A Minute With… The Sassy Gay Friend

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Whatâ┚¬â€whatâ┚¬â€what are you doing if you have yet to see the viral antics of Brian Gallivan, also known as â┚¬Å”Sassy Gay Friend?â┚¬Â The Second City Network's hit web series combines clever embedded advertising with hilarious rants as â┚¬Å”Sassyâ┚¬Â rescues befuddled maidens from famous literature.

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The series Gallivan created and produced along with The Second City transports the scarf-flipping interventionist through time to change the outcome of literary classics by asking the question, â┚¬Å”What would happen if tragic female characters in literature had a â┚¬ËœSassy Gay Friend' to bolster their confidence, admonish their boy-craziness, and prevent them from making life-ending errors?â┚¬Â

Eve, Juliet, Ophelia and even Great Expectations' Ms. Havisham are among the weary women Sassy has come across.

â┚¬Å”Take off the dress, take a bath, take advantage of online dating and P.S. it's not vintage if you've been wearing it since it wasn't,â┚¬Â Sassy tells Ms. Havisham in one episode.

The Second City's latest breakout star honed his performance skills at various improvs and even in classrooms as a teacher. MiO, a â┚¬Å”water enhancerâ┚¬Â by Kraft foods, recently hitched their wagon to the â┚¬Å”Sassy Gay Friendâ┚¬Â series.

Watermark spoke with the 42-year-old Massachusetts native and his fabulous alter ego to discuss his former life as a Catholic middle school teacher, advice and Shelley Long.

Watermark: Where did the character â┚¬Å”The Sassy Gay Friendâ┚¬Â come from?
Brian Gallivan: I created the character back in 2004 for a show I was doing as part of the main stage cast at The Second City in Chicago. I wanted to do something with Shakespearean characters and ended up yelling at some of them about their poor life choices.

Does â┚¬Å”The Sassy Gay Friendâ┚¬Â have a real name?
No. By default, it has become â┚¬Å”Sassy.â┚¬Â

In a previous interview, you mentioned you wanted to have Shelley Long be a victim in one of your videos for â┚¬Å”Sassy Gay Friend.â┚¬Â Have you had any luck with that?
First of all, she would be a â┚¬Å”friendâ┚¬Â of Sassy, not a â┚¬Å”victim.â┚¬Â I resent your choice of words, you stupid bitch. No luck yet, though. I want it to happen organically.

How much of you is in the character of â┚¬Å”The Sassy Gay Friend?â┚¬Â What makes you two similar or different?
I am not nearly as sassy as he is. I did an â┚¬Å”It Gets Betterâ┚¬Â video as myself that lets people know how different/similar we are.

Are you a sassy gay friend?
I am. I definitely tell my friends when I think they are making poor love life choices. But I think I do that because I rarely have a love life of my own.

What advice would you offer women and gay men?
I would tell all people to try to make their lives as enjoyable as possible and forgive themselves when they can't.

What advice would Sassy offer? 
Write a sad poem in your journal and move on.

What advice would Sassy offer say, Lindsey Lohan?
He would tell her to agree to be in a Sassy Gay Friend video.

Sassy has taken it to the streets and conducted improv interviews. Is he planning on visiting anymore distraught damsels?
I did â┚¬Å”take it to the streetsâ┚¬Â talking to people about their lives and about MiO. I really enjoyed that. I love improvising. I just released another MiO video where I helped my friend Henry VIII make smarter choices, like not beheading my other friend Anne Boleyn. We have a couple more coming out this summer. I might save damsels. I might save dudes. Yeah, I said, â┚¬Å”dudes.â┚¬Â

Speaking of MiO, the new sponsor of your videos; do you really like MiO? What does it do for you?
MiO is really good and working with them has allowed me to make a bunch of new videos, which is also really good. It's a great fit because Sassy tells people to take control of their lives, and MiO helps people take control of their beverage.

What's next for â┚¬Å”The Sassy Gay Friend?â┚¬Â
Definitely some more videos with MiO, but I'm really not sure after that. I don't have a master plan for Sassy. He probably wouldn't follow it, even if I did.

Have there been any memorable/interesting encounters with fans?
The strangest was probably when I was vacationing in Italy with my family and a man came up to me at the Vatican and asked if I was there making a Sassy Gay Friend video.  I was not. Not a bad idea though.

Can you tell me more about your role in the upcoming film A Thousand Words?
I have a very, very, very tiny role where I react to Eddie Murphy acting crazy at a business lunch. Getting to do a scene with Eddie Murphy was very exciting. Allison Janney was in the scene too and she couldn't have been nicer. I am a huge fan of her work on The West Wing and in Juno and I was really worried she would not live up to my ridiculous expectations. But she was so nice and fun.

If you weren't an actor/comedian, what you want to do?
I used to be a middle school teacher. I am positive I would not go back to that. It's a very challenging job. I think I would try to be a singer/songwriter. I want to be the next Katy Perry.

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