It’s perhaps not surprising that Bridget Everett—a six-foot-tall, classically trained singer, who uses her breasts as props, and routinely sits on the faces of her audience members—would feel at home in the amorphous, anything-goes community of New York City’s downtown performance scene. Her act is neither a comedy show nor cabaret—it’s vaudeville meets raunchy storytelling, set to filthy, hilarious, and really pretty vocals. But ineffable as her act may be, when it started getting attention from more mainstream venues, Everett found herself with a foot in both worlds.
“I’ll walk into a room and I’ll be on a lineup with a bunch of guys or just comics and I’ll have to work twice as hard because they’re not used to seeing a six-foot-tall woman without a bra,” Everett told us by phone. “And, in the world of cabaret, people are also not used to seeing a six-foot-tall woman not wearing a bra. So there’s challenges wherever I go because I don’t feel like I fit a particular mold.”
Despite this balancing act, Everett has been embraced by almost everyone. In 2013, she performed at Carnegie Hall with Broadway mainstay Patti LuPone. She closed out two season finales of Inside Amy Schumer. In 2014, Everett began performing her uproarious, expletive-laden, boob-brandishing show Rock Bottom at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. Now, Everett is breaking yet another boundary and taking her act to television with her first Comedy Central special, Gynecological Wonder. We chatted with the “alt-Cabaret provocateur” about her new special, becoming friends with Amy Schumer—and their shared devotion to chardonnay.
How many shows did you film to make the special?
We did two shows in one night but it’s almost all taken from the second show. I was a little bit more warmed-up, and I had a little more chardonnay. I was in the zone.
Have you always brown-bagged chardonnay for your performances?
That was actually a gift from friends and they gave it to me on Christmas, it’s actually an insolated wine bag. It helps keep the wine cold throughout the show, which is nice because if I really get talking it can be like two hours.
I feel like you and Amy Schumer need to start a chardonnay company.
You know, you are 100 percent right about that. And we both love the same chardonnay: Rombauer. And we’re like, “Why won’t Rombauer sponsor us?” I don’t know if they want to keep their distance from us or they just don’t know how deeply in love we are. When Amy and I text each other, it’s not even, like, “Hey, do you want to get a drink?” It’s, like, “Rombauer?”
Was your friendship with Amy born out of your shared love of chardonnay?
That’s what’s kept us together. No, we met at a comedy festival up in Montreal and I sort of, like, hang back in my room during those sorts of situations because there are so many comics and so many people and it can be a little overwhelming. And Amy was like, “Get out of your room, come down, let’s have some chardonnay, walk around, and say hello to people.” I wasn’t always like that but it seems like the wilder and more outrageous my stage persona becomes, the more withdrawn and reserved I become in real life. I just think just takes so much out of me on stage, so when I’m not on stage, I like to sit at home with some Rombauer and my dog Poppy.
Has your stage presence gotten more outrageous over the years?
Yeah. When I’m stage, I just feel like the beast is out of the cage and I’ve got to go fucking crazy. And the more fun the audience is having, the further I’ll go. I want it to be memorable for them and most importantly, I want it to be memorable for me. That’s what makes me think I have the best job in the world. I get to drink all night and sit on people’s faces. It’s not a bad way to make a living.
Has your audience involvement ever backfired?
Oh, it’s backfired before, sure. And I’ve definitely had my fair share of walkouts. But that for me is a good sign that I’m doing something right. I want people to have a very clear and distinct reaction. I don’t want to participate in something that’s, like, take it or leave it. I really want to have an impact.
Do you feel like the comedy scene has changed a lot since you began performing?
It’s funny because I really consider myself more of a singer and a cabaret performer . . . I would have to say the comedy world has evolved at least to the place where it’s allowing and embracing something like what I do. I can’t recall a time in recent years you’d see someone doing cabaret on Comedy Central. I think people are more willing and open to see not just the guy standing there in the hoodie telling dick jokes but like a woman with a plunging neckline with her titty hanging out and thinking that’s funny, too.
Gynecological Wonder airs on Comedy Central on Saturday, July 11
The post Meet Bridget Everett: The Raunchy Cabaret Comedian You’ll Never Forget appeared first on Vogue.
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