Quantcast

2000's Feed

Favorite Gay-Oriented SNL Sketches

Saturday night live title card

 

I've watched Saturday Night Live off and on since its first season in 1975-76 (when I was a freshman in college). Now finishing up its 44th season, the show is approaching 1,000 telecasts - which translates into more than 10,000 comedic sketches.  Despite this huge inventory I don't recall any sketches with a gay angle until the early '90s.  What follows are nearly two dozen that I get a kick out of, the majority being from the past ten years.  Some have an out-and-out gay storyline, others have a gay sensibility to them, or a character who's gay (or seemingly gay).

 

 

THE ACTRESS

From the latest season, guest host Emma Stone plays an eager actress who plays the role of jilted wife in a gay porn video.  The guy who plays her husband is a skeevy-looking character; the godson looks like Taylor Lautner (remember him?).  (Season 44, 2018-19)

 

Emma-Stone_SNL 2019

 

LAWYERS MEET BOSS'S 'GAY-FAMOUS' NEW WIFE

An established lawyer (played by Larry David) introduces colleagues from his law firm to his "gay-famous" new wife.  (Season 43, 2017-18)

 

Gay famous

 

OLIVE GARDEN

The director of an Olive Garden commercial shoot requests a lesbian kiss between Scarlett Johansson's and Leslie Jones' characters.  (Season 42, 2016-17)

 

Olive-garden-commercial-shoot-snl-bw0

 

LESBIAN MAKE-OUT SESSION IN KITCHEN

While her husband and his friends are watching the Super Bowl, oblivious to what's happening in the kitchen behind them, the sister of one of the friends (played by Kristen Stewart) seduces the dutiful wife who's preparing Totinos frozen pizzas.  (Season 42, 2016-17)

 

Lesbain totinos ad_snl

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF A DENTIST

This sketch, featuring Scarlett Johansson and Kenan Thompson, brought us to a memorial service for a dentist who, unbeknownst to his wife, composed deep club tracks.  (Season 42, 2016-17)

 

Keenan thompson and scarlett johnanssen

 

CHERRY GROVE LESBIANS

This sketch is a tune-in promo about a reality series on Logo about lesbians and their summer share at Cherry Grove.  And it contrasts life there with life in the Pines, the high-energy gay community next door.  (Season 40, 2016-17)

 

Cherrygrove

 

MICROSOFT'S GAY ROBOT

Human-looking robots are introduced at a trade fair and the audience is puzzled why they've been programmed to be overtly gay (played by Beck Bennett and Kyle Mooney).  (Season 42, 2016-17)

 

Microsoft-gayrobots-sketch-snl-1200x675

 

SARAH'S DESIRE

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler played two actresses who get acting directions to be more over-the-top in the their reactions to each other during a lesbian scene in a movie(Season 41, 2015-16)

 

Tina fey and amy poehler

 

GLORY HOLE RESTAURANT

A New York couple (Peter Dinklage and Aidy Bryant) take out of town friends from Columbus, OH to a trendy restaurant in the Meatpacking District that in the '70s and '80s was a seedy club whose attraction was its glory holes.  (Season 41, 2015-16)

 

Snl glory hole restaurant

 

WHISKERS R WE

This skit has two lesbians showing the assortment of kittens available at their shelter.  Kate McKinnon is paired with guest hosts that included Amy Adams, Charlize Theron and Tiffany Haddish.  (Season 40, 2014-15)

 

Whiskers r we snl with charlize theron

 

"DYKES & FATS" COP SHOW

TV promo for the buddy cop show Dykes & Fats (Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant) that is likely a tribute to the '80s show Cagney & Lacey(Season 39, 2013-14)

 

Dykes and fats_snl

 

'TARGET LADY' MEETS HER FIRST LESBIAN

Kristen Wiig played the Target lady innumerable times and in this sketch she had her first encounter with a lesbian customer.  (Season 38, 2012-13)  

 

Target lady snl

 

GAY SUMMER WEDDINGS

This parody pharmaceutical ad for Xanax for Gay Summer Weddings is prescribed to heterosexuals attending weddings of gay men who become depressed thinking how uninspiring their ceremonies were compared to those of their gay friends.  The ad concludes with a disclaimer that the drug is not needed for lesbian weddings.  (Season 38, 2012-13)

