"Zero Weeks Notice" w. Jordan E. Cooper | Crooked Media
Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW! Jon, Jon & Tommy's first ever book is here - Order Democracy or Else NOW!
April 26, 2023
Keep It
"Zero Weeks Notice" w. Jordan E. Cooper

In This Episode

Ira and Louis discuss the firings of Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon, Harry Belafonte’s passing, the one thing Woody Allen got right, and Jessica Simpson’s singing career. Plus, Jordan E. Cooper joins to discuss his (gone from Broadway too soon) exhilarating play Ain’t No Mo’ and what excites him about theatre’s present and future.

Subscribe to Keep It on YouTube to catch full episodes, exclusive content, and other community events. Find us there at YouTube.com/@KeepItPodcast






Ira Madison III And we’re back with an all new episode of Keep It. I’m Don Lemon.


Louis Virtel Oh, that’s too bad. Tough week for you. And not just that time he came on Keep It.


Ira Madison III This is my new gig.


Louis Virtel Oh, I see.


Ira Madison III You, of course, are Tucker Carlson.


Louis Virtel Oh, that is much too bad. Honestly, if I get another tweet from someone saying I look too much like Ben SHAPIRO. Guys, I can’t choose how my forehead looks. I’m sorry. This is. This is the life I live.


Ira Madison III I don’t see that at all.


Louis Virtel Okay. Well, thank you. I needed to hear that.


Ira Madison III Whoever is tweeting about Ben SHAPIRO does not have Louis’ arms. Ben Shapiro doesn’t even have arms.


Louis Virtel Oh, no. That he does not have.


Ira Madison III He’s like a T rex.


Louis Virtel Which is. I think I know it’s more velociraptor. Honestly, you think he’s going to charge you down the tiniest velociraptor like fresh out of the egg. I’m Louis Virtel, and we get to play our once favorite game on Keep It this week, which is. Guess who died?


Ira Madison III Oh, I’m going to guess.


Louis Virtel Yeah, go ahead.


Ira Madison III Um. Oh, let’s see. Is Olivia finally dead?


Louis Virtel De Havilland? She died a few years ago.


Ira Madison III Do we talk about? We did talk about it.


Louis Virtel Sidebar. I met somebody over the weekend at a game night. Nice guy who is an old film lover, and he was talking about how he went to Paris and found Olivia de Havilland’s address. It’s already creepy, But anyway.


Ira Madison III Oh, my God.


Louis Virtel He goes to her house and rings the doorbell like just a full psycho. And she appears in a turret overhead and she goes, she looks at him like, probably senses, you know, a fagot and goes, Come back in an hour. He comes back in an hour. He, like he finds a copy of Gone with the Wind at a bookstore to bring to her flowers. She comes back in a different outfit. This woman regaled him with stories for hours.


Ira Madison III Oh.


Louis Virtel Imagine having that opportunity. And she’s, of course, 98 at the time or something.


Ira Madison III Well, he gave me this fagot needs to write this, like, as a play or something.


Louis Virtel You’re right. It’s like a My Week with Marilyn. Yeah.


Ira Madison III Because also, she’s dead now, so she won’t be suing. No.


Louis Virtel And, you know, she had the time. I remember Ryan Murphy. You know, she at the time.


Ira Madison III She was an old litigious bitch.


Louis Virtel Which is what it should be called. The Old Lititious BItch, Forward by Joan Fontaine. Yes. No, but Olivia de Havilland did die a few years ago. But who died this week? Harry Belafonte, a legendary entertainer. I’m sure everybody listening knows the Banana Boat song. But I mean, this person’s career has everything on it, including activism you wouldn’t believe is named a cultural adviser to the Peace Corps by JFK. He was he was political up until the end. He was a Bernie Sanders supporter. I mean, we just don’t have many cast members of the movie Carmen Jones running around anymore.


Ira Madison III An early maybe Keep It to Paul Mescal being cast in Carmen, strumming his little guitar. I thought he was working on Gladiator two. Are we giving him too much?


Louis Virtel I’m worried. And Ana de Armas is in it, too, correct?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Yeah. She’s another one where it’s like, Are we going through all the skills too quickly?


Ira Madison III We gave her a bit too much and then Maryland and Ghosted back to back are troubling.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Ghost Never mind Deep Water.


Louis Virtel That’s what I mean.


Ira Madison III What the fuck was Adrianne Lynn doing?


Louis Virtel Both of these people are having like chest pain 2011 years where they’re in like 15 things and only three remember ultimately.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Okay. And none of them are the three, five, six.


Louis Virtel Which you were the only defender of. This is what Keep It is for, reminding people that the movie the three, five five exist. Harry Belafonte also just like an entertainer you saw in everything. I was thinking going through the Wikipedia in my mind I was like, I remember him on Sesame Street and I went to go type it in and he’s singing about coconuts with the count. They’re counting coconuts. The only descriptor on this video on YouTube is I believe this is the only time we see the Count’s feet. When will the internet wake up? Why do I have to read that on this video of Harry Belafonte? And now I’m looking at the Count’s feet.


Ira Madison III The Count is actually my second favorite. Yeah. From Sesame Street.


Louis Virtel Oh, Sesame Street. Muppet.


Ira Madison III Yeah, but I. My favorite is Grover.


Louis Virtel Oh, no. Grover. Excuse me. That he’s that bitch. Are we going to go there?


Ira Madison III I had a Grover. I had a Grover little stuffed animal as a kid that like, beaten up, bloody. Like losing eyes that I honestly, ashamed to admit it. I think that Grover stayed in my bedroom, at least through sophomore year of high school. I like it like that. That Grover, like, really meant like, a lot to me.


Louis Virtel Well, I just love his, like, constant anxiety and embarrassment over the smallest thing. Oh, my God. It’s like getting harried. Seventies, divorced mom energy.


Ira Madison III Exhausted by Elmo. Yeah.


Louis Virtel Oh, no. When Elmo came on the same. I absolutely know. Grover started smoking. He was down with that.


Ira Madison III Which is funny now that he’s gotten his his comeuppance because Elmo seems to be the most agitated Muppet on Sesame Street right now.


Louis Virtel Oh yeah.


Ira Madison III He is. He seems like he hates everyone.


Louis Virtel He remembers the good old days. Yeah, right.


Ira Madison III I think we tickled them too much.


Louis Virtel But there are a few people out there like that. You can spot them.


Ira Madison III Can I say about Harry Belafonte? I love people. Love doing this one more like a celebrity does or when they’re very weird and want to find like evil Republicans attractive, they always search that person’s name with like young on Google.


Louis Virtel Uh huh.


Ira Madison III Let me tell you the whoever tweeted out young Ron DeSantis, I hope you die.


Louis Virtel Oh, we need to not see that. No.


Ira Madison III But young Harry Belafonte.


Louis Virtel Oh, heartthrob.


Ira Madison III Have you looked up this man? Because I want you to look at it and tell me young Harry Belafonte is not Sasha Colby.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Okay. Well, I didn’t know we were going to go there. Allow me. I’ve never typed in something faster. You’re right. The eyebrow line.


Ira Madison III The eyebrow.


Louis Virtel The smile.


Ira Madison III The the smile, the face that it’s just so perfectly sort of like, wow. It’s uncanny.


Louis Virtel Also. Yeah. Giving pure attitude here. I don’t know if you’re looking at this picture.


Ira Madison III Like this is Sass.


Louis Virtel Well, by the way, it’s crazy that Sasha Colby looks like, one, Harry Belafonte And then, two, at least in her confessionals on Drag Race, Madonna on Letterman in 1994, which she had the pulled back hair and was smoking the cigars anyway just look them both up and I guess you get Sasha Colby.


Ira Madison III I’m just saying, you know, Harry Belafonte looks a little bit too fierce. And I want to know what Bayard Rustin had to say about that.


