Lil Nas X is our new pop king and his reign is like no other that came before him.
The 23-year-old put on an amazing, unapologetically queer SHOW complete with a Playbill for his Long Live Montero Tour – which is centered on his own personal journey from pain to acceptance and beyond – that included an inclusive welcome note addressed to “ladies & gentlemen & nonbinaries, and bottoms.”
As gay men we are used to worshipping and stanning our female pop allies (which we should), but there is an added joy to seeing an out gay male pop star shine bright at the height (or early stages) of his career while being their full authentic selves, a basic right not initially afforded to solo male pop icons like Elton John, Barry Manilow, George Michael and Ricky Martin, trailblazers who made it possible for LNX to own his spotlight today.
A spotlight that is so needed, not only for queer youth, but because right now many are working very hard to silence our identities, education, and equality. Don’t say gay…let’s all be more like Lil Nas X and sing, dance, and shout it from our stage.
To quote the new king of pop, “That’s what I f*ckin’ want.”
Tour set list:
- “Tales of Dominica”
- “Sun Goes Down”
- “Old Town Road” / “Rodeo”
- “Dead Right Now”
- “Dont Want It”
- Pure Honey (Beyonce cover)
- “Thats What I Want”
- “Lost in the Citadel”
- “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”
- “Down Souf Hoes”
- “Industry Baby”
- “Star Walkin’ (League of Legends Worlds Anthem)”
#FBF December 10, 1997, the night I wound up on the red carpet at the “Scream 2” premiere.
Exactly one month after moving to Los Angeles, I was fortunate enough to go to the premiere of ‘Scream 2’ at Graumann’s – then known as Mann’s – Chinese Theater.
I was working as a TV development assistant at Disney and my only friend in LA – a fellow assistant in the department – got 2 passes to the premiere from her friend Paula Patton, Robin Thicke’s future ex-wife/then-girlfriend. Paula was Keenan Ivory Wayans assistant during his short-lived talk show, which was one of our shows. Neither Keenan nor Paula could go, so the passes miraculously wound up in our eager hands.
As assistants, we would normally have to work until 7:30 pm, so we raced to Hollywood from our office in Burbank to make it in time. We didn’t know the event’s parking situation, and this was before the Hollywood and Highland complex/multiplex was built, so we managed to find street parking a few blocks away. As we ran toward the Chinese Theater, PR staff were ushering overflow crowds to the Hollywood Galaxy theaters – now an LA Fitness – a block away.
Confused, we thought we would be sent there too. But our passes were Keenan’s and allowed us to the main attraction. We were directed to quickly go forward.
The next few minutes were a complete blur.
Amid the glare of the lights and flashbulbs, screams of fans and paparazzi, and overall pandemonium of it being my first time at a Hollywood premiere, we found ourselves on the actual red carpet of the biggest A-list event in town – and directly behind David Arquette.
In the above photo, I hadn’t even realized that David was ahead of me. I was still trying to orient myself within the cacophony of the celebrity typhoon I had been momentarily swallowed up in.
The night only got weirder as we wound up sitting right next to Tori Spelling and then-boyfriend/90210 co-star Vincent Young (Noah Hunter!). It was surreal watching the opening scene with Tori playing Neve Campbell’s role in ‘Stab,’ while looking at Tori sitting right next to me. Who am I?
The afterparty was just as wild as the entire “Friends” cast was there supporting Courteney and sat at one table smoking indoors. Fun fact: 3 weeks later, California’s groundbreaking indoor smoking ban would go into effect.
Los Angeles and I have changed so much in the 25 years that followed, but this night always takes me back to a more innocent time in my life and was a complete and total SCREAM.
Can’t wait to see the new sequel this weekend. Hello, Sidney!
PS: I still have that black leather car coat.
Exactly 20 years ago today, on Sunday, September 9, 2001, I attended Madonna’s Drowned World Tour at Staples Center in Los Angeles. It was an incredible day like no other before and since. ?
It was the first of her 4 LA dates, which were the last of the entire tour. This was also Madonna’s first tour in 8 years. Since her last one (The Girlie Show in ‘93), she had released 3 albums, made multiple films, found Kabbalah, had 2 children, and remarried. There was a lot to celebrate. And now after starting her trek in Europe and making her way across the US, the Queen was finally in LA and West Hollywood was on high alert. Remember, this was also before social media and YouTube so the only images and clips I had seen were those given to major outlets like Access Hollywood or People magazine.
In the days leading up to the show, I’d run into friends on the street, at bars, in the gym, even the Beverly Center, and the question wasn’t are you going, but which night?!
The excitement was palpable. So much so that hours before the show a 4.2 earthquake, centered a mile east of Weho, rattled the entire city. (For reals, Google it!) Even Mother Nature couldn’t contain her hysteria for the Queen of Pop.
After picking out the perfect bedazzled tank top and bootcut jeans, my friends & I piled into my car en route to Staples. Along the way we’d stop at red lights on Olympic to find other vehicles piled 5 and 6 deep (pre-Uber) with gays and gals decked out in a cornucopia of rhinestone accessories and cowboy hats. Hey, Mr. DJ!
