In This Episode
Ira and Louis discuss Hasan Minhaj’s farfetched stories, Drake dissing Halle Berry, Lauren Boebert’s theatre date, iconic album covers, A Haunting in Venice, and more. Plus, drag icon Symone joins to discuss her new series Avalon TV and life after winning RuPaul’s Drag Race. AVALON TV premiering exclusively on WOW Presents Plus October 9th!
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 Virtel and we are fresh off our trip to Venitica where there was a haunting this weekend. When I hear the title A Haunting in Venice, I immediately think, Oh, we’ll be discussing how Joker won the Venice Film Festival that one year, and we all just accepted it. No, it’s actually the new Poirot mystery with Kenneth Branagh, which you did see this weekend, correct?
Ira Madison III You know what? I didn’t get to finish the movie. I was kicked out of the theater.
Louis Virtel Go on.
Ira Madison III For jerking off Lauren Boebert. Oh, you know.
Louis Virtel That happens in theaters. Yes. If you’ve ever heard the song, You Ought To Know, a lot of things go down in theaters and she is one of them.
Ira Madison III You know, she realized family friendly Beetlejuice showing, you know what, maybe I should go to a dark theater, the AMC 19.
Louis Virtel Right, right, right.
Ira Madison III In Manhattan. And she was like, you know what? Maybe if you finger me no one will see it.
Louis Virtel Oh, I see. Mm hmm.
Ira Madison III They heard. Okay, The screams weren’t just coming from, but people being haunted in Venice.
Louis Virtel I see. I see.
Ira Madison III And they were asked to leave.
Louis Virtel That really was just a bone chilling story. I know to go on Twitter and see the word fingered. I mean, it just.
Ira Madison III To see jerking it.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Ira Madison III German looking at her. What? What’s funny, too, is Twitter X, whatever you have it now. Right. Is such a. It’s such a dystopian. I am legend space right now that I don’t even think I get the regular news that I used to get from it anymore. So I heard about it as a friend. Like made a joke about Lauren Boebert this weekend and I was like, What are you talking about? It was like, Oh, you haven’t seen this.
Louis Virtel It feels like an order for a news story to really hit everywhere on Twitter. It has to be the one story everyone agrees to talk about. You know, it’s like if I if I’m looking at like the trending topics and there’s like seven things, I’ll click on them and still not know why they are listed there. Whereas this I immediately saw the footage. I immediately realized, okay, I’ve already seen too much. I need to, I guess, just not go to the theater ever. I hope that production of Beetlejuice at least responded. Thank you for supporting live theater. I hope they did that.
Ira Madison III I’m worried that someone off Broadway is already planning to duplicate this for some press. Jeremy O’Harris, do not do it.
Louis Virtel There’s a profile of him in The New Yorker today, which I have not yet read.
Ira Madison III It’s it’s very interesting for a New Yorker profile. I liked it. I liked it. I knew most of the things that were in it since I’m friends with Jeremy, but it was one of the nicest, most flowery, beautiful profiles I’ve read of someone in quite some time. And also the interviewer followed him around for three years and I was like, I didn’t know journalism still had that much money. Yeah.
Louis Virtel Jesus Christ, what is this? Like the movie, Reds? My God. To the Crimlin.
Ira Madison III The New Yorker? Yes. What’s going on over at The New Yorker? Yeah, because I need to get on in that budget. Who would you follow for three years?
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Well, technically, I probably have followed some people for three years. I mean, there’s just not that much to know about anybody. It’s crazy to follow anybody for three years. I mean, I would like to know what was up, honestly, with Madonna over the past few years, because there have been so many strange stories about her. But I actually feel bad bringing up that name on this podcast. I feel like I’m constantly turning it into just a madonna fanzine, so I’ll not even explore that. How about you?
Ira Madison III A haunting in Lisbon.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Yes.
Ira Madison III By Louis.
Louis Virtel In Medillin.
Ira Madison III Who would I? I mean, it seems a little obvious to say Angelina Jolie.
Louis Virtel Right? Because we never really know what’s up with her. So I think that’s a good answer.
Ira Madison III We don’t. And yet she’s always around. Yeah, she is one of the most comfortable with being in public celebrities that I feel like we know her because she has her kids. Right. And you’re always hearing about how she would just like, pop up at a bake sale in L.A. with her kids or someone. A friend of mine recently was like they just passed by her in SoHo and she was getting some coffee.
Louis Virtel And she’s still friends with Johnny Lee Miller, her first husband. Like they were spotted together at some point. That’s a cute little relationship.
Ira Madison III I would like them to get back together. I was reading an old Rolling Stone profile of Angelina Jolie. I was I was reading like a few of them. And it was it was also very interesting reading these profiles and seeing one. The way we used to write about women, obviously.
Louis Virtel Oh, right.
Ira Madison III You know, they were they’re very focused on like the Billy Bob Thornton era. One was very focused on the fact that it was done in her bedroom where, you know, they just finished having sat, oh, good Lord. Like, the blood was the sign, like together forever, always, forever. Whatever was in blood over her bed. That weird era of Angelina Jolie was fine, but it was. She is one of the few celebrities where each subsequent profile, like she was with a different man or single. So she was in drastically different points in her life. Mm hmm. When she was being interviewed for these magazine profiles, which is very rare because I feel like even most celebrities through like a divorce or something nowadays or even in the past, pretty much would stay the same.
Louis Virtel Right.
Ira Madison III You know, maybe not a Madonna or something, but they pretty much stay the same. It feels like she had different eras, like every two years.
Louis Virtel Yes, definitely. I mean, and I think that’s apparent in her movies to just the yeah, the size of movies. She would take the the genre as she would get into it said, you know, a movie we did not bring up when we were discussing her last week. That I guess is one of her definitive movies, Wanted.
Ira Madison III I love Wanted. Those carbon bullets.
Louis Virtel I remember believing in James McAvoy. I remember those days.
Ira Madison III But with you was with Johnny. You know, it was interesting that she noted that they were together and then they broke up before before they were married. She was together with him, and then they broke up. And that’s when she had her lesbian era. And then they got married after that, but then still stayed friends after that, too. So they’ve been through some break ups and getting together. And I’m always very fond of people recirculating back in life to a partner that they were with years ago.
Louis Virtel Oh, no. I mean, like the Ben and J.Lo thing is spiritually satisfying. I say this not as like a mega fan of either of them. There’s just something that is amazing about it. I also do think she was scared off women for good because I assume that was when she made the movie Gia, and that’s when I assume she worked with Faye Dunaway. And I think that’s probably when she said, I actually never need to meet a woman again. I want to know Angelina’s Faye Dunaway in drama. That’s what I want to know. I don’t think we ever got that story.
Ira Madison III Angelina Jolie really wants to work with female directors, but she hates women thanks to Faye Dunaway. So she said, I will be the female director.
Louis Virtel Yes. First They Killed My Love of Women, is the name of the movie. Yes. First I Killed My Father is a movie she made, right? Okay. Yes, go ahead. Yeah.
Ira Madison III I would follow Faye Dunaway around. Girl, I wish they’d kill her father.
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. And also, it’s like, where will that take you? Well, one time I saw Faye Dunaway in West Hollywood, and I just, you know, a chill ran up. I think my spine and the whole city spine right at once.
Ira Madison III Someone followed her around, But they had a good constitution for. For that. Yeah, I was thinking about Faye Dunaway recently because there was an interview with Jane Fonda. There was always the joke, you know, like Jane Fonda wouldn’t take a movie, you know, because then like, the second choice or something would be Faye Dunaway.
Louis Virtel Right. They competed for roles for a long time. Yes. Jane always says she wishes she had gotten Bonnie and Clyde, for example. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yes. But I believe that she had said something about either like net work or something that like she was never, like, considered for that at all. Seriously. So it wasn’t like Faye Dunaway was the second choice when it was written for Jane.
Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Oh, got it.
Ira Madison III I might be thinking of the wrong movie. But she was defending. She was defending Faye Dunaway’s honor.
Louis Virtel Oh, I see. They in that play about Sue Mengers, the the rabid Hollywood agent, where there’s really nothing to that. Yes. Because in that play, that character talks about how both of them were up for Chinatown and eventually Faye Dunaway got it. Yes.
Ira Madison III Chinatown. Yes. Mm hmm. Yeah. Jane in Chinatown would have been good.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Though that character really requires not just mystique, but something like actually unhinged. And let me tell you, those are the two things Faye Dunaway has, So that’s fair.
Ira Madison III And you know what? As much as young Jane Fonda was sexy. I think she was more sweet and sort of cute. Almost. Girl Next door tree. Woman next door. Before the Hanoi Jane stuff. So I don’t think that she had that sort of like, raw, nasty sexuality that fades unaware.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Even when she’s in, like, Klute, it’s like this hyper articulate, you know, kind of like the Ivy League girl or something. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. Faye Dunaway went to a community school.
Louis Virtel And the community should be jail if you know what she’s done.
Ira Madison III Okay, so this movie.
Louis Virtel Oh, yes. A haunting.
Ira Madison III Haunting in Venice. You know what? I like the hell out of this movie.
Louis Virtel First of all, I really liked it. Second, most definitely most improved Kenneth Branagh. I mean, if we’re going for a murder on the Orient Express, I hated Death on the Nile. I thought it was like, a little bit better. But also, unlike those two movies, this one is less obsessed with one seeming lavish because both, by the way, both those movies, even though they’re very expensive, look cheap. And then secondly, they’re like their primary objective is to, like, give 2 minutes apiece to all of the ensemble famous actors, and then they all add up to nothing and just, you know, Poirot solves that. We move on with our lives. This one, it gets to just be a spooky, fun, kind of Scooby-Doo style mystery. And then, although there are famous actors in it, nobody you don’t feel like anybody is like gunning for, you know, caricature of the year. And this in this movie. It just gets to be a fun little mystery with a lot of thunder and stuff.
Ira Madison III Well, fuck Tina Fey.
Louis Virtel Here’s the thing about Tina Fey in this movie. I’m not going to call it a brilliant performance, but I liked it in a high school acting way. You know, the accent that comes and goes. But she’s like super game for it. I did have a question about that role. Do you think you wanted Phoebe Waller-Bridge and she couldn’t do it.
Ira Madison III I could definitely see that.
Louis Virtel Doesn’t that seem right?
Ira Madison III Yeah, because. Because Tina Fey just seems very American. It seems very America sort of out there. Honestly, the Tina Fey outfit ever kept making me think whatever I would see commercials for it. I kept thinking it was the commercial for Haunted Mansion because I would think that Tina Fey would be in Haunted Mansion. Yeah, she’s running magic.
