Sandra Bernhard took a few minutes out of her hectic schedule to talk to Queerty editor Bradford Shellhammer about her upcoming television performances, her tour with Cyndi Lauper, and the release of her classic film Without You I’m Nothing.
Tell us how you got involved with QTN? Should we expect more television appearances in the future?
I was asked to my delight to come on and co-host the Jack E Jett Show, of course it sounded like fun. Anytime I get to follow in Belinda Carlisleâ€™s footsteps I am thrilled. And yes of course I will be doing more television in many diverse areas from acting in dramatic roles, such as my portrayal of Charlotte Birch on The L Word, to comedy and perhaps a variety show of my own.
You are anchoring QTN’s Halloween Scare-athon. Is Halloween as big a deal for lesbians as it is for fags?
I think lesbians are always dressed like witches, don’t you?
We caught you and your band many years back at the Beacon Theater and were blown away by your “Janie’s Got A Gun” cover. Are you still making music? Any news concerning that?
Oh yes. My long time collaborator Mitch Kaplan and I are finishing up our album of original songs titled Gems of Mystery, which will be available on my web site Sandrabernhard.com. Singing, especially rock and roll, is my passion and joy. Stay tuned kids.
Do you read blogs? If so, which ones?
Yes there are some brilliant people commenting on the horror show that is our present administration, such as Maureen Dowd, my hero, Paul Krugman, and the smart kids at The New York Times.
You are touring with Cyndi Lauper. And we are Cyndi Lauper freaks. What should we expect from your performance on this tour? How did you hook up with Cyn?
Cyn and I did two benefits together this year and sang “Money Changes Everything” together, tearing the house down. So we thought why not take it out on the road for a splash of realness and glamour. That’s how it came down, she’s a great musician, brilliant really, complicated, tender, and a true original. I will be doing a couple of songs with her band and talking in between. It will be funny, poignant, introspective, and funny.
Will you be at the NYC show on November 8th?
No I will not be with her in NYC. My first date is in Ann Arbor on December 2nd and on from there.
Madonna has been the talk of every queen lately. Are you looking forward to her new album?
Yes of course. I like to dance too.
We have always held you in regards as an iconic beauty. In fact we still have the cover of Surface you appeared on because it is so striking. How do you describe your look?
Luxurious really, all mushy and sensual, someone to sink into. Kissy and fresh, Just lovely, but if you want any deeper insight ask my girlfriend. She seems quite pleased.
Gay men seem to love brutally honest women comedians: you, Joan Rivers, Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho. Are you fans of these women’s work?
Margaret Cho is a talented lady and very funny. Kathy Griffin does her thing that works really well for her. And Joan is Joan.
Without You I’m Nothing has finally been released on DVD. I remember seeing it in high school then and itâ€™s one of the first times I knew I was gay. How come it took so long to release?
Do you have a week? It is one of those long drawn out stories that this business is famous for. Let it suffice to say, I’m delighted that a whole new generation can now share in the joy that is Without You I’m Nothing. It’s my pride and joy and John Boskovich, who co-wrote and directed it created a new genre of performance film. It was so much fun to make, enjoy.