Sexercising a Tribute to Millie Jackson


Kenny Mellman (of Kiki and Herb) and Bridget Everett join forces for an explosively bitchy cabaret act at Joe’s Pub entitled Sexercise Live! A Tribute to the Potty Mouthed and Profound Millie Jackson. Kenny Mellman chatted with the Voice about it.

Village Voice: Whose idea was it to show love for R&B queen Millie Jackson through this cabaret act? Why?

Kenny Mellman: I’ve always had a hot-nut for singers who talk during songs. My boyfriend and I were driving in the snow in Denver and on a mix-cd was this 25-minute long medley from Millie called “Feeling Bitchy Medley. ” In between the songs she talks on the phone, gives counsel to her friend whose husband is cheating on her and generally somehow inexplicably ties together 6 disparate songs. That was the beginning of the idea. Then we found Millie’s album ESP (Extra-sexual Persuasion) in a used LP store in Portland, OR. An idea was born. It could be a good one, could be a bad one….but at least it is an idea.

VV: How’d you come up with the name Sexercise?

KM: On ESP there is a two-part song called Sexercise, Parts 1 and 2. It basically is the soundtrack to a sexy exercise video that never was made, so we decided that it should be the title of the show. And anyway, Sex in a title always sells tickets!

VV: Is there any pole dancing or bawdy gymnastics in your act? We likey when ya’ll show us some sexy sexy…

KM: There will be an instructional video starring Neal Medlyn, and I’m sure at some point Bridget will get mostly naked. She is that kind of lady….I will most probably keep all of my clothes on…I’m that kind of lady.

VV: Have you invited Ms. Jackson to come out to one of your shows?

KM: This is the premiere of the show—we are still furiously rehearsing. But I would hope that Ms. Jackson would appreciate that we are presenting it as a loving tribute and not come and sledgehammer our heads in as she suggests to do to a husband who strays in one of her songs.

VV: And finally, to the most important question: Who’s hotter—you or Bridget?

KM: I guess it depends on what your inclination is. But I would say that if you put us together in one package—you pretty much have something for everyone!