By Adam Fehn
Scott Shoemaker’s War on Christmas might have been the most fun I’ve ever had at a show to date. Scott is a master comedian and performer that knows how to make you laugh so much it hurts. Aside from the comedy, his hosting abilities captured quite a bit of my appreciation as well. As a queer atheist himself, he knows that many people in similar shoes either have or don’t have the opportunity to celebrate the holiday, or don’t know where their beliefs fit into the celebration. A lot of people in our community have to make their own traditions and this is one of the things that prompted him to make the War on Christmas. It certainly made my spirits a little brighter and I’m sure it did for many other audience members as well.
Their venue of choice tonight was Re-Bar, an unassuming little place on the outskirts of Capitol Hill with a bar in the front and a stage in the back. It is a gay-friendly place where you can witness all sorts of events from poetry slams to burlesque shows to stand-up comedy to DJ’s. If it’s alternative and artistic in Seattle, chances are, you’ll find it here. Lucky for me, I happened to find Scott and his wonderful team of collaborators, Adé, Mandy Price, Waxie Moon, and Fageddy Randy.
You know you’re in for a good time when the show starts with a Guns’N’Roses Christmas song Parody. To Scott’s credit, he can sing really well also! After the song it was time to meet everyone. Innocently enough, they each recounted their favorite part about Christmas, which included things like presents, Christmas stories, carols, and of course the old traditions of years past. Fageddy Randy reminisced fondly over the days when he and his family would pray over an altar of bones and sacrifice a virgin. Luckily Mandy Price ran just a little bit faster than him this time.
If you think this sounds off color for a holiday show, you need to see the rest of it. The whole thing reminded me of a cross between the tv show Robot Chicken and a bad acid trip, but in the absolute best way possible. At one point Scott came across an old fruitcake, which reminded him of a show he used to watch when he was younger called “Generously Sauced by Gladys Swillwell”. They cut to a prerecorded video of Scott in drag drunkenly making a fruitcake. The whole thing was obviously a dig on Julia Childe’s old tv show, but it had me laughing till I cried real tears. If Scott ever wanted to make a spin-off show based on this character, I would buy every single ticket.
After all of the reminiscing, it was time for everyone to decorate the tree, but Waxie Moon was so excited that he had already decorated himself. Unfortunately for Waxie, the spirit of their actual tree came alive just in time. Apparently, trees are gay and they demand to be decorated impeccably. I certainly can’t refute that. Because Waxie’s sense of style wasn’t up to snuff, there was only one thing left to do; take his costume off piece by piece. I do love a good burlesque and Waxie is one of the best in the business.
Decorating the Christmas tree is an important part of Christmas, but that isn’t what matters to Scott. To him, the most important part of the holiday is his presents and he is still yearning for the one present that he never got in 1984. He wanted a cabbage patch doll, but instead received a He-Man action figure. Well, if you’re still dealing with the loss of a treasured toy and you end up eating a little bit too much-spiked fruit cake, it stands to reason that you would have a super weird dream about it. In this dream, the cabbage patch kid became real and started dance fighting He-Man. See what I mean about an acid trip? It was so over the top that I could, once again, not stop laughing and this was only act one.
Act 2 saw Scott making his way to the North Pole by way of a cracked out reindeer in search of his beloved toy. Here he met Mrs. Claus and Santa’s new lover, Jolly the elf. She knew that she couldn’t hold a candle to Santa’s new boy toy so she dealt with it the only way she could, by signing a hilarious parody of Jolene. After listening to her problems and being offered her version of a cabbage patch kid (pantyhose stuffed and tied together to somewhat resemble a doll that she called a lettuce leaf kid), Scott was visited by the spirit of Christmas presents, the North Pole’s version of customer service.
You’d think in today’s day and age people would have learned by now, you never fuck with customer service. It didn’t take long for the spirit of Christmas presents to officially put him on the naughty list. As punishment, he got a little visit from our favorite child-snatching demon, Krampus. A few traumatic minutes later, Scott woke up and realized that it was all just a bad dream brought on by the old fruitcake he had eaten earlier. In a twist of fate, and after throwing a rather large tantrum, the doorbell rang. The War on Christmas Dancers had bought him his long-lost Cabbage Patch Kid from so many years ago, thus reinforcing all of the crappy behavior he had exhibited for the entire show.
Right after I left Re-Bar, I realized that I could watch that show again and again (I’m still strongly considering buying another ticket). It was not only fun and hilarious but in a season when everything down to the tv commercials you watch on tv has a message to convey, the one presented by Scott is by far my favorite. Despite there being so many people in this world that have holidays around this time of year, some people think that it can only be separated one way and any deviation whatsoever is seen as a war against Christmas. Those people are morons and you can celebrate any damn way you please. Whether you choose to decorate a Christmas tree, or you choose to watch a raunchy Christmas show every year (my new tradition), it’s your choice and it will always be the right decision.