Very few shows can claim to still be at the top of their game seven seasons in. Hell, even fewer shows even make it to Season 7! UNHhhh is now one of the lucky few to make it this far, and the show somehow still packs more unhinged gay chaos into each 13-minute episode than any other show on the planet. Even as hosts Katya and Trixie Mattel expand their separate and joint pop culture empires, UNHhhh remains the rock-solid foundation upon which these queens have placed their thrones.
The new season of UNHhhh — new episodes on WOW Presents Plus every Wednesday — finds this dynamic duo tackling a lineup of topics guaranteed to make you feel seen. Complaining, hoarding, help, sports — okay, maybe not the last one (but obvs Katya and Trixie are as confounded by that one as we are). With the new season in full swing, Decider had the honor and privilege of talking to UNHhhh’s very own Katya. And when you get Katya on the phone, you make like Trixie and just let the conversation take you where it takes you. House fires, Björk, Dune, Julia Roberts, puns — nothing is off-topic and everything is hilarious.
Katya: Hi Brett! I’m sorry to inform you that my co-star has perished in a house fire and shan’t be joining us.
A house fire or a motel fire?
House fire. The motel is doing great and I’ll be taking over the reins.
So we’re on Season 7 of UNHhhh. You and Trixie have so many projects together: the live show, the books, the podcast. What keeps you coming back to UNHhhh?
I mean, honestly, just fun. I would say money but it’s not that much! [Laughs] Most of the other projects are. We come together for the other things just with the, like, dollar signs in our eyes. But this one remains the joy, the vehicle of joy. Because it’s like, you know, it’s all improv and it’s with all people we love and it’s a small teeny tiny crew and then the product is so unreasonably wonderful. It’s like it’s a passion project. It’s like a joy. It’s a joy ride.
When I saw that the first episode of the season was “Complaining,” I felt seen and so excited.
Well what do you do in a car? On a joyride? You complain. Are we there yet?
How did you go seven seasons without talking about it? Complaining is like — that is the one.
I think it’s because it’s so obvious. It’s like, okay, we’re in the middle of the ocean, we’re not gonna do an episode on water, you know what I mean? Like complaining is so part and parcel of our being anywhere at any time for anything, especially in drag — my thing especially. It’s kind of funny that we never — because we always do it. We always do it. Like, all through the episode when the camera’s not on and I’m just screaming about something, like the air conditioning or you know, whatever. It was nice to finally be able to like to feel seen and heard.
Complaining is like such a part of the gay experience. I mean, the first two episode topics: complaining and hoarding.
Right. Are you a hoarder?
I mean, like Trixie’s doll collection, I am sitting in front 5,000 comic books and a couple hundred action figures.
That’s a library though! That’s a library. That’s resellable. They’re not newspapers from, like, the ’30s though, right?
No, you’re right! I also like that through UNHhhh, we get to learn so much about your personal life. We know you’ve moved apartments, you have an assistant now. This is the project that lets us, I don’t know, get to know you a little bit.
And stay knowing us because we repeat those stories over and over and over! So there’s, like, summaries and refreshers and reminders and returns. We have really no boundaries or filters when it comes to sharing stuff about our lives — to both of our detriments, I would say. But one thing is, like, we didn’t realize how much we repeat stuff. But it’s the repetition and also the forgetfulness that keeps us fresh. Because while she might have forgotten that she’s told me the story four times, I’ve also forgotten the story or wasn’t listening in the first place. So it’s always fresh.
It gives the editors a really great chance to cut back to like, you know, “previously on Episode 23.”
To show the evidence, humiliate us. Utterly humiliating.
Do you have any favorite jokes that the editors have put into an episode?
It was in a recent one. So, I hate the term Easter egg. I don’t know what that refers to. Is that like a hidden fact or something?
It’s the kind of posts I have to write for work.
Like Marvel nerds. Like, “Oh, there was an Easter egg. The Green Lantern’s butthole, like, a shot of it was featured in that magazine or whatever.” If you watch [UNHhhh] more than once, and I watched the recent episode on a big screen TV, and I caught these puns! These really stupid puns where they’ll do a visual pun. They’ll do the stupidest, funniest visual pun for a flash of a second that hardly anybody will get and it’s just like, that is the brilliance of Jeff [Maccubbin] and Ron [Hill]. They’re so creative in their attention to detail. It’s actually kind of concerning, because while we’re so just off the rails and flippant and whatever, they take all that crap and make it into the most beautiful shit sandcastle.
The one that I’m thinking of is in one of the episodes this season. You say “diarrhea” and tiny in the bottom is Daya Betty and Rhea Perlman.
That’s exactly what I’m talking about! That is so funny. So so funny.
They do that stuff all the time. Half the audience — or more than half, probably — doesn’t even know what Rhea Perlman looks like, and I didn’t even know who Daya Betty was [when we filmed]. I didn’t remember what she looked like so I had to rewatch it. I was like, “Oh my god, those fucking goons. The goons are gooning.”
What I think is so great about UNHhhh is that even though y’all come from Drag Race, the show is not about Drag Race. And through seven seasons, y’all have mostly resisted the urge to make it about drag race because it’s what pays the bills.
