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Exclusive Interview with Gilmore Guys’ Kevin Porter

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Every Monday, Kevin Porter and his co-host Demi Adejuyigbe, discuss an episode of the classic dramedy “Gilmore Girls” in hilarious fashion. Their fresh take on the series makes fans more invested in the lives of Lorelai, Rory, and Emily Gilmore. Previous guests on their podcast include Scott Patterson (Luke), Sean Gunn (Kirk), Yanic Truesdale (Michel), Liz Torres (Miss Patty) and Keiko Agena (Lane), etc.

I recently chatted with Kevin about the upcoming revival, his dream guests, and so much more. You can follow the guys on Twitter and subscribe to their podcast via their website or iTunes.

 Tell me how you got started in podcasting?

I was a fan of podcasting before I started mine. I really enjoyed listening to shows like WTF, Comedy Bang! Bang! The bigger comedy podcasts. I started becoming a regular listener of them. I wanted to start a podcast for a long time, probably since 2011 or 2012. I had different ideas and I recorded different things that I thought might be fun, but I wasn’t ever really satisfied with anything I recorded, so I never put those things out.

Then, in 2014, I saw Gilmore Girls would be coming to Netflix.  I thought revisiting the show via a podcast would be a fun way to go about it. It seemed like an easy enough hook and interesting enough that no one else would be doing anything like it. I thought that’d be enough of a reason to do it. It seemed fresh enough that it would be fun.

I tweeted, “I want to start a podcast called Gilmore Guys. Who wants to be my co-host or guest?” I’d known Demi through some comedy stuff, and I knew he was so, so funny. I was a fan of what he’d done. He responded, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” We met up for lunch a couple of days after he posted that. I was like, “Dude, would you actually want to?” He’s said, “Yeah, why not?” (laughs). We recorded our very first episode a couple of days after that, and we’ve been putting out two a week ever since.

If I understand correctly from listening to the podcast, Demi’s watching GG for the first time with a fresh pair of eyes, right?

Yes, that is correct. It’s our two perspectives that make the show fun. I could’ve gotten someone who’d seen the show before and we’d both be on the same page. Saying, “Yeah. I loved this, I loved that … ” But, I think what’s fun for the audience is the idea of watching/hearing it through fresh eyes. I think people who listen to our podcast, are fans of the show. And if you’re a fan of the show, you’re probably not watching it for the first time while listening to us.

Some people might be watching it for the first time along with Demi, but I think the majority of our listeners aren’t. So it’s a fun to have the ability to see it through fresh eyes and a new perspective again. I think that’s the appeal of having Demi be on the show, so it’s not just two super fans. It’s a way for people who have loved the show for a long time and have had a long relationship with the show, to relive it and relive what it was like to watch the show for the first time.

Yeah. I agree with that. What are some of your favorite Gilmore Girls episodes?

A lot of my favorite episodes would probably line up with most of the fans’ favorite episodes. Episodes 422, “Raincoats and Recipes” and the season 4 finale where Luke and Lorelai finally get together are some of my favorites. Another great episode is when Rory sleeps with Dean. It’s just a beautiful, super, super loved episode. I would also say, “The Bracebridge Dinner,” from season 2 and the dance marathon, episode 307 in season 3, where Dean finally breaks up with Rory are my favorites as well. 

I feel like there’s some standouts in the later seasons, like “Written in the Stars,” episode 503, or “Friday Nights are Made for Fighting,” episode 613, from the much reviled season 6, which I actually think is one of the best seasons of the show. 

Those would be a few of my picks. I’m not like a lot of people where I binge or watch it on a loop when the season’s off the air. I revisit the show sort of in ebbs and flows, so it’s been interesting to see what has been the most enjoyable to revisit.

You mentioned a couple of my favorites. I loved how Amy also showed us Luke, Dean, and Jess’s points of view.

A lot of GG is just from Lorelai’s perspective. Now, TV shows are telling things from multiple perspectives, show like The Affair. Episodes like that seemed to be when GG was really interesting and unusual. Seeing the post-coital bliss that Dean and Rory were going through can make her POV a little more relatable. It’s why fans were able to understandable and experience the pain/trauma she felt when her mom said, “He’s married. He’s blah, blah, blah. He’s duh, duh, duh … ” and going through that. I thought that was such an interesting and smart move.

Are you Team Dean, Team Jess, Team Logan?

