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We talked to the human hurricane Bridget Everett about her new tour and singing about body parts

Written by
Jillian Anthony
Photograph: David Williams

Dozens of comedians, from Bill Maher to Trevor Noah to Tig Notaro, take the stage during the New York Comedy Festival, beginning Tuesday November 1, but only one will likely sing exuberantly about titties, dicks and pussies. The brazen and so-talented-it’s-sickening Bridget Everett, a regular cabaret performer at Joe’s Pub—and Inside Amy Schumer guest and a budding star in the upcoming Netflix film Little Evil and feature film Fun Mom Dinner, with Toni Collette—spoke with us about her love for her Pomeranian, Poppy, and what it’s like to sing about sex in front of Gloria Steinem.

Your new tour just kicked off. What can we expect?
Just, you know, more of the same [laughs]. More titties and more memories that you’ll never be able to shake. When I’m on the road, I don’t always do the ballads, but when I’m in New York, I’m with a band, and that’s my favorite part of the show because it’s like: titties, titties, tender moment, titties. I call it slam, slam, slam, tender, slam, slam, slam.

How close to that stage persona are you in real life?
I used to be a lot closer, but the crazier that gets, the more reserved I get. And plus, I’ve got Poppy now.

Right, you’re a mother now.
I’m a mother. Not in the way that I’ve almost been several times, but this is a different kind of motherhood. I got her because I wanted to. This summer, we were lying in bed, and she rolled over and was looking right in my eyes and I just was, like, shaking. I was like, “Oh, my god, this is intimacy.”

You're wearing a dog tag with her picture on it.
I’m, like, Poppy all over the place. It’s my good luck charm. 

And you're filming Little Evil right now.
Yeah, it’s a horror comedy thing and it’s super fun. The odd thing is that I don’t like scary movies. I can’t watch them, because when I was little my brothers used to make me watch The Omen and The Exorcist and then, like, lock me in the basement. They thought that shit was really funny and I’ve still never really recovered. And I just did a couple indies. I did another movie called Fun Mom Dinner that’s with Toni Collette and Molly Shannon and Katie Aselton and we were, like, four moms gone wild. I also did another one called Patticakes, which is 8 Mile meets Rudy. But that’s a drama, so I turn up the drama in that one. I’m hoping that something good happens with all those and then I think there’s season 2 of Lady Dynamite coming and then I’m touring. I’m just trying to keep the dream alive, step by step, piece by piece.

You seem so strong, like you could beat up anybody. Are you, like, pumping iron?
I’ve always been strong. I’ve got really strong legs, my arms used to be a lot better, but yeah, I’m pretty strong. You know, I’ve sort of kept some of the baby weight, but other than that I’m all right.

You can fend off anyone who gets in your way.
That’s right, if somebody did that Gigi Hadid shit to me, that’d be, you know- That was fucked so up.

Yeah, grabbing someone as a joke. Something only a clueless man would think to do.
Yeah, when I’m like, how is it that Trump is really a viable candidate right now? And I’m like, well, there’s people that think they can just jump on a woman in the street. It kind of makes sense in some broader way.

You’re so free with your body onstage. Is your show a feminist statement?
I don’t think about it, but I am a feminist, and at first I remember thinking, I don’t think the feminists are going to want me, just because I was so sexual and with the nudity and everything. But I remember Kathy Najimy brought Gloria Steinem to my show, and they must have come in as I was singing “Titties,” and I’m going around motorboating people, and I turn around and it’s Gloria Steinem, and I just was like, “What the fuck is happening?” And she loved the show and I was like, “If it’s good enough for Gloria and it’s good enough for my mom, then I think I’m going to be okay.”

Did she make you nervous?
Fuck, yeah. I have really horrible stage fright, so I have a couple glasses of wine to keep me company. When I’ve done shows in Kansas, where I’m from, my whole family comes, and they want to sit in the front row, literally, fucking 15 of them right across the front. When my mom came to the show for the first time, I asked, “What’d you think?” And I was so nervous and crying, and she was like, “That was freedom in motion.”

That’s amazing. You clearly got some of what you’ve got from her then.
Yeah. I wrote that song “Titties” for her. And she got breast cancer. She’s totally fine, but she’s just got one titty so I wanted to write a song about all different kinds of titties.

I read that when you're drinking wine out of a brown paper bag onstage, it's actually refrigerated. 
My friends Ada Calhoun and Neal Medlyn, aka Champagne Jerry, gave me my first fanny pack, which I wear all the time now. And another Christmas present they gave me were these brown paper bags that are insulated. They’re amazing. I use them when I’m not on stage. They’re like ten bucks. They’re the best thing ever.

I can’t believe you don’t have your own wine line.
Amy [Schumer] and I have been hounding Rombauer, which is our favorite chardonnay, to sponsor us. They don’t want anything to do us, I don’t think. [laughs]

What would your chardonnay taste like?
Oh, just oaky as fuck, buttery as fuck, full-bodied, full mouthfeel, creamy, just like a big load of chardonnay jizz going down the back of your throat. It sounds a little thick, but trust me: You’re gonna fucking love it.

Any other body parts you hope to pen a song for at some point?
Maybe something about balls. I mean, what else is there to write about? I’ve written about everything. The very first song I wrote was called "At Least It’s Pink." And it was a reference to my vagina, like, it’s big but it’s pink.

It looks nice.
Yeah, it looks nice. I mean, I think so. I was riding around with some friends in a car and I was like, there should be a thing where you have to pick your own vagina out of a lineup, because I wonder how many women know what their actual vagina looks like, you know?

Yeah, I think a lot of women are scared to look.
Well, it can get tricky down there.

Yeah, but it’s good to know what you got going down there.
The worst thing that’s probably ever happened to me was, I don’t lock my phone—or I didn’t before, I think now you have to—but I was taking a couple medical selfies. And I lost my phone and some guy found it, and if you’re going to tell me that they didn’t go through my pictures. And I think he knew who I was, but you know–

Not that I would, but if I Googled it, would it come up?
I don’t think so. That’d be pretty disgusting. If you’re single and something doesn’t feel right, you gotta get to it somehow. Maybe my next song will be about medical selfies.

Bridget Everett performs at the New York Comedy Festival Nov 3 at the Town Hall ( $34–$51.

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