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Jinkx Monsoon Talks New Sketchy Queens Series & Comedy Influences

Jinkx Monsoon Talks New Sketchy Queens Series & Comedy Influences

Jinkx Monsoon
Alec White

The All Stars 7 winner spills the tea on her new comedy sketch show and collaborator Liam Krug.


Jinkx Monsoon, the Queen of All Queens herself, has a brand-new sketch comedy series on WOW Presents Plus titled Sketchy Queens. This hilarious new show is a collaboration between the RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7 winner and Liam Krug, who helped Monsoon create funny videos for her YouTube channel during lockdown.

At its core, Sketchy Queens features two-time Snatch Game winner Monsoon doing several impersonations and creating over-the-top new characters as well. Furthermore, guest stars will appear throughout this inaugural season, including All Stars 3 winner Trixie Mattel in the first episode.

Sketchy Queens will certainly captivate viewers and make them laugh over the course of its eight first episodes. During an interview with Out, Monsoon talked about her comedy references for the new series, her collaborative work with Krug, and the importance of bringing back a queer lens to the genre of sketch comedy.

Out: Hi Jinkx! I have to get this out of the way - you are my favorite queen from RuPaul's Drag Race of all time, ever since season five. It's a trip that I'm getting to speak with you, but anyway, I'll try to keep it professional.

Jinkx Monsoon: Well, you have great taste in drag! [laughs]

Overall, Sketchy Queens reminds me of the skits you had been doing on your YouTube channel during the lockdown. What can fans expect from this show on WOW Presents Plus?

The reason why it reminds you of some of those YouTube videos I put out is because most of the things that I put out during [lockdown] were in collaboration with Liam Krug, who I co-created Sketchy Queens with. Liam and I work really, really well together because we have similar sources of inspiration, having both grown up in Portland and gone to the same middle school and gone to the same high school. But we have different generational voices, and I think that's what plays out really well in the show. We kind of take my old Hollywood performance style mixed with Liam's Gen... where are they at now? Gen Z! Modern, ironic, esoteric look on things.

The combination of our two comedy styles and writing styles, I think creates something pretty unique because the sketches are very, very gay and oftentimes just weird ideas we had. But the writing and the editing and the performance style, I think is pretty hip and modern. And it's time that we cross-breed sketch comedy with the LGBTQ+ community again, because we haven't had a queer-lens sketch comedy thing since The Big Gay Sketch Show. And that was ages ago. Kate McKinnon's already got onto Saturday Night Live and blockbuster film success.

You're a proud resident of Portland and you are now doing a sketch comedy show. I'm curious, are you a fan of Portlandia? Did that show play any significant role on Sketchy Queens?

Yes! I do think of it as picking up where Portlandia left off a little bit, and showing the queer side of things. Unless you're doing things through a queer lens, the queer experience oftentimes gets overlooked in mainstream media. Or if it's not overlooked, it's diluted or it's a straight person's perception of the queer experience. That's been the issue with mainstream media for so long, which is why I'm really excited [about Sketchy Queens].

We were making the YouTube videos and we thought, 'I bet we could make a whole sketch show out of our ideas,' but we certainly don't know how to create a whole sketch show. And so I called Pete Williams at World of Wonder - Liam and Pete had produced my web series, Cool Mom, with WOW Presents Plus - and I told Pete, 'We've got an idea for a sketch show, but it's very important that it remain the vision that we have for it. And it's very important that we get to call some of the creative shots to make sure that it stays with the intention that we had behind it.'

And so WOW Presents Plus picked up the show. And I have to say, Liam and I have very clear visions, but what WOW Presents Plus does is they take our very clear visions and help hone in on what's working the very, very best. Because Liam and I, we find everything we do funny. The episodes would be three hours long if we put everything in. But WOW Presents Plus helped us really hone in on and focus on the very, very best aspects of the sketches we came up with. And then, through that collaboration of all of us working on it together, you get these 12-to-15-minute episodes of just really funny, very weird, very queer sketches.

The scene between Jennifer Coolidge and Jennifer Tilly is absolutely hilarious. Can you tell me more about that skit?

I like doing impressions of both of those women, and they're both named Jennifer. So I thought, 'What if Jennifer Coolidge and Jennifer Tilly oftentimes call each other to check in on each other? What would that look like?' And that's literally where the idea came from. And shooting a bunch of different characters and shooting a bunch of different drag looks, it's time-consuming. So sometimes we find reasons why these women would just be in towels... to keep the costuming budget down.

