Music Roundup: Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Kacey Musgraves w. Leslie Bibb & Michael Arceneaux | Crooked Media
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March 20, 2024
Keep It
Music Roundup: Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Kacey Musgraves w. Leslie Bibb & Michael Arceneaux

In This Episode

Ira and Louis and guest host Michael Arcenaux (author of I Finally Bought Some Jordans) new albums from Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, and Kacey Musgraves. Leslie Bibb joins to discuss her new series Palm Royale and more. Plus, fashion takes, Vanderpump Rules, Bill Maher, and Survivor.

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


Louis Virtel And I am Louis Virtel. And again, I’m living in a universe where there’s no Oscars to talk about anymore, so I feel like I’m in like a perpetual, a post-apocalyptic gray scape and there’s nothing left for me. So I’m happy to be here, but also dismal. How about that?


Ira Madison III Well, hopefully let’s just ball because we have one of our favorite co-hosts who is back, returning guest co-host Michael Arceneaux. Hi. It’s good to have you here again.


Michael Arceneaux It’s good to be here. And, Louis, hopefully you’ll consider me American nonfiction. And then that kind of helps it out. But, yes, I’m very happy to be here.


Michael Arceneaux That’s you okay? Yeah.


Michael Arceneaux That’s cool.


Ira Madison III Haha.


Louis Virtel I will do exactly that. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yes. No. I was so happy for card. It is. It’s so weird. I mean, I guess everybody experiences this when you, you know, known someone for years and they win an award or something like this, but you always forget just how many people they also know who you know, especially caught having worked in the media, like we did for so long. It’s just like when you see the Instagram posts of, like, him holding his, Oscar. And then the comments from everybody in it, you’re like, I know all these damn people, right? Of course. And we all know card for years, you know. So that’s nice to see.


Michael Arceneaux You and Court are my heroes out the media ghetto. Yes. InspIration.


Ira Madison III Hahahahahahahaha I’m I’m in the audio ghetto, as Azealia Banks told me one time, the brokest form of media. Hahahahahahahaha.


Michael Arceneaux Of course she did.


Ira Madison III And you’ve made it. You know, this is your third book that you have out, I Finally Bought Some Jordans, which I love as a title. Although I would never expect you to not have plenty of Jordans in your closet in general.


Michael Arceneaux Well, you know, didn’t grow up with all the means, but we making it, a little while later than ever. It gets greater later. Shout out to Debbie. Yeah. There we go.


Louis Virtel So this is your third book. What subjects in this great collection of essays. Where are you? I guess I’ll say, surprised to talk about your three books. And I’m sure you’re talking about things you never even anticipated you’d once write about.


Michael Arceneaux Yes. Honestly, I really wanted this book. Initially had a different title. I kind of was going for an entirely different vibe. I don’t want to say like, Victory Lap in any way, but I just. In theory, I wanted to write about being in a much better place than life because my first two books were, like, heavier. But the reality is, like, I just was kind of dealing with a lot of grief. And then the plague happened, and I’m very honest about how that impacted me. And what’s not included in the book, but what is, now kind of like, obviously coming out is that my mom was battling cancer while I was finishing the book, and she’s since passed away. So, it’s been really, a challenge. The book is a lot darker than I wanted it to be, but I think, you know, for the better, because I’m being really honest about where I’m at, and I’m trying to still end on a hopeful note, even if, life hasn’t been, like, the kindest in the last few years.


Ira Madison III No, I, you know, I, I what I love about the book, too, is we’ve gotten this familiarity with you as a writer. I said this before, before you started recording. I love your writing. And I think it’s so funny, and moving. And I love people getting to know you as well. You know, you opening this book, talking about how you’re interacting with Don Lemon, Kevin Hart, Lee Daniels, people who you’ve criticized before in your writing. But also people who’ve read your other two books and maybe not even knowing that writing like they’re getting to know you as a fuller person as well, and just sort of like interactions you’re having with life and, people who you interact with in the media. So I think that’s great to be able to unfold that into a third book.


Michael Arceneaux I really appreciate that, and I’m honestly hoping that Toni Braxton unblocks me as a result, because that is like, really.


Ira Madison III She should. She should. I remember back to the day Toni did follow me and one time I just tweeted something. I said, girl, I need that album. Libra, like Blackground needs to, unlock it, put it on streaming. It’s finally on streaming now. But I remember she tweeted something like, yeah, I want it out, too.


Michael Arceneaux Shout out to Toni.


Louis Virtel Michael, do you have any, sort of favorites who have blocked you over the years based on just any sort of criticism you’ve leveled one way or another?


Michael Arceneaux You know, honestly, no. But I guess the one that I was like, well, I earned it and it’s fine. Kenya Moore, maybe. I though I tried to.


Ira Madison III You know, that’s my girl.


Michael Arceneaux I know. Well, for the record, I’ve given her credit in the later seasons, these dismal seasons of being the bright spot and dark times. But she was she was a good villain when she joined the show, and I just responded in kind by all I. One day I just looked, it was like, oh, I’m blocked. Okay. And I did Carlos King’s show, I was like, well, tell your girl to unblock me, I’ve been nice. And he was like, well, I tried, but it’s fine. I’ll give you more of you. But it’s okay, I’ll live. The Toni hurts, though.


Ira Madison III So yeah, I mean, Toni would hurt, you know, unblock my heart.


Louis Virtel Nicely done. I was wondering when we to get there. Yeah.


Michael Arceneaux Seven, in seven whole days, ideally.


Louis Virtel You are man enough for her, you know what I’m saying?


Michael Arceneaux Yes, and I can take that. But, unbreak my heart, love.


Louis Virtel And also, it’s like when a reality star blocks you. That’s, like, kind of part of their job, you know what I mean? Like to act up on or whatever. When someone like Toni does, it’s like, no, I’m. Let me just have this parasocial thing with you and your lovely music, you know what I’m saying?


Michael Arceneaux Exactly. Like, I like Love & Hip Hop stars have been mad at me for years, so it’s kind of like you take it on the chin, but one like a living legend that I used to, you know, as I mentioned above, I used to write fake ass Babyface songs when I was like eight, I was obsessed with Toni Braxton. And before puberty stole my voice, I thought I could have been R&B singer. So this is like deep for me.


Louis Virtel Puberty rarely described as a thief. I’m glad you did. I’m glad that’s out in the world now. Yeah.


Ira Madison III But you know what? You were in good company in that first essay because you you cannot be a gay, black, writer without having said something about Kevin Hart at a certain time in the past. All right. You know, you we just had to do it.


Michael Arceneaux I mean, ultimately, like, Toni Braxton hurts the most, and that’s why I changed around that. But I was, I was I was warned against that. One day you’re going to be in rooms with these people, as I imagine you both can like, attest to. And I guess I kind of, in theory knew that would happen. But what is it like when you’re in the position of some of these people basically could help change the trajectory of your life? But how you are you honest? It was like, yeah, I talked about you because you did some. Really. Wow. And unfortunately, in those circumstances, it actually worked out well because I actually got to talk to them and say, this is the place I was coming from, but you usually won’t get that. So that’s why I keep putting out, like, someone please tell Tony like, I can’t accept Jenny. I go, yeah, forever and I’ll use I’ll sound bolts in her music to help me go to sleep. But yeah, I think and as a result, I’m kind of like necessarily like lowered my I don’t tweet as much anymore because I just personally hate the outlet. But just generally speaking, I don’t think it’s like the best. Medium to get my point of view across, which is why I’m glad I have books now. So you have to be able to read to hate me.


Louis Virtel Even setting that bar, you know what I think you are saying? Saving yourself a lot of grief there.


Ira Madison III Yeah. The insurrectionists are never going to see that. You call them roaches in their book, okay? They can’t read.


Louis Virtel Roach, great insult, by the way, a roach. It’s so specific. It’s so like like vermin. But without saying the word vermin. Roaches like crunchy.


Ira Madison III Well, it’s excited to have you here. And we always love hearing your thoughts on culture and everything else that is going on. So we will be right back with more Keep It. We’re going to discuss, there’s some new music out from people we love like Ariana Grande and Kacey Musgraves, people we have complicated feelings about, like Justin Timberlake. And, we also have a wonderful interview with, the delightful Leslie Bibb. Louis and I talked to her about her new Apple TV series, Palm Royale. So we will be right back with more Keep It.




Ira Madison III All right. Now that we are out of award season, there’s a lot we need to catch up on. So we’re doing a music round up. First, let’s chat about Pony Tail. Michael, what are your thoughts about her in general and what do you think of her new album that is out?


Michael Arceneaux I have been a Pony Tail since The Way It Came Out, so we love Ariana.


Ira Madison III Okay, exactly.


Michael Arceneaux I was waiting when whenever there’s new music from her, I’m like excited. Although I will say I own my first listen of Eternal Sunshine. Maybe even the first three. I wasn’t like, wow. And I was like, oh, this is cool. Sound a lot like Robin. Amazingly, I was like, I get it. Now I have a better appreciation. I’m getting there. The Boy’s Mine has a bop. I wasn’t overwhelmed the way I normally am with, ponytail album, but I’m getting there because. Yes, I’m just happy she’s back. I’m surprised it’s so short, but I’m trying to live in gratitude because I’m surprised we even got this 30 minutes out of her.


Louis Virtel And I guess the new thing is everybody has an extremely short album now. Like, we’re like, gone are the days where you get like The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, where there’s like not only the 16 tracks, but then the the other four that are on the part of the CD you can’t even, like detect on the, from the outside.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, I’m trying not to be like, get off my line about it, but I can tell that they’re all doing shorter albums so they can just get more loops to like game the charts, which is not necessarily their fault. But I’m like, I want a longer album, but I get it again.


Louis Virtel I’m grateful the charts are annoying right now. Like, it’s just I’m not saying the metrics Once Upon a time were like all aboveboard and like what I I’m like now. It’s just like, there are certain things you do and like having short songs is a huge part of that.


Michael Arceneaux Yes, I’m over the two minute song, but like, I get it, that’s just where we are right now.


