Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Creatures of the Night and Other Comforts


Little Dougie has a word or two to share with you today, while I watch Spectre, and undress Daniel Craig with my eyes, because my fingers don't work too well these days. Fortunately, I can still lift a martini glass. Cheers, darlings.

This fabulous new book, Creatures of the Night That We Loved So Well: The Horror Hosts of Southern California by James Fetters is now available by clicking on its title above. My interest is not "Disinterested" as they say. You may notice my name on the front cover as author of the Forward. Actually, I wrote over 100 pages of this book's content. No, it's not "The Longest Forward Ever Written," but among this book's treasures are a 20 page essay on my relationship with Larry "Seymour" Vincent, some material I wrote for a comedy album Larry did not live long enough to record, and over 90 pages of scripts I write for his TV show, all produced some 42 years ago.



"Seymour" and I and "The Slimy Wall" at KTLA-TV in Hollywood, back on January 11, 1974, the day we shot my first TV script. The inscription over Larry's right shoulder says "Good show, Doug, Seymour. (I'm on the left.)"
The "Horror Host" these days is mostly a relic of a bygone era. Oh, we still have Svengoolie, but sadly, he's a pale shadow of the brilliance that was Seymour. (When I watch Sven, which I do less and less, I find myself wishing I could enjoy him more. I like the way he offers real information about the pictures and the people who made them, but I seldom laugh. His material just isn't very good.)

But in the 1950s, '60s and 70s, we had ghoulish giants. This book details all the ones who haunted the TV stations of Los Angeles and San Diego, from Vampira to Elvira. 5 years ago, Jim put out the first edition, but this new edition is MUCH larger, and contains a tremendous amount of new material, new pictures, and including a chapter on a host utterly overlooked the first time, whom I, a dedicated horror host fan in LA in that era, had never heard of. There are scripts, not just mine, but from some of the other hosts as well. If you loved the great horror hosts of half a century ago, you will want to have this book.



"That Leech Woman is my kind of guy."
A happy day that was.
Just for the record, I'm not making any money from the sale of this book. My interest is in preserving this small corner of show business history, and of sharing it with those who share my love of it and who retain happy, fading memories of those wonderful entertainers.

In a way, it almost preserves too much. My scripts (And the other scripts in it) are not reset for publication, but are scans of the originals. I made the scans of my own myself, scans of the actual papers that rolled though my 1973 & '74 typewriter. (They would be Xeroxed for the cast and crew, but I retained the originals.) This was before spellcheck and auto-correct, so my spelling errors and typos of 4 decades back are now preserved for prosperity.

The now-rare first edition commands a high purchase price these days. Get this new, better version now for its original price. Enjoy.




Monday, February 29, 2016

"Spotlight" on the White Oscars


Hello darlings. I know I haven't posted in a while. Did you think I was dead? Well, I was briefly, but it was strictly for tax reasons. When you're 118, you tire easily. Anyway, Little Dougie got me to sit through the Oscars, and I had few quick responses. Not a whole review, but a few observations. 

I thought Chris Rock did a terrific job. It was certainly lucky for him that no black people were nominated, as otherwise, he'd have had to talk about these movies. If Hattie McDaniel had been nominated again, he's have had to scrub his entire act.  

"It's this big."

Nice to see Andy Serkis in the Oscar show. Was he really there, or was he in New Zealand in a motion capture suit? And am I crazy to find Andy Serkis a bit sexy? 

Where do you wear your Precious, Gollum?

I know what motions I'd want to capture.

If you are accepting an award for Costume Design and you show up dressed like a member of a Lesbian biker gang, they should take back the award


You do know it's a formal event, right, Jenny?
Given how far away from the stage the Production Designers were seated, they really should have been provided with a tram to the stage. I was able to go the kitchen, mix a martini, and return to the living room in the time it took the winners to get to the stage. Their speech was was shorter than their travel time. The band could have been playing them off before they got on.

So the guy with the horrible hair who performed the song from 50 Shades of Gay is just called "The Weekend"? What is he, a Time Lord? He sang well enough (Is that a crazy vibrato waver or was he just nervous?) but it would have been more respectful if Cirque Du Soliel hadn't been upstaging him. Couldn't they have gone on after he finished? Suddenly I felt like I was Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey: What is a Weekend?



