Gather round, hennys, because it's about to be a celebration.
It's hard to believe, but it's been 12 fabulous years since RuPaul mothertucking Charles first put out the siren call for drag queens around the county to put their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent to the test in the ultimate search for America's Next Drag Superstar, taking an underground art form that Ru himself has famously said would never be mainstream out of the club and onto TV, broadcasting into the homes of millions.
And in the years since RuPaul's Drag Race debuted on February 2, 2009 on Logo, the show has gone from cult favorite to a veritable industry unto itself, launching not only the careers of hundreds of the country's most talented drag queens, but multiple spin-offs, international editions and (in pre-COVID times) the bi-annual, bi-coastal DragCon event. In the process, the mothership has earned 19 groundbreaking Emmys, including the coveted Outstanding Reality Competition trophy for three years running, all the while still remaining the undisputed best thing on TV in any given week that a new episode airs. It's no wonder the just-finished season 13 racked up four nominations, including Best Reality Cast, at this year's MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, airing on Monday, May 17.
Back when the show celebrated its 10th birthday, E! News called up executive producers Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell, whose company World of Wonder have a long history with Ru that includes her mid-'90s VH1 talk show The RuPaul Show—the first one hosted by someone from the LGBTQ community—for a little kiki on the first decade of Drag Race. And it was the gag of the season, honey.
Gentlemen (and ladies), start your engines! And may the best tea win...
Can we get an amen?
To see if RuPaul's Drag Race takes home the Golden Popcorn, be sure to tune in to the inaugural Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted on Monday, May 17, at 9 p.m. on MTV.
(Originally published on Feb. 2, 2019, at 11 a.m. PST.)