John Benjamin Hickey
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Don't cost you nothin'. Ma- Karki Dave I'm. Self View. I, don't you just stare at yourself? If you're not a zoom meeting and you can see yourself. We'll right now just staring at you, my friend. Thank you bye I just mean that's the tendency that we all have. That is yeah. That is true. That is true I. I sat in on a book club last week and I found that I was looking myself the time. When that's what we what was the book? Here's my book. I was a guest a in a book club in Atlanta Georgia. They're reading Oh. Wow, social media and I was like yes. I do have the time to drop by meeting. That best, so maybe it myself because I, couldn't I? It was difficult for me to look at them in the face. Sure and it was. You were the star of the show. I mean. That's I love that because it's like gum. The sex in the city movie when Carey or the end of sex city carry is going to appear at a book club United Way, it doesn't matter. No, get high. Get all of it. How was asked myself it was it was it was lovely. It was really it was a lot of fun. It was a lot of fun. Bunch of fun Gals in, suburban Atlanta. Distant drink and Chardonnay. You, know some of them have teenage kids. Couple of those teenage kids have come out so that getting talk through that experience. was lovely. It was it was great. I am available for book. Clubs. Really is the message. I'd love to maybe get a snippet of that and play it as a segment or something you talking with the with clubbers had I only recorded but I do oh well. How are you? What's going on I'm good. We have a terrific episode this week. Oh my God the incomparable John Benjamin Hickey. I love this guy. I've been wanting to get him on the chauffeur. Years he is just a good dude, and so fascinating and recovering from cove. It at the time is Ripe Oak. That's right. We saw at the timely, little little earlier in quarantine and he's just. Such. A legend of East, Asian screen and endless stories and not afraid to spill the T. When did not afraid to reveal that he met Andy Cohen from a nine seven six line back in yeah, I appreciate that I am shame about that. I used to call those numbers my own self. You did what you had to do in nineteen, ninety-four. He's such a delight and I have been actually I've been str-. This is where I'm at during the day on my laptop. I'm binging the good wife. Season One late season one. And then at night Michael night together are watching the good fight, which is a spinoff set later in the future, so it's bid. These universes are colliding, but anyway timely John Benjamin does pop up in one or both shows and it's. Always loved to see him anyway. He's great he's. so this week. and. I've been meaning to check in with you and see how you're how you're recovering how you're processing. This was the week of Zach Ephron Dad Bud so house, right? How are you? It was so liberating just to see a real body represented on screen like that. You know, isn't that? Nice Yeah wrote that headline that this Zach Affronts Dad, but I need to see your bod, and I need to see your dad. Because I don't like that. He is so far out of orbit in both of those departments. Still Perfection And I have. Have you watched the show that there? This is about the disaster? I, mean the part of it. That was interesting to me I mean. I'm sure people know this, but we you know the. There is a before after picture out there and like New York Post. Headline About Zach F- Ron's quote unquote Dad Bod`ed, and of course his dad bought is still incredibly. Written. And muscular kind unattainable, just not as yes psychotically shredded as he was previously, but it is, it is, it is heartening to know that I. Think while filming this show Zaka. Franck got to Lake E carbs for the first time, and it was kind of a spiritual experience which incite of how to be for him yeah. yet. I haven't seen the show I will I. Am in my spare time. I am tearing through. Find Me. The. Call me by your name, which was given to me by you? It is absolutely terrific. I am I'm loving it I'm just it's it's. I'm so glad and I I will admit I have a habit and did not read it, but I just. Skipped ahead and I'd read some spoilers. I just wanted to know what happened with our guys. Okay, okay? I'm not I'm not all right. Okay, yeah it I. will say the the first three quarters. Take you in directions. You do not expect to go. But it's fantastic may and if you WANNA put a book club together around it. I'm down. speaking. Of Books Oh speaking of literature. We have been soliciting my first time slash. Flesh hunger stories. Just stories of you know. Our fumbling bumbling first, times. and someone set one in. That is not short now. I should remind listeners were were soliciting these things it's out. It sounds like we're collecting smut were not the is all about you know adolescence in uncertainty you can send in audio. You can send in text. You can do whatever you choose. DESCENDED INTO HOMOPHOBIA POD at G. MEAL DOT COM. That's right. Today's splash hunger story is a letter. It's a letter. Would Jump I. Will I'LL START I'll start, but I don't think it's. It's perhaps overwhelming to take on completely so I. Will I will I have skimmed at? Already can tell him in any the handed off to you okay I'm here for you, okay? Let's get into it. Hi, David Matt. I wanted to send in my first time. Slash Flesh, hunger, experience I do love that term so much by the way great soda, we. Despite being rather small conservative town, I came out in high school. Good on you. Being one becoming one of only two guys in the school who are openly gay after a very close call in which I nearly lost my virginity to a girl I realized that the relief I felt at her parents. Having come home was the answer I needed. In my long suffering. Am I gay debate. been there. like pretty much any American. School mind was stratified by cliques, typically claimed a specific territory as there's a learned early that befriending enough people in as many clicks as possible was a survival tactic that would allow me to get through my four years of high school, relatively unscathed tales. Tale as oldest time it also helped me ensure I always had the best scoops on the the school. Newspaper interesting is very naito to know. This is very andres argument. One morning I sat with some of my friends in a hallway that led from the cafeteria. Again will call Brad. Approaches US and nervously interrupts. He says hey. You're Mike Great. Can I talk to you privately? Matt, but you'd like to. I'll pick it up from there I thought it was strange, but I agreed and followed him outside to a remote area, hidden from view by a large PRA tube. Rinse in the wall. Don't would approach to prince is, but I can picture nego. What's up? I asked nervous about why he wanted so much privacy. I knew of him, but couldn't really say with any certainty that I knew him. Are You gay? He blurted out I was certain in that moment that I was going to get the shit beat out of me. He was easily much stronger than me. And we were outside of anyone who might end up passing by under pure coincidence, a nodded and brace myself