IF there’s one thing that the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras should never be without, it’s good old- fashioned fun and laughter.

US queer comedy duo Jeffery Self and Cole Escola of  VGL Gay Boys  and Jeffery and Cole’s Casserole fame are invading the Seymour Centre during the festival, and the Star Observer checked in on what mischief the boys were planning while gracing our fair shores with Desperate Houseboys.

Their latest show evolves around how the two lovable larrikins essentially pull a  “reverse Cate Blanchett”, by pulling up their New York roots and moving to Sydney for a month, with the hope of making it big in Australia due to their “exotic American backgrounds”.

From wig-related tomfoolery through to otter puns, Escola’s alter ego and “Broadway legend” Bernadette Peters, and both boys baring more about themselves to their audience than just their clothes, there’s definitely something both real and exotic about this duo – even though they refer to themselves like that to openly mock their “white guy” look.

Self himself has authored a couple of comedic novels, such as  50 Shades of Gay and Straight People: A Spotter’s Guide to the Fascinating World of Heterosexuals over the past couple of years.

Self suggested he fell into writing by having idle time when Escola was away.

“Sort of the reason why I started writing books was that when I was living in a different city to Cole, I needed

to do something writing-wise and didn’t have my writing partner,” he said.

Self and Escola bounce off each other like a tennis ball hitting a racquet, there’s a comedic genius within these two whenever they are in public together that is reminiscent to that of the ABC’s classic comedy program Aunty Jack.

While primarily sketch scene artists, both the comedic duo are just as much at home doing stand- up improvised comedy routines as they are doing much more structured performances or sit-com for television.

Self said: “I’d say that there are more things for gay audiences now than there was before, to a degree. But I guess the biggest thing is the fear about losing what’s cool about queer entertainment, which is sort of like being ‘outsiders’ who have got to make and do their own things.

“If you look at the early movies of John Waters, you’ve got a lot of queer people not being afraid to be outsiders…. and I think that’s something that you see a lotinwhatColeandItrytomake.”

Soon after this, Escola then stated that while they weren’t largely conscious to the role of politics within their comedy routines, it had undoubtedly influenced the activist nature of a couple of their routines throughout their show.

INFO: Desperate Houseboys is showing at the Seymour Centre from February 18-28 from 9pm as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival. The Star Observer is a proud media partner of the festival.

Show information and tickets can be found here.



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