SXSW Interview: Throwing Shade
Austin Chronicle: We seem to have a bad connection; have you already left Austin?
Bryan Safi: We're driving to Houston right now. It's real fun.
AC: Well, did you enjoy your stop at SXSW?
BS: This was the first stop on our tour, and it couldn't have been better. It was great being at the Funny or Die house, because we got to perform for an incredible mixture of diehard fans and people who'd never even heard of us. It couldn't have been a warmer reception.
AC: So tell me about the podcast, Evening Shade…
Erin Gibson: My aunt actually called the show that. She asked me, "How is Evening Shade going?" "It was cancelled in 1994."
BS: We've been doing Throwing Shade for about two years as a podcast, and when we started working at Funny or Die about a year ago, we got to add a video version there. The audio version is about an hour long, and we cut that down to a 15-minute version for the video.
AC: I remember Bryan had a short video show called "That's Gay" a while back.
EG: "That's Gay" was part of a show called InfoMania on Current TV, and I had a segment on that show called "Modern Women."
BS: When the show was cancelled, we decided we had a lot more to say, and with a podcast, we had an uncensored medium to do it with.
EG: Bryan's good friends with Julie Klausner, and I knew people who could help us get set up, so it was a natural move.
AC: Namedropping Julie Klausner, my other favorite podcaster. Love it.
BS: It's not namedropping, we're good friends! We drink wine and gossip together. We're winos.
AC: So the show talks about important matters, but it's got a really wacky improv feel to it. Do you have a background in improv?
EG: I think we just know each other well enough that we can push each other's buttons. We're turning into the same person.
BS: I'm a Leo, and she's an Aries, and we get along about as well as a Leo and Aries can, considering neither of us believes in astrology. We do actually both have improv backgrounds: I trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and the Groundlings, and Erin trained at Second City and also the UCB.
AC: Must be good practice for the live shows. You've got a lot of them coming up, right?
BS: We're in Houston tonight and Dallas Friday, and we're doing Denver and Atlanta in May.
EG: And then we go to Chicago, Minneapolis, Canada [yes, the city of Canada], New York, Boston, Vancouver, Seattle…. We're basically going to every major city that's not in Florida.
BS: It's not our first time doing live shows, but this was our first in Texas, which is exciting, because we're both from here. We just drove over a dead cat.
EG: Clarification: we did not hit a cat, or at least not a live one. Anyway, Bryan's from El Paso and I'm from Houston. I was actually born in California, but I grew up in Texas.
BS: I'm very excited about the potential of overturning the marriage ban. We're racked with nerves though, because our families are coming to the shows.
EG: They don't listen to the podcast, so it's going to be interesting to hear about it afterwards. Austin went great, so there's that. It's really weird to be in Austin during South by Southwest, though; that's why we couldn't talk before the show. The taxi companies have to figure out their situation. It's not like this doesn't happen every year.
AC: That's why I was on a bicycle.
EG: Next year I'll be on rollerblades. I don't know how to stop on rollerblades, though, so prepare to hear screams from the trail on [Lady Bird] Lake.
Listen to the show on Stitcher or iTunes, or on throwingshade.com.