Georgia native Bob the Drag Queen knew the spotlight was made for her

The drag superstar will perform at Atlanta Symphony Hall on Saturday.
As this year's Party with Impact comic, Bob the Drag Queen will perform at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Dec. 30, 2023. Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

As this year's Party with Impact comic, Bob the Drag Queen will perform at the Atlanta Symphony Hall on Dec. 30, 2023. Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

Bob the Drag Queen wears many hats. She recently launched a clothing line, owns a cosmetic brand and is currently touring with Madonna. Earlier this year, she dropped an EP “Gay Barz.” The performer, podcaster and comedian admits she has a lot on her plate. But she wouldn’t trade it for anything.

“It’s fun, though,” she said via Zoom. “It’s easier to maintain than it seems.”

This week, Bob the Drag Queen will perform a stand-up comedy set at Atlanta Symphony Hall as this year’s Party with Impact comic. For Bob, the show is a chance to return to her roots, literally and figuratively: comedy is her first love and she always enjoys visiting her hometown. The Columbus native credits her time at Morrow High School for fueling that knack for performing arts.

Bob was crowned the season eight winner of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” in 2016. Since then, the drag superstar has hosted television shows (including the Peabody Award-winning “We’re Here”), performed several comedy specials and continues to have the unabashed confidence that fans fell in love with. She’s looking forward to sharing that with the Atlanta audience during the show.

Although Bob has lived in Los Angeles for three years, she can see herself eventually moving back to the South.

“My family still lives here — in Henry County,” the 37-year-old said. “I just love having a chance to go back to Atlanta, seeing friends from high school, seeing friends from college, but also, you know, I was like an adolescent in Atlanta. I moved to Columbus by the time I was an adult when I was 18, so I never really had much adult life in Atlanta. A part of me always feels a little bit like a kid again when I’m back in Atlanta.”

Bob the Drag Queen, a Columbus native, won season eight of "RuPaul's Drag Race" in 2016. Now, she's touring with Madonna and will perform a comedy set in Atlanta on Dec. 30, 2023. Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

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Credit: Albert Sanchez and Pedro Zalba

Bob describes herself as a “stand up comedian through and through” who has found joy in making people laugh for nearly 15 years.

“These are just my thoughts being spewed out to you all in a way that I find humorous...,” she says. “I usually think of a premise that I find a little bit interesting and then I find a way to make it funny. For example, I talk about, misogyny in the gay community. I was thinking about how a lot of these gay guys think they’re above misogyny or above being shady to people because they’re a marginalized group themselves, so I just go into that and find the humor in it.”

Bringing joy to others during a year where anti-drag legislation seemed ubiquitous isn’t an easy feat. A law in nearby Tennessee, which placed drag performers in the same category as strippers and prohibited public performances outside of an adult club, was found unconstitutional in June.

“That’s an attempt to steal the joy, which they can’t do, not for me anyway. For me, it’s not hard to find the joy because the joy has already been there for me, it’s already been a part of who I am. It’s part of what I love to do. I’ve been doing drag for 15, 16 years now. And because some people don’t like it or want to enact laws against the art of drag and queer people and trans people, obviously it shows that there’s gonna have to be a lot of perseverance to it all.”

Bob’s comedy show is sponsored by Positive Impact Health Centers. The event will raise funds for the agency’s LGBTQ+ healthcare, HIV care and prevention and supportive services in metro Atlanta. Outside of the show, Bob is busy rehearsing for Madonna’s Celebration Tour, which stops in Atlanta in April. Bob is adamant to clarify that she’s not just an opener for the show; she’s hosting it.

“I got a call from Madonna and we were talking about me going on tour with her and me helping her create the show, which felt really nice to me. It felt quite validating if anything,” she said. “I was kind of just like what’s going on? But then I kept thinking to myself, of course, I’m suited for this. Why wouldn’t I be? Why not me?”

At the end of our Zoom conversation, Bob reveals a 2003 edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that features a picture of her performing in high school. She smiles at the photo like a doting parent.

“Did a high school you think you’d be here, doing everything that you’re doing, 20 years later?” I ask.

“I always thought I was gonna achieve really big things. I’m not shocked. I’m like, this makes sense to me. This made sense with my fantasy in my head that I created for myself, you know.”


IF YOU GO

A Night of Comedy with Bob the Drag Queen

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 30. $15-$55. Atlanta Symphony Hall. 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta. ticketmaster.com

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