Nathan Lane Explains How ‘Dicks: The Musical’ Created the Most Humiliating Moment of His Career
Even those unfamiliar Dicks: The Musical! could probably guess that the phrase “Sewer Boys” goes hand-in-hand with humiliation.
I imagine that, when Nathan Lane’s agent called him about an offer he received for a role in arthouse darling A24’s first musical, he jumped at the chance to make movie history before he even heard the name of the project. The three-time Tony Award winner is always an obvious choice for films that demand a mixture of singing, dancing and cracking-wise, so it’s easy to see why Seinfeld legend and Borat director Larry Charles wanted him on board for his newest film, as the pageantry requires a refined performer of Lane’s multi-hyphenate skills.
Flash forward to last night’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers — the Broadway legend Lane finds himself describing a scene from Dicks: The Musical that, in the film’s own blooper reel, he called the greatest humiliation of his career. Lane even brought with him the disgusting, disturbing twin co-stars who are responsible for the great disgrace — and I’m not talking about Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson.
Lane describes Dicks: The Musical as “a deeply silly, satirical, absurdist, R-rated queer musical based on The Parent Trap," but, really, the star is burying the lede — it’s also the debut film of the Sewer Boys, the adopted abominations of Lane’s character Harris, an elegant homosexual patriarch of two boys whom he and his ex-wife separated at birth unbeknownst to their twin sons. Again, Upright Citizens Brigade veterans Josh Sharp and Aaron Jackson, who co-wrote and star in Dicks: The Musical based on their successful stage show, are not the Sewer Boys — at least not literally.
“It is the cinematic enema America has been so desperate for,” Lane says of Dicks: The Musical, though a live broadcast of Lane getting an actual enema may have been less embarrassing to the legend than the shooting of the Sewer Boys scene he described to Meyers last night. “I take them into my home, and they’re like rescue dogs. I keep them in a cage in my living room,” Lane said of his relationship to the Sewer Boys in the film. “And I feed them sort of like a mother bird. They like deli meat, so I chew up ham and I spit it into their mouths. You know, like their mother.”
During the credits of Dicks: The Musical, an outtake from the feeding scene shows Lane lamenting to Charles about how his director’s demands of him may be the lowest point in his career, an appraisal in which Charles took much pride. When Meyers asked Lane what was going through his head when he was told to chew up slices of ham and spit them into the gaping mouths of the horrible gargoyle puppets, he replied, “When they brought (the Sewer Boys) out — most of the budget went into these puppets, by the way — I said, ‘This looks like someone stole a Halloween display from Walmart. This can’t possibly be the real thing.’ And they said, ‘Oh no, don’t worry, we’re just getting started.’
“And then they put diapers on them.”