Aug 21, 2017

Alan Dates Will of "Land of the Lost"

Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star didn't like telling celebrity dating or hookup stories: "Does being on tv automatically make guys hotter?  Does it give them a bigger cock?  What's the point?"  

But when he set his mind to it, he had some good stories: he dated David Johnson, son of the professor on Gilligan's Island; two of the male cast members of M*A*S*H (not Alan Alda); and Land of the Lost star Wesley Eure.

West Hollywood, June 1979

In May 1978, three days after graduating from ultra-fundamentalist Waynesburg College in rural Pennsylvania, Alan arrived in the gay ghetto of West Hollywood.  It was the halcyon days of sexual excess, after Gay Liberation but before AIDS, when there were enough bars and bathhouses in town to fill every night with dates and tricks.  And he dated and tricked with the best of them.

In the spring of 1979, he met Donnie, a production  manager/stage manager/general factotum at CBS.  They had sex once, then became friends, as was the custom in those day.  He told Alan about his gay sex party with Sid Krofft and Jack Wild, star of the Saturday-morning kidvid show H.R. Pufnstuf.

"I always thought those boys on the Krofft shows were gay.  Butch Patrick on Lidsville...Johnny Whitaker on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters...."

"Well, there was some casting couch stuff going on with Sid, but those guys were mostly straight. Other than Jack Wild, the only one I know for sure is gay is Wesley Eure."

The last of the Krofft Shows, Land of the Lost (1974-1976), was the most ambitious.  A whole family -- father, son, and daughter -- trapped in a prehistoric world with dinosaurs, evil reptilian Sleestaks, and helpful humanoid Pakuni..  They hire Star Trek alumni as writers, and a UCLA linguist to invent the Pakuni language.  And instead of their usual fey prettyboys, they got a real rugged outdoorsman to play the son.

A little old for a Krofft boy, age 23 when the show began, Wesley Eure was tall and buffed, with black curly hair and a dazzling teen-idol smile. He was a talented singer, selected to replace David Cassidy on The Partridge Family, and a classically-trained dramatic actor who had performed Shakespeare and Eugene O'Neill.  Yet he didn't balk at being chased by dinosaurs every week.

"How do you know he's gay?" Alan asked.  "Have you tricked with him?"

Donnie laughed.  "Not tricked, no -- we dated. Candy, flowers, a soda with two straws, a kiss on the doorstep, the whole romantic bit.  But he dumped me after the third date."

"Things getting too real for him?"

"I was getting too out for him.  He's strictly closeted."

"Closeted, in 1979?  That's ridiculous!"  Alan exclaimed.  "Being gay is legal now.  Willie Brown is on our side.  There are gay characters on tv all the time. What's he got to be afraid of?  Give me this guy's number, and I'll pull him out of the closet."

"What makes you think you're his type?"

Alan grinned.  "Have you seen my cock lately?  I'm everybody's type."

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Jerry Lewis Falls in Love

In 2007, comedian Jerry Lewis called someone a "fag" during his telethon, and apologized the next day for his "bad choice of words."  In 2008, he referred to cricket as a "f-- game" during an interview on Australian tv, but refused to apologize.

Ok, he was homophobic.  But no more homophobic than other people born in 1926: Paul Lynde, Aldo Ray, Tom Tryon, Allen Ginsberg, Cloris Leachman, Charlotte Rae. . .never mind.

[I'm being sarcastic, of course.  This is a list of people who were born that year who were gay or gay-friendly, which supports my argument that you can't excuse his homophobia due to his age.]

But in his early days, Jerry Lewis was gay.  Or rather, he played gay.

In 1946, the young Borscht Belt comedian Jerry Lewis and the nightclub singer Dean Martin started a comedy act.  It spun into a radio program (1949-53), numerous television appearances, and a series of 16 movies, beginning with with My Friend Irma (1946) and ending with Hollywood or Bust (1956).

From the 1920s through the 1960s, many comedians came in pairs:  Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Smothers Brothers, Gilligan and the Skipper.  They were a relic of Vaudeville, where a "straight man" would set up the joke and a "stooge" would deliver the punchline.