Louis Virtel No, I don’t believe so.
Ira Madison III Okay. But she seems more ripe to be in a haunted mansion than she would be in a Kenneth Branagh Agatha Christie adaptation right now.
Louis Virtel Right where she’s playing a sort of exotic, you know, period piece woman. Whereas everything about Tina Fey belongs to the 21st century.
Ira Madison III Yes. Yes. I kept expecting her to make jokes about cheese. Yeah, Or about her iPad. Yeah, but Google Google Maps took forever to get me to your place. And bizarre. But otherwise, I thought all the actors were perfectly cast and they were very much actors who were falling into their roles and not having sort of a big enough champagne to fill the Nile moment like Gal Gadot. Which, you put Gal Gadot down in your movie, and then you keep her alive that fucking long. But we’re just waiting for her death to happen so the story could get started. That really put a damper on Death on the Nile.
Louis Virtel Yeah, definitely. Well, also, the original adaptation of Death on the Nile in the seventies, while lots of fun performances in it so overlong. They could have cut down that movie and this movie so much.
Ira Madison III The actor who really vanished in this role for me was Jamie Dornan. I just feel like Jamie Dornan has been so he was so associated with those fucking 50 Shades movies that it was nice to see him disappear into something else. Like he felt like an actor again in the way that he’d felt when he did The Fall.
Louis Virtel Yes. Which we, of course, love.
Ira Madison III Yeah. And then those three movies just sort of like, made him feel like, Who are you? Yeah. Right. Never see him again. Correct? Maybe. Right. And this reminded me that he’s a really good actor.
Louis Virtel Also, of course, Michelle Yeoh is in this movie. She gets the most to do in a short ish role, though. I think she is a lot of fun.
Ira Madison III She turns it out.
Louis Virtel Yes. No, she’s like, frightening and possessed and holds your attention. It’s like this is, if anything, you just wanted like three or four more scenes from her, but she really turns it out in this movie.
Ira Madison III Honestly, in a this year where I feel like there’s so little coming out, a supporting actress nom for Michelle Yeoh for this movie, she earns it.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Oh, no. It’s a very, very fun performance. And I will say about these movies, I think the one thing I’m still struggling with and the thing that kind of makes you forget to look forward to these movies are the potential of these movies is that there is an X factor missing from Kenneth Branagh’s performance. It’s not that the it has it doesn’t have enough character like he’s got the good Belgian accent. The look of him is great. It’s just lacking like a droll ness or a, you know, something signature and old fashion that we love about Agatha Christie. And also, by the way, as a director, we still have the same fucking problems he brings to these movies, which is, Can this man stop with the fucking close ups and the fucking tilted camera every goddamn shot?
Ira Madison III The beginning of this movie started, and I was like, Did he just leave the fucking camera on the ground and go to lunch? Why am I staring at people’s noses? It’s like you are looking for a cocaine on Taylor Swift. No.
Louis Virtel Every shot is like. It’s like, pointed down at people’s foreheads. It’s like it makes no sense. It also makes it look so cheap, Like you’re. You’re angling down on people’s faces so we don’t see that there’s no sweat behind them or something. You know what I mean? Like it. It’s those moments that make the movie look cheaper than it is. I’m sure these are like somewhat pricey movies. It’s in fucking Venice or it appears to be in Venice. By the way, the best movie Ever set in Venice, Summertime by David Lean, starring Katharine Hepburn. If you haven’t seen that great movie.
Ira Madison III I think that you’re absolutely right on about Kenneth Branagh as Poirot, because what made the knives out movies so interesting to people and sort of reinvigorated a whodunit sort of sensibility for audiences. It’s Daniel Craig’s performance as Ben Roy Blunt. You know, it’s always been, you know, seen Columbo. I’ve seen Magnum, P.I., You know, there’s always even Veronica mars. There’s there’s there’s always something to the performance that hooks you and lets you know who this person is. Right? And I just feel like. There is nothing really distinctive about Hercule Poirot in these films besides the fact that he is over it. Each film seems to have started with him wanting to get away from it all. Yeah.
Louis Virtel In a James Bond-y way, which we’re always sick of that too, when James Bond’s doing. Yeah.
Ira Madison III It doesn’t seem like that much happened on Death on the Nile as compared to anything else for him to be like. You know what? I really got to get away from it all. And I get that that is a character arc to get him to where you need him to be at the end of the film and sort of the impetus for Tina Fey’s character even approaching him. But it feels very artificial.
Louis Virtel Yeah, completely. You’re just like, Let’s get past this part. These movies aren’t that long. You’re wasting too much time on this, right?
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel But yeah, definitely his best one yet. And by the the Metacritic score. And of course, Metacritic is where we go to look up movie scores, right everybody? Is definitely it’s the highest rated one It’s it’s barely in the green it’s in the sixties but I would for a light entertainment that is you know not trying to win the Palme d’Or I thought it was perfectly adorable.
Ira Madison III I was at the bookstore before I saw the film and truly overheard two people who work there discussing the film. They hadn’t seen it yet, but someone said, No, I heard A Haunting in Venice is actually good.
Louis Virtel That’s the level of. At least the bar is set where it should have been because he because he cleared it.
Ira Madison III Honestly, kind of s to start a film franchise and have one of them be abysmal. Yeah, but make enough money to make a second one, which is campy and fun and people are excited to see it and then make a third one that’s actually pretty competent and good, right?
Louis Virtel You know, it’s a little like Twilight or something in that way, you know, like, oh, by the third one, it got a little good, you know what I’m saying? That’s sort of what I would compare it to. Yeah, it also, yeah. Again, it’s you don’t feel like there are any wasted performances like in Murder on the Orient Express. It’s like we drafted Judi Dench for this. Like let her live in the Abbey she belongs in or whatever, like Penelope Cruz and, like, What are you doing here?
Ira Madison III Honestly, I even teared up a little at the Meet Me in Saint Louis monologue.
Louis Virtel Oh, that was very, very cute. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah, that was well done. That felt like a piece of writing.
Louis Virtel Right, right, right, right. Also, I love that it’s an unexpected choice of an Agatha Christie adaptation. Like, my instinct would be, oh, he’ll do Evil Under The Sun next. But I like how he’s picking these, like, lesser moments and turning them into movies. That’s I mean, like, Agatha Christie is so readable, Like, we should be seeing different underseen titles in these in theaters.
Ira Madison III Yeah. All right. Well, we’ve got quite an episode this week, first of all. The icon. The legend. Superstar. Symone.
Louis Virtel Oh my gosh. I have to tell you, I think I’ve talked about this before. I have sometimes a short memory for Drag Race or like, you have to like, show me the YouTube clip again to show me the slide someone did or whatever. Symone, one of the few people ever where I remember the first time I saw her when she was performing Pleasure Principal and the gobsmacking hilarity and star power she brought to just that initial performance. I have never met her before. She’s always around L.A.. I’m so excited to talk to her today.
Ira Madison III We’re also going to play a game this week, Louis. It’s called Two Truths and a Liar.
Louis Virtel And go ahead. Meaning what?
Ira Madison III The liar is Hasan Minhaj.
Louis Virtel Oh, yes. Where are the two truths? Sounds like there weren’t. It sounds like there wasn’t one truth.
Ira Madison III We’re going to talk about the controversy surrounding Hasan Minhaj, his series Patriot Act. Some of his stand up performances and The New Yorker article that revealed it all. Also, Drake is getting in fights with Halle Berry, and I do not know why, but we’re going to talk about that. And the album covers that may be a little bit more iconic than his cover for a song called Slime You Out. And I’m I’m sure you don’t even want me to describe what that means.
Louis Virtel Yeah, I am not confused about it. And I wasn’t thinking about it, so.
Ira Madison III [AD]
Ira Madison III Last week, a story in The New Yorker exposed Hasan Minhaj from making up several stories in his stand up, which wouldn’t really be a big deal if it didn’t involve an anthrax scare or being almost assassinated by the Saudi government. How do we think this matters? Or is this just comedians being comedians?
Louis Virtel I will say this. It does feel incredibly I’m sorry, we don’t have another word for lame yet. I’m just going to say lame. I’m sorry to complain that a comedian lied to you.
Ira Madison III He’s just going to light you up.
Louis Virtel I know. I know. I know. But like to be like. I can’t believe he would exaggerate. Of course you can believe that when a comedian is onstage, you know? You know, it’s not like you come away from a show afterwards being like, Journalistically, I need to tell my friends what this person’s life was like or whatever. It’s like, No, you remember the jokes they told, etc.. That said, it does feel incredibly telling that he would lie one repeatedly and to lie involving members of his family. I’m just saying, when this child of his grows up and has to tell, has to like be asked about going to a hospital because of an anthrax scare, is that person expected to lie on his other dad’s behalf? You know, like to rope in your loved ones into the lie. That does seem a bit concerning.
Ira Madison III Reminds you a bit of James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, that memoir that was completely fictionalized.
Louis Virtel And Oprah was a bit duped.
Ira Madison III She was duped. I.
Louis Virtel Speaking of Poirot.
Ira Madison III Feel duped. Honestly, classic episode from episode of Oprah. What you need to know about this if you are not familiar with the story, is James Frey wrote a memoir called A Million Little Pieces, and it was about alcoholism. It was about, you know, being arrested. It was how he’d lived a life. The book was about that and how he came back from the brink. And it was one of the one of the first picks, I feel like for or at least an early one for Oprah’s book.
Louis Virtel Club, right in the mid 2000s.
Ira Madison III Oprah touted this book everywhere. You know, in the 2000 when Oprah had her book club, that it was like, Jesus Christ, who is dying.
Louis Virtel So it’s like Giorgio Moroder remixing something over there.
Ira Madison III There’s always some. It was, ah, I live next to a hospital. Some bitch is always dying. In the 2000s, it might not seem like anything now with a Oprah’s Book Club sticker on a book or get a racist book club. But Oprah started the celebrity Book club. Shit. If Oprah had her stamp of approval on a book. Bitches were buying it.
Louis Virtel It was like the only book in existence for certain people. Yes. Correct.
Ira Madison III Especially as as people who worked at bookstores.
Louis Virtel Oh, please. Not so. They would come in demanding.
Ira Madison III Absolutely. Yes. Whereas that. Yes. And Todd, also my last hire. Yes. The entire front display would be nothing but that fucking book.
Louis Virtel Absolutely right. It was like because then people would have their own book clubs and that would give them an impetus to get and they would be discussing it. You know, it was almost like pyramid scheme level, like Oprah would just say something that it would trickle down to the suburbs.
