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Leslie Jordan 'Exposes' himself at Feinstein's

by David-Elijah Nahmod

Leslie Jordan
Leslie Jordan  

Openly gay Leslie Jordan, beloved as queeny closet case Beverly Leslie on NBC's Will and Grace, returns to Feinstein's at The Nikko for a two-night run of raucous, autobiographical comedy. Jordan's new show Exposed will be unveiled at Feinstein's on July 13 and 14.

"The secret to having a long-running career is having a one-man show," Jordan shared in a Bay Area Reporter interview. Speaking by telephone from Spain, he was busy filming Living The Dream, a sitcom for Britain's Sky TV.

"It's about a British family moving to the USA to pursue the American dream in Florida," Jordan explains of his new series. "I sell them a trailer park."

Jordan added that he was loving the European shoot.

"I'm looking at the Rock of Gibraltar," he said. "Here I am, a little boy from Tennessee, looking at the Rock of Gibraltar."

The always-busy actor/comic is also working on Fox's The Cool Kids, in which he co-stars with Vicki Lawrence, Martin Mull and David Alan Grier. Set in a retirement community, Jordan describes the show as "The Golden Girls on crack."


Leslie Jordan loves queer literature.  

"It tested higher than any other Fox pilot," he said. "A brand new series takes a while to find its footing, but we're all such veterans that I think we nailed it!"

On top of all that, Jordan has appeared on NBC's recently revived Will and Grace.

"It's almost surreal," he said of the return. "It's been 11 years. They'd been doing the reboot for four episodes. I walked in on episode five. It was so weird but we just picked it up from where we left off. We just got out there with verbal ping-pong."

Though he retains a lot of affection for Will and Grace, Jordan admits to having been a minor player on the series.

"It wasn't a huge part of my life," he said. "I only did 3 to 4 episodes a year, they did 22. They were tight-knit and are rich as shit."

The comic explained how he came to do his one-man shows.

"The year I won my Emmy (for Will and Grace), I decided to kick back and wait for things to come to me," he explains. "I was down to fourteen cents, so I decided to do what the Kardashians do: branding. I sold myself to the gay community."


Leslie Jordan on stage.  

Jordan sold himself by touring in a series of one-man shows in which he talked about his life, beginning with his childhood in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He also speaks about his 1982 arrival in Hollywood with $1500 sewn into his pocket by his steel magnolia mother. He has worked non-stop ever since and has always remained funny and relevant.

"I used to ramble but now I got it down to 75 tight minutes," Jordan said of Exposed, which he describes as an overview of his greatest hits. "I go through each of my one-person shows, starting with Hysterical Blindness and Other Southern Tragedies That Have Plagued My Life Thus Far, then My Trip Down The Pink Carpet and the others. It's all about my ups and downs in show business."

Jordan recalls some of his earlier one-man shows.

"I live in Tupac's old apartment (the murdered rap star), so I did a show called Straight Outta Chattanooga," he said. "I only sold 17 tickets and thought, 'How can this be?'"

So he put a nude photo of himself on Grindr and sold 90 tickets.

"My manager said, 'Stop that!' And I said why? That's social media and that's how we do things these days. We have a buffoon in the White House who got in that way."

Jordan promises that he'll be sharing many such stories when he takes to the stage with Exposed.

"All anybody has to say is, 'How are you?' and thirty minutes later they have a story," he said. "Here it is. I'm 63 and this is how I got here."

Leslie Jordan performs July 13 & 14 at 8pm, at Feinstein's At The Nikko, 222 Mason Street
$30-60 ($20 food/drink min.) https://www.feinsteinsatthenikko.com/


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