Literally big and bawdy—over six feet tall, Rubenesque, braless with a glass of chardonnay in hand— Bridget Everett (www.bridgeteverett.net) is a beloved NYC cabaret star with a major gay following thanks to her trademark cocktail of song, filthy storytelling, and audience interaction. Yet 2017 saw her profile boost nationally thanks to Patti Cakes$, which played both the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals. Everett portrayed Barb, the alcoholic, bitter single mother of an aspiring New Jersey rapper, Patti. Everett also provided a more lighthearted, comedic turn in Fun Mom Dinner, alongside Toni Colette and Molly Shannon, and headed up an original, semi-autobiographical Amazon series pilot, Love You More.
Born in Manhattan, Kansas, Everett first landed on the map over a decade ago with regular engagements at NYC’s Joe’s Pub. Since then, the 45-year-old (her mantra, which she attributes to LL Cool J, is “DDHD”: dreams don’t have deadlines) has appeared at Carnegie Hall with Patti LuPone; in films Sex and the City, Gayby, and Trainwreck; and a handful of albums, including one with her band, The Tender Moments (which includes former Beastie Boy, Adam Horovitz). Fans of Amy Schumer’s Comedy Central series also know Everett through memorable performances of raunchy ballads including “What I Gotta Do (To Get That Dick In My Mouth).” Here in the VIP Lounge she proved just as wonderfully unexpurgated.
What is the most insane alt-cabaret or karaoke act you’ve seen while traveling?
Oh my God. I have so many favorites. You have to see Christeene out of Austin, Texas. She also performs elsewhere. It’s just this bold, in the best way, punk-rock cabaret mash-up that’s mind-bending and extreme. I’ve done a lot of crazy shit on stage, but I feel like I’ve got a lot to learn after I leave a Christeene show.
How about New York–based performers and venues people should check out when in town?
You definitely have to go to Joe’s Pub. If you want to see up-and-comers, Billy Eichner and I started at Ars Nova, which is another great spot. I love Erin Markey, John Early, and my friend Champagne Jerry. And I adore [drag king] Murray Hill. Murray is one of my closest friends and constant showbiz companion. We go to events together and are always on the phone offering each other support. He’s just pure positivity, and it’s such a relief to have somebody like that in your corner.
You famously love to interact with the audience during your act. Have you ever come across a celebrity or person of note that genuinely surprised you?
Oh, sure. One night Gloria Steinem was there, and I about plotzed. I don’t even know what plotzing means, but I know I did it. Or I’ll come across like a 13-year-old boy [in the audience]. Who thought it was a good idea to bring a child to the show? But you know what? You’ve got to learn about life somewhere and this is as good a place as any!
Who would you love to see in the audience?
I think I would lose my mind if Barry Manilow was there.
Conversely, who would you have kicked out if you saw them?
Definitely any Trump, but specifically Ivanka. She’s like the biggest turncoat, and I don’t ever want to fuckin’ run across the likes of her anywhere, anyday, anyhow. ‘You’re for women? Go fuck yourself, no you’re not.’
Where do you and Amy Schumer like to hang out?
On the couch, at her house or my house, with our dogs, drinking chardonnay and watching The Bachelor.
What is one product you found overseas and are addicted to or want more of?
We were just in Cannes, France with Patti Cake$, and I spent my entire per dime at some pharmacy. I can’t spell anything I got, but I bought like Korean masks that are supposed to make your face feel like a baby’s bottom.
What’s your number-one travel tip?
I travel so much! Always keep a fresh pair of panties in your purse, because you never know what’s going to happen!
Have those come in handy a lot?
I’m 45 and drink a lot, and like to laugh a lot, so you do the math.
I love stories about people who go nutso on airplanes because they took an Ambien, and it went wrong. Have you ever experienced that before?
Once we had to deplane and I don’t know who she was, she looked like somebody, and she had taken an Ambien earlier and it was a mess. It was hilarious. She was slurring her speech, and yelling. She got up from coach, from Delta Comfort, and just put herself in first class because there was an empty seat. They were like, ‘you can’t do that ma’am,’ and she went, ‘I’m a Diamond member, I can do whatever I want!’ They were like, ‘excuse me ma’am but there are 42 Diamond members on board, go back to your seat,’ and she wouldn’t leave, so she stayed there!
What is an international city you’d love to play but haven’t so far?
I used to say Ibiza, because for some reason it seemed so glamorous, but I think it’s probably too house music-y for me. I wanna go to Bora Bora, Tahiti so bad! If I could do like a private little island party, that would be it.
How crazy is it that you grew up in a Manhattan and now live in the other Manhattan. Is the Kansas one as cool?
It’s got its charm. It’s more conservative, but I love going back to visit. They love to party there, and I love anybody who loves to party.