Randy Rainbow :: Creating Comedic Gold

by Tim Parks

Rage Monthly

Sunday November 12, 2017

With a song in his heart and a wicked sense of humor up his sleeve, Randy Rainbow has made quite a name for himself in the world of parody... and, yes, that is his real surname.

The New York-based comedian, writer and YouTube sensation has been called "The best thing about the GOP race" by Dan Savage in 2016, and it's for good reason. Rainbow has amassed quite a song catalog, thanks in part, to the current administration and their particular brand of unintended comedy, whether it's Kellyanne Conway being convinced that microwaves are watching us-put down the crack pipe. hon-or our illustrious Commander-in-Chief and his penchant for stretching the truth until it snaps back at him. Fortunately for us, Randy's rainbow consists of him providing said "snap back" in musical odes such as "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea," "Desperate Cheeto," and "Yes! We Have No Steve Bannon!" among other hilarious offerings.

Rainbow is bringing his show "Randy Rainbow Live" to Martinis Above Fourth, and The Rage Monthly spoke with him about what his show will feature, how he "thinks in show tunes" and how he marries current political situations and pairs them perfectly with the appropriate song.

For Rainbow, the need to entertain has always been with him, a constant companion from a young age, as he explained. "I've been on the stage since

I was a kid," he said. "I started as a little ballet boy at age six and from there I was doing community and musical theatre all throughout childhood and then high school. It's always been a part of my life. I come from a very funny family, so that helps; it's kind of in my genes. Somewhere along the way I transferred my comedic voice into the hot topics thing... Not really sure where that came into play."

Well, you can't help but suspect the "where that came into play" was due to our current circus/shit show... I mean White House "administration." So, I guess there is something to be grateful for out of all of this. Somewhere beyond the clouds and over Randy's rainbow, this comedian has discovered a "P.O.T.U.S. of comedy gold," further highlighting the ridiculousness of "Orange, The Great and Powerful."

Since he has a wealth of inspiration to draw upon with said current political climate, we wondered how he goes about pairing such situations with the perfect song parody? "I'm a major show queen, which will come as no surprise," he quipped. "I think in show tunes, so whenever anything happens, just in my life or the general zeitgeist, I automatically go to the musical theatre parallel of that situation. That part is always easy for me."

"It's interesting how I ended up melding the two things together," Rainbow continued. "For a time, I did the two things separately. I was doing whatever the hot topic was at the time and commentary on that. My first video was called 'Randy Rainbow is Dating Mel Gibson,' which was about six or seven years ago. I got a gig working for Broadway World, the very well-known theatre website, and they asked me to put my spin on theatrical headlines. Being that I have a musical theatre background, it was just a natural step to do the Broadway musical parody. I think somewhere along the way I got confused about what job I had that day, and I ended up melding the show tunes to the hot topics."

One has to wonder how Rainbow is able to decide which parody will stick, with our wannabe dictator-I mean President-speaking out of both sides of his mouth or with his thumbs via Twitter daily. "That's one of the most difficult things and why I haven't slept since January," Rainbow explained. "In this day and age, there's the speed of social media and what's going on with this fucking administration. If you wait until noon the next day, everything is different. You have to act really fast and have a sense of what might have some staying power."

As with any good button-pusher, there must be some, ahem "blow back" from celebrities. At the very least, a proper date with Mel Gibson. "Not yet, dammit. Wouldn't that be fun?" Rainbow joked. "I'll hear from the CNN people whose interviews I use, they love me over at CNN. But as far as the subjects that I am making fun of in the videos, the only person I've ever heard from was Jennifer Holliday, back when there was a mini-scandal about her possibly performing at the inauguration. I've not yet heard from Kellyanne Conway."

Speaking of ol' Kellyanne, we asked Rainbow the question, "If Conway had a perfume... what would it be called?" My vote was for Meth Lab. He pondered the hard-hitting question, "I don't even know." Then inspiration hit, "She looks like a sewer rat, so Sewer Rat. Slag, I like Slag or Hag."

Rainbow had previously written for Kathy Griffin, who recently found herself in very hot water over a photo featuring her holding the severed head of Trump. She subsequently faced a firestorm that resulted in her losing her slot as cohost with Anderson Cooper on CNN's New Year's Eve Live broadcast. Rainbow has "a number of different opinions on that," as he explained. "First of all, it went too far, and I personally thought it was a bad idea. I don't know who couldn't stop her or have had the foresight to see that this wouldn't be a good PR move in this climate, even for an outlandish comedian," Rainbow opined. "Having said that, the reaction was blown way out of proportion,

of course. I think she got a little too much flak obviously, but she'll bounce back eventually."

Piggybacking off of that...Wait, that sounds naughtier than intended. Let's try again: Are there any sacred lambs, be it screaming or silent, that Rainbow wouldn't really slaughter in a parody? "Not that I can think of one," he stated. "You have to gauge every situation and it's very difficult now. People are making a hobby of being offended by things. You have to consider the fact that everyone has a mini megaphone to let you know what their opinion is and the general public, en masse, is deciding what goes and what doesn't these days. But it also makes it kind of easy to gauge, because you can go on Twitter or social media and test the waters a little bit by getting the general conversation that's going on."

As for his show at Martinis Above Fourth, Rainbow likened it to "A Barbara Walters Special with music." Describing it more in detail, he went on to say, "I know we're all at the show to forget our troubles, but I think it's best that we face them head on," he offered. "I bring along a collection of some of my most important journalistic moments throughout the years-it's going on a year since all of this shit started-it's a musical retrospective and I show my interviews and sing my greatest hits. There is even a Carol Burnett Q & A."

As for what we can expect next from Rainbow, he reiterated the problem of keeping up with current events. "They're kind of like a last minute thing," Rainbow explained. "I don't really plan too far in advance, again, you can't. I'm glued to my TV like everyone else, waiting for the next shit storm to fly out of Kellyanne Conway's mouth."

Remember, kids, "Reading is fundamental!"

"Randy Rainbow Live" is in San Diego at Martinis Above Fourth Tuesday and Wednesday, November 21 and 22. For tickets, go to ma4sd.com.

He will also be at Palm Springs' Camelot Theatre Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19. For tickets, go to camelottheatre.com.

To keep up with his hilarious song parodies, stay tuned at randyrainbow.com.

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