Sunday, February 22, 2009

Every Hugh of the Rainbow

Hello darlings, and Happy Oscar Night.

You can read my full Oscar recap and review over at The Huffington Post by clicking on right here on Oscar Wild
But whatever was good or bad about the show as a whole, there was one giant, or should I say huge, disappointment throughout the whole show: Huge Jackman kept his clothes on. Why did he think we tuned in? To see if Heath Ledger would win? Hardly. We all knew that was in the bag a year ago. Death by accidental overdose, the smartest Oscar Campaign move in Academy History!
No. We wanted Huge's manflesh, and since he didn't deliver, I am sharing him with you here. Enjoy these pictures, and then click on the link for my review in full.

Cheers darlings.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Hello darlings. This is my 150th flogging Where does the time go? The same place as Little Dougie's sex life?

As the above picture shows, Life has had me in a whirl lately, and I've been in my cups as usual, although in this case, that's Little Dougie and I in one of Walt Disney's cups over at Disneyland, and I'm hoping to catch Monstro's eye (He literally has only the one), because I've heard he's hung like a whale.

I have a lifetime Disneyland pass owing to my having provided the voice of the Wicked Queen in Walt's Snow White sequel, 7 Brides for 7 Dwarfs, as well as playing the lead in his 1960s musical extravaganza, Mary Poppers. As a result, I am officially a Walt Disney "character;" in fact, Ward Kimball used to call me "Quite a character." They may regret having given me a lifetime pass. I'm 111 now. They're losing money on me. Here I am in Fantasyland (as usual), while a character parade is passing by the Matterhorn with their beloved Giant-Tallulah balloon float. You haven't truly arrived in show business until some minimum-wage kid plays you in a giant rubber head in a theme park.

And here's Little Dougie and I with the floral Mickey in front of the park. I must say, the crowds there are well behaved, never pestering me for autographs, just occasionally asking me where the Haunted Mansion is.

I've been so busy of late that I failed to post on one of our favorite annual holidays this past Tuesday: Barry Humphries's Birthday.

As I said, this is post number 150. What is one half of 150? I contacted Professor Stephen Hawking with this very query, but he was busy trying to make sense of this season of LOST (He's stumped!), so I had to take my question to M.I.T., where a team of Nobel Prize-winning mathematicians researched the problem for six months, with 97% of them eventually agreeing that the answer is 75. (Coincidentally enough, I used to be known as M.I.T., back when it stood for "Massively Inebriated Tallulah".)

Well as it happened, this past February 17 Barry Humphries turned 75. Most people are retired at his age, but not Barry, who is still entertaining folks the world over. In March he resumes his American tour, and in the fall he tours England, Scotland, Wales (That's that weird place on Torchwood), and Ireland. It's all I can do to come downstairs for my wake-up cocktails, while Barry is still singing, dancing, and telling jokes on stage, 8 performances a week, all over the world.

Though Barry still faces challenges. Here he is in 1992, being put to sleep by the mere proximity of Little Dougie.

Happy birthday, Barry. Keep having them. We love you.

Another professional colleague of Little Dougie's was 77 year old Wayne Thomas, but Wayne isn't doing as well as Barry. In fact, Wayne is suffering from an advanced case of Acute Death. I'm afraid it's terminal.

For 27 years Wayne was a staff announcer at KHJ-TV channel 9 in Los Angeles. (These days it is KCAL-TV) Wayne estimated he announced KHJ's nightly Million Dollar Movie (Which were really more often $200,000 movies) some 7550 times. He created and produced the annual TV rip-off special Your Choice For the Oscars, though of course, no one gives a rat's ass about your choice for The Oscars. This show eventually went off the air when The Oscars told him to lay off of their copyrighted trademarks. Let's face it, "Your Choice For the Oscar-Like, Generic, Pretend Movie Awards" is not a winning concept. It ranks just above "Fred's Movie Awards." (No offense, Fred.)

Wayne's most-famous and celebrated gig was as "Freight Train Wayne," the man who called out the signals in Red Light/Green Light on Engineer Bill's Cartoon Express for 16 years. Little Dougie discussed this here back in August when Engineer Bill died, on my flog entry The China Thunderdrome.

But Wayne's most important gig was as "Wayne" the off-screen announcer on Fright Night With Seymour, the TV show Little Dougie used to write.

Dougie wasn't always happy with Wayne. Wayne pre-recorded his cold readings, and often didn't bother with a second take even if he'd screwed up the copy. On at least one occasion, Dougie had to walk onto the set and stop a take, demanding Wayne be located and brought into the studio to do the copy as fucking written. He was and did.

In Dougie's next script, "Wayne" was portrayed as phoning in his performance from home, to Seymour's annoyance; Dougie's way of pointing out that Wayne was, in Dougie's opinion, "Phoning it in." Wayne's being gay just wasn't enough for Dougie to cut him slack when doing a less-than-professional job with Dougie's scripts.

When Seymour left Channel 9 for Channel 5, Dougie did a screen test to replace him as the new horror host, but the job went to Wayne Thomas, who was already on staff, and thus available cheaper. Wayne became Arach, of "Arach & Nid." Arach was Wayne in a silly spider costume, and "Nid" was his fly sidekick.