instead of his fist. What can flying at my face was his lips. Pressed them to mind so fast. That I had no idea what to make of what was happening. I knew was that I had no idea how much one of those lips till they were touching my own by shock also left him an opening to French, so I ended up with his tongue in my mouth to French guessing not. The setup we were going to French class, but yeah, okay got it got it. Oh, okay, but I loved this. I wanted so much more, and I melted into every second of it I had never felt my heart thunder. The way it was doing in that moment there was no gravity. There was no school. There was no rough concrete, painfully pressing against my back and head out. There was only the line where our bodies pressed together. When the first bell rang, the kiss entered any gave me his number and asked me to call him after school. My friends waited on me to rejoin them and could see I was somewhat dazed. I only told them I'd have to explain everything later. It was the longest school day of my entire. Life Matthew. As it turns out. Brad lived walking distance from my house and he was a latchkey kid, and this meant that we often had to three unsupervised hours after school. If we went to his place, and we made the best use of them, we could performing everything short of anal sex, but only because we couldn't find lube. That's the poetry kind of drops off their little bit, but the judge. Just that's a note. For later got. He was a great ahead of me and had. Had his license and a small crappy pickup truck. We leave school together at the end of the day and park somewhere and make out or go to his place and do much more than make out one one day we got really brazen and performed oral sex on each other in the bathroom of a State Park. We were nearly caught by park officials and had to quickly play it off like we were examining a sample for some science project. We were working on together. Wow! Dave I. Don't know the Park Ranger bought it Mike you didn't but knowing what an awful actor! I am. I guess is likely not the prospect of having nearly been caught wrists exciting terrifying. We considered ourselves somewhere between friends with benefits and boyfriends for the remainder of his time in high school, until I left for college and moved away, the trouble was he remained in the closet, so an out and proud relationship was never an option, and I hated the idea of going back into the closet for him. Checked up on him on social media every once in a while, it looks like he moved to California and has come out and is living his best life, which makes me extraordinarily happy for him I wish him all the best and hope he knows how important he was to me as I grew up. Thanks for everything that you guys do this. PODCAST is my happy place in these chaotic times Mike Thank you so much. Oh, Mike for for listening and for your candor. And for your detail. That was I mean. The the description of the kiss really gave me like what I used to feel. Reading like sweet valley high as like Rl. Stein books about you know. People have I kissed. Early Great and I hope that situation absolutely and I hope that Mike. You two are living your best life wherever you may be just like Brad is wow. That was that was a journey. That had beauty that had that had it was. A+ Mike a plus Mike understood the assignment. Absolutely did and he completed it with flying colors. Thank you Mike. that was I mean. I've dreamed that kind of situation in high school. Yeah. I, I did have as we. Had A situation. This didn't quite feel the way it did for. Mike is my hunch. By the way we should also share a review. We've been soliciting as finally asks people go to Apple podcasts. Give us a five star review. We will read it on our message to our listeners is basically. Do you like US yes or no? Right and the only correct answer is yes. To Yourself. Okay Yeah, so do shall we where yes, please? All. Oh, I missed it I lost it. It's it's The headline is much lower than five stars promote. Fella named Barrington James who is short and sweet bearing James says need this podcast more than ever the positivity that really and welcomed escape from quarantine. Everybody wear a mask register to vote and arrest the cops who killed Brianna Taylor. Thank you so much. Sorry editorialized that a little bit, but you get the point, but. I think that's what he meant. You read between the lines there. Barrington thank you Mike You Homophobia pod at dot com where you send those flesh hunger stories. We are here for them. speaking of flesh hunger. You're going to have a lot of it for the this week's guest. Truly end. There's a lot of flash. He's a big tall guy. the great, the legendary, the charming, the monstrously talented John Benjamin Hickey. What's up here? Wolf listeners, this jockeys, Neil from culture kings, and I just WanNa let you know about a project that I am curated for ear will presents called black voices Friday each week. I am going to present to you a different podcast hosted by some amazing voices and creators that you may not have heard about before. This is my chance to amplify black voices in your chance to support them, so join me every Friday on air with presents to expand your ears and get to know some amazing black voices. With civil unrest and a global pandemic, there's only one person can provide the insight and perspective we need. Paducah. It's me Samantha me. I know what you're thinking. Does she already have bad cast? But no, you're thinking of everyone else each week and my new podcast full release I'll talk to interesting smart people like Soledad O'Brien Jilani, Cobb, please subscribe join me every week full release with Samantha B all new Tuesday's streaming on your favorite podcast platform. Are. We good. Okay. I feel like I'm good. I'm recording. Yes, good as a good. Look good. Feel good. Guess. What's clear these debts right? That is clear. John Benjamin Hickey. Where are you right now? I am in East Hampton New York, but on. The other side of the tracks. I came out here about. I guess says six seven weeks ago now. and I have settled in here and you'll very fortunate to have been able to get the city We were talking earlier about the fact that I got sick with coded and spent. Three weeks in my apartment. battling it out by myself. Which is actually I preferred that I have the best superintendent in the world's in world, so he would go to my local diner and pick me up food and leave it outside the door every day and make sure I was okay. So I was able to kind of do it on my own and not make. Not Expose myself to anybody else. My partner was actually flying into town the day I got tested for La and his doctors dipper smart and said you know what I think. Maybe you shouldn't see each other I think you should you head out to the beach. so I I did the whole thing by myself. In retrospect, I was happy. Because the one thing I didn't want to do was. Make anybody else sick you now, of course of course. What's the General Easthampton Vibe? Our things closed down or people masked up oracle note. People are just you know behaving like animals. Don't you? Read The New York Post