Lady Bunny is a bunny of many hats! Now a podcaster, too, as she reinvents herself and joins drag star Monét X Change to cause a stir in their new podcast series, Ebony & Irony. “The podcast is off to a great start! Well, after Bunny figured out what a podcast was and got internet.”, confirms Monét X Change. “Working with Monét is a rare opportunity,” Bunny quips. “How often to do I get to say ‘I’m the pretty one?’”
Ebony & Irony is not your typical drag podcast. Rather than discussing the lewks of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the show touches on themes like cancel culture, COVID, and cultural appropriation. It also features light-hearted segments like Definitely Not the News where Bunny and Monét mine the internet for the latest fads and throw more shade than a solar eclipse. “The show is totally unscripted,” says Monét. “We tried some scripted segments, but Bunny can’t read.”
We were so excited to learn more about this, and we could never resist to spending an Covid-safe evening with Lady Bunny! Here is everything we talked about and you need to know!
What shall we expect to hear in the new podcast, Ebony & Irony?
In the episode which launches Friday, we discuss Lil Nas’ new song, video and sneakers, along with Utica’s Nice Girls Roast performance on Drag Race. Utica having to apologize for jokes which any queen performing in any gay bar made me wonder if Drag Race fans’ perception of drag is actually quite limited. But Monet and I love to mix it up. We’ve had comedian Margaret Cho on to discuss anti-Asian hate crimes, an emergency room doctor to update us with ever-changing Covid 19 protocol, a UK author/history lecturer to discuss the Meghan Markle/Oprah interview and drag legend Joey Arias on to critique Netflix’s The US Vs. Billie Holiday, who he’s made a career off of channeling.
You’re a bunny of many hats! Now a podcaster, too! What are your thoughts on this latest reinvention of Lady Bunny?
Monet claims I have a great face for podcasting! I’ve always split my time between comedy, deejaying and a little songwriting. As social media has taken hold, I’ve enjoyed weighing in on everything from politics to pop culture. So Ebony & Irony is an extension of that. Covid left me (and most performers) with a lot of spare time, and one of my fave things to do is to debunk media narratives spread by clickbait media. So often, we’re told what to think so we don’t.
How is it working with Monét X Change?
Love it–I don’t have to smell her! Although we didn’t work together much on the NYC club scene, we’ve always hit it off. Monet’s funny and works hard. And she’s the one bridge I haven’t burned!
What makes the connection between Lady Bunny and Monét X Change work?
We’re almost 30 years apart in age, so there’s no shortage of disagreements on our show. When we choose topics, we often try to pick ones that we’ll have different perspectives on. Or one of us will play devil’s advocate.
How is Ebony & Irony different from all of the other drag podcasts out there?
Our podcast doesn’t only focus on recapping Drag Race episodes, because I don’t watch. But when a Ru girl makes headlines which have broader implications, I love to discuss that. So we’ve discussed allegations that Shangela and others didn’t follow Covid precautions, and interviewed Sherry Pie’s accusers after she raised eyebrows by appearing on a daytime, nationally televised chat show. We also welcome queens like Joey Arias and Linda Simpson who are well-known, but were never on Drag Race. If you only know drag from a reality TV show, you’re missing a helluva lot!
Also, I went on one drag-themed podcast and they brought up one very heavy issue. They glossed over it with 2 minutes worth of commentary, but they never did a deep dig or offered no new info unique viewpoints. To me, it felt like they were just checking that topic off of a list to seem more “woke.” I prefer long-form interviews and really diving in if it’s a topic worth covering. Which isn’t to say we don’t have tons of silly moments and reading, too!
What makes Lady Bunny so iconic?
She refuses to go away!
Are you still the shadiest queen around?
Yes, but don’t tell Shady Lawrence! (Who I worked with on a tour a year ago and had a blast with!)
How has drag changed since the reign of George VI when you first started?
We now have a cure for syphilis, so we no longer wear those large beauty marks to hide the sores. We wear masks now!
You have paved the way for so many drag queens. Do you get the credit that you deserve?
I guess so. But a lot of queens my age dwell on the past. I don’t. I’d prefer to be credited for what I’m doing right this second rather than grumble about what I’m owed or rest on my laurels. I love performing, and sometimes you get properly recognized, sometimes you just get a paycheck. We all knew there was no rhyme or reason and no guarantees in entertainment. But thankfully, our listeners enjoy hearing about drag in days gone by.
Do you have any feuds in the drag scene?
Traditionally, I haven’t gotten along with an NYC queen named Hedda Lettuce. But we ran into each other recently and chatted for 20 minutes on the street corner. We were blabbing so enthusiastically about how the city has changed that we forgot to hate each other. And I think we both realized that we’d come through an incredible time in NYC together. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still talk shit about each other when we see each other perform!
What is your relationship with RuPaul?
Old friends/sisters. We don’t hang out like we used to, but she lives in LA and Wyoming. When you spend your developmental years together, it’s easy to pick up where you leave off. That’s what we’ve done when we’ve worked together over the years.
What do you miss the most since the pandemic?
Sex with strangers!
Tell me a guilty pleasure.
If it brings you pleasure, why feel guilty?
Many indoor venues are still on shaky terms, so I’ll be booking outdoor gigs while the weather permits.
New episodes of Ebony & Irony premiere every Friday and feature drag stars Monét X Change and Lady Bunny dissecting the latest pop culture, politics and scandals. They dig in deep, interviewing guests who are experts in their fields. “We’re not here to ‘Yass, Queen!’ our guests,” Bunny explains. “We ask hard-hitting questions so that different viewpoints are expressed.”
Past episodes have included conversations with UK historian/author Stephen Brogan (discussing Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview) and Danny Mandarola, a victim of sexual manipulator, Sherry Pie. On this Friday’s show, Monét X Change and Lady Bunny will welcome comedian Margaret Cho to discuss the Atlanta shooting of six Asian women.
Ebony & Irony is available for free at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ebony-and-irony/id1550044944 or wherever you get your podcasts.
Monét X Change is best known for winning Miss Congeniality on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 and winning RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4. The Brooklyn-based diva cemented her fame with an album, Unapologetically, a Build Series talk show named “The X Change Rate”, and a stint on London’s West End with Courtney Act. Monét regularly joins her friendly competitor Bob the Drag Queen for their popular podcast, Sibling Rivalry.
Lady Bunny created the drag festival Wigstock in the 1980s. The festival is the subject of two documentaries, 1995’s Wigstock: The Movie and 2018’s Wig on HBO. A living drag legend, razor-witted comic, fabulous DJ, and one kooky queen, the Lady Bunny experience can be summed up from her own words in V Magazine’s December issue: “My humor is outrageous, my look is over the top, and my politics are in your face. That’s just the way I am!”
The premiere episode of Ebony & Irony welcomed guest, Linda Simpson, discussing her book, “The Drag Explosion.” Following episodes featured trans punk icon Jayne County, gay porn star Boomer Banks, Dr. Darien Sutton, and nightlife columnist, author and bon vivant Michael Musto.
“I’ve learned so much doing this podcast,” reflects Bunny. “Including who Monét X Change is.”
“Ebony and Irony”is part of Starburns Audio network. New episodesare available every Friday at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ebony-and-irony/id1550044944 or wherever you access your podcasts. The show is interactive with listeners on the Stereo app.