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: Im pouring a bowl of cereal for it right now.
Wow. I feel honored. What kind?
Cole: Honey Bunches of Oats.
Jeffery: Ooh, thats 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 dont 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, were lying. None of that is true.
Cole: [Laughs] Soup at Pax? Were trying to come up with a funny way about how we met but we cant. It was really boring. We just met through a mutual friend.
Was that mutual friends name Manhunt?
Cole and Jeffery: No. No.
Cole: Why would we be looking for other bottoms?
Jeffery: Ew! Dont say that Cole! Dont say that!
Cole: Im kidding! Im 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 Joes 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 Joes 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]. Thats the only minus. The pluses are great because were not stuck only doing videos at the computer -- were able to do things that in the past that weve never really done. When youre 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 thats four minutes you think, Forget it.
Jeffery: With 21 minutes [on television] youre given more flexibility and freedom.
Are there any famous comic duos youre especially influenced by?
Jeffery: The other day we had an Aha! Moment about the fact that we think --
Cole: [Laughs Can we quote Oprah? Is Out.com allowed to quote Oprah?
Jeffery: We had this Aha! Moment when we realized that we were subliminally influenced by Laverne and Shirley. It was just kind of so obvious that we didnt even realize it [until now.] Because theyre both --
Cole: Cute -- theyre not like hot, they dont have a lot of redeemable qualities -- theyre always messing up.
Jeffery: Theyre always broke and trying to patch their shit together in the easiest way they can come up with. I think other influences we have -- one of the big things that Cole and I bonded over and things that we both really loved were --
Cole: Early 90s actresses --
Jeffery: Definitely. And Pee Wees Playhouse, Shelley Duvall in general -- all that good stuff.
With the Internet anybody can be a star now -- you just get a camera and start uploading videos to YouTube. But its not always reality. How true to life are your characters? Are these two people actually you or versions of you or --
Jeffery: I think theyre influenced by us, but I dont think theyre completely --
Cole: Thats a pretty heavy question. I think were both going to become the characters weve created and then --
Jeffery: Sure. Of course, because were both terribly insecure. [Laughs]
Out: Oh, well, then youve picked a good industry.
Jeffery: [Laughs] The characters are obviously influenced by who we are in real life, but we arent always that on. Though, the people we go to dinner with would probably beg to differ.
Cole: [Laughs] Yeah. Theyre like Those assholes!
Have you had any negative feedback? Do you read the comments on your videos?
Jeffery: Id say for every positive comment there are four Youre not funny or Faggots Die! comments.
Out: Those are always fun.
Jeffery: Yeah, those ones are great. We were a bit more susceptible to reading the comments when we first started making the videos but I try not to read them now because I think I get more personally affected than Cole does. [Laughs]
Out: Cole likes the abuse?
Cole: I do. [Mock earnestly] I like people telling me Im not good enough because it just makes me work harder.
Jeffery: It just makes me eat. A lot. And I dont need any help with that.
What about the other end of the spectrum? Do you have any stalkers? Do you get recognized when you go out now?
Jeffery: I dont think we have any stalkers. Online, because were such active Facebookers, and were so easy to contact, we definitely get a lot of people who like the stuff writing us on Facebook. But weve had some spooks across the country whove liked our stuff too much. People are more comfortable contacting people online -- its the same reason why you can say nasty things with comments as well. Or really nice things, as well.
Recently at the Logo New Now Next Awards you did a bit about trying to get Cheyenne Jacksons attention. What do you look for in a man besides him being Cheyenne Jackson?
Cole: Oh, I dont know. I think Jeffery is more into Cheyenne Jackson than I am.
Jeffery: Neither of us are that into Cheyenne Jackson.
Out: Whoa. I hope hes not reading this.
Jeffery: I think hes very pretty and I think hes very talented but --
Out: So who are you into? Give me the dirt.
Jeffery: A celebrity?
Out: Sure. You could tell me someone whos not famous but I probably wont know him and that wont be very exciting.
Jeffery and Cole: [Laugh]
Cole: I like people who make me laugh or seem like a good time.
Jeffery: Anytime I think about who I would want to hang out with -- my ideal man is Regis Philbin but thats because we could go to The Carlyle together.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I want you each to tell me your favorite casserole.
Cole: Something Mexican-themed. Like a taco meat casserole with Fritos corn chips on top.
Jeffery: My favorite is my moms sweet potato casserole that she makes for Thanksgiving. But now that I dont come home for Thanksgiving, she makes it for Christmas. Its topped with crushed pecans and it used to be topped with Frosted Flakes back in the day.
Out: Maybe youll have to send us the recipe so we can feature it online.
Jeffery: I dont think Im legally allowed to do that -- its a family recipe.
Cole: Well send you a casserole.
Jeffery: In like four years -- itll take us that long to buy the ingredients and make it.
Jeffery and Cole Casserole premieres Friday, June 19 at 11:00 PM ET/PT and at LOGOonline.com.
The duo's latest stage play, Jeffery and Cole Make It Bigger plays for three performances, Thursdays at 10 PM beginning July 16 at Dixon Place. For more info