Category Archives: Breaking

Tovey Wants More Gay Sex

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.

Hemsworth To Strip

Speaking of packages, we hear that Chris Hemsworth is gearing up to play a stripper in an upcoming $40 million flick for Paramount.  Down 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.

Mayer And Mendes’ Undies

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.

Billy, Norman & George Laugh

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.

A Fresh Blind Item

 

Could it be that a certain semi-star is spiraling out of control?  So say people close to the actress who claim she has as much in common with the name of her last megahit as she does with a Jeffrey Osborne song.  While all her success should thrill her, she’s dangerously close to the borderline and possibly requires medical intervention.  Some are concerned for her well-being, while those in her clan have a blasé attitude.  You only have one life to live.

Latest Theatre Reviews

The reboot of NYPD Blue featuring our own Bill Brochtrup had hoped to find a slot on ABC’s schedule, but the network sent it back for retooling and hopes to consider it as a mid-season replacement.  Happily, Bill is busy in the West Coast premiere of Michael McKeever’s play Daniel’s Husband.  I’m sure it says something about the Fountain Theatre that they snagged the rights to this play so quickly after its off-Broadway run.  And with a truly exceptional cast led by Brochtrup, I’m not surprised.  The play poses this question – just because gay people can get married and be like “everybody else”, should they?  Either way, what are the consequences?  The Fountain Theatre’s production is absolutely breathtaking – on the off nights, they could make a fortune renting it out as an AirBnB.  The performances are exceptional – not a weak link in the bunch.  I highly recommend seeing this timely and provocative play if you’re in the area.  It runs through June 23rd, and you can get tix at FountainTheatre.com.

I’ve previously told you how excited I was about the national tour of Falsettos – even though PBS televised the Broadway revival.  Since I saw it on Broadway, on TV, and now on tour, I can sum up the reason to buy a ticket in three words – Max von Essen.  Although Christian Borle was superb in the Broadway revival, Max has a little something extra.  His years of experience, challenging roles, and paying his dues give him a gravitas as Marvin, while somehow maintaining a boyish charm and innocence.  I easily see him as a brilliant Bobby in Company soon.  His singing voice is, as always, solid with no notable break (save for one actual “falsetto” note towards the end).  It was truly a staggering performance.  Speaking of staggering, Nick Adams has never looked better (but he wore much less in Priscilla).  He’s a fine actor and may sing the role better than Andrew Rannells.  But while Adams is by far a more appealing performer, Rannells has the edge in delivering perhaps the definitive Whizzer.  All in all, if you haven’t seen this show, it’s a perfect production and cast to catch when it comes to a city near you.

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Way back when, performers were often called stars of stage, screen, and television.  Well, throw in radio and that sums up Charles Busch to a T.  On several occasions, the divine Charles has appeared with LA Theatre Works, a group that has recorded well over 500 plays for posterity.  This week, he returns to record Die, Mommie, Die! for four performances May 17-19, and you can get tix on their website LATW.org.  He recently quipped, “I’ve played Angela Arden on film, stage and radio.  I just gotta figure out a way of bringing it to TV.”  There’s still time!

Falwell’s Pool Boy

Then there’s the story about Jerry Falwell Jr. and the pool boy.  So many questions.  Let’s start with the basics – who is Jerry Falwell Jr.?  Don’t confuse him with his father – co-founder of the Moral Majority (which is neither), a televangelist, and, if I’m not mistaken, stole the PTL Club right out from under Jim and Tammy Faye and then went down a water slide fully clothed.  This story isn’t about him.  This is about his spawn.  From what I’ve read, Junior is kinda like a smarter Donald Jr. – well, who isn’t?  In fact, Falwell was the first evangelical leader to endorse Trump.  Not only that, he actually compared Donald to Winston Churchill!  Oh, the humanity.

Back to the pool boy.  This story came out thanks to Tom Arnold.  Remember when Arnold was doing that TV show trying to discredit Trump?  Somehow he got a phone interview with the president’s lackey/patsy Michael Cohen, who admitted that someone was extorting money out of Falwell by using photos that would “typically be kept between husband and wife”.  Well, THAT got my attention.  The pics were allegedly being peddled to the more salacious press, but Cohen got them quashed – but not before saving one.  “I actually have one of the photos – it’s terrible,” says Cohen.  Why did he save one?  As a memento?  More likely, an insurance policy.

Shortly before Cohen was allegedly hired by the Falwells to take care of this mess, the religious couple was entangled with Giancarlo Granda, who is described as a former pool attendant at the Fontainebleau.  While the Falwells were staying at the swanky hotel, Junior “befriended” Granda – at least, that’s the word court documents use.  They were friendly enough for Falwell to give Giancarlo a $1.8 million loan!  That money was used to buy a Miami Beach “hostel” – an establishment which has been termed as “gay friendly”.  The timing has led people to speculate that the photos came from Granda in return for this “loan”.  Naturally, Granda’s lawyer firmly denies any connection between Granda and Cohen, or Granda and the photos in question.  The lawyer also asked the media to stop referring to his client as a “pool boy”.  He’d rather be known as a Georgetown University grad student.  And, apparently, owner of a “gay friendly” hostel in South Beach.

Miss Ross Cries #MeToo

I recently read headlines stating that Diane Ross had a run-in with TSA.  My initial thought was that this must be a summer rerun – remember those?  Didn’t this happen a while back?  So I searched the extensive archives on BillyMasters.com where I found every lurid detail from the September 1999 incident.  That one took place in London’s Heathrow Airport, when Ross objected to being patted down by security.  In retaliation, she reportedly grabbed the female officer’s breasts and said, “How do you like it?”  The officer liked it enough to detain her.

But, no, there’s a brand-new TSA incident.  We first heard about it via Ross’ Tweet: “OK so on one hand I’m treated like royalty in New Orleans and at the airport I was treated like shit.”  She followed that up by saying TSA was “over the top”.  “It’s not what was done but how.  I am feeling violated – I still feel her hands between my legs, front and back (saying to me ‘it her job’).  Really mixed emotions.  I always like to see the good things but not feeling good right now.”  Maybe it’s like Halley’s Comet – something that happens to Ross every 20 years.

LA Valley of the Dolls

I recently went to a special live benefit reading of Valley of the Dolls which starred Sheryl Lee Ralph as Helen Lawson and Wilson Cruz as Neely O’Hara.  To see Wilson pull off Deena Jones’ wig was heaven.  However, it was Alec Mapa who stole the show.  As Anne, he mimicked Barbara Parkins’ stilted line delivery to a T.  Rounding out the glamorous trio was Bruce Vilanch as Jennifer, who pined over “Tony” with all the music of a buxom Sharon Tate.  Marissa Jaret Winokur was great as Miss Steinberg, but it was her giggling at everything onstage which made me laugh out loud.  Gordon Thomson (from the original Dynasty) played Lyon with suave assurance.  Joan Van Ark was Miriam and told me, “What I really want to play is Helen Lawson – wasn’t Sheryl Lee incredible?”  A lithe Greg Louganis played Tony Polar, Tom Lenk was Mel, Mo Gaffney took on Mr. Bellamy, and Joely Fisher was the narrator.  The event benefited the LA LGBT Center and the Alcott Center for Mental Health Services.  And, naturally, I will run photos from the event on my website.

