Comedy Central have announced the launch of a new short-form series DRAGONY AUNTS and we are beyond excited! Starring CANDY WARHOL and CRYSTAL RASMUSSEN, the new series will see our two Drag Queen-come-Agony Aunts provide the most outrageous advice, silliest solutions and realest reality checks to the problems we all need solving!
Streaming weekly, each episode will be themed around a particular area of advice, from work worries and family feuds to dating dilemmas. Set in our Dragony Aunts dream world, each week our queer thinking, straight-talking, candid and confidence-boosting Drag Queens will be presented with a problem – whether it’s from a member of the public, a special comedy guest, or tweets and emails. The Dragony Aunts will then provide their surprising solution through a range of methods – from a dating role play, a miraculous makeover or even just giving the guest’s Mum a call. To top it all off, each episode will end with a specially-written musical performance. Warm hearted and feel good, this series is a hysterical journey into drag, all on their very own flying swan!
Rebecca Hewett, Digital Executive Producer commented: “We are so excited to launch this hilarious series which mixes the glittery spectacle of drag culture with some seriously positive advice on embracing who you are, and who better to teach us that than our beautiful Drag Queens. Full of sharp, pop culture writing and snappy one liners – this new series will not disappoint!”
Dragony Aunts will launch on Friday 5th July 2019 on Comedy Central’s YouTube and
YASS Magazine met Dragony Aunts, aka Candy and Crystal and here is everything you need to know about!
How did you come up with Dragony Aunts?
Crystal : We didn’t, it was an in-house idea at Comedy Central and we got cast. But then, what was amazing was that the whole process was allowed to be so collaborative.
Candy: So no, we didn’t come up with the concept. We were approached to audition for it but what was really nice like Crystal said the beginning of the show and as it went on it was a nice collaborative process because I suppose you had a general idea of what was going to happen. We didn’t know what the outcomes of the interviews were and we didn’t know the outcomes of their solutions and stuff like that so that felt nice because as it was going on we were having a team talk.
Crystal : Yeah, so the format was all Comedy Central’s, but the content was really allowed to be shaped by us which was important I think
Candy : Very much so. Good to have a Queer eye on it I suppose, not to coin that phrase but you know what I mean?
What shall we expect to see in this mini series?
Crystal : Well firstly you should expect to see two gorgey drag queens but also I think conversations as far ranging from anything from your personal style and being transgender all the way to making your first friend after you’ve just moved from another country. Basically, anything from sort of arguably political conversations about identity to just really human conversations about finding love and… going on a first date.
Candy : Yeah, and to top it off we also finish every episode with a really fun song that reflects the subject of that month so we got to do really fun music videos which we absolutely loved doing and then just like silly banter as well between the two of us. So yeah, we really liked that it was a balance of like sweet moments, funny moments where we were literally like in between takes howling with laughter and crying. And then like we had a really touching moment as well so I really like that there’s a nice balance.
How do you feel about the Dragony Aunts launching on Comedy Central. Did you expect this success?
Candy : I mean I wasn’t expecting to be nominated for like very single category at the Oscars straight away, but looking at it now, why not?!
Candy : To be honest yeah we’ve got success, but also the support from Comedy Central.
Candy : It’s amazing that Comedy Central are producing 1. a short form series and 2. a short form series from a queer angle which is really exciting and to be honest, I can’t speak for all networks and stuff but it could have so easily have happened that we worked with a network that just told us what to say because they had a specific idea of what a gay man says, what a Drag Queen says, what a queer person says and that wasn’t the case here.
Queer thinking, straight talking, confidence boosting, who are the Dragony Aunts?
Crystal : I’m Crystal Rasmussen. I guess what I bring to the show, what we both bring to the show is an outsider’s perspective, because having both of us growing up in small towns, way far from London, I think we’ve both experienced a lot of things that a lot of people wouldn’t have experienced, being an outsider, what that feels like, finding queer family, what that feels like. Do you know what I mean? Having all the pain of being a queer in a small town, but also having been forced to ask all these questions about yourself because you are queer thinking, queer presenting and because of that, Candy and I actually, and a lot of drag queens and kings have a really widened perspective on the world and that’s what the Dragony Aunts do. They share that really wise perspective.
