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John Waters’ lifetime of trashy brilliance is being recognized by the WGA

(Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Celebrating 47 years of beautiful madness, fabulous trash, and excellence in character names—shout out to Belvedere Rickettes and Patty Hitler—John Waters has been selected as the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Writers Guild Of America. The award will be presented by his fellow Baltimore resident, The Wire’s David Simon, who said in a press release that “Time and again, Waters has celebrated the very American notion that there is, in fact, no normal. I am proud that I share a city with this fine storyteller.” For his own part, Waters returned the praise toward the Homicide creator, albeit in a very John Waters way: “I’m really honored that David Simon is giving me the award,” he said while commenting on the announcement. “He makes the best TV shows since Howdy Doody.”

Waters is currently in Texas, touring his stage show A John Waters Christmas. (Meanwhile, NBC’s live musical version of his beloved Hairspray aired just last week.) But despite the multiple paths his career has taken him down—most notably directing films and producing Broadway shows—Waters told The Baltimore Sun that he was pleased to be receiving the award as a writer. “I think if I had to put something on my income tax, it would be ‘Writer,’” he said. He also noted that the award—named in honor of blacklisted writer Ian McLellan Hunter—pleased him, both because it was coming from his peers in the guild, and because it was named in honor of a Communist sympathizer. “I probably would have been a Communist in the ‘50s,” said Waters, whose 1970 classic Multiple Maniacs was recently given a Criterion Collection release. “A beatnik and an egghead.”


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