Ruby Tuesday or Drag Brunch? (with Bob the Drag Queen)

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When Bob the Drag Queen was broke and working at a Ruby Tuesday in Georgia, a theater friend offered to buy his ticket to New York City if he promised to leave right away. The decision to take that ticket changed the entire trajectory of his life. Sam asks Bob how he went from performing in children’s theater to drag brunches, where he received the most heat while filming the HBO reality series “We’re Here,” and why our politics seem to be backsliding into a sinkhole.

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Bob, Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee  00:34

There are certain things that I always want for brunch Eggs Benedict, a tiny basket of warm muffins that you weren’t expecting a mimosa. Maybe if you’re feeling crazy, a Bloody Mary and drag. The joy of drag brunch can be just as essential now to a Sunday morning is getting an order of pancakes for the table. Which is why I have some real choice words for the red state homophobes who are relentlessly trying to ban drag and by extension, ruin my brunch. As of this spring, over a dozen states had introduced legislation to ban drag events. Some are written to ban it more generally in any public space. Some use children as a shield and aim to ban drag from happening anywhere children are present like say at a library where a drag queen story hour has become a popular event and credit where credit is due. Republicans are exceptional at multitasking targeting the LGBTQ community and libraries all at once. You bet whoever thought of that is drinking a celebratory warm milk right now. You know Republicans love to use the innocence of children to justify their cruelest ideas. But storytime and brunch are not about preying on children. Oh my god. Most kids aren’t even at brunch. Most kids spend Sunday mornings at soccer practice. And I think I speak for all parents when I say we wish our kids were at drag brunch. We hate soccer. These bands exist to make people who dare to feel comfortable in their own skin not be able to be themselves in public. Like the people who write them. The bands are hateful, they are vindictive, and they are ugly. And of course, they’re not just about drag drag is just a flashy way to target the entire LGBTQ community. Fortunately, drag bands have continuously to this point been deemed unconstitutional by judges across the country. Because the people writing the bans aren’t just hateful, but they are also dumb as hell. And they are reintroduced again and again because sometimes the cruelty is the point and because bigots are so uncreative that all they can do is replay their biggest hits again and again and again and again. This is Choice words. I’m Samantha Bee. My guest today is Bob the drag Queen, an actor, musician, comedian and winner of Season Eight of RuPaul drag race and host of the podcast sibling rivalry. Bob is an exceptional force, clear voice and style and I delight it in today’s conversation. So take a listen and make good choices. I am extremely excited to be talking to you I’m like such a huge fan. I love what you do. I love your work like Thank you. So before we get started, just like as a little appetizer to the rest of the shows like to start by talking about what’s your relationship like to the kind of concept of choice are you? Are you rash? Do you just like dive into things? Are you meditative?

Bob  04:59

I’m rash, I don’t dwell on decision because especially, especially food, I try to meet people who linger on foods too much, it really makes my head spin in a way that doesn’t feel pleasant. Because like, more than likely, this is not going to be your last meal. So like, if you don’t like it, just eat the next one. Like, if this meal wasn’t great than just maybe the next one will be great. And then you know, when you pass your phone around, when you’re ordering food, and then it gets to that one person, and it stays there for like, 45 minutes on that one person. I’m like, Girl, just pick literally what you got last time, or something that you think will be good. And I don’t know why there needs to be so much decision making going into just a meal. But then again, that is that is the way that I function with choosing food. I’m sure you know someone else’s, but like you don’t get up up and you know what, you’re right. I don’t get it.

Samantha Bee  05:56

Or like when you’re sitting at a big round table with people and you’re almost at the end of your order. And then you know, the servers like Does anybody have any questions? And that one person is like, I have a lot of questions actually. Yeah, what at first, my first question is, what is food and what is like, what is a meal? Can we just start there?

Bob  06:15

Let’s start with the definition of a calorie and how it functions in the body. And I also don’t, when it comes to ordering choosing food, I will literally pick the closest place nearby like I like food near me, I will go to the first place and just eat whatever is there. Do you cook I never cook. I don’t cook a single meal. I would probably say throughout the course of one year, I’ll probably maybe cook three meals. Maybe.

