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The Interview

The Interview: Mel and El

The Interview: Mel and El 11

Question: Hello there ladies! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me in between diaper changing sessions. I imagine you both can relate to what Anna Nicole Smith was going through in her marriage to that old billionaire. ANYWAY, how are you ladies doing today?

EL: I am amazing. It’s Saturday, I’ve been up since 6:55 AM, and I’m ready to GO! WOOHOO! Let’s DO THIS!
MEL: Please excuse her. She is both over-caffeinated and uber-hormonal. We are fine. Thanks for asking.

Question: So the last time we spoke, you had just released a song about a woman and her forbidden love with a dolphin. It has to be pretty hard to top that. Is that why a double maternity hiatus shortly followed?

EL: Even though life would be somewhat easier in a magical cartoon land where Mel was married to a dolphin and I was married to a dildo, we ended up going the more conventional route. Go figure.
MEL: We thought we’d take a stab at the whole “married with children” thing. The appeal of sleep deprivation and tending to the bodily fluids of a tiny human was just too much to resist.
EL: Surely you can relate.

Question: Let’s hop in the Delorean and go back in time a bit. Where does the story of Mel and El begin?

EL: We met in South Florida at a performing arts summer camp when we were 12.
MEL: There weren’t many boys there, so one of us often had to play a man.
EL: Please enjoy the attached photograph of us portraying a married vampire couple named Cyril and Matilda Batt.
MEL: It was Serious Theatre.
EL: Anyway, we’ve been best friends ever since.
MEL: Cue the saccharine music.
EL: Something from Beaches, maybe?
MEL: If our life is Beaches, then one of us has to die a horrible death.
EL: Spoiler alert. Jeez…

Maybe the less said about this, the better

Maybe the less said about this, the better

Question: So wait, forget dying a horrible death. Which one of you get the “honor” of having Blossom play the younger you in a flashback?

MEL: Definitely El.
EL: Definitely me. People used to call me Blossom all throughout my teen years.
MEL: Especially when she wore a hat with a flower on it.
EL: Who would play the Young Mel in a flashback?
MEL: Bea Arthur, obviously.
EL: Obviously.

Question: What attracted you both to comedy, especially musical comedy. It was Weird Al wasn’t it? The 80’s were a confusing time for everybody.

MEL: In the 80’s we wanted to be Madonna, not Weird Al.
EL: It was probably our inability to be Madonna that led us to musical comedy.
MEL: Our attempts at being Madonna WERE musical comedy.
EL: We’re still trying to be Madonna. We Vogue in our show.
MEL: And we sincerely hope that it is perceived as comedy. Otherwise we are grossly misunderstood.

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The Interview: Mel and El 12

Question: So how did you get from Florida to New York? Isn’t it usually the reverse, as in “Morty, let’s find a nice place in Boca now that the kids have all moved out.”?

MEL: We were both moved to Florida when we were kids. I’m originally from Monroe, New York and El is from Philadelphia. So as soon as we were old enough, we ran back up north.
EL: Plus, it’s hard to pursue a performing career in Florida unless you look like a Disney princess.
MEL: Which clearly, we do not.
EL: The best we could hope for would be Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King.
MEL: Are you saying I’m a warthog?
EL: What’s the next question?

Question: So you fled God’s waiting room for the bright lights of the big city. What was the plan at that point? Did you come up north to be a comedy duo, like Laurel and Hardy with vaginas, or did you come here seeking fame and fortune independently before triumphantly reunited?

The Interview: Mel and El 13

Photo Credit: Liza Suh

MEL: Sorry. I’m trying to decide how disturbed I am after hearing “Laurel and Hardy with vaginas”.
EL: I think we just found our next show title.
MEL: Ok, I’m back. We moved to NYC separately to fulfill our destiny of being Broadway stars.
EL: And at some point we realized we were having so much fun doing our own stuff together that we just kept doing that.

Question: What was your first “big break” once you got back to New York?

MEL: I would say El’s was doing some kind of Christmas show situation with Kenny Rogers.
EL: I would say Mel’s was being the understudy to a seventy-something-year-old Marcia Lewis in a national tour of Annie.
MEL: I’m an old soul.
EL: Like Bea Arthur. It’s coming full circle now.
MEL: I’m not sure either of these things were ‘big’ or ‘breaks’ but I think they speak to the ridiculousness of the entertainment industry.

