Jibz Cameron Tells Seth Bogart About Her Celebrity Sex Dreams

Dynasty Handbag

Imagine an alternate version of Titanic where Rose doesn’t fall in love with Jack, but rather an octopus that squirmed onboard seeking to escape warming waters (and disguised as an oversized hat). Now imagine, too, that the ship’s journey is thwarted not by an iceberg—those have all melted—but by a massive pile of garbage. The artist and performer turning the tale into a zany parable of climate collapse is Jibz Cameron, aka Dynasty Handbag, the longtime host of “Weirdo Night,” an infamous monthly variety show in L.A., and the mind behind the flamboyantly funny comedy album The Bored Identity. Twenty years of performing as her high-octane alter ego has armed Cameron with a loyal following, and their show Titanic Depression sold out at Pioneer Works last summer. Now, she’s back in New York and setting sail again with another run at New York Live Arts. Last week, Cameron got on a call with her friend and collaborator, the artist Seth Bogart, to talk about recycling, celebrity sex dreams, and how hot Mark Ruffalo is in Poor Things.




BOGART: Where are you right now?

HANDBAG: Right now I’m in Brooklyn in an attic room that I’m renting out for a couple days. It’s pleasant.

BOGART: And why are you in the big city?

HANDBAG: Oh, well, I have a show that starts on Sunday and runs for a week at New York Live Arts called Titanic Depression. So I’m here getting ready for that and rehearsing.

BOGART: So you did the show at Pioneer Works last summer, right? And it was sold out all the time.

HANDBAG: All two nights were sold out. There were a lot of seats, though. There were chairs for as far as I could see from the stage, so I’m not sure who’s going to come this time around. Everyone I know already came and saw it.

BOGART: So the state of New York basically begged you to come back for encore performances?

HANDBAG: Well, there’s not a lot going on in the city really at all or in the world, so we need something to get us activated.

BOGART: If only you could do that in L.A. L.A. is so boring.

HANDBAG: It’s a really dead town. 

BOGART: I know. I drove through Hollywood the other day and it was literal tumbleweeds, nothing happening.

HANDBAG: Tumbleweeds, and maybe somebody sweeping the sidewalk with a palm frond.

BOGART: Okay. So I want to talk first about your album.


BOGART: Critically acclaimed, award-winning, billboard smash.

HANDBAG: Critically acclaimed.

BOGART: Shit-ically acclaimed. It’s called The Bored Identity.

HANDBAG: Yes, it is.

BOGART: And what was your inspiration for wanting to do a comedy album?

HANDBAG: Well, thanks for asking, Seth. And thanks for making the record.

BOGART: How could I say no to that face?

HANDBAG: I know. It was a cool organic process. You approached me about maybe making a record, and I thought originally I would do a collection of live stuff from all of the years of “Weirdo Nights” that I’ve done. And there’s so much standup on it, and everything’s recorded by the board. So I was like, “Oh, I have all this material. I should put something together.” When I started compiling it I realized that maybe it’s got to be its own thing. Some of the material that I liked was these characters and sketches that I would make for a one-off live show. And then they would disappear and I wouldn’t ever do the material again.

BOGART: Mm-hmm.

HANDBAG: Then I thought, “Well, what if I spent some more time with the writing and rounded it out so that it was its own little story and package.” I really grew up listening to Steve Martin and Richard Pryor, but the Lily Tomlin record Modern Scream was the model. Her doing weird characters and making shit up and almost like you’re in a room with her getting a story told. It’s when you’re seeing it and listening at the same time. It takes a different kind of craft to get something to work just for an audio. I use my face and my body so much for comedy that I had to rewrite it so that it wouldn’t be like, “Why is this supposed to be funny?”

BOGART: You definitely use your face and that body-ody-ody a lot. I love the record and one of my favorite parts is in the intro and it’s called “Sharon Stone’s Testicle.” For those who haven’t heard it, can you tell them about your dream about Sharon Stone’s testicle in a brief way?

HANDBAG: Sure. Okay, here it goes. I used to have a lot of dreams about having sex or intense intrigue with celebrities that were very magical. I saved Jason Priestley from this red swamp once. He was naked and I dragged him out. 

BOGART: Okay, hot.

HANDBAG: Yeah, it was really hot. This one was: I was on a tour of Sharon Stone’s Dracula mansion, and I let the tour go ahead of me and stayed behind in her boot room so I could smell all her boots. And then she comes crawling in on all fours and turns around and puts her ass in my face and is like, “Fuck me.” Then I looked up and there’s one giant red testicle dangling down. 

