Jul 29, 2017

Donnie's Gay Sex Party with Jack Wild

Jack Wild (1952-2006) was the teen star of the Saturday morning life action show H.R. Pufnstuf, about a boy trapped in a distant magical land with a friendly dragon and a cranky old witch.  Gay subtexts abounded, and Jack, short, slim, androgynous, and cherubic-cute, became every gay boy's fantasy boyfriend.

After Pufnstuf, Jack's star quickly faded.  His later years were plagued by poverty, depression, alcoholism, diabetes, and finally cancer.  He was apparently heterosexual, with two long-term marriages and no gay hookup or dating stories, until this one, which is really about Sid Krofft:

Born Sydas Yodas in Greece in 1929, Sid became interested in puppeteering at an early age, and by 1948, he was touring with a  one-man puppet show, "The Unusual World of Sid Krofft," across Europe and the United States.  In 1957, while opening for Judy Garland, Sid found that he needed another puppeteer, so he enlisted his younger brother Moshopopulos or Marty (born 1937).

Soon they were busily working their puppeteering magic in film and on tv.  Given an opportunity to develop a Saturday morning children's series, they decided to make antagonists of H.R. Pufnstuf, a "friendly dragon" they introduced at the 1968 World's Fair, and the zany witch Witchiepoo from their stage play.  The two forces, good against evil, would be fighting over control of a lost boy and his...um...magic flute (Sid was a big fan of magic flutes).

Watching a rough cut of the movie version of Oliver! (1968), Sid decided that Jack Wild, the Cockney child actor playing The Artful Dodger, would be perfect as the young boy.  But how to get him to move to America for an extended commitment?

"I'll be his guardian in America," Sid offered.

"Not a chance!" Marty exclaimed.  "Your pad is not a suitable place for a young boy."  Although Sid was 39 years old, he had fully embraced the youth counterculture.  His four-bedroom "pad" in West Hollywood had psychedelic posters, strobe lights, and lava lamps, and it was constantly crowded with long-haired, tie-dyed Cute Young Things of both sexes.

Marty didn't ask which, if any, Sid was shacking up with.  He loved his brother, of course, and he had a live-and-let live attitude toward sexual oddities, but...he didn't need the details.

"I'll be his guardian," Marty offered.  "I have a wife and young children.  It will be a stable family environment."

Marty lived to regret that decision.

The 16-year old arrived in Hollywood in the summer of 1969, moved in with Marty, and proceeded to raise hell.

Jack was cheerful, energetic, and very cute, but a handful.  He came and went as he pleased; on the night of his 17th birthday, he skipped his party and stayed out all night!  He never followed house rules.  Marty had young children in the house, and he didn't like Jack bringing his hippie friends in to drink and smoke pot.


Hollywood, December 1969

Donnie was a 19-year old UCLA student, working as a gopher for the Kroffts: he got coffee, delivered scripts, and acted as best friend/handler to Jack Wild.

Jack put the moves on everybody, male and female, young and old -- he even kept "accidentally" groping the H.R. Pufnstuf puppet, with a mortified Roberto Gamonet inside.

"You and me, yeah?" Jack said once, putting his arm around Donnie's waist and "accidentally" hitting his butt.  "Two mates, a little snogging.  Nothing wrong with that."

"You're only 17.  I'm in college. Besides, I'm not queer" Donnie said.  He was gay but not out, and he didn't want to get outed by tricking with the unpredictable star.

Jack flew back to England for Christmas, but returned on the 28th -- Donnie had to pick him up at the airport.  The next day, he dropped in to Sid's house to get his approval on something or other, and the Cute Young Thing who answered the door directed him to the master bedroom.

It was well after noon,so Don assumed that Sid was working in bed.  He thought nothing of it -- he knocked once and went in.

The rest of the story is too explicit for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.  You can read it on Tales of West Hollywood.

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