Oh, no. Dean’s out for sure. As far as the teams go, I started the podcast as Team Logan. The memory in my mind was that Matt Czuchry and that character were very fun to watch on the show. So I started as Team Logan, but I found it more and more problematic to maintain that as we continued the episodes. I started to remember, “Oh, yeah. Logan’s kind of a jerk here.” So I kind of renounced that in season 6 after maintaining it in season 5.

As of right now, I’d say Team None-of-Them, (laughs) but I hope to make a conclusion once everything’s said and done. Once the dust is settled on all the episodes of the show. We cover all seven seasons. So then I’ll finally be able to give a straight answer on the boyfriends issue. Even though I’m a super fan of the show … Just like Amy Sherman-Palladino herself, as was recently revealed, I have not seen all of season 7. I saw the series finale, but I didn’t see anything else.

I’m not looking forward to watching it all that much either. (laughs). From the Internet and reading stuff, it just seems like a lot of recycled story lines or unmotivated story lines or things that don’t make sense character-wise.

What are some of the things that you would personally like to see in the revival?

It’s dangerous as a fan. Especially as not a new fan, but someone who’s lived with this show and been in a relationship with it for over a decade … To have wish lists and expectations and hopes for the new episodes is dangerous. I know it’s a position a lot of us are in, and it’s a position that’s very tough for a storyteller to deliver on.

But be that as it may, I feel like the one thing I would look forward to, and hope for, and I think makes sense as an ending for the show is a good, honest, solid moment of connection and love and understanding between Emily and Lorelai. 

I feel like the stories on the show were just one hundred percent relationship-driven. I feel like the relationship that ended on a question mark and cliffhanger is Emily and Lorelai. Rory and Lorelai are reconciled after they kiss in season 6. Luke and Lorelai get together in the very last ten seconds of season 7. But Emily and Lorelai, I’m still not sure … After all the pain, and suffering, and miscommunication, and heartbreak they’d put each other through, especially with the fact that Richard Gilmore will have passed away in the universe of this show … What I would sincerely hope for is seeing Emily and Lorelai hug each other, cry with each other, and say, “I love you” to each other. The things they’ve never done together on this show.

That’s my big hope for the new episodes. I feel like it’d be sad playing that storyline. I know for some people, it’s like, “I want Rory just to be married.” Or, “I want a wedding with Luke and Lorelai.” And some of those things would be nice and lovely to see. But for me, the most potent storytelling of the series was always Emily and Lorelai. I just love those characters and those actors so much, and I feel like that would be the one thing I would love to see in these new episodes.

Emily was my favorite character so I’m in agreement with you. I hope that we see closure, especially because of Richard’s death. 

It’s a really interesting storytelling position that they’ve put themselves in, in a way that doesn’t feel opportunistic but just feels like sadly coincidental. The fact that Richard Gilmore won’t be there means so much to the story.

It almost reminds me of the way everyone cried during Toy Story 3. It was so emotionally potent, and a lot of it was because you grew up with it. You knew Woody and Buzz, and all these characters for like 20 years or whatever, so when you see them all holding hands and maybe about to die, that’s an emotionally loaded thing.

Conversely, because Edward Herrmann is a real person who passed away, it’s already a potent and emotionally loaded thing. Even before the cameras start rolling. I trust that it will be very tastefully done. It will be a very cool and beautiful way to honor the memory of that character and that actor, too. It’s an interesting position, as far as storytelling goes, where you can use real life texture in your fictional world. I’m really interested to see what they do with all that.

I agree. Do you want the Dean, Jess, Logan debate to finally stop? I think we’re definitely going to get closure on that, to be honest.

(laughs) I hope so. I think Amy, the girls, and everyone involved with the show are probably so tired of hearing about it. It would just be so lovely if there was a sort of a fourth-wall breaking scene where someone rejected … Whoever it is, just said, “You know, I actually think that all of Rory’s boyfriends were great for her at those times. But, I think none of them were ultimately great for her. They were good for those seasons in her life. And that’s it. Let’s move on. The end.”

Yes. (laughs). Do you have a favorite Gilmore guy?

My heart wants to say Luke, but my funny bone wants to say T.J. He was secretly the greatest character to ever appear on Gilmore Girls. I know he’s a character that a lot of people don’t like. However, Demi and I love him. We think he’s terrific. Aside from T.J., it would be Luke. Luke is a great model for many men out there. A steadfastness with security and understanding and communication. Well, maybe not season 6 Luke … But during seasons 1-5, he’s pretty terrific. 

