The state of comedy’s collective fashion sense is no laughing matter. At least as far as Tan France is concerned.
The “Queer Eye” fashion star is once again doling out advice, but not to sartorially challenged straight men. France is plying his brand of fabulousness on comedians, with “Dressing Funny,” a new series on Netflix is a Joke, the streaming giant’s comedy platform, airing on Netflix’s main YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Focusing on comedians gives France plenty of fodder. As a group, funny people aren’t necessarily known for their fashion aplomb. John Mulaney, Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Ali Wong, Miranda Sings (the fictional character embodied by YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger), Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, and Pete Davidson, submit to France’s once-overs as he hones in on their trouble spots and convinces them to venture outside their sartorial comfort zones.
“I’m a massive, massive comedy fan,” France said in an interview from London, where he was promoting his new memoir, “Natural Tan.” “I asked every one of them for a reason. You’ll see your favorite comedians as you’ve never seen them before.
“Will we laugh a lot? Yes. Will I lay with another man? Yes,” France said. Cut to the episode where Davidson is wearing a white bathrobe, lying in bed next to France, wearing nothing but a sheet. “I never wear a condom,” Davidson said. “I’m a gentleman.”
“Will someone get pegged? Almost,” France said. Cut to Kroll and “Big Mouth” co-creator Andrew Goldberg. “I put Andrew in a harness and too-cool-for-school jacket,” France said. “It’s silver on the outside and orange inside. I’m a little more vulgar in this show because it’s not meant to be PG-rated like ‘Queer Eye.’
“Will I teach a woman about vaginal rejuvenation? Yes,” France said. Cut to Wong screaming, “I’m depressed, I have vaginal rejuvenation, I’m an alcoholic.” “Ali is a force to be reckoned with. Her movie, ‘Always Be My Maybe’ just came out on Netflix. We were talking about our encounters with famous people. The number of women in the industry who seem to get that [medical procedure] is shocking. No, I can’t name any names.
“Will I marry this woman? Abso-f–king-lutely not,” France said. Cut to Sings, wearing a veil and signature bright red lipstick that looks it was applied with a trowel. “I do,” she said, going in for a kiss. “I don’t,” France said.
“Miranda is so out there, you get to see me very uncomfortable. She’s so bonkers, the episode turns into Miranda leading me. I kept telling myself, she’s a real person, don’t get angry at her. Seeing her with me will be shocking for the audience.”
Dratch, who turns up with Fey, “has difficulties, as I do,” France said. “We’re both vertically challenged. We’re both petite. And she’s got a mighty bosom, and that’s difficult to dress when you’re petite. Tina usually looks incredible. I love the gold Thom Browne suit she wore [to the 2019 Tony Awards]. It’s a version of sexy that doesn’t pander to the traditional idea of what’s sexy.”
France goes to work on Mulaney in the first episode, mistaking his age, 36, for 52, and decrying his old-man style as classic, “but you look like a dud.” He convinces Mulaney to try on a linen suit, but it doesn’t look right. So he goes more streetwear: sweatpants, DSquared sweatshirt, kicks and heavy gold chain. “Are we feeling hip? Are we feeling cool?” France yells to Mulaney in the dressing room. Alas, the comedian can’t rock the look.
“Are you ready for the version of John that I think you should be,” France said. “That’s all that I ever wanted,” said Mulaney. Next, he’s seen wearing a brown suede jacket and jeans. “You look hot,” France said, circling behind him. “You’ve got a good butt. You [just] got really red. But you’ve got a really good butt. You look cool without trying too hard. I feel like we found ourselves.”