You can't miss Bridget Everett onstage. Not just because her act is unique and hilarious, but because she's six feet tall and one of her sizeable breasts is likely halfway out her costume, usually a low-cut dress designed by her friend Larry Krone. "He knows what to accentuate and that I like to move around a lot," said the classically trained singer whose Comedy Central special, Gynecological Wonder, featured her singing a song about getting her "beaver tail titties" out, then doing so. "He celebrates the female form in all its glory."
So does Everett, whose performances—a mix of comedy, music, audience interaction, and white wine consumption—engage most frequently with sex and bodies. She's known as much for her habit of motorboating and sitting on the faces of her audience as for her raunchy-yet-touching storytelling and songs, and has been a mainstay of the cabaret scene for years.
Recently, however, she's been popping up on television and in movies, most often with close friend Amy Schumer. She's currently on tour with her band, The Tender Moments, but made some time to talk to us about wine, her stage persona, and tits—and give us some karaoke advice.
Broadly: You've said you identify more as a cabaret performer than a comedian. What's the distinction between the two, for you?
Bridget Everett: Cabaret, to me, is more about storytelling and song. that's where I feel like I am most at home. If I had to stand up and tell jokes without the safety net of a song, i'd wet myself. I used to eschew the label of cabaret singer because i thought it was too traditional and buttoned up. But I was wrong. There aren't a lot of rules in cabaret. And there are a lot of people doing it now who are lawless and exciting and vital. Check out Taylor Mac, Erin Markey, or Justin Vivian Bond—fucking amazing performers.
You're a big white wine proponent. Do you think there's a particular Chardonnay Woman?
Amy Schumer and I are the particular chardonnay woman. We were just drinking it together last night. Why won't Rombauer sponsor us?!
Do you ever feel pressure, since you're known for being really in-your-face and bawdy, to push things farther when you're onstage? What would that even look like?
I've done some shit on stage where friends have been like, "Whoa! Bridget. Too far!" and maybe it was. But you have to push the limits to find out how comfortable you are out on the ledge, I'll keep taking chances. it keeps performing night after night fresh for me. and i know there's more danger out there that i haven't had the chance to experience yet. Bridget off stage is a very dialled-down version of the beast onstage. I chill with my dog, Poppy, and dream of being as balls out as her. She's my queen.
Your act involves a lot of physical interaction with the audience. Does it ever backfire? What do you think is important about including physical touch in your shows?
It has backfired but very rarely. I want the audience to leave having felt something, having changed. Otherwise, what's the point? Sometimes physically touching them is the best way to get the point across. But we go out with all guns blazing—using humor, heart and tits.
Do you feel like your comedy will get more mainstream or less in your face sexually aggressive now that you're performing for more mainstream avenues like TV?
I still feel like i haven't crossed over to the mainstream yet—I will, but if I died tomorrow, I'd be happy with where I landed.
Your tits are a frequent participant in your shows—Zachary Quinto said he wanted to "suck on your titty chardonnay." Why do you think people respond so intensely to your breasts?
I think I remind people of their mom on a Sunday morning: no bra, cooking breakfast and making sure everyone is taken care of.
I read in Time Out that you're a big karaoke fan. Any tips for those of us who aren't famously ballsy cabaret performers but want to kill it at karaoke?
Drink a flaming shot of Sambuca and go nuts. That's what I did and now I do it for a living.