As long as we’ve had out, queer characters in media, we’ve had the trope of the sassy gay assistant. Well-dressed, dependable, and always ready with a cutting remark—and a latte—at a moment’s notice, they might provide comic relief, but it’s rare they get to be anything other than in service of others.It’s a position that actor, comedian, and Las Culturistas podcaster Matt Rogers knows well.
In fact, the first role he ever booked was as the assistant to Jerry Seinfeld in an episode of the web series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, and he’s spotted the trope in countless scripts in the years since.In Vanessa Bayer’s new Showtime comedy, I Love That For You, Rogers stars as Darcy, who’s quick to introduce himself as a “senior associate”—not an assistant—to the Special Value Network’s head honcho, Patricia (Jenifer Lewis).
Darcy, like the series itself, is well aware of the gay assistant stereotype, and it soon becomes clear that he’s much more than someone’s right-hand man.In a cast of comedic powerhouses—including Bayer, Lewis, and Molly Shannon—Rogers stands out by bringing a wry, steely reserve to Darcy, and then peeling the layers back, episode after episode.
Even if Darcy is, ultimately, a glorified assistant, I Love That For You is savvy enough to subvert expectations, and Rogers brings a nuanced, hilarious complexity to the part.Ahead of I Love That For You’s premiere, we spoke with Rogers about the nature of the “gay assistant,” and how his character brings a dynamism to the trope that we rarely see in entertainment.