The energy inside Staples was electric. People were running into old friends, making new ones, and comparing statement tees and belt buckles. Drinks were ordered and dancing commenced in the halls. Once at our seats the party revved up. I remember chatting up the strangers next to us as we compared our favorite songs from Ray of Light and Music, and gave reports from what friends in other cities had said about the tour. A wave of applause and gasps gave false hope that the show was about to start, but alas, as it was only Tom Cruise and then-girlfriend Penelope Cruz making their way to the front row.
And then our Sunday service commenced.
In a cloud of dry ice, Madonna rose from the stage singing Drowned World/Substitute for Love as the arena unified in a collective scream. For the next two and a half hours, we danced and sang and watched her do her thing. With no smartphones in the house, everyone’s attention was focused in the now, on the Deity in front of our very eyes. #Blessed
By the time the last bars of “Music” (the final song of the night) faded out, we were exhausted, yet satiated. We were born, crucified and resurrected in the span of 24 songs. It was the end of the show and of an era. Nothing would ever be the same again. It was the end of an innocence that would never fully return.
In less than 48 hours, the world would change forever. ?? ??
There are so many sad, important, and terrible things from the events of that fateful week that I will always remember, but the pure unbridled joy of that night is definitely something I will never forget.
Music makes the people come together. ?
It’s Super Bowl weekend and for the gays that means gathering around to watch commercials while drinking vodka sodas and for 12 minutes looking up from their phones to see a music icon, preferably a diva, slay the stage in an highly-anticipated halftime show.
Not last year.
Expectations were low for Maroon 5‘s turn headlining in what was known as the Super Bowl Naptime Show. Other than Adam Levine’s non-FCC fined “wardrobe malfunction” that flaunted his muscled up and tatted torso, there really wasn’t anything to sing and dance about.
Thankfully this year, the NFL (and Jay Z) realized that the Super Bowl needs a diva. Gays demand a diva. Gals love a diva. Hetero bros won’t admit it, but even they prefer a diva. Everyone is happier with a diva. Pop diva. Rock diva. R&B diva. Rap diva. Country diva. Dance diva. Latin diva. Just give us a diva. Diva. DIVA. DIVA!
So this year we get DOS supreme divas. Queen Jennifer Lopez and Reina Shakira. Two A-list Latinas uniting the country against the Garbage President and his supporters. Make America Guayabera Again! WEPA!
So until J.Lo and Shaks destroy the field on Sunday, let’s reminisce and countdown to the most fabulously divalicious Super Bowl Halftime Shows of yore.
12. Patti LaBelle in 1995 at Super Bowl XXIX
Back in the day, the halftime shows had themes and in 1995 it was Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, which obviously calls to mind… Patti LaBelle?!
This halftime show is literally insane. It’s like a bizarro Disney & Scientology co-production of Burning Man. I’m not tripping, you’re tripping!
Despite the ridiculous amusement park-style stage show featuring pyrotechnics,”Indiana Jones” parachuting into the stadium and an acted out storyline, The OG Lady Marmalade doesn’t miss a beat belting out Release Yourself, New Attitude and Can You Feel the Love Tonight (alongside Tony Bennett). And while her royally fierce headgear tries to grab the spotlight, Miss Patty reigns supreme making it all it look as easy as sweet potato pie.
But it’s still completely nuts!
11. Katy Perry in 2015 at Super Bowl XLIX
Left Shark. One to Grow On. Missy Elliott. Lenny Kravtiz. It seems I remember everything about Katy Perry’s halftime show except Katy Perry.
While she did sing the hits (Roar, Dark Horse, I Kissed A Girl, Teenage Dream, California Gurls and Firework) and wore three, um, interesting outfits, there’s no denying the Christian artist formerly known as Katheryn Hudson definitely did her best.
A for effort.
10. Shania Twain/No Doubt/Sting in 2003 at Super Bowl XXXVII
Shania Twain came thru drip drip!
Wearing a Matrix leather trench, bejeweled bra, mini-dress and thigh-high boots, the country queen was giving us Real Housewives of Orange County via Hollywood Blvd realness while turning out Man, I Feel Like a Woman and Up.
Gwen Stefani then popped up for Just A Girl , because why not, before joining ageless zaddy Sting for Message in a Bottle. In all, the schizo show was a touchdown for country, pop and rock gays everywhere.
9. Gloria Estefan in 1992 at Super Bowl XXVI & in 1999 at Super Bowl XXXIII
Beyonce wasn’t the first pop diva to perform at two Super Bowl halftime shows, that distinction goes to Cuban-American icon Gloria Estefan.
In ’92, the halftime show honored the Winter Olympics (that theme thing again!) so – prior to Estefan singing Live for Loving You and Get On Your Feet – audiences were subjected to a spectacle featuring marching bands, a giant Frosty the Snowman and the talents of gold medalist iceskaters Dorothy Hamill & Brian Boitano.
It’s completely bonkers and totally AMAZING!
In ’99, the show kept it less nonsensical with the musical theme of Soul, Salsa and Swing. Gloria was called to duty once again to headline alongside Big Voodoo Daddy and Stevie Wonder.
This time La Estefan, looking gorge, lit up the stage with her hits Oye!, Turn the Beat Around, You’ll Be Mine (Party Time) before dueting with Stevie for Another Star & My Cherie Amour.
Y’all, don’t sleep on Gloria, she is the real deal. Wepa!
