Heklina Gets A [Jackie] Beat Down

Jackie Beat leads the Roast of Heklina | by David Helton

Notorious drag superstar JACKIE BEAT has been entertaining audiences across the U.S. and in Europe for over twenty-five years with her razor-sharp comedy and hysterical song parodies. Jackie not only warps hits by Britney Spears, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Cher, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Mariah Carey and many others, but she flawlessly sings her twisted new versions live — hitting every last note.

Her hilarious music videos on YouTube are huge hits and have been seen by millions of people. Her one-woman show, “Jackie Beat Is A Whole Lotta’ Love,” ran a record 18 months at NYC’s premiere cabaret, Fez. She returns to The Big Apple every year with her award-winning, standing-room-only holiday show as part of her SOLD OUT national holiday tour. Jackie’s stand-up has been featured in comedy clubs across the country and on Comedy Central, VH-1 and MTV. Her scathing song parodies have been featured on America’s Top Forty with Ryan Seacrest, The Howard Stern Show, Much Music TV, Yo on E! and PerezHilton.com.

She has appeared on many TV shows such as Sex and the City and in several movies including, Flawless with Robert DeNiro, the festival hit Wigstock The Movie and the camp cult horror favorite Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver. Jackie has also been in many off-Broadway productions, performed on countless cruise ships, toured with Roseanne Barr as her opening act (including a 7 week run at the New York New York in Las Vegas!), has enjoyed a sold-out 8-week run in Provincetown in summers past, and is lead singer of the popular electro-rock band Dirty Sanchez, who toured with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Their debut CD was released on Hypnotic Records and their music was featured on the campy NBC soap opera, Passions.

Jackie Beat is also a proud Writers Guild member who has worked on The WB sketch comedy show “Hype!,” the Sci-Fi Channel original series “Tripping The Rift,” and E Entertainment TV’s “Fashion Police.” Jackie wrote for Roseanne Barr on her Comedy Central Roast, for host Kate Flannery on “Stand-up in Stilettos,” on Ross Mathews’ series “Hello Ross” for E and on his debut book, “Man-Up!” In addition, Jackie has written special material for the likes of Rosie O’Donnell, Margaret Cho, Sandra Bernhard, Patricia Arquette, Jennifer Coolidge, Elvira and more. Jackie has also written the plays “Double Wide Female,” “Scream Teen Scream!” and “Whatever Happened To Busty Jane?” along with quite a few brilliant (but ahead of their time?) motion picture screenplays and TV pilots. Jackie has also contributed to countless magazines, was a regular columnist for Frontiers Magazine and one of US Magazine’s Fashion Police top cops.


Jackie’s latest venture is impersonating her “spirit animal” — the one and only Bea Arthur — in both the stage version of The Golden Girlz Live (35 sold-out shows!) and as part of The MisMatch Game at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center to benefit homeless LGBT youth. 

Jackie currently lives in Altadena, California – recently moving from Highland Park – with her furry children: Miss Toni & Darlin’.

“You know, I bought this house a year ago and redid the whole thing.” Jackie begins, “This back apartment has been crammed with all my junk and now it’s finally empty! Like Heklina’s soul!”

We caught up with Jackie as she prepares for her European tour with breakout drag superstar Katya. Later this month, she returns to the San Francisco to host the Roast of Heklina at the Castro Theatre on February 17th [Tickets at PeachesChrist.com]

Have you ever done a roast before? I’ve participated in a few roasts but I’ve never been lucky enough to host one. I love hosting more than just roasting. It pays more. But with Heklina… I don’t get too excited.

There is a skill to roasting someone you care about I think. The Haters Roast is touring at the moment and it features some of the younger Drag Race girls. I don’t know if they really understand the art of roasting or throwing shade. I often get called to help write for them. When Joan Rivers couldn’t make it to Lady Bunny’s Birthday Roast many years ago, she wanted to send a video – so I wrote a few of her roast jokes. Including, ‘At this moment, I’ve now roasted more people than Hitler.’ I’ve also written for Roseanne Bar for her comedy central roast. Also, I’m a big fan of roast beef. I also love a good pot roast. So, I know about roasts.

I loved the Martha Stewart roast of Justin Beiber. Do you think she wrote her own stuff? No, of course not. She may have had a hand in it, but the only way to do it is to go to a professional. She’s naturally funny…. but I have news for you, I suspect she doesn’t even clean her own toilets anymore either.

Speaking of cleaning the toilets, Peaches Christ will also be a part of the Heklina Roast. Have you ever worked with Peaches in one of her epic stage shows? No. I have not. However, I have made it very clear to Peaches that I would love to appear in one of her shows at the Castro Theatre. So far, there has been no call from Peaches.

I think you’d be perfect for one of her shows! I know, but I just don’t know what movie I would want to do. I think you should partner up with someone and do Thelma & Louise. [Laughs] Now, that would be funny. I could play the car they go over the cliff in.

