For 11 seasons, “ Drag Race ” host RuPaul has pushed contestants to “sissy that walk” on his reality competition series.
Now he wants to sissy that talk.
Starting Monday, the cross-dressing legend will host a syndicated, one-hour daily talk show, aptly titled “RuPaul,” for a three-week test run. And he does it all in a “free-form” manner, he says, from an eye-popping — some would say fabulous — retro-chic studio featuring a summery palate of orange, pink, yellow and purple.
“There’s chairs, we sit down, we talk, but I break format all the time,” he tells The Post by phone from LA, where the talk show is shot. “We play games. We do it all.” “RuPaul” will air in New York on two stations: an original episode at 7 p.m. on WNYW/Ch. 5 and repeat episodes at 5 p.m. on WWOR/Ch. 9. It’s also airing on Fox affiliates in LA, San Francisco, Houston, Phoenix, Minneapolis and Charlotte.
“I’m interested in what people are doing to motivate themselves every day when they get out of bed,” says RuPaul, 58. “We touch on all of the heavy stuff, but with humor and love and kindness. We do that on ‘Drag Race’ — we deal with some really heavy stuff there — but in the next breath we’re laughing and joking.
“The subtext to that is, ‘Don’t take life too seriously.’ ”
“RuPaul” is full of positivity from the premiere episode where the pastel-pink suit-clad host sashays onto the set like a supermodel — via, appropriately enough, a catwalk. “Everybody say ‘Love!’” he instructs the enthusiastic audience, who shout it right back.
In fact, that entrance has a role in pumping up the masses.
‘Don’t take life too seriously.’
“Our runway is like a microcosm of the whole world. It really represents this idea of navigating a path and walking that path with purpose and with fun and with everything you can muster up,” he says, adding that even the audience struts into the studio on the catwalk. “I watch each person walk down the runway and it’s so very telling about who we are as a people and what each of us can do to lift ourselves higher,” says RuPaul, who previously hosted a talk show on VH1 from 1996-98.
After everyone enters the studio, the mood stays generally light. In the debut, RuPaul grills “The Late Late Show” host James Corden, the show’s first guest, about whether he “put a little sissy” into his walk the time he happened upon Queen Elizabeth on a visit to Buckingham Palace.
“I always like to hope that there’s some sass in my walk, but it wasn’t the widest corridor, so I couldn’t really let the arms go,” Corden responds. Later, he asks “Property Brothers” hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott for their opinion on his studio, which Drew calls “fun and vibrant,” before playing a guessing game in which he tests how much the twins think alike. (Spoiler alert: Not much.)
And RuPaul, who vaulted to fame with his 1992 dance hit “Supermodel,” also allows for his own personal revelations, like the fact that he never does karaoke. “I don’t like hearing people sing out of tune,” he tells the laughing audience.
But in the spirit of keeping things full of love and light, don’t expect any particularly controversial guests or topics.
“The fact that an open, black, gay man is hosting a daytime talk show, I think that’s pretty controversial enough,” he says.
By Eric Hegedus