In comedy duos, the straight man (Hardy, Abbott, the Skipper, Dean Martin) strived for respectability: a job, a house, a wife.  He wanted to do things "right," conform to the rules of heterosexist normalcy.  The stooge (Laurel, Costello, Gilligan, Jerry Lewis) was a court jester, like Harlequin of the Commedia dell'Arte or Skip in the Little Nemo comic strip. He stymied the straight man's plans, skewered his pretensions, brought anarchy, rebellion, and freedom.  He was usually not interested in women.

Most comedy duos eliminated the potential for gay subtext by pretending to hate each other, but Dean and Jerry obviously cared for each other.  Jerry went even farther, however, hinting to the oblivious Dean that he was in love.  And sometimes going beyond hints.

Dean: I want to read this fan letter.
Jerry: You don't need to read it to me.  I know what it says. "Dear Mr Martin, you're wonderful, I adore your voice, I dream of you, I sleep with your picture under my pillow."
Dean: How did you know?
Jerry: That's how I feel,  too.

Jerry was also extremely physical, always hugging, holding, and trying to kiss Dean, who accepted the displays of affection with some embarrasment.  In My Friend Irma Goes West, Dean is rubbing Jerry's chest in a circular motion; Jerry says that it feels good, but he would prefer "bigger circles."  Where, precisely, does he want Dean's hand to be?

In their movies and nightclub acts, Dean played the self-absorbed, not-always-faithful "husband," and Jerry the devoted but sneaky "wife."  Dean went off to carouse with his card-playing buddies, while Jerry waited at home with dinner in the oven.  Sometimes Dean hooked up with women, but Jerry always found a way to sabotage the relationship.

If it was all part of the act, what was it for?  What joy did Dean and Jerry expect homophobic 1950s audiences to find in watching unrequited same-sex love?

The pair had a nasty breakup in 1956, and rarely spoke to each other again, except at the funeral of Dean's son, Dean Paul Martin.    Dean Martin went on to the famous homoerotic Rat Pack.

But Jerry occasionally commented on their relationship: "It was like a romance"; "We were closer than brothers"; and, in an interview I remember from the early 1970s, "It makes you wonder if there is something to homosexuality."

See also: The Gay Adventures of Jerry Lewis.

10 Things You Should Know about Dash Dobrovsky

1. He played water polo and lacrosse at Santa Monica High School.

2.  He's been acting since he was twelve, but he got his first big break playing Manny's "cool friend" Griffin on an 2012 episode of Modern Family.

3. He stars in a youtube reality series, Summer Break, which is mostly about how hot girls are.

4. However, it does make it obvious that he hangs to the left.

5. He played Byron in the tv movie Enough about Jack (2015), directed by his brother Spyder, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2014 with a degree in filmmaking.  Several other members of his family are in show business, including Neal and Tippi.

More after the break.

Aug 20, 2017

The Gay Adventures of Jerry Lewis

When I was growing up, every summer and sometimes at Christmastime, we drove 300 miles from Rock Island, Illinois to Garrett, Indiana, to visit my parents' family.  We usually stayed with my Aunt Nora, whose kids were nearly grown-up: when I was 10, Cousin Ed was 21, Cousin Eva 19, and Cousin Joe, the only one still living at home, 17 (he's the one who I saw naked).

It was fun staying with Aunt Nora.  Their house was only two blocks from the Limberlost Library, where Cousin Joe let us check out books on his card.  It was three blocks from Sylvan Lake, where we could go swimming and fishing in the summer.

And in the winter, there was another treasure: an attic full of comic books from the 1950s!

Donald Ducks! Ancient chubby Caspers!  Archie going to sock hops! Pre-code horror!

And Jerry Lewis.

At the time I didn't know that Jerry Lewis was a real person, a comedian whose shtick involved blatant gay subtexts.

I just thought that he was a comic book character, a big-jawed, rather dopey, but cute young man who was not interested in women, as many cover gags demonstrated (here a woman is amazed because he took her through a Tunnel of Love without attempting a kiss.)

 However, he had a long-term partner named Dean Martin.