Samantha Bee  06:43

Do you are like a person who’s like you open the oven and it’s just full of shoe boxes and you’re like this is a great storage vault for things that are breakable.

Bob  06:52

Well at my old my old apartment the oven was full of pots and pans. I kept all the pots and pans in the oven but they were never taken out.

Samantha Bee  07:00

It’s not like touched by heat.

Bob  07:04

I have one frying pan one small pot and I have one large pot in this house. That is all of my pots and pans.

Samantha Bee  07:10

Okay, do you like ice? Are you like an ice drinker?

Bob  07:13

I drink my soda has a room temperature, room temperature.

Samantha Bee  07:19

You’re the easiest person to nourish, physically, that I’ve ever heard of in my life. Why do you drink room temperature beverages? I’m fascinated by that because I used to everyone I knew growing up. Only drink room temperature beverages and so tell me why you do?

Bob  07:34

Well I just grew up my mom never put the sodas in the fridge because what has always been in the cabinet always. And I didn’t realize it was strange. And so my best friend was like what and I was like yeah, just I will just drink a room temperature soda. Just straight up. room temp a Coca Cola.

Samantha Bee  07:49

Cupboard Cokes. That’s great covered cup. Oh, yeah. Well, all the kids that I grew up with their parents told them that if you drink, okay, if you drink a cold beverage and ate a hot meal, you would die from that. Everyone I grew up with was like, Do you want some grape juice or something? And I’d be like, yeah, and they would reach down, like beside the fridge. You know, it’s like, adjacent to the fridge and grab like a hot grape juice and be like, here’s your beverage and I was like Canadian.

Bob  08:19

Is that a Canadian like folklore, like, why should they?

Samantha Bee  08:23

I thought it was like Eastern European because I was like, we don’t understand this is it’s a folktale from some land. It could be Canadian. I just didn’t. That my dad keeps his coke in the cupboard, too

Bob  08:36

It’s just so easy to disprove because there are so many people all around the world like drinking cold beverages and hot meals.

Samantha Bee  08:44

Ice cold beverages and hot meals were all alive. So I don’t know what I don’t know where it comes from.

Bob  08:50

My old roommate had a girlfriend who told him that if you drink if you eat burnt toast, you’ll get cancer. What? If any burnt you couldn’t eat any food that had like there was charred. And like we were just like two guys in college and I don’t I’m not a picky eater, and neither was he cuz he was raised by his dad. So like, when you go to eat like, it’s like, oh, the toast is a little brighter. What I’m like, I’m not gonna waste that. I’m just gonna eat the toast. Like, I’ll just elect the neck. I’ll just try to do it better the next time. And she and it was Vanessa. She came running to like slap the toast out of my hand. It was like don’t eat that. And I was like, what she was like, You can’t eat burnt toast you’ll die and I was like, I don’t think that’s true.

Samantha Bee  09:30

That’s a long term. You’re gonna that’s a long term promise. There’s so many other things that can kill you. Right and just like a little bit of char on your toast.

Bob  09:38

Yeah, and I don’t think that’s been proven. I think you can eat I mean, I grew up burning my food as a kid all the time. I so much more in food.

Samantha Bee  09:46

Burnt toast and a cold drink. Forget about it. You’re dead.

Bob  09:50

Burns so hot that is burnt. Yeah, you’re gonna, you’re gonna explode.

Samantha Bee  09:54

Explode, you’re gonna combust. Okay, if you look back on your life, what is a choice? You can point to that you feel really changed everything for you, even if it was something small, but maybe it was something huge.

Bob  10:07

It was definitely moving to New York City. Now I was traveling children’s theater actor or one of my tour partners name was David Cross and not that David Cross, not that one. A different David across. And I was like, you know, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go to New York City, I’m I’m going to be an actor, like I’m gonna, I’m gonna try was already accurate. I’m gonna go to New York City, I’m gonna make it big. And he goes, I said, But I first have to go back to I have to go back to Columbus and like, save some money up. Cuz I was living in Columbus, Georgia at the time. And he said, You know what, if you go straight to New York City, I will buy your ticket for you. But he was like, I believe in you. And if you go straight to New York City, I will buy your ticket for you. I mean, I was like, that’s like 500 bucks. Like, I How am I gonna say no to that?