8. Britney Spears, Aerosmith, NSYNC, Nelly & Mary J. Blige in 2001 at Super Bowl XXV
I know the Cult of Britney™ is going to come for me for putting her so low, but hear me out.
This entire performance was a lot of fun, but it was not the Britney Spears Show. It was all about Aersosmith (I Dont Want to Miss a Thing, Jaded) and NSYNC (Bye, Bye, Bye, It’s Gonna Be Me) with Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige & Nelly thrown in at the end for Walk This Way. No offense, but it’s true.
The theme was Kings & Queens of Rock & Pop, but the queens were just an afterthought. Had Ms. Spears and Mary J. actually been allowed to sing one of their own songs (ala Beyonce with Coldplay), I would have put this higher.
My apologies to the Britney Gays™, but on a positive note, Brit Brit sounded, looked and moved like a diva! #NeverForget
7. Michael Jackson in 1993 at Super Bowl XXVII
Whatever your feelings are about Michael Jackson‘s life off-stage, there’s no denying this performance was the game changer. The King of Pop was the first huge music star to undertake the halftime gig & take it to a new level – a classic diva tactic. His performance would inspire the halftime shows of future Super Bowl divas like Madonna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga.
It was one of the most watched events in TV history and the NFL made it their mission to book A-list acts going forward. The setlist featured Jam, Billie Jean, Black or White, We Are the World & Heal the World and ended with Michael singing alongside hundreds of children from around the world.
This halftime show is truly legendary and also serves as a bookmark in Michael’s legacy. Six months after the Super Bowl, Michael would go on to be accused of child sexual abuse for the first time.
6. Janet Jackson in 2004 at Super Bowl XXXVIII
Before the wardrobe malfunction, before Nipplegate, before Justin Timberlake threw her under the bus, before Les Moonves tried to destroy her career and before any of Janet Jackson‘s halftime show became a global scandal, the set included performances by Jessica Simpson (she actually just yells an intro), Diddy (Bad Boy for Life, Mo Money Mo Problems), Nelly (Hot in Herre) and Kid Rock (Bawitdaba, Cowboy). ‘Memba that? No? Don’t worry, hardly anybody else does.
What I remember is that Janet sang and danced her ass off to All For You & Rhythm Nation before JT pretended to not know he was going to expose her right breast during Rock Your Body. I’ll have you ruined by the end of this song!
History was made, fines were imposed, Janet was crucified and justice still needs to be served. #JusticeForJanet
5. Prince in 2007 at Super Bowl XLI
Prince in heels with a Rosie the Riveter headwrap in the pouring (purple) rain. Yes, yes, yasssss!
Only a real diva can battle Mother Nature and win!
The set list: Let’s Go Crazy, Baby I’m a Star, Proud Mary, All Along the Watchtower, Best of You, Purple Rain.
Fun fact: Straight guys often regard this as the best halftime show ever. I love it, just wish he included When Doves Cry or other hits over the covers.
Special shout out to the guitar solo projected onto a sheet aka the shadow malfunction. This is what it sounds like when censors cry!
4. Lady Gaga in 2017 at Super Bowl LI
Starting off with an aerial drone light show, unifying anthem God Bless America and protest song This Land is Your Land, quoting the Pledge of Allegiance’s “with liberty and justice for all” and faux diving off the roof of the stadium, Lady Gaga‘s halftime show was patriotic, spectacular & subversive without even humming one bar of her own song.
Gaga is arguably the biggest LGBT rights advocate of her pop generation, so to sing Born This Way with the lyrics “No matter gay, straight, or bi Lesbian, transgendered (sic) life” at the Super Bowl was not only expected and on brand but historic. Her full set list consisted of Poker Face, Born This Way, Just Dance, Million Reasons and Bad Romance.
On that night we were all little monsters, put our paws up & watched a star be reborn.
3. Beyonce in 2013 at Super Bowl XLVII & in 2016 at Super Bowl L
A diva is a female version of a hustler, and no one hustles like Beyonce.
Beyonce murders every performance, almost to her detriment. Her halftime show was beyond. The singing (Love on Top, Crazy in Love, End of Time, Baby Boy, Bootylicious, Independent Women, Single Ladies, Halo) the choreo, the Destiny’s Child reunion, all of it on point. I’m still gagging over Kelly’s bangs & Michelle’s hop jump entrance.
(unpopular opinion alert!)
Beyonce brings Super Bowl level quality to all her shows. To quote Queen Bey herself, “Flawless.” And that’s the problem. Re-watching this now you almost don’t know if it was from The Mrs. Carter, Formation, On The Run I & II tours, Coachella or an award show. It’s lost some of it’s impact. It’s grandeur. It’s ‘this is the big MF moment.’ Everything shouldn’t be the Super Bowl, but for Beyonce everything is and that makes the Super Bowl now seem less special.
Even while watching it back in 2013, on the heels of Madonna‘s monster of a show the year before, I thought it needed just a tad more pizzazz, some more zhuzh, a little more spectacular spectacular, because it was the SUPER BOWL and not the Mrs. Carter, Formation, On the Run I &II tours, Coachella or an award show moment.
OK, everyone breathe. This is MY OPINION. Step back, Beyhive. Do not hurt me. I still bow down. I do. I promise, I still love Beyonce. HELP!!!!!
