Ready For Another Round? with Getting Curious LIVE!
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness #227 August 24, 2021
Refresh your beach playlist with a second serving of Getting Curious LIVE! For our last episode of the summer season, we’re giving you a taste of some top-shelf interviews recorded on Kesha’s Weird & Wonderful Rainbow Ride Cruise, at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, and backstage at Jonathan’s Road to Beijing tour in Brisbane.
Featuring interviews with Detox, Thorgy Thor, Bob The Drag Queen, Erin Gibson, Nicole Byer, and Mawaan Rizwan.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com, and full versions of each of the conversations excerpted in today’s episode are available for free wherever you’re listening to the show.
Check out Getting Curious merch at PodSwag.com.
Hear the Episode
Getting Curious LIVE! (Week Two)
JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious, I'm Jonathan Van Ness, and once in a while I sit down for a gorgeous conversation in front of a brilliant audience and I cannot wait to do that again. For our last summer episode, we are giving you Getting Curious LIVE, just like last week, a mashup of our favorite tapings from festivals, tour stops, and even a cruise. This week we're sharing recordings from Kesha’s Weird and Wonderful Rainbow Ride Cruise, which, by the way, was so much freakin’ fun, you don't even know. And the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal. And backstage at my Road to Beijing tour in Brisbane!
How's everyone doing? Oh, my God, like, having a microphone up on this stage is like a whole different experience, honey. She's like outside. We're really on that ship. There's like levels. We have dimension. Wow. So, thank you! It's going to, it's going to be, like, this big by the end of this. But I love that. Sorry. Is this, like, a lot of your first cruise or no? Mine too! You're, like, “Honey, no, I’ve been on ten. I've done this a million times.” Oh, my God. Oh, yes, yes, yes. It's very been much amazing. If you’ve been having the most amazing time. Make some gorgeous noise. Oh. Wow, that gave me some gay chills, and I'm really excited about that, so. It really is windy.
So I'm very excited because we have three of the most amazing iconic queens of all time tonight. And, and really we're just going to do, like, three little mini baby Getting Curious episodes all back to back. It's going to be rapid fire. It's going to be very queer. It's going to be very fun. And I just can't wait to get started, really. So. Oh, yes. Multiple Getting Curious shirts today, you guys are giving me life. Can I just say, I've always had one of those people that's, like, I'm not going to define myself by my looks. And so, like, in theory I should be able to cut my mustache off and not care. But these shirts are so cute that I'm like, “Oh my God, I don't want to get rid of the mustache because I feel like it will mess up that shirt,” you know what I mean?
Which actually, now that I think about it, gives me mad respect for, like, say, Ashlee Simpson, because she was always changing her hair with reckless abandon and did not give a fuck. She was like, do you remember that episode when her mom was like, “Ashlee, you just got a bleach and tone, and your-, all your album artwork is black hair and you had the bleach to do.” Remember that episode? It was really, ADD is kicking. I am here. It is working. Wait, what’s the order again? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. It really is. We changed the order so many times because of schedules. I was like, I have no clue how I even got outside. So our first queen. Very much iconic. She isn't giving me so much hyphae. Gorgeous hair this weekend. I've not even been ready or this week because it's not a weekend. But put your hands together, make some noise for Detox!
So when you were a babykins, were you like, “Oh, my God, like, Orlando's really cute, but like, I'd rather not be here,” or did you love it? They are like, what did you think?
DETOX [00:03:14] I mean, I didn’t know. Well, here's the thing. My dad was at the State Department and Lockheed Martin, so we moved around a lot. So we, like, basically every two years we moved around as a family. And my sister, who is somewhere around here...
JVN [00:03:25] Who we love.
DETOX [00:03:26] Who we love! She’s my icon. She's, like, I think she's in a business meeting, actually, where is she, where is she, she's, like, “Over here!” My sister is my icon, and she's a little bit older than I am. I'm not. But she's always been my biggest influence. And she's a she's the reason I love Madonna. I grew up listening to Madonna and Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul. We would, like, she taught me how to vote. She taught me how to swim. She taught me how to synchronized swim. You know, those kinds of things.
JVN [00:04:02] Wow. Love a synchronized swimming reference.
DETOX [00:04:04] Right. My brother was, like, “I just want to beat you up because you seem different.” And my sister was, like, “I just wanna put makeup on you and make you a f*g!” And here I am.
JVN [00:04:15] Thank God for sisters. Right? I love that, right? We love a sis. Well, like, sister. That abbreviation didn't work. You know what I mean? I wanted it to work but, yeah. Like, I like, and if even if it's, like, a cyst or, like, a c-i-s, it's like either way I'm like, “eh,”it's like, OK, so that's really cute. So then you're minding your own business. Where were you?
DETOX [00:04:39] I don’t think I’ve ever minded my own business.
JVN [00:04:41] I just feel like, OK, I'll replace that with, like, you're walking along.
DETOX [00:04:44] Sure. Prancing. We’ll call it prancing along. Prancing along.
JVN [00:04:47] You're prancinc, she’s frolicking, and then you're like, do you remember where you were when you saw this RuPaul’s Drag Race for the first time?
