lights, the the music, everything.


Louis Virtel It must be said you in general have a really awesome memory. I mean, the nature of your everything iconic podcast is simply remembering things that we watched growing up that for some reason have fallen by the wayside for other people. I want to say I relate to you in this way. It’s a gift and a curse. I feel, you know, tried to try to unearth all these memories again. That said, looking at like your book, there are so many stories in this. Do you have a particularly acute memory for just things that happened in your childhood? Because I imagine writing a book about my entire life, I would be blown away at what I don’t remember.


Danny Pellegrino Yeah, well, the interesting thing is I always kept journals and I’ve always journaled my whole life. So I have a lot of stuff with both of my books. I’ve been able to go back and read some stuff and and certain memories that I remembered. One way I’d go back and read entries from around that time and realize like they went a different way or even talking to different people who been involved in these stories. They’ve been sharing information about like, Oh, I remember this happen. But the funny thing about it is like some of the stories I’ll be writing and I’ll think, this seems so crazy, and then I’ll hear from somebody who was involved in the story after they read it and they’re like, Oh, but you forgot this fact or You forgot this crazy thing that happened. And so truth is always stranger than fiction. And I have also found that I just got off a tour and I was meeting a lot of people who read my first book and started to read this one. And people have their own stories too, that are seems so crazy. I, I did watch what happens. I was Lisa Barlow from the Real House to Salt Lake City and she was telling me backstage, I hope I’m not I hope I can share this, but she was telling me about a Thanksgiving where her husband, like, got so mad that he threw a turkey or something. And and I just think everybody has those stories that that really if you they seem so cartoonish, but they’re all we all have them.


Ira Madison III That literally reminds me of one of my favorite holiday episodes of a television show ever, which was Beverly Hills 90210. And it’s when Tiffani Amber Thiessen was leaving the show, obviously she’d been a trouble maker and she had had her feud with Jennie Garth. On the show, Kelly finds out that Valerie had sort of been like abused when she was younger or something. And so she decides it’s the holidays that she wants to forgive her and like, let’s not fight anymore. Because I found out something traumatic happened to you in your past. Whatever. Kelly was such a bitch. But anyway, she goes over to Thanksgiving and brings a turkey to Valerie, and Valerie picks up the turkey and throws it out the door.


Danny Pellegrino Valerie, I love.


Ira Madison III I’ve always loved the A turkey.  That’s it.


Danny Pellegrino Wait. Did you see that? Not to get too off track here, but did you see that there was like a dinner and Bethenny had posted Bethenny Frankel posted this picture and it was and at the dinner was like the most crazy group of people I’ve ever seen. A lot of reality people were there, but then it was Jennie Garth and Tiffani Amber Thiessen, and they have like a they were best friends and then had a feud and they were in this photo together. And I’m like, I need to. What was said between the two of them. I think the headlines were all about like the grouping of reality people. But I’m like, I need to know what’s going on with Tiffani, Amber Thiessen and Jennie Garth here.


Ira Madison III Louis said, I know that Bethany famously loves to collect famous people.


Louis Virtel She was on our show and I literally was like, God, are you surprised to be friends with so many celebrities? And then she’s like, We didn’t start the fire, went through a list of famous people, and it was just we had to sit and clutch the table as she wrapped the names of everybody she knew.


Danny Pellegrino Well, I’m sure we could all a trauma bond about interviewing certain people.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Let’s get that on The Patreon. Do we have one of those yet? Well, we will sell that episode. As we said before, you obviously have an encyclopedic knowledge of the pop culture of the nineties and two. And I feel like when you’re one of these people, you get caught up in like YouTube holes of old stuff that you find yourself revisiting or maybe watching for the first time. If you’re unfamiliar with certain pockets of pop culture history, What have you been maybe obsessed with recently that’s new to you?


Danny Pellegrino Oh, gosh. Well, maybe not new to me, but I do keep speaking the gospel of the Rosie O’Donnell YouTube channel because of course, uploads she uploads.


Ira Madison III Didn’t they remove shit, recently?.


Danny Pellegrino They put it back. They put it back.


Louis Virtel Oh, great update. Thank you.


Ira Madison III Okay.


Danny Pellegrino They put it back. So we’re all safe now. She’s still uploading the full episodes there. I also fall in these rabbit holes of old commercials, so I am a huge fan of like the YouTube channels that they’ll post like at full nineties commercials or a commercial block. Or you can, if you’re interested in the holiday commercials, you could just type in like holiday commercials from the nineties and I find them soothing, relaxing and that’s kind of like my, my relaxing time. It’s like watch old Nerf commercials or something, which sounds crazy. But yeah, I love that in general talk shows too. I’m just a huge talk show junkie from the nineties. So aside from Rosie, I love watching old clips of Regis and Kathie Lee or Old Regis and Kelly at this sounds. This is going to make me sound really dark, but I recently saw like footage. This is going to make it sound crazy, but footage from like 9-11 that day and like how talk shows handled it. You know, I found it very fascinating to see how the talk shows who were on air, they were handling this thing. I mean, there’s a clip of Regis and Kelly from that day. That is it’s an interesting sort of packet of history that I had recently gone to YouTube Rabbit Hole on.


