Ask the Flying Monkey (January 27, 2009)

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Ask the Monkey!

Q: My friends and I were watching
old Barefoot Contessa reruns on the
Food Network the other day, and we happened to stumble across our favorite
guest, T.R. Pescod. We know that, after Anderson Cooper, he is sort of the head
“silver fox,” but that is pretty much all we know about him, besides the fact
we are pretty sure he’s gay. Can you tell us more about this mystery man? Josh,
Delmar, Delaware

T.R. Pescod

A: He’s not
so much of a mystery in New York City, where he’s very much the jet-setter and
man about town. He’s famous, in part, for being famous, but he’s also a
successful model and sometime actor; he actually appeared in two different
episodes of Sex and the City, once as
himself, when Carrie falls off a runway into his arms, and once as a gay guy
who asks Samantha for Smith’s phone number.

And yes, he
is gay, living in Greenwich Village with his partner Tim O’Brien.

In fact,
several years ago, Pescod was one of the hosts on the pilot for TVQ, a talk show pitched as a gay
version of The View — six gay guys
gabbing. The other hosts included the creative director at Barney’s (and the
author of the memoir/BBC show Beautiful
) Stanley Doonan; journalist and Oprah
producer Patrick Riley; humorist Frank DeCaro; celebrity stylist James Aguiar;
and Village Voice gossiper Michael
Musto. Alas, the show was never picked up.

Q: It seems like there’s more and
more male nudity on stage these days. What do actors really think? In
interviews, they always say, “I’ll do it if it’s right for the play”—but do
they mean it? — Ronald, The Ice Planet

A: Yes and
no. “The worst part was appearing naked on stage in front of strangers every
day, and having people take illegal pictures of you that appear places that you
wish they wouldn’t,“ says Rescue Me’s
Daniel Sunjata, who did the full monty for the gay baseball play, Take Me Out, that won the 2003 Tony

Daniel Sunjata

How did
Sunjata prepare? “A lot of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, water, and gym
time!” he says. “And when it comes time to strip down, you just try to focus on
the other characters in the scene and forget that people are watching you, and
get on with it.”

despite some reluctance, the actor says he didn’t hesitate for a minute to take
the part in what he calls a “brilliant” play. “I don’t even like taking off my
shirt on Rescue Me,” he says. “But I
don’t know how [playwright] Richard Greenberg could have communicated the
underpinnings of how a homoerotic presence changes the dynamic of a machismo
environment like the locker room, the last bastion of sanctioned homophobia.
How could you show that without showing guys changing their clothes in front of
each other? There were ten minutes of nudity in a two-hour play, but they were

Next page! Donald Strachey mysteries find a new home, and catching up with Daniel Letterle.

Q: I’m one of those people who like
to read books in the order that they were written. I decided to next read
the Donald Strachey mysteries, but the first book, Death Trick, is out of print (and expensive!). Do you know how to
obtain an affordable copy? – Keyboardman,
Rising Sun, MD

A: Boy, do
you have good timing! MLR Press, a small independent publisher, has picked up
the rights to the Donald Strachey series and will re-release Death Trick next week, followed in quick
succession by the other eight books in the series; Death Vows, which came out last year, is already available. All
nine books should be out by this summer when the press will release The 38 Million Dollar Smile, a new
installment that is set in Thailand.

How did
these books end up at this little publisher, known mostly for gay erotica and
romance? It’s as simple as the previous publisher discontinuing an imprint and
taking the books out of print — pretty typical in gay publishing. Dick Lipez
(the author who writes the Donald Strachey books under the pseudonym Richard
Stevenson) approached MLR Press with the rights to his books, and a deal was

here! TV and actor Chad Allen have generously allowed the publisher to use
Allen’s likeness for the four books that the network has already adapted for

Chad Allen as Donald Strachey

Q: I know Daniel Letterle did two
movies: Camp, where he had a nice
singing voice, and The Mostly Unfabulous
Social Life of Ethan Green
. Can you tell me what he has been up to and if
he plans on doing any more movies? — Diane,
Baltimore, MD

A: Daniel
didn’t respond to the Flying Monkey’s inquiries, but he relays on his website that he returned to his home state of Ohio in 2006. He says he’s involved in
“several projects,” but doesn’t specify what they are (though he also mentions
something about being an “aspiring firefighter”).

