BRIDGET Everett’s brand of comedy is anything but subtle: onstage she can be seen championing accidental nudity and inviting members of the audience to ‘motorboat’ her in the midst of belting a jazzy number.
And for someone whose humour is often frank and abrasive, she believes being a woman in that arena makes her work inherently political.
“I’m not saying ‘look at me I’m a woman’ but I can be very confronting to the audience which in itself is political.”
As a classically trained opera singer who also regularly frequented karaoke bars in the early stages of her career, Everett believes she very much stumbled into cabaret and comedy as a natural middle ground.
Initially she began telling stories onstage that were neither refined nor finessed and performed cover songs.
However, over time her craft has developed and seen her become a favourite of fellow brazen comic Amy Schumer who featured Everett in both her film Trainwreck and television series Inside Amy Schumer.
She will also feature in two upcoming films this year: as the mother of an unlikely aspiring rapper in Patti Cake$ and in Fun Mom Dinner to engage in wine-soaked hijinks.
While her longstanding career has blossomed and progressed in many ways, Everett said her LGBTI fan base has remained stagnant.
“I can’t remember who said this but they told me the gay community always finds you, they’re always the first to discover the newest thing, and that was the case for me,” she said.
“It’s always largely been an LGBTI audience coming to my shows and even though I get more and more straight people, for me my family will always be queer in some sense.”
Despite the omnipresence of queer fans throughout Everett’s career, she said she’s never been [entirely] sure why that is.
She mostly attributes it to her brazen and confronting style of comedy.
“I’ve never been able to put my finger on it, but I think they appreciate someone who’s willing to take risks and go off the rails, live dangerously,” she said.
“As a community they embrace that and love it, and also just in my own personal life most of my friends are gay, or lesbians, or trans, and they’re the people I feel most comfortable with.
“It’s a language and a common ground where we both feel safe… I need them as much as they need me. In a way, I’ve grown up with the queer community and they’ve allowed me to be who I want to be.”
Everett said despite her core audience identifying as sexual or gender diverse, her comedy isn’t constructed specifically appease them – though it often happens incidentally.
“It’s not what I set out to do, but those are the people I want to make laugh and smile because when I’m writing a song I think what would make my fans and friends laugh, and my friends are largely LGBTI,” she said.
For Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival this year Everett brought her Pound It show down under, performing at the festival’s first ever comedy gala.
She believes humour and entertainment can be important for people that are part of marginalised communities like those that identify as sexual or gender diverse.
“I think it’s everything for people,” she said.
“It’s important to have somebody to look to as a way to make you laugh or connect to some emotion.
“It’s hard for me to communicate to a friend but in an audience it’s important that there’s a place where people can go to feel like they’re being heard, it’s like seeing yourself reflected onstage.”
When it comes to what audiences can expect from one of Everett’s shows, her answer is quite simple.
“It’s a massive party, I’m giving it 150 per cent,” she said.
“I want everybody to feel like they’re at last call at a party and talking to somebody, feeling like they’re going to get laid. That’s the show.”