Ira Madison III Let’s be glad Wendy wasn’t on there. Oh, my God.


Danny Pellegrino I do. I do miss Wendy so much.


Ira Madison III But that would have been, so the planes crash today. Anyway. Tom Cruise. Thank you, Karen. I love the commercial thing, mostly because this is sort of like a lost thing now. I mean, except for Hulu, because I have Hulu with TV. And when I want to watch Housewives the night that it airs, I’m forced to watch the commercials. But commercials kind of suck on streaming now because you always get the same ones over and over again. One of the things I love the most when I used to VHS record a TV show because I was at a theater or something at rehearsal or some other thing, when I would get home and rewatch it. And then when you’d rewatch like an episode of Buffy years later, you would see the commercials happening, like during the commercial break. And that is so fun to me because you’re seeing just sort of like the snapshot. Not just commercials that people have randomly collected, but like the commercials that people were actually watching at that moment. I rewatched this show Glory Days, which was on the WB recently on YouTube. It was a Kevin Williamson TV show. Eddie Cahill. Yeah, it was like one season. It was very stupid, but it was the girl from Revenge.


Danny Pellegrino Emily Vancamp.


Ira Madison III Emily Vancamp. Emily Vancamp. Yeah, she was in it in a small role and that sort of then led her to bigger stuff. But I was rewatching just like the pilot of Glory Days on YouTube, and the old commercials were in there, and it was fun being thrust back into 2003. Seeing like, I even remember the slogan, Make 7-up, yours. Right. Yeah, it was make 7-up, yours. But then in the early 2000, they were like, make seven up yours because people started saying up yours as an insult to people. That is the thing that was completely gone from my brain until I rewatched that commercial.


Danny Pellegrino It’s a snapshot of the time and you can go back and see like what products were popular, what brands were popular even there. I got into a whole recently where I was seeing all the dot.com, it was all the dotcom ads, and it’s like, we don’t really get those anymore. But it was incredible to see at a certain point in time every ad was a dot com, like Pets.com and whatever. So that’s incredible. And also YouTube is great. There are like performances, music, musical performances, particularly like holiday ones that I remember seeing as a teen. And I don’t know if I’d ever see them again. And now you can go and watch the 2002 tree lighting from Rockefeller Center and see, I don’t know, Ashley Tisdale doing like a promiscuous version of Christmas. Like, that’s amazing.


Louis Virtel No, there was a point once upon a time where we never thought we would see these things again. Like, like to this day, I have this vision of Luciano Pavarotti and Vanessa Williams on SNL doing some sort of holiday performance. I’m like, That can’t be real. But then, of course it is. And you can revisit that. I want to say about commercial specifically. I think for me, those were the most important sort of conduit to get into the holiday season, because one thing you look forward to, even if you weren’t buying anything, was going to a store and seeing everything’s set up for the holidays and commercials. Got you sort of amped for that. So in a way like that puts me in the spirit. More than any episode of a TV show does, which feels a little bit more like, well, they have to do a holiday episode, you know, just like the commercials really set the tone for me.


Danny Pellegrino The Hershey’s Kiss commercial, it’s one of the most flawless ads of all time. Like they’ve been able to reuse it for decades now. And every time I see it, I get in the holiday spirit, just the it’s very simple, just the Hershey kiss jingle bell ad. It’s so brilliant. It’s like the Tootsie Pop commercial that aired for 60 years of how many licks or.


Ira Madison III Oh, yeah, the one, two, three. Yeah.


Danny Pellegrino Yes, Yeah. Or a Campbell’s Soup has one that airs, I think, still to this day where like the boy is eating soup and is a snowman and then it melts.


Ira Madison III I mean, listen, it’s not Christmas to me until I see Santa Claus and the M&M seeing each other and going, They do exist. He does exist. Yes.


Danny Pellegrino I actually had the voiceover artist, Billy. I can’t think of his last name at the moment, but I interviewed him. He did the voice of like Doug for Doug. And he’s done really well. Yes, yes, yes. Billy was incredible. It Bugs Bunny and Space Jam. And I was talking I was so fascinated by that M&M commercial. I was I was talking him about it on the show. And I feel like I was probably the only one that cared. But I was like, so fascinated that he recorded this M&M commercial so many years ago, a couple of lines, and then it airs every single year. And pretty it airs a lot, too. Like I, I don’t even watch commercial TV. I watch stuff on streaming, but even I feel like I see that ad every year still and how incredible to do something like that. That’s timeless. And it’s just like an M& M commercial.


