Posted Saturday, April 7, 2018 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
Last year, New York YouTube satirist Randy Rainbow came to Atlanta with a test run of his live show at the Atlanta Comedy Theatre in Norcross. This year, his show is bigger and more fully formed and ready for the much larger Buckhead Theatre April 12 as part of a nationwide tour. (Buy tickets here.)
“I was never really a traveler,” Rainbow said in a recent interview. “Going to all these strange cities. I don’t know anybody and to receive these receptions is gratifying.”
His YouTube videos play off the news and each frequently draws 100,000 or more views. He recently did a mock interview with Secretary of Education Betsy Devos. Before that, he created a video after the Parkland shooting featuring NRA’s Dana Loesch where he parodies “What’s the Matter With Kids Today?” from “Bye Bye Birdie.” His next target? Stormy Daniels.
The stage show is music heavy, packed with his political song parodies with a four-piece band backing him up.
“My background is musical theater,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be in concert and do a solo show. This goes back to my roots.”
It’s still not as big as he envisions it down the road. “I’d like to add more people and have some backup singers,” he said. “Add some choreography. Right now, it’s just kind of me and a giant screen with background videos I interact with.”
He is thrilled that fans like his YouTube stuff enough they’re willing to pay to see him live. “It has taught me what I’m doing is making more of a difference than I had ever anticipated,” he said. “When I make the videos, the goal is to be entertaining and make people laugh. It’s quite amazing to see what an impact it has on people. I’m helping them through a hard time in their lives, not just politically but personally.”
Rainbow said his parodies have not caused a Trump-like Twitter stir. “But Anthony Scaramucci follows me on Twitter!” He added: “I haven’t been blocked by Trump. That’s a goal of mine I’m working toward.”
And while Fox News has ignored him as well, several CNN personalities have liked him. “I hear from Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta. All those. They’re big fans!” It helps that he watches a lot of CNN to keep up with what’s going on in D.C.
He doesn’t fashion himself as a political pundit, merely a humorist. One time, a Fox News personality Tomi Lahren invited him on her show. “I smelled a rat,” he said so he turned her down.
Rainbow said he’s been doing parodies for years but Trump accelerated his popularity. He expects they’ll be a place for him even after Trump is out of office. “There’s always going to be BS to make fun of,” he said.
His success has allowed him to move out of a studio apartment in Queens to a two bedroom, which allows him to turn one room into a studio.
“I have to stop and remind myself once in awhile and realize how cool my life is right now!” Rainbow said. “I have a manager, an agent, a publicist. I’m very fancy all of a sudden!
7 p.m. Thursday, April 12
3110 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta