'Nora Ephron’s Pot Brownies' w. Kristin Chenoweth | Crooked Media
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March 09, 2022
Keep It
'Nora Ephron’s Pot Brownies' w. Kristin Chenoweth

In This Episode





Ira: And we’re back to an all new episode of Ira in Amsterdam,


Louis: oh, an international caper.


Ira: You know, I thought it was time we took the podcast overseas


Louis: with ugh maybe Kenneth Brown. I can direct this. I see. Gal Gadot in your future


Ira: death on the Canal


Louis: Woooo fun. Death on the Amstel? Yes.


Ira: Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yes, I am in the midst of my L.A. exodus, which I have been talking about forever. And it finally happened.


Louis: Well, half the people I know have moved to New York in recent months, so in a way, you’re just a follower. By the way. I’m Louis Virtel. Do I say my name anymore? Anyway, I’m Louis


Ira: Um and Aida is, of course, shooting a film. I mean, maybe she’s in The Batman, too,


Louis: the way you phrased that I thought you were about to say “and Aida is shooting a person” that’s you can’t explain who, but


Ira: *laughs* Grand Theft Aida.


Louis: Yeah, I’ve heard stranger ideas, um by the way. Speaking of, you come from the theater, right? You’re a fan of theater.


Ira: I come from the theater.


Louis: Yes, right? No. Stanislavski himself is who I’m talking to, right? OK, great.


Ira: Absolutely.


Louis: I saw an immersive theater artist over the weekend that you maybe have heard of. She was born with the name Katie Hudson, but she goes by the name Katy Perry to everybody else. Girlfriend. I saw her Vegas show Laurie Anderson, stand down. This shit was explosive and you know what? Among the best concerts I have ever seen. And also, I think the best exhibition of a celebrity’s brand I have ever seen with the possible exception of Disneyland. Jesus Christ. I thought she put it down so fucking hard. It was. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the concept of the show. I actually avoided a lot of the like spoilers of it because it was all over Twitter. It’s a really splashy visual show. But my God, it was giving gay demented kids choice awards. It was giving


Ira: isn’t that just the Kids Choice Awards,


Louis: correct? Yes, it was giving honey. I shrunk the kids and fed them molly. Oh my god, I just it was so she’s so high octane kitsch. And that’s exactly what you got. It was completely unpretentious. Sometimes it was. It got into a little bit of a bathroom humor place. If you’re familiar with some of the major spoilers that were on Twitter. And I was happy that was spoiled for me because that might have unsettled me had I not known about them ahead of time. But I really, really, really recommend it. And I thought her patter with the audience was fucking amazing. She was hilarious, which I don’t know that I’ve ever said that about Katy Perry before.


Ira: I think she’s funny, I think. I mean, first of all, I think you remember when we saw her at Madonna. The one time Madonna talked to the audience and Katy Perry was like in the audience. And they did this banter about asking if she could drink some of Katy Perry’s beer, and it was surprisingly funny. I don’t think we even knew it was Katy Perry. At first,


Louis: No, she would talk to people in the audience and you couldn’t hear or that, like the acoustics, were bad in that room anyway, so you had no idea who she was talking to sometimes. This is also going to be a Madonna centric episode, so we should get off this topic now. But Katy Perry sufficiently disgusting and fun in this show, and I also want to say. Banger after banger, as of course, you’re you’re all aware, but Bon Appétit that’s got to be in the top tier now that’s risen, you know, like the song Rise by Katy Perry , now its the top tier. Yeah.


Ira: I have always been here for Bon Appétit because, you know, I am a fan of the Migos.


Louis: Oh, I didn’t know that, really.


Ira: Huh? Well, you know, it’s like it’s it’s it’s it’s appropriate music if you’re a Drake fan. So, you know, that’s where I saw the Drake and Migos tour once, and that was pretty fantastic. They’re sort of like. Like, the three caballeros of hip hop, you know,


Louis: that makes sense, you’re not you’re not salty still,


Ira: I couldn’t think of another trio


Louis: Snap Crackle and Pop. I don’t know. um


Ira: Alvin Simon and Theodore of rap


Louis: No wait Migos was what was missing from the performance of Swish Swish on SNL, correct? Yeah. Yeah. So we’re a little salty with them?


Ira: I mean, it was the whole drama with, you know, the like. Maybe there were like homophobic against drag queens. And I mean, I mean, RuPaul was homophobic against drag queens, so.


Louis: By the way, I also saw the RuPaul Vegas show where, like several queens from past seasons, do like a little bit of cabaret. And I am sorry to say I thought it was largely grim. There was way too much video footage of the show. People I usually like. I thought Camera Michaels was going to throw it down. I I was left wanting


Ira: like video footage of the actual RuPaul’s Drag Race show?


Louis: Correct? They interspersed like the live segment with like footage from the show, I guess, to maybe explain to people in the audience like what certain things meant if they weren’t like fans of the show and it just man, it did not hit. It did not. I don’t. I know Katy Perry is paid a million dollars to have brilliant banter with the audience, but we did not get brilliant banter with the audience this time.


Ira: I mean, I think at what point does the RuPaul universe collapse in on itself? I mean, we could have the whole other episode about that, but I think it’s like it’s gotten to the point now where each episode of the show, the challenges are referencing in jokes from previous episodes and seasons of the show and not creating anything new


Louis: or yea reflecting outside culture. I mean, I always get like, I get a little tick that comes over my body. When somebody in Snatch Game plays a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m like, No, no, no, no, this isn’t what this is. We can’t be this self-referential.


Ira: But every single challenge on the show is self-referential now.


Louis: Yeah, right? It’s a little unfortunate. No. I still need challenges regarding like kitsch, 60s, kitsch, 70s,


Ira: Well time and RuPaul’s Drag Race is a closed loop. So you mentioned before this is a Madonna centric episode, but it is also a Batman centric episode. Oh yes. We’re going to talk about The Batman. We are going to talk about Madonna’s grueling boot camp that she has every young blond actress in Hollywood competing in to play Madonna in the biopic that she is co-writing and directing.


Louis: If you have not read this Hollywood Reporter article detailing the the grueling nature of these auditions, it is a hard l-o-l from start to finish. I’m like, like me cackling and be like Madonna’s so mean and looking at the ceiling. yeah.


Ira: No we have the fantastic Kristin Chenoweth joining us today, and she is. A delight, to no one’s surprise.


Louis: I mean, like we should have guessed like she has that Kelly Ripa quality of like like ready to get into a gregarious, dishy conversation at a moment’s notice thing. And she does not disappoint. We had a blast. It was one of our favorite interviews this year.


Ira: Yeah, so we will be right back with more Keep It.


Ira: Over the weekend, Matt Reeves’ The Batman made over one hundred and thirty million dollars. None of those dollars were mine because I saw it today because, you know, I got to see it this afternoon. If you haven’t heard already, I’m in Amsterdam and it’s evening here.


Louis: I actually support you recording in the evening for this reason. That way, the pop culture is very fresh on your mind. I’m coming off sleep and let me tell you something. I don’t have much of a brain for the world of Batman, so you’ll have to tell me what I saw.


Ira: Well, OK. First of all, I’m excited that I’ve managed two weeks in a row to get you to watch a Batman film.


Louis: No, I lose. Can you believe this has happened to me? I don’t know myself anymore. Watch me watching the Adam West show next week or something. Woof. Now


Ira: What did you think?


Louis: OK, here I go. Well, let’s start with the runtime, which I didn’t realize walking in was one hundred and seventy eight minutes and I checked who directed it, and it wasn’t David Lean. So that is unacceptable. I don’t know. I was in for a passage to Batman. Doctor Je Batman . That said, for a three hour movie that really does not have much in the way of, shall we say, sparkling personality, it is super watchable. I didn’t find much of it boring. That said, I also don’t know why it’s three hours long and don’t remember what took so long.


Ira: That’s fair. I would say that, you know, just to get the critiques about the runtime out of the way it is this year’s The Irishman, you know where there’s always a new fucking film where its like, “Why is this three hours long?”.


Louis: Right.


Ira: But I would say that I wasn’t bored and even when it is slow. It didn’t feel like nothing was happening. You know, there was always something happening, and I appreciate actually that, you know, like the action sequences and the sort of twist that lead you to, you know, set pieces where you always know what people are going to be in danger. And then, you know, like Batman’s in danger and like, theres um.


Louis: A car crash. Car scene.


Ira: The villan’s going to do something else evil.  Yes, I felt like they were all surprisingly unexpected. I did not see the final sequence happening the way it happened.