 

Xanax for gay summer weddings

 

CLASSY SEXY ELEGNACE

This sketch is an ad for a CD compilation of vapid club tracks, with titles such as You're on Blast and This Is My Catchphrase (Spread It). And the sales pitch is, "So if you're a gay man looking to bring something you can make fun of to a party, this is the CD for you!".  (Season 38, 2012-13)

 

SNL_classy sexy elegance_kristen wiig

 

LIZA TRIES TO TURN OFF A LAMP

This sketch, featuring Kristen Wiig, is included because of Liza's position as a revered gay icon.  Of course, I found it hilarious, but as I watched I noticed there wasn't a lot of laughter from the audience; this lack of appreciation was probably because it had too few gay men in it.  (Season 37, 2011-12)

 

Liza-minnelli-tries-to-tutrn-off-a-lamp-660x329

 

A RANDY LIBERACE

A series of Vincent Price holiday specials featured a randy Liberace (played by Fred Armisen) who laced his remarks with outrageous double entendres.  And a few of these sketches had appearances by Judy Garland (played by Kristen Wiig).  (Season 36, 2010-11)

 

Liberace fred armisen

 

JUST TWO REGULAR GUYS

Fred Armisen and Bill Hader occasionally appeared on Weekend Update as two regular guys who happen to be a gay couple.  One time they were Maine fishermen, another time goombahs from NJ.  (Season 34, 2008-09)

 

Bill hader and fred armisen snl

Gay fishermen from maine

 

DATING ANDY SAMBERG'S DAD

Jonah Hill confides to Andy Samberg that he's dating Andy's dad.  (Season 33, 2007-08)

 

Jonah hill and andy sambergs dad
 

HOMOCIL

A parody ad for Homocil pitched a drug for easing parental anxiety disorder when they're confronted with the reality that their child is gay.  (Season 26, 2000-01)

 

Homocil for parents_snl

 

GAY SUPERHEROES

The Ambiguously Gay Duo, from the early 2000s, was a cartoon about two superheroes (voiced by Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert).

 

The-ambiguously-gay-duo

 

SCHMITTS GAY BEER

This commercial parody from the early 1990s for Schmitts Gay Beer had Adam Sandler and Chris Farley surrounded by Speedo-clad eye candy.  (Season 17, 1991-92)

 

Schmitts gay beer_snl

 

STUART SMALLEY

Although it was never established with certainty that he was gay, self-help coach Stuart Smalley gave off a strong gay vibe (he was portrayed by SNL writer Al Franken, well before he became a US Senator).  In his sketches from the early '90s he interacted with guest hosts, with his session with NBA legend Michael Jordan likely the best known.

 

Daily-Affirmation-Michael-Jordan---SNL-Image-2759998

 

LYLE, THE EFFEMINATE HETEROSEXUAL

From the early '90s came a spoof of a sitcom called Lyle, the Effeminate Heterosexual (Dana Carvey).  This turned the tables on the stereotypical fey gay man by ascribing those traits to a straight man (and we all have a few friends like Lyle).  (Season 17, 1991-92)

 

Lyle the effeminate hetero

 

 

Finally, perhaps you noticed that I didn't include Bill Hader's character Stephon as a favorite.  Although he was funny the first few times, I soon found his character tiresome, doing the same shtick (which included cracking up at what was on the cure cards) when he appeared on Weekend Updates.

 

Stephon snl

 


"Davy & Stu" - A Scottish Version of "Brokeback Mountain"

DavyandstuRecently my friend Maury shared with me a charming 15-minute film from 2006 titled Davy & Stu.  Taking place in a misty Scottish bog, it shows the playful teasing and longing between two teen boys.  Davy (in the blue jacket) seems well aware of his sexual orientation while the more rough at the edges Stu is struggling with his, but it's obvious he desires Davy's attention.  After they perform somewhat of a mating dance, the film ends with a stunningly beautiful moment when Davy approaches Stu, gently places his hand under his collar, touches his chest, quietly says to him that he smells nice and thanks him for cleaning up for their meeting.  Stu responds by gently nuzzling Davie's neck - and then the camera moves away.  This little gem of a movie, enhanced by the characters' lilting Scottish brogues as well as their beautifully expressive faces, brought to mind Brokeback Mountain which, interestingly, was released just six months before Davy & Stu.

