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Michael Musto

Bianca Del Rio Gets a Taste of Her Own in a Viciously Funny Drag Roast

Michael Musto, Courtney Act, Bianca Del Rio, Darienne Lake

And Hurricane Bianca begins filming soon, costarring Willam Belli and Joslyn Fox.

Musto, Courtney Act, Bianca Del Rio, Darienne Lake | Photography by Wilsonmodels

Ah, sweet justice. At a Brandon Voss-organized 40th birthday roast at NYC's Liberty Theater last Thursday night, Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio was royally skewered by her former friends in a packed-to-the-rafters benefit for her Hurricane Bianca movie. I was privileged to be the only non-drag person who got to turn the tables and rip the insult comic a new one. Out of solidarity, I tucked anyway.

What I'd forgotten was that, by being on the dais, you're open to the barbs yourself since each speaker tears into every other person onstage like a tucked terrorist. In her pert turn at the mic, Courtney Act said that Bruce Vilanch and I should do a remake of Grey Gardens, and added that while it used to be cute to see me on my bike, nowadays it comes off "like assisted suicide." But Courtney got some delicious payback when, in the middle of her admittedly hilarious speech, Bianca and roastmaster Lady Bunny went into their own banter, after which Bianca said to Courtney: "This is just like season six. No one's watching you!"

But Bunny and Bianca got around to exchanging barbs too, the former saying she can't believe people are now shelling out top dollar for what Bianca used to do for free ("It's like paying for a moldy, old cupcake") to which Bianca replied, "If that's what was happening, you'd have a career!" Bunny suffered even more abuse when Jinkx Monsoon noted that Bunny "is so old that RuPaul was once her property. Bunny's so old that her ass has a separate entrance for black dick." (It's more likely the only entrance.) Mimi Imfurst mordantly chimed in that Bianca's "such an evil bitch that her favorite pastime is watching 9/11 footage with a laugh track." One of the other roasters said, "RuPaul was recently seen at Bob The Drag Queen's show, which means season eight will be even worse!" Bunny drew attention to drag entertainer Logan Slaughter's weight gain and cracked, "Does coke make you eat faster?" And opera singing drag star Shequida held up an iPhone and intoned, "This is what killed your career, Michael Musto."

And then it was my turn, and I could finally drop the frozen smile, untuck my cojones, and go for blood. "Shequida," I said, "before the iPhone killed my career, I'm glad I managed to write some things that killed your career." (Shequida wasn't even onstage at this point. "She's in the kitchen," I ventured.) I thanked Bob the Drag Queen for taking time off from her shift at Popeye's to be there, and I pointed to Mimi and said, "And I'm honored to be here with Della Reese from Touched By an Angel." As for Bianca, "You made it all the way to the top -- channel 179 on the dial. At least it's not in HD. With your pores, that wouldn't be pretty.

"You won Drag Race," I continued, "by sneakily deleting Courtney Act's backup track, so she had to do that horrible song instead of one of her hits. You also kept feeding Darienne Lake ham sandwiches in hopes that she'd choke and die like Mama Cass -- and apparently you succeeded. Darienne, you redefine trans fat. And for 13 episodes, Bianca, you lied and told Adore Delano she looked great -- no touchups needed.

"You should be on the cover of Vanity Fair," I went on, "with the title 'Call Me Cunt.' Everyone hates you, especially the people who make Truvada. Why? Because when you walk into a room, everyone says 'There goes my boner!' and puts their pills away."

Mimi Imfurst

Mimi Imfurst and Musto

Meanwhile, New York drag performer Tina Burner had only done so-so with her speech (I'm being kind), but after Shequida's appearance, she scored by telling the crowd that maybe she hadn't been so bad after all. Well, Tina--who was mad that I'd dissed her at the podium (perhaps not getting what a roast is)--got up and crowed that now there were two people she'd done better than. Unfortunately for her, this gambit was greeted by total silence and everyone hated her all over again. (NewNowNext said that aside from Bianca and Bunny, Bob and I were the ones who served the best reads of the night.)

And things got extra nutty when a drunken Dina Delicious grabbed the mic to introduce Bianca for her retaliatory read-through, then loudly fell on her ass. When I heard the boom, I assumed Darienne had slapped her thighs together, until seeing Dina being lifted off the ground by the equally blotto Jinkx Monsoon. (The blind leading the blonde. By the way, relax--Darienne told me she loves jokes aimed at her. I was nice enough to ask.) The scheduled tribute video by RuPaul wouldn't work, and then Bianca finally took the stage, only to have the audio from the video belatedly play over her. (The actual video eventually ran and turned out to be a bizarrely sincere "We love you, Bianca--you do us proud" kind of thing. Did Ru also not get the memo that this was a roast, lol?) At this point, the smashed Jinkx appeared in the box Bianca had just vacated and started moaning into the mic about how Bianca always tells her she's not funny. "She's proving my point," quipped Bianca. "The great thing about Jinkx," she added, "is if you don't think she's talented, she'll tell you she's talented. No one wants to hear a Drag Race girl sing a fucking song! I've never done a song or a video. Musto, you should do an album like Miss Fame--it sold two copies."

What a night, what a night. Backstage afterward, Jinkx was feeling no pain while insisting, "I'm not the messiest one in the room." Amazingly, that was true. In a more sobering corner, I learned that Matt Kugelman's Hurricane Bianca -- about a wronged male teacher who seeks revenge as a lady -- starts filming in a matter of days in Dallas, costarring Willam Belli and Joslyn Fox. After years of kickstarting, plus this benefit, not to mention Bianca's cash win on Drag Race, this thing should have a higher budget than San Andreas. After that, Bianca, who's also working on a book, is moving to the West Coast -- she promises!

Oh, by the way, the next day, Shequida posted a Facebook bid for absolution that started, "Hey, kids, calm down. So I bombed last night...I am fine with that...You can't always be on top." Cracked Voss in a comment, "I thought you were trying to make Tina Burner feel better." Bianca del Rio with all the roasters


That wasn't the end of my acidic personal appearances this week. I pop up a lot in the new documentary Glory Daze: The Life and Times of Michael Alig, since I was integral to the club kid scene and the coverage of the party leader who was spunky and rebellious before he became one of the '90s most notorious killers. (He and his roommate Freeze killed another clubbie, Angel Melendez, in 1996. Alig was released from jail last year and is now working on art, fashion, and documentaries.)

The doc -- which just played the Manhattan Film Festival -- tracks Alig from his beginnings to his partying heyday to his freedom, catching him in a sincere crying jag, but also in some decided insincerity. Alig claims -- to the camera -- that he'll only be free when there are no cameras around and he can just live a normal life. As if he's not complicit in his continuing stabs at fame, not to mention gloating about them!

I was set to moderate a panel after the festival screening, so after the arrivals, I rode my bike around the Village for two hours, then came back. (I'd already seen the film.) When I did so, the movie was winding down, and an old, wasted club kid from the Limelight days was being thrown out of the theater and threatening retribution. ("I'm not through with you yet!" he bellowed at the director. No, you're just through, period.) Inside, I headed toward the stage, but the director told me that Alig (who'd already approved the film) was causing problems and so the Q&A wasn't going to happen. Did the killer leave in protest? No, he stopped to talk to a Page Six reporter who happened to be there. And I rode my bike right outta there--and got home just fine, Courtney Act, you damned so-and-so!

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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Michael Musto