In Sept. 2014, Kevin Porter tweeted, “Wanna start a podcast where we go through every episode of Gilmore Girls called Gilmore Guys. Who wants to co-host/guest?”
Porter connected with Demi Adejuyigbe, whom he knew via Twitter and from improv classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles, and so formed the Gilmore Guys, a podcast in which the two hosts dissect all 153 episodes of the WB-turned-CW show that ran from 2000 to 2007.
The premise of Gilmore Guys is simple: Porter, an editor, is a longtime fan of the show and Adjuyigbe, a writer for NBC’s The Good Place, had never seen a single episode prior to starting the podcast. Porter has always loved podcasts as a medium and decided that the original run of Gilmore Girls coming to Netflix in late 2014 provided the right hook to create his own show.
Years after going off the air, Gilmore Girls retains a very dedicated fan base, and now between 150,000 and 200,000 people devour the podcast each week and help to sell out the duo’s live shows across the country.
“I think it felt like a big secret to everybody at the time,” Porter said. “It never did big in numbers—there was a cultural awareness, but it wasn’t Friends or Seinfeld. It was critically acclaimed but still kind of marginalized because of the network it was on. The fan base was really rabid because it felt really personal to them. Because it wasn’t everybody’s show—it was their show. And a lot of people experienced it in isolation or smaller pockets.”
What Porter and Adejuyigbe did not expect was that Gilmore Girls would actually come back. The four-part revival hits Netflix on Friday after a long wait for fans who have demanded a new season since creator Amy Sherman-Palladino and her husband Daniel Palladino left the original show at the end of the penultimate season 6 over contract disputes.
In an age of television revivals aplenty, the return of Lorelai, Rory, Emily and the rest of the gang seems egregious to some. But to those who have binged the seasons since the day they started streaming on Netflix and now listen to Porter and Adejuyigbe every week, the revival is something to celebrate.
While the Gilmore guys were not officially behind bringing the show back to screen, Gilmore Girls gave them a wink in the revival—both guys appear as background actors in the show’s first full-length trailer.
Asked how it was to be on set with the cast, they remained demure, saying they weren’t sure how much they could reveal. “It was pretty by the book,” Adejuyigbe said.
Appearing in the show didn’t tip either guy off to any plot points or cues in the new episodes. Both have skillfully avoided spoilers and surprises, hoping to go into the revival fresh.
“I am trying to go in with absolutely no hopes,” Adejuyigbe said. “There’s nothing I particularly care so much that they need to do. I am just hoping that I like it. Just give it to me so I can watch it all.”
Porter has a few more expectations, namely that the show hit certain dramatic chords among the core Gilmore girls.
“For the most part, I want the juicy Emily and Lorelai stuff, the juicy Rory-Lorelai stuff, and that’s pretty much my big want,” he said. I just want to see the emotional stuff. For me, that’s the core arc of it.”
Once the podcast hit its groove, things grew rapidly for the Gilmore Guys. They signed an agent, got paid advertising and even embarked on a couple tours, making stops in New York City, Boston, Austin, Nashville, and even one international performance in Toronto.
At the time they started the podcast, dream guests for the guys included the actor and known Gilmore Girls fan Jason Mantzoukas. He’s now been on the show five times.
Other guests have run the gamut from fellow comedians to actual Gilmore Girls cast members, like Kelly Bishop, who played Emily Gilmore, Milo Ventimiglia, who played fan-favorite boyfriend Jess Mariano, and Scott Patterson, who played Luke Danes, among several others. They even sat down with Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel for a short interview in March.
The podcast has created a community, its own language and a galley of recurring jokes and references, such as affectionately referring to fans as “Gillies,” or teasing Porter for easily crying at the show’s more emotional moments.
The episodes are long, up to three hours each, and though the guys approach each one with an improvisational attitude, standing segments of the show have become second nature to listeners. Porter and Adejuyigbe broke down the segments during their last live show in Nashville, Tenn. to the tune of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5,” (yes, they open every live show with a Gilmore Girls-themed song parody to honor the city they’re performing in. Adejuyigbe writes them.)
“The vibe of it is like all your friends showed up to watch you do something,” Porter said. “Even in a crowd like Boston, where it’s a sold out show of 1,200 people, it didn’t feel like, ‘uh oh, we have to win over these 1,200 strangers.’ It felt like these people are already on our side because they know us and they’ve listened to the show before.”
As they wrap up the final episodes of the show, Gilmore Guys faces its end, though it doesn’t seem like Porter and Adejuyigbe are going away anytime soon. They will, of course, come back to discuss the revival, and there are talks of reuniting to discuss Sherman-Palladino’s other show Bunheads.