Ira Madison III Oprah started MLM. You’re kidding me, right? Basically, she rode hard for this book and for James Frey. And then when it turned out that he had fabricated many elements of his life, she Welcome to my parlor. Set the spider to the fly. She invited him onto her show to drag him to hell.
Louis Virtel And also, man, is she intimidating in certain circumstances? I don’t need to remind our listeners of when she told Lindsay Lohan to cut the bullshit. All I know is if I were Lindsay Lohan, I would be cutting the bullshit. So I know Oprah has a power that I can only describe as speech team. You know, like, when like, like every word matters. And you’re gonna listen to listen to it come out of my mouth and you will be inspired by it. But if you come too closely, will be terrified by it, too.
Ira Madison III Yeah. It’s like the entire Keke Palmer Angela Bassett scene at the end of Akeelah in the Bee.
Louis Virtel Yes, precisely. Yes.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel Now, here’s the thing. When it comes to whether comedians should be truthful about everything that happens to them or how truthful they need to be, whatever I have to say, I can’t think of too many instances where I’ve watched a comedian and they’ve told a farfetched story, and then I’ve even thought about it for 2 seconds afterwards, or minded whether or not it was real. So in a way, I can’t in good faith be like they shouldn’t say exaggerated things or whatever, because I just don’t know that viewers care or it’s that important. I think it’s just a matter of if you malign somebody or if you, again, are dragging people in. Said the lie. Who then would have to back it up on their own accord, namely your family members? That’s the part that I find very strange.
Ira Madison III Listen, if you were writing a book, a memoir about someone in your family who’s dead, sort of the fuck you want about them.
Louis Virtel Please. Yeah.
Ira Madison III You know, they can’t fact check it.
Louis Virtel Yeah.
Ira Madison III But I feel like involving the FBI. Yeah. Involving the Saudi government with a timeline that completely does not match up. And it’s also the. It involves the death of a prominent journalist who a lot of people care about. And that was a pretty big news story. If you say you were sitting with the sultan. You need to be sitting with the sultan, okay? Like you, you can’t be like if it happened months before, you then can’t just say, well, I messed up the timeline so that it would seem like that happened at the same time. Which is interesting because. If you made a film later, like a biopic about Osama Nash’s life and you did that, some people might point out the inconsistencies, but. You get much more creative license when you’re making a film that’s fictionalized, a fictionalized depiction of someone’s life. Right. I think what happens when you’re doing standup or you’re doing a show like the Patriot Act and you’ve been presented as this person who presents the news and your reactions to it. There is no understanding that things in the story might be fake or might have been stretched for dramatic effect. There’s even a notice like that before biopics, right? If there were as a sort of disclaimer that some things were stretched for story purposes, then that might make a bit more sense. But there isn’t really that. And so that I think is where people are sort of angry when it comes to that, because comedians in general, I think generally, if you’re going to see stand up and a comedian is making a joke, I take most jokes with a grain of salt. Yeah, right. You know, a joke about your break up, something your girlfriend said, something your ex-boyfriend said, something your parents said to you. You can exaggerate that. Or if it was an uncle, you can make it your dad. You do whatever you know, It’s just comedy. I think that Hasan Minaj was in a different genre of comedy than that.
Louis Virtel Right, right, right. Also, one of the things he did was he blurted out a picture of a woman he used to date and fabricated a story about her. And then people traced it to her. And she she, in recounting this, said she and he invited her to the show to watch this. And he thinks, yes, right. But she didn’t go to the parlor. Yeah.
Ira Madison III He tried to set her up.
Louis Virtel Right. I mean, like the nature of these lies, like the grandeur of them, I mean, bringing up the Saudi situation, whatever. It does remind me of I always say this. Everybody in their life is entitled to meet one serious liar. You know, like you have a coworker or whatever. And it’s just the kind of person where eventually you and nine other people have a meeting and compare notes and realize it doesn’t add up. And where is this person coming from? And what’s with all these unforced errors where they brought up all these crazy things? That is the level of lying I think is going on here.
Ira Madison III Hmm. Yes. Because there’s there’s there’s someone who tells a lie of convenience. And there are some people who just sort of, you know, help themselves with embellishing things. I mean, listen, I feel like whenever you are telling a story, particularly at brunch or you’re telling it to your friends, you always got a pillow sauce on it.
Louis Virtel All right. Well, you got to make it entertaining.
Ira Madison III To tell an interesting story. Mm hmm. But then there’s people who are truly a fucking mystery. I want to tell you the story about my friend E.J. in New York. We had an afters at his place once we left the bar past Casablanca. There’s this funny moment where there was a limo outside of the bar, and the. The guy who drove it offered to drive us to Brooklyn. It was apartment and splitting it. We all paid about $10 each. So it was I was like, Why do that? Why? So we’re like, like an Uber. We can just take the limo.
Louis Virtel Precisely.
Ira Madison III This girl may be a drag queen. Maybe someone trans? Not really sure, but this girl gets into the limo with us, and we all think that someone else in the limo knows them.
Louis Virtel Oh, my God. This should be the next Branagh mystery. All right, This is so exciting.
Ira Madison III They come to the actors and talking to everyone, and at a certain point, we all realize no one knows who this bitch is. Oh, God. Then they ceremoniously get up and badass from the apartment, and they’ve been found out.
Louis Virtel Amazing. After she gets into the charcuterie, she like mosies on out.
Ira Madison III But it was really a situation of telling each person in the room separately that they knew a different person in the room. Yeah. Oh, I’m Iris breath. Oh, I’m Egypt’s friend. Like, Oh, I’m. They’re on their friend. And all of us were when they were with Sheila, we were all comparing notes like, Who was that bitch? I thought you knew her. I thought you knew her. That is fun.
Louis Virtel I want to see the ensemble poster for this movie, and it’s called Who Was That Bitch? And you’re all you have, like, looks askance all over the poster. Do you know where? I think if you want to look up comedian’s line, I think where you need to check is their books. Because, by the way, that’s the point of celebrities. Are comedians releasing books as they’re telling wild stories about their past and, you know, adding jokes or whatever. That is where I feel like they have to embellish. I’m talking about, look, I don’t I don’t want to make a formal accusation. But others say the kind of book I’m referring to is books by Chelsea Handler. Are we sure she’s got some wild story on some cruise ships and stuff? I just don’t know if that was ever verified.
Ira Madison III You mean she didn’t really go to Uganda?
Louis Virtel Uganda be kidding me with these lies.
Ira Madison III Nobody better fact checking my book. That’s all I gots to say.
Louis Virtel It hasn’t even come out yet.
Ira Madison III That’s all I gots to say.
Louis Virtel Yeah, All right.
Ira Madison III Well, that’s all I got to say, I will be. I will be Julie Chen answering questions about her book and Les Moonves. Ira, did you make up this story about your childhood? That’s not what we’re here to talk about.
Louis Virtel Let’s move on to another conversation.
Ira Madison III I want to talk about the Lord.
Louis Virtel Wait, did she do that on this press tour? She has a book.
Ira Madison III Have you not seen?
Louis Virtel I know.
Ira Madison III First of all, she has a book called But First, God.
Louis Virtel Which is unbelievable. First of all, just to explain, Julie Chen on Big Brother often says, but first, while transitioning from one scene to another while narrating the show, she also apparently has fallen in with the Lord over the past couple of years, whatever that means. You know, it’s a it’s been a tough time in the Moonves household. God comes into play. Anyway, the book is called But First, God, which is so funny.
Ira Madison III She discusses on Good Morning America with Juju Chang, who by the way, a great reporter. Oh, yeah. Juju presses her. She is asking about the Les Moonves allegations and the fact that Julie brings them up in the book and talks about how traumatizing it was to have to explain things to her son. And she explains that julie Chen was a different woman. And Julie Chen Moonves is a woman of God who wants to help others. And, you know, she says, Julie Chen, people might have seen her as, you know, a little vain, a little superficial, maybe gossiped a bit too much. But Julie Chen Moonves. As a woman who cares about people. And truly, there’s a moment where Juju asks about the Les allegations and oversight. Whitney talking to Diane Sawyer. I kid you not. Julie Chen smiles. A little joker smile still says. That’s not what we’re here to talk about.
Louis Virtel Frightening. Love it. That’s not what we’re here to talk about. Wow. Real journalist-y spend, too, you know.
Ira Madison III But if you want to ask about that and then she gives some can answer.
Louis Virtel Which is interesting, because from time to time, Julie Chen will surprise you with a I don’t know, I don’t want to say candid answer, but like, she’ll get into it. She’ll like trash, you know, contestants on Big Brother in terms of what gameplay they’ve done or something, she’s not always like entirely objective. That said, when it comes to this, she’s been particularly cagey.
Ira Madison III I mean, she did just call Bowie Jane on this season an NPC, a non playable character.
Louis Virtel Which by the way.
Ira Madison III Bowie Jane get in the game.
Louis Virtel By the way NPC is now something we just call people in regular life. Like I have friends in San Francisco who are always like, Oh, we’re not going to their place. Those people are NPCs and I just want to say that is such a fucking rude insult. It is basically saying these people have no reason to exist. Like, it’s almost too nasty for me. And I would basically say that kind of thing about other people.
Ira Madison III Almost? Who. What did you say last weeek about, Someone brought it up in the Youtube comments? But they were like, Wow, way harsh, Louis.
Louis Virtel It could have been anything.
Ira Madison III But that, I, actually, that was my favorite things is when you are really angry about something and you have just an aside or you’re like, Well, people who do that are fucking losers.
Louis Virtel Oh, that’s right. I remember I was say pining, what losers on the internet. But to which I would say I also am on the Internet. I am a pioneer myself. I don’t mean to say I. I’m not among the community. I don’t do it as well as some of them do. That said.
Ira Madison III I’m a Chris Piner.
Louis Virtel Oh, I see, Remember him? I did enjoy him from time to time. I guess he’s still around.
Ira Madison III Honestly, SHanta Parasuraman, who’s an actress on Most Wanted on CBS. I’m hope I’m getting your name right. Shanta. I love you. She tweeted at Disney today. My girlfriend was making fun of the guy picketing in front of us and white saddle shoes and khaki capris. And lo and behold, later we realized it’s Chris Pine.
Louis Virtel Wow. Wait, describe that outfit again.
Ira Madison III White saddle shoes and khaki capris.
Louis Virtel Wow. He was. He was on holiday that day. Jesus.
Ira Madison III With a tucked in blue dress shirt.