Daniel did do a third movie, 2004’s Debating
Robert Lee
(and a TV movie, 2004’s Monster

Daniel Letterle in Camp

Q: Regarding your answer on actors
who play gay a lot, Adam Scott is another. Is he gay in real life? – Jenny,
New York, NY

Adam Scott

Photo credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

A: Scott,
who played gay in Seven and a Match
and Monster-in-Law (and was straight,
but naked in HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me),
is straight in real-life, married to producer Naomi Sablan.

favorite gay role? His role on Six Feet
as one of David’s boyfriends. “It was a lot of fun,” he told at the recent Television Critics Association conference in Los
Angeles. “Michael Hall was great to work with. It was right when the show was
kind of peaking, and I was lucky enough to get in there. It was a very creative

whose movie career is definitely on a roll lately with supporting roles in The Aviator, Step Brothers, and Knocked Up,
can be seen starting in March in the Starz show Party Town, produced by Veronica Mars‘ Rob Thomas and co-starring
Jane Lynch. But alas, his character isn’t gay.

Next page! Culkin lands on Kings. Plus, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jason Priestley play gay.

Q: Do you know anything about
the new NBC show Kings that is coming
to NBC? I read in one article that Macaulay Culkin will be starring in the
show, and somewhere else that one of the main characters will be gay. I can’t
find any confirmation or other articles on any of this. But the Monkey always
knows! – Cody, Minneapolis, MN

A: Indeed,
the Monkey does! Then again, readers might know too, since we’ve
already reported a fair bit on the show.

Kings is a retelling of the biblical King
David story (Goliath included), set in a modern-day alternate reality “kingdom.”
We here at have seen the pilot, and it’s definitely different —
in a Lost or Weeds kind of way, not in a Viva
one. We think it’ll be big. (NBC might not be so confident, however; they recently moved the show from Thursday night to Sunday, sparking speculation that the network might be losing faith.)

Kings’ Chris Egan

Yes, one of
the main characters is gay, and yes, the Flying Monkey knows who it is. But
it’s a plot twist, not initially revealed, so the Monkey is thinking you
probably don’t really want to know the answer.

As for
Culkin, he’s not a star of the show, just a guest on a multi-episode arc as the
king’s exiled nephew. But, assuming he is well received, the Monkey would not
be at all surprised if Culkin eventually joins the cast.

Macaulay Culkin

Q: I am a huge fan of
the film Common Ground. Come on:
Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jason Priestley
playing gay is a 90’s teenage boy’s fantasy come true! Will it be released
on DVD? — Topher, Toronto, Canada

Jonathan Taylor Thomas (left) and Jason Priestley

A: Remember
that scene in Making Love when Kate
Jackson, playing a television executive, argues that the network should go back
to the days of Playhouse 90,
presenting quality teleplays by the world’s most respected writers? Common Ground, the 2000 Showtime movie,
isn’t too far from that: three thematically-linked teleplays all set in the
same town, written by three well-known gay playwrights, Paula Vogel, Terrence
McNally, and Harvey Fierstein.

The result
might have been a little earnest, but it still made for some good gay
television. It’s available on VHS, but not DVD, though it does occasionally
still air on television (most recently on Logo).

Next page! Straight Jacket’s Adam Greer, and a fourth season for Dante’s Cove?

Q: When can we expect a fourth season
of Dante’s Cove? It’s total
trash, but I love every minute of it! — In2nuke
Springs, FL

David, Reichen Lemkuhl, and Jon Fleming of
Dante’s Cove

A: Alas,
here! TV has not yet decided the future of Dante’s
, though the first three seasons are now all available on DVD.

That said,
the network has already given the go-ahead for a third season of their gay
vampire series The Lair, which
they’re shooting now (with Sybil Danning and Ron Jeremy!). One cast member who
might not be available for a fourth season is Gregory Michael who played Kevin
Archer on DC. Why not? Well, as we
recently reported,
Gregory landed a gig on ABC Family’s Greek as Calvin’s (Paul James) new love

Q: Last night I saw a movie entitled
Straight-Jacket that totally escaped
me when it was released a few years back. Aside from the lead, the very
handsome Matt Letscher (who is now on ABC’s Eli
), I didn’t recognize any of the other actors. What are they up
to, especially the love interest played by the hunky Adam Greer. – Brian, North
Hollywood, CA

Adam Greer

Letscher, who played Eli’s brother Nate on Eli
(and will soon appear as a potential love interest for Kitty in an
arc on Brothers & Sisters), may
be the most well known alum from the movie, but most of the others are still
plugging along in the acting trenches. Since Straight-Jacket, Adam has mostly concentrated on theater, most
significantly, in the 2007 Broadway revival of Cymbeline. But he, along with fellow Straight-Jacket cast member Michael Emerson, did appear in the 2005
movie, 29th & Gay.

Straight-Jacket, meanwhile, was written and directed
by Richard Day (based on his play). Richard has written for Arrested Development and Aliens in America, but if you like his
sensibility, the Flying Monkey strongly encourages you to check out his
hilarious drag movie and Internet series, Girls
Will Be Girls
, both of which also star Straight
’s Jack Plotnick.

And, of
course, you recognized Veronica Cartwright from both Alien and her stint on Will
& Grace
as Jack’s mom, right?

Have a question about gay male entertainment? Ask the Monkey!