Who would have thought that 2021 would be the year that nude photos of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis would drop… and keep dropping?
Well – I guess the guy who is selling them on eBay knew, but the rest of us continue to be surprised by the release of these playful pics. I first wrote about them here in a post that was picked up by a dozen websites around the world, including the Advocate. Since then, two other pics have surfaced.
The pictures were part of a 2018 Sotheby’s auction of items belonging to Frank Branda, Jerry Lewis’s driver and assistant. The auction description listed “4 candid photographs of Lewis and Martin in a steam room and shower, Lewis posing modestly, Martin less so.”
To recap – three of the four recently sold on eBay:
It wasn’t a complete surprise that the most recent photo popped up for auction, as it was partially visible on the Southeby’s website. Cropped, low-res versions of this shot and a couple of others are also on Pinterest, with captions that they were taken at the Palm Springs El Mirador Hotel in 1952.
While I was able to clean up the sauna and first shower shots by removing the eBay seller’s watermark, which was strategically placed over Dean & Jerry’s nether regions, this time around the cheeky monkey has opted for a post-it note on Dean’s dong.
Ah well. Nice pic nonetheless.
This appears to be the end of this lot of photos… but it is possible that there are others out there….
The fabled Ivy League nude posture photos have been written about but seldom seen. Incoming college students were photographed fully nude to gauge posture, detect scoliosis, and address other correctable body issues… all while emotionally scarring the participants. Talk show host Dick Cavett joked about it in his early stand-up routines but had a much darker view of the experience 50 years later in a New York Times Op Ed piece.
In recent years, the Yale photos have garnered the most press, with tongues wagging at the possibilities of seeing our country’s best and brightest in the buff. The photos in question were so rare that most online articles on the subject did not actually feature any of them, opting to show similar medical textbook illustrations or military posture pics such as the WWII-era St. Mary’s College Navy Pre-Flight School photos, which I have written about here and here.
In the past year, choice examples of the photos featuring male freshman Yalies from 1937-1960 have begun to trickle out on eBay. It was only a matter of time before some familiar names began to pop up. Writer Calvin Trillin‘s photo went for a little over $100, while the pic of late actor James Franciscus pulled in a whopping $1,225.
Younger readers might not remember Franciscus – the dashing star of half a dozen television series and over 30 films. There is a fan site that dubs him The Patron Saint Of Cool. He was not afraid to show some skin over the course of his career, particularly in Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (1970).
In her memoir and in a recent segment on The Tonight Show, Jane Fonda remembers him as her first love…and the best kiss she ever had.
They met while working together in summer stock when she was 18 and he was 20.
“He walked me out to the end of a pier and he kissed me,” she recalled. “The stars began to whirl and the pier began to shake, and my knees gave way and I slid down to a pile at his feet…. I’ve never had a kiss like that ever since.”
As for his Yale photo, which was taken the year before…. unfortunately, we don’t get to see the full Franciscus. The image posted for the public auction has a strip of paper blocking the view. For just $1,225, the high bidder is now enjoying the unedited 8″x10″ all by themselves.
Photos of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis have recently come to light that are raising some eyebrows. A nude shot of the duo showering together sold on eBay for nearly $4,500 this past week, while a steam room photo sold for a modest $375.
These photos appear to have sold at Sotheby’s in 2018 as part of a collection belonging to Frank Branda, Jerry Lewis’s driver and assistant.
The auction description listed “4 candid photographs (8 x 10 in.) of Lewis and Martin in a steam room and shower, Lewis posing modestly, Martin less so.”
While I originally thought the guy on the right was comedian Morey Amsterdam, a reader wrote:
The guy on the right in the sauna photo is Mack Gray, who was Dean’s assistant, and later in life arguably his closest friend. Dean and Jerry met him when they first came to Hollywood; they attended one of George Raft’s parties, and Jerry referred to Gray as Raft’s ‘Man Friday’. (It’s also worth noting, by the by, that Raft and Gray were in a relationship.)