Louis Virtel Wow. Do you know what just came to mind? The way people dressed in heaven in the movie What Dreams May Come. That is what popped to mind. Maybe I have a condition. Why would I think about it?
Ira Madison III Actually, Chris Pine is an actor that I would love to follow around for three years.
Louis Virtel Yes, sure. You know what, though? Okay. I hate when people get the Chrises confused. I literally was about to say he was so good in the Ghostbusters reboot. That was Chris Hemsworth. That’s my favorite Chris Hemsworth performance.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Remember when he was doing comedy and not starring in Black Hat?
Louis Virtel Right. Yes, yes, yes, yes, Black hat. I did that, too. Viola Davis, Remember that? Yes.
Ira Madison III Truly the worst crime Michael Mann has ever committed. Yeah. And I love Michael Mann.
Louis Virtel He has a new movie now. But is that like his last movie?
Ira Madison III Yeah, I think so. I love Michael Mann. And but. But Black Hat was an anomaly.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Too long. Not interesting enough, anyway.
Ira Madison III Actually, not as bad as his worst film, which I would say is Public Enemy. That Johnny Depp monstrosity.
Louis Virtel They shot that all around my hometown. Literally, you’ll go to like, Joliet or it’ll be like, Oh, that’s another scene where they shot Public Enemies. I’m like, Can we stop bringing up this like for on Rotten 41% on Rotten Tomatoes ass movie. I might have weird things we let Marion Cotillard do after she won an Oscar. Very strange.
Ira Madison III I think we probably brought this up on the show, but as I as I said in an interview with someone recently. We’ve done almost 300 episodes of this fucking show. I don’t know what the fuck we’ve talked about.
Louis Virtel No, please. And they’ll keep coming up again. We’re still allies over here, honey. We don’t know what topics have gone through our heads.
Ira Madison III But that was back when. But they definitely shot it when we were in college. When you’re an undergrad, and the only thing I remember about Public Enemy is, is that I met this guy at Roscoe’s and I went home with him and they were shooting. Public Enemies outside of his apartment.
Louis Virtel This was like. So you’re saying this was in the city of Chicago?
Ira Madison III Yeah, in Lincoln Park.
Louis Virtel Bizarre. They’re like, We must get Wrigleyville in the background, otherwise this movie won’t work. Anyway, Hasan Minhaj, weird.
Ira Madison III Liar.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Liar is such a funny word.
Ira Madison III But you know what? I lie too. We all lie.
Louis Virtel I want to say he’s directing a new movie. He is that movie Ferrari that’s coming out soon.
Ira Madison III Adam Driver looks good in it.
Louis Virtel Remember the movie, Annette? We put Adam Driver in that. With Marion Cotillard.
Ira Madison III She really does everything okay. She will do anything except for believe that those planes hit those towers.
Louis Virtel She can act, but not that well.
Ira Madison III I think Adam Driver actually is going to go down as one of our best actors of this current generation. And he makes very good choices. And even when he makes mainstream blockbuster choices, they’re not embarrassing. Kylo Ren. Not not a wholly embarrassing endeavor.
Louis Virtel Right, right, right, right. I mean, I love my favorite Adam Driver movie is the movie Patterson, which I feel like people have totally forgotten about that Jim Jarmusch movie so good and that I thought that was such an impressive performance.
Ira Madison III Were people upset about the blackface, you know, him portraying Sister Patterson on New York’s mother?
Louis Virtel You know what? Those are actually.
Ira Madison III Unrelated. He was not doing that. And great. Yeah, I think he would be great playing New York’s mother.
Louis Virtel This happens all the time, by the way, to 2010’s ,Blackface movie. You know, it’s crazy that people have forgotten.
Ira Madison III Yeah. All right. Well, we’ve said a lot about Hasan Minhaj. Yeah, right. So we’re we’re back. We’ll be joined by a truth teller, Symone.
Ira Madison III Our gorgeous guest today has descended from the drag heavens to be here with us and we are thrilled to have her a Drag Race champion, a model, a fashion icon, a founding member of the House of Avalon. Keep It listeners, please bow down today before the Ebony Enchantress herself, Symone.
Symone Hey, bitch. What’s going on?
Louis Virtel Why wasn’t Ebony Entrantress a Saturday morning cartoon I grew up with? Why?
Symone Why? It was really?
Louis Virtel No, I wish it were.
Symone Oh, okay. Well, there was if you think about it, if you think about it real nice and tight, it was, it was.
Ira Madison III I mean, honestly, watching you from Drag Race to now, Avalon TV. I just, you know, like we need a Symone animated series. Either you are fighting crime or it’s sort of a in the hologram situation or whatever. I want to watch it very eighties style. I feel like you could mix that into Avalon TV, which is so fun to me because it’s, you know, your new show on Wild. It is you know, the whole House of Avalon gathered together and it really feels sort of like Nickelodeon Round House or something or All That vibes. There’s just different sketches and moments. Yeah. Reality mixed into it. How did this come about?
Symone Well, we’ve always been those divas. We were like, you know, I feel like we should be on TV. You know, we’re just crazy, you know what I mean? And everyone should be able to experience that. And we, all of us have our own kind of love and genres of television that we love. And so this is like our way of being like, hey, we want to exploit television, darling. And so WOW came to us, it was after the wind. And they started just being like, Hey, we want to film you guys. And then it started with them just filming us. And then we were kind of like, Hey, we want to. Kind of infuse our real life, but also do all the things that we love about television. So we have sketches. We have a little bit of a talk show moment in there starring me. It’s got too, I’m the host, darling. It is on tonight with Symone. And we have we tend we do have kind of our own version of we call it drag ass styling. So we’re all in Ireland couture month and we do. But the fine little. I can’t tell you. You have to watch it. But we do fun little challenges that are nice and nice and fun. And this is it’s just an amalgamation of everything that we love about television, you know? So it just kind of came from us being followed by the some, by the TV and the production. And then we were like, Let’s just do more. Why can’t why not do more? And it just kind of all came together like that.
Louis Virtel I think something that’s awesome about this is it just says something about your relationships with these people. Like I’m learning a lot about how you guys communicate and what you guys are into and why you guys inspire each other. Is there something about these relationships that you really want broadcasted? Like what do you want people to take away from seeing all you guys working together?
Symone I don’t know. I think we’re kind of in a very interesting time and in the world, and I think all we just wanted was says everyone to have fun with us. You know, we, we, we love each other deeply. And we’ve been as the core five of us have been around for ten years. All of us have been together ten, ten with me and then a little bit more with everyone else. But we just wanted to give some levity, some light, some love and laughter to everyone. And I think we just want everyone to have fun with us. We have fun and we just wanted everyone to see that and see what a family, a chosen family is like, you know? And I don’t know, I’m just excited for everyone to just just see what we do behind closed doors that went through this party and all those types of things. But, you know, we are a real family and we there’s of there’s downs, but it’s all fun. It’s all fun. And we and it’s deep, real love. So I’m just excited for everyone to see that in the light.
Ira Madison III I feel like even though I moved to New York from L.A., I see you all the time, girl. You’re everywhere. And I’m always seeing you at The Boom Boom Room.
Symone And I love The Boom Boom. I like to meet them boom ball. Okay. And every time I tell everybody, every time I come to New York, I get in trouble because I’d be going over there and it’s the boom room. And then we go to Hell’s Kitchen and we go down there. We go over there, and Brooklyn is just too much. We be doing too much. I love New York. New York is there’s a different type of energy in there. It’s L.A., You know, L.A. is more chill, more relaxed. But when you go over this in New York, baby, you can find anything, any and everything you own. And I’ve been doing, I’ve been trying to find it, chile. We try to find every bit of it.
Louis Virtel I do have to say I would normally not defame L.A. this way, but I feel like when you go out in New York at night, you can’t make a bad decision. Like everything has a vibe. You know what I mean? Whereas L.A. loves being vibe less. That’s just the truth of the matter.
Symone Vibe less. And listen, I love you, L.A. I live here. This is my home now. But you can go to new York and you can catch whatever you want. Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that.
Ira Madison III Within reason. Yes, within reason. I can’t shoot like you got it. The clinics right up the street on 7th Ave. You know I’m good. I’m good.
Symone But that’s what I love. I love it. It’s just so fun. And you can and I have. I’ve cultivated a group of good friends there, and. And anytime I go over there, I can call them up, be like, Hey, I’m here for my time in time. They come here, you know, it’s just it’s just different, but it’s really fun. Hey, we have there, though. We never die.
Ira Madison III Well, speaking of birthday, I’m living in LA. Speaking of you visiting New York, it’s usually for fashion events. And what I find so interesting is, you know, you came on the show and you had all these iconic looks and now we see, you know, you work with Marco, who is in the house of Avalon with you. And I want to know about you working within fashion, but also coming from, you know, a house where you can have pieces created for you. Do you like playing in other like labels in fashion, or do you prefer to, you know, to wear custom pieces that are for you? Like, what’s your relationship with the fashion world as it’s developing since you’ve one?
Speaker 5 Oh, my God. I love I love it all. I love it. I love being able to wear other people’s art. I think that’s really fun and like finding your own personality in there, you know, like they everyone has a vision of when they make something, but it’s fun to take what they have created and be like, Oh, how do I make it Symone, darling? How do I get how to put my own little spin on it? But, you know, I also love a custom moment because, you know, it’s all I, I love being like, Hey, I have this idea. And then I’ll work with Marco and with Grant and be like, how? And then they’ll put their spin on it and be like, Hey, we need to do this, and you should put this on into the. It’s just really fun to be collaborative in that way. Well, I love it all. I think it’s all very fun and it’s all you know, listen, I’m like you said, I’m from Arkansas, so being able to watch it as when I was growing up and getting into drag and being like, this is kind of what I want to do with my drag. And then you start your fingers I want and then they all want, and then they’re all asking me to come to their shows and see it. And where there’s stuff. It’s very it’s humbling in a way. And I love it. And and getting to know these people and, you know. I don’t know. It’s just it’s a dream come true. And being able to cultivate those relationships and keep them going and, you know, grow them, be still being inspired and then growing with myself, It’s all very fun. It’s over. And I think it’s something that I only dreamed of. And now I get to do it. And now all of us, hopefully in the future we get to do it, too.
Louis Virtel So this is the question I have for all Drag Race alums. But after the show, do you like do you miss competing? And by that I mean, like I say this as a competitive person, like I feel like competition brings something out of me that usually is a good thing, you know, like, Oh, I really brought it, etc., you know? But
Symone I was going to say, does it bring out the dark side in you?
