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871 posts categorized "TV"

Mar 22 2017
This Is Him Saying Bye: Chuck Barris, THE GONG SHOW's Zany Ringmaster, Dies @ 87 Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 8.58.19 AMChuck Barris: June 3, 1929—March 22, 2017 (Video still vis CBS)

Oddly, I always used to confuse the names Chuck Berry and Chuck Barris, and now they've died in the same week. Barris, most famous as the host of The Gong Show (1976-1980), has died of natural causes at 87.

Barris also created the unbelievably, intentionally trashy game show, which featured Z-list celebs attempting to sit through the marginal talents of a host of never-gonna-bes, always having the option of banging a gong to stop them dead in their tracks. Those who won took home $516.32 (or $712.05, $716.32 or $996.83 in syndication).

The judges were a hoot, often pushing the boundaries of good taste. Among them, Jaye P. Morgan (b. 1931) was the show's Brett Somers (1924-2007), and Rip Taylor (b. 1935) was more than game. I remember Phyllis Diller (1971-2012) almost looking like she was considering refusing her paycheck so she could split.

Though most of the contestants were average people with below-average gifts, there were notable exceptions: Boxcar Willie (1931-1999), Pee-wee Herman (b. 1952), Andrea McArdle (b. 1963), Cheryl Lynn (b. 1957), Oingo Boingo and Mare Winningham (b. 1959) all gave the show a shot.

Danny Lockin (1943-1977), who was seen in the movie version of Hello, Dolly!, won the show in 1977, only to be brutally murdered in the hours after, probably after a gay one-night stand gone wrong; his killer, who kept a torture diary, stabbed him more than 100 times, but was sentenced to just four years for manslaughter.

But it was the crappiness of the acts that made the show absurdly pomo fun, along with staples like the painfully unfunny Unknown Comic aka Murray Langston (b. 1945); big, bopping black dude in a tracksuit Gene Gene the Dancing Machine aka Gene Patton (1932-2015); and The Wizard of Oz (1939) star Jerry Maren (b. 1920), who would emerge as the winner was announced.

Once, when Gene was doing his dance, Morgan did a stripteease and briefly flashed her boobs. On TV.

The most infamous act — by several inches — was the sister act who came out, sat on the stage and started earnestly licking phallic popsicles. Impossibly, they were not gonged, and Morgan announced, Do you know that that's the way I started? It was pulled from airing elsewhere after censors on the East Coast realized they'd goofed.

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Mar 21 2017
How Cher, 40, Almost Lost THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK For Being TOO OLD Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 1.26.35 PM(Video still via Carlos Acosta)

Cher, currently on a mini-tour, was caught on video (thank you, Carlos!) telling the story of how she reluctantly appeared on David Letterman's show that time when she famously called him an asshole. Shockingly, she admits she was paid $28K for the appearance, which she demanded in order to satisfy a hotel bill.

This was all around her 40th birthday, which was well and truly ruined when George Miller, the director of The Witches of Eastwick (1987) called and said:

I don't want you — Jack Nicholson thinks that you're not very sexy and you're too old.

Cher herself clarified this story, tweeting me:

She wrapped her story by saying,:

But now, this is this, okay? I'm 70 — what's your grandma doing tonight?

Keep reading to watch the video and hear and see a snippet of Cher's show ...

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Mar 20 2017
6-PACK — Trump Is Nixon On Steroids + Nunes Never Hoida Carter Page, Roger Stone (!) + 9/11 Families Hit Back + George Michael Knew + Bill Kennedy Flashback + Bringing Her Shea Game! Comments (0)

Screenshot.1441735646-470x548(Image via Nixon Foundation)

WIDGETHuff Post: “Not since Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal has an investigative hearing made it so clear that a presidency was in serious legal peril.” Also, no wiretapping.

WIDGETTwitter @kylegriffin1: Holy fuck — House Intel. Chmn. Devin Nunes claims never to have heard of Carter Page or Roger Stone aka “What's Aleppo?”:

WIDGETJoe.My.God.: So many conspiracy theories, but here's a conspiracy fact — 100s of 9/111 families suing Saudi Arabia for complicity in the attacks. Yes!

WIDGETPink News: George Michael knew he was dying: “I thought he was waking up and I saw him coming alive again, maybe the last flash of the candle.”

WIDGETRick's Real/Reel Life: If you like my tributes to old-timey movie & TV icons, don't miss Rick's remembrance of WKPD-TV's '70s & "80s Robert Osborne: Bill Kennedy!

Bill-Kennedy-TV-movies-Detroit-hostBill would die again at the lack of classic-movie knowledge displayed by millennials (Image via WKBD)

WIDGETChicagoist: Tony Peregrin talks drag with RDR's Shea Couleé: “Drag goes so much further than just the gender-bending quality of the art form.”

2017_sheamainShea Couleé (Image via Shea Couleé)

 
Mar 18 2017
6-PACK — Bootylicious Life + JERSEYLICIOUS Death + A New Kind Of GLASS MENAGERIE + North Miami's LGBTQ Legacy + A Trump Voter Who Gets It + Trump, Who Does Not Get It! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 5.30.17 PM(Video still via YouTube @BOYZ)

WIDGETManRumpsXXX: Check out “Talk Like Sex,” a François Sagat butt-a-thon (Work Unfriendly), after the jump below ...

Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 5.40.14 PMMike Aktari died at 28, Auntie Fee at 59 (Images via Facebook)

WIDGETExtraTV: Sexy Mike Aktari of Jerseylicious and sassy Auntie Fee of YouTube cooking fame have both died.

WIDGETThe Film Experience: Is Sally Field in The Glass Menagerie sublime?

WIDGETPress Release: Artist Alan Gutierrez unveils sculpture to “celebrate the legacy of Miami-Dade County's LGBTQ champions.” It covers 1977-2017, includes Moonlight.