Then three years later, Beyonce was back again and this time providing that pizzazz/zhuzh moment to Coldplay‘s (and oh no Bruno Mars, again!) halftime show.
For the first time Beyonce got political referencing the Black Panthers and also paid homage to Michael Jackson with her outfit. She sang Formation & Crazy in Love, and as per usual, didn’t blink.
She stole the show. She was the show. The Super Bowl was saved!
Make no mistake, Beyonce is the headliner even when she’s the guest star. All hail, Beyonce!
Ok, so are we friends again?
2. Madonna in 2012 at Super Bowl XLVI
Eight years after Janet’s wardrobe malfunction, Madonna was the first female solo artist to headline the Super Bowl. So naturally the Queen of Pop arrived with all the pomp & circumstance on her golden throne.
From there it continued in all its over the top, decadent, glamorous glory orchestrated with royal precision and announcing to the world to get ready because the night’s main event had started. The Madonna Bowl had arrived and with it dancers, gladiators, costumes, acrobatics, LED screens and a choir led by Cee Lo Green. She even managed to talk Nicki Minaj & MIA into playing her sidekick head cheerleaders. INSANE. (In all fairness, I wasn’t a huge fan of including LMFAO, but I guess they did have one of the biggest songs the previous year.)
Her Madgesty gave us Vogue, Music, Party Rock Anthem/Sexy And I Know It, Give Me All Your Luvin’, Open Your Heart and Like a Prayer.
In all, it was more than a show. It was a spectacle. It was theater. It was a circus and a club and a pep rally and a church service. It was a religious experience. And I was dead and brought back to life.
In that moment, Madonna ushered in the new era of the Super Bowl Pop Diva™ and paved the way for Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, J.Lo and, hopefully someday, Rihanna and Pink. And she did it all at the young age of 53.
Always remember kids, there’s only one Queen and that’s Madonna.
1. Diana Ross in 1996 at Super Bowl XXX
A true diva knows how to make a grand entrance and an even grander exit.
Let’s just get it out of the way. You can’t spell diva without a D and the D in diva stands for Diana Ross.
Back in 1996, Diana Ross did multiple on-set costume changes, sang Stop in the Name of Love, Baby Love, You Can’t Hurry Love, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Chain Reaction, Reach Out & Touch Someone’s Hand, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I Will Survive and then got airlifted out of the Sun Devil Stadium with her feet hanging over the side. OUT OF A HELICOPTER!
Your helicopter in 5, Miss Ross! Miss Ross has left the building!
In the Super Bowl you go big or go home, unless you’re Diana Ross and then you go big and go home …in a helicopter!
Dirty Diana did THAT! She is the Supreme! The Boss! Icons & Legends, only!
No one will ever top this. Do not even try. No, ma’am. Forget it.
Here’s the full performance, because you must.
Honorable Mention: New Kids on the Block in 1991 at Super Bowl XXV
No, they aren’t divas, you just have to see it to believe it.
The theme was It’s A Small World with Disney characters, 2000 actual kids and the New Kids on the Block, natch!
The NKOTB Step by Step magic starts at the 10:30 mark. Enjoy!
Regardless of your plans on Sunday, I hope everyone has a lot of fun.
All hail J.LO and Shakira!
*DISCLAIMER: This story has been updated since initially being published on February 3, 2019.
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Where were you on Monday, February 2nd, 2009? Ten years ago, equality was a priority in the White House, Lady Gaga had her first #1 song and Instagram was non-existent. But on that night gay culture was forever changed with the launch of a little show on a little network hosted by a larger-than-life personality known as a #RuPaulsDragRace .The budget and ratings may have been much smaller then, but the impact was felt. Little did we realize that 18 years after Paris Is Burning, a new class of gays, kweens & Kardashians were about to have their weaves snatched by being ru-introduced to terms like realness, shade and read. More importantly, #RuPaul and the show put a spotlight on stories & amplified voices that were often silenced or overlooked and inspired a new generation to have pride in who they are & lip sync for their lives! Now everyone & their mutha wants to be a kween & mainstream outlets like Entertainment Tonight & People magazine cover #drag on the reg. Condragulations, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Happy 10th anniversary. Shantay you stay! ?????️? #RPDR #dragqueen #LGBT #gay
The funniest thing about all the outrage over Ricky Gervais taking jabs at the Hollywood elite during his Golden Globes opening monologue is how Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh got similar backlash for being too nice hosting last year’s show. Damned if you do …
With the threat of war, fires and a President that lobs lies and insults at every one, including teenagers, in his path, it’s no wonder even Brad Pitt is pleading that everyone be a little nicer to each other.
All that being said, I still think there’s room to step back and laugh at some of the sillier things in life, like $5000 gowns. At least I hope.
So enjoy my lighthearted take on this year’s Globes. If you don’t, please feel free to call me out on social media … because I could really use the followers!
Ramy Youssef – Never seen him or his show before, but legit thought it was some sort of sketch with a female comedian like Sarah Silverman dressed in male drag. Oopsies!
Elton John – With his new weave on point, statement jewelry and rose-colored glasses, Sir Elton was ready for his first win with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin. The Bitch is Back!
Kathy Bates – Just for the record, Elton did not do a costume change. How dare you? Rude!