DETOX [00:04:55] Well, I-, my sister. My sister convinced me. I had, I was still living in Florida. I had a boyfriend at the time. We broke up. My sister was like, “What are you going to do with your life?” And she was living in Los Angeles, and she was like, “What are you going to do with your life? I'm going to law school. I have a young daughter. Come live with me. Be, like, the live-in nanny, get a stylist job. You have really great fashion taste. You'll make it in the industry, don't you drag. What are you going to be? A 30-year-old drag queen? Who's ever heard of a 30-year-old drag queen?”
JVN [00:05:31] All of us have!
DETOX [00:05:33] I was like, “You're right, you're right. OK, I'll come.” So I moved in with her. I was a live-in nanny with her for, like, three months. And then she moved. And I became a drag queen in L.A. And she was like, “You’re not gonna amount to anything!” And look at me now. She represents me. You're welcome.
JVN [00:06:01] I love sistager! A sistager! That works, sistager works.
DETOX [00:06:06] So when Drag Race first started, it was 2008. It was supposed to be, like, a really it was almost like Real World. What they were, like, their initial pitch for Drag Race was, like, you were going to bring, like, a partner in crime, like, some kind of assistant with you. And she was going to be my assistant. And they were, like, “Nope, never mind.” And it was between Tammy Brown and I to get cast. Tammy clearly got cast, which thank God she did, because we would never have had “Teleport me to Mars! Hah!” We wouldn’t never had that, and also, the earlier seasons of Drag Race were kind of bullshit.
JVN [00:06:47] Wait, so just let me get this straight really quick for a second. Shade but OK, and I get it.
DETOX [00:06:53] Was it shade or was it just honesty?
JVN [00:06:57] Wait, but so, not to invoke another iconic reality show, but America's Next Top Model, are you telling me that you are essentially you had, like, a Jaslene story where, do you remember Jaslene? Honey, like, did not make it in season seven, honey, but then she came back and she said, “Excuse me, I'm renewing my Cover Girl contract after I won season eight. Bye!” She was so fierce.
DETOX [00:07:18] Well, I never won anything. So I don’t know if I follow the same path.
JVN [00:07:23] Well, you won at life.
DETOX [00:07:24] I did win at life! Look at where I am, are you kidding?
JVN [00:07:27] Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Like, you won at life. Because I think that's other thing that I've really realized from-. Oh my God, I'm scared. I'm on a boat in the middle of a really large community and I'm about to say something. I think what I have learned from Drag Race and gymnastics and figure skating is that just because you didn't go home with the gold medal sometimes does not make you any less of a champion, honey. Because, because, honey, sometimes that judging honey, that Ukrainian judge or that Ethiopian judge, or you could have a South African judge or you could have an American judge who just is maybe, like, not really feeling it for whatever reason. It's subjective. You know, that's what judging is. And you never know. You just never know. You know, it's judging. That's what it is, I hate to tell you, but that's that's what it, so I’m just saying.
DETOX [00:08:16] And I’ve been judging a lot on this boat!
JVN [00:08:20] We, actually, in all fairness, I have been, too. But it's all turned out so overwhelmingly positive. Like, I just, like, every time I'm, like, it's just everything it just registers from, like, I love and I love more. It's, like, all positive. I love that story. You guys are killing it! Really killing it!
DETOX [00:08:42] Give it up for Thorgy ‘cause she’s next!
JVN [00:08:43] Yes!
DETOX [00:08:44] This bitch is the first bitch to ever give me a gig in New York City. I got to tell you that. I made her do it, but she did it.
JVN [00:08:58] I feel like this is, like, a director's cut of Drag Race in front of us, like all these, like, cute little stories. Love you, Detox. Love you.
THORGY THOR [00:09:09] Can I tell that story? So D came to, I used to work, actually, I was just talking about it backstage, because I love working nightclubs. That was my whole life. My whole life was, like, do drag. I start my day at 3 AM, you know what I mean, that's what it was like.
JVN [00:09:23] You’re like a kitty cat!
THORGY THOR [00:09:24] And I worked at Splash Bar, which is now closed for, like, six years. Work! [CROSSTALK] So Detox comes out. And I said, I didn't know detox at the time. And I said, “Who are you? You're cute.” And she goes, “I'm Detox. I'm from L.A. You must know who I am.” Now, but who cares? And I said, “I really don't because I just don't pay attention because I'm too selfish with my time.” And, and I said, “Do you want to do my show tomorrow? I pay forty dollars for a guest spot.” And she goes, “You are the first queen to offer me a job here in New York. And I just expect when I got here, all my friends and everyone's missing here,” and she goes, “I want to thank you for that, because, let's become best friends.” And she did the show. We were friends from there forward, but she killed it the next night. And everyone at the show the next night was like, “How the fuck did you get Detox to do this show?” And she killed it. And then everyone was like, “Detox!” I just, I love Detox so much. Give it up, give it up for Detox. She really, really is just incredible.
JVN [00:10:29] Well, I think you’re supes incredible. Case in point. Well, one thing about you, and I was telling you this last night, that's always kind of made me very much stan for you from the very beginning was your sense of proportion and how you use it in the way that you fucking give yourself to the world. The proportion of this hair tonight literally gives me chills. [CROSSTALK] It’s not the wind that’s giving me these chills, bitch, it’s this hair, bitch. Wow. Like, all the time. Like, who are your, like, inpos? Like, when you were, like, a baby, you're like, “Oh my God. Like, I really like that. Like, width of hair.” Was it dynasty? Like, who was it? Like, who are you obsessed with?
