Not Today, Satan

15 Minutes With Bianca Del Rio

The saucy drag queen sounds off on Texas, Trump, and a Bianca/Oprah presidential ticket.

By Abby Ledoux January 25, 2018

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RuPaul's Drag Race winner Bianca Del Rio brings her comedy tour, "Blame It on Bianca," to Houston's Warehouse Live on February 28. 

Chances are, you’ve heard someone say it: “Not today, Satan.” Maybe you’ve even muttered it yourself as you merged onto I-10. If so, you’ve got a certain drag queen to thank. 

Bianca Del Rio, who shot to stardom after winning season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, coined the phrase, just one of an infinite number of quips the comedian has spouted since she first emerged on the scene in her native New Orleans more than 20 years ago.

She started as a costume designer, moved to small-time club performances in New York City, and now sells out arenas across the country with her larger-than-life persona and its unique blend of camp, insult comedy, and, as she described her style in a 2014 New York Times profile, “erotic clown.”

See for yourself when Hurricane Bianca rolls through Houston (yikes, too soon?) on Wednesday, February 28 at Warehouse Live for the “Blame It On Bianca” Comedy Tour. Ahead of that appearance, we caught up with Bianca to hear her impressions of Texas (hot), Trump (f***ing idiot), and­—could it be—her own presidential campaign?

Can you summarize Bianca Del Rio’s thoughts on the president?

I mean, it’s laughable. I can’t even utter—to say the words “President Trump” makes my skin crawl. I just think he’s a f***ing idiot. And truly, if America wanted to have a washed-up, bankrupt reality star run the country, I can do that! It’s really changed my opinion of politics. I’m gonna run with Oprah. Bianca/Oprah 2020!

Dubbed the Joan Rivers of Drag, you’re known for your unapologetic and biting comedy, which has been classified as “politically incorrect” …

I call it “the truth.”

Okay, the truth. Trump, too, appealed to his base by being unapologetically politically incorrect. How do you square that with what you do?

I think with comedy, as long as you’re making fun of something … and I’m aware I’m the biggest joke. [But] here in office is a man who can’t admit that he said something two days ago … that’s where it gets a little scary. As far as being self-aware, I think he lacks that completely. I say what I say from my perspective … no matter what your political stance is, obviously the world is kind of crazy right now, and I don’t think it’s going to get better anytime soon … It’s important for me in general, if you know who I am and you decide to come see my show, that you have an hour and a half of laughing about something. … I do make fun of [Trump’s] appearance and his lack of charm and that he’s just an idiot and his mouth looks like an asshole. Doesn’t it? It looks like a tiny little butthole when he talks.

Who would you like to roast to their face? Who deserves it?

I think there are so many people that deserve it, but Trump is an easy target. I don’t know if people have gotten crazier or if it’s just with social media that we hear more about it and that makes them seem crazy … Mo’Nique is going through it right now with Netflix, this half a million dollars thing? Bitch, shut the f*** up and take it! Each day is a new video, and it’s just getting more and more insane. Are people crazier now or do we just have access to all of this footage? Are we really fighting over the fact that you don’t have a million dollars? Girl, there are people dying in this world, Trump is president for Christ’s sake, take the money and run. You already have an Academy Award, shut the f*** up! It’s just ridiculous. Rich people problems. Shut up, call Oprah.

Conversely, who's a celebrity you love?

Of course Cher on Twitter is genius. I don’t know what the f*** she’s saying half the time, but all those little emojis make me piss myself. I just picture her in this sequin gown and a wig in her mansion in Malibu at two in the morning [tweeting] … I live for this. Occasionally she’ll end in a little ghost [emoji]. Cher always brings a smile to my face.

What’s your favorite song to lip sync to?