Candy : I’m Candy Warhol, my thing is I suppose, pretty much exactly the same, we just really connect with each other because we’re not from a big city like London or Manchester. We both grew up somewhere where it was quite hard being openly gay, being queer and then through drag, I really found myself. Well what I am open about with my drag is I stand up for what’s right but I’m still learning a lot. What’s one thing that I connect with Crystal a lot with is having frank conversations and learning a lot., I kind of like giving my advice and taking it, and putting my opinion out there but I also go, I don’t actually understand either, can you explain this to me.
Crystal : Yeah, we all do that
Candy : I think that’s a nice way to go about it because it turns into a really nice open conversation then, you know? So I like teaching people, and getting a nice positive lesson across without it being patronising I like it being kind of a nice open conversation.
What makes your advice outrageously priceless?
Crystal : So, we’ve both lived multiple lives because you’re always forced to as a queer people or as anyone marginalised. So we’ve kind of seen multiple views from elsewhere.
Candy : Yeah
Crystal : It’s really easy to comment on like structures when you’re outside of them, it’s really easy to be like hang on, why is that man being a dickhead, because you can see it when you’re removed from it, you know what I mean?
Candy : Very much so.
Crystal : Whereas a lot of people when they’re in it can’t
Candy : Yeah I think when you’re an outsider you observe people and you learn a lot about people and yourself so, whereas, like your stereotypical cis-white man who was popular in school, might not learn as much as we’ve had to go through as we’ve kind of had to fight our way through
Crystal : Survive basically
Candy : Pretty much
Candy: Because queer people can be underdogs. For me anyway, and Tom growing up like as an underdog people come to us for problems and we just identify and like want to help them.
So what are the biggest problems and concerns people face that you will solve through your series? The key issues.
Crystal : So some of the issues are quite light and they’re quite fun. With most of the issues there is a serious element that we might have a laugh with, but there’s a nice conversation to have. My favourite point in conversation was with Jordan Gray who’s an openly trans woman and I found that really interesting because we’re both queens and, I don’t know how to verbalise this, it’s an issue that comes up a lot, being a queen and trans. A lot of people get quite confused so I like being able to differentiate
Crystal : And expressing and talking about the difference between multiple femininities, we were able to have a really good frank conversation and have a look at how far reaching the spectrum of femaleness is. I mean I’m not necessarily claiming to be a woman, because I’m not. Essentially what I think is conversations especially around transgender issues are always had for trans people, and never really by trans people and so it was nice to just have Jordan on the show literally talking about what she wears on her terms because so often it’s really inflammatory headlines about trans people and again, it’s not something I really bring up on the show, but I’m an non binary person which falls under the trans umbrella. Jordan and I have a really different experiences and we talk about that. Also, Candy has a different experience, so it’s amazing to get that range of gender diversity on screen talking about anything from being fabulous to literally what it’s like to live as people who live sort of between binaries.
Candy : Very much so. I think that’s what the show does. It does come across as it’s nice, it’s quick, and done in such a nice light way that you learn without going, I’m learning.
Crystal: I also found that really moving and I guess for any queer people watching was with this guy called Brennan Reece who hadn’t spoken to his mum really, they had spoken but they weren’t as close as they were since his parents divorced. He was saying he felt bad because he kind of feels like he spat his dummy out. You know, and I guess I don’t even know if Brennan is queer but I think what a lot of viewers can relate to is fractured family ties that people don’t talk about a lot actually, really that openly. We basically encouraged him to call his mum and they had a really moving conversation and we all cried because he was like ‘I’ve been a bit of a dick and I love you’ and she was like ‘I love you too’ and it can be really nice to talk about that and as young people to be admitting maybe what you might have done wrong to your parents, things like that. That can feel like a nice open conversation to have. Does that makes sense?
Candy : Yep, so those were the moments that we’re talking about that were surprising that we kind of started out in the show going Ok, how can we make this funny? And we let the conversation go somewhere and we’d have those really sweet moments.
Tell me how you know eachother and what your relationships like?
