Say "I Do" to Married to Bravo!
Our exclusive Q&A with the comedic podcasting couple!
February 12, 2018 11:36am
It’s not uncommon to meet comics who’s IRL personalities pale in comparison to their podcast or stand-up persona… that is, however, NOT the case with Xchel and Joleen Hernandez from the Married to Bravo podcast who proved to be even more endearing and just-plain-funny in person!
Their clever podcast concept explores what happens when a husband faces the fact that when he married his wife, he also married Bravo TV. Each week, Joleen (excitedly) and Xchel (begrudgingly) dissect the previous week’s episodes of Vanderpump Rules and Real Housewives, comparing his/her perspectives with commentary that’s both hilarious and feel-good. It’ll give you a chuckle AND serious #relationshipgoals!
We sat down with the contrasting couple to learn more about their relationship, find out what it’s like starting a podcast together and what, if any, side effects Xchel has experienced as a straight guy forced to endure Bravo!
TOR: Ok guys, let’s start from the very beginning! Joleen – tell me about about your history with reality TV. Pre-Bravo, what did you love to watch?
J: Oh, god. VH1 reality shows like Charm School, Rock of Love, Flavor of Love… I watched them all and sometimes I go back and watch them on YouTube! Sometimes I look up them on Instagram (for way too long) to find out where they are now (a lot of them not doing that well!). I also watched the Real World on MTV when I was very young in the 90s. That was probably the first reality show I watched and I fell in love with it.
TOR: When did you first fall in love with Bravo TV and what got you hooked?
J: It was when RHOC started which is the flagship of Housewives. I was obsessed with Laguna Beach… obsessed with The Hills so I think I was maybe aging out of that only to age into the Real Housewives. I started watching it with my mom and it’s still the one we watch together.
X: I always thought Laguna Hills was on MTV?
TOR: Wow, Xchel. You’re really nailing your podcast persona right now!
J: Seriously? Laguna Hills?! I love that you’re calling it that. It’s “Laguna Beach.” Hahaha
TOR: Had you been into any reality TV shows before you met Joleen?
X: I had a stint where I was into those same VH1 shows… Rock of Love.
J: Wait, what?!
TOR: You didn’t know, Joleen?!
J: No! I felt judged this entire time! Now I feel so much better.
X: Haha! I was young at the time and then I started noticing that they branched off into other shows like Charm School and Celebrity Marriage Counseling… and it just got too crazy for me. Like… people’s lives were getting messed up! I didn’t want to see lives get messed up, mines already messed up enough!
TOR: Awww, you had empathy for them!
X: I was like “NO! Don’t do that! What are you doing?! Everyone’s sleeping with Flav – you’re better than that!” — Once that Meghan girl got her own show and some dude murdered his real life girlfriend, I was like… this is just too crazy. I walked away!
TOR: At what point did you learn about Joleen’s perhaps unhealthy obsession with Bravo?
X: It had to be when we moved in with her parents in Minnesota because when we lived in Arizona, we didn’t have cable. (We would only watch Judge Judy.) But then I noticed she was watching one channel all the time and it was Bravo. Every time it was on, I would go to the next room. It was constant yelling and I didn’t get its appeal!
TOR: At some point you realized, the Real Housewives are here to stay, Bravo’s not going anywhere…so how did the concept of the podcast come up?
J: I was driving back from doing some shows in Arizona. I was thinking about how I wanted to do a project with Xchel and I happened to be listening to this Buffy the Vampire (Dork, I know.) podcast that breaks down episodes and I thought “what could I do? What do I know that well?” and obviously… Bravo… Housewives. I thought, I could throw Xchel into that. Yes, he’ll totally hate it but he loves me and he’s married and you have to do stupid sh*t your wife wants you to do when you’re married!
TOR: What about the name?
J: I was driving and it just popped into my head. Married to Bravo! Because, you know, they have that show Married to Medicine. It just worked. I got home and was like “Xchel, we have a new project!” – He definitely was not excited.
TOR: What was your reaction when she comes home with this news?!
X: It was a sarcastic “Yaaaaaaayyyyyyyy” Hahaha. But I wanted to spend more time with my wife. I’m busy during the day and at night we’re chasing comedy dreams so a lot of times our schedules don’t meet. I really just saw this as an opportunity to hang out more with my wife and enjoy the time we spend together.
TOR: How excruciating was it for you to get involved once it started?
