Drew Droege Talks Glitter In The Garbage Live

Photo by Paul Bartunek

Check-out the live episode of Glitter in the Garbage!

Glitter in the Garbage is a name more telling than you may realize. The show’s host, Drew Droege, is a shining example of exploratory, often outlandish comedy that isn’t afraid to embrace its rougher edges. His most recent episode was recorded live at the Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles. We sat down with Drew before the audience filed in. We talked storytelling, improv and the idea that doing comedy in a vacuum might be the scariest of all.

For those of us who haven’t caught on yet, what is Glitter in the Garbage?

It’s a weekly show, about an hour long. There’s ten minutes or so of me just talking, ranting, bitching about whatever I want to that week. Then it’s about 40 minutes of improv with two or three of my guests. They’re always friends, and they usually always know each other. We do four or five improvised character bits, and then we end the show with 10 minutes of us just talking as ourselves.

What an interesting format. How did that come about?

I have no idea. When Scott Aukerman asked me if I wanted a show, I just thought ‘what kind of show would I want to do? If I had my own TV show, I’d want it to feel like a variety show and bring in a lot of characters. I’d also want to be comfortable with my guests, where we get to talk as ourselves and not just in character.

Photos by Paul Bartunek

Were you nervous about hosting your own podcast?

Oh, completely. I thought I couldn’t do it. I used to think, “I’m not a stand-up, I don’t tell jokes and I don’t know how I’m going to be that interesting for an hour a week.” Now, I love it. It’s my favorite thing that I’m doing.

You’ve always seemed like a person who is naturally drawn to storytelling.

I started here at the Comedy Central Stage doing a lot of stories for Sit N’ Spin. I got really into it and enjoy it way more than being a stand-up. I love the two minutes leading up to a laugh, as opposed to joke after joke after joke. I’m not great at that.

You’ve also been able to grab a lot of attention for your character work online with successful videos as Chloe Sevigny. What makes the characters that you do stand out?

Honestly, I have no idea what makes something hit when other thing don’t. I’ve done so many things that don’t take off. I think with the things I’ve done that have been successful, the common thread is that we all just did them to have fun. We did it to laugh and we never thought they would go anywhere. With the Chloe videos, we thought we’d just fuck around for an afternoon and make some videos, and then they became this gigantic thing.

That’s the thing I try to take away from everything I do now: it’s got to be fun, it’s got to be easy. Even tonight, I told everyone that the pressure is off. We’re just going to play. Even when there’s a lot at stake, I don’t think you can ever creatively act like there’s anything at stake. It feels too forced and scary.

That’s what makes improv on a podcast so daring, because ultimately you’re recording in a vacuum, without the feedback to provide direction.

Oh, you have no idea how it’s going to go. It’s just like when you film anything. You’re just literally people in a room coming up with something, and you can get yourself into these weird little mental wormholes. So, tonight will be fun, to figure all that out and see how it’ll go.

Photos by Paul Bartunek