Louis: I will say as the movie started. So we got Robert Pattinson as Batman, and he’s giving specifically grunge Batman as in


Ira: He is giving jawline first of all. He is giving Batman the animated series jawline.


Louis: Ira. I was going to say the exact same thing. He is definitely A-1 of Batman jaw lines. When he puts that mask. It’s like it was built for his face. No shade to, of course, Michael Keaton and all the others, but it was built for this face. But they play the Nirvana song something in the way a couple of times here. To really lay on that he’s.


Ira: To let you know that he is brooding.


Louis: It’s a brooding Batman. Yes. I found that a bit on the nose, but. And also, his bangs are just that particular, like Final Fantasy 7. Natalie Imbruglia, you know,.


Ira: Very much The Crow.


Louis: Yeah. Yes, exactly. thing.


Ira: Especially with the paint that he does on his eyes before he even puts on the Batman mask, right? I liked the overall esthetic of it.


Louis: Yes. That said, I do feel that the esthetic is repetitive. Like we d0. We have had Blade Runner as Batman before, and it feels like it’s trying to throw this world view at you of like hardened cynicism looms and I don’t know. It’s like, it’s like this. Even though obviously looks incredibly expensive and there’s a lot to look at, it still feels like they’re conferring depth onto moodiness, which is, by this point, super old. And I want to say I’m glad I watched The Dark Knight Rises last week, because, by the way, that is not that downcast a movie actually like the Christopher Nolan movies are like a little overhyped in terms of how brooding they allegedly are.


Ira: No, I mean, I would say that, like Zack Snyder’s films are even more darker and like more like just sort of like sluggish than a Christopher Nolan film. His is sort of like his still have sort of Christopher Nolan still makes blockbusters that are  sort of poppy and like overblown, you know, like Inception and shit like that. Like, he comes from sort of that classic caper. Yeah. When no one’s films are very caper and this was definitely more so than grunge, it’s giving Seven. You know, this is giving like.


Louis: Zodiac.


Ira: 70, Zodiac 70s paranoid thriller. This was really sort of just like a serial killer movie. To be honest, it wasn’t really a Batman film as the ones that we’ve been used to in recent history, but I would say it felt like distinctly Batman. And honestly, I liked the fact that it’s weird. I mean, getting even to Robert Pattinson, right? One thing I’ve loved about him is his Batman press tour. It’s almost been Lady Gaga-esque in, like him talking about every insane thing that he’s done. But it’s there’s also the underlying fact that, like he has fully confessed to making up shit in interviews before.


Louis: Right. I mean,.


Ira: Gaga wants you to believe that she actually was being haunted by flies in Rome because Patricia sent them after her. Robert Pattinson would tell you that, and it’d be like, I wonder if this reporter is going to believe me and make it a headline.


Louis: Right. And I just want to say, I empathize or pardon me. I guess I sympathize with that decision to lie to press because I think people still underestimate how many interviews these people do. Like, after a while, you need to be generating more than the four actual stories that happen. I’m not saying go out there and lie about everything you’ve ever done, but I can sort of see bending the truth and believing the lie and then just having fun after a while. Like, My God, Kristen Stewart is still talking about Spencer. I mean, I’m sorry. The movie does not take three years to film. They’re all. There are a finite amount of stories that could have possibly happened in a finite amount of feelings you can possibly have about Princess Diana. So


Ira: I mean, in even bringing up Kristen Stewart, like, obviously, you know, the Twilight connection between the both of them, and it’s. Just imagine how fucking sick of press junkets and even the like sturm und drang of being a actor, you know, in the public eye. Robert Pattinson is just like, sick of


Louis: Right? Well, and also the perception of the two of them is similar where it’s like, you know, there’s a why don’t they smile more kind of thing about these two people. So I’m sure they’re dealing with a lot of annoying questions also. So kudos to them for being seemingly very lighthearted about all of this. Not that they’re movie stars. I’m not saying it’s the hardest task in the world, but I do appreciate that. What I will say about this Batman movie is in the first hour, I would say this movie could have been called Detective Batman, which, by the way, is great. That like gives this movie a reason to be.


Ira: I mean for those of you who don’t know, Batman debuted in detective comics.


Louis: Yeah.


Ira: So you know, it’s it’s.


Louis: It fits.


Ira: Harking back to the fact that, like, Batman’s supposed to be a detective


Louis: and I feel like it gets away from that eventually which and I’m not saying it turns into a conventional Batman movie, but it turned. Agai, the mood becomes very familiar to me. The romance between him and Zoe Kravitz that was kind of interesting. Her performance, her emotive ness. I would rate at about a Dua Lipa, Which again, is what the movie is going for. It’s not bad or anything, but it’s like it’s this movie is really lacking one person who pops off the screen in terms of charisma, really, I think. Like everyone at everyone’s performance is muted, but not bad.


Ira: I would argue that, like the charisma of the film was the visuals.


Louis: Yeah.


Ira: And it was honestly Michael Giacchino. The score. I already, I think I already put this on social media. It was like he put his whole Michael Giaccussy into this film. OKayyy.


Louis: Ohhkay.


Ira: I have loved Michael Giacchino since The Alias score. And like I still listen to like that fucking track. Red Hair Is Better all the time. When I’m like stomping around New York City, trying to feel like I’m Sydney Bristow.


Louis: Also red hair is. Now see. That’s sometimes in my head still, and I know this is bad. I get Alias confused with Dark Angel. And I think I thought she had red hair, so that makes it confusing for me.


Ira: No she was just being terrorized by James Cameron.


Louis: Oh. Got it! Got it.


Ira: Ugh no, but its just like Michael Giacchino’s score is like, really actually like the star of this film for me. It’s just a beautiful, fucking like score that just like it’s stuck with me and it uses like the umm. I think it like uses sort of like Chopin’s like Piano Sonata, too, because it sounds a bit like, you know, like that funeral march that he did, which is also used in the Darth Vader’s theme in Star Wars and like the Imperial March. So it like it sounded familiar. But it also sounded brand new and it was, I don’t know, like I kept listening to the score, went on my way back from seeing the movie on the way to record this.


Louis: Well, you’ve now brought up Chopin and I now have to recommend again Hugh Grant as Chopin and impromptu with Judy Davis as George Sand. That movie fucking hits. Anyway.


Ira: Have you recommended this before?


Louis: I don’t know. It’s it’s it’s a very underrated movie, and it’s the rare movie where Emma Thompson has a supporting role and she plays a daffy kind of comic character. You’ve got to see this. It’s so good. Anyway


Ira: Well, you know how I feel about movies with pianos, but.


Louis: Right.


Ira: I will. I will break that fox wall to watch this film because I do like Amadeus


Louis: and ugh Judy Davis hides under a piano in this one, too. So get ready.


Ira: Well  piano lessons can be murder.


Louis: Oh, back to The Goosebumps. Alright, I caught that reference right away. OK, let’s get into the villains in this movie because there are villains the person who plays the Riddler. Is this a spoiler? Can I bring this up?


Ira: No, I mean, I don’t think it’s a spoiler, I think people know that Paul Dano plays him.


Louis: Ok. Who played OK, who.


Ira: I did not recognize Paul Dano, by the way.


Louis: Yeah, no, no, me neither. I definitely didn’t recognize Colin Farrell, who plays a villain role, too. That’s the weird case of they gave. They totally transformed Colin Farrell. And to what end? He didn’t really have anything to do in the movie besides a couple of cackling scenes and one driving scene in which he like slams on the wheel a couple of times.


Ira: It also wasn’t even like a over-the-top mess of a performance. While you’re hiding the way that, like Jared Leto, was in House of Gucci, right?


Louis: Or The Suicide Squad, I guess, or whatever? Yeah.


Ira: But I mean, maybe that just means that Colin Farrell is actually a good actor.


Louis: I mean, I fucking love Colin Farrell,


Ira: Jared Leto is not.


Louis: Do you know what Colin Farrell was so good in? Speaking of grim looking movies. And this is not a good movie. The Blade Runner.


Ira: The sex tape?


Louis: Oh no, sorry, we can talk about the sex tape. Devote an entire episode, go to our Patreon to see the whole episode about that sex tape. No. In the Total Recall reboot, which was one of the last times we really celebrated Kate Beckinsale.


Ira: You know what fucking Colin Farrell movie I love?


Louis: Hm?


Ira: Phone booth.


