Interview With Elvira Kurt

Weddings are occasions custom-built for messy mishaps and high drama. So many expectations, so many raw emotions, so many loopy family members coming together. Is it any wonder that TV shows about wedding planning catastrophes or brides-gone-bad thrive? Adding a bit of humor and Zen-like charm to this high-strung world is Logo’s take on the wedding planning genre, First Comes Love.

The show is set in Canada (since gay folks can actually legally get hitched there), and it is hosted by one of our northern neighbor’s smartest and sassiest comedians, Elvira Kurt. You might have seen her on Comedy Central, in The Vagina Monologues or at many a lesbian-friendly comedy venue, and if you’re a Canuck, chances are you’ve seen her on the Comedy Network series Popcultured With Elvira Kurt, a satirical take on the cracked-out world of pop culture. 

This season she has taken over the reins of First Comes Love, which was hosted in its first season by Kids in the Hall alum and fellow Canadian Scott Thompson. We recently talked with her about her own opinions on the institution of marriage, what music not to play at your ceremony, and why karma always gets you in the end.

AfterEllen.com: So, I don’t know your personal thoughts on marriage or gay marriage, but did hosting this show teach you new things or change your mind about the issue at all?
Elvira Kurt:
First and foremost, hosting a gay wedding show taught me that karma works. I didn’t lift a finger for my own wedding, and suddenly there I was actively involved in the weddings of seven couples I’d never met. That sound you hear in the background is my partner, Chloe, still laughing nefariously.

Something else surprised me as the tapings went on. Each couple expressed some variation of being grateful that certain family members had agreed to be a part of their wedding. The reality is if it was a man marrying a woman, having family at the wedding wouldn’t be an issue — of course they would be there. I started to feel progressively irked that gay people are put in the position of having to feel lucky when they’re supported by the straight people in their lives, like it’s such a heroic gesture to be supportive. 

And keep in mind we’re talking about something so unassailable as a loved one’s happiness. What is the big deal? Why is it such a sacrifice to be there? It’s a wedding, for the love of pie — not jury duty. 

AE: I see that you had folks on the show getting married in bank vaults and on boats or with bagpipes playing. What was the freakiest scenario that we can look forward to seeing on the show this season?
EK:
Look for the couple on a boat inside a bank vault. Playing bagpipes. Top that, Pamela Anderson!

AE: What was the moment of most intense drama? Any bride-zilla or groom-zilla episodes?
EK:
These people came to us because they knew they wanted to get married — and nothing else. You can only have drama if you have impossible expectations. When you have zero expectations. … OK, I will admit to having had a moment of host-zilla.

The couple, Brian and Neal, wanted an outdoor wedding, which is lovely, but the end of October just happened to bring subzero temperatures. My director, God love her, either fears or despises outerwear, and there I was tromping around in a lightweight suit while the crew was in mitts, ski hats and parkas. I tried my best to keep the crabby on the inside that day. Perhaps if my nipples hadn’t fallen off in that first hour … I still haven’t found them, by the way.

AE: How do you think gay marriage opponents would respond to this show?
EK:
If the gay marriage opponents are straight, they are welcome to watch one show. If they watch more than one, they’re definitely bi. If the gay marriage opponents are themselves gay and they watch the show, even once, they are closeted wedding supporters. I recommend they get their asses to the nearest Williams-Sonoma and sign up for the wedding registry and get it over with already. Mmm, Williams-Sonoma …

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