Brooklyn has few full-on comedy queens these days, so this former standup stands out in the BK dragisphere… in more ways then one. Also a BNA-nominated recording artist and broadcaster, Adele Computer is the user-friendly queen of the hour!
Thotyssey: Adele, hello… it’s me (sorry I couldn’t resist)! How was your Memorial Day Weekend?
Adele Computer: It was nice! I went to Tanlines, I saw some comedy. Ate a few hot dogs.
It was super fun! I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do stand up in drag. It’s hard to get on a mic if you’re not hosting a show. So this was my dream!
Do you do standup out of drag?
I was pursuing standup before I started doing drag. I was on the open mic grind, and had been booked for a show here and there. But when I found drag, I totally changed directions.
Before we get to what happened next, let’s backtrack a little bit… where are you from?
I am from right outside of Philly.
Were you always funny, and making people laugh?
Yes, I’ve always been a ham, both in my behavior and body-type.
Ham is delicious! Did you have favorite comics, or generally funny people that you admired growing up?
I was more interested in comedic actors and ensemble sitcoms. You couldn’t tear me away from the TV if Absolutely Fabulous was on. I was a Friends-aholic. I watched two or three syndicated episodes of Will & Grace every day. The biggest standup crush of my youth was Margaret Cho.
When did you come to NYC?
I came in 2013 to work in advertising, after graduating from a grad program at VCU in Richmond.
How did the moment come when you clicked with drag?
I was at a Drag Race viewing party Elizabeth James was hosting, and she did a drag-in-a-bag style game where two people from the audience had to dig through a box of drag, and then come out and do a lip sync. I volunteered, and when she asked me my drag name I said “Adele Computer.” It just popped into my head.
And the room erupted in laughter. Since I was pursuing stand up at the time, my brain was like “laughter = good.” This is the best joke I’ve ever told, I’m going to keep telling it. Plus, the prize was a gift certificate to House of La Rue, so I could really only spend it on drag. And then I fell in love with it, through doing it.
You know, it’s such a good drag name that I swear I recall from many years ago, one of Michael Musto’s columns in the Village Voice (”La Dolce Musto”) praising it as one of the best new drag names that year.
I am not aware of that! DO I HAVE PRESS!?
Unfortunately, I can’t find an archive of those old columns online. But I swear this happened!
Well if it was before 2016, then I guess he got to it first. But there’s that saying about great minds… me and Michael Musto!
How did you come to find yourself amongst the Brooklyn nightlife creatures?
Just by getting into drag and going out! I showed up in drag to a few parties, started getting booked for competitions like DRAGnet and MR(S) BK (both of which I’ve lost… twice). I met a lot of people that way; the Brooklyn children are a welcoming bunch.
You must stand out in the scene; Brooklyn has a lot of well-rounded queens that dabble in funny, but you’re one of the few full-time comedy queens there.
I hope so! I’m slowly but surely trying to carve out a path for myself.
When you perform, is it mostly funny mixes and jokes?
I’ve actually been writing and producing rap. Early on, I noticed that if I couldn’t get on a mic and do standup, I could just write a bunch of jokes that rhyme, work them into a song, and perform them that way. And now I love to rap too; for me it’s evolved from a way to deliver jokes, to it’s own thing. It’s exhilarating.
I love your song “Shows!” I listened to it a bunch of times now on SoundCloud and find myself shouting “Shows! Shows!” a lot at random times, thanks to you. When did you record that?
Thank you! I recorded “Shows” before this year’s Mr(s) BK. It’s about how when you have the mindset of a showperson, everything from riding the train to posting on Facebook is a show, Hennty (”Hennty” is my new idea for a makeup line).
Where do you record?
I bought access to a recording studio, but only for specific songs that I have already written. I can’t just go in and goof around until an amazing song presents itself–although, that’s a luxury that I would live for. I gotta go in with a plan, or else these hourly rates pile up!
Congratulations on your Brooklyn Nightlife Awards nomination for Best Song. “Shows” is a hit!
Thank you so much! It’s my second year of doing drag, and my second year being nominated. I’m really humbled by the support and recognition.
Am I coming off as humble? THANK YOU NEW YORK FOR NOTICING HOW GREAT I AM MWAH MWAH
She’s arrived, Hennty!
So as a comedian, what are your thoughts on the whole Roseanne Twitter situation? She said awful, racist things, and her rebooted hit show was abruptly cancelled by ABC as a result. Everyone is happy about that, but is it bad for comedy in a way when everyone applauds “censorship?”
I think she deserved to be fired. I think she shouldn’t have been rebooted in the first place. Roseanne is a comedian, but what she said was not a joke! It was a mean statement meant to tear someone down that she doesn’t agree with.
I also don’t think we have an issue of censorship on our hand with this situation. She said what she said, and she suffered the consequences. That’s free speech at work! ABC has as much a right to free speech as anyone else, and free speech also applies to what we decide NOT to say.
Totally. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done on Ambien?
I have never taken an Ambien! I hear it turns you racist, so I stick to weed.
What else is on the horizon for you, as far as gigs or projects?
Well, I’m moving on to the next round of the Mx Mont Rose competition, and that should be in …. 17 months? And I’ll be around Brooklyn giving shows and stunts wherever I can!
I’m also releasing the first episode of my podcast “The Dial Up with Adele Computer” this week.
Oh, amazing! What do you want to do with your podcast?
I just want to entertain! My podcast will be a call-in show; I’ll post a number and a question online, and then take calls and hopefully incite some meaningful conversations!
That should be Everything, congratulations! Final question for Adele Computer: Mac or PC?
Gotcha! Thanks, queen!