Stupid Questions with Cyndi Lauper -- The singer talks about her music taste, Madonna, and what's in her fridge

By Mike Flaherty
Updated July 28, 1995 at 04:00 AM EDT

Cyndi Lauper’s 1984 video for ”Girls Just Want to Have Fun” may have scored points for timeliness, but the singer herself had all the trappings of a one-hit wonder. Who knew that 11 years later, this new-wave boho poster child would release a greatest-hits album? Twelve Deadly Cyns…and then some, which just debuted here, is nearing 3 million in sales abroad. Lauper, 42, has also gone suburban, having bought a house in rural Connecticut with her husband, actor David Thornton. A bundle of surprises, this one.

1. What’s in your CD player?
Wild Colonials, Crash Test Dummies, Queen Latifah. Some acid jazz, some trance music, techno — I love that action. And Bush, ’cause Jan Pulsford, my keyboardist and writing partner, has a brother in the band.

2. Is there a record in your collection that would surprise people?
Annie Get Your Gun with Ethel Merman — that girl had spirit! And every once in a while we need a little Lemmy [lead singer for Motorhead]. You gotta have that!

3. If you had to release only one of our albums, which would it be?
Hat Full of Stars (1993), because that record is exactly who I am, uncensored.

4. You and Madonna both became stars in 1984. Have you ever felt competitive with her?
No. I don’t really want to be competitive with a sister. And I’ve always admired that she would let her stomach show. I never would.

5. What would you do in Elizabeth Hurley’s shoes?
I think it’s none of my business. I do think it’s sad that Americans are so hung up on sex. Maybe we should legalize prostitution, instead of being so retarded about the whole thing.

6. What’s your favorite TV show?
The Honeymooners, because they were from a working-class neighborhood like mine; I knew many Ralph Kramdens. I’m cut from that cloth.

7. If you could chat with any dead person, whom would it be?
Saint Teresa of Avila [1515-1582], who was into meditation and self-development and understanding herself as a woman. You can’t get the real story about someone like her from the Catholic Church, an organization which has never promoted growth among women.

8. You got an Emmy nomination for your guest-starring role on Mad About You. Is there a character you would kill to play?
Bloody Mary from South Pacific. She’s this hypnotic, mesmerizing character that sings ”Bali Ha’i” and ”Happy Talk.” Of course, she was also an islander, so there’s no way I could actually play her.

9. How do you account for your international stardom?
You can come from friggin’ Mars, but if you sing from your heart, people will respond.

10. What two things are always in your fridge?
Food for my dog and three cats.