Your podcast also now does live shows, so tell me more about those?

They started back in April of last year. It just seemed like a very natural extension of what we do on the podcast. So we decided to bring that to a live broadcast. Some of our favorite podcasts had done it very successfully and it translated really well to that format. Shows like How Did This Get Made? or Comedy Bang! Bang!, so it seemed like a very natural next step.

We asked UCB (the Upright Citizens Brigade for gay theater) in Los Angeles if they’d be interested in having us for a show. They said yes and we booked Jessica St. Clair for the show and put the tickets on sale. We thought, “Maybe we’ll sell it out. Maybe we’ll do all right.” It’s never a guarantee and it’s hard to get people out to do anything in L.A. The show sold out in 20 minutes much to our surprise. That was a real wake up call for what the audience of our show was becoming and had already become.

After UCB, we did shows in Austin, Texas and then we tried New York City and all those sold out in like a day. Then we tried Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., and they sold out. Then we did San Francisco and Portland and Seattle…

It just seemed like a great way to continue the conversation we’d started with the fan base of Gilmore Girls and then conversely Gilmore Guys. It seemed like a great way to connect with those people and give something to them. We try and never ask for money, it’s not a money making game. So for us, the only thing we asked money for was a ticket to the live show, just like you would any band. We prefer doing it that way.

We want to give the audience something that money can’t quite buy. We give them an experience that they’ll remember, and it’s going to be worth their money and then some. We really put a lot of work into what we do at the live shows, in terms of music, how we prepare the clips, talking to everybody after, the merchandise … and every moment of it we really try to think through thoroughly.

It’s a lot of work. Doing a live show is probably; I’d say conservatively, 15 times more work than doing an episode in the studio. Not only do you have to book a guest, but also you have to book a photographer and book a videographer, and travel, and do merch. You have to prepare in a much different way than you would in a studio where it can be a little more chilled and laid back. A live show is more of a performance than a hang out.

How do you choose your guests? 

It’s harder than a regular podcast, because a regular comedy podcast can just guest whoever is in comedy and will book whoever is available and who wants to say yes. “Come play with us for an hour. We’ll turn the mics on. It will be fun. We’re watching bad movies, blah, blah, blah … “

With our show, there are two things to think about. One, it’s a comedy podcast and we want to be funny and that was, at the outset, our primary goal. I don’t know if it is now, because there’s just so much expectation of guests. Number two; they have to be a fan of Gilmore Girls. It’s something we struggled with in the first couple of seasons, because we had just started out. We didn’t have a lot of confidence even in ourselves as how to host the show. So really it was just like, “Let’s book some people in comedy who we know. Then let’s wait for the big guns until we really have our sea legs.”

For instance, I didn’t even think about asking Jason Mantzoukas until we were like mid-season 2. I didn’t want to do it when we were still figuring out how to do a show. I want to add we are still figuring out how to that (laughs). I’m not saying we’ve nailed it. But at the outset, it was who’s going to say yes to who’s funny.

That resulted in a few people who didn’t like the show that much, people who are awesome and we love, but people who were watching it for the first time, which was much easier to do in the first season and made a lot more sense than doing it in, say, season 5 or 6. There were people who were watching the show for the first time or we found out they didn’t care for the show, so it was a different kind of conversation.

Now, the metric is you must love Gilmore Girls. That’s the first requirement. Then the second requirement is … Are you funny? Are you into performing arts? Are you a writer, a dancer, a stand-up comedian, an actor, an actress, a director, someone who understands what this show means and how to give it to the show? People like Sarah Heyward. She’s a TV writer, but she’s not a comedy writer. Brock Wilbur is a stand-up comedian, and that’s very different. Jason Mantzoukas is a comedy actor/writer who loves Gilmore Girls. From season 5 on, it’s just you must be funny and you must love Gilmore Girls.

As far as live shows go, we like doing it where it is a stand-up person and people who know how to handle themselves in a live context. That’s really important for our live shows.

If you could have a dream guest on your podcast, who would it be?

