By Lorna Soonhee Umphrey | January 17, 2017 | People
There’s a new late night talk show in town covering everything from pop culture to politics, leaving no comedic stones unturned. Originally based from a Funny or Die podcast, hosts and show creators Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi are taking their audio dreams to life in front of a live studio audience on their new TV Land show, Throwing Shade.
We sat down to chat with this vivacious duo on the power of being executive producers, if the White House is in their future, and why they love living in LA.
Congratulations on your show, Throwing Shade. You guys have such amazing banter. How did you meet?
BRYAN SAFI: We met at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
ERIN GIBSON: Do you think we’ve known each other for 8 years?
BS: Probably. That sounds about right. We met there and then we worked a couple of jobs together writing. And then we sort of started the podcast just because we both felt, honestly, the closest comparison for Erin and me is we feel like brother and sister. We bicker that way, we agree that way. We always try to needle each other that way so I think it comes out with baseline love.
Not only are you co-hosting, but you’re also executive producers on the show. For all of us regular people in the world, what does an executive producer do?
EG: It just means that when someone comes in and says, do you care if we shoot this towel, we can be like, no, I forbid it. We just have more creative overall control of the shape of the show.
BS: Yes, exactly. It gives me a great reason to come in with a blunt cut wig, huge sunglasses, a blazer over my shoulder…
EG: Anna Wintour.
How did you guys prep for the show? Extra cardio? Any botox?
EG: We are working out really hard.
BS: Every day. I can’t tell you what a blessing it’s been to have had the stomach flu, not once but twice. It’s been great. And by the way, the luckiest day of all, was the day after Thanksgiving. So, it was like nothing happened.
EG: A forced diet.
BS: Physically, we are legitimately preparing for it.
EG: Let me tell you, nothing gets me to the gym before 8 a.m. than this. Wild dogs couldn’t drag me out of bed.
BS: She’s basically taking a spin class and then reading the New York Times while on the bike.
Do you have any late night hosts that inspire you?
BS: Certainly, Samantha Bee.
EG: John Oliver.
BS: Chelsea Handler. Even Joan Rivers. They’re not necessarily hosts, but Sandra Bernhard and Kathy Griffin.
EG: Wanda Sykes. Carol Burnett.
BS: We just added Andy Cohen but we can stop this now.
What do you guys hope to accomplish with the show and are you continuing the podcast as well?
BS: We will continue the podcast with it. I think part of the great thing about having a podcast is we can be uncensored, we can be extreme, we can be really silly, we can be really irreverent. Like we were discussing earlier, TV Land is allowing us to do all those things on the podcast. I think the big difference is, for instance, we play a lot of characters on the podcast, that kind of thing. I think in the TV show, what you would hear on the podcast, you’ll finally get to see in the television show. The show is hosted in a studio but we also break off in to bits and cut away to sketches quite a bit. It’ll be exciting to actually see the show.
EG: It’s going to be a perfect marriage of what we liked to do when we were doing stuff at UCB and what we like to do politically, which means wigs and talking about Donald Trump.
If you could describe your reaction on election night in one word, what would it be?
EG: Just-broken-up-with. (I know that’s not one word.)
Will either of you ever run for President?
EG: Have you ever thought about seriously running for office?
BS: I don’t know. I think it’s great when people do. Once you become a senator or certainly the president or anything like that, 70 percent of your money and time is spent on re-election. I just think there are more efficient ways to get things done. Especially if you’re not called to it. I’m called to this.
EG: I’ve been gray since I was 24 so I’m ready for it. There will be no time lapse photography for me in the White House. I’ll look the same since day one.
What do you guys love most about living here in LA?
BS: I think what I love about LA is a few things. The first one being people forget how easy it is to feel like you’re not in a big city, in a good way. Like going to Malibu and taking a hike. I also love going to the Arclight and people applauding the movie after it’s over. It’s such a sweet thing that I have never seen in any other movie theater in the country. The lights coming up and people applauding all the hard work that went into it.
EG: I also think LA has changed a lot since the election. I found people talking to each other more and starting conversations with strangers. And people having a more sense of community, which I think is really hard here because it’s a car town.
BS: I also think what’s exciting about LA is that it’s become a foodie city which is also very cool. And it’s accessible for everyone—ranging from these incredible food trucks to Trois Mec or Redbird.
TV Land’s Throwing Shade premieres on January 17 at 10:30/9:30 CT.
Photography Courtesy of TV Land
May 26, 2017