Louis Virtel Certainly, yes. Oh, I think a couple of times. Yeah. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Don’t play a game with Louis. Do not play a game with Louis.
Louis Virtel No Scrabble ends poorly for me often. But. But I feel like, like the interesting thing about Drag Race is that drag was never like that much of a formal competition before. And then on the show, it gave you reason to sort of be tenacious in a different way with the art form. And when you’re not on the show, do you ever miss that?
Symone No. I don’t, I don’t. Going into it, it was a very different mindset for me. Like I did it. I don’t know, Jack. It from me came from just a need to express myself. It wasn’t like I something I need to put like my drag, something I needrd to put against someone else necessarily. So going into it, like I had to be like, Oh shit, there’s how many of us were there? There were 13 of us, I believe. So like, I wasn’t like, got to get it together. Since the competition felt like that, part of it wasn’t necessarily something I missed, but the camaraderie I did love, I did love. And then, of course, winning and those four challenges, That was really fun, too. You know.
Louis Virtel It’s such an amazing season. I mean, even a show that rarely has a bad season. I mean, it’s just an amazing, amazing.
Symone Yeah, it truly and I think also like at the time, you know, like it was COVID was happening and people were at home and we were we were filming it and then like, we were coming on the tail end of everything. So like, it was it’s just I think the whole season’s for all of us. I sometimes to talk to the girls. I was like, We were very lucky in a way. Lucky 13. To like, get what we had at the time. It’s just a very special season, I think, and something we won’t, I won’t say won’t get again. But it just it’s, it’s, it’s. The world was just in a very different place and the way we were. We went on and we had a very unique experience. So I think it translated on screen as well for the good and the bad, you know. So I don’t necessarily miss the competition aspect of it, but I do miss, like getting through every every hour of the day. I do miss that. Hey, ma.
Ira Madison III Yes. Ru listens to us every week so that she or she will definitely hear this.
Ira Madison III Um, my question about the show also is, you know, when you come up with these custom pieces that obviously you come in and you have pieces built for each competition, etc.. What is it like when you are competing and you’re get getting the feeling that maybe I lost this week or maybe I need to step it up the next week, but I already have my piece or whatever I’m going to be wearing for this competition, so it’s not like I can get something new next week. And I think there’s sort of set, you know.
Symone It’s kind of like, this is what I brought this play out. But like, you know, I’m going to be real on this on this podcast because, you know, I got to give you all the real thing where I went into there. I said, you know what? I don’t know what the competitions are going to be. I don’t know what the challenges are going to be, but I know I’m going to look stunning, which they can’t play. I know I’m on that runway. So when I had those moments of doubt or when I knew that, I was like, I didn’t do that great this week, I was like, I can at least say I’m going to go in here and look, I’m really fucking good, you know? But it’s hard because like when you do it, the challenges are the challenges and they’re, you know, like you do a pageant and that’s most of your score, you know, for the week. Like, no matter how good you look, How did you do in the challenge? So it’s not something you can necessarily like fall back on and be like, oh, this is going to get me out of it today. Because, darling, if you weren’t funny, if you weren’t hitting the mark, if you weren’t hitting the dance moves, you’re going to be on the lower end, you know what I mean? But you look good. The cameras will pick up. You look the sparkling sign the aisle and you look great. But you didn’t hit the mark this week. So it’s. It’s nice to know that aspect of it, but it’s like you have to bring it every week. You still have to be like on, you know, they said, we’re looking for the star, darling.
Louis Virtel Also, you were one of the queens were from the jump. You were immediately hilarious. At the top of the podcast, I was talking about how I remember the moment I first saw you when you did the Pleasure Principal and what you did during the performance was so funny. I was with all my friends were just like screaming. And my question is, who did? Who did before you went on the show are like, I understand you’ve been watching Drag Race since you’re like 15 or 16. Who did you find funny? Who were the people that you were like, Oh, yeah, that’s those are my people. Those are the funny people.
Symone Oh, my God. That’s a great question. No one’s ever asked me that. That’s a great question. Um. Okay, so, you know, I grew up watching someone that I always, like go back to to RuPaul, I always think is very funny.
Louis Virtel Still is. RuPaul’s hilarious. Yes.
Symone Yeah, still is very funny. Tyson. I always go back to the men and the men in wigs. And Tyler Perry is a very big one for me because it was like growing up. It was like he was making fun of like the ridiculousness and like growing up to be how it is to grow up and be black. And I took it as the way like I mean, he’s part of our family, the LGBTQ, but I always look it of like, what is it like to be like a black gay kid looking at black culture and like poking fun at it? And so he to me is a very, very big inspiration. And like, of course, he had Madea, who was in drag, though, like, I don’t know, those two people really like the ridiculousness of it all. And like, I love the RuPaul that like he was a black kid who, like, just grew up having to his own beat of his own drum and like, making fun of all the everything, everything, all of it. And like, opening up a different avenue to look at other people and like. Study then. So those were the big two for me, like finding the funniness of it, because, you know, mostly me, I’m a drama girl. So like, I’ll watch, I’ll watch my, my, my dramedies, and I’ll find the humor in that. Well, those are my big two, I think. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Why, girl? Speaking of even the culture that you’re consuming, I feel like one of my favorite looks. Yeah. Was it a B.A.P.S. thing?
Ira Madison III And I. And I think that, you know, I think back to that film, and that was a film that I loved watching so much as a kid, too. Yeah. So, like, what sort of, um, what films and things like did you watch then that culturally, like you love and have inspired you like, like that that you’ve been very excited to replicate in drag? And what ones do you feel like you still haven’t been able to do?
Symone Oh, that’s a great question. That’s, of course, was on the mood board. My favorite movie of all time. I don’t know if this somebody like Gaga or anything. Well, like my favorite movie of all time is Hocus Pocus.
Louis Virtel Sure. Queens like that one. Sure. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Queens love. Queens love. My second grade self just died the wreck. But I would love to. I would. I would love to do a thickening, Winifred. It gets done every year. I would love. That’s like she’s my favorite. I love it. I love it. But I love I did A Different World, with Whitley. Oh, like she was an inspiration for me. Like that voice I.
Louis Virtel Can that show come back in a huge way? I’m sorry. She is. Jasmine Guy is so funny.
Ira Madison III Yes, And looks the same.
Symone I watched. And looks the same. I was interviewing her and she’s like, we didn’t know that that was we thought it was going to be like we didn’t know it was going to be anything. And like, I was watching it, like during the pandemic and being like, this was so funny. Like, I can’t believe my Saturday morning cartoons, if you will. That was my Saturday morning watch. I loved it. I love and what I saw was, oh my God, I was so many things. Soap operas is a huge thing for me. I loved watching the re because to me, like it’s a total polarization of the drama. Like it’s ridiculousness. Like those things are not happening. So like, I loved watching soaps and being like in the drama world in that way. So like, all those things, you know, I would love to do so I would love to go on as even a drag queen just being on there. I would love if they have an episode.
Ira Madison III Honestly.
Symone That would be so fun.
Ira Madison III I feel like I would love to see like sort of a drag inspired soap opera, if only because I feel like the whole point of soap operas in general was, you know, the the glam, you know, you would you would be picked. There would be people dressed to the nines and evening gowns. Yeah. Stuff. And that’s when soaps had the budget. But like, it was all about the exaggeration but culturally now. Yeah. The only place we really get that exaggeration is through drag, which is now on television more and like that exaggeration when you get even like those acting challenges and things on RuPaul and that that is what we used to get right. You know, So probably muted now.
Ira Madison III They’re broke.
Symone Yeah. It’s like, Oh, what do they do? What what are they doing today? Not broke.
Ira Madison III They’re broke, baby.
Ira Madison III That’s not glam. Okay. There is. There is not. There is Nine West. Okay.
Symone That is funny, but you’re not wrong. You ain’t wrong, chile. You ain’t wrong because I remember I look at the little clip, becaue you have to do your research. You know, because I started in the I started I don’t know why I was in high school and I would come home and I would watch Charmed and then I would go to the soap. You know, I would go to the soap channel, you know, the soap. And they would come and, SoapNet, and you would have your soaps. I would watch it from 6 to 8. That was my soap opera block. And then I would go and watch whatever came on that, on ABC, you know, watch Scandal or some shit. But it’s not the thing you write. And I have to go back and watch and research and be like based on this, they used to wear the clothes and the makeup and the hair. So where. I mean, now they straight ironing and getting the stuff from the Rainbow.
Louis Virtel Is there anybody from your season that you’ve gained a really strong relationship with that you maybe were surprised to have like a long term relationship with?
Symone Hmm. I wouldn’t say surprised because I’m a really good judge of character, for the most part.
Ira Madison III Mm hmm.
Symone When love gets involved, we may have a little problem. So far, I could. I could freeze stuff out, but I’m still cool with Kandy. That’s my girl I love. That’s one of the people. Her and her family, The Muses. We are really cool. That’s one of the people. When they come, I go there. They take care of me when they come here, that we take care of them. Mik Of course I got Mik Eyes to.
Louis Virtel One of a kind.
Symone I chill with her anytime I see her. Always it’s a good time. One of a kind, darling. One of a fucking gun.
Ira Madison III Are we allowed to curse? Oh, sure. Yeah.
Symone Oh, okay. Good. One of the fucking time I call her. I still think of her as a rock star. Yeah, I think it does. So let’s see. The rock star and Denali. I talk to her every now and again. So those are the three? I wouldn’t say surprised, and I wouldn’t say surprise. But, you know, after the show, you know, all of us get so busy and we all do our own thing. So I don’t really I don’t really I love ya, but we don’t talk all the time, you know? Yeah, they got my number to call me if they said, Wow, I feel bad. You want to ask me, You got my number, bitch.
Louis Virtel They’re on Instagram. You’re in touch. Yeah.
Symone Exactly, bitch. We follow each other. We see what each other doing.
Ira Madison III Where do you even think you know? Drag. Should be going now. I think that, you know, you had you were such a bright light and lightning rod on that show. And then I think I love, you know, that Avalon TV. I love that, you know, you throw your own parties in L.A.. Yes. But yes. Is there something you still feel like is maybe missing for the community or is like been missing since COVID or something or just what is going on now? Like what what is drag to you right now? And what what else do you want to see from drag?
