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20 May 2019

“Yes, I admit I was stalking Lou Pearlman into the bathroom!”   
– 
Ashley Parker Angel on how he met Pearlman and got cast on Making the Band
He also was cast in Lou’s private shower videos, but we’ll get to that.

I recently told you that presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg planned to make a stop in Provincetown this summer.  I can now confirm that he’ll be turning up during the busiest weekend – Fourth of July!  His free rally will take place on July 5th at Town Hall (there will be a high-priced fundraiser afterward).  Since this is one of the biggest gay party weekends in the world with an assortment of scantily clad men of all ages, please be aware that a thong is not appropriate attire for any political rally on Cape Cod that does not include a member of the Kennedy family.

By the by, Steve Hilton of Fox News asked Trump his thoughts on Buttigieg, specifically his thoughts on a gay man running for president and standing there with his husband.  “Yes, I think it’s great,” said Trump.  “I think that’s something that perhaps some people will have a problem with.  I have no problem with it whatsoever.  I think it’s good.”  Didya notice how quickly it went from great to good?

The Chinese parent company of Grindr has agreed to sell the popular gay hook-up app after the US Committee on Foreign Investments deemed it a “national security risk” – which says more about the Trump administration than anything in the Mueller ReportCNN reports that Kunlun Tech has agreed to sell the app by June 30, 2020.  “Until then, the firm says Grindr will not transmit any sensitive information to China, though it is not clear how that will be enforced.”  I don’t know about anyone else, but I won’t be cruising Grindr when I’m at Panda Express!

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All of the networks have officially announced their schedules for next season.  Although FOX renewed Empire, next season will be the show’s last.  Was this decision based on Jussie’s fake hate crime episode?  Or perhaps the cast collectively asking the network to bring him back?  We may never know, but I’m told there are a whole lotta people wondering if standing by Smollett is why they will soon be unemployed.

One of the new shows ordered by FOX is Filthy Rich.  My first thought was perhaps someone was resurrecting the long-forgotten sitcom starring a pre-Designing Women Delta Burke and Dixie Carter.  But, nope, this is a nighttime soap starring Kim Cattrall.  The FOX giveth, and the FOX taketh away.

Also returning to the small screen is Alex Newell in the new NBC musical series Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.  Alas, CBS has announced Madam Secretary will be departing after a truncated 10-episode sixth season.

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When I read that Bette Midler’s daughter Sophie Von Haselberg was in a new movie, I put it in my pile of “Filler Stories”.  Then I did some research on Ask For Jane.  The film is a true story about The Jane Collective, which helped over 11,000 women obtain abortions in Chicago between 1969 and 1973 (pre-Roe v. Wade).  In order to protect the women’s identities, those needing abortions were referred to only as “Janes”.  One of the tidbits I learned was that in Chicago it was against the law for a group of more than three people to even discuss abortion.  Consequently, seven members of The Collective were arrested for conspiracy to commit murder!  Since I haven’t seen the film, I can’t comment on its merit.  But the story certainly sounds fascinating, to say nothing of timely.

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I did finally watch The Boy Band Con.  The Lou Pearlman documentary was produced by Lance Bass for YouTube.  Without a doubt, there is an interesting, almost compelling, story there – but it’s not in this documentary.  It’s unfortunate because obviously the powers-that-be snagged some great interviews and got access to lots of footage and songs.  But either you know how to construct and tell a story, or you don’t.

On the other hand, there’s Still Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate, which dropped last week on Netflix.  The almost unbearable 3+ hours of taping at the Dolby Theatre were magically distilled into an entertaining one-hour special, ending with a number of priceless outtakes.  I should confess that I am prominently seen sitting in the front row with Norman Lear and Laugh-In creator George Schlatter (stills can be found on BillyMasters.com).  To share a lesson in Television 101, I’ll repeat a story from the taping.  About two hours into the show, a weary Lear leaned over and said to Schlatter, “Can you believe – we created being funny on television?”  A just-as-weary Schlatter replied, “Yeah, and they’re KILLING it!”  He added, “But we can fix it in post”.  Let that be a lesson to all of you out there – having great material is important, but you need someone really talented to make it watchable.

