Looking back on the campaign, it seems as if MARY CHENEY, God, and a dead goose were all used as vote-getting gimmicks, but mostly we were the ones who were used like disposable tampons, or at the very least citrus-scented Wet Ones. Whatever the result—thanks to sanity-threatening deadlines, I don’t know yet—I always felt KERRY was the KELLY RIPA to BUSH‘s KATHIE LEE GIFFORD; he’s a mess, but it was one of those “anything’s better” situations!
Living in terror over the outcome, I took solace from a succession of comics, who at least tend to preach with humor and sass. All ears, I phone-interviewed TV legend ROSEANNE, who told me that if Bush won, “I’m looking at Costa Rica. I’m so scared.”
Before packing, Roseanne spent recent weeks stumping college campuses with MICHAEL MOORE in favor of Kerry because “I didn’t want to just sit there like a big oaf like I did all the other times. I’m one of those people who never voted.” Like PARIS HILTON? “She shouldn’t vote!” she said, laughing.
Actually, Roseanne voted twice, though she stayed home in 2000, feeling “it was one billionaire or another. Who cared? This time, there was a difference in billionaires.”
But here’s a billion-dollar shocker: In September 2001, Roseanne not only stayed home, she was off the hook—literally. She had gone all kabbalistic and turned off the phones and TV set, and as a result, she didn’t know about 9-11 until 9-13! “I was being a hermit,” Roseanne admitted. “I promised no outside interference between God and me for a whole week. When I finally heard what happened, I said, ‘What?’ Everything was on fire! When you divorce yourself from the world for spiritual things, that’s the worst thing!”
That was a wicked harsh lesson, but Roseanne didn’t end up divorcing herself from meditation; she still thinks it’s perfectly suitable “if you’ve got a crazy-assed mind that needs to calm down. I don’t like all the hype, though. It makes me vomit. To have some other thing to shove down everyone’s throat—how evil is that? It’s supposed to be about listening.” Was she referring, perchance, to ESTHER? “No one in particular,” she swore. “They say you go straight to hell when you make fun of someone else.” She paused for a second: “But nobody gives a shit! Just fix yourself and shut the fuck up!”
Thankfully, Roseanne never will. She’s channeling her newfound awareness into a stand-up act at Town Hall on November 9, which is part of the New York Comedy Festival. “It’s a celebration of Armageddon,” she told me. “They say that in these times, only the voice of the insane and the drunkards can be believed. I say, ‘Luckily for you people, I’m both!’ ”
GIVE THE LADY A HAND
Intoxicated nuts and informed funny people abounded at the House of Xavier’s Glam Slam at Bowery Poetry Club, which brought out all the usual beautiful rage, from “Shitty is the way that I feel” to “What you say is never what you mean, you lactose-intolerant dairy queen!” But the “erotic poem with weapons of mass seduction” category drew some friendlier thoughts, like when the bartender, SEREN DIVINE, slinkily recited a poem about a lady friend’s deft digits. “We coil repeatedly,” she moaned, “fist to cervix . . . pushing the velvet walls of my cunt.” “Baby, you made me wanna have a pussy!” exclaimed ANDRES, the Mother of the House of Xavier, after that one. He later reconsidered.
Another one-man gay fire sale, the riotous MARIO CANTONE, went to that same place on the opening night of his Laugh Whore show, when he impersonated what different stars would be like if they appeared in The Vagina Monologues. Doing Madonna—sorry, it’s been a bad week for Madge—he pursed his lips and said, “My vagina has no talent,” and some queens in the crowd got their boas riled. But everyone else was deliriously happy—oh, except for the Post‘s CLIVE BARNES, who phobically wrote, “Wild, gay stallions wouldn’t force me back.” “It sounds like he’s been reading Colt magazine or something,” quipped a theater source afterward.
In the crowd, Broadway fave JULIE HALSTON told me they’re giving her “free rein” as the newest inheritor of JACKIE HOFFMAN‘s multiple Hairspray roles. (Jackie had that and more; on her last night, I hear, she broke into an acoustic version of “Wichita Lineman.”) Nearby, free spirit JENNIFER TILLY told me she’s got multiple roles in the immortal Seed of Chucky. “I play Jennifer Tilly, the international B motion picture star,” she said, “and the voice of the horrendous little doll Tiffany.” Is she the one who kills BRITNEY in the film? “No, Chucky does! I have nothing to do with it!” she shrieked. OK, but please get ASHLEE SIMPSON, deal?
