Midnight Snack: The Brite Spot with Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi

Think there aren't any restaurants open late in L.A.? Residents who work late beg to differ. Comedy duo Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson shared their feelings about ukeleles and breakfast for dinner with KCET.

Photo by Shane Redsar
Photo by Shane Redsar

A writing partnership is a tricky proposition. Writers are, inherently, solitary people who spend a lot of time in their own heads and are, predictably, a bit reluctant as to what they let out into the world. Inviting another into that mess is a course fraught with peril and inevitable complications. But when partnerships do work, the results are glorious and amount of output extraordinary.

Such is the shared path of Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. The two met almost two years ago on Infomania, "a TV show that nobody watched" on Current TV. Ever since, they've been working non-stop with one another, performing in college shows, writing pilots, playing "The Bachmanns" on Funny or Die, working on their first feature, and hosting a monthly fake entertainment show at UCB. After a long night spent recording their weekly podcast Throwing Shade, the three of us headed to nearby hipster fave The Brite Spot for some oldies music turned up to 11 and breakfast for dinner.

Rick: So, why this place?
Erin: First of all, the waitress who's worked here for 95 years. She's a doll. I love her. And, why do they play this music? I love it. But what the eff are they doing? This place, nothing makes sense about it.
Bryan: Like everywhere you look, that Asian sign over there. What is that for?
Erin: And just some random portrait of some family. A coyote. It's like your grandma's house.
Bryan: It's like a Highlights thing, like "find five things that shouldn't be in this picture."

Bryan: Did you hear that stupid controversy? Bradley Cooper got "Sexiest Man Alive" and people were picketing outside People magazine because they thought Ryan Gosling should have gotten it.
Erin: You can't mess with Ryan Gosling fans.
Rick: I didn't know they were so vocal.
Erin: There's so many Ryan Gosling blogs.
Bryan: Commenters on People.com were so offended.
Erin: Just tearing Bradley Cooper apart.
Rick: Is that just based on The Notebook? Is that where the crazy Gosling fan-dom started?
Erin: Then he did that thing on Jimmy Kimmel where he played the ukulele.
Bryan: Oh, that's so gross. I hate anyone who plays the ukulele. It's so stupid.
Erin: I know he did it as a joke, but...
Bryan: Oh, he did do it as a joke? Like, "I'm a douche with a ukulele"?
Erin: Yes.
Bryan: Oh, okay. But banjo and ukulele, they're still so gross.
Erin: Don't let Steve Martin hear you say that.
Bryan: But Steve Martin's brilliant. I'm just talking about dudes in Venice.

Photo by Shane Redsar

Rick: So you guys got the French Toast and I got my usual Denver omelet. But have you ever gotten anything here not breakfast-related? That's all I seem to order.
Bryan: I think I've only gotten breakfast-related things here. I mean, it's a diner. But I'm sure their other stuff's good.
Erin: I think I've gotten a sandwich here once. It was good.

Rick: Have either of you had writing partners before?
Erin: Yes.
Bryan: This one's been really successful on both ends.
Erin: It's like a marriage.
Bryan: It's been a really positive experience. And I think what's great about it, is we've really never let anything escalate. It's turned into a sibling thing. Everything we say is in a question like, "Hey, so I really don't like how you just said that? And I'm not sure if I like that line there?"
Erin: Yeah, we don't fight. We just ...
Bryan: We just sound like jerks.

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Erin: We don't live together, which is crazy.
Bryan: But we do shower in front of each other.
Erin: We do do that.
Rick: Is that a big step for writing partners?
Bryan: I've never done it before.
Erin: I do it with everybody.
Bryan: Probably when we get really stressed out with the feature, because that will be the longest thing we've written together, we'll probably be totally nude by the end of that I imagine.
Erin: If not before.

Bryan: We're not very affectionate towards each other before. Like, we never hug or anything. We were almost going to make out as The Bachmanns, but then they ended up canceling that shoot, which, thank god.
Erin: We were going to do an homage to that virgin kiss that was going around online.
Rick: I guess you can't really practice a thing like that.
Erin: You shouldn't practice it. It's just, two people who shouldn't be kissing. A lot of face-eating.
Bryan: A lot of jaw work.
Erin: A lot of chin-gumming.

Photo by Shane Redsar

Rick: This is a pretty usual place for me after a late night of drinking. Have you ever seen anything crazy here late?
Erin: That's the thing, I don't think riff-raff comes here. I can't take an IHOP.
Bryan: Or a Denny's. You get shot there. The one on Sunset sometimes you'll see, like, hookers. And that could be fun.
Erin: This feels like a place where you have just, like, four drinks and then come here. And everyone else has had four drinks, or are maybe a little high. But there's no meth heads, or anyone coked-out. It just feels chill.
Rick: The first time I was here, actually, I was sitting in the exact seat you're sitting in. And my friend puked on me.
Erin: That's why I won't go to Café 101 at night. I've seen two people puke there.

Photo by Shane Redsar

Bryan: Do you know a person called [name redacted]?
Rick: No. I don't.
Erin: Who's that?
Bryan: He's an editor. You just remind me of a person named that.
Erin: You think he should know someone because they look alike? He's not a commercial actor.
Bryan: Do you get a celebrity person? Like, "You look like..."
Rick: Not really.
Erin: Oh, can I guess one? Albert Einstein.
Rick: Me?
Bryan: Striking resemblance. I would say Albert Einstein. Or Truman Capote. Do you get that?
Erin: What about Mr. T.?
Bryan: I would say that those are the three celebrity look-a-likes.
Rick: Just kind of mash them together?
Erin: You're a perfect combination of that.

Erin: I had two ideas for movies based on egg donations. One of them was about a single lady that gets so sad in her life, she's like, "I'm gonna go find my kids." It's like a dark comedy. And the other one was where a husband's wife dies in a car crash and they don't have any kids, so he goes to get her kids. But that was a sad one.
Bryan: It could be called Eggstremely Sad.
Erin: I don't want to write either of them.
Bryan: I have fathered many children.
Erin: I thought you were gay.
Bryan: I am, but I still have sex with women a lot. And I told them not to contact me.
Erin: You have? That's really rude.
Bryan: Or brave.

Brite Spot Family Restaurant
1918 W Sunset Blvd, 213-484-9800

Photos by Shane Redsar

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