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Current TV's dynamic duo Max and Jason take on gay issues on their next installment of one of the network's flagship shows.

Charming doesn't begin to describe Max Lugavere and Jason Silva. I meet the original hosts of Al Gore's cable network Current TV at a trendy restaurant close to their apartment in Los Angeles, and soon the pair have convinced me to try a Belgian white beer when I had planned on keeping it professional and sticking to bottled water. I quickly get the sense that best friends and roommates Silva and Lugavere have this effect on everyone.

For the past four years they have been mainstays on Current TV, which Silva describes as "the HBO of the YouTube Generation." Besides being hosts, Silva (the one with the lighter, shorter hair) and Lugavere (darker, longer hair) produce their own content for the 50-million-household (and growing) cable network, which relies on video submitted by viewers as its main source of programming.

Silva and Lugavere have an easy manner that belies their intense drive to explore challenging subjects and get to the bottom of big issues. But for viewers hoping to find them on the air on some sort of regular basis, there was a challenge.

"We were the omnipresent default guys," Lugavere explains, noting that it was difficult if not impossible to tell anyone when to tune in to find them on air since the network lacked a dedicated schedule. But after four years of popping up everywhere, Silva and Lugavere have finally gotten a regular slot, airing their show Max and Jason: Still Up Monday through Friday at midnight on the East Coast, 9 p.m. on the West.

"They are finally turning to appointment viewing," Lugavere says of the network, which is airing a Max and Jason gay rights special April 30. Segments include a look at the 2008 marriage amendment fight in Wisconsin, the phenomenon of white gay men adopting black children, and monogamy among young same-sex couples in the wake of Prop. 8.

Many of the special's segments have aired on Current previously, but the "libertarian techo-optimists," as Silva and Lugavere call themselves, say they were inspired to put together the hour after seeing Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black accept his Oscar on this year's Academy Awards telecast. "We loved his speech," Silva said.

"We picked the segments," Lugavere explains. "We basically set the context for each piece."

"We're conversationalists and curators," Silva adds. "There are a variety of different perspectives."

While the two have done pieces (called "pods" in the network lingo) on a variety of subjects, from the secret 20-something party scene in Muslim countries to the booming counterfeit ID business spurred by illegal immigration, the flamingly heterosexual Silva and Lugavere have nearly always had a big gay following thanks to their detailed pods on issues affecting LGBT people. Their good looks and friendly banter haven't hurt their standing with gay viewers either.

"Our first fan mail ever was from a guy named Vern," Lugavere explains.

"He wanted to know if I was gay," Silva adds seamlessly, displaying a trait the two share, making the interview more like a conversation with one very attractive entity rather than a three-way discussion. "We get e-mails all the time asking if we're lovers. Max and Jason, we're the gayest straight guys ever."

Although they bristle at its overuse, the b word -- bromance -- has been utilized more than once to describe their relationship. "That phrase is going to be cool for 10 more minutes," Lugavere says, but he jokingly admits he and Silva are "the Matt and Ben of Current TV."

"He has a super-good energy," Silva says of his friend, while Lugavere adds, "I'm type B to his type A."

The pair, who met as students at the University of Miami (which Silva calls "the hedonistic sandbox of South Beach") and quickly became best friends, have plenty of personal gay street cred. Lugavere grew up in New York City and went to high school in the heart of Chelsea, where he interned at the Boston-New York AIDS Ride as a teenager. Silva, a Venezuelan, was raised by an English-teacher mother he describes as "ultra-gay affirming" in a country "that is not the gayest-friendly place in the world."

While in college, Silva and Lugavere produced and starred in a video documentary titled Textures of Selfhood, which took a look at, as they describe it, their hedonism and spirituality. Timing was definitely on Silva and Lugavere's side; soon after they made the documentary, it attracted the attention of David Neuman, who was looking at thousands of submissions as the newly minted president of programming for Current TV. Neuman dubbed their documentary "the Citizen Kane of the applicant pool" and promptly flew Silva and Lugavere to L.A. to offer them on-air and producing gigs on the network.

Current TV may not exactly be must-see TV for most viewers, but the network's steady growth and the pair's growing body of work has gotten them noticed. Last year Silva and Lugavere took part in clothing giant Gap's fall "Icons" print ad campaign and hosted Pangea Day, a four-hour concert and film event broadcast in 150 countries and watched by 500 million people.

Their notoriety has also provided some face time with their big boss, the Nobel Prize-winning Gore himself. "It's like getting a bear hug," Lugavere says of meeting up with Gore. "He's big enough to hug both of us at the same time." Gore has also been something of an inspiration to Silva and Lugavere; they are developing, independent of Current TV, a feature-length documentary taking on the issue of sustainability.

While Silva and Lugavere are interested in presenting a thought-provoking look at the subject of gay rights, their personal views couldn't be more clear.

"We believe religion, dogma, and morality that comes from Judeo-Christian thinking has no place in legislative government," Lugavere says before referencing another cable opinion maker who one day may find himself eclipsed by the rising stars on Current TV.

""Bill Maher said to be tolerant of intolerance is not a good thing," he says.

"You can't be a moral relevatist," Silva states emphatically. "When you're imposing your will on someone else, that's crossing a line."

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Christopher Lisotta