Last weekend, right after hightailing it out of Phyllis Diller's home/art gallery, my starfucker pack and I drove over to CBS Studios, where Brian had gotten us in for a taping of Hot in Cleveland. (Here's how Valerie Bertinelli describes such an outing. Here's a photo album.) This is a show that has steadily grown on me; I think it's got sharp barbs and superb talent, enough to make it a pleasure to watch even when it's having an off episode.
We arrived on time (somehow) and quickly discovered Brian's photo op with Betty White (which he'd earned by virtue of an encounter with Ms. White at a signing and a subsequent correspondence with her assistant, one that generously included a donation to her foundation) was going to mean he'd sit apart from us so he could be escorted to a meet-and-greet with Betty after. I wasn't too crushed as I've met her twice and already have an astoundingly great pic-with co-starring Ms. White, but Rich and especially Don were hoping Brian would be able to spread some of his down home fairydust on the situation.
I hired my sweet pal Brad as my videographer and met him at the Westin Bonaventure just in time to check in and take our places. I kind of hate how the carpet was set up—the guests were allowed to congregate behind us to stargaze, which was distracting. But it was nothing compared to the women two spots down from me whose entire goal was to flash a huge "FREE GAY HUGS!" sign and video themselves receiving said hugs from roughly two-thirds of the celebrities who walked. (And I thought I was lame with my aggressive pic-with requests!) They were so damn loud! Luckily, they didn't ruin any of my interviews, but only by sheer luck.
Brad's mic needed batteries (he's blond; sorry, Brad) so I wound up videoing my own first chat, with Jennifer Tyrrell. She's the lesbian mom recently booted as a den mother by the virulently homophobic Boy Scouts of America. Smart woman and immediately likable. Unreal that they're getting away with that crap. I was a cub scout (I bailed on Webelos mainly because...what the fuck is a Webelo???) and fondly remember my Pinewood Derby racing days as well as the hillbilly band we assembled for a talent night. Not to mention the father/son cook-off, in which my father and I had a well-appreciated coconut cream pie. But still, fuck the Scouts.
My first stars were Angela Featherstone (STUH-nning, but my campadre confessed she had been an ice queen on a recent shoot) and Michelle Paradise of Exes & Ohs. No Megan Cavanagh, but they were delightful.
Next, I snagged Grant Gustin of Glee. I don't really follow the show, but no one that cute is getting past me without a third degree. He's adorable and quite articulate, even if he refers to gay people as "homosexuals," which totally didn't offend me because he was totally doing it to sound smart, not homophobic. I had a homosexual crush on various parts of him.
Max Adler from the same show was equally adorable and charming. He's passionate about his role, even though it came as a total shocker that his bullying character would be written as a late-blooming man-lover.
TV Guide (July 19—August 3, 2010) correctly "Jeers" at Hot in Cleveland for "stranding a quartet of golden girls with tin-plate material" and "lukewarm jokes." Still, it's been renewedfor a second season. And now Betty White will also appear on an episode of Community, one of the only shows with which I'm familiar that I think is even worse. (Just wait till you see how awful Outsourced is, though.)