THORGY THOR [00:11:05] It was, like, dinosaurs and, like, oil paintings.
JVN [00:11:09] Oil paintings? Really!
THORGY THOR [00:11:10] And, like, sounds. I'm, like, “I want to dress like the key of D flat.”
JVN [00:11:15] Oh, that's very Lorde!
THORGY THOR [00:11:17] I'm, like, really weird, the way I think. I'm a very, I'm a visual. See, my hair. It’s great. I'm a visual learner. So when people, like, tell me like things, I'm like, “Can you show me?” And they don't get it. And I'm, like, and then when I finally show them, it looks like, this, like, it's so much easier. I'm a very visual learner.
JVN [00:11:34] Oh, I love that.
THORGY THOR 00:11:35] The way my brain works.
JVN [00:11:37] ‘Cause there’s the auditory, there's the visual, and then there's like the doing it, kind.
THORGY THOR [00:11:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
JVN [00:11:41] So you're, like, very much visual.
THORGY THOR [00:11:43] Yeah. There's also, like, synesthesia which is, like, if you hear a pitch you see a color.
JVN [00:11:47] That's literally Lorde! Lorde has that! Do you know, Lorde, you know Lorde.
THORGY THOR [00:11:52] Of course!
JVN [00:11:52] Because in Melodrama, she was, like, “This for me is more blues and it's purples.” Honest to God.
THORGY THOR [00:11:57] See, and people don't get it. But it really is, like--
JVN [00:12:01] Like, when someone says something, like, that creative to me, honest to God, like, my ankles are up over my shoulders before I know it, I'm just like, “Just take me, Lorde,” like, fuck, oh my, right, like, so creative. Oh, my God. What happened, I was--
THORGY THOR [00:12:12] People all around us, I love it.
JVN [00:12:15] Oh, everyone's everywhere.
THORGY THOR [00:12:17] Hello! Also, look at the sun setting. This is so, we’re in the middle of fucking ocean. This is so cool.
JVN [00:12:22] Actually, I do feel, that makes me feel like we all need to close our eyes and just take, like, a gratitude moment. Am I right? Let's just, like, close our eyes. Put both your feet on the ground and let's take a deep breath and the nose can open up your mouth and let it go. Oh, love one more like that, guys. Big inhale in the nose. Wow. It just feels good.
So put your hands together for our final guest tonight. I'm very excited, cannot wait to introduce to the stage: Bob The Drag Queen!
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:16] I made it! All the way across. Can I get you a beer? I want to get you a new beer.
JVN [00:13:21] Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:26] I was a waiter for a long time, so that felt natural to me.
JVN [00:13:28] You were?
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:29] Yeah!
JVN [00:13:30] Where?
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:30] Oh, where! I was a waiter at the Ruby Tuesday at Columbus. Yeah, I worked at the Columbus Square Mall in Columbus, Georgia, Ruby Tuesday.
JVN [00:13:39] Bitch! Can I tell you that I worked at the Applebee's at the E Block in Minneapolis?
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:43] Bitch, I worked at Applebee's, too! Bitch! I worked at Applebee's. I worked at a place called the Jekyll and Hyde Club in New York City. I waited tables everywhere, I've served, I've served fried shrimp to the best of them.
JVN [00:13:57] Wait, but were you good at it?
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:13:59] I was a great waiter. I mean, I really, really, you know, for-, are there any waiters here, waiters, bartenders, whatever? You know what would help me? Because the scariest thing for a waiter is when you realize you didn't put in someone's food order, it it will send chills, you’re, like, “Oh my God, it's been 30 minutes. And I didn't put down this kid's chicken tenders. Shit's about to go down.” But then I realized one day, “Oh, my God, no one here is starving.”
JVN [00:14:26] That is true.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:14:27] Like, no one is, like, “I have to eat or I'll die.” Ruby Tuesday.
JVN [00:14:31] Is not a ruby Tuesday. Yeah, yeah. I worked there for three weeks at that Applebee's and never got out of a training section, because, like, every time I would go to put in the order, I would just, like, go to the computer and be, like, “Oh my God, I don't fucking know. Like, I'm in hair school. I don't remember, like, anything about this at all!” And then I would ask for someone’s help and then inevitably they would have ordered, like, chicken fingers and a Diet Pepsi. I bring them a Sprite and chicken fajitas and they're, like, and I'm, like, “Oh my God, can you just, like, not complain and I'll give it to you for free. I'll just, like, compare it because I know how to do that in the computer.” But then the manager fired me. He was, like, “You have, like, six tables a night and you have, like, ten comps.”
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:15:08] That's not good.
JVN [00:15:09] So I got fired because I was really bad when you.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:15:12] You were a deficit to the company, but you found your true calling.
JVN [00:15:15] I did. I just, I needed to focus on school. And so I just lived off of, like, four dollars of tips today from, like, school haircuts. It was fine. Like, we made it. Yeah. [CROSSTALK]
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:15:25] I was saying waiting tables is also, because I'm not really a smiler, I don't smile a lot. Which doesn’t mean I'm not happy, I just don't smile a lot, which is all of you like, “What's wrong with you.” I'm like, “Well nothing was wrong with me until you asked me that.” So I did, so, but being a waiter I learned to fake smile all the time. So I’d be like, “Oh my God, welcome to Ruby Tuesday. Have you tried the Ruby Relaxer? Thank you so much.” So when I leave the table, I was just walking back, like… In fact, I do it a lot when I lip-sync, I'll be performing to the audience, like, “She’s a super queen.” And then I look off-stage from the audience and I’m, like...