Suddenly I'm glad it's Monday.
In just exactly what way did Damian Martin's one-week old baby daughter contribute to her dad's winning an Oscar for a movie completed before she was born, or probably even conceived?
New Rule: No thanking anyone who was not yet alive when you did the work that won you the award. Leave it on the bottom-of-the-screen thank-you-crawl that no one on earth is reading.

They only performed some but not all of the Song nominees? Well, way to let two of them know they don't rate.

That's the second consecutive Best Song win for a Bond movie. And of course, I loved Sam Smith's speech! You go, girl! 

They're asking "Does it vibrate?"

The appearance by C3PO, R2D2 and BB8 was cute and all (How the hell does BB8 work?), but since they presented nothing, what did it add to the show besides a gratuitous two more minutes to an already too long show?

How about an Oscar for Best Awards Show Editing, for whomever can get the show down even to it's supposed 3-hour running time, let alone down to a more reasonable 2?

Dear Jared Leto, there is no such movie as "Magic Mike II." It is Magic Mike XXL. I may have inadvertently seen it a few dozen times, and have done my best to try and have it nominated for Best Picture. It may still be on my DVR right this moment. But your pretending you didn't know this was cute, though it fooled no one.

THIS is entertainment!
Jarad, while I have your attention, I'm glad you're so proud of your new dictionary, but I already knew what a merkin is: He's the villian in my book Tallyho, Tallulah!, actually named "Harry Merkin." You can read all about him, his wife, Minge Merkin, and their daughter, Fanny Merkin, just by clicking on the book's title.

So Matt Damon's beard in The Martian was CGI? Can't Matty grow a beard? I'm almost certain he's gone through puberty. Or is his only beard Mrs. Damon? (They've never heard of crepe hair and spirit gum, which I'm certain is cheaper than CGI?)


Poor Matt, trapped on a planet without me, 
doing a remake of Robinson Crusoe on Mars.

Academy, do you really want to play off the Iranian woman as she's saying how her short documentary has actually gotten laws changed and genuinely made progress in ending an ongoing atrocity? Her film has actually done something more important than make a few studio executives able to buy themselves third homes in Mazatlan. All by itself, it's done more good than Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenent ever will or can accomplish. Unlike most of these movies, A Girl in the River is genuinely important. Stop playing her off. Play off actresses thanking their kindergarten teachers and their craft services people. Play off anyone thanking "God," but leave her alone.

Well, Alejandro Iñárritu outlasted the band. For once, the winner played off the orchestra.

Couldn't "Joy" put the baby down before screaming at the guy on her sofa? I was distracted by being worried for the baby "actor," who only knows that a loud mad woman is screaming angrily in its ear. The kid's distress wasn't "Acting"; it was real. You can't explain to a baby "It's only a movie."

I was amused when they cut directly from Mark Ruffalo to a shot of the guy he plays in Spotlight. "Yes, you can trust the veracity of our docudrama. We only made the lead character 400% more gorgeous than he really is, not 1000%."


Hollywood would cast Henry Cavill without make-up as Quasimodo. 
Why did the band play off Brie Larson with "Goldfinger"? I could see doing that for Sam Smith, but what did it have to do with Brie Larson? Was the room she and the kid were imprisoned in made of gold?

"Gender CONFIRMATION Surgery"? And Political Correctness creates another bizarre euphemism. I still haven't processed "Handi-capable" (Maybe it should be "Happy-capped"), and now "Gender Confirmation Surgery."

During Leo's speech, was the audience clapping for Global Warming?


Well I was shocked and delighted when Mark Rylance won. My suddenly shouting "Yes! Yes!" startled Little Dougie's cat Barrymore. And even after Sylvester Stallone, the odds-on favorite, had gotten himself freshly Collagened and Botoxed for the occasion. (Compared to his face in the movie, in the audience his skin looked freshly ironed.)