Louis Virtel How do we one day celebrate these voice actors who have done like 750 roles, like the woman who plays. She does a bunch of Simpsons roles, but she. Angelica’s mom and Rugrats Tress MacNeil. That person has done literally a voice in almost any show you’ve ever seen. And we’ve not had like. Like, what’s the Kennedy Center Honors for that person? We need something specific to recognize that these people are in our ears every year without exception.


Danny Pellegrino Yeah. And they’re incredible. And I look at some of the stuff now, and I wish I know that networks and stuff, they want the big celebrity voices for the animated projects. And I think sometimes.


Ira Madison III I don’t.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. I don’t want to hear it.


Ira Madison III Bring back voice actors.


Danny Pellegrino Yeah. Yeah. Because they’re so talented at what they do. And I just wish like, let’s let them do it. I know there’s financial reasons and all that kind of stuff, but it’s like, Yeah, someone like Billy West or Tess or I mean, there’s so many of these voice actors who have created these incredible voices, and now sometimes I watch things and I’m like, It’s not memorable because it just feels like a celebrity doing their voice. And it’s like, Let’s give us something.


Ira Madison III The Shark is Issa Rae. Yeah. And I can tell, you know.


Danny Pellegrino And speaking of shark, I do blame Shark Tale for that whole thing because you remember that movie came out so many years ago and that was like the first time I remember where it was like, you’re just shouting like Angelina Jolie, Will Smith. And it’s like, okay, well, I don’t need them to be playing sharks. And that’s like.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I will say the only good thing to really come out of Shark Tale is.


Louis Virtel Car Wash.


Danny Pellegrino Carwash.


Ira Madison III Yes. Carwash was Christina Aguilera. Missy, iconic, historic song. Is it streaming? It needs to be streaming. But Martin Scorsese, who plays Sykes in that film and I’m like Scorsese. He should do more voice actor. He’s kind of great on his daughter’s Tik Tok So.


Danny Pellegrino Hire him. Hire him for the next voiceover.


Louis Virtel Help the struggling old artist.


Danny Pellegrino Billy West and Martin Scorsese. Fox needs to get on the line.


Ira Madison III Danny, thank you so much for being here again and congrats on your book. The cover is so cute. And I have to imagine like shooting a cover for a book too, is baby, you didn’t know really what to do for your first one because it’s just essays and you’re just like, Well, I’m posing and they’ll pick something. But I feel like for this one is the Christmas tree. There’s a ladder, there’s a lights around you like it gave you something to do.


Danny Pellegrino Right? Yeah, it was based on we found like a Norman Rockwell. The person who shot it was Stephen Baskin. He’s an old friend of mine. We went to college, but he together and he found this image. It was like a Norman Rockwell painting. And so we really went to recreate it and do like our version of it. So luckily we had sort of a template. And then, yeah, the first book I shot the cover, like at the very early stages of COVID, like we kind of have any hair and makeup people. It was like just me and the photographer. I was at my lowest. What’s that tweet about? Christina Aguillera.


Louis Virtel Fat, nasty and broke it, Right?


Ira Madison III Career in shambles. Yeah, that’s how I feel about that. Book cover Mad as Hell.


Danny Pellegrino I got those photos back and I was like, These are all shit. And then, yeah, of course they the whole thing, they wanted like a one of those traditional, like comedian memoirs where it’s like a stool and whatever. And so that’s what you’re like, more fun.


Ira Madison III You know?


Danny Pellegrino I know.


Louis Virtel I was doing various wild poses with a finger up and shrugging, etc.. Yeah.


Danny Pellegrino Yeah. It’s much, much easier to be in front of like a Christmas tree and know what you’re doing. Great. But anyway, yeah, I hope people forget the book. Please go buy it. There’s an audio book. I hate to beg your listeners to buy The Jolliest Bunch but buy it and you’ll have a good time. Please. Got to make the merch.


Ira Madison III We need people to buy the book. We need to.


Danny Pellegrino Sstop talk about it to stop talking about if you like this podcast. We just gave you 40 minutes of entertainment, so please support us by spending 25 bucks on the book. I know it’s expensive, but we got to keep the lights on here. And while you’re at it, you know you can support all of us in any way you can. It be great. Even if you don’t read it, just put it on your coffee table or something.


Louis Virtel Right. It looks good. Yeah.


Danny Pellegrino Yeah. Please. Put up by the tree. Give it as a gift. Anyway, I love you guys.




Ira Madison III All right. It’s that time again, Louis. Obviously, there’s plenty of things that we talk about on the show. And then there’s things that we don’t get to because you can’t talk about fucking everything.


Louis Virtel Right? Right. It’s tough.


Ira Madison III What have you been watching that we haven’t been able to talk about on the show yet?


Louis Virtel Okay. I finally just glimpse that Fellow Travelers, which has.


Ira Madison III Horny as hell.


Louis Virtel Quite. Oh, my God. Gay sex. Did you know what it looks like? I It’s in broad daylight now.


