In 2008, Julie Goldman and Brandy Howard crossed paths on the Rosie O’Donnell family cruise. Thanks to mutual friends and their comedy chemistry, they have been self-proclaimed BFFs and co-writers ever since.
Together, they boast a heavy résumé of several television shows, movies, writing gigs, and stand-up. They both are veterans in the entertainment industry: Goldman appeared in three seasons of The Big Gay Sketch Show on LOGO TV, and Howard played a main character in the film Automatic. And, many LGBT fans know the duo from their popular web series Julie & Brandy in Your Box Office.
Both currently reside in Los Angeles, CA, where they write jokes for Joan Rivers on Fashion Police, on E! Now, Goldman and Howard are making millions of people laugh out loud with their hit television show The People’s Couch. Though often mistaken for a lesbian couple, their “love seat relationship” is strictly platonic.
These dynamic ladies took some time to talk with Tagg about their friendship; their careers; summer; and, of course, television.
Where are you from?
Brandy: I was born and raised in Southern California. My family moved to a small town outside of Austin, TX, when I was 15. I finished high school, got my journalism degree at Texas Tech University, and immediately moved back to my home state. California is in my blood…for life.
Julie: I was born and raised in Lexington, MA, and went to Emerson College, in Boston. After that, I lived in New York City for several years and then moved to California, in 2009.
When you first met, what were your initial impressions of one another?
Julie: We met through a mutual friend. Brandy was totally an unexpected new friend in my life—like an unplanned pregnancy, which, obviously, for me would just be…weird. She was unique, surprising, and totally hilarious. We had a lot in common and just hit it off and laughed nonstop. She is truly original. I had never met anyone like her.
Brandy: My first impression of Julie was that she was funny, sexy, and unique. I had never met anyone like her and really wanted to lurk around in her atmosphere…forever, apparently!
In a few words, how would you describe yourself?
Brandy: Sarcastic, private, materialistic, loyal, thoughtful, realistic, and street smart; a ball-buster, problem-solver, and lie-wizard.
Julie: Opinionated, Jewish, sarcastic, and oversensitive; a lezzie and lady-gentleman.
Both of you have acting and comedy experience. When did you know that you wanted to pursue an entertainment career?
Brandy: I pursued acting as a young child. When the self-conscious hormones of adolescence kicked in, I gave up acting and turned to modeling. Modeling was my main focus in high school, and I moved to Tokyo for several months to pursue it full time when I was 15 years old. After my family moved to Texas, my focus shifted to on-air broadcasting, in college. When I graduated, I moved back to LA and caught the acting bug again. And, it is like a bug because much of the time, it is really sickening.
Julie: I knew since I was a little kid and forced my family to watch me re-enact Mel Brooks’ movies. And, I would make my sister perform plays and puppet shows with me. I knew comedy was a real path when I was 14 and went to a Jewish youth group convention. That was the first time I saw real-life stand-ups, and I became obsessed. I started doing stand-up when I was 15 at The Comedy Connection, in Boston, and haven’t stopped.
What’s the best thing about being on Bravo’s People’s Couch?
Julie: The best part about being on Bravo is being on Bravo! It’s also super fun just being part of this new TV watching community of people who get to express themselves through social media and let us know what they think, too. It’s like we are all watching together.
Brandy: The best thing about being on People’s Couch is getting paid to hang out on the couch and watch TV with my best friend! That being said, the entire experience is really a dream come true. Connecting with fans and getting the opportunity to be a small part of the Bravo family is very special to us. We were loyal Bravo watchers before People’s Couch, and we will continue to be—long after.
Were you asked to be on the show, or did you audition?
Brandy: A friend sent us the casting notice, and without knowing anything about it, we submitted our photos. After that, we went through a “casting process,” but I wouldn’t call it an audition.
What is your favorite television show to watch together? And why?
Julie: Anything Housewives. We love watching all kinds of reality together, but Housewives is our number 1!
