Batman, Batman and Robin ran afoul of Louie the Lilac, who trapped them in a man-eating lilac bush and later got them. . .um. . .all wrapped up in each other (Batgirl was in the melange, too).
Later I saw Louie the Lilac, aka Milton Berle, as a desk clerk on Get Smart (1968), a fast-talking used car salesman on Here's Lucy (1969), a tv clown on Mod Squad (1971), and another used car salesman in The Muppet Movie (1979), without ever realizing that he was Mr. Television.
Not many episodes have survived, but apparently it was a musical-variety program with Berle, or Uncle Miltie doing stand-up comedy and sketches, including frequent drag numbers and the lisping catch phrase "I'll kill you a million times." Sounds gay-coded to me.
Roseanne (1995), he catches the bridal bouquet at the gay wedding that Roseanne arranges for her boss.
Oddly enough, he was homophobic in real life, throwing around the words "fag" and "queer" with abandon. In 1993, he was scheduled to present an award with drag performer RuPaul, and a backstage incident caused a well-publicized feud between Old and New Drag. According to RuPaul, Berle made rude comments and inappropriately touched her breasts.
Hollywood rumors give Uncle Miltie another claim to fame: he was widely recognized to have the largest endowment in the business, surpassing a foot in length. Apparently he was not shy about displaying it to anyone curious, as long as they weren't "queer."
Jan 27, 2018
Jan 26, 2018
Under a spreading chestnut-tree the village smithy stands.
The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
If you read the entire poem, you find that the smithy has a wife and kids, but I only ever heard the part about how the village children come around every day to gawk at his muscles.
I could relate.
In the days before factories, the blacksmith had the job of forging tools and other instruments from iron. There were several blacksmith gods, including Vulcan in Graeco-Roman mythology and Ilmarinen in the Finnish Kalevala.
Looks like they still have "large and sinewy hands."
See also: James Whitcomb Riley: Even a Dull, Depressing Poet Can Be Gay
Jan 25, 2018
Kind of a bummer when you hate surfing.
I was a bit of a chubby kid, not at all athletic, and a "sissy" -- I got picked on a lot. I liked to hang out on the beach and look at the surfers, but I didn't like hanging out with them. They're, as a rule, macho, sexist, and way homophobic, surfing to "prove" their manhood, goading each other on with homophobic slurs. Even today, there are no openly gay professional surfers. You have to have a wife and kids back home.
Imagine what it was like when I was growing up in the 1960s!
The only surfer I could stand was my classmate Brian Keaulana -- Native Hawaiian, with beautiful dark skin, brown eyes, and a smooth muscular chest. He teased me all the time, but at least he wasn't mean. No tripping, no hitting, just ribbing me on being momona (fat), and on watching tv all the time.
I did watch a lot of tv. I longed to escape from the island, find my way into the world of Lost in Space (Billy Mumy, sigh!) or That Girl (I wanted to be Ann Marie, and get to kiss Donald Hollinger).
Marshall Dillon (James Arness) was exactly my type: tall, broad-shouldered, deep-voiced, a Grade-A cowboy complete with 10-gallon hat and leather vest. And what a bulge on him! What I wouldn't give to be captured and tied up by the bad guys, and have Marshall Dillon burst in to save the day! Maybe carry me off into the sunset, for lots of kissing and hugging!
Remember, I was like nine or ten years old. I wouldn't be thinking about sex for a few years.
One day I told my friend Brian about my crush on Marshall Dillon -- omitting the kissing and hugging, of course -- and he said "I know him. We buddies."
"Not!" I exclaimed. Surely he was putting me on!
"No lie, Brah. He's a surfer, and his son, too."
"Don't be buggin', Brah! He an actor, right, come over here from the Mainland to surf. His son, too. They tight with my dad, come for dinner, play Matchbook cars, like that." His father was Buff Keaulana, a lifeguard and former surfing great.
"You lolo, or pull my leg!"
"I can prove it! Next time James Arness comes to Hawaii, you come over for dinner, too."
I figured he was just blowing hot air, but sure enough, a few weeks later, Brian invited me to lunch at James Arness' house!
Apparently he really was a surfer -- he and Rolf rented a bungalow on Makana Beach two or three times a year, and flew out from L.A. for a surfing vacation.
When Brian and I arrived, James, Rolf, Buff, Corky, and a couple of guys I didn't know were sitting on deck chairs in swimsuits, eating take-out bentos full of poke (raw fish), tako (octopus), chicken and rice, and liliko (passionfruit).
The full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
He also starred on the evening teen soap One Tree Hill (2004-5) as Felix, a homophobe who writes an anti-gay slur on the locker of his sister's girlfriend.
And on Beyond the Break (2006-2009) as Vin Keahi, the boyfriend of two female professional surfers.
All You've Got (2006): volleyball players
Sideliners (2006): cheerleaders
Bring It On (2007): cheerleaders
But there's also some male bonding. He also goes on a quest with Peter Butler in the Vin Diesel prequel, The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior (2008).
And he starts a BoyBand with Ryan Pinkston (2010).
Jan 23, 2018
Yawn and wave politely, and wonder why David Cassidy wasn't available.
1. Nobody my age watched Gunsmoke (1955-75). Westerns were totally square to begin with, and that one was the worst, set in Kansas of all places, with no buddy-bonding -- what kind of sidekick was the grovely, sniveling, unshaven Festus?
