Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Flogging My Friends

There's nothing quite like a good flogging. In 1937, I appeared in the swishbuckling (Not a typo. You should have seen those men off-screen. None of them had ever even seen a vagina, nor were they in any hurry to fill that gap in their education either.) pirate epic Buccaneer Bride. In my best-remaindered autobiography, My Lush Life, I wrote about the making of this picture, saying:

During the shooting of this film, my dear friend, the effervescent stock villain Vincent Lovecraft (His catch-phrase in film after film was "Love me --- or DIE!" I never loved him, and I never died, but I adored him.), chained me to a post and flogged me within an inch of my life, and then, you should have seen what he did to me in the movie! Vincent also had to torture my then-husband Rod Towers in this film, which was just silly to anyone who knew how deeply these two men loved each other, and how often. I remember seeing Rod stretched out on the rack in the torture chamber set, his magnificent physique glistening with sweat, and, as Vincent’s oiled black henchmen (Hand-selected by Vincent. How he loved handling male talent.) turned the wheel another couple notches, stretching Rod beyond the limits of human endurance, Vincent leaned over him, and the two of them harmonized a rendition of Seems Like Old Times. It was almost a disappointment when the director and crew returned from lunch, and they took Rod down and put me up to shoot the scene that was in the script.

What has this to do with the picture of the 3 bespectacled folk that tops my column today? Well these are some of my fellow floggers, and I thought I would flog their flogs a bit today, for those of you who have devoured every word in my archives and are desperate for more Internet flogs to spend time perusing.

(By the way, don't let the minuscule figures on my new flog counter fool you. It's a Celebrity Hit Counter. It only counts extremely famous people who visit my flog. It doesn't count non-entities like yourselves because, let's face it, in Hollywood, you just don't count.)

Anyway, each of those folk have a flog the links to which are in my Social Drinking list to the right of these words. They are at the bottom of the list, because I added them first, so though they are at the bottom, they're really the top. And while I hate a top who turns out to be a bottom (Like the above-mentioned ex-husband Rod Towers), I love a bottom who turns out to really be a top. Don't you?

First off, the round-faced gent wearing a nice tie is James Diederich. Readers with long memories may recall seeing his face on TV back in the 70s & 80s, on such shows as Fernwood Tonight, America Tonight, Dinah, The Mike Douglas Show, Merv, and such like, as in those days he was half of the comedy team of Pappas & Diederich, and made the talk & variety show rounds, being just all kinds of funny and adorable.

He also happens to be an old, old friend of Little Douglas, my fatigable scribe, and wrote and performed with him way back during the Nixon Administration. (Remember when we all thought Richard Nixon was the worst president America could ever have? Those were the days. Good Times. Now Nixon is only Number 2, although he always was Number 2, wasn't he? Ironically, though President Dubya is now Number 1, he'll always be a big steaming pile of Number 2 too. He's an over-underachiever.)

Anyway, these days, along with putting his sons through college, Jim also writes the flog The JD Times. Jim's pieces tend to be short (Unlike this rambling old broad's garrulous musings), pithy, Thurberesque reflections on the daily life of a middle-aged married man in Manhattan, living a normal life. I can't relate to it at all of course, as I live the glamorous life of a huge star, but I enjoy it's glimpses into the mind-set of normal people, although in his case, it's an ordinary man with an extraordinary wit. After all, most regular guys haven't verbally fenced on TV with Martin Mull & Fred Willard.

The nun is another matter altogether. Finding a celibate on my flog, or indeed anywhere near me, is quite rare, and virgins are even rarer, but Sister Mary Martha is the exception. Her flog, Ask Sister Mary Martha, is a stern trip into a nightmarish Catholic life of no sex, and an obsession with sin. Of course, I am obsessed with sin also, but she wants to avoid it! It's a novel point-of-view, that I'm still trying to comprehend.

You wouldn't be reading my flog if it weren't for her though, as it was Sister Mary Martha who first suggested to me that I begin flogging in the first place. Or was it flagellating? Oh well, something like that. The point is, this is supposed to be my penance or pittance, which is what they pay at Disney.

