Better stock up on booze and confetti because we’re only hours away from the gayest date on the calendar, Jan. 13, the day flamboyant game show mainstays Rip Taylor and the late Charles Nelson Reilly were born.
Kitsch is one of those overused terms, like diva and icon.
This, gentle reader, is kitschy:
A supersized compilation of Gene Gene the Dancing Machine. It’s been too long.
Twenty years ago, Atlanta fell in love.
If you didn’t live here in 1991 you can’t understand. The city was never more fun, with everyone unified around the worst-to-first Braves.
Forget the ’96 Olympics, a memorable two weeks, to be sure, but it’s hard to rally around the global corporate entity that has become the Olympics, especially when you have a miserable fascist lackey like then-IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch bad-mouthing your city at every turn.
There was nothing but good vibes surrounding the ’91 Braves, just three years removed from a 54-106 season. By August of that year the bandwagon was filling up, and as the pennant race tightened even the most casual fan was checking box scores. Football became a mere afterthought for one glorious month.
This week 20 years ago the hysteria reached its most fevered pitch when the Braves played in Atlanta’s first World Series, deemed by even objective observers as the best Fall Classic ever.
You want tense? Three games went into extra innings. Three games ended with the winning run scoring on the final pitch. Four ended with a team scoring the winner in its final at-bat. Five games were decided by one run. …
And best of all, the series didn’t involve a single New York team, instead bringing together the previous season’s last-place teams, the first time even one team had gone from worst to first in modern major-league history. Rather than leave fans nationwide despising the victors and thinking their favorite teams could never compete against the Yankees’ riches, it left fans with the most important feeling of all: hope.
After the Braves heartbreaking 1-0 loss in Game 7 I got in my car and drove around aimlessly. I couldn’t listen to the post-game show — too painful. Then, two days later, nearly a million people swarmed downtown for a parade welcoming home the Braves. Never has the loser been treated with such reverence, but that team deserved it.
It was a bittersweet celebration, as everyone assumed it couldn’t get much better than 1991. Then, a year later, it did.
I was there and it still ranks as the most euphoric moment of my life — sober or otherwise. It was like 1991 never ended. Unfortunately, ’92 concluded the same way, with the Braves coming up short in the World Series. Still, the good memories far outweighed the bad.
The best thing about 1991? No trendy Red Sox fans in Atlanta (I’m looking at you, guy on Virginia Ave. with the Red Sox mailbox). Those people should be rounded up and relocated to Orlando.
To capitalize on the then huge song “Convoy” and television show “Movin’ On” there is a musical nightmare where Lynde (in a sequin jumpsuit with enormous lapels) and Conway play truckers dueling for the love of Pinky Tuscadero (Roz Kelly). …
There are other diversions, such as when Lynde becomes a sheik who kidnaps Florence Henderson (who he falls for after seeing her milk a cobra). He tries everything to win her heart, even sharing a decanter of hyena wine with her. In the end, she is won over by a gift of a cockatoo “once owned by Baretta,” leading to the most unerotic kiss in screen history.
Lamentably, there are no clips.
If people can put up their Halloween decorations four weeks in advance then I can post Paul Lynde, KISS, Pinky Tuscadero, Billy Barty and Florence Henderson singing “Disco Lady” from the former’s All Hallows Eve special.
How had I not seen this before tonight?
I’ve found myself in some strange places over the years, including:
- Kate Jackson‘s bed, minus Kate Jackson;
- An “old-fashioned cross burning” at the home of Howard Stern’s favorite Klansmen, Daniel Carver. Work, not pleasure;
- On the telephone with Gallagher. Work, not pleasure;
- Reviewing Partridge Family memorabilia on a picnic table at Road Atlanta with Brian Forster, aka drummer Chris Partridge. See above;
- Riding shotgun in a pick-up truck, lost, with Elvis Presley’s evangelist stepbrother;
- Alone, in a church where the members spoke in tongues;
- A youth karate tournament in San Francisco de Macoris, D.R. (I was looking for a restroom);
- In a tricked-out SUV driven by ex-big leaguers Tony Pena Jr. and Willy Mo Pena;
- The 70s-era apartment of Jose Canseco’s ex-girlfriend. I was asked to leave.
- Jerry Clower’s dressing room.
Longtime Atlantans will remember Guy Sharpe, the courtly, silver-maned weatherman who stayed on the air for decades. You may also recall that he was a religious fanatic (and Amway salesman) who spread a very nutty rumor about Proctor & Gamble. According to Guy, the company’s trademark symbolized an allegiance to Satan, to whom P&G tithed 10 percent of its earnings.
It was a major suburban legend in the 1980s, swallowed by people who today would be questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Witness this excerpt from a 1982 edition of 20/20:
Fox (voice over): None of these Southern California women are religious fundamentalists. But all were troubled by the rumor. (to women) What makes you uncomfortable?
1st woman: The thought of Satan being behind it.
2nd woman: I knew that I was going to use Cascade soap for my dishwasher before I ever got a dishwasher. I knew that I was going to use Pampers before I had kids. It’s incredible now it has affected my mind — and I never thought of using anything but Tide.
Fox: And you wonder what, whether there was some sort of mysterious draw to the products, is that it?
2nd woman: Yes, exactly.
I can relate. I always knew I’d be watching Guy Sharpe forecast the weather. I was convinced. Without sampling his competition. It was like he had affected my mind — and I never thought of anything but watching Guy Sharpe.
P&G eventually sued Guy, who settled out of court and publicly recanted. Somehow, he kept his job.
Growing up in metro Atlanta in the late 1970s I lived within 20 miles of three indoor skating rinks. Good luck finding one now, not that I’m looking.
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 5 days for that many people to see it.
That’s good to hear, though I’m sure those Louvre visitors came away underwhelmed.
Your busiest day of the year was January 5th with 966 views. The most popular post that day was Cap du jour, 80s pin-up edition.
The subject of that post? Quintessential 80s mean girl Billy Zabka, who, surprisingly enough, played a character named Chas only once. His first film role was in “Valley Girl” as “Boy helping with prom decorations.”
This scene was written by the great Paul Mooney: