24 September 2018

America’s Got Talent got a bigger audience than the Emmys
Write your own punch line.  It’s a Jewish holiday
Perennial awards show scribe Bruce Vilanch’s quip on the ratings for the Emmy Awards.

If you missed the Emmy Awards, you weren’t alone.  Not only were the ratings down 11 percent from last year, they hit an all-time low.  But don’t take these numbers as a waning interest solely in television – ratings for this year’s Oscars telecast were down 19 percent, while the Grammys tanked more than 23 percent.  The decline for a televised awards show about television is also deceptive – the vast majority of nominees were for cable and streaming services, while the show was hosted by Saturday Night Live cast members on NBC.  Relevancy is as hot a topic as diversity, which was the theme of the Emmy’s opening musical number.

Since most of you missed the show, here are some of my highlights.  Jenifer Lewis showed her support for Colin Kaepernick by arriving clad head-to-toe in Nike (and she threw in a high kick on the red carpet just to show those bastards she still could).  After his first nomination 42 years ago, Henry Winkler finally won an Emmy!  I’m not entirely sure Betty White knew where she was, but she managed to pull it off…even though she was dangerously close to exclaiming, “Gladiator!”  RuPaul presented an award with Leslie Jones.  Girl, would it kill you to wear a gown?  Yes, I’m talking to you, Leslie!  As to Ru, congrats on making history by winning Best Host of a Reality Competition Series and snagging Best Reality Competition Series with RuPaul’s Drag RaceDarren Criss never misses an opportunity to remind us he’s straight.  I LOVED the “Reparation Emmys” sketch.  Why is it that Tina Fey always looks as comfortable walking in a dress as Jodie Foster or Caroline Kennedy SchlossbergTaraji, you work that train!  Sandra Oh is still trying to explain to her mother that she didn’t win (but as she said, “It’s an honor just to be Asian”).  I’m still not convinced Tim Gunn isn’t being held hostage by Heidi Klum and possibly the Symbionese Liberation Army.  Lastly, that was an awfully chaste kiss between Ricky Martin and his hubby.

Darren Criss recently starred “in a reading of Nick Jonas’ new play.”  I don’t know what shocked me more – that Nick Jonas wrote a play, or that Nick Jonas wrote a previous play!

On All Emmy’s Eve, Tom Arnold got into a scuffle with Mark Burnett.  The former Celebrity Apprentice head honcho is pissed that Arnold has made it his mission to expose Trump in a new (almost unwatchable) Viceland show called, The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold.  Both men arrived at a pre-Emmys party at the same time.  Arnold claims Burnett attacked him.  Police were called, and Arnold Tweeted: “Mark Burnett just went apeshit & choked me at this huge Emmy Party then he ran away with his porn Pink shirt & missing gold chain.  I’m waiting for LAPD.”  We got an eyewitness account from Alyson Hannigan, who Tweeted, “Walked n2 party behind Tom Arnold and saw him & Mark Burnett get into a fight!  Thought it was a joke until security jumped in.”  Security did indeed step in, spoke to both Arnold and Burnett, and then allowed both men to enter the party.  Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey Jr., also chimed in via Twitter.  “Got this bruise tonight when Tom Arnold tried to ambush my husband Mark and me at a charity event.  Is your TV show worth it Tom?  Please stop.”  Arnold, never one to not fight back, said, “Bullshit.  You lie your crazy husband attacked me you psycho.  I’m filing police report & suing you for defamation.”  Reportedly the fight started when Burnett overheard Arnold bragging to onlookers that he got his hands on Apprentice tapes and passed them along to Ronan Farrow.  I’ll believe that when I see it.


One exposé which Farrow will probably skip is an extensive feature of his “father” (‘cause with Mia, who really knows) Woody Allen and half-sister Soon-Yi Previn which ran in New York magazine (as opposed to The New Yorker, which publishes Farrow’s pieces).  The timing of Soon-Yi’s emergence from the shadows is curious since many consider her the original #MeToo poster child.  But that’s not how she sees herself.  She once again reminds us that she was adopted by Mia Farrow and never treated the same as the actress’ biological children.  “There was a hierarchy.”  She first met Woody Allen at 10.  It didn’t go well.  “Woody wasn’t interested in meeting us children.  And the feeling was mutual; we weren’t interested in meeting him.  I hated him because he was with my mother, and I didn’t understand why anyone could be with such a nasty, mean person.  I thought he must be the same way.”  While Mia and Woody dated, they never lived together – Woody maintained an apartment across Central Park and never even spent the night.  “We didn’t think of him as a father, and he didn’t even have clothing at our house, not even a toothbrush.”  But Allen and Soon-Yi eventually did bond over sports – in fact, it was Mia who suggested the girl accompany Woody to Knicks games.  Still, she just saw him as a family friend.  “I already had a father.  He was André Previn, and Mia never married Woody, nor did they ever live together.  He was my mother’s boyfriend, plain and simple.”  And from those little sprouts.  They’ve now been together close to 30 years.


