Who is YouTube political parodist Randy Rainbow? (Atlanta Comedy Theater July 13)

This was posted Tuesday, July 11, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Randy Rainbow, a gay New York City political parodist whose real name is actually Randy Rainbow, is testing out a live on-stage comedy show and Atlanta is one of his early spots.

Rainbow, whose YouTube videos frequently mocking Donald Trump and his administration have been seen by millions, has never been to Atlanta but will be here on Thursday night for two special shows. (Buy tickets here for $35 apiece) The 7 p.m. show is sold out. The 9:30 p.m. still has tickets available.

I spoke to him Monday. Here are some highlights:

Prepping for what he does now: As a kid in Plantation, Fla., “I used to take my little Disney figurines and turn them into stop-motion animation. Then a friend of mine and I went to theater camp. We’d do little SNL-type sketch shows. One of my theater camp friends is Josh Gad. He is still one of my dear friends.”

It’s up to you, New York…: After a brief moment in college, he spent a few months performing on a cruise ship before coming back to New York, where he was born. He worked in a Broadway production office and became a receptionist interacting with Broadway bigwigs. “I really thought I was running Broadway,” he said. “Of course, I wasn’t.” He became bored and began writing a blog about his life on Broadway. It helped get him some writing jobs with gay publications. His first interview? Liza Minnelli! “It was horrifying but thrilling,” he said.

Welcome to YouTube: After experimenting with video, he hit paydirt after video of Mel Gibson spouting anti-Semitic comments came out. “I thought it would be funny to use the audio and act like Mel Gibson was my boyfriend. That had some viral success. I did several videos using his sexist, horrific, drunken rants.”

What his live show will be like: “It’s mostly political because that’s what’s been most successful. That’s what they know me for. It’s kind of right now a stripped-down memory lane retrospective starting back in campaign time. My fake interviews with the administration and things like that. I’ll perform my greatest hits, the song parodies. I’m working on a bigger show. The next tour will be more fleshed out.”

Close friend from Georgia: Rainbow may have never been to Georgia but he’s close buds with “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star and Athens native Titus Burgess, who also lives in New York. He thinks the character is essentially a “heightened version of him.”

His Orbitz commercial: “Sean Hayes’ production company called. They had this idea. Their inspiration was my Music Man parody called ‘Ya Got Trouble’ during the campaign… They wrote this with me in mind and did it in my style. It was the coolest thing ever. I had never been to L.A. I was right off the plane and onto a sound stage. And there was Margaret Cho!”

Unfortunately, Cho was only there for a couple of hours and he said he didn’t have enough time to fawn over her.

The Trump troubles keep on coming: Of course, Rainbow would have preferred a Clinton victory and even then, “there would have always been something to make fun of, something to bitch about, something people will be up in arms over. I didn’t wish this. Country first! As any comedian will tell you, though, it’s been a gift from the comedy gods.”

COMEDY PREVIEW

Randy Rainbow

7 p.m., 9:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13, 2017

$35

Atlanta Comedy Theater

4650 Jimmy Carter Blvd #114b, Norcross

Buy tickets here


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