Symone Oh, my God. I think I don’t know. In a weird way, I think after the pandemic, I kind of had like it was kind of like sort of the canon in a way. I feel like we’re all. I would love to see like a campaign, like a high elevated fashion campaign for a dry cleaner. I think we’ve necessary. I may be wrong. Maybe it’s I don’t know. Somebody tell me something and some, but I have not yet to see that ad necessarily. And I would love to be that way. I would love to be the first candidate. I’ll shoot my shot right now. But I would love to see that. But, you know, I think now after the pandemic, I think people were just in such a. They they wanted it. They wanted it because we’ve got such light and such fun. And like I was saying, our season, we aired during it. And so I think people were just thirsty for that. And I think now we’ve kind of. And to have our tentacles in kind of everything now were in fashion. We’re in television. I would love to see us more in television. I think that would be really outside of competition and that would be really, really fun. But I think now we kind of have our two schools and everything, like we’re on TV, we’re on we’re we’re going to shows. We’re on Broadway now. That would be more fun of that, you know? So I think now we’ve definitely come out of the shadows and and clubs and things like that. But I would love to see us more. I would love to see more of it. I think that now we’ve we’re in it. I would love to see more of us in those spaces and those things and know that we don’t have to take over. But it would be nice that we could have a little bit of a slice, you know, a little bit big of a slice, you know what I’m saying?
Louis Virtel It does carry that. There’s not We were talking at the beginning of the episode about the Kenneth Branagh mysteries. It’s like, why are they’re not all drag versions of some of these movies that are like in theaters? You know what I mean? Like, doesn’t that make sense?
Symone You know what I mean? There. So it does make sense because we’re all we’re actresses in our own way. The whole art form is like sort of an act. So, like, why aren’t there more of those things? You’re right. Why don’t we have an all drag, you know, our style as all have drag housewife? Yeah. Why don’t we have an all drag? You know Top Model? You know what I’m saying? I guess Drag Race is that. Well, you know, why don’t we have on drag soap opera? You know what I’m saying? Why don’t we have those things? Come on, now, let’s get.
Louis Virtel It’s just so fitting. Yeah.
Symone We can do. It’s fitting. We lend ourselves. So we’re already theatrical, darling. Give us. We can read anything. We can become anything. Look at us.
Ira Madison III Yeah. I mean, what else are your other performance aspirations? It’s fun to see you do sketches and things on the show, but, you know, is that in your future, are you, you know, going to train with Lee Strasberg when they’re going to get here? Get you ready yet? I’ll be on the Great White Way or something. Like what? What else do you want to do?
Symone What I, I, you know, I, I love television and I it saved my life. I mean, it was my escape. I would love to do more acting, I think. I’m not saying I’m the best of it all, but I would just love to be kind of what kind of window all those characters were to me and for somebody else. And I would love to be on the screen and just like express and be another character and really delve into that. I think that’s one thing that I got to do Bros, which was really fun, but, um, I just, I would love to do more of that and just explore different characters, explore different worlds and kind of, you know, stretch myself in that way. You know, that’s kind of more of what I would love to do.
Louis Virtel Well, whatever’s happening in the pop culture future, you need to be a part of it because you were such a light on drag race and you are such a light in whatever you do. We are so thrilled to have you here. Thank you so much for being with us today.
Symone Yeah. Oh, my God. I’m so happy to be here. I have to tell you, I’m a big fan.
Louis Virtel Oh, God. Unfortunately, it just went down in my estimation. I was like, somebody has such good taste until today.
Symone Yeah. That’s fucked up.
Louis Virtel You did it to yourself to are like, I’m so sorry.
Symone Yeah. Well, well. You can’t win them all, chile. You can’t win them all.
Ira Madison III You can probably.
Louis Virtel Yeah, that’s true. Historically, you have.
Symone You right. You right.
Ira Madison III Drake has added another name to his list of celebrity beefs. And it’s us.
Louis Virtel The two of us?
Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. After this podcast.
Louis Virtel Oh, I see. I see. Got it.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. I’m gazing into the future like Raven Symonne.
Louis Virtel Oh, right, right, right, right.
Ira Madison III No, He’s currently invoked the fury of Storm herself. Halle Berry is out for Drake’s blood after he used a photo of her getting slimed for his new album cover Slime You Out. His new single with Sza. And before we get into that. The era where we were just slime celebrities.
Louis Virtel We’re talking like a Nickelodeon.
Ira Madison III Yes, I miss it.
Louis Virtel Oh, please. The Kids Choice Awards, The Nick Takes Over Your School sweepstakes, where we thought, like, sliming someone was the ultimate victory. And then you would, I guess, high five. You’re like fifth grade cohort. You know, we just love that shit. The show. You can’t do that on television. The origin story of Alanis Morissette. Yes.
Ira Madison III I definitely fucking applied for Nickelodeon. Takes over your school. Absolutely. Yea, I.
Louis Virtel Thought. I thought it would lead to huge things for my school. I was like, Structural change begins here. That’s what I said.
Ira Madison III But the album cover, basically it has a photo of Halle Berry being slimed. And the reason she’s upset is because he asked for her permission to use the photo and then she said no, and he still used it anyway. So she was upset that he basically asked for no reason.
Louis Virtel Which. Okay, that’s fair. Right, right, Right. I mean, it’s also a somewhat embarrassing photo, I guess. You know, she probably that’s probably not the photo she leads with. You know, if she’s auditioning for something, not the headshot she uses.
Ira Madison III Listen, she better call it Tracy Chapman, okay? Because Tracy Chapman knows how to deal with a rapper who works here.
Louis Virtel Yes. Right.
Ira Madison III Remember when Nicki wanted that sample that she tweeted out about Tracy Chapman, about allowed her to use the sample and Barb started attacking Tracy Chapman, Who are you?
Louis Virtel And also, Tracy Chapman is among the most like kind of timid people ever to exist in pop culture. The idea that Barb’s out after her is crazy. I mean, it’s just like, you know, that was vicious.
Ira Madison III But this album cover, which is whatever, and it’s just a photo of Halle Berry being sly and just not really iconic made me think, What are some of our favorite iconic album covers? And I. Want to take a guess. A conjecture. Uh huh. Hypotheses as to what? Yours.
Louis Virtel Okay. Well, the album I’m thinking of right now, I will say this. It comes from the time of me buying CDs. So. So it’s more modern than old, if that’s okay.
Ira Madison III Oh, because I was thinking. You know what fits, Louis? A woman contemplating a white woman.
Louis Virtel Oh, I know exactly where this is going.
Ira Madison III Barefoot. Sitting by a window.
Louis Virtel Yes, I know exactly the album. Rich Tapestry.
Ira Madison III Yeah.
Louis Virtel It is the Coziest album cover ever. And she’s I mean, I’ve literally said about the album Tapestry that she should have called it Music to Pet a Cat, too. And literally on the cover of that album, she’s catching a cat. Yes, Love that. I mean, it’s like it’s it’s nice. It’s sort of typical of the time, you know, a seemingly relaxed portrait of the artist. I think the best album cover to come out in my CD buying Lifetime and maybe Ever is The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Ira Madison III Hmm.
Louis Virtel Where it’s etched into a desk. And it’s. It’s the kind of desk it is, you know, like an old desk that’s still being used in, like, a classroom, you know, maybe, like, not not a rich high school. And it’s such an awesome portrait of her, too. And also, you forget that that is the the theme of the album. Like, are these interludes of like students talking about themes and stuff. So it just fits it fits right in like your, your it kind of binds the novel of the album.
Ira Madison III Oh, I’ll never forget that. Because I remember you used to be able to pick an album to listen to in our sixth grade math class, and I picked The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. I might have been sixth or seventh grade, but I picked The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. And when the interlude started coming on and the kids realized that besides the two singles that they knew, the rest of the album was not as bumpin as they liked. This absolute bitch in my class, Camille, told me.
Louis Virtel Imagine not being a bitch or being named Camille, by the way. Go ahead.
Ira Madison III Ira, maybe next time pick a different album.
Louis Virtel Wow. In your face. And that. That’s a real origin story shit. Because I find you like, very obsessed with, like, a playlist at a party. And you’re like, I will keep the guest moving. So that kind of is how you became who you are.
Ira Madison III That is. Yeah, I let them down. Yeah. Wow.
Louis Virtel So there’s lots of great I would say I don’t know about danceable songs on the album, but like, you know, you got Final Hour and Everything is Everything.
Ira Madison III Everything is everything. Yeah.
Louis Virtel Every Ghetto, Every CIty, that’s one of my favorite songs in that album.
Ira Madison III Yeah, of course it is.
Louis Virtel What?
Ira Madison III I wish I remembered more about that math class, but I want to know. But. But I wish I remember more about that math class. And I really did try to conjure up that teacher’s name because I do recount that story in my book. But my teacher used to say this thing every morning. She would she would greet everyone and she would say good and have us like, do it with her. Good morning. How are you? And something about I hope you’re having a great day. And if you’re not, that’s okay. It’s about rolling with the punches.
Louis Virtel Oh, she.
Ira Madison III Made us recite that with her every day. Oh, rolling with the punches and they will come.
Louis Virtel Oh, she’s with you on this journey.
Ira Madison III Oh, yeah, she is. She did that with us every day.
Louis Virtel Wow. That reminds me of the morning announcements. Okay, we’ll talk about album covers, I swear. But the morning announcements in high school, they would always end with. And eventually I did do these myself. But you had to be like a junior or a senior to do them. But anyway, they would always end with Have a great day. Or not. The choice is yours. I do. I disagree. I disagree. It’s like that part in the song Hold On by Wilson Phillips where where suddenly they say you got yourself in your own mess. No, I didn’t. What? Stop blaming me. I thought this was like a peppy song.
Ira Madison III I’m loving that as one of your origin stories, though.
Louis Virtel I fucking guess. Yeah, right. Make a great day or not. The choice is yours. Snotty.
Ira Madison III They used to blare because I went to a Jesuit school, and they were very. You know, they were very obsessed with uplift. There was a particular year where every morning I heard Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles, played on the morning, announced, We do not want to hear that every day. I think that’s my sleeper cell song that song plays. I pick up the nearest weapon and I slaughter everyone in the cafe. Yeah.
Louis Virtel No, no, no. Songs that are just the whole point is perky ness. I cannot. I cannot. You better be Carly Rae Jepsen. No One Else Will Do. You almost have to be Canadian. That I know.
Ira Madison III You know, I would say one of my favorite album covers that has stuck with me forever. And this is from like 2000 to The Flaming Lips As You See Me battles the pink Robots.
Louis Virtel That’s from the last era of going to Best Buy and picking albums based on what has a cool album cover. And that is one of the great album covers of that time, certainly.
