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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2020-06-24

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"On our street, we accept all, we love all, and we respect all. Happy #PrideMonth!"—From your friends on Sesame Street. This message was brought to you by the letter "I"—for Instagram.

Remember the coronavirus? While I continue to wear a mask wherever I go, I see more and more people eschewing the confining accoutrement and simply throwing the wind into the caution. I was under the impression that the first entertainment venues considering reopening were cinemas. Then I read of DL Hughley collapsing in a comedy club. You may ask—where on God's green earth is a comedy club open to a live audience? In Nashville, Tennessee ( where they've apparently been open since May 28 ). During his SECOND show of the evening ( he also did two shows the previous night ), Hughley paused, leaned on his stool and collapsed onto the floor. The capacity audience at Zanies in Nashville was shocked. That continued the following day when they learned that Hughley—who had only hours before been spewing verbal barbs in their general direction—had also been spewing corona-laden saliva!

I hope that nobody reads Billy Masters' column for great insights on race relations. Last week, my dear friend Jenifer Lewis took me to task in a loving, but firm way: "Of course you need to be told these things because they're not part of your background ... but you shouldn't need to be told these things." So, whether I should or shouldn't know everything about racial inequality, I am making an effort.

And what a roller coaster it was for Black-ish. Last week, ABC announced that while the sitcom was being renewed, it would return as a midseason replacement in order to make room for a new sitcom: Call Your Mother, starring Kyra Sedgwick. It was a questionable choice in these days of intense racial scrutiny ( to say nothing of it happening within 48 hours of Juneteenth ). It didn't take long for ABC to change its tune. Black-ish will return in the fall, as the network decided that "it was important to tell these meaningful stories during this moment in time."

In a move that nobody found controversial, Black-ish star Jenifer Lewis ( my Play Mama ) will be the recipient of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! The honor, bestowed upon great entertainers by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce ( based on fan petitions ) will take place sometime in 2021. May I recommend July 15?

Way back in 2013, an all-star cast assembled in NYC to celebrate the 20th anniversary of David Drake's play The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me. The event served as a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and starred Drake alongside such performers as Anthony Rapp, BD Wong, Robin de Jesus, Andre De Shields and Rory O'Malley. An archival video from that night will be livestreamed to raise money for the Provincetown Theater—where Drake is artistic director. Check out ProvincetownTheater.org on June 28.

The multi-hyphenate Drake, a dear friend of yours truly, was slated to appear on Billy Masters LIVE June 23. While we're tooting our own horn, on Thursday, June 25, Frank DeCaro will return to regale us with stories from his encyclopedic volume, Drag: Combing Through the Big Wigs of Show Business. And he'll be joined by two legendary performers—Alaska Thunderfuck and Chad Michaels. Be sure to check out BillyMasters.com/TV, or Billy Masters TV on YouTube.

We just wrapped up another interesting week on Billy Masters LIVE. Last Tuesday, we featured anchormen Thomas Roberts and Steve Kmetko to discuss the changing face of television. It was fascinating when you consider the three of us span three decades in age, and yet our stories were all remarkably similar. On Thursday, we had Eddie Shapiro discussing his Broadway book, Nothing Like a Dame, alongside Tony Award winner Levi Kreis. We talked about where Broadway has been, where it's going, and what to do with Levi. ( I dreamt up a few more suggestions the other night. ) You can see it all on BillyMasters.com or YouTube.com/c/BillyMastersTV.

Could it be that anonymous public sex is making a comeback? It is, if the New York City government has anything to say about it. According to the NYC Department of Health, we should still have sex during the coronavirus. In fact, the guide on their website states the following: "Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact."

When I'm boring a hole into Andrew Cuomo's private lavatory, it's time to end yet another column. What a week—both glory holes and live comedy are making comebacks. It's also possible Hughley had more people in his audience than El Presidente. Of course, exponentially more people are watching Billy Masters LIVE. And you won't catch anything watching us—except perhaps carpal tunnel syndrome! Have I mentioned that we have our own YouTube channel? Who would have thought I'd have so much in common with Barry Diller—except I save the crocodile skin for my belts. Check us out on YouTube.com or go to the TV tab on BillyMasters.com—the site that always delivers ( safely ). If you have a question or perhaps need to borrow a drill bit, drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I book DL Hughley on Billy Masters LIVE. Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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