Little Dougie's cat Barrymore, who outweighs me. Here he's recovered 
from the shock I gave him, or else he's drunk. (He is a Barrymore, after all.)
Watching the clip, I could hear why hot little Tom Hardy lost. I couldn't understand a word he said. He sounded more marble-mouthed than Stallone.

Well, Best Picture was a pleasant surprise. After Best Director and Best Actor, I was expecting the bear rape movie to win, or barring that, given it's earlier sweep, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad Max: Furry Road. But the "Let's Take Down the Catholic Church" movie won. I'll bet they're seething in the Vatican. Good. I liked that.

You can't say the Oscars had no surprises this year, except one: It was actually mostly entertaining for once. And best of all, I was still absent from the In Memorium montage, which means I'm still alive, just like that sex god Abe Vigoda. What a relief! Now excuse me while I drink myself into a coma. Cheers, darlings

Lube it first, darling, please. I'm old.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Jane Eryehead


I know I haven't posted anything in a long while, but I’ve been reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Or is it Charlotte Bronte by Jane Eyre? Hard to tell from some of these book covers), and it's a long book, and I have old eyes. Having seen all of Dickens’s movies and mini-series (Not to mention reading his books, chapter-by-chapter, as he wrote them. "Ellen Tiernan" was the name he used for me to protect his name from being associated with mine when his infidelities were eventually reported in his biographies), I figured I’d seen all the primary brutal-childhoods-of-19th-Century-orphans, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Smike in Nicholas Nickleby, Judy Garland at Metro in the 1930s, etc., etc.. But Dickens’s pathetic orphans are always enlivened by his wit and humor. And however bad being an orphan must be, it's still got to be better than having my mother. How I remember walking past the orphanage when I was a little girl, and envying them. Miss Bronte doesn’t seem to find any humor in - well - anything. So, here’s my impression of the early chapters of Jane Eyre.



Shallow soundstage set with a cyclorama backdrop at 20th Century Fox in Hollywood? Don't be silly. It's Joan Fontaine on a Yorkshire moor. Is that Basil Rathbone in the background, chasing a big dog?

Book 1. My Wretched Childhood.

Chapter 1. Today’s Beatings.

My cousin, being a large, strapping, not to say morbidly obese, boy of fourteen, and having arrived home from a stroll past the lone flower in the "Garden," and the single tree in the "Woods" of our Yorkshire neighborhood moors, took a deep breath and began giving me my afternoon beating, employing a thick wooden cudgel for the irksome task. I was a particularly weak, grossly unattractive and sickly weakling of a ten year old girl at the time, so my cousin was obliged to beat me two or three times a day, for my own good.

Nanny and Bessie the Mean Maid explained to me that it was my own fault for being so ugly. "If you were only a pretty child, like your cousin Georgiana, we should feel some natural sympathy for your plight, friendless and alone, trapped in a household where all, even the dog, hate you, and given beatings more often than meals," said Bessie, as she kicked me, "But you are so very, very ugly, such an offense to the eye, that we have no choice but to beat you severely every few hours, in hopes that the bruisings and swellings will conceal your more repulsive features from view."

"Burn her arms with coals from the fire!" said Nanny, lovingly.



"Jane Eyre" and Little Liz Taylor, pretending to have rotten childhoods.

Chapter 2. Mrs. Reed Punishes Me.

Mrs. Reed was in a foul temper. Apparently, though I had spent the night locked in my late uncle’s coffin with his corpse, my endless screams of terror had been loud enough to penetrate the oaken coffin lid and disturb the thoughts of my Aunt, Mrs. Reed, as she counted her late husband’s money and ate bon-bons, until I passed out from the lack of Oxygen. She had me dragged before her by Bessie.

"Jane," said my stern aunt, "Your screaming all night has vexed me sorely."

"I am most sorry, Auntie dear, but you had me locked in a small coffin with the corpse of the last human being who ever loved me, and I was very much afraid."

"Do not sass me back, you young beggar. First you force your plump, handsome cousin to beat you for your ugliness, and now you dare answer me back, exposing all those ugly holes in your gums where we’ve knocked out your teeth? How dare you? You must be punished for this."

"Auntie, you are most unpleasant, and I hate you."

"Is that the gratitude you show me? I am all that stands between you and the workhouse."

