Nothing Andrew W.K. says or does in relation to (or in pursuit of) partying is a surprise anymore. Well, almost nothing. Yesterday, he announced that he’ll be speaking at the Canterlot Gardens My Little Pony convention in Cleveland this September. His speech will be about Pinkie Pie, the similarly party-obsessed pony. Earlier today Hive caught up with the living embodiment of the party spirit to talk about his love of the animated embodiment of partying, cupcakes and how Jerry Seinfeld just needs to hug a pony.
How long have you felt a connection to Pinkie Pie?
I remember quite clearly when My Little Pony first came on the scene. The newer series on the TV, Friendship Is Magic, instigated a whole new wave of passion and excitement, and has certainly created new fans. But I was always, always really into the Ponies because, one, they had soft plastic skin -- this is the toy. They had chubby feet -- their legs get broader and broader toward the base, which I imagine gives them more traction for when they gallop or trot. And they had really nice, fragrant hair. Their mane and their tail had an almost fresh fruit aroma. So I always liked the toy itself, to begin with. And it was mostly girls who liked it, so I was able to spend a lot of time playing with very beautiful girls, some of whom were kind enough to give me their Ponies, or lend them to me for extended periods of time. But more recently, I started noticing that some of the folks who started partying with me over the last four or five years had some excitement about the Ponies once again. And that Pinkie Pie, in particular, was brought up as the most party-hard Pony of them all. So when I was invited by Canterlot Gardens to speak specifically about Pinkie Pie, it was very clear to me then that this was a whole new level of Pony partying that I certainly wanted to be involved in as deeply as I could.
When you got to know Pinkie Pie, did you think, “Oh, that’s me in pony form!”
I almost feel like, rather than Pinkie Pie being me in pony form, I’m Pinkie Pie in human form. With respect to the legacy and the entire phenomenon, and to other fans of My Little Pony, and the Bronies out there -- I would never be so bold to say that I was in front of Pinkie Pie. Pinkie Pie is in front of me. I was born, technically speaking, before Pinkie Pie was born, but I still feel like she has been the originator of this party spirit, and I am just a humble follower.
As a kid, do you think that the pink pony had some influence on your party philosophy?
I’ve never thought about it in that way before. At that early age, it’s hard to measure the level of impact and influence on yourself many years later. But the level of enthusiasm and excitement that Pinkie Pie has, I relate to it. She’s another creature, much like I am in this world, who is doing everything she can to have fun. The more people, or creatures, or beings in the world, focused on that kind of excitement, the better, as far as I’m concerned. I’m really following her lead here. The amount of folks that she’s been able to reach, and the excitement and joy, not to mention the magic and friendship that she’s been a part of, is inspiring to me. It gives me the positive reinforcement to keep doing this. It confirms that this is a good thing to do and that people are getting something out of it.
Where do you and Pinkie Pie differ on your party philosophy? Do you prioritize cupcakes to the same extent that she does?
I like cupcakes. I’m very picky when it comes to cupcakes -- I think more than Pinkie Pie is. I don’t want to speak for her, but from what I understand, she has a very open mind when it comes to cupcakes. For me, it’s more particular. I prefer yellow cake, or strawberry, or cherry. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate cupcakes, although I do like chocolate cake, I just prefer when it’s a cupcake – that smaller-sized cake that can fit into a cup, I’d rather it be yellow or strawberry, or cherry, or rainbow. I don’t care for butter frosting. I prefer frosting that’s made with vegetable shortening, like you might get at the grocery store. I don’t know that Pinkie Pie would be that picky about it. Maybe, though. For all I know, she’s even more particular about the type of cupcake. But I do like cupcakes quite a bit. I’ve never met someone who didn’t like cupcakes, which is one of the great things about it. These are common sources of joy for the majority of the human race.
When you get to Canterlot Gardens, are you looking forward to sharing joy and partying with some of the other Bronies and other My Little Pony enthusiasts?
Absolutely. I’m amazed and humbled that I’ve been invited to speak, let alone to speak about Pinkie Pie and this party attitude. On top of that, I’m extremely excited to be going to Ohio, because I really, really, really like Ohio. I want to see all the folks who are coming out. As I’ve been speaking with the organizers, they’ve expressed that it’s quite a broad spectrum. In addition to men like myself, there are going to be women, and very young children, and some very old people, like grandmothers and grandfathers. Many generations of Pony lovers. And people who work on the Pony show. I’m excited to see these Pony party professionals as well as their fans.
Would you be interested in attending Canterlot Gardens even if you weren’t speaking?
What’s the presentation going to be about, exactly?
I’m going to talk about partying. Ponies. Pinkie Pie. And pleasure.
The four P’s. Did the convention reach out to you, or did you make it known to them that you were a Brony?
They reached out to me quite a while ago, actually. Maybe they had seen some of the fan-made videos, or some of the connections that folks had made, and which I had encouraged, between me and Pinkie Pie. But it was still quite an exciting surprise when they extended their formal invitation.
Do you know any other Brony musicians?
Not formally, but I’ve heard rumors and had discussions about different folks. What I really like so much is that this is a type of culture and toy that has not been traditionally embraced by men, or boys. In fact, they’ve probably been discouraged or ridiculed for liking them. It reminds me of when I was very, very young, and I wanted to have a baby doll. Some of the other folks around me at that age thought that was a really bad thing, because that type of toy is only meant for girls. Just like I had a lot of friends who were girls who liked to play with trucks, or G.I. Joes, and they would be given a hard time because those toys aren’t meant for girls to play with. So I think it’s a good sign of a developing and increasingly wise society that we can move past such shallow understandings of the human experience and let people embrace all kinds of different play, and to pursue with much enthusiasm the passions that make them feel good.
Is that part of the appeal of doing this for you, as the bloody-nose guy with a bunch of male fans? Being able to say, “I’m Andrew WK, and I’m into Ponies, and I want the world to know it!”
Absolutely. Who wouldn’t like a pony? Well, actually, there’s a Seinfeld episode -- apparently he wasn’t a big fan of ponies himself, and they included that in an episode. At a very formal family dinner, he expresses his contempt not only for ponies, but for people who would ever have a pony, or would like a pony. An older lady who was also at the dinner says [in a perfect Polish accent] “I had a pony! When I grew up, everyone had pony! My sister had pony! My cousin had pony! My brother had pony! He was a beautiful pony!” I think that Jerry Seinfeld himself was very brave to expose his own wrestling with this love of ponies. If I could help encourage anyone else out there who’s wrestling with that to embrace it -- don’t wrestle the pony, just hug the pony -- then I would be very, very glad.