WITH AN EXCLAMATION POINT!
Excuse me if I’m having trouble typing right now.
It’s just that I can’t stop doing jazz hands.
I went to see Liza this week and I still haven’t
quite recovered. Oh, wait. I meant to say I went to see LIZA! With an ‘!’. [Fosse
hands gyrating at my sides uncontrollably now.]
Photo credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
Even though I’m an out and proud musical theater
queen, Liza never really did it for me, mostly because she sort of terrifies
me. I totally get how a gay man might wind up married to her; I just could
never understand how anyone would ever have the cojones to divorce her.
But I do
understand what so many people see in her as a performer. Years ago, I was
teaching English as Second Language, and one of my students came up to me and
shyly asked, “With teacher permission, I am missing class and going Victor/Victoria. No Julie Andrews now.
Liza understudy! I go Liza, yes?” And I said, “Of course you go Liza. Not only
that, I’m giving you an A.”
So I wasn’t really planning on seeing Liza’s new
show at the Palace. On Broadway! But then I ran into a friend who’d just been
and told me that it was the single gayest thing he’s ever done in his life.
That impressed me. I mean, this is somebody who lives in Chelsea. And goes to piano bars. And has been
to see Bjorn Again, the ABBA tribute band, 11 times.
What’s more, he made a good argument for seeing
Liza live as a means of tapping into gay cultural history. “I was sitting
there,” he told me, “and I was looking up at her on stage and all I could think
was, ‘Wow, she spent nine months inside Judy
I had bought my tickets before he finished saying
the word “womb.”
Minnelli (left) with Judy Garland
Here’s the most important thing you need to know
about seeing Liza! at the Palace … You can bring drinks right to your seat. And
they’re served in plastic sippy cups complete with plastic sippy lids, just
like babies use. That’s awesome for so many reasons that I’m going to devote an
entire column just to that at a future date.
The second thing you need to know is that when
Liza first appears on stage she’s in silhouette framed by a giant pink
triangle. I’m not making this up. Girlfriend knows who her audience is. And
speaking of the audience, by my count, the night I saw Liza! it was 1,236 gay
men, 24 straight Europeans, and one 9-year-old girl wearing patent leather
boots and a matching hat and coat set that had every gay man in the audience
staring at her with undisguised envy. A disturbing number of audience members
were wearing sequins.
Liza herself manages to shimmy while seated in a
chair, changes costume three times (from white sparkly pantsuit to black and
then ravishing red), is often framed by her adorable “boys,” and shoots a gun
right into the audience. Nobody seems to mind this. In fact, a man sitting two
rows in front of me spends most of the show pumping his fist in the air like
straight guys do at hockey games. Audience members cry out, “We love you,” at
regular intervals. And Liza says, “I love you!” right back. She also says,
“Shank you for being here. It meansh sho mucsh to me.” And I believe her. In
fact, I find myself loving her right back.
It’s hard not to love Liza! Liza doesn’t sing songs;
she acts them, and it’s a wondrous sight to behold. At times she’s out of
breath and flustered, as if surprised to find herself in the middle of a
theater performing songs. At others, she seems perilously close to keeling
over. But she somehow pulls through, and ultimately, pulls out all the stops.
Hearing her belt out “New York, New York” to a standing-room New York crowd is something of a religious experience. In the end, I consider myself very lucky to have been a part of it. There aren’t many legendz like Liza! anymore, and I wonder how many show-stopping shows like this the future will hold. Britney at the Palace just doesn’t have the same ring about it, even with a “!”
Next page! Dying in Carrie Fisher’s sleep.
AND SPEAKING OF WOMEN WHO MARRIED, UM, INTERESTING MEN…
I thought I knew everything there is to know about Carrie Fisher, mostly because I’ve both read and seen Postcards from the Edge. When my nerd-friends were fantasizing about Princess Leia in a gold bikini and chains, I was fantasizing about what it was like to grow up with Debbie Reynolds as your mother.
But I was surprised to read a review of her new
autobiography Wishful Drinking (based
on a one-woman show Fisher has been touring in) that mentioned that her second
husband left her for another man. I was curious to read about this, so I went
out and got a copy for myself.
First of all, the cover is just about the best
bookcover ever. Seriously, check this out …
Pretty fab, no? I just wonder how they got that
photo of me from last year’s Halloween.
