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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters

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"Well, I used to jerk off to Leonardo DiCaprio."—Pete Davidson in Paper magazine. He clarifies, "Uhh, like his acting. I used to have a HUGE crush on Leonardo DiCaprio. I had this huge poster of him from The Beach in my room." Well, that clarifies ... err, nothing.

While the impeachment hearings limp to an end, one question remains: Did Hope kill Thomas by pushing him into a vat of acid? These preemptions have made it impossible to follow The Bold and the Beautiful. The one thing I'm certain of is that if Thomas did end up in boiling hydrofluoric acid, he's neither bold nor beautiful.

The original Broadway cast of The Tale of the Allergist's Wife reunited for a special reading to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The idea for the reunion was sparked by Linda Lavin, the leading lady of the original Broadway production. When she recently staged the play at her North Carolina theater company, she played the role of the leading lady's mother, Frieda ( played on Broadway by the late Shirl Bernheim ).

Linda knew that playwright Charles Busch always coveted the title role, so why not assemble the rest of the original cast and have Charles play Linda's role while Linda played the mother? Charles was in, but said that since Lavin played the role to perfection, he'd have to play it the way she did—"in homage. There will be times Linda's going to feel like she's acting with herself." While Busch slipped into the title role effortlessly, Lavin still stole every scene of which she was a part. As I quipped to Linda, "I can't think of another actress who returns to a play in which she stole the show 20 years ago, plays a different part, and steals the show again!" The event proved what a phenomenal piece of writing Busch's play is—it may even survive the proposed film version starring Bette Midler and Sharon Stone.

Just a few blocks away, the Roundabout Theatre was doing its own benefit reading on the same night. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest starred the formidable Angela Lansbury as the meddling Lady Bracknell. I'm told that Angela gave a terrific performance—obviously, I wasn't there because, contrary to popular belief, I cannot be in two places at the same time. ( I can, however, be with two men at the same time, should that ever be relevant. ) Everyone says Angie seemed thrilled to be back onstage. The audience loved her, and she looked positively elated at the endless curtain calls. Two benefits for two great causes—only in NYC.

Elsewhere in the Big Apple, Celine Dion turned up at drag karaoke, and why not? She's probably the most convincing Celine Dion the place has seen!! Miss Dion went to Lips to celebrate the release of her latest CD, Courage, saying, "I'm so excited, and I'm so honored that you're here tonight. I want to thank you so very much for your support through the years." Celine also entered the karaoke competition by singing a new song, Flying On My Own. Watch the video on and let me know if you would have voted for her or not.

While voting hasn't happened yet, Lil Nas X has already made Grammy history. Last week, Nas got nominated for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Music Video. In short, this is an unprecedented number of plaudits going to an openly gay singer. You can check out his 12-inch on—free membership for all Grammy voters!

Jussie Smollett made good on his promise to sue the City of Chicago and the lead officer for how they handled his purported "attack." The suit really is a response to the City of Chicago asking that he pay back the $260K it cost to investigate. Instead of paying the bill ( assuming he has the money ), Jussie filed a countersuit claiming economic losses, legal bills, mental anguish and distress. I say we start a class action suit charging mental anguish and distress for the handful of us still watching Empire. Talk about cruel and unusual punishment!

You know what I'm thankful for? That the Dallas Straight Pride Parade attracted two people! It was actually the two guys holding the banner, which probably makes them the organizers. In that case, NO PEOPLE showed up for the event. On the flip side, about 20 counterprotesters showed up. Look, I'm all for exercising free speech, but why didn't the protesters just laugh and walk away? Haven't those poor straight people suffered enough?

I'm also thankful that Fresh Off the Boat has been cancelled. Far be it from me to wish unemployment to Asian actors working in this industry. But thank God that Constance Wu can finally become the huge star she says she's destined to be. Apparently the only thing holding her back was being on a hit sitcom. Good luck, Wu. See you at the Oscars ... perhaps as a seat filler.

When daytime dramas are being pre-empted by the biggest soap opera of all, it's definitely time to end yet another column. Since this is our Thanksgiving column, let me tell you what I'm thankful for. First and foremost, I'm thankful that certain parts of my anatomy can bring so much pleasure to so many people. I'm thankful for the ability to laugh at others' misfortunes. I'm also thankful I'm not in therapy, where it would be pointed out that laughing at others' misfortunes is not healthful. But, most of all, I'm thankful for all of you who have been reading this column for close to 25 years—you really are the best part of this job. Thanks to the many papers who continue to publish me—even in these days when all print media is in jeopardy. Lastly, thanks to the staff—the legal eagles who keep me out of prison and the proofers who make sure that my penis is the only thing dangling. Should you have a question, a query or a Quiznos sandwich you'd like to share ( I'm partial to footlongs ), get in touch with me at and I promise to get back to you before I ever again write the word "Wu". So, until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.

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Billy Masters 2019-11-13 - "The booing is fucking us up. It's messing with everyone's mic. You can grimace and all that. All we hear is booing."—Whoopi Goldberg ...

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Billy Masters 2019-10-02 - "I spent the first 23 years of my life playing a straight man."—Gus Kenworthy's response to criticism about him playing Emma Roberts' boyfriend ...


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