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY
At a stimulating Paper magazine panel on indie film at the W Hotel, JOHN WATERS told me about his own part in that intriguingly populated Chucky flick. “I play a paparazzi who gets killed,” said the auteur. “They’re the new villains in every movie.” And they are truly the devil, especially when they’re not chasing me into tunnels.
But by far the biggest development in pop cinema—no matter who’s president—is that gay panic is at an all-time lavender-alert high. To wit: Shark Tale trots out macho fish fearing (then ultimately embracing) the different; Shall We Dance? has ballroom twirler STANLEY TUCCI acting mortally terrified of seeming queer; Team America: World Police wallows in the horror of gay come-ons; JUDE LAW‘s Alfie is repulsed by a male erectile-dysfunction doctor with a female name; Stage Beauty is about a sexually confused drag queen who develops a taste for velvet walls; and the sublime Sideways even has a gay panic moment in between all the whining and wining. This is good news—it means we’re threatening the straights and closet cases. But they should just fix themselves and shut the fuck up!
FRED ROTHBELL-MISTA‘s arty Alphabetland hangout Apocalypse Lounge is where you step on KENNY THE HUMAN CARPET gingerly to get a drink, then place the cocktail on a computer disk coaster and submit to the fizzy, heady entertainment. Last Wednesday, the club hosted Creation Nation: A Live Talk Show, a two-man comedy performance by kinetic John Larroquette look-alike BILLY EICHNER (who dominates) and sweet-faced Iowan ROBIN TAYLOR (who submits). Their humor is both cerebral and nutty as they spoof FCC guidelines, cable soundbite whoring, and “down-low” homeboys, complete with a guest star, a mini-rock opera, and an ALI G-like taped segment in which Eichner asks pedestrians, “Are you excited about BROOKE SHIELDS going into Wonderful Town?” Their best line: “They’re making a movie called Maria Full of Will & Grace about a woman who smuggles stock characters into the United States.”
Meanwhile, that other downtown duo, KIKI & HERB, have been smuggled into Hollywood; they improbably turn up in Imaginary Heroes, an upcoming SIGOURNEY WEAVER flick about a fucked-up suburban family . . . Another moody movie melodrama, Birth, is about a weirdie who claims to be the incarnation of a woman’s dead husband and who vigorously tries to warn her about another dude. Wasn’t this already a hit when it was called Ghost? . . . Finally, Broadway’s retread Twelve Angry Men isn’t about the Yankees; it’s everyone’s jury duty nightmare, where 11 people want to fry the defendant and go home, but one freak prefers hanging around and seeking justice. The masterfully acted production is riveting from start to finish and should be unanimously declared “guilty” of providing surprisingly worthwhile theater. And it’s extra relevant in a time when every vote really makes a difference, especially if I’m in Costa Rica right now.
That scary BIN LADEN video proved once and for all what a rotten leader he is—Bush, that is. While DUBYA‘s been busy making excuses for ditzing around in Iraq, bin Laden—the self-admitted architect of 9-11—has been alive and thriving and cooking up elaborately thought-out bile to put on tape, with nice styling yet. Judging from his references, bin Laden’s even apparently had time to see Fahrenheit 9/11. What, did he go to a screening? Anyway, Bush spinning this whole fiasco in his favor is like . . . almost every other self-justifying thing he’s done.
On a less important battlefield, Saturday Night Live seems to be up to its tawdry old tricks. The show’s latest musical guest, EMINEM, looked like he was flat-out lip-synching his first song, and during the second one, his mouth didn’t always match the “vocals” we were hearing. Best case scenario: He was performing along to a backup track. Well, I suggest that the cast members lip-synch some old comedy sketches from Your Show of Shows or The Ben Stiller Show; that could only be better than the increasingly lame stuff they are doing. (HORATIO SANZ padded and making feeble fat jokes? Oy.) And how could they have included so many dissy references to ASHLEE SIMPSON? Aren’t they the ones who gleefully enabled the lip-synching phenom and who screwed it up for Ashlee by playing the wrong tape? Awkward jig. Exit columnist.