Sofia Vergara & Matt Bomer – Both are sickeningly gorgeous, but if Matt was her true gay BFF he’d make sure she didn’t wear problematic designers like Dolce & Gabbana. Google “synthetic children.”
Kerry Washington – What in Olivia Pope hell?! Scandal, indeed. This needs to be handled, stat! Where’s Momoa’s tank top when you need it? Once and for all, can we please leave the thirsty plunging neckline where it belongs; next to the couture remains of J.Lo’s iconic yet overhyped 2000 Versace. RIP.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – If we can’t have Amy & Tina, then please give us Phoebe as next year’s host. It’s the master of ceremonies we need and deserve. Thanks, Obama!
Kate McKinnon – On second thought, give us Kate! That speech! A coming out story always gets me. Despite the funny jokes and the heartfelt anecdotes, I found myself overly thinking about how, unlike McKinnon, I was not 13 when the now-legendary Ellen episode aired in 1997. #Old
Ellen DeGeneres – Despite the Kevin Hart trash fire, the George Bush mess and all the working at Ellen show stories, I still think her coming out in 1997 and subsequent downfall just months before Will & Grace premiered should never be forgotten. Not all heroes wear capes and not all heroes are perfect, but she was the LGBT hero who stepped up when others wouldn’t. So Imma focus on that right now.
Side note, Portia and Ellen are morphing into Brad & Gwyneth circa 1995.
Daniel Craig & Ana de Armas – They’ve now starred in Knives Out and the upcoming Bond film No Time Left to Die together. Rachel Weisz is issuing the Cuban actress a cease and desist as we speak. Ai yi yi!
Margot Robbie – Her driver must have made a wrong turn on Benedict Canyon and wound up at the Globes instead of the upscale bridal shower in the Palisades where this would have slayed.
Taylor Swift – Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.
Gwyneth Paltrow – Everyone has a lot to say about Gwynnie’s look, but I am so here for her sheer mocha prairie dress. It’s part slave Leia in Return of the Jedi, part belly dancer and 100% insane. But this is what we rarely see these days; a major star, taking a major risk. This is our ’80s Cher moment. This is our heir to Celine Dion‘s reverse tux. This is Demi Moore‘s Oscar bike shorts repurposed for a new generation. Somewhere in Valley Village, Lara Flynn Boyle is looking at her 2003 ballerina tutu and attempting to smile. Brava, Mrs. Paltrow-Falchuck. Brava!
Laura Dern – Serving us cool Topanga Canyon Auntie meets sexy Mrs. Roper realness. She may have made a bundt, but don’t worry, it’s laced.
Dakota Fanning – You might want to doublecheck, but I believe Dak wore this to the I Am Sam premiere in 2001. #Throwback
Lisa Bonet & Jason Momoa – Exclusive! First look at the cover of Anne Rice’s new gothic novel.
Patricia Arquette – Commanding attention, taking no prisoners and snatching trophies with a severe haircut while wearing sunglasses indoors. Anna Wintour is shook. The Devil Wears whatever the fuck she wants.
Jodie Comer & Olivia Colman – With apologies to Jennifer Lopez, but Jodie and Olivia were hands downs my favorite Christmas ornaments of the night. As an added bonus, it appears Eddie Murphy’s recent SNL appearance influenced Jodie’s refreshing take on Gumby chic.
Charlize Theron – Not my favorite look, but since Thou Shalt Not Use Charlize’s Name in Vain, I’ll just reiterate how amazing she is as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell. Or in anything actually. Charlize makes everything better. Just imagine if Gwyneth wore this. Y’all be trashing it extra HARD.
Cate Blanchett – It’s Cate on a half shell. Listen, when you have two Oscars, going to the Globes is all about having a laugh. Mission accomplished.
Michelle Williams – Her personal and poignant pro-choice speech was especially powerfully as she’s currently pregnant with her second child. Wow, that’s a lot of Ps. Needless to say, I stand with Michelle Williams and I stand with Planned Parenthood. Also, she’s excellent in Fosse/Verdon.
Wesley Snipes – I think this whole Urkel at a ’70s wedding vibe is actually working for him. Which says a lot since prior to Dolemite, everything he’s done in the last 15 years has been straight to video.
Jennifer Lopez – Just like Tulsi Gabbard, J.Lo voted PRESENT. While impeaching her stylist might be a little harsh, they should at least be censured for committing such a treasonous act against an American icon. We will rebuild.
Fun fact: Paul Rudd and Jennifer Lopez are both 50. FIFTY. CINCUENTA. FIVE. ZERO!
Brad Pitt – George Clooney, who? Old school Robert Redford, what? 56-year-old Brad Pitt, yaaaassss!
Adam Driver – Don’t feel bad for Adam losing. Like Rami Malek and Taron Ergeton before him, as soon as they greenlight the Marilyn Manson biopic, award show gold is all his. I can already hear him singing, “The beautiful people, the beautiful people!”
Billy Porter – Phew! I was getting nervous for Billy. With his over-the-top, gender-bending red carpet ensembles reaching a Gaga-level of ubiquituousness, I was afraid his fashion theatrics would become so expected that they’d barely bat a lash or worse, relegate him to gay clown purgatory. Luckily, the Pose star leveled up by toning it down. The white tux with detachable feather train brought the drama, but without the buffonery. He later removed the fluffy embellishment and let his natural fierceness make the boldest statement. Sashay you stay, Pray Tell.