Act. Every third article in the New York Post APP is like the people in the Hamptons are the worst people in the world. You know it out for New York and It's it's very very quiet here. and. It's quiet in a way that. It usually is quiet. The Pre Memorial Day in the area I live in. so feels a little bit like normal here you go to the grocery store on every wear, masks and gloves, and they only let ten people in time. Kind of go about your normal life. So it feels. Yes like everything shut down, but It's a quiet life out here. Anyway it's when I go into the city and driven back in a couple of times to to pick up mail and stuff that I needed and the minute you hit like right before you get into the midtown tunnel, and you start seeing all the billboards that are like. Out Gated. And you pull into the city new turned down Lexington Avenue, and you look down Lexington and there's nobody on the streets. That's what you start to think. I'm in a will Smith SCIFI. Move! He were every Miam- Legend and A ghost town. Yeah, yeah, on your enact so it chance your question. It doesn't feel that different out here, but. Everyone says that after Memorial Day displaces, can kind of go crazy, because there are so many New Yorkers who have places out here? Who are just moving out here? Nobody's doing anything else to summer. Summerside staying of course. Of course, of course, so when you were alone in quarantine, what what was your? Day today, what were you? What were you watching or reading? That was keeping you company. I had the best friends in the world. we good question will I was saying to you guys that it hit me like A. Ton of bricks and like a freight train, a runaway train suddenly stopping dead in its tracks. Tested on May Twelfth, which is the day they shut Broadway down, and I was just about to make my Broadway directorial debut directing this revival of plaza suite. The Neil Simon play with Matthew Broderick Sarah. Jessica Parker, we've done a run in Boston. We're having invited dress that night, and it really was. That day was like end. The band play on it. We were all everybody was on stage in costume makeup lights running through the show. Like the you know the the orchestra, the titanic and knowing that the plug was going to get pull. The plug got poll I went to my doctors tested. and. Then got brutally sex, so there was a part of me that was. Relieved that the plug had been pulled on Broadway. Because I was like I have been able to go to see my fucking play anyway I was. Out of it but I. I watched so much TV, and the thing that I watched. That I've watched the second time. Have you guys seen this German show called? Babylon Berlin. Tell it's the best show on television. It may be the best thing I've ever seen. It's a German. produced show on. It's the most expensive show in the history of Europe and it shows. But that doesn't necessarily make good. This is good because it's good. And about a Berlin one, thousand, nine, hundred, Ninety eight Weimar Republic right before the Nazis to power in it's. A detective story it's sexy nightclub story in. It's absolutely extraordinary stunned. You guys don't know what you just giving you a great gift. hundred because there. How do I find it? It's on net flicks. And my huge advice that usually everybody knows, but Netflix has a funny way of making you. Wanting you to watch it up, but of course you don't want to watch your job. You WanNa Watch it in German with saw. It's three seasons I. Think there's about twenty five episodes. You're not going to believe how beautiful and sexy wonderful to to leads are These two German actors it. It's just a story of Berlin in Nineteen Twenty eight, and a were like my best friends, and I spent the whole two weeks with those guys watching that show, and then when I got well and finally got out to Long Island and met with my partner I made him watch. It and I watched the whole thing again. That's all my God the. I watched. That just has to such a perfect. Pairing with this is, there's a network here. I'm sure is a national network called me TV which runs Oi Zeroes in. Watched Walton's every day. I hadn't seen Walton soon as a kid, and it was such a bomb to my soul to my very sex soul. Because the Waltons get. The the. Moral order is always kind of semi restored to the universe by the end of that show, so watching the Waltons, they really they really got me through it and I started taping the show, and I just saw that it was on my dvr list, and I was like Oh haven't spent time with the Watson sits was really sick I, but that show his very well. You're probably all too young to remember the Waltons but oh absolutely remember the ones. That was a very big part of my childhood yeah. On. Your convalescence. You're watching things set in the depression, and in a country that is teetering on the brink of fascism. Absolutely. I don't exactly escapist. But there was. It's sort of like. They said the reason jaws was so popular was because. The country was going through such a shitty time. Time was read a recession. What and like you just like to see people who have it worse off than you do so get home and I had it prison bad those few weeks, so it was nice seeing the Nazis rise to power is I was like well at least well. Maybe we're not living through that period, right? Elite available, isn't it? Yeah. I love that I I ended. Up Gap I remember. Just going back to Plaza's. Lying in bed one night, and reading the like we subscribe to the New York Times, and then I never read it, and I feel guilty, and then at night i. read it in bed because I don't want it to go to waste and gasping and Mike my boyfriend rolls over and goes. What and it was the first that I saw an. For, PLAZA SUITE AND was so excited to go to New York as I know so many people were. You know no detail about sap's to minor for me for your share, but. How how how was it going up until you know? The titanic begin to say yeah, exactly. It was a dream. It really was you know I went into it because this is only the second being ever directed in my first Broadway showing. we had done reading of it three years ago at symphony space in new. York in I asked Sarah Jessica. Now who are old friends of mine? They would wanna read something and they're like sure. Let's is something to do together. We have worked together in twenty five years. Why not? We landed on this play. which is such A. Such a great play about relationships and marriage and long time turn marriages. Relationships that are just beginning, it just seemed like a perfect fit for them, not just because of the Meta, thinking of them being a married couple themselves but If, you don't know the play. It's those two actors played six different parts, and every part V them perfectly. The next night. We had dinner and they were like we want to do this week. You should direct hit so two and a half three years later. I am directing it and I have. Never had a better time in a rehearsal room. and. I loved watching them. Love working with each other because I. don't even think today new. You know they've been married for twenty five plus years, but they've only worked together for a very brief