The Straight Guys: "Everyone On Set Has to Be Nude"

On Friday I showed you Ulysses S. Grant: All Star Gigolo, a faux trailer made by local comedy and video collective The Straight Guys, biting off the presidents-as-things-that-you-never-thought-about-them-being genre.

This past weekend, the new Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter grossed a little over $16.5 million, making it a modest hit, and the reviews seemed to be so-so, too, making it a probable midnight movie cult film in the future.

The group behind the clip is made up of a crew of comedy, movie and video production people from here in Houston. The trailer was just one of many that the Straight Guys have made since early 2010 and their first and extremely NSFW short film Poker Night. Since then they have made a video at least once a month, save for the three month hiatus proceeding Grant.

"The name of the troupe is a double entendre for the name of the guy who plays "normal" in any comedy bit, and also our fascination with sexual orientation, or really anything sexual," says Joey Graham, the most prominent face in the Straight Guys.

Some of their work gets banned by YouTube, but the group's clips can also be seen on Vimeo and the Funny Or Die sketch site. The have been featured on FOD homepage a few times, too.

Graham is joined in the Straight Guys videography by Justin Petty, Dick Beeman and recurring faces Bobby Fortenberry, Rodney Douglas and Stephanie Palmer. The casts are of course co-ed when the project calls for it. Their enjoyment of nudity on camera also affects the crew working behind the camera.

"Whenever we shoot, if anyone in front of the camera has to be nude for the scene, everyone on set has to be just as nude to maintain a comfort level," Graham says.

The Grant clip came together in the span of three days for a contest. Graham says that the scene with the KKK members holding torches was particularly terrifying, as the crew failed to alert any neighbors that they were filming a period piece.

"You'd think the scene with Grant having sex with a man would be challenging for two untrained straight actors, but it was probably the easiest scene to shoot," he says.

The Straight Guys also have a sideline in music video work, working on the popular video for local rapper Fat Tony's "Nigga U Ain't Fat" track and a few others. Those can be found on the Monster Closet site.

Graham and the Straight Guys' signature tawdriness (check out the urine-soaked Gourmands) has sometimes made crediting the casts a comedy of shame and fear, but in a fun way.

"There's a lot of people I wish I could thank, but as is the case with a lot of our stuff, most of them pulled me aside and asked to be left off the credits. I'm sure you can see why.

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