Hell Froze Over @90210

Someone returning to the fold is Shannen Doherty, who just signed on for the 90210 reboot!  Well, it’s not really a reboot.  It’s a semi-scripted reality show about the actors from the original 90210 coming together to try and put on a revival – and dealing with their real-life relationships along the way.  Needless to say, there is baggage to sift through (read: Shannen vs. Tori), so this may be fun.

Smollett’s Night Terrors

I’ve avoided it as long as I could – back to Jussie Smollett.  Do you want me to start with the good news or the bad news?  OK, the good news is that Jussie will no longer have to commute back and forth to Chicago – a city he’s not particularly welcomed in.  While FOX renewed Empire, there are no plans for Jussie to return to the show.  But it’s not all bleak for Smollett.  The network did extend his contract through next season – while also saying there are no plans for him to appear in any episodes.  Sigh, why can’t I get a job where someone pays me to stay home?

Lest you think Smollett’s troubles are behind him, a judge has subpoenaed prosecutor Kim Foxx in regard to how she handled the case – specifically, why she dropped all charges against Jussie (something we’re all wondering).  Meanwhile, the actor’s brother has revealed Jussie is having trouble sleeping due to “night terrors”.  You know what might help?  A brisk 2AM stroll to his local Subway sandwich shop!

Taking a break from all the Empire drama, creator Lee Daniels revealed some details about his gay superhero flick to CNN’s Van Jones.  “It’s true!  It’s called Superbitch.  I found him on Instagram of all places.  He does back flips and he has a cape and he does karate and, oh my God, he’s going to be a hero.  I’m not putting that much money behind it…a couple million dollars for a gay superhero movie is pretty f—king exciting.”  Jones replied, “With a name like Superbitch, you ain’t gotta promote it.”

Buttigieg Sex Scandal

 

“There’s a whole lot of sins that will keep you out of the Kingdom of God. 
Here’s just a sample: sexually immoral can’t get in; idolaters can’t get in;
adulterers can’t get in.  Men who practice homosexuality, and the term
that Paul uses there, he uses two different terms: one for the active participant,
and the other for the passive.  In the homosexual community,
one is called the bottom; the other is called the top.” 
  
– 
American Family Association radio host Bryan Fischer explains more over the free airwaves than
anyone teaches in Sex Ed.  Who knew the apostle Paul got specific about tops and bottoms?

As you know, I typically don’t get embroiled in the political arena.  But in my capacity as a television pundit (my latest appearance on The Take can be seen if you click here), I’ve been asked for my “take” on the Democratic candidates for president.  I may have predicted Miss Gillibrand would go low, but the story circulating about Pete Buttigieg is so low, it’s ludicrous.  In an inept attempt to smear Mayor Pete, a right-wing operative hired a Michigan college student to say he had been sexually assaulted by Buttigieg.  I hate to say “as if”, but AS IF!  The 21-year-old agreed when he was told the operative would buy him “any house I wanted” – an offer nobody has ever made me!  At the last moment, the kid felt that lying would “cost me the two most important things to me: honesty and integrity.”  See, this is why nobody has ever made this offer to moi!  Even before the fakery was revealed, some Republicans were skeptical.  “Not a fan of Mayor Pete but this whole thing seems shady as hell,” Tweeted Gregory T. Angelo, former head of the Log Cabin Republicans.  Thank God – some sanity!  And, while not germane to the story, might I just add that the 21-year-old in question is not what I’d call a looker – as you’ll see on my website.

Then evangelical Franklin Graham called upon Peter (which is apparently the name he prefers) to “repent”.  I’m sure Buttigieg was just as shocked when he heard Rick Santorum respond saying, “If he’s gonna say that about Pete Buttigieg, then he needs to when Donald Trump’s accusations come up about marital infidelity and other things that is [yes, he said “is”] equally sinful.  He should be equal and vociferous in calling out a similar sin.”  When asked if infidelity is the same kind of sin as homosexuality, Santorum said, “Well, that’s what the Christian religion teaches.  Both are violations of the traditional and sacred bonds of marriage, that outside of marriage is sinful behavior, yes.”

What’s In Noah’s CKs?

We started this column with a Noah, and now our Ask Billy question is about another.  Gary in Florida says, “What do you know about Noah Centineo?  I hear he’s got some nude videos out there.  Please find them.”

First I had to figure out who Noah Centineo is.  Apparently he was on the last three seasons of The Fosters.  He’s also modeled for Calvin Klein undies and is currently in the Netflix release The Perfect Date, which was originally developed as a Zac Efron project about 10 years ago.  As to the racy video, turns out there are two different clips of Noah pleasuring himself, which seems to me to be some of his best work – but I’m no expert.  It’s certainly an extensive piece of work, as you’ll see on BillyMasters.com.

 

Wendy’s Hubby’s BoyToy

I was wondering how long we’d have to wait for a gay angle on the Wendy Williams divorce story.  And now, one guy – R&B singer Aveon Falstar – says he was Mr. Wendy Williams’ boy toy.  In an interview (which you can watch on our website), Falstar claims that he had sex with Kevin Hunter on several occasions while signed to Hunter’s management company.  He claims that it started when he was staying at Hunter’s New Jersey townhouse.  He was on the bed asleep and naked.  Hunter came in and without provocation performed oral sex on him.  And apparently this was not an isolated encounter.  According to Aveon, they were naked in a sauna making out and performing oral sex on each other.  And then, according to Aveon, “We did each other in the butt.”  I should mention that Falstar is now married to a woman.  Of course, at the time of the incident, so was Hunter!  By the by, Aveon was also born a hermaphrodite, but we can only handle one story at a time.

Is Smollett In or Out?

Jussie Smollett.  Two months ago, the Empire actor was attacked by two Trump
supporters who turned out to be Nigerian weightlifters.  But then, Jussie was arrested
for working with them to fake a hate crime.  But then, the charges were dropped
for no reason.  And then, Jussie said the brothers really did attack him,
but they were in whiteface.  And now, the story’s starting to get weird…
I don’t know who’s writing The Jussie Smollett Story, but they deserve a raise.” 
  
– 
Trevor Noah’s take on the latest twists and turns in the Jussie Smollett’s story –
which we’ll cover later in this column.

On to Jussie Smollett.  Since I know you’re not watching Empire anymore, I can tell you that his character got married last week.  For these last two episodes of the season, he’ll be on his honeymoon.  While no official decision has been made about whether the show or Jussie will be back next season, his co-stars have banded together and issued a statement asking that Smollett be rehired.  “We understand the past months have been difficult to process – sometimes the headlines brought more confusion than clarity, yet we now have a conclusion to this ordeal.”  The letter continues: “Throughout Empire’s five seasons working with Jussie and watching how he has conducted himself throughout this traumatic event, we have come to know not just the character Jussie portrays, but also truly come to know Jussie’s personal character.  He is kind.  He is compassionate.  He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity.”  I dunno about all THAT!  The letter also says, “He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped.  We are confident in his lawyer’s assurance that the case was dismissed because it would not have prevailed.”

