Thursday, February 26, 2015

Normal Gays: An Interview w/ Sketch Comedy Artist Tommy Do

About six months ago, I happened upon the hilarious gay themed sketch comedy video series Normal Gays and was pretty much hooked instantly. The premise of the internet based show is simple - gay guys having completely normal conversations while something wonderfully absurd is going on around them. Sometimes the craziness is obvious from start to finish and the characters just ignore it as if it is common place, sometimes it casually reveals itself as the sketch unfolds. Regardless, it's pretty much always good for a laugh. The scene that got me hooked featured two guys doing sit ups in their apartment complex gym. Every time they would come up, they would blow a kiss or lovingly crinkle their nose. I won't even spoil the surprise by telling you what was really going on in this scene. But, I strongly suggest you watch the first video below!
Click to enlarge. It's worth it!

Normal Gays is the brainchild of professional figure skater/comedian Tommy Do, which he says "is not a joke and probably the gayest thing you'll hear all day." Tommy studies both improv and sketch at the Uprights Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. Along with The Groundlings and Second City, UCB has developed some of the best writers and comedians currently working on shows such as Saturday Night Live, VEEP, and Parks and Recreation. According to Do, "UCB has also developed some not so talented writers who are currently working as figure skaters."  All kidding aside, Tommy contributes to the UCB monthly sketch show, The Livia Scott Sketch Program as well as the first satirical women's magazine, Reductress. Tommy is also the first person whose publicity photo made me splurt diet soda on my computer monitor.

We reached out to Tommy Do via the internet and begged him to an interview with us. Despite currently touring for his gig as a figure skater, Tommy agreed to sit down and answer a few of our highly dubious questions.

If you want to explore more Normal Gays videos on your own, we suggest their Website or YouTube page! Also, follow Tommy Do on Facebook!

Q:  Tommy, I have watched every single episode of Normal Gays numerous times and there is something I can't help but wonder. Do you always have 5 o'clock shadow?
Tommy: Haha. Unfortunately, yes. I try my best to look presentable, especially on camera, but if there's one thing I've learned from filming Normal Gays is that you can't fuck with HD. Also, I'm 100% Vietnamese and don't know anyone else in my gene pool that has to shave as often as I do.

Q: Did you already own a Sailor Moon costume, or did you buy it
specifically for the show?
Tommy: I made the sailor moon costume out of clothes my mother wears to work. My mother is Sailor

Q:  Can you walk us through the production process? Are episodes scripted? Or does everyone get to improvise?
Tommy: When we shoot we have a very limited time to get all the footage, so the episodes are very scripted. We improvise sometimes to make the dialogue sound more natural, but the shooting day is very much produced. This isn't to say we don't like to have fun on set. I'm not Hitler.

Q: One thing I adore about the show is how much nonsense is going on in the background. How much of that is planned vs. how much is just a happy accident?
Tommy: I would say about 90% percent of the background action is planned, and 10% of it is a boy in his underwear wanting to get more YouTube face time.

Q: I noticed a bottle of Take It Bitch lube in the background of a scene. That lube is normally used for extra, extra large appendages! I suppose you are going to try to pretend that wasn't your house!
Tommy: Haha. My amazing friend Brett Casiraghi (who appears in that episode) graciously let us use his beautiful pied-à-terre. The 'Take It Bitch' lube is one of the many artifacts he has on display in his living room.

Q:  How liberating was it to be the first gay man to actually shit glitter?
Tommy: Wait, you don't shit glitter?

Q:  Is it difficult to talk your friends into participating in the show?
Tommy: NO! I ALWAYS GET WHAT I WANT! jkjkjkjkjkjkjk. I'm actually very lucky to have awesome friends who help me produce the show and make it super funny. I'm also very lucky to have awesome friends who will work for free food and attention.

Q: How many of the sketches are based on true events?
Tommy: A lot of the dialogue is taken out of real conversations I've had or my friends have had. The goal of Normal Gays is to show viewers that everyone is normal and also gay.

Q: Normal Gays gets wonderfully irreverent. Is there any subject matter that you would feel is too taboo for the show?
Tommy: Rape.

Q:  Can we expect a Season 3?!
Tommy: You can expect a Season 300! We're just going to keep going forever like the NOW CDs!
We have so much fun making them, so I think as long as it's a good time, we'll keep producing them. We're also hoping to get turned into a tv show (shocking) so if you're, like, a network big wig then, like, call me. duh.

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