Samantha Bee  10:54

Right? Yeah, it’s gonna take a long time to save that $500 exam, you’re gonna be in Columbus.

Bob  11:00

I will probably gonna go back to working at Ruby Tuesday at the mall, which is where I was working between theater gigs. But yeah, I think that, that was probably I got a little boost a little help. But taking that $500 ticket to New York City in 2008 was probably one of the biggest decisions that changed the entire trajectory of my life.

Samantha Bee  11:23

Amazing. And did you have that you must have been, you must have been so incredibly energized. I’m trying to go back in my own life, like just like crossing the bridge, like coming into the city, where you just you must have been so alive, like every nerve in your body.

Bob  11:42

I’ve always said you when you’re when you move from the South to the North, you’re not a transplant. You’re fucking refugee. Like, like you’re traveling on the queer underground railroad to make your way to New York City. And I was incredibly energized. I remember landing there. And then I remember the, the taxi driver, this is back when all that there were no Ubers. So all the cars mystery were yellow, every single car on the street is yellow. And it was a flat rate to my friend’s house who lives with him. And the flat rate was like I want to say at the time, like $65, which was an insane amount of money. I was I can there’s no way. I had this friend name. I’m not gonna say his name, actually. But I called him up and we were talking theater about his work in Minneapolis together. And he goes, I’m gonna let you you can crash with me in New York City. He goes, You know, when I first moved to New York City, I asked a friend let me crash with him. And he kicked me out after a week and I will not do that to you. He kicked me out after one week, and I would never do that to you. And he kept true to his work because he kicked him out after four days. I didn’t even make it to a week. Are you serious? I am incredibly serious. So what did you do? I went on Craigslist on my Blackberry. That’s how long ago it wasn’t my Blackberry, BlackBerry, and I am and I found an apartment in a rented by this woman named Sharifa Sharifa. Let me live in her living room for about three or four months. And then we got we both got evicted from that apartment.

Samantha Bee  13:12

Oh, you did? I mean, when did you at what point did you start working?

Bob  13:16

So I got to New York City and I got a job with this company called dialogue Direct, which is one of those companies that like, you ever walk through their city and someone like like, Hey, do you do you want do you like kids? Oh, 100% Yes, I was one of those people and I worked there for about like a week and a half. I got fired from that job because that was so bad. I got one person to sign up in the two weeks I was there. I got one person to sign up. And then I got fired that day. I got back to the office. I got fired that day. She was like you should like you shouldn’t be doing this something about you. You shouldn’t be doing this. So then I got a job at a restaurant bartending club called the Jacqueline High Club, which used to be on sale. I think it’s closed down now. It was like it was on 57 and 6.

Samantha Bee  13:55

Jacqueline Hyde. Yeah, Jacqueline Hyde had had like a spooky exterior.

Bob  13:58

I have a theory that Titus and […] from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is based off me. Because like when I look at his life, there were so many similarities. Like I live with this Norwegian girl and she was an actor and I was a comedian and an actor then I started doing a drag I worked at a haunted restaurant. And I remember being like this is kind of Loki wild.

Samantha Bee  14:24

There’s something there. You know, I don’t know if you know this, but I will tell you that I got my start in children’s theater as well. I want to say that it I did a lot of children’s theater touring all over the damn place. Yeah, like either dancing on a proper stage or performing in a nursing home.

Bob  14:46

That is what children’s theater is. That is literally what you’re either either a high school, elementary school gymnasium floor, or like the overly nice theater in public library.

Samantha Bee  14:58

For everyone one’s blind and at a nursing home and they just brought you in because they’re like, look, we need something to do during the day.

Bob  15:06

Yeah, I worked for quite I worked for three or four different children’s theaters. Across America.

Samantha Bee  15:12

I feel like it forges you in in the fires of performance. I feel like it makes your spine out of forged steel.

