School shootings were funny, not news, in the '80s, guys. (GIF via Bulletz Records)
Mike Zara reached out to me regarding his baby—the Prostitunes. Okay, so his baby is demented ... don't judge!
Zara (with Mark Byers collaborating on the music) conceived the ladies-of-the-evening-themed, '60s-style girl group, and has casted it with Natalie Lander as Thursday, Candace Brown as Leeza, Corbin Reid as Koral, Colleen Smith as Fran and the inimitable Julie Brown—the uptown version—as “the brains of the outfit,” Satin.
The group's “Hey Psycho! (Do U Recycle)” has already surpassed 180,000 views on Facebook, hooking people with humor, trashy outfits and social responsibility. But don't stop with the video, because the behind-the-scenes interviews are even more hysterical:
In honor of the video's success, I was geeked to speak with Julie, the somehow sweetly twisted mind behind such pop-culture classics as the singles “The Homecoming Queen's Got a Gun” (1983), “I Like em Big and Stupid” (1983) and “I Want to Be Gay” (2005); the album Trapped in the Body of White Girl (1987); the film Earth Girls Are Easy (1988); and the savagely funny Truth or Dare parody Medusa: Dare to Be Truthful (1991).
Highly watchable (coke helps!) pilot with a Drew Carey-esque opening:
On top of all that, she's appeared on a slew of your fave childhood TV series; has popped up in an array of movies; starred on her own shows Just Say Julie (1989-1992) and The Edge (1992-1993); and was the lead writer on that Disney Channel Romeo 'n' Juliet jam Camp Rock (2008).
Brown's Valley Girls-gone-wild character, complete with the first recorded case of attention deficit disorder and a healthily unhealthy case of body dysmorphia, is like Cyndi Lauper and Pee-wee Herman adopted a full-grown woman, an obvious precursor to the stage persona of many female comics who followed her.
Keep reading to find out Julie's thoughts on turning to Prostitune-tion at this stage in her career, and to hear her candid thoughts on her so-funny-it-ain't-even-funny career ...
When you get an opportunity to interview Bruce Vilanch, one of the most celebrated comedy writers in history and a way-out gay man to boot (and boots go with anything), you do not pass it by.
Vilanch spoke with me last week about a cause close to his heart, the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation and the great work it does and will continue to do thanks to the bucks it seeks to rake in from a one-night-only Help Is on the Way cabaret benefit: the Broadway touring cast of Beautiful will perform in Motown & More on Monday, September 12, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at the Marines' Memorial Theater in San Francisco.
(Image via Help Is on the Way)
The highly anticipated show will be co-hosted by Vilanch and operatic drag diva Katya Smirnoff-Skyy. Get your tickets here.
Vilanch's career took off when a friendship with Bette Midler (before she was Bette Midler!) led to him writing for her 1974 Broadway show Clams on the Half Shell. He's collaborated with her many times, and has written for a dizzying array of TV shows and performers, from Donny Osmond to Elizabeth Taylor, and for some of the funniest people of our time: Robin Williams, Roseanne Barr (she really did used to be funny), Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin and more.
Help Is on the Way performers speak out about the charity:
Somehow, Vilanch has been able to be a part of the best and worst of pop culture, writing for the Oscars for 27 years and counting, and also counting The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976-1977) and that infamous Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) among his credits. He is the nuclear cockroach of HA!, and always the best thing about whatever project he's tackling.
Vilanch survives in any milieu because everyone knows he knows from funny. He's beloved because, unlike some very funny people, he also has a sense of humor about himself, and a sense of duty toward the gay community and people in need.
Read on for my chat with the most hilarious person in the room, because the room is usually filled with people delivering lines he's given them to say ...
Jon Polito, an openly gay actor whose résumé stretched back to 1981, has died at 65. His managers confirmed his death from cancer.
Polito had as many credits as a silent-screen bit player—well over 200!—to show for his 35 years on screen; his legit stage debut was in 1977.
The actor was best known for a series of Coen Brothers films, including Miller's Crossing (1990), Barton Fink (1991), The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), The Big Lebowski (1998) and The Man Who Wasn't There (2001).
TV fans might remember him as a super on Seinfeld, for his recurring role on Homicide: Life on the Streets or or a more recent stint on Modern Family.
Tiffany New York Pollard wasn't lying when she talked about her love of her gay fans at a recent Ru event I attended—she's now hosting a reality TV series called The Ex that puts ex-boyfriends in new dating situations, and that will let the d*cks fall where they may.
New York is a natural—anyone who can summon legit tears over a silly scenario like this, and who can convincingly state that a bunch of randos she just met are her rocks was born to be a reality-TV persona—and she seems to be approaching this with the right mixture of humor, Mae West raunchiness and color contacts ...