A few years before shows like “Broad City” and “High Maintenance” made the leap from low-fi digital web comedies to beloved cable television shows was the extremely weird, funny, trippy, absurd sketch comedy show “Jeffery & Cole Casserole.”
“Jeffery and Cole Casserole” was filmed in a dumpy apartment, on a web cam, edited on iMovie, and looks exactly like that description. However, the show captured something incredibly unique and weird and special. Following best friends, Jeffery and Cole, we saw the world through their insane eyes; which included a lot of wigs and yellow legal pads.
The show’s creators, Jeffery Self and Cole Escola, were two twenty one years old making popular YouTube videos in 2008 and a year later “Jeffery & Cole Casserole” premiered on the Logo Network. There’s little reason you would have heard about or seen the show, as it aired (completely unadvertised) on Fridays at midnight after “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” reruns. However, the show captured a small but loyal cult following that still keeps track of the show’s stars today.
Jeffery and Cole continue to perform live shows together a few times a year, while also having budding careers independently. Jeffery (based in Los Angeles) hosts a podcast called This Is Really Important and has appeared in other web hits like Gay Of Thrones, Paragon School For Girls, and Not Looking. Cole (based in New York) has gotten rave reviews and celebrity endorsements for the sold out monthly solo shows he performs in the West Village. Cole also stars as Billy Eichner’s co-worker in “Difficult People,” a new show coming to Hulu; while the feature film “You’re Killing Me,” which Jeffery co-wrote and stars in, hits film festivals this summer.
With more attention on gay artists than ever, it’s a shame to see that this truly one of a kind show fell through the cracks. Perhaps it’s weakness is the difficulty in explaining just what it is. It’s part sketch, part sitcom, part vlog, part performance art, part John Waters wanna be, part two young stoners with a web cam and too much time on their hands. However, it’s not difficult to see the seeds of shows like “Broad City” being planted by Jeffery and Cole’s wonderfully bizarre take on the life of twenty somethings. Watching the show, one couldn’t help but wonder, what totally insane executive would put this on television. Whoever you were, kudos.
Unlike shows like “Looking,” this was a show starring gay characters but never being about gay characters. This was post-gay while we were still pre. The Logo Network, the channel that blesses us with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and little else, would be wise to bring back this cult hit. I, for one, cannot imagine it costs much (or anything?) to make. Perhaps a show with as much originality, wit, bizarreness, and humor would give them something to fill the void of interesting gay television.
In the meantime, the two have been posting old episodes and clips from their show on Twitter, and I’m reveling in the chance to revisit the inspired lunacy of “Jeffery and Cole Casserole.”
Check some out below, or head here for more.