March 2012May 2012 


8 posts from April 2012

Apr 30 2012
Parker Stevenson Can't Lose: A Quick Hit Of Chiller Theatre Comments (14)

Chiller Theatre img476
I know it seems like I just went to an autograph show—and I did!—but even in the middle of a stressful office move, I managed to train over to Chiller Theatre in Parsippany, NJ, with my pal Tom. I can't believe I went back after what happened last time! But I could not resist the siren song of Parker Stevenson, who was "the big one" on my very short list of must-haves.

Got there around 7:10PM (it opened at 6:30PM), the first time I've ever done the short opening night as opposed to one of the weekend days. It. Was. Packed. Horror fans are not fucking around with this stuff. It was Tom's first show, and I think he was kinda amazed at the sea of humanity, and not just because some of them were sporting fake blood and dead-for-a-fortnight skin tones.


IMG_0269I immediately went for probably the most famous person there, gorgeous Dean Cain, 45. Man, does he ever still look good enough to eat. I think this was his first show, and rather than being vaguely mortified (I'm remember people like Vicki Lawrence), he was super (no pun intended) nice. I told him I was a fan of The Broken Hearts Club (2000), a gay romantic comedy by Greg Berlanti. He said, "Man, I loved that movie. I wanted to be in it so bad, but they wouldn't even see me! I had to agree to audition, so I said, 'Fine, whatever it takes.' I was really proud to be in that. And the people in that were all so talented."


IMG_0286I also small-talked with him about being from Michigan (he's from Mt. Clemens, I'm from Flushing) and he would've gone on more but his agent, a Richard Dreyfus type, was kind of staring me down. Opted for a signed Lois & Clark (shirtless) pic that he provided as well as a photo with him. I also popped for a Polaroid with him, which he signed before it was even visible. His agent was not happy when I asked for a retake of my personal photo; my new camera takes shots that look to be at a normal distance only when you're on top of the subjects.

IMG_0271Moriarty & Mama

Img478Next, we grabbed Cathy Moriarty, 51, she of Raging Bull (1980) fame. She was buried in the corner but on the main floor and was in good spirits even if she for some reason wasn't dolled up. She was seated with her mom and had a nice helper who pointed out to her that the original still I'd brought was special. She made sure not to smear it and admired it. "I haven't changed a bit, huh?" she asked sarcastically.

IMG_0272A touching experience

When we did our pic-with, she surprised me by grabbing me and plastering her head to mine. It made a terrific shot, but still she pulled off me after and said, "I'm sorry—I should've asked if it was okay to touch you." I said, "No, it's okay. I wondered if I would have to pay extra!"

IMG_0276Shaun who?

ARight next door was my main man, Parker Stevenson, 59 (60 next month). I had seen him chatting with fans and had a feeling he'd be really nice. He looks fantastic, still so sexy with those piercing blue eyes. I went up to him and told him straight off that I'd had a huge crush on him as a kid, even before I knew it was a crush, and that I'd had all these pictures of him around from teen magazines that really blew my cover. He laughed and really enjoyed hearing that. He told me it was good that I knew that about myself so young and had that confidence.

IMG_0275It's no mystery why I had—have—a crush on Parker Stevenson

I want to say my talk with him made it my best-ever meeting at one of these shows. $(KGrHqUOKiEE0m975qUlBN,dT,oN8!~~_35When I told him I was always a Parker dude and didn't wanna know from Shaun Cassidy, he said, "Really?" in disbelief, and proceeded to tell me how he'd had to get used to arriving at the studio and directing the waiting fans to Cassidy with a wry, "You're probably waiting for him."

We talked a bit about his being in teen mags ("They'd come over and take pictures of me sitting in my yard or something") and about working with Angela Lansbury on Murder She Wrote (he said she was not intimidating but very gracious and easy to work with).


When I showed him the Lifeguard (1976) still I had, he told me he'd made the movie because he needed money while in college, but it had ignited in him a desire to act. He also said producers had seen it and it led, many years later, to his role on Baywatch.

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Apr 28 2012
White-Hot In Cleveland: Inside A Hot In Cleveland Taping Comments (5)

BwI know...I kind of hate me, too

01_hot_in_cleveland_s1_setLast weekend, right after hightailing it out of Phyllis Diller's home/art gallery, my starfucker pack and I drove over to CBS Studios, where Brian had gotten us in for a taping of Hot in Cleveland. (Here's how Valerie Bertinelli describes such an outing. Here's a photo album.) This is a show that has steadily grown on me; I think it's got sharp barbs and superb talent, enough to make it a pleasure to watch even when it's having an off episode.

