Cabaret comedian Bridget Everett breaks through

Singer-comedian-actress Bridget Everett likes to call her act “alt-cabaret,” thanks to its mix of raunchy song, storytelling and audience interaction (e.g. sitting on a face is not outside her repertoire). She’s attained cult status and a significant LGBT following in NYC thanks to performances at Joe’s Pub, while she’s reached larger audiences via tours, a Comedy Central special Gynecological Wonder, albums and appearances on buddy Amy Schumer’s namesake series.

Yet 2017 has proved a true breakout year for the 45-year-old Kansas native that will take her into the pop culture stratosphere. She has garnered acclaim for her dramatic chops as a Jagermeister-swilling, toxically resentful single mother in the acclaimed dramedy Patti Cake$; co-starred with Toni Colette and Molly Shannon as a mom gone wild in Fun Mom Dinner; and stars in/co-wrote I Love You More, a new, semi-autobiographical Amazon series from Sex and the City’s Michael Patrick King and director/comedian Bobcat Goldthwait.

We phoned up Everett to talk naughty moms, thirsty gays, and the most colorful way she’s had her music described.        

— Lawrence Ferber

Dallas Voice: In Patti Cake$, your character, Barb, is a failed singer who resents and spews venom at her zaftig aspiring rapper daughter, Patti. Was or is there anyone as bitter in your life?

Everett: Oh, absolutely. Barb ended up being a combination of a few different women in my life. My mom was a single mother and my dad left her, so a little of her experience. Certainly my own bitterness about not getting a career going for many years.

Fun Mom Dinner just came out, too. How was that?

It was a super fun experience. It’s weird that I keep playing mothers, because I don’t have any children of my own. I have a dog, Poppy, a pomeranian angel sweetheart. She’s my best girlfriend, but that’s it.

Do you know any naughty moms?

Oh sure, I live in New York! What do you think happens there? When I went home to Kansas and did a show at Kansas City, all my high school girlfriends showed up in a party bus. I was like, what’s happening right now? There was a case of booze. When moms go wild, this regular sort of party girl cannot keep up.

Would you like to be a mom? Who would be your dream daughter?

Oh my god. I would never want to be a mother. My dream daughter would be Poppy! She’s such an angel, she loves to snuggle, she does what she’s told and she’s there for me when I need her. I don’t know it could get better than that.

What if you found out she thinks Trump is a really good president?

I guess I’d have to move on and get a fresh new daughter. “I’m not having that bullshit in my house, Poppy.”

Who would be your dream duet partner?

Freddie Mercury or Barry Manilow. I know Freddie’s not ever gonna happen, but Barry sort of was the soundtrack of my childhood, and his music instantly makes me feel happy and relaxed. He’s legendary. I’ve seen him in concert and cried like five times, it was so joyful.

Were you happy when he publicly came out of the closet?

Yes. I’m happy when anybody gets to be who they are. That’s the best.

How often do you come across someone closeted in the industry?

It’s crazy that you still do! Like, what are you doing? First of all, we need all the allies we can get, and secondly nobody gives a shit. Just come out of the closet!

You’re pals with Billy Eichner and Gayby’s Jonathan Lisecki. Who was your first gay friend?

My cousin Bruce. I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s and I thought he was the coolest person in the world, and he was gay, so I came out kicking and screaming for my gay army of friends.

Have you ever been with a gay friend when they used Grindr, and what did you learn from it?

Of course! It’s New York! I’ve been left behind because of Grindr more than a dozen times. When people are hungry and they’ve gotta eat, that’s the priority, and the time when your friends do what they need to do.

You were a fan of Kiki and Herb, aka Justin Vivian Bond and Kenny Mellman, and later got to actually work with both of them. Do you have an anecdote to share about the goddess?

I remember when Vivian, Viv, said to me, “You know what your music is? It’s cunt rock.” Cunt rock! I love that. Viv is a legendary person, persona, performer, trailblazer.

Here’s a deal with the devil to end on – you get a really amazing cruise gig for a week but must hang out with Guy Fieri during all of your downtime. Do you take it? 

Uh, I believe I don’t have availability in my calendar.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 29, 2017.