Louis Virtel Also, by the way, I just remembered Harry Belafonte was on a very controversial or it became controversial because of his involvement special with the singer Petula Clark, who you probably all know sang downtown. She was sort of the female face of the British invasion of the in the sixties. And they sang you.


Ira Madison III All now 90% of Keep It listeners know that fact.


Louis Virtel Well okay. Fair enough. On the special, she sings a song with Harry Belafonte and just casually at the end of the song, she touches his arm. This set off a firestorm. Do you like the person who is head of the advertising for the special was fired? You would you wouldn’t even think it was worth mentioning, let alone, you know, a fire starting event. But it’s a really lovely performance by the both of them.


Ira Madison III Hmm. Yeah. I’m looking at, like, Harry Belafonte’s filmography, too. And let me tell you, aside from Carmen Jones. And uptown Saturday night, of course, you know, written by Richard Wesley, who ran the NYU dramatic writing department while I was at NYU. I love you, Richard Renzulli, directed by Sidney Poitier. Aside from those two movies, I ain’t seen a damn other movie Herbert Fontaine has been in.


Louis Virtel I’ve got to tell you, it’s one of those people with a storied career. I think he was the first black actor to win an Emmy, certainly the first Jamaican American to win an Emmy. That was in the late fifties. But, you know, it’s it’s one of those things like Angela Bassett. It’s like we know she’s iconic and, you know, an unstoppable talent or whatever. But honestly, the amount of legendary roles is fewer than you think.


Ira Madison III Actually, I’m working now. There is one zany fucking movie that he is an Island in the Sun.


Louis Virtel Oh, yes, of course.


Ira Madison III Yes. With Joan Collins. Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge. It is literally about like, interracial relationships.


Speaker 3 I love it.


Ira Madison III And it’s psychotic.


Louis Virtel I believe he was with Joan Collins for a spell, too. Also, this is the second time Joan Fontaine has come up in only the introduction of Keep It, which was my goal since the time we started this podcast.


Ira Madison III All right. Well, our episode this week, as I alluded to, Don Lemon and Tucker Carlson were both ceremoniously fired this week. So one of them fired themselves. But we’ll get into that.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III And then we’ve also got the fantastic Jordan E. Cooper here this week. Jordan Cooper, the youngest black American playwright on Broadway, wrote the amazing show Ain’t No More. He’s here. Make sure you listen to that interview. He is truly one of our favorite recent interviews we’ve ever had.


Louis Virtel Yeah. And by the way, I mean, not to toot our own horn. We’ve been on fire with the interviews lately. So it’s crazy.


Ira Madison III We’re glad you’re okay.


Louis Virtel And you don’t even know who we have the secret episode about coming up.


Ira Madison III Yeah, we are dropping a bonus episode later this week. We actually do tease it in the Jordan interview, so you got to listen to it to find out who the fuck it is. But, you know, get like us bitch, i.e.. All right. We’ll be right back with more Keep It.




Ira Madison III Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon were both fired this week, and they both did it in the messiest ways possible and sorry, positives of America. But this is this is our lane.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Move on out. Enjoy your diplomacy talks, Tommy Vidor.


Ira Madison III First of all, I want to give a shout out to Rae Sanni, who I was with this weekend. Obviously, forward. Keep It, guest co-host. She said John Lennon’s firing was a bit like Farrah Fawcett died on the same day as Michael Jackson. We’re mostly going to be talking about Tucker Carlson.


Louis Virtel That’s exactly right. Yeah, the Don Lemon thing. Well, what’s so weird is, I mean, he’s had a couple of there have been stories about him being having sexist comments. Obviously, he had the comment about women being in their prime, which turned into something Michelle Yeoh made a comment about in her best actress Oscar speech. So that well, that’s like fully immortalized in time. But apparently he may have been fired because he was having a conversation with somebody claiming that the NRA was instrumental in the civil rights of the 1960s, instrumental to black people. And Don Lemon would have been on the right side of history to be like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Obviously, that’s a, you know, bizarre, dubious thing to say. But I think in general, the vibe was he was getting too defensive or quote unquote, biased on air.


Ira Madison III Listen, one thing Don Lemon will do on air is be talking. Mm hmm. And you never know what it is about. You never know where it is going. It sometimes it doesn’t even make sense. Much like his firing, which on Monday, he posted to his Twitter. I’m stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They’re the most talented journalists in the business and I wish them all the best, which would be a fine ish exit statement if it were not for the fact that when he posted this. First of all, it looked like he zoomed in on a fucking PowerPoint.


Louis Virtel I was going to guess, is it a forwarded email because of the color of the font isn’t it black? Yeah, it’s purplish like your three forwarded emails down on a chain.


Ira Madison III So did he forward his goodbye message to someone to read? And when they said it looks good to me, he screenshotted the foreword message instead of the actual email.


Louis Virtel Of spraying for the black font. Spraying for the black font? Yeah.


Ira Madison III Come on, Don.


Louis Virtel It is giving you. It is giving late forties, early fifties behavior, though. You know what?


Ira Madison III That’s fair. That’s fair. And then see it, Ed replies with Don Lemon. Statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management, but instead released a statement on Twitter. That is So I’m working at Starbucks. I’m working in retail. The boss calls me in for a meeting and I’m like, Well, I’m about to be fired. You know what I’m not doing coming to work?


Louis Virtel No, You’re knocking over the rocks at H&M on your way out.


Ira Madison III Would you like to have a meeting with me Friday at 4 p.m.? Actually, I’m taking sick day.


Louis Virtel No. And the spangled belts are now on the floor.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Wow.


Louis Virtel Now there’s Tucker Carlson, of course, who was let go even less ceremoniously, somehow. He really thought he was going to be doing a show on Monday. Over at Kimmel, we watch clips from Fox News all the time to lampoon, make fun of whatever. And we watched his final moments and he truly says, cling to the ones you love and we’ll see you Monday. Like, I didn’t realize how corny he gets, but.


Ira Madison III Does he have anyone he loves?


Louis Virtel I.


Ira Madison III Let me let me reverse that. Would anyone cling back to him?


Louis Virtel That’s what I mean. There’s no, like, barnacles for him. Yeah, the bow tie industry. Are they, like, hurting for that? I don’t know.


Ira Madison III Tucker Carlson was allegedly in the midst of negotiating a new five year contract. So, yeah, this this came out like Ghostface did not he did not see this shit coming.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah. No, no phone call. We’re in the modern Ghostface era. He does shows up this year.


Ira Madison III His father was announced on the Fox News Channel by Harris Faulkner, who said, We have some news within our Fox family. Terrifying already. They’re like, Oh, well, Rosemary’s had a baby and it’s on its way. That’s the news. A little bundle of evil. Fox News media and Tucker Carlson have mutually agreed to part ways. Tucker’s last show was this past Friday. We want to thank Tucker Carlson for his service to the network as host and prior to that, as a long term contributor.


Louis Virtel So excuse me, he didn’t even get a goodbye. So it was like the cycle before the week. Rupert Murdoch reached down and said, flap and it was over.


Ira Madison III Yeah, I mean, granted, that’s probably how we’re going to leave Keep It


Louis Virtel Yeah. Whatever happened to them?


Speaker 3 Yeah.


Ira Madison III Tommy, John Lovett gives a statement on Lovett or Leave It.


Louis Virtel We thank them for their continuous references.


Ira Madison III Not for the jokes they made about me.


Louis Virtel No. Right, Right. Even though that was the most journalistically accurate thing we ever did on this show. I just want to say, in general, nobody needs to hear this, but like the degree to which Tucker Carlson is pathetic and getting your 113 year old relatives in a tizzy every Monday through Friday cannot be understated. I mean, to really actually try to stir up ire over the esthetics of a personified Eminem is just bone chilling. I mean, it’s just it’s it’s just so crazy how useless you are.


