Sunday, December 30, 2007

Harry Razorhands

Little Dougie dragged me down to the multi-plex this weekend to see a movie. I don't go out to the movies much these days. They just don't make them like they used to, by which I mean, starring me! When you hear people complaining that movies aren't as good as they used to be, that's what they are referring to; that the movies no longer star me! But now, they're not even making them the way they do still make them. A prime example was the picture Dougie took me to. I just didn't get Harry Potter and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street at all. I was expecting a nice movie about a randy hair-stylist, like a remake of Warren Beatty's Shampoo. It turned out to be something quite different.

I realize that Tim Burton had a freak success with a children's movie a couple years back, with his Harry Potter and the Chocolate Factory, but still, just handing him the Harry Potter series to do with as he would seemed an odd choice, even for Dreamworks. During the opening credits, it seemed like a good idea. It was basically the same opening credit sequence as in the Wonky Willy movie, only this time in the Cherry & Raspberry part of the factory. But then the odd choices began, and kept coming.

Why on earth recast darling little Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter?. Okay, Little Danny has been growing up too fast for the series, and is now just too old to play Harry anymore, plus he's been doing live sex porn shows - with HORSES yet, on stage, which is bad for a kid's star's image, so maybe he had to go. But why replace him with Johnny Depp? Yes, Johnny is a good actor and all, but I do believe he's even older than Little Danny, by many months. And he really needs to get some sun.

Then, they replace Harry's magic wand with magic razors. Yikes! Better get that spell right the first time. And then, they hit all the characters with a Singing Curse, magically forcing them to sing all the time, instead of speaking. I believe The Singing Curse ranks up there with The Imperious Curse, The Curciatus Curse, and The Death Curse, as one of The Unforgivable Curses; in this case, The Excruciatus Curse.

However, if you're going to make everyone sing, shouldn't you hire actors who can sing? Just a thought. Call me crazy, but singing generally sounds better when the person singing actually can sing. It's a revolutionary concept I know. I've always been an innovator. Back in the old days, when we made musicals with non-singers in the leads, Marni Millhous Nixon used to come in and dub their singing. Her Yul Brynner was uncanny! It got to the point that when Angela Lansbury was cast in The Harvey Girls, MGM dubbed her singing out of force of habit, even though she's a great singer. Where was Marni Nixon now, when Tim Burton needed her? Johnny Depp was passable enough, if it were a high school musical at a school for the deaf, but if I want to listen to David Bowie sing (and for the record, I don't. Stay home, Davy.), I'll listen to David Bowie. He's still available on vinyl, isn't he? Oh? Only on vinyl? Okay. Marni would have been a vast improvement on Johnny.

And Helena Bonham Carter? Are they deaf? She could make you wish you were. Helena's singing went to Helena Handbasket. How did she get the part anyway, you ask? Let's put it this way; last week, she gave birth to the director's baby, which means she conceived right around the time she was miscast in the movie. Apparently, she got her role The Old-Fashioned Way. I'm glad to see not all of Hollywood's venerable traditions have gone out of style. And the woman is Beverly Sills next to Alan Rickman's "Singing". (By which I mean dead.)

But let's talk about the story. I'd heard from people who read (Those freaks!) that in the later books, the Harry Potter stories get a little dark, but this movie is a black hole! And not the good kind, either. (The "Good Kind" of Black Hole is the one that Adawale Akinnuoye-Agbaje sits on. Mmmm. And Wally darling, you can use my face for your chair anytime you like!) For some reason, they moved the setting back in time 160 years, to the 1840s, except for the first shot, when Harry and some runway model who calls herself Antonia arrive in London in 1894. (Well, they sail in under Tower Bridge in the opening scene, which wasn't built until 1894, 50 years after the rest of the movie. I guess they were still traveling backwards in time then.) Harry has come for revenge against Severus Snape for fag-bashing Fumblewhore to death, even though that story hasn't been filmed yet. Snape and Wormtail are hiding out from Harry in 1840, Snape working as a Potions Judge, while Wormtail works as a Beetle, an odd combination of animals, even for him. And he's gone back 120 years too far to hide out as a Beatle anyway. (I assume he's pretending to be Ringo, judging by his appearance, and his "Singing". He drums well on Little Antonia.)

Harry teams up with Bellatrix Lovett, a former Death-Eatartrix. It becomes clear that the term Death Eater originally came from folks eating her scrummy Soylent Green Pies, which are death in a crust. Yum! More important, she advocates giving entire bottles of gin to small children, proving that she has reformed from her evil ways, and is now a saint! She gets Little Toby drunk right up front, right after he escapes from Borat, who appears in this movie without underwear, in a costume which proves to all that Borat, like the musical score, is cut. If only he were attractive, it would be a great look. I think the real reason Bellatrix gets Toby sloshed is because he's by far the best singer in the cast, and makes her sound bad every time he starts warbling. (Actually, she makes herself sound bad every time she starts warbling, by warbling.)

Anyway, Harry eventually gets his revenge on Judge Snape, ironically turning his old potions master into a potion himself; not, I imagine, a grooming potion.

Of course, Harry's success with his Snape Potion gets him all carried away. He turns Scabbers, aka Wormtail, aka Peter Pettigrew, aka Beatle Ringo, into ratatouille, thus allowing him to finally settle on a species. He roasts Bellatrix, and even serves up Ron Weasley and that insufferable Know-It-All Grainger. I'll pass on having any of her, thanks. I always found her hard to swallow.

Meanwhile, Little Antonia, the girl who sailed into London's past with Harry, forms a passionate lesbian attachment for Joanna, a dishrag she never meets. As everyone knows, lesbians are like pigeons; they mate for life. What do you call "Living Together for 20 Years"? "A lesbian first date." So although Joanna and Antonia never meet, they fall deeply in love, and would swear eternal fealty with each other forever if only they ever got to speak or sing two words to each other. Harry almost tries to shave Joanna, despite her being a female, a natural mistake easily made with many lesbians.

Well, eventually everyone gets raspberry jam and cherry soda all over themselves. Harry has problems fixing his recliner easy chair, and Mrs. Lovett's Soylent Green Pies are a raging success. The faculty of Hogwarts is appalled. I would have been appalled myself, but I was enjoying a drink with Vodkamort, The Drunk Lord, and some Fermentors. I now have to wait for Harry Potter and the Half-Wit Queen, next fall.

But at least Little Orphan Harry Potter has finally found his long-lost sister, who is definitely a witch!

Soylent Green pie anyone?

Cheers darlings.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Love, Death, and "Blank".

Relax darlings, I’m not dead. I was in hiding, but I’m back now.

My last posting, which has remained on top for such a long time (Which is just where you want the World’s Sexiest Men Alive - on top!), provoked controversy beyond my expectations. Oddly though, no one has complained about having those lovely pictures of gorgeous men posted for so long. Nor did rabid Matt Damon fans besiege me with protests. They were busy watching the DVD release of
The Bourne Aquarium, over and over.

No, it was insane Larry King fans and ex-wives who absolutely could not abide my insistence that Sir Sean Connery was, is, and ever shall be the Sexiest Old Guy Alive, until such time as he is dead. Having spent Christmas pouring over the obituaries for 2007 (As long as my own name is absent, which it was, there’s no more Christmassy way to spend this dreary pagan festival, once the vodka has been unwrapped.), I can state with semi-certainty that Sir Sean is still alive and sexy.

However, Morehead Heights, my magnificent movie star mansion, was picketed by a mob of rabid Larry King groupies, making a terrific clatter marching about, day after day, loudly clanking their walkers, which those blue-haired biddies can wield like lethal weapons. I had to go into hiding in my underground fallout-wine-cellar-shelter, which is equipped with enough alcohol to survive a nuclear holocaust, a third Bush Administration, or a third season of Jericho, whichever is worst. There I remained, accompanied only by the Headless Indian Brave each night, until all the Larry King fanatical groupies died out, which took the better part of three weeks. Fortunately, no one develops sexual longings for Larry King who has more than a month to live. They’re all gone now, and I have commissioned environmental artist Christo to turn their abandoned walkers, now strewn about my driveway, into a beautiful sculpture, to be called Mobilis Immobile.

Since it’s really too late for a Christmas posting, I thought I’d do my year-end death wrap-up. Many people died this year, but I’d like to discuss a case of Star-Crossed True Lovers turned tragic.

Yes Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly were perhaps THE great lovers of 70s daytime TV. Forget Luke and Laura (Oh. You already have? What a time-saver.), Brett and Charles were the lovers who broke your heart on The Mismatch Game every day. Their ruthless passion for each other was doomed never to be consummated. Two obstacles to their love could never be overcome:

1. Brett was tragically shackled in marriage to Jack Klugman, despite his having abandoned her for his One Great True Love, Tony Randall. They could never divorce because they had Catholic friends, though it was a sham of a marriage.