Bob  15:20

You’re not wrong because children are simultaneously the easiest and the hardest audiences to entertain. Because something like a silly prop fall will make them laugh. But like trying to get their attention when you’re not doing something absurd is like they will they will just straight up. Like if you’re doing a show for like a bunch of kindergarteners, one of them will just in the middle. Yeah, I’m bored.

Samantha Bee  15:43

Oh, yes. Take me home.

Bob  15:47

This is boring.

Samantha Bee  15:48

I want to go home.  I want I was actually just telling my own kids about this the other day that I was like performing somewhere and I would do like meet and greets after because all the children they either think you’re a star or they think you’re total trash. Yeah. And I asked one little child I was like, did you like the show? And he went it was boring. I was snoring and I never like sometimes I go see a show and I’m like, it was boring. I was snoring.

Bob  16:18

That kid is Loki an icon and I hope that he’s doing well today.

Samantha Bee  16:23

There’s more with Bob the drag queen in just a moment. How did the city of New York play a role in your drag?

Bob  20:07

Oh, I mean, you know, New York is vital in the creation of artists and people who live there. I was very young, I live pretty much most of my adult life in New York City. I was from 22 until 3534. But they’re for 12 years. So pretty much all of my 20s and my early 30s are in New York City. I’m 37 now, and first of all, it changes who you are like the Bob, who landed in New York in the Bob, who landed at LaGuardia Airport on April 16. On August 16. I mean, it’s not the same one who left in October of 2020. Like, I don’t even think that Bob would like the guy who landed on August 16 2008. I think he’d be like, uh, you need to chill. Like, what was your fucking problem? Like, who do you think you are? Like, so annoying and so optimistic and so like.

Bob  21:06

Optimish, eww.

Bob  21:07

Optimism, like fake optimism, like, like, I like, I don’t max, I’m trying to sell you optimism, but I don’t actually believe it.

Samantha Bee  21:15

Okay, that kind of like, I’m gonna take the world by storm.

Bob  21:18

You can be anything, you know, like, I just got, like a lot of like, not a lot. But something like internet heat. Because on my podcast, I said, and this might be a hot take, I might be wrong. I’m willing to grow on this. I was like, I don’t think you I don’t think it’s necessarily wise to tell kids, you can be anything as long as you try hard enough. Because that really sets kids up to believe that if they didn’t make it is because they didn’t try hard enough, as opposed to a litmus of other reasons. And I’m like, what I was saying was, I think what you should teach kids as you can like, put your mind to it and try to be things and if you don’t make it, that’s okay. But like you probably will, there’s a chance that you’ll make it and try your hardest. But if you don’t make it, it’s not the end of the world. There’s other things out there. As opposed to be like you can do anything you try. You can do anything you put your mind to, if you try hard enough, you can do it. And I’m like that, that leaves out a lot of nuance.

Samantha Bee  22:09

That does leave out I actually, this is not a heartache. For me. I do agree with you. I feel like it’s great to have God, it is so good to have goals that you’re working toward, but they don’t always work out. You just have to have a broader idea of what your goal of working out means.

Bob  22:26

Yeah. I went to school for theater, and most of us are not working performers.

Samantha Bee  22:33

I mean, that’s what happens.

Bob  22:34

And I would say when I say most I mean, like, I need to emphasize most is I would say, of the people who, who spent a lot of money, and a lot of time getting a degree in theater with the hopes of becoming a professional performer. Maybe 10% of us are are actively doing it. And I don’t think the ones who didn’t do it is because they didn’t want it bad enough. I don’t think it’s because they didn’t. They didn’t try hard enough. I think there’s just so many situations there’s you have children, you don’t have the finite you can’t you know what offered you $500 to move to New York City, right? You got stuck, you got stuck in Columbus, Georgia, we were all going to school that you broke, you got sick, you got you looked up at 2016 you had cancer, your your parents died, or your mom got sick, and now you had to take care of her. So you can’t pursue your goals. Yeah, you know, I just think it’s harmful to be like, as long as you try hard enough, as long as you want it bad enough.

Samantha Bee  23:33

I agree with you. And I feel like our definition of success can be very narrow, like, you know what I mean? Because your, your idea about what represents success in your life, you should evolve. And I think for lots of people that really doesn’t evolve from that original, like, I know a lot of people were like, I’m gonna be famous. And I’m like, that’s the worst goal in the world. That’s a terrible goal.