Ira Madison III Also, I know this is a thing to celebrate, but I also do want to point out that celebrating this is a little bit like thinking Michael Meyers is dead at the end of a Halloween movie like this. He’s going to come back, right? He’s going to be elsewhere. There’s no way he’s going to claw his little velociraptor, heads up, back up to Island, Cuba. Okay. Like he is, he is here to stay. I just don’t know where. You know, It definitely won’t. I mean, listen, he’s burned his bridges at Fox. He was fired from other places before, too. And like, he also had he also made Fox have to pay like a $787.5 million settlement to Dominion voting systems to settle the election software company’s defamation claim. And he was also to be one of the witnesses to testify in the case that come to trial. So he was just flagrantly like not just being evil, but also just sort of like a liar. Wow. He has also let out on his program and finally was too much lying for Fox. Okay.


Louis Virtel Well, it’s never been done. It’s actually revolutionary. I consider it progressive.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Too much lying for Fox and. I don’t know. I don’t see him at another network because I don’t see another network wanting to put up with that shit. But who knows?


Louis Virtel You know, it seems like there’s not many places that could afford him, really. But of course, people like him. There’s no wrong place for them to go, like as long as they keep the audience going. And when you’re a Republican, there’s like endless YouTube conduits or whatever podcasts where these things can still flourish. You know, it’s like, what is Newsmax like? Nobody actually goes there for credibility, but then they have these quote unquote stars. So it’s like, whatever, he’ll find his way somewhere again. This is why everybody needed to watch the movie Tar for that scene where they say the crocodiles survive.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Although if surviving as a crocodile means that you survive the Megyn Kelly way where you just will randomly tweet an incendiary thing about a random pop culture thing every few weeks so that you go viral and get trending. I mean, what a sad, pathetic life that woman must have now.


Louis Virtel Right now she’s on the Ann Colter track. And by the way, I don’t know what happened to Ann Colter. So if anybody knows, do not tell me.


Ira Madison III What’s going well for me. Well, she ran out of book titles, right?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Right. And. And metaphors for beating up liberals. Yeah.


Ira Madison III She used to have titles like Resistance is Futile. Never Trust a Liberal Over Three, Treason, High Crimes and Misdemeanors. Well, that was a bit of a steal.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America. But, In Trump We Trust. Girl, you’ve lost the plot.


Louis Virtel Yeah, right. She doesn’t even believe that one anymore. Come on.


Ira Madison III But also, that bitch has more books than Janet Evanovich.


Louis Virtel So.


Ira Madison III She. She had a good run.


Louis Virtel Which, by the way, I was acquainted recently with the fact that Danielle Steel occasionally will write for 23 hours a day. Correct me if I’m wrong, there are 24 hours in a day. So what is it? That’s when the eating occurs. How is this going on?


Ira Madison III Danielle Steel likes romance and cocaine.


Louis Virtel Yeah. Yeah. I’m worried. Yes.


Ira Madison III The problem with Meghan Kelly, of course, is that she’s illiterate, so she she doesn’t have the books, but.


Louis Virtel And also, she’s still bitter over the cancellation of Captain Planet, where she was a villain for such a long time and provided so many with joy.


Ira Madison III Don’t do Meg Ryan like that.


Louis Virtel I think Meg Ryan was only the voice in season one.


Ira Madison III Oh, okay. Well, she had to leave to go do The Brave One.


Louis Virtel Right.


Ira Madison III So I do, however, think Tucker Carlson will survive. He’s malleable. Lest we forget, he used to wear those faggy bow ties on the show until Jon Stewart bullied him into work. Ties. Right.


Louis Virtel So, yeah, Leave the bow. Ties to Mo Rocca, bitch.


Ira Madison III I do want to throw this out there, though. I would love an interview with a regular Fox News watcher who is excited that Tucker Carlson is gone.


Louis Virtel I wonder if that exists.


Ira Madison III There’s mostly liberals excited, but there has to be someone who was like, I’m not watching that fagot.


Louis Virtel Right. I do think there is a particular Republican syndrome where they literally are incapable of finding a man annoying. Like like they can be as ribald and ridiculous and really screaming at the top of their lungs as possible. And that just is really electrifying to them, you know? Whereas almost every woman in sight outside of a few Fox News anchors is annoying to them.


Ira Madison III But that begs the question, you know, like. Do men find other men annoying?


Louis Virtel No. And they should. God, would we be helped out if you found more men annoying?


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Because men are obsessed with calling like female comics annoying. And this is a rant for another day. But like, for instance, Kathy Griffin, somebody who is routinely called annoying or whatever, and then you say to that person, name a male comic you find annoying, and they’re like, Hmm, Carrot Top. And I’m like, You’re literally comparing somebody who is a woman who is standing on stage speaking to somebody who is whipping out accordion like props and yelling at the audience. Like, it’s just it’s very telling that you can’t you can still dial into the frequency of a, you know, a lunatic man more than you can literally a woman raising her voice.


Ira Madison III Okay. Larry, the Cable Guy is right there.


Louis Virtel Probably shooting still straight to DVD movies right now. Yeah. And I mean, maybe they are.


Ira Madison III And then, of course, there’s Don Lemon, who I don’t know where she goes from here.


Louis Virtel Right. Yeah. Is HLN still around? Joy Behar is still not like interviewing people like Melania Trump about who’s a birther over that. Right.


Ira Madison III I read as annoying as Don Lemon was on air sometimes and seemed to annoy people who worked with him. The best version of Don Lemon was when he was drunk on New Year’s. Right. They stopped him from doing that this past year. But if there’s a show where he could just get drunk and have a good time, then I’d watch it.


Louis Virtel I also want to say about him, I believe when he when we interviewed him one time, he was talking about how he’s obsessed with old movies like Betty Davis and stuff. Why don’t we get him wasted on TCM? Why aren’t the commentators on TCM a network I watch literally every day? Why are they not drunk sometimes? Because when I’m, you know, rowdy and, you know, tipsy, what I am doing is screaming about Joan Crawford.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Dave Carter could use a bourbon.


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III I’m just gonna put it out there.


Louis Virtel And he’s living in Palm Springs, so I know a life of leisure is already in the cards.


Ira Madison III You are not watching the Lady Eve stone cold sober. Nobody is.


Louis Virtel Even though Henry Fonda’s vibe stone cold sober, I do have to say I can’t picture him wasted.


Ira Madison III Honestly, though, I wish there was some sort of morning show situation where somebody, some executive with like big ideas on how to revitalize cable news would put Tucker and Don Lemon on the same show.


Louis Virtel Oh, yeah. We need.


Ira Madison III Co-hosts.


Louis Virtel We need network, too. Yes. And by the way, Faye Dunaway available.


Ira Madison III Don Lemon, Tucker Carlson and fades all away, giving you the news.


Louis Virtel I have never felt better. That sounds exactly right.


Ira Madison III That famous that famous story where Faye Dunaway referred to someone as a little gay boy.


Louis Virtel Little homosexual boy. She was doing that play about Katharine Hepburn. That abruptly stopped because people were fearing for their lives from this woman who slaps people for real.


Ira Madison III Let’s just say on a day to day basis, I don’t know which one she would referred to as that Don Lemon or Tucker Carlson.


Louis Virtel She would try it either way. She doesn’t give a fuck. She’ll fire an assistant today, tomorrow and the next day.


Ira Madison III All right. We’re we’re back. We are joined by the wonderful Jordan Cooper.




Ira Madison III Our guest today has achieved so much at such a young age. And Louis and I should know because we’re both 25.


Louis Virtel That’s right. I really understand. Tik Tok. And you should ask me all the questions about it.


Ira Madison III His iconic play, Ain’t No Mo, made him the youngest black American playwright on Broadway, and he is also the Emmy nominated creator and producer of The Miss Pat Show. We are thrilled to have him on our show. Welcome to Keep It, Jordan E Cooper.