The Adventures of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis title (1952-1957) had the pair traveling around the world, to China, the Middle East, Mexico, sub-Saharan Africa, or Ruritanian countries of Europe, where they became immeshed in intrigues involving spies, bandits, evil cultists, or cannibals, allowing the easily-frightened Jerry to leap into Dean's arms.

Dean often got girls along the way, but Jerry did not.

In the few issues that displayed him shirtless, he had a pleasantly solid physique.

(Yes, that's Batman and Robin as guest superheroes.)

In 1957, shortly after the real-life comedy duo split up, Dean Martin vanished from the comic books, and The Adventures of Jerry Lewis continued for another 84 issues, finally folding in 1971.

Now Jerry was a single parent raising his sarcastic preteen nephew, Renfrew, and still not interested in women, though often they tried to seduce him.  The duo had humorous paranormal adventures with ghosts, witches, werewolves, monsters, mad scientists, and so on.

Eventually Jerry became the headmaster of a school for kids who are "different."

Some nice gay symbolism in my Aunt Nora's attic during the long, dull days after Christmas.

See also: Jerry Lewis Falls in Love.

How I Found Nico Greetham

The problem with popular culture is, they keep making more of it.  Not only am I expected to know all about my childhood favorites, like The Brady Bunch, Lost in Space, Mission: Impossible, I Dream of Jeannie, Batman, and Get Smart.  I have to know about the childhood favorites of people born in 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000, like Saved by the Bell, Gimme a Break, We Got it Made, Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Married: With Children, Lost, Twin Peaks, Pete and Pete, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Modern Family.  

Sometimes it all blurs together in my mind.

For example, I heard that One Direction's Harry Styles had been linked romantically with Radio 1's Nick Grimshaw, who is gay.  The name Nick Grimshaw sounded vaguely familiar.

So I looked in my folder of beefcake photos waiting for future posts, and sure enough, there were some shirtless shots of a Nick Greetham that I found while researching someone else. Must be the same person.  And Radio 1 must be a singing competition like The X-Factor.

But the only Nick Greetham I could find on the internet was the manager of a print shop in South Africa.  His facebook photo showed  him kissing a girl.  Not gay, not a singer.  I must have gotten the name wrong.

So I looked up everyone who has appeared recently on The X-Factor.  Nothing.  But there was a Nico Greetham who performs on So You Think You Can Dance.  He's an 18-year old recent high school graduate from Woodbridge, Virginia.

Not dating Harry Styles.

Well, is he gay?  Or does his work have any gay subtexts?

The IMDB revealed only two credits, the heterosexist So You Think You Can Dance and the movie From Within (2008), where he played "Boy on Bicycle."

The Broadway Database revealed nothing.

A google search on "Nico Greetham" and "gay" revealed a tumblr that says "Age: 19 Male. Gay," but that might just be a fan.

His tweets are noncommittal, but one of his images showed him hugging a guy, Paul Kamiryan.  Could that be his boyfriend?

Now I had to find Paul Kamiryan.  More research.

Aug 19, 2017

Four Color Beefcake and Bonding

When I was a kid, my comic book buying budget was limited, but when I started making my own money in the late 1970s, the extra income allowed a thorough investigation of the back issue bins at the Comics Cave, and I expanded my beefcake and bonding library with Dell's Four Color Comics.

It was a series of one-shots, each issue dedicated to a different movie, cartoon, tv series, or comic strip character, over a thousand between 1942 and 1962.  The range was staggering.  Here's a brief selection: Donald Duck, Tilly the Toiler, Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon, Harold Teen, Tarzan, Fearless Fagan,  I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, Captain Kangaroo, Johnny Jason Teen Reporter.

I was looking for beefcake or bonding covers, like this Leave it to Beaver (FC 1191, 1961).   It showed Wally and the Beaver (Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers) considerably younger than they would have been in 1961, in a romantic pose, sharing a soda (one soda, two straws) while Beaver rests his hand lightly on Wally's thigh?

Tonka (FC 966, 1958) came out at the same time as the 1958 movie, with gay teen idol Sal Mineo as a bicep-bulging Native American (Tonka was his horse).

