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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

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"I'd rather be the good Nixon than the bad Cuomo."—Cynthia Nixon talks about challenging Andrew Cuomo for governor of New York.

Whoever said you can't go home again wasn't with Billy Masters last week. As you know, I frequently visit the ancestral Masters Manor in Medford, Massachusetts. In recent years, the city has rehabilitated Chevalier Auditorium, which was once part of the old high school. Your beloved Billy spent countless hours of his childhood in this 1,900-seat venue, which is once again playing host to numerous acts of high regard. I suspect that these people are told that they're playing in the "sixth-largest theatre [sic] in the Metropolitan Boston area." Then they get out of the car and say, "What the fuck is a Medford?"

When I saw that Wanda Sykes was there as part of the 9th Annual Women in Comedy Festival, I knew it was a perfect time for us both to revisit our pasts. For me, I got to roam around a theater that played a big part in my life. For Wanda, the memories may have been less pleasant. Her last Boston gig was the 2016 Comics Come Home benefit, where she was roundly booed for her anti-Trump stance. Now, in 2018, she had a new problem. On the morning of the show, she woke up with no voice whatsoever. But, being in Boston, she was able to go to Mass General Hospital and see the same doctor who treated Adele! And that's how, even with diminished vocal abilities, Miss Sykes got through a 90-minute set. She was surely bolstered by the sold-out audience who cheered her on. A few times she struggled and apologized, only to be met with calls of "We love you, Wanda." It was a great night for comedy, and a true exhibition of triumph of the human spirit.

Last week, Will Smith revealed that the one and only time he met Michael Jackson, they were both in the closet—an ACTUAL closet. It took place at the BET Awards. Michael wanted to meet Will, so he went and hid in a utility closet and asked security to bring Will to him. And that's how Will and Michael ended up in the closet together. If one of them ever had a dream of playing seven minutes in heaven, they got their wish!

After Bette Midler left Broadway's Hello, Dolly!, the hope was that the show would host a revolving door of legendary ladies for a few months at a time and play for years—like its initial run on Broadway. We currently have Bernadette Peters on Broadway, and Betty Buckley will be helming the national tour. So while theater folk were wondering who would replace Bernadette when she left, it was announced that person would be...Bette Midler! She will return to the show July 17-Aug. 25, when the show will close—allegedly. I say that because I don't believe it will necessarily close. What if it continues to do good business? What if someone comes up with an idea that could keep the show going? What if Dolly Parton decides she wants to play "Dolly"? What if Patti LaBelle is interested? I believe producer Scott Rudin is bringing Bette Midler in for two reasons: 1 ) As a stalling tactic to see if the show has more life in it, and B ) To film it with the original cast. He's always wanted to record this for posterity, but logistically it couldn't be done during Bette's first go-round. So why not do it now? Especially since Bette is bringing back original cast members David Hyde Pierce and Gavin Creel.

In our "Ask Billy" question, Jake in Baltimore asks, "I heard one of the guys in Black Panther did gay porn. Who was it? And do you have it?"

Shumba Patrick Mutukwa plays an unnamed border tribe warrior in Black Panther. He was also hired to be a dialect coach since he was born in Zambia. So it was like a dream come true—until it turned into a nightmare. He was doing an interview when photos from his porno past surfaced! The Zambian Observer wrote that Mutukwa is "actually a p*rn star in America who makes a living out of making p*rnOgraph! material." Yes, that's how they wrote it—which tells me a 12-year-old girl is writing for the Zambian Observer. We did some skillful sleuthing and learned that in addition to some amateur solo flicks, he worked for Entertainment West Studios under the creative porn moniker of Shumba Jones. On his social-media page, Shumba Patrick calls himself an actor/fitness model/poet/singer/motivator—in short, the same description porn stars have used since the beginning of time.

In a statement released by his publicist, Shumba confirmed the video: "Recently there was an unsavory video released of Shumba Mutukwa to the Zambian public from his 20s. He was a young man that made a choice not all may agree with. ... Again, he was a young man himself and is not the same youthful person he was." Here's the thing—he's barely more than 30. The videos look awfully recent—some of the ones we found online claim to be only a year old. So, how different of a person is he? Well, I guess he's an employed person—that's a big difference. The publicist added, "He is not now, nor was he ever a gay porn actor." In fact, the publicist said Shumba made the videos with an ex-girlfriend and denied reports that it was a gay porn. You can check him out on .

And ... it's time to end yet another column. Let me quickly remind you to check—the site that puts the Zambian Observer to shame! If you have a question, dash it off to, and I promise to get back to you before we find out who else Will met in a closet. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.

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