The next time you are attempting to enter the NYC mass transit system and you're stopped by cops who want to give your backpack or briefcase a quick once-over, consider this: This very nice guy, running a fun tour of NYC sites where Ghostbusters was filmed, told me he has only ever been stopped one time by police.
Because he has a friendly smile and a jumpsuit, nobody flinched at the mechanical contraption on his back. In fact, subway riders clamored for photos.
Food for thought.
On a separate note, if you're that into Ghostbusters, give this guy a shout; the Russian couple he was escorting seemed more than pleased with his services.
An example of Tom of Finland's early work (Image via Physique Pictorial)
I'm a fan of the art of Touko Laaksonen, so the new film Tom of Finland — his professional name as an erotic-art illustrator — was so far up my alley it was practically parked in my garage.
Laaksonen was born in Finland and served in WWII, going on to become a successful ad man thanks to his skill with the pencil. Inspired by mental images of laborers and even by the tight uniforms of the Nazis (with whom he did not sympathize politically), he drew unflinching scenes of muscular macho men engaged in sexual abandon, or merely showing off their assets, dripping with libidinous tension.
He kept his drawings under wraps, learning the hard way (having them stolen, being arrested, facing condemnation) that what he saw as natural was a cause for great alarm in his neck of the woods, and, in fact, most everywhere.
In this new biopic— which has been called Finland's first on gay male love — the story of Touko (played with superb empathy by Pekka Strang) is fleshed out in a compelling, visually stylish and achingly emotional way by acclaimed director Dome Karukoski.
Touko & Nipa — a love story (This and all other images via Protagonist Pictures, unless noted)
Tom of Finland beautifully illustrates Touko's gay awakening, captures the excitement and danger of his sexual trysts and flawlessly conveys the non-monogamous love he finds with a stunning young partner, Nipa (Lauri Tilkanen, who looks like the Garrett Clayton of Finland). Finagling a romance with Nipa aka Veli, also the object of Tom's spinster sister's (Jessica Grabowsky) affection, is portrayed adroitly.
Mary Pickford — real name Gladys Louise Smith — was born 125 years ago today in Toronto.
She would go on to become one of the most important women, and indeed, one of the most important figures, period, in the history of film.
The first person to be dubbed “America's Sweetheart,” Pickford started her career treading the boards, including on Broadway (which wasn't such a tony gig back in 1906). After a screen test that took place 108 years ago on April 19, Pickford made her first film appearances, racking up dozens of credits in a matter of weeks.
Don Rickles: May 8, 1926—April 6, 2017 (Valley Forge Resort & Casino)
Don Rickles, a take-no-prisoners insult comic who plied his trade in Vegas at the height of the Rat Pack years and became an imitable part of the culture, has died of kidney failure at 90.
Rickles received national exposure on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the '60s, but would later deny it was Johnny himself who gave him his big break, instead referring to his initial appearance as an uneventful talent booking that blew up.
The Queens-born comic was a WWII vet who sought a career as a dramatic actor, but resorted to stand-up to feed himself. He had a natural gift for handling hecklers, using a smart mouth and an intimidating, New York glare that delighted audiences, some of whom he called hockey pucks.
A chance enc0unter with Frank Sinatra led to headlining gigs in Las Vegas, where Rickles fearlessly mocked superstars, who loved his goodnatured attacks.
Rickles first appeared on film in 1958's Run Silent Run Deep, but had only a sporadic film career, one that included appearances in diverse fare like beach movies (1964's Muscle Beach Party and Pajama Party, 1965's Beach Blanket Bingo); a choice bit in Casino (1995); and as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Toy Story 4 (completed, coming in 2019).
He was the uncredited announcer in the Jackie Susann film adaptation The Love Machine (1971), which starred fellow yuk-yuk-yukker, Shecky Greene (still alive at 90).
Watch Johnny Carson Disrupt C.P.O. Sharkey:
Rickles was a natural for the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials of the '70s, tearing into everyone in his path. He was the star of his own comedy series, C.P.O. Sharkey (1976-1978) and won the Emmy for his HBO special Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (2007). The latter was produced by his son, Larry, who died of pneumonia in 2011.
It's all a part of Logo's promo for the April 6 airing of Strike a Pose, the brilliant documentary that could have been called What Ever Happened to Madonna's Blond Ambition World Tour Dancers? — except they've all moved on, none are confined to their rooms and they're all serving middle-aged realness, not dead rats.
Check out Logo's interstitial piece “What Truth or Dare Meant to Me” here.