Louis: I mean, he was great in it and his acting partner was a phone booth, so there might be some talent there. So anyway, Paul Dano in this movie, first of all, who spent one millisecond casting that? They’re like Jesus, a creep who can wear glasses and cackle at shit, I wonder if Paul Dano is available? It was giving the there will be blood world of paranoia and horror and terror, whatever. Even though I love him, I do love Paul Dano, though. Of course, there’s going to be a Colin Farrell TV show with this character in it. Woof. Enjoy that Rick Baker makeup job everyday. Boy, I hope it was worth it. But something I took away from this movie. The Riddler is basically a less interesting version of Ghostface.


Ira: OK, I I was either I was either going to be come in here saying that the Riddler was Gossip Girl.


Louis: Yea,*laughs*.


Ira: Because he was all up in everyone’s business.


Louis: Yeah.


Ira: Not just in everyone’s business like, sending out social media alerts.


Louis: Yeah. Right? Wow.


Ira: Typing in forums like dude knows everybody’s tea in this series. It was like baby. Once we find out that he’s just like this, like nerdy orphan, I was like, How does your ass know all this shit about people?


Louis: Right? By the way, it would be pretty fuckin sweet if Kristen Bell played the Riddler some time. I need her. I need her dark as hell.


Ira: But since it was a serial killer movie, though, I kept thinking about Scream. And the reason I kept thinking about Scream was because both films are sort of taking us to a new era of thriller where the main villain like thrillers are always about like, you know what people are afraid of at the time that they’re made, you know, like the 70s paranoid thrillers that we talked about, like a few weeks ago. You know, it’s like it’s afraid that like the government is tracking you and nothing that you do is private anymore. And now that we know that shit is real,


Louis: we’ve moved on.


Ira: Yeah, the thing that people are afraid of now is really like each other and like radicalization. And I would argue that like the way that scream like the killers are people who are like radicalized, not by the movies, but by forums, and they have opinions about how the movie should go. And that’s what they say. They decided to make their own movie. The third act of this film sort of reveals that, like you know, people who also feel that Gotham City, they’ve been let down by Gotham, they decided to take matters into their own hands. And I think that that is sort of what people are afraid of now. It’s interesting. It makes it seem like a modern reboot of The X-Files would have, like Mulder be the villain.


Louis: That does seem trenchant, actually. Yes.


Ira: I mean, it’s conspiracy theories. I would be like, Baby, get away from me now.


Louis: I just want to say, by the way, though, that that aspect of this Batman movie, I did find a little annoying in the way that I found what Joker was, quote unquote about annoying. It was all caps. We live in a society, you know, the mayor talking to you and being like, “We need to have faith in our leaders again.” Oh, please, God, do not do not MSNBC at me right now. Or do not Fox News at me right now, but I don’t know that I’m begging for a movie like this to be politically relevant. And also, are the fans really? I mean, I guess again, Batman is still looking for a reason to be. Most of this movie, to me, feels like things we have covered before in various installments of any superhero movie, so I still feel like they’re trying to get a foothold in why we’re doing this again. But I don’t know. Maybe some people would argue they thought I would compare it to The Batman is a better movie than this. I would compare it to the movie Solo with Alden Ehrenreich, where it was. It was finding like a sedately serious version of a famous franchise,


Ira: which I weirdly liked. I know I remember. I think when we even talked about that film on this podcast, I had to see it the night before, and the only screening was like a fucking midnight showing at the Arclight. Pre-pandemic days. And I managed to not fall asleep during that damn movie by seeing it at midnight. But I also haven’t thought about that movie since.


Louis: No, but by the way, that movie remains people’s introduction to Phoebe Waller-Bridge. A weirdo choice.


Ira: But just speaking of weirdo choices, I would say that like lastly, what I just really loved about this movie is how weird it is, and I want. That’s sort of what I want from the Batman mythos. And if Matt Reeves did anything, it’s just sort of like taking maybe the franchise in a new direction. And I mean, he did that famously with Planet of the Apes, where he gave it sort of like a new life. And I just I just want the weird shit, you know, like as a comic book fan, I feel like I’ve long said that like when I watch like the X-Men films, right? Like you continue to get like Professor X versus Magneto. We’ve seen the Dark Phoenix Saga so many fucking times, but I’m like, you know, like, I want the moorelocks like in the fucking sewers I want like the brood, like like aliens in fucking space and like, there’s so much weird shit that’s in comic books that keeps being held thats sort of like at arm’s length. And The Batman has so much fucking weird shit Clayface, Poison Ivy, like Mr. Freeze done in like a non-campy Arnold Schwarzenegger sort of way. There’s just so many weird villains in this, and I also just sort of really liked how they dealt with sort of mental illness in this film too, you know, because when they talked about Martha Wayne and being in and out of asylums. Obviously, like obviously, that meant that Bruce Wayne, an inherited a lot of that, and it’s like, I what I loved about this film ultimately, is it finally got to that place where it was like, Yeah, a person who dresses up as Batman isn’t sort of like. It doesn’t save him the way that like being Spider-Man, saves Peter Parker, or something, right?


Louis: Yeah, right?


Ira: He’s he’s fucked up. And I like how the Riddler was, like, confused the Batman for being like, Oh, you’re on my side. Batman’s like, No, wait, I’m not. Or am I? Like he’s fucked up in the head and that’s what I like about. That’s what I’ve always liked about Batman comics.


Louis: Yeah, I think Robert Pattinson’s performance ultimately, I would give it a B and say his energy was quietly capable. IT guy as an Oh your, your computer’s on the fritz, he comes upstairs, has no expresso on his face, fixes it and then he’s gone before you know it.


Ira: Yeah, I still love Michael Keaton the most. And then I would say Christian Bale’s right about there. But, you know, don’t discount George Clooney.


Louis: Oh yeah. And then, of course,


Ira: just having a good time.


Louis: And then and then, who’s below that? Val Kilmer and then George Lazenby.  Vanessa Redgrave and then


Ira: Ben Affleck is not a part of the conversation.


Louis: Oh, that’s true.


Ira: Which is, which is, which is hard for me because, you know, I love Ben Affleck.


Louis: Right, right, there there.


Ira: Just not as Batman. Anyway. Lastly, I will just say that like if you’ve seen this movie and you’re on the fence just sort of about like Zoe Kravitz’s like acting capabilities. I watched all of High Fidelity this weekend, which I had somehow missed. And maybe it’s my fault it got canceled by Hulu, but she’s so fucking good in that


Louis: I’ve heard she is. Yeah. I also, I think she’s great. She’s good, and she’s good in Big Little Lies.


Ira: Yeah, yeah. So we yeah. Unfortunately, the movie was really about their chemistry together more than it was about any individual charisma either of them had, which actually makes me sort of disappointed that we didn’t see more Batman and Catwoman scenes. She sort of drops out for the last hour of the film.


Louis: Totally, totally. But she looks smashing. My God,


Ira: she looks so fucking hot. Jesus Christ. Oh all right. When we’re back, Kristin Chenoweth joins us.


Louis: [AD]


Ira: [AD]


Ira: Our guest today is a Tony and Emmy Award winner, sside from being an icon. Who was not satisfied with half an Egot, so she wrote a picture book called What Will I Do With My Love Today? And between her award winning and book publication comes a second book, My Moment One Hundred and Six Women on Fighting for Themselves, coming out in May. Please welcome Kristin Chenoweth, who is doing far too much.


Louis: Please stop.


Ira: It’s so exciting to have you here. Mostly because I feel like you have been the soundtrack to some of my greatest triumphs. When I go through, like when I go through, either a like a heartbreak or a triumph, I listen to you singing Thank Goodness from Wicked. That song works for both moments, and I truly will, I  put it on repeat and let my emotions take me somewhere else.


Kristin Chenoweth: Umm. Thank you, because that’s my that is the song for me, too. And it kind of, I don’t know, not gets skipped over. But I I can’t believe you just said that that’s my one of my favorites of the show. Thank you for saying that.


Ira: Well, thank you for singing it. I mean, it’s like it takes a lot of work to open the second act of a musical, you know, and I think it truly does it beautifully.


Kristin Chenoweth: Oh, man, Stephen Schwartz really knows what he’s doing. Thank you,


Louis: Kristen. But I think you have this Barbra Streisand problem when I’m talking about you with other gay men or just people. I guess people besides gay men are fans, too. I’ve not met them. But anyway, where they


Kristin Chenoweth: Not so much,.


Louis: I right, right? Where you necessarily have to discuss your amazing vocals first. And then secondarily, almost what gets forgotten is just how fucking funny you are, period. And I wonder, were you always funny or did that? Was that like a talent you developed in concert with your vocal skills?


