What is the new show like, and how does it compare to the '70s and '80s routines?Madame: It’s got songs and traces my whole life, my backstory -- my days in vaudeville, my movie years -- it’s got multimedia, I sing songs and tell stories. I think back then a lot of people were doing shows like this. Debbie Reynolds, all my old fiends, Lauren Bacall. Every star had a show like this. But nowadays people don’t. So we brought this up to 2008 standards with videos and commentary running. A little harder-edged. It’s hilariously raunchy.
MS: We’re trying to keep her pretty much the same. We were recently in Texas and in fact the owner of the club had seen Wayland many times in Provincetown, which is basically where he started. He was taken back. Today people will come up to Madame and whisper in her ear or say, Do you remember in Provincetown, you and Wayland did this? That to me is outrageous, thinking that Madame remembers after all these years. But they do.
Who’s dirtier -- you or Kiki of Kiki & Herb? Would you like to collaborate with Kiki?Madame: I think Kiki must be with a name like that. I’m just a little cheeky. Cut me a check and I’ll work with anybody.
How about Lamb Chop?MS: It’s funny. About 18 months before Wayland’s death, he and Shari Lewis were in a car accident. He called me up in a panic: "Come pick me up -- I just had an accident with Lamb Chop!" I think Shari’s daughter is trying to bring her back, but Lamb Chop was a totally different character. Mainly for children, and we don’t allow children to see our show. Of course, they were on Solid Gold for four years and that was for children, so Madame can be for kids too, but we’re not doing TV at the moment. We have really an adult show.
Madame: Anyone 21 or older is welcome. I just got back from Houston on Thanksgiving and we had a lot of college kids. They loved it.
Are you into younger men, Madame?Madame: Well, they’re into me, actually. Sometimes two at a time! It’s a little risky at my age, but if they die, they die.