2. Brett’s clitoris just wasn’t big enough to give Charles’s butt the kind of rough pounding he craved. Brett’s loss was Paul Lynde’s gain.

But when Charles finally passed away this year, after a career as one of Hollywood’s most virile leading men (Who could forget his heterosexual pretense in the original Broadway production of Hello Dolly, which the critics called the funniest thing in that delightful musical farce?), his death was more than Brett could take, and she died soon after, of a broken heart. As the wife of more gay men than you could shake your sticks at (Though they’d love it if you would.), I know just how painful it can be to love a man who can not return your passion merely because you only have a vestigial penis. (Just like Clark Gable, according to mouth-witnesses) We can only hope that they are now united in TV Heaven, where they finally match they way Charles always needed them too

A few other folks passed away as well, so let’s take some quick glances at them. Naturally, there is always the NO LOSS LIST, this year including such human blights as:

Anna Nicole Smith
Boris Yeltsin
Jerry Falwell
E. Howard Hunt
Kurt Waldheim
Ike Turner

Henry Hyde.

Actually, with Hyde, Fallwell, and Waldheim, it's more of a Good Riddance List.

But to hell with them, which, ironically, is just where they’re headed. Let’s remember some good folks. If you’re dead and I’ve left you off the list, well, you’ll never know, will you? For those of you dying between Christmas and New Years Eve, sorry. You didn't make the cut. Get your asses out the door faster next time. I haven't got all day you know. In no particular order, in 2007, we lost:

Magnus Magnusson, Mastermind of
Mastermind. This know-all now knows nothing.
Yvonne De Carlo, Nearly as beautiful as me. Coincidentally, we were both married to Frankenstein’s monster.
Carlo Ponti, This movie producer had a very hot wife. I like men as much as the next guy (Which is saying something, considering the next guy is Little Douglas), but I’d do Sophia in a vodka minute.
Darlene Conley, Bold, beautiful, and hilarious.
Peter Ronson, This little-known Icelander was hot as hell back in
Journey to the Center of the Earth in 1959. I wonder what he looked like 48 years later.
Art Buchwald, A giant, albeit, a short giant.
Bob Carroll Jr. He made Lucy funny, no easy task.
Sidney Sheldon. He made Jeannie funny before writing a lot of trash.
Lee Bergere. Forever the Carrington butler.
Molly Ivins She could have filled the void left by Buchwald, but instead she trailed along after him.
Barbara McNair. She played a nun with Elvis! And once she sang along with Little Douglas on one of his funny penis songs.
Frankie Laine, He’s caught the mule train to the next world.
Sir Ian Richardson. A fabulous actor! Too bad he squandered his great talent on all that crappy Shakespeare junk.
Peter Ellenshaw, The great matte painting artist, who made the London Mary Poppers flew over.
Buster Keaton Jr. Well, his dad was a genius.
Walker Edmiston, Wonderful puppeteer and actor, who once had dinner with Little Dougie and Doodles Weaver. Aren't you glad you weren't a fly on the steaks at that supper?
Ray Evans. He gave us stuff to sing about.
Sheridan Morley, I thought his dad was gay!
Janet Blair, She was Vincent Price’s Peter Pan, among other roles.
Bruce Bennett, One of two Tarzan’s who died this year. I must step up the auditions.
Thomas Eagleton. He was no help to George McGovern at all.
John Inman. Wonderful comic actor, a bit of a pouf, the proud possessor of an autographed copy of my book, and what gay man could ask for a more appropriate name?
Richard Jeni, Fine comic.
Betty Hutton. My ears are still ringing.
Bowie Kuhn. Something to do with sports. I don’t follow them.
Stuart Rosenberg. Never directed me.
Freddie Francis. Neither did he, but he directed a lot of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee’s scary movies, and he won an Oscar for cinematography.
Calvert DeForest. As Larry "Bud" Melman, he proved you don’t need talent to have talent.
Calvin Lockhart, Calvin, on the other hand, did have talent, and sweet Heaven, he was gorgeous!
Michael Dibdin. Good author, or so I’m told by people who read books, and how can you trust them?
Stan Daniels, Brilliant comedy writer, and the author of
The Butler Song! Now for eternity, he'll be screwing Delores Del Rio. Sounds like Heaven to me.
Johnny Hart. His humor was prehistoric, and his Id was wizardly.
Barry Nelson, The first James Bond. Fortunately, they tried again, with Sir Sean.
Roscoe Lee Browne, Large talent, magnificent voice, short stature.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Wrote a good book or two, the rest were
Don Ho, Famous for singing about champagne. Sounds like a genius to me!
Kitty Carlisle, She sang she was
Alone when in a crowd of Marx Brothers, What was her line again? Line!
David Halberstam. Ever read one of his gigantic books? Me neither. Some people called him a social critic, but who wants to socialize with a critic?
Bobby Pickett. He’s mashed his last monster.
Jack Valenti. He almost made the
No Loss List. He gave us the movie rating system. So what exactly is the difference between X and NC-17?
Dabbs Greer, Darling Dabbs. He named Superman, among five million other performances.
Tommy Newsom, When the Doctor was out, Tommy was in. He was a sexophonist. Sounds like he made dirty phone calls.
Tom Poston. Do they make better comic actors? Nope!
Gordon Scott. Another dead Tarzan. Stop the slaughter!
Wally Schirra, He was out of this world!
Curtis Harrington.
What’s the Matter With Helen? Whoever Slew Auntie Roo? He was the man to ask. The merest whisper of a homo, a pal of James Whale, a talent for cinema.
Fulton Burley. He sang
Clancy Lowers the Boom over 40,000 times, and was hilarious every time.

Gretchen Wyler, Lovely actress.
Mala Powers, Also a lovely actress.
Don Herbert. Not a lovely actress, but as Mr. Wizard, he taught kids long before Dumbledore did.
Ed Friendly, He made Rowan & Martin even funnier.
Leo Burmester, a fine actor. He once hugged Little Douglas as Dougie sobbed. He was
Les Miserables at the time.
Joel Siegel, Big mustache. Liked movies. Friend of Little Kent Levine. Never gave me a bad review! Now that’s
my idea of a film critic.
Moe Di Sesso, After he left Bodega Bay, they were cleaning up the bird droppings for months, and what he did with
Willard’s rats wasn’t very pretty either.
Beverly Sills, Call her Bubbles darlings, everybody did. Has stopped warbling.
Kent North. Hunky gay porn star who took his own life. Never mind what he’s stopped doing, although I have it on DVD.
Kerwin Mathews. Sinbad, Kerwin good. A beautiful homo famous for fighting the overly anorexic.
Charles Lane, Charlie was the third oldest living member of SAG, after Betty White and me. Now he's not.
Lady Bird Johnson. She wanted to "Beautify America," and finally has.
Kieron Moore, Some people got hot when they saw Jeanette Scott fight a triffid that spat poison and killed, but I got hot watching Kieron saving Jeanette from those same triffids. He fought Sir Sean too, in
Darby O’Gill and the Little People.
Jerry Hadley. A fat lady must have vocalized, because Jerry’s opera is over. Two down. It’s a start.
Tammy Faye Bakker. Just barely escaped the
No Loss List. Mascara stocks plunged when she died.
László Kovács, Took a good picture or two.
William Tuttle. He gave Tony Randall 7 faces, which must have confused the hell out of Jack Klugman.
Michelangelo Antonioni. Supposedly a great film-maker, but I could never understand a single word anyone spoke in his pictures.
Ingmar Bergman, Same gag applies to Ingrid here, though he was beautiful in
Lee Hazlewood. He sang with Nancy Sinatra, which wasn’t easy. His boots have walked - to Boot Hill.
Hal Fishman. He reported the news on KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles since the Revolutionary War. Now that he’s dead, there's no more news.
Merv Griffin. I never married him. I think.
Phil Rizzuto, He was famous for something.
Richard Jewell, He was famous for
not being a crazed bomber. Neither am I. Neither are you. Oh? You are? I stagger corrected.
Madeleine L'Engle. Salvador Dali had to iron all his limp clocks again after she wrinkled time.
Jane Wyman. A great first lady.
Danny Roddick, a very pretty gay porn star, but, let’s say, not entirely happy.
Alice Ghostley. Such a funny lady, and now Alice
is ghostley.
Marcel Marceau, French blabberhands.
Charles B. Griffith, He wrote
Little Shop of Horrors. Good writer. Worked cheap.
Martin Manulis, Producer. Made stuff.
Lois Maxwell. She died without ever getting porked by James Bond. While Sir Sean was Bond, it was tragic, but when Roger Moore took the role, it was a narrow escape!
Ned Sherrin, Witty funny English actor. They still have a few more left though.
Gary Franklin, On the Franklin scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best, he was a 10, by which I mean, he was the best Gary Franklin around.
George Grizzard. He just never could beat Sam Waterston on
Law & Order, but that’s no reason to die. He wasn’t afraid of Virginia Woolfe.
Deborah Kerr, Class, beauty, talent.
I hate her guts!
Joey Bishop. The last Rat Packer to die. Now to get rid of these damn roaches.
Robert Goulet, If ever he could leave us, it turned out to be in Autumn.
Peter Viertel, He hunted elephants with John Huston. Fortunately for the elephants, he was better as a writer.
Laraine Day, Lovely actress.
Norman Mailer. I’m told he was a great writer, but don’t ask Gore Vidal about him.
Delbert Mann, A director, but he never cast me, so fuck him.
Ira Levin. He cheated on his Stepford Wife to give Rosemary a Baby who was a Boy from Brazil. In
Deathtrap, he made Christopher Reeve make out with Michael Caine. That’s entertainment! Little Dougie has read all his novels. Dougie hasn't read any of Mailer. That tells you a lot about him.
Michael Blodgett, Used to appear on TV shirtless. A Saint.
Ronnie Burns. George and Gracie’s son. Loved him on their TV show, 55 years ago. What’s he been doing since?
Dick Wilson, This perv was obsessed with groping anal wipes. Ew. What a thing to be famous for.
Verity Lambert The mother of
Doctor Who, and a BBC legend. Her name means "Truth". What a burden.
Joe Restivo. Good comic.
Mel Tolkin, Great comedy writer. Had nothing to do with
The Lord of the Rings, more's the pity. It could have used some more laughs.
Evel Knievel, You know, those seat belts are there for a reason.
Dan Fogelberg, Good warbler. Could scribble out new warblings too.
Jack Linkletter, Outlived by his daddy Art. Rode most of the rides at Disneyland before you did.
Frank Capra Jr. His dad never directed me, so fuck him too.
Luciano Pavarotti. That’s three dead opera singers. A hat trick.
Tom Snyder, Now Dan Ackroyd needs a new act. He made being fatuous entertaining, which is more than Larry King ever has.
Denny Doherty, Oh momma, he was a poppa!
Miyoshi Umeki, They gave her an Oscar for pretending she was in love with Red Buttons. Never was an Oscar more deserved, or more unpleasantly won.

