Huge line to get in to see Carson featuring a large population of gayboys and their platonic girlfriends. Of course there were plenty of straight people too (as Carson noted, somebody has to make more gay people).
Carson was hammy and hilarious. He had clearly pumped his on-campus handlers for information about Austin. He peppered his comments with references that only made sense to denizens. For you locals: the Drag (queen?), Leslie (good thong and Santa jacket, bad shoes), the Dobie Mall (or Doobie Mall as he called it), Oilcan Harry's, Bevo, the hook 'em horns sign.
After doing essentially a great standup comedy act, he took questions from the audience. The event ended with a terrible misstep by the organizers had him commenting on the fashion of a few guys dressed specifically for the occasion. It was lame, but Carson did his best to salvage it. At the very end, he was gifted with a giant, gaudy, Texas-themed belt buckle. Where upon Carson took off his own belt and threw it into the crowd. After brief melee, someone had a nice souvenir.
Here are some of the best bits.
At the beginning of his remarks:
“Normally what I speak about is political structure in Southeast Asia.” And then he actually started reading a prepared speech about political structure in Southeast Asia. Great deadpan.
During the Q&A:
Girl: What can I do to get you to fix my father?
CK: You don’t mean in the veterinary sense do you?
Jonathan: Will you sign my chest?
CK: (cheerfully) OK.
Jonathan mounts the stage and gives Carson a marker.
CK: (mock exasperated) Well, take off your shirt.
In response to a request for a blooper from Queer Eye:
They were shooting a couple British episodes of Queer Eye and one day they were doing a scene on a British Airways plane. It was parked but the flight crew still had to be aboard for safety reasons. Carson was changing his pants when Thom apparently got frisky and tried to pull down Carson’s underwear. Instead, he tore them completely off. Picture Carson with a shirt on, then naked from the waist down. So Carson runs back to the galley, “I guess to get a napkin or something,” and right into the middle of the crew who were having lunch. Awkward.
Talking about the LBJ School of Public Affairs (a prestigious graduate school that's part of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library):
“I want to pronounce it el BJ. I went to Tijuana and got el BJ, now my urine burns.”
A particularly memorable part of the evening came before he even took the stage. As I sat in my chair, I noticed a guy across the aisle and up a couple rows. He had an incredible mullet. A waterfall of hair cascaded softly halfway down his back while the hair on the top and sides was cut into a bowl-shape. I was captivated. He turned slightly and I saw the weak moustache and chin caterpillar that signified a guy who can't grow a beard but tries anyway. A glance down revealed the showstopper. Cast over the back of his chair was a crushed. velvet. cape. Somehow the sight of it actually blocked any nerve impulses to my voluntary muscles for at least a minute.
When I recovered and turned to my friends to share, an idea popped into my head, "Oh, he's a plant that Carson is going to 'fix'. That must be it." See how I grasped at anything that made sense of the wild disconnect between the event we were at, the mullet, and the cape? Because who has a mullet, wears a cape in public, and stands in line for more than an hour to see Carson Kressley? Two out of the three sure, but...
So I told my friends who were as pop-eyed as I had been. They tentatively agreed with me that yes, he must be a plant. Then the event proceeded, and as it went on we had to admit it to ourselves; that was really what he wanted to look like.
Now I don't want to come off as some sort of fashionista, but really, doesn't everybody know about the mullet thing by now? Especially in Austin? Clearly from the length in the back, he's been working on it for at least three years. And then there's the cape. I mean if he was a goth kid I'd understand. A crushed velvet cape is completely plausible when you're wearing strategically ripped black clothes, eyeliner, and a pound of white powder while clutching confessional poetry that uses the words "blood" and "grave" on at least every other page. Under those circumstances, it would be wrong not wear a cape. But that's not this guy. Maybe it was just a role-playing thing that got out of hand; you know how that can happen. One day you're rolling 12-sided dice to get that +2 dexterity Sword of Palang, the next thing you know you're wearing a crushed velvet cape in public. It could happen to anyone.
I've never wanted a digital camera so bad in my life.
Anyway, I briefly said hello and shook Carson's hand afterwards. He's nice.