Awkwafina – The Farewell officially ushers in her arrival. Making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win a Golden Globe for lead actress in a comedy (altho that film is equally a drama), Awkwafina’s star is clearly on the rise. She’s the new queen of Queens! And if you have a problem with her ruffled Karl Lagerfeld-esque collar on her Dior ensemble then tawk to da hand!
Glenn Close – While last year’s Oscars proved she’s no Golden Girl (#JusticeForGlenn), this is quite possible the best Bea Arthur has ever looked.
Renée Zellweger – Welcome to the Renéeassaince. She’s back & coming for all your gigs, ladies!
Sandra Bullock – Love that despite Bird Box, Sandy has reached that level of unannounced final award presenter in the footsteps of Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. When you’re 56 and haven’t aged in 20 years ala JLo & PRudd, everyone can just step aside.
Beyoncé and Jay Z – Or was it Dominique Deveraux and Coolio?
Until next time, check out my review of CATS below. Happy New Year!
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION — MY ‘CATS’ MOVIE REVIEW
CATS was ridiculous and hysterical and stupid and terrible and absolutely amazing and exactly what I wanted in a Sunday night at the movies after 3 glasses of wine at Stella Barra.
While nothing will ever again reach Showgirls-level awesomeness, I’d place it somewhere near the tragic opulence of “Glitter,” yet miles above the impotent splendor of From Justin to Kelly.
Dame Judi Dench as the queen of the Cats yet looking more like Dog the Bounty Hunter. Iconic!
Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson in a Rite Aid weave and beat serving Levonia Jenkins during her early morning shift on the Christopher Street Piers after a torrential downpour. Legendary!
Sir Ian McKellan giving you Susan Boyle for your nerves. Historic!
Rebel Wilson flaunting her pussy legs while dancing with human-faced cockroaches. Brilliant!
A feline-naked Idris Elba actually looking completely devoid of sex appeal. Impossible!
An anatomically incorrect Jason Derulo. Bizarre!
Basic beyatch goddess Taylor Swift completely stealing the show by flaunting her bubble gum pop catnip in kitten heels. Truth!
I don’t know how this got made but praise the Andrew Lloyd Webber gods that it did. Now and forever #Grateful ????
A major plot point in Jordan Peele‘s new horror blockbuster Us is the often ridiculed 1986 charity spectacle Hands Across America (HAA).
For those that have blocked it out (or weren’t born yet), HAA consisted of over 6 million people joining hands to form a human chain from coast-to-coast for 15 minutes on Sunday, May 25th, 1986, in an effort to raise money to stop hunger.
Due to the success of celebrity benefit singles like Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas” and USA For Africa’s “We Are the World,” HAA organizers tried to drum up publicity for the flash mob by creating a theme song in a similar vein.
But while Band Aid & USA For Africa featured A-list talent like Sting, Bono, George Michael, Diana Ross and Bruce Springsteen, the HAA anthem only managed to cull together studio session singers, the New Jersey Mass Choir and a few members of Toto (cue”Africa” & “Rosanna“), who were then credited as Voices of America.
Although the song only reached #65 on the Billboard charts, a freaking amazing music video was made with some of the biggest celebs of the day singing along to the the track’s ridiculously basic & sappy lyrics.
Included in the patriotic gem were Oprah, Barbra Streisand, Robin Williams with C3PO, Miami Vice stars Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas, a four-year-old Nicole Richie and, believe it or not, Andy Warhol.
Now whether or not you’ve already figured out all the easter eggs, metaphors and symbolism in Us, the HAA music video stands on its own as an underated goldmine of glorious ’80s cringe that you simply have to see/re-watch to believe AND to spot the 31 celebrity cameos.
WARNING: YOU CANNOT UNSEE THIS VIDEO
Now please take another moment to honor the sacrifices of this random assortment of celebrities, who, despite their best intentions, paid a price for unknowingly serving SNL digital short realness in this glorious video masterpiece. #haaHaaHAA
1. Kenny Rogers
This video was such a turkey that five years later the country singer got the idea to launch Kenny Rogers Roasters. In 1998, the company filed for bankruptcy.
2. Don Johnson & Philip Michael Thomas
When the video was released in April 1986, Miami Vice was one of the highest-rated shows on the air. By the fall, the series plummeted to #26.
3. Michael Douglas & son Cameron Douglas
At the time, we were told no children were harmed in making this video.
4. Robin Williams & C3PO (& Candice Bergen)
The Robin, Candice and C3PO romcom was doomed from the start.
5. Diahann Carroll
Blink and you miss her! One year after Dominique Deveraux survived the Moldavian Massacre, she barely got out of this video alive.
6. Lily Tomlin
The closet makes you do terrible things.
7. Kathleen Turner
And she thought appearing in Billy Ocean’s When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going video alongside her Jewel of the Nile co-stars was a career low.
8. Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon
This is what you get for breaking up the Beatles!
9. Jane Fonda
Fonda, Raul Julia & Jeff Bridges all appear in this video, which means someone at 20th Century Fox thought it would be good press for their soon-to-be released film The Morning After. Abort!
10. Raul Julia
Gomez Addams deserved better. Snap, snap!
11. Barbra Streisand
We still need Babs to apologize for this!