Ira Madison III It’s giving Only Fans. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Jesus Christ. Please let me pay the 999. It’s so fucking much. But it stars Matt Bomer and Jonathan Bailey as two guys having a romance during the Lavender Scare in the 1950s. And it also flashes forward to his life, married to Allison Williams in the eighties. And so you’re getting a lot of This Is Us Rick Baker style makeup, you know what I mean? When they would put our girl Mandy and I think 14 hours of makeup every day so that she could look like, you know, basically Jane Curtin.


Ira Madison III Thank God she’s free. Yeah.


Louis Virtel This Is Us?


Ira Madison III She’s got the checks. Yeah, she got the checks and now she’s free to raise her kids.


Louis Virtel And they are adorable.


Ira Madison III THey are so cute.


Louis Virtel But anyway, I am creating this kind of series because we’re always talking about how we want to see gay romances that aren’t, like, culminating. And did you know AIDS happened or did you know that they both had internalized homophobia? Not that you’re not getting that in this show, but this is a very casual looking TV show. You know, you’re getting the spic and span Mad Men gloss of the 1950s and the kind of sinister ness that we associate with that, too. I mean, the spy element.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, not too heavy. It’s not giving the Americans, although I would fucking gag for these two in a gay version of the Americans, because first of all, Matt Bomer in White Collar was great and Jonathan Bailey is basically already giving you Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys in the Americans in this because girl, this wig he’s wearing. Yeah. It’s giving wig.


Louis Virtel Yeah. I have a theory of everything about that wig. And it’s not a good one.


Ira Madison III The wig and the glasses. I’m just like, Baby, you’re ready to go play with some Russians.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. No kidding. I’m excited for this show because Matt Bomer, I think, is perfect for this show and not just because he is the spitting image of the Don Draper type you expect to see on this show. But also you rarely get into, I don’t know, the depths of Matt Bomer. He’s good at having that kind of concealing what is going on in his head thing. And I think we haven’t. I mean, I’m not a white collar super fan as you are, but I, I’m excited to see what he does with the role that’s this fraught.


Ira Madison III And also, I mean, not to be all sentimental or anything, but. You can’t help but feel sort of like proud of him. Becasue he’s good. He’s good. And I remember, you know, the era. Where did you ever expect to see Matt Bomer in things? He came out and it was, okay, We’re never going to see that fagot again.


Louis Virtel Right, right, right. And we enjoyed him, of course. And things like the boys in the band and stuff. But together, finally to this point. Yeah.


Ira Madison III No, I think I think he’s like one of the hardest working actors just currently in Hollywood right now, and it’s really nice to see him in continued roles that are playing to his strengths and showing that he’s just a really fucking great actor.


Louis Virtel Also enjoying the dynamic between him and Allison Williams. We obviously couldn’t talk about the project last week because we’re SAG members and we don’t want to end up in jail or whatever because.


Ira Madison III The studios want to use every dead person’s likeness. Now that’s currently where we’re at in the SAG strike, by the way. But yeah, he is great. Allison Williams is great in it. There’s a lot of great supporting characters in it, too. I loved the scene in The Speakeasy.


Louis Virtel Yes. Also, again, just visually stunning to look at almost maybe the floor of the show is it seems like they spent maybe a little bit too much money on keeping everything so shiny to the point where you’re almost jarred at how nostalgic looking the show is meant to be. But by the way, speaking of the 1950s and homosexual repression or whatever, I was just reacquainted with the story they totally forgotten about. Did you remember that Rooney Mara or Sorry, I think it’s Rooney Mara. Actually, we say that incorrectly as a culture, refused repeatedly to be a part of Taylor Swift squad because she’s just a private person or something. That story was thrown in my feet recently. I have never believed a rumor more. Can’t you just picture her being like, God, help me, please get this blond woman away from me? It’s says, right? Really? Taylor was obsessed with her after seeing her in Carol or something, which is maybe one of the cooler things about Taylor Swift that I concur with.


Ira Madison III Yeah, well, you know, I’m sure the Gaylors are excited about that. Do you know what a Gaylor is?


Louis Virtel I am. Well, they’re. Yeah, they’re mentally ill people, Right. What’s going on there?


Ira Madison III Well, obviously, they’re, you know, 13 Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Yes. A lot of there are the queer fanbase, Adele, that has theories about her relationships with women, particularly like Karlie Kloss and these people. I’m sure there’s a lot I’m sure the message boards are heating up.


Louis Virtel And they’re sitting there in their adult costumes typing away. Yeah, I’m.


Ira Madison III Kind of portion of a message board on fire right now. So they are the fanfic about Rooney Mara right now. Can I also say that speaking of Taylor, did you notice that the Israel Twitter account which occurred, which is maybe the most psycho Twitter account outside of Joyce Carol Oates.


Louis Virtel Right there is a race, there.


