Started from Rock Bottom now she’s here: Bridget Everett, Gynecological Wonder

You’ve never seen anyone onstage quite like Bridget Everett, and after this week, you’ll never seen anyone up close and personal as you have Everett.

The cabaret queen closes out the third season of Inside Amy Schumer tonight with a musical number, performs her hit Off-Broadway show “Rock Bottom” four nights this week at Joe’s Pub in New York City, and debuts her first Comedy Central, Bridget Everett: Gynecological Wonder, filmed at Joe’s Pub. Even if you’re not in NYC and want to see her in all her glory outside of the boob tube, you’re in more luck: This morning Everett’s name came up on the roster of comedians touring the U.S. in late summer and early fall with the Oddball Fest.

Speaking of boobs and tubes, here’s a clip from Everett’s Comedy Central special, in which she implores her female audience members to be “Proud of What Your Mama Gave You.”

Everett’s first headlining hour on Comedy Central opens with dreamy testimonials from the likes of Ben Stiller, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alan Cumming, Zachary Quinto, Amy Schumer, Beastie Boys Adam Horovitz “Ad-Rock” (who is part of her band, The Tender Moments) and John Slattery. Even with such high-profile celebrity fans, Everett knows she remains an unknown quantity to many.

“Some of you may not know me, but you will not fucking forget me!” she bellows in her opening number at Joe’s Pub. Her act literally is in your face, if you’re sitting anywhere in her live audience. She’ll hit you with a pickup line, or just pick you up in her arms – thrust you into her bosom and/or her crotch. “I may not play Madison Square Garden, but I am going to sit on your face.”

And for the first time, you’ll see what that’s like, as Everett’s crew put cameras on selected audience members to give us views such as the “pussy cam.”

Everett spoke to The Comic’s Comic on Monday about that and then some.

Had you not ever used audience camera angles before in a live show? “I mean, there’s always audience interaction. But this is the first time we’ve filmed the show this way, professionally,” she told me.

I thought you’re always nothing but professional!

Well, she replied: “There’s many clips out there on YouTube,” adding that the cameras enhance your viewing experience: “Especially for this kind of show, to show what the audience is going through because it’s just as important as what’s happening onstage. It’s like a conversation. You want to see what both sides of the table are doing.”

Everett has turned the tables on cabaret and comedy for a solid decade. Her recent TV appearances include multiple episodes of @midnight, as well as sketches on Inside Amy Schumer (she also has toured with Schumer), guest-starring roles in 2 Broke Girls, Sex and the City, and played sidekick to Whitney Cummings when Cummings guest-hosted The Late Late Show for CBS this winter.

Refresh your memory with these two sketches from Inside Amy Schumer.

September 2014: “Schumerenka vs. Everett”

July 2013: “Sex Tips”

It’s a long way from Manhattan, Kansas, to Manhattan, NYC. She didn’t necessarily think when she up-sized her “Apple” residency from little to Big that she’d become a cabaret queen.

“The thought then: I moved here to be a singer, but I had no idea what that was going to mean,” she said. What it did mean: “I did a children’s theater tour. That felt like prison. That was not what I was meant to do. So I started hitting the karaoke scene really hard. I thought, maybe this is what it’s going to be!”

How did you connect with Joe’s Pub? “I started at Ars Nova. My friend Jason Egan actually saw me singing karaoke and said, ‘You should do a show at Ars Nova.’ Then the people at Joe’s Pub got to know me at Ars Nova,” Everett said. Of Joe’s Pub and its Public Theatre: “It’s become my home. It’s really the only way that I exist as the performer I am. They let me be completely boundaryless. And do all sorts of shit. I probably should have been arrested a couple of times. I’m really lucky I found them. Without them, I’d still be singing karaoke.”

At what point did your backing band, The Tender Moments, form?

“Around 2009, I’d been co-hosting this show called Our Hit Parade, until I wanted to step out on my own and do my town thing. Which is against my nature,” she said. “My friend Murray Hill said you need to do something different.” An encounter with Adam Horovitz, aka Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys helped cement her decision.
“Ad-Rock said, ‘What’s going on with you?’
“I said, ‘I’m starting a band.’”
“He said, ‘Well…?’”
“He said, ‘I’m a professional musician.’”
“Do you want to be in my band?!?”

And Everett and her show have been bigger and bolder since. Horovitz helped her write her current Joe’s Pub production, “Rock Bottom.”

“Every show was so much fun and we just kept doing weird shit,” Everett said. “When I moved to New York, I had dreams of being a rock star. Nahhh. I’m too old. I’m not built like that. Britney Spears was a huge star at the time…So I made my own thing up, made my own way. And it’s been well worth the journey. It sounds corny as fuck but it’s true.”

Tender moment, indeed.

“That’s some real shit right there,” she said. “Anybody who knows me knows I’m oversensitive. I just keep going, and being a maniac onstage is a big part of it. But there’s a tender side of it.”

“The special is just pussy and tits, though.”

Nailed it.

Her penchant for onstage ribaldry and debauchery helped her make fast friends with the likes of Amy Schumer and Whitney Cummings, too. Everett has toured with Schumer and performed in several episodes of her Comedy Central series; Cummings invited her on set as her sidekick for guest-hosting turn on The Late Late Show on CBS this winter.

“That was surreal, wasn’t it?” Everett said. “But you know what? I’m so happy that I have that experience, because you have to adjust. I remember when Whitney was asking me, I thought cool, but would it be cool with them if I go into the studio audience because that’s my thing. They said yeah yeah yeah.” Until the day before taping. “Quick note: There’s not going to be any audience. What?!?!?!”

Everett recalls a similar experience for The New York Times where she had to sing a ballad to an audience of three people. “That’s a challenge for me.”

What’s her next challenge?

“I have a couple of things coming up that are different.” She’ll perform her “Rock Bottom” show at Joe’s Pub this week, then go on tour in late August with the Oddball Fest. “I’ll be on the road and doing some live performing,” she said. “I’ll be doing some really cool acting stuff, too. That’s a real nice change of pace.”

The uncensored world premiere of her one-hour special, “Bridget Everett: Gynecological Wonder,” debuts on Comedy Central on Saturday, July 11 at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT. Even more material will be available on July 6 on CC: Stand-Up Direct.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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