"At the workhouse, I’d eat better."

"That is it, young mistress. You do not like it here? You shall go to school. Tomorrow, after your three cousins, plus Nanny, Bessie the Mean Maid and I, have all beaten you farewell, you will be shipped off to the Lowood School For Masochists, where they will put an end to all this mollycoddling you’ve enjoyed here." Then Auntie hung me upside down with chains over the dinner table for the rest of the night, where I could watch them eat dinner. Fortunately, I had eaten a small, damp sponge I'd stolen from the kitchen two weeks before, so I wasn't as hungry as usual.

Not, I think, one of my weddings, though I could be mistaken.
(Little Johnny Abbott, the least famous person in this photo, once appeared on the same bill with Little Dougie, who's even less famous.) Abbott is playing "Bernstein," Welles is playing Mr. C. F. Kane, and Joan is playing the sled.
Chapter 3. Lowood School.

At school, I quickly learned what actual unkindness is, and realized how gentle my auntie and my cousins, and Nanny and Bessie the Mean Maid, had been to me in the past.

"Miss Eyre," said Mr. Sadism, the horrid headmaster, "It was reported to me that you were shivering during the night, contrary to our rules. Is this true?"

"Well, sir, you obliged me to sleep naked out on the roof during the blizzard last night. I was very chilly indeed."

"You dare answer me back, you repulsive troll of a girl? You shall be hooked up to the battery electrodes and taught a shocking lesson in manners. But first, religious instruction. Read this aloud, Miss Eyre," he said, holding open his large, wood-covered Bible for me.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Love thy neighbor as thyself," I read.

"Correct, you hideous young crone. And now, to make sure it sinks in, I shall impress you with the Bible," he said, as he began striking me over the head with the wooden Bible, drawing blood on its sharp-edged cover jewels...

                                                                          ***

And people thought the characters in The 120 Days of Sodom were somewhat unpleasant.

Well, cheers, darlings. And for a more-cheerful time, read my new book, Tallyho, Tallulah!

What my book would look like if it weren't funny.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Stately Holmes of England. (The Butler Did it!)


 Hello, darlings. Did you think I was dead? I did, but it turned out I was only dead drunk. I found myself adrift in space, and only just managed to get myself back to earth. [Editor's Note: I took Tallulah to see Gravity in Imax 3-D, sitting close to the screen, and I'm afraid she lost herself in the movie a little too literally. Basically, she's just been too drunk to do much of anything besides drink. There are few people of less use than a 117 year old drunk.] Anyway, I'm back. Fortunately, you've all had my new book, Tallyho, Tallulah! to give you your Tallulah fix while I was orbiting the earth trying to catch George Clooney. (He didn't need a space suit. He's a screen immortal. He was just trying to hide himself from any unpleasantness he feared I might be carrying. He called it his "Full-Body Condom.")

But this won't be much of a fix. You see, Little Dougie has a new book out, sort of. Since it's not about me, I fail to see the point of it, but as he is my Webmaster, so I must be his Webslave and let him plug it. THIS HERE IS YOUR LIFE, SHERLOCK HOLMES must be Dougie's way of jumping on the Sherlock bandwagon, so to capitalize on Sherlock Season 3 (Which was brilliantly great fun, by the way), he ran right out and did this show in 1976. (Hence the cutting-edge, current-as-yesterday's-ancient-history-lessons, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman parody segment. Ask your grandmother what Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was. There are also a number of gags that play off of advertising slogans that everyone knew in 1976 and no one knows now. It's like comedy from the Aztecs.)


Not your grandmother's Mary Hartman. Oh wait, yes it is.

This "Audiobook," currently available as a download and shortly to be available on CD, is a half-hour radio comedy show starring Daws Butler, who, unlike Little Dougie, was a magnificent talent and comedy & voice genius, as "Ralph Backwards," Jules Verne, Jack the Ripper, William Gillette, and others, Ben Wright as Sherlock Holmes, Mike Hodel as Dr. Watson, and Little Dougie as Count Dracula and Oscar Wilde. (He wishes he were Oscar Wilde, except for that going-to-prison-for-being-gay thing.) Daws was also head writer, and Dougie was one of the team of writers who knocked it out. Here's Daws, hanging out with Little Dougie in Dougie's 1980 living room.


