Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness Is Embarking on a Comedy Tour Across the Country
The Queer Eye star is trying his hand at stand-up comedy with a new nationwide tour
Fans of Queer Eye, rejoice! Jonathan Van Ness, the grooming and hair expert on the Netflix reality show, is taking his charisma and comedic talent on the road as he embarks on a stand-up comedy tour in a partnership with Hotels.com.
The Queer Eye star, 31, spoke exclusively to PEOPLE about his new tour — and how it differs from filming Queer Eye.
It should come as no surprise to viewers that Van Ness has always been interested in comedy. He says he grew up watching stand-up comics including Joan Rivers and Margaret Cho, whom he eventually partnered with for an episode of his Emmy-nominated comedy web series Gay of Thrones.
“[Cho] was like, ‘Girl, you’re funny! You should try this!” Van Ness said. “And I was like ‘Oh, I’m a hairdresser, I don’t know!'”
Now, Van Ness’ longtime dream of being a stand-up comic is coming true. With the help of Hotels.com, which is putting Van Ness up in hotels across the country as he travels, the reality star is leaving for a 10-night cross-country comedy tour, which kicked off this week in Brooklyn.
“I was minding my own little baby business one day and I got this amazing call from Hotels.com that they wanted to partner up,” the Queer Eye star said. “They wanted to help me get into my vibes of trying to see if I could really do stand-up and really make this a reality.”
Van Ness said the shows will mostly consist of him telling funny anecdotes.
“I’m naturally kind of hammy,” he said with a laugh. “It’ll be fast-paced and full of story-telling.”
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He also drew a connection between working as a hairdresser and comedian, saying that his job as a stylist has been preparing him to work in stand-up for most of his adult life.
“Getting to do hair is almost like doing stand-up while making people look better,” Van Ness mused. “Sometimes you have to make light of the insane situations you get yourself into with hair.”
Can’t make it to a show? Don’t fret: In addition to the live shows, a docu-style web series will be produced featuring behind the scenes clips of the tour. The series, titled Hotels.comedy Presents 10 Nights with Jonathan Van Ness, will be available on the Hotels.com YouTube channel in November. The four-episode series will offer a behind-the-scenes look at Van Ness on the road.
“It’ll be a little peek behind the curtain to see me in a different way,” Van Ness said. “It is definitely very vulnerable going up and getting into a stand-up comedy space, and it feels like the tables are turned on me in the sense that I’m now the subject of the story.”
As for the season 3 of Queer Eye? They’re still in the middle of filming, Van Ness said — and unlike the first two seasons, which took place in Atlanta, the new season will be set in Kansas City.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of the same fun and joy and human connection,” Van Ness teased of the upcoming season, set to return to Netflix in 2019.