For the past 20 years filmmaker John Waters has supplemented his income with public appearances and articles about, for instance, LA and Pia Zadora (whom he anointed “the star of the 80s”) in magazines like Rolling Stone and National Lampoon. In person, the man with the trademark slicked- back hair, pencil-thin mustache, and contemptuous smirk conducts a freewheeling, free-form show, part lecture, part stand-up act, part press conference. A sardonic and masterful raconteur, Waters has delivered pointed quips about current events, recalled his first meeting with Divine, told how he financed his first film (the star, who worked in a camera store, stole the film), and divulged how exactly he got Divine to eat that dog doo in the notorious epilogue to Pink Flamingos. In some ways the odd but charming Waters is more entertaining and more subversive than any of his films. It makes perfect sense that the “Sultan of Shock” is appearing at the Annoyance Theatre, which has developed its own brand of taboo-flouting comedy. 3747 N. Clark; 929-6200. Friday, November 18, 8:30 and 10:30 PM. $18 in advance; $20 at the door.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Greg Gorman.