Ira Madison III So yeah, that that gives that gives you sort of an idea into at Isreal just tweeting things at people tweeting at Taylor about how there’s been a missing Israeli girl, which is, you know, very sad since the October 7th Hamas massacre. Who was a swifty and they’re making bracelets and that Taylor should post about it. Psychotic.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Why are you tweeting at a US pop star right now when you should be doing other things, but also extra crazy? Because @Isreal the actual account was busy doxing and threatening and harassing Taylor’s actual friend, Gigi Hadid, and her whole family literally weeks ago.


Louis Virtel I mean, the Internet. Ladies and gentlemen, here is where we are right now. This is as good as it can possibly get in terms of celebrity land.


Ira Madison III But to bring it back to the squad, do you remember that Selena Gomez last week and maybe her 10th time this year, said that she was going to take a break from social media.


Louis Virtel Because she’s like, you’re anti-parasitic being like, this is this time the break is for real. You won’t see me. I’m going back and I’m making my pies get away from me.


Ira Madison III Because people asked her to speak out. And if you recall, she also got mad when people asked her to speak out about Black Lives Matter in 2020. And she was like, Well, a post isn’t going to do anything. And this time she was like, I’m going to stop posting whatever to bring this back to the squad. Taylor was just recently on Sunday is seen having dinner at Bond Street with Selena Gomez and Gigi. And let me tell you what happened on Monday. Selena Gomez signed that cease fire letter. So, you know, Gigi came into this dinner and she was like, girl, let’s have a chat.


Louis Virtel And Taylor sat there with arms folded like Marlon Brando in The Godfather. And that, like, turned around in her swivel chair and back. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yes, yes. She was like, I’m not in it, but you need to sign it, Selena. They don’t expect me to expect you to, Selena. So for that, want to get to write in.


Louis Virtel Taylor just got another number one album with the Taylor’s version of 1989. By the way. Did we not talk about that before? I guess we should say something about that. There are so many versions on this, Howard. Yeah, but it’s just not like there’s there’s nothing about the 1989 album that I feel like really gains from being remade. It’s like already electronic sounding anyway. You know, like you can basically you can recreate it. And she still sounds like that. Like her voice still sounds like.


Ira Madison III The Jack Antonoff song sound fucking stellar. The recreations of the Max Martin stuff. Oh, yeah.


Louis Virtel By the way, man, have we have we said this This man is only 52 years old. He’s been around for like, 100 years, like remixing, doing, like, Robin and old Britney and stuff. Well, he’s like, Wonder Ken again. I’m the third time this episode. I’ll say it. Kennedy Center Honors. When?


Ira Madison III Come on now for months. MARTIN Absolutely. Please, let’s.


Louis Virtel That’s a medley I’ll see. That’s a medley I’ll watch. That’s a problem they have at the Kennedy Center Honors. You know, like you give it you give an award to Meryl Streep. It’s like, what are we going to fucking watch? Like a Silkwood Recreation? Okay, I would watch that. But not everybody was alive.


Ira Madison III Ricki and the Flash before that girl.


Louis Virtel I will be there, please. I’ll play Sebastian. Stan.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know what? The last thing I will say about Taylor is I’m always bringing up one of my favorite restaurants in New York Holiday bar, which Selina used to go to all the time while she was filming Only Murders. And they have a drink there called The Selena-tini. How am I at that restaurant all the fucking time? And the one fucking Thursday? I’m not there. Taylor and the squad go in.


Louis Virtel What?


Ira Madison III Just chillin time, sisters. Oh.


Louis Virtel How did you get away with that?


Ira Madison III This is giving the 1989 roll out is really. I love how for each era she sort of revisits that era because he’s dating Travis Kelce. A big celebrity, rightnow.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III And also New York right now is any time I step out, there’s a chance I could run into the squad.


Louis Virtel Wow. Wow. She’s welcoming herself to New York again. Welcome back to New York.


Ira Madison III She’s at dinners just like every fucking night. So. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Jason versus Taylor, the streets of Manhattan. Let’s do it.


Ira Madison III Yeah, let’s get Kelly Rowland up in that mix, too.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. Oh, my God.


Ira Madison III She says she sees Taylor Swift. What kind of lesbian walks around in a tattered cardigan.


Louis Virtel Baby bag attitude? No. Kelly Rowland, What’s that song she had where she was, like, really, like dancing up on somebody? What is that called?


Ira Madison III That Motivation.


Louis Virtel Motivation? I couldn’t think of it.


Louis Virtel Yeah, Yeah, right. Yeah. I mean, she used to release a ho bop every. Every year. Where is she right now?


Speaker 4 Excuse me? On the red carpet of, like, the VH one, some sort of honors or something. Oh, no. It was the revamp of Divas Live in which they had people like Natasha Bedingfield. I’m sorry, That’s not a diva. I’m sorry you guys missed, you know, But Kelly Rowland was there and I said something. It was like, Oh my God, the dancing in the motivation video. I is this like you really? I was like, I am the lose my breath video where you jump on that guy. And she goes, Well, let me tell you something. There’s nothing wrong with jumping on a guy. I was like, The slots slots are pretty low. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I want to say lastly, because we started talking about the firing squad.


