Comic actress and singer talks about new touring show, CD
by Lawrence Ferber
Sandra Bernhard’s gotta new show, ‘Plan B from Outer Space’ and a new CD, ‘Everything Bad and Beautiful.’
Having shared explosive moments on TV’s “The View” back in 2006 with the show’s resident conservative, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, Sandra Bernhard has figuratively been in the same boat as pal Rosie O’Donnell. But this July 7-14, Bernhard and O’Donnell will literally be in the same boat when the pair take to the seas (with Bernhard’s daughter Cicely and Ro’s posse — Kelli, Parker, Chelsea, Blake and Vivienne) on R Family Vacations’ summer adventure cruise. Bernhard will perform her new “Plan B From Outer Space” show.
Fortunately, landlubbers and seafarers alike can enjoy Bernhard’s edgy, unexpurgated mix of comedy, social/political/pop culture commentary and song this summer thanks to the June 5 release of “Everything Bad & Beautiful,” a recording of her touring production of the same name. The enhanced CD includes a brand new dance track, “Perfection,” and live video footage, while the iTunes version will include two additional dialogue tracks and even more video.
The Michigan-born, multitalented Bernhard is also taking “Plan B” through Florida in late July — specific tour dates are listed on her official website (www.sandra
bernhard.com) and MySpace page (www.myspace.com/readyoutofilth).
Bernhard took time out to chat about her CD, Cicely and unlikely fan Ann Coulter.
So first let’s talk about the CD, “Everything Bad & Beautiful.”
It’s based on the show I’ve done and continue to do. It’s a great recording of one of the performances last summer in New York. It has all the highlights and fabulosity of the show, a lot of music. But [the show is] two hours long, so you can’t put it all on there.
And which bit on the CD is your favorite highlight from the show?
That’s not how I feel about my shows. It’s all one continuous, almost operatic piece. So there’s not one particular thing on there I love more than the others. But it’s a great representation.
And you’re currently touring a new show, “Plan B From Outer Space.” What can you tell us about that one?
My new show is more of an improvised, in the moment show, topical, that enables me to pick whatever is going on in my life and the world. Trying to take “Everything Bad & Beautiful” to every market was difficult because it has more musicians, so this was easier to take on the road.
So what did you think of the whole ‘The View’ fracas with Rosie leaving, having enjoyed your own easily YouTubed experiences on that show?
Oh, listen, they’ve thrown it to the dogs there. If you want to set up substandard dialogue with people who aren’t informed or educated to have a proper exchange, they’ve accomplished it. It’s not something I watch or get roped into. It’s a shame there’s not a more real, intelligent exchange going on with the [political and social] specters over us.
Speaking of specters — Ann Coulter. How hot is she?
I know you’re kidding.
Were you shocked to hear Anne Coulter call John Edwards a faggot?
No, honey. I was shocked when I met her in the green room at FOX News. She came running up to me and introduced herself and said, “Remember I came back to meet you after one of your one-woman shows with Bob Guccione Jr. and I think you’re fabulous.” That’s what shocked me. Oh yeah. Ann Coulter loves my ass, which makes it all the more insane that she wouldn’t carry on her politics in a way so that she could actually be friends with groovy people like me. She’s crazy.
Do you think she’s for real?
No. I think she just wants attention. She’s got some emotional deficit.
Do you think Madonna is kicking herself for essentially anointing Britney as the next Madonna some years ago? That whole torch-handing went to pot, didn’t it?
No. She always makes statements that… she can’t control [what someone else does]. Few of us can.
Are you shocked by Britney and her antics?
No. Britney had a crack whore mother who pushed her into this disgusting business… She’s had no experience emotionally growing up in any kind of resourceful, healthy way. What’s she supposed to be? Of course she’s insane.
What about your daughter, Cicely. Is she betraying any showbiz aims?
She talks about being a poet and playwright. You can’t argue with that. It’s wonderful. She’s going in an artistic direction. She certainly isn’t ready to jump into the “American Idol” gene pool of total drek and mediocrity.
Did you guys watch ‘American Idol’ this past season and laugh?
No. The TV is never on during the week. With the rare exception of on the weekends she watches a little Animal Planet or TV Land we don’t watch TV, period. She likes “Meerkat Manor.” That’s fine. She has her cello practicing. Her homework. Her pet hamster, Fidget. She has plenty of things to occupy her time.
Would you be upset if you walked in one day and she was lip-synching to Britney?
That would just never fucking happen. She’s a fabulous child. She’s brilliant. And I raised her in the manner of great thinking people.
Are her friends equally progressive?
Yeah. It’s up to you how you raise your child — not up to them.
Have you ever walked in on Cicely and her friends and they were having a conversation and your mind got blown by how progressive or precocious it was?
Yeah, my mind is blown every day when she talks to me directly. Like the hamster got away and we didn’t find it until later in the day. When she got home she said, “God, I was so worried” And I said, “I wasn’t worried.” And she said, “That’s just not right. You know you were worried. We were all worried in our own way.” I was like, “OK, you’re right, but I wanted to be really positive.” And she said, “That’s fine, but this is a situation that calls for some worrying!”
Does she ever see your shows?
No. She’s allowed to, but she doesn’t need to hang out in the theater. She needs to be in bed.
So TV and ‘American Idol’ are out. Do you have any bad habits or vices these days, though?
I have a really bad habit of taking washcloths from hotels. White ones, with the round corners. I use them back home to wipe up around my sink. I’m obsessive. After I brush my teeth or wash my face if there’s a drop of water on the faucet or sink I take one of my washcloths and clean them up. I love them when they’re 100 percent cotton. I have good ones from the Palais Jamai Fes. They were mint and had the P and J sewn in. Very chic.