Just keep telling yourselves, you’re not dead, and even better, neither am I!

Cheers darlings.

Boxing Day Addendum:

I know I issued a Death Cut-Off on Christmas, but I just learned that legendary dancer-choreographer Michael Kidd has died, and as he actually died a couple days ago, and he was an amazing talent, I've decided to relax my rule and let him slip in. Incidentally, I'd have relaxed and let him slip in anytime he liked, as he was a doll 50 years ago. Yes, he was a guy, and yet he was a doll, which may be why he choreographed the original Broadway production of Guys and Dolls. And get this! Even though he was a ballet dancer and a Broadway and Hollywood choreographer, he was straight! He even had Kidd's kids! What an innovator! No wonder I never married him. Another of his best remembered works was choreographing 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, or as I always thought of it, 14 Married In-Laws. That's a lot of dancers for a short man to handle. He was 92 at his passing, and I undestand he'd retired from dancing for some reason a few months back. They all get lazy after a while.

So dying celebs, don't be a last-minute entry next year. Particularly you candidates for the No Loss List. Get on the list early and often, and Ann Coulter, I'm talking to you!

Cheers darlings.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Most Important Issue in the World!

The war in Iraq, the presidential race, the WGA strike, the effect of the Bush administration on liquor prices, all these are important issues I'm told, but let us be frank, People Magazine opened up a can of worms last month which has forced me to confront The Most Important and Controversial Issue on Earth: who is The Sexiest Man Alive?

The controversy erupted when People inexplicably chose Matt Damon for the title. I swear (constantly), the first thought to pop into my turban was "Oh my God! Did Huge Jackman die?" One transcontinental telephone call to Australia later, I was relieved to learn the answer was "No." Bu this raised the unavoidable question, if Huge still lives, how can someone else be The Sexiest Man Alive? The title is deservedly Huge's until he dies, or at the very least, is horribly disfigured.

And really, Matt Damon? Yes, Little Matty is adorable, and is rumored to be able to act as well. In addition, he has an Oscar --- for WRITING! (The peculiar hobbies some people have. You'd never catch me writing! What am I doing right now? I'm dictating. It's entirely different. Just ask Joseph Stalin.) Matt and his co-winner Ben Affleck (A not-unsexy lad himself.) must be the only members of the WGA who actually can leave the lights on when they get laid, and have had sex without having to pay for it. They've even had sex with movie stars; I mean in addition to each other. However, neither really makes my short list of The World's Sexiest Men. And really, as a member of the WGA, shouldn't Matt have refused the award while he is on strike? Take a look at Matt, compared with the actual short list.

There's Huge of course, the True Title Holder, beautiful Brendan Fraser, star of George of the Jungle and Gods and Monsters, the awe-inspiring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje of LOST and OZ, Hungarian gay porn star Arpad Miklos (Who is available for rent, and I don't mean his videos. You can rent Arpad himself. He's pricey, but he's worth every penny!), and the reigning James Bond, Daniel Craig. Does Little Matt really belong with those gods? He may be the Talented Mister Ripley, but these others are the Talented Misters Ripped Abs.

Being The World's Foremost Authority on Male Pulchritude, I was naturally called upon to check Matt out personally, and take his qualification in hand, if only I could have found it, which ought to eliminate him from consideration altogether right there.

I addressed this controversy briefly in announcing my Studly Hunk of the Month for December, where I chose Brendan Fraser, since Adawale, Arpad, and Daniel have already served, and Huge has served twice. Brendan made my short list of future ex-husbands when I saw George of the Jungle, a fascinating nature film, and Gods & Monsters, which Little Dougle lists among the top ten films of the 1990s. When I investigated his qualification, what I found impressed me deeply, very deeply, and thickly as well. The man is what God would have had in mind when He invented Man, if only He existed, which is why Brendan's Studly Hunk portrait is of him as Adam.

Of course, Matt and Brendan have history together, as the photo below bears witness, albeit a picture from long enough ago that Branden hadn't yet achieved his full, buff perfection. Side by side, you can clearly see why Brendan beat Matt. As it happens, I overheard their conversation at the time, so it's included.

So how can Matt have beaten Brendan for People's misbegotten honor? Is there no justice in the world? Oh, the hunky humanity! Something fishy is at work here.

In the midst of this controversy, another, albeit lesser controversy erupted. The AARP (Association of Attenuated Rotting People), an organization of old people (Yes I know that, at age 110, I am one of the oldest people on earth, but on me the years are undetectable!) selected Larry King as Sexiest Old Guy Alive. No, I'm not kidding. Larry King, the moronic old fart who sits at a desk, his suspenders holding up his truss, pitching soft ball questions to folks who can't get booked on good shows, or are afraid of the penetrating, hardball questions Ellen DeGeneris will toss at them, has been selected Sexiest Old Guy Alive! Again, my immediate response was, "Oh no! Paul Newman and Sir Sean Connery must have died!" Fortunately, that has not happened. (At least as of 1:28 AM, December 3rd, 2007. At their age, that "Alive" status could change at any second.) Look and compare their respective sexiness for yourself.

Okay, none of them are looking their best these days, although Larry is still the clear loser. But let's even the odds a little (Is that mathematically possible?) by comparing them at their peaks.

It's just no contest. Larry has "Loser" tattooed on his forehead. (Under the combover.) And while Paul and Sir Sean seem to be neck-and-neck (and what glorious necks. Don't they make you want to neck?), I have to give the title to Sir Sean.

In fact, Sir Sean just made sex symbol headlines yet again, when a nude painting he posed for half a century ago recently came to light, and is well worth lighting. I must admit to being almost as impressed by the artist as by the model. If I had Sir Sean standing about wearing nothing but a purple mirkin, I'd never be able to concentrate on painting. Panting, yes. Painting, no.

As a gourmand of men, I was called upon, way back around 1950, to judge a male beauty pageant in Scotland where a very young Sir Sean Connery was a contestant. As a modest young man, he was not yet using his title professionally, so as not to have an unfair edge. The only reason he didn't win was because I deducted points from him for shaving his chest. There's nothing wrong with being naturally smooth, but if you're masculine enough to have furry pecs, leave them that way. Only women should shave their chests. God knows, I've been waxing my breasts for years, and the results are well worth it, despite the waxy yellow build-up. Sir Sean learned his lesson however, and has never shaved his chest since, having taken to shaving his head instead, and he really should stop doing that too. It makes him look old.