Of course, Jussie’s legal problems are far from over.  The City of Chicago is suing him for the cost of the investigation.  And now those hot Nigerian brothers are suing Jussie’s lawyers in federal court for defamation.  They claim that Smollett paid them “a sum of money to stage the attack to benefit himself” and that he “directed every aspect of the attack, including the location and the noose.”  They’re suing the lawyers because they “made these comments knowing they were untrue to distract from Mr. Smollett’s farce and to promote themselves and the Geragos & Geragos Law Firm.  Statements indicating Plaintiffs criminally battered Mr. Smollett without his consent are patently false and defamatory, as Mr. Smollett originated, planned, and orchestrated the attack.” 

And then there’s a gay angle.  Around the time of the “attack”, one of the brothers spent the night at Jussie’s place.  Jussie is gay, and the brother (Abel) plays the stand-in for Jussie’s love interest – which led to some sex rumors.  In the suit, Abel (who suddenly goes by the name Bola) says that just a rumor of someone having gay sex could put their entire family at risk.  “Same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Nigeria, which can result in 14 years of imprisonment.  If the accused is married, the punishment is death by stoning”.  Note to self – don’t do a layover in Nigeria!  Is it just me, or is Jussie’s life far more interesting than anything they’re writing on Empire?

More on Schock’s Cock

Last week, I told you all about disgraced former Representative Aaron Schock’s same-sex lip-lock at Coachella (video can be found on BillyMasters.com).  Along with the clip of him rummaging around in his dance partner’s shorts, there was also a photo of him with a group of very hot shirtless men.  We told you that two of the guys were a notable West Hollywood personal trainer and his boyfriend.  All I knew about the other couple was that they were wearing fanny packs.  They’ve now identified themselves as Will Rossi and Rob Massi, who use hashtags #gayboyfriends and #fitcouple.  Well, they are shocked that they’ve been dragged into this scandal.  “Will and I wanted to take a photo with our friends at Coachella, to celebrate our last day there.  Being polite, we allowed Aaron – who was basically a stranger to us and someone we just met – to include himself in our photo”. 

Of course, this isn’t some gigantic group photo.  It’s a photo of five hot shirtless guys.  And Schock, “basically a stranger”, is in the center.  When I take photos with a small gathering of friends, I rarely invite strangers to get in the center.  Well, there was that one time in Chicago…and he didn’t stay a stranger for long.  “We would not have allowed Aaron to join the photo, nor would we have associated with him if we had more knowledge of his beliefs and past actions.  For our own political ignorance, we are deeply sorry.”  From this part, it sounds like they barely knew the hot shirtless guy’s name at the time.  Not that I’m blaming them – it seems perfectly reasonable to moi.  They sum up by saying, “We hope Aaron does decide to come out publicly and live the gay life he so freely enjoyed at Coachella.”  Sounds like they may know more than they’re saying.

Provincetown Preview

Speaking of summer, I know many of my readers enjoy heading to Provincetown each year.  So, let me clue you in on some of the performers who are booked.  Since the Crown & Anchor got the jump on everyone, it’s a good place to start.  After all, the venerable complex truly wears the crown when it comes to Ptown – and entertainment is no different.  People like Lisa LampanelliSandra BernhardFran DrescherMargaret ChoLeslie JordanLorna LuftLinda LavinLucie Arnaz Jr will be headlining.  Seasonal performers like Thirsty BurlingtonPam Ann, and Dina Martina make the Crown sizzle all summer long.  Calendar and tickets can be found on OnlyAtTheCrown.com.

After some concerns last summer, the Provincetown Art House is back for another season.  Their headliners include Auntie Marilyn MayeSeth RudetskyJessie MuellerGavin CreelLiz CallawayFaith Prince, and Michael Cerveris, plus a special show by Debra Messing and Kathy Najimy – proving once and for all that they are not the same person.  Well-Strung is only there for a week, but resident performers include Judy GoldMiss Conception, and Varla Jean Merman.  Oh, and Steve Grand’s show is provocatively titled From Top to Bottom.  Let’s hope Mr. Grand finally shows us a bit of versatility this season.  Tix and deets at PtownArtHouse.com.

More Boys in the Band

Last summer, the 50th anniversary revival of The Boys in the Band was a hit on Broadway.  It broke box office records and recouped its investment, thanked in no small part to an all-star cast and expert direction by Joe Mantello.  The original cast made history by also appearing in the 1970 film version.  This revival will follow suit when it is made into a film, courtesy of Netflix (once again, produced by Ryan Murphy).  The entire ensemble – Jim ParsonsZachary QuintoMatt BomerAndrew RannellsTuc WatkinsCharlie CarverRobin de JesusMichael Benjamin Washington and Brian Hutchison – will spend their second summer together shooting this film in LA.  It’ll hit the air in early 2020.

Nick Kissed a Boy

Someone else shared a kiss with a guy and liked it.  Our favorite Bachelor is Nick Viall, who has been on the show about five times.  Sometimes he gets picked, sometimes he does the picking, sometimes he takes himself out of the running, but no matter the scenario, he always ends up alone.  Last week, he was on a podcast and revealed, “I made out with my first guy yesterday.  It was hot.”  When asked if he was nervous, he said, “I was a little bit.”  He also confirmed there was tongue.  And then added, “It moved” – in that Seinfeld way, letting us know he had at least some arousal.  No other details are available, but since he was filming for Funny or Die Productions, I assume we’ll all get to see it eventually.

Coachella Gets Schocked

Once again, everyone is talking about disgraced former Representative Aaron Schock.  Despite all outward appearances, Schock has never once said he’s gay.  In fact, while in office he supported several pieces of anti-gay legislation.  But politics is a complicated business and to have any power, you say what your constituents want to hear.  For instance, I know my fans want to hear me call out Schock for being a closet queen, but I won’t do it – no siree.  There’s always a chance he actually believes what he says.  Plus, there are gays who support Trump and are Republicans – so, what can I say about them?  Not much…unless they’re hot.

But, back to the item at hand.  Schock was photographed at Coachella in a group of five hot shirtless guys who have been described as “A-List Gays”, which sounds like a terrible show.  Two of the buffer bods belonged to openly gay WeHo trainer Keith Anthony and his boyfriend Tyler Tixier.  Does this mean they’re all friends?  Or do hot gay shirtless guys with single-digit body fat somehow find each other like homing pigeons…or bats?  Then a video was leaked which allegedly shows Schock dancing with and kissing another shirtless guy.  And, wait a minute – did Schock’s hands disappear into his partner’s pants?  I think it did.  I don’t know who the other guy is.  To be honest, from the poor lighting and awkward angle, I wouldn’t bet my life on the first guy being Schock.  What I can do is post the video (and the photos) on BillyMasters.com and you can decide for yourself.

I would hope it’s abundantly clear that I am no expert on Coachella.  The last time I was in Palm Springs was for Carol Channing’s memorial service, and I was one of the youngest people there.  At Coachella, I’d likely be one of the oldest.  You can keep the hip crowd.  I prefer the hip-replacement crowd – they can’t run as fast!

