Stephen Guarino Will Eat You Alive

BY Jami Smith

November 22 2011 4:00 AM ET

You’ve found success from almost all outlets for comedy:
improv, sketch, stand-up, acting. All that’s left is a reality show based on
your life. What would that look like?

Oh, my God, It would be terrible because
I’m so fucking boring in real life. I think I save it all up for these parts. I
live in the servants’ quarters of Orson Welles’s old house. I don’t even have a
microwave. All I have are a couple of DVDs of old Robert Altman movies from the ’70s.

You had a lot of great characters on The Big Gay
Sketch Show
. What was the writing
process like? Did you come to the table with character ideas or did the writers
play to your strengths?

Basically at the beginning of each season, we all come in and pitch
for a few hours. I probably pitched 12 different sketches and maybe six or
seven of them were characters that I do. Writers will gravitate to ones they
are attracted to. They’ll present their version of it and then you give your
input. It was the best show that no one watched, just like 7th
Heaven. 

Do you think there’s room for another gay-themed comedy
show on television?

Maybe if it cost $5. I mean,
ours was so expensive. RuPaul’s show is a one-camera setup, one person being
paid while everyone else is being hired as a local. Our show cost half a
million an episode. It just wasn’t sustainable on that channel.

You’ve been out since you were 15, which surprised me
because we’re about the same age and both from Florida. I wore a softball
uniform under my blouses, and even the boy who dressed like Madonna wasn’t out.
How did you manage it?

I think I just lucked out with a small
window of time between ’90 and ’93 when it was suddenly fashionable to be
alternative. Grunge was on the scene, so anything different was hip. It was
popular for jocks to have boyfriends, which sounds insane. We had a group
called the Lake Mary Fags and it consisted of skaters who took pride in being
bisexual. They’d have boyfriends to impress their girlfriends. It was very in
vogue.  

This is a magical place in Florida that I never
discovered.

It was totally outrageous. We had a lot of
gay kids who were very popular. It also didn’t hurt that my best friend Tanya
was super popular. She looked like Mariah Carey and was really fashionable. She
was my prom date, so we lucked out. I had no childhood problems at all. My
parents are overeducated, Waspy, bored Bostonians. They didn’t blink an eye.  

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Tags: Comedy

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