We’ve always loved Cher, but her Twitter account has made our love for the musical icon grow even more than we thought it could. We’re apparently not alone — comedians Andy Balloch and Justin Porter have just launched their new podcast, Cher and Retweet, which attempts to understand her through the lens of her Twitter feed. We recently caught up with Andy and Justin to talk about their favorite Cher works, their similarities with cookie dough and the form their podcast almost took.
HORNET: What inspired the podcast?
JUSTIN PORTER: We actually wanted to do a podcast where we get drunk on wine and interview people, and our producer suggested this instead as a compromise. We agreed.
ANDY BALLOCH: Yeah, Cher and Retweet is a way better idea. Plus we didn’t have to compromise on the wine aspect.
Tell me about how deep your love runs for Cher. You both seem too young to have loved her in her heyday, so where does the fanaticism come from?
JUSTIN PORTER: Cher was definitely part of my early gay days, with “Song for the Lonely” playing every weekend at clubs. But for this podcast, for me, the fanaticism comes from the fact that it’s a 72-year-old woman using Twitter hardcore, and that woman just happens to be a legend. She uses it so freely.
ANDY BALLOCH: I don’t know how old you think I am, but I am taking it as a compliment! My obsession with Cher started with The Witches of Eastwick which I watched as a kid, and, looking back, was probably a questionable parenting choice. But it was probably the first “strong powerful woman” movie I saw, and thought to myself “That’s what I wanna be when I grow up”. And now I’m a fabulous gay man, which is close enough!
Can each of you describe the podcast in your own words?
JUSTIN PORTER: Two gay BFFs using Cher’s twitter feed to make each other (and hopefully the audience) laugh.
ANDY BALLOCH: Like a tub of cookie dough, but for your ears — sweet, fun, zero nutritional benefits and suddenly the whole tub is gone and you have to buy another one before your housemate comes home and finds out you ate his whole tub of cookie dough.
What is it about Cher that makes her so ripe for comedy?
JUSTIN PORTER: There are two things: One, Cher gives zero fucks. She will say whatever she wants, which sometimes is just a stream of consciousness and that’s hilarious. And, two, the followers. Cher’s followers are so interesting, weird and fun. It’s a comedy playground.
ANDY BALLOCH: Everything that Justin just said. But also throw in the word “zeitgeist” so I sound smart and stuff.
Cher and Retweet is available from iTunes, Google, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.
Stephan Horbelt contributed to this article.