Anyway, Fisher has had a colorful and at times
quite troubled life — growing up in the celebrity bubble created by her famous,
scandal-ridden parents, battling drug addiction and bipolar disorder — and she
describes her experiences with plenty of sharp-edged humor but without an ounce
of self pity.
This includes her discussion of her second
marriage, as she describes how she and Paul
Simon each remarried, “the only difference between our two choices was that
his was a girl and mine was a boy, but my choice forgot to tell me he was gay.
Well, he forgot to tell me, and I forgot to notice.”
Fisher with Bryan Lourd (1990)
Photo credit Kevin Winter/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
She was initially drawn to Bryan Lourd, she tells us, because he took such good care of her. “I mean
he used to give me baths,” she writes, “Like I was a Labrador.” A year after
the birth of their daughter, Billie,
she elaborates, “Bryan left me for Scott
— well naturally, I was devastated. I loved Bryan — and I really liked those
Look, I’m sure it’s not pleasant finding out the
person you’re married to is pinch-hitting for a different team. But it happens,
and the reasons why it happens — from the societal and familial pressures at
work to the personal psychological issues and willful denial of both parties —
are complex. I respect Fisher tremendously for finding humor in what was no
doubt a difficult experience. It certainly is preferable to someone like Terry McMillan (author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back), who
went on a very public, very homophobic rampage following her own broken
In fact, rather than stigmatizing all gay men,
Fisher talks about her close-knit friendship with another gay man, Greg Stevens, whom she refers to as her
“best and only Republican friend.” Stevens died of an overdose right in
Fisher’s own house, but she finds a way to inject dark humor even into this
harrowing episode. “Not content to simply die in my house,” she writes, “he
also died in my bed. So he didn’t just die in his sleep he died in mine.”
She also tells a priceless anecdote about when
Stevens shared an office with a pre-Presidential Dubya Bush. Whenever Greg had scheduled meetings, W. apparently
loved to “come in and fart in the office and then run, leaving Greg in the
midst of it. Like someone in a cloud of marijuana smoke … It’s not dissimilar
to what President Bush has done to the country.”
Next page! Brothers & Sister’s greatest hits.
Fisher, who is a much-wanted screenplay doctor for
her gift with one-liners, sums up her entire existence with the phrase, “If my
life wasn’t funny it would be just true, and that is unacceptable.” Those are
certainly wiser words to live by than “May the Force Be With You,” don’t you
Photo credit John M. Heller/Getty Images
THE BEST BROTHERS & SISTERS EVER?
Almost halfway into what’s so far been a disappointingly lackluster third
season, this week Brothers & Sisters
hit one out of the park. The Thanksgiving-themed episode titled “Just a Sliver”
combined blisteringly funny writing with compelling personal drama and some
lovely moments for Kevin and Scotty.
It got me thinking back to other stand-out
episodes, the ones that made me such a fan of this show originally and have me
hoping it will find its way back. I thought, for example, about “Grapes of
Wrath,” the season one episode that had Holly and Nora hurling cake at one
another. It was a rare moment where the show ventured into all-out soap opera
camp, and I think it can desperately use more of this.
I also thought about such gratifyingly moving
moments as Kevin’s proposal to Scotty, which most fans agree had more emotional
impact than their commitment ceremony. And I remembered what I consider the
show’s most shocking moment, when Rebecca kissed Sarah’s husband. If Brothers & Sisters wants to be a
watercooler show, it needs to be unafraid to give us jolts like this that have
us wanting to talk B&S at the watercooler.
But the one episode that to me remains Brothers & Sisters at its finest is
the season one two-parter “Mistakes Were Made,” which I think offers insights
into the creative directions the show might go in to get back on track.
The first part kicked off with an extended
flashback sequence to the post-9/11 events that sent Justin off to war and had
Nora and Kitty not speaking for months. I can’t think of many other instances
of flashbacks on this show, but this episode proved what an effective
storytelling device it might be. Last season’s brief flashback of William and
Kevin hinted at William’s difficulties with having a gay son. I’d love to see
more flashbacks detailing how Kevin handled coming out to various family
members and what their respective reactions were.
“Mistakes Were Made” was one of the episodes
produced when Jon Robin Baitz was still show-runner, and it demonstrated his
clear interest in dealing more overtly with politics. It centered on a
compelling moral dilemma, as Kitty tries to cut a deal with Senator McCallister
to keep Justin out of further military duty. She rather courageously goes on
the air and admits to what she did, then apologizes for it, acknowledging it
was wrong, as was her earlier support of the war itself.
