Oct 27, 2017

Alice and Tommy

Most 1970s comedies involved people who lived in big cities like Minneapolis (Mary Tyler Moore), Indianapolis (One Day at a Time), Chicago (Bob Newhart), and New York (The Jeffersons). .  But not Alice  (1976-85). Linda Lavin played Alice Hyatt, an aspiring singer en route from New Jersey to L.A. to jump-start her career, when her car stalled outside Mel's Diner in "small town" Phoenix (it actually had a sizeable population).

She took a "temporary" waitress job that lasted nine years, and meanwhile bonded with her boss, gruff, beefy Mel (Vic Tayback) and fellow waitresses: gutzy Flo (Polly Holliday), whose risque catchphrase "Kiss mah grits!" became a phenomenon; and mousy Vera (Beth Howland).  Alice also had a cute, wisecracking son, Tommy (Philip McKeon, left). 

Three ladies, a kid, and a bear?  I wasn't impressed.  Besides, Alice ran on Sunday nights, after the oldster-favorites 60 Minutes and All in the Family, opposite Battlestar Galactica or Chips.  I didn't start watching regularly until about 1980, when it was squeezed between One Day at a Time and The Jeffersons. 

It was a pleasant surprise.  The banter between the four regulars was sharp and witty, the plotlines were not terribly heterosexist, and there was ample beefcake: cowboys and muscular truck driver patrons of the diner, the various men dating the regulars, and Tommy's school friends.  Hunky Denny Miller (right) even played a gay character, the school coach: after he comes out, Alice hesitates about allowing Tommy to go on an overnight camping trip with him, but finally relents. Score one for tolerance!

Speaking of Tommy, during the last half of the series, he was 15-19 years old, the prime time for teen idols.  But he didn't get much play in the teen magazines, just a couple of shirtless and swimsuit shots.

This was the era of Scott Baio, Willie Aames, and Billy Warlock, so maybe he lacked the muscles to make a big splash.

There's a Philip McKeon hookup story on Tales of West Hollywood.

Several of the cast members were gay or gay friendly.  Vic Tayback and Polly Holliday were both rumored to be bisexual, and Phil McKeon, who has never married, is rumored to be gay (gay or not, he's even more handsome than when he was playing Tommy).

 His tv mom,  Linda Lavin, has performed with the Orlando, Florida Gay Chorus, and in 2012, she played the mother of a gay son in The Lyons on Broadway.

My Date with Two Gay Dads

Plains, October 2017

Dads with their children are incredibly hot.

At festivals and street fairs, at restaurants, in line at the movies, having a kid in tow increases your attractiveness by about 500%

 The attraction seems to be in the paradoxical juxtaposition of innocence and experience, the sexless and sexual.  Dad is nurturing you, but his orgasm created you.  You are walking, talking proof of his sexual potency.

So when I saw two dads at Octoberfest, holding the hand of their 3-year kid between them, visions of sharing rushed through my head.

They were both twinks, so my cruising was bound to succeed:  Chad was tall and slim with dirty blond hair, a goatee, and a basket.  Rod, more muscular, Mediterranean-looking with a broad open face, clean-shaven.

Their kid was named Will, after the titular character on the mega-homophobic sitcom Will and Grace.

Chad grew up in a small town in Minnesota, met Rod in college, and convinced him to move to another small town to restore the old opera house.  Now he was working on various historic restoration projects, while Rod was mostly a house-husband, cooking and cleaning and watching daytime soap operas.

I didn't ask how Will came about, but I assumed it was through artificial insemination.  It didn't make a difference: they had a child, innocence derived from experience, sexless derived from sex, and I wanted them in my bed.

I invited them over for dinner Wednesday night, expecting of course that they would get a babysitter.

Instead they brought a bottle of wine and a chocolate cake. And Will.

Ok, no sharing tonight.

No sex games or nudity.

No discussions of celebrity hookups, gigantic penises, or dates from hell.

What else do gay dads talk about?

Their kid: "He's so smart.  He already know his ABCs... Will, settle down! and he can count to...Will, don't chase the cat!  ...Will, use your inside voice!"

College: "I took a class in your field.  Do you know professor...Will, don't run in the house..Professor...Will, don't touch that, it looks expensive...Do you have any gay students?...Will, take that out of your mouth!  He just gets excited meeting new people."