X: It’s STILL excruciating! But I found a video player that will play the video 2x as fast. I can’t concentrate on that much drama for 40 minutes.
TOR: Do you watch shows together or separate?
J: We tried watching together and that didn’t work! I like to talk when I’m watching and I get animated like… “OOOOH my gosh, can you believe she just said that?!” or “Look at that! This is opening something big!” and he’s just like… “I hate watching with you!” so we watch separate.
X: I don’t want my opinion to be influenced by her! If she says something, it’s like, well, of course my opinion is going to be the same because you just put that in my head.
TOR: Has Joleen ever dragged you to a place from a show?
X: We went to SUR and PUMP before we started the podcast and I really didn’t know what it was.
J: He didn’t understand why we were paying so much for our food!
X: I didn’t know what the history was or what happened? I remember she saw Lisa Vanderpump and I was like, who?
TOR: What shows do you guys love/hate right now? Xchel, is there one that is rubbing on you?
X: I started with Real Housewives of New York and I really enjoyed it.. but now I’m comparing everything to RHONY.
J: I love RHONY. I always loved it. I think the ladies are really friends and they all of a history together whereas others it seems like they’re just thrown together. We’re getting into Beverly Hills – I think it’s pretty good this season.
TOR: Who is your favorite Housewife?
J: Bethenny Frankel.
X: I loved the Countess but then she turned out to be horrible to the people who help her. Probably Bethenny Frankel, I really like her sense of business and that she’s a go-getter.
TOR: Least favorite?
X: Siggy Flicker.
J: Oh. My. God. Least right now… Dorit.
J: I just can’t.
TOR: Are you into Bethenny’s new show with Frederik?
Jo: I thought I would be, but I dunno. The two of them together I just don’t get.
TOR: Let’s do a little word association. I’ll say a name and you guys can give me the first word that comes to mind:
TOR: Kim Zolciak
TOR: Bethenny Frankel
TOR: Jax Taylor
TOR: Siggy Flicker
TOR: LuAnn De Lesseps
TOR: Sheree Whitfield
TOR: Wait, backup… you think LuAnn is foxy?
J: I think he does!
X: Sure, if the Countess didn’t treat peoples bad!
TOR: Andy Cohen:
TOR: Erika Jayne
J: Favorite! Fabulous.
TOR: Favorite Vanderpump cast member?
J: Ariana. But who else can you choose? She’s smart, she’s a feminist, she’s the voice of reason on that show. Hello b*tches, not everything can be a statement necklace on that show and stop saying racist stuff.
TOR: Least favorite?
X: All the guys! They’re made to look SO dumb.
TOR: Made to look?
X: Ok, they’re dumb. But, it’s such a bad presentation of what men can be in West Hollywood. I think there are some people who are well put together and they avoid casting those people.
J: We had a discussion about the on our podcast. They’ve been doing this to women on TV forever. They’re finally doing this to men. We’re finally seeing that guys can be the same way.
X: Give me one guy that’s got it together.
TOR: Has the podcast worked in terms of bringing you closer?
J: Well…. haha. I think it’s definitely helped us with our conflict resolution. If you listened to an unedited episode you would here a lot of bickering and fighting.
X: Joleen’s go-to is “I’m going to have to edit that out!” — The bickering comes from my misunderstanding of her experience as a person watching is. She relates a lot to the people she watches and loves the conflict resolution. It’s a new world that I just don’t understand. I’m along for the ride… even if it’s a confusing, bumpy ride where I feel like I’m driving blindfolded.
TOR: Do you guys find yourselves sharing any Housewives-isms?
J: I’ve definitely said “clip!” to Xchel before!
X: I think what’s caught on is when Joleen is being silly, I’ll be like “You’re acting like ______.”
J: OMG. He recently called me a Siggy and it cut to the core!
TOR: Just curious Xchel… you started the podcast as a healthy, young, straight guy… have you experienced any of the following since watching Bravo:
TOR: Night sweats?
TOR: Homosexual feelings?
X: Well… Jax is a good looking guy.
TOR: Desire to muckbang?
X: YES! But I don’t want to film it. Just audio.
TOR: Faking a subtle english accent?
X: I thought that Dorit’s accent was real until Joleen told me about it!
TOR: It’s a real self-hatred accent.
X: Hahaha true!
TOR: Uncontrollable eye rolling?
X: Yes, but from Joleen.
