A Lifetime of Happiness

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

April 14, 2021 Steve Bennet-Martin, Stephen Martin-Bennet Season 1 Episode 63
A Lifetime of Happiness
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Chapters
A Lifetime of Happiness
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar
Apr 14, 2021 Season 1 Episode 63
Steve Bennet-Martin, Stephen Martin-Bennet

The Steves discuss To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, along with What's Making Them Happy and their Binge and Purge recommendations.
Topics covered include:

  • Tarot- and the "Trusted Tarot" app on the App Store
  • BloodFest on Amazon Prime
  • Ginny and Georgia on Netflix
  • To Wong Foo background and production info
  • Road trips
  • Stephen's lifelong love of movies
  • Steve's cruise crush before high school
  • Stephen's Goldilocks takedown
  • "I am a drag queen"
  • A deep dive into the life of Julie Newmar

Ending- Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/happylifepod)

Show Notes Transcript

The Steves discuss To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, along with What's Making Them Happy and their Binge and Purge recommendations.
Topics covered include:

  • Tarot- and the "Trusted Tarot" app on the App Store
  • BloodFest on Amazon Prime
  • Ginny and Georgia on Netflix
  • To Wong Foo background and production info
  • Road trips
  • Stephen's lifelong love of movies
  • Steve's cruise crush before high school
  • Stephen's Goldilocks takedown
  • "I am a drag queen"
  • A deep dive into the life of Julie Newmar

Ending- Any music or audio clips were borrowed from the original source material.

Support the show (http://www.patreon.com/happylifepod)

Steve:

Turning happies and new listeners. This is Steve Bennet- Martin, and

Stephen:

this is Stephen Martin-Bennet. And welcome to a

Steve:

lifetime of happiness. The podcast where we take you on our journey through some of the movies, television shows, and other bits of pop culture that are helping to keep us happy while hopefully bring a smile to your face. And today

Stephen:

we are road tripping it with the Seminole gay classic to Wong foo. Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar.

Steve:

Yes. And thank you. My love for introducing me to this movie, because it quickly became one of my favorite movies that you introduced me to that. Or a classic because I am of the age where being a 1995 movie, it has a classic for me.

Stephen:

It just makes, makes me so happy. Every time I watch it, I still laugh. I still smile. It's just a fun moving.

Steve:

Yes. And so before we take that trip and take the show on the road, what's been making you happy. My love. Well,

Stephen:

Because we have been fully vaccinated and. My side of the family has been vaccinated. Your parents have as well. But my brother organized a family dinner. And, or I'm sorry. My parents organized a family dinner with my brother and his family and my aunt and uncle. And it was the first time that we have all been under one roof in well over a year. And it was really nice to get to sit down with everybody. And be normal.

Steve:

Yeah. I was going to say I missed most of them and it was really great catching

Stephen:

up. Yeah, it was fantastic. But what is making you happy, darling?

Steve:

Our vacation recently to new Orleans, as our listeners have heard about if they've been catching up on our more recent episodes was great, but one of the things we did, there was a terror reading. And with that, we got to Paris. We got to set a taro cards. You already had one recently. And I also download the trusted taro app, which has a free app. Where rather than using her daily horoscopes, because Spotify burned me on those because Spotify is main horoscope app tells you that you're getting this unique horoscope just for your sign. And then it's the same one, basically for every single person signing. When I realized it, my worlds were suck because I haven't been listening to it for weeks. And I was just like, So convinced that they knew me and I was like, no, they're manipulating me, but this one is like, you pick your one card out of like the 52 or whatever, and you pick it and it's scary how accurate it is. Cause I've been normally waiting until like 11 or 12 o'clock before drawing it. And I'm just always like, well, that's been my day so far and where it's headed or I needed to read that to get me back on track. Yep.

Stephen:

Absolutely. I downloaded it too. And I absolutely agree. I really enjoyed taro. My friend. Aaron McKinley got me on to Oracle cards that were angel cards. And so I'd been doing those for awhile and then decided to switch over to taro. And it's just a really interesting way to check in with yourself and with the universe and. It is happy making.