I love that Jennifer Coolidge and Jennifer Tilly are taking into consideration the feelings of Jennifer Lopez.

Yeah, well, there's the Council of Jennifers, and that just came to me on the spot. I was like, 'There's a lot of famous women named Jennifer.' And what I love about working with Liam is that Liam writes the bulk of the scripts that we use, but the scripts are written for me to then improvise while we're filming.

So we film what's written in the scripts so that we've got everything we need to tell the story filmed. And then once the story is told, essentially, it's just letting me loose and I improv whatever comes to mind. And oftentimes those improvisations are our favorite parts of the sketch. It's a lot of fun to work with someone who gets how you work, who writes the scripts with you in mind.

I'll keep an eye out to see if Jennifer Lawrence joins this multiverse in the future.

I don't know that she has a voice I can imitate. It's just kind of, 'Hi, I'm Jennifer Lawrence.' [laughs]

I'm obsessed with Winderly Landchime and Bethany Christmas, and I hope they're going to be recurring characters on the show.

Ooh, I don't want to give away spoilers, but I will say that there are certain sketches that recur. Some characters we see once, and they're one and done. But there are certain characters and certain sketches that recur. And if you are a fan of Winderly Landchime and Bethany Christmas in their tell-all talk show, I See You and I Hear You... don't worry, you're going to be taken care of on this first eight-episode season of Sketchy Queens.

What were your inspirations behind these insane characters?

So the idea for the I See You and I Hear You talk show came from when Liam and I were creating YouTube content. I was telling Liam one day about some of the nightmare interviews that I've had. (And don't worry, you've done nothing to be a nightmare interview. The last time I said this to someone, they were like, 'Oh no, was I one of them?') But I've had some nightmare interviews in my time and I told Liam some of the horror stories of my nightmarish interviews.

So we did a sketch for YouTube where I played myself, and he was just a terrible interviewer. I was trying to promote my Christmas film with BenDeLaCreme, the Jinkx and DeLa Holiday Special, and he was just being a bad interviewer. So we took that idea and turned it into a thousand and created Winderly Landchime and Bethany Christmas, the worst interviewers in the world.

What was it like having Trixie Mattel as the first guest in the series?

It just makes perfect sense. Trixie gets comedy. That queen f*cking gets comedy, so she knew exactly what we were going for. And what I love about Trixie is she was able to improvise with us without giving away the joke. Trixie committed to the character Winderly Landchime. She didn't look at me and she never said Jinkx, she never broke character. She was really good about letting me drop into this character and treat me like I was this horrible person.

I know you don't want to give away spoilers, but can we expect any of your past Snatch Game characters to appear on Sketchy Queens?

Ooh, yes. You probably should expect an appearance from one of my past Snatch Game characters. Yeah.

How long have you known Liam Krug and what's your creative process like?

We've known each other about two years. We met through mutual friends because we went to the same high school and same middle school, just some time apart. And we're both still in contact with our high school theater teacher who just may make an appearance on Sketchy Queens. Our high school theater teacher, Trisha Todd, is a lesbian icon in Portland. She's just one of the most amazing people in the world. And through her, we met each other.

We were friends for about three months before we started working together. You meet someone new, they say, 'Oh, I do video work, I write scripts.' And you're like, 'Haha, okay, okay.' You got to put it out of your head at first. But then I watched this sketch that Liam had written, acted in. It's called "The Great British Fish Dish" or something. I think it's on YouTube. I watched this sketch that he acted in, starred in, wrote, directed, edited. He did everything except play the main character. And I thought it was so hilarious. And it was one of those moments where it's like, 'Oh, I don't even have to pretend to like this. I actually like it.' So about three months into our friendship, I was like, 'We should probably start doing some work together.'

And of course, everything was digital during the [lockdown]. So Liam became my go-to videographer anytime I had to create a digital show for streaming. And we did everything out of my house. We just got into this groove of working together. Sketchy Queens was a lot... it was a lot for the two of us to film eight episodes. Half of it was filmed in Portland by ourselves, and then half of it was filmed in LA with World of Wonder's world of resources. So it was a lot to pull off right after filming RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, but we did it and I'm so proud of it.

Sketchy Queens premieres Thursday, September 15 on WOW Presents Plus.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.