Louis Virtel Oops. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Another fucking show I’m really enjoying right now, and this won’t surprise you is Gen V.


Louis Virtel Oh, right?


Ira Madison III Which is the spin off of The Boys.


Louis Virtel The Boys is great.


Ira Madison III Giving. The Boys is fucking great. It’s rare that a show is geared towards seemingly geared towards bro’s and men who love the internet, but then it subverts what they’re going to get. It’s one of those things where they’ll love the boys and then it’s, Wait, this is political. What are you talking about? Nazis are evil. Like when Stormfront was a villain in season two and it’s like, Yeah, one thing about those tables, they turn


Louis Virtel I think that’s your favorite meme, that’s your number one, maybe meme.


Ira Madison III I think maybe, maybe it’s that and Whitney.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. You know what? We need our Whitney meme renaissance. I haven’t seen much of her lately on Twitter. And by the way, you know, there’s plenty. We still have it on Earth. I need people to start going through the amaz. I need people to start going through like Merv Griffin show clips and finding more wicked stuff.


Ira Madison III But Gen V is sort of the college version of the boys where there’s a school called Godot Quinn University, which is just called God You for Short. But these superhero college students go there and the idea is that the 10th highest ranked have the potential to become superheroes where they’re fighting crime. Or they could be in the seven, the superhero group from the boys. But most of them are just using their powers to sell products and some merch, etc. like that, right? The future is going to be or they’re going to be on TV shows and stuff. And so it’s interesting because it’s doing a lot of the same ideas about commercialization and that the boys gets into and sort of the glorification of war and shit like that. But it’s doing it from the perspective of like, you know, Gen Z kids, you know, that’s why I called Generation V and I think it’s really fun. It’s it is really fun and it feels like a fresh take on the boys. And the boys is obviously based on the Garth and his comic. And this, I believe, is something fresh that was cooked up by the producers. And I think it’s just it’s a really good show. I think this is one of the best sort of things that Seth Rogen has been producing. You know, I didn’t love Pam and Tommy, but The Boys and Gen V are really good and I’m only halfway through the season so far, but I’m excited to watch more of that to that. And fellow travelers are really sort of scripted shows. I’m enjoying right now that in the Morning show it’s nice to be back in the script it because I feel like I took a break for a minute.


Louis Virtel I will try to get more TV and but we are ramping up for Oscar season and I’m like I just booked by the Color Purple screening. We still have to talk about Saltburn yet we are not clear when or why we can talk about Saltburn, but that would be an interesting conversation once that finally happens to so much to look forward to this holiday season.


Ira Madison III I’ve seen Saltburn. I’ve seen Poor Things.


Louis Virtel I have not seen Poor Things. Excuse me, How is every fucking fagot seen Poor Things?


Ira Madison III That is the fucking movie of the year.


Louis Virtel I’m Louis. I’m Louis. Me. I’ll see these people on Twitter who have not heard a fucking movie in their fucking life. They couldn’t. They don’t know what the favorite is. They don’t. Yorgos Lanthimos. They had a spell in that. I’m over here not seeing the film.


Ira Madison III The way that I want to give Emma the Oscar again. She’s so fucking good.


Louis Virtel She does kind of feel like a two Oscars winner person. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Except Lily Gladstone is submitting for best actress, not supporting.


Louis Virtel As she should. The problem with that role is the last hour of the movie. It’s not that she disappears, but she’s not really giving acting the way like an Academy Award winner gives. Acting like if you see the movie, you’ll see. But it does feel like she’s still the frontrunner also. Annette Bening. And I think it’s going to be a powerful movie that people connect with. That’s all I’m saying.


Ira Madison III I agree. She really dropped out of the last bit of the film, but I feel like coming out of it, she’s the thing that people are talking about the most and what is driving the conversation around the film. So I think that might help too. But we always knows what happens when we get into awards season, seeing what drops out, what, what comes back up, etc. So it’ll be fun.


Louis Virtel No, it’s always interesting to realize what drops out of a conversation. That seemed like a sure thing at first. And I have to tell you, after all these years, I cannot predict it. It always is very strange to me. And then but then in retrospect, always feels kind of inevitable to have said, well, of course, get into that as it occurs.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but poor things right now for me is my only close to five stars film per year for me.


Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Got me excited.


Ira Madison III All right. When we’re back, Keep It. And we are back for our favorite segment of the episode. It is Keep It. Louise, what is yours?


Louis Virtel This is a half Keep It because I’m still excited for this thing, but now there’s an asterisk on it. So as you know, Kylie Minogue, her residency just opened in Las Vegas. We’ve never brought up this person on the podcast before. This is her debut right here. Kylie Minogue Welcome to Keep It Up. I’m seeing her.


