Peacock is releasing a new sketch comedy show called Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early, the show debuts Friday, June 24. This one-hour special features a comedy duo who have worked together for over a decade with obvious chemistry and impressive resumes.
Out and proud actor Early starred in the dark comedy sitcom Search Party from 2016 to 2022 and had a recent recurring role in Apple TV+'s The Afterparty. Berlant was in six episodes of Search Party and most recently held spots on NBC's The Good Place and Disney+'s Loki.
Their project together pokes fun at pop culture and places the two in a variety of situations such as the fictional television program He's Gay, She's Half Jewish. The duo talked exclusively to Windy City Times about the upcoming special recently.
Windy City Times: How long have you known each other?
John Early: Our 10-year anniversary was this past May 5, 2022.
WCT: Where did you meet?
Kate Berlant: We met on the set of a friend's short film, but we had seen each other before online.
JE: And onstage doing standup. It was during that short film that we sealed the deal. I was already a fan.
KB: And I thought he needed a lot of work, but with a little love we could get there.
WCT: Was the television show Will & Grace a big influence on creating one of the sketches for the show?
JE: We were just trying to come up with a fake sitcom for our personas to be known for. For the title we immediately came up with He's Gay, She's Half Jewish, but we were never consciously thinking of Will & Grace until we got on set and they did Kate's hair.
KB: Then I was suddenly Debra Messing! I think if you are doing a fake sitcom with a gay guy it can easily turn into Will & Grace.
JE: Every show we have ever tried to pitch together as friends, the producers assumed it will be just like Will & Grace.
WCT: You both were in drag at different points on the show. How was that experience?
JE: We loved it and have done drag a bunch. We especially like trying to make it as real as possible and to not feel set up. Kate as a man was erotically confusing to me.
I really came alive when I put on those nails!
KB: John was so gorgeous that he was prettier than me.
WCT: Was there one sketch that didn't make the cut?
KB: Good question, but actually no, everything got in.
WCT: Was the company A24 easy to work with, creatively?
KB: Yes, we love them. We worked with them before with a failed pilot. They are very "artist friendly" as we say in the biz…
JE: and very hands off.
WCT: Kate, your mother is Cuban, how about a skit in Spanish?
JE: We do need to corner the Latin market.
KB: My Spanish unfortunately isn't what it used to be, but it will come back.
JE: We are hosting the Latin Grammys this year, which is timed perfectly with this special. [laughs]
WCT: What can you say about possible future skits for another show?
JE: We have an endless supply of sketches that we have had since the beginning of our friendship. What has been so fun about this is that we got to do skits that we have had since we were 24 years old.
KB: Well, we are only 25 now so it has been a year.
JE: We really want to do more of these kinds of shows. We want to bring back the beavers.
WCT: Yes, the skit where the beaver family were trying to be VIPs on a plane ride was very clever and fun.
JE: It is universal feeling to want to be important. We all want to be on CLEAR for airport security.
KB: I signed up for CLEAR and the PreCheck line was shorter.
JE: Well, I guess we will be PreChecking then, honey!
WCT: Were the beaver costumes hot to wear?
JE: They really were hot and it was brutal.
KB: I will be honest, it was tough.
WCT: What is one thing you would like to convey in a skit that you haven't tried yet?
JE: I would like to do more time-period stuff because of the bone structure.
KB: Yes, we could transform ourselves.
JE: Look at Kate in profile. She looks like the painting behind us.
KB: I am The Other Boleyn Girl!
WCT: Bridgerton is very popular right now, so you are on the right track. What projects do you have coming out next?
KB: I am on A League of Their Own series on Amazon Prime coming out this summer.
JE: I'm nursing a back injury.
KB: Yes, but you just completed five seasons of Search Party…
JE: True, can I have a break please for once?
KB: He has been working too hard.
WCT: It was nice to see gay representation on that TV show for people like me.
JE: That is so sweet. Thank you for saying that.
WCT: Happy Pride Month. What are your plans?
KB: Press junkets.
JE: Honestly, that is true. We want to promote the show. I don't know how planned it was, but it is perfect that the special is coming out in June for Pride.
KB: It was intentional.
JE: It is definitely for the little alt-gays who are not adult. After we promote the special, since I just had back surgery, I will basically be sleeping.
KB: I'm his nurse!
WCT: Maybe one day, this sketch show can be performed live on stage somewhere and you could go on tour after your back heals.
KB: We are planning on performing until we die.
JE: When the film and TV world officially doesn't want us anymore then we can pivot into making a live show that we will tour with until we die!
Would It Kill You to Laugh? Starring Kate Berlant and John Early debuts on PeacockTV.com on Friday, June 24.