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Review: John Waters: Holier and Dirtier 

The director, writer and filth king presented his annual tribute to the holidays

click to enlarge john_waters_cr_garygorman.jpg

Photo by Gary Gorman

Writer/filmmaker/raconteur John Waters brought his annual Christmas standup show — this year titled Holier and Dirtier — to the Civic Theatre Dec. 17. "We are going to put the X back into Christmas," he promised, but only part of his rapid-fire, very funny monologue was about the holidays. Waters described how some churches are attaching GPS tracking devices to the Baby Jesuses in their manger scenes to prevent theft; wished that Slipknot would issue a Christmas album; and talked about how much he hated people with food allergies at holiday meals: "Just shut the f—k up and eat it, or stay home."

  Other topics included his solution to the problem of racism ("World travel!"), political incorrectness ("Does Ferguson [Missouri] have a drag bar? I'm just asking"), celebrity trouble ("I hated Bill Cosby before all the rape") and, of course, politics. "I hope Donald Trump gets the [Republican presidential] nomination," Waters said. "He's a hairhopper." He also described a scenario in which New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ascended to the presidency and, with the help of former first lady Barbara Bush ("the meanest Republican," he said with relish) reintroduced junk food into American public schools to piss off first lady Michelle Obama.

  "Who says we can't make fun of Caitlyn Jenner?" Waters wondered in a long section about LGBT issues. He caught up the audience on the latest slang (a "blouse" is "a feminine top") and stated his belief that there now were "too many gay people" and said the time had come when one should have to audition to be gay.

  In response to an audience question, he said he had no further films on the horizon (his last, A Dirty Shame, came out in 2004), but that he was working on two books — a nonfiction advice guide and a novel called Liarmouth, about a woman who steals strangers' luggage from baggage carousels. And Waters wrapped up a very funny evening by describing what he'd do if HBO gave him a Christmas special: carols by The Satanic Temple Choir and guest appearances by Kevin Federline, Levi Johnston and Rachel Dolezal. The world may have caught up with Waters' once-shocking sense of humor, but he still provided an entertaining evening that would have benefited from a more intimate setting.

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