The great Daws Butler trying to get away from Little Dougie's death grip.
To fill out the CD, and turn a half-hour show into an hour of stuff, there's a half-hour interview with, of all people, Little Dougie. Well, if you buy it, you don't have to listen to the interview. I can't imagine people buying a CD to hear Dougie talk. I sometimes pay him just to shut up. But the comedy show part is a good deal of fun, and you can't go wrong with Daws Butler and Ben Wright.

Ben Wright was a wonderful actor. He was directed by Sir Alfred Hitchcock (In the movie Topaz), and acted with Marlon Brando (In Mutiny on the Bounty), so acting with Little Dougie, performing words Dougie wrote, was a big thrill for Dougie, and an career low for Ben. When you've acted with Brando and been directed by Hitchcock, acting with Dougie is definitely slumming. However, it was not an all-time career low for him. He was, after all, acting with Daws Butler, and for an all-time career low, well, in The Wreck of the Mary Dreare, his co-star was Charleton Heston. One doesn't act "with" Cheston, as that implies UpChuck was acting also. But Ben acted near Heston.



Ben Wright on Mission: Impossible. Among Ben's acting credits: Journey to the Center of the Earth (with James Mason, and the Olivier of untalented Jesus freaks, Pat Boone), 101 Dalmations (The original animated one. He played "Roger," The male human protagonist), the Liz Taylor Cleopatra (He was the narrator), The Sound of Music, The Sand Pebbles, Munsters Go Home, Topaz, and The Little Mermaid, plus such TV credits as Twilight Zone, Perry Mason, Gunsmoke, The Outer Limits, Man From UNCLE, Get Smart, My Favorite Martian, Bonanza, The Monkees, The Addams Family (Yes, he worked with both The Munsters and The Addams Family), Hogan's Heroes, and - well, actually, it would be easier just to list the movies and TV shows he was not on. Yes, working with Little Dougie must have been a real thrill for him.
Little Dougie is a long-time Sherlockian. You should see him cream for Sherlock and rail at how lame Elementary is. Mention Robert Downey Jr's "Sherlock Holmes" to him and he goes ballistic. You'd think those movies were a crime against humanity from the way they make Little Dougie foam at the mouth. This is a man who traveled all the way to England just so he could visit Baker Street and Dartmoor.




Little Dougie seeks the Hound of Hell on Dartmoor, 20 years ago.
At what school did Dougie learn to be a detective?
Elementary, my dear Vodka.
 But this CD, which you can order by clicking on its title above, is so inexpensive that one loses no money putting up with Dougie for the sublimely silly comedy of Daws and Ben.
If he doesn't look like this, he's NOT Sherlock Holmes!

As for me, I'm holding out for a real man, James Bond. Ian Fleming may have been a weird-looking, sexist snob, but he was a hell of a writer, and James Bond knows how to appreciate a drunk woman. If you do too, then pick up a copy of This Here is Your Life, Sherlock Holmes and Tallyho Tallulah! But only if you want to do a lot of laughing. Cheers, darlings.

I'd make a great Bond Broad. My martinis are always shaken, even if they're stirred. Just my staggaring across a room holding it leaves them severely shaken.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Random Acts of Tony.

"Climb Ev'ry Tony!"
There is not one new musical up for an award this season I am even remotely interested in seeing. Between the blah new shows, and the avalanche of 1970s and ‘80s revivals, I was just too bored to write a full recap/review of The Tony Awards Show. Here are just some random thoughts that crossed my alleged mind over the course of watching the telecast.

You know what the fake Tonys on Smash never did? It never trotted out rapist and professional beater-up-of-people Mike Tyson to befoul a Broadway stage.

I figured out what the divine Audra McDonald’s presenter outfit was supposed to be. Someone told her it was a "Fancy Dress" event, and she took the English meaning, "Costume Party," and came dressed as the poster for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. All she needed were the words "We Are Not Alone" tattooed across her forehead.

Her boobs make the glow over the horizon.