Louis Virtel Yeah, it’s giving original recipe Beatles and like 1962 with like a minute 58 song I just.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, I love that song. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I you know, I always forget. You know what? I’m listening to a vinyl or something, right? A vinyl. The fact that each side, you know, could only fit a certain amount, which is why sometimes you would have people release iguanas with, you know, it’s like there’s four in there, but now just with you can upload anything. You would it stands to reason that it could be as long as you want, I mean, and sometimes they are not. I sent a friend a song from, Flo. You know, their new one, Walk Like This, which I love. Also, people who are vocalists, like Pony Tail. And my friend was like, it’s really good, you know? But it it was kind of long, and I was like three minutes and 18 seconds as long to you.


Louis Virtel Absolutely not.


Ira Madison III I’m like, babe, Baby, One More Time songs are like five minutes. Okay? Like we used to listen to music.


Michael Arceneaux 3:18 is too long, Ira, that is so depressing. That is so depressing.


Louis Virtel Girl, a fucking Motown song is three minutes long. Come on.


Ira Madison III That’s also the idea that I don’t know when you used to be driving to school or something, right? Or commuting. You could. I don’t know if you two used to do this, but, you know, like, you would measure, like, the distance in getting to places, and you’re sort of like, I can listen to three songs, you know, that’s like 16 minutes or something, you know? And now it’s like, that trip is what, like, you can you can listen to someone’s whole album.


Michael Arceneaux Yes. I can walk to my car and the song is over. Yes.


Louis Virtel I also think like another thing is because everything is so Spotify, whatever that an album, a lot of the time feels like. It’s often like there’s not a lot of key changes or like everything belongs in one playlist, kind of. And I feel like that means albums are now less versatile sounding than they once were. You would you wouldn’t get lots of stylistic changes in the same album the way you once did. With almost every album I had growing up feel like there was at least one crazy track or one song that didn’t seem like it belong in a good way. I will say about the Ariana Grande album. Speaking of Get Off my lawn and sounding 100,000 years old, I’m sorry all of her music sounds the same to me. I’m waiting for her to sound a new type of there’s like the dance music on this is like, as I said before, it’s like, oh, good in a Soul Cycle way, like, I’ve got to pedal the something may as well be this.


Ira Madison III Soul Cycle. Just like, no, no, baby Louis, these songs have eight counts, okay? You need you need a little bit more rhythm than you need in a Soul Cycle class.


Louis Virtel But I mean, yes. And as I’m talking about not not the rest of the album, not the rest of the album, okay. But to me it’s like. And by the way, my favorite song of hers is The Way, her first single, I don’t know, like, isn’t this just what people expect an Ariana Grande album to sound like? I don’t know, like as a as like a couple of good breakup moments in it, but it kind of slips off me.


Ira Madison III For me, I feel like it is giving. Okay, so what’s actually interesting about this album to me is that when she first came out, there were all the comparisons to Mariah. You know, she had the Emotion cover. You know, everyone was like, Mariah, you know, your tether is coming for you.


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Louis Virtel It might have just been you, by the way, tweeting that directly.


Ira Madison III Actually, side note about I think I brought this up on the podcast before that. When you talk specifically about like a celebrity acknowledging you and then quickly on acknowledging you one time, if it’s mid-pandemic or whatever. I’m laying on the couch and I got a follow from Mariah Carey, and I went to her page. By the time I’d gotten to the page, like the unfollow had already happened. It was an accident. Mariah was on her phone.


Louis Virtel I speak for the both of you when I say it’s for the best. I’m sorry. You do not know that.


Ira Madison III Honestly, I’d be terrified. I don’t know how Billy Eichner does it. No.


Louis Virtel No, exactly. It’s scary.


Ira Madison III All right. What would you do with Mariah Carey’s number? And your. There are there are celebrities who I’ve never worked with or done a thing with who’ve given me their number. And it’s like I’ve never sent them a text. No, no, because I get I’m like, what am I supposed to? What am I supposed to?


Louis Virtel It’s so embarrassing. Like, hi, I’m reaching out to you. Yeah, it’s just eww.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but this new album, getting back to the Mariah Carey comparisons, it almost feels a little like later. Mariah. To me, it’s giving Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, almost. You know, where it’s very. What I’m liking about this is the vocals on this album. And I’m thinking she’s doing a lot of really fun things with her voice, like she’s she’s singing down on the album, especially like the first couple tracks. You know, I will say the ending of the album falls off a bit for me after the Robin song, but that run from, you know, by straight down to.


Louis Virtel Yes, I think.


Ira Madison III It’s, it’s, it’s it’s great, but I don’t want to break up again. I mentioned it last week, that, the deejays in New York, like Carrie Nation, play that like they played it again at this party on Sunday, and it was just like the people dancing to it. It was like it feels of the moment. It feels like it was just nice seeing people dance to it and knowing the lyrics to even just this song already, when it come out Friday, you know, like, that’s the fun. And that was the Mariah of it all. Like, it feels fun and sexy, but I don’t know. There’s thing about Ariana, to go off for what Louis was saying, where it’s not like I don’t think all her music is the same to me, but there is sort of this weirdness and trying to figure out who Ariana Grande kind of is. She’s been different versions, but not like a Madonna, sort of like reinventing sort of way. It just sort of seems like she sometimes appears and she’s just a different person, but it’s not like she’s actively decided this is a new era I’m in, you know what I mean?


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, that’s I love that. I can tell that Louis means when he says it all sounds the same on this album. Like I will say, I think she actually is doing little things differently, which I do appreciate, but it’s kind of like the same thing differently throughout parts of the album, so it doesn’t stick out a while. Like, yeah, it doesn’t, it’s not. It’s a difference and I appreciate it, but it’s sort of not like a Madonna or honestly, even like a Mariah. Nor like when she just said hi snake, because I actually that in Memoirs a comparison is to me. But I will say Memoirs just has like a a wittiness to it and like a humor that’s innately it’s our.


Ira Madison III It’s her funniest album, right? For sure. It’s her funniest album.


Michael Arceneaux They line it up in a way. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Ariana’s never really funny to me. She’s funny to me in interviews. Like, she can be funny. And I think, like, when I worked at MTV, once, I got to watch her do the rehearsals for the VMAs for the side to side performance, and just hearing her interact with her dancers and stuff, I was like, this was funny as hell. But the music, I would say isn’t funny.


Louis Virtel You know who is like that? Adele. Where like, every time she opens her mouth, I’m like, you are like, what? For a celebrity? World class funny. And again, we always talk about how British people just have some sort of knack, but they’ve been given a gift and that’s just the way it is. But in the music, it’s like, man, she is not funny one time in the music. Ariana, there’s like, there’s at least some like romantic regrets and stuff where it almost like like Thank You, Next has a bit of a wit to it, but I don’t think that’s like typical for her songs. One thing I will say about this album people make this complaint a lot. I wouldn’t say this is chief among my complaints about Ariana Grande. She is annunciating a lot more. I do feel like I’m not. I’m less lost on the lyrics than I once was. And I think the lyrics are kind of important to the album, so it’s nice to see her make that change.


Ira Madison III The rain in Spain. Okay. She is she.


Michael Arceneaux Oh my God, yeah.


Louis Virtel Let’s get her and Colonel Pickering together. I would love to say that.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah she is, she is enunciating more because she always she used to come across as like you’re hitting Mariah’s notes but it’s given Tony mumbles Tony, please. Yes. She’s down there.


Ira Madison III Without the “Woo”. You know that Toni throws in there.


Ira Madison III Hahaha. All right, well speaking of someone else who has had a storied career, in music and many different iterations of themselves, Justin Timberlake is back. I will say.


Louis Virtel Now, you probably stan him more than the rest of us do. Correct.


Ira Madison III I know I’ve, I you know what? I do forgive white men. Bit a bit, a bit too. A bit too much. I swiped the Tamara card a bit too much.


Michael Arceneaux Oh, okay.


Ira Madison III But I will say, even with the defense of him and even with, you know, maybe anticipating like, this comeback more than other people, I did sort of like, stumble into discovering that the album was even out on Friday, just because I got a new music Friday on Spotify. And I’m like, oh, it’s here. And I listened to it and honestly, it he left the woods.


Louis Virtel Right. Thank God.


Michael Arceneaux He did leave the woods.


Ira Madison III So that’s that’s great. Okay. He was like, okay, I’m not trying to connect with, you know, Trump’s America anymore. I don’t even know what the fuck he was doing on the.


Louis Virtel Last firework.


Ira Madison III Anyway. It was just like everybody in that period was trying to do a whole, like, I’m natural. I’m like, you know, rebrand or whatever. This was, I was like, okay, yes, you are from Memphis. You are a white boy who likes this kind of music, make this kind of music. Are there any, you know, songs on it that are amazing as like a rock your body or like a sexy back now? But, it’s a it’s a fine album.


Louis Virtel He was on Kimmel this week and he performed No Angels, and I thought that was like a pretty standard bop in the catalog of things we actually do enjoy from him, I will say, and I of course, I’ve never been a super fan of his, even during the era when it was truly considered uncool to say you didn’t like him. I just want to say that that was an era. Even though we’re in this other period now where the opposite is true. It is kind of a tall order for him to make a new dance album, because as much as he, like, owned that once upon a time in like 2007, it’s a pretty slim lane. And I think to come up with a new version of that, it’s like almost any decision he could make would sound dated, because even hearing his voice takes you back to that time, you know what I mean? And I’m just saying, like in 1983 or 1981 when like, Kool in the Gang owned dance or something, nobody was expecting them in 1999 to come out with like, relevant dance music, you know what I mean? Just like like that. Trends in that area changed so much. You know, what we dance to now is just not the same as what we danced to then. That said, it does feel like he’s a little bit maybe ashamed and sort of going with lower key version of what he once was because he doesn’t want to be seen as cringe. And I feel like that’s sort of his whole M.O. right now. Like, just let me in the door, let me make music like you can kind of hear in the background, but I won’t try to command all the attention.


