Mrs. Betty Bowers, "America's Best Christian," quickly went viral in her video debut in 2008. In Betty Bowers Explains Traditional Marriage to Everyone Else, she describes marital arrangements cherry-picked from the Bible, including child brides, polygamy and partnerships with hordes of concubines.
Andrew Bradley created Bowers (and writes the scripts and her steady flow of tweets), but comedian Deven Green is the personification of the prim church lady with haughtily perfect enunciation.
"When I read what he would write, I had a specific thing (in mind)," Green says via phone from her home in Los Angeles. "A hot spinster aunt with a perfect wig — nothing moves, nothing's out of place — a pearl-wearing affair; outfits that have Jill St. John, Coco Chanel, a caviar with toast points feel."
As Bradley and Green created more satirical videos of Bowers' Bible-based views, the voice lent itself to lectures on word usage and other topics. The finger-wagging and intolerant tone turned on her fans.
"There's a lot of people who want (Bowers) to spank them and punish them," Green says. "I get that a lot on the internet."
Bowers makes few public appearances, and she won't be at Cafe Istanbul Nov. 9-10 when Green and Varla Jean Merman present a musical cabaret. It's the first time Green will perform in New Orleans, and the first time the two will share a stage.
Green is Canadian and was working in Toronto when a friend called her to join him in southern California.
"My friend Harland Williams — in Dumb and Dumber, he's the cop who drinks urine — he called me up and said, 'Deven, it's really warm down here. You should move down here.'"
In 2006, she made a couple of videos that went viral. As a parody of soap opera star Brenda Dickson's Welcome to My Home videos. Green gave the same footage a raunchy voiceover of vapid talk about cosmetics and fashion. Bradley saw them and contacted Green about becoming Bowers.
Last year, Green revisited the concept in Welcome to My White House, in which she dubs an interview with Melania Trump filmed amid the opulence of her home in Trump Tower.
Green also models, writes an advice column for Goliath Atlanta and performs solo, singing and playing ukelele. Billing herself as a human jukebox, Green uses a tablet to help negotiate a wide array of genres.
"In Las Vegas, I do music from the 1920s to '40s," she says. "I have played gay male nudist colonies, funerals, for 30,000 people. I've performed next to a horse, on a bus, I play home parties."
Green likes to mix in a wide variety of material.
"I just did a Facebook Live thing with Tom Goss," she says. "We did something from Sesame Street, Etta James, we sang a song with the 50 state capitals."
Green also likes to mashup songs. For a "Call Me" medley, she wove together Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You," Blondie's "Call Me" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."
"I love taking a Metallica song and putting it to 'Dream' by Johnny Mercer," she says.
At Cafe Istanbul, Varla will perform songs from her latest show, Bad Heroine. Green will sing and take some requests.
"Sometimes I am asked to do sweet songs, but that won't be this," she says.