Many people might remember Joanne Spataro – if not from in our pages as a longtime Creative Loafing contributor – from her successful web series "Pillow Talk," in which she interviewed the movers and shakers of Charlotte on her bed, Joan Rivers-style (full disclosure, yours truly was a guest before my days as a CL editor).
And if Pillow Talk doesn't sound familiar to you, you've surely seen Spataro somewhere in the Queen City. Whether you recognize her as a regular panelist on WCCB's "The Edge" or from co-hosting Charlotte Pride festivities the past two years, Joanne's always involved with something. In her latest venture, however, she's only recognizable as North Carolina's often-disappointing Governor and former Charlotte mayor Pat McCrory.
In "It's Pat," Spataro keeps with the political humor that went viral with her YouTube commercial spoof of former mayor Patrick Cannon's infamous HERS fragrance and landed her a spot on "The Edge."
She first played McCrory during a skit about climate change at Pecha Kucha at Amos' Southend last April, and the crowd ate it up.
"When I first appeared onstage, people started to boo because they thought I was going to have a conservative agenda," Spataro says. "When my version of Pat was a buffoon who only wants to be loved, they loved it. They found themselves loving someone they actually loathe in real life. That was a jolt for me."
She closed that performance by drinking a cup of coal-ash-tainted water as McCrory and dying on stage. The crowd went crazy and that's when Spataro said she knew she wanted to revive the character and save him for regular use down the road. She believes parodying public characters like McCory is one of the most effective ways to confront the wrongs they've done in real life.
"We need more satire in Charlotte," she says. "Often, satire tells the truth more than the actual truth does. I can say and do things as pretend Pat that I can't as myself."