Matt & Dan Is the Hilarious New Web Series We Need in Our Lives Right Now
'Matt & Dan' Is the Hilarious New Web Series We Need in Our Lives Right Now
Matt Wilkas and Daniel Vincent Gordh are bringing a dose of sketch comedy to the interwebs with their newest project! And PRIDE has the premiere of the first episode!
Matt & Dan is the hilarious, new sketch comedy web series from actors Matt Wilkas (Gayby, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) and Daniel Vincent Gordh (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Cracked.com)! In this exclusive look at the first episode, entitled "Sex Notes," our two titular characters have just finished hooking up with each other when Matt decides it would be a good idea to give Dan some notes about his...ahem...performance in bed.
PRIDE got the chance to speak to the web series' stars to learn more about how they met, why they do what they do, and the impact they hope to have on LGBT viewers and comedy fans.
PRIDE: How did you two meet and how did you two start working together?
We met in 2014 in a Groundlings Improv class. We were both a bit shy to get to know each other at first, but improv forces you to get close, so eventually it was inevitable for us to discover that we were kindred spirits. We’ve been roommates on an off for the past few years, and we’d often make silly Instagram videos together during that time. That was kinda the beginning.
What was the genesis of the show, and why did you two want to start filming your own sketch comedy series?
Matt Wilkas: I think it’s always been clear to us and to our friends that Daniel and I needed to make something together. We have such a similar sense of humor, and when we hang out we are constantly in creative mode together, making jokes, riffing on weird characters together, or improvising absurd songs. We get into a very specific flow together that I’ve never really experienced with anyone else, if I’m honest.
We are particularly lucky to have Daniel’s brilliant brother Will Gordh directing us and shooting us (and doing basically everything else behind the scenes). Will owns his own production company and the resources we got for free through him have been invaluable.
Daniel Vincent Gordh: This show I think kind of snuck up on both of us honestly. When I first met Matt in an improv setting, I had such a talent-crush on him because he was just so completely committed to whatever he was doing on stage, no matter how dumb it was, even if he was like screaming at a wall for 5 minutes. But strangely, it took us forever for us to become friends, I think partially because we were maybe too similar, if that makes sense? We both have the same sense of humor, and will often just spontaneously conceive an idea for a sketch while hanging out. I think both of us started feeling this sense of 'Wait, why aren’t we making something together already? Are we waiting for something?' So we just started by writing together, and we found that we had a lot of ideas for things we both thought were stupid and hilarious and that we actually wanted to make. In fact, we had way too many ideas.
As independent, LGBT creators, why is it important for you to be putting your art out into the world?
MW: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sent scripts to agents and managers and production companies only to be told that "gay content" is too niche a market to be worth their time. Or how many times I’ve gone out for badly-written gay roles in pilots created by some straight person to fill the diversity quota of their script. I think it’s important for us to make content as LGBTQ creators because there’s a demand for it, but also because the opportunities for me to be heard just aren’t there as much as you’d think, so I choose to make my own opportunities rather than waiting for them to come.
DVG: I remember at some point during this process having a conversation with Matt where one of us asked the question about 'Is this too gay?' about something. It is so incredibly absurd when you think about it, but it’s a kind of question that gets ingrained in you when you’re LGBTQ. No straight comedians are out there thinking 'Oh no, is my comedy...too straight?!' I think it’s necessary sometimes to give yourself permission to make your own work. Putting your stuff out there can vulnerable, but it’s worth it because you never know who is going to feel more seen because you expressed something that resonated with them.
How do you guy come up with all these different characters?
MW: Most the characters come from improvisation. Daniel and I both trained at The Groundlings in LA and their program is very character based. Sometimes the right wig can really help inform a character. We have a few very, very important wigs in this collection of sketches. You’ll see...
DVG: It’s always different. Sometimes it just comes from us joking around. Sometimes it starts with a really specific prop or a dynamic between two people. For me, a lot of times I’ll just start with a voice that makes me laugh and then figure out what this person with this weird voice would wear. Does that make sense?
Who are some of your comedic and acting inspirations?
MW: We both love Key and Peele. I’m obsessed with French and Saunders, too. Madeline Kahn, Christopher Guest, Catherine O’Hara...
DVG: I love Tim and Eric, I love Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, Nick Kroll, Key and Peele. I love my good buddies Chris Smith and Jack DeSena. I love Sam Rockwell. Juliette Lewis is amazing. Jennifer Coolidge is a vision. Angela Bassett rocks my world. Too many to name! Also, sorry to be gross, but my boyfriend Jason Michael Snow always makes me laugh, and sometimes I steal his bits.
The world is obviously in need of more happiness and laughter. What’s one thing you want viewers to take away/feel after having watched your series?
MW: We definitely do not expect to change the world with this. Sometimes I get messages on Instagram from people saying that I made their day a little better by making them laugh. And, well, I think that’s plenty for now. Maybe next season we will attempt to change the world.
DVG: I think that creating humor out of absurdity is a very important skill to practice in 2018, so I’m hoping this show helps exercise that muscle.
Keep your eyes open for new Matt & Dan episodes by subscribing to their official YouTube channel! Watch the trailer for Matt & Dan in the video below, and make sure to follow the two of them on Instagram, @mwilkas and @manboynice.