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Suzanne Westenhoefer Takes on Atlantic City: Interview

Suzanne Westenhoefer Takes on Atlantic City: Interview

Wickedly funny Suzanne Westenhoefer headlines Atlantic City's Fun And "Gay"mes Weekend at the Trump Taj Majal March 27. If that's not enough, she'll be calling gay bingo the next day. SheWired caught up with Suzanne who talked about her new show "Totally Inappropriate," her competitive lesbian sister and that over-manicured bush in her yard.

Cue up The Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter" and think back to the movie, Casino. Picture Sharon Stone in gold hot pants, Robert De Niro watching all the gaming tables behind bug-eye sunglasses and Joe Pesci whacking a guy with the handset of a pay phone.

Now, take that whole show out of Vegas and drop it in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Change the cast to a crowd of lesbians and put Suzanne Westenhoefer in the hot pants. There you have the Fun and GAY-mes weekend at the Trump Taj Mahal,  on March 27 and 28.

The wickedly funny Suzanne Westenhoefer headlines the Atlantic City's gay extravaganza's Saturday night show, and is slated to hang out and appear as a guest caller the next day for Red Ribbon Gay Bingo the next day.

SheWired caught up with Suzanne to chat about her upcoming trip to the Northeast, her show and anything else she might have on her mind:

SheWired: This is the beginning of a new show, isn't it? 'Totally Inappropriate.' Is there a story behind the name?

It's really hard to explain. I do shows all the time and every once in a while my publicist or someone says, "We need a new title." Let's be honest people -- my girlfriend, my family say I'm inappropriate with my questions. It's just the way I am. Stuff like, "So? What 'cha pay for that?" And over time it got to be a funny thing and people kept saying, "I can't believe you said that. That's so inappropriate." One thing led to there's a whole tour.

Is it any more inappropriate than it's ever been? I really guess it depends on each person. I'm pretty sure that since I'm not getting on Ellen or Oprah that it's pretty inappropriate.

Well, you did appear on David Letterman and you said after that you thought that might be an interesting job -- a talk show host.

Totally. I would love to. I think it's very interesting, and I thought with Wanda Sykes that was going to break open.  She's still pretty new and we'll see what happens--her being out and having her own show. Ellen's out and doing great, but I don't think her venue, the daytime, is the right time for most comics. You really have to mainstream it, kind of clean it up and make it calm I think.

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I'd love to see you - well, any woman -- but especially you behind the desk of your own late night show.

I'd like to do that, but I think television might do it as a boy first. Do you know what I mean? I think a gay boy might do it first after Wanda.  I'm not sure though, because I wouldn't have said a black gay woman was going to do it first. So we don't know anything. I thought we were going to have a woman president before a black president...I don't know anything. I actually thought we'd have a Jewish male president before we'd have a black man or a woman. So that's what I know.

Has your comedy changed now that there is a Democrat in office?

Well, I have this problem that I'm a complete pacifist, so I don't believe in war. Maybe there was a time, but it certainly hasn't been in the last many many thousands of years. It never worked out for anybody. I don't think anyone can show me where that was a good idea.

I think it's such an awful way to handle things. Even more so now that we're so technologically advanced. So we're having an argument with a country. Shut them down. Turn off all their computers. Isn't there some nerd hidden somewhere that knows how to do that? That's the kind of thing I think of.

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Or take away their Coca Cola. What country wouldn't shut the hell down if we pulled out McDonalds? These are the kind of things I think we should do. Or I think in many countries if we just ask really nicely, "Want to be part of our country? Let's do this together." First of all, all of North America would be one freakin' country if we all just sat down.

So you actually think Canada and Mexico would join?

In a heartbeat. What are there, 18 Canadians? Really nice people, but don't you think they'd like to vacation in Florida cheaply too? And don't we want to go to Canada? We love it up there-skiing, snowboarding.

[At this point, Suzanne begins trying to stop her dog Joey from eating something in the back yard]

One second, please. "Joey, please don't do that." I trimmed a bush and I don't want to talk about it. My gardener guy and I did it really badly. Now it looks like a giant stick. It was the most beautiful bush ever but it was so big and it grew like a Stephen King thing.  I trimmed it all down and it could not look worse.

So when you come home from traveling and performing all of your shows you garden?

No, I'm just a little bit of a neatnik, and now I'm looking out at what used to be a beautiful bush, but far too large is now a giant bunch of sticks.

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You're a neatnik. What about your wife, Jen (Houston)? Did opposites attract?

We're opposite in a zillion different ways. She's one of those executive types that travels. I think she might be into doing some outside stuff but she does not have the time. She's everywhere. All the time. She was just somewhere on the East Coast-she's afraid of the East Coast. She's a Wisconsin girl, and she's not afraid of anything -- but she gets in downtown Boston, Philly or New York and says, "Every body talks so fast and is so rude." And I'm like, bitch, you are not even getting it." I never see it. I just think we're bold.

That's funny.  You having grown up in  Pennsylvania Amish country with that  big city attitude.

I don't know how that happened. My sister will be at the Atlantic City show. I have a gay sister. She and her partner will drive me to Atlantic City and she'll be there. She is like the really nice super small town version of me. She's way more polite than I am.

Here's what's going to happen. My sister and all her friends -- she's got a whole pack of lezzie friends. I don't know how she does it. These tiny little towns of ten thousand. She knows every lesbian couple and she adopts them into her little group. She has an army of lezzies...that play games. Board games and card games. They're vicious. And they're mean to each other the next day on Facebook.


Are they going to be bitchy on Sunday at the Gay Bingo?

I don't know that any of them realize that we're all staying. I don't know how they are about bingo, but my fear is they're going to be the ones sitting up front yelling, "Damn it!" Don't you think that's funny though? We're going to play bingo when we could be at the roulette table?

Are you a gambler? Will I  see you throwing the dice at the craps table? That would make a great photo-op.

I don't know how to play craps, but I would stand at the crap thing and throw those dice for your picture. I'm pretty codependent. Everyone says the same thing about craps. It's so easy. I'm a smart girl. I do the New York Times crossword puzzle. I can't play craps, but if I win a million dollars playing craps, you know what I'm going to do? I'm such a nerd. My first thought is I'm going to redo my backyard and fix that bush.

See Suzanne's show. Watch her play craps. Cheer her on as she tries to win money to landscape her yard. For more information visit Suzanne's website. Also visit the Trump Taj Mahal site.

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Helen Wortham