JVN [00:16:07] Ohmigod, when did you know when you were a baby that you wanted to be a performer?
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:16:11] Well, I think it was probably, well, I was really into M.C. Hammer when I was a kid. I loved, loved, loved M.C. Hammer. And I also, please don't judge me. I used to watch WWF as a kid.
JVN [00:16:26] Me too! “Ravishing” Randy Mick Rude. I feel like that's when I knew that I was, like, a little bit gay. Because he would just be, like, and I was like...
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:16:37] Work! For me, I was obsessed with Mick Foley, Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack, nerding out, so I was obsessed with him. So I want to be a wrestler. But I was, I'm not really big enough. I'm, I'm, like, a tall guy. I'm a big guy. But if you ever see a professional wrestler in real life, they're the biggest people in the world. They're the biggest people you have ever seen, ever. Yeah. So I wanted to be an announcer. And then and then I got the Lion King soundtrack, and I would sing “Can’t Wait To Be King,” all the songs.
JVN [00:17:14] That montage in that movie blew my motherfucking mind.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:17:19] It's a brilliant movie. It’s a brilliant, brilliant, brilliant movie. And then I found out that I can't sing. So I learn to be funny.
JVN [00:17:27] Is then when I realized that I had to be funny, too? Because the realization that I couldn't sing and am also not going to Hogwarts ever was very hard to stomach for me as a child. That's tough. Yeah. Yeah, but so you saw Lion King and that was the first time that you were, like, “Oh my God, I think I need to be a baby performer.”
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:17:44] I feel like Lion King, which was ninety four. I was born in eighty six. I was eight years old. I was, like, eight years old and I was, like, “I'm going to, I need to be a performer.” It was first a singer, then it was a wrestling announcer, and then it was an actor, comedian, drag queen. And now I'm kind of just doing all that. Including the wrestling.
JVN [00:18:05] Wow! I'm obsessed with that story so much. That sounds kind of like me at mine, except for, like, Twister. Like, the movie Twister really, like, threw in a meteorologist moment.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:15] I thought you meant the game. I thought you meant, like, red foot, blue foot.
JVN [00:18:18] No! I was, like, “Helen Hunt, bitch.” I was like, “I need, we got an F5, there's an F5 and there's cows, bitch.”
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:24] That’s a good movie, is that the one where, yeah.
JVN [00:18:26] We got cows!
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:29] Is that the one where they’re trying to get that, like, thing? At the center of the…?
JVN [00:18:31] Dorothy. Dorothy. Yeah. Dorothy, Dorothy. “And that guy fucking ripped off my technology. That guy from, like, our other team.” Remember? I feel like you guys didn't see that movie.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:40] I remember Twister.
JVN [00:18:41] It was so good.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:43] I think my Twister, like, movie. I was obsessed with that just didn't really, like, make it. Well, it didn't age well, like, it just, people don't remember was Speed. Do you remember Speed?
JVN [00:18:53] That movie aged very well, I think!
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:18:56] But it didn't keep up, like, people will talk about other movies, but, like, trying to keep a bus between, like, sixty and fifty miles an hour. And then all of a sudden there was no bridge! Like, if you would have had Waze back then, on your phone.
JVN [00:19:11] Oh yeah, she could have just gotten around. Yeah, just gone around. Yeah. But with Waze that wouldn't have worked, that was so stressful. And then that fucking, speaking of Twister, this is really meta. In fact, I was just talking about this three days ago, which is weird. I should talk about more interesting things. Maggie, remember, in Twister Aunt Maggie, where they go to: same actress who did, ignored the advice of those police officers and walked off that fucking bus in Speed, caused that explosion, you know.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:19:40] She was, like, “I’m getting off the bus!” Everyone was like, “No!”
JVN [00:19:42] “No, Maggie, no Aunt Maggie. You know, you've gotta make steak in Oklahoma!” Oh my God. Yeah. To this day, I always have to really talk to myself about movies and be like, “No, he's OK. She's OK.” That, it really didn’t happen. Like, yeah, Twister and Speed also. And he was, like, “Yeah, but I'm tall.” It's a great movie. Sorry I ruined it at the end for you. You know, I think it's interesting. I think that that movie didn't age for you as well, or maybe just in general because they kept coming back for sequels and triples and stuff. Maybe they would have let her lie after the first one. Yeah. Like, Forrest Gump, they never tried to, like, do that again.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:20:21] Well some movie are, like, I always connected to the movie that didn't make it to the next level, like, everyone was really into Mean Girls, which is a great movie.
JVN [00:20:28] Great movie.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:20:29] But I remember connecting first to Bring It On. Bring It On.
JVN [00:20:30] Oh, oh, oh, oh! Knock ‘em down, roll ‘em around. Come on defense work. [BOB AND AUDIENCE JOIN IN ON BRING IT ON CHEERS]
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:20:49] What was the beginning with the line: We’re sexy, we’re cute! We’re popular to boot! We’re bitchin', great hair! The boys all love to stare! Who am I? Just guess! Guys wanna touch my breasts. I'm rocking. I'm wild. Yeah. You're, like, twelve, you’re, like, “I don't know what you're talking about.” It's, like, he's, like, “Can you talk about, I don't know, Zack and Cody’s Suite Life, ‘cause I’m so lost.”
