Aug 21, 2017

Alan Dates Will of "Land of the Lost"

Alan the Pentecostal Porn Star didn't like telling celebrity dating or hookup stories: "Does being on tv automatically make guys hotter?  Does it give them a bigger cock?  What's the point?"  

But when he set his mind to it, he had some good stories: he dated David Johnson, son of the professor on Gilligan's Island; two of the male cast members of M*A*S*H (not Alan Alda); and Land of the Lost star Wesley Eure.

West Hollywood, June 1979

In May 1978, three days after graduating from ultra-fundamentalist Waynesburg College in rural Pennsylvania, Alan arrived in the gay ghetto of West Hollywood.  It was the halcyon days of sexual excess, after Gay Liberation but before AIDS, when there were enough bars and bathhouses in town to fill every night with dates and tricks.  And he dated and tricked with the best of them.

In the spring of 1979, he met Donnie, a production  manager/stage manager/general factotum at CBS.  They had sex once, then became friends, as was the custom in those day.  He told Alan about his gay sex party with Sid Krofft and Jack Wild, star of the Saturday-morning kidvid show H.R. Pufnstuf.

"I always thought those boys on the Krofft shows were gay.  Butch Patrick on Lidsville...Johnny Whitaker on Sigmund and the Sea Monsters...."

"Well, there was some casting couch stuff going on with Sid, but those guys were mostly straight. Other than Jack Wild, the only one I know for sure is gay is Wesley Eure."

The last of the Krofft Shows, Land of the Lost (1974-1976), was the most ambitious.  A whole family -- father, son, and daughter -- trapped in a prehistoric world with dinosaurs, evil reptilian Sleestaks, and helpful humanoid Pakuni..  They hire Star Trek alumni as writers, and a UCLA linguist to invent the Pakuni language.  And instead of their usual fey prettyboys, they got a real rugged outdoorsman to play the son.

A little old for a Krofft boy, age 23 when the show began, Wesley Eure was tall and buffed, with black curly hair and a dazzling teen-idol smile. He was a talented singer, selected to replace David Cassidy on The Partridge Family, and a classically-trained dramatic actor who had performed Shakespeare and Eugene O'Neill.  Yet he didn't balk at being chased by dinosaurs every week.

"How do you know he's gay?" Alan asked.  "Have you tricked with him?"

Donnie laughed.  "Not tricked, no -- we dated. Candy, flowers, a soda with two straws, a kiss on the doorstep, the whole romantic bit.  But he dumped me after the third date."

"Things getting too real for him?"

"I was getting too out for him.  He's strictly closeted."

"Closeted, in 1979?  That's ridiculous!"  Alan exclaimed.  "Being gay is legal now.  Willie Brown is on our side.  There are gay characters on tv all the time. What's he got to be afraid of?  Give me this guy's number, and I'll pull him out of the closet."

"What makes you think you're his type?"

Alan grinned.  "Have you seen my cock lately?  I'm everybody's type."

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Jerry Lewis Falls in Love

In 2007, comedian Jerry Lewis called someone a "fag" during his telethon, and apologized the next day for his "bad choice of words."  In 2008, he referred to cricket as a "f-- game" during an interview on Australian tv, but refused to apologize.

Ok, he was homophobic.  But no more homophobic than other people born in 1926: Paul Lynde, Aldo Ray, Tom Tryon, Allen Ginsberg, Cloris Leachman, Charlotte Rae. . .never mind.

[I'm being sarcastic, of course.  This is a list of people who were born that year who were gay or gay-friendly, which supports my argument that you can't excuse his homophobia due to his age.]

But in his early days, Jerry Lewis was gay.  Or rather, he played gay.

In 1946, the young Borscht Belt comedian Jerry Lewis and the nightclub singer Dean Martin started a comedy act.  It spun into a radio program (1949-53), numerous television appearances, and a series of 16 movies, beginning with with My Friend Irma (1946) and ending with Hollywood or Bust (1956).

From the 1920s through the 1960s, many comedians came in pairs:  Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, The Smothers Brothers, Gilligan and the Skipper.  They were a relic of Vaudeville, where a "straight man" would set up the joke and a "stooge" would deliver the punchline.

In comedy duos, the straight man (Hardy, Abbott, the Skipper, Dean Martin) strived for respectability: a job, a house, a wife.  He wanted to do things "right," conform to the rules of heterosexist normalcy.  The stooge (Laurel, Costello, Gilligan, Jerry Lewis) was a court jester, like Harlequin of the Commedia dell'Arte or Skip in the Little Nemo comic strip. He stymied the straight man's plans, skewered his pretensions, brought anarchy, rebellion, and freedom.  He was usually not interested in women.

Most comedy duos eliminated the potential for gay subtext by pretending to hate each other, but Dean and Jerry obviously cared for each other.  Jerry went even farther, however, hinting to the oblivious Dean that he was in love.  And sometimes going beyond hints.

Dean: I want to read this fan letter.
Jerry: You don't need to read it to me.  I know what it says. "Dear Mr Martin, you're wonderful, I adore your voice, I dream of you, I sleep with your picture under my pillow."
Dean: How did you know?
Jerry: That's how I feel,  too.

Jerry was also extremely physical, always hugging, holding, and trying to kiss Dean, who accepted the displays of affection with some embarrasment.  In My Friend Irma Goes West, Dean is rubbing Jerry's chest in a circular motion; Jerry says that it feels good, but he would prefer "bigger circles."  Where, precisely, does he want Dean's hand to be?

In their movies and nightclub acts, Dean played the self-absorbed, not-always-faithful "husband," and Jerry the devoted but sneaky "wife."  Dean went off to carouse with his card-playing buddies, while Jerry waited at home with dinner in the oven.  Sometimes Dean hooked up with women, but Jerry always found a way to sabotage the relationship.

If it was all part of the act, what was it for?  What joy did Dean and Jerry expect homophobic 1950s audiences to find in watching unrequited same-sex love?

The pair had a nasty breakup in 1956, and rarely spoke to each other again, except at the funeral of Dean's son, Dean Paul Martin.    Dean Martin went on to the famous homoerotic Rat Pack.

But Jerry occasionally commented on their relationship: "It was like a romance"; "We were closer than brothers"; and, in an interview I remember from the early 1970s, "It makes you wonder if there is something to homosexuality."

See also: The Gay Adventures of Jerry Lewis.

10 Things You Should Know about Dash Dobrovsky

1. He played water polo and lacrosse at Santa Monica High School.

2.  He's been acting since he was twelve, but he got his first big break playing Manny's "cool friend" Griffin on an 2012 episode of Modern Family.

3. He stars in a youtube reality series, Summer Break, which is mostly about how hot girls are.

4. However, it does make it obvious that he hangs to the left.

5. He played Byron in the tv movie Enough about Jack (2015), directed by his brother Spyder, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2014 with a degree in filmmaking.  Several other members of his family are in show business, including Neal and Tippi.

More after the break.