'Tasteful Nudes' Writer Dave Hill Talks About Gay Friends, His Femininity & 'Streisand' Fonts
We love Dave Hill. Funny man, musician, writer, friend of the gays, and author of the new book, Tasteful Nudes. It's a collection of his hilarious essays about everything from rock 'n' roll to stolen meat to irritable Canadians.
Beowulf Sheehan Writer and comedian Dave Hill
Hill also happens to be a longtime friend of ours, going back to our college years. He's from Cleveland, Ohio, and he's gained much notice in New York and Los Angeles for his quirky TV appearances on MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, and Adult Swim, among others.
On Sunday, June 3, at 7 p.m., he'll be appearing in Echo Park at Stories - Books and Cafe on Sunset Boulevard. We caught up with our friend the other day as he was getting ready for that appearance...
L.A. Weekly: We went to college together at Fordham University in the Bronx, so I've known you for a long time, Dave. You're always cracking jokes about one thing or another. Are you serious about anything?
Dave Hill: If you saw how many crunches I do every morning, you wouldn't be asking this question. I kid, I kid. I mean, sure, I'll do a few crunches every once in a while just for the hell of it, but these obliques and stuff are mostly a genetic gift. I just wish they weren't covered in so much fat.
Getting back to your question, though, I am serious about having fun doing the things I love -- doing comedy, writing, playing music and whatnot -- and hopefully other people will enjoy the things I do and I can be done with hanging out in the Port Authority restroom once and for all.
Weekly: You're a straight guy who's always been a good friend of the gays. What is it about us that you like so much?
Hill: This is a question I ask my therapist a lot. I'm not sure really. I like a nice brunch, so there's that. But I guess sitting here thinking about it as I flip through at this Tom of Finland book I just picked up the other day, the real reason is probably that -- like most gay men I know -- I am comfortable and in touch with my feminine side and also secure in my masculinity.
Most straight guys just aren't firing on all cylinders in either department, so I probably just relate well to gay guys because we both have that shit on lockdown. I don't know if that makes sense or not. I am so hammered right now.
Weekly: You're one of the hardest working guys I know in show biz. Why aren't you known by every man, woman, and child in the United States by now? Any plans to change that?
Hill: This is a really good question and also one that I tend to scream into my pillow most nights before bed. But I'm hoping between having this book out and now appearing in Queer Town my days of not being a household name are numbered. At least I hope so.
Sometimes I worry that I will be one of those artists who are only appreciated after they are either dead or -- worse -- back home living in their parents' basement and aren't allowed to go on the computer or borrow the car or anything, which is bullshit. My dad just moved a couple days ago, though, so I might be screwed as far as that plan goes, which brings me back to Queer Town.
What sort of font are you planning on using for this interview? I realize you probably have to gay it up to some extent what with the title and all, but if you could at least try to pick something somewhat universally appealing, that would be great for me. I guess I am asking you to use the Streisand of fonts, whichever one that is.
Weekly: Why should people read your book?
Hill: For starters, I typed the fuck out of my book and -- while I wouldn't make these claims myself -- I'm told it's "hilarious," "touching," and "will totally get me laid." I guess this is all for the people to decide ultimately, though. Especially that last part. Speaking of which, I'm so easy it's actually kind of weird.
Weekly: What are you hoping readers will get from the book?
Hill: The urge to have sex with me or at least let me crash at their house if need be. Barring that, though, I hope the book delivers on that "hilarious" and "touching" stuff mentioned earlier.
Also, I drew the cover and picked out the colors and stuff and I've totally made sure the book looks really good on a nightstand, book shelf, or coffee table, next to a toilet or even in a jail cell. Scratch that, ESPECIALLY in a jail cell. In short, it pretty much goes with everything and will really pull an outfit together in a pinch. If I am not right about this, you can have my Tom of Finland book, dammit.
Weekly: Any last thoughts?
Hill: Yes, since this is Queer Town, I gotta ask -- what's with all the dance music? I mean, don't get me wrong, I enjoy it myself, but I live near Rawhide in Chelsea here in New York City and I swear they are cranking that stuff at 9 a.m. Sometimes I just need to bring it down before I bring it back up again, you know?
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.