JVN [00:21:14] I don't know this, this is how I can tell I'm 30, because I don't know what that is.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:21:18] No, Zack and Cody’s Suite Life is a show. We're a little older. We're a little, we're not really just a little too old for Zack and Cody’s Suite Life.
JVN [00:21:25] I love Double Dare. Wow. Didn't you love Double Dare.
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:21:30] Was it, did you guys know Cuba Gooding Junior's younger brother was a host on Wild and Crazy, which came on, which came on before Double Dare, I know. We're getting, we’re getting.
JVN [00:21:42] I'm trying, I'm really trying to get right there with you, with the--
BOB THE DRAG QUEEN [00:21:45] We started with big movies. And now we're in the most obscure corner of television. We're going to get to the point where there's only one person cheering like, “I remember this show!” We’ve gotta bring it back.
JVN [00:21:53] Hey. So I'm going to introduce our two guys and the first one and I'm going to bring them out at the same time, but I want to explain them first. So the first one is Erin Gibson, and she is the creator of Gay of Thrones. I like to say that she's like the Usher to my Justin Bieber. She is, like, we, like, I met her in Los Angeles in 2000 and, like, 10 or something. And, and we became fast friends. And then we started doing her hair. And then one day, one fateful December day in 2012, I was, like, she was, like, “Do you watch Game of Thrones?” And I was like, “That sash and this and that.” And she was, like, “This.”
“And she was so contre posto and la la la.” And she was, like, “You really need to do that, like, for Funny or Die.” And then that's what happened. And so she's been someone that's changed my life so much. And she's, she hosts an amazing podcast called Throwing Shade. She's a powerhouse. She's a powerhouse writer. She's a powerhouse person. Like, I just am obsessed with her. And then our other guest is the host of the gorgeous show Nailed It on Netflix. Who also, who also has done Gay of Thrones. That's where I first met her years ago when we were little, teeny, tiny babies. Oh my god, sortie, that means “exit” in French. Thank you so much for coming. OK, I'm just kidding, I'm kidding, I’m kidding, I’m kidding. So, Nicole, like, here you are, Minding your own business.
NICOLE BYER [00:23:40] Just sitting, you know.
JVN [00:23:41] You have been doing some entertainment industry moments for a second.
NICOLE BYER [00:23:47] I've been working for years.
JVN [00:23:49] She's been working-, just for, like, a second. But I feel that you this year, you I like. Am I wrong to assume that you, like, kind of pulled, like, a Mirai Nagasu and, like, figured out how to, like, nail a triple axel this year?
NICOLE BYER [00:24:02] Well, I just lucked into Nailed It, very, it was--
JVN [00:24:06] Or did Nailed It luck into you!
NICOLE BYER [00:24:12] I mean, I think it's pretty mutual. Yeah, you know, I had no idea that people would like that show as much as they do.
JVN [00:24:21] We’re obsessed.
NICOLE BYER [00:24:23] It’s insane. Children like me. Are there children here? You're not a child. That’s, you’re 13? Almost a grown up! Thirteen, you're not a child!
ERIN GIBSON [00:24:39] I almost apologized for talking about pussies in front of him but he’s gotta learn.
JVN [00:24:42] If you need, like, if you need therapy, sweetie, or something, like, what you endured so far, like, I'm so sorry. Like…
ERIN GIBSON [00:24:49] If this was Texas everyone would have walked out.
JVN [00:24:53] Oh my God, you know, I also, like, have no sense of, like, what's appropriate and not. Like, I feel like, like I feel like my eight-year-old niece, I'll talk to her like she's twenty seven and then, like, a twenty-two-year old, I'll talk to them like they're four. Like, I don't, I don't get it.
NICOLE BYER [00:25:08] It's hard. I don't know what to say to children who are, like, “Cake lady!” I'm, like, “Hello, please remain a fan. That's how I get paid.” That's literally what I said to a child the other day. And her mother was like, “What?” And I was like, “I don't know.” And then she wanted a picture. And I said, “OK,” so I bent down and then she bent down. I was like, “No, ya dum dum. I'm getting down there with you.” Oh, boy. Kids, they call me “cake lady.”
ERIN GIBSON [00:25:39] Wait, they do. For real?
NICOLE BYER [00:25:40] Yeah, in the hotel. This little girl was like, “You’re the cake lady!” And I was like, “I am.” [CROSSTALK] Nailed it. People love saying that to me. This man almost hit me with his car and he leaned out, went: “Almost nailed it!” You can't do that after you almost murder me.
JVN [00:26:08] You're like, “You know, timing, yes. Everything else, no.” You know, like, a resounding no.
NICOLE BYER [00:26:13] Yes, a resounding no.
JVN [00:26:15] So I feel like, I can’t remember when, it was, like, a while ago. I saw you do stand up for the first time. You, she commands the room. She can't help it. But it's not your fault that just, that's what it is. Is there, like, is there is it, like, what are you performing somewhere. Somewhere. What's going on with, like, what's that. What's going up in the stand up situation. What's poppin. I have this also was, like, a not pre rehearsed question, like, I have no idea if there is anything on that. Maybe you're not doing it. Like, I don't know, like.