“I have made it very clear to Peaches that I would love to appear in one of her shows at the Castro Theatre. So far, there has been no call from Peaches.”

Also on stage is Julie Brown. Wait. Is that ‘Downtown Julie Brown’ or the other Julie Brown? It’s the other one. Julie Brown is funny. Downtown Julie Brown is not funny, but neither is Heklina and she’s there.

Stop, [laughing] I think it will be a really fun night! Yes! It sounds like a really fun night. Am I being PayPal’d or Venmo’d?

How often are you in San Francisco? I get to the City four or five times a year. I love doing my holiday show there and Oasis hosts me every now and then for a night.

Wait, I just realized that you and Heklina are both Dorothy Zbornak! Yes! Battle of the Bea’s! Dueling Dorothy’s! [laughs] We both play Dorothy [Bea Arthur] in stage versions of the Golden Girls Live. Of course when we started doing Golden Girls Live here in LA, Heklina was furious with me. I was like ‘Listen, lady. Can’t you just suck all the money out of one city and let me have fucking LA?!” [Laughs] and I think you know the answer to that…

Well, I think Heklina technically owns the West Coast. Well guess what? I own LA so she can just fuck off. She didn’t invent drag queens impersonating 80s sitcom stars.

Will you be joining Peaches and Heklina on the Drag Cruise later in February? No, they will be bringing Coco Peru. I think mostly because she weigh’s less than me and travels only with a single wig. I will be in the UK , however, opening for Katya.

Opening for Katya in the UK for a few shows seems like a great gig too. Yes, I am traveling all over the place trying to make that money… that ‘I-wasn’t-on-drag-race-money’.

I feel like maybe you are too big now to be on Drag Race; you’re already a brand. I would love to do it if they did a ‘legends’ or ‘mentor/mother & daughter’ sort of thing. I would welcome that experience… and that exposure. To be honest, I really want that 14yo girl dollar. But I don’t look so cute out of drag anymore and that seems to be a criteria now, which is a shame. Misfits and freaks and maybe the guys who needed to put on a bit of makeup to look cute were the ones who drifted into drag culture. Now you need to look cute even when you are out of face.

Also, I don’t know if they would have me on the show since I am always reading them and making fun of them. But that’s what I fucking do. I make fun of Jesus and the President of the United States, so, I am always shocked when I get called out for making fun of Ru Paul. It’s what I do.

I think that a lot of those younger queens who are now discovering drag are looking to you and Peaches and even Heklina for some sort of inspiration. You have made careers out of drag and I think you inspire these kids in a very real way. Well, I am grateful to anyone who feels inspired by me. Also, if anyone feels inspired by me, then they should send me $10.

You are super active on social media. I am. I mean, for a woman of my age. [laughs] Though 75% of what I do is just reminding people how much I hate Trump. Occasionally, some young person will say to me ‘I have to unfollow you because you are too serious… drag queens should keep it light.’ To which I just say ‘Fuck off.’ But honestly, I feel like we are really fighting for our lives right now.

I do too! Which is why I was so disappointed and surprised by Roseanne and where she falls politically on many of the issues. I know you guys are friends and I thought she was an ally – and she turned out to be a right wing nut job. I am not sure I can watch her show. We’re old friends and I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to fan the flames or give this any energy. I posted something negative about Trump and she unfollowed me. But every now and then I get someone telling me that I should come from a ‘a place of love.’ To which I say, ‘Great! The next time someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night to murder you – why don’t you get up and give them a hug.’

A lot of these people online want me to believe that Trump is inclusive. He isn’t. He just isn’t. He wants to make certain groups and certain words disappear. His entire administration appears to be about erasing Obama’s legacy. So, when they try to sell me on this ‘Trump is inclusive’ bullshit, I just say, ‘He picked Pence as his Vice President. That is a huge ‘fuck you’ to our community.’

I am most upset because I feel like people voted for a ‘business man’ because they wanted him to run the country like a business. Instead, he’s turned the Presidency into an arm of his own personal business. It’s disgusting. And this is why people really need to laugh right now. I think that’s why it’s more important than ever that we go out and support the community. This is why we must roast Heklina! For America!

I think this could get ugly [Laughs] Roasting and making fun of Heklina is like shooting fish in a barrel. And that is the ONLY time I will use the word ‘fish’ in a sentence to describe that old hag.

Stop! [Laughs] You have to admit it — Heklina has still got it. Yeah. Because it turns out you can’t get rid of it. You can only manage it with medication and prayer.

Get Tickets now for THE ROAST OF HEKLINA at PeachesChrist.com! With your hostess the legendary Jackie Beat & featuring Peaches Christ, Jinkx Moonsoon, Katya Zamolodchikova, Ana Matronic, Sister Roma & Julie Brown! Saturday, February 17th at 8pm at the Castro Theatre – ONE SHOW ONLY!

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