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BYT Interviews: John Waters
December 6, 2013 | 9:00AM
There may not be a more interviewed person than John Waters. Maybe Noam Chomsky. BYT alone has interviewed him like, four times.
Anything about Divine, Baltimore, his mustache, gayness, Pink Flamingos, the shit– we got it.
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I just wanted to talk about the holidays. It wasn’t a long interview. I was Qualia coffee holding a droid up to my iPhone to record it. A woman figured out who I was talking to and eavesdropped, at first surreptitiously, and then just plain obviously when she laughed at something he said.
It ended sweetly. I said I’ll be going to his show. He told me to mention the birds in Central Park when I do.

How’s your day going?

It’s going very well, you’re my last interview of the day. So I’ll say things I’ve never said…

OK, I’ll do the same. Can I hear about your holiday show? Is it a one man show?

Yes it’s just me…it’s a seventy minute monologue that I do and it’s completely written and rehearsed, new material.

It’s the holidays with Mr. John Waters.

Yes, or Johnny Mathis, either way…It’s about crime and fashion and Christmas music. It’s about happiest memories of Christmas, the worst memories, about sticks and stones and who should get ‘em, all the Christmas ephemera, breaking into other people’s houses and opening their presents before they do.

Like an anti-Santa.

Well you don’t steal anything, you just open the presents, it’s more surreal.

Have you heard of the Krampus?

JW: What is that?

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In Austria they have a Santa and then they have a Krampus who kidnaps bad children and takes them to his lair.

Yes, yes, and in Iceland I heard another good Christmas nightmare story– they have some good alternative Christmases from around the world. All the Santas in every country should meet and have a fight, like an end of the world fight. That’d be a good movie.

Do you believe in Santa Clause?

I believe in the basic goodness of people. The problem I have with Santa Clause is…well it seems like what child doesn’t know something’s wrong. Your parents tell you if you’re good [you get a present] so why should you have to write a letter? The bargain was if you’re good you get a present so why do I have to write a letter? Give me the fucking present that I asked for.

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Do you believe in Christmas miracles?

I don’t believe in miracles like the way the Catholic Church says they’ve proven someone did a miracle so they can be a saint. How about helping people- isn’t that a much better reason to be called a saint? I don’t believe in Christmas miracles–I believe in luck. I wish I believed in Karma because some of the greatest people I knew are dead and they wouldn’t be and shouldn’t be and I know a lot of assholes who are alive. I wish I believed in it but I don’t.

Do you know where the ducks in Central Park go in winter?

I would think maybe if they’re glamorous ducks maybe they go to Paris…

Like they know about a better Christmas party than we do.

Well I see the same birds every year in Provincetown people tell me they go home, people who know about that kind of thing– and so it is amazing! Like–well how do they know how to get back?! I always hope they go to a similar neighborhood so they’re never disappointed…because there’s nothing sadder than a disappointed bird.

Especially on Christmas.

Well any time of the year. I don’t know that birds celebrate Christmas, I mean I’ve never seen a bird nativity scene.

A John Waters Christmas will be at Stage 48 in New York City on December 13 and 14, the Birchmere in Alexandria on December 18 and the Baltimore Soundstage in Baltimore on December 19 and 20.

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