Billy, Biden & Camilla

Let’s start with a clarification.  On a recent appearance on NECN’s The Take, I did not mean to imply that Joe Biden’s running mate should be Camilla Parker-Bowles.  Channeling my inner Joan Rivers, I explained, “CamillaKamala – whatever!”  You can see the full interview on NECN.com or at BillyMasters.com.

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When we’re already looking forward to the summer, it’s definitely time to end yet another column.  Did I mention that New England Cable News dubbed me The Gossip King?  So, my loyal subjects, check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site where you needn’t stand on ceremony.  In fact, I always have time for my fans.  Reach out and touch me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Schock gets his hands out of my pants!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

The Pope’s Pee Pee

Our Ask Billy question comes from Henry in Chicago: “I just saw some photos of Jude Law in a white Speedo.  Are they recent?  Damn, he still looks hot.”

Thank you for bringing this up.  This past year, Jude Law filmed The New Pope – which is a sequel to the 2017 HBO series called The Young Pope.  At the end of that limited series, Law’s character appeared to have a stroke and died.  But I guess not – at least judging from the numerous photos we’ve snagged of him in a mighty skimpy Speedo.  You’ll think you died and went to heaven when you see the pics on BillyMasters.com.

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When Popes are strutting in see-through Speedos, it’s time to end yet another column.  So, did I piss off enough people?  Liberals, conservatives, daytime talk fans, and the pious?  Check, check, check, and check!  That’s what we do here at www.BillyMasters.com – even on the brink of Easter/Passover.  If you have a question, send it to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I round third (preferably with Jude Law).  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Runaway Neverland Train

The media has poked some holes in allegations presented in Leaving Neverland.  The biggest issue surrounds two of James Safechuck’s claims.  First, he said that the sexual abuse stopped when he was 14 – implying Jackson was only interested in pre-pubescent boys.  He also says that they had sex in a room above the Neverland train station.  But he turned 14 in 1992, and the train station wasn’t built until 1994.  Oops!  Another wrinkle is that Jackson spent most of 1994 living in NYC’s Trump Tower.  Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed pushed back, saying there was no proof when the train station was built – until he was presented with proof.  Reed then Tweeted, “Yeah there seems to be no doubt about the station date.  The date they have wrong is the end of the abuse.”  You mean, the date Safechuck claimed the abuse ended?  Which also would change the whole hypothesis of the doc?  I realize that one discrepancy doesn’t mean the rest didn’t happen, but it does throw everything into question.

Ring Around Wendy

Then there’s Wendy Williams.  After weeks, months, years of speculation, Wendy has filed for divorce from Kevin Hunter.  It seems like forever that the press has been reporting that he has a mistress.  But I suppose it all got real when that other woman got pregnant!  Not coincidentally, that’s when Wendy went MIA from her talk show and ended up in a sober house.  But even then, she put the kibosh on speculation that the couple was splitting up.  She’d point to her wedding band and say, “Don’t ask me about mine until you see this gone – and it ain’t going anywhere.  Not in this lifetime.”  Apparently a lifetime is roughly a month – that band of gold is now gone.  This ain’t Kevin’s first time cheating.  Wendy previously revealed he had an affair when she was pregnant with Kevin Jr.  In her 2001 memoir Wendy’s Got the Heat, she talked about what it would take to make her walk away from the marriage.  “The only thing that would make me walk out for good is if he lied about anything – if he was in love, if she was just as successful at what she does as I am in my career, if she had his baby.”  To be continued, I’m sure.

Sara’s Out

Daytime drama is not limited to The View.  Sara Gilbert just announced that she will be leaving The Talk.  Although she created the show, she was barely comfortable being on the panel, let alone hosting.  But with the abrupt departure of Mrs. Moonves, she stepped up and has proven to be an effective leader.  However, it was never an effortless fit.  The workload has gotten to her, and she feels the need to cut back – leaving an inconsolable Sharon Osbourne (as the sole remaining original co-host) also contemplating jumping ship.  So, when people call The View a train wreck, remember it has survived for 22 years.  The Talk is just ending its ninth.

What a year it’s been for Gilbert.  In two instances, she was forced to step into shoes somewhat larger than her own.  As we said, she helmed The Talk.  At the same time, she produced the reboot of Roseanne.  And, with Barr’s departure, her character became the focal point of The Conners.  That show was just renewed, but not everyone is happy.  And by “not everyone”, we mean Roseanne.  Although Barr’s Tweet is what led to her premature ejection, she puts much of the blame on Gilbert chiming in and saying the views in her Tweet were “abhorrent and do not reflect the beliefs of our cast and crew or anyone associated with our show.”  According to Roseanne, “She destroyed the show and my life with that tweet.  She will never get enough until she consumes my liver with a fine Chianti.”  In response, Sara said this: “While I’m extremely disappointed and heartbroken over the dissolution of the original show, she will always be family, and I will always love Roseanne.”  Sad, sad, sad.

Rock, Paper, Pence

I was flabbergasted when I read that Karen Pence – Mike Pence’s handsome wife – felt that openly gay presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was bringing up her husband for publicity.  She took issue with Mayor Pete mentioning Pence’s support for conversion therapy.  The specific quote which set her off was this: “That’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me.  Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.”  Mrs. Pence and her daughter Charlotte were promoting that precious little bunny book on Brian Kilmeade’s radio program.  Karen said, “It’s kind of funny because I don’t think the vice president does have a problem with him.  But I think it’s helping Pete to get some notoriety.”

In case you don’t know, prior to becoming vice president, Pence was the governor of Indiana, and Buttigieg is mayor of South Bend.  It should be noted that Pence never specifically attacked Mayor Pete – just like it should be noted that Mayor Pete didn’t call out Mr. Pence; he called out “the Mike Pences of the world”.  But Mrs. Pence might actually be onto something.  Pete Buttigieg is currently polling third in New Hampshire – behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, who hasn’t even declared his candidacy.

Grindr’s For Sale

Do you have a spare $100 million?  If so, you could buy Grindr.  Yes, the popular “gay dating” app is for sale – and not necessarily by choice.  The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has ruled that the ownership of the California-based app by a Chinese gaming company is a security risk.  Apparently, the government is concerned that the personal data of users could be compromised.

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When I’m the only one who hasn’t been compromised on Grindr, it’s time to end yet another column.  If you’re looking for online fun where the risks are minimal, check out www.BillyMasters.com – the site that always plays safe.  If you have a question for me, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before China offers me millions for my website!  Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

Impromptu Nanny Reunion

Speaking of our favorite Nanny, I caught up with Fran last week at the opening of Renée Taylor’s one-woman show My Life on a Diet at the Wallis Annenberg Center in Beverly Hills.  Fran (accompanied by her dashing ex-hubby Peter Marc Jacobson) enthusiastically talked about her upcoming return to sitcom television.  A pilot of Uninsured was ordered by NBC, and the cast just had their first table read.  “And everyone is so nice,” gushed Fran.  “If it’s not going to be fun, why bother?”  And she sure knows about fun – Drescher has been on the road lately performing her own show, Schmoozing with Fran Drescher.  She spends half of the show onstage alone telling stories.  And then, Peter comes out to interview her and also take questions from the audience.  I have heard the show has been a smash hit on the road – so much so that she’s gonna be at Town Hall in Provincetown this summer, courtesy of Rick Murray and The Crown & Anchor.  You can grab tickets for the August 10th show at OnlyAtTheCrown.com.

