I can't believe it took me over 30 years to sit down and watch The King of Comedy, Martin Scorsese's 1982 comedy about fan culture and the changing state of fame. My friends John and Sheldon (me with Sheldon, pictured; image by John Stanton) invited me to see it at MoMA, and it was—as you may know—perfection.
Also, I have met people like just about everyone in the movie. Or been them.
Jerry Lewis was impossibly good, perfect even, and I finally got to sample Sandra Bernhard's career-making supporting performance, which felt a lot like she improvised most of it.
Maybe the scene in the film that most succinctly captured fan culture was when a woman at a pay phone sees Lewis's famous character and asks for an autograph, which he grants, then wants him to speak to her husband on the phone. When he politely states he's late and can't, she yells after him, “You should only get cancer!” (Scorsese has said the scene was suggested by Lewis, who directed the actress in it based on an incident that really happened to him.)
Patrick Wilson (Image by Matthew Rettenmund)
There was an actual star in the audience for the show, Patrick Wilson. I love him, and we were chatting about how hot he is or isn't (I vote is). I thought it would be perfect to ask him for a selfie after, then tell him he should only get cancer if he refused. However, we didn't get the chance because the woman he was seated with was on her cellphone more than a few times, texting. Not that discreetly. A man behind her, and one row in front of us, tapped her and asked her to stop, and this woman turned and seethed that he shouldn't touch her.
From the hilarious and inspired (and sexy) Jack Plotnick, Space Station 76 is available now on Digital HD and is out on DVD September 30 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In case you haven't heard of a movie with Matt Bomer and Patrick Wilson—both!—in it, it's described as follows in a press release:
“Welcome to a 1970s’ version of the future, where the pants are wide, the music is groovy, and the new frontier is interplanetary. When a new assistant captain (Liv Tyler) arrives on the Omega 76, tensions spark, and more than asteroids collide. This smart and quirky film-festival favorite also stars Patrick Wilson, Jerry O’Connell and Matt Bomer.”
And I've got 5 Blu-rays to give away!
To enter, comment this post with your favorite sci fi flick from the past. I'll pick 5 of you at random to win 1 week from today at 5PM ET. Good luck! (U.S. residents only)
Judging from the front view, I'd say there was some truth in advertising.
I had fun at today's Broadway Flea Market, where hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised in a single day for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, but I did have a particularly nerdy problem that sort of blew me away momentarily.
Paul Nolan, of Jesus Christ Superstar and Once fame
I went because (1) You can always find fun stuff to buy, cheap and (2) They always have stars selling autographs and photo ops. This year, the only two stars I wanted were Patrick Wilson and David Hyde Pierce, and both were in the first block, meaning they were signing autographs from 11AM to 11:50AM, then would be posing for photos (you're supposed to pick one or the other...never been a fan of how this is organized).
Got there early, stood in line, then was told—SURPRISE!—Tony Danza had shown up and would do photos for 50 bucks! So worth it. Never met him, often...thought of...him growing up. Who's the boss? Tony Danza was, more than once, in my gaydreams. So I signed up for all three and they pulled me to get David (at first they said he would only pose with Bebe Neuwirth, whom I've already met, and then when they saw my money slipping away, they locked him in for a single). Took forever because for some reason, they were escorting people up to get their autographs done during the photo period. I kept looking around and saw Andy Mientus and others doing their photo ops, but was resolute I would not miss Patrick or Tony.
The found language of the “Niles Cranes”
When it came time, no one wanted to say, “Miss Neuwirth, please step out of the picture,” least of all I (has anyone ever said that???), so I got her free.
Grabbed a pic of Corey Cott and a fellow former Newsies cutie Adam Kaplan
Mamma Mia! looker Neil Starkenberg
I went back into the line, only to be told Tony had done his very few photos and was done. I freaked out, offering to pay extra, and they confirmed he'd left. I was so mad. I know, I know—focus on getting a job and paying for food, Matt...Tony is around often, Matt—but it was disheartening. I felt like “Angela” almost getting a kiss from “Tony” in an early episode, unaware it wouldn't be consummated for many seasons. So then I said, “Well, when is Patrick doing his?” “Oh, he's done, too.”
I lost it.
I was wigging out when told Tony Danza had exited the area.
Losing it inspired the harried volunteers to find it—they charged me double (so much for the free Bebe!), but they got me a dedicated pic with Patrick.
