Published Jul 29, 2018Before the debut of Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness's podcast Getting Curious was cancelled by its network in 2017. Now picked up by Earwolf, you would never believe this podcast once struggled to break even: packing a venue of nearly 1,000 seats with fans that gave multiple standing ovations, Van Ness's current success is overwhelming and well-deserved.
Throwing Shade's Erin Gibson was forgettable, aside from her recollection of helping Van Ness get into the industry, and her discussion of gynecologists who take advantage of their patients. Thankfully, Nicole Byer provided many highlights for the show. Her stories about being recognized for her show Nailed It amusingly ranged from children yelling "Cake Lady!" to a man jokingly saying "Nailed it!" when he nearly hit her with his car. Conversely, Byer also was very insightful as she discussed "code switching" throughout her life to be accepted in different environments as a black woman.
Having said that, Jonathan Van Ness facilitated the best moment of the podcast: the audience Q&A. In his empathic yet sassy style, Van Ness gave each person with a question a mini Queer Eye moment. Within seconds of the first fan standing up in the crowd for her question, Jonathan invited her up on stage to sit with him in his big lounge chair, then he affectionately played with her "beach waves" of hair until she giggled in glee.
Following her question about mental health and frank summarization of her own psychiatric history, Van Ness was the shining ray of light his fans hoped he would be. Noting the strength in her vulnerability and encouraging the audience to give her an applause break, Van Ness effortlessly illustrated that his role as Queer Eye's wholehearted hairdresser could not be more genuine.