From early on in Sir Sean's career, a certain rumor concerning his - ah - dimensions has been circulating throughout show business. Let's just say that the number 14 has been mentioned again and again, most often by women with severely bowed legs. At least, I think the number was 14. It's hard to understand what people are saying when they've dislocated their jaws. Milton Berle once said, "Sir Sean makes me feel inadequate." Let's just say that the truth about Sir Sean's legendary endowment is rather hard to swallow, but it's well worth trying.

Not being one to take other people's word about such a vital piece of information, I lured, I mean invited, Sir Sean into my hot tub, strapped on my snorkeling mask, and investigated the matter at hand personally.
In the immortal words of Madeline Kahn, "It's twue! It's twue!" And my jaw healed in just a few days.

Sir Sean is not above a little investigating himself. Here he is perusing my award-dodging autobiography My Lush Life, a mere 37 years before it was published. Sir Sean is an active, energetic man, one who would never put off an important task like reading my book until the last minute. So what's your excuse? This column is finished. You could read it right now.

Cheers darlings.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If You Picket, It Won't Heal.

The Writer's Guild of America is on strike. I fully support them. After all, actors and directors all get laid, but who is dumb enough to have sex with a writer? So they ought to at least get more money. The producers's position is - what's the word again? Oh yes - a lie! Fairly paying the people who actually make the product they sell won't bankrupt show business; it will just mean that the studio heads cut will merely be obscene, and not wealth beyond the dreams of King Midas. They might have to make do with only three palaces, instead of seven.

I chose to stagger with the cast of
LOST, because if the producers don't give in soon, half of season four will be --- LOST! If the producers don't cave soon, the smoke monster will be visiting studio execs. And I'm not just blowing smoke monsters. In fact, I'm more than willing to blow the whole cast if that's what it takes, or even if it isn't, except perhaps for Hurley. It's not that he's not attractive. What does that matter when you're too close to focus? Hell, I once did Quasimodo in the bell tower of Notre Dame Edna. Paris always makes me giddy with romance. But the last time I went down on Hurley, I got my head caught in a flab fold. Doc Jack had to use the Jaws of Life just to get my head free enough to drink. On the plus side, I found my keys --- and Jimmy Hoffa!

By the way, when we were getting into position for this photo shoot, we were standing on dry land, but when I saw how these four people looked in those shirts, well, I got a little damp. Then Sayid flashed his concealed weapon at me, and my water broke. Sawyer was washed out to sea. The last thing we heard him say was, "This is how I wanted to die1"

So Go WGA! The thought of a winter edition of
Big Brother is unbearable! The whole point of that show is pretty young people running around naked. With the anorexic women they cast, a winter edition would mean girls with goosebumps larger than their breasts. And the shrivelling effect on the men would mean I'd have to watch on a big-screen, hi-def TV, with a microscope. "Hey baby, I've got eight pixels - erect!" That's not entertainment.

Cheers darlings!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wizard Whoopi

Well my catastrophe is passed. Oh there was no salvaging even a drop of that vodka that I'd poured into my computer in the vain hope that it would loosen up a bit, and stop giving me error messages, and maybe even fork over some free porn. No such luck. An entire fifth of vodka ruined. Even cutting out the section of carpet below the computer desk and wringing it out into a bucket did no good, although those were the happiest roaches I've ever squished. Anyway, I had to salve my horror with a few gallons of vodka I had on tap, and today, on post-Thanksgiving Day, I sent Little Dougie out at 4 AM to sit in line at The Liquor Barn with the savings-minded winos, awaiting the opening of the doors at 6 AM for their annual Vodka Clearance Sale. Oh, and while he was out, I also had him pick me up a new computer, so --- I'm Ba - ack!

What to write about today? So much is special about November 23. For one thing, it's the birthday of my fourth or fifth husband, Boris Karloff, who would have been 120 today. But I wrote about that last year, in my flogging Some Pratt's Birthday.

Then there's my annual annoyance at the way people start celebrating Christmas before the turkey is cleared off the table. (Though, to be fair, sometimes it's damned hard to get him to put his clothes back on and leave once I'm through with him.) Little Dougie wrote a wonderful song about it I love to trot out each year. Here it is:


It's beginning to look too much like Christmas,
Everywhere you go.
Thanksgiving was yesterday,
And now the streets look so gay,
Your eyes will blur,
And you'll get vertigo.

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas,
Gets worse after dark.
I really do hate to grouse,
But my God, my neighbor's house,
Looks like Disney's park.

Horrible tinsel and way too much chintz'll
Make everyone wish they were dead.
By far the worst folly is trees looking jolly,
When all of their leaves have been shed.
And I will grant another Santa,
Fills me up with dread.

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas,
Please gouge out my eyes.
You'll soon see a Yule log,
Blazing at the synagogue.
An elf robot? My brain lobotomize!

It's beginning to look too much like Christmas,
Soon my brain will split.
I hate to sound so gruff,
But I've already had enough,
Of this Yule bullshit.

Isn't that lovely? It always brings a tear to my thighs. At least I think they're tears. It's wet anyway. What other significance is there to November 23? Well, this year, it's the 44th anniversary of the original debut of Doctor Who, which you may remember, this past year included me as a character in their story Daleks in Manhattan. It's a sad anniversary this year,as Verity Lambert, the lady who co-created Doctor Who and was it's first producer and showrunner died yesterday. Why don't more people follow my example, and live? There's no trick to long life. It's simple. Just don't die.

Doctor Who is an appropriate place to start on my real topic today though. The Doctor, as a Time Lord, can regenerate whenever death approaches, a tactic that apparently slipped Verity's mind. Regeneration is a dead giveaway that someone is really a Time Lord, which brings me back to my recent sabbatical at Hogwart's, because, as all moviegoers know, Professor Fumblewhore recently regenerated! Check it out:

As if revealing himself as a Time Lord by regenerating wasn't revelation enough, we all know there was another big revelation about Fumblewhore this month, wasn't there?

Well, it's true. And not just Fumblewhore either. Remember Gandalf? We all know what a big old homo he is. Ah, I bet Fumblewhre and he love to reminisce about their days at the Brandywine Street Fairs back in West Hobbiton, flirting with the hotter elves.

Oh let's just face the fact: All wizards are gay. Every last, vibrating-wand-wielding one of them. Do you need further proof? Check out this shot, snapped at the Hogsmeade Gay Pride Festival only last week. (By the way, they aren't kidding when they named that town Hogsmeade. All they serve at that notorious gay pub The Hog's Head is butterbeer and mead actually made from hogs. It's ghastly. If I hadn't been so drunk, I wouldn't have drunk so much of it. When in Rome...)

At one point, during a wild night at The Hog's Head, the Invisibility Quilt slipped off the noisy bed across the room from me, and this was the horrible sight I couldn't stop looking at, photographing, and cheering on.

That's Fumblewhore underneath of course (Surely you realized he was a bottom? It's so obvious!), and on top, none other than Oz The Great and Terrible himself! He's versatile, but in which position is he great and in which is he terrible?

I should have realized Fumblewhore was gay. I made my first visit to Hogwart's for their Tri-Sexual Wizard Tournament. If you saw that movie, the maze where the tournament climaxed may have looked familiar. They shot it in The Befuddlement, the hedge labyrinth here at Morehead Heights, although in the movie they used special effects to make it look much smaller and simpler than it really is. Believe me, no matter how magical they are, you wouldn't send kids unescorted into The Befuddlement. You'd never see them again. Shelley Long went in at the party I threw celebrating her leaving Cheers (Why did she attend a party celebrating her leaving?) over 20 years ago, and she's never been seen since, or missed. Honestly, when a few cast members, and producers, and crafts services people, in all fun, suggested as a gag that she "Get lost", they didn't mean she should wander into The Befuddlement forever, although they have all learned to live with it. They just meant she should wait 20 years and then get cast on LOST. (They all hated JJ Abrams!)

Anyway, when I was there, Fumblewhore kept hitting on me, and even proposed marriage, a sure sign of homosexuality. If only he'd had a bigger wand. Or at least hadn't come between me and that grail full of hog's mead.

But I was quite taken at the time by the gamey keeper Fagrid. Because I like a Big man, if you know what I mean, and if you don't, I mean a man with a big dick. And Fagrid is about as big as they come. And he seemed to take to me as well.

We danced the night away at the Hogwart's White Party. Of course, since he's a half-giant, I wore heels. Unfortunately, I borrowed the heels from Ryan Seachrest. They're the ones he wears to try and look half as high as Simon Cowell, so my height was overcompensated.