 

Davy.stu
The exquisite closing moment of "Davy & Stu"

 

To watch this sweet film, double click here.  

 


Saluting The Kennedy Center Honors' Roster of Gay Inductees

Kennedy center honorsLike the Academy Awards and Tony Awards, a considerable number of gay men have an affinity for the Kennedy Center Honors because of its celebration of personalities in the performing arts.  Since the first awards were handed out in 1978 a steady stream of accomplished gay men have been chosen as honorees.  However, not until 2015 year was a self-proclaimed lesbian awarded the honor - Lily Tomlin.  (But rumored lesbians such as Mary Martin, Claudette Colbert, Katharine Hepburn and Dolly Parton have been honored).  The ceremony takes place in early December, with the President and First Lady in attendance (the exception has been Trump and Melania); the telecast of the event usually airs a few days after Christmas on CBS.  Interestingly, the colors of the award's sash are those of the rainbow flag.  In 2002 DC's Gay Men's Chorus performed as part of the tribute to Elizabeth Taylor.

 

Lily.tomlin
2014 honoree, Lily Tomlin

   

23 of the 213 recipients (through 2019) have been gay.  In four of the years there were two gay inductees: 1979, 1986, 1993 and 2010.  (In 1989 Claudette Colbert and Mary Martin were honorees).  The longest stretch in which no gay honorees were named was the five years between 2005-2009 (this drought might be matched next year depending on 2019's announcement).  Conversely, between 1979 and 1988 every year but one (1989) had a gay recipient.   

 

GAY HONOREES   

To be considered, a candidate must be living at the time of their induction.  Of the 23 gay honorees (listed below), eight are still alive.  The first gay honorees were Aaron Copland and Tennessee Williams in 1979.  One glaring oversight was playwright and director Arthur Laurents (who died in 2011 at the age of 93).  Perhaps it was because of his prickly personality?

 

Bill.t.jones.kennedy.center.honors
Bill T. Jones

 

Aaron Copland (1979) - composer (died in 1990, age 90)

Tennessee Williams (1979) - novelist (died in 1983, age 73)

Leonard Bernstein (1980) - composer/conductor (died in 1990, age 72)

Jerome Robbins (1981) - choreographer (died in 1998, age 79)

Virgil Thomson (1982) - composer (died in 1989, age 92)

Gian Carlo Menotti (1984) - conductor/composer (died in 2007, age 95)

Frederick Loewe (1985) – lyricist (died in 1988, age 86)

Merce Cunningham (1986) - dancer/choreographer (died in 2009, age 90)

Antony Tudor (1986) - ballet choreographer (died in 1987, age 79)

Alwin Nikolais (1987) - dancer/choreographer (died in 1993, age 82)

Alvin Ailey (1988) - dancer/choreographer (died in 1989, age 58)

Stephen Sondheim (1993) - composer/lyricist (born in 1930)

Arthur Mitchell (1993) - dancer/choreographer (died in 2018, age 84)

Edward Albee (1996) - playwright (died in 2016, age 88)

Fred Ebb & John Kander (1998) - lyricists (Ebb died in 2004, age 76; Kander is still alive, born in 1927)

Van Cliburn (2001) - pianist (died in 2013, age 78)

James Levine (2002) - conductor (born in 1943)

Elton John (2004) - singer/composer/pianist (born in 1947)

Bill T Jones (2010) - dancer/choreographer (born in 1952)

Jerry Herman (2010) - lyricist and composer (died in 2019, age 88)

Lily Tomlin (2014) - actress/comedian (born in 1939)

Michael Tilson Thomas (2019) - conductor, pianist and composer (born in 1944)

 

Michael tilson thomas

 

Other lesbians worthy of consideration for future induction may include Jodie Foster, Cherry Jones, Melissa Etheridge and Cynthia Nixon. And Johnny Mathis, Terrence McNally, Tommy Tune and Richard Chamberlain are worthy candidates on the gay male side.  

