They’ve fielded a mix of raves and rage over their popular Shit Girls Say videos and Twitter feed, which have been pumping out hilariously stereotypical “girl-isms” for more than a year. This week, the Toronto-based comedy team will screen a new short film at TIFF. We caught up with them to discuss their upcoming book, the original SGS tweet, and what it’s like having Gwyneth Paltrow as a follower.
It’s been almost a year and a half since your first Shit Girls Say tweet. Are you surprised that the project has had this kind of longevity?
Sheppard: Definitely. We never expected it to go this far. We haven’t run out of material yet, which is what we thought might happen.
Can you take me back to that first tweet, which read, “Could you pass me that blanket.”
Humphrey: We were sitting on the couch one day. Graydon asked me to pass him a blanket and we thought that was a girly thing to say. We started to go back and forth and it was really just born that day. We hadn’t been looking for a project or anything.
Graydon, you play the titular “girl” in the SGS videos. How was that decided? Were you just dying to do drag?
S: We had discussed hiring an actor, but by then we had just lived with it for so long that it only made sense for one of us to do it. I love attention…
H: …and I really hate being on camera.
I noticed that the character is just called “girl.” Why not give her a name like Jen? Jen seems like a good Everygirl name.
S: She does actually have a name. It’s my secret drag name, but I’m not allowed to tell anyone because Kyle gets really mad. We were out the other night in New York and I was in drag. People would ask me my name and I would say Graydon, so I guess maybe her name is just Graydon.
Do you go out in drag when you’re not on the job?
S: No. In New York we were working with Fashion’s Night Out and we are also promoting our book, which is out later this month.
What can you tell me about it?
S: It’s under embargo right now, so not much, except that it’s based on the Twitter feed and available for pre-order on amazon.com.
Have you ever disagreed or fought over a tweet?
H: Graydon always wants to tweet one about driving around and smoking cigarettes, but I say no because I don’t like the smoking aspect, so that hasn’t happened.
You guys are a couple as well as a professional team. What do you tend to fight about outside of work?
H: There’s really nothing outside of work at this point. We get along well for two people who’ve spent the past year and a half basically doing the same thing together.
S: We were a couple first. We never set out to go into business together.
How did you guys meet?
H: We met at The Beaver on Queen West. It was actually HotNuts, which is a drag night, but we weren’t dressed in drag.
That’s sort of oddly foreshadowing.
H: Yeah, very much so.
I know you have a bunch of famous followers on Twitter. Is there anyone you were super excited about?
H: Gwyneth Paltrow. That was pretty amazing.
Seriously!? The approval of the GOOP. That’s so cool.
S: I know! Somebody actually told me when we were at a party. We also have Mindy Kaling and Nicole Richie. It’s good because these are women that we like and find funny.
And obviously they find you funny, so I guess they’re not offended—though some women are. How have you handled the backlash?
S: All of the women in our lives have been really supportive, so we haven’t really experienced any of that first-hand. But you know, we’re generalizing about a huge part of the population, so…
When the feed and the videos first became big, there was some talk that it should really be called Shit White Girls Say. What did you make of that?
S: All we can really say is that it’s based on the twenty-something girls that we know, and we weren’t thinking about whether they were white or not. I think it’s great that people who didn’t feel represented started their own feeds.
Do you guys watch the show Girls?
H: We love it so much. We met Allison Williams the other night and that was the highlight of our week.
How do those girls stack up against the nameless character on Shit Girls Say?
S: With Shit Girls Say, we are just putting stuff out there. We’re observing. What they do on Girls is exploring what it is to be a woman in a way that we could never, never do. It’s amazing. We look up to them so much.
The Office or Parks and Recreation?
S: The Office.
H: Parks and Recreation.
Favourite Twitter feed?
S: Rob Delaney.
H: Rob Delaney.
Wine or beer?
Carrie or Samantha?
Person you’d most like to meet?
S: Amy Sedaris.
The latest installment of Shit Girls Say plays in TIFF’s Short Cuts Canada program on Sept. 13 and 14.