Tag Archives: Dancing with the Stars

Chaz wasn’t the first to waltz across my screen

26 Oct

I recently had occasion to meet a woman who is “on strike”.  This past month, I’ve seen a lot of people on strike in the news, be it in protest of Georgia’s death penalty, Wall Street bonuses or hotel labor practices.  However, this lady was my first in-the-flesh striker.  Her cause?  “Get that Chaz Bono offa my Dancing with the Stars!”  Whoa.  Really?  “I never thought I’d see something like that in my lifetime…”  It turns out that the perversity that is Chaz Bono, twirling and dipping on live TV, pretty much sums up everything that is wrong, wrong, wrong with the world today.  She must be awash in relief in the wake of Chaz’ booting from DWTS last night.  I’m relieved too since this was all we have had to worry about.  Silly me; I have been fretting over dwindling job opportunities and escalating foreclosures, but it turns out that those sorts of things aren’t really root problems at all.  It’s Chaz, and the gays and the “ I don’t know whats” on public parade.  Personally, I did find watching Chaz waltzing across my screen uncomfortable, but not for THOSE reasons.  They kept putting him in those tight, stretchy outfits and I was afraid he was going to burst out of them like a bit of ruptured haggis.  I was afraid for my eyes, not my morality.


But as far as I can remember there have always been plenty of gay, lesbian and transgendered characters on television.  People talk about how amazing it is that there is EllenPeople magazine loves to slobber all over Glee for giving us a gay character.  Really?  This isn’t new.  It’s just that no one really had much to say about it.  Why?  I don’t know; I don’t care.  Any given episode of Hollywood Squares, which began airing in 1965, was likely to feature Rip Taylor, Charles Nelson Reilly, Paul Lynde or all three at once!  Back in the day, attention wasn’t so much focused on a character or actor’s preference or sexual identity, but you’d have to have been a moron to miss it.  Maybe we were all just a little more polite and didn’t need to exploit that kind of thing in the media so much.

Wildly popular early 1980s show Too Close for Comfort was premised on the two Rush daughters moving in to their parents’ deceased transvestite neighbor’s apartment.  The cross-dresser never makes it on screen, but loveable Monroe Ficus, played by Jim J. Bullock, sashayed through 118 episodes of the show.

And what about the ex-con turned sassy decorator, Anthony Bouvier, on Designing Women?  Oh, those southern women were too polite to ever state the obvious, but…am I right?


It is generally accepted that Jo Polniaczek on The Facts of Life was playing on her own team, if you know what I mean.  Nudge, nudge.  Wink, wink.  Even though in the past year the actress, Geri Jewell, who played Blair’s cousin, Geri, ‘fessed up, it was tomboy Jo, who set off the gaydar.  To “butch up” actress Nancy McKeon, the wardrobe department gave her a ponytail and a leather jacket.  In her spare time, Jo liked to work on her motorcycle.  Any questions?

There were so many other gay characters on the shows I watched as a kid.  Both goofy Alice and Sam: the Butcher on The Brady Bunch were most certainly bearding for one another.  Don’t you think?  And one being neat and one being sloppy wasn’t the only thing odd about The Odd Couple.  Come to think of it, Skipper and Gilligan were always happy to let Thurston Howell III, clutching his teddy, bunk with them on Gilligan’s IslandBewitched had stereo-typical clotheshorse Uncle Arthur, M.A.S.H. featured Corporal Max Klinger, who was begging to be called out for cross-dressing.  Janet from Three’s Company.  Hello?…oh, there are just too many to get into them all.  But the characters weren’t just limited to live action television.

Sensible Velma from Scooby Doo?  There wasn’t enough weed in the Mystery Van to convince Shaggy that she’d ever be receptive to hanging out and having a Scooby Snack with him.   I certainly didn’t need Charles Schultz to pen a memoir to tell me that Peppermint Patty and Marcy from Peanuts would one day become life partners.  And Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie.  That was a given.

Am I off course here?

Spring through the Glass

25 Feb

So long, Winter

Aah, spring.  Can you feel it?  Are you seeing it?  This passing week has brought a thaw to Atlanta, and it seems like the city is waking up and stretching.  Crews finally shoveled up all of the snowcalypse gravel and sand from Spring Street on Monday, the cherry trees are beginning to bloom, jonquils are sprouting, cars are getting dusted with pollen and area hobos are emerging from their underpass boxes.  But the surest sign?  I caught my first glimpse of 2011’s hookers last night hanging out at the 10th Street Checkers on my way home from The Laughing Skull Lounge.

I don't wanna say Margaret Cho has done anything inappropriate to get the Skull love, butt...

You know how else I know it’s spring?  “Lucky to be Chinese” Margaret Cho is back in town and giving out her love in surprise bursts.  You know Margaret, right?  She had that semi-autobiographical All-American Girl show about growing up in a Korean house on U.S. soil, toured about a jillion colleges with her stand-up (I went to a private Baptist college…they never booked her), stars on Drop Dead Diva and glided across our TVs recently on Dancing with the Stars.  According to Margaret, that show is fucking a lot harder than it looks; primarily because the fix is in.  You all know that I love some behind the scenes, first-hand dirt and she threw a few nuggets my way.

Margaret has totally endeared herself to the Atlanta comic community.  She lives here part time and has really gotten to know our fair city.  Sometimes when you go to see a band or comic, they’ll do that whole “insert town name here” shout out with some quip they saw in a SkyClub rag: “Hey, alright Hotlanta!  Woo-hoo!  How many Peachtree Streets do you have?”  Yeah, MarCho doesn’t play that.  She is familiar enough with our fair city to know Riverdale, reference Cabbage Town and to have been to Steeplechase and figured out that it’s white Freaknik.  Our secret has been exposed.  Yikes!!!

Got-it-together Rich Vos

It was a star-studded night at the Skull.  It was all big names.  Comedy Central darling, Rich Vos took the stage.  He’s not a joke guy, but he can work a room.  Solidly.  He’s pretty intense and honest.  Off the bat he let us know that he is a former crackie and cokehead with OCD.  Hil-ar-ious, huh?  Actually, like anything, once you are distanced from it you can find the funny nuances.  So even though he hasn’t hit the pipe in about 25 years, he still has a lot of addict behaviors and affectations that he just can’t seem to shake.  They are revealed in every day tasks like the way he buys his donuts and coffee.  It’s a little sketchy.  Rich is actually headlining at The Funny Farm this weekend, so if your ride is all gassed up you can hit the Skull one night and the Funny Farm the other.  Win-win.

Todd Glass...or Treat Williams?

I think that everybody pretty much has a doppelganger; I know that I do, because everyone tells me, “Oh my God.  You look just like my friend!”  I never do and neither does Todd.  Todd Glass thinks that he is actually a blend of two famous faces: Fred Flintstone and Mel Gibson.  I was thinking more like Treat Williams, but I saw his point.  Whatever the case, in all of his made up stories, where he is the star, he is always the funniest and best-looking guy in the room.  And I saw his point.  I don’t know what Todd would do if he couldn’t have an audience, and I mean this in the nicest way.  I’ve never seen someone involve so many people in their act.  Now, that could be because he’s a bit of a pre-show burner and you know how stoners always want to tell you how high they are and want to topic skip.  He’s not at all harshed mellow though.  Todd has an endless supply of energy, and he does go long.  So pee first, because if you think for a minute that you are going to sneak in a potty break during one of his tangents you are sorely mistaken.  He will call you out and then forbid you to leave.  Not a bad fate.

Rich, Hot Damn and Todd...a bit of a blur