LADY BUNNY, OUR NEXT LENNY BRUCE: In new show, drag comedian hops from salty punchlines to challenging queer America’s greatest frontier — freedom of speech
BY DANIEL KUSNER
Funny, filthy and infamous, Lady Bunny has aimed for low-hanging fruit since starring in “Wigstock: The Movie.” And in “Trans-Jester,” her new comedy show at Stonewall Inn, Bunny certainly hits her target — especially when spoofing Katy Perry’s “Roar” with lyrics like “Because my vagina / Is bigger than China / And both Carolinas / And boy is it ever sore.”
In between punchlines about diarrhea being a water-based lubricant and the newsflash that Adele lost 100 pounds — in a British casino — Bunny launches into the noisy debate about language police. Her material straddles the invisible divides that separate our puritanical zeal for abolishing homophobia and what GLAAD hopes never airs on daytime TV.
Radical and revolting, Bunny reminds her audience that Stonewall was the backdrop that incited a revolution.
“Most of you were not old enough to be here during the 1969 riots. And it is not lightly that I tell you that it all began here. The Stonewall was ground zero for LGBT — or as they were known back then — ‘gay rights.’ This is where our gay, lesbian, trans and a few hustlers spilled their blood to fight anti-gay tyranny.
“So I want you — on the next Gay Pride Day — to remember that. And when you see an old skinny man well past 60 with a tattered dress, a matted wig and smeared makeup in all the crevices of his wrinkled face, don’t you dare avert your eyes. Don’t you dare pass by without acknowledging him. Walk right up to him. Give him a great big hug and say, ‘Thank you for our rights, Lypsinka.’”
The evening I attended “Trans-Jester,” drag legend John Epperson (aka Lypsinka) was in the audience.
Most of “Trans-Jester” is a bitch-fest against prissy political correctness and how the word police can appear fascist. When she chimes in on sensitive collegians who need “trigger warnings,” Bunny explains her “safe place” is just past the “no refund” sign.
While dissecting Caitlyn Jenner winning Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year, Bunny points out, “She hasn’t even been a woman for a year.”
She also responds to Monica Lewisnsky’s TED Talk about being the first victim of online “slut-shaming.”
“I know that enemies of the Clintons used that affair to smear the president and Monica. I know that. But from where I stand — as a proud card-carrying slut — [Monica] did suck the married president’s dick in the White House and march out with a cum-covered dress. To me, that’s a slut. Did you enjoy it? Then where’s the shame? But this slut would have licked the cum right off of that dress.”
When it comes to online political campaigns, Lady Bunny is a shameless slut. But in case you were wondering, “Trans-Jester” is not a Bernie Sanders stump speech.
Bunny really hits her stride when throwing bombs about how we walk on eggshells when pronouncing words like “heteronormative,” “cisgender” and the queer N-word, “tranny.”
She also dives into the intricacies how the term “gay community” has been stretched out to the acronym mouthful known as LGBTQIA. Highlights include:
“Lesbians wanted their own letter, which I thought divided the gay community. The phrase ‘lesbian and gay’ is redundant. Like saying ‘apples and fruit.’
“I stands for ‘intersex.’ Formerly formerly known as hermaphrodite. You’ll never meet one.
“Q stands for ‘questioning.’ Okay, come by the gay center. Come for the counseling. Get tested for AIDS. But if you are questioning whether or not you are part of the community, I’m questioning our community’s sanity that we’ve got to add a letter to reflect you.
Bunny asked her audience, “What does A stand for?”
“Asshole? Yes, I am. Alcoholic? Yes, that too. But A stands for ‘asexual.’ They don’t want to fuck anybody! And in the immortal words of transsexual punk icon goddess Jayne County, ‘If you don’t want to fuck me, baby, baby, baby, fuck off!’”
With her iconoclastic edginess, Lady Bunny emerges as a trans-punk icon herself — one who’s effectively exploring community standards through obscenity and laughter.
Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m.
at Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St, NYC.