Michael Arceneaux Him and I think about him and Usher not to lump them in, but they’re both men getting older, trying to release new music, I actually think. I can’t believe I’m saying this. Justin maybe did a better he had a better overall album to me than usher did. And actually, I adjusting sort of made the album I wish usher had made, which I think would have helped him ride his resurgence better. I like Infinity Sex Liar. There are a few songs that I actually like is a perfectly fine album, but I actually think it’s great to be a disaster and still make music that I can enjoy. It’s not as sport I was it I would have as I would like, but it’s fine. And he didn’t bother me, I just. I will say, maybe this setup wasn’t that great because the first thing you did not wow me kind of just came and went. But it is fun. And I’ve actually I’ve always enjoyed Justin Timberlake’s music, but I’ve known since the very beginning that he could be annoying and that eventually that mouth would catch up with him because, the big firm backer of Britney and Janet way back. So I just, you know, he launched. I was like, get off  106 & Park and stop talking about her. But I do like the album enough. I don’t know how much albums, but there are at least those three songs that I mentioned. I will be playing those for the rest of the year, and if he manages to wow me back, then, cool. But yeah. Justin. Yeah, I just, I it’s better than that last album, man of the woods. I did not see a for outside of Montana. I did without Montana. I still do, but I like that he’s at least in the right direction. I kind of though wish. I don’t know, maybe I’m glad he worked with Danger and Timberland. I think they actually brought something out of him. I’d be curious to hear him work with different producers to see what that can sound like. But the album was enough to be like, all right, just so you can keep making music. I didn’t want to go back into my Wendy Williams and be like, just sing the hits. I want to give people the chance to, like, give me some. But like, that’s that’s like, yeah, but no, he, he did all right. Which is good for him to be honest, because the people are mad at him.


Louis Virtel Yeah. It is like also I mean, like in a way that kind of kind of Janet became like it is a shockingly profane album for him. I will say I feel like that’s his one like artistic decision he made. That was like kind of a new direction. But at the same time, I am a little surprised how low the reviews are for this album. Like, there’s barely one that like, is over 50 on Metacritic. Like I would say, it’s like a firm like 64 album, you know, like in the green, barely, but like, you know, respectable, whatever.


Ira Madison III No, no, I give it a 72.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. Oh, okay.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah. Yeah. Okay.


Ira Madison III You know what’s interesting, too? I was recently giving a friend a playlist of Steely Dan songs because they were like, I. They put one in their Instagram story, and I was like, oh, I love, this our glamor profession. And they were like, I actually really don’t know that much about Steely Dan. I was like, I sent them a playlist of songs. And then when you see that, you know, when you think about their career, like in the 80s and 90s, and 70s, you see, like, them releasing an album like, you know, in 2000 or something. And then you always have to think, you know, artists are going to keep releasing music if they want to. And at what certain point are you expecting them to be innovating anymore or just sort of like making album music that feels good to them, that is good to their fans or like what they want to say at that particular time, you know? And I think, maybe it’s just because we came up in like an MTV age and, you know, like the social media age. And, you know, also, we are people who stand, female artists as well, who are constantly have to be just more innovative and stuff. But certainly once you get to a point as an artist, aren’t you just sort of like making what you maybe want to make put it out there, hope people are buying it, but it’s like you can’t really expect to have each of your albums be in an event anymore. When you’re 20 something plus years into a career. You know, unless you are Beyonce or Madonna, you know?


Louis Virtel Right. And speaking of that, by the way, I don’t know if either of you have heard the new Kacey Musgraves album, but though I will say it’s not really an album for me, even though I think the production is a lot, it’s like feathery, soft and very like, listenable and like, has kind of a feeling that you just said Steely Dan, but like the, my favorite songs don’t remind me of, like, the birds are like, bred like easy, easy listening of the 60s and 70s, but there’s not much in the way of hooks, and there’s not much in the way of memorable lyrics anymore. But I am, for her, happy. She seems to be choosing a direction she wants to go on. And it’s not just for an algorithm. Like it’s not just for you. Liked what I did on Golden Hour. Here comes golden hour or 2 or 3 because that also is depressing, you know? So even if she’s still doing the sad, melancholy, light, poetic regret thing that she did on the last album, I think the production is improved and I think she sounds great. So maybe I will revisit this album in the future and get more from it that way. And because I can respect it and I respect her so much, I love her as a writer and I love her as a vocalist. But, I’m yeah, I’m surprised this is the second album in a row where I would say, like, I won’t listen to it as much. Are you a fan of Kacey Musgraves? Michael?


Michael Arceneaux I love her voice and I think she’s a great songwriter. I haven’t listened to the album and for I did hear a few songs. One I thought was really, really pretty. The title escapes me. Forgive me, Kacey, but I need to finish. But yeah, I, I kind of got that vibe when I was going to, when I was listening to, I was like, I don’t think this is going to wow me. And I’m kind of already distracted. Let me just when I can really focus. Tell you more about Justin to be in your 40s and you don’t necessarily have to be innovative. You just have to be good at what you do and what I do appreciate about it to him, I’ll give him credit about this, is that he doesn’t sound like he’s trying too hard. There are moments on the usher album where I’m like, oh, yeah, usher, you don’t need to do this. What is this big song? Why did you call this person? Just go talk to Jermaine and Brian Michael Cox I do like when artists know who they are of their sound and just kind of executed as best they can, wherever they’re at in their career. I get that more from what I heard from Casey’s new album and Justin in that usher one, because I really was rooting for usher before even the unforgivable photo. But, you know. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I’ve it I’ve appreciated that Casey is in her lane, and making music that I, I will, you know, listen to it again in full and I’m sure I’ll find like a couple songs to pick out, even though I actually really don’t listen to that last one at all. Yeah. No, I don’t think I have a single thing I really like enjoy all that. And it’s it’s just fun. The it’s it’s always interesting when that divide happens, you know, with, your other gay friends who are pop music minded because, you know, at a certain point, you know, my friends of our group chat who like when we liked Casey at first, now when they’re bringing up, like the new case of, like, Casey’s two albums out or like Casey tickets on sale. I’m like, y’all enjoy doing that? I you know, I’ve. I used to partner twice. Yeah, I see our concert twice. I thought she was fucking amazing both times. Back in LA, but, you know.


Louis Virtel Funny girl, too. Funny girl.


Ira Madison III Yes. Yeah. And also a very funny celebrity. Yeah. You know, so it would you, it’s it would be nice to have her back and had, you know, fun interviews or something with her. You see. Just see that personality that I like about Casey Musgraves. But, you know, as far as the music, I’m just gonna, let it exist where it does, which is not where I’ll be.


Louis Virtel No, I it’s like it’s like Bjork is one of my favorite artists. She has four decades of space where I don’t like personally what she put out, like, oh, I don’t need to listen to the acapella, Nordic thumping album you just did or whatever, you know, like.


Michael Arceneaux No, I don’t think it’s the best way to describe that.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, yeah.


Louis Virtel The Triumph of the heart on that album. Really good. We’re talking about medulla, by the way. But. No, it’s like I, I respect this, moment for her. And, you know, it’s like when Joni Mitchell did, like, her rock album in the 80s. It’s like, great for you. I need to get away from this, you know?


Ira Madison III All right. That is our music roundup for the week. When we are back, Louis and I chat with the wonderful Leslie Bibb about her new Apple TV series, Palm Royale. And after that, we’ll be back with more Michael Arceneaux.


Louis Virtel <AD>.


Ira Madison III Our guest today is one of our favorite scene stealers. She slips seamlessly from comedy to drama and everything in between in the likes of Popular, where I first saw her ,and became obsessed, to Talladega Nights, Iron Man, The Babysitter and now Apple TV star studded new series Palm Royale. We are thrilled to welcome to Keep It the delightful Leslie Bibb.


Leslie Bibb Guys, that is a really nice intro. I’ll take it. Thank you for that. You know who came with, came to our screening of, a Palm Royale. Palm Royale last week?


Louis Virtel Who?


Leslie Bibb The one and only Miss Carly Pope.


Louis Virtel Oh! Get out!


Ira Madison III Okay, a reunion.


Leslie Bibb A reunion and she’s the greatest. She’s still, like, one of. She’s still one of my best friends.


Ira Madison III Oh, I love that.


Leslie Bibb Yeah, she looks like she’s so beautiful. It’s like. It’s like I just want to punch her in the face because she’s. So. Just as she gets older, I’m like, she’s. She still looks like Carly. I mean, she’s so. So, you know, I can still see, like, baby Sam in there, but, like, she’s just a beautiful woman and she’s one of the kindest, most thoughtful, most generous human beings on the on the planet.


Louis Virtel Speaking of, these lovely qualities, I’m reading about you interacting with your Palm Royale cast mates, and it sounds like literally every single one of these people was, like, a highlight of your life. Like, just the most awesome cast. First of all, awesome actors. And I’ve said this before on the show, I think Kristen Wiig is the best actor in the history of Saturday Night Live. Just like she’s slip seamlessly into whatever she does. And there’s always, like, something specific about her. She brings that. It’s like, so real.


Leslie Bibb I think the thing about what happens with a lot of these people when they’re like comedians or you come from SNL or they just are known as comedians, and she is like a real, legitimate, deeply moving actor. Like there’s stuff that you’re going to see in this show that she does like by episode ten that I watched it and I was like, if they don’t give you a fucking Emmy, I’m gonna I’m going to burn somebody’s house down. Like it’s just was she was doing such deep, deep work and at the same time being funny. And that’s, you know, I mean, great comedy comes from great darkness. And so just just watch her so elegantly sort of walk that that tightrope. She’s incredible. And she’s a really generous actor because some comedians can be not so generous, you know, because they’re just waiting for you to shut up so they can do their next bit. And Kristen is never like that. Kristen. Well, they’re all like, they’re just. Yes. And with you, you know, like if you start something, they’re just ready to throw the ball back and forth, which is incredible. But you know, just so I think I think Kristen is, is really she’s something truly special. I mean she is like a Carol Burnett, if you will.


Ira Madison III Truly.


Louis Virtel Who is lingering in this show if people don’t know, Carol Burnett is also part of the show. Yes.


Leslie Bibb I like using lingering.


Louis Virtel When you’re kind of figuring out what she’s doing for the first couple episodes.