Kristin Chenoweth: You know, I think this is my opinion. I think people either are born with a funny bone or they’re not. Now people can be trained to be kind of fun, to be funny. And then there’s people who are just innately funny, and my parents and I was adopted and my father’s an engineer, my brother’s an engineer. So you can imagine like they shouldn’t ever sing, and I don’t do math, but and that I was always just like that funny, like not weird, but kind of quirky, weird, funny kid. And I had no edit. And I think that’s one thing about kids that I love so much that they have no edit. They just say like “did you know you have a mole here?”, you know, they just they don’t, they don’t have an edit. And I’m I think I’m still a kid at heart and I just find I am so. I find really kind of weird things funny. Like the other day I was, I was in another state singing a concert, and I don’t know why. I’m not the only one that has this thing. But a guy tripped over a chord that works backstage like his actual job is to, you know, not trip and not fall and he did. And he tried to act like I like because he’s like Kristin Chenoweth saw that. So then I go Kristin Chenoweth saw that. And he just goes, I go, I’m kidding. It’s funny if you can’t laugh at yourself, first of all, are you hurt? Secondly, okay. I just love, I think laughter is the best medicine, and I I laugh all the time.


Ira: Hmm. You’ve done so many iconic roles, but I feel like the one that sticks for me the most is Pushing Daisies. I’m umm. I’m friends with Bryan Fuller. And so, you know, I have. I’ve had the pleasure of talking his ear off a lot of times about how much I loved that show. So much, actually. When he came on to Keep It like years ago, I actually admitted to have. I still haven’t watched the last two episodes of that show because I don’t want to know that it ended.


Kristin Chenoweth: I know, I know I get it. I got what we call the “slow no”.


Ira: Mm-Hmm.


Kristin Chenoweth: We had um we had a writer’s strike. And, you know, remember that all of us didn’t get our finish. We didn’t get the resolve. So and there’s talk about bringing it back and. I hope they do. And Bryan’s talk to me about what Olive might be doing, which is not at all what I thought because his brain is his brain must hurt because he’s got a lot of brains in there. And I adore him. He is so smart. This is the guy that wrote, Dead Like Me, Hannibal, Pushing Daisies and American Gods. I mean, Neil Gaiman wrote American aGods, but he adapted it. And it’s just. I can’t believe him. I just can’t believe I’m so thankful for. That’s one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played.


Ira: I mean, Olive was ahead of the curve by being her character, being obsessed with Lee Pace. And now I feel like the rest of America, is. You were you were first.


Kristin Chenoweth: That was the right answer, A., B. Have you seen his abs lately?


Ira: I mean,.


Louis: I’m a human being.


Ira: The only person you need to follow on Instagram. So he needs to post more ab photos. Can you please send him a message and say, please, Lee, post more ab photos?


Kristin Chenoweth: I already have. I already have. And he’s “You know, I’m an actor and I’m just out here doing my thing,” and he likes to be out in nature and I’m a Four Seasons kind of girl. And he just, I I swear, the guy, you know, Castaway that movie?


Ira: Mm hmm.


Kristin Chenoweth: He he could actually live that way. I don’t even know? I don’t even know. And he is six, 10 or something. So we kissed. We loved each other, Shy McBride and I loved each other. Anna, Susie, Ellen. We were just such a family.


Louis: Something else I remember about that era. It just popped in my head. Now is when you won the Emmy for that, you were part of this bit that the actresses were doing. Oh yes, I remembered for you that you won an Emmy for that. Yes.


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you.


Louis: But if I’m not mistaken, was it you? And like Amy Poehler and Vanessa Williams and maybe Elizabeth Perkins, who all wore silly glasses? And then somebody was.


Kristin Chenoweth: And Kristen Wiig? Yeah, and yeah, that’s right. I can’t believe you remember that. And I’ve got to give credit where credit due the night before a party. Amy goes, “we’re the comedians. So wouldn’t shouldn’t we be doing something weird and funny?” And I’m like, ugh, yes. What if we all were different glasses who has like? And I was like, I have two thousand whatever year it was nine glasses and then I can’t remember. Jane had like the opera glasses. It was just so fun and then Vanessa that we get to because Vanessa goes, What if I because she was last Williams says, What if I just go, “Oh no”. And we thought it was so funny.


Louis: OK, you just confirmed what I thought was it sounded to me like the nominees got together and were like, What if? Actually, we’re hilarious, people. What if we did something with this moment which like people never decide to do? Like, I’ve never seen like nominees like Get Together and do a bit before. So that’s another legendary moment for me. I’m happy. I’m happy it came together just as you described.


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you. It did, and it was Amy’s idea.


Ira: I feel like that also has to just like add a bit to the sort of like camaraderie that comes to like being nominated in an award with other people. You know, like it takes away some of the like competition of it. If you’re just like joking and having a great time with one another,


Kristin Chenoweth: you have to do it because honestly, this business is so self self self that, I mean, don’t get me wrong, I hate to lose. Really, and truly, if we don’t enjoy the journey, then why? Mm hmm. And plus, I didn’t even think like I thought Kristen Wiig was going to win if I’m being completely honest. Mm hmm. If they had just started the SNL and she was so funny that, I mean, everybody was funny. I mean, Elizabeth Perkins on we when we talk about that performance, but everybody was funny and I just I thought, I’m just going to wear a short dress. I’ll bring my best girlfriend to the thing. And. I win. I win. I was like are my parents watching? Like I still cannot believe. I’m so, so happy that I won because I didn’t have a job anymore, Pushing Daisies was off the show and I remember I remember thinking in my speech, Tell them what shows you want to be on. I want to be on Mad Men. And what was that Fox, that 24 show? And I just thought, now’s the time . Tell em what you want to be on


Ira: Now I’m thinking of you torturing Kiefer Sutherland as a terrorist.


Kristin Chenoweth: That would have been fun. And do you know that nobody? None, none of the shows, none of them called and asked me to be on them.


Louis: Oh, not Mad Men couldn’t find like a role for you as like, you know, up to no good secretary or something?


Kristin Chenoweth: I’m like, Am I here? Did I win? I was confused. You know, that’s when you just go. I’m a person of faith, so I just go, God has other plans. Don’t worry about it. I mean, I was kind of kidding. Not really.


Louis: Matthew Weiner is on my list now, by the way. I will never forgive him


Kristin Chenoweth: Yeah. Put him on your list, put him on your list. Oh I wanted  to be on The Office, too.


Ira: Oh well, now the entire cast of The Office is on our list. So.


Louis: Right?


Ira: Yea Steve Carell,


Kristin Chenoweth: What do I got to ?


Ira: Steve Carell. We’re coming for you.


Kristin Chenoweth: I’m coming for him in a different way.


Louis: Oh, is that so.


Kristin Chenoweth: He’s darling.


Ira: You know what, if you’re actually your first film role was in the movie Bewitched and you have the pleasure of being, I hope, pleasure of being directed by Nora Ephron in one of her last films. What was it like working with her


Kristin Chenoweth: First of all I miss her every day. And she came to see Wicked and she goes “so you’re going to be Nicole Kidman’s best friend? I’ve already decided” and I’m like, OK, right? Oh yes. I also did a play for her Love Loss and What I Wore. But what I miss the most about her the most, if I may. I miss her advice, for example. Nora one time there was a picture of me in the New York Times and it wasn’t flattering and just they happened to catch me in a map. She called me and she said, Have you seen the times? I said, No, I she goes “don’t”.


Louis: Jesus.


Kristin Chenoweth: I miss Nora because she was a truth talker. And I know that she loved me. And no matter what I remember, one time she said, “why do you want to be in movies when you can do what you do like, you know, Broadway and opera and stuff?” I said, Why do you want to write books and like, why do you want to do movies if you can do what you do, Nora? It’s the same thing but we learned from each other. I miss her. She’s not. She’s still in my phone.


Ira: Aw, I know one thing that Nora Ephron was also famous for was like her dinner parties, like, Were you ever? I assume you had to be at one of them, many of them. I think constantly about the fact that she has this lost cookbook on like how to throw dinner parties.


Kristin Chenoweth: OK, I’m going to give you guys, I’m going to give you guys a scoop. I’ve been to many of Nora’s parties. First of all, she makes me sit down and play the piano and sing with everything, and I’m like, Please stop playing. That’s a thousand. But the second party we were doing Bewitched and Nick was there and everyone was there, and I am I don’t judge people for what they want to do. I have to work a lot, so I don’t, and I take care of my instrument. So, you know, I don’t I don’t smoke. I don’t drink a lot. I just take I have to. I don’t have a choice, but Nora just thought it would be. Just think it’s so funny that I’ve never tried marijuana. And she’d think it’s so funny. And she knows I love chocolate brownies, so she made chocolate brownies. She’s like, “Look, Kristen, I made chocolate brownies” I was like,”Thank you!”