My answer is Amy Sherman-Palladino. It just a hundred percent is. Even more so, the big answer is Amy and the girls. Amy, Lauren, and Alexis. As much as I want to have Lauren and Alexis on, Amy would be the bigger get, because so much of it is us trying to examine the things she’s done, either praising it or looking at it critically. It’s essentially that she is the god of this universe, so who wouldn’t want a little sit down interview with God? That’d be rad.

I actually sat down with Kelly Bishop for about 15 minutes at the ATX Festival. I would love a much longer interview with her too obviously, and I hope that does come to pass at some point during the promotion and marketing for the show with Netflix, but we’ll see.

Speaking of ATX Festival, I want to know your overall thoughts on that reunion, because I was looking at your periscope. You were in awe!

(laughs) That was a fun night. That was really overwhelming. People have asked like, “Do you ever get sick and tired of Gilmore Girls and talking about Gilmore Girls all the time and all your life?” The answer is no, but the closest I ever got was at that festival.

It just seemed like a crazy overlook for some reason. There were a lot of factors. I was a little sick at the time, and it was very exhausting. At ATX, there was still no reunion news and even though Scott Patterson had teased it on the show, there was still nothing confirmed as to new episodes or anything. Amy actually quickly shot it down on the panel.

I felt like the panel was good. I think it kind of suffered from being too big. I feel like the moderator stumbled a little bit in terms of doing due service to every person and character, just because there were so many people on the stage. It would be hard for any monitor or moderator. However, overall I thought it was a fantastic event and a terrific way to give something back to the fans. What a lovely symbolic thing, just to have literally every person of the cast on the stage except for Melissa McCarthy and Edward Herrmann.

That was our first time meeting a lot of the people in the cast. A lot of them were familiar with us from before. Liza Weil saw us, and she was like, “Oh, look, it’s the Gilmore Guys. I didn’t know the Gilmore Guys were going to be here.” (laughs). Kelly Bishop came looking for us. She’s like, “I have to talk to the Gilmore Guys.” She was talking to the press about that. That was a really cool and lovely thing.

Doing our shows the next day was just so, so fun. There were just surreal moments, like hanging out with Kelly Bishop and Liz Torres at the after party after the panel or going to the after-after party getting Mexican food with Liza, Danny, and Keiko and stuff like that. It was just a really special time for us.

Back to the episode where Scott Patterson was on, clearly he knew something was up. 

That brought us a lot of attention that we hadn’t received before. I mean, we had definitely amassed a certain sized audience before the Scott Patterson interview, but then him coming on … and serving us that whole quote on a platter. There are talks that got picked up by Entertainment Weekly, and Time Magazine, and E! News, and all of these outlets and then we got quoted in the stories. That was just cool for us from that perspective.

I was just grateful that we had such a great time with him on the show. As far as what’s true and how did it happen, I don’t know. Maybe we’ll get an answer to it one day. Maybe we’ll sit down with Amy and she’ll be like, “Actually you guys screwed this up for me.”(laughs) I don’t know. It’s not for me to speculate. I can say that we were a part of it for that thing, and maybe that built up and created a buzz that wasn’t there already, and that’s cool.

What are you going to do after the revival episodes? Are you going to start a new podcast?

We’re definitely going to do the revival episodes. We’ll cover those. I don’t know how we’re going to cover them. I don’t know what the format’s going to be, if it’s going to be studio episodes, live episodes, if it’s going to be multiple episodes per episode. Because they’re 90 minutes long instead of 42 minutes long. They’re essentially covering two episodes. So does that mean we’re going to do a six-hour episode of the show? I don’t know

There’s a lot of things we want to do with Netflix and a lot of events we want to partner up with to do shows, so we’ll see how that shakes out. We do want to Bunheads at some point. We’re going to cover those 18 episodes of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s follow-up to Gilmore Girls, the short-lived, much-loved Bunheads one ABC Family/Freeform. That’s going to come out either right after we’re done with the original seven seasons of Gilmore, or it’ll come after the revival episodes. We don’t know.

After that, I think we’re pretty much done with Gilmore Guys in this iteration of it. I think we’ll wrap it up and that’ll be it for us podcasting together. I think Demi is going to move on from podcasting and he probably won’t be that much involved in the medium after we’re done with this show. I think I’ll probably end up doing something. I don’t know if people will care without Demi, because so much is contingent on him and our chemistry together … But as far as the future goes, I think Demi and I, as co-hosts of a twice a week podcast, will be wrapped up when Gilmore Girls is wrapped up.

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