In the ongoing battle of the sexes, there are times when an interpreter is needed. Relationship experts Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider have, for instance, offered up "The Rules," dating manuals to help women understand the male population. On the flipside, MTV has unveiled "Guy Code," a funny, honest new series that analyzes and deciphers how men could and should handle things.
Based on the pilot, this is a show that can benefit both men and women. "Guy Code" uses comedians, dating experts, and models as commentators who offer candid opinions in a fast-cut, talking head style. When reached by phone this week, Dan St. Germain, stand-up comedian and "Guy Code" commentator, talked about the process of shooting the series.
"They had a bunch of good-looking comics and a bunch of 'Maxim' models. I guess they hadn't found the 'creepy guy in a van' demographic yet. I guess that's why they brought me on. That's the one corner of the market they haven't covered yet," he said.
"Guy Code" topics include ordering bottle service in a nightclub and "manscaping," the practice of shaving some, um, sensitive male regions. The commentators were divided over manscaping, but most agreed that back hair has got to go. "I actually don't practice what they preach on that one; my back is a minefield. It's disgusting, it's all over the place," St. Germain said.
Producers send the on-air personalities several topics a few days before shooting. "You write a few jokes and then you see what they use when they are cutting the episodes together. A lot of times you go in and film three or four episodes. I came in for three days, of shooting and it was for a variety of different episodes," he said.
While filming, St. Germain said he has to make sure he isn't slumping in one take and sitting up straight in another so the pieces can be edited together. "You get in there, and there are a few points you want to hit, so for the first hour, it's pretty fresh. They are pretty smart about what they want you to tackle. They aren't going to ask me what my favorite breakdancing technique is," he said.
St. Germain is no stranger to the talking head format and points to VH1's series "Best Week Ever" as one of the best ways to showcase comedians. "Back in the day, you had 'Laugh-In' or 'Hollywood Squares.' This is like that. You have a topic and this is the easiest way to present it," he said.
St. Germain just wrapped up the Christmas episode of the show, which tries to find the guy code for things that are inherently dorky. "Like what's the guy code for setting up a Christmas village? The show goes all around, it's not just about picking up women. It tries to cover every aspect," he said.
And the guy code for shopping for holiday gifts for a special lady? "You don't want to give them a beauty product because they will be like 'Oh, that's the part of my body that needs work,'" St. Germain said.
- Sherrie Schneider