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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2017-09-27

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"In Florida, you got hit with the strongest winds ever recorded. It actually hit the Keys with a Category 5. I never even knew a Category 5 existed."—Donald Trump talks about the devastation following Hurricane Irma. Perhaps this will be part of his next book, Other Things I Don't Know, by Donald Trump!

For the first time in eons, I wasn't at the Emmy Awards. In fact, I wasn't in the country. But through the miracle of modern technology, I didn't miss a beat—even in a minor Eastern European city. Even there, people knew who RuPaul was and enjoyed her turn as "Emmy." I surely wasn't the only one who thought Jane Fonda's homage to I Dream of Jeannie was inspired, and cringed a bit when Cicely Tyson wandered out to the wrong side of the stage. ( Alas, it only got worse. ) Personally, I think she was disoriented by the sight of Anika Noni Rose's breasts. Girl, put those things away—this ain't the Golden Globes!

But the highlight for me was watching the fabulous Jackie "Mamacita" Hoffman lose to Laura Dern. Most also-rans put on their game face—but not Hoffman, who clearly mouthed "Damn it!" The subsequent tweets were a little bit of heaven. "Laura Dern had famous parents. Forgive me for being from real people," said Hoffman. In case people took Jackie seriously, her next tweets should have put the matter to rest: "I hear that Laura Dern runs a child porn ring" and "I hear Laura Dern looted art from Nazi victims."

Leave it to The View to shake up its cast days into the new season. Last week, Jedediah Bila announced she was leaving the show—effective immediately. While Bila had the balls to not say it was her choice, she also didn't go so far as to say she was fired. But make no mistake—she was pushed out the door. Although the initial word on the street was the ABC brass axed her after asking Hillary Clinton some tough questions, that isn't the case. Days before Bila's departure, Meghan McCain announced she was leaving Fox News. The View has always wanted to bring McCain on as a permanent guest host because she is a high-profile conservative. While Bila is also conservative, they feel her being a libertarian was simply confusing. They began clandestine negotiations with McCain, which Bila got wind of; she went to the top and asked if the McCain negotiations would affect her. She was told, "Oh, you weren't supposed to find out this way." Oops! We hear the network graciously said Bila could stay with the show until the deal with McCain was finalized; instead, she opted to leave that day. And so, as has happened many times in the past, Jedediah Bila said all the right things, and just slipped away. But not before hearing that "View" mantra—"You're welcome back anytime!"

Anyone looking for a graceful way to handle exiting co-hosts should look no further than The Talk. Only a few weeks after Aisha Tyler left, she actually was welcomed back—and as a guest co-host. Last week, she slid back into her old chair effortlessly and everything was smooth as silk. Of course, she left of her own accord.

Last week, troubled gay-porn star Matthew Rush was arrested in Fort Lauderdale for alleged possession of crystal meth and drug paraphernalia. People seem to be quite concerned after seeing his mug shot, which shows Rush a far cry from his glory days for Falcon Studios. For those of you playing at home, he was also arrested back in March after his boyfriend filed assault charges. And you know what that means? After one more arrest, his next mug shot is free! Or, at the very least, they'll throw in Photoshopping!

I was struck by the following headline: "Town Tries To Legally Ban Drag Show." And I thought, "Isn't it too soon for another remake of Footloose?" But wait—an all-drag version. Hmmm. We might have to change some of the words to "Let's Hear It For The Boy," but I'm in. The story is from Portland, Tennessee—the drag capital of the world—and the city council heard arguments for and against a proposed ordinance that would outlaw drag shows. Ray Guillermo, the owner of the club putting on the shows, said, "I think a lack of knowledge is the problem here. There is no nudity. This is not adult entertainment." Turns out, some people think drag shows include nudity or eroticism—clearly they don't have basic cable! But some of the other residents made comments which indicate homophobia is driving this potential ban. One man said of drag queens, "If they're on the side of the road with a flat tire, I'll stop and help ... but I don't support this type of activity." He just described the plot of To Wong Foo!

After years of protecting his musicals from same-sex interpretation, Stephen Sondheim has consented to a gender-bending version of Company. A London revival opening next September will find bachelor Bobby as a female named Bobbie. Sondheim said, "What is there to lose? It can only make the play either interesting or, if you dislike it, dislikable. So I'm always open." In this version, most of the other characters will also undergo a gender shift; for instance, flight attendant April will now be a man named Andy. But one character will remain the same—the judgmental Joanne will still be Joanne. And she will be played by Patti LuPone, who will be available since the Broadway production of War Paint will close Dec. 30. At least, I think the press release said it would be Patti LuPone. I suppose it could be her brother, Robert LuPone. Maybe he's the standby...

When Sondheim is gender-fluid, it's definitely time to end yet another column. For all this and more fluids, check out www.BillyMasters.com, the site that's definitely too gay. If you have a question, send it along to me at BillyMasters.com and I promise to get back to you before Jedediah Bila joins The Talk! Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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