John Waters Talks About His Books and Role Models in a Whimsical Animated Video

Kudos to car­toon­ist Flash Rosen­berg for hav­ing the huevos to illus­trate cult film icon John Waters’ remarks at the New York Pub­lic Library in real time before a live audi­ence. The first half minute of this ani­mat­ed Con­ver­sa­tion Por­trait had me wor­ried on her behalf. What a relief when the the coiled lump she was swab­bing with brown water­col­or turned out to be a cin­na­mon roll, and not the sub­stance Divine (the direc­tor’s muse) famous­ly ate—for real—in 1972’s Pink Flamin­gos.

It’s a very free asso­cia­tive process. The top­ic under dis­cus­sion turns out to be not baked goods, but rather role mod­els. (Roll mod­els, get it?)

As to who the Sire of Sleaze choos­es to ele­vate in this capac­i­ty:

Croon­er John­ny Math­is, whose heav­en­ly pipes Waters pre­scribes as a poten­tial rem­e­dy for bipar­ti­san ugli­ness.

Play­wright Ten­nessee Williams (whose work Car­di­nal Spell­man denounced as “revolt­ing, deplorable, moral­ly repel­lent…”)

And, touch­ing­ly, his par­ents, whom Rosen­berg draws with arms encir­cling their pen­cil-mus­tached tot, a sweet Three Is a Mag­ic Num­ber tableau. (In non-ani­mat­ed life, Waters is one of four chil­dren.)

The Prince of Puke mod­est­ly deflects inter­view­er Paul Hold­en­gräber’s asser­tion that he him­self is a role mod­el, advis­ing his fans to pick ten flawed indi­vid­u­als from whom they’ve learned some­thing  and “let them know how much you mean to them.”  (He may have meant “let them know how much they mean to you,” but it might be a fun sort of exer­cise to fol­low his instruc­tions as uttered.)

And if on some far off evening, you’re moved to have sex on his grave, know that this role mod­el’s ghost will rest con­tent.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

John Waters Makes Hand­made Christ­mas Cards, Says the “Whole Pur­pose of Life is Christ­mas”

Grow­ing Up John Waters: The Odd­ball Film­mak­er Cat­a­logues His Many For­ma­tive Rebel­lions (1993)

An Anti, Anti-Smok­ing Announce­ment from John Waters

Ayun Hal­l­i­day told you cha cha heels, black ones! Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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