As New York grapples with an overdue blast of winter weather, John Hill is ready to take audiences on a sun-drenched getaway courtesy of his chihuahua, Pete.
Hill, best known as the dreamy host of SiriusXM’s “The News With John Hill” and co-host of “Andy Cohen Live,” is currently touring the country with a one-man concert, “Wellness Check.” The actor and musician gave HuffPost a sneak peek at the show, which plays at New York’s Green Room 42 Thursday before a two-night stint in Chicago this weekend, via the video below. In it, he performs “The Same 5 Gays (Pete’s Song),” a comedic recap of a recent beach vacation told from the perspective of his dog.
“I always assumed my dog, Pete, was gay because he’s small, and frankly, he looks super gay,” Hill quipped. “But this summer I brought him with me to Fire Island where we stayed in a house with five other gay men who talked about Broadway actresses for seven days straight.”
He went on to note: “It was a major lesson for me not to judge anyone by their appearance or presentation. Even a small, nine-pound chihuahua can be ruthlessly, hatefully homophobic. I perform the song to celebrate his long-suffering life of tolerance.”
Watch “The Same 5 Gays (Pete’s Song)” below.
All joking aside, “Wellness Check” is a delightfully irreverent return to the Texas-born Hill’s songwriting roots. He spent the early years of his career in musical theater, appearing on Broadway in “Hairspray” and “The Boy from Oz.” Eventually, he relocated from New York to Los Angeles to work in television and film production before embarking on his radio hosting gig with Cohen, a former boyfriend.
Even as Hill found success in other realms, he still longed to write and perform his original music. He finally fulfilled that goal last year when the first incarnation of “Wellness Check” debuted. The show is directed by his “Hairspray” co-star, Marissa Jaret Winokur.
“The creative genesis for this show was that my life has changed pretty dramatically over the past couple of years ― my father passed away, I got sober,” he said. “The challenge I gave myself is to have it be 100% from my brain. It’s not based on something someone else wrote. I write the jokes. I write the music. I play the music. I sing the songs. I wanted to challenge myself to do everything myself.”
John Hill (right) is known as the dreamy co-host of SiriusXM’s “Andy Cohen Live.”
Regarding the concert’s title, he added: “This show is a literal ‘wellness check’ for myself and anyone who comes to see it. Are any of us OK? The world is insane. And even though I think that most people are unwell, I also am highly entertained by what I witness in my day-to-day life. Entertained and also enraged.”
From the sounds of it, “Wellness Check” is off to a strong start, with the likes of Kelly Ripa, actor Kathy Najimy and, of course, Cohen praising Hill’s musical chops. As for Hill himself, he’s ready to take the show all the way to the top ― assuming mainstream audiences are ready for it, that is.
“I remember seeing Bruce Springsteen’s Broadway show where he sat at the piano and talked about New Jersey,” he said. “I thought: ‘This would be so much better if he were a gay guy singing about his homophobic chihuahua throwing a tantrum on Fire Island.’ So I wrote that show. That’s obviously what the people want. And I’m ready to give it to them.”
John Hill will perform “Wellness Check” at New York’s Green Room 42 on Jan. 18 and Feb. 1.
“This show is a literal ‘wellness check’ for myself and anyone who comes to see it,” Hill said. “Are any of us okay? The world is insane.”