Friday, May 28, 2010
Jim J Bullock AKA Jm J Bullock
February 9, 1955
You can try to ignore Jim J Bullock, but we guarantee you won’t be able to do it. The tall, annoying, flamboyant yet strangely likeable force that is Jim J is one of those TV stars you either love or hate, but you certainly can’t ignore. Born in Casper, Wyoming, this fantasy offspring of Paul Lynde and Martha Raye came to fame in the late ‘80s on the television series, Too Close for Comfort. In the ‘90s, he briefly inherited the center square on The New Hollywood Squares. Then, late in the decade, the planets aligned and paired Jim J with the equally annoying yet strangely likable Tammy Faye Baker to create the afternoon talk show/train wreck known as The Jim J and Tammy Faye Show. It lasted barely a year. Apparently, you can only take the annoying aspect for so long.
SISSY METER: 9
at 11:53 AM
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
from the movie Psycho (1960)
played by Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 - Sept. 12, 1992)
Was there ever another Mama’s Boy like Norman Bates? Just a shy, nervous young man with a sweet tooth for candy corn, running an out-of-the-way motel. Then sexy blonde Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) shows up, and Norman feels a little, um... confused. Under the watchful eyes of all of those birds (which he stuffed himself; it’s a hobby), he plays Peeping Tom (another hobby). But there’s Mother up at the house. Norman has a talk with her and thinks Mother is just a tiny bit jealous. So, that leaves only one thing he can do: Hide Mother’s corpse in the cellar, dress in her clothes, stab the naked blonde to death with a kitchen knife, then blame it all on Mom!
Well, we all go a little crazy sometimes.
SISSY METER: 5
at 11:23 AM
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Aug. 12, 1907 - March 1, 1988
Imagine a short, pudgy, bald, middle-aged man dressed like a spoiled schoolboy of a half-century earlier. Picture a plump Buster Brown with a whiney voice, an oversize lollipop in one hand, willing to throw a tantrum at any time; a bratty “kid” in short pants called Stinky, a name he lived up to on Abbott & Costello’s television show. “You crazy, yoooou!” His name was Joe Besser, and he was sissy enough to steal scenes from Lou Costello.
Joe is probably most famous for being the third “third stooge”, replacing Shemp in The Three Stooges. (Joe and Shemp were friends.) He didn’t wear the Buster Brown outfit, but nothing else changed. Moe and Larry seemed baffled by Joe, who pinched, attempted a fey punch --well, slap-- with the underside of his fist, and responded to any attempt at the usual Stooge-foolery with “Not so harrrrd!” If there was ever a perfect sissy, it was Joe Besser.
SISSY METER: 7
at 4:02 PM
Thursday, May 20, 2010
June 13, 1926 - Jan. 10, 1982
Sarcastic is the word that comes to mind when thinking of Paul Lynde. He made a name for himself with Bye, Bye Birdie, both on Broadway and in the movie. Paul is best remembered as the center square on the TV game show The Hollywood Squares for his sharp, often double-entendre responses to the host’s questions. His delivery was wickedly snide, his nose wrinkling in barely contained contempt. What do you call a man who gives you diamonds and pearls? “I’d call him darling!” Why do Hell’s Angels wear leather? “Because chiffon wrinkles too easily.” According to the famous quote, a little what is a dangerous thing? “A little pervert.”
“I’m Liberace without the piano,” he said of himself. Not really. His fashion sense was better. No one wore a knotted scarf around their neck as well.
SISSY METER: 9
at 3:54 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
born Israel Iskowitz
Jan. 31, 1892 - Oct. 10, 1964
“Oh, Mama!” Eddie Cantor was a star of Vaudeville, Broadway, recordings, radio, movies and TV, doing it all with a high, fey singing voice, a skipping, prancing dance style, and pitty-pat hand claps. To top it off, Eddie did so much eye-rolling that he was nicknamed Banjo Eyes. But no one blinked when he sang, “Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me” without changing the pronoun. Maybe no one else could have gotten away with it. “Oh, behave!” His sly interpretation of the song “Making Whoopee” has never been bettered.