Jordan E. Cooper Hey. Hi. Hi.


Ira Madison III Hi. It’s so good to see you.


Jordan E. Cooper It’s so good to see you, too. It’s been a minute.


Ira Madison III It has. It has since we did Michael Shulman’s, who was just on Keep It On for our Oscars episode. But he has actors and people do monologues from different award shows. And we had Mariah Carey and Lee Daniels.


Jordan E. Cooper Yes.


Ira Madison III At the Palm Springs International Film Festival accepting for Precious, which is truly a moment. And I want to ask you how fun that was, Joy. You played Mariah. I played Lee. How fun that was with you knowingly, you know, and working with him on this part and him having produced and No More on Broadway.


Jordan E. Cooper No, it was so much fun. I asked him before I did it, I was like, Yeah, also, you know, you know, I don’t give a damn. I said, Why were y’all so lit? I said, He was like, Well, I had a couple of journeys. Well, he was like Mariah. And he was like, Mariah had one dream, but she was taking some medicine at the time that like, if you have one treat it like makes everything just, you know, I mean, she doesn’t even really drink like that. Usually. She was she’s hilarious. It’s just a hilarious video. They are lit in that video.


Louis Virtel What exactly goes on in the speech? It’s not I don’t remember seeing.


Jordan E. Cooper It’s basically Mariah Carey won an performance award for Precious for her role in Precious.


Louis Virtel Yes. Great performance. Yes.


Jordan E. Cooper Yeah. So she gets up and she she is shocked and delivers a speech that is not coherent whatsoever, but absolutely iconic at the same time.


Ira Madison III He, of course, is talking about how like when he approached Farrah, he was like, you got to do you know, you got to take the makeup off. And she was like, I took my makeup off. You know, I put that mustache on.


Jordan E. Cooper This is their social issues. I can take my makeup, but I don’t look like that bitch on that thing. You don’t know who that bitch on the thing is. I’m guessing there’s a reason why her name couldn’t be said.


Louis Virtel Me, I am Mariah with the elusive elocution. That’s. I’m. I will be looking to speech up now.


Jordan E. Cooper Yes. Oh, no. It’s so good. You know drunk Mariah is the best Mariah, I’m going to do the best I can with what I got.


Ira Madison III I still need the full version of that, to be honest. When it came online, like her doing that and that you yo you just hear like the music drop of like I need to see the whole performance, so whoever has it send it to me.


Jordan E. Cooper I need more.


Louis Virtel I was thinking of her anyway because they showed footage of her from like the first carpool karaoke where she got into the car, apparently. And according to James Corden, she said, Oh, I’m not going to sing. And then he coaxed her by putting on Always Be My Baby. And then, of course, milliseconds later, she’s singing. So I’m just obsessed with the the whimsy, shall we say, of Mariah Carey at the moment.


Jordan E. Cooper Yes, She’s she’s iconic.


Ira Madison III Okay. So speaking of icons, we recently interviewed Patti LuPone, and that is coming out later this week. Keep It listeners. She basically goes on a rant about how iconic Ain’t No Mo’s and how you are one of the best new playwrights she has seen. She is. She’s she’s like, I guess, very serious. She was like, I cut my teeth on Mamet. He knows words, no dialog, those characters. And she said that that is you. And then you also being in the show was phenomenal. She said, No one is doing theater like you are doing right now. So we had to tell you that.


Jordan E. Cooper Wow, I’m gagged, I gagged literally. I am a Patti LuPone stan like I am Patti LuPone stan. So the fact that I knew she came to see the show, but I didn’t know what she got afterwards. I haven’t heard anything. So that’s that’s. Wow, that’s amazing. That’s amazing.


Louis Virtel She she, like, had one hand in the air and she was like, making sure she had eye contact with us. And she was like, Guys, this person is serious. Like, it was it was like clinical. It was it was like she was announcing a death in the family, how serious she was just.


Jordan E. Cooper Oh, that’s such an honor. Wow. That’s amazing. That’s amazing.


Louis Virtel I want to go back to a quote you said about Broadway in general. You said that audiences in this particular moment right now are obsessed with knowing exactly what they’re going to get when they go into a show, whether it’s existing IP. Just they go in, they want a particular thing. And therefore, other shows that are perhaps, you know, new material from exciting young playwrights, it takes an extra hurdle for them to get there because they don’t know what they’re going to get. Art, does this mean you are extremely pessimistic about theater right now? How do you feel just about theater in general?


Jordan E. Cooper I’m not necessarily pessimistic about theater. I think theater itself is is ever growing and ever, ever in a state of of moving forward. Right. Broadway is a different story. Broadway, I think, is really turning into a space where it’s hard for new original works to get on, especially if there are original works of color. This is a thing, you know, it was already hard pre-pandemic, but post-pandemic. It’s like a whole new world, you know, because people don’t want to spend their money on something. Like I said, that they all know they want to spend their money on on Coming to America the Musical. You know, back then there was something that they recognized that they know and and see celebrities and faces that they know. And I think that that we just have to kind of reconstruct the model a bit in order to continue to get works that deserve to be seen. I think everything deserves to be seen. But but I think while not everything, when we take it back and everything.


Ira Madison III I could name some shows, okay, But I’m not going to name Leopoldstadt. But you keep going.


Jordan E. Cooper Okay. But but, but I do think that there’s space for more shows like that that are big, glitzy, glitzy, commercial, recognizable titles. And there’s also spaces for shows that people have never heard of or playwrights that they’ve never heard of with cars that they’ve never heard of. Because a lot of times I can tell you that our cast for Ain’t No Mo, they were, they were acting they were acting down on that stage. So it was some of the best performances that I’ve ever seen in theater, period. And I think that in order for us to get the digital Washingtons, we have to support Denzel Washington. When he did A Soldier’s play in the Eighties, you know what I mean? We have to really look at new artists and not just support the people who are already, you know, on the pedestal.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what I also found so fantastic about the play, and I’ve told you this, too, was I got to see it in a reading version of it in L.A., and then you know how it got transferred to Broadway. And I just want to ask, what was, you know, the impetus for this? What was your, like, rattling around in your head and how did you come to Lee Daniels with this project and him wanting to be like, I got to take this to Broadway?


Jordan E. Cooper Yeah. So. So that’s a long story. So basically it started I started the inception of it in the summer of 2016, when Philando Castile and Alton Sterling got murdered within a week of each other. And it’s one of the things when it rains, it pours. And I was drowning in the pour of that as well as I had my own interaction with a police officer at a 7-Eleven on 14th Street. I was like reaching up to get the slushie at this nozzle, and we were standing next to each other. And when I reached out to get the nozzle, he’d like put his hand on his gun. And I just kind of put my hand up and just kind of backed away. And he went on, smiled and went on. But I just went back to my dorm, just kind of really contemplating life and contemplating my own worth. I was like, People do not need to be marching in the streets over no $1.75 slushie. He is like, that is not that is not the song. I really just I have a very dark sense of humor. I always tell people I find somebody to laugh at, at funerals. I always say why she waring a bra, she going six feet under. Like, why? Why is okay? Like Jesus will let titties be free. It is okay. Swing em high, swing em low, she can get through the gate. But I just really had to find something to laugh about to get over it and get through it. Right. And so the idea of like, what if we just all said it? Like, what you just said? Like, like, fuck it. We get on a plane, screw racism, screw economical separations, all these things that hold us back in this country and we’re going to start anew and get on a plane and go back to Africa. Right. And as I started as a hilarious idea and then bringing in a drag queen, being the flight attendant to get all these millions of black people on a plane, the plane is basically us watching all these people decide whether or not they’re going to go on the final plane out of America. And if you don’t get on the plane and you turn into a privileged white man. So a lot is at stake here. But as I started to write this story, it was it was it was very obvious that the question that I asked got an answer. And then I started to challenge that answer over what does it mean if we just all give up in that way? What happens with the blood that’s in the soil and the bones that’s in the soil of this country that built this country? If we just stop fighting, if we just said, you know, f it. But then also on the flip side of that, you go into Africa, but there’s really no place for you in Africa. That’s that’s not your home. It’s your home romantically. Right. But it’s not your home. Otherwise, you’re going to be colonizing people on that on that side of the spectrum. You know what I mean? You’re displacing people over there. So it’s a really interesting conversation about what home is, you know, for people of color and specifically black people. Like when you have a dash before American Home is tricky, right? That means you’re not a natural American per se. Like this is not your space. But the reality is that we built it, you know, and and I think the play really asks, like, how do we fight for what we do?


Louis Virtel But it was fabulous hearing Patty talk about it. But I also just want to say like that guiding instinct of having a lot of wanting to be humorous in a sort of dark or maybe even strange way. Does that guide most of your writing in general? Do you find that it starts with that instinct?


Jordan E. Cooper Absolutely. It has to be. I just because I think that’s what life is. You know, when we get to laugh and cry with the same tears, it’s what this is. So I know this laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. That’s my favorite thing to write, you know? And I think that, like all of my work, they all have this kind of very dark, morbid, yet hilarious kind of kind of existence to them, even in the mismatched show. The reason why I was drawn to it was because, you know, Miss Pat was a real figure. She you know, she’s a bring the media and she’s been shot twice. She used to sell drugs. She had two kids my time. She’s 14 years old. She went to prison and now she’s a full time mom instead of the comedian, you know. And what’s so brilliant about her is the way that she’s able to take the darkest moments in her life and find a way to laugh at them. She can make you laugh about being shot in the back of the head. She can make you laugh about being molested. You know what I mean? Like, it’s it’s so twisted and it’s so dark. But through that laughter, she has control and power over the day. I remember one of the funniest real life moments I’ve had with the staff was we threw her a surprise birthday party. It was our 50th birthday party. We do a surprise party in L.A. and we brought her up there with a surprise. She’s like, Oh, thank you, Thank you, you know? Then she gets the mic and she was like, I don’t know who planned this birthday party, but did you know that I got molested in the graveyard right across the street?


Louis Virtel Oh, my God.


Jordan E. Cooper She was dying laughing and everybody was like, did she really just say that? You know. It was just so ridiculous. And so things like that, I find that funny. I find out, Larry. It’s. You know what I mean? Because there’s a sense of victory in that, you know, there’s a sense of victory of she’s here, you know. And I think even in places like Ain’t No Mo, there’s a sense of victory in the pain of we’re getting murdered constantly and we’re being discriminated against constantly, but yet we find something to laugh about.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. You Miss Pat, obviously, you know, a show like you’ve worked on and read, you know, four season ads and now ain’t no. You know, you went to Broadway. Truly. What do you want to do next? Like what? These are two things that are like dreams of people who are, you know, in their thirties, forties, you know, who’ve been writing forever. And you’ve had such, you know, great highs early on, even with eight or more closing far too early. You know, what do you want to conquer right now?


Jordan E. Cooper Well, there’s so much I want to do. I want to do film. I want to write musicals. I have more plays inside of me. I also just, you know, want to keep lifting up other artists as well. I hope to own a theater one day. I hope that all the creators. I just want to keep creating space, not only just for myself, but also for other artists. But there’s so many projects inside of me that I want to make. Like, it’s. It’s kind of scary how much is inside of me. And I just hope that I can get them all out. You know, my goal is to like, when I die, I want to go to have an empty, you know? I want to I want to I want to go empty. Like knowing that there’s nothing left inside of me. I’ll put it all out. I did what I could on the earth, and that’s the goal.


Louis Virtel Now you have a natural ebullience that makes me think you are probably writing constantly. Are you somebody who doesn’t ever suffer from things like writer’s block? Because looking at you, I almost can’t picture you being like, Actually, I don’t know what to write about today.


Jordan E. Cooper The problem is I always know what to write about. I just don’t always feel like writing, that’s the problem.


Ira Madison III Tea.


Jordan E. Cooper It’s like when I have to sit down to write something that’s the cleanest my house will ever be because I’m constantly just putting out music and just cleaning everything. The things that I like, I just constantly stall because it’s such an experience and it’s such a draining experience for me, even though it’s rejuvenating and it’s blissful, but it’s also, you know, my favorite part is sitting by myself in the room. My favorite part is getting in a room with other people and making that they breathe, you know? So when I have to sit down by myself and like, really converse with my spirit, you know, it’s a lot of work. So I try to avoid it, but I can’t because it’s like there’s things that need to be said not only for other people. You know, I always say I never write for other. People always try to write for myself because there’s something that I need to hear or something that I need to say for myself because it’s like I’m not Jesus to fix problems of bread. I’ve got to eat too, I’ve got to eat.


Louis Virtel Jesus said the same thing, by the way.


Ira Madison III I got to put me first. Put me first, Judas.


Jordan E. Cooper Sit to the left. Right. No, I really just like it’s a word for me. And I want to set out some plates for other people to have enough to sit there, make a place for themselves, and sit down with me. That’s the goal. But I always got to eat first. I’d never try to write from being on a soapbox with a message that I have to get out. You know what I mean? Which is why, like, even with Ain’t No Mo, it’s like it’s. It’s rare that you get like a black play or a play about race in general that’s speaking about about a cultural experience and isn’t preaching to white people. You know, it’s not it’s not here to to to be like white people. This is what it’s like to be black and this is what you shouldn’t do and this is what you should do. It’s really just like, no, this is our experience. Like, you, you, you come in, the cook out. You can’t. You know what I mean? It’s like the door is open. But if you want to engage, come and engage. But it’s not. We’re not going to go out of our way to invite you, you know, in the sense of like the same thing with I always say, you know, I remember one of the early reviews of Ain’t No Mo, it was a review who actually loved the show. But one of the things that he said was he said sometimes too many colloquialisms went by too fast. And I was like, How many times have I said in a Shakespeare play or in a Samuel Beckett play? And too many colloquialisms have gone by too fast, and it’s like, I have to do the work to engage. And it’s the same thing with audience members. It’s like, Yeah, this may not be your your culture, but you have to do the work to engage the same way that we have to do the work to engage with the works that are considered similar with the works that are considered. You know, this is necessary and you have to oh, you don’t know anything. If you don’t know this, you know, why can’t we do that? Same thing with works like August Wilson, with like secretary all with works like, you know what I mean? Robert O’Hara You know what I mean? Like those kind of people. And it’s just really that’s what, that’s what theater should be. It should be everybody’s experience, because I believe that through specificity, you get university out. You know what I mean? Somebody is going to see themselves. I have people coming up to me crying after Ain’t No Mo, who weren’t even from America, who weren’t even black, but yet saw themselves in the story, you know, and saw themselves in the situation. That idea once again, of not knowing where home is.


Louis Virtel I have to say, though, I’m just impressed by staying the course. In terms of your own specificity, though, because I feel like that what that means is you end up having to have these battles with other people putting the show together, are working on this show and being like, No, it’s going to I’m not going to do I don’t want to say pander, but like change it so that it might be more recognizable to a certain kind of viewer that, you know, whatever Does that mean you have to sort of defend your work constantly?


