Fortune Feimster is fucking funny. Feimster (rhymes with teamster) is a walking dichotomy, a flannel-loving lesbian who was also a Southern debutante. She started out on Last Comic Standing, made a name for herself playing hags like Huckabee and Ann Coulter on Chelsea Handler’s shows, and today pops up and regularly steals scenes in roles from The Simpsons to Life in Pieces to Office Christmas Party. The charming Ms. Feimster recently sat down with HUSTLER in a swank New York hotel, imbibing exotic cocktails and telling us all about her kickass Netflix comedy special, what role Hooters (the restaurant!) played in her upbringing, and how she joined the Groundlings and launched a wildly successful stand-up comedy career mostly to make friends.
HUSTLER: Did I read that you decided you might be a lesbian only after watching some movie?
FORTUNE FEIMSTER: It was a Lifetime movie! It’s so embarrassing, like I can’t believe that’s even part of my real story, but it is. I didn’t come out till I was 25, but by then it was sort of starting to bubble up in me. I couldn’t deny it anymore, and one time I was home by myself, watching a Lifetime movie about this girl in high school who was coming out as gay. I watched this journey of her coming out and being very comfortable about it—at first her mom didn’t like it, but then she became okay with it. And at the end of that movie I go, “Oh, my God, I’m gay!” I said it out loud, and it was the first time I admitted it to myself and certainly the first time I said it out loud. Then I was in shock that a Lifetime movie did that for me! I just did a whole run in my special about how conservative people don’t want kids to watch gay content because they argue it’s gonna make you gay, and I’m like, Uh-oh!
Is there any truth to the rumor you were a debutante?
I was, which seems crazy to me too. My mom was a debutante because her family was relatively well off back in the day, but then, through a series of events, we were not so well off when it was my turn. But my mom wanted to keep that tradition, a keeping-up-with-the-Joneses kind of thing. But I was born a little bit different, a bit of a tomboy—and tomboy is the stepping stone to lesbian, of course, the gateway. When I had to go through the deb process, I was working at the recreation department and lining softball fields, basically a maintenance worker cleaning up trash all day and then going to etiquette classes, trying to learn how to be a lady. Honestly, I’d be all sweaty, I’d have dirty fingernails, but then I would rush off to these country club events with finger foods. And it all culminates in a debutante ball. That part was the most embarrassing because I had to wear a white wedding gown, and I had to walk down in front of all these people with my brothers as escorts. It felt like we were getting married, which was kind of creepy, being in North Carolina.
Anything else notable about your Southern upbringing?