John Waters Talks Politics, Toys and Other Subjects in the Age of Trump and Pence

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Courtesy CBS/YouTube
Courtesy CBS/YouTube

What shocks John Waters these days?

During an appearance last week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Baltimore-based filmmaker and author of Shock Value revealed one recent event that shocked him.

“The election shocked me, certainly,” Waters admitted. “It shocked Trump. But here’s how I feel about it. I lived through Nixon, I lived through Reagan, who said there wasn’t anything about AIDS, he never mentioned. So we can deal with him.”

Waters, who is gay and a gay rights advocate, admitted there’s someone he fears more than President-elect Donald Trump. That’s Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who has a record of taking anti-gay positions such as supporting conversion therapy.

“Trump at least has met a gay person,” Waters said. “But Pence is the one I’m really worried about.”

“So no impeaching?” Colbert prodded.

“Oh, I think he might not last four years,” Waters said of Trump. “But I’ll get through it. I’ll get through it. I hate when people say, ‘I’m leaving the country.’ No one cares. Go ahead.”

Waters appeared on The Late Show to promote his holiday comedy tour of 18 cities, “A John Waters Christmas,” from now until Dec. 21. He dressed like a Christmas tree, as painted by Jackson Pollock. But much of his six-minute interview with Colbert focused on the election and its aftermath.

“To me, the whole thing about Pence is, his policies are so terrible,” Waters said. “With gay people, you know, he wanted to not have AIDS funding and give it to conversion therapy. Well, even Pence wouldn’t want me to be straight. Really. What would I do? Be doing the electric slide and ogling Tiffany Trump? You know, it’s hard to imagine.”

Waters said Pence “deserved what he got” when he went to see Hamilton on Broadway and audience members booed him and the cast addressed him at the end of the show.

“First of all, Hamilton is the only musical that heterosexual men ever loved,” Waters said. “And I really liked it too. But he’d better be careful if he goes back to Broadway. Like, I hope he doesn’t go to the revival of Bette Midler in Hello Dolly, because those chorus boys will come out and give him a new kind of [expletive deleted.]”

“I’m not sure how much of this interview is going to make it to CBS, but thank you for being here,” Colbert said.

The conversation changed to Christmas and gifts.

Waters said he has a collection of toys that are harmful to children.

“There’s an organization called WATCH, which is World Against Toys That Cause Harm. And every year they release a list of the 10 most dangerous toys, and I collect them.”

One of the first toys to make WATCH’s list, Waters said, was Gobbles the Garbage-Eating Goat.

“The problem with it is, the little garbage it eats, children choked on. But I gave it to my nephews. I warned them, ‘Don’t eat it, don’t eat it,'” Waters said.

Making this year’s list is Butch the Galloping Dinosaur.

“I thought it was a present for baby lesbians,” Waters said. “But it’s not, because the problem on this is that it has some starting device that punctures your neck…Well, that’s going to be a problem at Christmas.”

“You’re going to get blood all over the tree,” Colbert said.

At the end of the interview, Waters disclosed what he wants for Christmas.

“I want backing for a new business,” he said. “I want to start a new sex club. We don’t have them anymore…I want to have a new kind, and the publicity event would be, first of all, all the gay women from Provincetown would go to Fire Island and raid the Meat Rack there, and all the nude men would come to Provincetown on Baby Lesbian Weekend, which is Memorial Day Weekend, and then they’d have sex, lesbians and gay men together. It would be a new strain of heterosexuality.”

“And this is what you want for Christmas?” Colbert asked.

“I do,” Waters said. “And if there are any backers out there, my club would be called Flip Flop. It’s very 2018.”

A John Waters Christmas comes to The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia, on Dec. 20 and Baltimore Soundstage on Dec. 21. The Baltimore show is sold out.

Ed Gunts

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