 

GAY ICONS/DIVAS

Although not gay themselves, sixteen recipients, all women, have the distinction of being gay icons.  The most recent was Cher, in 2018.  Another icon, Maria Callas, likely would have been honored but she died the year before the first Kennedy Center Honors (at the very young age of 53).

 

Barbra.streisand.kennedycenterhonors

Ella Fitzgerald (1979)

Martha Graham (1979)

Leontyne Price (1980)

Lucille Ball (1986)

Bette Davis (1987)

Katharine Hepburn (1990)

Aretha Franklin (1994)

Judith Jamison (1999)

Angela Lansbury (2000)

Chita Rivera (2002)

Elizabeth Taylor (2002)

Dolly Parton (2006)

Diana Ross (2007)

Barbra Streisand (2008)

Barbara Cook (2011)

Cher (2018)

 

Kennedycenterhonors.cbs


Fire Island Memories: My Wonder Years (1996 - 2002)

 

Driftwood.sign.fireislandpines

 

Earlier this summer I wrote a post about my experiences at Fire Island in the years before I took a share there (1981-1995).  This post highlights experiences during my share in the Pines on Driftwood Walk between 1996 and 2002.  During these seven years four of us were housemates every summer while sixteen others had a share for at least one of these summers.  While not quite an expose like Hollywood Babylon (no names are named), nonetheless what follows is a bit dishy, a touch titillating.

 

LEARNING THE ROPES

What kept me from taking a share in Fire Island for so many years was my impression that getting out there was such a hassle, i.e., take a subway to Penn Station to catch a train; then change trains at Jamaica or Babylon; get off in Sayville, and rush to a van that took you to the ferry; and once off the ferry, a schlep to the house.  However, it turned out the 2-1/2 hour journey wasn't all that bad, especially since I often traveled with housemates. 

Looking back at it, what sticks in mind most is the acronym BIGOS, which helped in remembering the stations between Bay Shore and Sayville ('I' was for Islip, 'G' for Great River and 'O' for Oakdale).  At Oakdale I'd get up and make my way to the door so I could hop off at Sayville and get to a waiting van ahead of the other eager boys swarming off the train.

Another useful piece of information was that the walk from Pines harbor to our house took about eight minutes.  This was especially helpful when deciding what time to leave the house when heading to the ferry for the to the City on Sunday evening.

 

Sayville.station

 

In all my years, the worst travel experience was on Labor Day 1998 when a severe thunderstorm struck mid-afternoon, causing widespread disruptions on the Long Island Railroad.  After waiting for two hours for the train at Sayville, a group of us took a taxi up to Ronkonkoma where we got a train not affected by power problems.  I ended up walking into my apartment at 11:00 rather than 8:00.

In 1999 the LIRR started running double-decker (or bi-level) trains from Babylon.  However, despite their technical advance, the new cars had a pitiful lack of room for luggage in the racks above the seats.  Also, these new trains presented riders with a new decision - whether to sit in the upper or lower berth ("tops" or "bottoms" could sit in either, there was no segregation).  This was similar to the decision when boarding the ferry. 

 

DIVISION OF LABOR

My housemates joked that my primary role at the house was to be the eye candy who greeted visitors on our deck, where I'd be sitting on a chaise lounge reading Entertainment Weekly.

 

Rob.frydlewicz.fire.island.pines

 

Rob.frydlewicz.in.pool.fire.island.pines
Sometimes my welcome was extended from the pool.

 

RobFrydlewicz.FireIslandPines 

 

Of course, I took part in other house activities such as grocery shopping, cutting veggies for dinner and loading the dishwasher after dinner.  I also organized the house's photos.  And one summer I bought a manually operated ice crusher as a gift for the house.  Inexplicably, I was the only one who used it (I now have it in my apartment).

 

Ice.crusher
My unappreciated gift.

 

While my primary reason for spending time out at FIP was relaxation, some housemates loved to have projects.  I contentedly observed, from a distance, while they installed solar panels on the roof to heat the swimming pool, put in a sprinkling system to water the flowers during the week, and constructed a wet bar out on the deck. 