amount of time. She replaced. In the last month or two of how succeed in business, so they only had little short amount of time working together. And and to see them so enjoy. Each Other's company was a great joy to behold, and also huge fucking relief, because like what if they ask each other? What if they and they are? We talked we talked about this like you. Guys spent your whole marriages working home marriage working. and then coming home to each other now you have to go to work together and come home together. Should you get separate apartments? Should you get? But they really really delighted in each other's company, and that joy was manifest in very palpable in the with the audience as we had in Boston we did a three week run in Austin, and we had like seventeen hundred people. There are nights run completely sold out. There was really really great, and it was so it was such a thrill to watch people. Watch them I didn't I knew that he was a big deal and I knew that she was a big deal i. kind of underestimated. WHAT A BIG DEAL! They would be together. How much people would enjoy seeing them? Beyond stage together. So what? What's the future now? Will they just announced that we will do it starting March thirteenth twenty, twenty, one in it at the Hudson. Theatre where are set is standing and we would open officially a nineteen, twenty, twenty one, but that of course is if were back. You know I mean I think it's still a big question, isn't it? I just I'm no expert, but it seems to me like. There's got to be a huge. Amount of safety in place, and whether that means a vaccine like you know I. Just don't know how people are going to go into a crowded space like. Like that without. Some safety in place. You guys agree I have signed A. Theory that that means at the Hudson theatre will be empty for the next year. Absolutely David. Byrne is scheduled to take America Utopia back into that theater. This all of which would mean, they would have to take our set out in store it and let him you. Show again, but that's. highly yeah. I don't know if it's unlikely. I mean I hope it happens that that he's able to joining all but but it seems unlikely you know. There was a great cartoon if he was in a New Yorker. Where else would it event where when they closed Broadway shows. There's an old couple in their apartments. He was reading the paper and he's just saying. It just closed the Broadway theaters. Where am I supposed to cough? As. Times in the best times, a Broadway theater is a just a total petri dish. Now the big time can. Water bottle there, right? You've got somebody else's program. People right on top of you, so they got to figure that out. But I can't wait to be back can. Cough together. I WANNA, Call I. Want you to cough on me? I WANNA call. The. Social distancing place? Is that mean that my actors I guess because my two actors are married to each other that meter. Is Good position there is like is the string section have to sit sixteen apart from each other at? Does it seem doable on any level? So. You might be the only show in town where the actors can do their original blocking. Absolutely absolutely that might be a marriage has its advantages. When I was. Just. Doing some googling just to prepare for this, you know one of the first off like sort of auto fill things that come up on Google is John. Benjamin Hickey. Tiger King Oh. What is happening here and? I don't know if you've seen this Dave but several. Have called on John to play. A Joe Johnson. Yeah, that's a dream. Casting is what that is, so maybe nick cage is a little bit more of a draw in a little bit more on the money. I don't aware that I think it was on vulture. West after I'd gotten well at had and also justice after I watched tiger king I was, so it was like the cure for Cogan with somebody saying what I see. Play I was so deeply flattered in in deeply excited by the idea and other people like padded Clarkson should be lots. Carol Basket has highly green casting, but. Funded be. The TV Tiger Phen- we keep keep it. Keep it open. Keep it open. Keep an open mind about it. I would only direct you back to the amy. Fisher story. Nineteen Ninety, two, ninety, three, literally, every network had their own. Amy Fisher. Story Drew Barrymore gotTA. Swing added. L.. Listen. Milan got a swing at it. It there were there were high art takes. There were commercial takes I think everyone is going to take their unique swing. I will be elevated. One woman. who was Moreno storage who played? Her the the Weiss Joey for for. My Home, one of them might have been Meredith Baxter. Thanks so I was GonNa say I think that feels right, chatted meals rain I would hate to be wrong. I would love to be right about that. Yes, you're right. There could be several types of things, but I think we're all in very much agreement that nothing's ever GonNa talk that just. That that thing going to make better than that here or worse than? Said, about Grey Gardens you know, and they would full television movie out about so David resorted. Share. which is your favorite of exotic husbands? Poor unfortunate souls. Poor I mean my gay friends called me. You know first of all. Have you seen that? Have you seen his second hut and just as low spoilers, no spoilers. Oh God. That was the most horrible moment I've ever seen anything. Truly was what was his name that poor travis? I think yeah. TRAVELSMART Travis Maldonado was gorgeous, and I mean even toothless Joe was what my friend Kristen Johnston would have called country hot. They might not necessarily. Speak of in the city with you're stuck out in the middle of the country. Not so bad, but the shocker was. That I mean I don't WanNa, be rude, adopt disparate. They were gay for pay for math, weren't they? I mean I guess found both of them. We're fucking the girl that. Dimmer Game Right. Yeah and this awfully affects it like those boudoir pictures are very intimate and passionate lethally became pagan is pictures, and and there's one sequence where out like you know off road. What do you call that you know? Off. Road we're. And Travis goes to Kiss Joanne. He very sweetly like wipes his mouth off only so sweet to Joe. but yeah I mean. How they wound up in that. Universe is is very complicated and kind of and tragic and I hear that LIVED FIRST HUSBAND! Was Mad that they didn't show him with his new teeth. He has Yes. Is More than he looks great. He does look good. He's cutting. You show up for an interview for documentary with no shirt. You know what you're getting yourself into exactly exactly get totally like and you think. He showed up with shirt or did. You have an idea. Or. Maybe the filmmaker had an idea. WHO WHO's to say? It is absolutely impossible for me to put myself into the head of any of those people. Yup Yup and I just saw something on the news. That like carols, husbands tells late. Husband's name may have been forged on his will. Boy! They've reopened that case. Going on there yet so. We'll be hearing about them for the rest of. Its until until the day we die, we'll be seeing their faces and Donald Trump's fan so alyssum lot patio accident Jon, Hagey gets employed. Those