Cropped versions of a couple of these photos can be found on Pinterest, although in poor quality jpegs, apparently scans of photos that ran in a magazine or newspaper at the time. I wouldn’t exactly call Pinterest a reliable source, but if the captioning is accurate these shots were taken in 1952 at the Palm Springs El Mirador Hotel.
I’m the first to call “fake” on photoshopped images found on the internet, but these new photos are very clear. The only pixel anomalies are the results of my attempt to remove the eBay seller’s name, which was strategically plastered across key nether regions, including Dean Martin’s uncut dong.
UPDATE: Other photos have gone up for auction – see a more recent post about those here.
“$8 of Jarlsberg” is nearly a pound of cheese on a single nauseating sandwich.
Her boyfriend is awful, and
Adrian Grenier is a terrible actor.
Note that none of these observations have anything to do with Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, which is why we all watch the movie repeatedly and her performance is beyond criticism, ok?
There is one thing that has bothered me since I saw this movie in its initial theatrical release. It distracts me whenever I watch it and I have waited 15 years for someone else to bring it up:
In the party scene where Andy first meets writer Christian Thompson, what the hell is going on with actor Simon Baker’s face?
For a movie that has undergone so much analysis and repeat viewing, I cannot be the only person who has noticed this.
This is only an issue in the first scene in which he appears.
When he comes back later, he has been color corrected and the Botox has relaxed.
This leads me to two theories:
A) Nobody realized what a terrible styling mistake had been made with the leading man until after they looked at the dailies for this party scene. The budget did not afford a re-shoot and they all thought “Well… it’s not THAT bad… onward and upward!”
B) They HAD to re-shoot or add this scene after production was completed and Mr. Baker was off playing a bleached, frozen-faced alien when they called him back to set.
When I started to do some research for this post, I typed “Devil Wears Prada Simon Baker” into Google, which then auto-populated “eyebrows”. So… it turns out, I am not alone in this.
The Detroit Metro Times panned the film and mentions “Simon Baker, whose bushy sage eyebrows look like they might help him take flight and flutter off in search of a better role.”
Other comments I found around the internet:
“Simon Baker’s eyes/eyebrows, especially in his first scene…. there was some weird grooming/Botox mojo going on that really distracted from the narrative.”
“….overly metrosexualized with the strangest blond eyebrows I have ever seen.”
“Simon Baker plays Christian Thompson in The Devil Wears Prada. Good actor, horrible eyebrows. I couldn’t take my eyes off of those creatures.”
I also came across a 2012 interview with Simon Baker in which he says ” “I had despicable eyebrows in that film so I always get comments about that!”
As a person with ample eyebrows myself (although not bleached, as my author photo can attest), I don’t find fault with his voluminous caterpillars throughout the film. It is just that first scene, when they appear to be overly bleached and perched atop a curiously frozen face..
I am not alone in saying that I always take comfort in the annual repetition of the holidays – revisiting holiday-themed music, film, television… and now internet posts as well. This feeling is in overdrive this year, as I occupy myself at home and skip other annual holiday traditions that involve leaving my apartment. The Rockefeller Center tree looks very nice on my television – and that view will have to suffice this year, thank you very much.
I feel bad for this year’s Rockefeller Center tree – sacrificed to become the most famous Christmas shrub in the world at a time when nobody is allowed to actually go near it. It’s the Just Sam of Christmas trees, which makes the displaced owl Ryan Seacrest.
I find it interesting that we immerse ourselves in certain pop culture favorites for exactly 6 weeks of the year and then pack them up in mothballs with the ornaments until next year. I mean, Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee and Johnny Mathis are rock stars from Thanksgiving through New Years. Are any of them on your 4th of July playlist? They aren’t on mine.
The film A Christmas Story has an even shorter (Elf on the) shelf life. We binge-watch the repeated broadcast for exactly 24 hours each year. I own it on Blu-ray and I’m not sure why: I have never opened it. To pop it in at any other time feels like a betrayal.
