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10 August 2020

“If Mr. Lawrence can produce a contract, signed by me and Mr. Lawrence
on the same page, at any time in history from the beginning of time,
I will toast that contract, smear it with cream cheese and eat it on national television.”
 
Judge Judy Sheindlin addresses accusations of skulduggery regarding the sale of her syndicated show’s library. 
While I assume she will prevail, I would really enjoy seeing her eat the contract on TV.

Pandemic or not, August is typically the slowest time in entertainment – at least in terms of consumption.  When I cannot watch The View shortly after waking, I feel out of step with the world.  And when I cannot watch The Talk shortly after breakfast, I know it’s August.  And yet, in the midst of this wasteland, television news continues to be generated – whether it is speculation on if Meghan McCain will return to The View after her baby is born (she claims she will), whether Sara Haines will return to The View since her GMA offshoot has been cancelled, and what will happen to Michael Strahan…and his lisp?

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The controversy surrounding Ellen DeGeneres continues to swirl out of control.  I have one overall thought: no performer is paid to be nice.  Nice is something manufactured by the media, which I suppose I am a part of.  I’ve had limited interaction with DeGeneres.  While there is a small handful of people who have pointedly refused to be pleasant (Halle Berry, Heidi Klum, and Geena Davis come to mind), Ellen has always been solicitous.  However, a friend of mine is quick to point out that when I brought him to a taping of her show, all we got as a giveaway was a coupon for a Marie Callender’s pot pie!  I must correct him – I believe we were also given a Liz Phair CD.

In addition to my dubious endorsement, several celebs have also weighed in.  We already know that Brad Garrett and Lea Thompson concur that the “nice” moniker is far from accurate.  Someone joining their ranks is Ellen’s former DJ, Tony Okungbowa.  “I have been getting calls asking me about the Ellen Degeneres Show and I would like to address the time I spent there.  I was on air talent from 2003-2006 and from 2007-2013.  While I am grateful for the opportunity it afforded me, I did experience and feel the toxicity of the environment and I stand with my former colleagues in their quest to create a healthier and more inclusive workplace as the show moves forward.” 

On the other hand, people like Katy Perry, Ashton Kutcher, Alec Baldwin, and Diane Keaton have come to Ellen’s defense.  It should be noted that Keaton also spoke up in favor of Woody Allen.  Then there’s Kevin Hart, who had this to say: “It’s crazy to see my friend go thru what she’s going thru publicly.  I have known Ellen for years and I can honestly say that she’s one of the dopest people on the fucking planet.  She has treated my family and my team with love and respect from day 1.  The internet has become a crazy world of negativity…we are falling in love with peoples down fall.”  It bears mentioning that Ellen was supportive of Hart when his past homophobic jokes resurfaced and squashed his opportunity to host the Academy Awards.  Where does the truth lie?  And, more importantly, does it matter?  To most people reading this, it only matters in terms of gossip – and who am I to minimize that?  But deep down, I doubt anyone cares.  If Ellen entertains you, great.  If not, change the channel.

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I admit it – I got caught up in the tributes to Regis Philbin.  Then I started watching interviews he gave.  In a sit-down with Larry King, Regis made a staggering confession when asked, “Do you keep in touch with Kelly Ripa?”  “Not really, no.  Never once did they ask me to go back…She got very offended when I left.  She thought I was leaving because of her.  I was leaving because I was getting older and it wasn’t right for me anymore.”  Larry pressed – has Regis heard from her?  “Never have.”  Counter that with all the tributes Kelly has shown up on…inconsolable.  Not all is as it seems.  Think about that when you judge Ellen.

Moving on to something far more important – the Rockettes have cancelled their annual Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall.  When the Rockettes are worried about kicking off, we’re doomed.

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What a week we had on Billy Masters LIVE.  Tuesday kicked off with the outrageous Judy Gold – whose book, Yes, I Can Say That, is not only hilarious but also brilliant.  It is a perfect book to read in these times of social media outrage and political correctness (I heartily recommend the audiobook, which Judy reads).  We were joined by Wilson Cruz.  To say I’d wait a lifetime for Wilson is an understatement.  We talked about our long friendship – complete with many heretofore unseen photos of him in various forms of undress.  He was thoughtful, witty, sincere, and dishy.  Everything I’d want in a boyfriend…er, I mean a guest!  Definitely worth checking out.

On Thursday, Provincetown during a pandemic was the topic.  We started off with Edmund Bagnell – who you may know from Well-Strung.  He is currently doing a solo show at the Crown & Anchor.  Also at the Crown is Varla Jean Merman, who popped in (out of drag) to discuss the challenges of laughing at the coronavirus.  It was a perfect way to end the week.  You can see all of our shows on BillyMasters.com/TV or on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV.

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You may not have heard of Alex Morse, but he’s the openly gay, 31-year-old mayor of Holyoke, Massachusetts, who is running for Congress.  That alone would not make him column-worthy during our quarter-century celebration.  No, he made the cut because he’s admitted to having had consensual sex with college students.  Oh, did I mention he was a lecturer at the school in question?  He made this revelation after some of his students claimed it was not consensual.  He’s been accused of “using his position of power for romantic or sexual gains”.

I was shocked to read that Kevin McHale tried to kill his boyfriend.  That may be a bit harsh.  What he actually did was “accidentally poison” him.  Potato/Potahto.  The Glee star served his boyfriend, Austin McKenzie, some undercooked chicken sausage.  In short order, McKenzie got “superrrrr sick” and ran out to get tested for the coronavirus…twice!  After both tests came back negative, they realized McHale has simply given him salmonella.  Oops!  “He should break up with me.  I would,” said Kevin.  Austin then posted this: “I left Twitter years ago.  I’m back on now to monitor my thirsty boyfriend, Kevin Mchale, who ‘accidentally’ gave me salmonella 5 days ago.”

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Our Ask Billy question comes from Tim in Detroit: “Did you see those photos of Kit Harington?  WTF?”

For those of you who aren’t in the know, the Game of Thrones star was snapped walking down the streets of London with his right arm down his pant leg.  From the series of snaps, many have speculated that Kit was simply adjusting his dick – which we’ve all done from time to time.  But his arm is so deep down there, I think he might have been trying to flatten some boxers.  Unless his dick is REALLY long.  I guess you’ll have to check out BillyMasters.com and decide for yourself.

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When we’re running longer than Kit’s kit, it’s definitely time to end another column.  Speaking of long, this month we are celebrating 25 years of writing this column.  In some ways, it’s even more fun today.  Believe it or not, back then I had to fax the column every week to some of my papers.  And a few got theirs via snail mail – talk about timely!  But now, I can interact with you almost immediately on BillyMasters.com – the site that always delivers.  I can even talk to you face-to-face via Billy Masters LIVE, which you can find on our YouTube channel, Billy Masters TV.  Should you need more of me (allowing for social distancing), write to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you after I find the answer in my pants!  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

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Revised: Aug 10, 2020 @ 1:50 am

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