Straight Down the Middle – By Alex Wiggan
Admit it boys, behind every good comedy double-act there’s always a straight man; and for YouTube stars HimandMe (aka Shea ‘gay’ Taylor and Steve ‘straight’ Langstaff) it’s no different. Keen not to discriminate, Bent caught up with the dynamic duo to see what it’s like working so closely together as they prepare to take their act from the digital realm into the real one, with some live gigs.
So Shea and Steve, let’s not beat around the Kate Bush; do people think you’re a couple?
Shea – Yeah all the time. My mum, my dad, the guy who lives down the hall; they think we’re either in a civil partnership or that Steve is gay and I’m his trophy boyfriend.
Steve – I think people assume we’re a dirty version of Ant & Dec, or possibly Sam and Mark.
Well your hit YouTube spoof of Russell Brand & Katy Perry did seem to get a little heated towards the end. Was that almost a kiss?
Steve – Yeah, almost a bit of lip-locking. We’ll do anything to make a scene work!
Shea – We wanted to provide a ‘will they, won’t they’ moment, to keep fans on the edge of their beanbag chairs; but of course we wouldn’t want to overstep the mark. Steve probably would though. He’d have slipped the tongue in if he’d had chance.
Steve – I’m too afraid of what might happen if we actually ever went there. It’d be like Brokeback Mountain. There’d be no going back.
Shea – Yeah true and Steve’s not good with heights. But no in all seriousness, it’s never happened. We’re actually repulsed by each other.
You’ve covered a number of celebs in your spoof videos (Duffy, Britney, Amy Winehouse), but who gets to decide who plays the female parts?
Shea – It depends on what seems funny. I’m ganglier which fits some of the parts, where as Steve’s more aggressive looking. Let’s be honest, what’s funnier than a straight guy in a dress looking like it’s that time of the month again?
Steve – I think half the time I’m in a dress to ugly-me-up, to stop me getting all the attention from Shea’s groupies.
Shea – Well that’s because Steve gets more attention than I do; often from lesbians. He looks like the winner of Eurovision 2007. What was her name?
Steve – Marija Serifovic. You know I once kissed a lesbian on Canal Street.
Shea – See he also brings communities together. He’s like a modern day Martin Luther King for gays. He’s almost one of us.
Well you’re branching out from the internet to live comedy sketches, so have you started playing the gay scene yet?
Shea – No. We’d love to take our sketches into gay venues, but we’re just not flamboyant enough.
Steve – They’d be disappointed when they realised it was just a bloke in a dress with no sparkles.
Not even as Lady Gaga? That sketch proved a big hit online, could a Kylie spoof be coming soon?
Steve – We probably won’t spoof Kylie. Gaga is this huge icon at the moment and it seems strange to say it, but she’s pretty much a blank canvas in terms of her personality, which means she’s great for spoofing. With Kylie we already know too much about her, so she’s a bit bland. Can I say that in a gay magazine?
Shea – Oh great, you’ve lost us the pink poke now by insulting a Minogue. He doesn’t mean she’s bland.
Steve – I do. She is.
But you’ve spoofed Dannii in your X-Factor sketches?
Steve – We’ve been rumbled!
Shea – Yeah we did, but that was because of the situation she was put into last year surrounding the ‘outing’ of Danyl Johnson on the X-Factor. As far as we were concerned she didn’t do anything wrong, so we decided to parody the situation more than anything.
Steve – We also gave her a personality.
Shea – You’ve done it again. Don’t you know, everyone likes Dannii now?!
Steve – I like Dannii!
Shea – There he goes again, jumping on the bandwagon.
Steve – You know, I think it’s stuff like this which leads people to think we’re a couple.