Leslie Bibb Yeah, you got it. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. She lingers for a while. I mean, that was the moment like, I, I grew up watching the Carol Burnett Show. I just, I was so I’m clearly a daft child because I thought it was happening in real time. I didn’t know I was watching, like, something sexy, like, I don’t know what was wrong with me, but I was just so rapt by her and the show and this woman and what she was doing. That and Tracey Ullman, I think, were two really like, influential things in my life. But when Carol, the first time she walked into the trailer, I fell. I literally fell on the ground. And she was like, you’re insane. But. And then she we did a table reading. And when you see the show. Miss Carol Burnett does not. She is in a state, if you will, in the first few episodes. And she came to that table read to moan and that was it. And I was like, that’s what a professional is. That’s that’s like the bar of like what? What everybody, you know me, most actors are like, where’s my next line? Where’s my next line? And she can make like a grunt and a moan. Funny. And that’s like incredible to watch. I mean, her side I can slice you in two. Like, I mean, instinctually, I have a scene where I meet her and it’s it’s down like down the episode. And I didn’t realize the director was like, do you realize you’re cursing to her? And I said, I am. I said, oh, good. It works for the scene. But I didn’t even realize, like, I was instinctually like, curtsy to this woman because you just can’t help yourself.


Louis Virtel It’s no nature’s forcing you to supplicate to this one. Yeah. That’s right. Collapsing you in her direction.


Leslie Bibb Collapsing in the air like kiss the ring, kiss the ring.


Louis Virtel I hope actually, this show, by the way, reacquaint people with the fact that Carl Burnett, also a fabulous actress. If you haven’t seen the Four Seasons. I was reacquainted with her in a movie called Pete until the other day. There’s a lot to investigate about Carol Burnett that isn’t just her variety show. And I hope people, remember that.


Leslie Bibb Yes yes yes yes yes. I haven’t seen Peyton.


Louis Virtel Yet with a Geraldine Page. Great movie. Yes.


Leslie Bibb Oh. Oh, amazing.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Speaking of comedy, you know, you are so good at doing comedic roles, but it’s so interesting when I, you know, I brought up popular earlier. I want to ask how you develop your comedy chops, really as an actor, because I feel like if people don’t remember popular when it started on the WB, the first episode, it’s it’s funny. But it is really just, you know, giving teen drama, you know, teen soap that was on WB at the time. By the time you get to season two, the Ryan Murphy of it all is finally like, it’s like he’s he he got to come out of his cocoon and become right.


Leslie Bibb Yeah, yeah.


Ira Madison III And it’s completely funny and completely off the wall by the time you’re in season two. So did that show sort of, you know, the the change of it help you, with just going from genre to genre?


Ira Madison III I don’t know. I don’t know. I think, you know, we were so young and you’re sort of you’re so fearless and you’re just like you. You just are like, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, honestly, I think the greatest thing for comedy came from really where I studied acting when I was in school in New York, which is Meisner, which is, you know, there’s a lot of you start in Meisner with, you just do this repeating exercises. And essentially when you compare it to improv, it’s. Yes. And so you’re always, like, taking it off the other person. You’re listening, you’re staying in the moment and you’re just taking it off of that person. It’s sort of like the base level where it starts when you start. It’s these repetition exercises. And I really think that that sort of, groundwork at that school, studying with Maggie Flanagan was my teacher at Esper, William Esper at the Williams for acting studios, sort of was like, just gave me my diving board, so could you can put it to anything. And then I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know. I remember when we did Talladega, I don’t think anybody thought it was like particularly funny on, like on Popular. I mean, but the show was so funny and the show was so crazy and it was such a it was like its own world and its own vibe, you know, and, and and was so impactful. And still to this day when I walk down the street, people will stop me and be like, I love that show. It was so helpful for me as like a teenager, which is incredible that Ryan, I don’t I mean, I hope Ryan knows that because like, really people think of Ryan and they think of Glee. But I always go, like, to me, I was that popular was way more interesting than I mean, he’s funny and and great, and the musical aspect of it is so cool. But I really love like there’s something very deep and like had never been done on television before, I guess with popular, which was really cool. But I think when I got to Talladega, I don’t know, I just was like hanging on with like just like by hanging on for dear life and just going, okay, I’m going to be in these scenes with Will Ferrell and and he’s such a generous person. And, and, Adam McKay is such a generous director. And I remember, Molly Shannon kept going. Where did you study improv? And I was like, I didn’t. And so I think it really had has to do with like, willingness for.


Ira Madison III Will and Kristen also have such this amazing chemistry which you seen from SNL. We see whenever they link up.


Leslie Bibb Did you see them on the Golden Globes with that thing.


Ira Madison III Of course.


Louis Virtel Very funny and definitely the highlight of the Globes.


Leslie Bibb And that hatching from like a song on her iPhone that she was listening. I was like, like that to me is that’s, you know, that’s a very because I bet you nobody at the Golden Globes got what they were doing. I’m sure that they were like, you’re going to do two minutes of a bit, a two minute bit of like this song and somehow it’s going to work. And what they did, I mean, and everyone says it’s the most interesting part of the Golden Globes.


Louis Virtel Yeah, they let it breathe too. And an unusual way for a bit in an award show. It was cool to see.


Leslie Bibb Yeah, I, I think that was really Kristen and well, saying trust us, trust us. And they did and thank God they did because I just I mean, when Kristen broke down to look like a little broken doll, like she was so doing that dance, she’s so good physically. I mean, he too is just they’re both geniuses. They’re so good.


Louis Virtel I was going to say something that’s fascinating to me is when people take to method acting and when they don’t like, I feel like I hear just as many quotes from actors being like, you know, or, you know, someone like, Isabelle Huppert, for example, like just wanders into a scene and she’s just entirely imperious and commanding, and it works for her. Why do you think, like you’re saying Meisner was, like, very helpful for you. What is it about formal acting lessons that helped you?


Leslie Bibb I think it gives you an arsenal. I think. If if when I show up, I, you know, this, and I probably screw it up. And some people are like, she’s a terrible actor. I don’t really care if they think that. But, like, the work I do is I do a lot of fucking work on my scripts and all my stuff, and, I don’t know. You just, she she, I just remember Maggie saying, you should go to every job. You should have an arsenal. You should have, like, you know, if you have an objective and a scene, there’s a lot of ways you can go about getting it. There’s a lot of actions you can do to get what you want. There’s more than one way is, you know, to skin a cat. I don’t know what that means. But I mean. I mean, it’s terrible. I don’t know why we’re skinning cats, but. But but there are. And so your job as an actor is just to have, like, an arsenal of ideas. And I think that it just prepares you. I mean, for me, I think, you know, there’s some actors who can show up and do zero work and they’re incredible. For me, I have to be incredibly, like, memorized and ready and prepared as like, painstakingly so that when I get there, I can throw it all away and take it off the other person. And somewhere in my body, those ideas, it’s all percolating and and hopefully, you know, sometimes it really lines up and something magical happens.


Ira Madison III I always find it, interesting, you know, to ask actors as well, not just what you’ve learned from, the people that you work with on set and everything, but, you know, you are with an actor, you know, Sam Rockwell. And I always have to wonder about two artists who live together, what that process is like, where, you know, whether it’s whether it’s even watching each other’s work, or whether it’s even, you know, like reading scripts with one another. Is, is that something that you enjoy doing together or is it a completely separate. We keep our work different.


Leslie Bibb No, no, we’re completely codependent on each other in that way. Just like, I mean, you know, a my favorite thing, I mean, for me to do is to have Sam be my reader when I audition for stuff, I. He read with me, for my callback from Palm Royale. And and he, I was actually doing this, Clint Eastwood movie, and I was for, for White Lotus and and Christmas. You know, who happens to be Sam’s best friend? I was in the movie with me. So Chris taped my audition, and Sam was my reader, and I was like, that. I’m really. I’ve got, like, an 18 right now ready for this audition, but I don’t know, I like to I mean, I love to read stuff. He’s so great. I mean, I get annoyed with him when he gives me some stuff and I’m like, that’s a terrible idea, you know? But then. And he’s like, just try it. But like, yeah, we read everything together. He values my opinion. I value his opinion. We help each other get off book. I’m really good at helping him get off book and memorize his lines. We are very immersed in that. And I thought forever it would be the worst idea to date an actor, and then I wouldn’t date actors, and then I would date these people, and then they would get mad at me for like, having to do a love scene, which now when I look back, I’m like, that’s so dumb. Why was I with that person? I had an old boyfriend who made me buy him something when I did a love scene.


Ira Madison III Oh my God.


Leslie Bibb You need to buy me. And I go see how double minded I taught him. I mean, you can he. Anybody can ask for something. But how dumb was I that I was like, okay, that’s it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Instead of being like, you know, get get over it. It’s a job. I mean, love scenes are truly like the most unromantic, unsexy thing, especially because you’ve got, like, you know, some boom operator standing by you like this and you’ve got, like, a lady, you know? But, yeah, they’re so awkward. But I thought, like, I thought I would never date one. And then I started dating one, and then I was like, why didn’t you do this sooner? This was actually a brilliant idea, but but, I mean, Sam’s really special, so I don’t know if every actors like Sam.


Ira Madison III No, I can’t imagine.


Louis Virtel When they’re that good at dancing, too. I mean, I would just stick with it, you know what I’m saying?


Leslie Bibb Yeah. He’s a really good dancer sometimes. Who we went to, like he. And he, was at the Oscars. That’s what he had to.


Louis Virtel Oh. He presented. He was one of the. Yeah.


Leslie Bibb Presented by that is the verb he presented. And then say you go to like some of the parties. And I was really, like, out of my mind, with jet lag. But we went to the Vanity Fair party, and then I was like, I got to go home. I got to go home. And as we’re walking out, finally the DJ played some good music, and as we’re leaving, he’s like, maybe, baby, we got to dance. We got to dance. We’re like, just dancing. Not even on the dance floor. Like by this, like weird screen. We were just dancing and people were like, what are you guys to weirdo? I don’t know, we I don’t know, I just he’s really. Yeah. It’s I love that he dances. He just can’t stop himself.


Louis Virtel You just mentioned, The White Lotus, and obviously there’s nothing we can know about this show yet. We’re in the third season. And you just said you got back from, Thailand, if I’m not mistaken. But I can ask about Mike white, who I feel like is just one of the most ideal TV makers there is. Like, he’s so he’s seemingly so creative and so knows how to, like, cast and, like, enable actors to do something awesome a lot of people were familiar with or we haven’t seen them do this kind of stuff. What was your experience working with him?


