John Waters - Photo by Amber Maykut
John Waters - Photo by Amber Maykut


A look back at John Waters Christmas Stand-Up Special at City Winery in 2015 

Watching John Waters stand up is the equivalent of sneaking brownies out of your mother’s secret kitchen cabinet late at night while watching an NC17 movie as a kid. The legendary King of Sleaze quipped on everything from wishing Nancy Grace’s head would explode, to his favorite popper named Rush (which he was given a lifetime supply of by the inventor – but he ran out!), to his favorite pastime of riding the first car of the subway just to watch the rats feverishly jump out of the way, to replacing your prescriptions with marbles so nosy dinner guests will be outed by the ringing of falling noise makers.

For having such a demented mind, you’d think John grew up in a dysfunctional household. It was actually the opposite. His loving father even let him borrow the money to pay for Pink Flamingos.

Waters found it embarrassing that his mother would leave little bottles of liquor for the garbage men during the Christmas season. He would ask her why she did it and she would just reply, “That’s what the garbage men like.” That made me laugh hysterically and is a sneak peak into where he gets his wacky ideas. Like how he feels young people should grow back their pubic hair and dye it green and red for xmas. After all, then crabs will have somewhere to go! They are looking for a home!

Another highlight was ruining Christmas for the people who live in your childhood home if they don’t let you in to reminisce. Waters surmised that these type of people would definitely be going to Midnight Mass. During that time, break in and open all the presents, eat Santa’s cookies, and stick the turkey back in the freezer!

He touched on Charles Manson’s fiancé, Star, being dumped at the altar. She reportedly works at a McDonald’s now and has a shaved head with an “X” carved in it. When Star’s mother was asked about the break-up, she replied, “Well she knows how we feel about her marrying Manson. She had another boyfriend that was too old for her.” Water’s yelped, “That’s the problem?! That she’s a wrinkle queen?!”


Sadly, an audience member broke the news that the legendary Holly Woodlawn had just died during the Q & A. Holly was a transgendered actress in Andy Warhol’s movies Trash and Women In Revolt. She was also the unforgettable temptress of Lou Reed’s classic, “Take A Walk On The Wild Side.”

Holly Woodlawn in front of the Chelsea Hotel - Photo by Gerard Malanga
Holly Woodlawn in front of the Chelsea Hotel – Photo by Gerard Malanga

Andy Warhol played a huge role in Waters life. Not only was he a great inspiration, he also offered to back his next movie after they met. Waters graciously declined because he knew it would then become Andy Warhol’s Female Trouble. Andy was also supportive by putting Divine on the cover of Interview magazine and telling Fellini to watch Pink Flamingos.

John Waters with Andy Warhol - Photo by Robert Levin
John Waters with Andy Warhol – Photo by Robert Levin

After the show, my three girlfriends and I waited impatiently to meet the man himself. It was just as thrilling as meeting Santa in the neighborhood mall as a kid! Done in strangely the same fashion! An older man sitting on a stage under a spotlight and taking pictures with fans.

We passed around a community hairbrush while in line, feeling silly for wanting to look so good for a man who isn’t interested in what we’re offering. One friend even had her breasts jutting out of her dress in an imposing manner. As we walked up to him, Waters said, “Look, It’s the Shirelles!” I must admit, it’s the best compliment I’ve ever gotten.

A twisted, merry time was had by all. Look out for John Water’s two new books: Liar Mouth, about an old woman who steals luggage at airports, and Mr. Know It All, which Waters describes as “the damaged wisdom of a filth elder.” Where John gets to dish on gay politics as well as elderly LSD use.

Amy & John

We love you John! Thank you for being fabulously inappropriate for us weirdo kids growing up in this ‘play by the rules,’ conservative nation!