Bob  23:58

It’s not a great goal. Are you are you are you like so was like overly overly ambitious. I was actually this morning working on my apartment. And I thought to myself, you know, because I did my podcast, but I do like a lot. I do a lot of stuff. I do a podcast on my YouTube page, I have a makeup line I’m on I’m going on towards Madonna. I have a TV show, yada, yada, yada. But I thought to myself, I could honestly do my podcast and live comfortably and not do the other stuff. But I was like, what if I just like did what if I just did my podcast? What if I was just like, I’m just gonna do the podcast? What am I doing all this? But I’m probably still gonna because I am someone who’s probably a little overly ambitious. I don’t know. I don’t know why I don’t know what it is. I’m just like, I always want to be doing something. I think that’s like, baked into me. I don’t think I don’t know if that’s natural. Or if it’s like, baked into me. I’m not sure yet.

Samantha Bee  24:45

It may also be not only that you’re ambitious, but that you’re very creative. And you have just like a lot of ideas and you don’t love idle time. Like I too am like a doer. I like to do things I like to be doing I don’t like to. I’m not so reflective that I want to. I maybe it’s a work ethic thing because like, I feel sometimes like my work ethic is like the work ethic of a farm tractor. It just keeps going. Like, it doesn’t always have to be glorious, but it just keeps going.

Bob  25:16

I love that I’ve never heard someone refer to like, you know, metaphor eyes themselves as a farm tractor.

Samantha Bee  25:22

Yeah, I just kind of like keep, I’m like, oh, keep going, keep moving forward. And I think sometimes that takes you to places where you wouldn’t expect to be and then you’re having all of these challenges. You’re, you’re like, grappling with them. You’re making the most of them. And then other other challenges and other opportunities come your way. And you’re like, well, I’ll eat that up, too. That’s fine. Yeah. And then at the end of that, you’re like, maybe I need a break for like, give myself two weeks or something, whatever. And then you’ll get so bored. You’ll be like, No, I’m gonna go back on tour.

Bob  25:53

Thinking about people back in the day who were just like doing stuff like, but they didn’t have like technology. So I’m like, if you were like, in, I don’t know. Mesopotamia. And it was like, it was like your day off. And you were like, in a house by yourself. Like, what were you doing? Are you reading Are you reading, but also a lot of them couldn’t read. A lot of people couldn’t read? Like, what were you doing? You weren’t reading?

Samantha Bee  26:16

I feel like everybody was just like pounding grains or something really useful. Everyone was just like, Well, now that we’re we’re having a day off. Why don’t we dry these tomatoes in the sun?

Bob  26:29

Did you go for a walk?

Samantha Bee  26:30

There’s a chance also that like on someone’s day off and Mesopotamia they were like, should we go? Watch someone get killed? And everyone was like, Yeah, let’s go.

Bob  26:40

Let’s go watch that lion eat Craig, who was such a nice guy, but it happens. Literally happens.

Samantha Bee  26:48

It’s so nice. He’s so nice. But it is Friday. Should we just I got tickets.

Bob  26:55

And I do love that lie. That lion is really funny. He’s genuinely funny.

Samantha Bee  26:59

He really loved the way he plays with his meat.

Bob  27:02

Guys is so cute.

Samantha Bee  27:06

Now is there? I mean, I think I know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask it to you anyway. You never know. Is there a difference between performing dragon a big city like New York City? And like a small town in Texas such as Granberry? Where are you filmed? We are here.

Bob  27:28

So it depends on the small town. You know, I did I did. Pride in Selma, Alabama, in like 2018. And the, the I mean, the room was so small I, first of all, I was performing in a room with a ceiling fan above my head. Wow. And the ceiling fan was at one point during the performance as a gag, I reached up and just stop hustling fans how close it was Wow, to me. But that was one of the best shows I’ve ever performed. There might have been 14 people there. But it was they were so appreciative. They were so happy to have this show going on. They were on cloud nine. And I’ve been at bars in New York City where those two things could give less of a fuck if you live or if you die, that you can either do your last number or take your last breath and it will be all the same to me. I’m gonna get back on the one train. to Hell’s Kitchen and and never ever think about you again. Right. But I’ve also had some of the best shows of my life in New York City too. So that’s not completely fair.

Samantha Bee  28:30

Right? Right. Right. I, I really watch, we’re here. And I think about what it is like, on a practical level, going into a place where people aren’t really necessarily expecting to be interviewed, because I’ve spent a lot of my entire career has been interviewing people about difficult subject matter or subject matter that is like, hard for them to talk about, or like really charged. And there were so many times when I would just get be so scared at the beginning of the day. And you’ve went into so many situations with the TV show. We’re talking to just such a variety of people what goes into your, I guess, your psyche when you wake up in the morning and you’re like I have this challenge of trying to speak to people reasonably about an issue that is so charged and difficult, such as the unbelievable undercurrent of homophobia.

Bob  29:30

Yeah, well not expecting to be interviewed isn’t one thing not wanting to be interviewed. That is where the challenge comes in. Because you have people who are running from you as if you are wielding a like as like I had a bomb strapped to my chest and then you have people who are running to you and sometimes the ones running to You are not the ones you want to get baby I got into pain and right now I’m gonna let You know how I feel about this damn ditch? First of all, the government’s making transgender people and I’m like, Alright, this is this is gonna be a wild ride I cannot wait to have this turns out. So, you know, it’s kind of like when you’re talking to people who just like, don’t want to level with you or they’re they’re not they’re not having a conversation to listen to just having a conversation to say what they want to say their part, right? They’re just like I just want I’m just waiting for you to finish talking so I can just say my thing. And then and then move on because I they don’t actually want to hear hear you. They just want to say their thing. That is tough. You know what I mean? And sometimes I just take it with a grain of salt because I’m like, I know this person doesn’t have anything against me. And it’s not about me. This is the way that their brain is. It just their way they’ve been socialized quite frankly. And I try not to take it personally. But sometimes people are like, I’m with you. I agree. That was almost like yeah, thank you for coming here. Like, like, you don’t know how, how bad we needed. Someone like you to be here. Thank you so much.

Samantha Bee  31:10

Does that help kind of overcome? Does I mean, I guess the richness of that experience of bringing this work to people who really need it, like who really need to, like express themselves and feel ally ship and feel seen, like does that override all of the negative experiences that you have with individual people or like?

Bob  31:32

I think that the experiences are actually overwhelmingly positive, which I know sounds wild to think I mean, I had a friend grant Grant Berry was literally the hardest town I’ve ever had to work in Granberry was one of the only towns where I literally thought to myself, I think someone might actually hurt us like, it’s the only time I’ve ever been like I kind of want to get out of here. It feels it felt it didn’t feel that dangerous, to be completely honest. But outside of that one town. I was I had a overwhelmingly positive experience with most of the places I went, right. Honestly, truly and honestly.

Samantha Bee  32:09

That is great. That is great. But you do feel that undercurrent of danger on that one on that episode.

Bob  32:18

There were there was quite a bit of undercurrents of danger several times throughout the filming of the show. So it wasn’t it wasn’t just that time. There. There were a lot of times were where I felt unsafe. But wrenbury was overly hostile. Well, first of all, we got doxxed so someone leaked where we were staying and posted it in a Facebook group. Right and and then people were like threatening to come like beat us up and like harm us and like burn burn us and stuff like that. Okay, you had entire entire businesses say they would not serve us. And then other businesses were being threatened that if they served us, they would be ruined. Like they were like, you can’t serve these people. And if you do serve them, when they leave, you will have no business so then other people who want to support us were like afraid to support.

Samantha Bee  33:04

What are those conversations like with the producers of the show? And with each other? Like what are the is there ever a conversation where they’re like, Okay, do we cut are we gonna cut bait on this one? Or were you always like staunchly like we can do this? Let’s go to the bitter end or like, were you did you ever waver?