guys will be. Let's hope we hear about them. Until aspiration I love it. I love it John. What did you grow up watching? What was I? Think it like what was the first show that you would just never miss? I mean you know I was a big brady? Bunch family? I was big They would after school. There'd be the MERV Griffin show. I love that show. And then they I would go over to channel eleven in Plano. Texas was the rerun channels so are reruns were leave it to beaver and we just lost high school. Did you see that is I love that woman? The reason nobody trusts. Nice kids, yeah, exactly, and that name still applies. You can still use that as a yes Leak to Bieber. Gilligan's island. Lucy Dick Van Dyke. That was my magic two hours. That's solid line. What my brother was begging needed come played touch football across the street. I was like no. Stay on. The MERV Tony feels might be on the MERV Griffin. So I, loved reruns, and then, and then I I really came of age with the advent of the miniseries and the miniseries nobably was first thing that made me go I've got inappropriate feelings was off Richmond poor man with with? Peter Strauss Nick Nolte. Jude is at home now. Yeah, absolutely, pull ups imagery just to. Out raise continued. That was crazy and it was great. It was the thing that my family which. Usually in separate corners, it was a bonding experience. My family watched together Richmond me. The miniseries was an event. Is it was an event? absolutely I. Your Thorn Birds. Birds huge, too. That was another one where Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward. That was her name. Yeah, that was so hard to remember a time where everything was happening in that real time like you, you would only be. You would all be able to talk about. There were no such thing as no spoilers because you have at the same time every night that week in could go to the water cooler the next day and talk about it, whereas now you know. Something that we have those words. No No, you needed to be in front of the television at seven PM. To catch it from the beginning, I yeah, I I loved a love to thornbirds. I was I kind of came of age in. When the miniseries got super trashy celebrity. Lace Oga phoebe cates. Which of you bitches legal. Friend of mine still say that line to her sometimes I wow not offended when I do it when she says something that annoys me, unlike which were you bitches as my mother, yeah. I love it I love. Those were very trashy words. They got got trashy. Winds yes. That those have to be streaming somewhere, if not me, TV needs to get on it yet. Many Utd should have a They should run routes the way we saw roots, which was one like Iran for a full week two hours every night. To see it that way. Did you watch. Because I I've just gone through visible. That Apple TV documentary about about Queer people in television, and they make a big deal out of an early frost. Very very huge. Bears huge. Yeah, yeah, that was because that was when the bad stuff they started being able to tell stories, not just not shade and acceptance, or on there was a there was a TV movie the same year with Marlo Thomas and off Martin. Sheen and my friend Holly Balsam kicked camping blanking on the actress name, but it was about a sign coming out as gay, and then not accept it in. It was not great, and then six months later because AIDS was part of the. You know. The National Dialogue, than an early frost cannot, which was amazing, Aidan Quinn the great eight Quinn W Moffett. Oh. Yeah, yeah, and it was wasn't Ben Bizarre. In general is the parents he was just gas was. So. Incredibly sad and great. I What was that movie? Hold on, it was it was consenting adult, wasn't it? Yeah, you know, I remember that because I. Remember there was there was a scene. It was buried tub. The Gay son. Who then go on to be in top gun? which was an even gay or movie? But there was a thing where he like accepts a ride home from the mall from some Guy With van, and then they stop parking lot, and you just nothing happens, but you understand that there are about to go into the back of the van into. Fifteen on fire, what you're reminding I was I was seventeen or eighteen, eighteen thousand MC first year of college. and My mother came to a teaching conference, being in San Antonio Right near where I was in school, and she wanted to go to the movies at at night, and there were two movies playing at the mall, and one of them was shoot the moon, the Great Allen Harker movie with dynki Finney and the other one was movie called law, and I knew enough to know that couldn't go. See that movie with my mother, and I got, but I did see it and those two guys Michael Keenan Harry. Hamlin US Citizen Gorging The movie is it's not a great movie. Don't watch those two guys in that movie. K. Jackson. Who's like that you? A Charlie's angel was in that movie. Those guys absolutely go for it in that movie. They're not afraid of those parts, and I really really mired them because. I'm sure that fucked up fucked up on short fucked their careers up a little bit. Making scenes. They really are very bold. In in their portrayal of those characters, and that was at a time when that had enormous career n de risk attached to it. Absolutely I saw that movie was on television. In later years like late night, television and I remember being in the basement, and watching it with the sound at like one out of twenty might face an inch screen like a an ear to the stairs. Just in case anybody came down the most exciting. Movie ever healing of knowing like this is going to mean so much more to me than I wanted to and the guy anybody noticing. Do we to me. It's going in unit did. And where was young John Benjamin Wynn. He seeing that movie in terms of knowing that you were an actor. Oscar say knows gay. I don't think I think I was scared. He that idea that I was gay couples, even more scared of the idea that I wanted to be an active I was doing a lot of Stuff in high school. You know just of recreationally in Dan in college I started doing a lot more but I thought I. IF I did come to New York, I would start itself and I would become either a filmmaker or film critic I. Read Pauline Kale all the time back then. You know that might have been another thing helping her. Bad Michael on in. But I thought I would study. Selah therion criticism that was of course she could take. nyu, but I was not a I was. I didn't have the courage to admit that I wanted to. I actually didn't knock came to New York I finished an English degree at Fordham University and did plays I addition for juilliard in got in which was like getting golden ticket in the moment I got it. Oh, going to be an actor. Now I get to say I'm going to be a doctor because I helped the golden ticket. That's exactly what that was. And were you out when you juilliard known? No I was. Terrific relationships with women and was. Very very much I would say in the closet. I mean I I knew but I was still trying you know and. And you know. I came to New York in eighty three. Armed with two Time magazine covers one of them. Had Madonna cover in the other one had the AIDS. A huge cover story about AIDS and I read