Ira Madison III Yeah, it’s just gorgeous. I feel like that is an album cover that I would. Either get like a print of to put on my wall or it’s definitely one of the ones where that’s why you buy vinyls or why you buy CDs and used to be and you like to display them. I really miss the CD. But the little CD towers where we used to have a place to display your CD, either spinning around or you slide them in. We really used to have beautiful ways to display physical media.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. No, a CD tower. I mean, like, if you still have a CD tower. By the way, something in your stack is like Bonnie Raitt greatest hits. That’s like the genre of person who has a CD tower or.
Ira Madison III What I used to take to school. Did you ever have a CD binder?
Louis Virtel Oh, that’s all I had. I don’t know if I bought anything else in my life.
Ira Madison III So for the kids listening a C binder was a bizarre, huge ass binder that you carried around multiple CDs. And I think they usually cared about 30 or maybe 60. If you got a bigger one. But you would take the CD out and put it into a sleeve, and then you could also take out the booklet and stick it there too, so you could see the art and remember where the CD was supposed to go when you took it out to use it. Just the fact that I used to carry around 30 to 60 fuckin CDs in my backpack and know.
Louis Virtel Like, like I’m a deejay or something, I would do this all the time. No. Here’s my question. So when you had the CD booklet and the CD binder, would you put the CD behind the booklet or would you put it in front of the booklet in the case?
Ira Madison III I put it in front of the booklet.
Louis Virtel Interesting choice because I feel like the CD case is designed so that you can put the CD there and it won’t scratch it. That said, there is something esthetically pleasing about having the CD in front of the booklet because then you would know if it was taken out or not.
Ira Madison III Follow up question Were you and Adrian Monk like me and organize the booklets alphabetically?
Louis Virtel I didn’t do alphabetically. I usually went by like I remember. I was like, Well, all the Madonna series had to come first and then my second favorite as whether it was Alanis Morissette or Carpenters or something, and then Liz Phair and then Aimee Mann. And then, yeah.
Ira Madison III Alphabetic was very stressful.
Louis Virtel Oh, yeah, that sucks.
Ira Madison III At some point I lost that amount of precision and order in my life, as you all know. But at that point in my life, that is it was it was like a weird tick. And it also gave you something to do each weekend, though, too, because when you would buy a new album, then you would have to take the CDs out and put them in alphabetical order again, because you had to place one in the center.
Louis Virtel Totally. No. Also, my theory is that every CD binder, no matter what size it is, if it’s like one with 12 in it, if it’s one with 72. At the end of it. And this these are all the ones still in existence. At the end of all of them is Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication. I absolutely know that is in every CD binder. I absolutely know it.
Ira Madison III It was in mine.
Louis Virtel That’s what I mean. Everybody are that like they certainly mattered to everybody after years of being like, you know, raunchy. Then suddenly they were like this respectable elder band who sat on the beach and contemplated things near the surf.
Ira Madison III And everyone had. Everyone had Design of a Decade.
Louis Virtel Of course, Runaway is still my favorite Janet Jackson song, which somebody was making fun of me for. I love that song.
Ira Madison III Who made fun of you for liking that song? You tell me. Oh.
Louis Virtel No, I love the cheesy video too, where she’s like, I’m dancing on the Eiffel Tower, too, or whatever.
Ira Madison III Well, but the reason why everyone also. That’s a gorgeous album cover.
Louis Virtel Yes.
Ira Madison III That that’s just that’s just her. It isn’t it her in the white.
Louis Virtel It’s from the.
Ira Madison III In a white dress shirt.
Louis Virtel Yes, yes, yes. I was going to say it’s from the Love Will Never Do video, but it’s not.
Ira Madison III Hmm. But it looks like that. Yeah. Yeah, it looks like that era of her. I everyone had a everyone had Design of a Decade, by the way, because back in the era of CD is a greatest hits album actually used to mean something. It meant that you did not have to go out and buy individual singles or buy multiple CDs to get the songs that you wanted, which were usually just the singles of an artist. So when you bought that, you had multiple songs from an artist on one CD, which was sort of sort of makes no fucking sense now. Right. Even even release one, I guess contractually people still release them. And I like when people release Mariah’s still doing it every anniversary for. Things and like they added remixes and other stuff. But now that songs and albums are on streaming, it sort of loses the luster that it had when you would go and buy someone’s greatest hits CD because also pre Spotify and being able to make mixes if you want it to have like a fun party mix of Madonna songs, for instance, you could just put on the Immaculate Collection, right? Instead of putting on one whole album with songs that people accept for fans now.
Louis Virtel I also want to say Mariah recently it’s the anniversary of Music Box, I think, and she put out a song called Working Hard from that Time and a remix.
Ira Madison III And it’s so fucking good.
Louis Virtel So good. I was I was shocked to hear it. I can’t believe it didn’t make the album. I also want to say about the Immaculate Collection that I think is still one of the smartest decisions Madonna ever made, because one, all of the songs are nearly classic. So you had to buy the album. Also, it was filled with things that were only on movie soundtracks, or so it’s like, Oh, I can’t get into the groove anywhere else, or I don’t want to buy the Dick Tracy soundtrack, so I’ll have to get Vogue here or whatever. And then the classics that would of course, be on the album, like, you know, Open Your Heart or Life’s La Bonita are Like a Virgin or whatever. A Holiday, Lucky Star. She shortened or lengthened them or changed them in some way. So if you like those, you would still maybe be prompted to buy the originals because they weren’t the same versions. That’s one of the, I think, more interesting things she’s ever done.
Ira Madison III It. It’s just very weird to remember the era where if you wanted to listen to a song and you did not have it right, you were not hearing that song.
Louis Virtel No songs were just around us all the time. You couldn’t just pull them from the ether. Yeah.
Ira Madison III Speaking of Madonna, one of my favorite album covers is The Like a Prayer album cover.
Louis Virtel I think that is her best album cover because it’s essential and also very unexpected from her. We hadn’t seen her look like that before, so it was it was the demarcation of a new era for sure. Other album covers. I like Aretha Franklin, Young, Gifted and Black, just a beautiful album cover, Miles Davis, Bitches Brew
Ira Madison III I was thinking about that one. Yeah, the the the the stained colored glass. Yes. Behind her. That’s this. A beautiful album cover.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Miles Davis, Bitches Brew. Fabulous. Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville, which I believe is a Polaroid taken from a club in Chicago. And I for many years did not know she’s sort of making a gesture like opening her mouth. It’s black and white. In the bottom part of the frame. You can see Liz Phair’s nipple is just on the album cover. Like how you look at it. You’re like, That’s definitely a nipple. And I’ve never looked. That’s crazy. Anyway, might be gay.
Ira Madison III Little Kim’s Hardcore album cover, where she’s just perched on that rug and the champagne behind her. Very sexy album cover. You saying Young, Gifted and Black reminded me of the album cover for Roberta Flack’s First Take. Oh, yeah. And she’s got an afro. I think that’s a gorgeous cover. Mm hmm.
Louis Virtel Rolling Stone did a list of 100 best album covers recently. The number one was The Velvet Underground and Nico, which, of course, is just the white background with the yellow Andy Warhol banana on it, which you could, of course, Peel says Peel, but peel back and see on the cover. And I guess.
Ira Madison III Rolling Stone made that list. I know there was no niggas on it.
Louis Virtel Let me tell you something. We’ll get into that momentarily. But Gen-z was complaining like it’s just a banana. It’s like, Oh, my God. Wow. The internet now has to explain art to them. Oh, no.
Ira Madison III That was thee banana. Okay. Yeah, They’re like.
Louis Virtel This is a banana, motherfucker.
Ira Madison III Yeah. Okay. Chaquita. And CHaquita couldn’t even get that banana when.
Louis Virtel She was booked.
Ira Madison III The banana boat. Yeah, it was not on that.
Louis Virtel Day-O. No way.
Ira Madison III It’s just a banana. Shut up.
Louis Virtel Yeah. Don’t get shit. Also, it’s like, can you just wiki it? Can you just look up? Like. Do you think it’s just a banana? Do you think? Do you think they would put it at the top of the list if it were just a banana? Moving on.
Ira Madison III I swear. Gallagher on his most prized possession.
Louis Virtel Yes. Anyway, we’ll get into Rolling Stone momentarily in the Keep It section. Actually, let’s just go to the Keep It section. We’ll we’ll be back in a second. But the next section of our podcast, Keep It, which is called Keep It. We’re on the podcast.
Louis Virtel We are back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s keep it. I have calmed down from when I was just amping up my 20 seconds ago. I’m a more sedate version of myself. We’ll start with Ira’s. Keep It. Ira, what is your keep it this week.
Ira Madison III By Keep it this week goes to Chris Brown.
Louis Virtel I remember him.
Ira Madison III Yeah. He dances. Yep. Or something. Anyway, Chris Brown got upset by.
Louis Virtel That sounds like him.
Ira Madison III Comments. He raised a hand.
Louis Virtel Moving on.
Ira Madison III To the internet. He was upset at Tinashe for her comments about regretting working with him in 2013.
Louis Virtel Well, what did he expect her to say? And above all, I loved working with Chris Brown, the most.
Ira Madison III And his response. Name five Tinashe songs. Let me tell you something. I was very upset with him for dragging Tanashe, but it did take me a few minutes to name 5.
Louis Virtel Minutes. Wow. You really play extra time. I can do that.
Ira Madison III I love Tinashe. Can you?
Louis Virtel Maybe not. I do feel as if Tinashe has been locked and the WeHo pride stage since about 2017. Someone let her out.
Ira Madison III I am a big Tinashe fan and I love her albums and I love her. Current one is called Bebe Angel. Okay, Bebe slash Angel. And the E is a three. There’s a lot going on. It’s very Prince. Yeah, Prince coated.
Louis Virtel Latter Day Prince. Yes.
Ira Madison III Right. But she is one of those artists where some of those song titles were blending together for me. I mean obviously to on and obviously Jealous with Nick Jonas. And then I’m like well Drop My Kitty with Charlie XCX and Cold Sweat Aquarius, All Hands on Deck. I’ve already named more than five, so.
Louis Virtel Right. You’re a scholar.
Ira Madison III I was upset with him for being a bitch. But a funny bitch.
Louis Virtel Right? Hmm. Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm. I was at a party recently, and somebody heard I was really into pop culture, and they go, Well, what do you think of Rihanna? I was like, What do I think of Rihanna? I was like, I can’t even pick a favorite Rihanna song or moment. Like, she’s like, I love Rihanna, whatever. I didn’t understand the tone of what he was saying. If he was about to get into the Super Bowl performance or what. And then he goes, this guy goes, I don’t know this person, by the way. He goes, Well, what do you think? Don’t you think she’s a terrible role model? And I was like a terrible role model. Like, what are you talking about? And he goes, Well, then she get back with and I literally stopped him right there. I was like, You need to actually just stop talking to me. I was like, I don’t really people out here thinking about Rihanna in that context. Sorry, I haven’t thought about Chris Brown in a long time, nor have I thought about this fucking dude. So yeah, I was blown away. There’s some sexist people out there. Anyway.