It worked because she was presenting with Zack Quinto, who was dressed as "Mr. Spock in 1955."

You barely need a color TV anymore.
Star Trek: Into Dimness.


I’d rather be waterboarded than see one more second of Matilda after enduring that fake classroom full of screeching children. Oh dear, there’s also going to be something from Annie. Shoot me now, please.

Judith Light’s speech could make me nostalgic for award shows where the band plays people off.

Having fictional characters as presenters pretty much strips away the last layer of illusion that these awards are meaningful and real. It no longer qualifies as "Reality TV." Next the characters from Smash will be handing out Tonys: "Since we won the Tony for Best Musical two weeks ago, we now get to announce the newer, realer winner of "Best musical."

And then, when we got to the presenters from Once, the characters were "Guy" and "Girl." We've now gone from real people to fictional characters, and then from fictional characters to Generic Character Tropes.

Hold on! "Guy" isn't a guy, it's Rory Pond nee Williams, from Doctor Who. A fellow who takes his wife's name and drops his own isn't a "guy" in my book, or at least in my blog, which this is, so he isn't.

"Guy" oustside his enormous Pandorica.

Cinderella is not much of a show, but it was nice to hear some actual Richard Rogers melodies. By the way, about "Prince Charming": Cindi can do better. "Prince Meh" is more like it.

Good Grief, one of The Smith Brothers just won Best Sound Design. That seems an awfully big award just to give someone for finding a way to silence audience coughing.

If I yank on his beard, will it reveal Kevin Spacey?


If you had a cute eight year old who could dance, would you want him playing Michael Jackson? Well, I suppose it’s better, and safer, than having him meet the real one.

Cindi Lauper said she’d practiced her speech in front of the shower curtain for a few days. Her hair looked like she’d slept on a shower curtain for a few days. I think this may have been the very first time I ever found myself watching Cindi Lauper and thinking: "Get off the stage."

Okay, an army of Spider-Men introduced the inhuman torture that is a chorus of little Girls belting out that shrill horror of the American Theater, It’s A Hard Knock Life. Oh, if only the little girls had seen the Spider-Men, shrieked "Ew! Spiders! Run!" and they all then fled the stage without singing that hideous number.

So neither Derek nor Tom won Best Director of a Musical after all? Well, that was much-plot-ado-about-nothing, which, come to think of it, describes the entire run of Smash. Turns out it went to a woman for directing a circus. I was hoping Susan Strohman would get it for Imitation of Life. Anyone who could make that slushy, dated soap opera almost interesting for two hours deserves every award out there.

(In the hilarious 1959 movie of Imitation of Life, there’s an emotional moment when John Gavin snaps at Lana Turner: "Stop acting!" I’ve never seen it without thinking: "STOP acting? What are you talking about? I’m still waiting for her to START acting!")

And that's just what she does. John & Lana Imitate Life unconvincingly.

They’re giving Tonys to straight plays again? When did that restart? They sure weren’t doing that two weeks ago. (On Broadway, the term "Straight Play," means something entirely different from what civilians mean by "Straight Play." What non-theater folk mean by a "Straight Play" does not exist on Broadway. On Broadway, it just means "A musical with all the songs cut.")

Are they sure they want to bring out Cuba Gooding Junior? The Oscars made the error of giving him an award many years ago now in a rush of as-it-turned-out-baseless enthusiasm for his - ah - talent, and they’ve regretted it ever since. He’s doing a play on Broadway, is he? What’s the Broadway equivalent of straight-to-video? No "Original Cast" CD?


"Hey, pretty white boy, I so dazzled and distracted them with these abs that they lost track of what they were doing and accidentally gave me an Oscar. I was hoping for a Tony too, but my abs are 16 years older, and people keep looking at Cecily Tyson like she's all hot or something."

Oh, Andrea Martin can run on all she likes. I love her so much, I’m okay with just hearing her babble. (And she won that Tony for singing a song while hanging UPSIDE DOWN, performing a trapeze act as she warbles, in her mid-60s! She should get a Pulitzer!)

"Good Lovin’." What is this? Shindig in 1968? When did the Tonys become about fat, elderly rockers? It’s supposed to be about fat elderly Broadway divas. Where’s Liza?