Gay Pride: "We went to Gay Pride in...Will, get your hands out of the dip...Minneapolis.  We marched with the Gay Fathers...Will, if you don't want that cherry tomato, spit it into my hand, don't smush it on the couch.....It's a great group...Where's your bathroom?"

Maybe Will would like to watch a video?  I have some cartoons...

TV: "We love American Horror Story...it's so gay-positive....
Will, don't touch that...and we're going through Star Trek, the original series, on Netflix...Will, do you need a nap?...Kirk is totally hot, don't you think?"

Time to eat.  Bob made vegetable lasagna and a salad, which Will ate with his hands, picking up a piece of lasagna, showing it to his dad, asking "What's this?", and repeating for each slice.

Food: "There's a pizza place nearby that serves a 10 pound pizza.  It's free if you and a friend can eat the whole thing...Will, that's not a toy...I went with my brother-in-law, who is this massive truck driver type, and even we couldn't get through even half of...Will, use your fork."

I cleared the dishes while Bob dished out the chocolate cake, which Will ate with his hands.

Then, nerves frazzled, ears ringing from the constant yelling, bloated from lasagna and cake in the same meal, and nauseous from watching the kid eat with his hands, I said goodnight and shooed them out the door.

 I won't be inviting Chad, Rod, and Will over again for a long time.

Not until Will looks something like this.

Call me in 15 years.

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

Oct 26, 2017

The Babysitter: Hetero-Annoying Hetero-Romantic Hetero-Horror Comedy

When will I learn to ignore Netflix's recommendations?

I was drawn in to The Babysitter (2017) by a promo of the spectacular Robbie Amell bare-chested.

But it's all hetero-annoying from there.

12-year old hetero-pubescent Cole (Judah Lewis), who for some reason gets a lot of shirtless scenes, too, lives in an obnoxiously heterosexist world where all boys are hetero-belligerant mean-spirited monsters and all girls are hetero-kind, gentle, and supportive.  His only friend is the hetero-Girl Next Door who he will kiss in a lush hetero-romantic Meaning of Life moment later on.

But first he is the victim of old-school bullying by a gang led by the feminine but "I grabbed her pussy" hetero-obnoxious Jeremy (Miles G. Harvey).  His hot hetero-teenage babysitter, Bee (Samara Weaving), rushes to the rescue.

Later that night he wakes up to find that Bee has invited her hetero-friends (including the shirtless Robbie and Andrew Bachelor) over for a party.  At first it's all innocent "spin the bottle" games, with a hetero-titilating girl-on-girl kiss.  But then they turn on the hetero-nerdish guy and stab him to death.

They discover Cole spying, tie him up, and try some lame explanations before coming clean: they're a hetero-Satanic cult that needs the blood of a hetero-innocent for their rituals.

The police arrive, things go wrong, half the hetero-cult is killed and the other half chase hetero-Cole around, trying to kill him (including the shirtless Robbie, who encourages Cole to stand up to his bully as his last act on Earth).

But hetero-Bee rescues hetero-Cole again: she doesn't want him to die, she sort of likes him.

Oh, brother.  Not that old "sex with the babysitter" chestnut!

But instead of sleeping with her, hetero-Cole rushes over to kiss The Girl Next Door and thwart the forces of evil with her help and embrace his hetero-destiny.

In the last scene, Mom and Dad arrive at the scene of the multiple murders.  Hetero-Cole explains that he is too old for a hetero-babysitter.

Holy hetero-annoying, Batman!

Ken Marino, by the way, plays the hot Dad.  Not shirtless.

Oct 24, 2017

Social Media Stalking

1. Repeatedly following or contacting a person with the intent of harassing or intimidating.
2. Using social media to check on your ex-lovers and other people who don't want anything to do with you.
3. Using social media to find out about people you don't know or barely know.

#1 is a crime, #2 is pathetic, but what's wrong with #3?  Why can't I use social media to find out what I can about a person I've just met?  It allows me to determine what we have in common to enhance the relationship.

And what's wrong with learning about people you don't know?  You can use the information to decide whether to pursue a relationship.

Besides, they post photos.

Isn't it nice to know that the guy who takes your order at the gay-friendly coffee house has a chest like this?

You can't date your students, but it certainly makes class more interesting to know what he has under his shirt.

There's no rule saying that you can't date your student's friends.

If you're interested in the guy who lives in the apartment down the hall, this photo might encourage you to ask him out.