 

THE CALL OF THE WILD

The Meat Rack was just a three or four-minute walk from our house.  My first time there was in the black of night, and as I cautiously made my way through the sandy paths enshrouded in shrubs, and low hanging tree branches, the movie Blair Witch Project kept coming to mind.  However, on nights of a full moon there was no trouble finding your way around, and the place truly became a wonderland.  (As Olivia Newton John and John Travolta said so well in Grease, "Oh, those summer nights!")  However, as the summers went by I gravitated to daytime "walks" because I wanted to see the merchandise before touching it.

During these summers I went on dates back in the City with eight gents I met out in the Pines, six of whom I was "introduced" to in the Meat Rack.

 

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT

On Labor Day weekend in 2000 I bumped into a fellow at Sip'n Twirl who I had dated briefly after we met on Labor Day weekend ten years earlier.  Magic happened and we ended up walking out to the moonlit beach where we had a passionate "reunion".  The next day I saw him and told him how much fun the night before had been, but he was very aloof and, poof!, the magic was gone.

 

A RAINY WEEKEND TAKES ITS TOLL

In May 1998, a boyfriend and I were the only ones out during a chilly and rainy weekend.  What should have been a romantic weekend turned sour.  John was agitated because our house didn't have a TV (at his apartment he had two that were always on, and tuned to different channels).  And he didn't help with cooking or cleaning up afterwards.  Tension flared, sex was withheld, and on Sunday we broke up.

 

RAISING THE FLAG

Like most houses on the Island, ours had a flagpole over the house and a flag holder in the entrance way by the door to the deck.  One of the duties for those who arrived first each weekend was choosing two flags from our extensive inventory.  My favorites were the flags of Barbados, Djibouti, Estonia, Panama, the Seychelles and Tanzania.

 

Barbados.Flag.FireIsland
Barbados

 

Flag.of.Djibouti
Djibouti

 

MOMENTS TO REMEMBER ...

Compared to other houses, ours was rather tame as far as drama went.  Still, if life in our house had been presented as a reality series, here are some of the moments that might have been highlighted:

  • A housemate was baking a cake in the oven and asked me to take it out when the timer went off.  However, although I was sitting at the dining room table, and another housemate was reading the newspaper in the living room, neither one of us heard the timer go off, and the cake was singed.  It turned out it was my birthday cake.
  • Pines celebrity Robin Byrd supposedly walked off with a box of our paper towels after they were unloaded from the ferry.
  • Here are just a few of the personl slights I suffered:  1. A housemate chastised me for pronouncing Long Island with a hard 'g'.  2. I was ridiculed for not knowing how to flick open a fan, and fan myself coquettishly.  3. A dinner guest asked me if anyone had ever told me I looked like Smithers from the Simpsons.  (The house was divided on whether it was a slight or an innocent comment.)  4. Finally, one summer my last name was misspelled in the Pines phone directory, jeopardizing my chances at being tracked down by someone I exchanged names with at tea, in the Pantry ... or elsewhere.  
  • After one of our housemates broke up with his boyfriend we learned that the ex had a brother in prison, convicted of murdering two strangers he thought were his parents.
  • Another housemate was a lawyer who had a gay couple who owned an architectural firm as a client.  After a lengthy litigation was decided in their favor, they had the audacity to claim poverty and refused to pay, but  expected to keep their settlement - which, as their attorney, our housemate had control of.  (Ironically, their lawsuit was against a client who didn't pay them!)  This couple had a house in the Pines and if any of us was seen saying hello to either one we were given grief.
  • During the last night of my first summer, I had a dream in which I was given my drag name - Collette Whatchoowant.  Obviously, a French Canadian Indian princess.
  • Two housemates were the primary chefs and they never met a piece of meat they didn't think could be enhanced by smothering with an apricot or prune compote.
  • During the 4th of July weekend in 2002 all of Fire Island was inconvenienced by "rolling blackouts" that lasted for 2-4 hours.  They began on Saturday evening, and after a few hours, one of our housemates broke the monotony by putting on a wedding dress he just happened to have at the house, and glided down Fire Island Boulevard in the pitch darkness, creating an eerie, spectral image. 
  • The "Wig Wall" was always there to liven up any dinner party.

 

HAT PARTY!