Brandy: My favorite shows to watch with Julie are Housewives reunion shows, but I love reunion shows of any kind, like Vanderpump Rules, Flipping Out,and Bad Girls Club. After that, we love watching Small Town Security, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Wendy Williams, and Watch What Happens Live.
If you could be a character on any television show, who would it be? And why?
Julie: Hmmm…that is tough. On any show, of all time? I would be Roger from American Dad on FOX. Totally free, goddamn hilarious, inappropriate, politically incorrect, subversive, and 100 percent gender positive. He dishes out as much as he takes, and nothing is off-limits. I adore him. He is my favorite TV character of all time—until I can play a version of myself and finally prove that a butch lez can be funny and relatable and can make networks money.
Brandy: I would be a character on a show that Julie and I created and wrote together, for the sole purpose of playing the characters that we created for ourselves.
You both collaborated on Nicest Thing. Tell me more about that film.
Brandy: Nicest Thing is a feature-length, lesbian romantic comedy and was the first project we wrote together. It will always hold a special place in our hearts because it’s where we discovered that we could really write and that our partnership was profound and important.
Many people assume that the two of you are in a relationship. How do you handle this?
Brandy: I don’t really mind. I think it’s fun. It adds to the mystery and allows people to project onto us what they want to see.There are times when it gets a little awkward. Because we are both very private people, being questioned about that subject can feel invasive. But that’s the nature of the beast, no matter what.
Julie: Whatever anyone wants to think is OK with us. That’s what TV is all about: Your perception is your reality, and it’s all good!
What do you look for, Julie, when dating a woman? Any specific qualities?
Julie: Hmmm…I don’t really have any specifics, other than being hilarious, gorgeous, challenging, loyal, super rich, successful, with the full name of Michelle Pfeiffer. So, really, just open, very general.
Both of you are on Jonny McGovern’s Gayest of All Time podcast. If people aren’t fans already, why should they tune in?
Brandy: People who enjoy gay-centric entertainment should be downloading the GOAT podcast because Jonny McGovern is a true comic genius and a tremendous talent. His voice and laugh are infectious, and anyone who listens to the podcast once will usually come back for more. He’s addictive.
Julie: The podcast is super funny, gay, identity positive, and irreverent! It’s a fast, fun listen. We love our podcast fans….They are so loyal and awesome. We’ve met many of them through the years, and it’s really kept us going.
What are your most favorite and least favorite things about the summer?
Julie: My most favorite thing is the heat, and my least favorite thing is the heat.
Brandy: I love the summer! It is absolutely my favorite season. I love the clothes, the attitude, the smell in the air, the heat, the sky…all of it! It’s a three-month vacation, even though everyone is still working. My least favorite thing is spending summer nights in California. It always gets chilly here at night, and I hate it!
Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.? Any favorite hangouts?
Julie: I have been to D.C. several times and really enjoyed the Capitol Hill area. Lots of cool restaurants and up-and-coming shops. And, of course, Dupont Circle…that’s the gay area, right? Whatever the gay area is, that’s my favorite place anywhere.
Brandy: I have never been to D.C., and I am dying to go! My favorite place to hang out would be anywhere with Barack Obama and Cherry Blossom trees.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Brandy: I see myself stressed out, writing for a show that Julie and I created, spending every day researching which cosmetic procedures look the most natural, and then convincing myself that I want to age gracefully.
Julie: In five years, if I’m not dead, I see myself writing and working with Brandy, creating and performing and traveling, and constantly working on ways to have a flat stomach.
Are there any new projects that you want to share with our readers?
Brandy: We recently signed with a literary agent at ICM, and we are currently pitching a half-hour comedy script that we wrote. It’s a very exciting time for us, not just because of People’s Couch, but also for our writing. Keep your eyes open. You never know what shows will have our names in the credits.
Julie: Also, I’ll be doing stand-up around the country. If people are interested in catching a show, they can look me up and see whether I’m coming to their area.
Is there anything else that you want our readers to know?
Brandy: We are available for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.
Julie: Hire us! We will do anything for money.