Famous Hawaiians can be few and far between. There’s Don Ho and, well, that’s kind of it.
Thankfully, there’s another Ho making a big name for himself on the cruise ship circuit (mostly for getting caught with his muu muu around his ankles on the Lido Deck): Matt Yee. Having seen him on a half dozen gay cruises, we can promise you that his one-man sing-along piano cabaret act is one of the funniest things you’ll ever see. Those who know, know.
For everyone else, we’ll dive deep into the crevasses of his mind in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Gay List Daily: Thanks for taking the time between sailing the seven seas to answer a few of our burning questions. First and foremost, what are you wearing right now?
Matt Yee: A long flowing rainbow-colored muu muu of course. What else would you wear to watch Downton Abbey?
GLD: And what do you wear under your signature muumuu?
Yee: My world famous Gaysian Penis. As I say to my class, “Asian Men Are Huge.”
GLD: Anyone who’s been on an Atlantis Events cruise knows who you are, has seen your hilarious show and has the pee-stained pants to prove it. Describe yourself for anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure.
Yee: Some people must have a box to put you in. They insist on asking, “What is it you do?” I say, “Matt Yee’s Outrageous Adult Sing Along Show” or “Matt Yee’s Outrageous Gay Cabaret”. They might frown, still unsatisfied, and I say, “go to www.mattyee.com and look at my recent video duet with Idina Menzel of Wicked, Glee and Frozen.” If they still must pigeon hole me after that, I say, “Just come to my show—and bring cash.”
GLD: We recently had the shocking experience of a non-gay cruise and your name popped up in conversation. Had no idea you performed on those “other” types of cruises. How are they different from all-gay ones?
Yee: Surprisingly, the line between the two is getting smaller and smaller. I still try to reach the same energy and the same end point, which is we are all in this together, and we are together, like church with booze, bad jokes, lots of communal singing and connecting. These are all tools in my kit that get us to that point of true connection. That’s the Cult of Matt Yee. The energy of the ordinary cruises can be as big or greater than those on a gay cruise. And I do have as rabid a fan base there. It’s still adult, it’s still nasty, and perhaps I talk about vaginas more (though not from a wealth of experience). I just did a convention on Maui for a national bank, and they loved me!
GLD: How do you sniff out the other gays on board?
Yee: I guess you can smell them leaving the sauna. But I wouldn’t know. My gaydar on ships has always been broken, even on an Atlantis Cruise! You have to come up to me and hit me in the nuts before I can tell who’s gay or not on an ordinary cruise. Some guys will start a sentence with “my husband…” or “But I’m a bottom…”, and that usually is a good sign that they are gay. But usually, they will come out for my Divas Live (Showtunes, Tiaras & Boas)! show. I think it’s the showtunes and my costumes that give me away. Or the fact that I announce, “I’m Irish…by injection.”
GLD: If you had to pick one song in your routine to sing for all eternity, what would it be?
Yee: I’ve been singing this song I wrote for many years. And I still get people coming up to me in tears. “I’ll Reinvent Myself.” It’s on iTunes…
GLD: Nice plug. One you wish you never had to sing again?
Yee: I love all the songs I sing, even “Piano Man.”
GLD: Many of the cruise ships have suites with grand pianos. Are those the rooms they always book you in?
Yee: No those are the rooms I sleep in. Except my suite is on deck 0.
GLD: We know this is probably beneath you, but do you have any CDs or anything you’d like to plug?
Yee: Me plug something? No I couldn’t. But if you must. Here’s your homework and it starts at www.mattyee.com. I’d love to bring my new show [to your city]. You can reach me through www.mattyee.com. I DO PRIVATE EVENTS! And you club and theater owners/people, book my ass!
If you’re in NYC April 12, come stand in line in the standby line cause we’re sold out that night at the Laurie Beechman Theater on 42nd St. HA! But, we still have tickets at this moment for Sunday April 13. Here’s the link to share with your friends for advance discount tix: Matt Yee’s Outrageous Adult Sing Along Show 2014!
Or come see me in LA or San Francisco, or on an Atlantis Gay Cruise. Details at www.mattyee.com
Buy my CDs on itunes, or (you guessed it www.mattyee.com)
GLD: Wow. Good thing we’re on the internet and not in print! Any parting words?
Yee: ….and bring cash.