that in Plano Texas, so I came to. New York afraid afraid of who I was, but also afraid of what might happen if I if I ended up being that so I think that helped keep me. In pretty tight for her. I came to New York at twenty one another ten years. And years at least yeah yeah. So yet took me. It took me Quite a bit of time I. Mean it didn't stop me from. Doing a bunch of gay plays in stock because. I'm sure that it appealed to me. To my soul, because that's who I was as a human being, but it was also like to be in terrence. McNally's love compassion. All the cool kids wanted to be not play gay straight. You know John. slattery and I wanted to be in place for you. Know and I documented it, so that was just. Had nothing to do with me being gay more than it had to do with me wanting to have a career that. Included being in terrence McNally's play. Does that make sense absolutely? Yeah, yeah, so so that helped that certain. Those don't mentors. Those heroes you know people like. Terrence and Craig Lucas and Of course later, Tony Kushner in a director Joe. You know. The cool. Kids knew who they were and weren't afraid to admit it. And I I caught up eventually. And became very cool. Love that you serve so, what were the first steps of that process like like? What were your early sort of dating experiences? I mean I'm GonNa go, Andy Cohen has been so. Vocal about it. You know I came of age in the era of phone sex, and and end in hooking up that way. It's the way Andy Reid. WHO's my best friend of twenty five twenty six years longer longer now. oh. God it's I can't believe it I. Think it was like ninety two. Ninety Ninety three We picked each other up off of a phone sex line. He you know and that was back when you didn't superstorm. I've ever talked about this you. Know what the person looks like you. There were no good. Put a fake picture. Up And You just go. Dice is up that voice and roll the dice, wia Kenneth Huge career and voiceovers for about ten years was because I'd spent enough time. Meeting! That drag. Andy came over he had rollerblades and very long or retail. Look like you know the Nice Jewish boy version of what's your name? Heather Graham in boogie nights. Maybe, true seconds of of last, but it was immediately. Best Pals in remember. We went on a date a few days later, he had a to a restaurant called Paris commune in West Village. It's long on, and he had a denim shirt on and driven for Jean Meyer ties they were. They were very popular. The nineties they were like horizontal stripes. He has ceased Meyer Tie on and. that. You were. It was. You know it was it was. It was easy to to kind of do it. What's the word you know? You could you could hide. What's the word for you, could you, could you? Not Anonymously I mean. It was in that way, but it was just nobody. You there I was I was afraid to death of bars. I've never been a bar. Persian will matter what I mean I'm just not a big bar guy. but back that covert was very covert. Right on clandestine. You know it was although seaward. That I liked because it kept you hit. was immediately. And then of course, there was the fear of you know. SEC exotic so. Was it was very furtive. It'd in a very careful about the whole thing. Immersed myself in work, at. A shock. With through I was. Watching, you had to immerse yourself in work. Four bills on the nine seven six line where no joke. Oh my God! A friend from childhood before about them, come to stay with me New York and he was strange. He was calling. Strange phone sex lines and I didn't know it and two months after he left four hundred dollar phone might might read twist four hundred and fifty dollars on Thompson's. I was I called him back in Texas. Do. You have to call your mother and. Or going to send this monkey. Somehow got me money. Yeah, yeah, they were dangerous. Those things maybe. Back with. With the coded crisis, you know people are using zoom in that way. I'm told. That seat that requires I'd need about six ring lines. That Ray I R-. I would need you know yeah me. Neither over nor clandestine. Wanted to make sure the pillows rewrite everything of course, and also like you can never be sure. The other person isn't recording their screen. Oh God yes. Yes was that a concern in the phone sex days like? Would you're in that period of life and you Andy? You are already an established actor, right? Sorry I was up until this eight of your down still. All this stuff we're. You must have. There must have been some fear of being outed. Franklin defendant out on how porn! You. Know you thought about that up until the point where you just had on some way to get late virtual, or or are non Churchill sure? I probably was you know more careful than I was reckless I. Are we have my reckless moments? What are you GONNA do? How did your? How does your community? How did you like Queer community come together was a through work. Then you're not A. a bar person. Yeah, it was it was through. People like eighty was through. People I worked with you know my. Old Friend. JOMON tallow in his partner at the time was robbing Bauge John Robin Bates I. Play I. Did in New, York. Even before love. Valor was great Robbie dates. Play with Roger. Reese marshawn. you know the back to that thing of wanting to be one of the cool kids? The cool kids I knew were queer, and most of them were out. So that's how I. Might community started. From a a work thing. And in continues to this day. You know I just. Finished this doing his play the inheritance. Met, a whole new generation of of a lot of illustrate But you know I make most of my family is built for work like for most of us, but you're the theater your gypsy, dot, you make these incredibly sort of site specific intense family relationships. That you live in greed. These people so I guess the answer to your question was all through work. Salted. And, we don't. We don't know what the future of of that kind of work and really any kind of socializing is I'm. Concerned about the young people coming into New York and finding their. New York right now is is everybody here. In another in La. Are you guys all in La are? We're all in La A.. L. As the future. You know my partisan of how stare at. He had long before we not. An. It's like I don't know there's a part of you. That feels like a week ago to Los Angeles when it's time because it feels like there's more space here, you know, but. You know. What is my identity without New York City right after nine eleven happened. I was in a really amazing of the crucible that starred Liam, Neeson and more Linney There's a great actor Henry Straem was in it, and it was all during the rat in orange alerts. You remember the coating gets. You know what color was dangerous. It was outside and we were all talking about addressing room night in. Henry said off. I'M NOT GONNA. Pay Anymore attention to that figure. If they're going to. If they're going to annihilate New, York City take me with it because really who wants to live in a world. There's No York City. And I. Don't I feel that way I don't? Najan being a really these kids who are in the I was in the inheritance with. Like Egypt, had the ride of