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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2016-11-02

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"I don't want to say it was big, but I believe it had an elbow!"—Nathan Lane discusses seeing John Slattery naked back in 1989, when the two appeared off-Broadway in The Lisbon Traviata. The two are currently appearing on Broadway in a revival of The Front Page, where, I believe, all elbows are covered.

The Saturday matinee performance of Rossini's opera William Tell at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC was stopped before the last act, and the audience was ushered out while local police and federal agents investigated. During the intermission, a suspicious-looking man walked down to the front of the theatre, reached into a black bag and then sprinkled some powder into the orchestra pit. An orchestra member reported this activity and the theatre worried about a possible terrorist attack—because if there's one thing ISIS hates more than Hillary Clinton, it's opera! Turns out, the culprit was Roger Kaiser, a 52-year-old opera buff from Dallas who had flown up to NYC specifically to go to the Met and scatter some ashes of his friend and mentor. While leaving ashes in special places like Broadway theatres, sports arenas, etc. is a common occurrence, it's foolish in these hypersensitive times. Thus far, Kaiser is not being charged with any crime. Met head honcho Peter Gelb said, "We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met; we hope that they will not bring their ashes with them."

Carol Burnett has had one helluva week! On Monday, it was announced that she's headed to ABC to star in a sitcom created by Amy Poehler. The next day, I was at the grocery store and saw the front cover of The Globe tabloid that exclaimed "Carol Burnett, 83—THE END! Brave farewell to fans." So, what's the truth? While I believe Burnett is in fine health, ABC may have hedged their bets just a tad. The plot of the new sitcom is as follows: A young couple gets a great deal on their dream house, but it comes with one condition—they must live with the current owner, an older actress, until she dies. Guess who plays the actress?

It was announced that, for the first time in their 111-year history, the Spiegel catalog will feature a transgender cover model. Can I see a show of hands who thought the Spiegel catalog WAS history? Keep those hands up. Now, can I see a show of hands of people who never heard of Spiegel? Wow, I expected more hands—I'm playing to an older demographic than I thought. That's why you never complain about all those Marilyn Maye stories!

Great Britain was on the brink of making history when Parliament considered passing the Alan Turing Law, which would pardon thousands of men who were convicted of being gay. It was named after the famed English mathematician and scientist, who was portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. It was Turing who broke the Nazi code in World War II and is credited with helping the Allies defeat Germany. Four years after this accomplishment, he was prosecuted for "homosexual acts." Two years later, he committed suicide. Although Queen Elizabeth II granted him a posthumous pardon in 2013, close to 50,000 other men were also prosecuted. The proposed bill would allow the government to expunge all criminal records for people who were found guilty of "solicitation by men", "gross indecency between men", and "buggery." This would only apply if the people involved were over 16, did not engage in the act in a public lavatory ( sorry, George Michael ), and if the act is not still illegal. You'd think that would cover everything, but you'd be wrong.

The first phase of the parliamentary process is an open debate on the floor. Conservative government Minister Sam Gyimah spoke first. He felt that pardoning everyone across the board would lead to some people who are actual criminals being cleared. He proposed amending another bill which would pardon only people who died. Those who are still alive could go through a "disregard process" to have the matter stricken from their records. Gyimah used all of the 25 minutes allocated for the debate—killing the possibility of the bill even being voted on. Writer of the bill, MP John Nicolson, said, "It's great to forgive all the people who are now dead, but it's kind of sentimental. I'm more interested in forgiving the people who are still alive, and have lived with this for decades."

Tom Hanks is all for the remake of Splash. And he'd like to be involved ... as Channing Tatum's lover! Hanks said, "Look: I think if they were really going to be bold, I would come back as Allen Bauer, and I would go off with Channing Tatum. That would be a bold move. And I am suggesting it right now." I guess while you can take the fish out of the man, you can't take the man out of the fish!

After swearing they'd never reunite, ABBA was on stage together in June to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Benny and Bjorn meeting—Agnetha and Anni-Frid sang "Me and I." ( You can see the video on BillyMasters.com . ) That event thawed the quartet to the possibility of working together, and they've just announced a partnership with Spice Girls mastermind Simon Fuller for a "groundbreaking venture." Benny said, "We're inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here. A time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And are." More details will be announced next year, but we hear it will be some sort of virtual reality—kinda like when they wouldn't turn on Posh Spice's mike!

Our "Ask Billy" question comes from Randall in London. "Have you checked out The Young Pope? It's really great. And you get to see Jude Law's ass!"

Do people actually want to see any pope nude—young or otherwise? I suppose for Jude Law, we'll consider it. The show also has Diane Keaton playing a nun, which intrigues me. It started airing in England last week, and will be on HBO in February. But why wait? You can see the important parts of the first episode on BillyMasters.com .

When we're promoting a pope's posterior, it's time to end yet another column. As usual, all faiths are welcomed to check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that doesn't discriminate. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Tom Hanks reveals if he prefers fish or chicken. So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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