Ira Madison III And you know what, Luann, You did not mention Madonna once last week.


Louis Virtel It’s never been done. You know, I’m experimental over here. I love trying. You brought her out this week. It wasn’t even me. So anyway, Kylie is going to Vegas soon. I’ll be seeing her in December. Very excited about it. Except for the fact that one. I’m obviously avoiding the set list. Please don’t show me the set list on tweeting me the set list, whatever. I’m sort of weirded out to realize that the show starring Kylie itself is actually only 75 minutes long, and she comes on at 11 p.m. after a long sort of burlesque circus type show. Now. Okay, I get it. It’s Las Vegas. You want to see some spectacle? Tassels are a part of the whole thing. You know, people like writhing through a hula hoop is something you have to watch if you’re in Las Vegas. But at the same time, if I’m paying to see a Kylie Minogue show and Kylie Minogue is only doing 75 minutes, I don’t think she was square with us from the job. And I’m I’m, I’m realizing now and by the way, this is something I became hip to because I was getting my hair cut last week. And the guy Damien, who cuts my hair was saying, Did you know that the star of the Kylie Minogue show she’s doing is actually interchangeable and Christina Aguilera will be doing the exact same show replacing Kylie Minogue. And apparently there’s rumors about who will be doing next. But the point of the show is it’s a standalone show that they then insert a star into and let them do their songs and sort of choreograph the preexisting choreography sort of wraps around these artists. So anyway, that’s not the same thing as, you know, here’s Adele with all her fucking songs. You know, this like something.


Ira Madison III Right.


Louis Virtel Kind of strange going on here. And as my friend Yon pointed out, when he was buying the tickets for this show, it says the star of the show is not guaranteed to be there.


Ira Madison III What!


Louis Virtel I was weirded out myself. No, he’s like a pop music detective. He always finds out things like this, So just let you know something kind of interesting is going on here.


Ira Madison III So she was going to cancel? She might cancel.


Louis Virtel That’s a reference to a song from Kiss Me Once.


Ira Madison III Wow. She scaamming.


Louis Virtel I guess. I mean, like, it would kind of be a scam alone if she were only performing for 75 minutes. But then this other also. You know what? I just do not need to see Cirque du Soleil shit ever again in my life. I just don’t need to see somebody in, like, a onesie wrapping around silks, and then they’re in the air, and I have to worry that they’re going to fall. Because some time we’ve all seen those Flying Wallenda videos, but the person fucking dies. I’m sorry. I just don’t want to see that again.


Ira Madison III It’s giving. We got pink at home. Yeah.


Louis Virtel This is. This sounds like pink is waiting to do it. That sounds like who belongs here.


Ira Madison III Yes. Do you know how I know who the Flying Wallendas are?


Louis Virtel I feel like some seventies cartoon is about to come into play.


Ira Madison III So thanks to the old writers on Days of Our Lives. Hmm. Sometimes there’s a random phrase or occurrence that will always pop up on the show. Like over the years. Like when someone is like, someone will always tell someone that they’re, like, crowing about something. Yeah. Or they love using the phrase Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly. Having your character say that.


Louis Virtel It’s like when you watch a Woody Allen movie and every third person says the word terrific. Who are these people?


Ira Madison III Yes, but there is a long period of the show where all random characters were said. I don’t give a Flying Wallenda about what she wants.


Louis Virtel That’s giving like a Batman cartoon series type.


Ira Madison III Well, let’s go for the word fuck. Yeah, is hilarious to me.


Louis Virtel A Flying Wallenda. Wow. That is very cool. Anyway, Kylie, I’m going to obviously thrilled to see your show. I will be screaming alongside, I think, gaze from every part of the galaxy. I do think everybody’s flying in for the show. I’m going to meet a lot of people from like Croatia or something at this show. I’m almost certain.


Ira Madison III It’s a gay global guts.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh, my God. And she is the glowing piece of the aggro crag all quiet, crying for.


Ira Madison III Back to you, Mo.


Louis Virtel Mo, come on, Keep It. Where are you, man? You still refereeing things?


Ira Madison III Let’s let’s get all the. Let’s get all the Nickelodeon divas on. Where’s Linda Ellerby? Yeah.


Louis Virtel Miss Summer Sanders. I’m ready. Ira, what is your keep at this week?


Ira Madison III Now my Keep It is Bravocon related. Okay. But. It is about a debate that has been occurring, that has been occurring online. So, Agent Quinn, Jeff Louis, I think you know of him from the real estate shows that were on Bravo.


Louis Virtel Yes. Flipping out.


Ira Madison III Yes, Flipping Out. So he was on a panel with Andy Cohen at Bravocon, where he referred to the season premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And he made a dig at one of the cast members. Crystal MINKOFF, you might know Crystal MINKOFF, husband Rob MINKOFF, who directed The Lion King. The original.


Louis Virtel Got it.