I don’t! I don’t lip sync at all. I don’t even do numbers anymore. It’s weird, I’m one of those. Years ago when I started drag … I became the go-to gal to fill time, nobody was ready so I’d have to talk to the audience [so I stopped doing numbers then]. But I guess by default I’m supposed to say “Sissy That Walk” by RuPaul, it’s a great song and it’s available on iTunes! That way I stay in her good graces.

What’s your routine like to get ready for an appearance?

If you’ve seen my look, there’s not much softness going on there. When I’m traveling for a tour like this, I’m fortunate to get to travel on my own little tour bus, so I’m not doing airports, which are truly nerve-wracking. As a drag queen, you have everything you need in this bag, you can’t carry it on because of liquids and stuff, you’re gonna blow up the plane with lipstick … I’ve only lost my luggage twice, knock on wood, and those were fun experiences. With this particular tour, I’m traveling with my own little bus, and I usually get into whatever city I’m performing in around noon … I have a few hours to go shopping, I like to go vintage shopping, or meet up with a friend. Then I start getting ready. I get to the theater around 3 to set everything up, because some spaces are wonderful, and some spaces don’t even have electricity … After, I do meet and greets at 6 … 8 is the show, and then I get out of drag, get back on the bus, and wake up in the next city. It’s a pretty easy process for me. Of course, I travel with two of everything … and shoes! You have to travel with extra shoes. It’s not the easiest thing to find a size 12 shoe in the next city. I double up on everything—two dresses, two sets of wigs, all that madness.

What’s a fact people would be surprised to know about you?

That I’m actually a normal person. That I like to read books.

What’s your favorite book?

I’m very nosy, so I love a lot of biographies. My house is filled with biographies of everybody. I just got a new one … When Feud was on TV I’d gone through my Bette Davis phase, and I was reading My Mother’s Keeper [a scathing memoir by by Davis’ daughter, B. D. Hyman] … Bette Davis’ longtime assistant wrote a book, Me and Mrs. D, and I’m curious to see what she has to say. 

I’m also finishing up my book, Blame It on Bianca: The Expert of Nothing with an Opinion on Everything. It’s a self-help book, me giving advice—which would be real advice. It’s kind of like, you know how you always have that one asshole friend, and you really want to tell them what you think? … I’m just telling you the hard truth. I have no degree, only life experience. I thought, if f***ing Dr. Phil can do this shit, I can do it! What does it matter? … I’m sure the suicide rate’s going to go up.

In your movie, Hurricane Bianca, which is set in a small Texas town, you skewered Southern stereotypes. What do you really think of Texas? 

I’ve always had a great time in Texas. I grew up in New Orleans, so Texas, Alabama, and Florida, those were our hot vacation spots because we didn’t have any money to travel too far. [When I travel today] I’m really bad when I get to each city … I see the airport, I see the hotel … I know Dallas has carpet at the airport, which drives me crazy … Those are the things that I remember the most because it all kind of becomes a blur. It’s been four years since we filmed Drag Race, and I’ve just been traveling; rarely do I get to hang out and have fun with the local folk, as you’d say. I do a meet-and-greet before the show … and that’s when I get the vibe of the city and the people. Okay, she’s the alcoholic, she’s the fun one, she’s the friend that nobody likes. It helps the act, because usually they’re the first 15 rows.

When I go to Texas, I think of hot, I think of Beyonce, I think of Beyonce being hot in Texas. And yeah, it’s flat, right? Pretty flat there. I do remember the heat. I’ve been there in the summer, which is always a bitch—it’s always summer for a drag queen. 

We also have a sequel to our film, Hurricane Bianca 2. We start out in Texas, and then we end up in Russia – that’s where comedy ensues. We pick up where we left off, where Rachel Dratch’s character had been arrested. This time around we had some great cameos … [including] Miss Wanda Sykes! It’s quite amusing. That will be out this summer as well ... By the end of the year I’m gonna be putting up hotels!

Then you can really run for president.

Completely. I have a woman that stands behind me that’s completely uninterested in me, too, so I can relate to his marriage as well.

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