I thought Fagrid loved me, but it turned out to be a misunderstanding. Someone (I suspect it was Draco Malfoy.) told Fagrid I was a drag queen (Which I am not! Will that rumor never end?), and he misunderstood, and thought I was a dragon. He loves dragons. The odd part is, we dated for two weeks, and even slept together a few times, before he realized I wasn't a dragon. I mean honestly, I do not look like a dragon, no matter what that old bitch Delores Delgado (a Hogwart's graduate herself, the old witch.) used to say. When I asked him about it, he said, "Well it's true you don't look a lot like a dragon, but your breath had me fooled." I've got to be more careful about exhaling around candles.

Speaking of Fagrid, he says his father was a normal-sized man. Fagrid could stand him on his shoulders when he was 12. It was his mother who was a giantess. This makes no sense to me. A normal-sized woman and a giant man I could understand. Why do you think I was dating Fagrid? For his looks? The man looks like Robbie Coltrane with extra hair. Who would want that? But a small man and a giant woman? Where's the fun in that? I guess Poppa Fagrid just liked a walk-in vagina! Fortunately, Fagrid had his mother's dick.

I mentioned in my earlier Hogwart's flogging that I was mad for Severus Snape. Well, that big old queen decided I wasn't his type when he found out I wasn't a drag queen also. He kept trying to keep the students away from me, calling me a "Fermentor," whatever they are. Honestly, you let it slip that you're a disciple of The Drunk Arts, and right away people are calling you a Fermentor, like the guards at Assmybuns prison. And this from Severus, a former Death Drinker himself. That's the gin calling the bourbon wet.

So I listened to the audio books of the whole freakin' Hairy Pothead series:

Hairy Pothead and the Stoned Philosopher. (Probably Plato. What a dipso. Ah, those Athenian nights we spent together.)

Hairy Pothead and the Secret Chamber Pot.

Hairy Pothead and the Prisoner of Assmybuns.

Hairy Pothead and the Gobbler of Fire Island.

Hairy Pothead and the Order of the Penis. (It was a Margarita.)

Hairy Pothead and the Half-Drunk Queen.

Hairy Pothead and the Deadly Bores. So what's the problem with me and children?

Most of Hogwart's graduates live in England or Middle-Earth, but I knew one famous Hogwartian who lived right here in Hollywood. Charming little Margaret Hamilton.

Maggie not only lived in California, but actually used to babysit my now-long-missing daughter Pattycakes. My darling daughter loved having Maggie sit with her, all alone in my large, haunted mansion so much that whenever I told her Maggie was on her way over, she would shriek and scream in delight, even as she padlocked all the broomclosets. Oddly though, Maggie scared the crap out of the Headless Indian Brave.

Maggie was a champion Queerditch player in her day. I've never been any good at Queerditching myself. I keep marrying them instead.

Anyway, as a parting gag I placed a curse on Little Hermione What's-Her-Name, the insufferable know-it-all. I cast a charm that soaked her hands in imaginary water whenever she slept. She never suspected it was me.

Well, we're beginning a new year here at The Morehead The Merrier. I hope you'll all stick around, and bring in your friends as well. Oh, and Little Dougie asked me to ask you to buy his new book The Q Guide to Classic Monster Movies, but you don't really have to.

Cheers darlings.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sappy Anniversary

Darlings, I have sad news. I've had a flog-related catastrophe. A few days ago I spilled an entire fifth of vodka into my computer. Disaster! ALL the vodka was LOST!

Oh, and my computer was ruined also. After drinking two more fifths to mourn my loss, I went with Little Douglas to something called a "Public Library" to post this quick flogging on a free computer, as tomorrow, the 21st, is the 1st anniversary of this flog. It's been one year, and 81 brilliant postings. I hope you enjoyed them, and will enjoy another year of them.

For an inspiring Thanksgiving message, please click on Gratitude Imparting Day to enjoy my Thanksgiving message of last year. I'd update it, but the librarian is having a fit about my dictating this to Dougie while kids around him are doing their homework, i.e., gaming. I offered to share my vodka with the kids, but this just made Maid Marion the Librarian even angrier. She's obviously insane.

Hopefully, I'll have more vodka, and a running computer, to post new pieces with, soon. Until then:

Cheers darlings

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hairy Pothead and the Drunken Hag

Stop all the whining darlings, I'm back! I haven't posted anything in two weeks because I was out of the country, visiting England, which doesn't have the Internet. As you all know, President Al Gore invented the Internet, and when Formerly-Great Britain joined The Coalition of the Hoodwinked and joined Phony President George Bush's Family War Against Iraq, Gore rescinded England's Internet access, and they're having to do without. Also, where I was staying, computers and the Internet are considered "Muggle Stuff," whatever the hell that means. Besides, I didn't take Little Dougie along, despite all his pleading. He's got his stupid new book to promote. (Has he or I mentioned that Little Dougie has just released his new book, The Q Guide to Classic Monster Movies? He has? I might have known. It's not about me, so don't bother buying it.)

In my absence my e-maleslot was stuffed, indeed flooded, with e-males from you, my loyal readers and fans, begging for me to flog you some more. As we approach the anniversary of my starting this flog next week, it seems many of you are addicted to Tallulah. Well, who can blame you? One of those e-males was (Believe it or not) from this month's Studly Hunk of the Month, Vinnie D'Angelo, who writes:

thnx Tallulah,for your continued support and i am glad to hear you enjoy my videos.. i appreciate the sentiment of your award.
vinnie dangelo

I've left Vinnie's punctuation as is. How odd that such a hot masculine top hunk should be so afraid of capital letters. Maybe his mother was frightened by a Big O. Of course, he works in porn, which is full of shifty characters, so maybe he's just terrified of the "Shift" key. But we are glad to have him as a friend of this flog. And he's right about it being a sentimental award; I got all moist choosing Vinnie, which I did personally, with my free hand.

For Halloween I was invited to be a guest lecturer for one week at Hogwart's Academy, a British public school - by which I mean a private school.(The English call their public schools private schools, and their private schools public schools. That's right; their cuisine is not the craziest thing about them.) I assumed I was being asked to teach acting or glamour, something like that, but it turned out I was to be the new Defending The Drunk Arts guest lecturer. Apparently, even in the Old World, I am a recognized authority in The Drunk Arts. As I once said to Luke Skystaggerer, "Luke, you don't know the power of the Drunk Side of the Force." (I was known as Drunk Vader at the time.) My adventures over the last two weeks have been written up by JK Rowling, and will be published and filmed as Harry Potter and the Gobbler of Fire Island. Perhaps now this obscure series will finally have a long-delayed success.

Little Hairy Pothead is 18 now, or as I like to call him, legal. (Actually, in England, the boys are legal at 16, a vastly more sensible system.) So I had no reservations about teaching him some tricks of wand handling that he'd never have thought of on his own. I had him twirling his wand in my vestibule all night long, despite the jealous complaints from Little Ron Weasle. (Which one of us was Ron jealous of? Good question.) And as for mounting Hairy's Firebolt and playing a fast round of Queerditch, I was always up for it, though, when you're as beloved by gay men and gay ex-husbands as I am, Queerditching is harder than usual. Fortunately, Hairy was able to catch the little snitch before he told on us.

But you all know already who really lured me to Hogwart's, don't you? How could I resist the siren call of perhaps The Sexiest Man in Britain (Admittedly, that's not a large field of competitors.), the man who rings my chimes and stirs my potions, namely that total dreamboat, that unbelievable hunk of man with the Best Hair on Earth, Severus Snape. The man teaches "Potions," a.k.a. Mixology. That's right. Snape is the Hogwart's bartender!

Oh Severus, Severus, your hands can make me do anything, and your potions can make me look like it's 1919 once again. Darlings, if you're ever invited on a Snape Hunt, go. The rewards are incredible!

Here I am with my three favorite pupils, Hairy, Ron, and that little know-it-all bitch, What's-her-Name, listening to the fabulous stories of the divine Maggie Smith, a former pupil of mine. The children all look so rapt because Maggie is describing a relaxing weekend getaway in 1966, the first time she was "spit-roasted" by Sir Ralph Richardson (Head) and Lord Laurence Olivier (Rear, as usual.), while Noel Coward watched and took notes, even as he himself was being divinely assaulted from behind by Joe Orton. As this picture was snapped, What's-Her-Name was asking "But why 'Sanchez'? Was he famous for being unclean or something?"

Here's Maggie and I at the Hogwart's Halloween Ball, during the Ladies Choice, dancing The Mephisto Waltz. That witch is all-hands, and she's capable of magically growing several additional ones.

But a big disappointment awaited me at Hogwart's. I had hoped to meet my favorite wizard (Apart from Gandalf of course. We've been keeping it quiet, but Gandalf has given me a ring. He must be gay.), Vodkamort, The Drunk Lord. No one knows more about The Drunk Arts than Vodkamort. As a boy, his name was Tom Diddle, and the only thing I like more than being diddled, is being diddled drunk.