Steve:

Yes. You know what also is happy making my love. What? Darling bingeing stuff on TV. Yes. We can take that knowledge to help purge it from people's watch lists. Well,

Stephen:

this time. It is good stuff like blood Fest on Amazon prime.

Steve:

Yes. And as the, as the name and the title might sound, it is a romcom. No, just kidding. It is a horror movie about blood fests, the scariest horror themed park adventure

Stephen:

ever. Yeah. So these people want to go to, you know, how. People go to the music festivals and things like that out in the desert. Well, this is a horror themed festival and

Steve:

it turns out

Stephen:

to be real. Yeah. Things go really wrong, really fast and it's super entertaining and I really, really enjoyed it. So if you're looking for a fun horror romp, Look up blood Fest on Amazon prime. It's included with your prime subscription. It's a good time.

Steve:

Yes, it certainly is. And if you're looking for a little bit longer of a journey for a good time, we actually have a Netflix TV show recommendation. And that is Ginny and Georgia.

Stephen:

Yes. Is the story of a family who moved into this upper class, mainly white town in Massachusetts. And they had moved from Texas and it's Georgia is the matriarch of the family. Jenny is her daughter. And you know, Jenny has never had a real home home life before, and she's never stayed someplace long enough to have friends in school. And Georgia is pretty much a con artist from the word go and. It's really interesting. And it's funny, the family dynamics, the acting. The friends Jenny makes it's a good show. I recommend watching

Steve:

it. Yes. It certainly is. It drew us in from the preview with Jimmy schooling, her English teacher. Yes. And it drew us in from that. And it's just very well-written and it makes me very nervous about what are the youth of our, you know, our youth are up to in their free time, because if it's anything like that, I miss. Yeah, exactly. I'm glad that we just have a little cockapoo care for instead. He's easy to take care of.

Stephen:

Yes. So the movie this week is too long food. Thanks for everything, Julie Newmar. And back when I was in high school, we used to do this thing with my group of friends. We would call them shindigs. And after we got out of high school on Friday evenings, we would pile into whoever had cars and we would go to the park or McDonald's or someplace else. And we would wander around town 16 year olds playing on the playground or we'd go shopping. And then it always culminated in going to see whatever movie was at the Robey theater. That night and each person got a turn of picking the movie for the shindig and I picked to Wong foo, thanks for everything, Julie Newmar, as my shindig pick. And I remember really loving it, but also. Growing up in a small town in West Virginia in the early nineties, this wasn't anything that anybody was the drag queen aspect. Wasn't anything we were used to this small town with like six people. Yeah.

Steve:

Yes. Well, I was like, your town needed the movie. The movie was made for towns like your town. Yes.

Stephen:

So the, the corruption of the movie is it's a 1995 American comedy directed by BB Kidron and is written by Douglas Carter Beane. It stars. Wesley Snipes as Ms. Nug, ZEMA Jackson, Patrick Swayze as miss Vieta Bowen and John like was Arlo is Chichi Rodriguez, but we shouldn't also ignore that. The important other character is Stockard Channing. One of the most wonderful actresses to grace, the cinema screens over the last. You know, 50 years, but our three dry New York city drag Queens embark on a cross-country road trip from New York city to LA for the drag queen of America finals. And along the way, the movie tackles topics, Trump homophobia, racism, misogyny. And abused well showing what it's like that we all have in common and what matters most.

Steve:

Yes. Ultimately it's what makes us the same. Well, what makes us different is what makes us the same? Yes, absolutely. Yes. And so with this, its title refers to an autographed photo of a Julie Newmar that they carry with them on their journey. But I had this question for you of who is Julie Newmar. Well, and we were watching this and what did you tell me? She's

Stephen:

woman. And she was the only woman for me. No offense to Eartha Kitt or Lee Maryweather because some people really love them, but I always felt that Julie Newmar. Persona fide Catwoman in the old Batman TV show the best.