Though never a Catholic myself (I am a Christian Scientist, except for all the beliefs, as my longtime readers already know.), I have found her alternate-reality world a fascinating place. Jim Diederich, himself a recovering survivor of Catholic school, tells me that Mary Martha's column left him sitting in a corner, shivering with fear. In other words, she made him feel young again!

(While I can no longer feel young myself, I can feel The Young, which is just as good, if not better.)

Some readers tell me that they detect a very faint satiric edge to Sister Mary Martha's flog, almost as though it was really a deeply-immersed and subtle, satiric put-on. These deluded people seem to think that Mary Martha is really the invented persona of some brilliant comic writer/actress who could be a veteran performer from legendary Second City in Chicago, someone Little Douglas might have improvised with on stage in Los Angeles, someone you've seen in movies and on TV a hundred times. How silly. The woman is a nun. It says so right in her flog profile, just like mine says I am a 109 year old movie star.

The fellow surrounded by lovely flora is decidedly not Catholic, nor a survivor of a Catholic education. In fact, he's a Red Sea Pedestrian if ever there was one, and Mel Gibson holds him personally responsible for starting every war in history. I doubt if Ken Levine ever actually started a war, but the comments page on his flog gets pretty heated at times. I have never met the man, so I don't really know if he's a warmonger or not.

But if he were given to starting wars, he might well have started the Korean Conflict, except that he was two years old at the time, for he made a nice living writing & producing the TV series M*A*S*H for several years. Since I have M*A*S*H film director Robert Altman's old heart, it's small wonder Ken has mine.

Another TV series he churned out scripts for, and produced, was Cheers. Now the alert among you will notice that that show ripped-off my signature sign-off for it's title. I'd have sued except, how can you hate a show set in a bar? It was about bartenders, those gallant men & women who do God's work. God bless all bartenders everywhere. Mary Martha can have Catholicism. Cheers was about my real religion.

I'm not going to list all of Ken's enormous credits here. IMDb him if you want to know them, but if you just want a good laugh, check out his flog. He has an unaccountable fixation on sports like baseball and basketcase. Jim Diederich is another baseball fanatic, What do they see in it? Now a baseball locker room is a beautiful thing, in fact, full of beautiful things, but the appeal of games out on the grass leaves me perplexed & befuddled. Anyway, most of the time on his flog, Ken shares fascinating and funny tales of life in the TV comedy trenches, script excerpts, amusing travelogues, and acerbic observations of the passing popular culture scene around us.

Ken was also kind enough to mention my own humble Internet efforts on his flog and send some of his readers here, so I'm returning the serve. Ken has spread the love, and I am a firm believer in spreading it back. In fact, I am known for spreading for love on my back at every opportunity. Hell, I'll spread for like. For that matter, a hostile shag is still fun.

Anyway, check out Ken's flog, By Ken Levine, and then turn on your TV. If it's after 11 PM, chances are, there's a Ken Levine script being enacted everywhere you click, a Frasier here, a Becker there, a M*A*S*H everywhere. You can't escape the man, so why try?

Then, when you've had the rest, come back to the best, namely the flogger whose picture lies below.

Cheers darlings, where everybody knows my name, and I'm always glad I came! That's why I came multiple times.


Jim D. said...

Round-faced? Okay. I can live with that.

Funny and adorable? Well, thank you very much.

But Middle-Aged?

You will be hearing from my attorney.


Tallulah Morehead said...

Well Jim, darling, you're almost exactly half my age, and halfway gets you to the middle.

Of course, Little Dougie wanted me to use "Elderly", because you're three years older than he, and he insists that those were three particularly LONG years (He says the earth orbited the Sun slower during those three years.), but I poo-pooed him, and he HATES being pooed!

Tell your lawyer to pop by for cocktails and a quick shag, perhaps around Finkel Time. (Five-ish of course) I'll be burynng my chimp, and will need "Comforting".

Nothing wrong with the little bugger. He's just looking too damn good, plus he poo-poos all over over the place, and then throws it at people. That's MY job!

Cheers darling.