In the aftermath of the ‘04 election, when the
country felt more red-state/blue-state divisive than ever, it was exciting to
see a TV serial drama examining more substantial topics, demonstrating how
people can rethink their politics and how even family members with opposed
views can come to mutual understandings on key issues. But since then, the
show’s politics have been snooze-inducingly lightweight, even with something as
weighty as Prop 8.
Next page! Desperate Housewives gives us something to cheer about.
The third plot strand involved Tommy, Sarah and
Kevin road-tripping, a venture that includes a barroom pit stop where Sarah
drunkenly plays pool, and Kevin bags himself a handsome off-duty G.I. I loved
seeing Sarah kicking back this way; it made me think that of all the Walkers,
she’s the one I’d most want to hang out with.
But I was utterly amazed that the show not only
depicted Kevin’s one-night-stand but had his siblings non-judgmentally
expressing their envy of him. It made me appreciate how groundbreaking a
character Kevin is, a gay man on a primetime network show allowed to simply be
his complicated, screwed-up self, without having to stand on a soap box or be
some sort of neutered saint.
I’m grateful this season that Kevin’s relationship
with Scotty is now providing an image of a loving, stable gay relationship. But
I can’t help think we’ve lost something too, as Kevin’s dating life in earlier
seasons brought him into contact with such a rich variety of secondary
characters. Surely there’s a way, without disrupting Kevin and Scotty’s
relationship, for the show to introduce more gay characters. What if Kevin
actually had some gay friends? Or if a former lover of Scotty’s showed up at
their place needing a place to stay?
In more general terms, I think what this show most
desperately needs right now is to open its scope beyond the Walkers. The more
they whine and dine with each other, the more suffocating the show is starting
to feel. All of the great family sagas, whether it be Dallas or Six Feet Under,
used the family as the centerpiece for more extended storylines involving
various friends, co-workers, spouses, and lovers. Let’s start seeing some new
faces at those drunken Walker dinners, and some newbies stirring up trouble
So, fellow B&S fans, what were your favorite episodes? And what suggestions
would you recommend for fixing any mistakes that were made this season?
IMHO — THIS WEEK IN GAY TV
It’s hard to believe but only a few short months
ago, GLAAD was reporting record numbers of gay TV characters. This sparked a
fair amount of discussion here at AfterElton.com about quantity versus quality;
there might have been increased numbers but the characters being counted were
often barely there to the point of invisibility.
Now we find ourselves with the opposite problem.
With many gay fave shows cancelled or on hiatus, and gay reality contestants
being eliminated early on at alarming rates, our TV landscape is looking a
little less violet these days.
But it’s not all bad news. This week gave us two
shows — Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters — featuring
positive portrayals of central gay couples who are happy together and also
embraced by their families. I’ll take portrayals like this in a handful of
shows over a schedule packed full of characters like Grey’s Anatomy’s Joe the Barely There Bartender any day.
Desperate Housewives: One of the great things about television is that it allows us to
get to know characters over the long-term and see them grow and change in
intriguing ways (Ugly Betty, for example, has been doing
wonders this season in terms of humanizing Marc and Amanda). On the first
season of DH, when Andrew was first
shown kissing his friend Justin, my happiness at having a gay character on the
show was quickly tempered by the fact he was also, well, kind of a psycho. His
bitter, often cruel battles with Bree became increasingly difficult for me to
So it was pure joy this week not only to see a
settled-down and sane Andrew getting a hottie doctor fiancé but also that Bree
has grown so much more accepting — offering, in its own cartoonish way, hope to
anyone who’s parents weren’t ready to join PFLAG the day they came out. And
just like, this show has become more appealing to me than it’s been in years.
Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) and Alex (Tod Grinnell)
on Desperate Housewives
Brothers & Sisters: You know this must have been a good episode if
that notoriously cranky recapper guy actually gave it an A. It’s that rare TV
show that can find crackling humor in an episode about a little girl getting an
organ transplant and give us a tender scene of two men lovingly comforting one
another in a hospital room. The only problem now is that my expectations have
been raised again for this show, and yet those promos for the next episode (to
come in ’09) have me very, very afraid.
Next page! Jon Stewart pins Mike Huckabee to the mat over gay marriage!