Louis: Oh no,


Ira: no,


Kristin Chenoweth: I had a chocolate brownie. And it’s all I have. I had like half of it, and I was like, It didn’t taste right. Next thing I know, I’m under the table. Nicole Kidman is like, Do you want me to take you home? I’m like, “Who are you? Do you like me?” Anyway, her dialect coach got me home, but that happened and I will never do that again, and I Nora. The next day I have my dog, Madeline Kahn with on set. She always held her. She was a little maltese. And I said, Nora, she goes, “are you mad at me? Are you mad at me?” I was like, You wrote, Harry met Sally. I’m not mad at you, but never do that to me again. Please Never please do that again. I love her I miss her, I miss her so much.


Louis: Also, I did not know you had a dog named after Madeline Kahn. I mean, you obviously took over her role in On the 20th century, but I just want you to know that alone could put a tear at my eye. I’m glad to hear that.


Kristin Chenoweth: She’s my favorite. I mean, my my. It’s Madeline Kahn. It’s Dolly Parton, it’s Judy Garland, it’s Sandi Patty, the Christian singer. And you know. Eva Cassidy, those your mine.


Louis: That’s exactly right, all of those things put together are sort of the chatter with brant. Yeah, you’re right.


Ira: You have your dog Madeline Kahn Chenoweth. You must love dogs a quite a bit, I mean, your book your picture book is about a dog.


Kristin Chenoweth: Now, Madeleine’s in heaven, and now I have Thunder Pat named after the NBA and the Thunder Girl Oklahoma. Hmm. And I was adopted and I adopted her and it’s I’m very proud of it. That’s what I did. And then the beginning of COVID, I was like. What will I do with myself if I do, I do a lot of things that make me happy. So the title, what will I do with my love today? Really, I thought was going to be a song, but it was. It’s about me and thunder, and I’m really, really excited about. She’s laying here like, like, she has never been fed. She’s she’s my constant companion, and she has given me so much joy. And it’s it’s me young and we’re in New York and there’s thunder. And the undertone is adoption, and I know the undertone is rescue. Because I was rescued by my parents and I rescued her, so I’m really proud of it.


Louis: Something a way you are constantly in my ear as I listen to your. It’s from your first solo album, your version of My Funny Valentine, and I feel like when people like you cover.


Ira: Iconic song.


Louis: Oh yeah. I mean, just also.


Ira: By you. Iconic cover.


Louis: Oh yes. I mean, and the lyrics, by the way, to me, still are hilarious. It’s a it’s a song about someone reading somebody else being like, Oh, you know, it’s like the shadiest of song standards. And I was wondering, like, do you take particular pleasure still in singing these like a gigantic and very old songs? Because I feel like nowadays you’re really associated with a new kind of quirkier musical theater style? Do you like returning to those old standards?


Kristin Chenoweth: Oh yeah. In my concerts, it’s largely American songs.


Louis: Yeah,.


Kristin Chenoweth: Especially ones that you know, there’s a Hoagy Carmichael piece. I do. I get along without you very well that nobody does. And I like kids that come to the shows. Some of them, you know, I I have I have old people like people in drag. I have gays, I have stripes, I have little girls. And they’ll go, Did they write that song for you? And I’m like, This is why I want to do it, because I want them to know when I was on glee and I sang, Maybe this time, you know, maybe this time I got I got letters that was like, they wrote that amazing song for you. And I’m like, Kids, just don’t. A lot of kids just don’t know. And so it’s important for me to keep continue passing on. And also, you know, moving, moving forward in and in country and pop and things like that. And I still do opera. And I think that’s the most challenging part about my shows is that I don’t just do one style. So I’m really quiet a lot during the day so that I can do all the things I want to do.


Ira: Hmm. I mean, you’re maybe this time, by the way, from Glee, has probably been on a heavy rotation at parties Louis and I have been at.


Louis: Oh God.


Ira: Just put on theater clips and musical clips and rewatch them


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you. You guys are making me feel so good.


Louis: Also. I want to add to that also that not only are you somebody who is in heavy rotation on YouTube, but when you look up the name Kristin Chenoweth on YouTube and I assume this is the case for most Broadway legends, half of the hits now are vocal coaches from wherever sitting and talking about, like explaining you to the to the listener. Like, there’s probably something we’re all missing and these like trained people are to interpret you.


Kristin Chenoweth: Really?


Ira: Yeah.


Louis: Oh yea! And I was wondering, do you ever sit back and just like, search your name on YouTube? You’re like, Let’s listen to some guy from San Antonio. Explain why I’m fucking rad.


Kristin Chenoweth: I definitely watch myself on YouTube. I’ve never seen anybody like that. Talk about it, and I would love to hear because you see, I’m still learning. And the voice coloratura soprano, you know, when I was doing things like candied and Queen of the night, what they don’t tell you is that as you age, as poor soprano, your voice deepens and not that you lose the notes, but your voice gets deeper. So I’m I’m. Singing some things that are much lower now that I never had, which is a gift because you, you just continue to still learn, but it’s the little Sopranos secret that nobody tells you so to hear somebody that somebody would talk about my technique. Umm I love that. I love that now. Now I’ll be going down a rabbit hole tonight.


Louis: You think it’s just like Seth Rodsky. But now it’s half of YouTube. So yeah,


Kristin Chenoweth: I’m so doing that as soon as I take my Ambien tonight.


Ira: I mean, well, we’ve even speaking of you being a soprano. I mean, I know we all know you from your work with Stephen Schwartz, you know, but when you sang at Sondheim’s 90th birthday celebration, the virtual one, I was thinking like, I can’t even really recall you doing a Sondheim show. Is that something that like, is that something that like you’ve you’ve you have you like, always wanted to do?


Kristin Chenoweth: Are you serious right now? Are you in my brain?


Ira: I like, have you always wanted to do that? Because I mean, speaking as a soprano, like, I’m like, Where’s Kristen’s version of Green Finch and Linnet Bird?


Louis: Right?


Kristin Chenoweth: Are you kidding me right now? So, than that? I do a mash up of Willie Nelson and Stephen Sondheim. Don’t ask. It’s always losing my mind. And also


Louis: always on my mind,


Kristin Chenoweth: always on my mind. And the director said to me, You’ve got to start because he had just passed. You’ve got to start singing Green Finch again. I said, No, no, no, I can’t. I’m not 19 year old Joanna Virgin. I can’t do it. And then I started looking at the lyrics and it started meaning something different to me, like. Green Finch, are you singing now just when you’re told, are you singing to be sold? Are you singing now, are you screaming mad? And I’m putting it back in the show, literally. I did that, that mad concert in December and I did it. And Sondheim, for me, is when I was younger, I didn’t. I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t. I didn’t understand. Now. I’m understanding and a role that I see in my future is a little night music coming when you listen to send in the clowns. I mean, when I was little and I heard Neil her, Neil Diamond knew it, I was like Send in the Clowns and I was the little. I was young. I was like, I don’t get it. Clowns scare me, but now I know what. And now I know losing my timing this late in my career. Two people where whom they’re meant to be together, but couldn’t be together. I get it. I get it. So Sondheim. I am a little late to the party, but I vow.


Louis: Now, send in the clowns, reminds me also of Judy Collins and pop vocalists. Now you’re obviously associated with Broadway and opera on these, like, I’ll say, loftier versions of singing. But I was so heartened last year when you released that for the Girls album because it was like a toast to all these pop singers. And I’m wondering, who did you grow up listening to in that regard that you really? I don’t know. I guess related to even though you went on this other path towards a different kind of vocal skill.


Kristin Chenoweth: My my tastes are so varied. Obviously, Dolly. Carole King. My mom wore out Tapestry and Dinah Washington, my grandpa and Aretha and Lesley Gore. That’s why I asked Ariana Grande to sing, You don’t know me, I said, I hear you do it, actually, you should play her and win an Oscar, but she’s going to play Glenn and win an Oscar. No, but I and then with them, because I’m because I’m a woman, I’m more of a Brenda Leigh. And then I said, Reba is Reba. And then Jay has J-Hud. So let’s do it together and do our and it just, you know, I’m so. And then Dolly heard a version of I Will Always Love You, which is. I do pay homage to the singers, but I also find my own and there was a link in there and I sent it to her and she goes, I like that wig like, I want to sing with you. I was like. Huh. So that was a cool moment. And I want. My younger fans do know these women. Eva Cassidy. I want them to know. You know, I want them to know. You know. Cole and Natalie Cole, I want them to know. Who I want them to know, and so that’s that’s why I did that record.