Houses held parties that were either charity events or parties with a theme.  Ours held the latter.  The Hat Party took place in the first or second week of August and was a late afternoon/early evening affair (5-8:00).  Guests wore a hat, simple as that.  Some used no imagination and came with a baseball cap (but if they arrived bare chested, no one noticed) while others put a lot of thought and creativity into their hat.  In general between 125 and 150 attended.  Raw veggie platters and cold shrimp were served.  The biggest debate would come weeks before when the design of the invitation was debated.

 

RobFrydlewicz-courtjester
Hat Party 1999

 

KingsCrown-RobFrydlewicz
Hat Party 2002

 

BEACH RECLAMATION

At the close of the 1999 season huge pipes were laid on the beach to bring in sand being dredged from the ocean's floor.  It attracted quite a crowd, probably because the season's big parties were over and this was the most excitement to be had in early October.

 

Beach.reclamation.fire.island

 

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY

The first few summers I was attached to my bottle of Skin so Soft to keep mosquitoes away.  Then, because of West Nile Virus, there was a major effort at spraying the island to eradicate the breeding grounds of mosquitoes.  From that point on I didn't need protection.  However, sand fleas still tormented me whenever I tried to lie out on the beach, biting my ankles.

 

Mosquito.control 

RIP

Just because it's a carefree weekend destination, doesn't mean FIP is immune from reminders of our mortality.  For instance, an ex-boyfriend of one of our housemates was found dead on his deck, a victim of a heart attack; he was only in his 40s.  Then there was the fellow who collapsed and died on the dance floor of the Pavilion (Aug. 1998).  One person drowned in the ocean in the vicinity of Fisherman's Wharf (Labor Day 1999), while another was found dead in a swimming pool at a house on Ocean Walk (4th of July 1999).  I was also at the house the weekends Princess Diana and John Kennedy, Jr. died in 1997 and 1999, respectively.  Because we didn't have a TV, and no wireless internet back then, we depended on the houses that had TV for updates.

 

SWIMSUIT COMPETITION

Since most of my time on the Island was spent in a bathing suit, it was an important purchase.  Every summer I'd buy one or two to add to my collection.  There were four in particular I favored (all square cuts).  One was a cotton, black/white checked number, a second had a blue-pink geometric pattern, another was a turquoise number by Raymond Dragon with a vertical white and metallic sliver stripe, and, finally, my favorite (seen below) was navy with a a vertical yellow-white-yellow stripe on one side.  One of my boyfriends went wild whenever I wore it.  (He asked me to give it to him if I ever decided to throw it out.  I haven't been able to find it, so perhaps he took off with it.)

 

RobFrydlewicz-BathingSuit2002
The most favorite of them all

 

 Swimsuit.on.display

 

Alas, after constant exposure to bright sun, chlorinated pool water and salt water from the ocean, they, like we humans, faded. 

 

UNTIL NEXT YEAR ...

And here is the final look at the deck of our house before we closed the door on the 2002 season ...

 

Closing.weekend.fire.island.pines
A fond farewell to the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Landmark Supreme Court Decision Strikes Down US Sodomy Laws (June 26, 2003)

Lawrence_v_texasOn June 26, 2003 the US Supreme Court ruled that Texas' same-sex sodomy law was unconstitutional. The landmark Lawrence v Texas ruling was decided by a 6-3 vote, with Justices Scalia, Thomas and Chief Justice Rehnquist the dissenting votes.  (Pictured are John Geddes Lawrence, far right, with fellow plaintiff Tyron Power.  Both have died since the decision.)  The ruling voided the remaining sodomy laws in twelve other states as well (including Florida and Michigan). This decision came 42 years after Illinois became the first state to strike down its sodomy law.

 

Supremecourt_building This ruling reversed the Court's infamous 1986 decision upholding Georgia's sodomy law (Bowers v Hardwick). Many legal scholars consider Lawrence v Texas one of the Court's most important rulings. Once same-sex relations were made legal it opened the way for making same-sex marriage possible - and the state of Massachusetts followed suit the following year.