Summer Heights High: Chris Lilley does an uncanny job of fully realizing three very
different characters in this mockumentary series (a la The Office) set in a crowded Australian public high school.
get so many knots in my stomach watching him do Mr. G, the school’s vain, self-deluded
drama teacher (a la David Brent) that sometimes I think I’m not going to make
it to the end of the episode without my appendix bursting. What keeps me going,
though, are any scenes of preening rich girl Ja’ime, who has quickly become one
of my favorite characters on TV today. “She’s just, like, so random.”
Chris Lilley as “Mr. G.” (left) and “Ja’ime”
The Daily Show: Jon Stewart takes on Mike Huckabee and it’s a complete and total
smackdown! The Prop-8 musical making the rounds on the web this week is fun to
watch, and it’s gratifying to see so many celebrities showing their support.
But Stewart is the one who offers up the most detailed and well-argued defense
of gay marriage around, as he goes point by point through each and every
argument that Huckabee raises to rationalize his anti-gay-marriage stance.
Watch this interview and you’ll be armed with an arsenal of talking points to
use against any Huckabees you might run up against yourself.
Gossip Girl: Now that Kristen Bell’s had her head sliced open over on Heroes, she
has more free time for even more saucy GG
narration. In fact, I’ve hired her to read this next bit in her distinctive
sing-song-y gossipy style. Okay, Kristen, you’re on … “Hello there, all you UESers and AEers, Gossip Girl here. Spotted this
week, attending post-funeral festivities, a certain Spring Awakening former BF
of gay lil bro Eric. Could love be blooming again for our fave lonely gay boy?
Or does he only have eyes for a certain elfin big-bad-stepbro? Maybe it’s time
for lil gay bro to look up Chuck. (Did you see what I just did there? I made a
clever double entendre involving vomit. I love me! And you, of course. XOXO. )”
Ed Westwick as “Chuck” on Gossip Girl
Next page! A Hamm and Reeves sandwich.
Grey’s Anatomy: I have no clue what happened on this show this week because I’ve
officially stopped watching. I’m giving this down arrow for an entire season
that’s managed to ruin what was once a favorite guilty pleasure of mine. It was
never by any means a great show, but I found it entertaining enough, mostly
thanks to Sandra Oh and Chandra Wilson. And even if it was short on gay
characters, I appreciated its liberal, compassionate sensibility. But now with
ridiculous storylines involving orgasmic ghosts and increasingly nasty
backstage backstabbing, I’m done. I hear there’s a nice doctor out there named
House, and if I’m jonesing for medical drama, I just might start making my
appointments with him.
Boston Legal: Nothing like picking up a new show in the series finale. I never
watched this show (my primary relationship with it was cursing whenever James
Spader or William Shatner stole another Emmy from one of my personal
favorites). But when I heard that the finale featured a same-sex marriage, of
sorts, I decided to give it a look-see. And gosh darned if I wasn’t genuinely
moved by it. On the one hand, I could see how this might tap into homophobic
arguments I’ve heard on occasion that legalizing gay marriage will somehow lead
to rampant health insurance fraud. But any show that depicts such an
affectionate relationship between two men and does its part to help remove the
stigma associated with men expressing love for one another has to be a good
Have you ever noticed how movie villains tend to
follow certain trends? Like for a while, they were all effete European
businessmen. Then generic, vaguely Arabic terrorists. And now, it’s People Who
Don’t Recycle, as a crop of green-based world-in-peril movies like The Happening and Quantum of Solace have evidenced. Which is the only thing I can
think of that accounts for the new remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still, which updates the original “people
of earth, stop with your puny weapons of war or we’ll zap you into oblivion”
sci-fi thriller with an environmental twist (“people of earth, start installing
those funky spiral light bulbs or we’ll zap you into oblivion”).
I love the original movie but can only think of
one reason to see this remake. It’s ham. As in Jon Hamm. (Cue Homer Simpson voice and drool: Mmmm, Jon Hamm.) Scratch that. For me to see this, it will take a
scene of Hamm and Keanu Reeves with
enough ho-yay to rival Point Break.
As if that were even possible.
Keanu Reeves (left) and Jon Hamm
I’m more curious about the screen adaptation of
the Tony-winning stage play Doubt, a
“did he or didn’t he” drama about a nun who suspects a priest of inappropriate
physical contact with one of his students that highlights the dangers of
rushing to judgment without evidence. WMD’s anyone? It’s not for nothing that
playwright John Patrick Shanley
subtitled the play “A Parable.” Granted, it doesn’t have quite the same
political resonance today as it did when it premiered on stage in 2004, on the
heels of an election that equated having doubts (ie. “flip flopping”) with
being a p*ssy.