Jordan E. Cooper I do have to defend it at times. Thankfully, I’ve been surrounded by people who get it, and if they don’t get it, then they’re willing to do the work to get it. But I think that I’m kind of grateful for that, that I have that thing in me because, you know, my beginning was before I knew traditional American theater and, you know, Sondheim and Beckett and Moliere and all these people. I knew, you know, Tyler Perry when I was six years old and Je’Caryous Johnson when I was six years old. I knew David E. Talbert not personally, but meaning like as far as the works that were accessible to me in my community that I lived in because we didn’t have access to Broadway where I was from, you know, So our our version of Broadway with the bootleg plays that we got in the barber shop and a beauty salon, you know, And so because a lot of that, like for me, I was doing plays in my living room since I was like a little bitty kid. And I didn’t really know that was a thing until I saw these chitlin circuit plays. And I was like, Oh, people do this like you put on like, you put on costumes, you put on lights, you put on, you know what I mean? All these things that I didn’t have access to. And the reason why I’m grateful that that was my first introduction to the American theater was because it taught me that there were no rules. It taught me that I didn’t have to, you know, fit into the traditional American training. It was like, no, you can do whatever you want to just tell the story, you know, and make sure that you’re you’re taking care of your audience. And I think that that allowed me to when I did get into like late elementary school or early middle school and started to get into traditional, you know, white American theater, I started to approach those things with with with a new appreciation where I could appreciate them, but I could also translate them. You know what I mean? I could also show them in a way where where it was like, Oh, this is dull. It’s not my style, but it’s dope. And I see the human condition and the human experience in it. The brilliance of it. And thankfully, I just I just write write for whoever I write for, you know, I write for black folk who listen when I tell you, people were in that theater working on those seats.


Ira Madison III They were. The opening on That show is so wild and fun and just it’s it’s it’s you know, it’s it’s a it’s a call, a response. You know, it’s ah, it’s a funeral. But as a black church, it is. It’s so funny seeing like white see like white people in the audience, too. Like some who are like, why did they get into it? And you know, and like, it’s it’s fun. And I will say I get exactly what you mean because, you know, this is not any other play. Right. Or plays. And I’m not going to mention people by day, but I will say that like one of the times I know that maybe like a black play isn’t even going to be for me is if it’s like become a play where every white person I know, like cannot wait to Instagram the playbill and be like, I just saw this. You know, it’s always that seems like it’s being made for that. It seems like it’s at least helping them explain like some part of blackness to them. They’re coming away, being like, I learned a lesson, you know, And they didn’t really learn a character’s story. They didn’t really learn these people, um, I don’t even remember the movie, but and it’s wild that Roger Ebert wrote this, but I didn’t remember the movie. But Roger Ebert was like reviewing a black film. It was a Spike Lee movie. I forget which Spike Lee movie, what it might have been do the right thing. I think it was basically just sort of writing that this was his first time really seeing like a black film that was produced in Hollywood where there was no explanation for the white audience. Right. And there weren’t even jokes where it’s like, Oh, white people are crazy. Or like, you’re like sort of like breaking the third, the fourth wall to acknowledging that white people are watching it and like, explaining, like, colloquialisms are jokes. It was literally like this was made for a specific audience and other people can just come and watch it.


Jordan E. Cooper Yeah, yeah,  exactly. And that’s, that’s like, that’s beauty because it’s like, like I’m tired of explaining, you know, just come and have a good time. Just come and have a good time and engage and be with it. No, I don’t, I don’t have time to put a, put a spoon in a potato salad and put it up to your mouth. You know, you.


Ira Madison III Try understanding pincer. Okay. Right. Like, like the whole semester where I had to learn like how to read Pitzer and, and college. And I’m like, he never taught people. The people just had to learn what the fuck up pens are. Play is.


Jordan E. Cooper Exactly exactly. And I remember, I remember I, I went to a school and there is school and there was a teacher who was teaching. I was so excited to take a female playwright to the class, all female pilot. Just I’m so excited I get in there. Of course, I’m the only black student, but I’m looking at the syllabus. She’s passing out the syllabus and there is a week for black female playwright.


Louis Virtel Oh, no.


Ira Madison III Not a week.


Jordan E. Cooper I was like, Not a Negro week. What is this?


Ira Madison III The Courtney Collins show?


Jordan E. Cooper Yes. Exactly. Don’t touch that dial. And it’s so crazy to me that we were so segregated in that way. And not just a part of female playwrights in general. You know why? Why? Why? Why are these white female playwrights being lauded and lifted to be majority of our seven week process? Like where? But we get anywhere we like? It’s just so interesting how how black folks at that same no it was a different teacher at that same school, read one of my plays when I was younger and and pulled me aside of the class and said, Jordan, you’re the best black playwright I’ve ever read.


Louis Virtel And she and she ranks those. By the way.


Jordan E. Cooper I was like, what? I was like, Well, okay, what does that mean? What does that mean? You know? And don’t get me wrong, it’s like I’m proud to be a black playwright. It’s just I just hate that everything is so segregated and you know that that tells me that you’re not looking at the work you’re looking at and how you receive it. You know, she’s like, I can’t fully receive this because it’s not my experience. So I have to put it in this box.


Louis Virtel Mm. Mm hmm. Right. Because, you know, Wendy Wasserstein got a full week in that class, too. So, I mean, I’m just thinking about what people were learning and I’m concerned.


Ira Madison III You know, how long does it take to learn how to drive in that class? Okay. Probably two weeks. Probably read Top Girls for a whole month.


Jordan E. Cooper Oh.


Louis Virtel What would you say is the most fun you’ve had at the theater in the past couple of years?


Jordan E. Cooper Oh, that’s an awesome question. The most fun I’ve had at the theater in the past couple of years. It’s rare that I have a lot of fun. It’s very rare. That’s a great question. I mean. I have fun at Tri. I have fun at Tri. I, I saw. Good night, Oscar. That was Goodnight Oscar last night with Sean Hayes.


Louis Virtel I just heard that he is amazing and got a standing ovation in the middle of the play.


Jordan E. Cooper My gosh. Literally got a standing ovation in the middle of the play.


Ira Madison III I need to see that.


Louis Virtel It’s about Oscar Levant to the composer and very kind of droll wit. Sean Hayes is a perfect fit for it.


Jordan E. Cooper And it was hilarious. The jokes where were like 90% of the jokes were like, just like on fire, like, just being. So we’re really, so well directed. So our designs were actor Sean Hayes. As if that was a joke, he would have got an Oscar. Like he’s he’s so present and is giving all of himself all of this sort of space. So moments like that are like, that’s top tier theater to me. I have fun at & Juliet. Shucked was a lot of fun. Alex


Ira Madison III I still to see that I love, when Alex’s on stage cutting up, you know, you’re about to have a good time.


Jordan E. Cooper Alex Newell. Listen, listen, listen. Words cannot be expressed that much, that they are just like they are the closest that we’re going to get to. Like, that moment of, like, watching Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm.


Jordan E. Cooper Like at the Imperial Theater. Like, that’s the closest that I feel like we’re going to get in this generation to that moment.


Louis Virtel I do just want to say about Jennifer Holliday in Dreamgirls, if you ever are feeling low, please look up the clip of her on the American Idol finale where she is singing that song with runner up Jessica Sanchez. And Jessica Sanchez is devoured on the stage. Fully Jonah and The Whale is unbelievable.


Jordan E. Cooper I was like, why does she do that to that baby? Jennifer Holliday said that I got something to prove.  Sorry, you’re not standing next to me, you know. Oh, she did that cameo in that movie. They always mad. And it was like we are show you.


Ira Madison III Oh.


Louis Virtel Yeah, it started out social enough. And then yet something with the jaw occurs and then she is just gobbled up. I mean, it’s wild.


Ira Madison III Like it’s okay. It is it is it is giving for alien, okay It’s like run Ripley Whichever hard drive attaches, I have to say those are great moments that you mentioned. And like, Ain’t No Mo was like really one of the most fun times I had in the theater in, like, forever. And really just that. I can’t wait to see the Shot Hayes’s play as well. Because what I tell you what I love about theater, I love I love play, I love musicals, obviously. But like I love a play that feels as fun, as vibrant as a musical. Musicals have the music that’s going to keep you, like, entertained throughout the show. But if it is a play and there are moments in it that are fun, that make you cry, that are like going in different directions, like I want to sit in different areas, you know, like that’s what I want. That’s a play. And I’m just tired of seeing, you know, people on stage having a damn conversation.