More after the break

Oct 23, 2017

Keith Larsen: The Bare Chest of 1950s TV

Have you ever heard of Keith Larsen?  Me, neither.  But the first generation of Baby Boomers have fond memories of a tv series called Brave Eagle (1955-56).

Picture it: a kid in the 1950s.  No internet to go surfing for beefcake images.  No guys stripping down to their underwear in magazines.  Nothing at the movies except for an occasional Tarzan or Bomba the Jungle Boy feature. Nothing on tv.

Except, on Wednesday nights, after Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, the perfect chest of a Native American muscleman.  Tight, defined, shimmering, the male physique in glorious black-and-white.

No wonder boomer kids have fond memories of the show.

Keith Larsen was actually of Norwegian ancestry, but he had been playing Native Americans for a decade.

 Brave Eagle was notable for reasons other than his chest.  It was the first tv series with a Native American as a star, not a sidekick, and it portrayed him as intelligent and resourceful, not a "savage."

He had a best friend, a wife, and a son, Keena (Anthony Numkena), who provided an additional dose of teenage beefcake for the kids in the audience.

Anthony Numkena was a Hopi, the first Native American child actor, and much in demand as sidekicks and waifs.  Roles dried up when he entered adolescence, so he went to college and pursued a new career in medical imagining.

And Keith Larsen?  Starring roles in Northwest Passage (1958-59) and The Aquanauts (1960-61), then a mixed bag of horror and adventure movies.

He wrote and directed the sex-sleaze-horror Night of the Witches (1971).

In 1979, he starred with his son Erik Larsen son in Young and Free (1979), hoping to introduce a new generation to the joys of shirtlessness.

Oct 22, 2017

The Boy Who Fought Mutants: Lee H. Montgomery

When I moved to Los Angeles in 1985, my mother called every week, usually early Saturday morning, and asked "What stars have you met?"  But she wasn't familiar with most of the actors of my generation, so "Michael J. Fox" got a polite murmur, "Robin Williams" a vague "Oh yeah, I've heard of him," and "Lee H. Montgomery" a blank "Who's that?"

But Lee had more than enough claims to fame (and he was a lot friendlier than Robin Williams).

He played the boy who taught his pet rat to kill in Ben (1972).  If you separate it from the premise, the theme song, sung by Michael Jackson, is a touching evocation of same-sex love:

Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for.
With a friend to call my own, I'll never be alone,
And you, my friend, will see, you've got a friend in me.

In The Savage is Loose (1974), an entry in the "sexually dangerous kid" genre that Mark Lester  and Scott Jacoby specialized in, David (Lee) is shipwrecked on a desert island, along with his Dad (George C. Scott) and Mom.  David eventually morphs into the bodybuilding hunk John David Carson (left), and tries to kill his Dad so he can mate with Mom.  About the same plot as What the Peeper Saw, but with more nudity.

In Burnt Offerings (1976), a married couple (Oliver Reed, Karen Black) moves into a California mansion with their son David (Lee) and elderly Aunt Elizabeth (film legend Bette Davis).  As the house starts asserting  itself, it tries to drown David, and then drops a pillar on him.

Was there a fad for threatening half-naked kids in the 1970s?  It also happened in The Possession of Joel Delaney  and The Omen.

By the way, the hunky Oliver Reed hangs out in a swimsuit.

When Lee hit adolescence, his chunkiness melted away, and he did the standard tv movies and guest spots on Chips, Family Ties, Fame, Hotel, and Dallas.

By this time, Lee had a tight, firm, hirsute physique, and he knew what to do about it.  In Night Shadows (1984), also released as Mutant, he displays his chest at all times, even the most inconvenient (while renting a room, at the doctor's office five minutes after the doctor says "You can put your shirt back on").  Incidentally, there's also a strong homoerotic subtext as Mike (Lee) cries for his dead "brother" Josh (Wings Hauser).

Many of Lee's teenage and young adult performances feature displays of his chest and abs, and strong buddy-bonds: Prime Risk (1985) and The Midnight Hour (1985), the episode "Man to Man" of Highway to Heaven (1986), and one of the more controversial of the Schoolbreak Specials, "Hear Me Cry" (1984), about two high school boys who make a mutual suicide pact.

His characters are often uninterested in women, though a girl is usually thrown in, almost as an afterthought, to provide a heterosexist fade-out kiss.

In 1986, Lee retired from acting to concentrate on his music.

I met him at a party in 1987, and assumed he was gay, but I don't really have any evidence one way or the other.  The story is on Tales of West Hollywood.
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