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Last week, John Mayer was on SiriusXM with Andy Cohen and shared a “clickbait story” – meaning it’s so salacious, people will click on it.  He provided the headline: “How Shawn Mendes’ underwear ended up in John Mayer’s hotel room.”  Yes, I’d click on that – but I’d also know it would end up being some innocuous anecdote.  One day, Mayer was in the studio with Mendes.  Shawn asked Mayer, “Hey, man, do you think you could, like, Postmates underwear?  Can I Postmates underwear?  I’m out of underwear.”  Since I’m not of the iAnything persuasion, I had to look up “Postmates”.  Be that as it may, Mayer said he’d be happy to ask his assistant to go shopping for undies.  The assistant came back with a dozen pairs of various size Medium boxer briefs in a bag (not a CK in the bunch).  They finished up in the studio, and Shawn left…sans undies.  So Mayer brought the underwear back to his hotel room.  The end.  What I got out of this story is that nobody wants to be in possession of underwear John Mayer was anywhere near – even underwear still in its package.

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Speaking of packages, we hear that Chris Hemsworth is gearing up to play a stripper in an upcoming $40 million flick for ParamountDown Under Cover will find Hemsworth and Tiffany Haddish playing police detectives who team up to crack a string of casino heists.  The main suspects are a group of Aussie male strippers – kinda like Thunder From Down Under.  So, naturally, Hemsworth has to go undercover as a stripper.  Is it just me, or does this sound like a gender-bending take on Miss Congeniality?  Not that I’m complaining.  The film was announced last week at the Cannes Film Festival and will begin shooting in February.

Last week Drake got some shade from DJ Carnage (I say as if I know who he is).  Apparently Drake posted a shirtless photo and Carnage wrote, “You got fake ab surgery in Columbia you ain’t foolin anybody.”  This took many people by surprise because Drake and Carnage are allegedly tight and spent Easter together.  Drake shot back some trash, and then his trainer jumped in, saying “Holla at me I’ll get you right too.”  So there, I say with a shrug.

You know what is fake?  The fur in the upcoming Cats film.  I don’t know why this had to be clarified – did anyone out there think someone was skinning real cats for costumes?  I guess Taylor Swift felt the need to stir up some controversy.  When asked about the film, Swift (who plays Bombalurina) said, “It’s not real fur.  They add digital fur to us.”  At the risk of sounding catty, this is just another reason why I don’t like her.  Finally something I have in common with John Mayer…and countless others.

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One of the best things I saw last year was A Very English Scandal, a three-part miniseries from the BBC (you can watch it on Amazon).  I highly urge you to check it out, not only for the outstanding performances by everyone (especially Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw, who won a Golden Globe), but also for the crackerjack true story which was riveting.  Much of the credit goes to director Stephen Frears and writer Russell T Davies, who also brought us Queer as Folk as well as pivotal work on Doctor Who and Torchwood.

Which leads us to our Ask Billy question from Thom in Baltimore: “What is this new show that Russell Tovey is in?  He said it had graphic gay sex, so I don’t want to miss it.”

Tovey is in a new BBC series called Years and Years, written by Russell T Davies (HBO will run it at a later date).  The first episode takes place in the near future, after Brexit and during Donald Trump’s second term (God forbid).  What Tovey said was, “Everything has to be shown because, otherwise, if you don’t show diversity, if you don’t show gay sex, if you don’t show men in love, or women in love, or whatever, then how the hell do you normalize it?”  I note he didn’t mention that the show also features a sex robot!  As to the gay sex scene in question, it comes towards the end of the first episode and, well, check it out on BillyMasters.com.

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When robots are worried about the size of their packages, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  With May Sweeps over, everything hits an inevitable lull.  So it’s the perfect time to check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that never disappoints.  If you have a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I run the inevitable scandalous photos from Buttigieg’s Ptown rally!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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Revised: May 20, 2019 @ 12:36 am

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