Back to Renée Taylor.  Quite simply, she’s a national treasure.  What a lady!  The 86-year-old effortlessly weaves her way through a lifetime of struggles with her weight – which mirrored many of the other struggles in her life and career.  Ironically, once she accepted herself, fame, fortune and love arrived at roughly the same time.  There’s a lesson in there somewhere.  The love Taylor has for the audience was reciprocated by the capacity audience, led by Drescher and other members of The Nanny cast.  Also in the crowd were veteran actors Hal Linden and Barbara Eden, who recently appeared together in Love Letters.  My Life on a Diet is in the midst of a national tour.  It plays here in Beverly Hills until April 14th.  For more dates and info, check out MyLifeOnADietPlay.com.  And, of course, I’ll run photos from the opening on BillyMasters.com.

Chicago Sues Smollett

In a more recent scandal, Jussie Smollett’s troubles are far from over.  The Mayor Rahm Emanuel made good on his promise to sue the actor for $130,000.  “Mr. Smollett has refused to reimburse the City of Chicago for the cost of police overtime spent investigating his false police report on January 29, 2019.  The Law Department is now drafting a civil complaint that will be filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  Once it is filed, the Law Department will send a courtesy copy of the complaint to Mr. Smollett’s LA based legal team.”  For his part, Smollett has gotten more brazen and is sinking his heels in deeper to defend his innocence.  He had his legal eagle Mark Geragos draft a letter, stating that his client “would not be intimidated”.  He then threatened to call Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to testify – something I don’t believe either of them would mind.  We’re not sure if Jussie would be quite so eager, since Geragos ends his statement by saying, “Mr. Smollett’s preference remains, however, that this matter be closed and that he be allowed to move on with his life.”  My preference would be that I be allowed to sleep with Jussie’s Empire brothers, but that ain’t happening either!

Classic Hasselbeck Meltown

If you’re anything like me (and I believe many of you are), you have been waiting with bated breath for the tell-all book about The View.  Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View could only have been written by a gay man.  That gay man, Ramin Setoodeh, had unprecedented access to virtually every member of the talk show – both behind and in front of the camera.  He had previously written various pieces for VarietyVanity Fair and other publications.  Once the book was announced, virtually everyone was willing to go on the record – the only holdouts of note were Whoopi Goldberg and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.  Even to someone like me who has had more access than most to the inner workings of ABC’s venerable daytime drama, much of this was news.  Quotes by Barbara Walters herself, executive producer Bill Geddie, and others will shock and titillate you. 

One of the biggest scandals recounted in the book stems from the time after Meredith had left, Star had been fired, and Rosie had yet to début as moderator (although she was backstage).  On the panel with Barbara that day were Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and guest host Lisa Loeb.  The prime Hot Topic was that the morning-after pill had been approved by the FDA.  Hasselbeck made it clear in the pre-show meeting that she was passionately against the pill.  Alas, her passion was a bit out of control.  Lizzie got more vitriolic than Walters was comfortable with, and the grande dame attempted several times to calm things down.  Finally, Walters scolded, “Could you stop now?  We have to go on and we have to learn how to discuss these things in some sort of rational way.”

The show went to commercial, Elisabeth quickly left the set and first erupted to Behar – forgetting, of course, that they all still had their mikes on.  “Fuck that!  I’m not going to sit there and get reprimanded on the air!”  Joy attempted to calm her down, but Elisabeth kept complaining about “that woman”, and stormed off to her dressing room saying she quit.  Meanwhile, a producer told Barbara (who was also still miked) that Elisabeth wouldn’t come back on the air.  “She has to!  Bill, she has to.  This is why we shouldn’t have done this discussion.”  Then Behar came back and confirmed the news.  Barbara’s response?  “Well, that’s ridiculous.”  Geddie darted downstairs to Hasselbeck’s dressing room to avert a disaster – bear in mind, it’s only a three-minute commercial break.  He does some fast talking, lying, cajoling, and gets her to return – with Barbara alternately apologizing and defending herself.  In case anyone doubts the veracity of this combustible scene, turns out that “someone” made a copy of the audio from everyone’s mikes in the sound booth.  To hear it all transpire in real time, check out BillyMasters.com.

Lambert’s New Beau

I get oodles of Ask Billy question each week.  Although I answer each and every one, sometimes they aren’t fit for print.  And sometimes I simply don’t have an answer.  Those unanswered letters sit in a pile and haunt me, awaiting the perfect reply.  After waiting a month, Gary in Detroit is finally getting his answer: “Who was Adam Lambert’s hot date at the Oscars?  Young, curly hair, cute.  Lots of pics online but no one named him.”

And that’s because nobody had his name…until now.  The boyfriend in question is 24-year-old model/customer service rep Javi Costa Polo from Mallorca, Spain, but currently living here in the States.  When someone asked if they were finally official, Lambert quipped, “Honey, we have been official for months.  IG isn’t the gatekeeper of our truth!”  Since they’ve gone public, we’ve got photos of them – together and separately – on BillyMasters.com.

EH Prays the Gay Away

We all know there was tension when Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Rosie O’Donnell were both co-hosts on The View.  But was it sexual?  In the upcoming Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View by our very own Ramin Setoodeh, Ro reveals the depth of her crush.  “I loved her,” she says.  Joy Behar pipes in, “I think there were underlying lesbian undertones on both parts.”  Both parts – hmm.  Rosie adds, “I think this is something that will hurt her if you write it.  She was the MVP of a Division 1 softball team for two years that won the finals.  There are not many, in my life, girls with such athletic talent on sports teams that are traditionally male that aren’t at least a little bit gay.”  Getting back to her feelings, O’Donnell clarifies, “There was a little bit of a crush.  But not that I wanted to kiss her.  I want to support, raise, elevate her, like she was the freshman star shortstop and I was the captain of the team…but it was in no way sexualized.” 

Needless to say, these revelations make Lizzie very uncomfortable.  “The truth is, what she said, if you took her words and replaced ‘Rosie’ for ‘Ronald’, there would be an objectification of women in the workplace.  So that’s disturbing and it’s wrong.  Whether you’re a man or whether you’re a woman, and you’re objectifying women in the workplace, it’s wrong.”  Have I missed a memo?  I think there’s a difference between “objectifying” and “having a crush” – especially one which isn’t acted upon.  What Hasselbeck did when she heard this news is also telling.  “I’ll be very honest.  I read it and I immediately started praying.  Because I’m like, ‘How am I going to handle this?’”  So, lemme get this straight – Hasselbeck actually attempted to pray the gay away?

Since Elisabeth was writing her own book, she is not included in the View tell-all.  To the best of my knowledge, every co-host participated except for Hasselbeck and Jenny McCarthy.  There are loads of juicy stories in the book…but we’ll get to those another time.  And most of them involve BW…but don’t tell her (well, first you’d have to tell her that she’s BW!).

