Hi-Def Dish: RuPaul spills dirt on new season of "Drag U," Lady Bunny and Lily Tomlin

RuPaul’s a busy guy.

“I still have time to go to lunch and ride my bike and go on hikes and stuff. I could be a lot busier though, trust me,” Ru said from New York.

That’s hard to believe given the length of hold time when calling RuPaul’s office. The receptionist was gracious and informative and explained that Ru was ending one meeting and had another call on hold. No problem. The Muzak, if it can be called that, was fabulous.

There’s some pretty interesting segments in the new season at "RuPaul's Drag U." “Dirty Talk” is great. This season, the esteemed faculty instruct in the fine art of pillow talk and doing so without being a potty mouth. It’s hilarious and Lady Bunny, a "Drag U" regular is integral.

“We wanted to expand Lady Bunny’s role,” Ru said. “She’s been a friend of mine, really a family member for the past 29 years.”

Echo readers may remember an interview with the Lady Bunny. But what wasn’t printed was her demure and very funny comment about her friendship and professional relationship with RuPaul and "Drag U."

“It’s about %&*$#ing time he threw this old dog a bone!”

And so he did.

Ru continued, “She’s so hilarious and such a brilliant, brilliant artist that we wanted to include her more. The first season felt like a pilot season. We fine tuned it and really shaped it into something, and I’m really glad that she (Lady Bunny) is a bigger part of the show.

Lilly Tomlin is part of Team Drag now too, and much to Ru’s delight.

“I’ve adored her since the beginning of time,” Ru said. “This morning I was on Tumbler and I found a picture of her on the cover of Time magazine from way back then. She’s made such an incredible impact on my life and everyone from my generation. She’s just amazing and ground-breaking, and the fact that she’s doing the show is just brilliant. I love it.”

When reminded that he could not possibly be old enough to remember Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in, Ru laughed.

“No, of course not! Tell me about it again? (laughs again) You know how old I am! Trust me. I’m proud of it. I love the fact that I got to see all of those great, great acts. In fact this weekend I met a man named Michael Travis who designed all the costumes for 'Laugh In.' For our show to be able to transfer that knowledge of the 'Mike Douglas Show' and Rowan and Martin and Lilly Tomlin and Debbie Reynolds on to a younger generation is really a fantastic gift to them. It’s also an honor for us to be able to do that.”

There was some media fueled controversy about Raja’s winning last season’s competition. Apparently, some were disgruntled over her friendship with Ru. When asked to comment, Ru cut to the chase,

“That’s crap. Anybody who sees the show can see that she won her challenges. There’s no hocus pocus involved there. Everybody sees what happens. If you win a challenge you don’t end up in the bottom two. If you lose a challenge, then you do. There’s no getting around that.”

Ru explained, “People get very invested in the people that they want to win, and that’s fair game. But it’s a competition show, and if you wind up in the bottom two than you’re going to have to lip sync for your life.

Looking forward, Ru’s enthused about the next season.

“Your going to see a new generation of queens who ‘came to be’ in the‘Drag Race’ generation. This is the first group of kids who started their career in the post ‘Drag Race’ inception. So, they come speaking fluent drag race, and also they’re a generation who grew up with reality TV, specifically competition reality TV. It’s going to be interesting to see these reality TV test tube queens competing.”

In addition to being a busy, funny, glamorous guy, RuPaul seems genuinely humble and is certainly, very much a philosopher.

“Everything I’m interested in has an element of playing your greatness, but reminding yourself who you really are: a spiritual being having a human experience. It’s so easy to forget. You drink the Kool-Aid and you believe you’re nothing but a white, republican, Methodist or whatever, and the truth is you’re actually much bigger than that. A lot of times when we act out or are mean to one another it’s because we’ve forgotten that.”

“This body of mine, whether I do drag or not is just a drag outfit. It’s a temporary costume. This is just a role I’m playing and it’s such a short role. It’s just a `walk on’ in a small, regional dinner theater.”

The details

The new season of “RuPaul’s Drag U” premieres at 6 pm Monday, June 20, on Logo and episodes are repeated often.

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