But it seems that The Drunk Lord got himself a job stateside, and isn't to be found lurking about the secret chambers of Hogwart's anymore. He's in Washington DC.

Yes, that's right, Vodkamort, The Evil Lord of Drunkness, has been Vice President of the United States for 7 years now. That's his Magical Martini Glass in his claw. No wonder the fake president can't speak a coherent sentence off the top of his head. English is at least his second language, if that, but he's fluent in Parceltongue.

Now, at last, Bush's war on Islamic Muggles in Iraq, the destruction of the American economy, the endless administration scandals, the Presidential aides getting suspended sentences for Treason, the rape of the environment, the wave of Republican officials looking for sex in men's toilets (Because perhaps it's the only place they'll ever have a chance of scoring?), and even the shooting of Harry Whittington in the face, all make sense. The Drunk Lord of Evil has been running the American government for 7 years now, through President Wormtail, and White House Chief of Staff Karl Malfoy.

So I'm home again in Morehead Heights, via floo powder, remembering fondly my snorkeling lessons when it was Hairy's bath time. If you're awaiting the release of The Order of the Phoneix on DVD next month, I can save you some time and money. I was there. Phoenix ordered a Manahttan. Now there's an order that spans the country.
Cheers darlings.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mister Halloween

Happy Halloween all. Tallulah is out Trick-or-Treating, by which I mean she turned a trick she felt was quite a treat, and now she's out --- cold. So while she's napping, I'd like to tell you about the man who was Halloween Personified to me: Larry "Seymour" Vincent, who is 32 dead years dead, but forever alive in my heart.

I don't think I've mentioned that I've written and published a new book, The Q Guide to Classic Monster Movies. What? I have mentioned it? Okay. It's a Halloween-type book. I'd like to share with you the words found on the dedication page. They are:

Jerry Vance was born in Boston in 1924. Early in his career he adopted the name Larry Vincent, but when he died all too young at 50 in 1975, he was best known as Seymour, The Master of the Macabre, The Epitome of Evil, The Most Sinister Man to Crawl Across the Face of the Earth. And the Best TV Horror Host that ever was. He was also the first person to pay me to write jokes about horror movies, and he was my friend. I miss him still, and I dedicate this book to his memory.

A photograph of Larry and myself was supposed to appear on that page, but was cut without my permission, or indeed even any notification to me. I found out it was not in the book when the I received the first copy. This is one of several matters concerning the treatment my book received from it's publishers which have left me - let's say dissatisfied. Anyway, here's the picture that was supposed to be in the book.

A strange thing happened a couple days before the book came out. I was channel surfing one afternoon less than a week before publication day, and I came across an episode of Mission: Impossible from the third season, shot probably in 1968 or '69. This seemed like just the mindless white noise I wanted running. A few minutes into it, a door on the TV screen opened, and Larry Vincent stepped into the show and began playing a scene with Martin Landau.

I knew that Larry had appeared in an episode of Mission: Impossible, but not that I was watching that episode, so his appearance surprised me into happy tears. There was my long-dead friend, alive and acting with a future Oscar winner. And Landau's Oscar was for playing Bela Lugosi, an actor, and I use the term loosely, who is profiled in my new book, (Have I mentioned I have a new book out? Just checking.) dedicated to Larry. It was a wild series of accidental occurrences, but it felt to me like a ghostly visit from my friend, a Hello to acknowledge my posthumous gift. Incidentally, that episode, from season 3, comes out on DVD in December. I'll be buying it. So can you.

I'd like to share with you this Halloween an account of my friendship with this wonderful and funny man, which I wrote 7 years ago for the Local Legends webpage, about Los Angeles TV personalities of the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. Believe me, if there'd been no Seymour, there'd never have been Elvira.

Having been a big fan of Jeepers Creepers (A hosted horror movie TV show in Los Angeles from 1962 to 1965.), when I was ages 12 to 14, when a new horror host show, Fright Night With Seymour came on KHJ in 1970, I was excited to tune in, and quickly fell in love with Seymour's prickly sense of iconoclastic humor. I was in college at the time, and never guessed that before Seymour ran his course, I would become a part of it.

Seymour was so popular with us college kids, that we actually turned on the show and watched him, even at parties. I remember the night I turned 21, in May 1971, I performed as Puck in the closing night performance of our University production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then went to the closing night party at the home of the girl playing Hermia in Hermosa beach, and very stoned, we all watched Seymour. We talked through most of whichever movie was running, and we ignored the commercials, but we all watched Seymour and laughed our heads off.

I first actually met Seymour that October, the night the opening day at Disney World TV special was broadcast. Seymour was hosting a special Halloween show at the Wiltern Theatre: a double feature of The Return Of Count Yorga & Night Of The Living Dead. Seymour did a monologue, including his infamous version of The Raven, then sat onstage with a microphone and made jokes all through the silly Count Yorga sequel. (Whatever possessed AIP to think that queeny Robert Quarry could be the next Vincent Price?) During intermission Seymour signed autographs in the lobby. Then he introduced the second feature, mentioning that jokes wouldn't be appropriate during George Romero's disturbing masterpiece, and left.

I stood in the fan line and got Seymour's autograph on my Seymour certificate and went home thoroughly entertained. Over the next couple years I attended several more Seymour appearances in movie theatres, and seeing some real dogs in the process. But the day came, in late 1973, when Seymour was announced to ride in the Westminster Founder's Day Parade, a parade which formed on the grounds of Westminster High School, from which I had graduated in 1968, just a half mile from my home.

I was working then writing radio comedy for "Sweet Dick" Whittington at KGIL (To this day, still a close friend), and decided to take a shot at getting a writing spot with Seymour. I was convinced I could write the character. I'd seldom missed the show, and felt I knew the character intimately by this time.

I found Seymour waiting around, just outside a classroom in which, a few years earlier, I had studied Moby Dick & Lord Of The Flies. I introduced myself to Larry Vincent, told him I was writing for Sweet Dick, and asked if he was looking for writers for his TV show. Luck was in. He was. He told me to call his office on Monday and set-up an appointment to come in and show him some sample material. He also introduced me to Lynda Vincent, his much-younger wife, who wrote most of the shows with him, and Gary Blair, the show's executive producer, who was also the voice of Herkamer Eugenski, the nasal voiced, whiny announcer for Seymour Presents on KTLA.

I made that call, come Monday, and Larry, who was as nice on the phone, as Seymour was prickly on the air, invited me to come down to the studio a few days later, on the day they would be shooting that week's show. I could show him my samples and watch a Seymour show shot. I was in Heaven.

The evening before my appointment, I sat down and made a stack of what I felt were my strongest radio sketches. Then I put paper in the typewriter, and wrote a sample Seymour sketch.

At that time, one of the most popular shows on the air on KTLA was Help Thy Neighbor. Neighbor was a morbid feel-good tearfest, on which down-on-their-luck sad sacks would come on, unload their sob story to the host, Larry Van Nuys, and then Larry would take phone calls. Viewers (The show was on live, 5 nights a week) would call in with one form of assistance or another to help the poor schmuck humiliating himself. It was creepy and smarmy, only slightly less horrifying then Queen For A Day. (At least everybody who came on got helped. They didn't kick 3 needy cases out empty-handed each day like Queen did.)

I felt that Help Thy Neighbor was ripe for the Seymour treatment. I wrote a sketch called Shaft Thy Neighbor, in which Seymour read a letter from a pathetic wretch who had been buried under the biggest pile of hard luck since Job, and then took calls from people who "Helped" him, by making matters worse. ("You will no longer have to work day and night at two jobs to support your wife and 14 shoeless children, because your bosses both phoned and fired you, your wife has left you for another man, and your children have all run away.")

When I got to the KTLA lot at Sunset & Van Ness (Just across the street from an apartment building, now demolished, in which I was to live in 1986-8. It's the apartment building in Pulp Fiction.) Larry brought me in to to see The Slimy Wall in the sound stage. To my delight, the Help Thy Neighbor set sat right next to the Slimy Wall, at right angles to it. My sketch could be shot on the actual set, just by rotating the cameras 90 degrees!