Jordan E. Cooper No, you’re absolutely right. That’s who I like for me, because I love musicals. I love I love music in general. So even as I approach my writing, I try to write the monologues and I try to write them like musical numbers. I try to write them with the rhythm and the bombasity and in the in the spectacle of a musical number like the black monologue where she burst out of the table, you know, in the church monologue that the preacher has, where it’s like we live on the roof is getting blown off the theater. You know, I’m dancing is like that is I’m the exact same way. That is that is if there’s no music in it, even if it’s a play and I’m not even talking about music like as far as traditional music, but even your language music, there is it in. It is not. It’s not for me it’s not.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Yeah. Well, thank you for being here. And it’s close. You know, you just said it again. Language. And to bring her up again, Patti LuPone said, you know, you understand language.


Jordan E. Cooper So that was that so wild to me that is so. Patti LuPone is everything, you hear me. Everything. Her final performance of of Company where she got like a three minute standing ovation for the Ladies Who Lunch.


Ira Madison III Yes.


Jordan E. Cooper Well, I like Patti LuPone so much, I did Ladies WHo Lunch on  Miscast. I was I didn’t miscast. I did a miscast session and that was my song, Ladies Who Lunch.


Ira Madison III I love Miscast so much. I can’t wait to watch that.


Jordan E. Cooper So much, Miscast and everybody was perfect. Ben Platt was amazing. Like Bonnie Mulligan, like Lauren Courtney, Rachel  Zellman. Everybody was just, you’re going to love this.


Ira Madison III Okay, great. Thank you for being here.


Louis Virtel Good Lord. What a pleasure. Yes.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Jordan E. Cooper Pleasure to be here. Y’all are, y’all. There’s so much fun. So much fun.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Let me tell you the. Let me tell you. Sorry to close out the two quotes that she said because we have them written down. Jordan Cooper knows what he’s doing. And I came out of there so mad that it was ending and so grateful that I had seen it.


Jordan E. Cooper Wow.


Louis Virtel And, you know, when Patti LuPone says she’s mad. She’s telling the truth.


Ira Madison III Okay. She was. She was. She was. Turning on people. Actually, it’s also so wild to me how much Patti love that show. And that tells you like how much like the show was like, enraptured and people because Patti will be on stage to be like stop acting up in the show. You know, people but people acted up because they were supposed to act, that they were being moved. That’s what she wants.


Jordan E. Cooper No, that’s not No, because she is. But she is the toughest theater critic you will ever meet, like and I’ve never even met her. But the way she talks about show, she will let you know what she thinks. Okay. She was talking about she was on our show, on our watch, what happened the other day. And Andy Cohen asked her what she thought about Phantom of the Opera closing. And she was basically like, I don’t she’s like she’s like, why is there so long? She’s like, why would anybody want to see the opera? And if you saw it, why would you go again?


Louis Virtel She goes there, as we say. Yes.


Jordan E. Cooper Well, that means so much. Thank you all for sharing that with me. That made my day.


Ira Madison III Happy, too. And when we’re back. Keep It.




Ira Madison III And we’re back with our favorite segment of the episode. This is Keep It, which, by the way, is a two time Webby Award winning series as of today.


Louis Virtel Oh, my gosh. I can’t believe it. Also, too, whenever you say a two time winner, I immediately think that’s right. Hilary Swank. And that’s who I feel like in this part.


Ira Madison III So it’s all downhill from here, right?


Louis Virtel We’re going to start freedom writing tomorrow, Alaska Daily. I will see you soon.


Ira Madison III One of the really hot actors from Alaska Daily just followed me on Instagram recently, though.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. What a life event for you. I’ll think I’ll remember this moment and where I was when you told me.


Ira Madison III Well, if you go, it might be a life event, Louis.


Louis Virtel Oh, okay. Well, got sad. Our Webby winning podcast got sad.


Ira Madison III They talk about this kind of shit. I call her daddy all the time.


Speaker 3 Okay. Okay.


Ira Madison III Call me Daddy. Call me comma Daddy.


Louis Virtel Okay. Oh, I see. Cute.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Louis, what is your Keep It?


Louis Virtel Well, it’s one of my favorite kinds of Keep It, in which I say Keep It to myself. Because, guys, what if I spent the last week doing. No, I still have not seen. Are you there? God, It’s Me, Margaret Yet, a movie I hear is fabulous. Produced by James L Brooks of Mary Tyler Moore Show in The Simpsons and Terms of Endearment. I hear the would be great. I can’t wait to see it. I don’t know if it’s because the streamers have been pushing the stuff to me. Maybe it’s free TV, which I downloaded for that show, Jury Duty, which has these movies on it. But I have been watching the nineties movies of Woody Allen recently breaking my own commandment. I believe I stated on this very podcast years ago. And can I tell you, Keep It to me for just watch spending all this time watching these movies, but I’m gonna attempt to defend myself now. One. Ira, do we have a director right now who, when he puts out a movie, make sure it’s fucking 90 minutes. Because I have to tell you, that is what is roping me into all of these movies. Literally, you could be like Louis. Here’s a video of your parents getting executed. I’d be like, Oh, that’s terrible. And then you would say, It’s 91 minutes. I’m like, Well, I have the time. I can still make dinner, so I’m going to watch it. But you forget in all of these movies. First of all, who is in that? I watch Sweet and Lowdown, which is the movie about Sean Penn as the guitarist who was Oscar nominated for it, so is Samantha morton. John Waters is in that movie. I watched Everyone Says I Love You, which is his New York musical that he did, which is like actually pretty quaint and lovely. But Edward Norton is in that movie and Goldie Hawn gives a performance that is unbelievable.


Ira Madison III This makes all the sense in the world to me, not because you were tweeting about Judy Davis. And no, you’re usually tweeting about this, But I was doing Saturdays. I was supposed to binge watch a deconstructed Harry.


Louis Virtel You better believe I was here. Kirstie Alley gives the performance of a lifetime. And then recently, I watched Husbands and Wives with Judy Davis. Guys. If there is ever better realized rancor in a performance, Judy Davis, after her, she and her husband separate and she’s trying to go on a date, but she’s distracted because she’s suddenly furious with her ex-husband who she calls in the middle of the date. You’ve never seen better phone acting. You’ve never seen more brown lipstick in your life. I mean, this woman loves a matte lipstick and she loves it to be tawny. And also, she’s the original Australian who flawless American accent. Absolutely. We should have been grilling Toni Collette about this. But I just will say he’s unfortunately one of these people where you can’t talk about the careers of certain actors without bringing up Woody Allen and revisiting Bullets over Broadway, which is, I think now my second favorite Woody Allen movie after another woman, which is 77 minutes. Those are just a pleasure. Yes.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. I’m still I’m still up there with Vicky Cristina Barcelona.


Louis Virtel Oh, of course. What a deserved Oscar win. And also yet another, like, kind of thankless, but kind of good role for Rebecca Hall.


Ira Madison III Yeah.


Louis Virtel Which is what she specializes in.


Ira Madison III And then it’s called a bunch of strays since it came out, probably because Woody Allen is, you know, until he is. She is who she is. Yes, exactly. Match point.


Louis Virtel Which, by the way, is his longest movie. And it’s just over 2 hours. This is what I’m talking about.


Ira Madison III That movie is sexy as hell. Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Matthew Goode. Those are men.


Louis Virtel Yes. Oof! Matthew Goode. Not discussed enough to.


Ira Madison III Bring back real.


Louis Virtel Men. Is that your Tucker Carlson? Who was that?


Ira Madison III That was my Christian Walker.


Louis Virtel Oh, my God. Who I’m sure will be replacing Tucker in the next few days. So we look forward to.