Steve:

Yes. And see, for me, I did not watch bat man or a Batman, like growing up. It was a little past my time and I know of Eartha Kitt as Catwoman because all the drag Queens do her in snatch game. But I did not know Julie Newmar enough. To have considered her a gay icon. So I did some extra digging and she was born on August 16th, 1933. She's an American actress, dancer and singer. She's a Leo just like me. By age 15, she was the prima ballerina for the Los Angeles opera, which makes

Stephen:

sense, because she is so statuesque.

Steve:

Yes, that's what I hear in the movie. And she won a Tony award for best featured actress in a play for her role as Catherine's fag in the 1958 Broadway production of the marriage go round. And then as you mentioned, she did two seasons of Catwoman in the TV series.

Stephen:

Yep. I grew up watching that on. The family channel, which is now known as freeform.

Steve:

Yes. And did you know that she also ended up going back and redid the role of Catwoman with voice work and Batman return of the Cape crusaders in 2016? Yes,

Stephen:

because they got that. They got the living original cast members from the Batman. TV show from the sixties and did an animated version of it. I have not seen it, but it does sound thoroughly enjoyable.

Steve:

Yes. Now, in addition to that role, just being a role, she performed very well. I found two other bits that would maybe consider her to become a gay icon. I'm not only was she an actress, but she also was a laundry model and an inventor. Of lingerie in the seventies, she received two U S patents for panties and the pantyhose were described as having a cheeky, dairy air relief and promoted under the name of nude Mar and what they did there while the Brava is inspired by Marilyn Monroe and was promoted as nearly invisible. So, you know, as much as gay men don't necessarily love the lunch or right. The whole fact that this woman was like a powerful inventor who was taking charge of her body and making money off of it in Like smart businessy type woman way was just something that, you know, I know that we always admire. But also she does have a gay brother, John Newmar and in 2013 she won a lifetime achievement award from the gay and lesbian elder housing organization in LA for her work, supporting them giving affordable housing to LGBTQ seniors.

Stephen:

She's pretty impressive. And I love learning. More about her, like growing up, she was, I only knew her as Catwoman and it's great to see this whole. Fleshed out life that further emphasizes how wonderful she is.

Steve:

Yes. And she doesn't take herself so seriously either because she did. Co-write a comic book series in 2013 called the secret lives of Julie Newmar, Roshi travels across time and space fighting crime. That sounds fantastic. Yes. And so I don't know whether all of these mean that she's like a gay icon in terms of like a lifelong activist or huge like stout ally. I didn't see that she's been like, you know, touting political organizations or movements, or, you know, been as vocal as some modern day, you know, activists are big allies, like, you know, lady Gaga for instance. But I mean, for the time she was strong, she was powerful. And I can see, especially for drag Queens, She was someone to look up to in terms of like a female that you would want to embody and impersonate. I

Stephen:

think, honestly, the thing that stuck out for me, from what you researched was all of her support for finding affordable housing for LGBT seniors. I'll

Steve:

ask her a little bit about seniors. Don't leave

Stephen:

my life. We do. And that sounds more like a less glamorous, but very important thing. And. That just seems totally like, you know, I'm going to work behind the scenes and help people. And I think that not everybody has to be flashing in the front if. You're still getting the work

Steve:

done. Exactly. And so everyone, that was your gay education from me. And thank you to the 20 minutes I found or so scouring, Google for all of that information on her.

Stephen:

So the production of the movie they cast Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo immediately, but there was a. Kind of act your bidding war for the role of Vita,

Steve:

where they, they had a lot of big names that were up for the role. Didn't they?

