Hey there, Filthy Dreamers. Let me pose a rhetorical question: Even in the best of times, is there anything better than a good laugh-‘til-you-cry moment?
So by definition, a rhetorical question doesn’t need a reply, but can we just all agree that the answer is “Nope!”
During the past two complicated years, well-written comedy has been worth its weight in Bounty Select-A-Size for my husband and me. Many a frown has been turned upside down in this household thanks to clever men and women who’ve put on their ha-ha hats to create humorous works of art. For us, a partial list would include Sarah Silverman’s ‘00s standup routines, Netflix’s Sex Education, the poems of Oscar Wilde, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, vintage Preston Sturges movies, the essays of Nora Ephron, and the wit and wisdom of Beavis and Butt-Head. Yes, we’ve spent many, many hours seeking yuks from sources new and old.
But sometimes, dear readers, just sometimes, funny finds you.
So without any further ado, I give you 5 Weird n’ Wonderful Things That Made Me Laugh in the Last 5 Months!
Actually, there’s a tiny bit of ado.
If any of the following applies to you:
A) I am a gay person without a sense of humor.
B) I am a Christian person without a sense of humor.
C) I am a person who may be offended by a racially insensitive passage from a 1940s novelty song.
D) I am made uncomfortable by stuffed toy animals.
E) I am related to Suzanne Somers.
Then…by all means, please read on.
Thing #1: This Cabin
My husband Rusty is an architect who regularly visits a website called ArchDaily. It’s a pretty straightforward, well-organized site where people can geek out over stuff like floor plans and design details. One day, Rusty called me over to his computer and said, “Umm…you really need to see this.”
I really did.
“Don’t Let Me Be Lonely is a lakeside cabin designed to shelter the queering of leisure. Among those it hosts are a gay throuple whose needs formed a particular brief that shaped the project’s conceptual core.”
So many questions! I’m still trying to figure out what the “queering of leisure” means. And holy crap…it’s hard enough keeping a regular relationship on track, but a “throuple?” More power to ya, guys!
Anyway, once our giggle fits subsided, we took a good look at the house and it’s actually quite cool. It is only 400 square feet so this throuple must have their shit together. Fellas, whoever you are, in my mind, you’re now the poster children for throupledom (but the concept alone exhausts me).
Thing #2: This Venn Diagram
My friend Verena texted it to me during the holiday season. ‘Nuff said.
Thing #3: This Perry Como Song from 1946
“It’s always fair weather when hepcats get together!” So begins one of the nuttiest songs ever committed to vinyl. Entitled “Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba),” it was released three months after the end of World War II and was a massive hit for Perry Como (who had just become a huge pop star thanks to a ballad called “Till The End Of Time”).
And speaking of hepcats, this ditty is chock full o’ slangy, jivey, beboppin’ lyrics. It’s completely bonkers and totally fun. Well…maybe not totally. Thirty seconds into the bouncy song, Como casually references the recent bombing of Japan and even exclaims, “It was mighty smoky over Tokyo!”
Granted, WWII had just ended. Japan was the enemy, a hellish war was finally over, and the country was in a jubilant mood. But for twenty-five WTF seconds, the song takes a turn that will make your jaw drop.
Then, the party is back in high gear! At one point, a female vocalist proclaims, “I’m a fresh tomata you can’t dig,” while a background chorus informs Como that his “lips are made of rubber” every time he talks.
You gotta hear it to believe it. Shock and awe, ’40-style.
Thing #4: This Book
At this red-hot moment, I’m not that interested in seeing pandemic-themed art. While I empathize with artists whose work addresses the angst and sadness of the past two years, right now, I don’t want to see it hanging on a canvas in a gallery or in a tiny square on Instagram. Will I ever? Dunno. Check back with me in 2023.
And at any given moment, I’m not that into stuffed animals.
But when a surprise present entitled The Pandemic Beasties showed up in our mail in December….Bwahaha!
The book was created and self-published by Carol Colucci (aka “Mama,” aka FD’s co-founder Emily’s mom). It features carefully staged photographs of small stuffed animals dealing with life during quarantine–and it made us laugh out loud more than once.
My favorite page in The Pandemic Beasties features the toilet-paper-rationing gag in the above photo. There are many other extremely funny setups.
The book is adorable and it’s also just a little bit twisted–not unlike Mama Colucci herself. Maybe if you ask nicely, she’ll sell you one.
Thing #5: This 1985 ABC Miniseries
Last summer, Rusty and I watched a new documentary entitled, Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story. We were already familiar with the basics. She was the younger sister of Joan Collins. She made her own failed attempt at acting. She lived in the shadow of her glamorous movie star sister for years. Then Collins tried her hand at writing, churning out hotsy-totsy fiction with titles like The World Is Full Of Married Men and Hollywood Wives. They were total potboilers detailing the lifestyles of the rich and horny, but they almost always featured a strong (and often wronged) female protagonist who came out on top (*ahem*). Jackie Collins struck a nerve with female readers and her books sold like crazy.
While we were watching the doc (a well-made tribute to a self-made woman that manages to combine campy, dishy fun with many genuinely thought-provoking moments), they mentioned that Hollywood Wives had been made into a television mini-series in 1985 (and was a ratings smash). The cast included Suzanne Somers, Angie Dickinson, Candice Bergen, Stefanie Powers, Robert Stack, Mary Crosby, Joanna Cassidy, and Anthony Hopkins. A few weeks later, we decided to give Hollywood Wives a go.
To quote Tennessee Williams, “Sometimes–there’s God–so quickly!” And while he wasn’t talking about this miniseries, I’m certain if he’d been alive in 1985, he would’ve been glued to the tube when it aired.
Somers portrays Gina Germaine, the “most desirable woman in Hollywood.” Her scenes with the not-yet two-time Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins are mind-blowingly bizarre. Hopkins chews enough scenery for both of them and this works out well since Somers plays her sexpot role with the same strange detached vibe she currently radiates selling her QVC microfiber pajamas.
Robert Stack seems in on the joke. When he’s on the screen, if you squint, you can almost believe you’re watching a grounded version of Airplane!. But the miniseries is called Hollywood Wives, after all–and it’s the ladies’ show all the way with each and every one of them beset with the woes that come with life in Beverly Hills. Bergen’s an unhinged wife, Cassidy is a bummed-out ex-wife, and Powers is a happily-married (or is she?) wife. Dickinson plays an extremely jaded talent agent, while Crosby (aka Kristin “I shot JR” Shepard on Dallas) embodies the husband-stealing younger woman that I guess is always lurking around the corner on Rodeo Drive.
I won’t go too deep into the “plot”–it’s time to wind this piece up–so I’ll just say that the three nights we spent watching Hollywood Wives were delightful, delicious, and de-lovely. I still kind of can’t believe it exists and we are forcing ourselves to wait at least one year before we re-watch it.
It won’t be easy.
Follow Andy on Instagram @andyandynyc