We could do that so easily. Like, I remember in my solo show — it’s such a horrible thing. I did a show that was mostly comedy and then the biggest laugh every night was this throwaway Valentina joke that was such low hanging fruit. Like, “I’d like to keep it on, please.” Everybody was a thunderous roar every night, no matter what. We could easily rack up millions and millions and millions of views doing shit talk and a recap show or whatever. And it would be really well-watched and stuff, but I think the success of it is that it exists in the Drag Race universe, but it doesn’t directly depend or rely on Drag Race to be successful. And I know that many cool people — like fucking Björk, by the way — have watched every episode. And sometimes people watch it before they’re even familiar with Drag Race, and it’s their actual gateway to Drag Race, which is crazy.
So I guess Björk has seen your Snatch Game?
Yeah, because I met her and she told me! It was great. It’s one of the best moments of my entire life. Yeah, she said she and her daughter and her son, she said that we got her through the pandemic. Can you fucking believe that?
Oh my god. That’s so wild.
So fucking awesome. I wish she would just have shot me right then and there. It was the high point of my life.
In the hoarding episode, Trixie gives you a compliment, but it’s kind of shady about how you’re trying again.
I know! “So I don’t want to be shady, but…” I love that. “No offense, but brace yourself — !”
You have to turn so many looks for this show. I imagine multiple looks in the same day… ?
Three in the day. It always runs the gamut from like, “What’s in that grocery bag? Oh, a dead bird? Okay, I’ll make that work.” To, like, painstakingly tweaking out on an outfit for months and then presenting it for, you know, five minutes and then selling it. And I get help with hair so like, it all depends. It really is just depending on my mood, the weather, and how much time we have. Sometimes it’s off the rack, sometimes it’s really well made, sometimes it’s fucking designer. I really enjoy putting looks together and making it myself. But Fena [Barbitall] is a friend who does hair for me a lot, and my friend Julian [Guerrero] and Andrew, my studio-mate, helps me a lot with everything. So it’s cool to have like lots of help, because we don’t have stylists. Though we should probably.
I would like to hear the conversation of you trying to convince a stylist, “No, put the baby doll hand in my hair now!”
I know. That’s why Fena’s so good. She’s like, “Okay, where’s this acorn gonna go? Oh, I know.” Or the pine cone, and then it works somehow and then often it doesn’t. Trixie’s looked awful and so have I, but that’s part of the charm.
Trixie has Trixie Motel coming out soon on Discovery+, and you’re a guest on it. I wanted to know, if Trixie’s making over a motel, what is the Katya version of that? What would you renovate?
I would renovate… probably a jail or rehab. But it would be like, the jail, I would just set all the prisoners free and give them like $500,000.
A huge budget.
Yeah, it’s just a huge, expensive, dangerous prison break where everyone is given amnesty and pardons and then given lots of cash. It’ll be low and artistic and not great entertainment. Certainly controversial. Oh, I know! Bathrooms, public bathrooms around the world. I would go swirling around the toilet of the world, all these different countries. Because we don’t have public bathrooms really. We need them. If you pee on the street, you’d get nabbed by the cops and then you’ll be a sex offender. It’s like, where’s the bathroom?
One of the things that’s coming up a lot in UNHhhh lately is Dune. Is Dune your new Contact?
No, it’s not because I’ve actually — I haven’t watched Contact 13 times, but I certainly have with Dune.
What keeps drawing you back?
It’s nothing really special. Like, I tried to read the book and I didn’t even like it. I just loved the movie. I think they did such an incredible job adapting the book because it’s just — it’s perfect. I love it. I love everything about it. Everything about it. Timothée Chalamet’s bony ass, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Rampling, I just love it. Probably gonna watch it tonight.
I also know you’re a huge Julia Roberts fan. I don’t know if you’re watching Gaslit or not.
Oh, no, no, no, I haven’t watched Gaslit yet. But I have watched all of her press for it because I’m excited to tell you that she does remain one of the world’s most likable, personable, affable, gorgeous celebrities. Hands down. She’s just effervescent as ever. Her hair looks wonderful. She’s got great chemistry with everybody she talks to. It’s funny to love Julia Roberts though, because everybody loves Julia Roberts.
If you had to do Night of 1000 Julia Roberts runway, what look would you do?
Well, I’d probably go with like, I would go dark and I’d go like either totally left field with Mary Reilly, box office flop. Or I would probably do Shelby from Steel Magnolias, but with the bad haircut and the diabetes. You know, like, the dying Shelby. “I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
Do you have a favorite episode of UNHhhh this season?
I really really loved “Complaining.” I love that one because I believe that’s the one where [Trixie] gives me a real earnest compliment about my hair, about how she can’t believe how good my hair looks. And I was like, “It’s about time.” I love that and I love the way I look. Thank god we did that [look] for the title sequence. That hair was made by a porn star, by a very prolific Latino porn star who moonlights as a hairdresser, and styled by my friend Fena. So, it’s a big old gay collaborative effort.
Just like UNhhhh.
Exactly. One of the editors has directed porn before, so this is a porn-based family.
I just want to say one last thing: if you don’t want to wait for [UNHhhh] to be on YouTube, for the price of a latte, you can have it on your phone or in your house through the WOW Presents Plus app.