Midday Open Thread With Brian Gallivan -- Sassy Gay Friend

Hello, amigos. Long time reader, first time poster. My name's Andy Cobb, I'm pleased as punch and honored that John asked me to post here on o

Hello, amigos. Long time reader, first time poster.

My name's Andy Cobb, I'm pleased as punch and honored that John asked me to post here on occasion. Many thanks to the C&L team for giving me a chance to play a bit in this cool thing they've created and work so hard to maintain. That's not me all naked in that video up there, that's Brian Gallivan. More about him in a second, but first, me me meeeeee:

I'm an LA-based comic and actor, and I've been writing and directing videos for a while with a satirical/political bent. John, Bluegal, and the other folks here have been kind enough to post many of them here for your viewing pleasure. I'll bring you satirical and comedic bits from time to time. I often work with Second City on video projects, that's a theater company I worked with in Chicago and work with now in their burgeoning LA video dealie-do, called The Second City Network.

This bit has been made with them by the aforementioned talented tall glass of water named Brian Gallivan.

Brian has developed a great character called "Sassy Gay Friend" that has become one of those "viral franchiseable characters" that the entertainment industry covets so dearly. It's been put on the teevee, seen millions of times on the web, and widely discussed by his many rabid young fans.

C&L's ever-vigilant Bluegal posted the first installment of this series, in which SGF attempts to counsel Ophelia from Hamlet. Since then he's covered Othello and Romeo and Juliet, to fine effect.

I sat down to talk a bit with (the relatively non-sassy) Brian for a talk about his bit...

Me: Hi, Brian.

Brian: Hello, Andrew.

Me: You're releasing the new installment of your Sassy Gay Friend bit. Why Adam and Eve?

Brian: I wanted to branch out from Shakespeare, and made a list of all
of the ladies from history and literature.

Me: All of them?

Brian: All of them. Took forever. Eve had a lot to say as the first
woman and all. And part of me wants to start at the core of a
character, and have ladies make really smart choices. And if Eve had
made very smart choices it could change all of history.

Me: Your stuff tends to be very high reference, you don't go for a lot
of pop culture gags or ad parodies or anything. What makes you go
with these smarter gags?

Brian: I went to graduate school, have a masters in literature, and I paved my own way--through loans and whatever--and I have to get my money's worth. (Laughs). I'm not using it except in my sketch comedy and
improv.

Me: So you're living up to your college debt.

Brian: Right. I do love reading and literature, and I've always loved
writing sketches that deal with history and literary figures.

Me: People have really responded to this character. How does it differ to have a successful bit on the internet as opposed to doing the same bit
onstage at Second City?

Brian: It's really amazing, there's just so many more people. (Laughs) I had done this character in a show that ran for twelve months...then you realize, when you put it on the internet millions of people can see it. I resisted that for a long time, because I love live performance. But there's something about finding your version and putting it up, and it's just there...

Me: Like a document.

Brian: It's like a document, and it's there, and you don't have to do anything for people to enjoy it.

Me: Some actors actively work very hard to conceal their sexuality in
Hollywood, you dove in with both feet. Has that had an effect on your life and career?

Brian: Well, I think Sassy Gay Friend has been the thing that got me
interviewed by people like yourself...so, we'll see. I just want to
work, I don't care. So, hopefully I can still...I've played husbands
in commercials.

Me: I've seen your work, it's fantastic.

Brian: I've played straight guys buying refrigerators.

Me: I saw that. I totally believed that A, you like refrigerators, and B, you like vaginas. Kudos.

Brian: I'm fine with people knowing that I'm gay. There's been a lot
of controversy about that with Sean Hayes and the like. I feel like
even if this led to me just playing gay parts and only see me as a gay
man, that would be more parts than I was getting before. (Laughs).

Me: Anything else you'd like to add?

Brian: I apologize that people will see a lot of my pasty
Irish-American flesh in the new Sassy Gay Friend.

Me: Your flesh looks great. And it's a terrific bit. Thanks Brian.

Brian: Thank you.

About Andy Cobb

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