Feb 17, 2015

Mitch Gaylord: Hunk of the Month

In a December 1984 episode of Diff'rent Strokes, Willis (Todd Bridges) inspires his paralyzed friend by introducing him to. . .Mitch  Gaylord!!!  The studio audience gasps in awe.  Mitch Gaylord on the set, only a few feet away!!!  Much more exciting than Arnold saying "What you talkin' about, Willis" for the 800th time!

Ok, the guy was extremely muscular, and I liked the sound of his last name, but why the awe?  Was he, like, famous or something?

I started noticing him in ads for Diet Coke, Levis, Nike, and Vidal Sassoon Shampoo, and, when I moved to Los Angeles in 1985, sundry posters in gay bookstores.

After the hasty (and perhaps homophobic) firing of Scott Madsen, he became the new spokesman for Soloflex exercise equipment, flexing while lady fingers caressed his shoulder, with the risque tagline "A hard man is good to find."

In March 1985 he appeared with Lucille Ball, Scott Baio, Douglas Barr, and practically every other celebrity I had ever heard of on Night of 100 Stars.  


I asked around, and discovered that Mitch Gaylord was a gymnast in the 1984 Summer Olympics.  He won a gold medal, a silver medal, and two bronze medals.

I don't follow sports.  Who knew?

Mitch Gaylord wasn't in the spotlight for long. He starred in American Anthem (1986), about two gymnasts, male and female, who fall in love while training for the U.S. Olympic team.  He was nominated for a Razzi award for the Worst New Actor.

And in the Italian movie American riscio (1990), about an American college student framed for the murder of a televangelist's son, who teams up with a stripper and a witch to find the real killer (I'm not kidding).

And in a couple of softcore porn movies.

And as a contestant on American Gladiators (1994-95).

He hasn't made any public acknowledgement of his gay fans, but I guess that's better than Scott Madsen's homophobia.

Besides, he was the Hunk of the Month.