We arrived on time (somehow) and quickly discovered Brian's photo op with Betty White (which he'd earned by virtue of an encounter with Ms. White at a signing and a subsequent correspondence with her assistant, one that generously included a donation to her foundation) was going to mean he'd sit apart from us so he could be escorted to a meet-and-greet with Betty after. I wasn't too crushed as I've met her twice and already have an astoundingly great pic-with co-starring Ms. White, but Rich and especially Don were hoping Brian would be able to spread some of his down home fairydust on the situation.

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Apr 27 2012
Give Us Any Chance, We'll Take It: Yet Another Hollywood Show Comments (16)

Screen shot 2012-04-26 at 4.24.54 PMLast Saturday, I spent half a day at The Hollywood Show, that clusterfuck of the ghosts of celebrity past and nostalgia present, of enduring superstars, of fandom for fandom's sake, that non-stop autoerotic cabaret of voyeurism and the art of the (paid) photo op.

PennyGarry, Penny & Cindy—they did it their way

Met up with my sidekick Chexy bright and early and we wasted no time in wasting time; we got into a longish line for Penny Marshall, 68, arguably the #1 draw of the Penny IMG_0225show. Penny's been sick for a long time and has a fortune stashed away, so I was shocked she'd agreed to do an event like this. Making it even more special, most of the rest of the creative folks behind Laverne & Shirley were there—brother Garry, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander, Eddie Mekka, Leslie Easterbrook and Carole Ita White. Michael McKean was unavailable, as he's starring in Gore Vidal's The Best Man on Broadway, but had shown up for the TV Land Awards, where the core four of the show reunited for what is undoubtedly the last time.

Penny IMG_0176"I could be your cool cousin."

6a00d8341c2ca253ef016304d8bf4a970dLuckily, the line moved quickly, and was even visited briefly at the beginning by an ingratiating Cindy. I'd prepurchased a four-shot of Penny/Cindy/Michael/David (Michael had signed 50 in advance of the show), so that put me among the first few to get the crew. Went up to Penny first. She was certainly nice considering she'd probably rather be just about anywhere else, and if you weren't expecting effusive warmth. I told her I found her to be the most relatable person on TV when I was a kid and that I wished she were my cool cousin or something. "I could be your cool cousin," she agreed, making sure everything was signed just how I wanted it. "Lot of people named Matt here today," she said aloud. I think the bluntness of my name amused her; she repeated it flatly: "MATT."

Eddie IMG_0182You know he'd go from rags to bitches...Eddie put Madonna in her place

I already had David, 64, from the last show, but he was with Eddie, 59, so we went up to both. David has slowed down a lot due to MS but Eddie was feisty; he was talking about Squiggy's cousin Squendolyn when I went up to him.

Eddie Mekka Leslie Easterbrook img433Leslie was mournful that she owns no stills like this

Eddie IMG_0181Any of you theater queens remember what show landed Eddie a Tony nom?

I told him I liked him in A League of Their Own and he said, "Thank you very much!" When I asked how it was working with Madonna, he said, "That you very much!" A wiseguy. Off camera, he confessed she'd been "a pain" throughout filming, but had grown to like him by the end when he abruptly called her a cunt.

Penny img435After Eddie, I was kind of sucked into a vortex to get Cindy's autograph very quickly; other attendees were in a separate line, but my four-shot was still leading me in a special line that went first. Cindy, 64, was flustered but very Feeney-like in her attention to detail and exchanges of pleasantries. I would have asked her about American Graffiti (1973) or The First Nudie Musical (1976), but there wasn't really a good moment.

Cindy Williams IMG_0187Booboo Kitty was nowhere to be seen

GarryWe had to return later for Garry, 77, who was hawking his new book and who was probably the most au courant, active person at the show in spite of his age. He was kinda funny, actually. I walked up with a nice vintage press photo I had—I love having unusual images for people to sign—and he said, "That's an old suit!" He smiles like someone's got a gun to his head, but was very nice.

Garry Marshall IMG_0231
*Garry Marshall IMG_0232I didn't mention The Other Sister (1999)

Penny img434Was lucky enough to grab some video of Garry, Penny and Cindy posing for the wire services. There's still no love lost between the female leads; my pal Brian had tried to get Penny to sign a cursive "L" on her photo, but she refused because there was already one on the sweater she was wearing in it. When he told that to Cindy, she said, "Try doing the TV Land Awards with 'er!"