NICOLE BYER [00:26:46] No, it’s poppin’! I’m recording a Netflix special tomorrow. I am so excited. Oh, wait, tomorrow, today. Today is the day. Oh, my God, that would have been bad. [CROSSTALK] Tonight, a club set at seven thirty and nine.
JVN [00:27:10] Can you guys go take your good energy there and, like, is that already sold out?
NICOLE BYER [00:27:13] I have no idea.
JVN [00:27:14] Well, go wait in line. You know, I don't know a better way to spend your night. I'm just kidding. You have better ways to spend you night than sitting in a line. But I really want you to support Nicole because I’m obsessed with her. Yes. Yes. Like, I love that girl, your Netflix special, and also, I read the thing about the-
NICOLE BYER [00:27:30] Oh, yeah. I can say that the Christmas episodes of Nailed It are coming out, but I can't say when.
JVN [00:27:35] OK, but they're coming out.
NICOLE BYER [00:27:36] Yes. But I mean, if you're intuitive, you understand when they're coming.
ERIN GIBSON [00:27:42] But you can’t legally say?
NICOLE BYER [00:27:44] It is so bizarre what they allow, like, allow me to say or not say, like, there's something, like, there was this thing that, like, so we posted about it and it was, like, “Christmas is coming.” And I was like, “Yeah, so are the episodes.”
JVN [00:27:58] Yeah, but also, it could be, like, an advent calendar thing when it’s, like, or that, you know, maybe, like, you're going to, maybe it's going to be the first. One every day, maybe, ah, once maybe it's, like, once a week
NICOLE BYER [00:28:11] There’s only six episodes.
JVN [00:28:14] Maybe there's, like, maybe there's more and you're not, and you're really not allowed to say. I don't know, I don't know what your life is or your truth is.
NICOLE BYER [00:28:22] I don't even know anymore.
JVN [00:28:25] You know, essentially what you're trying to say here is that this is a little thing called like your career’s poppin’, and it's not your fault that your career is popping.
NICOLE BYER [00:28:31] It's nice. It's very, very nice. I did comedy in a basement for, like, eight years and now shit’s paying off. It's nice, it’s very nice.
JVN [00:28:44] So one thing that I noticed about both of my guests today is: content creators, fierce women, comedians. You write stuff. You write stuff. Yeah, you write stuff, you’re writers, you can’t help it that you write stuff. I feel like you both have had so much success, but if you just started following one of the two of you, like, you wouldn't know what you had to put in to get there. And so you both have, like, worked really hard, and you both have had to overcome, like, a culture of, like, that, just, like, isn't geared for, like, women to succeed in the same way that it is for other people. So anecdotally and interestingly, like, what are some gorgeous, like, I just want to be taken on some gorgeous, like, stories or something. But they're, like, maybe they're funny, maybe they're up, maybe they're down, maybe. I don't know.
ERIN GIBSON [00:29:28] I think it's really important for women. And when I got my first TV show that's no longer on the air, it's fine. When I got that, I made sure that I hired, that we hired a lot of women, a lot of people, a lot of LGBTQ people, a lot of you know, we, we made it diverse because we knew that there were a lot of people that were going to get those opportunities elsewhere. And a lot of people on our staff were in their, on their first TV show ever, because they had been trying, trying, trying. And they just, you can't break in the door unless someone's bringing you up. So I think it's important when you have success to, to make sure that the boat rises for everyone who.
JVN [00:30:08] I love that phrase: the boat rises for everyone.
ERIN GIBSON [00:30:11] Yeah, don’t kick people off the boat. This isn’t the Titanic.
JVN [00:30:14] No, and also, like--
ERIN GIBSON [00:30:17] Is that what they did? Remember the Titanic where they hit an iceberg and then everyone kicked everyone off the boat. [CROSSTALK]
NICOLE BYER [00:30:23] Actually, they did! Billy Zane, he hid and then he snatched that child and then he got on the boat and pushed the other people. I remember the movie.
JVN [00:30:33] For me, the saddest part of that movie is when they were, like, looking for survivors and they were like all in the water, all frozen. And I was like I was, like, nine and thoroughly traumatized.
NICOLE BYER [00:30:43] Yes, they looked very realistic. And I was like, “Them is dead people.”
JVN [00:30:48] It’s not cute. You know what other movie holds up really well? And then we'll get back to, like, the question. Twister.
NICOLE BYER [00:30:56] I've never seen I've never seen everyone's favorite movie, like, I've never seen Star Wars. I've never seen Indiana Jones, I've never seen The Goonies.
JVN [00:31:06] Don’t compare. You're like, no, no, no, no, no, no. You're comparing, like ,a five-time Emmy-winning actress, Helen Hunt. And, you know, and then Bill Paxton's performance in Twister to all those other classics.
ERIN GIBSON [00:31:22] Twister is better than Star Wars, it what you’re saying.
JVN [00:31:24] Hey, I call ‘em like I see ‘em. Minus Carrie Fisher because she's in Star Wars, right?
ERIN GIBSON [00:31:31] Yes. So take Carrie Fisher, put her in Twister, and you got the perfect movie.
