Tina Burner knows how to keep the kids of New York City engaged, laughing and paying attention (not a small feat in our fast paced and phone obsessed world). This New York City powerhouse is one of the leading queens in the city, so much so that she was a featured cast member on the reality series Shade: Queens of NYC. Besides her weekly and packed nightlife schedule, Burner has been known to take on the pageant circuit with tenacity, with her latest pageant quest, Miss Comedy Queen, which is at the Parliament House in Orlando, FL on Monday August 12th. I sat down with this hilarious doll to talk about her quest for the Miss Comedy Queen crown, the key to perfecting a roast joke, and what truly makes her “funny”.
Michael Cook: You are one of New York City’s premiere queens and your comedic talents are that of legend; have you always been a funny person, even before drag?
Tina Burner: I’ve always believed in not taking life too seriously. When you really sit back and think about how ridiculous things are (our country for example) you have to laugh. I mean you could cry but who wants to look constipated?
MC: What makes Tina Burner funny? How do you describe your comedic timing and skills? Who do you compare yourself or pattern yourself after?
TB: I think one of the big things that make Tina Burner funny is my size. There is nothing funnier that a 7 foot linebacker in a dress creeping down the streets of New York City in the wee hours of the morning. Honestly I think I get most of my personality from my mom, aka “Boozin Susan”. She always knows how to laugh at things even at the wrong times. I also think you have a have no fear. The day I put on those heels I honestly stopped caring about what people thought.
MC: What makes the Miss Comedy Queen title such a lofty title for you to achieve?
TB: Who wouldn’t wanna be the funniest in the nation? I have had the time of my life these last couple years and this year’s package is something Im very proud of. Right now in our political climate laughter is key. I would just prefer to do it in a sparkly hat.
MC: You have had some amazing achievements, including the Tweeka Weed Originality Award. What makes your comedy both original and able to be related to by so many people?
TB: It was an honor to win the Tweeka Weed Originality award at Miss Comedy Queen Nationals. To be original today in a world full of instagram filters, You Tube rips offs, etc is the biggest compliment. People are forgetting that drag should be about their own self- expression. Not a copycat of everyone else. It is rare nowadays to see anything original.
MC: What are some memories in your career that you truly knew you had hit on something truly funny?
TB: When I preformed in Atlantic City and did an anti-Trump number and got some lovely boos. To play devils advocate, I got standing ovations as well. I think to be truly funny it should be in good taste, but still piss people off. Yo know you’ve made it when people get up and leave (laughs)!
MC: Okay, you and four other girls from New York City are doing a The View type conversation/comedic show; pick four other girls to cast with you and why?
TB: Holly Box Springs because she has never missed an episode of The View and could literally keep me on track.
Kizha Carr because well she would be a good ticking time bomb
Marti Gould Cummings because she is a political warrior
Jasmine Rice Lebejia because… well you’ve seen her live videos
MC: A new queen wants to learn how to be “funny”; what advice do you give them?
TB: Be yourself and stop trying to do what everybody else is doing. Do we really need another “Telephone” mix ?
MC: When doing a roast; what are some crucial tips you can give? Your humor is both biting and breathlessly funny at the same time!
TB: When doing a roast is where you can get away with murder. Take something sensitive and put a funny spin on it. As long as it is funny, what can they really say? Also, go first, so no one steals the jokes from you that somebody else wrote for them. Its also not funny to just be cruel; be creatively cruel!
MC: What gives you pride right now?
TB: Seeing people smile . Ive always said I do what I do to make people smile and have a good time. When that ends ill hang up my heels.
Pictures courtesy of James Michael Avance
Other pictures courtesy of David Serrano (as indicated)
You can contribute to Tina Burner’s quest for Miss Comedy Queen @ her GoFundMe here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/tinaburner3rdtimesacharm?
You can get tickets for Miss Comedy Queen here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/national-miss-comedy-queen-pageant-