BY CHARLES D. DUNST
I Leslie Jordan will be cracking up West Midtown with his new one-man show “Straight Outta Chattanooga” for one night only on April 1st. The Emmy-award winning actor and comedian has written his best show yet and he’s eager to share it with Atlanta. “It’s going to be at Le Fais do-do,” Jordan told FENUXE Magazine in a recent interview, “and it’s going to be a really fun show.”
Similar to Jordan’s other one man shows, “Straight Outta Chattanooga” is largely autobiographical, but he’s edgier and as blunt as ever. From side splitting, behind-the scenes stories about Lady Gaga and Jessica Lange to his own connection to Tupac, Jordan is bringing his juiciest stories to Atlanta.
But where did the name “Straight Outta Chattanooga” come from? Jordan chuckled when we asked him that question and explained that he opens the show with that very story. “I live in Tupac’s old apartment,” he replied. “I’m sitting in it right now in Hollywood, California. I’d heard for years that he lived in this building. There was a girl upstairs who would say, ‘Oh, he lived in my apartment. I still get his mail.’ But I was like, ‘Bitch, you don’t get his mail! He’s been dead a long time.’ And so I went and checked.”
Jordan knows that Tupac will be the first story, but from there on only he knows where the show will go. Jordan has been touring this show around the country, however, his shows aren’t carbon copies of each other. “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of my one person shows,” Jordan said, “but it’s hard to keep me on task. And, honey, I’ve got so many new stories in my show.”
One topic that is bound to come up is Jordan’s latest recurring guest starring role on American Horror Story: Roanoke. Jordan is incredibly proud of the character he brought to life in Roanoke. “I’ve got the best part ever, ever, ever,” Jordan shared, “I think I’m going to win an Emmy. My part was so beautifully constructed for a guest star. Hopefully they’ll give an Emmy for Best Guest Star. We’ll see. I play this crazy psychic and I get murdered three times. I’m evil. It is the biggest part that I have had in my career.”
In a rare somber moment during the interview he continued, “I’m always the funny guy who comes in with a zinger but this is not that at all. I’m a real integral part of the [“Roanoke”] story. Cuba Gooding, Jr. hits me on the head with a chair and calls me a piece of shit. Angelas Basset goes ghetto on me and pulls a gun and puts it in my mouth. Kathy Bates disembowels me.”
Jordan’s performance really is fantastic in the “Roanoke” season of American Horror Story. If you haven’t seen it yet you’ll definitely want to binge watch it before his show. If for no other reason, you’ll want to have seen it for his stories about “Ms. Stefani” – also known as Lady Gaga. “Oh, I’m also going to give them all the inside scoop on Ms. Stefani, Jordan said, “she’s a character, Ms. Stefani. You don’t call her Gaga on the set. She’s Stefani. I kind of like that she differentiates that. She’s an actress. She’s not Lady Gaga. She’s Stefani Germanotta.”
Jordan is a natural born storyteller and you can tell that he truly loves what he does. Immediately after whetting our appetite for behind-the-scenes gossip about Gaga, Jordan couldn’t resist giving us a bit more. “I screw Lady Gaga,” he says gleefully, “I screw her! It’s amazing. But, anyway, she’s really a good girl. Now, she does things that she’s not supposed to like when we were out in the woods and she lit a cigarette. The Park Rangers came over immediately. They didn’t know who she was and they told her put it out. She said: ‘Okay, Sir. I will. Look. I’m going to put it out right now. Look.’ Well the bitch turns back and she lit it back up. She’s just a bad girl. But I had no complaints as she rode me and rubbed her p*ssy and howled at the moon. I knew they wouldn’t be able to use half of it. She was supposed to squat on me and cut my throat. She squatted down and started riding me.”
After sharing this story with us Jordan laughed, but then quickly pivoted. “She has a real strong work ethic,” Jordan explained. “I mean, she really wants to do it. But with scheduling sometimes we’d only get her one day an episode so you’ve got to work, work, work, work, work. I kept thinking to myself the first day I worked with her and I even had to ask somebody: ‘are you sure that’s her?’ It didn’t seem like Lady Gaga. But they said: “did you not see her arrive in that Rolls Royce?”
A unique feature of the American Horror Story series is that the principal cast doesn’t change much from season to season. So, will Jordan be in the next season of American Horror Story? “It’s been picked up for three more years,” Jordan said, “I don’t know. They just call. Same way with Will & Grace that’s been picked up for ten episodes. People will ask me if I’m going to be on it. Well, honey, I don’t know. They ain’t ringing my phone yet. I don’t know.”
OK. So we know American Horror Story is still up in the air for next season. But, what is a little more puzzling is how Jordan could return to Will & Grace after his character died. “Yeah, they murdered me” he responded with a laugh, “I flew off the balcony. But then again I could’ve landed on a bus and fell off and had amnesia. Who knows? They just announced the pick up. And, you know, it’s not Netflix. It’s a new thing. It’s Will & Grace ten years later. So I would imagine that they’re hammering out storylines and figuring it out.”
After Jordan’s performance in Roanoke we’d be quite surprised if he weren’t asked to return to American Horror Story. But being asked to return isn’t a guarantee that Jordan will accept the role as he pointed out to us. “I was offered Freak Show and I was all ready to do it. But all of the sudden my manager comes and says, ‘they want you for a reality show.’ I told him I didn’t want to do a reality show. I want to do American Horror Story. He told me: “slow down cowgirl, it’s over in London and they want to lock you in a house. It’s called Celebrity Big Brother.’ I said, ‘no, no, I don’t want to do that!’ But then he said, ‘well they want to pay you a hundred and fifty thousand pounds.’ I said: ‘well, f*ck Ryan Murphy!’
Where does Jordan’s show go after that? We don’t know, but we’re dying to find out. However, he isn’t simply dishing on celebrities. While on stage he weaves together a hilarious show with a large dose of self-deprecating humor and his humorous anecdotes about his career in entertainment. Even if you’ve seen every show that Jordan has ever done, this is one show that you simply will not want to miss.
You can join Leslie Jordan on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the Le Fais do-do 1611 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318. The VIP Reception starts at 8PM and the show begins at 9PM. Jordan will be available for an informal meet and greet as well as photos and autographs during the VIP Reception. A portion of the proceeds benefit Ready 4 Hope Atlanta, a leading team for AIDS Walk Atlanta.