JVN [00:31:40] Our guest this week is a stunning person and an incredibly hilarious comedian. You're a writer. You're a producer. You are someone who I think is a, really quickly on their way to becoming a world-renowned sexual, comedic icon.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:31:56] Stop it. I like the addition of the word "sexual." No one's ever done that before. That needs to happen more.
JVN [00:32:00] Yeah, I had to throw. Well, I've seen you with your top off, so-.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:04] Thank you.
JVN [00:32:06] Yeah. So welcome to the show, Mawaan Rizwan.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:08] Yeah, Jonathan, I'm so glad we're doing this.
JVN [00:32:10] So will you just, like, set the stage for where we are, when we are, like, what are we doing?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:19] Yeah. So it's 2020. My name is Maawan Rizwan. I have been doing standup comedy for nearly 10 years.
JVN [00:32:27] No, no, no, no. Like, literally, where are we?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:30] Oh, where are we? We're in Australia.
JVN [00:32:32] Doing?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:33] We're doing "The Road to Beijing" tour.
JVN [00:32:35] Which actually doesn't go to...
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:38] To Beijing.
JVN [00:32:39] It's not, we're not actually going to be-
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:] Very important. You say that now in the show as well, right?
JVN [00:32:42] Yeah, I do. I have to clarify it.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:32:43] So. Yeah, no, I mean, so we've done New Zealand, we've done the UK where in Australia. I'm having the best time. I have never been on a tour that's so joyous and has so many thousands of people in a room who are, like, immediat-, from, like, minute one, ready to just conjure love. You, I, you know this, right? You know what kind of people you attract and the kind of energy you conjure up is magical.
JVN [00:33:10] Ah, that was, like, the nicest thing you've ever said to me. So the question is like, who is, I basically, want to, like, profile you in a really gorgeous way. It's like, who are you? You're such an incredible person. I do feel, like, you are just right, you're hitting your springboard about to, like, Yurchenko into, like, world domination. And so really, it's like, you know, I think you've had, like, a really interesting kind of road here and I really just kind of wanna hear about it.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:37] Yeah, OK. So.
JVN [00:33:39] Comma.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:40] Yeah, go on.
JVN [00:33:41] Your job. You're, you are a standup comedian.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:43] Yeah. But was a scriptwriter and also actor, cause mama gotta pay them bills.
JVN [00:33:49] And scriptwriting is hard.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:50] Oh my god. It's so hard.
JVN [00:33:51] Because it's not like a book.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:52] And so lonely.
JVN [00:33:53] It's not like a book. I get to write, like, “exterior.” Like, so-and-so's doing blah blah blah.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:33:59] Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
JVN [00:34:00] Is that what you do?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:34:00] Yeah. And then you got to just be in your room alone all day, imagining what these people might say to each other. And it drives you nuts. And then you leave after eleven hours of doing that on your laptop, you leave the house and you have an actual human interaction. And I am bugged out. Like, I don't know how to speak to people 'cause I've been in imaginary heads all day.
JVN [00:34:18] Do you have, like, an example of this, like where you go to order coffee, you just and you just say, like, something completely otherwise.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:34:24] No, like my housemates will come home from work and then I'll just be in, I'll just be in script writing mode and I'll just be in, like, you know, when you're analyzing people and their behavior, and I'm like, “Oh, that's really interesting. Oh, you. That's how you chose to go out, get the milk out of the fridge. Oh, that says so much about your character and your narrative arc.” You know what I mean? And I just need to stop and, like, hug them and be, like, “Hi. Hello human.”
JVN [00:34:45] 'Cause it's like, it's, like, what a character choice. “Like, you went, like, to, like, to the fridge that particular way.”
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:34:52] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And you know, like in script writing, everything's a metaphor. It's like, “Oh, you know, this character bought mangoes for the first time. And she’s eating the mangoes in a way that's saying something about where she is, and how happy she is about her divorce.” You know what I mean, where in-.
JVN [00:35:08] Because if she was really sad about it, she'd be drinking herself silly, like, in the morning.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:35:10] Yeah. She wouldn't be buying those mangoes in the first place because mangoes.
JVN [00:35:14] Represent.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:35:14] Are the fruit of freedom, baby.
JVN [00:35:15] Oh.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:35:16] They're my life.
JVN [00:35:17] OK. Well, you know what? Let's, let's just kind of, I think we should transition here to, to mangoes because mangoes are part of what made me fall in love with your style.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:35:28] Sure.
JVN [00:35:28] I was minding my own business in Canada, hosting my very first, like, special that I had ever done. And I knew that you were, that you were there and I had seen some of your things. But never IRL. And so you strut out on stage and you do at the end of your set this beautiful music video about mangoes.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:35:48] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have a song about mangoes. It's about mangoes. But, you know, if you, once you get to third verse, maybe it's a bit something. It's about something more than mangoes. Maybe it's about the patriarchy and how men are so scared to buy any other body shower gel, that doesn't say “for men” on it. You know what I mean?
JVN [00:36:09] Yes.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:36:10] Yeah, I don't tell people that. But you listen to it a few times and you'll get it.
JVN [00:36:13] I have, well I guess really only gotten to listen to it in real life that one time.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:36:18] Yeah.
JVN [00:36:19] Which is rude of me. Anyway.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:36:21] It's fine. I'll perform it for you anytime you like, Jonathan.