Louis: Also, I mean, I just want to say about Lesley Gore alone. I mean, it’s not like even the First Wives Club is being passed down to every generation nowadays. So you’re doing a lot of work at that clip once did so.


Kristin Chenoweth: Absolutely. And with Arianna, who I was a little nervous, I was like, Oh, she’s going to out sing me. But the thing about me. I do I’m a lyric person and I also do my version and I want her to do her version. And it worked it just worked.


Ira: Now, I mean, I wish more people knew that. Lesley Gore was Quincy Jones’s first hit as a producer.


Kristin Chenoweth: I know. People don’t know that. When I met Quincy, I was doing um Moon River um that Mancini bat family asked me to. They said, We love your version. Would you sing with? He was being honored at the Ahmanson in L.A. and Jimmy Mancini said, Would you, would you sing? And John Williams conduct? So fine. And. Quincy Jones is backstage now. Do I be it. Am I? I actually am shy. Believe it or not. With people that I really admire, I’m shy. And I finally got the nerve. And I went up to him and I said, Hi, Quincy. I am, I’m sing Moon River tonight. Don’t listen to it. And you are a king, and I’m not even going to ask you for your picture or anything because I just want to have this memory. And he said. Thank you, because so many people want to get a selfie and they want to get it he goes you want to have the memory. And then when I got off stage and sang Moon River, he was like. “You’re good.” I was like, I know. He said ‘Behave”, I you know, these are things that happen that I want to talk about that are cool, you know?


Ira: Mhm. Um. How many gay men talk to you on the street not about Wicked or anything else you’ve done, but about your role in the Jennifer Lopez film The Boy Next Door?


Louis: I must know.


Ira: Where you were. You were treated horribly, by the way. Like they they they took your character. They put your character through the wringer.


Kristin Chenoweth: Well, they want to know. First of all, they want to know about J-Lo and she’s my friend and I’m not going to tell them I’m like, but just so you know? She really is. This is what gay men want to know she really is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen? And, you know, like her, you know, she she had the butt  before the butt was the butt. And it’s perfect. It’s not too big. It’s not too small. So I just asked her one day, “how do I get that butt?” Because, you know, I’m white. My my butt’s flat. I got junk in the front. How do I get your butt? and she said,  I think it’s DNA. I’m  Like, OK. And then another thing is I was, I don’t want to give too much away, but there was a prosthetic across my neck and I sped home at 3:00 in the morning on the on the highway, on that main highway in L.A. That’s fifty five miles an hour. And I was going 90 I got pulled over


Ira: The 101, probably.


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you.


Ira: Yeah,.


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you. I got pulled over. I started crying because the movie was out yet and that would ruin the. Oh, yes. And I have all these Hello Kitty things in the back because I love Hello Kitty and Jennifer had got me Hello Kitty stuff from Target. And I’ve got this thing and the cop comes up and goes, Are you OK? And I forget, you know, Yeah, I’m  good. And he goes, Are you hurt? I go No No. No. And he goes. You have. Something terrible, what happened? I immediately start crying, I go, I’m in a movie with J-Lo and he goes, “You’re in a movie with J-Lo?”? I go “Yes,” I go. “And if this gets out,”Um because he could have taken me in. Um I have a lead foot. But and I said, Please don’t. Please, please, please. And he goes, Are you? And I go, Yes, I am. Because my wife loves you. Go, I just said call her  call her please 20 minutes later, he comes back and he gives me. He does give me a ticket, but not for the speed. And he does say, I think I could be your dad slow down. And you know, if you give me a Jennifer Lopez autograph, you know, maybe,


Louis: oh, I am loving that you have a lead foot. But by the way, that’s like L-O-L.


Kristin Chenoweth: Oh I’m Cameron Diaz in My A Best Friend’s Wedding.


Louis: What a thrill to have talked to you today. And I just want to make one, of course, a shout out to the song Happiness from your great man, Charlie Brown that I feel like will forever be underrated. Like, I don’t know, like, it’s everybody loves that song. And yet when it comes up, people are surprised to bring it up in the musical theater canon I feel like,.


Kristin Chenoweth: I know. Why? Why? We need happiness. We need happiness. Happiness is having an ice cream, climbing a tree, knowing a secret.


Louis: Such a pleasurable song.


Kristin Chenoweth: Thank you for having me. And thank you all both for knowing my work. Not everybody. You know, when you get interviews, sometimes they don’t go this way. I appreciate your knowledge. I’ve worked my butt off and I see that you have too, and I thank you for that.


Ira: Oh.  Aw


Louis: Good lord.


Ira: That’s so sweet of you. That’s so sweet of you. Thank you for being here. I mean, we we make it a point to truly only interview people who we’re either fans of or interested in their work so that we can become bigger fans of them. So it was really an honor having you here today.


Kristin Chenoweth: Yeah, same right back at you.


Ira: What Will I Do With My Love Today is out now and My Moment: 106 Women On Fighting For Themselves is out in May. When we’re back, Madonna boot camp.


Louis: [AD]


Louis: Your favorite filmmaker, Madonna, is set to direct and co-write the biopic of her life, but who will play the Queen of Pop herself? They’re looking at a pretty diverse pool of starlets, including an American blond an Australian blond and a British blond. And they’re apparently undergoing a grueling boot camp to seal the deal. Let me expand on this a bit. So Julia Garner, who we know from Ozark and her performance as Bjork in Inventing Anna. Florence Pugh our queen. If you haven’t seen Lady Macbeth yet, by the way, frighten yourself. Enjoy it. Odessa Young from Mothering Sunday, Emma Laiard Mayor of Kingstown. Apparently Sky Ferrera’s in the mix. You know, so lots of familiar candidates.


Ira: I know you didn’t just leave out Bebe Rexha,.


Louis: Albania’s own. I feel bad about it.


Ira: You know what? I’m starting to think that you are not a bad bitch and a Rexhar Louis.


Louis: Do bad bitches? Do bad, collaborate with Florida Georgia line? I don’t know. I don’t know. But I am. OK, so according to this story, several things are going down here. There are 11 hour dance sessions to make sure that the performer in question can do all of Madonna’s moves. A couple of questions. One. Was it really 11 hours, or did Madonna show up eight hours late? That’s my question. Because, you know, Madonna’s sitting there with her monocle from the Express Yourself video inspecting all of these girls up and down like the meanest casting director of all time.


Ira: I’m imagining it’s the Cold Hearted Snake music video.


Louis: Oh, yeah, which is a reference to All That Jazz. So we’re wondering what’s up with that? Madonna, I guess, confirmed that Florence Pugh as a top contender, she’s definitely up there on the list “if she’ll have me”, Madonna told The Associated Press. Oh, we love humility from Madonna. What a shrinking violet she is. Yes.


Ira: Honestly, Florence would be the best choice for me.


Louis: Me too.


Ira: Florence Pugh, is just sort of she’s just sort of it. And she managed to step into a Black Widow. And granted, Scarlett Johansson was sleepwalking through that film, but she was running circles around Rachel Weisz


Louis: right. I mean, Rachel Weisz is somebody who has like a silver screen, legendary intrigue and sex appeal. So that is very shocking


Ira: And if you’re running circles in a film like Rachel Weisz is the gym teacher, OK? But Florence Pugh like out showed everybody in that film. And she’s just been, like, mesmerizing in every fucking thing that she’s been in. Like I, I actually like miss her on screen.


Louis: I also think she has a critical sassiness that Madonna has, which I can’t say about Julia Garner. I think Julia Garner seems like somebody like brilliant acting student, somebody who can take on a personality and like, pull out quirks and come up with something interesting. But Florence, to me, has that resting X Factor like, I dare you challenge me thing that Madonna has.


Ira: I mean, you sort of have to have that if you decided the love of your life with Zach Braff.


Louis: Right? I get bad, bad taste in men. You came to the right biopic.


Ira: And she is, and she is very much. “That’s my man,.


Louis: Right?


Ira: And I’m a stick beside him.”


Louis: Actually, I think I guess we like him, right? He’s like, perfectly fine.