Leslie Bibb That’s far really incredible. I, I wish for everybody to have a mike white experience because he’s so smart. It’s really cool to to to work on something where it’s written by and directed by. So I’ve never had that. Like, it usually doesn’t happen with television, you know, usually like a couple of episodes are done by your, you know, your creator. And then just because of time, you know, you can’t have that. And so that luxury to have his vision guide you and he’s so specific and he’s so generous and, he’s so smart and his writing is like, it’s like a fucking laser beam. I mean, he’s just, I don’t know, I feel very, very, very fortunate. I, I think to get to work with Abe Sylvia, who is my showrunner on Pom Royale, to get to say that man’s words, which are, I think. Equally funny and amazing and well written, but just stylized because it’s 1969. And then to get the luxury to get to work with Mike on Lotus, it’s just like kind of a weird pinch me moment for me. Like, I just artistically, I’m like, I feel like I should go out and buy lottery tickets every day because I feel like lucky. I feel like like, where’s the four leaf clover? Where did I put it? Like it’s somewhere on made somewhere. But yeah, I mean between like, him and Abe like Abe Sophia with the world he created with Palm Royale is just it’s so great. You know, it’s great when somebody gives you, like a pretty lengthy chunk of dialog and you can memorize it like that. That’s when, you know, writing’s really when writing is very difficult to memorize, you’re like, oh, it’s because something’s unnatural. And I found on like, Palm Royale because Abe loves like a chunk of like something said and said fast and quippy. And he it’s just like, so easy to memorize and to do and to make active because he’s his really is this world he created for palm rallies. I just I saw the first episode last week and. I know it was just like bubly and the bubble gum and delicious and like a dessert you want to eat and all the characters and you know, you’ve got a weight. It’s pretty big cast and like it unfolds, but it’s it’s pretty delicious. And it just constantly takes turns and turns and people are catty and bratty and. Desperately seeking a sense of community, and I don’t know if it’s really.


Louis Virtel I tell you something, though, based on how like, like cunningly articulate you are, I have the feeling you memorize most stuff pretty quickly. You’ve got to be one of those crackerjack people I know.


Leslie Bibb I don’t if it’s good, I memorize it quickly. And if you see me in New York, I talk to myself all the time. Or I’m listening to my lines. I mean, I listen, I do a lot of, like, I work on it because it doesn’t always come easy. But when it comes easy, I always know it’s because of the writing, because it just it’s just easy. Like if if something is well written, it’s just like, oh, it just just gets into your brain a bit. And Mike, Mike’s writing is like that and Aids writing and the writers of Pomeroy, because Abe did not write everyone, he oversaw it. But we have like our writers room on, Palm Tree was very fucking fierce and like. So cool. So I hope we get a second season, because I think what they’re going to do is like just going to light up a lot.


Louis Virtel And also the resort where alone, I mean, we need another season of that. Yeah. Okay.


Leslie Bibb Guys, I got to play like on like I don’t know what like a vow. Yeah. I mean, you’re so much fun drug. And you get to do like, we’re like, popping reds and, like, drinking and playing golf and and wig and I are on, like, this golf course, a golf cart. And back then, they only had three wheels. The fact that I didn’t overturn us somehow was like an act of God. And then like they, they made a Vesper like a, like a Vesper especially made for Ricky Martin. So it had to like, he could ride around on investment and give you drinks and make drinks for you. And I’m in, like, vintage Givenchy and and like our costume designer on this alone. And the set designer, the John Carlos like that too is like a feast for the senses. Watching that for the show, it’s really fun.


Ira Madison III Well, it’s so much fun to see you in a show like this again. And, you know, I would be remiss, before you left and I tell you how much I really enjoyed GCB two, and it’s a show I bring up constantly. Yes.


Leslie Bibb Can I tell you, Bobby Harling, who created that show again, another amazing man who writes for, like, women and, like, wrote a show with so many women.


Ira Madison III Annie Potts, Kristin Chenoweth.


Leslie Bibb Yes. So Bobby Harling wrote, Steel Magnolias, which is, you know, and he I think he even, like, did you do the First Wives Club? And he did Soap Dish, which I love. I mean, Bobby Harling, he just we email still and and and he’s, he’s just like an amazing another amazing person. Like an amazing man who loves women and loves to write for women. And and I got so lucky to be. I love that you love that show. I really I fell in love with Kristin Chenoweth on that. But there on that show and and still, like, that girl’s so talented. I remember she started singing and I was like, God, you have a really good voice. And she goes, she would call me legs and I would snatch because she’s a little answer tall. And I would go and I said, snack, you can really sing. And she goes, legs. You know that. Wait, what do you mean? I know it’s like she goes, what are you saying? I said what? No, she’s. Don’t you know I can’t? Did you not see wicked? And I was like. And she goes and she goes. Did you not see whenever the Charlie Brandt. I want a Tony for that. And I was like. And. And she goes, what did you think I was? And I go, I just thought you were an actor. And she was like, that’s the nicest thing. I remember she was like, you just think I met here. And I was like, yeah, it’s about just that you’re this great actress. You had these, like, amazing comedic chops. I had no idea. I had no idea of the opera singing. The singing in, like 87 languages, the, like, perfect pitch, all of that stuff, like, none of it. I just thought, oh, who is this little tiny dancer, spitfire comic genius that is Kristin Chenoweth? And then all of a sudden she opens her mouth and I was like, Holy God, what’s the opera? She’s so weak, she’s so tiny. And then it’s like, it.


Louis Virtel Does feel mathematically impossible. I don’t understand really how that works.


Leslie Bibb It is hard to edit it. It does. It doesn’t make sense to me at all. At all, at all. She’s so, so little and has like she was sing from her death from her tones like, because I just like her diaphragm can’t even be that big. I don’t know where she gets the breath.


Louis Virtel She has my favorite version of my My Funny Valentine, to which I, go ahead and look that up. That’s a treat for all the listeners. Go ahead. Listen.


Leslie Bibb Okay. I know she’s such it. I mean, I’ve been really lucky. Like what? Amazing. Like Kristen Wiig, Kristin Chenoweth, you know, Carly Pope. I’ve been really lucky to have such nurturing, incredible women. Annie Potts like, you know. To get to, to work with them and and learn from you know, so that I thought really feel really lucky. It’s like because that’s all I mean, sort of with jobs, that’s what I look for anymore. I mean, Kim Cattrall played my mother on this movie I did without and then I did with Robert Downey Jr. With Robert, I can’t speak. I just had a stroke with Robert.


Louis Virtel Oh, yes.


Leslie Bibb And I’m like. And I’m like, and I’m on that movie. And I’m like, what’s happening? What’s happening? Like, I don’t know, Kim Cattrall like, I mean, I still was like, I loved Mannequin. I loved like like we like Big Trouble in Little China, like, she’s like and Sex and The City, obviously. But like, you know, she’s so great and like, you get to have these experiences with these people. And that’s what’s so fun about working like to get to be in like and scenes with those people and just learn from them and the scenes because, you know, it’s like AP class.


Louis Virtel I feel like when we do these interviews, like the dream is that somebody is actually having this much fun doing this stuff. So it’s extremely gratifying to hear that. And also, of course, you are a master class after yourselves, so please don’t be underestimating the fact that you’re around these people who I’m sure are like Gadzooks, by how rad you are.


Leslie Bibb So I’m not sure. I’m not sure they all are, but I that’s a very nice thing to say. But it’s it’s really fun. You get to like, there’s so many it meets the great thing. I mean, you know, actors can be we’re the worst sometimes, you know, you’re like, you give us a job and we complain and you don’t give us a job and we complain. So like, I’m trying to and this phase of my life to be very, grateful and like, just being excited to every time you walk on to a set, you know, I mean, maybe that was something that really came from the strike happening from not, you know, like not to suddenly have work stop. And you realize how much you. I feel lucky that. I get to do what we do because I really love it. It’s, you know, I don’t know what people are like. What else would you do if you weren’t an actor? And I was like, I don’t know. The last real job I had was like, maybe like, I don’t know, I have no skills that whatsoever. This is it. Like, if this doesn’t work out, I’m I’m coming to you guys to be like, your husband.


Louis Virtel Nothing wrong with that.


Leslie Bibb Really?


Ira Madison III Yeah. All right.


Leslie Bibb I mean, I’ll make you a really good luck.


Ira Madison III Hahahahaha!


Ira Madison III Thank you so much for being here.


Louis Virtel Oh my gosh. Please join us again. What a pleasure. And also you’re so good on Palm Royale so good.


Leslie Bibb Thank you so much I, I love that show, I really do. I hope people tune in.


Ira Madison III It’s out now when people are listening. Yes.


Leslie Bibb Yes. Go get some apple in your life. Come on. It’ll be fun. All right. Thanks, guys.


Louis Virtel Have a really good thank you so much for joining us. As such. We so appreciate it, guys.


Michael Arceneaux <AD>


Ira Madison III If you tune in to Keep It on YouTube every week to see which iconic female vocalist Louis is wearing on his shirt.


Louis Virtel It’s Vanity Six day here. Denise, may you rest.


Ira Madison III Then this segment is for you. We’re diving into some of our favorite fashion designers brands. Basically where we get our clothes because people are asking. This is for the YouTube watchers. So, you know, if you’re listening on the podcast, if you’re listening on the iPod, maybe you need to fire up YouTube.


Louis Virtel How about that? Oh, yeah. Use your imagination. What could we be wearing? I know you picture straight 90s Versace, but that’s not what we’re wearing.


Ira Madison III Where do you get these shirts? Louis, actually get our. I love a band. You know me. But I you know, I like I like the merch. You know, I like being, you know, I’m at the venue, I’m in the line, I’m looking at. I’m looking at the board, I’m getting the shirts. And then I love wearing those again later, because then I like, you know, I like a a vintage tee. Yeah. And was a message of us from a. Yeah. But where are you getting these?