JVN [00:36:26] Hey, wait, and now I have one more thing and then we'll start to go. You accidentally turn your mom into an actress.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:36:32] Yes, let's unpack this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So basically, you know, because I used to put my mom in my videos, as you happen to be this amazingly charismatic, beautiful, talented person. And I was like, “Oh, that's funny. I never saw that side because you were so busy paying the bills.” But basically my mom got spotted. I got a call from a producer in India one day. This is after I, you know, I got some of my videos went viral and I got a bit of an online audience. And they were like, “You know, we’re casting for a lead role in a prime time TV series.” I was like, “OK, tell me more.” They were, like, “Oh, no, no, no, we don't want you on your mom.” So I was like, “Mom, there’s this thing, do you want to audition for it?” And she was, like, “Yeah. OK.” So we send off this tape. Don't think anything of it. Three months later, I get a call from the same producer. She's like, “Yeah, we're going to cast your mom as the lead, send her on the first plane to Mumbai.” So my mom moves out to India.
JVN [00:37:24] What year is this?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:37:25] This is, like, six, seven years ago now. Starts working as a Bollywood actress, ends up staying there for five years. She can't go to a supermarket in India or in a South Asian area in the UK without getting mobbed.
JVN [00:37:39] Yeah, we got to get her on the Gram. I know, because we already talked about that one with the, but we had to get a checkmark. Girl, you can retire next year, like off of your mom's endorsements on Instagram. You could literally just like your comedy when you feel like, winning if you feel like it.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:37:53] You know what, babe, she doesn't need any more encouragement. She loves the attention.
JVN [00:37:58] You could be her sonager.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:37:59] Really, you think?
JVN [00:38:00] Yeah, I want my mom to be my momager but she doesn’t wanna do it.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:03] Momager, I love it.
JVN [00:38:06] You could be a powerbroker sonager.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:08] I’ll propose it to her. Well, she's actually moved back to the UK now and she's trying to be my agent. My mom's the dream, man, she's, she's incredible.
JVN [00:38:15] So if you didn't name your comedy style and like, one sentence.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:22] One sentence? OK.
JVN [00:38:23] It can be run on.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:25] Slut-dropping realness. Real silly, but with heart.
JVN [00:38:30] That's nice, love that.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:32] That's the best I can do.
JVN [00:38:33] That's great. And this, was the beginning slut-dropping?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:36] Yes, slut-dropping realness. I slut-drop a lot in my life, I think that's my life mission. Also, my life's mission is to change the name from slut-drop to sex-positive dissent. The name is so judgy, we need to change it.
JVN [00:38:47] I think if you keep showing your taint on stage, it's going to happen. OK, yeah. You just keep showing your taint to everybody. Sure. I'm just kidding.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:38:54] I’ll do it.
JVN [00:38:55] But I think that that could make everyone happier. Then, last question is, I just like to say taint, I always have. My last question is, in this part of the podcast, like, what did we miss? What do you wanna talk about? It’s yogi recess, like, you really wanted to do, like, revolve trikonasana but I didn't see that coming because everyone hates doing revolve trikonasana, so I skipped it. [CROSSTALK[ It’s just a triangle pose in today's yoga class, but like you wanted to do, revolve trikonasana also. Now you can go do that for, like, a minute and a half.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:39:23] The best bit I love doing at the end of a yoga class-
JVN [00:39:25] Not literally that, honey, like-
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:39:27] I know. But I like to tell you anyway, OK, I, you know when you just sit still and just do nothing. [CROSSTALK] I love savasana. I wish the whole class could just be savasana.
JVN [00:39:37] So but it's, like, the last minute of things, what did we miss did, like, because, you know, someone told me the other day on the podcast, I non-binary-splain a lot, like, I talk over people. So did I interrupt you on something? Do you need to get a whole thought out like I'm sure I did? What do you want to talk about?
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:39:53] You let me talk way too much, really. I was like, “Wait, when is he going to interrupt me? This is a tangent and half.”
JVN [00:40:00] No, none of it was that tangent-y. It was all very, really good.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:40:03] OK, good. So I think I've got it all out. This has been like therapy. Thank you.
JVN [00:40:08] You're so welcome. You have a lot of rows of eyelashes.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:40:12] Yeah I know. I know. I love them. I sometimes, I just I, I thank the universe for my eyebrows and my eyelashes.
JVN [00:40:20] They really gave you a gift--
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:40:21] A gift from my ancestors. Thank you, mama.
JVN [00:40:25] Well thank you, Mawaan.
MAWAAN RIZWAN [00:40:26] Yeah. Jonathan, this has been so fun, and now we’re gonna go do a show.
JVN [00:40:27] Now we’re gonna go do a show. In Australia, in literally Brisbane. Bye!
You’ve been listening to Getting Curious LIVE with me, Jonathan Van Ness. You’ll find links to our guests’ work in the episode description of whatever you’re listening to the show on, and behind-the-scenes photos and videos on Instagram & Twitter @CuriousWithJVN.
Our theme music is “Freak” by Quiñ - thank you so much, Quiñ, for letting us use your stunning work. If you enjoyed our show, introduce a friend - show them how to subscribe.
You can listen to all of our live episodes, in full, for free, wherever you listen to the show.
We’ll be back with an all-new episode of Getting Curious next week.
Our socials are run and curated by Emily Bossak, and our editor is Andrew Carson.
Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Getto, and Emily Bossak.