As we entered the studio, we ran into Larry Van Nuys coming out. As it happened, I knew Larry Van Nuys. Prior to his achieving 15 minutes of stardom with Help Thy Neighbor, he had been the next disc jockey on after Whittington each morning at KGIL. (Since leaving, he'd been replaced by Wink Martindale) Larry Van Nuys, seeing me, hollered, "Douglas! How the hell are you?", and grabbed me in a big bear hug and gave me a loud, sloppy kiss on the cheek, all right in front of Larry Vincent. I explained that I was there to try and land a job writing for Seymour, and Larry Van Nuys, on the spot, began to regale Larry Vincent with extravagant praise of my comic genius. This, I felt, didn't hurt at all

Larry Vincent explained that he had been actively trying out writers for sometime, to find someone to take the burden of turning out the scripts every week off his and Lynda's shoulders. In fact, the show I was going to see shot was written by a female guest writer, to whom I was introduced. I instantly envied and hated her.

Back in his office, I gave Larry my sample pile, with the Seymour sketch carefully buried at the bottom. I sat there as Larry read the pages. He started looking stern and detached, but quickly was laughing out loud, and mentioning how funny he found some of the words used. (I remember him saying he thought "Dreck" a particularly funny word, when it popped up in one of my sketches.)

Then he came to Shaft Thy Neighbor. "What's this?" he asked. I explained that it was a sample Seymour sketch I'd written the night before, to show how well I could write for him. He put his serious, detached face back on, but it didn't stay long. By the time he finished reading the sketch, not only had I been commissioned to write an entire script, but Larry bought the Shaft sketch on the spot.

The movie I was assigned to write a show around was The Leech Woman. Unfortunately, it was not possible for some reason, for me to see the movie before writing the script. (The evening my show was broadcast remains, to this day, my only viewing of The Leech Woman, a film of seminal importance to my career.) I looked the movie up in several guides, and read as much about it as I could, and went from there.

Since I couldn't write about the film's specifics, I wrote instead a series of parodies of other famous films & TV shows. My opening sketch was a take-off on You Bet Your Life. When Seymour said "Fringies", that turned out to be the secret word, and a rubber chicken came flying down from the eaves. Another sketch employed a huge photo of Banjo Billy I had seen on Larry's office wall, which, in my script, became Dorian Gray's portrait of Seymour. ("Many of you have commented on how I appear to be eternally youthful, how my classically chiseled features never show the wear of time.") Of course, when Seymour revealed the picture, he was livid. ("That can't be me! I want my money back! Eternal youth isn't worth that! Get me Dorian Gray on the telephone immediately!")

I had Seymour try to crash That Party Down The Block disguised as a mousekateer, wearing my own, personal mouse ears, and a furry shirt that had been part of a theatrical costume of mine. (Lynda Vincent provided the offscreen voice of Annette). Shaft Thy Neighbor was used, and, in my favorite sketch, a parody of Curt Siodmak's beloved Sci-fi nonsense Donovan's Brain, I had Seymour remove Eugenski's brain and put it in a fish tank. The disembodied brain instantly took control of Seymour, forcing him to tap dance and sing Won't You Come Home, Bill Bailey. In the final scene, Eugenski's brain had been put in Seymour's body, so Seymour now spoke with his squeaky voice, while Seymour's brain squawked impotently from the tank. In short, since this might be my only Seymour script, I fired all my comedy guns.

I delivered the finished script to Larry at the Equicon science fiction film convention, that November. My relationship with Larry had already altered. It was no longer fan and celebrity. Larry let me hang with him throughout the convention, and we discovered that I had the ability to break Larry up as easily as he broke me up. We were to go on breaking each other up, for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, when the time came to shoot the script, Larry had bad news. KTLA had cancelled him. My script was to be his next-to-last show. Larry told me he was very happy with what I had written. He said they had auditioned dozens of other writers and every single one of them had had to be completely rewritten by Lynda and him to fit the character's speech patterns and stay in character, which meant they saved them no work at all. Mine was the only script anyone else had ever written for them that could be shot exactly as written, with no rewriting. The job would have been mine, except, there was now no job.

One change had been made. KTLA Standards & Practices decided that Shaft Thy Neighbor was dirty. (It was 1973. Dinosaurs still walked the earth) The sketch was changed to Shelf Thy Neighbor, which sounds similar, but which, you'll notice, makes no sense.

On KTLA we had a set time slot. The show had to end on time. As we shot the show, it soon became clear that my script was too long. Midway through shooting, the film editor went back to his lab and hacked a few more minutes out of The Leech Woman, to give us some more air time. (So disrespectful. Fortunately, the movie is crap) Even with the movie butchered to bits, there wasn't time for my brain switch ending. Seymour's brain would remain in his skull. Too bad.

My friend, the late David Tarling, came to the taping with me and took these pictures, now so precious to me. The one picture from that day that I no longer have, was a shot of Larry, Lynda, Garry and myself, lined up in front of the Slimy Wall. Months later, when I began working with Larry at his home on a projected record album, I was proud to see that picture of us framed on Larry's living room wall, where it remained until his death.

So, that was it, I thought. The day of the broadcast, in January 1974, I had friends over and we and my family all watched my first, and for all we knew last, show air. At one point, after an unseen, imaginary audience boos a particularly lame joke, Seymour said, "I didn't write that joke. I got it from Eugenski, and he got it from his writer, whom I've already fired." My mother broke up and, always willing to ally herself with anyone criticizing me, said, "He really let you have it for that one." I believe she was disappointed when I showed her that every word of that bit, including the booing sound effects, were in the script and were written by me. Mother was so hoping it was Larry departing from the script to humiliate me on TV.

Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to producer of The Sweet Dick Whittington Show at KGIL, which was now full-time employment, writing bits, booking the interview guests and setting up all the details of Dick's notorious live stunts. I became happily busy.

At the beginning of March Larry Vincent called me. KHJ had picked the show up. Back under it's original title Fright Night With Seymour, it was going back on the air in April, and Larry was putting me on staff to write half the shows. Best of all, our time slot was open-ended. It didn't matter how long we ran, so I could write as long a show as I wanted and we would do it all, without butchering the movies. You've heard of a dream come true? Well, this was one.

We shot every other Thursday afternoon, doing two shows in a session. Every other taping session I would be the author of the shows. The two shows in between would be by Larry & Lynda.

I would come in to the studio and sit in a screening room so tiny it made the Marx Brothers stateroom look like a stateroom, and a projectionist would run 16mm prints of my two movies. In this pre-home video Stone Age this was the only chance I had to see the films, though a couple, like The Incredible Shrinking Man, which was the best film we ran, I already knew fairly well. I took extensive notes of everything that happened in the movie. I wrote the scripts at my leisure, usually in my office at KGIL, turned them in, came in the day before taping and met with the projectionist/editor, with whom I would extract the film clips we would be using in the show. Since we literally snipped the clips out of the movie, and spliced them back in when we had shot the show, we were damaging the prints every time we used a clip. Naughty.

I came to all the tapings, whether it was my shows or not, for two reasons. 1. I often came up with tweakings for lines or bits on the set, and 2. Being with Larry was such a joy I wanted to be around all I could.

Larry was a great guy, and we became close friends quickly. Lynda & Garry were also terrific people, and we were a happy unit indeed. Larry had a temper. If somebody screwed something up, he would let them have it with both barrels, but he never simply got angry, and he never got angry without cause. In all the time I knew him, he never once raised his voice to me.

In May, Larry rode in the Strawberry Festival Parade in Garden Grove, not far from my folk's home in Westminster. I rode in the parade with Larry & Lynda, then we went to my parent's home for a huge home cooked meal. My 16 year old brother Duncan had, of course, told every kid for miles around that Seymour was coming to our house, so there was a small crowd of kids to greet us when we arrived. (Enroute, we had stopped at a K-Mart to pick something up, and Larry had been recognized, and started a small mob scene.) Larry & I got going at that meal, sharing increasingly ribald humor, while Lynda & my mother sort of smiled indulgently. (I remember one thing that broke us up being the idea of Larry playing Banjo Billy wearing, instead of Groucho glasses and fake nose, a dildo-nose & glasses. Well, it is a funny image, though Mother wasn't amused.)

We attended a Sci-fi/comics convention in San Diego together, during which, they ran Larry's ghastly movie The Witchmaker. Larry and I sat and made jokes aloud throughout the film to the delight of the audience.
(In an excessively weird co-incidence, at that time, I was working for Larry Vincent, who had appeared in The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, and Sweet Dick Whittington, who appeared in The Thing With Two heads. Stranger still, now those two two-headed movies are available on the same DVD. It's like my 1974 life on one disc, with my one boss on side 1, and my other boss on side 2. Spooky.)

Killing two jobs with one stone, I booked Larry on The Whittington Show on KGIL one morning as an interview guest and sat back and listened to the comedy gold as my two bosses sparked and riffed together, the only time they ever met. (Needless to say, they both tried to top each other with tales of what an utterly worthless excuse for an employee I was.)