Candy : No, so we actually never had met each other and then one of the girls, when she told me, okay so you’re going to a chemistry test with this other queen we just assumed there was going to be loads of other queens there but I was told who was the other queen as I was getting into the cab and so I looked her up on Instagram and I loved and actually sent her a message like 5 minutes before I got to Comedy Central being like ‘Hi, I’m you’re new best friend’.
Crystal : Oh my god, I remember and Candy sent me a picture of herself in the cab and I remember thinking you were like a fifty year old queen. I remember because I didn’t look at your profile and you sent a pic like this and I remember thinking Oh, so she’s an older queen, a seasoned older, fifty year old.
Crystal : Then I got there I was like ah, she’s like my age. [Laughter]. Not that that’s a problem.
Candy : Amazing, well we’re actually going really well.
How important is it to have queer voices heard? I know you kind of touched on that.
Candy: Basically, as I said earlier it’s so important to have as much as we can in the media. Because imagine, for us the only queer people on TV when I was growing up was the gay bartender in Coronation Street or like a really camp TV presenter and I didn’t identify with them. I didn’t identify with Jack from Will and Grace, you know, there was just two or three people on TV. So the more queer visibility we have and the more diversity, because diversity is really important as well I think because you could have twenty queens on TV and they could all be the same stereotype that was picked by somebody in a Network so the more diversity that we have, the more people can relate and like see themselves on TV and it will also broaden people perspectives as well of what we’re like.
Crystal: Exactly what Candy said, but also to just say that queer visibility is one thing and that’s really important but I think by having an increased range of queer visibility what you get is an increased understanding of the diversity within queers and that we’re not a monolith and that Drag Queens aren’t just either fabulous or they’re not just like I think by having more people talking you humanise the experience of queerness whatever that might mean and then hopefully that might make a few interactions easier but I would say that visibility doesn’t cure queer violence absolutely it actually sometimes can perpetuate it so it’s a tricky bind and you have to be constantly mindful of that I think if you’re doing anything on the silver screen… like when I did Birdman.
Do you feel that we have enough LGBT+Q representation these days?
Crystal: Do we have enough? I think it’s really easy to think we have enough and to assume because you have the gay character on the show, the transitioning character on the show called Sabrina, you have Ru Paul’s Drag Race but that’s not really necessarily wild queer visibility because not really much of it is on the queer person’s terms. Often queer people can be like accessories to an essential storyline that is basically about heterosexual people.
Candy : Like a sidekick
Crystal : Like a sidekick or like a woke point, (not that that’s the right term to use). I think it’s getting better perhaps and I think we’re saying things more on our own terms but really queer visibility is about that, it’s about being able to say things on your own terms and being also like kept safe and understood and supported by the organisations that are doing that for you right? Tales of the City it’s just muscular, dull white men fucking. That’s not queer visibility because I don’t know a single person in my queer group of friends even if they are a cis white gay man who looks and thinks like that.
What message would you like to spread with the new short-form series?
Candy: One point we keep on saying is a lot of drag representation on TV, whilst it’s fierce, it is I suppose competitive reality TV and our thing is we are lifting each other up and lifting other people up and not tearing each other down and not competing with each other. That’s one thing.
Candy : And also just having really important enlightening conversations without getting heavy or serious. For me.
Crystal : You know what I really want to spread this idea, I’m sorry but I’ve been a drag queen and so has Candy for 10 years and while I want to spread loads of stuff like different perspectives, we can all learn from each other, unity all that stuff. What I want to say is that on a really probably selfish level; people always think Drag queens are stupid, they really do. Interactions are like ‘Ohmygod baby you are fierce’ or like, throwing a drink at you calling you a faggot.
Candy : Or like we’re at the butt of a joke, or the photo op at a party. People will just come up to you like that and put their arm around you like [as if you’re a statue
Crystal : But I actually think what this show does is it shows we have loads of stuff to say, not just to be a face. The face of drag is funny, and glamourous, but like the heart of drag is clever and critical and engaging and moving, and that is what is important to me. You can be more than just a Drag Queen who looks great and bitches about your contestants, oops.
You’re both popular individually, tell me a bit about yourselves and what you’re working on at the moment.