BOGART: I wish that was my dream. I’m so jealous.

HANDBAG: It was basically a joke about my dreams coming true. 

BOGART: Another one I really love is “Feminine Wiles.” It’s so funny when you start the skit as you’re chopped up in a Whole Foods dumpster.

HANDBAG: Yeah, “Feminine Wiles” is really sweet. I really love thinking about the idea of a Hollywood starlet, but the fact that she’s actually just a woman. The big narratives around those women are, they’re the most glamorous, beautiful, the next big thing. And then the studio crushes them or they get chopped up in a dumpster.

BOGART: At Whole Foods.

HANDBAG: At Whole Foods. 

BOGART: Okay. So about your show in New York, Titanic Depression.


BOGART: What’s that about? Is that something you can even describe in an interview?

HANDBAG: Well, I would love to give it a shot.


HANDBAG: So it’s a one-woman show, and it uses the 1997 Titanic film as a jumping off point that I then inhabit and deconstruct. I play a version of the Rose character, but instead of Jack, I fall in love with this octopus who has escaped the warming waters of climate change onto the Titanic disguised as a big giant lady’s hat. And we have this love affair, but I’m projecting onto him the whole time. He doesn’t actually ever do anything or say anything. So it’s about our relationship with animals. It’s also about consumerist despair, because, surprise, the ship doesn’t sink in my show, it runs into a giant pile of garbage and gets stuck because the iceberg melts before it hits it. Then ultimately, it asks how we keep on keeping on when we’re in the middle of this ongoing apocalypse that started in the industrial revolution? Or did it start with the ’80s, or did it start with Trump’s election? We’ve been in this state of perpetual emergency and it’s too late now and we can’t go back. So, it’s like the way that capitalist culture puts the responsibility on the individual to figure out what you’re supposed to do with all this information. In COVID, we were like, “I guess I’ll decide what I’m doing with this deadly disease because everybody’s telling me a different thing.” And then we attack one another around our information differences as though one person’s recycling is going to be effective.

BOGART: Efficient. Do you believe in recycling? 

HANDBAG: It would totally work if everyone did it. If everyone actually did it, then our whole infrastructure would change around getting it processed. I don’t know. I don’t believe in anything really.

BOGART: I don’t believe in anything either.


BOGART: Okay, so let me see what questions I have. I have some fun random questions for a second. What celebrity is hot? 

HANDBAG: Oh, gosh. I’m trying to be creative but also quirky, but also blow your mind with my choice, but also isn’t that cute and normal?

BOGART: I just want horny.

HANDBAG: Horny. Okay. You know who was horny? I just saw that terrible movie, Poor Things.

BOGART: Uh-huh. 

HANDBAG: Which I would say was like Nell meets Emily in Paris. But Mark Ruffalo is really hot in it.

BOGART: Mark Ruffalo is hot.

HANDBAG: He’s fucking hot. And he fucks a lot in the movie. He fucks Emma Stone a lot, even though he’s essentially fucking a baby and the movie is very problematic. They had some good points, but it was talking about desire and how a child doesn’t have any restraints and sex isn’t bad and you can only be free if you have no knowledge of the good and evil of the world or whatever the fuck. But Emma Stone looks like a child. 

BOGART: Gross.

HANDBAG: She has a child brain in an adult body. It was really hard to get into it, because I guess by the time he fucks her, she’s 14, which seems great. I had lots of sex with guys that were 45 when I was 14.

BOGART: Oh my god. I’m curious to know what you were like as a teenager.

HANDBAG: Well, it’s funny, I saw a really old friend of mine, I don’t really know that many people from my real early teenage years. But I asked him what I was like and he said, “You had a lot of energy.” I was like, “That makes sense, because I don’t have any anymore.”

BOGART: I’m the exact same. I still feel like I’m 16, 16 going on 69, like I’m a teenager and a grandma and nothing like my normal age.

HANDBAG: I’ve been trying to see myself through the eyes of the world lately. That’s very weird. I’ll see random ladies between the ages of 40 and 80, and I’m like, “Do I look like that? Am I that old? Is my body like that?” Anyway, as a teen I was really well-adjusted. I had great parenting. I didn’t have any problems with depression or drinking and I wanted to live life. I was really successful. And I was on the volleyball team.

BOGART: Yeah, right. I don’t believe any of that.

HANDBAG: I was crazy.

BOGART: You were a punk teenage runaway.


BOGART: Which is cool.

HANDBAG: It was pretty cool. I was a comedy punk.

