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Big, Gay and Gleeful

Amanda Bearse, left, director of the Big Gay Sketch Show, and Lisa Sherman, executive vice president and general manager of Logo

“I get to play a lot of women, which I know people are going to be shocked by,” says Julie Goldman, looking dapper in red tie, white shirt and vest, her hair primped to perky perfection, at the season premiere party for The Big Gay Sketch Show.

Most of the cast, creator Dan MacDonald, director Amanda Bearse and even Lisa Sherman, Logo’s executive vice president and general manager, turned out in L.A. for the premiere of the comedy hit’s third season. Taking over Hollywood’s high-end sports bar Capital City, guests had many screens to watch and space to mingle, and hundreds came to spread hugs and kisses, including Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Jane Lynch (Glee) and gay actor-comedian Jason Stuart.

“Not yet,” said Nia, when asked if we can expect to see her on BGSS. “But I’m dropping a huge hint tonight.” She’s working with BGSS cast member Stephen Guarino on an independent project and has reteamed with Tom Hanks on at least two upcoming films.

Lisa Sherman, the muscle behind the launch of Logo five years ago, proudly surveyed the smiling faces of the cast and crew.

“Our thing was discovering people who’ve always been good but we could give them a platform where their art and their talent could really shine,” she said, straining to be heard above the sound system. “We’re very committed to this show. It’s the only show on Logo that’s had a third season so I think that speaks for itself.”

“I think [the show] looks great and I love everybody who’s involved with it and I’m very proud of it,” cooed cast member Kate McKinnon, in a blue cocktail dress that matches her eyes. “It just looks sassier and there’s a lot more pop culture.”

Her favorite bits this year: “I got to do Barbara Walters, who I love; I got to do Ann Coulter,” who is hilariously lampooned, as the BGSS does so well.

Big Gay Sketch Show cast members Julie Goldman, Kate McKinnon and Nicole Paone at the premiere party

Cast member Nicole Paone, who performs stand up in her spare time, brought a new character to season three.

“I play Glenn Close doing a voice-over for Damages, and it is my favorite thing that I’ve ever done,” says Nicole, looking elegant in black. “It’s really fun to do people you admire and respect.”

I interviewed Nicole when the BGSS debuted, and though she wasn’t gay, she called herself “fluid,” (typical hetero-speak to justify a gay role). She talked about how she had traveled the world as a semi-pro soccer player so, I thought to myself, if she hadn’t hopped the fence by then, her feet are firmly planted. 

Wrooong! (I can just hear her classic Elaine Stritch impersonation here). She is currently dating a woman. 

“Hey, you know, when asked that, I said I was fluid, turns out I wasn’t lying,” she admonished me. 

Nia Vardalos , Jane Lynch (Glee), Nicole Paone, Jonny (NO h) McGovern, Paolo Adino, Stephen Guarino, Julie Goldman

“Isn’t your show premiering tonight?” I inquire of the lovely and gracious Jane Lynch, who plays the devious and dastardly Sue Sylvester on Glee.

“It is, yes,” she replied, gleefully. “But I’m here to support the gay sketch comedy show, I can go home and watch my show—and I’ve already seen it anyway!”

While slightly mangling the Big Gay Sketch Show title, she had bear hugs and congrats all around for the BGSS cast toasting their hit show. I asked Jane, a seasoned actor always respected by the indies (and finally getting deserved recognition elsewhere), about the phenomenon of her Glee character, a woman audiences love to hate.

“It’s a huge surprise and I’m loving it, I’m enjoying every minute of it,” she says.

She’s been selflessly lending support to various benefits and charitable causes for years, so I mention that she’s nothing like Ms. Sylvester.

“Oh no,” she fervently insists, “I don’t have to dig very deep for Sue Sylvester, she’s right beneath the surface.”

Watch a glimpse at Lynch’s big Vogue number on next week’s show here

Watch a preview of season three of the Big Gay Sketch Show here:


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