12. Lady Liberty
The Statue of Liberty debuted her new & improved look after being shrouded in scaffolding for two years during renovations. This was no way to treat a lady.
13. Michael, Cameron (again), Diandra Douglas
Michael & Diandra divorced in ’95. No doubt part of her $45 million settlement was for punitive damages suffered from the video.
14. Robin Williams & C3PO again
Despite having more sexually chemistry than Mork & Mindy, there’s was the love that dare not speak its name.
15. Nicole Richie
Nicole was just trying to live the simple life of a four-year-old normal here. Later she would be notoriously undermined by Paris Hilton, heroin, a DUI, Ugg boots, & several reality shows.
16. Andy Warhol & maybe Brooke Adams (left)
Warhol was a genius & knew HAA would be an instant camp classic once the video’s 15 minutes of fame were over. Sadly, he died ten months later.
17. Whoopi Goldberg & Mickey Mouse
The EGOT winner would later go on to be contractually bound by Disney to tolerate Elisabeth Hasslebeck for six seasons on The View.
18. Alfonso Ribeiro & Drew Barrymore
Parental guidance was strongly suggested.
19. Roberta Flack & Nona Hendryx
Killing me softly with THIS song!
20. Jon Cryer
The video came out two months after Pretty in Pink‘s release. It would be another 17 years until “Duckie” found success again on Two and a Half Men.
21. Glenn Close
At this point in her career, Glenn had only lost three Academy Awards. #Cursed
22. Father Guido Sarducci
On second thought, maybe it really was a SNL digital short!
23. Mikhail Baryshnikov
More unforgivable than what he did to Carrie Bradshaw!
24. Dyan Cannon
After this video, Cannon – who was once married to Cary Grant & has received three Academy Award noms – repented by becoming a born-again Christian. SAVED!
25. Jeff Bridges
26. Susan Anton
‘Memba her? While the singer/actress’ height-challenegd relationship with Dudley Moore came to end prior to this video, Anton’s most recent credit is Sharknado: The 4th Awakens. You do the math.
27. Shari Belafonte-Harper
Harry Belafonte’s daughter dropped the Harper when she divorced her ex-husband, which coincedentally was about a year after the video.
28. Oprah Winfrey
Oprah’s meteoric rise is historic, but the fact that her talk show was nationally syndicated just five months after agreeing to be in this music video is suspect &, quite possibly, diabolical.
29. Lily Tomlin again
Tomlin is a lesbian icon & has been absolved of any wrongdoing. Don’t @ me.
30. Kevin Bacon
On a positive note, this video does level up everyone’s six degrees of Bacon game. #FTW
31. Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas again
Crockett & Tubbs signing off. #RIP
While the HAA video may be way more frightening than anything in Us, I definitely recommend seeing it if for no other reason than to witness an amazing dual performance by Lupita Nyong’o. She’s scary good!
Hands Across America
Hands Across the land I love
United we fall
United we stand
Hands Across America
Mother and Father
Daughter and Son
Learn to live as one
I can not stop thinking again and again
How the heart of a stranger
Beats the same as a friend
Learn to love each other
See these people over there?
They are my brother and sister
When they laugh I laugh
When they cry I cry
When they need I’ll be there by their side
We are the river of hope
That runs through the valley of fear
And there is a lady whose smile shines upon us
Saying all is welcome here.
Learn to love each other
See the man over there?
He’s my brother
When he laughs I laugh
When he cries I cry
When he needs me
I’ll be right there, right by his side
The kiss never felt so sincere
Full of countless dreams
This earth, it never smelt so sweet
Cradles a song in it’s great heartbeat
Learn to love each other
See the man over there?
He’s my brother
When he laughs I laugh
When he cries I cry
When he needs me
I’ll be right there by his side
ICYMI: WHO WILL PLAY LORI LOUGHLIN & FELICITY HUFFMAN ON THE BIG SCREEN, HBO & ON LIFETIME?
Now that Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman have been exposed, indicted and charged in The Great College Admissions Scam of 2019, the big question is who will play them on screen.
In a perfect world Aunt Becky and Lynette Scavo would play themselves ala Joan & Melissa Rivers in the 1994 NBC TV Movie Tears & Laughter: The Joan & Melissa Rivers Story, but the chances of that happening in 2019 are next to impossible.
The right actresses must not only look the part and be of similar age, but also deliver the needs of the production in terms of talent, star power and believability.
Here are my casting choices should the project land on the big screen, HBO and Lifetime.
If the amazing caper were to be turned into a big budget film for theaters, the casting would require A-list talent that could portray Hollywood versions of girls next door gone bad.
COMING TO THEATERS THIS CHRISTMAS … SANDRA BULLOCK & JENNIFER ANISTON in:
Rated R. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or $500k.
If producers wanted to go in depth with a seven-part limited series on premium cable, then the roles would necessitate well-respected character actresses with multiple Academy Award nominations each.
HBO PRESENTS … MARISA TOMEI & LAURA DERN in:
The truth set them free … at a cost.
But if the story is rushed into production for a quick turnaround to air on basic cable, then the roles could be filled by anyone with even a sliver of a resemblance and the ability to keep a straight face while chewing up cheesy dialogue.
LIFETIME MOVIE EVENT OF THE WEEK… CHARISMA CARPENTER & CELINE DION in:
Sometimes being a good mom is a crime.