Bob  33:22

I’m always like, I’m gonna finish this up. I’m always gonna finish this up. But when the producers asked me how I feel which never aired I’m always like, fuck this town. Right? Like, they will never hear that but I was like if this town sank into the earth and was never heard from again, I genuinely wouldn’t care because I hated the town so much right? I really didn’t like that town and the town as a whole not every single person with the town as a whole medical evader like me either. They did not like us you know what I mean? Right? And it was it was hard it was just very very hard to be there. But I was like But I’m but I’m here to do my job and I’m gonna get it done because I’m other people here who want this happen to like ever. It’s not just people who don’t like it. There are people here who do want us here.

Samantha Bee  34:03

Hold that thought more with Bob the drag queen after one more break. I mean, literally when you decided to to start doing drag Did you have any idea that something is pure and joy us as like brunch or storytime at the local library would be this huge frontier of like conservative vitriol.

Bob  36:46

There’s a couple of things. First of all, Trixie Mattel do Trixie Mattel is yes, yeah. I want to find this quote, because I don’t want to get it wrong as so well said. And I want to I want to get I want to get it like perfectly because she just really hit the nail on the head with this quote. She said, we don’t think about your kids. We don’t hope they’re gay. We don’t hope they turn out trans. We don’t hope they become drag queens, what we hope is that if they are trans or are gay, they find a community faster than many of us did. It’s perfect. Which is really true. Like if you think if you think I spent time perfecting my craft as a drag queen, to hang out with your fucking kids, your kids, your kids. That’s not That’s not what I literally love children’s theater and I went to drag. I’m not this is not a big ploy to hang out with, with Susie and Aiden, ketamine. And there are some dragons who do want to who do want to perform art for children, and is no stranger is no stranger than then someone dressing up like a big purple dinosaur to read to children, or Teletubbies, or, you know, a construction worker named Bob, the builder or Tom or tank engine. Kids like camp. So it does make sense, obviously. But I’m aware that the vitriol toward drag queens is really just thinly veiled transphobia towards specifically trans people, and wanting to make sure that they don’t feel slimy because you know, it starts with like, we don’t want you out in public that we wouldn’t want you the bathrooms. They wouldn’t want you in public and they want you at schools. And it’s like to the point where they just weren’t trained to just hide in their homes, so that they don’t have to see them. They don’t have to experience them.

Samantha Bee  38:31

Did you ever think that your life would become as politicized as it is now? I would not have been following I’ve been like tracking politics for so long. I really did not see this. Coming in this way.

Bob  38:46

I did not see this. I thought what I was seeing without I was imagining just it’d be it’d be continual progress. I never thought we’d use backtrack. The BackTrack is what blows my mind. Yeah, like, you know, one step forward, two steps back, Paula Abdul predicted this in the 80s. You don’t I mean, we had no clue it would end up being I would have never guessed that in 2023. We’d be discussing whether or not trans adults can’t even get access to hormones.

Samantha Bee  39:16

Yeah, the backslide is, has been fast and deep. And I feel that we’ve just empowered idiots.

Bob  39:25

It’s the worst version of the cha cha slide I’ve ever heard. It truly is to the left, slide back two years now, y’all.

Samantha Bee  39:33

Slide back into a sinkhole. Yeah, and go back to the 1800s I do feel like I feel like we’ve truly just empowered, terrible people to find companionship and like mindedness with each other. And that is anyway, that’s been the big downfall of social media to me. There’s too many idiots that like found their people and decided to be very vocal and spread their bad ideas.s it worth it to try?

Bob  40:03

I don’t know, whatever. I don’t even know what that whatever the answer is, is that whatever the question is, is not worth. It’s not worth it. I don’t even know the question, but what I promise you. No kidding. What was the question?

Samantha Bee  40:11

Well, I mean, you’re right. You answered it correctly. Is it worth it ever trying to reason with bigots? Is my question and I don’t think you really change people’s minds. But do you?

Bob  40:22

Okay, so I went down the tic toc debate rabbit hole, I was obsessed I was I could not stop. And there were a few times where I would be talking to someone who was teetering on the fence and deciding where they’re going to be like that or like this. And, you know, I remember having a few conversations with people and then they’d be like, Wow, I never thought about like that. That’s actually really a great point you’ve made and I’ve never even considered that and, and then people in the room and having really great moments of community. And then but but I will say most of the time on on Tik Tok when debating I’m just like yelling at yelling at maniacs, and they’re yelling at me.

