Highlights From the ‘Oh Hello’ Press Conference
George St. Geegland and Gil Faizon, two aging writer/performers, best known for their work on Comedy Central’s prank-show-within-a-sketch-show Too Much Tuna, made their off-Broadway debut on December 1st at the Cherry Lane Theater.
I have not seen the play, nor am I totally clear the name of it (Oh Hello? We’re Us, You’re You, Let’s Talk?), but today I attended a very colorful press conference where the following happened:
First, the event was introduced by dentist/comedian Jeffrey Gurian, flanked by two of his “Gurian Angels” — very serious-looking statuesque women in tight black pants, skin-tight “Gurian Angels” t-shirts, and red berets. We were told that, much like the Guardian Angels, they patrol the subways looking for crime. Not sure what the reason for this was — Gurian apparently has some kind of personal connection to Faizon and St. Geegland, which I missed because at that point I had not yet turned on my recorder.
When St. Geegland and Faizon entered the stage, they immediately warned the crowd of reporters that they were not there for any “Gotcha questions” or “Gotcha photos.”
The two insisted that their new success will not go to their heads, but clarified that did both already have, “a crippling addiction to cocaine.” (Their pronunciation — “cuh-caine” — was a bit difficult to understand, but they helpfully spelled the word out for the reporters present.)
When asked about the incredibly rapid ticket sales (the run sold out almost immediately), Faizon implied that they had bought the tickets themselves in bulk on Stubhub. Was this some kind of a joke?
The two claimed that they were not there to talk about politics, but were big supporters of Bernard Sanders, who they knew personally from their time in Vermont (“apparently now he goes by ‘Bernie’ to appeal to the kids”). In fact, according to St. Geegland, the three of them were at one point known as “The Burlington Three” and were together responsible for “burning down the original Burlington Coat Factory.”
They were unwilling to make any statements about the current particulars of national politics beyond affirming their stance that, “We’re big liberals. But we do love money. And we’re a little racist.”
At one point, St. Geegland gestured at the large, brightly colored New York skyline behind them and admitted, “we stole this set.”
In a possibly surprising twist, the two of them claimed that Mike Tyson’s one man show on Broadway was a big inspiration for Oh Hello (We’re Us, You’re You, Let’s Talk?). St Geegland: “Whenever I walk through that [stage] door, I’m thinking about Mike Tyson.” This prompted Faizon to reveal that their show was actually directed for a short time by Buster Douglas.
When asked what they thought of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s new baby, they misheard the question and instead replied that they were very happy for Kim Novak and Adam West.
They referred to Alan Alda throughout.
There was a brief moment of tension when one reporter inquired about their relationship with former collaborators Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. The two explained that there was an incident at the Kroll Show wrap party where they had done “a dashboard length” of cocaine in their rental car (a PT Cruiser) and then gone into the wrap party, where they “recklessly burned every bridge at Comedy Center (sic).”
One moment that summed up the entire moment for me was when a journalist asked if they had seen the latest Broadway hit Hamilton. Both Faizon and St. Geegland immediately began raving about how fantastic is was, oohing and ahhing their approval before clarifying that…they hadn’t seen it.
Photo by Katla McGlynn.