their lives and now. It's just it's just completely over. It's nothing. So I guess the only response to that is, it has to come back right. Lean Vassal Yemen ESTA. Were we we we just? I just can't consider while the alternative would be in his as television goes I. Heard a thing today. Where they were like we'll, they'll quarantine the cast of TV shows, and there'll be no such things as guest stars anymore. It will just speed in. Somebody said what are they going to deep dive into Mariscal Harte's personal life ahead. svu Is. It's about who the murderer is down. We Got Go before you're out. What the new normal! You know. And certainly hope that includes plays and I hope that includes plays where we ought to sit next to each other. Idea of a Neil. Simon play. People just sitting. Three or four seats apart and. Just doesn't seem doesn't seem doable. Anything's possible. So. Tell us how you and your partner met. On a gay phone sex just kidding. Connects the best day a Brunch at a lunch you know. I don't do brunch. I never done branches. I feel like New Yorkers. Don't really do them. Especially people who work like idly which was not ninety five. I worked on Sundays I was in L.. A. TV. Show a TV show that was head of its time, but a sweet showcase. It's all relative. We were gay dads me and Chris Sieber. We were like the Fussy. It was like the little like the birdcage. We were the titan gay parents in the and the blue, collar, family. We each had kids and they married you know when we were from other sides, town and mayhem ensued I was doing that. Show a went to a lunch or Brunch party at my friend Jeff Greenburg, who is a great great cassie director yet and Jeff Richmond partner was, and he was writing on frazier at that time and we met and started. Dating and that was like. Eighteen years ago. Along time ago, yeah, and our lives for most of those seventeen eighteen years have been In separate cities. He spent most of his family because he was on modern family. The whole run a ten years of its eleven year run. He was an executive producer writer on that and I was spending most of my time in. New York, Canada Mexico working so these eight or nine weeks is basically the longest period of time we spent together in. We just realized I. Don't even who are you? Know you know, it's actually it's actually doing really really well. We've had We've had a very cross. Country bicoastal relationship for all this time. But we met we met. netted I. Don't I don't necessarily think it was game, but there are a lot of gay people there and we were set up. We were set up at this lunch, so thank you Jeff Greenburg. Done. He cast that relationship very well past that relationship well, absolutely absolutely yeah. It is. There's no I just going to say that it a-. People joke so often about being quarantined with their spouse and driving each other crazy. How the divorce rates are going to spike? We'll come out of this, but. I, that is similar experience that. Michael and I've been together for over six years of. This is the first time that we've. been. Together for multiple had had dinner together every night. This is this was unheard of now. It's wonderful. Kinda is a me learn how to get out of each other's way when. Something bad is about to happen. If something's about to be thrown, you know it's like you learn like okay you. It's like it's fun to go to separate corners. You know and then come together for for for dinner. I'd never. My mother taught home economics in Plano Texas for thirty years, and there was an administrator for another twenty. She has at school named after her ICKY elementary. In plano, but home economics were in the fifties and sixties teaching women how Girls Cook and so and keep a house, and then it netted change does a sexual revolution happening in? It was called home and family living. Come because it was more involved, more sex, education and family planning and all that stuff. But I I realize now what home economics means. It means when you're having dinner. You have to talk about what you're gonNA. Do for dinner the next night in the night after that Israel has to be taken out of the freezer I never understood that work. On Getting A. All getting a big lesson now. And I was so terrified of being a couple who was at dinner talking about what you're going to eat the next meal, but I've I've really leaned into it, we it's. There's excitement in it yet. Thank God for New York, times, cooking APP and Melissa Clark and the one hot wonders because I'm left in my own defenses, idol a great cook. If I have a good director, it's like acting. It really is area bad nights, but you need somebody. Telling you what to do I. I can, Mitch? Right we now ben and I have. Or from home for a long time, the both of us bence got a studio guest house, and so we are used to being the same place during the day. The difference for us now is, we can't go out so because we were on top of each other sort of during the day we would typically have dinner together, but then we would also like he would meet a couple of friends for drinks and snacks I would meet a couple of friends for drinks and snacks, and it was you know. But now that we don't do that anymore, so our new thing is five PM. Every single day front yard with lawn chairs and Jen give much and we just we wave the world as it goes by. And like there's an enforced time of togetherness. The exact same thing I like a little loan. Jeff calls it the to reward. Even though it's like either like whatever we're going to snack while we watched I, watched the weather and then I watch the news basically just retired. People is what it feels like I'm. Let's acknowledge how fortunate we are to be able to of course. Luxury to but? It's coming together. I've had to learn how to measure my alcoholics. Renting I do know. Is that especially now? That kind of rose as season started I can. Watch it you're. A close to a mark on the bottle like do not go along this line of. Enjoy having that. Dave I know this is my interview but I. WanNa know. How have you been an have? You have ever felt exposed. Both of you guys have been safe in wealth this whole incorrect. Yes, yes, but you have. talked about underlying I mean. How have you been yeah? Because I have other friends who have to. Right yeah, I'm I've there's conflicting reports about whether type? One diabetes is is a risk factor for covid complications I. Don't know that to be true. My I don't. Know anyone in my type, one community who has had its. I have a a good friend who has type one. His wife does not. They just got the antibody tests and they've been been quarantined together for months. And she tested positive and he tested negative. So I don't. Understand how that happened I. don't understand how that happened. The the sort of the I think the conventional wisdom. Is that if you get it? You might be at higher risk if you are diabetic for for a worse time, but I think that also has to do with with with less stringent control over your sugars. which I am super neurotic about that so I'm not. I'm not I'm not concert, not good and I felt fine through the whole thing I'm waiting for the