Papal Snatch Back

The Pope is suddenly against people kissing his ring – a tradition that dates back centuries.  The Pontiff feels the practice is “non-hygienic” – ‘cause Heaven knows where that ring’s been.  Call me old-fashioned, but I like a bit of theatricality with my religion.  And I’ve never heard a Catholic priest turn down anything oral!  But you know what I also like?  A sassy Pope!  Have you seen recent videos of the Pope’s meet-and-greets?  Well, I’m sure that’s not what the Vatican calls ‘em, but people line up to meet the Pope, he extends his hand, they lean in to kiss the ring, and BANG – he snatches it back with a smile which seems to say, “Gotcha!”  I’m all about a Papal snatch-back!

Smollett Gets Off

“’I’ve been getting in shape for tonight with the Jussie Smollett workout.  You hire two
trainers and sweat for eight weeks.  It wipes out all your belly fat…and credibility.” 
  
– 
Sean Hayes begins his acceptance speech at the GLAAD Awards.

With the stroke of a pen, Jussie Smollett’s troubles came to an end – at least legally.  All 16 criminal charges against him were dropped.  But that doesn’t mean he isn’t guilty – according to the guy who dropped the charges!  Joseph Magats, First Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney, says, “I do not believe he is innocent.  We stand behind the Chicago Police Department’s investigation and our decision to approve charges in this case.  We did not exonerate Mr. Smollett.  The charges were dropped in return for Mr. Smollett’s agreement to do community service and forfeit his $10,000 bond to the City of Chicago.  Without the completion of these terms, the charges would not have been dropped.  This outcome was met under the same criteria that would occur for and is available to any defendant with similar circumstances.”  Except, of course, the court records were sealed – something which likely would not have happened to “any defendant” unless their “similar circumstances” were deep pockets, celebrity, and lawyer Mark Geragos.  This may not have been a “plea deal”, but make no mistake – it was most certainly a deal.

Ironically, it’s not even a deal anyone is happy about.  Let’s start with the City of Chicago, which has sent a letter to Smollett’s attorney along with a bill for $130,000 to cover the costs of the investigation.  The letter implies prosecution should the bill be ignored.  The letter was initiated by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.  The next person unhappy with the deal may surprise you – Smollett himself!  His lawyer released a statement: “It is the Mayor and the Police Chief who owe Jussie an apology for dragging an innocent man’s character through the mud.  Jussie has paid enough.”  In fact, he believes he paid more than enough.  Smollett’s attorney has indicated that he’s considering suing the City of Chicago.  So, he’s lucky and stupid!  But you know the biggest surprise?  Donald The Art of the Deal Trump is unhappy with the deal Jussie got!  “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago.  It is an embarrassment to our Nation.”  Do you realize how fucked you are when Donald Trump considers you an embarrassment?  Sadly, it’s also the first thing Trump has been right about.

I know what you’re all thinking – what about those hot Nigerian brothers?  Jussie’s lawyer reiterated that he paid them for “nutrition and physical training”.  As to what happens to them, I’m guessing nothing.  They cooperated with the authorities and provided them with the evidence in that sealed case file.  So while they are free, my hunch is you won’t see them hanging around the set of Empire.  But I have two words of advice for them – gay porn.

Beau Shows Off

Our Ask Billy question is a response to last week’s column.  Kevin in Baltimore writes, “Thanks for the JO video of Tyler Posey.  But I think his [Now Apocalypse] co-star Beau Mirchoff is even hotter.  Didn’t you once have a video of him?”

You’re right – I completely forgot about that!  Last July, I told you about Beau – best known from Desperate Housewives and Awkward.  Apparently, he indulged in several online masturbation scenes, which some unknown paramour leaked.  But, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – especially since Beau resembles another part of the horse.  See for yourself on BillyMasters.com.

colorbar1When we’re wrapping things up with a Beau, it’s time to end yet another column.  Here’s one little tidbit that I got out of Barbra’s interview which I never knew before – Streisand turned down Michael Jackson’s request to record a duet!  Those are the little things you’ll discover when you check out www.BillyMasters.com – site that also delivers such big things.  For your burning questions, write to me at Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Babs records her own version of “Bad”. Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

So Long Dearie

I just returned from Palm Springs where I attended Remembering Carol: A Tribute to Carol Channing.  This was a bittersweet event – but happily far more sweet than bitter.  The bitter, of course, is that our beloved Carol is no longer with us.  But, my God, the room was filled with such love and warmth that it was truly as if she never left.  It was certainly not lost on me that it took a dozen luminaries to create a feeling Channing could do simply by walking into a room.  Those gathered shared songs and stories about someone who was truly unique.  People like Carole CookLily TomlinTyne DalyRuta LeeDavis Gaines, and Kristin Chenoweth.  Despite the star power in that theatre, there was only one way to end the celebration – with a video of Carol herself singing the eleven o’clock number from Hello, Dolly!.  To our beloved Carol – so long dearie.

Gruber and Frying Pan

Remember Nick Gruber?  He was the former “model” (he said euphemistically) who was once the paramour of Calvin Klein.  Then he tried to get a reality show with some other “winner” (ditto).  Last week, he found himself in court for – get ready for it – beating up someone with a frying pan.  On September 3, 2018, Nick allegedly hit an unnamed man with a frying pan and refused to allow him to leave an apartment on East 76th Street in NYC which belonged to co-defendant, Brandon Steele.  According to court documents, “The victim was treated at Lenox Hill Hospital for several broken bones to the back, as well as a nearly severed ear and injuries to the orbital bone that could, potentially, affect vision.”  Nick has been charged with second-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment – which you may recall is what Boy George was charged with after he handcuffed that hooker to a bed. 

Why is an incident that happened over six months ago in the news?  Because on March 5, 2019, Gruber allegedly broke into an apartment in the same building and stole a bag of methamphetamines!  However, Nick says he was subletting the apartment – except the super didn’t know him (but, may I say in his defense, been there, done that).  Gruber is out on $5K bail and due back in court on April 4th.  By the way, a photographer from the New York Post wanted to take his picture in court.  Nick’s only concern was, “How does my hair look?”  Priorities.

Streisand on Jackson

“’It didn’t kill them’  @BarbraStreisand did you really say that?!”   
– 
Dan Reed, director of Leaving Neverland, responding to Streisand’s comments on the documenta

I look high and low for a quote to kick off each column.  This week, it came courtesy of Miss Barbra Streisand.  However, it also requires a bit more discussion.  In an interview with The Times of London, she talked about the documentary Leaving Neverland.  Babs says she believes James Safechuck and Wade Robson.  When asked her feelings about Michael Jackson, she said, “It’s a combination of feelings.  I feel bad for the children.  I feel bad for him.  I blame, I guess, the parents, who would allow their children to sleep with him.  Why would Michael need these little children dressed like him and in the shows and the dancing and the hats?”  I think what they were wearing is less germane to the scenario than what they weren’t, but I see where she’s going.  Alas, then she got herself into trouble: “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.  You can say ‘molested’, but those children, as you heard say, they were thrilled to be there.  They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”  There’s that sympathetic Babs we know and love.

Needless to say, this led to quite a bit of outrage.  Streisand attempted to clarify with a statement: “To be crystal clear, there is no situation or circumstance where it is OK for the innocence of children to be taken advantage of by anyone.  The stories these two young men shared were painful to hear, and I feel nothing but sympathy for them.  The single most important role of being a parent is to protect their children.  It’s clear that the parents of these two young men were also victimized and seduced by fame and fantasy.” 