Louis Virtel I mean, like, up around like, all my Kylie Minogue stuff. I get directly from the source. I would never get fake material from her. This stuff. I mean, I’ll straight up Google a shirt, I don’t care. My problem is with merch, I find there are there are few occasions to wear it. Like if I’m, if I might get a daytime party at like act bar on the East Side and like, you’re hanging out with a bunch of fags and like, you know, you want to you want to wrap something in that case, like, if I’m wearing a Vanity Six shirt, you kind of know what I’m about, I think. And so it says something about you and it’s social and it’s fun, but, otherwise, like, like I work with mostly straight people. If I’m wearing, like, a Kylie Minogue shirt around them, I may as well be wearing, like, something that’s like, I may as well be wearing, like, Korean words or something like they just would not even see it. They wouldn’t even, you know, recognize it. But I just to me, it’s important to. Care about. Like have a point of view on artists you like. And so I hope it’s like conversation starting whatever. You know, where I mean, like I don’t think it’s like provocative what I’m wearing, but you know, and gender is a conversation. I’m into it.


Ira Madison III What about you Michael? Like what what is your what is your sartorial choices?


Michael Arceneaux You know, I’m trying to break out of, the New York transient and exile in LA. All black. Look, I’ve been work. I’m clearly I’m doing that today, but I do love a lot of soul merch. And I will search out old and new. I prefer to go to the shows, but, like, I like to do, like, Crates online if I can find it. But I am trying to let go of dressing like a 90s drug dealer, which is also metastatic. So and I notice watching Potomac, which I know is not the greatest season, but sometimes, like, oh wow, do I dress like Juan? So I like purple. I like the purple label. So that was my friend Dre that worked there. Like. No, Reese Cooper, things like that are really comfortable, but, I’m actually trying to figure out which is funny. I’m turning 40 next month, so I’m like, what? What am I giving in this decade? So I’m actually trying to figure out what is that going to be like, because I don’t want to succumb to that particular older black male demo when he just goes straight to like, Sweatsuits all the time. So I’m trying to get out of that. And actually I did, I had a fun shoot that I did with the LA times, magazine image, and they put me on all these nice clothes and back in color, and I was like, oh, I forgot I used to wear a lot of color. So I’m honestly trying to figure out how do I want to, like, dress the rest of the year. But mostly lately it’s just been kind of given. Juan Dixon I say Juan Williams, but I meant Juan Dixon from Potomac. Like that 40 year old black man who doesn’t want to try too hard but, like, look very. Yeah, I got to, like, go to the 90s drug dealer esthetic and it’s held me down for the last couple of years. But I’m trying to figure out what, that looks like. So you might see me in big, I don’t know, Britney Spears, albeit Britney Spears Tees and in a bunch of crap. But I’m working on it.


Louis Virtel Can I tell you something, though? If I woke up tomorrow and all my wardrobe were replaced with black clothing, I would be pretty psyched about it. I just think there’s something about black clothing where it’s like, you literally pop in whatever environment you’re in, like, it’s like. It’s like an interior design choice for wherever you’re going. I don’t know if it makes sense to me.


Michael Arceneaux I really got into the uniform and I would try to dress it up in my little ways, like I wear all black, but, I mean, I still do like a little pop of color somewhere. I like it called, but for the most part I really got into black, which was not my thing, but the most part, I. This is more fairly recent, but it’s just it’s just easier. Like it’s just so much easier. And I like the uniform, but my friends are like, please go back to color. Like it’s giving big bereavement energy right now, but like, give me another month. I think I’m going to try to push myself back into like the color. My mom liked me in color anyway.


Ira Madison III Yeah. You know, everyone goes to like, the Seagull fairs, you know, where they’re dressing in more thing. But I know for me, I have a lot of. I like the choices of, like, you know, like, a woman on the shirt, like. Like I said, I like the merch. I also, but I also like, a throwback 90s thing. Maybe not drug dealer 90s. Look, you know, maybe, MTV’s The Grind, you know, that’s a general, like, vibe. You know, I’m in, like, a sweater down, which I got from Instagram. I’m also a I’m also an Instagram buyer, unfortunately.


Louis Virtel Oh, me, me too. I honestly, I think that maybe the best thing about Instagram, I mean, like, you know, it’s like, well, it’s like these are the clothes I want to wear. And they found me. So it’s actually helped. Yeah, I know I’m like part of the system and like, we’re all going to be dead. So but okay.


Michael Arceneaux That’s a little part of the problem. I’m like, oh y’all clock me that? I’m trying to change you, but your spying is working now because you sent me in the direction of the right stores and products. So thank you.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III But they also find weird things in your taste that you may sort of like. Like, I don’t know, this is from some brand called pleasing. I’m wearing a blue sweater with this. Thank you. With, like, a big heart on the side of it. And it just popped up in the Instagram. I also have a pair of shorts, which I wore, like, out this weekend in New York because it was, it was sunny, and they will become, Fire Island shorts this summer for sure. They are hot, but they are they are shorts that. Well, they are shorts that say, they’re shorts made to look like the box of, a Newport cigaret box because Instagram knows it’s there. But Instagram knows that I smoke Newports. So they were like, you know what, maybe you would like shorts that are that box. And I put them on and I had them out Sunday. And then people are like, those are really cute. Those are campy. Those are those look ridiculous. And I was like, you know what? Instagram got me also being ridiculous.


Louis Virtel If you’re going to Fire Island, by the way, this summer, do not pair a pack a single pair of long pants. I have made this mistake before. Like I don’t know what. Like the formal dinner. I think I’m going to get myself into it. And my girlfriend. It is a shorts zone. Please.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah. Yeah, shorts. Which reminds me, I actually really loved the John Elliott shorts.


Louis Virtel I’m wearing John Elliott pants right now. Yes.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, I love, love their shorts. They actually have helped me out of my black a little bit. Or if I’m going to wear some parts of black, then I can have that pop of color. They’re like, perfect. Yes, I need to get into the pants, but I’m really trying to be like, I’m going to use these, like, until they fall off for the rest of the summer.


Louis Virtel I’m wearing right now, like this, like, kind of cargo pant with, like, a, elastic bottom. Let me say this. I feel like this something that’s nice about John Eliot, and it’s pricey, like you’re throwing down for these clothes, generally speaking. But I feel like it’s the most acceptable version of something that Chloe, 70, brought up. And I feel like I’m still recovering from how fucking right she was when she said that she doesn’t like New York, because the dogs and the athleisure have taken over. And let me say this, athleisure. First of all, is a concept that’s now feeling a little 20 tens to me. Like, I don’t know how much longer we can really do it, but there’s also just something like a little icky about, like, everybody seeming too comfortable all the time. Like there’s no sense of occasion to fashion when everybody looks like they’re just going to. And from a gym class. That said, I feel like if you can get like a significant nylon pants with like good pockets and stuff, it feels a little bit more substantial, a little bit less like, you know, your yoga mommy. You know what I’m saying?


Ira Madison III If I’m going athleisure as well, I feel like you need to commit to the entire bit of it all. You know, there’s there’s a difference in just wearing like, Adidas track pants and just then like a hoodie or like a t shirt, as opposed to if I’m out wearing Adidas track pants. I’m also wearing the track jacket. I am also wearing Adidas. I’m wearing like I’m wearing Stan Smiths right now. You know, I feel like you commit to the entire look. So you’re giving, you know? I mean, I do look like I’m in Run-D.M.C. often, especially because I’m in my gold Chain era, but at least commit to that look so it doesn’t feel like you’re just scrounging things from your closet and running to the grocery store.


Louis Virtel Right? Don’t just put on Adidas belong in the Missy Elliott video. Yes, precisely. Okay.


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Ira Madison III I Finally Bought Some Jordans. It’s like the name of your book. Are there any clothing items that you all remember from being a kid that you were like, I really want this, and maybe you never got it. And now you’ve had a chance to revisit it.


Louis Virtel I always wanted to wear, like, the significant Doc Martin heavy shoes, of, like, everybody I idolized in the 90s. Just like everybody had to quote the song.


Ira Madison III Daria.


Louis Virtel Yes. To quote the song Ring of Keys from, fandom. Everybody had a bearing about them, you know what I’m saying? Like. Yeah. Like, everybody has just, like, heavy and walking and, you know, even like Sinead O’Connor, who, you know, was sort of, she, she would like, like a little top and like, kind of heavy jeans. But then the shoes were always heavy, like, that was like part of the look. I, I didn’t think in leather would ever be, like, really a moment for that? You know, just because everybody is sort of somewhat related to coastal beachy attire or whatever, I find that I see it all the time now in this era where everybody has gigantic pants. So I’m sort of it’s I’m, I’m psyched that that’s happened. So I’m always in the market for new cool boots.


Ira Madison III I bought my first big like I like those Doc Barton ones and I feel like, who was it? Oh, one of our mutual friends, Noah Bach. He was visiting New York and truly was wearing some. And he told me, you need to buy this. You look good in them. I got them off of, like, Doc then. And now I wear them and I’m like, I do love them. They are a heavy shoe that. Yeah. Right. Will you put on a Doc Martin? You sort of really have to be like. Maybe you’re going out for the evening, but they cannot be a New York all day shoot. You can’t run errands and Doc Martens.


Louis Virtel Right, right. No it’s it’s like going out. It’s a good significant shoe for going out by the way. Noah Buck is good. Somebody you can just. This the friend of ours that I were just mentioned. He, is somebody you can trust for fashion advice. Everybody at his party, it looks like they belong in the Sims Living Large expansion pack. I’m telling you, they’re all.


Michael Arceneaux Like moon.


Louis Virtel Print pants. Here comes a fortune teller. Just like every kind of character is there?


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Ira Madison III And what about you, Michael?


Michael Arceneaux Oh, well, I finally buy some Jordans, but I actually still haven’t bought the particular pair I write about. Okay, you it, but I am going to finally get them. Actually. Probably. Tomorrow. Then to join the. I really want the white and black leather ones and the cool grays. I feel like I’ll have finally reach back into that part of my childhood that I couldn’t get and then move on, but like, I it’s those two that I still want. Like, just for me. Just, I don’t know, it’s. I feel great if you buy the books like you’ll get it, but, it’s just, just enough to let me think like, you’re not that person, like, grown up with without and all of that. So I think once I get those out a little bit better. But for the most part, everything outside of the like, Jordans thing that I want and couldn’t get, I eventually worked my way to get it, but those two are like still. Like I never quite got it. So I’m trying to still finish that. So, so that’ll make me feel better. And I need big pants, so thank you for reminding me, Louis.