Ira Madison III I hear you like pop culture. What do you think of Mean Girls? Yeah.
Louis Virtel I mean, I would have preferred that conversation. I was. I can rank the cast members from that.
Ira Madison III Don’t you think Tina Fey is a bad role model? I also. I also have a side comment. It’s not a full Keep It, but I do want to say I tweeted this too, that if you were the less hot partner of a celebrity that the Internet loves, you might as well just go and kill yourself because that’s how people are mean as hell about people’s boyfriends and girlfriends. Oh, for no fucking reason. You know, like the internet recently found out who Ayo Edebiri was dating and, you know, this white comedian and. People were going in on him for no other reason that he is dating a celebrity that they like. And damn, he didn’t expect all that. It’s like if you’re already a celebrity, you don’t want to log on to the Internet, Right. And see what people are saying. But now you can’t even date a celebrity and log on. Right, right.
Louis Virtel Right, right. They are. That is tough. By the way, I love Iowa. How is this person not been on Keep It, yet? Anyway. I do sometimes complain about people who have not been on this show.
Ira Madison III The strike, Girl.
Louis Virtel That’s right. Oh, yeah, that. Well, we’re still in it. I would love to work.
Ira Madison III And we had honestly, I’m not going to say who because we’re going to rebook them, but we had a guest booked for truly the week of the strike. A gifted actress who we love and we bring up on this show all the time. And I’m devastated. The strike has affected me personally now.
Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Right now, I’ve been thinking of you throughout this entire experience. Certainly.
Ira Madison III Thank you.
Louis Virtel Shall I get to my Keep It?
Ira Madison III Yes.
Louis Virtel My Keep It this week goes to Jann Wenner, co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine, which we just brought up, and also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Except he is now no longer a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s been kicked out of it. He has this new book called The Masters, where he interviews people he deems philosophers of rock. And this extends over many decades. He’s obviously worked in the entertainment business a long, long time. Interviews include Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Mick Jagger, Pete Townsend, Jerry Garcia, Bono and Bruce Springsteen. You may have noticed those philosophers of rock have something culturally in common. It’s a little bit white. And when he was challenged about this, he says that no women or black artists were, quote unquote, articulate enough for him to interview for it. The word articulate is like, I would say, like the textbook racist euphemism of all time. To hear yourself say the word articulate in this context is simply wretched. This person is a loser anyway. And then eventually he issued this lame apology, claiming, I’m reading from Jezebel.com right now, claiming that the artist selections for the book were based on the impact on his world as opposed to the world that’s somehow even worse. You’re putting together you’re this voice in the history of rock and roll, and you find it personally important to put out a book that establishes only white artists matter to you. First of all, I have gotten into several times how the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most classically sexist institutions on the planet. How There are only two solo artists do female solo artist for the longest time who got it on their first year of eligibility. That was Janis Joplin and Madonna. Tina Turner only getting in as a solo artist now. Need I say more? It’s just so pathetic to me in retrospect, to somebody who a lot of rock music means a lot to me. How much? It’s just white guys touting other white guys, how it’s white guys saying, these are the people who matter. These are the people I want to put on a poster in my room. These are the people I want to make monuments to. And then everybody else is sort of fighting for scraps, fighting to, you know, have any space at all. And this person saying that he says that Joni Mitchell was not a philosopher of rock didn’t mean anything to him. It’s like, can’t you fucking hear yourself? But of course, asking these people to hear themselves is, you know, of course they can’t. I just it’s such a bummer and he is such a fucking loser and I’m so happy he’s been purposefully minimized.
Ira Madison III I’m so happy that I have always pronounce his name. Is Jan truly right? Yeah. That is also so. It’s so expected, right? You know, there’s something different about writing about people who meant something to you and writing a book called The Master.
Louis Virtel Yes, exactly.
Ira Madison III The fucking co-founder of Rolling Stone. It’s not Chuck Klosterman Killing Yourself to Live where he’s following around metal bands. That meant something to him when he was growing up. Right. Yeah. There’s. There’s no connection to. His youth or to his upbringing. These are just you know, these are the white dudes that I love. So I’m interviewing them.
Louis Virtel Right. Also, I mean, like, you put your finger on it to be like for him to claim, oh, these are just the people who matter to me. And then calling the book the Masters as if his personal taste equates nobility. And that personal taste leaves out all these other people is so gross and typical of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, frankly.
Ira Madison III Also, never mind that these masters and people that you’re interviewing are people who have borrowed so much from black artists, and you think that, Oh, well, they had to go to the dark Continent and take back that music, and then they were able to properly articulate it. You know, it’s very it’s very Joseph Conrad of him.
Louis Virtel Right. Also, it’s like you don’t think Bruce Springsteen would be embarrassed to be in a collection of guys called the Masters and there’s only white people. And it it’s like you don’t know these people at all.
Ira Madison III As they always say, when one person is hated, another person comes into favor. And this was a good week for Drew Barrymore.
Louis Virtel She quit. She’s like, okay, you guys were right. Yes. We won’t be putting the show on. Good for her. I guess.
Ira Madison III Not me to throw it a third Keep It today. But I just want to also mention that when someone does something shitty and then you call on them to not do that thing anymore and to apologize and they do it. You should fucking accept it and be glad that it happened. There were so many comments online from people saying, Well, she just did it because of the backlash. Of course she did it because of the backlash. That’s the point of backlash.
Louis Virtel Right?
Ira Madison III It’s like what else?
Louis Virtel Galvanizing.
Ira Madison III What else? What else do you want from her? I guess I sort of really hate that on the Internet when people do apologize for things, but people still want their pound of flesh. They just want to be angry.
Louis Virtel I think also in this case, people should also accept that, you know, not everybody has participated in a strike before are known the ramifications of doing certain actions in a strike. And so in that case, I’m not saying Drew Barrymore hasn’t been famous since 1982. I’m just saying I am not surprised she was inexperienced and made bad decisions, but then also listen to people and eventually made the right one. So I’m not saying she doesn’t deserve criticism or like we should forget it that it happened or whatever, but ultimately the right thing happened. So that is I’m psyched about that.
Ira Madison III My scab week with Drew is a script that I’m working on, and you know, it’s about the week that I wrote for the Drew Barrymore show.
Louis Virtel Right. You thought this would be your big break. You’re right. Yeah. You’re the only writer.
Ira Madison III I’ve actually calculated about the fact that people are calling for Dancing with the Stars to halt production because it’s a WGA show. But they do only have one WGA writer on the show. So I love being one writer and you’re like, You will stop the show because of me.
Louis Virtel Wow. And that’s one guy who has to write the words paso doble so many times to.
Ira Madison III Would you ever do Dancing with the Stars?
Louis Virtel What? I do think there’s a high concentration of people who get injured on that show. But yeah, if I didn’t have a lot to do and, you know, they stuck me with whatever. Derek Hough, I’m sure he’s not involved anymore. Sure. Whatever. Chmerkovskiy brother is still there. Yeah. Okay.
Ira Madison III They let men dance together. I don’t want to dance with J.Lo. I’d want to be Richard Gere in Shall We Dance?
Louis Virtel That’s your request. When you walk in, they’re like, All right, well, find that VHS and watch it, I guess.
Ira Madison III Is it Alfred? What? In that movie.
Louis Virtel You won’t believe it. Alfre Woodard. It’s barren.
Ira Madison III Okay.
Louis Virtel You go through her filmography, you’re like, Woah.
Ira Madison III Maybe Mary Maybe Marion Cotillard is the white Alfre Woddard.
Louis Virtel You know what? That’s honestly giving her a little bit too much credit because I’m everywhere.
Ira Madison III Yeah, give Alfre some Oscars.
Louis Virtel No kidding. She has one nomination for a movie nobody cares about called Cross Creek. No offense to our esteemed guest, Mary Steenburgen, who did that movie. But anyway.
Ira Madison III You know, she remembers it because of her memory thing.
Louis Virtel That’s Marilu Henner.
Ira Madison III Oh, Mary Steenburgen has the music.
Louis Virtel Yes. Mary Steenburgen, yes. Went under the knife, came out with a crazy musical brain.
Ira Madison III Yes. You know, they should solve mysteries together. Actually.
Louis Virtel Ted and Mary should solve mysteries together. I’d watch that show.
Ira Madison III Ted, Mary and Mary Lou. I’d watch it. But yes, honestly, someone get we have we’ve already talked about that dumb. Honorary Oscar for Angela Bassett, Right. That she’s getting next year. And I wish we could put a stop to it. I get Angela Bassett and Alfre Woodard in a film where they are both nominated for an Oscar, and they went, Who was writing? And Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodard film. I need to see it.
Louis Virtel It feels like that is how the show Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood should have ended with Oscars for the Angela Bassett Alfre Woodard movie and not the Oscars for the random 1947 movie with Anna May Wong they created.
Ira Madison III What a weird ass show.
Louis Virtel What a weird show. Maybe going for a cool things. Who knows? Patti LuPone.
Ira Madison III Queen Latifah’s Hattie McDaniel.
Louis Virtel Right. It was bound to happen, I guess. Yeah.
Ira Madison III All right. That’s our show.
Louis Virtel Was it?
Ira Madison III Okay. I feel like people have been saying we’ve been on a roll lately, and I don’t know what we did this week.
Louis Virtel Yeah, All roles stop eventually, you know, watch any boulder. It stops at some point.
Ira Madison III You know, we’re keep it as like Sisyphus as a boulder. We were rolled up, and then once we get to that apex, we roll back down. Right. But it gives us something to work for.
Louis Virtel That’s right. We build again. That’s right. Also, sissy-fist is the way you said it. Sissyfus is how I would have pronounced it. But Sissy Fest is the name of my new queer T-shirt brand that I think we should all buy into.
Ira Madison III You haven’t seen it yet, but see how he pushed back.
Louis Virtel That’s why he keeps falling down The wrist stregnth on this bitch. He is doomed.
Ira Madison III . He should have been reaching for those grapes.
Louis Virtel Right?
Ira Madison III Instead of that other bitch.
Louis Virtel He keeps calling the boulder, ma’am. Yeah, ma’am, you just fell on me.
Ira Madison III We’ll see you next week. All right. Thank you for being here Symone. 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, Meghan 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.