John Waters Talks Films, Filth and More

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John Waters returns to Fort Lauderdale on Feb 24 as part of the Outlandish Comedy Series. Submitted photo.

Could John Waters be mellowing with age? The creator of counterculture cult flicks like “Mondo Trasho,” “Multiple Maniacs” and “Pink Flamingos” be getting soft? Nah, he insists.

“I’m 71 years old and I was an angry 17-year-old when I started,” he said in a phone interview. “An angry 71-year-old is an asshole and an angry 17-year-old is cute and fun.”

He certainly doesn’t find much humor in being honored with “retrospectives” and “tributes.”

“Now, it’s like being alive at your own funeral,” he said. “I’ve never been busier in my entire life, in my career, than I am now,” Waters said, speculating that he’d “probably drop dead” if he tried to slow down.

The man who earned the monikers “King of Bad Taste” and “Pope of Trash” will prove he’s not lost his edge when he appears on the stage of the Sunshine Cathedral on Saturday, Feb. 24 as part of Logo TV founder Matt Farber’s Outlandish Comedy Series.

The defiant filmmaker is also not worried the hallowed church will burst into flames or crumble during his show, “This Filthy World.”

“My show has lots of filthy material. It’s a completely updated, memorized monologue about fashion, crime, politics, art, movies, my life. Every day it changes. It’s really about how to be happy if you’re crazy and not ashamed,” he explained and the Fort Lauderdale audience will be the first to experience the show’s latest incarnation.

Waters spends much of his time on the road with the show and promoting his bestselling books.

“I don’t do anything but tour and meet the fans,” he said. “They do their roots and get all dressed up just to meet me…I get the best in every city, the people I’d want to meet in the first place. I don’t have to go to the bars.”

When not on the road, he’s still traveling, splitting his time between residences in his hometown Baltimore, New York City, San Francisco and Provincetown. Fans might be surprised to learn he doesn’t live in a ‘50s modern house or drive a retro ’56 Cadillac El Dorado.

“Oh, I live the conventional life,” Waters explained. “You can’t be an anarchist when you own three homes and rent an apartment. I’m not out wildly dancing on tables at the Stud every night, you can be sure.”

He does have fond memories of past visits to South Florida.

“I think the best bar was a hustler bar in Fort Lauderdale. I can’t remember the name, but I’m sure your readers will know. That place was like old reliable porn movies come to life.”

In his spare time, Waters became fascinated with the current FX series “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”

“I’m a big fan of Ryan (Murphy) and I think he’s had an amazing career. He must be awfully tired,” Waters speculated.

Waters doesn’t admit to being “tired” and has no plans to slow down. More retrospectives and tributes are sure to come.

John Waters performs “This Filthy World 2018” on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Tickets start at $40 at OutlandishFL.com.


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