Comic Peter Bisuito has always dreamed of starring in his own television sitcom. The South Florida transplant made a splash on the standup scene as My Big Funny Peter, “the world’s only gay muscle bear comedian,” and quickly gained an international following, selling out performances in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada.
Finally, Bisuito’s wish is coming true. He pulled together a local dream team with a long list of industry credits, including Tony Award-winning director Michael Bush, writer Michael Aman, costume designer Peter Lovello and composer Matthew Doers, and filming of the pilot episode of his internet television series “Vent and Chester,” is scheduled to begin next week.
SFGN sat down with the 48-year-old funnyman to discuss the project:
SFGN: How did “Vent and Chester” come together?
This project is 35 years in the making. Since I was a teenager, my biggest dream was to one day be the star of my own sitcom. Unfortunately, my life didn’t take me in the direction of show business until six years ago, at the age of 42, when I decided to give up my entire life to pursue my true passion of entertainment. I quit my job, gave up my income entirely, put myself on food stamps and Medicaid. My husband and I even sold our house and one of our cars for me to fulfill my pipe dream.
I knew two things: Number one, I was definitely talented enough to be the next sitcom star. Number two, I was too old to start. Realistically speaking, Hollywood would never consider a new 40-something-year-old for anything because the competition is too great. Fortunately, in this day and age, you don’t need Hollywood to make you famous anymore, so I’m sort of taking matters into my own hands and creating a project that will go viral on the internet to fulfill my own dream.
Did you write the screenplay?
I created the show, the characters and the plot. However, I have the most amazing team of entertainment professionals working on this project…The actor playing opposite me is Harry Redlich, who’s acted in feature films and national commercials. We had a list of over a dozen people auditioning for the role of Chester. Harry was the first audition and it was clear that we needn't look any further. He embodied the role and brilliantly portrayed the character.
What inspired your story?
There have been so many dynamic duos in television history—Lucy and Desi, Will and Grace, Cheech and Chong—the list goes on and on. So, I knew I wanted two characters and I wanted them (to be) completely different. I also wanted the characters to be middle-aged, not just because I’m middle-aged, but because it seems as though show business is so (youth) oriented. I wanted to create a show that caters to people 40 and older, but still enjoyable for the young people. That’s when I came up with “Vent and Chester.” Two middle-age gay men, both very different, but with similar problems and issues.
What is your production schedule like and how will the show be distributed?
We are filming our pilot episode the week of May 14. We are writing an additional five episodes this summer and hope to film them all in October with a series premiere around Thanksgiving. Right now, it’s going to be a web series on YouTube. Our goal is to make it go viral so we can pitch it to larger networks such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube Red, etc.
The pilot episode of Peter Bisuito’s “Vent and Chester” is planned for late June. Follow the series on social media @VentAndChester and at MyBigFunnyPeter.com.