SNL cast member and former rock drummer Fred Armisen tells Paper Thin Walls the story of how he survived his awkward high school years: by corresponding with none other than filthy film director John Waters.
I heard this movie director on the radio named John Waters, who was talking about his book called Shock Value. It was about how he wanted to shock the world. That’s what he wanted to do to make a living. I went out and I bought his book. I never read, but that was one book I read all the way through. I wanted to be someone like him.
I got his address, and I wrote him a fan letter. He was called “the Prince Of Puke,” so in [my letter] I said, “Dear John, I want to take over your puke-dom, I want to be the next Prince Of Puke and I want to shock people.” He wrote me back! I was 15 years old, and I couldn’t believe it. He gave me advice. We sent each other postcards. I had this pen-pal relationship with John Waters.
One day I’m watching the David Letterman show. John Waters was the guest. David Letterman said, “You must get some strange mail.” And then John Waters told this story about a kid named Fred that wrote to him. I was so freaked out, I just screamed! I couldn’t believe he was talking about me on TV. Ever since then he’s written to me. He’s sent me Christmas cards. I still get mail from him.