The New Screen Queens
By Noah Michelson
Best known for their campy YouTube videos which feature the pair bantering about everything from Laurie Metcalf to gay marriage, Jeffery Self and Cole Escola, aka The VGL Gay Boys, are now trading in their computer screens for the small screen this Friday night when their new series, Jeffery & Cole Casserole premieres on Logo. Described as a mixture of stand-up comedy, traditional sketches, and musical numbers (not to mention a scene of the two in their underwear in the first epsiode), the show is a fresh, unexpected look at life for two twenty-something best friends.
We caught up with Jeffery and Cole last week to chat about making the leap from YouTube to Logo, following in Laverne and Shirley's footsteps, and why Regis Philbin may just be the perfect man.
Out: Are you ready for your big Out interview?
Cole: I'm pouring a bowl of cereal for it right now.
Wow. I feel honored. What kind?
Cole: Honey Bunches of Oats.
Jeffery: Ooh, that's yummy. I just had a bowl of Fiber One Raisin Bran.
Jeffery: It was really good! It has only 41% of your daily fiber as opposed to the 53% you get with the regular Fiber One.
Cole: Oh. Well, being this thin we don't need that much fiber anyway.
How did you two first meet? Is there some kind of juicy, ironic, Unsolved Mysteries-esque back story?
Cole: I think it was at that open call for the Drowsy tour -- the non-equity tour.
Jeffery: Yeah, we were both going in for the Drowsy Chaperone tour. There were these two comedy parts -- a duo -- and they had us both reading together and we just really got along and we went out for lunch afterwards -- we got soup at Pax and we really connected. No, we're lying. None of that is true.
Cole: [Laughs] Soup at Pax? We're trying to come up with a funny way about how we met but we can't. It was really boring. We just met through a mutual friend.
Was that mutual friend's name Manhunt?
Cole and Jeffery: No. No.
Cole: Why would we be looking for other bottoms?
Jeffery: Ew! Don't say that Cole! Don't say that!
Cole: I'm kidding! I'm a top.
So how long have you known each other?
Cole: About a year and a half.
When did you start making videos together?
Jeffery: It happened pretty quickly. When we started working together is when we became friends. We just kind of knew each other socially and we had this idea of a play we wanted to write and while we were doing that -- kind of out of being bored in my apartment -- we started making these videos.
How much time passed between when you started making the videos and when things really started to take off?
Cole: I think it was when we had a live show. It was sold out -- it was packed at Joe's Pub. We thought, Wow, people like the videos enough that they would pay $15 to come see us.
Jeffery: That was cool and then the gay marriage video started getting linked at some of the bigger blogs and the views started going up and I started getting laid because I was the guy in the gay marriage video.
Cole: Yeah, right. Jeffery is not getting laid.
After you started getting laid, how did the show end up on Logo?
Jeffery: Then I started having sex with Logo.
Of course, of course.
Jeffery: I think all of a sudden we started getting little bits of interest here and there from various people at Logo. I guess they had been following the videos and I think some of them had come to see our show at Joe's Pub. We just randomly started getting Facebook messages from people at Logo because that was the only way that people knew how to get in touch with us.
The videos you were originally doing were much shorter. Now you have 21 minutes to fill. What are the pluses and minuses of working with a longer format?
Jeffery: I think the minuses are definitely 'How the hell do we fill 21 minutes?' [Laughs]. That's the only minus. The pluses are great because we're not stuck only doing videos at the computer -- we're able to do things that in the past that we've never really done. When you're doing a video online --
Cole: You have to keep it short.
Jeffery: Yeah, nobody wants to watch a video online for more than two minutes.
Cole: The second you see a YouTube video that's four minutes you think, Forget it.
Jeffery: With 21 minutes [on television] you're given more flexibility and freedom.