I found myself laughing hysterically while chatting with the one and only Lady Bunny. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise though given the amount of chuckles she’s given to millions of people throughout her illustrious career.
The New York City drag pioneer’s humor is something that no one else can really touch. It’s sharp, smart, rude, crude and everything else a gifted comedian should possess. All of that can be seen in our hilarious interview below where she makes fun of everything and everyone all while discussing her brand new show Cuntagious. Check it out.
How difficult has COVID been for you from a personal and professional perspective?
Personally, I’m a people person and miss socializing. I also miss sex with strangers. I’ve actually been seeing the same guy for 20 years, but my Alzheimers makes me imagine that he’s a variety of dashing gentleman callers. KIDDING! I think it’s very important to call people on a regular basis. Friends or family may be upset or worried or need things, and they don’t always convey this on social media–where the name of the game is fronting about your fabulous lives for likes and shares. One friend of mine had to organize a zoom funeral for a friend who passed away. And she died alone in a hospital, with no one able to visit her. I wouldn’t even wish that tragedy on Bianca Del Rio! I would definitely want to visit Bianca if she were hospitalized–to “ease her pain” with a 15 minute pillow facial.
Professionally, performers of all kinds are out of work. Delta Work now goes by Delta Out Of Work. You see, drag queens are the least essential workers of all! I’ve done some online events, because if you’re not performing online, you’re not performing. The sad part is that we can’t vibe with the audience when we perform online. But the plus side is that we can do our thang for fans all over who no longer have to be in the same room, city or country to catch our act. We have to be creative, like Voss Events is doing with this drive-in concept. In Florida, TP Lords is doing drive-by drag shows in driveways for appreciative house parties. Varla Jean Merman and Dina Martina are performing poolside at Provincetown’s Crown & Anchor. Tyra Sanchez is performing on OnlyFans.com, which is easy for her since she only has one. Please check out Ohio’s Andria Michaels’ hysterical nightly updates on Facebook live for a giggle. Also, I created a COVID-themed comedy special called Cuntagious, which is still downloadable from VossEvents.com. We queens gotta think outside the box — and no, that isn’t a Shangela reference!
Many of our bars are in danger of closing and we don’t know when they will open again. Are you remaining optimistic that we will see the light at some point for our community?
I work in clubs, so I would love for them to reopen when it’s deemed safe. However, I don’t believe clubs will be the same until there’s a vaccine or cure. I’d love to be proven wrong and am open to good news. In the meantime, some venues will open in a reduced capacity, with distanced seating and other measures. But we pay higher drink prices and cover charge to enter a nightclub because it’s a permissive environment. That’s where people go to drink or take drugs and lose their inhibitions and gyrate against a speaker, make out with a stranger or tip/fondle go-go boys and drag queens. I used to drink a lot, and I couldn’t count how many times I was wasted and grabbed someone else’s drink by mistake. One slip-up like that could infect you and make all of those months you spent taking precautions like wearing masks, washing your hands and staying home pointless. To help out with social distancing in my neighborhood, I’ve taken to wearing nothing but a mask and high heels and walking up to any area where too many people are congregating. They run away shrieking!
On a brighter note, you are a legend. There’s no denying that. At what point in your career did you feel like you transitioned from newbie to veteran to icon?
RuPaul and my other roommates from Atlanta all nicknamed me “Charlie Brown” after a big-mouthed, brassy older drag legend named who ruled the Atlanta scene. They made me feel like I was an old battle axe even when I was in my early 20s. So while I’m flattered by the words you’ve used to describe me, I’m just happy to get to make a living doing what I love. Especially since it’s the only thing I know how to do.
You’ve also had many memorable appearances on television and in the big screen. Do you have a favorite moment in front of the camera?
On In The Life I got to interview the passionate activist and playwright Larry Kramer. Partially due to his efforts, we got medicines to treat HIV/AIDS. He inspired me greatly with his truth-telling, and I felt I was in the presence of greatness. Larry was known as caustic, but I found him to be a pussycat. He passed away this year.
On a lighter note, I wrote the music for and appeared in this Laugh-In spoof which appeared on an VH1 PETA special–along with Elvira, Bea Arthur, Andy Dick and more.
Who has been your biggest inspiration comedy wise?
RuPaul… and that mask she wore on Season 12. It was beyond hilarious! And waaaay campier than what she wore to the Met Ball last year. And I loved AJ & The Queen — it made a terrific sleeping aid. But seriously, my comedy idols are Joan Rivers, Flip WIlson, Charo, Carol Channing and the entire Wayans family. Dame Edna, Bianca Del Rio, Sugga Pie Koko and Jackie Beat are some of my fave funny drag queens.
Have you been keeping up with RPDR and are you rooting for anyone in particular on AS5?
Yes! I thought that Derrick Barry acted mean, erratic and untalented. So she’s finally perfected her Britney (Spears) impersonation! And I’m so glad that Roxxxy Andrews was able to make an appearance. Producers were very worried as she headed to LA since she almost missed her bus! But I enjoy all the queens on AS5. The casting agent did a great job–I believe her name was Allison Mossey.
In conclusion, what else do you have going on that our fans should know?
We’re going into dark times with this pandemic, the government’s mishandling of it and the ensuing economic downturn. So steel yourselves for the worst. That way, we’ll be pleasantly surprised if all of these issues are resolved sooner! Hang in there–unlike BenDeLaCreme!