Lipstik

Etta May — still the Queen of Southern Sass

Comedian Etta May photographed in the Lexington Opera House in Lexington,Ky., Monday, June 11, 2007. Etta May is touring on The Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour and the ladies will be at the Lexington Opera House on June 22.  Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff 3355
Comedian Etta May photographed in the Lexington Opera House in Lexington,Ky., Monday, June 11, 2007. Etta May is touring on The Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour and the ladies will be at the Lexington Opera House on June 22. Photo by Charles Bertram | Staff 3355 Lexington Herald-Leader

Word of advice: Don't call standup comedian Etta May when Judge Judy is about to come on. You'll get an earful concerning your bad timing.

"I love watching Judge Judy because she says the stuff that everybody's thinking but just don't have the nerve to say."

This from the woman who makes her living from saying just what she thinks on stages all across the nation and on cruise ships bound for exotic locations.

For awhile now, this "queen of Southern sass" has been delighting audiences with stories about her poor, white trash family. She, her husband "Delbert," their four kids, a grandchild (don't get her started!) and two cats reside in a doublewide trailer somewhere in Lexington.

That's where this 50-something "Minnie Pearl with a migraine" navigates her latest venture — YouTube videos (Etta May Comedy) — in which she waxes not so eloquently from her duct-taped easy chair.

Etta May took the month of April off to gear up for what will be a busy remainder of 2015 on the road. Here's a bit of wit and wisdom she shared on a recent afternoon.

So how are the kids?

Not anything like me when I was their age, that's for sure. When I grew up I couldn't wait to turn 18 and get out of the house. These youngsters today say "When I'm 18, I'm going to talk Mom and Dad into getting me that big game station." That's the loftiest goal they have in life.

And Delbert?

He works at a Thoroughbred horse farm so he comes home smelling like horse sh-- every day. But what man doesn't in his own way? At least mine has an excuse.

The theme for this issue of Lipstik is escape. How do you escape from the stresses of home life?

I watch Judge Judy unless I get rudely interrupted.

No, I guess I escape by going to work. It's great to make people laugh and have maid service everywhere I go.

You and your family decided to settle in Lexington in 2000. Why Lexington?

We're surrounded by so much beauty here. It's really a people-friendly city. It's got a small-town feel with a lot of big-city benefits.

I would like to say something about the traffic here. People, you don't have traffic problems here compared to other places. And everybody complains about the road construction. They can't navigate Leestown Road anymore because they see those orange barrels and lose their minds. I think traffic would go a lot better if we just painted those barrels Kentucky blue. It would feel like we're showing team spirit, and it would ease the tension a little bit.

School is out for the summer. Any advice for moms?

Popsicles and a pool pass! The man who invented Popsicles was a genius. If the kids want a Popsicle they have to go outside to eat it. And the pool pass is great for the same reason — they're at the pool and out of my hair.

Any advice for June brides?

I didn't have a big wedding. It was a courthouse thing, mainly because the courthouse was next to the hospital in case my water broke. Location, location, location, you know what I mean?

These brides need to keep in mind that the more bridesmaids they have, the more they are setting themselves up to be hated by their husband's friends. For every bridesmaid you have, he's got to ask one of his buddies to dress up in a monkey suit and ruin his perfectly good Saturday.

I feel like America wants me to ask just what's really underneath the polyester and bandanas you wear?

A hot Baywatch body that, if I broke it out, I would be on the 10 o'clock news. Paparazzi parked in the front yard, the works. Of course, I don't have any grass in my yard so they really couldn't mess up much.

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