2. Arness was almost fifty years old, ugly as a fence post, and he never even took off his shirt. I've only been able to find two shirtless photos online. In #1, he's an ugly adolescent with no muscles and no basket. In #2, he's a little older and blond, with a slightly nicer chest. Still ugly as a fence post, though.
When I was living in West Hollywood in 1985, I heard a few James Arness hookup stories. One involves Patrick Wayne, son of Western star John Wayne.
I'll leave it to you to decide how much is fabricated.
The rest of the story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.
Jan 22, 2018
The name wasn't specific, and the word "gay" was not used, because being gay was illegal in every state, with penalties ranging up to life in prison. Being caught with a "gay" book in your possession would not only get you arrested, it would give the police a complete list of places to raid.
It was wallet-sized, so you could carry it in your pocket without being detected, and dispose of it quickly if necessary.
Later editions included codes:
G: Girls (Lesbians)
M: Mixed gay/straight
M/S: Mixed crowd
P: Private club
PE: Pretty elegant
RT: Raunchy types (hustlers)
S: Shows ("record pantomine acts with female impersonators")
SM: Some motorcycle.
YC: Young crowd.
The edition I bought at the adult bookstore in Bloomington in 1982 used the word "gay," and listed bars, bookstores, theaters, and bathhouses. I carefully calculated which city in the U.S. was best for gay men by weighing all four (in my naivete, I didn't realize that the bookstores and theaters were erotic).
New York got the most points.
By the 1980s, The Damron Guide was illustrated with steamy ads.
Bob Damron died in 1989, but his annual guidebook is still going strong, specializing in international travel.
Jan 21, 2018
I have no idea what any of that means, and I couldn't care less. Football is incredibly boring. I'll go to a superbowl party for the snacks, but I never have any idea what's going on. Occasionally the other guys in the room scream at the top of the lungs. I look up from my book and say "So...did our team, like, make a point or something?"
I did try to find a picture of the Kansas City Chiefs with their shirts off. This one came up, but it also says "Ohio State Football Players Can't Stop Being Shirtless."
Here's another one of the Kansas City Chief shirtless, at a barbecue that Channing Tatum threw for the Magic Mike Live dancers.
So a football team named after Kansas City that is actually in Ohio moonlights as a dance troupe?
This is why I don't follow football!
But in th summer of 1970, when I was nine years old, I did watch some episodes of a tv series about football!
I know, weird -- nobody watched summer replacement series. They were awful comedy-variety crap. Besides, there was something unsettling about watching evening tv when it was still daylight out.
There was also a Muttley-style snickering dog wearing a football helmet, a daughter named Pom-pom, and a black guy (rare in 1970).
I didn't know that Paul Lynde was gay himself, and playing the character as gay. I wouldn't even know that gay people existed for another six years.
But I remember a warm summer evening, when it was still light out, and you could hear the kids playing outside through the screen door, and the fireflies were just starting to sparkle, sitting in front of the tv in our small square house on 41st Street, and seeing a gay man.
One Sunday after church, my ex boyfriend Alan, the Pentecostal Porn Star, appears at my table at the French Quarter. "Are you doing anything Tuesday night?"
"The usual -- gym, Chinese food, and Who's the Boss. Why?"
"Well, put Tony Danza on hold. We're going to Mann's Chinese for the premiere of The Hitcher. Jon, a guy I met at the gym, invited us."
"Um...thanks, but no thanks."
"Why? What's wrong with The Hitcher?"
1. We have only been broken up for a little over a month, and I'm not totally comfortable with this "cruising together" thing.
2. I don't go to many movies, maybe five per year. There are no theaters in West Hollywood, so you have to go into hetero-territory, put up with heterosexual couples, or worse, groups of hetero boys who sit with one seat between them so their bodies won't touch; plus heterosexist plotlines and endless homophobic jibes.
3. The Hitcher? The previews look horrible. Bloody, violent, sadistic movie about a young man who picks up a hitcher who frames him for murder. I only go to comedies starring cute guys, or any movie where you see a guy's cock or butt.
"Would it sweeten the deal if I told you we will be sharing Robert Redford?"
"Um...what? Robert Redford, the movie star?"
"Jon said that Redford is like his best friend, and wants to share, but only if I bring a friend of my own along. I figured, with you being a big celebrity groupie, you'd jump at the chance."
True. Tall redheads aren't really my thing -- I like my men short and dark-skinned -- but Redford is certainly famous, with lots of Oscars and Golden Globes and at least two gay-subtext movies (The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid). Sharing Redford would certainly make a better party story than lunch with Michael J. Fox or brushing against the knee of the King of Sweden.
But...'Wait...sharing on your first date? That's a little weird, isn't it? Maybe he's just dangling Robert Redford in front of your nose like a carrot, just to get into your pants."
"Maybe," Alan admits.
"And why does he even want this four way on a first date?"
"He actually just wanted me and Redford, but it's dangerous going home with two guys you don't know. They could be bashers. But two guys going home with two guys evens out the situation. It's not a trick, it's a party!"
"Well...." Even if the Redford thing is a hoax, movie premieres have premiere parties, with cruising gay and closeted celebrities like C. Thomas Howell. And I'll be sharing with Alan -- even though we've broken up, I really miss sex with him. He's very energetic, very passionate, and super-hung. "Sure. Sounds like fun."
The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.