Here’s a very Just a Pinch of South scenario: Georgia girl and Jersey girl meet in an improv class in NYC. Comedy magic ensues.
Let me explain…
Lennon Parham grew up in Lilburn, Georgia. Jessica St. Clair is from New Jersey. This dynamically hilarious duo met at the UCB theatre in NYC and bonded over a love of sweater sets and improv comedy. Their first TV show, Best Friends Forever, was hilarious, memorable, but sadly short lived. No worries. The ladies are back with their latest venture Playing House on USA. It’s a “mom-com” (I’m like 99% sure I coined that phrase) with the Len and Jess playing best friends who are raising Lennon’s baby together. Between the funny these ladies create and the cast they’ve assembled like Zach Woods (!) and Keegan-Michael Key (!!) you need to set your DVR to stun immediately. And Lennon didn’t even slip me 20 bucks to say that.
As an expat Southerner like myself, Lennon kindly agreed to answer 5 Questions (well, okay, 6) just for me and the readers of JaPoS. I’m glad to hear we share the same perspective on collard greens and Michael Jackson (my 1st concert, by the way). Read on…
1. What is something y’all learned from doing Best Friends Forever that you are putting into practice with the new show, Playing House?
Well BFF was our first go at it and we learned so much about everything that goes into making a TV show. So this time around, it’s just like we know more, you know? We’ve done it before, so everything can be better because of that. We put a pound of our flesh into BFF and it was really a labor of love, and on Playing House we have that same love but also make sure that we have sane hours and get home for bath time with our babies every night, which is really good for the whole crew in terms of seeing your family and being a happy person.
2. Is Jessica St Clair the chocolate to your peanut butter? Or what substances are the two of you together, comedically/creatively?
Jess and I combine forces to make a nice surf n’ turf buffet. She’s the seafood and I’m the land meat. Throw a shrimp cocktail and a bratwurst together and you’re taking a meal somewhere special. That’s how I feel about Jessica. She’s the tartar sauce to my ketchup. You can tell her I said that.
3. Do you think growing up in the South has influenced your sense of humor and what you find funny? If so, how?
Oh sure. On the show we have an episode where I dress up as a Hank Williams, Jr. type, kind of a deep Southern long-haired man named Bosephus who wears a trucker hat and is always talking about craw-daddies and ladies’ top bits. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting Bosephus to happen so badly but I would not relent, and now it’s a lot of people’s favorite episode that they’ve seen. I would have never thought of that character if I hadn’t grown up in the South and been exposed to that kind of person.
4. As an expat Southerner, what is currently the most Southern thing about you or your life in Los Angeles, if anything?
Probably the number of Indigo Girls songs on my iPod… Those ladies really understand the human spirit. That and my love for a good plate of collard greens. And how often I say the phrase “Dang dang diggy diggy.” Everyone in the South says that all the time, right?
5. If you could carve images of anyone into the side of Stone Mountain, who would they be and why?
Michael Jackson through the decades and I don’t think ANY explanation is necessary.
BONUS – did you set Playing House in Connecticut just so that you could wear lots and lots of sweater sets with no shame? Be honest.
It was originally set in Miami but you can’t wear a sweater set in that kind of humidity, and we’re not huge fans of the sleeve on a lady’s polo. Now you know our secret!!!