Jul 13, 2021
Murray Hill is an old-school glad-handing comedian cut from the same cloth of the Catskills and late Las Vegas legends like Don Rickles and Jackie Gleason. His is a retro lounge emcee persona that he fully inhabits, in a Burgundy tux, slicked -back hair, pinky ring and pencil mustache—a look and an act he honed in both bougie straight downtown hipster lounges and underground Lower East Side queer clubs like Casanova in the 1990s.
The easy shorthand is to call Hill “the RuPaul of drag kings.” But it’s a label he himself avoids, preferring simply “comedian,” or “Murray” if you’re nasty—just your ordinary heavy-set middle-aged guy who can work a room between acts.
Hill also eschews gender labels, feeling more comfortable inhabiting a planet of one in the New York burlesque world. “You either get beat up or you make ’em laugh,” Hill once said on the Queery podcast about his origin story. “So I started cracking jokes to make day-to-day life a little easier.” It seems to be working: In addition to the clubs where he had been a fixture until the pandemic shut things down, Hill has been racking up TV and film appearances as himself. Most recently he was spotted shooting with Amy Schumer for her upcoming Hulu comedy series “Life and Beth.”
His persona feels fully baked and utterly original—testament to his belief that if you don’t see yourself represented, go out and represent yourself.