Garry Marshall img444

Garry's book apparently talks about how Laverne & Shirley was a total nightmare due to the girls' inability to handle the pressure and fame, and their head-butting.

Leslie Easterbrook IMG_0217
* Leslie Easterbrook IMG_0218Help me, me, Rhonda

Leslie Easterbrook, 62, looks fantastic for an NRA member (it's painful for me to see physical beauty in those whose values I question). She was extremely nice, and coveted the photo I brought for her to sign ("I don't have any stills of me with anyone but David and Michael.") to the point where she replied, "You should!" when I said, "I feel bad that I didn't make you a copy." I'll have to send her one if I find another. 

PreviewScreenSnapz001Gotta love this!

She was also rather transparently annoyed (rightly so) that she and Carole Ita White were sort of shunned by the rest of the cast—they were in the corner and weren't even included later in the "full Laverne & Shirley cast" photo op I paid for. When that happened, I was able to be the very first person to pose with Penny/Cindy/David/Garry/Eddie. Chexy got priceless video of Penny tenderly brushing David's hair for him, ever the director (that's what Cindy's expression seemed to say) or maybe just being a good friend (that's what David's seemed to say). Joe Lando IMG_0189
* Joe Lando IMG_0190Not into the "hunk" label? Say it ain't so, Joe!

Screen shot 2012-04-27 at 11.22.49 AMAfter all of the Laverne & Shirley craziness, I went for heartthrob Joe Lando, who's only 50 and smokin' hot as always. He looked about as happy to be doing the show as a cat in a bath and his excitement level sank a few notches further when I told him he'd been a top vote-getter in a magazine I once did called Hollywood's Hottest Hunks.

Joe LandoLucky bitch!

He did seem to enjoy the photo I brought, of him in the tub with his dog. "Oh, that's from People," he volunteered, signing his name and IDing the pooch as Rosie. Got a good picture with him, which I said was as good as we could do without a tub or a dog. Crickets.

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Apr 26 2012
Caring Is Chering: The 23rd GLAAD Media Awards Take L.A. Comments (7)

Gilles MariniYes, we are gay—don't judge Gilles Marini and me

Last Saturday, I had a lot of fun covering the red carpet of the 23rd GLAAD Media Awards. Didn't I just do that? Yes, but that was the New York edition; as I was in L.A., I covered the West Coast gathering. See, GLAAD ain't dumb—they have two to make it so no celebrity can say, "Oh, I'm on the wrong coast! I can't go!"

I hired my sweet pal Brad as my videographer and met him at the Westin USBonaventure just in time to check in and take our places. I kind of hate how the carpet was set up—the guests were allowed to congregate behind us to stargaze, which was distracting. But it was nothing compared to the women two spots down from me whose entire goal was to flash a huge "FREE GAY HUGS!" sign and video themselves receiving said hugs from roughly two-thirds of the celebrities who walked. (And I thought I was lame with my aggressive pic-with requests!) They were so damn loud! Luckily, they didn't ruin any of my interviews, but only by sheer luck.

Brad's mic needed batteries (he's blond; sorry, Brad) so I wound up videoing my own first chat, with Jennifer Tyrrell. She's the lesbian mom recently booted as a den mother by the virulently homophobic Boy Scouts of America. Smart woman and immediately likable. Unreal that they're getting away with that crap. I was a cub scout (I bailed on Webelos mainly because...what the fuck is a Webelo???) and fondly remember my Pinewood Derby racing days as well as the hillbilly band we assembled for a talent night. Not to mention the father/son cook-off, in which my father and I had a well-appreciated coconut cream pie. But still, fuck the Scouts.

My first stars were Angela Featherstone (STUH-nning, but my campadre confessed she had been an ice queen on a recent shoot) and Michelle Paradise of Exes & Ohs. No Megan Cavanagh, but they were delightful.

Grant GustinNext, I snagged Grant Gustin of Glee. I don't really follow the show, but no one that cute is getting past me without a third degree. He's adorable and quite articulate, even if he refers to gay people as "homosexuals," which totally didn't offend me because he was totally doing it to sound smart, not homophobic. I had a homosexual crush on various parts of him.