Nonetheless, I’m sure it still packs a wallop, and
it will be interesting to see what Meryl
Streep brings to a role that was so memorably played by Tony-winner Cherry Jones. Then again, given that
Shanley is directing himself and hasn’t directed anything since, gulp, Joe Versus the Volcano, there is cause
for some, er, doubt.
Meryl Streep in Doubt
I’m perhaps most interested, though, in the film
adaptation of The Reader. I thought Bernhard Schlink’s compact, deceptively
simple novel was absolutely sensational, and now it’s in the capable hands of
director Stephen Daldry, who helmed The Hours and Billy Elliot, both on screen and the current Broadway stage. And
has Kate Winslet ever disappointed?
Finally, this week’s Family Stone-esque “big quirky family gathers for holiday-related
laughs and tears” release is Nothing Like the Holidays, the kind
of movie I’d usually avoid like week-old fruit cake, except it has such a
tantalizing cast of TV and/or gay favorites that includes John Leguizamo, Freddy
Rodriguez, Debra Messing, and
Next page! Simon Baker gone completely mental.
We’re several months from May, yet oddly enough,
there are actually a few season finales this week — The Starter Wife concludes its first (and last?) season on Friday,
and Sunday brings us the season finale of Survivor:
Gabon with a reunion show to follow, so you can rest assured that those
adorable bromantics Charlie and Marcus
will be getting plenty of jury/post-game-bitching time.
Survivor: Gabon’s Charlie (left) and Marcus
The only upside of ABC canceling the trio of
AfterElton.com favorites Pushing Daisies,
Dirty Sexy Money, and Eli Stone is that they’re now burning
off remaining episodes of those shows, so we get some decent new TV in a week
brimming with reruns and holiday specials.
Mrs. Scotty Alert! On Wednesday, awesome actress
Jayne Brook (who has memorably appeared twice on Brothers & Sisters as Scotty’s cold as ice mom) returns to her
recurring role on Private Practice. I
don’t know which I’m more envious of — getting to lay claim to spawning the
likes of Luke Macfarlane or making
out with Tim Daly.
Galactica’s webisodes begin today
AT NOON featuring that, ahem, “infamous” boy-on-boy (or is it boy-on-cylon?)
the real holiday gift the Sci Fi Channel has in store for us this week
involves sharks. Killer sharks! In Venice! Threatening to devour Stephen Baldwin! I’m not making this
up. This Sunday, Sci Fi is running a double-feature of made-for-TV-craptaculars
Raging Sharks and Sharks in Venice, and it couldn’t be
campier if the sharks were dressed in drag and singing ABBA songs.
Sunday brings us a new episode of Summer Heights High on HBO, but if
you’re more in the mood for less “mock” and more of an actual documentary about
high school life, you might want to check out Monday’s 20/20 on ABC, which features a segment titled “Drama High: The
Making of a High School Musical” that follows a Virginia’s high school
production of The Wiz. Although I’d
have given almost anything if they were doing Carrie.
Also on Monday, HBO debuts the very sad documentary Cat Dancers which tells the tragic tale of animal trainers Ron and Joy Holiday as well as Chuck Lizza, the man they both grew to love. AfterElton.com editor Michael Jensen watched the doc and found it be a sad, moving, and odd love story as touching as it is unconventional. It’s also a testament to the ability some folks have to overcome unimaginable tragedy. Michael added that after watching the movie, he’ll never get within fifty feet an uncaged Bengal tiger no matter how tame it’s supposed to be.
Chuck Lizza, Joy and Ron Holiday
CBS has new episodes of How I Met Your Mother (Monday) and The Mentalist (Tuesday). There’s nothing gay per se about either of
them, other than the former starring AfterElton.com reigning gay Neil Patrick Harris, and the latter the
studly Simon Baker in a show where
the hero’s super power is being extra sensitive, something I can totally relate
Simon Baker in The Mentalist
Tuesday night is girls behaving badly night, with Double Shot of Love on MTV, and Kathy Griffin’s favorite, Bad Girls Club, on Oxygen. There’s
nothing for gay men per se about either of these, except they’ll make you oh so
very happy to be playing for the team you’re on.
