By Steven O. Evans, PhD
Peter Bisuito is best known for his stand up act, “My Big, Funny Peter.” Sure, he’s the loveable bear we all see on stage and around Wilton Manors. Peter always has a smile and a hug. But recently, Peter has embarked on a new adventure – producing and starring in his own, and sparkinkly, YouTube web series, “Vent and Chester™.”
But wait, there’s more. Peter has paired up with Jeff Roberson, AKA Varla Jean Merman, to create this online dynamic duo. The characters are an unlikely pair of gay guys living together in Fort Lauderdale. An almost modern GAY, “Laverne and Shirley.” I talked with Peter and Varla Jean about this hot new show about to hit the digital world.
Steven O. Evans, PhD: How did you come up with the concept for the show?
Peter Bisuito: It’s been a childhood “pipe dream” of mine to be the star of my own sitcom. A dream that most likely would never come true. However two years ago I figured with today’s technology I can make it happen for myself and not wait for Hollywood to knock on my door. So I developed a show based around two characters, both with similar looks, but opposite lives. Although these characters are completely different, they do find themselves with the exact same life situation that is pretty much the glue that keeps them as suitable roommates. What’s that situation? You’ll have to watch and find out. The show will be based in Fort Lauderdale making it the first sitcom in history to take place here.
Steven O. Evans, PhD: Tell us about your characters on the show.
Peter Bisuito: My character is a middle-aged Muscle Bear. I’m an out ’n proud, free-spirited, seasoned homosexual that works as a bartender. I don’t like affection, kids, or animals but I do like sex and sarcasm!
Jeff Roberson: I play Chester, who is a very conservative gay man in his late forties. Chester was married to a woman until recently and has no idea how to navigate through the gay capital of Fort Lauderdale.
SOE: Is this going to be a comedy, drama, or what’s the genre?
PB: This will be a comedy however there will be endearing moments. One minute you’ll find yourself laughing and the next you’ll be saying, “awwwww.” Our genre is obviously the gay community however we’re trying to keep it mainstream so that everybody will enjoy it; not just the gay community. Sort of like an R-rated, Will and Grace.
JR: Dear God, I hope it’s funny! It’s definitely a comedy, but deals with gay men trying to age in a youth-obsessed world, so I guess it’s also a tragedy. Kidding!
SOE: Fort Lauderdale is super gay. How will this work with the plots and characters?
PB: Well since the show will be a web series on YouTube, it’ll be seen all over the world and not just in Fort Lauderdale. However, the show does take place in Fort Lauderdale which is perfect for my character (Vent) since he’s been living here most of his life. It’ll be a culture shock for Chester since he recently came out of the closet and moved to Fort Lauderdale from a small suburb in California.
JR: Peter’s character, Vent, has basically done everything you can do as a gay man, so Fort Lauderdale is the perfect place to be his playground. And because Chester doesn’t have any experience being gay, Fort Lauderdale is a perfect place to be thrown to the wolves.
SOE: Jeff, are you excited to be performing out of drag?
JR: Honestly, I will probably need more makeup than I wear as Varla just to make me look like a man. I have wanted to do something out of drag for a long time, so this is a perfect project. And, I don’t have to put on my fake self! I do Crossfit and yet putting on my character is more exhausting than any Crossfit I have ever done, so this is going to be like a vacation!
SOE: What are some big plans you have you can tell us about?
PB: We are planning on taking over the world. But first, we’re planning a Hollywood style premiere party on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Sunshine Cathedral. It will be an entire evening of entertainment. There will be a performance from Varla Jean Merman and a comedy segment from myself, followed by the premiere episode showing of Vent and Chester™. The evening will end with a short question and answer session from the audience. You can get your tickets at www.MyBigFunnyPeter.com/vent-and-chester.
JR: Hopefully, I won’t have any plans other than writing a full season of Vent and Chester™. That is the biggest and best plan I can think of.