Then Miss Ross got involved.  She Tweeted, “This is what’s on my heart this morning.  I believe and trust that Michael Jackson was and is a magnificent incredible force to me and to many others.  STOP IN THE NAME OF LOVE.”  There’s that sympathetic Diane we know and love.  But, riddle me this – would she have let Michael babysit her two sons?  Well, if the sons were nine years old, white and blond?

Pocket Full of Posey

Not to be outdone, Tyler Posey is enjoying Starz’s Now Apocalypse.  Once again, he’s batting for our team.  “I was excited to play a gay character, because I’m really comfortable with my sexuality.”  How comfortable?  “As soon as I committed to the project, I was all in.  I’m shoving my tongue down some dude’s throat, and I don’t know how much else I can say, but we jerked off in the alley in the first episode.  Bring it on.”

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This leads to a very quick Ask Billy question from Morris in NYC: “Tyler Posey is SO hot on Now Apocalypse.  I really wanna see his dick.  I bet he’s packin’.  Has he done a nude scene?”

Not officially.  But, of course, we do have photos of his dick.  We’ve even got a video of it in action – courtesy of an online chat he had where he pleasured himself to climax.  You can do the same on BillyMasters.com.

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When we’re bringing you a pocket full of Posey, it’s time to end yet another column.  You can find all this and more on www.BillyMasters.com – the site that always delivers the starz.  If you’ve got a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before someone uses the Lou Pearlman documentary as their Magic Mike audition tape.  So, until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible.

The Lou Pearlman Story

Lance Bass produced a documentary called The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story.  The doc features many members of bands led by the shamed, jailed, and now deceased impresario.  But one name is conspicuously absent.  For years it’s been rumored that Nick Carter got the lion’s share of “attention” from Lou – attention which is said to have scarred him.  He skipped this project, so we won’t hear his story.  We’ll have to settle for Ashley Parker Angel from O-Town, who is best known for long, luxurious footage filmed in the shower – kinda like that previously virginal bachelor.  We’re told Lou had all the unedited footage squirreled away for his own “use”. 

There is a Carter who is in the flick – Aaron Carter.  It’s said that Lou focused on him once Nick started growing pubes.  And, of course, Aaron ain’t one to turn down publicity.  In fact, he posted a photo of himself recently with the following caption: “I think I look fucking great!”  Check him out on our website and decide for yourself.

If Aaron thinks he looks so freaking good, I’ve got a job for him – The Magic Mike Musical is currently holding auditions for men 18-30 “in excellent physical shape”.  They are accepting video submissions that include “a brief pop/rock song not longer than one minute in length that shows off range” (sorry, Aaron) and “a brief contemporary or hip-hop dance clip no longer than two minutes in length that shows off athleticism, technique, and any specialty skills (gymnastics, tumbling, etc.).  No nudity.”  To think I was about to volunteer my services to screen the videos.  You had me, then you lost me.

Saint Patrick’s Pow Wow

Vice President Mike Pence invited the Irish Prime Minister to his home for a Saint Patrick’s Day brunch.  Nothing strange about that – except the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, is gay and brought his male partner.  And, of course, Pence has supported conversion therapy.  Maybe it was all a plot – get the Irish gays drunk on beer, corned beef and cabbage, and then try to convert them with Mrs. Pence in a seductive flannel teddy.  If that was the plan, it failed miserably.  Turns out, Pence and Varadkar met last year, and the VP invited Leo and his partner to visit.  So that’s what they did.  Varadkar made a speech about how the world has changed since he was young.  “I stand here leader of my country, flawed and human, but judged by my political actions and not my sexual orientation, my skin tone, gender, or religious beliefs.  And I don’t believe my country is the only one in the world where this story is possible.  It is found in every country where freedom and liberty are cherished.  We are, after all, all God’s children.”  And that, kiddies, is how you do it.  If you end with a bit about God, what’s Pence gonna say?

College Admissions Scam

I’m terribly disappointed in Felicity Huffman when it comes to this whole college admissions scandal.  Frankly, I expected more from her.  But since I’m capable of having two contradictory thoughts at the same time, I must also admit that I feel bad for her.  Yes, she did something wrong.  But how can you lump in Huffman’s $15K payment to bump up her daughter’s SAT scores with parents who paid half a MILLION dollars to get their daughters into college?  I have absolutely no respect for Lori Loughlin and designer Mossimo Giannulli – and that was even before this scandal broke.  And before I saw those videos of her bitch daughter who I suspect has done many things with an oar that didn’t include sculling.  But really, Feds?  You send a SWAT team to Felicity’s house at dawn in bulletproof vests to bring her in like she’s El Chapo, while Loughlin blithely flies in from her latest/last Hallmark set in Canada?  Oh, the humanity!  I’m rooting for Felicity to just pay a fine and be done with this.  But Loughlin and Moss should be locked up and forced to watch When Calls the Heart on an endless loop.

Still Laugh-In

Last week, I went to a gala evening at the Dolby Theatre celebrating the 50th anniversary of Laugh-In.  For Still Laugh-In: The Stars CelebrateNetflix hoped to assemble the remaining living cast members.  They were one short – no Goldie (for reasons well known to them, or so I’m told).  In the role of Goldie Hawn we got Miss Loni Anderson (no, not in a bikini).  Happily, we did have Lily Tomlin (who did two new Ernestine and Edith Ann sketches – both of which were pre-taped), Jo Anne Worley (who was chewing up the scenery) and Ruth Buzzi (who currently bears a striking resemblance to Ruth Bader Ginsberg).  The event was hosted by Tiffany Haddish and self-proclaimed sword swallower, Neil Patrick Harris.  Guest stars included Jay LenoBilly CrystalBill MaherChelsea HandlerCheri Oteri, and a bunch of others who I must say neither Bruce Vilanch nor I could place.  The low point was a musical number by the two Ritas – Moreno and Wilson.  And we had to sit through it twice.  I loves me some Moreno, but this was not good.  The spunky Latina made sure to let the audience know it wasn’t her fault.  “I’m not taking the blame for this shit – we’ve been sitting back there in the freezing cold for two hours!”

The evening ran very long and towards the end, people were leaving.  At one point, I was pulled from my seat and asked to sit in the front row next to Norman Lear – talk about television royalty!  Two seats over was Laugh-In creator, George Schlatter – who recognized me and said hi.  All I kept thinking was, FINALLY I’m the young one!  Then Norman leaned over to George and said, “Can you believe we created being funny on television?”  George said, “Yeah, and they’re KILLING it!  But we can fix it in post!”  Priceless.  The special will air later this season.

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Mad About Mean Gays

If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you’ll wanna catch Peaches Christ’s touring production of Mean Gays!  The outrageous parody features a cavalcade of stars, including Kim ChiWillamPeaches and Laganja Estranja.  The capacity crowd at LA’s Montalban Theatre could not have been more enthusiastic – especially with the surprise appearance of Daniel Franzese, who was in the film Mean Girls.  I eagerly await their next endeavor – a mash-up of First Wives Club and Fight Club called First Wives Fight Club.  For dates and tix, check out PeachesChrist.com.