Louis Virtel Yes. Get on.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Big pants are back. You know, I’ve got I got some I bought some Carhartt’s for the first time and I was walking around in them and I was like, I mean, I feel like a painter.


Louis Virtel Like Murphy Brown’s friend. Yeah. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Right. Yeah. I feel like I work Jenco Jeans and, I don’t know, maybe it was a thing that came from, you know, I feel like recently and working out more like and losing weight and things and, like, bigger jeans feel better now. I mean, I feel like when I was a kid, you know, I was like, I didn’t want to wear, like, big jeans because, like, you’re walking around looking like, you know, I think you’re hiding a high school baby something, you know?


Louis Virtel No, I didn’t.


Ira Madison III Very teen mom.


Louis Virtel I still have to get over the associations I have with baggy clothes, because obviously, when you’re in, like, middle school in 1999 or whatever, it. That was like the clothes of the enemy, right? Like the guy who would bully you or whatever. Like, I’m everybody in some form or another, had to dress like they had heard of the X games. That is your life in 1999. The Backstreet Boys, almost like they’re coming off this loss, you know what I’m saying? So I’m still getting over like. Like I’m. I still fucking remember in like 2013 or 14 when Lorde performed at the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame because she was inducting Nirvana. And she sang Smells Like Teen Spirit or whatever, and she was wearing giant, I think, pink pants or whatever. And I just fucking knew that would be the pants we all wore for the next decade. And I’m still a little bit burned about it, but I found a version I feel like, again, like a sort of drapey cargo pant that’s like thin. That’s a version of voluminous I can do that isn’t like I, you know, contrived. I hate dressing and feeling contrived. And by the way, that’s my problem with a lot of fashion on Instagram is we’re in this world of like, you can borrow from a stylist and give it back, and so everybody can try on whatever wild look they want for whatever photo they get out of it, and it doesn’t say anything about them. Personally, I hate fashion like that. I crave people like Tilda Swinton, who belong in crazy clothes. So, I’m just want to put a message out there, please. If you’re going to do something zany, make sure it actually pertains to who you are as a person and doesn’t just look good in a picture. Thank you so much.


Ira Madison III I’m also put out there before we close that. I love a fit pack. Okay, I don’t need a fit pack if the fit isn’t fitting. Okay, if you like, I like I don’t like. You don’t have to do it every day. At some point when some people are doing like a get ready with me or like, here’s a fit pick, I’m like, okay, it’s just some clothes.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Right. Right. Yeah. Like, oh, I’m.


Michael Arceneaux Tired of getting ready with certain people, right? I know who they are. But.


Louis Virtel I’m ready without you.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, yeah.


Louis Virtel I’m out the door.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah.


Ira Madison III All right. When we are back, the Keep It segment. All right. We are back with our favorite segment of the episode. It is Keep It. Michael, as our guest. What are you saying Keep It to this week?


Michael Arceneaux Okay. Vanderpump Rules. So this show actually brought me out of a dark period in my life a few years ago. I was like, oh, this is my wife. I love it here. I love it. Last season caught up all in scandal. I’ll split all the pie, cause whatever. This season. Whoa. So you mentioned this earlier about, you know, forgiving a white man too easily. We don’t need all this with Sandoval, Lala. And I’m looking at you. While it’s certainly okay to give him forgiveness, and I, of all people, understand about suicide ideation, I write about that in the book, losing.


Louis Virtel Beautifully by the way.


Michael Arceneaux Our friends. Thank you. I truly appreciate that. So I understand, dairy like, not want to egg it on, but, like, why are we at the point where, like, you’re alienating the actual person who was afflicted by this horrible man who is not at all, he doesn’t care. It’s obvious he doesn’t want to do any work. And now the season is, like, so lopsided. I just I just feel like the show could go in another direction where it could have been, like, more female forward. They could have stood behind Ariana, and lifted her up and maybe took the show in a different direction. Now I’m remembering why this show should have probably ended sooner than it did, past, because it’s starting to get now. Like where is people my age or slightly older just stuck. And it is annoying to watch. And clearly I was catching up with Vanderpump Rules on the plane on the book tour, so it’s heavy on my heart. But Ariana, I’m with you. Even though Shayna and Lala are not in LVP stop always taking up for the men. It’s annoying. It’s not the TV and the mid-season trade looks better, but as of now you can keep the season a thing.


Ira Madison III That’s always so interesting about a show like that. And then like some of our housewives, right where it’s, when a show goes on for too long that’s scripted. There are at least ways to fix it, adding in new people, etc., new storylines. But like what? A show is going on for so long and it’s unscripted, you’re at a certain point where you’re just watching. The point of watching them is the fact that they filmed this show, right? You know, so yes, there’s you’re not getting anything else really out of the interactions. If there’s especially a show like Vanderpump Rules were there, it’s hard to add in new people because it really is a friend group. You know, it was never like the Housewives shows on Bravo’s where, you know, people are axed or fired because, you know, they’re not serving the show.


Louis Virtel Or crimes against humanity or whatever. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Right. Right. Yeah. And the thing about this season, too, I would agree with you, is very much also giving. The women. First of all, it’s giving that these people are jealous of the fact that Ariana became so famous.


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Ira Madison III After Scandoval. And two. It’s giving. They all sort of know and kind of can sense. She’s probably not coming back after this season. You know, like she’s done. She’s just here to open. Ariana is here to open her restaurant with Katie, and then she’s going to bounce, you know, because she should be hosting things. She should be just doing other stuff without being on a show with these people who are now some of them coming back to be on this other show, The Valley or something, you know? So a lot of the time stuff too, feels like they are hedging their bets on a person who will probably still be on Vanderpump Rules in season 19.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, I won’t be there for that. But yes.


Ira Madison III I, I will absolutely not. I, I’m barely there this season.


Michael Arceneaux I guess. I just want a sandwich at this point. Open up that shop, y’all. I’m ready.


Ira Madison III Yes. Okay. That is the one thing I have to say to Arianna. Maddox. I’m like, there’s something about her sandwich shop. I need to be open. I want a sandwich. I want to taste it. Like I want to get in line. I want to support you, girl. But like, you got me waiting on the sandwich, you know? Anyway, Louis, what is your Keep It? We’re mad about reality shows and sandwiches, right?


Louis Virtel No. Understandable. My Keep It this week is surprising even to me. Which is so, I guess. Recently, after the Oscars last week, Bill Maher fired his reps NCAA for not getting him into an Oscars party. And people are sort of teeing at him and, you know, being like, what a fucking brat. And, what a weird what a weird reason to ax your reps after having them for 20 years or something. I am so sorry. This is the only relatable thing he has ever done to me.


Michael Arceneaux But I’m sorry.


Louis Virtel Our good friend of the podcast and my friend, one of my best friends, Diablo Cody, has a Substack now where she kind of talks about this, but she’s like, Oscar parties are like an extremely sensitive issue in L.A. there’s like, you know, it’s like. But, I mean, it’s like you’re in or you’re out. Like, she she invokes a Chris Rock routine where she says, like, sometimes you’re on the yacht and sometimes you’re waving from the pier, and you better be okay with both. I thought she, like, articulated this particular FOMO sensation. Really? Well, but I just want to say it’s like if this is finally the thing that gets you upset at Bill Maher, how about you read any other headline about this, man? Because that’s actually a very nice Bill Maher and John Cleese rail against the New York Times, said, it’s no longer a great newspaper. Bitch, who asked you? You don’t know about fucking anything or anyone. You don’t belong in any fucking conversation. Literally, maybe, except with the caterers at the CIA Oscar party that you weren’t even invited to. I just think he is among late night hosts. The biggest shame in the history of the medium. He has never once apologized. And I think it’s like a real masculine pride issue he has that has now bubbled over into this, everybody’s wrong but me thing. Somebody who uses the word woke and means it. Just an upsetting person altogether. I unfortunately, if my reps, after hundreds of years of being on the air and mixing with these celebrities, couldn’t get me into a CAA party, I would be pissed too.


Ira Madison III That’s t, you know.


Louis Virtel Don’t ever tell me that’s T again. Ha ha.


Michael Arceneaux Ha ha.


Louis Virtel Kudos to you, Louis. Thanks for spilling.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Hahahahaha! But the party invites are. They’re hard, girl. Yeah. You know, like it’s a and especially when you’re what? I haven’t been to the Vanity Fair Oscar party. But when you watch the arrivals to. And then you see everyone dropping, their photo of getting, you know, like, on that. I always love the Vanity Fair, red carpet for that party because they’re always standing on this circle. This is Vanity Fair, right?


Louis Virtel Yeah. It’s very.


Ira Madison III Like. It looks very. Yeah, yeah, it looks very chic. And then you just look at all these people going and you’re like, well, damn, how big is this fucking party?


Louis Virtel No. Right. Literally where are they standing? It’s like the Met Gala I like, and you’re all wearing these gigantic gowns. There can’t be room for this. It seems crazy.


Ira Madison III Yeah. And then you also think about the people who are at the party, who you talk about the Diablo Cody thing about, sometimes you’re on the yacht and sometimes you’re waving. But with these parties, too, there is also the sometimes you’re on the yacht, but you go in through the back entrance. Yeah, because no one, no one cares about watching you walk onto the yacht. Yeah, right.


Michael Arceneaux Right, right.


Ira Madison III You gotta be okay with that, too, you know, because there’s also the thing of you come to the event and it’s like no one is screaming, hey, turn here, take a photo, whatever. You know, it’s just like, you just Keep It pushing and you just got to be okay with that, too. Just, I just, I just I just like the free liquor, right? No.


Louis Virtel That’s right. Right, right. No, I don’t need to dress in like, you know, a gorgeous, utterly slim robe like Timothee Chalamet or something, you know? And it’s just like you just simply want to be there. If you’re if you’re a part of the conversation at one point, you want to stay in the conversation. That’s that. I’m sure Bill Maher has the biggest ego in the history of the universe, so I can also understand his reaction being overblown to the people personally. He dealt with.


