The Ho, Ho, Ho Show

9.2.2004

By Jeffrey Epstein

So what exactly is a laugh whore? And is it more fun than just being a plain old whore?
A laugh whore is someone who does anything for a laugh. Is it as fun as being a plain ole whore? It's a toss-up.

What can people expect when they come see the show?
The through-line of the thing is me and my life and what I love and what I hate. Celebrity skewering and celebrity worship. Jobs that I've turned down, jobs that I've done. The second half is where I'm from'my Italian-American upbringing. It's going to be amazing. I'm horrified. It's like a big Mack truck coming toward me on maximum overdrive. Hmm' I certainly know how to soothe myself. My mother taught me.

You've played a variety of characters including the flamboyant Anthony on Sex and the City and the somewhat crazy would-be Nixon assassin Samuel Byck. Which of these two is more like you?
Another toss-up. I'm probably a little more like Anthony. Byck's rage and anger and his political awareness'as psychotic as he is'is pretty right on, especially for today. I think Anthony can't hold a relationship together, which I think I know how to do since I've been in a relationship for 14 years. But a lot of the things Anthony says, I would never say to people. I'm a little nicer. I would hope so anyway.

What do you think of everyone bemoaning the loss of Sex and the City? Was it time for the show to end?
I think it went out on a real high. It's like [openly gay producer] Michael Patrick King and Sarah Jessica Parker were saying that you want to leave on a high and be the party that everyone wants go to and can't get into after a while. Instead of being a party that goes on and on until everyone starts leaving until no one's left. I miss it though. It was very sad.

Have you watched it at all on TBS?
I was in the first episode they showed. But I didn't watch it.

Do you think they had to 'sanitize' your character for basic cable?
There's not much to clean up on me. But there's plenty to clean up on everyone else. I think I say 'friggin'.'

Friggin' awesome! Which was gayer: playing Buzz in Love! Valour! Compassion! or hosting the wacky kids' show Steampipe Alley [a syndicated show which aired in the lates '80s]?
That's definitely a toss-up. I think Buzz was gayer. On the kids' show, we did a lot of gay cult stuff, but then I did De Niro and Scorsese take offs. 'Raging Pan''a takeoff on Peter Pan. And then I did the Mommie Dearest stuff, teaching kids how to do Baby Jane Hudson. It was so sick.

I remember seeing you on an episode where the kids had to run a Broadway show obstacle course. I was crying with laughter as you mewed out the theme from Cats.
Oh, I remember that. We got away with murder.

If you could have lunch with any dead diva, who would it be?
The first one who comes to mind is Judy Garland. She was my favorite. But she was probably intense and scary.

You've done a lot of work. What role do you look back on and cringe at your performance?
Stefano in The Tempest. It started in [Central Park] and then it moved to Broadway. George Wolfe cast me. I got awful reviews. It's a hard role. They're 400-year-old jokes'you make them funny. And I was horrible. And we did the whole thing in a sand pit. A pit of sand. I had sand in my crack, in my eyes'it was horrible. I'd wake up thinking I'd been walking on the beach. Then I did Taming of the Shrew in the Park, and I loved that. That was definitely better.

What's been your favorite moment on stage?
I used to say after I replaced Nathan [Lane on Broadway] in Love! Valour! Compassion!, 'Well, it's all downhill from here.' That was pretty major. And I did four nights of my one-man show when we were first trying to get it produced'those were pretty phenomenal.

You and Dame Edna both have one-person shows. In a catfight, who would win?
I hope it would be pretty neck-and-neck and that we'd both come out with a few scratches. I think I might be able to outrun her.

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