While you can reliably find John Waters haunting Baltimore scotch bar Birds of a Feather, for two nights this holiday season you can catch the filmmaker and raconteur in his one-man show "A John Waters Christmas," playing at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill Dec. 19 and 20. Waters' festively filthy act details his love of perverted gifts, true-crime holiday horror stories, and Santa's secret sex life. As just a taste of the icon's perverted holiday cheer, here he explains why Dan Savage would make a bad Santa, how to have sex in a chimney, and why he's been buying two Christmas presents a day since October.
If Michele Bachmann were a mall Santa, how do you think she'd do?
Michele Bachmann would have too many dumb opinions about children's gifts.
What about Divine?
Oh, he would have made a great Santa Claus. I remember people used to ask if they could sit in his lap, and he'd say, "Well, I don't really have a lap..." Real fat people don't have a lap.
She's not fat, but Lady Gaga?
Lady Gaga's the hardest-working person in show business since James Brown. But she'd change outfits between each child, so the line would be a lot slower.
The cast of Glee?
You mean all together in one outfit? A group Santa.... even someone too old to believe in Santa would get back in line to sit in that lap.
You seem like the kind of person who would either love or hate Glee.
I think it's great, are you kidding? I think it made every 14-year-old gay boy safer.
Speaking of gay boys, what if Dan Savage were Santa?
I think children who get their sex advice from Santa Claus are in for some real trouble.
And what if you suited up?
Santa Claus is kind of a polar bear, so I'd have to turn him into a polar otter. But because of political correctness in public schools now, I've seen Hairspray performed with Tracy played by a skinny black girl. They can't ask fat people to play the part -- black, white, or anything. It's all so postmodern.
Is John Waters a good gift giver?
Yes, I'm a really good gift giver, and I have so many to give each year. My Christmas list is staggering.
When do you start your shopping?
In October, because then you get one or two a day and it's not so overwhelming.
What's the worst holiday gift you've been stuck with?
The soundtrack to Rocky, which I threw out the window of a highrise.
What's the best gift you've gotten?
The best gift is always a book by your favorite author you didn't know existed.
In "A John Waters Christmas," you explore parts of Santa's story that we don't already know -- like what?
Is he erotic? Can there be a gay Santa? Can there be an anorexic Santa? Can you have sex in a chimney? That's something no one's ever discussed. Is there such a thing as a "flue queen"?
When did your point of view on Santa take shape?
Probably when I wrote Crackpot. There's a chapter called "Why I Love Christmas" that I originally wrote for National Lampoon. I always liked Christmas, in an unironic way. But I understand how painful it is for some people, and I address that in my act, too.
Do you think we're notably more desensitized than when you wrote Crackpot 30 years ago?
I think now there's a new "bad taste" that's trying too hard. Things are better, certainly, than when I was young -- but now there's almost too many gay people. I'm for coming in.
What role did you played in that?
I made bad taste 1 percent more respectable. That was my mission in life, I guess. That's not a bad legacy to leave, is it?
No, but I'm guessing you're not done yet.
I'm going to continue to try to surprise people and take them into a world they might be uncomfortable with. But I'm a good guide. They should feel safe.
How will Donald Trump’s first 100 days impact YOU? Subscribe, choose the community that you most identify with or want to learn more about and we’ll send you the news that matters most once a week throughout Trump’s first 100 days in office. Learn more