Ira Madison III Unfortunately, he did spill a bit about the New York Times currently. Okay. But.


Louis Virtel That’s the truth to power.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah, yeah.


Louis Virtel The the circus is still flying, girl.


Louis Virtel Yeah, sure.


Ira Madison III But I do like the New York Times games section. Okay?


Louis Virtel You know, the crossword every day plays.


Ira Madison III Yeah. The word all the connections I made. A connections game for my friends this weekend. So, you know, that was fun. I also organized a game of Traitors for 24 people.


Louis Virtel I played a game of Traitors myself and got to the final round. And because of a weird immunity issue, I didn’t win. But if that weren’t there, I would have won the whole thing and I would have, you know, as, as as a faithful. I was a faithful. Yes, I they should have eliminated me. It was a trishelle situation. I should have been taken out much earlier.


Ira Madison III Yeah. See, three Traitors made it to the final.


Louis Virtel Holy shit.


Ira Madison III And the one and the one I organized, I organized. I didn’t play as a faithful or traitor, but three made it in and it was this is the thing that happens with what people are playing with one another who are friends, and which is sort of what you get on these shows, too, because like, you have a CT to show you, like you have like, sorry, Phaedra, like people with pre-established connections. They’re you. Sometimes you don’t want to vote out people, you know. It’s like I remember at one point, like they realized, my friend, it was my friend Charlie and Trey’s birthday, and everyone realized that Charlie was one of the traitors. But people are like, well, it’s also his birthday. And, like, we’re not going to vote for my friends. Go, go be in a bad mood all weekend if he is kicked out. Oh, fagot.


Louis Virtel Charlie would have been on the curb if I were playing. I play like.


Michael Arceneaux Murdered. Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III And it is. It is so fun to also watch people playing it to even just from the organizing standpoint, because, my friend Trey and his boyfriend Jordan, were not traitors. They were faithfuls. And I was watching them both arguing with each other all weekend about, you know, believing each other was a traitor. Whether they’re lying. And I’m like both of your faithfuls, you’re having this argument for nothing. Yeah.


Louis Virtel No, it’s fun to watch on the outside. That’s the nice thing about that game.


Ira Madison III Yeah, yeah. And then you take each other out because you’re focused on trying to get each other out when you need to be focused on finding the other traitors.


Louis Virtel Can I say one boring thing about the fucking traitors? I’m watching UK season two right now. Nothing upsets me more than when somebody tries to pick. Somebody else is a traitor. And they’re like, well, he acted really fucking weird when he did this. The traitors are never acting weird. The whole thing is they are your friend. They’re acting like your friends. Why do you think that it’s so weird.


Michael Arceneaux Living up to the name, I think.


Louis Virtel Yes, yes, yes. Yeah.


Ira Madison III I very much hope that when we go into, like, third seasons of all these international versions of the traitors, there is finally someone at the round table saying the actual ways you figure out a traitor because they’re always going with like, like you said, you said something differently or like, I think that they’ve been shady the way you’re attacking people of the Round Table. I’m like seven times out of ten, the traitor is the person that you trust. They’re sitting around the round table. They’re agreeing with everybody else. They’re not doing anything out of the ordinary, right? They’re trying to be undetected.


Louis Virtel Right. Exactly.


Ira Madison III So much that they’re Dan Kiessling, who was doing too much of like, not being, involved in offering up names. So I’m like, it is not the person who was acting over the top the most, like the Traitors are keeping them in riot.


Louis Virtel No, you need to figure out who’s having a secret dialog, like who at the table is not like expressing something to another player because they have another dialog going. You have to be thinking about what’s actually on these people’s mind anyway. Ira, what is your Keep It?


Ira Madison III My Keep It it’s also reality related.


Louis Virtel Okay.


Ira Madison III The whole reality episode my keeper is going to this season so far. Survivor. Girl. There’s this player on this season named Bhanu. Who is I am sorry. It’s sometimes nice to watch people flame out and implode on reality TV, but when you are watching a competition series like Survivor, you’re really watching it because you like the characters and personalities, but you also like the gameplay that is happening. This man is so stressful to watch on TV. He’s like sobbing constantly. It’s just it’s it’s unpleasant. I don’t like it. There’s this great player who’s on his tribe, and she. Last week, at tribal, two weeks ago at tribal, she said something that truly friends of mine texted. They said, this probably would be you playing the game. You would say this, he gets up in the middle of tribal, goes over to her. He’s like, I’m not being voted out. Am I, like, quite paranoid. Even though they had come up with a plan to get rid of this other girl. And she tells him, stop making the block hot.


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Ira Madison III And I don’t even think he knew what that meant. But we knew, you know, we would. So there’s just some swag where, like, even if you don’t know where the person say the way they say it, the way they look at you, it’s like, stop making the block hot. He got up and went back over and sat down, in his seat. So I don’t know, this season of stressing me out, I also want to point out that. The tribe that Banu has been on has lost all three episodes so far, and the only reason he didn’t go home in the third one was because someone got injured on another seat on another tribe, and so there wasn’t a vote out. Stop having three tribes on us. Survivor two, because then there’s always going to be one that’s losing constantly. And it’s just it’s not fun to watch. We need two tribes. Also, I fried someone’s, you know, medivac it out because, you know, there are injured or whatever. But I’m also like, this game is 26 fucking days now. They shortened it. It’s like when you’re getting rewards and like family visits or something on U.S. Survivor. Now it’s like, for what?


Louis Virtel You’ve been there a couple weeks.


Ira Madison III Yeah, okay. You’ve been like, you’ve been on vacation at this point. Okay. In contrast to Survivor Australia, which just wrapped up its season last night. I watched the finale this morning. Amazing fucking season of television. I don’t want to spoil the winner in case there are Americans who are. You know, you’ve got to get a VPN. You got to do all this shit to watch it. But what an exhilarating finale. They are out there for also 36 days. No, no, after for like 40 something days or whatever. And it is just amazing gameplay and amazing season. I loved it start to finish, I cried, I rooted for people, teared up at certain speeches and moments, and that is just like what Survivor is like and could be. But Jeff Probst has this thing where he is like anti the foreign versions of Survivor because he doesn’t want, you know, to besmirch, you know, the U.S version of it. And so he doesn’t want to borrow things from those seasons or something to. And I’m like get over it Jeff.


Louis Virtel I also like us Survivor hits more often than not. Like I think he could stand up. Like if there’s a season that doesn’t work out, like there’s no shame in being like, oh yeah, maybe this other place did this particular thing better. Mike. Michael, are you a Survivor person?


Michael Arceneaux I used to be, but not one of my best friends is obsessed with Survivor, so I’m still filled in now. So I’m clean in a little bit. Yeah. I need to watch international versions, though.


Ira Madison III They are good. I just the Survivor Australia is just like such a good. The gameplay is great and honestly, it’s so Australia just gives you like plenty of himbos. And I miss that on regular Survivor too. Hot people who are good at the competitions and they get kicked out like post merge, but they hope tribes get to the end, when there are too many superfans on a show like this. At some point, it’s kind of the opposite of that Vanderpump Rules thing, right? It’s just like when the show’s been on for so long, people coming into the game, they’ve seen they they’re fans of it. They love that they’re playing. Yeah, yeah, but they’re playing also playing differently than someone who’s in like season 12 of the show. You know, when it’s at the height of its popularity and you just want to be on Survivor. It’s very different than people who grew up watching Survivor when they were five with their dad, and now they’re very excited to play the game. You know, they’re coming in with a different mentality.


Louis Virtel I want to say also, the Australia season one of traitors is the best season of the show. Absolutely. There’s one episode of oh, lots going on, lots going on.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Michael Arceneaux Australia kills international trade, as I sure was. So I’m going to go with Australia.


Louis Virtel Australia season one so far I like the UK two, but like Australia, season one is the best season.


Michael Arceneaux Yeah okay. Yeah. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Oh yeah. Yeah as well whatever.


Louis Virtel He’s very like Chris Harrison but Australian that’s what he does. Yeah.


Ira Madison III get over to Peacock okay. Because Peacock is doing it. Peacock is doing it okay. I haven’t even seen that new soap that’s out or whatever, but it’s called like, something like Apples Never Fall or something that’s just like.


Michael Arceneaux Oh, yeah. Yeah.


Ira Madison III And I’m just like, I. I’m hooked by the title alone. I love dumb shit like that. Apple’s NeverFfall. What does that even mean? But I’m going to watch it, right.


Louis Virtel No, we have to tune in in order to see. Yes. Rooting for Annette. Still sad she didn’t win an Oscar even though she was never a contender for Nyad. Okay. Very good.


Michael Arceneaux I love Annette Bening.


Louis Virtel Oh my. Imagine not. And I said she dressed like a Shogun last week. She was like, here to like, run the Oscars. Yeah.


Michael Arceneaux Yes.


Ira Madison III Michael, thank you so much for being here again. It’s always a pleasure to have you and people go buy I Finally Bought Some Jordans. Michael’s new essay book. It’s delightful. It’s a great read. It’s moving.


Louis Virtel oh, yeah. It hits so hard to. I mean, it’s like this book is not for sissies, even though that’s exactly what we are. So.


Michael Arceneaux Yes, big sis energy. I am so happy to be on the show. Like I said, I listen y’all on on my Pop-Pop walks and hikes, so it’s always a pleasure to be on here. I’m really happy yall like the book and thank you for reminding me I should really get back into Survivor and to check out the Traitors International, because I’m going through Phaedra withdrawals. So y’all going to help me?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yes. Yeah, she really did bring it on that fucking season of the Traitors. It wouldn’t have been the same without her.


Ira Madison III Yeah yeah. Thank God because she did it on Married to Medicine. But that’s the story. That’s our cover for another, for another episode. Thank you to Michael. Thank you to Leslie Ben for joining us. And we will see you next week. Telford gets about crooked media on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. You can also subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review.


Louis Virtel Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our producers are Chris Lord and C.J. Polkinghorne are executive producers are Ira Madison, the Third, Louis Virtel, and Kendra James. Our digital team as Megan Patsel, Claudia Shang, and Rachel Gaeski. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to Matt DeGroot, David Toles, Kyle Seglin, and Charlotte Landes for production support every week.