Arach & Nid was such an utter disaster that it was yanked from the air forever after only 2 broadcasts. They should have hired Dougie.

As Dougie himself put it: "I know it's been over 35 years, and he's dead and all, but still ...

Heh, heh, heh."

Sorry to be a bit disjointed, but The Huffington Post has been claiming most of my limited flogging energy. I am doing weekly recaps for them of Survivor Tocantins. My second is online now. Check it out:

The Survivor Tocantins Diet: Cut Out Candy

And come Monday, look for my Oscar Awards review there, and linked to from here of course. Meanwhile ...

Cheers darlings.

Friday, February 13, 2009

America is Safe At Last!

Our long national nightmare is over! America is safe once again! What am I talking about? Well let me tell you a short story.

Once upon a time, on a sunny afternoon back in 1991, Little Dougie was parking his car in a parking structure on the south side of the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, on his way to a rehearsal of a show he was directing. As he walked down from his car, he heard the screeching of tires behind him. Turning, he saw a Mercedes careening around the corner at a speed more appropriate to the Indianapolis raceway than an indoor parking structure, and then barreling straight at Little Dougie. He was seconds away from CERTAIN DEATH !!!

Thinking quickly (not Dougie's specialty, which is ironic, as the show he was directing, Fakespeare, was an improvised production of MacBeth), Dougie leapt out of the way of the speeding Sedan of Doom, avoiding becoming Bumper Kill by only scant inches, and then he saw the face of the man who had nearly killed him, as he raced by, just a few centimeters away. It was Broadway and movie legend James Whitmore.

Whitmore was known for one-man shows, particularly as Will Rogers. Little Dougie's grandfather was a personal friend of Will Rogers, so he was not impressed by Whitmore stealing Rogers's act and calling it a "Tribute". Rip-off would be another term for it. But now he understood why Whitmore did one-man shows; the way he drove, no actors in their right minds would want to risk being in a parking lot when he was unleashed behind the wheel.

Whitmore did a lot of movies, demonstrating a singular lack of singing ability when he and Keenan Wynn sang Brush Up Your Shakespeare in MGM's film of Cole Porter's Kiss Me Kate. Of course, he was best remembered for starring in the beloved science fiction classic THEM! Little Dougie discusses THEM! in his most recent book, The Q Guide to Classic Monster Movies, available wherever small books are sold. In the book, Dougie shows a forgiving nature that makes Jesus look like Medea, by not mentioning that Whitmore had once tried to take his life!

THEM! is about Los Angeles being terrorised by voracious, mutated giant aunts. Dougie writes in his little booklet: "This movie, which has a fairly intelligent script, featured full-sized, giant mechanical aunts that looked like crude Disneyland ride exhibits. Godzilla has better-looking special effects." Dougie finds the whole concept of giant aunts terrifying. You would too if you'd had Dougie's Aunt Evelyn, a sort-of Mormon General Patton in drag, in your family.

But notice how Dougie passed up the chance to revenge himself on Whitmore for his vicious, unprovoked attempt on Dougie's life by likening Whitmore's performance to an audio-animatronic robot. If Dougie weren't an atheist, he'd have been granted Sainthood for that one act of forgiveness alone.

Whitmore's most prescient performance was as President Barack O'Bama way the hell back in 1964, when O'Bama was only 3 years old, in the movie Black Like Someone Else.

Anyway, James Whitmore is dead now. America's highways, parking structures, highly-talented pedestrians, and giant aunts are finally safe once again.

Oh yeah, he was also a really good actor; just a lousy driver.

Actually, they've been dropping like flies again this week. Most deeply missed: the late, great Granny Goose, a.k.a. Phillip Carey, whose other credits beyond his memorable potato chip hawking included the western transvestite musical Calamity Jane, where I believe he played Doris Day, or something like that anyway. I forget. And he also spent many years playing Asa on One Life to Live. Phil has lived his one life now, and left a lot of good work behind.

And long-forgotten 1950s country-singing star Molly Bee passed away this week. She originally became famous on Cliffie Stone's Hometown Jamboree, and later on The Tennessee Williams Ford Show, an odd daytime variety program in which country music mixed with searing dramas about faded southern belles clinging to their fleeting youth and hot, paid gigolos, while tormented by memories of their dead gay husbands, and incessant backwoods ballads. Bee also co-starred on the aggressively obnoxious 1950's kids TV program, The Pinky Lee Show.

Little Dougie saw Molly Bee live onstage once, playing Irish lass Sharon McLonergan, opposite James Dunn as her dad, and Alan Young as a very large leprechaun in Finian's Rainbow, played in the round in Anaheim's infamous Melodyland Theater, back in that same 1964 when James Whitmore was singing Mammy in blackface in Not Black Like Me.

In 1960, Molly starred in Chartroose Caboose, possibly the greatest movie ever made. Possibly not. I saw it 48 years ago, but I don't really remember it vividly. I do recall that it was in color. But I am certain that it is the greatest Caboose movie ever made, except perhaps for Fanny and Ass You Like It.

Anyway, here's a signed photo of Molly's caboose. I don't know if her outfit is chartreuse or not.

Gotta run. Be sure and check out my first Survivor recap over on The Huffington Post. Here's a link to it.

Cheers darlings.