Max AdlerMax Adler from the same show was equally adorable and charming. He's passionate about his role, even though it came as a total shocker that his bullying character would be written as a late-blooming man-lover.

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The Art Of Being Phyllis Diller Comments (5)

It's been a crazy week filled with the stress of packing up and moving my office of 12.5 years from Times Square to the southernmost tip of Manhattan, so I've had zero time to write about my most star-soaked weekend ever.

* PHYLLIS DILLER 100_0899Meeting up, just for laughs

The trip started Friday with a visit to the home of Phyllis Diller. At 94, Phyllis no longer paints, but she still helps sell her inventory of original works, which includes everything from massive $10,000 canvasses to sketches on newspaper to prints. I met up with my starfucker buddies Brian, Don and Rich and we were welcomed into Ms. Diller's lovely Brentwood home by her caretaker and assistants.

* Phyllis IMG_6284Creations of a pretty lady

First up, we were shown her Bob Hope sitting room, complete with a bust of the man. It looked like the room children wouldn't be allowed into. The rest of her crib is homey and tasteful, with scads of Diller originals hanging all over the place, complete with price tags.

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Apr 14 2012
The Only Way That This Makes Scents: Madonna's Truth Or Dare Launch Comments (23)

Screen shot 2012-04-13 at 5.02.00 PM


Madonna IMG_0063After having posted about my Madonna meeting and pic-with, I thought I'd put some distance between that and this post—my wrap-up of the entire Truth or Dare fragrance event—to spare those Boy Culture readers who aren't Madonnaphiles.

Madonna IMG_0038I arrived around 5:45PM armed with my wristband but knowing I may not have to use it—I'd been cleared for the press line, and all media would be checking in at the same time as the party guests.

Madonna IMG_0109

Attendees (including many friends, like Anthony, Angel, Jeannie and more) were lined up facing east at the side of Macy's and press and photographers were clotted around the entrance to the tent area right out front. Photographers are a motley crew (not the band).

Madonna IMG_0039"Who's gonna be here?"

Madonna photo-1Some girls...the mostly helpful PR brigade

I had one skanky woman turn and say, "Are you press? Yes? Oh, if you weren't I was going to say to back up." Then, a minute later, she turned to say, "No, seriously—back up." (We were all jammed together and I was in no way on top of her.)

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Apr 12 2012
I'm The Luckiest By Far Comments (65)

_MAZ0145Courtesy of Kevin Mazur

As I state below, tomorrow I'll have a full report on the outside and inside of Madonna's Truth or Dare fragrance launch at Macy's. But first things first—here is THE picture! I could not be happier with it.

QuickTime PlayerScreenSnapz001I have asked Madonna's publicist—the wonderful Liz Rosenberg—for a photo op on a few occasions. She's known about me since Encyclopedia Madonnica, has kindly referred MTV and others to me when they were in need of a "Madonna expert" and has been an all-around doll. But it's never been the right moment. Feeling this could be my last chance for a long time (rehearsals, touring), I tried again and she "promised to try" (and it didn't "feel like a lie"). All I had to do was hang out on the carpet.

IMG_0060I love this shot—Liz looks like my guardian angel

When it came time, Madonna approached and I shook her hand and said it was nice to see her again. The photographer was directing her to stand on my left. Remember that I was behind the barricade up to my waist with bright lights behind me. Madonna didn't skip a beat, saying, "Not in that light." My heart sank—I thought she might be about to nix the whole thing, which would have been crushing since I could see how happy she'd been during all her previous carpet interviews. The photographer tried to say it was good light (he could flash it out) but she said playfully (but seriously), "I'm not stupid."

Then she said the words any Madonna fan longs to hear: "No, you come to me."

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The Next Best Thing: A Review Of Gore Vidal's The Best Man Comments (4)

Screen shot 2012-04-12 at 11.52.14 AM

BOY CULTURE RATING: ***1/2 out of ****

Screen shot 2012-04-12 at 12.15.09 PMWent with my friend Jason to see Gore Vidal's The Best Man last night ($74 is half off?) and sat in the front row. It's a really solid, smart, droll play about Machiavellian politics at a hotly contested nominating convention that's stuck between a boring, possibly mentally imbalanced, liberal statesman (John Larroquette) and a slick, populist, conservative operator (Eric McCormack).

The argument for and against each is alive today with President Obama's "evolution" on marriage equality heating up the blogs and with McCormack's uncanny John Edwards impersonation.

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