I think I can skip the touring company of The Testament of Mary.

Now I saw the movie of The Lion King, and thought: "Eh? I’ve seen Hamlet done better." However, Simba in the movie was just a cartoon lion. He lacked the spectacular mantits on the guy playing Simba on the Tonys last night. "Hello, Kitty! Can I Feel Your Love Tonight?"

"Simba, darling, Rowr! (Lose the other pussies.)"


Given what an Amazon Sigourney Weaver is and what a hobbit Michael Bloomberg is, her kissing his ass without actually stooping over was more acrobatic than anything in Pippin.

Every time someone from Annie came out, I found myself tempted to switch over to the Game of Thrones finale, and I’ve never even seen any of its other episodes. (On The Tonys, they'd have "The Gay Red Wedding.")

Harold Prince came out to celebrate the 25-years-and-still-running show Phantom of the Opera, which exists to prove that, on Broadway, you don’t have to be any good to be a smashing success, nor be rotton to be a crashing failure. (People who saw Cats have also learned this weird fact.) The audience at Radio City Music Hall were very polite and patient about having to sit through the lengthy Phantom excerpt on top of all the Annie crap.

So Billy Porter, the fast-reading drag queen who won for Kinky Boots, didn’t just get a job, acclaim and a Tony for work in this show; he was also, he said, "Healed." Is it a musical show or a Christian Science Reading room?

Is Matthew Broderick still doing that show he got fat for on Broadway last year? Because he’s still fat.

So Tony show designers, what did eliminating podiums do for the show? It forced winner after winner to set their award on the floor (where it was quickly scooped up by a person whose sole function seemed to be "Tony Scooper"), while they fished out and read their speech notes. Please remember, designers, that form FOLLOWS function. Award shows have podiums for a reason.

Hey! They left Ray Harryhausen out of the Dead Folks Montage! You try using stop-motion animation in a live show some time, I dare you.


"You think Liza Minnelli is real? I animated her, frame by frame."

Andy Griffith is still dead? It seems like he’s been in every dead folks montage for the last three years now.

Why wasn’t Smash included in the "In Memorium" segment?

R.I.P. Smash.
("Psst, Debra, you were only nominated for a pretend Tony. These are the real ones.")

Did they bring on "Velma Kelly" twice because no one has any idea who is playing her now, 17 years into the run? In any event, "Velma," if you don’t know your lines, then know where your teleprompter is.

You could take an entire trip to Bountiful, and back again, in the time it took Cecily Tyson to get to the stage. Fortunately, since she isn't a man, she stopped and asked for directions enroute - twice! She was wearing a lovely purple wad of clothing. Please tell me that she’s not related to Mike Tyson. (Well, someone beat up her frock, and it didn't look like Chris Brown's type.)

"I'm terribly sorry, but I seem to have slept in my frock. Are there beets? I was promised beets. The last time I was promised beets, it just turned out to be okra. This wig is heavy."

(Cecily, when they’ve been playing you off for 30 seconds or more, one "Thank you" is sufficient. You needn’t do five.")

Patina Mitchell won Best Actress in a Musical primarily for acting near and under a 66 year-old Andrea Martin, flailing about on a trapeze in mid-air above her. Think how distracted you'd be trying to sing with your grandmother doing mid-air somersaults through flaming hoops five inches above your hair!

How gay is Broadway? Well, Bombshell lost out to a show about footware. The producer of Kinky Boots told us that it was a show about accepting "Other people who might be a bit different than we are," in other words, about accepting those people who watched the Game of Thrones season finale last night instead of The Tonys, and even people who like sports. No, seriously. (However, I draw the line at people who like Mike Tyson.)

Still they have not learned that when a show has already run five minutes overtime, no one wants a funny "Finale." Say, "Thank you," and then shut up and go to the bar. The line forms behind me.

Cheers, darlings.

The creative team of Kinky Boots celebrates their triumph.
[And then stop watching all this theater crap and buy and read a copy of my new book, Tallyho, Tallulah!, which is all about doing a play in live theater. But did I win a Tony? No? Well, excuuuuuse meeeee!]