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Wednesday, May 25, 2011
92Y Culture Klatsch: Q&A With Mel & El
Mel & El, “a modern day Laverne & Shirley, but dirtier,” are real life best friends who have known each other since they were 12 years old. “Some people think we have psychological issues,” Mel told us.

Mel & El host a hilarious monthly show and are bringing it to 92YTribeca for the first time next week on June 2, along with extra special guest comedian Sue Funke.

They are also the latest subjects in the 92Y Culture Klatsch Q&A. And just like the title of their blog, Mel & El have things to tell.

Where do you go for news when you start your day?

Mel: To be honest, the first place we go for news is each other.
El: Good point. Usually by 8am there is some email thread or text situation happening where we are alerting each other to “MEM”.
Mel: You have to explain that.
El: Oh. That means “My Every Move”. It doesn’t have to do with ACTUAL news, but to us, it’s essential information.
Mel: Some people think we have psychological issues but we embrace our Codefriendency. 

What are your favorite websites?

Mel: I usually toggle around The Huffington Post and Wonkette when I am killing time in between other internet activities.
El: Ooh, “other internet activities...”
Mel: Stop making it sound like porn. It’s not porn.
El: Sure, it’s not. I don’t spend too much extra time online but when I do it’s usually popping onto one of the many Mel & El-related websites.

How much do you use Twitter and Facebook (or other social networking services)
?

El:
A LOT! Between our Facebook Fan page, Twitter, Blog, Website, YouTube, Vimeo, our mailing list...our web existence is its own full time job.
Mel: We need to hire understudies to run that for us.
El: Totally. We should see if Tori Spelling and Kathy Griffin are looking for work.
Mel: You have to explain that.
El: Oh. People think we look like them, is all. And maybe they need some petty cash!

What book are you currently reading (or the last one you read)? Print or digital?

Mel: Ooh. We both just read Sara Barron’s People Are Unappealing.
El: And we shared the actual, physical, paper book. ‘Cause that’s how we roll.
Mel: It is a work of genius and we both have Creative Crushes on her.
El: When we have a television show, she will run the writing room.
Mel: We haven’t informed her of this yet, though, so we probably shouldn’t mention it here.
El: Too late.
Mel: Anyway! We will be giving Sara’s book to all friends and family for all birthdays and holidays until the day we die.

What magazines do you subscribe to?

El: I only subscribe to Marie Claire. It is my candy.
Mel: I think I only get Time Out and I’m not even sure why. In fact, I may get two of them every week.
El: You should be giving one of those to me.
Mel: I always mean to. I’m pretty sure there’s a stack by my door with a Post-It note that says “give to El”.
El: We also enjoy browsing a Vogue
Mel: ...so we can look at images of unattainably beautiful people and maintain our proper levels of self-loathing.
El: But in a fun way!

What are your current (or all time) favorite television shows?

Mel: As funny lady sing-y performer people, we are completely inspired by “AbFab,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” “30 Rock,” “Flight of the Conchords,” “The Tracy Ullman Show"…
El: ...and “Cagney and Lacey.” Actually, I’ve never seen that. Maybe I’ll Hulu it.

What’s the last movie you saw?

El: Bridesmaids (with her)!
Mel: Also, Bridesmaids (with her)!
El: I was so busy laughing, I missed half of the movie.
Mel: I cried three times. But I think that was purely hormonal and not the intention of the film.

What’s the last performance (dance/opera/theater) you attended?

Mel: We just went to see My Base and Scurvy Heart which was produced by Studio 42.
El: It’s this new play by Adam Szymkowicz with lesbian pirates.
Mel: But it’s not whatever you just pictured in your head. It’s fantastic.
El: Our friend Moritz von Stuelpnagel directed it.
Mel: He directed our show Mel & El: Show & Tell at Ars Nova and he’s a terrific and smart guy.
El: If you could use proper nouns in Scrabble, you could easily win using Adam and Moritz’s last names.

What’s the last music purchase you made?

Mel: She listens to Pandora all the time and then she picks the most obscure sounding band and buys one of their songs and listens to it. Then she’ll say to me, “Hey, did you hear Icepick Moustachio’s latest song Dirty Nile River because it’s ah-may-zing and you have to get it.” And then I try not to roll my eyes.
El: She listens to Britney Spears and Lady Gaga, and I totally do not hide the rolling of my eyes when I catch her in the act.
Mel: I’m so glad we’re friends.

What radio shows or podcasts do you listen to?

Mel: I like listening to “Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!” on NPR but I usually only hear the first ten minutes of it before I fall asleep.
El: It must be really entertaining.
Mel: It totally is. It’s just on pretty late at night. Like 11PM.
El: Wow. We’re getting old. We used to start getting dressed to go out at 11PM.
Mel: Those days are over, my friend.
El: Or are they?

What’s your favorite piece of art on display in your home?

Mel: My lovely friend Patrick Bodd…
El: ...who is also the composer of all of our music…
Mel: ...just bought me this print by Kristiana Parn called “Giraffes, Too, Like Marshmallows”. It makes me happy.
El: In my kitchen, I have photos of irregular carrots that are shaped like genitalia. They are marked “His” and “Hers”. Now that’s art.

Where do you go / what do you do to “disconnect”?

Mel: That’s actually a little bit of an issue.
El: Yeah, we never disconnect.
Mel: We literally have to go somewhere with no internet or mobile phone service to get off of the grid.
El: Mel was just in Costa Rica on vacation with her husband and she was secretly emailing me from the hotel lobby.
Mel: There is better cell service in the rain forest than you would think.

Mel & El: Our Time of the Month takes place June 2 at 92YTribeca.

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