Oct 7, 2017

Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Are You Afraid of the Dark? was a Canadian series broadcast during the Golden Age of Nickelodeon (1992-1996), an anthology of science fiction and paranormal stories: ghosts, vampires, monsters, aliens, takes on The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Monkey's Paw.  The protagonists were often unknown Canadian actors, but sometimes Hollywood teens like Ryan Gosling, Gregory Smith, and Will Friedle made guest appearances.

The frame has the stories told by members of the Midnight Society, a group of kids who meet in the woods for that purpose: the quiet intellectual Gary (Ross Hull).

Ross is gay.  Today hee works as a meteorologist in Toronto. 

His pesky kid brother Tucker (Daniel DeSanto).

Today Daniel lives in Toronto and does mostly voice over work.

Athletic Frank (Jason Alisharan).

Eric (future teen idol Jacob Tierney), and some girls.

Later Eric left and new members appeared, including tortured David (Nathaniel Moreau), and socially inept Stig (Codie Wilbie).

I found the frame annoying because we never learn anything about the "real" teenagers and their lives outside the Midnight Society, except for occasional vague references.  I wanted to know about school and home, their friends, their romances, and why they felt the need to meet in the woods once a week to tell ghost stories.

I wanted to know which were gay.

No beefcake shots of the actors as teenagers -- I guess they never became Tiger Beat fave raves -- but here's a photo of Jared Keeso, a Canadian actor who popped up when I did a search for "Jason Alisharan", "Are You Afraid of the Dark", "shirtless."  He was never on the show.

Oct 6, 2017

Mikey Likes It

The blog "Mikey Likes It" is maintained by a gay college student who wasn't even born when the enduring catch phrase was created.

It was the fall of 1972, and Quaker Oats was trying to expand out from oatmeal to the cold cereal market with a cereal called "Life."

And a commercial that showed two young boys staring dubiously at a bowl of Life Cereal, "supposed to be good for us."  They foist it off onto their brother, Mikey.  "He'll eat it -- he eats everything."  Sure enough, Mikey enjoys the cereal, and we hear in a voiceover. "He likes it!  Hey, Mikey!"

After a few months, somebody at the advertising agency realized that it was not high praise to have the cereal eaten by a boy who eats everything, so they changed the line to: "He won't eat it -- he hates everything."  Except Life Cereal, of course.

The ads continued for years, giving Baby Boomer kids with dirty minds a never ending source of dirty jokes. Mikey will eat anything.  And so on.

As the years passed, an urban legend developed that Mikey had died from a combination of Pop Rocks (a carbonated candy) and soda.  That was untrue, of course.  Actor John Gilchrist  returned in the early 1990s as a hunky college student to demonstrate that, once again, "Mikey likes it."

Today Gilchrist is in charge of media sales for the MSG Networks, married with children, so probably heterosexual. No word on the other boys in the commercial, his older brothers Tommy and Mike.

See also: Breakfast of Champions.

Oct 5, 2017

Wahlburgers: 4 Seasons, No Underwear

Marky Mark Wahlberg, who rose to fame as a pants-dropping rapper and later spun his mega-buffed physique into serious dramatic roles, is now in his mid 40s, and the star of a reality series, Wahlburgers (2014-)

32 episodes so far in two mini-seasons per year, in the spring and summer.

It's actually about Wahlburgers, a "family" restaurant run by his brother Paul, back in Boston. Of course, Mark gets into the act, as well as two other actor brothers, Donnie and Bob, plus various wives, children, and family friends.

Plots involve scouting out new restaurant locations, scoping out the secret sauce, helping friends get their careers off the ground, and various family squabbles.  Pretty dull stuff.

You weren't a big enough star to make your family intrinsically interesting, Marky.

Still, there are the physiques...

Mark is fabulously built, of course, and Donnie, a New Kid on the Block back in 1990, now a regular cop/soldier/tough guy in tv series like Blue Bloods, is not bad.

Unfortunately, neither disrobes often.  An occasional chest, no underwear.

And the other brothers are less than droolworthy.

Family friends/investors look like they belong on the set of Cheers.  They're either Cliff or Norm.

Most of the brothers' children are still preteens.  Donnie's sons, Xavier Walhberg and Elijah Hendrix Wahlberg, are 23 and 15, respectively, but do not appear on the show.

That leaves Brandon, son of sister Tracey, an aspiring actor who works at a warehouse.  He had a Marky-style physique.

But he doesn't take his shirt off on camera.  This photo of his impressive arms is from his twitter page.

Well, at least the food looks good.

See also: Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.

Oct 3, 2017

Top Beefcake Stars of "Star Trek: Enterprise"

I just sat through the excruciatingly dull Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, all about the internecene squabbles of Bajorans, Cardassians, Klingons, Trills, and sundry other alien species that look and act human except for little things on their heads.  No gay subtexts to speak of, and not a wisp of beefcake.  Hard to find shirtless pics of any of the actors, on or off-screen.

