Full disclosure, I may not be the greatest judge of what’s funny. I’ve built my career appealing to a specific crowd of self-professed weirdos. They’ve flocked to see me take a tinned spaghetti bath while dressed as a giant cockroach. I’ve done a banana striptease – where I peeled myself. I’ve ridden a CGI slug. I’ve even tried to sell a jar of my own urine to RuPaul.
Drag pioneers have always pushed the envelope of what’s tasteful – look no further than Divine. I have to consume camp content to survive – irreverent, brash, and in-on-the-joke humour that pokes air holes in the box we’ve been vacuum-packed in by society. When my friends and I see something we can’t deal with in magnitude or subject matter, we label it “TOO camp” and move on. Perhaps this list is TOO camp – or just camp enough.
1. Person spoons mincemeat into toy truck while man sings Frank Sinatra
I wish I could tell you any more than that. I don’t know how I found this video. I don’t know what it means. But it’s like a warm hug from a relative you didn’t even know you had. I never want more context. That would ruin it.
2. Delta Work’s sandwich artistry
If you’ve never heard of Delta Work or her incredibly popular podcast Very Delta, this is the perfect excerpt to become acquainted. She looks gorgeous, speaks extemporaneously and asks all the big questions but answers almost none of them.
3. Dolphin checks out pasta through a porthole
Someone told me once that to make pasta you wet dry stuff (flour and egg), then dry the wet stuff (roll out the pasta), then wet the dry stuff (boil the pasta), then dry the wet stuff (strain), then wet the dry stuff (add sauce), then you put dry stuff on the wet stuff (parmesan). I wonder if this dolphin knows any of that. Is he hungry?
4. Hollywood bus tour
We will never get Drag Race like this again. There’s something completely unhinged about this sequence, something so unbelievably surreal. Salvador Dalí would froth it. Drag queens in an open-top bus, half of them on the verge of a breakdown and the other half on the verge of a breakthrough. Chaz Bono and Latoya Jackson badly greenscreened on to fake pavement. RuPaul barely audible behind a wall of autotune. It’s perfect.
5. Simone shows off her looks
I could write a dissertation on this video. If anyone knows exactly who Simone is or what happened to her, I have to know. I always put this on at a house party and it never fails to elicit a reaction. Between her heavy breathing, stiff posing and the vacant expression of her rubber mask, you don’t know if this is found footage or carefully constructed performance art. Either way, brilliant.
6. Shrieking woman at a wedding
I can’t explain why I laugh so hard every time. If you’ve ever wanted to let go of fear and shame and scream loudly in public places, this video is for you. She is crazy but she is free.
7. Man eats household items
Less funny and more “makes me feel funny”. I hate the trend of making lifelike replicas out of cake. My anxiety always peaks watching someone sink a knife into a toaster only to realise it’s made of fondant. You know from the outset all the objects in this video are edible. It doesn’t make you feel any better.
8. Based on real events
Brian Jordan Alvarez is the comic genius behind so much excellent internet content (The Gay and Wondrous Life of Caleb Gallo, Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends) but this is one of his briefest and weirdest. It’s like an outtake from real life. We are left with so many questions – and there’s something oddly comforting about the lack of closure. Also a great canned bit to use any time you open a fridge around company.
9. Giant spider
I normally hate prank videos but this is one of the greatest I’ve seen. I do hope this poor woman is OK. But at the same time I laughed so hard I peed my pants a little.
10. Liza Minnelli on the Home Shopping Network
All gay people should have to watch this video as part of their indoctrination process – I quote it between 16 and 200 times a day. In Liza’s own words: “Instead of putting on everything that ‘socks’ you in and everything [unintelligible] again. You put this on and then you do what you wanna do.” I couldn’t agree more.
Etcetera Etcetera is performing in Naarm/Melbourne this weekend with fellow drag race alum Art Simone. Her gig guide is updated regularly on her Instagram