 


Tim Gunn Urges "Project Runway" Competitors to "Make it Work!" (Dec. 1, 2004)

Tim.gunn2On Dec. 1, 2004 the fashion-design reality show Project Runway debuted on Bravo and its viewers were introduced to the debonair, yet avuncular, co-host, Tim Gunn, and his catch phrase - "Make it work!".  (Not to be confused with RuPaul's catch phrase - "You better work!", from 12 years earlier.)  A few years later the show moved to Lifetime where it still airs - and Gunn is still part of the show.  Like the cast of another Bravo that debuted the year before, Queer Guy for the Straight Guy, Gunn distinguished himself with his approachable nature.

 

At the time he was hired for Project Runway Gunn was dean of New York's Parsons School of Design.  Since then he has hosted another reality show, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style; left Parsons to become chief creative director of Liz Claiborne; was hired as a spokesman for Macy's; and has published four books, the first which was titled Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style.

 

 Cher_snapoutofitWith all of this professional success, it came as somewhat of a surprise when Gunn revealed that he has been single and celibate for nearly 30 years, ever since a relationship ended that he never got over.  Reading this, I thought of a friend of mine who lost a partner in a car accident and another whose partner was murdered.  Both bounced back from these crushing losses and started new and successful relationships.  So when I read how Gunn has chosen to deal with his heartbreak I wanted to slap him like Cher did Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck and scream, "Snap out of it".  

 

 


Mario Lopez Teases & Pleases on "Nip/Tuck" (September 19, 2006)

Sean_christian_niptuckThe TV drama Nip/Tuck was created by Ryan Murphy and aired on cable network Fx between 2003 and 2010.  It told the story of two high-living Beverly Hills plastic surgeons, Sean and Christian, and their high-end clients and sexual conquests.  Although they were heterosexual and bedded plenty of women, the two had a big-time bromance going on between them, and a homoerotic vibe characterized the series. 

 

Niptuck_showersceneEnter Mario Lopez, who was introduced early in Season 4 (Sept. 19, 2006 to be exact).  He played a recurring character, a plastic surgeon, Mike Hamoui, with a killer body.  Christian encountered Mike in the shower at the gym and couldn't keep his eyes off him, jealously ogling his beautiful butt and washboard abs.  It's one of those scenes you want to watch over and over again.  To watch it in its delectable entirety, double click here.

 

Mario_lopez_a_chorus_line Mario_lopez_louganisAt the same time as this jaw dropping appearance, Lopez was also competing on Dancing with the Stars (he and his partner came in second).  Nine years before his Nip/Tuck shower scene, he had another water-oriented acting role, portraying Olympic diver Greg Louganis in USA Network's movie Breaking the Surface.  In this role he spent considerable screen time strutting around in a Speedo.  And two years after Nip/Tuck, he made his Broadway debut in A Chorus Line, playing the part of Zach, the director (pictured, far right).  It was reported that Lopez demanded more form fitting clothing, especially since hunky Nick Adams, who played the assistant director, got to wear tank tops that showed off his great physique.  


Jane Lynch Has Breakout Role Playing a Lesbian in "Best in Show" (September 19, 2000)

Jane_lynch_bestinshowJane Lynch had many supporting TV roles throughout the 1990's, but it wasn't until she appeared in Christopher's Guest's movie Best in Show in the autumn of 2000 that she registered on my radar.  Ironically, although she didn't come out publicly until a few years ago, she played a lesbian dog trainer in the film (photographed here with Jennifer Coolidge).  At the end of the movie there's a hilarious scene where Jane's character talks about her and her partner's new publishing venture, American Bitch, a magazine that focuses on the issues of the lesbian purebred dog owner.

 

After Best in Show she appeared in a number of other high profile movies between 2003-2009, all which I happened to see:

  • A Mighty Wind - Another Christopher Guest film, Lynch played a reformed porn actress who became a singer in the squeaky clean folk group, the New Main Street Singers.  This is my favorite of her roles.

Jane_lynch_mightywind.

  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Here she played the cougar store manager, Paula, who was more than happy to be Steve Carell's "fuck buddy".
  • Talledega Nights - She played the upstanding Christian mother of Will Farrell's race car driver character, Ricky Bobby.  (Virgin and Talledega Nights both grossed more than $150 million.)
  • For Your Consideration - In a cameo role, she portrayed an all-smiles Mary Hart type on an entertainment show.  This was yet another Christopher Guest film.
  • Julie & Julia - She was delightful as the sister of Julia Child (played by Meryl Streep).

