John Waters Talks About This Filthy World

John Waters is bringing his show “This Filthy World” to Seattle just in time for Valentine’s Day! Give your favorite person a nice chicken heart and tickets to this show. Waters is a comedy icon. Always naughty and entertaining. He spends most of his time writing these days and his last two books hit the best sellers list. You don’t want to miss the comedy genius behind movies like “Female Trouble”, “Pink Flamingos”, “Serial Mom” and “Hairspray”. John Waters will be performing Monday at The Neptune Theatre! Get your tickets right here. 

Waters took some time out from writing to talk to Equality365 about his new books, fond memories of The Neptune Theatre and the show he is bringing to Seattle. Check it out below! Don’t forget to get your tickets!

Earle Dutton: I read a little while ago that you are working on three separate books. Is that a challenge?
John Waters: Well, one is finished. It is called “Make Trouble”. It is an illustrated version of the speech I gave at RISD University. It is kind of like a present you give to someone that maybe had some trouble in school but made their way through it. I think it is the perfect gift (laughter). One is called “Mr. Know It All” and the other is “Liar Mouth”. One is a novel and the other is a collection of essays on how to avoid respectability at 70 years old.

ED: How do you stay creative?
JW: Well, it is my job. I have a lot of bills (laughter). I have to keep thinking. That is how I make my money. I call it “Thimking” like Mad Magazine. When I was young, IBM had this advertising slogan with just “Think” and it was incredibly successful. Every office around had these signs that just said “Think.” Then, Mad Magazine did a parody called “Thimk.” So, every day I have to “Thimk.” I feel like it is just fractured thinking.

John Waters in SeattleED: What would you consider a watershed moment in your career?
JW: I think there where three times when my life really changed. One, when we finally got a distributor for “Pink Flamingos” in New York, we showed it at the Elgin Cinema which I knew was the right place to do it. We had one midnight show which was posted for one week and about forty people showed up. So, they said we could have it for one more week and when we went back there was a line around the block just from word of mouth. That night, my life really changed. My life changed the night that “Hairspray” won the Tony Award as Best Musical. I think my life changed when my last two books went on the best sellers list. Those are highlights but I think the real watershed moments are private.

ED: What are you most looking forward to in 2017?
JW: I am an optimist by trade. I am a glass half full kinda guy. I am always thinking that there are going to be good surprises. I am getting a Lifetime Achievement award at the Writer’s Guild, which is kind of a big moment for me. That is coming up pretty soon.

ED: How did you feel when you received the letter about the award?
JW: Well, these days it is an email. A letter would really be so much more powerful. I want to start sending everyone letters with Postage Due to see if they really still do that sort of thing. I want the postman to have to knock on the door and collect three cents to get the letter. I think these awards just mean that I am getting old. At least, I get to hear them say nice things about me before I am dead.

ED: Are there any celebrities or stars you would like to find a part for if you were working on a new film?
JW: I don’t do it that way anymore. That is how I started. Now, I write the script and find the best actor/actress not a celebrity. I write the script without thinking of anyone. Then, when it is over, I think about casting and who would play what. I have many scripts that have been done that haven’t been made like the sequel to “Hairspray” for HBO. Who knows, it might eventually get made. I have ideas for casting but things change so much and the business changes. The model I knew for independent film is no longer operative. You have to go with whatever the changes are at the time. Hollywood always wants you to cast someone who just had a hit five minutes ago. So, you always have to deal with that sort of thinking too. There is just no point trying to get a movie made and telling the money people who you want to be in it. Let them say yes and then you can figure out who you want in it when you both can agree.

John Waters MustacheED: What do you think of the new paradigm with Netflix, Showtime, Hulu and HBO making some of the best television shows?
JW: I think TV is better than movies these days. I know that is kind of a sin to say that and I will probably go to movie hell. But, you get more money and people want to see these shows. I think television is the best it has ever been. Movies are still great but they are in the worst shape they have ever been. All of the independent movies I like are European art films and the government pays for them. You know very well, especially now, that this government ain’t ever paying for an art film (laughter).

ED: Could you tell us a little about the show you are bringing to Seattle?
JW: Well, “This Filthy World” is a self-help comedy show. It is a Valentine’s show. I talk about everything from drugs, Baltimore, nudity, crime, fashion, movies, and everything else. I am constantly upgrading it.

ED: Why do you like The Neptune Theatre so much?
JW: I love the marquee! I actually have a photo of “Female Trouble” on the marquee when it played there years ago. They seem to like me there as well. You always like a theater where you have a good history.

ED: Could you imagine anything you have right now becoming one of these new style television series?
JW: Sure, I wrote the sequel to “Hairspray” as a series for NBC. Of course, I could imagine it.

ED: Do you have a message for LGBTQ youth?
JW: Who was it that said “When I want a message, I will call Western Union” (laughter). Gay is not enough anymore. It is a good start. I understand why gay bars are disappearing. People don’t want to be isolated. I am against separatism. I think everyone should be able to hang out together. I think progress would be admitting that sometimes there are bad gay movies too (laughter). It is hard for me to imagine that gay people feel discriminated against in a big city like New York. I think heterosexual people are discriminated against. But at the same time, I think that visibility is the key. I think that is why Republicans have given up on gay marriage to a point. I think they realize there are gay people in their families. I think the whole coming out thing has been very powerful politically. I certainly do not feel discriminated against as a gay man.

Waters will be performing in Seattle this Monday February 13th at The Neptune Theatre! Get your tickets right here. You know you want to see his mustache in person! Get your tickets now!

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John Waters Wants To Be Your Prince Charmless (click here)



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Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton

Earle Dutton is the Chief Blogger and Editor of He founded in 2013 to provide information about LGBTQ friendly events of interest, and to support LGBTQ entertainers and supportive artists who visit our community. Earle is a successful businessman in the Pacific Northwest with a long history of support for and involvement in, the Northwest LGBTQ community. His personal interests include: music, theater, pets, culinary arts and technology.

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