TOR: Bravo is pretty safe for a straight guy? It’s undiscovered territory…
X: I’ve been in the Bravo and I’m okay!
TOR: If you could be on any show which would it be?
J: I’d say RHOBH because I live in California.. but I’m gonna say RHONY. I wanna go to the club with Ramona and watch her grandma-dance and boobs flopping out. Turtle time!
X: I love cooking. I noticed there’s a Top Chef. That’s what I would do.
TOR: Enough about Bravo. So when/where/how did you guys meet?
J: We met in 2009 doing a comedy workshop in Arizona. We both wanted to do standup. I googled “how do you do standup” and found this guy who hosted workshops for a “small” fee of $300. Then, Xchel started 3 or 4 months after me.
X: She made fun of my shirt the first day. We were going through practice where you had to find someone in the audience to make fun of and she picked me. I’m an easy target! I was like “yeah I gotta have that.”
TOR: What is the last thing you guys argued about?
J: A breakfast sandwich.
X: We got a sandwich instead of the burrito. I don’t like change. The parameters changed inside the restaurant and I shut everything down. It was Top Chef level drama.
TOR: What is the most stupid fight you’ve ever had?
X: YES. The carrot cake incident.
TOR: Wow. You guys have food issues.
J: We’re emotional eaters! — It was at Greenblat’s Deli. Coincidentally, it’s the same place where Xchel asked me to marry him! Xchel loves carrot cake and wanted to order it, so I was like fine… let’s see what the big deal is. So I went in for a bite…
X: FROM THE BACK! FROM THE BACK OF THE SLICE!
J: He was like “you started at the finale” and I’m like “are you seriously getting mad at me over food?” and he said “Yes. I look forward to this. You DO NOT start at the back.”
TOR: I kinda agree! It’s the butt of the carrot cake.
X: She went straight for the a$$.
J: I didn’t even warm it up. I just went straight for it. Yep… that changed how we eat forever.
X: We always start at the front now.
TOR: Have either one of you made out with someone else and called them “bubba”?
J: No. But there’s still tiiiiiime.
X: I just gotta get blackout drunk.
TOR: What is your spouses most irritating habit?
X: Joleen eye rolls. She can’t control the eye rolls. I’m like “you just rolled your eyes”and she’s like “no I didn’t!”
J: His is, if we’re at a restaurant, he’ll be like “you pick” and so I will… and then he’ll be like “Ohhhhh, I wouldn’t pick that.” UGHHHH
TOR: Do you guys go through each other’s phones?
J: NO! I had an ex who kept his phone on lockdown and Xchel’s is totally open. It freaks me out. He’ll be like, “sure, use my phone” and I’m like “Noooo, because then I’m going to find out you’re having anal with Valerie next door!” which is exactly what happened to me last time!
TOR: Do you guys ever role play Jax/Brittany?
X: Yes we do! It’s when we’re silent and we don’t talk to each other.
J: It’s when we’re emotionally eating.
TOR: What are you doing for Valentine’s day?
J: I forgot it was next week. We’ll probably watch the latest Bravo episodes and order pizzas from Dino’s in Burbank.
TOR: What do you love the most about Xchel?
J: OMG I love so many thing about Xchel. He’s sweet and understanding. He lets me be me… which is a freakshow.
TOR: What do you love the most about Joleen?
X: I love how Joleen enjoys life. Sometimes I feel like I can be closed off and not as open but she is willing to put herself out there and I wish I could be that.
TOR: Any advice for married couples with Bravo in their home?
J: Watch it together! Xchel likes football and I don’t but I’ll watch it with him.
X: I agree. In a Bravo household, if you’re wife likes to watch it, just watch it with her and ask her questions about it. She’ll feel loved and know that you want to be a part of her life. It’s only 40 minutes out of your day.
TOR: 20 if you have the right app!
X: HTML FLASH!
TOR: Any advice to people starting a podcast?
J: Know audio. Learn about it. Have fun with it!
X: Just do it. Release the first one. As soon as you hit send, you’ll figure out what you did wrong and you’ll just keep getting better at it.
If you’re like us and can’t get enough of the Married to Bravo podcast, you can also see Xchel and Joleen perform standup comedy. Stay tuned to Joleen and Xchel’s sites for upcoming live dates!
Already a Married to Bravo superfan?! Tell us your favorite Xchel/Joleen moment in the comments below!