Who do you think should play Lori & Felicity?
ICYMI: RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE SEASON 11 PREMIERE – CELEB REALNESS
The premiere of a new season of RuPaul’s Drag Race always leaves my head spinning.
So many kweens, so many names, so many attempts at being memorable!
Especially after Miss Vanjie‘s (Welcome back!!!) now-legendary turn flaunting all them cookies in just one episode last year, every girl came into season 11 with a bible of catchphrases, one-liners and shtick. I’m talking to you Silky Nutmeg Ganache!
Silky was my fave kween …for the first five minutes of the episode. But by the commercial break, her thirsty AF antics left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth. Gurl, breathe & simma down. Nobody ever wants that much dessert, evah. TRUST!
And finally, there’s our eliminated queen Soju. While pulling off another Vanjie-style star-making coup after sashaying away in the first episode is nearly impossible, bequeathing the world with her unforgettable “taint cyst” is quite the valiant effort. Annyeonghi gaseyo, Miss Soju. Miss Soju. MISS …SO JU!
Now while I go change my last name to Davenport, check out the celebrity dopplegänger realness from episode 1.
MISS VANJIE – LA TOYA JACKSON
The children love Miss Vanjie so much you’d think we were at Neverland. #TooSoon
BROOKE LYNN HYTES – PINK
Brooke Lynn is starting on such a high that we may be seeing some aerial gynmastics soon.
NINA WEST – HEAT MISER
It’s the year without a Santa Claus for Nina. She’s too much!
SILKY NUTMEG GANACHE – OPRAH
No standing O for Silky’s thirsty behavior, but we are gonna need a sitdown interview.
SUGA CAIN – MEGHAN McCAIN
By the looks of it, Suga’s dreams won’t be aborted anytime soon.
YVIE ODDLY – SLICK WOODS
I’ve only got one thing to say: You betta werk, Supermodel!
A’KERIA C. DAVENPORT – LIL’ KIM
Something tells me A’keria can make a Sprite can disappear in her mouth.
ARIEL VERSACE – PEG BUNDY
Every big haired gurl from Jersey wants to be married with children, okrrrrr.
SCARLET ENVY – TAMMIE BROWN
Proof that being Pearl‘s daughter is not the weirdest thing about Scarlet.
PLASTIQUE TIARA – JESSICA ALBA
We need to be honest about Plastique’s chances.
HONEY DAVENPORT – KENYA MOORE
This New York queen is gone with the wind fabulous, hunty!
RA’JAH O’HARA – RUTH POINTER (SISTERS)
I’m so excited to see what Ra’jah can do this season, sis.
MERCEDES IMAN DIAMOND – J.LO
Don’t be fooled by the rocks that she’s got, she’s still early ’90s Jenny from the block.
KAHANNA MONTRESE – EVE
Kahanna’s skills are the talk, so I’m hoping Ru will let her blow ya mind.
SOJU – BETTE MIDLER
The power of Drag Race means a cyst on your taint can still lead to outrageous fortune.
Who are you rooting for? So far, it’s still all about Vanjie for me.
ICYMI: RPDR ALL-STARS 4 PREMIERE – CELEB LOOKALIKES
The sudden death of Luke Perry from a massive stroke at the age of 52 today has been devastating.
It’s been a rough day in the 90046 for me, and for boys and girls of a certain age that grew up crushing on Dylan McKay.
Ever since Beverly Hills 90210 premiered on October 4, 1990 – the day after my 19th birthday – I was hooked. An adult show about teenagers was a rare commodity in those early days before Dawson, before Felicity, even before the Salinger 5.
Dylan McKay was also my first crush when I finally began to realize (yet not fully accept) I was gay. Sure I liked others before, but never like this.
From the get-go you were either Team Dylan or Team Brandon (Jason Priestly). And for me there was no contest. I was a skinny closeted recovering New Waver easily drawn to the sexy brooding loner with the pompadour, to say nothing of the jeans, the motorcycle & THE SIDEBURNS.
I grew out mine and watched 90210 every week. Back then it wasn’t cool to like a teen show in college, but me and a few close girlfriends would gather every Thursday night (it moved to Wednesdays in Season 3) to indulge in our secret obsession.
To this day, Sophie B. Hawkins‘ “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” always brings back memories of the summer Dylan cheated on Brenda with Kelly …and how we all wanted to be Kelly.
Years later, when Dylan left the series for two seasons, so did I.
And while I crushed on Dylan, I was equally taken with Luke.
He was why I went to see Buffy the Vampire Slayer in theaters, rented 8 Seconds the day it came out and still have the shirtless July 1992 Vanity Fair shot by Annie Leibovitz. So hot!
My crush on Luke is why I was genuinely happy to see his career renaissance as ‘the dad’ on Riverdale. While at the same time, horrified at the realization that I too could be the father of an extremely goodlooking twentysomething teen. Yikes! How did that happen?!
And that’s the thing, Luke was just five years older than me. The man that gave this closeted teen life is now another reminder of his mortality.
I didn’t know Luke and never met him, but he always seemed like one of the good guys.
I read that Luke died surrounded by his two children, fiancée, ex-wife, mother, siblings and other friends & family. He was so loved, but we all knew that.
Luke Perry & Dylan McKay are gone, but neither will ever be forgotten.