Candy: I’ll choose or you’ll get about an hour off us, so I’ll say one thing. I’m from Ireland so I’m quite new to the London scene. And in Ireland I run a show called Mockie Ah, it’s like a local phrase at home that means make believe. So I’ve been doing drag for about 10 years on my own around Ireland and one thing that I always wanted was a drag family and a drag house because drag can be really competitive and quite catty so when I started the show about two years ago I wanted something that would be like family vibes and bring that to little towns around Ireland and that’s what I’m doing I bring my show to festivals and communities around Ireland and that’s what I’m really working at and pushing at home.
So this is really exciting for me to come over now and do something completely different.
Crystal : I wrote a book earlier this year that was published by Ebury at Penguin called Diary of a Drag Queen. It’s kind of got a similar aim, it’s all about humanising the queer experience, it’s about showing there’s so much more duplicity to this thing that’s usually just one face and I’m currently working on some other scripted TV projects. And I’m taking a show to Edinburgh, all based around the book.
Candy : Even today, this was to celebrate the launch of Dragony Aunts, but being on a mic is my favourite thing and that’s something that used to terrify me but I love making people laugh and hosting but I’ve never really gotten the chance to host another queen, we make each other laugh so much.
Crystal : It’s hard for me though because Candy makes me laugh and I’m literally vocally paralysed, that’s not the right term, but I’m vocally stunted and I don’t know what to say, you know. So I, I love it because you make me laugh
Candy : But it’s one thing that we talked about from the very start is that we all come from kind theatre/ stage backgrounds and the idea of doing a live world tour, with Beyonce supporting us, is really exciting.
Crystal : I mean she’s outside now, she’s been camping out there for a few days trying to get like time with us. [laughter].
Crystal : But I think the show lends itself to a live version and that’s really exciting so we’ll see.
What were your influences for the new series?
Crystal : Well I think for both of us it was a lot of Emma Bunton’s solo work.
Candy : Pretty much
Crystal : Like that really early time ‘Take my Breath away’
Candy : before ‘Maybe’, when she was finding her sound
Crystal : That’s it.
Candy : Again, you see we were hired to the show after it was developed. We like put our voices in and we helped steer it in the direction. Because we didn’t develop the show is what I’m saying. It’s nice that we didn’t commit as puppets and get told what to say or do.
What are your future plans?
Candy : For the show is it? So honestly I have a few hopes for it and it’s that the queer community and the community in general really get behind it and support it because I think it has so much potential and doing things like a live show and more series I’m really excited for.
Crystal: The same, and I’d love it to be a full length podcast and also maybe series 2. The dream would be to be like the two new Graham Norton’s.
Candy : I think within the media there’s so much queer things coming out. It’s really exciting to see where we can bring it, and where we can go. Not just for us but things in general so why can’t we be the ones to steer that ship.
What advice would you give to the new generation of kids who look up to you and want to be like you?
Candy : Oh my god again it’s so exciting, it’s like 10 years since I came out and it was terrifying coming out and now you get to see queer people like us, so if we get to inspire people, amazing. If they want to be queens, or queer or just creative. Be creative and be expressive. I think it’s just really exciting that now it’s less terrifying to be expressive and creative and the fact that we’re doing this.
Crystal : I would also say, yeah I love that, but I would also say the other, maybe slightly harsh side, like if you’re coming out that’s really exciting but definitely be prepared to be challenging yourself lots. So challenge your politics, challenge the things you knew before, make sure you’re working hard to be as responsible, inclusive and thoughtful as possible. Being queer isn’t the label.
Candy : Very much
Crystal : Being queer is definitely much like the action and the conversations and the people who are less privileged than you trying to lift up. All that stuff. But take responsibility and be conscious of your privilege and things like that. That’s part of being queer I think too.
Candy : I think that’s a good point because being queer is quite trendy. And like drag, when people think of drag, they think of Drag Race. Know your queer history and know we’ve had to fight quite a lot be able to do this. So if you’re in this generation and didn’t have to fight, think about the people who worked really hard so you could do this.
Dragony Aunts streams on Fridays on Comedy Central’s YouTube and Facebook platforms.