By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
That hot-box-of-crazy sketch-comedy show Little Britain is masterful at popping the pretensions of people who try to act like they're straight, disabled, female, or sane. From phony divorcée Bubbles DeVere to lying slag Vicki Pollard and beyond, Matt Lucas and David Walliams's characters are full of themselves, full of it, and full-on lovable.
Well, lock up your sons and strap down your daughters. The American version of the show has started on HBO, and only a die-hard fan would notice that Bubbles isn't quite as spicy without Desirée around, and Vicki needs stronger premises. There are still plum rewards, like the closet-case locker-room sketch and the one where Rosie O'Donnell drops by a Fat Fighters meeting led by the surly Marjorie Dawes (played by Lucas in pastel-colored drag). When Rosie tells Dawes her condescending attitude is disgusting, Dawes responds: "And licking another woman's vagina isn't?"
Last week, I spoke to the Brit wits on the phone and licked their metaphorical vaginas. Me: Hi, Matt. I love you guys. But first things first: Clay Aiken finally came out. Your thoughts? Lucas: That's like Chris Rock saying he's black. It ain't news. Me: Speaking of out people, how did you hook up with Rosie O'Donnell? Lucas: We met her at an Elton John concert. She took us to lunch and told us she'd been a fan of the original British show. We discussed with her how to do the American show. We wondered, 'Should we make the British characters American?' Rosie said no. We thank her for that! Me: But will you get in trouble in the UK for working with someone who had a falling out with Boy George? Lucas: Not at all. Probably the opposite!
Me: Is drag ever more trouble than it's worth? (Not for me, mind you.) Lucas: I find tights—you call them stockings?—irritating. But David has taken to women's clothing like a duck to water. He's very comfortable in it!
Lucas then handed the phone to Walliams, who for all I know was wearing pink tights and grinning like a schoolgirl. I asked him about the sketch in which he plays the British prime minister—as a man—who's madly infatuated with an Obama-like American president. ("I want you inside me right now," he coos, admiring the Prez's "weapon of mass destruction.") "We're hoping Obama wins," Walliams said, "because we have that character, and it's much easier to flirt with Barack than with John McCain. It's hard to imagine having a homoerotic crush on McCain. I'm not trying to insult him—this is purely on physical terms." Matt Lucas, however, disagrees. As he recently told Walliams, "Well, if you like the kind of sugar-daddy thing, then maybe John McCain is sexy." Go for it, Clay Aiken! One daddy who's losing supporters can always use another! (Side note: Hey, Claymates, you were always pinheads for insisting that your man was straight, but now you're lowlife dingbat heathens for jumping the gay ship when the truth was confirmed. I guess you can go back to Ricky Martin.)
Two other wacky Brits and a trouser snake star in Equus, which hasn't aged any better than my collegiate batch of cheese fondue, especially since nowadays a Vicodin prescription would have cured away the entire premise. Like Suddenly Last Summer, it's a play in which a shrieking nutjob is prodded to relate horrible, animalistic happenings from days past as those around him react with eyes a-popping and pants a-dropping. In this case, the Daniel Radcliffe character "abreates" the scene where he wanted to lick the "chinkle chankle" of a horse, which tended to get in the way of Danny's attempts at heterosexuality. (Hmm, a guy tries to screw a girl, but he's more attracted to a horse-hung creature—Repubs know this scenario all too well.)
As the kid talks of horsing around with equine Chelsea types in iron masks, impotent shrink Richard Griffiths becomes insanely jealous that the kid has passion—as if the only way you can feel anything is to live in utter torment while breaking the laws of nature! I found it all drequus (the Latin word for "dreck") and felt the actors made the tragic mistake of taking it all seriously. But Act II was much more effective, and my date the goat totally agreed.
A whole different animal, Wig Out! is a voguing-ball drama at the Vineyard that isn't so great when it talks, but develops more hair height when it sings, lip-syncs, and prances. And isn't that true of so many queens?
I pranced into the opening night of the New York Film Festival to see the French schoolroom saga The Class and was greeted at the after-buffet by a woman shrieking: "Don't you dare write a good word about this movie! I'm a teacher, and it was awful!" Well, I'm still mad at my calculus teacher for giving me a fucking 89. This movie rocks.
A summa cum laude graduate of the school of hard knocks, Lindsay Lohan recently made another movie, a comedy called Labor Pains. A source on the set told me that her loving dad—who hadn't been restraining-ordered yet—put his arm around Lindsay only when there were photographers around. You'll remember that he's the one who thinks Samantha is a user!
Girls who like girls will have no place in the next Bravo reality show. I hear it'll be Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys—a/k/a "the real-life Will & Grace," a/k/a the show about fag hags. See my blog for more details. . . . Boys who like boys have long gone to midtown's O.W. Bar, but spies say the place has changed hands and might even turn straight. . . . The Lord giveth, though: The best new gay to-do is Jonny McGovern's Boys Gone Wild on Thursdays at Mr. Black. It's a lively clusterfuck-style dance party, with sizzling go-go boys serving shots from a deserved platform. Check out the one who looks like James Franco.
The next big Thursday-night party might be Bananas, thrown by Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny at Webster Hall beginning in November. Start readying your chinkle chankles. (Update: Kenny was allegedly manhandled by a thuggish worker at Home, and the Bananas opening might depend on whether the acupuncture works.)
But do offer your congrats to John Russell, who was just named senior editor of the gay mag HX. He once called me "an aging columnist" in his blog, so I know he's terribly astute!
While we're being dissed in Chelsea: In the middle of an invitational tasting at the Half King, the co-owner came over to greet me and ask my name. I was irked that the guy didn't have any clue as to who the fuck I was, but it later turned out that he was Sebastian Junger, so I guess we're even, tee-hee.
I felt better when, at a fancy luncheon at Michael's, I heard one staffer turn to another and say: "Who's Ronald Perelman?" Even more rivetingly, a TV exec at my table actually asked Bonnie Fuller: "What do you do?" "I'm in an interim situation," said Fuller, tactfully. It was a bash for the three-hanky Lifetime movie Living Proof, about the trials for the breast-cancer drug Herceptin, and publicist Peggy Siegal was brave enough to go to the main room, find Laura Bush and friends, and give them DVDs of the film. "She then said: 'Vote for Obama,' " joked co-producer Craig Zadan at the premiere later that night. How could you not vote for his weapon of mass destruction?