Ira Madison III So he talked about the fact that she wasn’t really in that episode. There was a lot of ground to cover. But he said, I think Krystal had about one minute of screen time in the episode, and it’s the best episode Crystal’s ever been in.


Louis Virtel Okay, Little rude.


Ira Madison III To which she responded on the carpet at Bravocon with gas. I texted him and he apologized for it, but I said, It’s fine. He’s just a cock sucker.


Louis Virtel You never hear cock sucker anymore, aside from Tiffany Pollard, we got to get into that.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And then she said, you know, his problem is he really wants to be a housewife, but he’ll never be one.


Louis Virtel Of course, I think that’s just true, right? You’re certainly acting and part of one on that show.


Ira Madison III So now you can imagine that this led to discourse from people writing things like to those defending Crystal’s pejorative use of a homophobic slur that’s commonly used violently. I’m sure Matthew Shepard heard that’s how many times in his final moments.


Louis Virtel That what he.


Ira Madison III Heard normalized its use as an insult by straight people is deplorable. First of all, cock sucker is a hilarious insult.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III Two. No one hate criming you, is going to call you a cock sucker while they are beating the life out of your body. Because let me tell you something. Cock sucker does not roll off the tongue like fagot. Yeah, right. It’s true. That’s why we.


Louis Virtel Invented that word. Right.


Ira Madison III Right? Because cock sucker is There’s art to that word. It’s three syllables. That is why you hear it. That cock sucker is nineties mob movie.


Louis Virtel I would say it’s mafioso’s talking to each other. Yes. I’m not saying it’s like pro-gay language or anything, but I am saying like the lay also, it’s like you don’t need to fucking bring up Matthew Shepard to and to validate your fucking argument. It’s like tacky as hell.


Ira Madison III And even if you weren’t bringing him up. I’m sorry. I’m just not going to be offended by that word or by a CIS woman saying it. It’s ludicrous. It’s an insult. It’s a funny insult. It’s not really one that I feel attacked by.


Louis Virtel I would also just say, watching her say it, it’s it seems like she has gay friends and it’s just like something you would say, like, oh, that cock sucker. You know what I mean? Like the way we say that fagot or whatever. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Bring it back.


Louis Virtel Right. No. Well, I mean, it was sort of brought back in that Tiffany Pollard clip where she’s on House of Balance and she’s looking at Omarosa. And I guess Jeff or Joel McHale gives her a moment to say something and she says, Excuse me, Omarosa, you’re a what are the exact words? You’re a cock sucking cum guzzling  Republican cunt. Now, let me say something. The woman is very funny, and the way she just says it, stone faced to Omarosa, who is speechless for once. Thank God for that alone. Tiffany Pollard deserves a Nobel Prize, I will say.


Ira Madison III And I’m happier. And I sleep better knowing you’re not in the White House.


Louis Virtel Okay. But that’s where I believe she flopped, because nobody was losing sleep because Omarosa was in the White House. In fact, she should have made fun of that. The fact that Omarosa had a desk in the White House so that Trump could what, pretended he knew a black woman, the fact that she did that makes her the patsy of all time. I wasn’t worried she wasn’t going to, like, sign bills into law or whatever.


Ira Madison III Well, you never know. Yeah.


Louis Virtel She got up his down over there.


Ira Madison III I actually she has a bunch of government secrets in her apartment.


Louis Virtel Okay. Yeah, right. And her Mar a Lago should be out rated sometime soon, but, yeah, I felt like she almost had an A-plus moment, but it started as an A-plus, then wandered into B minus.


Ira Madison III And I will say now I’m wandering away from caring about House of Villains because New York was voted out in that episode. So why am I still watching?


Louis Virtel I call this Miss Vanjie syndrome. You know, you have the person interesting thing. And then they go immediately. And now it’s like, Wait, what are we doing? I was I was all excited for that.


Ira Madison III I don’t need to watch Johnny Bananas on another competition show. I’m sorry.


Louis Virtel When you say the word Johnny Bananas, I am immediately fatigued. I just, like I have to sink into the couch. Johnny Bananas still out there being bananas.


Ira Madison III I’m going. Johnny Bananas.


Louis Virtel Oh, my favorite. Yeah. Dick Tracy Soundtrack. Yeah. B-side.


Ira Madison III All right. This was an episode.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Wow. I learned a lot. Hopefully I’ll forget a lot.


Ira Madison III Thank you to our fans, who I hope you still give a Flying Wallenda about us after this week. Thank you to Danny Pellegrino for being here. And we will see you next week with more. Keep It. And Friday, I have another bonus Keep It Real episode with Danny joining me again to recap what happened at Bravocon. And then I interviewed the Countess Luann herself.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. I’ll tune in and tremble. I’m trembling already.


Ira Madison III You know, we did a duet.


Louis Virtel Oh, God.


Ira Madison III Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third and Louis Virtel.


Louis Virtel This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team, Megan Patsel 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.