Art often imitates life, and in “Del Shores:
My Sordid Life,” which is now available on DVD, it has never
been more hilariously evident. Del Shores, who entered the gay
hall of fame as the comedic genius behind “Sordid Lives” and
“Southern Baptist Sissies,” has developed characters who have
delivered some of the most memorable one-liners this side of the
south. With his in-your-face stage performance, witty monologues
and one-liners of his own, Del Shores reveals the juicy details
behind the inspiration for his characters. In addition to
dishing on his family’s crazy antics, he gives props to many of
the actors who turned his characters into legends—I’m talking to
you “Brother Boy.” After 99 minutes of absolute hysteria, you
may find yourself re-watching these classics to ask yourself,
“Did that really happen?” Del recently spoke with Mark’s List
about the DVD for “Del Shores: My Sordid Life,” his Southern
Baptist family, ungrateful actors, working with Rue McClanahan
and Leslie Jordan, and some of the special features available on
The DVD for “Del Shores: My Sordid Life”
is now available in stores. Do you think your fans will be
surprised that so many of your projects have come from personal
What is so funny about that is that I forgot
how much I had borrowed from my own life and my family’s life to
create my movies and plays. With this show in particular (“Del
Shores: My Sordid Life”), I thought the fans would really like
to see how a writer comes up with the different ideas for plays
or movies and really go back to the source of what entertained
me—my Southern Baptist family.
When did you realize that your family’s
experiences would make good entertainment?
I never thought my family was crazy or
eccentric until I started sharing my experiences with other
people. Directors and other writers I was working with couldn’t
believe some of the stories. I would get phone calls from my
mother or other family members and I would let everyone listen
in on the conversations [laughs]. After that they never doubted
You talk in the show about your family
getting mad at you for using their likeness as inspiration for
your characters. How do you think they will feel after seeing
the DVD of your show?
My family doesn’t really watch my shows
[laughs]. I’m a little bit concerned when they see it; there are
a few bits in there that they might get onto me for, and there
are also a few bits I actually cut out.
During the show you impersonate your
family and actors you have worked with? Have you always
been good at impersonations?
I don’t think that I’m completely dead-on in
the way they sound, but more in a way that the character will be
in play. I actually do my mother really well, but that was
because I talked to her so much. I worked really hard on the
impersonations and by the time we filmed the DVD they got much
The James Earl Jones impersonation was
really well done.
Thank you! I really had to listen to him to
get that down. I love James—talk about a classy man.
You give props to Rue McClanahan and
Leslie Jordan and you also take shots at Perez Hilton. What is
your favorite bit in the show?
I do. My favorite part during the show
is when I talk about fat ass preaching where I pay homage to
“Southern Baptist Sissies.” I love using the Bible to expose
other people in the very same way they use the Bible against us.
I also love asking the audience their favorite lines from my
movies and plays. That was always a very fun part of the show to
connect with the audience. Of course I loved talking about Rue,
because she was so special to me. And of course there is
the Perez Hilton bit—another asshole [laughs].
Speaking of Perez, during the show you
call out people like him and Randy Harrison (“Queer as Folk”)
for being bitchy or an asshole. That’s really brave.
It’s either brave or stupid. I was recently
at a party where I ran into someone I trashed publicly and I
knew they were aware of it and wasn’t really happy about it. I
thought there might be a confrontation [laughs]. I really
don’t care though—it doesn’t matter to me. There are many
actors out there I never care if I work with again. When actors
want to act like assholes, I feel like I have to act like karma
when I call them out on it. It kind of pisses me off when actors
misbehave and don’t appreciate the work. Being successful
in the business is almost like winning the lottery.
Who are some your favorite actors you
have worked with?
That would almost be like publicly choosing
one of my daughters over the other. There are a lot of people I
love and adore that I would never want to offend. If you look at
my body of work you will see the people I continue to work with,
and no one sings my comedic songs the way Leslie Jordan does. He
is brilliant and I will work with him until the end of time.
What are some of the features on the DVD?
There are a few other stories on the deleted
scenes section of the DVD that I had to cut for time purposes.
There are some fun behind the scenes parts where Leslie Jordan
comes to the dressing room and kicks everyone out to confront me
about calling him a midget—of course it’s all really funny and
Were you any more nervous doing the show
knowing that it was being filmed for DVD and there were many of
your colleagues in the audience?
No, I wasn’t really nervous—I had done so
many shows by the time we filmed the show for the DVD. There’s
just something about that first wave of laughter or amazing
applause that just relaxes you. Looking out and seeing Beau
Bridges, who was in the audience in second row, beaming and
laughing wildly just made things much easier.
Do you want to continue performing?
Forever now—I have the bug again. I just
did a movie where I play a gay uncle—it’s a very sweet movie. I
also have another stage show that will be opening sometime in
the summer. It makes “Del Shores: My Sordid Life” look like a
church service [laughs]. It is so raw, and so dirty and so
politically incorrect. So look for me back down in South
Florida this summer.
Watch the trailer:
Order "Del Shores: My Sordid Life":