Patrick Wilson is just a handsome creature and a strapping guy. We did our shot and I cooed about Little Children, a stunning film, and then I had to tell him the one Patrick Wilson story I have:
This year was really fun, with one major exception—I was red-carpet robbed by this jerk who was with Ricky Martin. More on that later.
GLAAD was happy with my past coverage, so they granted me an extra body on the carpet—my partner José attended as my cameraman. We were placed just after a large column and between an adorable guy working for AfterElton (Tim O'Leary) with his pretty friend and someone's tripod. I liked our positioning in that we were at the very front of the online media and the column meant no pushing.
But the first star we encountered had been before we even got to our spots—we'd run into Joe Jervis of Joe.My.God. checking in. Joe was a nominee for his blog (the first time GLAAD has nominated blogs...about time!) and was convinced Pam of Pam's House Blend would win. "I'd bet the Powerball on it," he'd confided. (Later, he totally won, as I expected, but he had no idea until some attendees informed him since the category wasn't deemed worthy of inclusion in the actual program.)
Joe rocks (every time someone said "rock" or "Rokk," Rokk Vodka donated $100 to GLAAD)
Considering some of the stars scheduled, I wasn't altogether thrilled with the carpet—Tina Fey was a nominee but didn't walk (come the fuck on, Tina), Patrick Wilson was a presenter but also was a no-show (perhaps wisely fearing being devoured and eaten a la Sebastien Venable) and the Rev. Al Sharpton was on hand to give an award to Russell Simmons but did not do press. Vinny Guadagnino from Jersey Shore? Fuhgeddaboudit.
We made the evening our belated anniversary celebration
But on the other hand, the stars who actually did the carpet were nice and fun, and even Ricky Martin himself did lots and lots of press. Just not me. We're getting to it.
My first carpet catch was 17-year-old Bianca "Nikki" Peet, a dynamic girl who was initially denied the opportunity to form a gay-straight alliance at her Corpus Christi high school but whose perseverance against Principal James Crenshaw paid off—she now has her GSA club! She was the picture of intestinal fortitude in her wheelchair, her eyeshadow as sparkling as her personality.
Next up was Jarrett Barrios, who explained to me how GLAAD decides what's offensive and what isn't; a hard task, I can agree, considering the varied opinions my own occasionally outraged posts sometimes elicit. You think something is duh-obviously offensive—like that Vanity Fair piece casually calling the Glee boys "fags," GLAAD (among many others) points it out, then you read AfterElton sniping that it was no big deal. (In context, the writer was gay and felt it was an ironic or "cheeky" usage...which to me was not as readily apparent as, say, during a viewing Wet Hot American Summer.) I asked him about this more in reference to Ron Howard's "so gay" joke, which I think is a lot more in those troubled waters of nuance where a large part—if not the majority—of the public would not go along with calling it offensive.
Dapper Mike Ruiz, from The Gray List
Mike Ruiz was warm and quite dashing up close—no poodle hair! He was happy to talk about why The A-List: New York seems to have at least as many haters as lovers and to introduce his boyf to anyone who asked.
I'm not a regular The Fabulous Beekman Boys watcher, but José is, and he warned me not to ask about "the pig." I knew it referred to them killing a pig they'd raised, but I imagine, "Don't ask them about the pig!" could be good advice before interviewing just about any reality TV stars.
Boys of the red carpet Zac Young (Top Chef: Just Desserts) & Wilson Cruz
Of course I dirty-love and clean-admire Wilson Cruz—who doesn't, and why don't they? I asked him about the Glee kiss, his recent excursion into shirtlessness in bars and his pet cause (and it's much deeper than that phrase), LGBT teen homelessness.
Gail Simmons of Top Chef: Just Desserts—I don't think it was a boob query
Jane Velez-Mitchell—with her bombshell girlfriend, who she meet at last year's GLAAD Media Awards—was the picture of poise and confidence, picking the Westboro clan as the gay story of the year when I asked her to choose something. The carpet had gotten a bit clogged up, so I almost missed her while jockeying to get some time with the event's host, Andy Cohen.
I'd never met Andy, so wasn't sure what to expect. I think I thought he'd be bubblier or more flirtatious but he definitely wasn't a stick in the mud. I stumped him with a question, but he recovered and was game to talk Housewives a bit. As he departed, he muttered, "My breath is atrocious!" and got some kind of oral relief from his PR walker, but it really wasn't...maybe it was mine!
Laverne Cox of TRANSform Me is as stunning as you'd expect, about eight feel tall and not shy with her "girls" or her opinions—her desire to transform Charlie Sheen was genuine and fierce.