And, finally, Top
Chef makes up for giving the ax so quickly to two gay cheffersons by giving
us a Quickfire Challenge judged by Martha
Stewart. Even better, the Elimination Challenge is preparing munchies for a
holiday cocktail party hosted by Natasha
Richardson, who to me will always be the one true Sally Bowles (sorry Liza
… we’ll always have the Palace).
Next page! Mario Lopez handcuffed.
Ah yes, the holidays. That joyful time of year
when people get so drunk at office parties they sing inappropriate karaoke
tunes and puke in the boss’s Prada purse. What, that doesn’t happen to you too?
Well, at least I know we all share in the joy of holiday TV specials, and this
week there’s a Santa-sized buttload of them.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Special
We’ve got such beloved classics as Frosty the Snowman (CBS, Friday) and the
Charlie Brown Christmas Special (CBS,
Tuesday), and if you need to ask what makes them gay, then you need to read
Brent’s hilarious blog post.
Although I find the Charlie Brown
Thanksgiving Special much more gay; that fabulous popcorn-and-jellybean
reinterpretation of Thanksgiving dinner that Chuck and Linus throw for
Peppermint Patti, Marci, and Franklin looks an awful lot like the dinners many
gay men opt for with their surrogate families of friends over their actual
Saturday is the only primetime network showing of It’s a Wonderful Life (NBC), the
quintessential holiday feel-gooder about a man so devastated by a faulty
economy he’s on the verge of offing himself. Every time a bell rings an angel
gets its wings … and I take a much-needed rum-spiked egg nog, hold the egg and
It’s a Wonderful Life
If you’ve never had the pleasure of paying $75 and
battling busloads of tourists to see a Rockette get knocked over by a toy
cannon while studiously avoiding on-stage camel poop, now’s your chance, as WE
televises the famous Radio City Christmas
Spectacular on Saturday.
And a great injustice is finally righted this
year, as we at long last get a Muppets
Christmas special (and no, jugband-playing otters don’t count) on NBC this
Wednesday night, with guests Nathan Lane,
Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, Jesse Martin, and Jane
Recent years have seen an increasing trend in
made-for-TV holiday movies in the Hallmark/Lifetime-y vein, movies that tend to
be as bland and heterocentric as they are sappy. But the gayest of the bunch is
being rerun on ABC Family this Sunday. I’m talking, of course, about Holiday in Handcuffs, which not only has
a teeny, tiny little subplot involving a gay character but also features Mario Lopez … half naked and
handcuffed. It’s like a holiday movie taken directly from my brain.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE …
I was thrilled to see on the blog this week that
one of my favorite writers, David Sedaris, has been nominated for a spoken-word
Grammy for When You Are Engulfed in
Flames. It got me craving my favorite antidote to the sugar-induced
seizures that holiday good cheer tends to instill in me — Sedaris’ brilliant
piece The Santaland Diaries about his
harrowing stint as a department store elf in Macy’s. Elf name: Crumpet.
Next page! Jilted Santas and flirtatious elves.
Ice, the classic Sedaris collection that
includes a reprint of Santaland, has
just been published for the first time in a hardcover edition that includes
additional material. You probably won’t find a more perfect holiday gift
anywhere. The holiday-focused pieces are wacky fun (the previously unpublished
story, “The Cow and the Turkey,” is about secret Santas … among barnyard
But nothing tops the original Santaland for LOL, mean-spirited holiday fun, as “Crumpet” tries to
maintain his sanity by straying from the Macys’ script, telling children “I
know people who would kill for your waist,” or announcing to crowds that if
they hurry over to the Magic Window they can catch a glimpse of Cher (an improv
routine that almost gets him fired). And then there are those flirtations with
Richie from Queens (Elf name: Snowball), who shamelessly flirts with any number
of other elves and Santas. “Snowball is playing a dangerous game,” Sedaris tell
us. “You don’t want to be working under a jilted Santa.”
The piece, originally conceived in the early
1990s, has a surprisingly timely resonance too, as Sedaris mentions how “the
recession had hit New York hard” leading yuppies to search for any available
work and in some cases wind up as a particularly bitter breed of elf.
You can lisen to Sedaris’ original NPR readings of
Santaland right here. Or go out and get
yourself a copy of Holidays on Ice.
Even if you’re a Grinch like me, it will make you feel as jolly as a certain
North-Pole-dwelling, red-suited bear.
Now go out and have a spiked egg nog on me, hold the
egg and the nog. And also enjoy the BEST.GAY.WEEK.EVER! I’ll see y’alls in