In keeping with this revisiting, blog posts of Christmas past are back to haunt you like A Christmas Carol, Mr. Scrooge:
Unfortunately, due to copyright issues all the links are broken on my 60 Degrees Girl Group Christmas piece. This also keeps me from posting other episodes of the radio show – hopefully only temporarily, as I find a work-around.
However… I have this to share:
Way back in 2002, when Limewire was a thing and people listened to music on silvery discs, I started creating Christmas CD mixes that I would mail out or give to people. These were received with a combination of feigned delight, veiled indifference and deafening silence. None of these CDs had a pressing of more than 20 copies. I’d like to call them “much sought after” – but no, that’s not really the case, although every once in a while, someone really got into them and would ask for copies of other volumes.
And so, I’m offering this simple playlist…. for kids from 1 to 92. Unfortunately many of the tracks on these dozen CDs are not on Spotify, but I keep adding songs that would be on the current CD volume… if there was one. And now the playlist is over 14 hours of holiday tunes. I recommend listening on shuffle – there’s something to irritate everyone. Enjoy!
“Our country is so fine, it will really be divine, when we get everyone but us to move away.”
Ladies and Gentleman, it is time once again to revisit that late great dynamic lady of song, Madame Spivy LaVoe (1906-1970), also known simply as Spivy. A lesbian entertainer, nightclub owner and character actress, Spivy has been described as “The Female Noel Coward” – to which I add “…. if he had been born in Brooklyn as Bertha Levine.” You can read earlier posts about her here: Madame Spivy’s Alley Cat, The Tarantella and Auntie’s Face.
Given the current political climate, it’s a perfect time to have a listen to 100% American Girls, a stinging satirical composition by Charlotte Kent which reminds us that nationalism, xenophobia and gentile racism have been marching hand-in-hand across this great land for generations. God Bless America.
The opening line addresses the “Daughters, Aunts, Mothers and Second Cousins of the War of 1812…” – a not-so-subtle swipe at the exclusive, ultra-white & conservative Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
The line “You’re supposed to be keeping THOSE people out of Constitution Hall…” refers to the Washington DC concert hall owned by the DAR. In 1939, they denied African-American singer Marian Anderson the opportunity to sing before an integrated audience, causing First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to resign her membership in protest. The Roosevelts then arranged for Anderson to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939. The result was an historic performance before an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions.
Some notes on other references in the song:
Westbrook Pegler was a columnist at the time who opposed labor unions and The New Deal.
Note that Consuela – the only ethnic name mentioned – is directed to be “the rabble,” or disorderly crowd.
Alfred M. Landon was the Republican presidential candidate in 1936 who lost to FDR in a landslide vote.
First Lady Dolley Madison was a world-renowned hostess who, according to lore, was the first to serve guests ice cream at the White House.
100% American Girls
Members of the Daughters, Aunts, Mothers and Second Cousins of the War of 1812, form into double file.
Stop twitching at that bunting Carrie and smile. Take off that feather boa, Mary Louise this is a parade, not a charade.
Vera, you go right back to Washington, you’re not supposed to be marching at all! You’re supposed to be keeping THOSE people out of Constitution Hall.
Please… you on the float there. Lord Calvin is sagging. Yankee Doodle is flat. Your powder is wet. And your Mayflower is dragging.
Oh thank God here’s George III. Alright Lizzie, stand right there and sneer.
Please Consuela, someone has to be the rabble. You throw the Boston tea right in this little box over here.
Remember the things we said we’d never abandon. Remember we’re still true to Alfred M. Landon.
Remember when the Bill of Rights…. HMMMM ….. tried to get fresh with me!
My Westbook Pegler ’tis of thee. Ah ha! The bugle! Formation girls:
Nelly pull your belly in – it’s for the U.S.A. We’ve got to be adorable today.
Oh aren’t you excited? And isn’t this a binge? Lets unfurl every curl in our lunatic fringe.
Tilly, Queenie, Magnolia, Hillaire… to arms!
Nelly pull your belly in and hold your chin up high. We’ll give the crowd a treat as we pass by.
The Pricker unit forward, the Bilbo club behind….And Bessie you keep waving what your grandpa signed.
All together now: Comb your hair for California, wash your neck for Io-way.
Our country is so fine, it will really be divine when we get everyone but us to move away.
Take a Benzedrine for old Virginia, where our daddies sniffed their snuff with dukes and earls.
We are for the human race, which is lovely (in its place). We’re 100% American Girls!
What? Do I see one of you lag when before you is marching the flag?
Did Washington crossing the Delaware say “Let’s call it off, boys – I’m not in the mood for rowing”?
Did Betsy Ross say “Fold up the banner girls – I hate sewing”?
Hmmm. Really girls! Eyes up! Curls up and away!
Annie pull your fanny in – it’s for the U.S.A. We’ve got to be adorable today.
When Valley Forge was icy and up to here in snow… did Dolly Madison say “No”?
Myrtle, Cissy, Prissy, Mamie – to arms!
Annie pull your fanny in – it’s for the U.S.A. We’re 100% American Girls!
This song – along with Madame’s Lament – were the two Charlotte Kent compositions featured on Spivy’s 1947 album An Evening With Spivy. Kent had several songwriting credits in film and on Broadway throughout the 1930’s. In 1939, she contributed to the book & lyrics of the musical Sing For Your Supper along with John La Touche, another composer with whom Spivy collaborated. We will get to those recordings at a later date. Stay tuned!
A few weeks ago, I posted an article from the Nov/Dec 1979 issue of In Touch Magazine. This was part of trio of San Francisco articles from gay publications (the other two from the September, 1980 issue of Blueboy featured essays by Armistead Maupin and Randy Shilts).
Shifting focus back to the East Coast, there were some New York-centric ads and pop culture info that I wanted to post, since that’s my home turf.
So here we are again, back in 1979 with Issue #44.
Lets get a different perspective of cover model / centerfold Todd Denson:
There are several ads throughout the magazine for CBC Clubs – a gay-owned chain of bathouses that dotted North America. CBC Club New York was located at 24 First Avenue in the East Village. This branch closed in the mid-80’s and the space was purchased by the Suthon family, which turned it into the restaurant Cave Canem and later Lucky Cheng’s. It was during the twilight days of Cave Canem that I moved to the neighborhood.
I had been living there for about a year when my boyfriend and I saw a listing in HX magazine for a gay bar/restaurant inhabiting an old bathhouse located at 24 First Avenue. This seemed strange – it was only 4 blocks from our 6th Street apartment, yet we had never heard anything about it.
One night we ventured over – only to be turned away by a surly doorman who claimed there was a private party inside. We didn’t believe him – how did he know we weren’t invited guests? Our imaginations went wild with speculation of what gay/leather/sex dungeon lurked behind those doors. After reading this interesting piece on the history of the space in Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, I gather that it probably WAS a private party that we tried to crash… and possibly a lesbian orgy.
The following year Lucky Cheng’s Chinese Restaurant opened with its now famous drag and gender-fluid waitstaff, thriving at this location for 19 years. By the time I finally ventured in – just once – it was to buy a gift certificate for my parents, at their request. The once bohemian restaurant had become an edgy staple for straight out-of-towners. Lucky Cheng’s eventually followed the tourist trade up to the theatre district. The building was sold and is slated to be torn down and replaced by… you guessed it: Luxury Apartments!
One other note to add a little context: right across the street at 19 First Avenue is Lil’ Frankie’s Restaurant and the former home of East Village Radio’s storefront broadcast booth. This is where my show 60 Degrees aired from 2008-2013. (see & hear here & here)
1979 marked the 10th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Here’s an account of how the occasion was celebrated in NYC and Fire Island, as well as the protests surrounding the filming of Al Pacino’s laughable misfire Cruising.
Some background on the musical references above:
16 year old France Joli’s July 1979 Pines performance is the stuff of legend. She made a return to the annual Beach Party in 2018.
