And so began the “Gilmore Guys” podcast, where a dedicated fan and a total novice discuss the beloved 2000s series about a mom and daughter in small-town Connecticut. Episode by episode, they relive and discover the fast-talking, culture-referencing, fuzzy-feeling-producing wonders of this show that aired on the WB.
In another time, you could liken this effort to someone starting yet another food blog, or outfit-of-the-day Instagram, or Pinterest scrapbooking board. It might gain a small following, but a few months later it would peter out into the vast Internet wasteland of creative conquests past.
Instead, the day after their first show went live, Netflix released all seven seasons of “Gilmore Girls” to be devoured by Gilmore loyalists and a new set of fans who weren’t even born when the show first debuted. (This part of their timing was planned.)
Three days later, “Serial” was launched. Some 68 million downloads later podcasting was wildly cool.
A month later, Austin’s ATX television festival announced it would host a “Gilmore” reunion. Twitter flipped. The Netflix binging took on new meaning. “Gilmore Girls” was back, this time as a quirky pop culture obsession.
And there were Adejuyigbe and Porter, hitting record and rambling some more. Soon, more than 500,000 listeners would download their bi-weekly podcasts every month. Strangers began stopping them in the streets of Los Angeles. They got an agent, and paid advertising, and a small nationwide tour, which has almost sold out the 800-seat venue Sixth and I in D.C. this Saturday.
Nearly a year after they began “Gilmore Guys,” these two 20-something dudes are getting famous for chatting about a show that was semi-famous to teenage girls and their moms a decade ago. It’s a lesson, they say, in what it means to try and make it in 2015.
“When you’re in film school, they tell you the way to do this is to get a writer assistance job and work your way. Pay your dues, network, blah blah blah,” said Porter, who met Adejuyigbe through the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy theater. “But now, you just make the thing you want to make. And if there’s an audience for it, great. And if not, you still had the pleasure and joy of making exactly what you wanted to make.”
The show they make is a bi-weekly analysis of each episode. It includes supercuts of every single obscure cultural reference (“That’ll do pig, that’ll do”), a less-than-informed study of the show’s fashion (“The baggy neck part…it’s almost like a turtle neck that deflated..is that a cowl?”) and a thought-provoking discussion on everything from the fates of the characters to the director’s camera angles, often with the aid of special guest hosts.
“We sort of brought out more publicly this community of people that was largely in hiding,” Adejuyigbe said. “Gilmore Girls was a popular show, but it wasn’t ‘Full House’ or something.”
With its upcoming remake “Fuller House,” “Full House” will be cashing in on overwhelming amount of nostalgia millennials (and sometimes their parents) connect with it. “Gilmore Girls” has that same advantage. What Adejuyigbe and Porter are pulling off is even better: the chance to re-experience watching “Gilmore” for the first time.
Because Adejuyigbe has never seen the show before, fans are eager to see if his reaction will match their own. Does he want Rory to end up with Jess, too? Will he appreciate their favorite episode?
“I feel like a test subject for all of these people who have loved Gilmore Girls for ages,” Adejuyigbe said. “I’m the one that has to get through the maze correctly.”
The podcast’s email is full of fans who either want to debate Gilmore’s intricacies or share what it means to them.
“It’s not like ‘Mad Men’ or ‘Game of Thrones.’ Those shows will have a legacy, but when I’m feeling down, I’m not watching episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ with a horrific decapitation and a woman getting assaulted,” Porter said.”It’s like, I watched [Gilmore Girls] with my mom, it reminds me of this thing with my family. Gilmore Girls exists in a very warm place for people.”
Now within the cult of Gilmore followers there are the “Gillys,” the term the guys affectionately use for their own fans. The Gillys have an online forum dedicated to discussing the show. Two of them made a podcast about the “Gilmore Guys” podcast and named it “Gilmore Guys Girls.” When they do the shows live in front of an audience, their fans pack in close to the stage and yell out affirmations and boos so often it reminds Porter of a gospel church.
The bigger they get, the better the guest hosts have become. They’ve stopped the running bit of fake-promising that guests Tom Hanks or “Serial” subject Adnan Syed would be on the show, and began booking recognizable faces such as Jason Mantzoukas and Paul Scheer.
Bigger names mean more chances to network for the Gilmore guys, who both have L.A.-area jobs they are eager to grow out of. Porter does freelance editing for online video promotions. Until now, his biggest splice of fame was creating the viral video “Sorkinisims – A Supercut,” which showed all the times Aaron Sorkin has re-used his own lines. His childhood dream was/is to be Stephen Colbert.
Adejuyigbe has also experienced momentary online acclaim or making Vine parodies of Hozier’s “Take Me to Church.” By day he’s a digital producer for Comedy Central’s “@Midnight.” He wants to write for a TV show — and because of “Gilmore Guys,” he’s already on his way. Through one of the show’s guests, he got a gig writing for the MTV Video Music Awards.
Still, the show’s fans are demanding a different kind of success: getting the real Gilmore girls on the podcast.
Kelly Bishop, who plays grandmother Emily Gilmore, heard about the show from her friend’s daughter. She asked the ATX Festival to introduce her to the guys, and they obliged. She promised Porter they would be “best friends for life,” but hasn’t yet come on the show.
They’ve managed to nab Keiko Agena (who plays Lane), Wayne Wilcox (Marty), Sean Gunn (Kirk) and Scott Patterson (Luke). Getting Alexis Bledel (Rory) might be a stretch, but they’re still holding out for Lauren Graham (Lorelai) who once gave them a shoutout on Twitter.
“It’s like a little game of Pokemon,” Porter said. “We’re trying to catch them all.”
Luckily, timing is still in their favor; after Saturday’s show at 6th and I, there will be 64 episodes of “Gilmore Girls” left to watch.