 

Sue_sylvester2One trait of Lynch's I love is her friendly and dazzling smile, something that's missing from her most famous role, since 2009, of the villainous Sue Sylvester on the TV show Glee.  Sue is one of those classic TV characters who's quickly embraced by viewers but then soon becomes overexposed in ensuing episodes (see also: Kramer from Seinfeld; Mimi from The Drew Carey Show; Urkel from Family Matters; and Fonzie from Happy Days).  I can't stand seeing her in that warmup suit - and with that awful scowl on her face.  

 

Jane_lynch_annieBy 2010 Lynch seemed to have become the new media-annointed public face of gay America (a role previously played by the likes of Harvey Fierstein, Rosie O'Donnell and Ellen DeGeneres).  She did some commercials, hosted the Emmy's in 2011, hosted SNL and recently finished a one-month gig on Broadway in the musical Annie, playing Miss Hannigan (and performed a number from it at this year's Tony Awards, pictured).  And this summer she's hosting the primetime game show Hollywood Game Night on NBC. 


 

Pet Shop Boys' Musical "Closer to Heaven" Opens in London (May 31, 2001)

Billie_trix2The Pet Shop Boys extended their talents to the theater, and their efforts resulted in the musical Closer to Heaven, which premiered in London's East End on May 31, 2001.  The story brings to mind West Side Story, but with a gay storyline and a London setting.  A young, bisexual man leaves his girlfriend for a deeply troubled, straight acting drug dealer.  A great mix of songs are melded with a story that is sexy, sleazy, tender and heartbreaking.

 

I had been told about this show by my friend Tom and when the original cast CD was released in early 2002 we found it while we were on vacation in Australia.  Based on his raves, and the fact that I was a PSB fan, I bought it there with great anticipation and I was rewarded many times over.

 

Closer_to_heaven2There's one great song after another.  Highlights for me are My Night; It's My Little Tribute to Caligula, Darling!; Positive Role Model; Out of My System; For All of Us; and the title track.  The music is a typical mix of PSB tunes, i.e. some danceable, others heart-breakingly beautiful.  The songs Closer to Heaven and For All of Us still bring me to tears.  And Out of My System has a very En Vogue/Destiny's Child vibe. 

 

Closer To Heaven Pet Shop Boys Dallas programWe waited for the show to come to Broadway, but it was not to be.  However, it did have a limited run in Dallas in 2010 (pictured, right).  It got mixed reviews, but in my imagination it was a smash, with great performances, wonderful sets and writhing/hot bodies.  Perhaps its mixed reviews were due to its gay storyline and/or critics' lack of appreciation for the Pet Shop Boys.

 

If you haven't already heard it, give yourself a treat and take a listen to the cast CD.


First Same-Sex Marriages In U.S. Begin in Massachusetts (May 17, 2004)

Samesexmarriage The first same-sex marriages in the US took place in Massachusetts on May 17, 2004.  This was six months after the state's Supreme Court ruled that a ban on such unions was unconstitutional.  Since then, thirty-six other states and Washington, DC have also made gay marriage legal.  (The Netherlands was the first country to legalize gay unions in 2001.)  Many of these states came on board after the Supreme Court struck down the 1996's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June 2013.  Its ruling made federal marriage benefits available to married same-sex couples throughout the nation - even if couples lived in states that didn't allow gay marriage.    

 

Prop8 For three months in 2008, the state of California also allowed same-sex marriages, until voters narrowly voted against them later that year.  However, any marriages that were performed in those months are still valid.  In August 2010 a Federal District Court in San Francisco overturned Proposition 8 but resumption of marriages was put on hold until the US Supreme Court overturned Prop 8 in June 2013 (when it also overturned DOMA). 

 

Samesexmarriage_massachusetts The latest marriage figures for Massachusetts (from a Pew Research study) are through 2013 and they show that nearly 27,000 same-sex couples had gotten hitched there, the most of any state.  In 2014 the US Census Bureau for the first time released figures on married same-sex couples.  and these figures showed that, nationwide, there were 252,000 legally married same-sex couples.  And a Gallup survey conducted in the first quarter of 2015 estimated that there were 390,000 such couples.