The Joke Is On ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9’s Gottmik


There are so many types of drag out there. And some queens have their own niche. Not every drag queen is a queen of comedy. So it’s hard to always live up to those expectations when they step out of their comfort zone and find a comedic niche. Such is the case with Gottmik. The reality star has made history for being the first transgender man to compete on the RuPaul’s Drag Race. And she also might be one of the first queens to blatantly steal material from a famous comedian. But Gottmik has defended herself on Twitter/X, asking her followers whether they think everyone wrote their own jokes. Oh, and Nikki Glaser is her queen, and reworking her jokes were a duh. In the world of comedy, it’s stealing. It’s one thing to use a base of a joke as a setup that leads to a new and fresh punchline. It’s another thing to blatantly lift it and pretend it’s your original work. Where is the line between recycling and reworking before it becomes theft? Is Drag Race at fault for allowing the jokes to air? Someone’s in trouble!

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9 has been deemed the charity season. With no eliminations and very little drama to be had, this season has been longing for something juicy to transpire. With a lot of talk of alliances and the leader board of badges being the focal source of drama, the queens have been feeling like rivalries are brewing as the pressure is mounting. With classic challenges coming down the pipeline, the stakes are slightly rising as the queens have reached the halfway point of the season and anything can happen.

Gottmik Delivers an Eerily Similar Comedy Set

As tradition on Drag Race, whether the main show or the All Stars spin-off, there is always some sort of roast or stand-up comedy challenge. The queens are meant to write jokes at the expense of either their fellow competitors or one of the judges. In the latest challenge on RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9, the queens were tasked to give a roast of their fellow competitors. With an election year looming, the roast’s theme was the National Drag Convention. While the queens didn’t have to lean into political humor, they still needed to get RuPaul and the judges laughing. As the judges expressed before the critiques, everyone did a good job. But did they?

Mere hours following the release of the episode, internet sleuths had discovered nearly every single joke Gottmik made was recycled from Nikki’s Glaser’s various roast sets. The side-by-side videos were alarming, to say the least. It’s one thing to borrow a setup, such as “Yo mama is…”, but in this case, it’s not taking a classic setup with an original punchline, it’s lifting the entire beat and joke structure. She almost had the same cadence and delivery as Nikki Glaser. Now, what did Gottmik have to say about the situation? The Drag Race icon took to social media to say, “Wait do you think everyone wrote their jokes!? lol Nikki is my queen so reworking some of her jokes was a DUH for me. Love her.” Well, that’s not necessarily taking accountability.

What Mik did was not only admit she copied and pasted Nikki Glaser’s jokes into her set, she also threw all the other queens under the bus for allegedly not writing their own jokes. Hey Mik! Show us the receipts! Drag Race is a pressure cooker. It’s one of the hardest reality television competition shows on the planet. Sometimes the queens might have the desire to cheat off their tablemates like they’re back in high school. But drag is a celebration of queer art. Originality is what makes it special!

Gottmik Has to Be Original

Gottmik truly came onto RuPaul’s Drag Race as a trailblazer. And we are forever going to celebrate their place in Drag Race herstory. She made headlines when she walked into the Werk Room as she “crashed the cis-tem.” She displayed a unique style of drag with the clown white face and black and white fashion motif. When it came to runways, she consistently brought showstopping looks to the runway. She had immense success during Season 13, making it all the way to the finale being a well-rounded drag artist who defied the odds. The fans adore her, but some of her originality has been questioned and tested throughout her tenure.

When it comes to her runways in both of her seasons, she has displayed a mix of original looks combined with looks either lifted from high-fashion runways or inspired by top-tier designers. And there is nothing wrong with that. Drag is art and art can be, well, derivative. Using fashion references on the runways is something many queens can and will do. But unlike many, Gottmik can easily get away with it. It’s part of her brand. When you’re sample size and the perfect model for couture, if ya got it, flaunt it! So, when she arrives on stage using jokes from Nikki Glaser, and one from Lisa Lampanelli, it’s a bit of a disappointment. It’s a major letdown to see an idol, someone queer individuals look up to, tell them it’s OK to not be original. This is RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. This is the best of the best in the country. The fans expect better. The fans deserve better. Now that fans have deduced that the jokes were not hers, it displays just how abysmal the previous real estate commercial challenge was. Her scene with Jorgeous lacked the comedy. Yet in other situations and challenges, Gottmik has made Ru and the fans laugh. Does an investigation need to be had into her Season 13 roast set? Or, are we learning that using others’ material is Kosher on RuPaul’s Drag Race? If so, we’re entering quite dangerous territory.


Comedy Is Hard!

This recent fiasco illuminates how RuPaul’s Drag Race is treading a fine line. There has been a long history on RuPaul’s Drag Race where some queens have bombed the comedy challenge. So much so that the jokes were either so mean, crude, or personally offensive, they made the audience cringe. Often times, those contestants have found themselves directly at risk of elimination. But in a season with no eliminations and played for charity, the negative feedback is not being offered for the camera. Therefore, who was going to be the one to call out Gottmik? Fans turn to the likes of Farrah Moan, Utica, Laganja Estranja, and even Roxxxy Andrews twice before as queens who bombed the roast and comedy challenges so badly, they’ve become the how-to of what not to do.

There are standard challenges on RuPaul’s Drag Race. The contestants, whether returning for an All Stars season or for their first time, know there are ways to prepare for the upcoming season. And one of which is gathering a series of jokes ready for any type of roast or reading challenge. Now, just because they may not be a comedy queen doesn’t mean they can’t come in with strong material. It’s one thing to work with a joke writer to help gather jokes or reads. It’s another thing when your joke writer is Youtube! Fans have been quite critical over the same type of joke being used over and over again. How many times can you call RuPaul old or Michelle Visage a man? The jokes may be different, but they’re easy targets with low-hanging fruit. There has to be a way to alleviate the plagerism and repetition before these challenges disappear forever. Comedy and camp are a cornerstone of drag. It’s inherent to the art form. The future queens of Drag Race must do their homework in comedy before they dare even audition for the program. It’s one thing if you can turn a look, but if you can’t entertain, there’s little hope for a career post reality TV.

Gottmik is not the first to be questioned about the source of their jokes. On Season 16 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Plane Jane and Q were called out by the fans for their re-purposing of Katya’s clips and slides joke. It truly did call into question who’s sourcing the comedy and if anyone on the production team has to edit the set before it hits the stage. Gottmik is not going to get a free pass from the fans or alum of the show. She needs to be held to the fire and admit wrongdoing. And if there are other queens who participated in the same way, the fandom deserves to know the truth. This is a teaching moment.

RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 9 streams new episodes every Friday on Paramount+. All episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race are available to stream on Paramount+.

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