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Comedian, Actor Leslie Jordan To Perform In San Diego

December 22, 2016 3:24 p.m.

Comedian, Actor Leslie Jordan To Perform In San Diego

GUEST:

Leslie Jordan, comedian and actor

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Transcript:

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

There is not -- he is not an easy man to describe. It is difficult to know my has made such a name for himself except that once you have seen him in action you understand. He won an Emmy for his role on the TV show will and grace and now he is here for his standup show straight out of Chattanooga. Inc. you so much for coming in. It is great to meet you.
Thank you. Let's add that I can barely get down the street right now. I am bigger than Madonna because I'm on a television show called my growing up nightmare. Is the American horror story series with Stephanie Giamatti who is our Lady Gaga but forget her Kathy Bates Cuba Gooding Junior and asked -- Angela Bassett.
There is a lot of golden hardware there.
Let's talk about your show here in San Diego called straight out of Chattanooga. You grew up in Chattanooga you must have gotten a lot of year great stories from your childhood.
A Lieutenant Colonel for a father fell out of the womb and landed in my mother's high heels and a very deep -- devout Baptist family. I've been baptized 14 times. It just never took. When they would say Senate come forward I would think it is me. It is very funny but it is also my ministry I am very involved -- part of my show is about the Trevor Project which is a suicidal hotline for LGBT so when the Trevor Project been many years ago we kind of got a lot of calls from the deep South. Kids who had learned to hate themselves and a church pew. My show is wildly funny but it is my ministry and I of to about 44 venues a year.
You are tackling difficult issues and taken them around the country. One of the things you have struggled of his addiction.
I figured out at 14 it was easier to be [ NULL ] in Chattanooga if I was loaded. I am sober now but I did not get sober until I was 42. What's interesting is I was high for so long I forgot I was effeminate and I forgot I was a sissy and all this a new. Well my medicine I'm supposed to be the life of the party and I riddled with internal homophobia. I don't even know how to speak and where to put my hands.
It was a 20 year journey into my [ NULL ] them . I made people laugh and made a lot of money doing it.
Congratulations. Do you have any tips for someone looking had to be addiction?
I think first of all you have so much disposal now. Have almost too much and that you have to wait through -- you sit down and they will say we care. This is the way it works. Do you have insurance? We care. There are a lot of anonymous and free programs which I am not allowed because they are anonymous it is part of our traditions -- if you need them they are there.
That is good to know.
I will say Alcoholics Anonymous.
That is a good first step. You spent some time in jail what were your best memories from that?
I was with Robert Downey Junior. In Seoul 13. He was on the top and I was on the bottom. I only did by unfortunate consummation I was sentenced to 120 days which I should have been for it to you I in Southern California is the home of mothers against drunk driving and so they have got it right. The first one is a slap on the wrist. You can have two glasses of wine on an empty stomach and he can end up --.is a slap on the wrist but that second one and the third one --
That's how I ended up behind bars. Had to happen.
I that they are going to put me in jail. I get the lawyer for thousand dollars and the judge said 120 days and they are carried me away and he's waving like they're leaving on a cruise.
So it did make an impact. I have rarely had an Aspen since then.
One of your biggest rolls was has Beverley Leslie on a will and grace.
The part was written for Joan Collins. They wanted to pull your -- pull her we got.
They fired her. She would not allow her wig to be pulled off and I just walked into an audition and the character's name was Beverly Leslie my name is Leslie Jordan. I did one and they said well you must have scored a coup. This cliffhanger this year is Ellen degeneration she plays in an and then it was a huge part of my life. I won the Emmy and it is back. NBC has ordered it.
They are going to start again correct?
Can you give us any tips about that.
I have no idea. They have ordered 10 it will be for next season. And they will add the guest cast. I will get a phone call. I not a regular.
It's in front of an audience and I have a theater background and Saturday. There is zero improvisation. People think that we get to tell jokes. The film is a directors medium stages and actors medium and television is a writer's medium. You have to have reverence for that or you are in trouble.
Give us a tip for the audience that might be seeing you tonight.
I do so many with my 44 venues I do all over the world cruises to Barcelona here and there.
A comedian's life is not about life.
There's no complaints. I tried to complain to my mother because I flew in from Hawaii and had to drop down in the rain and she was not having it.
I have gotten to where I realize that it is harder -- small places harder than a 1200 seat auditorium. These are people -- I don't do that at all. If you have the wanted you drunk I say so home I is making money.
I still change close and broom closets. I will go anywhere to keep the ship afloat. I can go from the Majestic theater in Dallas where it is 1200 seats to Oahu community theater.
You are not slowing down. I can see that just it was great to meet you.
It was lovely think you.
Leslie Jordan is performing his standup show straight out of Chattanooga it is at 8:00 at martinis above fourth.