But this Spin and Marty comic (FC 1026, 1959), with Marty's hand placed tenderly on Skip's shoulder, was released after the series ended.

Often the characters were completely unrecognizable, relics of the distant past.  Who on Earth was this blond, muscular Curly Kayoe (FC 871, 1957) boxing with a barefoot hunk?  Turns out that boxers were heroes during the 1930s and 1940s, and Curly Kayoe, like Joe Palooka, rated his own comic strip (1945-61) and comic book (1946-50). (Kayoe means "Knock Out.")  He didn't seem to have a girlfriend, but he did have a youthful ward named Davy, Robin to his Batman, who took over the strip in 1961.

Or Clint and Mac (FC 889, 1958)?  Turns out that Kurt Russell didn't play Disney's only American adventurer abroad.  In 1957-58, The Mickey Mouse Club featured a serial about the American Clint (Neil Wolfe), the one in the crew cut and extremely tight jeans, who visits Britain and buddy-bonds with Mac (Jonathan Bailey), the one in the beanie and striped tie.

Their adventure involves catching the thieves who stole an original manuscript of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. They also encounter a street gang, drive a car, and go to a birthday party for Prince Charles.  Both actors vanished from show business soon thereafter, and the serial has never been released on DVD, so without the comic it would have vanished completely.

Or Johnny Yuma, the Rebel (FC 1136, 1960), who shoots one gun and holds another, and wears a Confederate uniform (minus the shirt)?

Turns out that The Rebel (1959-1961) was a Western about Johnny Yuma, an ex-Confederate who wanders around the Old West with his shirt off.  Johnny was played by gay actor Nick Adams, who hung out with a crowd of barely-closeted gay actors, many discovered by gay agent Henry Willson (others included Guy Madison, James Dean,  Lee Patterson, Anthony Perkins, and Van Williams).

Aug 18, 2017

Fill Your Beefcake Quota with "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"

Fans are upset because the new Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie, The Long Hall (2017), doesn't star Zachary Gordon or Devon Bostick.

Come on, the guy is 19 years old and buffed.  Do you really want him playing the 11-year old wimp Greg Heffley?

Jason Drucker, seen here with "Rowley" Owen Aztalos, is really 11 years old.  A better choice.

And actor/model Charlie Wright as sarcastic older brother Rodrick has some beefcake potential that Devon Bostick didn't.

Plus there are many other opportunities for physique-watching.  Hot tubs, showers, swimming pools.  Check out Tom Everett Scott, who played Johnny Galecki's boyfriend on stage, as Dad.

It's a road movie, so the usual junior high nightmares take a back seat to hotel and roadside-amusement nightmares and Greg's quest to meet Mac Digby, the creator of his favorite video game, plus an ongoing antagonist, Mr. Beardo (Chris Coppola).  He gets a shower AND a hot tub scene.

No heteronormative "boy meets girl" preteen romance, only minimal homophobic anxiety-jokes -- in that regard, it's far superior to its predecessors.

Unfortunately, it eschews plot development for scatological jokes and seeing how much abuse Greg's body can take -- it takes a lot. I suggest renting the DVD and going through on fast forward.

See also: Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Penis Sighting at a Chinese Restaurant

Rock Island, May 1974

When I was growing up in Rock Island in the 1960s and 1970s, there were no Chinese restaurants  in town.  I knew only a little about Chinese food:

1. On a 1967 episode of The Andy Griffith Show where Andy and his sidekick Barney go to a Chinese restaurant.  Andy orders a steak, a baked potato, and green beans, but Barney is so stupid that he actually orders from the menu, and receives platesful of disgusting horrors.

2. My mother's cookbook, Meals with a Foreign Flair, offered a Chinese meal: chow mein, cucumber salad, asparagus, and fortune cookies.

3. Chinese food was cooked and served by Chinese men.  I had never met anyone of Chinese ancestry before, except for the mysterious boy that Bill and I played with a long time ago.

I hadn't even seen many guys of Chinese ancestry!  But doubtless they were amazingly attractive.

With tree-trunk penises!

When I was in eighth grade at Washington Junior High, a Chinese restaurant, the Mandarin Kitchen, opened in the Quad Cities.