Wardell Piper is mentioned performing “Super Sweet” at the Ice Palace in Cherry Grove. She had been a member of soul group The First Choice, but this was her biggest solo hit:
I love the passing reference that Ann-Margret – “hot to go disco” – couldn’t get into a West Village club to have them play her record. Sounds like the gays weren’t having it. “Love Rush” was a track from this brief chapter of her career. Any allusion to poppers is purely intentional.
Here’s some other ads – one for Broadway Arms Baths, which was located across the street from the Ambassador Theatre on West 49th Street, and two NYC-based gay porn video companies featuring VHS tapes for the low low price range of $65-$99.50! Just imagine what the VCR cost.
I had to post pics of this guy, who is SO 1979 that it hurts. Michael Mouse Hank Owens is a landscaper, a Sagittarius and only indoors when he’s at the disco!
That’s all for now! I leave you with an ad for lube. Natural lube. With a horse.
Here’s a little something I thought I would share…
I recently stumbled across a TruTV show called Rachel Dratch’s Late Night Snack. This ran from 2016-2018 – somehow I had never seen or heard of it. One segment in the Ghost Story Club episode had a character who was a roadie for a band playing at Fauxchella – a fictional Coachella-like music festival of cover bands. A list of the lineup flashed on the screen in one of those freeze-frame-or-you’ll-miss-it moments.
For your enjoyment, here is the Fauxchella lineup:
Fish With An “F”
The String Cheese Accident
Hall and Wheats
Dave Matthews Hand
311 Was An Inside Job
Booty and the Hofish
Steve Miller’s Dad’s Band
Lady Naked Bears
What About Bob? Dylan!
Mother Of Pearl Jam
Puns N’ Roses
Third Eye Legally Blind
Very Dizzy Gillespie
Three Cat Day
Sneaky and the Family Rock
The Lovin’ Sporkful
The Laming Flips
Will, Jada, and Aero Smith
Sham! (Like Wham!)
Disco English Muffins
Bela Fake and the Faketones
The Black Keyholes
Tim Peppy and the Heartdestroyers
The Further Backstreet Boys
Simon & Garfinkle
The Velour Underground
Billie Jewish Holiday
I have visions of the writer’s room with a board full of post-its.
Got any to add?
UPDATE: KennethInThe212 blog did cover a couple of clips from the show, including this one:
“She was once like Whistler’s Mother – now they whistle when she passes.”
Ladies and Gentleman, it is time once again to revisit that late great dynamic lady of song, Madame Spivy LaVoe (1906-1970), also known simply as Spivy. A lesbian entertainer, nightclub owner and character actress, Spivy has been described as “The Female Noel Coward” – to which I add “…. if he was born Bertha Levine in Brooklyn.” You can see earlier posts about her here and here.
Since my last Spivy post, I was thrilled to see that she had been profiled on Dennis Dermody’s Cinemaniac website, and even happier to see that, after a little nudge, I was given some credit for all the “borrowed” photos, video and large portions of my previous posts. Bless his heart, I’m sure it was just an oversight.
Moving on… today we will be listening to Auntie’s Face, a song written by Broadway actor and fellow nightclub performer Guy Moneypenny. Spivy’s recording was featured on her 1949 album An Evening With Spivy.
Spivy had something of a catchphrase that she would use to introduce a song: A solemn pronouncement that “This is VERY sad and we must be VERY quiet, please.” She would then launch into a number that was anything but either of those things. At least four of her recordings contain this introduction – one can imagine that it was a playful way to get the attention of a noisy nightclub audience.
We all have strange relatives… but let me tell you about my Aunt Grace.
She’s a MAD thing. This is very sad and we must be very quiet, please.
This is the tragedy of poor Aunt Grace – how she became a complete disgrace
It all began when she lifted her face and decided to be young and gay.
Since she’s become a rejuvenated case, the whole house suffers from her madcap pace
There’s no longer any quiet in the whole damn place
So we lift our eyes to heaven and pray.