results of my antibody test now and do you guys? It was a real good and I hope they're I guess I. Hope Their Positive Right. You want to think I think so. Yeah well. It's a weird thing to wish for, isn't it? Yeah, yeah, one does want that fortification. I'm not. We're not entirely sure what it means other than the fact that you've been exposed to Doesn't guarantee anything unfortunately, but you know I I only realized recently. How truly special I was in net. A. Realizing. That I I of the only people. A lot of people in my world knew who had like. Lot of his world is in Los Angeles. People would be calling in to check on me and all that so sweet. They're checking. Your the only person they know and care about you, but it's like. It's it's it's weird. How lot of my friends in La haven't seen anyone who's? How did you guys know people? I, do know a couple of people. Yeah, yeah, Really only one or two in La a few New York and a couple in London, but I know a lot of people in I. Know a few people in London but I. I haven't heard. Anybody in of course it's there and I just don't know anybody but. Being about New York, and especially in the Broadway community as far as my world it just. Just ran through it I mean like the the Moulin. Rouge cast so many people got sick in our cast. In La yeah the week I was most contagious was the week I was intact with actors and all of my designers and you know being attacked with people's being in bed with people. You're all sitting in a theater together for ten hours a day in touch wood, only one other person in my in my company in crew got sick and my Caspian, and and you just don't know like. How did I get it? How did I not give it to other people? That person Andy got. It did I give it to Anti Anti. Give it to me. It's really weird how? Like you mentioned talking about one person tests positive in a family, another person's negative how they exposed in the other one's not. Yet I don't. UNDERSTAND WHY? Don't. We really do really do. How's IT in Plano? How is your family? I'm very happy to report. That might ninety two year old mother who still lives in her home by his. Has helped there. is able to See my brother who really looks after her and so many people who are in assisted living most people who are in assisted to be now our total lockdown and enhance either family, which is so horrifying and sad. In everybody in my family is super, super, careful and super, fucking colonel lead and scared about hey, dot, because we don't know they not know any body in their community. WHO had so? You think that the you know if you don't see anything that that says it's out there. You start to relax and let your guard down, but they're guard is very very much up and I. Think they're all being everyone around them as being very careful in India reentry into the workforce. So I'm assuming their community is reopen. Gets. In stages, and it's like twenty five percent capacity in north. There seems to be a lot of noise in Texas about hair salons. Everywhere, it's the hair salons. I want my haircut as much as the next guy but. Really I mean I think a Mexican food. Restaurant, Important. To prioritize what a Margarita in some Bacha Moly you know. Year here drill. It's to me. It's very inspiring to see how many people are taking it seriously and are doing the right thing you know I. Know The people who are you know shouting about? Tyranny are getting a lot of attention, but it's it's it I love that eighty percent of the world is. Without being forced to changing their lives, and making sacrifices, and being conscientious and all that the. Forces. For the first time I read what we're saying, so he said like what what an extraordinary global gesture of love. Because the loving thing to do to say, and yes, it could be self love. It could be like I. Don't want that I'm staying home, but to say like that's why that's kind of what I meant about the relief I mean data. Had this amazing network superintendent in people in the building? You would just make sure I was okay, but but I loved being able to be by myself, so I could contain what was going on inside of me. You know I didn't Wanna I the idea of giving it to to anybody else was. Horrifying. So yeah, staying home is a good game right now. And now you having had it and and recovering from it. I you ostensibly, you would be able to now donate plasma and help other people, but there's still this band employees I mean. Andy was incredibly eloquent about it. He did a thing on his show. Yeah, it was just I was so proud of him as A. Run for office. Forget about this fucking housewives. I thought he was so large. I didn't know I. Mean I was in touch with my doctor at not cyanide, and was at filled the form to do it, not knowing that I was going to be a no. Crazy what what what gives guys tell me I don't know and I. Don't know whether I I mean I certainly. I spent my formative years. trying to pass so I can call on that acting experience if I need to now who? But. When I go in there. It's exactly right. That's exactly right, but I but the idea of having to do that is extremely upsetting. I'm curious how far they are willing to go to to verify you know if you were to lie on the forms. Can they google you and say yeah, this would otherwise is an HIV screen and all blood tests now. So I think so, it seems like why. Andy said something along the lines. It's prohibitive to the point of being. stigmatized. Homophobic. Is what it Seattle right we're. We're past that now. Yep exactly and similar questions are asked about intravenous drug. Use I don't think. Or not to mention anybody industry community fucking. Supposedly unsafe sex practices. Among straight people. I, don't I. Don't get frustrating. It really is it really is so I would love to be a plasma donor and I hope that you know once a safe kind of reentry back into New York on that level and I go see my doctor. He'll certainly take it and you know do whatever he can with had any tasks. They have the antibodies. But now we have to figure out what to do with. If something good can be done with it. John. Talk to you all. I would loved to talking to you guys, too, and I just feel like. I mean I, could we? We should go back to many series great. I'm going to start gambling literally lawns series idea. I think it's really good. Oh, it's got! To be a mini series, so that we can have you back or multiple times, nothing would make me happier. Let's get your Scott's not. Even now even today next time we're in the same city. Let us break bread. I would love that very much in children as be very safe and healthy. Well, you do the same, thank you. Well Matt. We've come to the end of another upset. Dave Dave. Dave Dave Dave. Thank you for being here with me. Giving me a reason to live, thank you, Matt, thank you everybody for listening. Thank you for. Sending us your flesh, hunger stories, and reviewing apple podcasts with five stars, only of course. Thank you to Rene Colbert with a T. Our producer. Thank you to Ryan Connor our engineer. Thank you to everybody here will. Thank you for the music. and. Thank you listener for listening Tele Friendly Review we love you.