Del Shores’ first DVD of his standup act is dishy, real and hilarious

STANDUP AND PROUD | After years behind the scenes, Shores steps onstage in his comedy DVD. (Photo courtesy Brian Putnam)

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor


Del Shores really missed his calling.

For decades, he’s been known primarily as a writer — of plays from Daddy’s Dyin’ … Who’s Got the Will? to Southern Baptist Sissies, and TV shows like Queer as Folk — eventually expanding into directing on the series version of Sordid Lives and the upcoming feature film Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife. But now that he has begun to spread his wings into performing standup … well, let’s just say it’s the perfect marriage of gay subject matter and gay man — and it’s legal in all 50 states.



Del Shores.
Breaking Glass Pictures

3.5 stars out of 5


Del Shores: My Sordid Life is the filmed stage show Shores created more than a year ago and performed in Dallas for the first time in January 2011. (This DVD was shot in California; Sordid Confessions, his newest standup filmed at the Rose Room earlier this year, will come out later this spring.) For nearly two hours, Shores delivers a stinging, detailed stream of consciousness rant about his life.

And ohh, the details. Midget sex. How he came out to his family. What he really thinks of Randy Harrison, Judge Reinhold and Thomas Haden Church. Because Shores takes a no-holds-barred approach, he’s an equal opportunity offender, giving My Sordid Life a genuine, dishy quality — not just of the assholes he’s worked with, but the gems (Rue McClanahan, Beth Grant, Leslie Jordan).

If the characters of Shores’ plays have ever seemed overstated — exaggerating of Southern stereotypes — you just may feel he’s underplayed the reality. Virtually every character from a Shores play is based on an actual family member or friend, and the way he tells it, a play like Sordid Lives might well be more docu-drama than absurdist comedy. Coming out of other actors’ mouths, the stories might sound funny, but here they are something more: Astonishingly real.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition March 30, 2012.