One time on the set, a sketch required Larry to wear a Sherlock Holmes-type deerstalker cap. He was wearing my own personal one. (I kept writing my wardrobe into the show) Larry was in place on the set, waiting for the scene to be slated when I strolled up to him and whispered to him that he had the hat on backwards. Now, of course, the front and back of a deerstalker cap are identical. It isn't possible to put it on backwards, though you can wear it sideways, as Harpo does in Duck Soup. Larry knew this, of course. But he strode mock-angrily off the set, and staged a pretend tantrum ("Why doesn't anybody check these details?") about almost being allowed to do the sketch with the hat on wrong, while he took the hat off, turned it around, and re-groomed.

May 1st, 1974 Doodles Weaver was on the set. He had recently released a record album called Feetlebaum Returns, and was now going to produce a Seymour comedy album. Larry and I were to write it. That evening I dined with Doodles and Walker Edmiston, and Doodles regaled us with tales of drinking with Bogart. Doodles was a great guy to hang with, but murder to work with. We argued about material constantly. Basically, I would write a Seymour piece and Doodles would rewrite it into a Doodles piece, and then, since Larry would be doing it rather than Doodles, it got changed back to my original version.

I remember one afternoon, sitting with Larry in his living room in Santa Monica, working on the album script, when Larry and I noticed something odd. Visible through his sliding glass door, a wrench was floating up into the air. Larry had an open toolbox on the porch, and we found a kid leaning out of the window of an upstairs apartment, with a fishing rod with a magnet on the line, tool fishing.

Larry was appearing six nights a week at The Mayfair Music Hall in Santa Monica most of that year. As it was easier than bringing people to the studio, I often took friends to the Music Hall to meet Larry and see him perform live, seeing and meeting guest performers as varied as Ian Whitcomb and the late, great Anna Russell. Bernard Fox, who more recently appeared in both Titanic and the Brendon Fraser version of The Mummy, was the Master of ceremonies for these shows.

Once Larry tipped me off that Mel Brooks was shooting a sequence for his new film at the Music Hall in the afternoons that week. I put on my "I Belong Here" expression and showed up, which is how I came to be present in the room when Mel shot the Puttin' On the Ritz scene in Young Frankenstein, a scene this blog's friend Ken Levine has listed as among the top 5 funniest scenes in movie history. (And I am inclined to agree.)

Another day, Larry told me about going into a bar the evening before. Rod Serling sat down next to him and ordered a drink. Slowly the two men noticed each other. "Rod Serling?" Larry asked. "Seymour?" Rod asked back. Turned out Serling was a Seymour fan too. Larry was just tickled by it.

On August 8th, 1974, we had just finished taping my scripts for Vincent Price's Diary Of A Madman & Son Of Godzilla, when a news bulletin came over the studio monitors. I stood next to Larry Vincent in the studio at KHJ and watched Richard Nixon resign. Larry was very depressed by the event, fearing it boded ill for America. I was ecstatic to see the old bastard fleeing in disgrace.

During my time writing for Larry I came up with two new characters for him to play on the show, a biker hipster called "Mr. Cool" and "Ranger Bob", a forest ranger who dispensed insane forestry advice. I also created Seymour's Fairy Tales in which Seymour told horribly warped new versions of old children's favorites.

And then Larry was hospitalized. The show was cancelled. Larry gave me the task of writing the last two shows. The next to last show, for the film Octaman was never shot. Larry was simply too ill to do it, so a show was cobbled together out of old pieces on video at the last minute.

Larry came out of the hospital on a four-hour pass to shoot the last ever Seymour show. I appeared on that show as a guy sent from the city to tear down The Slimy Wall. We opened the studio doors and moved the set out into the parking lot for the last sketch, pretending that we'd been kicked out of the studio.

There was one more show to do. Seymour was signed to star in Seymour's Halloween Haunt at The John Wayne Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, Halloween weekend. Since Larry was laid up in St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank, and Lynda was concerned with taking care of him, I was given the assignment to write the Knott's show. Gary Blair was going to be out of town that weekend, so I was also assigned to oversee the show for Seymour Productions that weekend. Moona Lisa & Chuck Jones the magician were also in the show, Knott's informed us, so I wrote them in, meeting with Jones, who was also supplying illusions for the show. Moona Lisa was tremendously easy to work with, happy just to be part of Larry's show, and willing to do what ever I wrote for her, and demanding nothing. Charming.

That Thursday, I picked Larry up at the hospital in Burbank and drove him to Knott's Berry Farm, installing him in a suite at a hotel adjoining the park, before scurrying over to the theatre to oversee the tech rehearsal while Larry relaxed. My job at the park that weekend was really just to see to it that Larry had as easy a time of it as possible. I didn't know Larry was dying, but he knew.

Before I could leave the hotel room to go to the rehearsal (Lynda was already at the rehearsal.), Larry stopped me. "Douglas, I have to tell you something. You've been a good friend to me, and I appreciate it. I love you, my friend." And he hugged me. I was embarrassed and kept mumbling that I knew it and he didn't need to say it, but Larry said, "No, I do need to say it." I didn't know it then, that he was taking care of business, making sure he'd said the things he wanted to say to his loved ones while he still could. Though I was about as uncomfortable as I could possibly have been at the time, afterwards, in the years that have followed, I have always been very deeply glad that Larry made a point of opening his heart to me, and letting me know I had earned a place in it.

Doing the show turned out to be the best medicine for Larry. He rallied that weekend, and rose to the occasion so well. He enjoyed himself tremendously. Between performances we would go out on an electric cart, toodling around the park, going on rides. As Seymour he would elaborately take cuts in line. "Look over there!" he'd yell, pointing away, and then we'd sprint up to the front and push on to the ride. "So long, suckers." He would call as we rolled into the ride, and everybody had a great time.

Closing night Larry had pizza delivered backstage for everybody working on the show, out of his own pocket. He entertained the friends of mine that came to the shows in his dressing room. He seemed to have time and energy for everybody. I remember sitting in that dressing room, listening to him talk about his experiences understudying Kirk Douglas on Broadway, and about the time, as a college student, that Boris Karloff had come and addressed them.

After the weekend was over, Larry felt well enough to return home, instead of going back to the hospital. He seemed full of optimism, and spoke of plans to use Seymour in other ways, after we finished the album, which was only partially recorded. When my paycheck came, it was considerably larger than what we had agreed on. Gary Blair told me that Larry had insisted that I be paid an increased fee, because I'd done such a good job for him, and everything had gone so well.

But Larry's rally lasted only about a month and he was back in the hospital. I came to see him as often as I could, until he was moved into intensive care and only family could come. It was Gary Blair who finally told me Larry was dying. It seemed hard to believe. He was only 50. These days I am 57, and I'm way too young to die. For Heaven's sake, Tallulah is 110, and seems set on outliving all of us.

Finally the terrible day came. I was living in Redondo Beach, next door to my aforementioned friend David Tarling (Who also took the Knott's Berry Farm pictures above, of Larry's last-ever show.) and his wife Mary. (David would better Larry, or perhaps worse him, by dying at age 38.) When I got up one day, there was a note tacked to my front door that Mary had left before going to work. It just said three little words: "Larry is dead." The pain of that loss is still sharp today.

It just isn't right. Larry should still be here, crotchety and funny at 82. We should have had a lot more laughs together. I can't imagine what other paths my life and my career would have taken had Larry Vincent not died so young, but I know I miss my friend still. He leers down at me from pictures on my wall, and, thanks to his loyal, devoted fans who loved him too, I have audio tapes to hear him again, though I know of no existing video tape of "Seymour", but I never give up hope video will turn up. Meanwhile, I have my DVD of The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant, and will get the Mission: Impossible DVD when it hits Amazon in two months, and he's in The Apple Dumpling Gang also.

(In Seymour's last TV show, shot shortly after The Apple Dumpling Gang, I had Seymour relate how a terrible tragedy occurred at Disney Studios while they were shooting the movie. Then we ran a clip from our movie that week, The Hideous Sun Demon, showing the monster catching a rat and squeezing it to death, while Seymour said, "A new security guard didn't recognize Mickey Mouse without his little pants and gloves.")

In 1976, in a conversation that will forever be one the supreme highlights of my life, Groucho Marx, or, as I think of him, God, told me he had seen some of my Seymour shows and that he thought I was a funny writer. Groucho was a Seymour fan!

In 1978 my first full-length stage play, an adaptation of Dracula, opened. The dedication in the program read: "This play is dedicated by it's author to the memory of Larry Vincent, better known to his fans as 'Seymour'. A great friend to horror, terror and things that go bump in the night, and a great friend to me."

"And now, the time has come for me to make that dread sojourn into the world that lies out there, beyond the slimiest of walls. Until next time, this is Seymour, wishing you and yours a Bad Evening!" I'll be waiting, my friend. Meanwhile, BOO!