I was anxious to go, but it was across the river in Davenport, Iowa. I wasn't allowed to cross the river by myself.  Besides, no buses went over, and it was too far to walk.

My parents wouldn't take me:

"It's too expensive," Dad said.

"And you wouldn't like it," Mom added.  "I had Chinese food once, in Long Beach.  It was awful!  What's wrong with Harris Pizza?"

 Then I thought of my birthday excursion!

My birthday is in November, when everything fun is closed, so every May I got a "birthday trip": I could invite two or three friends to go anywhere I wanted in the Quad Cities.  We went to Mother Goose Land (it's not as lame as it sounds), the Niabi Zoo, the Putnam Museum, the "Little Bit O' Heaven" at Palmer College.  Why not go out to lunch at the Mandarin Kitchen?

I invited Dan and Darry, my boyfriend and my best friend, plus my brother by default and Peter, the only Asian guy at Washington Junior High.  He was of Japanese ancestry, not Chinese, but I thought he might give us an air of authenticity, so we wouldn't look like tourists.

On a Saturday in May, shortly before the streaking incident, Dad drove us across the Centennial Bridge and into Davenport.  We turned down River Drive and drove through a rather seedy neighborhood, past shabby office buildings, taverns, tattoo parlors, and the Col Ballroom where sinners went dancing, until finally we reached the Mandarin Kitchen.

The uncensored story, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 17, 2017

Oliver Hooks Up with Andy Taylor and Opie

West Hollywood, September 1985

I've been in California for only a couple of months, but I'm completely star struck!  I've met Michael J. Fox, Scott Valentine, Robin Williams, Dean Paul Martin, Chris Makepeace -- I can't even keep track  -- and heard about a lot more.

I'm asking every guy I meet about the celebrities they dated or tricked with.  Sylvester Stallone, Scott Baio, Rob Lowe, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ted Danson...I could write a book!

It's the morning after my date with Artie, a chubby older guy with weird rings and gold chains around his neck, reeking of cologne -- not at all my type.  I just accepted the date because I thought he would have a lot of celebrity dating stories (he didn't).

While Artie is frying bacon and eggs, his roommate comes out of the bedroom.  Naked.

A black guy in his mid-30s, slim, short black hair, round face, bleary-eyed.  His thin Kielbasa+ semi-aroused!

I'm not used to seeing naked roommates, especially ones who are cuter than the guy I'm on a date with, and I flash him a cruisy smile.  Artie notices and frowns with obvious jealousy.

"Boomer, this is Oliver.  He was just leaving."

"Pleased to meet cha," Oliver says.  He crosses over to the kitchen and pours himself a cup of coffee, then sits at the table, his knee "accidentally" pressing against mine.  "Are you in the business?  I'm an agent -- Cloris Leachman is one of my clients.  I definitely could get you some work."

Before I can answer, Artie brings over the bacon and eggs on a plate and squeezes in between us, trying to defuse the cruise.  "Boomer's studying Renaissance Italian at USC,  He can speak five languages.  He's not into anything so low-brow as movies."

 "Actually, we were just talking about celebrity dating stories," I tell him.  "You must have some good stories."

"I'm afraid Oliver doesn't have time to..."

"I got plenty of time, bro."  He thinks for a moment.  "How about this one: the very first big stars I ever got down my throat.  Andy Griffith."

"No way!" I exclaim.  Not The countrified hick of No Time for Sergeants!  The harbinger of conservative American "just plain folks" values on The Andy Griffith Show, about a small-town Southern sheriff in the days when folk loved Law and Order just as much as Aunt Bee's prize-winning apple pie!

"Please!" Artie exclaims.  "He trained to become a Moravian minister, and released an album of Country Gospel songs.  No way he's gay!"

"Well, maybe not gay for white boys, but definitely into dark meat."

Hollywood, September 1970

Oliver wanted to be a dancer as long as he could remember.  When he was only fifteen, he was dancing on American Bandstand and on The Swinging Times Review at the Palm Theater in Detroit.  After high school, he enrolled in the Dayton Dance Academy, but after a year he dropped out and moved to Hollywood, where he crashed with a friend and made the rounds of auditions.