Please God make Auntie’s face fall. For we’ve all got our backs to the wall.
Her reputation’s battered. Our principals are shattered. She hasn’t any moral code at all.
Her breath now reeks of bathtub gin. Goes out nights in search of sin.
We wake up in the morning to find her coming in… from an all night brawl.
We’re all in such a dither, for heaven knows she’s coarse.
When she brings the milkman with her – wait ‘til you hear this one – why must she bring his horse?
Please God make Auntie’s face fall. For nothing is sacred at all.
We caught her teaching Granny to manipulate her fanny in a rhumba with a cashmere shawl.
And just last night they phoned from the jail – it seems they’re holding Auntie ‘til we fork up the bail
They found her on Broadway singing Love For Sale. Yes they did! And the price was small.
She steals cigars from brother. She’s thrown away her glasses.
She was once like Whistler’s Mother – now they whistle when she passes.
She thinks she’s the belle of the ball. We’re afraid that she’s going on call
Dear God we beg your pardon but to hell with Lizzie Arden
If you’ve any mercy left at all… please God make Auntie’s face fall!
Some of Spivy’s other recordings contain obscure references that require a little research and explanation. Not so with Auntie’s Face: Cole Porter’s song Love For Sale is still a well-known standard. The line “To Hell with Lizzie Arden” is a reference to cosmetics queen Elizabeth Arden, whose beauty product empire still stands. And who isn’t familiar with Whistler’s Mother? Furthermore… a song about plastic surgery certainly rings truer today than it did 70 years ago. It may come as a shock to fans of the Real Housewives that the first facelift procedures took place in the early 1900’s.
It has been many years since I was first asked this question, which always seemed to be posed by a gay friend or acquaintance. Each ensuing discussion regarding why this 1945 film is a Christmas classic inevitably includes a mention of The Delivery Woman. “Just wait for her;” they would say.
The Delivery Woman appears 11 minutes into the film – just after we meet leading lady Barbara Stanwyck. She enters carrying a large box tied with a bow – it’s a mink coat. She has two lines – six words: “Miss Lane?” and “Same to you, Miss.” She smiles throughout her performance – she is beautiful. Stylish. She wears a hat, cape and gloves. Tasteful earrings. And she has a musical cue – a slinky clarinet riff. She seems to know things.
One friend described her as “sassy” although I think that assessment is a modern projection. She is on screen for just over 10 seconds. And then she is gone. She has other places to go. Other minks to deliver.
“Wouldn’t it be great if postal workers dressed like that?” is another comment I have heard more than once. I think she is actually a department store delivery person and not a postal worker. In any case, yes, I agree – capes and hats and leather gloves would be a welcome addition to any FedEx, UPS or Amazon Prime uniform.
We do not know the actresses name. The IMDB does not list her. One day I expect to receive a blog comment that says “You uneducated fool! Everybody KNOWS it’s a young Rudy Dee / Hazel Scott / Dorothy Dandridge.” Until that time… the mystery remains. At least in my house.
In the 1995 documentary The Celluloid Closet about the history of homosexuality in Hollywood, writer Susie Bright says something along the lines of “A gay audience is so accustomed to crumbs that you will watch a whole film just to see a hint of a gay subtext.”
In Christmas In Connecticut, it’s pretty clear that Barbara Stanwyck’s sham fiancee – a disinterested interior designer – would be gay if 1940’s society and the movie code allowed. But that’s beside the point. The same statement can be applied to any minority in a classic Hollywood studio film – you wait for someone to show up, cross your fingers for a positive depiction, and then hold onto it when you find it.
The Smart Bitches, Trashy Books website mentions The Delivery Woman in a 2016 post dissecting the film. “PERSON OF COLOR. PERSON OF COLOR;” they scream upon her entrance. “This movie is already more inclusive than several films released this year.”
And this is why, 75 years after it’s release, I am writing about 10 seconds of this film.
I tip my stylish cap to that nameless actress. We salute you!