Feb 28, 2018

I Hook Up with Wojo from "Barney Miller" at a Bear Party

Last week I posted my Celebrity Hookup Wish List, a dozen guys who I (or some of my readers) fantasized about and figured were gay or bi, yet had no hookup stories about.  Max Gail was on the list.

Born in 1943, Max Gail had millions of baby boomer kids glued to their tv sets for Barney Miller (1975-82), a hip sitcom about a rundown NYPD precinct.  He played Wojo, naive and dumb-as-a-rock, who kept taking and failing his detective exam.

I was 14 years old when Barney Miller premiered, and I had never seen anyone so gorgeous in my life.  Handsome face..  Square hands jutting out of his cuffs.  Poured into that 1970s suit.  Bulges everywhere.

On October 22, 1975, he goes undercover with Lt. Wentworth (Linda Lavin).  They're sharing a hotel room, and he takes his shirt off. 

It was my sophomore year in high school.  I don't remember anything else I did that month, but I remember that shirtless scene.  Enormous pecs, bronze, smooth chest, biceps, belly.

You can see also see Max shirtless in a 1976 episode of The Streets of San Francisco and on the reality series Battle of the Network Stars (1979, 1980).  

After Barney Miller, Max was cast as the straightlaced detective
befuddled by a group of Whiz Kids (1983-84).

 He was 40 years old, bald, and porn-stached, shockingly different from Wojo just a year before.

I watched anyway.  In one episode, he is tied up by the bad guys.  Straining at the ropes in his business suit -- the stuff of erotic fantasies even when you're in grad school.

When I was living in West Hollywood, Max was doing the bad tv movie circuit -- Killer in the Mirror, Can You Feel Me Dancing, Man Against the Mob, Our Shining Moment, Somebody's Daughter.  I never watched them.  Who cared about Max now, aging, balding, paunchy, a shadow of his Wojo grandeur?

Still, it seemed weird that I never met him.  I met Robin Williams, Rob Lowe, Michael J. Fox, and Richard Dreyfuss.  I went down on Lou Ferrigno.  I saw Christopher Atkins' penis.  But Max Gail never appeared at any gay community event, or  at the Hollywood Spa, or at the Bodhi Tree bookstore, or at Larry's Oscar parties.  No one ever mentioned dating or hooking up with him.


Weirder still: when I posted my Celebrity Hookup Wish List, I got this email:

Hollywood, March 1994

Hi, Boomer!  This is Mark, Lane's friend.  I'm surprised that Max Gail is on your hookup wish list.  Don't you remember that you had sex with him?  We both did.

Remember in the 1990s, we were both regulars at those bear parties in the Hollywood Hills?  40 or 50 guys, mostly big, beefy, and buffed, daddies and bears, with a scattering of twinks. There was an enormous buffet in the dining room -- remember those Swedish meatballs -- guys socializing out by the pool -- and upstairs the private theater was showing gay porn, and there were two dark rooms?

There were always a lot of industry guys there, including semi-celebrity actors like Dan Butler from Frasier and  Mark Patton from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.  One night I saw Ed Asner, 61 years old and still a cold stone stud. He wouldn't let me go down on him, though: he was strictly a butt man.

We saw Max Gail sometime in the spring of 1994, in the home theater,  watching porn with some other guys. 

The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

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