Ira: We like, have we like him? It’s just sort of like it seems very much like CBS sitcom casting. She is just so young and vibrant. And at the start of her career and Zach Braff, you know, was on scrubs and, you know, Scrubs aired on Nick at Nite TVLand in the 80s


Louis: Head of the Class. Scrubs. Yeah. Room 2-2-2.


Ira: I wonder if it’s actually residually people still resenting the fact that they like Garden State, because if you remember, that was like so many fucking people’s favorite movie when we were growing up,.


Louis: Freshman in, freshman in college, everybody had that fuckin soundtrack. Yeah.


Ira: And then as soon as we all graduated and like adulthood started, everyone acts as if, like, they hated that film,


Louis: Right, But it’s a it’s a perfectly engaging movie. You know, it’s definitely of its time, but


Ira: I personally have never seen it.


Louis: Interesting. I’m surprised by that. Yeah, we all have our blind spots. We can explore that one week. I’m annoyed by the amount of takes I’m Twitter. I’m seeing currently of people being like reading all the grueling things these girls have to do in this audition being like, why does this person have to sing and dance better than Madonna? It’s like, first of all, can you quit the fuck? In 1988, Jay Leno jokes about how much. Talent Madonna has. Madonna is a legendary dancer. Please, the way she danced on screen. Watch her fucking debut on American Bandstand. It is no joke. Everybody in that room is like clutching their face. They can’t believe how hot and cool she is, and she’s just casually not choreographed dancing around the room, actual dancing ability. Not, you know, I’ll I’ll slam her again. Dua Lipa ing across the floor and counting the steps as we point and gyrate.


Ira: We are never. We are never going to be guest hosts on At Your Service at this point, Louis.


Louis: And secondly, guys, Madonna is a perfectly adequate vocalist. I’ve never listened to a Madonna song and being like God, I really wish she sounded like fucking Celine Dion on Take a Bow. Also, an emotive vocalist you really like. Like when you listen to Madonna, on Crazy For You. That’s a relatable person.


Ira: No, I mean, I think honestly, we’re going to get to Best NY keep it, which is about people who discredit beloved pop stars and have like bad opinions about that. But no, I will always say that. But Madonna delivers on a track, right? She gets she gives you exactly what you fucking want. You know you want a Madonna song, and she is crafted like, say, whether or not someone has the range. You know, you can also say, like whether or not someone like has a lane and she carved her own fucking lane. And it’s gorgeous,


Louis: just like it’s like Rihanna or something, really not, you know, not Maria Callas. But when that voice comes on, I’m zapped into her universe exactly. Again something that I think nobody else could do that Madonna did early in her career. Think of the song Lucky Star. There’s the chorus, and then think of the horny noises she makes. He yeah, that’s so specific to her, the like, in-your-face, basically bragging that I’m horny thing she can do on a track, you know? That was that was like explicitly carnal in a way that pop stars never were before that.


Ira: Also, the amount of pop stars who have fucking been inspired by her. I mean, at this point, you know, I just give it up, you know?


Louis: So, yeah, cut anyway. It’s a lame lane of jokes. Y’all know I’m a stan. You know, Ira’s a stan. We’ve all clarified that anyway, um


Ira: I want to know who is running the boot camp because I know Madonna is not. Is Laurie Ann Gibson up in there?


Louis: I was wonder if they were bringing back the Sonia Thaia person, maybe? Who in the “so you think you can dance” universe is doing it? And by the way.


Ira: And Mandy Moore, Mandy Moore, parentheses choreographer,


Louis: Emmy winner Mandy Moore. Yes. No. Shade to our friend Mandy Moore, who deserves an Emmy. And also the screenwriting situation on this is, of course, very strange. As you know, our pal Diablo Cody,


Ira: I wish Diablo was still up in there, but I’m actually glad that she’s not because Diablo might be dead,


Louis: right? Yeah, I mean, so I was sort of on the inside track of that because Diablo is our pal. And at the time, I normally wouldn’t spill anything about it. But Madonna then put it on Instagram. She would film them writing, and you know, writing is a very like private process. So that was sort of strange to be witnessing her and Diablo coming up with ideas on camera. But now she is exited, and the writer of Secretary, which is a ass movie, is now the


Ira: Erin Cressida Wilson.


Louis: Oh yeah. Now.


Ira: Who we will forgive for writing The Girl on the Train


Louis: Secretary is a movie that makes you forget other movies. I totally agree. But. I’m really curious now what the arc of this movie is going to be. There’s a rumor in this article that it culminates with the Blond Ambition Tour, and that’s about as far into it as I think it should go unless it’s going to be a mini series thereafter where we get into, you know, dating Tupac, et cetera. But if it were just 1983 to.


Ira: I don’t want want to see that shit on camera.


Louis: to 1990, the immaculate collection era that to me seems comprehensible.


Ira: Louis , If you think I want to see a mini series on Madonna dating Tupac get the fuck out of here. We just left black history month. Okay


Louis: You could do an entire show just about Madonna’s quote unquote friendships with black people she brags about having known. Have the Basquiat Day. Have the Tupac Day


Ira: Every episode is from the perspective of the black person and somehow, somehow, somehow Madonna pops up like Basquiat’s, just like at the studio painting and Madonna pops by as he’s like, What are you doing here?


Louis: Yeah.


Ira: She’s like you know, I just thought I’d hang out.


Louis: Give me the Nicki Minaj episode where she’s like, All right, I’ll do a second track with you. All right, whatever.


Ira: Do you think I could get on the black worksif I wrote Madonna Basquiat?


Louis: It’s like W.E. ? Yeah.


Ira: You know what? I I’m excited for the film I want. I hope Florence Pugh gets it, but I also know that it is going to be a train wreck. I, you know how I know it’s going to be a train wreck? If she couldn’t even lure Jeremy O’Harris into writing this film with her. You know, it’s going to be a trainwreck,.


Louis: Which Jeremy O’Harris maybe nobody has been more attracted to chaos in human history. So you’re right, that is a big question mark.


Ira: If he had a That So Raven flashed to the future and was like, I’m good,


Louis: I will share one story I remember about Diablo. When she initially accepted the offer to meet with Madonna, whoever was setting it up at the studio, Black briefed her on Madonna and Brooke’s like a kid of the 80s, so she knows all about Madonna intensely and intense fan of Madonna’s The the people talking to her go, Oh, you may not know this, but like once upon a time, Madonna was like the biggest star in the world. She was actually married to Sean Penn and Brooke’s or Diablo’s joke, to me was, excuse me, I flew the helicopter over that wedding.


Ira: Oh, all right. Honestly, you know what? One thing I want to come out of this boot camp is like, like an old school VHS tape like, like like Tebow? Billy Blanks Blank’s dance dance grooves like release the Madonna boot camp choreography. Because that would be the hell of a workout.


Louis: No kidding. Also, by the way, some behind the scenes action too. I want to see Julia Garner crying as she attempts to vote.


Ira: All right. Well, we’re back. Keep it.


Ira: And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. It’s Keep It Louis.


Louis: Mm-Hmm.


Ira: What’s going on?


Louis: Unfortunately, it’s not my favorite segment this week because I’m already so sick of this brouhaha. But man, keep it to whatever is going on at the academy, and God knows all I care about is the Academy Awards. So for me to say this feels like I’m betraying my sistah, you know, but.


Ira: Not sistah.


Louis: I know. Can you believe I said that


Ira: Madonna. Tupac. And now you saying sistah? Where’s Aida. You are getting out of pocket.


Louis: Yes. This is why she fled.


Ira: I leave L.A. for one week.


