Alec Mapa On Hollywood, Fatherhood, Bullying, and Porn Stars

 
Alec Mapa and friends on the Allure of the Seas

Alec Mapa, everyone’s favorite Gaysian sweetheart, is a bundle of contractions. His standup is about as raunchy and personal as you can imagine, with graphic jokes about his sex life and even bathroom habits. But he’s also a great dad. As we met aboard the Atlantis Events cruise to talk about fatherhood, comedy, and Ugly Betty, he showed up holding a MacBook at an awkward angle, trying to use the ship’s flaky WiFi to video conference with his son about his behavior at school.

AfterElton: We are on the Allure, and we are talking to Alec Mapa, who was kind enough to get out of bed early to talk to us.
Alec Mapa
:  I know – it’s miraculous.

AE: We’re huge fans at AfterElton. We haven’t seen a lot of you on TV since Ugly Betty, but that was such an iconic role.
AM
: It was, and it was an accident. I was not meant to get that role. In the first season of Ugly Betty they had several different people cover that role. They would just have the random celebrity guest come on and do the fashion report. Tim Gunn did it, and Joan Rivers, and then they said during the second season, when they knew they had a hit, Silvio Horta really wanted that character to be the Greek chorus of the show to catch you up on the exposition. But he wanted to do it in a very playful way.

I was doing stand up at the GLAAD Awards the year that Ugly Betty was nominated for Best Television Show, and I was really crabby about it. I had just gotten back from a trip to Japan, and GLAAD called me up and said “Can you do 10 minutes… and there’s no pay.” And I was like “There’s no paaay?? It’s on television!” And I groused and groused and my husband is like “Shut up and go, just show your face.” And so I did, and the following week Silvio offered me the guest starring role as Suzuki. It was only supposed to be that one episode, but they were so happy with the way it came out I ended up doing 32 [episodes].

AE: Well the twist to that role was that you were straight.
AM
: Yes. I was from New Jersey. and I had a wife and two kids.


Alec on
Ugly Betty, with Betty White and Vanessa Williams

AE: That was so fun to see you play that role.
AM
: And no makeup!

AE: No makeup, and a little against typecasting I guess. And typecasting is something, I guess. Is that the reason we don’t see as much of you on TV?
AM
: No. Really the reason is that I kind of dropped out the past couple years because my husband and I adopted a five-year-old boy, our foster son. And I’ve really kind of been a stay-at-home dad to try and usher him through the adjustment. I mean, this is my first Atlantis cruise in three years. I haven’t been on an Atlantis cruise since 2009, and it’s because I’ve been building a nest for my kid and making sure he’s all right. And now it’s two years as of last week, and I feel like I’m starting to reemerge, starting to hit the road now that he’s settled.

AE: And you are hitting the road again because you’ve got the show you’re touring with.
AM
: Right. I’ve got my Baby Daddy show, which is an evening of standup. You know people go, “Is it all about the kid?” And it’s still my standup, I talk at length about how I came to adopt our son, but the other half is still my standup, really raunchy dirty comedy. And the reason I do that is because I wanted people who weren’t interested, who don’t like kids, to still enjoy the show.

AE: And I keep expecting Jake Shears to show up because of the title.
AM
: That would nice if Jake Shears showed up. He keeps tweeting pictures of his body, and it’s lovely.

AE: Yes, it is. He seems to be living in the Nasty Pig Store.
AM
: Nasty Pig – they tweeted me too. I want some free Nasty Pig stuff [Note: We found out later the Nasty Pig CEO was on the cruise, but we never got any free stuff. Not sure about Alec).

AE: Well, you hang out with all of their models. I mean you hosted the GayVN Awards.
AM: I did! I hosted the GayVN Awards for Showtime. “Porn’s biggest night. Gay porn’s biggest night.” It’s a very eccentric group of performers, they’re all short. Porn people, I became friends with one of them, Connor Habib, an English professor.


It’s not bad work if you can get it

AE: He wrote a really great column, I think it was The Advocate. When I mentioned it, people loved it because it was so well thought out. But I didn’t realize he was an English professor.
AM
: Yeah, he was an English professor, and he’s very articulate, and he just wanted to be in porn. So they’re a very unexpected version of people. They’re almost like another version of drag queens, where it’s almost another persona. And you have your real name and your porn name. Interesting culture.

AE: I find them to be the most interesting group of people to follow on Twitter. The ones who do nothing but tweet naked pictures of themselves are really boring. But the ones that invite you into their lives, like Samuel Colt or Chris Porter are really great.
AM
: And Matthew Rush, who’s hilariously funny.

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