Last night marked a major change for the Emerson Channel’s “Closing Time Live”. After six seasons on air, the late night show debuted its seventh season with – not one, but — two ladies in the host’s chair! They were none other than Quinn Marcus (who, if you recall, has been an awesome HCE Celeb before) and Lilliana Winkworth.
We got a quick chat with the two friends and co-hosts about the new season, which airs Fridays at 8:30pm on the Emerson Channel.
**The interview was conducted before last night’s season premiere, which can be seen over on Median.
Her Campus Emerson: How has your background in stand-up and sketch comedy prepared you to host Closing Time Live?
Quinn Marcus: My background in improv will really come in handy while hosting Closing Time and it has kept me sane these past couple weeks. It’s relaxing to know that if the teleprompter breaks or we have extra time in the show, I’ll hopefully be able to think of something quickly on my feet. But just in case, I hope the teleprompter is at its best tomorrow evening.
Lilliana Winkworth: Having a background in improvisation and sketch comedy helps me feel more prepared for the show, especially seeing as it is a LIVE television show. I feel comfortable enough with Quinn as a partner and with my ability to improvise on the spot that if anything were to go wrong with the prompter or who knows what else with all that technical craziness, I would still feel comfortable and confident in our ability to banter and play off each other to create a really fun show.
HCE: By the looks of the promos, you two have great chemistry. Does it help being good friends with your co-host? Do you find that your comedy styles contrast with each other?
QM: Being roommates and best friends with Lilliana is what makes us a good fit as host and co-host. I usually know how she will respond to a joke and I know her comedy style, which is vastly different than my own. I think it was easy for the writing staff to write for both of our voices because they are so distinct from each other. It’s very fun being so close with someone and to really like hanging out with them. I think what will make Closing Time Live enjoyable for the audience is that there is nothing Lilliana and I would rather be doing than hanging out with each other making weird jokes, which is what Friday night will be all about.
LW: Our comedy styles definitely contrast, but in the perfect way. Quinn is golden when it comes to dry comedy and just being insanely witty, where I am better at being the wacky, spontaneous counterpart. The writing for the show focused on these two contrasting styles, and I think we work really well of each other. We aren’t just both up there being witty, just as we both aren’t just yelling about how much we like peanut butter and running around naked. We balance each other out really nicely, and it is just a great perk that she happens to be one of my best friends. We are always coming up with new ideas about the show, whether it’s in a meeting or it’s while brushing our teeth in the morning at our shared sink.
HCE: Do you have any say over anything regarding the writing, or is it strictly up to the writing team?
QM: Lilliana and I both are on the writing staff and we are at every writer’s meeting. We have a really smart head writer, Lee Benzaquin, and a really funny writing staff. We have had a lot of long writer’s meetings over the past couple weeks which has really made the staff a unit, which is good for the show and makes writing it enjoyable.
HCE: CTL’s format has changed slightly from year to year — is there anything different we can expect from this season?
QM: The format of Closing Time has changed. This semester there is more of a variety show feel. We’re not restricting ourselves to the typical monologue and guest interview. It may surprise some audience members, in a good way.
HCE: This is the first time CTL has had (not one but TWO) ladies hosting — Do you think this was well overdue, or does it not even matter?
LW: I don’t think it was well overdue, but I do think that it’s awesome. Women in comedy have had a really great past couple years, and it’s really amazing to be representing that, even if it’s just in a college TV show. I’m no super feminist, but I am so happy that Quinn and I got chosen – and I don’t think it was the producer purposely wanting two ladies to prove something to society, I just think we had great chemistry and fit the parts and it is really nice to be chosen for something based on talent and not based on who “should” be hosting a show or wearing a suit. It also worked out great because Quinn looks fantastic in a blazer and I look pretty fantastic in a dress.
HCE: Can we expect to see more Quinnterviews??
QM: There aren’t any Quinnterviews in the first episode, and I don’t think we are planning any for future episodes. But I’ll be hosting the show so Closing Time Live might be like one big Quinnterview!
HCE: What do you want viewers to get out of watching CTL? What do you think makes the show so accessible and relevant to not only Emerson students, but a wider college audience?
LW: I hope viewers just have a good time. We really worked hard to make this season of CTL accessible to anyone around the country, or world – but I’m not sure how many international folks get median (which is the only site it plays on). We got real, adult guests instead of Emerson students, and none of the segments are super Emerson-focused. Anyone, anywhere could watch them and hopefully laugh. We want nothing more than to bring some good old fashioned entertainment with a couple of modern jokes to people, so hopefully we get a good response.
QM: The whole crew has been working on this show with one thing in mind, and it’s that we want the audience to have just as much fun watching the show as we are having creating it. I’d really like to thank everyone who has worked many, many hours creating this new Closing Time.
HCE: One last question! Colbert and Fallon have their own Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream flavors — what would CTL’s taste like?
LW: Definitely chocolate-y, probably crunchy, with just a drizzle of caramel. Maybe gummy bears. Yeah, probably gummy bears.
QM: It’s funny that you ask what our Ben and Jerry Ice cream flavor would be because I think that is the reason Lilliana and I got cast together. During the audition, the executive producers asked us that question and our answer was very strange. All I remember is that we had three courses of ice cream flavors and the theme was a dog funeral. And I think there was dog hair in the ice cream. It got us the show, but I don’t think Ben & Jerry would sell that nor should they.