WATCH: Legendary filmmaker John Waters: Mike Pence must be an "adult baby"

Cult filmmaker on the veep's troubling propensity to call his wife "Mother" — and the questions that raises

By Amanda Marcotte
April 18, 2017 6:00AM (UTC)
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Cult filmmaker and author John Waters has a new gift book called “Make Trouble,” based on a commencement speech he gave at the Rhode Island School of Design that went viral. Waters stopped by Salon’s New York studio to share some of his sage, if offbeat, life advice. But before long, the conversation turned, as most do these days, to politics.

“The scary thing with Trump is that if anything does happen, [Vice President Mike] Pence is way, way worse. And his wife is way, way, way worse than Pence,” Waters said. “And he calls her ‘Mommy.’”


(Waters is mostly right. Pence addresses his wife, Karen Pence, as “Mother,” which might be weirder than “Mommy.”)

“Must mean he’s an adult baby,” Waters mused, speaking of a sexual fetish in which adults get aroused by dressing and acting like babies. “All hookers will tell you, powerful men, the first thing they want to do in bed is give it up.”

“I don’t begrudge —” Waters started, before giving up and reversing course.


“Actually, I’m not marching for the adult baby community. I find them repellent. I have limits.”

“I am judging those f***ers. Sitting there with a hard-on and a baby bonnet,” he continued.

Despite all the sex jokes, the director of "Pink Flamingos," "Female Trouble" and "Hairspray" was making an important political point.


“I think what we have to bring back is the Yippies,” he said, referring to the late '60s political activists who used comical stunts to draw attention to their views. “Bring back terrorism of humor, to humiliate the enemy.”

While he’s no longer with us, it’s not hard to imagine that Abbie Hoffman -- most famous of the 1968 Yippies, who once tried to levitate the Pentagon -- would agree: Mike Pence may well be an adult baby.

Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte is a senior politics writer at Salon and the author of "Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself." Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMarcotte and sign up for her biweekly politics newsletter, Standing Room Only.

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