By Jared Chausow
By Katie Toth
By Elizabeth Flock
By Albert Samaha
By Anna Merlan
By Jon Campbell
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
Tart drag queen LINDA SIMPSON's newly revived My Comrade magazine isn't porn, but it's definitely for discerning adults who like their pop culture served with whips and boas. The mag's benefit bash at the Ukrainian National Home was suitably arresting, but it was laced with so much advance drama I almost ended up in a real home. At the event, I was supposed to present a My Comrade Hall of Fame award to scene queen AMANDA LEPORE (who's also in that porn flick, wouldn't you know), so I wrote a speech about how much kooky joy she's brought us over the years. I was then informed that Ms. Lepore didn't want me to say anything implying that it's a "legend" award and/or that she's been around for a while, so I rewrote the speech to make it sound like she was born, castrated, and spruced up just last week. Then, the night before the ceremony, I was told she wouldn't accept the award at all because any kind of career honor would make her seem, you know, old. Dejected, I moved on to preparing for the next eventpresenting Fetus of the Year to BEATRICE ARTHUR.
But first I went to the My Comrade thing anyway, where Lady Bunny did accept an honor, though she zanily flung it to the ground, no doubt holding out for an Adult Video Award. The other honoree, FLAWLESS SABRINA, took the opposite approach, sobbing with joy and urging the crowd to change the world. (What a divider this award is; it has people throwing, crying, and refusing. Isn't there someone who'll just take it and shut up?) For a finale, I ended up judging the night's Valentine's costume contest in which impish performer BRANDON OLSEN strutted around and recited, "Roses are red, violets are blue/I just gave three-month superbug AIDS to you!" I have no idea why he didn't win.
Little Debbie snack cakes
More adult entertainment with bells (if little else) on comes at you via the Broadway-styled Playboy spread of '80s teen queen DEBORAH GIBSON shaking her love just in time for the release of her "Naked" single. Alas, in a phoner with the Gibson girl last week, I barely got to indulge in any other hilarious wordplay because she beat me to the punch bowl by tossing around fake song titles like "Electric Boobs" and "Lost in Your Thighs." (Give me a pop star turned self-mocking nudie model anytime.)
Is the Playboy spread the only thing '80s chart rival TIFFANY ever beat her to? "Yep. The only reason I wanted to do it was because she did it," Debs replied, laughing. Seriously, she said, "I was kind of ready to shake the trees a bit." Until they were almost bare. "This has been a year of people accidentally on purpose showing their boobs," added the singer. "It's annoying to me. I thought, 'I'm gonna really do it and own it and I'm gonna enjoy the ride.' " And so are a lot of men in trench coats.
Oh, one last reason for the leaf shedding: Gibson thinks Playboy is way fancier than its imitators. When she saw a TARA REID Maxim cover, "I thought, 'Did someone take a snapshot of her in her bathroom and splash it on the cover?' There was nothing artistic about it."
Yes, the woman has taste. In fact, before she played Gypsy in New Jersey and even before she got notes from the creators of Beauty and the Beast saying her Belle was getting a little too sassy, she was a squeaky-clean advocate for vestal values. (I labeled her Satan at the time, but later decided she's a well-oiled pro.) Debbie admitted to me that in the early '90s, she even wrote a letter to the Times railing against MADONNA's Sex book. "I was the anti-Madonna," she said. "I was trying to single-handedly lead a crusade to protect young girls from the evils of sex. I'm glad I was like that because that audience needed that person. But now as an adult I have a whole other perspective. You lose the preachiness." And nowhow poeticMadonna's the one preaching!
Moving on to a more dangerous liaison, I didn't think of bestiality at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Gardenmuchbut I did notice how attractive some of those pooches were in a done-to-the-nines, walking art piece sort of way. In fact, though the pets' owners were mainly blowsy women with feathered hair and appliquéd blouses, dragging along husbands with lisps, the dogs were beautifully groomed, gorgeously behaved, and almost, dare I say it, hot. Surely these creatures don't even crapand if they do, it's got to be golden and scent free. Undoubtedly they're all gay or at least curious and full of both delicious repartee and versatile boudoir moves.
Anywaycalm down, bitchthe show's online coverage was hosted by GROMIT, the feature-film-bound Claymation dog from Wallace & Gromit who normally doesn't talk for any old thing, or in fact at all. The doughy little critter wasn't in his V.I.P. green roomI lookedbut they did have gift bags, and as a result, you'll see me in the "Mrs. Gromit" shirt, advertised with "Tell the world you're Gromit's girl." That'll get my gerbil's goat.
A sort of Best in Show for the consonant crowd, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Second Stage Theatre is remarkably s-l-i-g-h-t, but it does often have you smiling and even l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g. Not only do you pick up new words, but there are tidy moral lessons for each contestant, like how your penis might get in the way of winning the prize, but it could eventually become your prize. C-h-u-g-a-l-u-g.
Dis 'n' data
|Too old?: Her Royal Highness
photo: Tony Duran
Meanwhile, the Oscars are desperately trying to loosen up this year, and the producer is supposedly begging everyone for impromptu moments. What a joke. Whenever things have loosened up on the show (i.e., MICHAEL MOORE's speech), they generally get embarrassed and pump up the boos. They need to get Linda Simpson in charge and really turn up the ambience. . . . Speaking of downtown divas, DJ-drag performer GIRLINA is now just LINA, looks totally fierce, and is even closer to being a woman. Maybe she'll let me give her a legend award.