SISSY METER: 7
at 3:27 PM
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Charles Nelson Reilly
January 13, 1931 - May 25, 2007
Charles Nelson Reilly, with his unique throaty, chortle and large framed glasses, often sported a scarf fashionably knotted around his neck. Were he and Paul Lynde separated at birth? Both made names for themselves on Broadway in Bye, Bye, Birdie, Reilly as Dick Van Dyke s understudy. (Reilly also won a Tony for his part in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.) From there it was continued popularity on a variety of television shows (including a co-starring stint on The Ghost & Mrs. Muir). Finally, also like Lynde, in the ‘70s and ‘80s he became a popular (and the longest-running) guest on a game show, in this case The Match Game. Unlike Lynde, he wasn’t bitter about it. “When I die, it’s going to read, ‘Game Show Fixture Passes Away’. Nothing about the theater, or Tony Awards, or Emmys. But it doesn’t bother me.”
Reilly also directed and taught theater, and performed an autobiographical one-man show. But in the biggest difference between he and Paul Lynde, Reilly was actually enjoying himself, onscreen and off. “The thing that’s funny is that everyone thinks I m dead.” It must have been that personality which made him a guest on the Tonight Show 95 times.
SISSY METER: 9
at 1:07 PM
Monday, May 17, 2010
born Wladziu (Walter) Valentino Liberace
May 16, 1919 - Feb. 4, 1987
If Sissy Men had a queen, it would be Liberace, and not only because he d be the only one with a tiara at the ready. Playing piano at age 4, by his teens he was using the name “Walter Busterkeys” and earning a living by tickling the ivories in clubs, theaters, on the radio, and at weddings. “Flamboyant” should have been his middle name. By adulthood there was a candelabrum on his piano and, with a fashion sense which can only be described as delirious, a continually increasing profusion of sequins and mirrors everywhere. “Too much of a good thing--is wonderful!”
Long a fixture in Las Vegas, Liberace’s show included an (appropriately) Peter Pan-like flight over the stage on wires, with his giddy cry of “Eat your heart out, Mary Poppins!”
“Mr. Showmanship”, as he later styled himself, never married because he was “waiting for the right woman to come along.”
SISSY METER: 10
SISSY METER: 10
at 5:17 PM
August 23, 1915 - May 23, 1993
James Millhollin, with his sad, slightly bulging eyes, turned down smile and nervous flutterings, was best known for playing nervous, prissy and easily overwhelmed men. When the script called for a persnickety bureaucrat or fussy sales manager, casting directors called Millhollin.
What? You recognize the face, but can’t quite place it? Sure, you know him. Remember that one Twilight Zone where the woman is in the department store and later she finds out she’s a mannequin? He’s the one who keeps telling her there isn’t a ninth floor. Oh, yeah! Him!
at 4:33 PM
Edward Everett Horton
March 18, 1886 - Sept. 29, 1970
Ah, the avuncular Edward Everett Horton. He was the uncle you should have had. At ease in slippers or a tuxedo. Pleasant, dry-witted, careful when stepping (or being dragged) into potentially treacherous situations that will affect the romantic outcome for the leading man and lady, which he commented on with a rapid-fire, “Oh dear oh dear oh dear tsk tsk tsk...” He was usually the hero’s best friend, dispensing droll advice and quiet predictions of doom to the likes of Fred Astaire and Cary Grant. And as the movie made its way to the end, there was always Edward Everett’s double-take, one of the best in the business: a contented smile which disintegrated into an alarm verging on horror.
Listen for him as the not always unflappable narrator of the Fractured Fairy Tales cartoons. There you can hear his nonchalant acceptance of the unconventional, with an unspoken C’est la vie!
SISSY METER: 6
at 4:29 PM