I am proud to announce what is likely destined to be one of this year’s Billy’s Holiday Gift Giving Suggestions – the Stormy Daniels Comic BookPolitical Power: Stormy Daniels is available digitally and in two collective and one hardcover edition on Amazon.  It’s not what one would call heavy reading – the 24-page comic will likely hold the attention of an 8-year-old boy or a 72-year-old Commander in Chief.  Written and drawn by Joe Paradise, it chronicles Stormy’s “journey from scrappy opportunist to unlikely feminist icon.”  The artist kinda made Stormy look like Pamela Anderson as Stripperella or Barb Wire, and shows her in such situations as spanking a sitting president.  We’ll show some of the more choice illustrations on

Adam Rippon is officially an American treasure.  Last week, he announced (on Twitter, of course) the following: “Pretty cool to soon have something on display in the American History Museum.  Now, I just need to convince someone that they need to be next to the ruby slippers.”  Rippon donated his Olympic costume and skates to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.


I’d say Sesame Street qualifies as an American treasure.  And I’d place Ernie and Bert near the top of the list of indelible inhabitants.  Every once in a while, people wonder whether the “roommates” are gay or straight.  Former SS writer Mark Saltzman added fuel to the fire.  “I always felt that without a huge agenda, when I was writing Bert and Ernie, they were gay.  I didn’t have any other way to contextualize them.”  It should be noted that the characters were actually created in the original Sesame Street pilot in 1969; Saltzman didn’t start writing for the show until 1984.  The Sesame Workshop issued a statement of their own.  “Sesame Street has always stood for inclusion and acceptance.  It’s a place where people of all cultures and backgrounds are welcome.  Bert and Ernie were created to be best friends, and to teach young children that people can get along with those who are very different from themselves.  They also added “they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation”.  Tell that to Miss Piggy, who constantly lusts after an ambivalent amphibian…Kermit.


With all the buzz about Bradley Cooper’s remake of A Star Is Born, many media outlets say that the one film you have to see FIRST is Barbra Streisand’s remake of A Star Is Born.  The 1976 version has been available in the home video market for years.  However, Streisand recently remastered it, added in some deleted scenes, and spruced it up for Netflix.  Well, you didn’t expect her to sit back and let Lady Gaga have a moment, did you?

After being MIA for five years, Richard Simmons has announced that he’s making a comeback – with his own channel on called Richard Simmons Sweatin’ Shop.  We’re told it’ll be a cross between social media and home shopping, with Simmons’ full support and involvement.  Well, not his “full involvement”.  While he is picking the items for sale, he has no plans to appear on the channel – he’ll have friends and business associates do the heavy lifting.  There are rumors of an occasional phone-in segment, but I’ll believe that when I see/hear it.


When I heard that Cicely Tyson was receiving an Honorary Oscar, I was sure it was for her stirring performance at Aretha’s funeral – except, of course, that wasn’t a film (but it might as well have been).  This particular honor is for her body of work on the silver screen.  The presentation will take place at the 10th Annual Governors Award on November 18th – because, of course, they don’t have time to give it out during the Oscars telecast.

Those of you in Southern California will want to save the date of October 6th.  That’s when the AC Gallery in Hollywood will host a “red carpet” life celebration of Tab Hunter, which will coincide with a series of life-size paintings of the actor by video director Vance Lorenzini.  Hunter’s partner, Allan Glaser, came up with the idea of remembering Tab with this event, which will start at 6PM.  The exhibition runs through November 28th.


When we’re saying goodbye to Tab (the actor, not the drink), it’s time to end yet another column.  And what a long column it was.  I barely have time to remind you to check out – the site that doesn’t need reMastering.  As always, send your questions to me at, and I promise to get back to you before Ernie and Bert get married in a very special episode of Sesame Street!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

email.gif (981 bytes)Email to Billy?

Billy Masters
Copyright ©2018
2 Go Communications. All rights reserved
Revised: Sep 23, 2018 @ 2:08 am

error: Copying content from is prohibited