BOGART: For readers who don’t know, you’ve been doing this thing in L.A. for 10,000 years called “Weirdo Night.” How long has it been? Seven years? I was there at the first one, I want to say.

HANDBAG: Eight years. Oh yeah, you were.

BOGART: I’ve been there since the beginning. It was free. For people who don’t know, it’s essentially a variety show of all different kinds of performers. And I think that’s how you met Paul Reubens, right? He came?

HANDBAG: No, actually I met him through performing for this very strange underground sect of the Magic Castle.

BOGART: Oh my God. We have to talk about this too.

HANDBAG: Yeah. This is some weird Hollywood intrigue. You know how everything’s on the surface in L.A., and you’re like, “Where’s the secret of the secret of the secret thing that you would imagine is happening here, but you never see it?”

BOGART: And it’s the Magic Castle.

HANDBAG: It’s the magic asshole.

BOGART: I love the Magic Castle.

HANDBAG: Okay, so the Magic Castle was started by the Larsen family, and the granddaughter, Erika Larsen, lives in the house and she’s on the board of directors at the Magic Castle. At the mansion that she lives at in Larchmont, there’s this tiny theater. It’s this old Spanish mansion. The whole place is totally magical and crazy. It has all these trolls out in the garden and lights in all the palm trees and everything. And you go there and there’s a theater and that’s where all of the performers performed for themselves and had offsite parties. The Magic Castle is the commercial zone.

BOGART: This is the secret, secret, secret, secret.

HANDBAG: And so Erika started having these shows again in this incredible theater in the 2000s. And somehow, I think through Murray Hill, I got connected. Murray was like, “You have to have my friend Jibz on.” So I started performing there regularly and it’s magicians and performers, some veering into the burlesque Vegas-y world. And that’s where I met Marawa the Amazing.

BOGART: Oh, she’s incredible.

HANDBAG: But all these celebrities would come to the show, the weirdest celebrities. Paul was one of the regulars, and he was one of Erika’s best friends.

BOGART: So he saw you perform and was obsessed with you, obviously.

HANDBAG: Well, we got along very well, of course. 

BOGART: Okay. Well, I don’t know why I want to ask you this because art is so boring, but you did 10,000 things last year and this year. You were in Made in LA at the Hammer Museum, which is huge. How did that feel to be in that?

HANDBAG: That was a good experience actually. Art is boring. Talking about art is boring, but it was a good experience, namely because the curators were so cool. One of them, Diana, is a friend, and they were excited and cool and supportive. I thought they were going to want me to do a video installation and make some new work for Dynasty Handbag. But Jim’s like, “Well, I think we should do your drawings.” And I couldn’t believe it. I don’t really have a big studio drawing practice, I just draw consistently. But I don’t really show, I don’t have a gallery. I made quite a bit of work over the pandemic and they picked some stuff and then I was like, “Well, I’m working on this Titanic show, what do you guys want? Tell me how much space to fill, what size, and I’ll make a bunch of shit.” So half of it was already stuff that was done. I just had to have an assignment.

BOGART: I’m obsessed with Harvard Business School, which is your painting of a bunch of penises that–

HANDBAG: Hello, Harvard. It’s dicks wearing bow ties and doing business.

BOGART: So cool. That’s the kind of museum I want to go to.

HANDBAG: Thank you for being such a champion of all the fruit loops in L.A. these days. Thinking about the record, it was a perfect idea to put it out with you because it’s like, “What is it? What do you do?” I don’t even know. You do what I do.

BOGART: We do everything. 

HANDBAG: Basically you do whatever you want. I wanted to be in your orbit around the record for context rather than anyone else. Even though I don’t even know if the comedy world will ever know that I put out a comedy record. Don’t care.

BOGART: It’s a beautiful artifact.

HANDBAG: It’s a relic already. It’s already covered in dust. 

BOGART: It’s honestly stunning, gorgeous artwork. It’s so good. And there’s barely any copies left. So all readers should order. Better get on that.

HANDBAG: Get a record from Wacky Wacko and come see Titanic Depression.

BOGART: Come to see Jibz’ great show. You won’t regret it. And if you’re in LA, hold tight because it might come there. And also every month, usually you could go see “Weirdo Night” at Zebulon. Is there anything else you want to tell all the hot and horny readers?

HANDBAG: Hot and horny readers, free Palestine. Hot and horny readers and everyone else. End the occupation and keep on keeping on y’all. That’s all I have to say for the evening. 

BOGART: Well, I love you so much.

HANDBAG: I love you so much too.