Question: I imagine that once you reunited, everything came together fairly easily and fame and fortune quickly followed. I mean, that is just how it works in the Big Apple no?

EL: Well, I will say that we were much happier once we reunited.
MEL: Awww…
EL: She’s my best friend in the world. Working with her is more fun than anything.
MEL: Ditto.
EL: And what more fortune could we need than the riches of togetherness?
MEL: Aaaaand I’m barfing.

The Interview: Mel and El 14

Photo by Trevor Oswalt

Question: In all seriousness though, you two have put together an impressive resume and have received a TON of critical acclaim. Do you feel comfortable in the considerable niche you’ve carved out in the city or do you have aspirations for more?

MEL: We are most comfortable performing live on stage, but we wouldn’t say no to a television show of some sort. Preferably on HBO or Showtime so that we can curse.
EL: Fuck, yeah.

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The Interview: Mel and El 12

Question: I’m going to have to ask you to tone down the fucking language ladies. This blog is very popular among Mormons and they don’t appreciate all the cussing. So that bit of unpleasantness aside, let’s get down to the reason you’re slumming it by talking to the likes of me, a brand spanking new Mel & El Show you have this month! First off, how did you come up with such a clever name for the show?

MEL: The Chiffon Dior Show seemed inappropriate somehow. So we went with The Mel & El Show.
EL: We were going to call it something more creative, but then we fell asleep.

Question: Now this is your return to the stage following dual maternal interludes. How has motherhood changed your view of the world as it pertains to your humor and your show? Wow, I feel like Barbara Walters asking a poignant question like that. The next question might need to be about drunken escapades just to cleanse the palate.

EL: Mel used to pass out under the bar clutching a box of wine, so you may well want to ask about drunken escapades.
MEL: But that was so long ago. We write about what is currently going on in our lives, and motherhood is what is happening right now. We try to find the funny in that and sing about it.
EL: But we promise it’s not ALL songs about poop and spit-up. We’re keeping it spicy.
MEL: We’re the cayenne pepper of momedy.

Question: Now momedy is a great word. I’d tell you to copyright that but I’d wager Joan Crawford, the original momedian, did first. Speaking of which, aside from Blossom and Bea Arthur, who were your comedic inspirations?

MEL: Carol Burnett.
EL: Tracy Ullman.
MEL: Jane Curtain and Gilda Radner.
EL: Steve Martin. Bill Murray.
MEL: Bill Cosby.
EL: The Muppets.
MEL: Pretty much any funny male, female or puppet that was on TV when we were kids.
EL: And a few cartoon characters as well. Bugs Bunny was hilarious.

Question: Recently there was a movement online to have a woman be named as the replacement for David Letterman on the Late Show. Needless to say, there were no women that were seriously considered because somehow the idea, “women aren’t funny.” and/or “America isn’t ready for a female late night host” is held by the powers-that-be. As females and funny ones at that, do you have any thoughts on this?

EL: What year is this again?
MEL: Exactly.

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The Interview: Mel and El 12

The Interview: Mel and El 17

Question: So following your triumphant return to the stage, aside from midnight feedings, what does the future hold for Mel & El?

EL: We’re working on lots of projects, but they are all top secret.
MEL: We WANT to tell you, but we have to protect ourselves from all of the Idea Thieves out there.
EL: Idea Thieves… is that a thing?
MEL: If you add capital letters, anything becomes A Thing.
EL: Good to know.

Question: Thank you so much for making the time to talk with me ladies. Do you have any final words of wisdom for the readers?

EL: Floss.
MEL: I can’t top that. It truly is the wisest of advice.

M&E official website here
Join M&E on Twitter here
Join M&E on Facebook here
Join M&E on YouTube here
Buy the M&E CD here
Watch the M&E web series here
Written By

Despite being a drag journalist for almost a decade, Chiffon only recently realized that she missed a golden opportunity back then to change her drag name to Rhoda Story.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Michelle Simpson

    April 21, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    Really, really makes me want to run away from the family to NYC right now so I can see a show. Hilarious ladies. Here is hoping for that comedy special soon where they can cuss. FUCK YEAH! ::rockstar fingers::

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