Ira Madison III Maybe he’s getting mimosas with Tucker, if you know what I mean.


Louis Virtel Oh, I hope I doubt.


Ira Madison III Every joke I read about Tucker Carlson on this episode, by the way, let me add a Starr Jones,  allegedly, after it. But you don’t wear bow ties that long, baby, unless you’re doing the bended knee.


Louis Virtel Because I will say, when I was the Chelsea Lately panelist, that was my I have a personality accouterment like look at me. I’m, you know, the bow tie fagot. So I’m just saying there’s actually some, I think, credibility to this.


Ira Madison III You know, I’ve looked at, you know, who else? Slappy, the doll. Okay. And he wasn’t just a wooden doll. He was taken wood.


Louis Virtel But why would this happen to me? Why do I have to hear that? I have not done enough in this life. Everybody’s your kid. But before I implode.


Ira Madison III My Keep It goes to a song that I rediscovered.


Taking wood. Go on.


Ira Madison III My Keep It goes to a song that I rediscovered today. A close friend of mine who, you know, Ted Ripple sent me. We send each other like songs, like every other day. That’s our relationship since we’re in different cities now. Usually songs that we love that are bangers like things that like we think the other has it. Her. He was going through his like songs and found an anomaly. Is the I Want To Love You Forever Soul Solution Remix Radio Edit And this is Of Course I Want To Love You Forever by Jessica Simpson.


Louis Virtel Yes.


Ira Madison III And my Keep It is to the fact that one, this sounds so fucking good from a production standpoint.


Louis Virtel That is usually the case.


Ira Madison III Okay. The Soul Solution remix Soul Solution, whoever they are, they’re getting it. Okay. But damn that girl could not sing.


Louis Virtel It. Really. Again. I bring up Danny Pellegrino all the time. There’s a specific group of 35 year old guys who on Instagram keep reminding you how crazy the era was where John or Jessica Simpson kept getting on TV to sing.


Ira Madison III Okay. And she was she she was she thought that she was singing down. Okay. She was the the the lips were quivering. She was the hand was.


Louis Virtel By a hand. Definitely all the time. Yes.


Ira Madison III Like the the Annunciation. Like she thought that she was Billie Holiday. She thought that she was A.J.. Okay. She thought she was Eartha KITT on Santa baby. Okay. She what? Jennifer Holliday. She thought she was Jennifer. Summer vacation.


Speaker 3 I don’t know about that.


Louis Virtel Jessica says that it appears that’s Bar and Grill. Yes.


Ira Madison III It is. It is. Obviously, like I love like a soul, like a house remix. Like, I would love to hear this at Paradise Go the Party album. But the standard on Sunday afternoons. But it is the vocals that is stopping the song from being a hit. And it is so crazy that we let that girl. Victor. She could sing for so long. When Ashley was right there.


Louis Virtel That’s true. Who brings that? I saw her at the Hollywood Ball. Right? Not Velma Kelly as Roxie. And she was very cute, But she, by the.


Ira Madison III Way, raspy like her whole Ashlee Simpson whole, like, lip synching thing, really did too much to her career because she had such a raspy, like Liza minnelli ish voice. Okay. I want to hear Ashlee Simpson saying, I gotcha. Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel Also, I remember the album. I am quite well. And the song Boyfriend and Burning Up on that album I really enjoy. By the way, these days we get covers of everything. Remember when we got. Was it a Tenashe cover of I’m Every Woman, which, you know, we already we had to slays version of that song already. So it is due for this song to be covered in a meaningful way.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Who Who could say I want to love you forever and really, like, sit down.


Louis Virtel How about, you know what, Ellie Goulding?


Ira Madison III Mm hmm.


Louis Virtel You did a great job at Coachella the other weekend, and I made a silly little joke on Twitter, and she responded to it menacingly.


Ira Madison III What did she say?


Louis Virtel Okay, so I was having fun. It was late on Saturday or whatever she performed. And I said, Well, Ellie Goulding celebrating ten plus years of sounding like a freezing child and we’re all having fun. And she responded with like a wrist gesture, which to me said mid I don’t know what she was going for there, but I thought the joke was very cute and we were all having a wonderful time. And Ellie Goulding. Now it’s like that episode of My Life on the D-List, where Renee Zellweger sends Kathy flowers and now you’re just terrified. What did that mean.


Ira Madison III Baby? So we got to slap the trivia out your mouth. Yeah, it’s what she got there.


Speaker 3 Okay.


Ira Madison III Ellie Goulding. Yeah, right. It’s going Ellie hunting?


Louis Virtel Yeah.


Ira Madison III Wow.


Louis Virtel I’m not that hard to find. You know, I’m walking to a Starbucks.


Ira Madison III I can’t believe you. I can’t believe you angered Ellie Goulding.


Louis Virtel I know. I didn’t know she had it in her.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Meanwhile, one of your icons and mine, too, obviously. Alanis Morissette. Follow me on Instagram.


Louis Virtel This is so upsetting to me, Louis. The Alanis Morissette stand of all time. I literally have written like blog posts on forgotten websites about how Orchid is an underrated queer anthem. Look up the album Flavors of Entanglement. I think it was a target only bonus track just for the record. But yeah, really upsetting you.


Ira Madison III Well, you ought to now that you collect more songs. Recess with Honey. I’ve been saying that they sound like a freezing child.


Louis Virtel You learn, Louis, but you’re an asshole.


Ira Madison III You basically called her that little boy for that. Are you afraid of a dark episode or Ellie Goulding going I’m cold, feet drop?


Louis Virtel Yeah. Okay, we could remix that. I’m sorry it would work out. Gary, from Are You Afraid of the Dark? I always had a crush on him.


Ira Madison III Honestly? My vote for the cover, and this could maybe revive some of the midness and resentment of her solo album.


Louis Virtel Hmm.


Ira Madison III Chloe. Chloe Bailey.


Louis Virtel Oh, yes.


Ira Madison III She could do Jessica Simpson’s. I Want To Love You Forever.


Louis Virtel She would sound great. The Chloe X Halle album Still fabulous. You were a big proponent of that album.


Ira Madison III Mm hmm. One of the something else about I Want To Love You Forever. It was co-written and produced by Sam Waters of Color Me Bad.


Louis Virtel Wow. Good for him.


Ira Madison III So, I Want To Sex You Up, I Want to Love You Forever was the Kidz BOP version of that? The radio edit?


Louis Virtel I support that. Yeah. Watered down the color. Me bad for the kids. Sure.


Ira Madison III Yeah. Also. Someone is lying several times on the I Want to Love You Forever Wikipedia. I Want to Love You Forever is a pop power ballad. Baby, the power is out.


Louis Virtel Call con ad.


Ira Madison III Anyway, that’s our episode. Thank you again. To Keep It, listeners, for voting for us for the Webby Awards and giving us our second Webby Award. It is really, really a nice honor. And if you listen to our interview with Jordan E. Cooper, you already know. We have an episode with Patti LuPone dropping later this week. And by later this week, I mean tomorrow, a bonus episode of Keep It, featuring the one and only Patti LuPone.


Louis Virtel And she told us herself, You can turn on your phones for this episode. If you want to listen to it on your phone, you can.


Ira Madison III We’ll be back tomorrow with more Keep It. Don’t forget to follow us at Crooked Media on Instagram and Twitter and subscribe to Keep It on YouTube for access to full episodes and other exclusive content. Plus, if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a five star review on your podcast platform of choice. Keep It is a Crooked Media production. Our senior producer is Kendra James. Our producer is Chris Lord, and our associate producer is Malcolm Whitfield. Our executive producers are Ira Madison, the third. That’s me and Louis Virtel. This episode was recorded and mixed by Evan Sutton. Thank you to our digital team Matt DeGroot, Nar Melkonian and Delon Villanueva for production support every week. And as always, Keep It is filmed in front of a live studio audience.