At long last Mad About You is returning to TV, although it’s not gonna be on a channel anyone’s ever heard of.  The reboot has been picked up by Spectrum, which used to be Time Warner Cable.  I know what you’re wondering – is it gonna be on public access?  Nope.  This new channel is called Spectrum Originals, which you can get if you have Spectrum, or you can pay to see it online.  Who knows how this will work.  I’m told that the limited series will have no commercials, it picks up Paul and Jamie as empty nesters, and Helen Hunt will direct the first episode (she directed the finale to the original sitcom).  Look for it to debut next season.

RIP Luke Perry

Now we move onto the tragic news about Luke Perry.  52 years old, in good health, massive stroke, medically induced coma, and then dead.  Having just crossed the half-a-century mark, this story hits a bit too close to home.  But here’s something I didn’t know – he had his stroke while waiting to be picked up to go to the memorial service of Young and the Restless actor Kristoff St. John…who also died at 52.  Talk about eerie.  All sorts of lovely stories about Luke have come out.  Ian Ziering reminisced about when he and wife Erin were shooting maternity pictures in their backyard.  Luke showed up with tools and supplies – he decided Ian needed a fenced-in area to keep the imminent arrival safe.  The other story which tugged at my heartstrings was when Perry gave his son’s dinosaur blanket to Jarrod Emick when he had a baby boy.  It came with a card: “Walker – Welcome to the world.  Good to have you aboard.  This blanket belonged to my son when he was your age.  It kept him warm many nights, and all of these dinosaurs are friendly and will protect you.  Mom & Dad – I wish you all the very best.  Now your life has really started.  Best wishes always, Luke.”  I think that pretty much sums up the kinda guy he was.

Loving Neverland

One of the statistics I have cited lo these two-plus decades is that most men have their first sexual experience with other men.  I realize this is not particularly scandalous to the men reading this column.  But we are talking all men – straight and gay alike.  Before you go all Corey Feldman on me, the term “sexual experience” often refers to a “circle jerk”, which figures into so many art films in my collection.  This came back to me when I read about the proliferation of jerk-off clubs targeting straight men.  Before you rush off to buy a membership, it should be noted that these clubs have strict policies against any oral or anal interaction, and one must keep one’s hands to oneself.  Kinda takes all the fun out of it.

This inevitably leads to a discussion about Leaving Neverland.  I can’t imagine anything in there shocked or even surprised my readers.  Learning that Michael taught these boys how to masturbate fits into the aforementioned statistic.  But the similarity ends there.  Beyond all that sex stuff – which I believed – these boys (now men) truly loved Michael Jackson.  What troubles most people about this – aside from, of course, the idea of falling in love with one’s abuser – is that these men identify themselves as heterosexual.  Not only heterosexual, but married with children.  I have had numerous discussions with people who cannot comprehend how any of this is possible.  But what this doc hammered home was how it is possible to have two completely contradictory feelings at the same time.  Kudos to Oprah’s after-show for focusing primarily on Wade and Jimmy’s emotional turmoil.  Again, putting the sex aside, these boys who had no romantic experience fell totally in love with Michael and saw themselves tossed aside when the latest Culkin came down the pike.  I know how I feel when someone stops returning my calls, or simply moves on.  I can’t imagine what someone their age felt like.  I suspect this emotional upheaval is what has caused the most psychological damage, and I feel for them…but not in that JO club kinda way.

Kiddie Pageant Celebration

Now that awards season is over, I can get back to my normal life – and part of that normal life is going to theatre.  The Celebration Theatre is one of my favorite places – it brought us Naked Boys Singing, so that’s gotta count for something.  The first show of the season is Born to Win, written by Matthew Wilkas (that’s Mrs. Gus Kenworthy to you) and Mark Setlock and starring Wilkas and Drew Droege.  It’s a spoof on the cutthroat world of kiddie beauty pageants, a subject rife for parody.  The play milks the premise with over-the-top performances, clever staging, and actors playing numerous roles.  Don’t even get me started on how they handle the kiddie aspect without actually having kids (for the most part).  Are there holes in the show?  Absolutely – if you think about it, the entire conceit falls apart, which is unfortunate because these problems could have been solved in the writing.  As to the cast, Drew Droege can do virtually anything.  Here he is utilized exceptionally well and gives a performance worthy of Charles Busch (whose plays he often stars in).  Mr. Wilkas – well, he sure is purty.  And he’s a good actor.  Is parody or farce his strong suit?  Well…he sure is purty.  The play runs through March 31st, and I heartily recommend it.  At 90 minutes and $25 for tickets, what’s not to like?  Grab those tix at CelebrationTheatre.com.

A Gay Morman Cougar

A gay popped up in the strangest place – at a Brigham Young University football game!  Charlie Bird is not a football player – he’s the team’s mascot.  Or, rather, he was – from 2015 to 2018.  He says, “I never planned on coming out as Cosmo the Cougar.  I never dreamed I would one day have enough courage to come out publicly as gay.  Today I did both in an article with Deseret News.  I hope that by some of my experiences I can help start conversations that increase empathy and understanding between the LGBTQ community and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Even more important, I wish to give hope to other people in my situation that may feel isolated and alone.  Please check out the article and let me know what you think.  Huge shout out to my teammates, coach, and BYU athletics for their love and support.  I will forever bleed blue.”  Which leads to the obvious question – what do you call a gay cougar?  I think chicken hawk will suffice.

Mirren Wants Some Mamoas

Lots of people were drooling over Jason Momoa at the Oscars – including the positively lactating Dame Helen Mirren.  And you know what would go well with some powdered milk?  Girl Scout cookies.  And this gave little Charlotte Holmberg from Colorado an idea.  The ingenious ingénue did a bit of Photoshopping and turned her beloved Samoas into Momoas adorned with Jason’s shirtless torso.  Suddenly, her cookies were selling like hot cakes…which I realize is a mixed metaphor, but that’s how it goes sometimes.  Her best customers were other girls in her class – who likely have posters of unicorns adorning their bedroom walls.  When asked about the situation, Jason said, “I love Girl Scout cookies.  I was, like, waiting to get some free ones.  I’d love some.”  He better get them quickly.  A spokesperson for the Scouts backpedaled and said not many were sold and packaging was confined to a “limited number…for friends and family.”  Yeah, right.  For legal reasons, I’m sure.

Marx/Jonas Connection

I recently watched a documentary about the Marx Brothers – now, stay with me.  I promise to make this relevant.  I was particularly interested in a comment Groucho made well past the brothers’ prime.  He said that at least half of their classic films were made because Chico needed money to cover gambling debts.  And the brothers needed Groucho for them to be successful (and he could use the money to pay alimony to multiple wives).  As it turns out, Harpo was the most stable one with a healthy marriage and personal life.  This anecdote came back to me when I heard about this Jonas Brothers reunion.  Nick is clearly Groucho – the one you need to get a record deal.  And Kevin is probably Harpo.  Does that make Joe Chico?  To really solidify this connection and make it stick, I still have to calculate how many Marx Brothers would have slept with Taylor Swift.

 

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