In the summer of 1970, his lithe physique landed him a walk-on role on The Headmaster (1970-1971), with 44-year old Andy Griffith trying to escape country-hick typecasting by playing the headmaster of an elite private school in California.  Oliver played a track star who jostled his buddy and said something like "Dig the cool cat."

Just one line in an annoying jive -- did the writers really think that Afro-Americans talked like Sambo? -- and Andy Griffith wasn't even in the scene.  But Oliver saw him watching all during the taping, and figured he must be doing something right.

Sure enough, he was immediately cast in the next episode, as Normie in "The Experiment."  This time he had a whole conversation with the Headmaster, and a hand-on-shoulder moment that, for some reason, took a dozen takes -- Andy kept flubbing his lines and laughing.

The next day Andy called Oliver's agent and asked him to come to his house to discuss "making Normie an ongoing character."

This was rather unusual, but he figured, big stars are eccentric.  And he had the chance to play an ongoing character in a show that was sure to run for years!  So on Saturday he drove out to the house in Beverly Hills.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 16, 2017

Extreme Bodybuilding: When Your Biceps are Bigger than Your Head

There are many theories about why most people find muscular male bodies beautiful.

1. They represent health and vitality.

2. Their strength suggests sexual potency.

3. They are able to protect us from a dangerous world.

4. They suggest the wealth necessary to spend hours at the gym.

The ideal male physique displays symmetry and definition, with every muscle group visible.  The muscles should be big, but not so big that they stand out, calling attention to themselves and ruining the symmetry.

Some guys, however, prefer size to symmetry.  A combination of genetics, over-training, and steroids lead to huge over-development of some muscle groups.

The biceps and triceps are particularly easy to over-train.  When your bicep is bigger than your head and your triceps look like goiters, the symmetry of your physique is ruined.

Where does the tricep end and the chest begin?

If this isn't photoshopped, this guy has over-developed his trapezius, biceps, triceps, and calves.

That's got to be photoshopped.

Why do they do it?  According to extreme bodybuilder Greg Valentino, it's about the challenge, about getting as big as they possibly can.

Who cares about symmetry? Who cares about physical attractiveness?  Who cares about what other bodybuilders think?

Size is all that matters.

Aug 15, 2017

The Bygone Boys of Lake City, Tennessee

I was interested in this photograph from the Bygone Boys tumblr blog, originally from the Tennessee State Library Department of Conservation: two boys with nearly identical faces, one shirtless, facing each other.

The caption says that they are Frank and Bill Burton of Lake City, Tennessee, with their pet deer Bucky, July 1952.

Here's another picture of Bill Burton and Bucky.

There's another picture in the archive of Mrs. William Charles Burton outside her cabin near Norris Dam, with her sons Dan Ray (age 6) and Joe Mack (age 3) and their pet deer "Bucky."  Photo taken in June 1952.

I'm guessing they're Frank and Bill's cousins (not brothers -- Dan Ray's obituary doesn't mention them).

That deer really got around.

Lake City, Tennesee, about 25 miles north of Knoxville, was originally named Coal Creek.  It became Lake City in 1936, after the construction of the Norris Dam created Norris Lake.  In 2014 it changed its name to Rocky Top, to take advantage of the popular country-western song which glamorizes moonshine, wild sex, and shooting outsiders (also used as the University of Tennessee fight song).

William Burton is a very common name, so the only other likely piece of information I could find about him was from the Lakeville Town Crier in 1956: he had been transferred from Fairbanks to Nome, Alaska.

He was about 20 years old.  There was no U.S. military base in Nome in 1956, so what job did he have that got him a transfer?

After that, the leads dry up.

But I did find Joe Mack Burton, Bill's "cousin," living in Moose Pass, Alaska, a town of 200 on the Kenai Peninsula, consisting of a few lodges,  restaurants, and a "Trading Post."

In those days you often moved to where you had relatives to stay with.  So apparently when Joe Mack grew up, after his older brother died, he followed his older cousin Bill to Alaska, where they went camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing, and maybe opened a hunting lodge.

No wives are listed for either of them.  Doubtless they preferred the world of men.