Now we've moved on to Star Trek: Enterprise (2001-2005), set a century before the classic 1960s series, when humans are first starting to explore their section of the galaxy.  Everything is very primitive, and there are still no gay people in space, but there are plenty of gay subtexts, as well as ample beefcake.

Sci-fi and shirtless-scene veteran Scott Bakula plays Captain Jonathan Archer

Connor Trinneer plays chief engineer Trip, who has an annoying Southern accent and "good old country boy" mannerisms, but a nice chest.

You always need a soft-spoken guy with a British accent.  That's Dominic Keating as Malcolm, ship security officer.

Ensign Travis (Anthony Montgomery) is the ship's navigator.  A "boomer," born in space, he also provides a lot of gay subtexts.

For instance, in the Season 1 episode "Fortunate Son," the ship helps repair a stranded freighter, and hunky second-in-command Ryan (Lawrence Monoson) all but melts into a puddle of romantic yearning over Travis. But on their date, Travis says the wrong thing about freighters, and Ryan walks out on him.

Ship doctor Dr. Phlox (John Billingsley) is the standard cheerful, androgynous, gay-coded alien who cruises men and women but mostly men.  Of course, they heterosexualize him by giving him a girlfriend, but still....

Matt Winston (yes, that's a full frontal) plays Daniels, a time-traveler from 3064 AD working on a Temporal Cold War and being awfully interested in the hunky captain.

Thy'lek Shan, an Andorian who dislikes both humans and Vulcans, is played by Star Trek regular Jeffrey Combs, who is cute regardless of how much time he spends in makeup.

And I'm just halfway through the first season.

Oct 2, 2017

Said Taghmaoui: Who Says You Can't Be Gay and Muslim?

I never heard of Saïd Taghmaoui until I saw him in the deplorable remake of Conan the Barbarian (2011), and decided to google him.

This picture, the first thing that came up, is stunning enough for a blog post on its own.

But there's more.

Said was born in France to Moroccan parents, and became a professional boxer before he shifted to acting.  He has appeared in many French, German, and Moroccan films.  In the United States, he has appeared in Three Kings and G.I. Joe, plus the tv series Sleeper Cell, Secrets, Lost, Touch, and The Missing.

But there's more.

National 7 (2000) is set in a home for handicapped people, where Rene (Olivier Gourmet) wants to have sex.  Meanwhile, a gay Arab orphan, Rabah (Said), wants to convert to Catholicism.

In Room to Rent (2000), Ali (Said) has a succession of crazy roommates, including Rupert Graves as a gay photographer.

My Brother the Devil (2012) stars James Floyd and Fady Elsayed as Rashid and Mo, brothers who belong to a British Arab street gang.  Rashid recognizes that he is gay, and begins a relationship with photographer and former gang member Sayyid (Said).  Probably the first gay romance set among British Arab gang members.  

The actor is heterosexual in real life, but a gay ally.  And, yes, he believes that you can be gay and a good Muslim.

See also: Farshad: A Gay Muslim Surprise in Brittany

Herbie the Fat Fury

I had never heard of Herbie Popnecker until Dark Horse began publishing archives of his comics in 2003, but apparently the bizarre creation of Richard Hughes and Ogden Whitney was quite a sensation in the Swinging Sixties.  After appearing in four issues of Forbidden Worlds, he got his own title in 1964, which ran for 23 issues, until the American Comics Group folded in 1967.

Herbie is  fat preteen with round glasses and a scrunched up Orson Wells face, who is constantly sucking on a lollipop.  He lives with an abusive father and a helpless mother or sister (the relationship seems to vary), has no friends, and doesn't do anything but eat and sleep.

He has a strange, halting way of speaking, leaving out words, especially pronouns: "Story about it.  Tell you."

A "fat little nothing."

But in some other world, some other reality, he is a god, with unlimited power.  He can walk though the air.  He can breathe underwater.  He visits other planets and the underworld.

He cannot be hurt.  Bullets bounce off him, or refuse to hit him altogether.

He may even be God, the creator of his world.  How else can you explain why everyone knows and loves him, from presidents to historical figures to animals and inanimate objects?  His few enemies are not aware that he is Herbie; they can be subdued by a stare, or by a threat to "bop you with this here lollipop."  Plot complications mostly involve how to get the job done without letting his Dad know his true identity.

The source of his power is unexplained -- Herbie is just Herbie.

So, the fantasies of a lonely child,  the grandiose hallucinations of a schizophrenic?    Often his adventures have consequences in the real world, suggesting that at least some of his powers are  real.  Maybe Herbie is a god in human form.

You're probably wondering why he's on Boomer Beefcake and Bonding:
1. A lot of beefcake.  Herbie runs into a lot of shirtless men.
2. Every woman he meets, from Cleopatra to Jackie Kennedy, finds him irresistible, "my dream man."  They are always trying to kiss him, but he rejects them.  He is not interested in women.

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