UnnamedHonoring those who blazed trails (Image via News Travels Fast)

WIDGETDaily Kos: White Southern male voter for Trump admits he was wrong — goes viral:

WIDGETAOL: Trump rages against FAKE NEWS, claiming his awkward meeting with Merkel — he refused to shake her hand! — went great. I say:

Tumblr_inline_on0quaaOe31qkdw6j_500(GIF via The Lisp)

Keep reading for that amazing, butt-tastic Sagat short subject ...

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Mar 17 2017
Aussie Presenter In A 100% Revealing Mankini Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-17 at 12.08.33 PM(Video still via NRL Hub Extras)

Aussie former rugby star Beau Ryan is straight, but the skimpy mankini he wore for a recent joke was straight up his ass — and his tanline is incredible ...

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Mar 16 2017
He Loved — And Loves — Lucy: My Friend, The Coverboy Comments (0)

Scan 9(Image via Closer)

Closer Magazine has fascinated me since its inception.

A part of the Bauer empire, which includes checkout check-me-outs like Life & Style and In Touch (the title of which will forever belong to the '70s/'80s gay-porn mag in my mind), Closer is an odd duck — instead of 30something moms, it is targeted to old-timers, focusing on subjects who are mostly dead and buried.

The tagline, “Closer to the Stars You Love,” has always struck me as meaning it's for people who are about to join the great stars of yesteryear gossiping over that great clothesline in the sky.

But it's a solid publication, beautifully done. I just can't imagine how Bauer finds the readership — and more power to them for doing so, as nostalgia is a huge part of my own life. (I am closer and closer to the stars I love each day!)

Now, I'm proud that someone I know — who is alive! — is on the cover: ultimate Lucy fan/pal Michael Stern.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 12.04.37 PMStern met Ball at a taping of one of her sitcoms and they became fast friends. (Image via iUniverse)

Stern, the author of the fabulously dishy-without-being-catty I Had a Ball: My Life with Lucille Ball — Revised Edition ($28.99, iUniverse), gave an exclusive interview to Closer, talking about Lucy's real-life hidden secret. No, she didn't eat Carolyn's Appleby, as my friend John suggested. The interview is more about Lucy's self-doubt in her later years.

Screen Shot 2017-03-16 at 12.11.23 PMJust two of the 1,000s of celeb pic-withs Stern has acquired (Images via Michael Stern)

Key quote from Stern:

She really stayed home and did not get out. She had to be forced to go to the supermarket. She felt her fans didn't like her anymore, even though it wasn't true because anytime she'd do a public apperance, there was a standing ovation. The applause was deafening.

The rest of the article contains quotes from I Love Lucy guest star (very few of those left!) Barbara Eden, as well as Little Ricky himself, Keith Thibodeaux. Check it out if you can, and definitely check out Stern's book if you, too, loved Lucy.

Keep reading to watch and listen to Barbara Eden remembering Lucy ...

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Mar 14 2017
What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (She Died) Comments (0)

17203174_10154205343201945_6015382084492594136_nBette & Julie, Joan & Gina (Image via Warner Bros.)

I'm very much enjoying Feud. I think Jessica Lange is sublime as Joan Crawford, and while Susan Sarandon is not up to the challenge of filling Bette Davis's shoes (she often sounds like she's trying to sound tough), she's not terrible and has her moments.

Rs_1024x759-170222075723-1024.feud-bette-joan-5.ch.022217Lange as Crawford (Image via FX)

Overall, it's an entertaining look at a fantastic film's fascinating journey from desperate ploy to stay relevant to greatness. Gossipiy? Sure. 

S-l1600West German lobby card (Image via Warner Bros.)

It made me wonder a bit about the cast of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) Of course, Crawford died in 1977 and Davis in 1989, and I remembered when Victor Buono — so deliciously desperate as Edwin Flagg in the movie — died very young, at age 43, in 1982. (Impossible to fathom that he was in his early twenties in Jane!)

There were very few other memorable faces in the film, but among them, future soap diva Anna Lee made an impression as the warring sisters' neighbor (she died at 91 in 2004), and of course Maidie Norman was wonderful as the righteous housekepper Elvira (she died at 85 in 1998).

Maidie-norman-imagesMaidie as Crawford's smart-as-a-whip secretary in Torch Song. (Video still via MGM)

Norman had previously worked with Crawford on Torch Song (1953) — yes, the movie in which Crawford donned blackface:

That leaves the bit players and the kids:

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Mar 12 2017
6-PACK — 16 Mandles + Did Trump Fire Bharara To Cover His Ass? + Joan Collins: My Fave DYNASTY Catfight + CHANEL By The Frank Ocean + SNL Tweaks FIRE ISLAND! Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.04.00 PM(Images via 16 Magazine)

WIDGETPoseidon's Underworld: Explore every gay angle of a 1963 issue of 16 Magazine. [Screams of teenyboppers]

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 2.06.29 PMHere's Richard Beymer, kids — a whole lot of him.

WIDGETJoe.My.God.: Widow of Omar Mateen, Noor Salman, is remanded until trial.

WIDGETHuff Post: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland) points out that Trump may have fired Preet Bharara to hinder investigation into his own corruption.

WIDGETAttitude: Why is Joan Collins still confused with Alexis Carrington? Because I was so bloody good, she asserts. Here's her fave Dynasty catfight:

WIDGETSoundcloud: Fresh Frank Ocean bisexual anthem “Chanel” gets a remix:

WIDGETSNL: (1) That funeral sketch about a dentist who secretly wrote lit circuit jams was the meth of humor, especially “Here Is My Butt as I Lean Against the Wall”:

     (2) Logo's Fire Island scored by inspiring a hilarious parody:

 


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