Ninety-five years ago, the world’s first television station launched in upstate New York. And this week, we’re celebrating the small screen with a TV legend: World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey! Fenton is one of the creative forces behind RuPaul’s Drag Race and other groundbreaking TV shows and films.
Fenton and Jonathan discuss how infomercials, public access stations, televangelist sermons, and unscripted TV have shaped our reality. Plus, hear all about Fenton’s decades-long creative partnership with RuPaul; his work with cultural icons like Britney Spears, Tammy Faye, and Monica Lewinsky; and what happened when his career landed him in North Korea.
Fenton Bailey is the co-founder of World of Wonder, the production company behind the Emmy Award-winning “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Million Dollar Listing” LA & NY franchises, as well as award-winning subversive documentaries.
His new non-fiction book ScreenAge: How TV shaped our reality, from Tammy Faye to RuPaul’s Drag Race is out in the US on March 28, and you can order a copy now!
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our editor is Andrew Carson. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Chris McClure, and Erin McKeon.
Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.