Louis: Right? So the academy has famously announced they want to cut certain technical categories from the broadcast. Everybody is reacting poorly, who is a fan of the Oscars, a couple of things are occurring one. It just feels like this day of reckoning was going to come where either the network hosting the Oscars or the Oscars themselves basically realized they don’t know why they’re popular and start making new rules to ensure that to bring in people who don’t care about the Oscars. And that’s never going to work. I don’t I don’t think there’s such a thing as bringing in people whose primary association with cinema is only superhero movies. I just don’t think it’s going to happen. They just have nothing in common the worlds of like superhero blockbusters and the Oscars. Now, once upon a time, you got a lot more mainstream movies that bridged prestige and audience appeal. I’m not saying those don’t exist anymore, but movies like Titanic used to be like more. More regularly occurring. And now


Ira: I feel like largely the problem with the Oscars and luring in like new audience members is the fact that won the Oscars has always been for people who, you know, like, aspire to be a part of the cinema. Yeah. You know, like people growing up in, you know, smaller towns in America who are like, Hey, I want to be in the movies someday, and they watch the Oscars every year or two people who just sort of like love, like moviemaking and they love light cinema, et cetera. Like, they don’t necessarily need to be a part of it, but they like they love, like watching the Oscars and shit like that. And award shows three people who love stars and celebrities. And I think that the problem is with Hollywood, because Hollywood isn’t making films like that anymore. It’s like a titanic would not be fucking made right now. And movies that sort of have that big appeal with like a star or something are just going to be like thrown on Netflix now, you know, they’re not going to feel like it’s like a major event. This Oscars is interesting because, you know, you have Will Smith as like a frontrunner, you know, but it’s like there should be movies with like Will Smith, Reese Witherspoon, you know, like even like Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz, being in The Batman is like a big deal now, but it’s being released like so early on that it’s not going to be like an Oscar contender or something, you know? But like, there aren’t movies like an Erin Brockovich


Louis: Yea Erin Brockovich is sort of what we’re talking about here. We’re like star leads that they get to do something extraordinary for their brand. And also, the movie is good, and so it winds up getting Oscars. This whole thing to me feels like if the people running jeopardy said, Well, you know what would make more people watch the show is if we had only multiple choice questions like it’s like, No, no, no, it’s good because it’s hard. It’s good because people are excluded. It’s good because certain people don’t get it and certain people really get it. You know, that’s why there’s a fervor over it. You know, there’s there’s a level of taste involved and a level of achievement that, you know, really entices a certain kind of viewership and leaves out other people. But leaving out other people makes it good. So, yeah, I’m just worried I was happy Steven Spielberg spoke out because, well, now they’re going to fucking pay attention, you know? So


Ira: Ugh. Yeah. I mean, I feel like this is probably what not wanting to make films that have a star leading them anymore. If you’re busy making a film that’s going to like, work for an algorithm, right? You’re not going to have that anymore.


Louis: Which, by the way, makes me think about how rare someone like Leonardo DiCaprio is now, because people, I think still are obsessed specifically with him and seeing a movie because he is in it and everybody else is sort of dwindling away like Sandra Bullock has a movie coming out with Channing Tatum, and I’m like, Will this play? It doesn’t seem like an obvious hit to me.


Ira: Right? And I feel like the biggest people who are sort of like that right now are Tom Holland and Zendaya and Zendaya.


Louis: That’s true.


Ira: And Zendaya, most people tune in this year, either like in a supporting role in the Spider-Man movies or Euphoria. You know, like where is her big blockbuster? You know, like Malcolm and Marie was cute. It was COVID. But I’m like, Zendaya should be fucking leading films like they should be making her the next Julia. Sandra. Halle, you know, like, go with some fucking star power and Tom Holland. I don’t know. Just probably just needs a new agent because every film that he does tries to replicate. I feel like the Spider-Man thing like Uncharted. Who’s going to see that?


Louis: No, no, no, no, no, no. We have to have a full powwow here about bringing star power back just to life. I don’t I think we can solve it on this podcast, but it’s going to require an entire episode. So anyway, Ira, what is your keep at this week?


Ira: So my keep it this week involves the fact that, um, recently like clips from the 2009 classic Obsessed have been circulating on social media.


Louis: The Ali Larter verse? Yes.


Ira: Specifically, I think it was Rose Dawho like tweeted out a clip from upstairs where it was like, This is the greatest line reading in movie history. It’s when Beyonce thinks that Idris is having an affair with Ali Larter, and she tells him to get out of the house and he’s like, well, where do you want me to go and she says “to hell. but first, I would suggest the Four Seasons”, and it started making me think about that movie and how people in general say that Beyonce is a bad actress and my keep it is the people who think Beyonce can’t act because watching that film, she’s fucking phenomenal in it. And I would say that she honestly makes me feel every emotion that that character is supposed to be feeling. And I would argue that because she does so many music videos. I would largely think that Beyonce is really good at carrying an emotion and making you feel the emotion that she’s feeling, and you can see it on her face. And I kept thinking about one of my favorite critics like Angelica Jade Bastien, who always reminds us that film is not about driving plot forward. Film is a visual fucking medium. That’s why we love movies. You know, TV is more about plot and dialog. Film is a visual medium. And who better than to be on our screens than Beyoncé with her very emotive face driving a movie forward?


Louis: Very good. I will say about that movie big when you watch it from the beginning. From what I remember, it’s been a few years since I’ve seen it. You almost wonder why Beyonce took the role because she’s sort of not in it or not doing much. And then as the movie intensifies, suddenly Beyonce starts getting amazing dialog. Like, it’s like a whole new character emerges basically or maybe even like they reshot stuff months later to make sure she got some one liners in, I’m not sure. But in those moments, you’re gripping the desk and really in love with her.


Ira: If you’re talking about star power, that is a film that let’s Idris do his thing at the beginning of the movie and then yes becomes like a fucking vehicle for Beyonce like the last two thirds of the film, right?


Louis: Well, I mean, it’s also, you know, the closest thing we have to a precursor to Lemonade, right? You know, that kind of rage. So wow, has that argument that made I’m happy to make it.


Ira: I mean, she is head butting Ali Larter when she is answering the phone. Derek, I’m gonna have to call you back. I just think that Beyoncé is underrated as an actress here. I said it.


Louis: And I think also maybe underrated. Funny. You know, like, for instance, like on the Savage remix, there are a couple of lines in there where I presume she wrote them because the delivery is giving me l-o-l.


Ira: She was always fucking funny in interviews before celebrity became too much, and she was like, I would actually rather not um see any of you anymore.


Louis: Right? No this is this is the Janet Jackson way out. Yes


Ira: Yeah. She did it. Rihanna did it. And the only reason Rihanna can’t right now is because she’s pregnant. Right?


Louis: Rihanna really should do more interviews, though. Come on, that’s a funny person. It annoys me.


Ira: You know, my favorite thing about Rihanna is how she has rehabilitated her image so much. Because if you remember the fact that this bitch used to bully everybody on the internet, she would be in the comments calling fans trash. She would be arguing with other celebrities like truly like mocking celebrities for no reason to just because she was bored like she was a mean girl.


Louis: I will say on that note, I have never liked the comment to Ciara. It’s too fucking mean. It’s like also, it’s like, you know, it’s like the joke is what Ciara’s not that popular or whatever. It’s like, honestly, is that Ciara’s fault? She Ciara’s fucking amazing. So it just felt extremely low. I’m trying to think of other Beyoncé performances that are worth shouting out. I wonder if that Austin Powers performance holds up. She’s got to be funny in that right?


Ira: Foxy Cleopatra? She’s hilarious as Foxy Cleopatra. And you know what? I I will cautiously say Pink Panther. But you know, I should revisit that. I should revisit it anyway. Because Kristin Chenoweth’s in it.


Louis: Oh yes. And if you weren’t dazzled by our interview with her, we have nothing in common.


Ira: And I think she was good in Dreamgirls, honestly.


Louis: She was good. I think the problem with that movie at the time was it was really hyped up to be the musical experience of a lifetime. And obviously, Jennifer Hudson gave the great musical performance she did and good acting. But the movie to me felt limp overall. Like


Ira: Well Deena is really not a part of Dreamgirls. I mean, she’s sort of she’s sort of like the quote unquote villain. But I think that she’s defanged a bit in the film, in the stage version. Listen, it’s sort of like an amalgamation of like a song that’s in the stage version where it’s sort of like Deena and Effie going back and forth with each other. And I think that the movie really sort of misses a chance where, like Beyonce and J-Hud, go head to head,


Louis: right, right, right. And but that would, of course, require some potential, *gasp*  unlikeability on Beyonce’s part and I think that’s why they held back.


Ira: Probably so. But yeah, I don’t know. I support my girl.


Louis: I, of course, have never seen Cadillac records. So if anybody wants to tell me how that was.


Ira: She’s good at Cadillac Records, and she’s also good in the Fighting Temptations. Mm hmm.


Louis: Right. We don’t even have to bring up Carmen the Hip Hopera that that’s a legacy that speaks for itself.


Ira: You know what? I’m a let Carmen the Hip Hopera go.


Louis: Well, I mean, we all did. We had to. So.


Ira: All right. That’s our show this week, thank you again to Kristin Chenoweth for joining us. And we will see you next week.


Louis: Keep it is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Caroline Ruston and our associate producer is Bryan Semel. Our executive producer is Ira Madison III, I Louis Virtel do a good job too. Our audio engineers are Charlotte Landes and Kyle Seglin, and the show is mixed and edited by Charlotte Landes. Thank you to our digital team Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Milo Kim for production support every week.