Jessica & Hunter live in West Hollywood, hang out with Perez Hilton and Stephanie Pratt and have just released a music video for their new song, “What’s Your Favorite Drink?” Yes, you know Jessica & Hunter. But do you know Beth Crosby & JC Gardiner? The creators of the wildly popular YouTube videos take the stage – literally – for the first time this month as they bring their frappa-drinking, star-fucking, AMAZEBALL personalities to Second City in Hollywood for a series of live shows.
The dynamic duo spoke miles-a-minute with Queerty Editor Oscar Raymundo about their comedic background, their take on perpetuating stereotypes and their vision for Rebecca Black’s comeback.
Who the hell are you guys?
JC: No one ever asks about us; I almost don’t know how to answer this question. My real name is Jaret-Christopher Gardiner. I was born in Portland and grew up in a totally sheltered suburb of Seattle. My father is a model, and at a young age I started doing embarrassing newspaper ads for boy’s underwear and commercials for local banks and McDonald’s. I did that until puberty turned me into an uncastable zitty bean pole. When I graduated from high school, I ran to New York and enrolled in acting conservatory at SUNY/Purchase. I was hellbent on being the next Leonardo DiCaprio in gut-wrenching roles that made people cry, but to my dismay, I always got cast in comedy roles. When I moved to L.A., I started working at The Groundlings, where I met Beth. We gravitated to each other with our dark sense of humor and love for creating insane characters. So we became instant PIC’s, Partners in Crime
Beth: I’m from Irvine (behind the Orange Curtain I like to say), and after getting my BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in musical theater, I moved to New York to pursue Broadway. That year, within the span of three months, I broke my foot and my apartment burnt down. So I moved to L.A. to try classes at The Groundlings, which was like comedy grad school. We had to write and perform a new show every single week. We did our first Jessica & Hunter sketch there. The audience reacted amazingly to these douchebags! I also did Jessica as one of my characters for my SNL audition reel and got flown to screen test, which was a total surreal childhood dream come true. I’ve played the “sassy aunt” on the Jonas Brothers TV show, and later I found out that even they were big fans of Jessica & Hunter.
How did the gig at the Second City in L.A. come about? Is this your first live show as Jessica & Hunter?
Beth: We’ve been lucky enough to get to perform these characters at clubs and gay events all over the country, but it’s usually been just five or ten minute sets. So we were eager to try and see if these characters had longer legs. I’m not gonna lie, I was scared shitless to perform for a half hour straight! I had never done a two-person show before and had total anxiety diarrhea for like, a week before we opened. I thought either the audience was gonna love it, or they were gonna think we’re total hack freaks and boo us offstage. I was prepared for the absolute worst. Thank God audiences have been totally into it. When a show goes well it’s like crack cocaine (or Starbucks), you crave it and need it night after night.
JC: Shooting a video you have the luxury of cutting out all the times we make each other laugh. Thank God for the infinite patience of our director Andrew Putschoegl. But we wanted to expand and create a theatrical experience, so we have been working with the artistic director of second city Marc Warzecha, who really encouraged us to create a show there, and our friend Drew Droege. At first, it was nerve-wracking since it was new territory for us. We just kept reworking the show till we felt it translated the videos that everyone loves into a live, inclusive version where the audience becomes a part of the Jessica & Hunter mayhem. Now we hope to take it to other cities, like San Francisco, New York and London… really any place that will allow us.
Now that Britney’s got semi-decent extensions, Lindsay Lohan is jail bound and Paris Hilton is…wait… where is Paris Hilton? Is celebrity-obsession still en vogue?
JC: Um, duh. Obvs! Celeb-obsession is hotter than ever right now. It better be or else Jessica & Hunter would have nothing to talk about! (Star magazine is a respectable source, right?) Hollywood is filled with haute messes. And besides, we are waiting with baited breath for Brit’s extensions to fall out, Lohan to jailbreak and for Paris to re-emerge with some horrifying plastic surgery make-over.
How did you guys get Spencer’s sister from The Hills to appear in one of your videos? Did she ever once think that you were actually mocking her?
Beth: Stephanie Pratt is actually friends with JC. We were like “lets put you in a Gaga-type outfit and make you put bloody bandages on your feet and film on a Saturday for no pay!” and she was totally into it. We tried to make Jessica & Hunter the assholes in that video. Actually, we try to make Jessica & Hunter the assholes in every video! It’s not the celebrities we are trying to satirize; it’s media obsession in general and fascination with celebs, fashion, drinking, drugging, star-fucking. Stephanie was very eager to get in on the jokes the media was having about her. She has a very healthy sense of reality.
Have you met Perez Hilton?
Beth: We’ve had a few encounters with Perez. He’s not bad at all. I will say that everytime we see him he is way more into JC, and he basically ignores me. But I understand, JC is a hot piece of manmeat and I have a vagina.
JC: OMG, Beth is crazed. Yes, we have met him and he is great. He gets a bad wrap ’cause he has the difficult job of talking trash about everyone. The three of us have been discussing getting him in a future episode.
If you could have one phrase entered in the Oxford Dictionary, what would it be and how would you define it?
JC: AMAZEBALLS: Anything or anyone who is beyond amazing and ultra fabulous. Oh yeah, and also ours. We literally could do our own dictionary. Sometimes we are writing and we stop to wonder, “What did we just write? It’s not even English anymore!”
Has anyone (wealthy white girls, flamboyant Filipinos, the entire city of West Hollywood) given you crap for perpetuating silly stereotypes?
Beth: Actually, our audience is able to appreciate and recongnize themselves or horrible people they know and laugh at it. It’s really about beating others to the joke. Everyone wants to feel like they are in on the joke and are laughing at someone else. The people we are satirizing have a sense of humor about themselves and understand that these are really blown out characters. I mean, deep down Im a total white-chick fruit-fly from Orange County who is obsessed with celeb-culture, so in a way, I’m stereotyping myself as well. We really have never been given a bad time about it, believe it or not we are very careful to keep it playful and not to pointed and to poke fun where necessary. I mean, there ARE douchebags in the world that need to be made fun of.
You also have a single now. This is obviously a not-to-be-taken-serious endeavor. Has the whole, “so bad it’s good” mentality paid off?
JC: What are you talking about!? We’re totes gonna be the next Ke$ha! We sound AMAZEBALLS 2044! If the Countess LuAnn and Britney Spears had a baby, and that baby took singing lessons from Kim Zolciak, then we sound like that baby. I wrote the song with local music producer Markaholic, and we really wanted something fun and edgy for a weekend anthem.
Speaking of weekend anthems, are you excited for Rebecca Black to make her comeback?
Beth: Um, she’s way too old now for any kind of comeback. What is she, fourteen now? Gross. But if she wants some real press, she should get a DUI, go to celeb rehab, have a relapse and end up smoking crack with Whitney Houston, make a sex-tape with an ex-Saved By the Bell cast member, get clean again, have Oprah give her her OWN show and end up selling her own line of pots and pans at K-Mart. Total success!
Check out Queerty’s all-time favorite Jessica & Hunter videos…