Samantha Bee  41:02

It’s just a lot of yell fest. I know, it’s feels that the two sides of things are very far apart, you feel like that’s it’s a kind of less to even try to engage with them. But it feels more impossible than ever.

Bob  41:20

The political climate is very different now, obviously, than was before. And I remember when Bush B. Al Gore. Yes. And it was it blew my mind, though that was the first time in my lifetime that that the popular vote lost the election. And I think has happened again, since then. Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote. And I remember going like having to do this one guy, and at the department was a big big bush supporter. He was really loved George Bush. And we were like, kind of annoyed with him. But like it was whatever. Imagine if it was a day and it was a Trump supporter? The you the it would be that person would it because because the political climate has gotten so divisive. That is no longer just like oh, well, you’re you vote this way. And I vote that way you lean left and Eileen. Right. It’s like you think I’m a groomer, I think you’re a fascist you think I’m try it. You think I’m after your kids? I think you are, are used weaponizing your children. I mean, there was a group of people, I think in Canada, marching around with signs that said, they were chanting leave our kids alone. Which is such a bitch. I don’t even fucking know you had kids until you said something when you don’t want like, I didn’t even know you existed until you came here. Like Like, why do you think we do? Why do you think I’m after your if you’re if your kid ends up being gay, it’s just because your kid is gay? Is not because and if you think being gay is a choice, just try it. I’ll give you a whole year. Give it a shot. 365 days, come back and let me know if it’s stuck.

Samantha Bee  43:05

Oh, your kids are not that appealing.

Bob  43:09

Yeah. You literally have to pay people to babysit them. You have. You literally have to pay people to be around your children.

Samantha Bee  43:19

Okay, but my last question is like, how do you decide what you’re going to? How do you decide what to do? How do you there’s, you do do so much. And we did talk about that. I can’t believe you as to had time to, like, be here today. So thank you for that

Bob  43:34

Well, I took a break from buying tears at the kingdom Zelda to do this podcast. So you know what made an address I filmed a comedy on stage one of the best comedy clubs in the world. It’s in Madison, Wisconsin. 10 out of 10 you guys. Have you ever done comedy?

Samantha Bee  43:49


Bob  43:50

You gotta go do comedy on stage at Madison, Wisconsin. I love this club. Awesome. Matteo Lane recommended to me and I’m so grateful. And you know, so what better address is actually a beefed up version of my last special. My my second special. I wrote it in and filmed it in less than a month. And then I took the material one on the road with it and it’s so much funnier is so much funnier, and it’s about an extra like 40 minutes of content as well. I’m so proud of this special it is available on my Patreon exclusive you can go to sibling rivalry Or go to Google and type in sibling rivalry Patreon. The sibling rivalry not sibling rivalry that is a different podcast sibling rivalry Patreon. It is honestly my funniest special today. I’m so proud of it.

Samantha Bee  44:38

Amazing. Amazing. Well, I have so enjoyed talking to you today. Like what? Yeah, damn pleasure. It was so happy for everything that you’re doing. I advise people to if they are not as familiar as they should be with your work to fucking get familiar with it.

Bob  44:59

Yeah, familiar. Raise yourselves, please familiarize doesn’t my work I’m very interested/

Samantha Bee  45:03

yes of course. Anyway, thank you so much back to Zelda you get back there.

Bob  45:09

Thank you.

Samantha Bee 45:19

That was Bob the drag queen and I had no choice but to look up one thing can eating burnt toast cause cancer. Okay, okay. Birch foods sometimes are classified as a carcinogen which is a substance that can cause cancer. But experts say there isn’t enough evidence to tell you not to eat burnt toast. Thank God cuz I really left my bagel in too long this morning. And I love those crunchy bits. Anyway, thank you so much, Bob for joining me. And good news, there’s more choice words with Lemonada Premium. Subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like a rapid fire round of trivia questions based off my recent interview with Judy Blume. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts.

CREDITS  46:16

Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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