Stephen:

Danny Jr. Matt Dillon, Rob Lowe, James Spader. And it ended up going to Patrick Swayze. Now, how did he end up getting the role darling? Well,

Steve:

he did this, I learned in the making of featurette on the DVD by having his own makeup people transform him into Vieta and had Beavin take a walk around the city to prove that he passes as a woman, to which then she said with his beauty and dancers, grace, he did just that he had the job. So,

Stephen:

and some people forget that, you know, they've seen Patrick Swayze in dirty dancing, but he comes from a large dancing family, like his mother. And she may not now, but for the longest time she taught. Ballroom dancing. And that's where he got a lot of his training. Was it came naturally with the family.

Steve:

Yes. And something that I find funny in terms of the stories behind the scenes is that he was a little more like miss Vita than he might've liked to believe because John Leguizamo comes from a big comedy background and does a lot of standup. And so he would ad lib a lot of his lines and Patrick Swayze, especially at first would get so frustrated or when they were like having a really long day and. You know, th these men were not used to wearing the amount of makeup and clothes. You know, when they're feeling cranky and just trying to wrap the day in John is just ad-libbing and making cracks left. And right that one night, one time they actually came to him was punches before you know, the director had to step in there. Their pregnant director had to step in to stop them from fighting each other over the

Stephen:

ad-libbing. And because. Except for the very beginning of the movie, they're in drag for the entire movie. So just imagine these big guys in full drag being like I'm gonna punch

Steve:

you. And while the movie, you know, is considered successful today, because it, you know, got legs and became more popular as it went on it was not considered a huge box office success. It has a box office of 47.8 million. It was number one at the box office in the us for its first two weeks in theaters, but not hit what they were

Stephen:

doing. No, they were hoping that it would be kind of like a birdcage success of over a hundred million dollars, which is what they consider a blockbuster. And it, they put a lot of advertising into this really pushing it and touting it. So it definitely didn't hit what they were hoping to. And. I think the movie was slightly ahead of its time. Yes,

Steve:

I, I agree. And they also were really trying to go all out because in those beginning and closing scenes, those were both shot in New York. And they got some really famous guests. I mean that we still know today from our, you know, gay and drag culture, like Ru Paul, who I didn't get back. Like even when you showed me and you watched it when you were young, so I'm sure. Did you get the racial tension? So

Stephen:

her drag name in the movie is Rachel tension. And

Steve:

she's coming like down from the sky wearing a Confederate flag.

Stephen:

Yeah. And I didn't get it at all. I didn't get that. Rachel tension was racial tension. Didn't get it. And it wasn't until I was in my twenties and it was like, Oh, that's funny. Yes.

Steve:

And you also see a lot of other drag Queens. You might know, like lady, bunny, miss Coco, Peru,

Stephen:

and actress, Candace cane is in there and. It's it's really nice to be able to look back and be like, Oh, Oh, Oh. And I love Coco Peru. I think she is hysterical. And at some point we'll do the movie trick so that we can do some of her best lines from that bathroom

Steve:

scene. Yes. Well, I know that I love my drag Queens, but most of my experience with drag Queens has actually been via TV and movies. And so do you have any experience going to shows like this, like in New York city or big city shows?

Stephen:

Well, so. Cincinnati is not that big of a city. We had to, we had several million people. Well,

that's

Steve:

still a big city. That's a big city show talking

Stephen:

about it. So one of my closest friends penetration Along with Nigel control and my friend JC, they opened up so Nigel opened up below zero the bar, and then they took the upstairs space and turned it into a cabaret. And penny was one of the original founders of the cabaret. And every weekend they had these amazing drag shows. And even. Another Ru Paul's girl ended up moving to mistakes summers. She ended up moving to Sarasota or not Sarasota, sorry, Cincinnati. And she worked at the cabaret for several years before she ended up moving to Texas. So I, you know, dizzy drag shows in college, but the moment I moved to Cincinnati, we were seeing at least one drag show a week, sometimes more. And so drag was just part of my gay education.

Steve:

Yeah. Yes. Lucky, lucky jelly, but you've helped catch me up now with you know, in addition to drag being the major theme of the movie, the whole idea is that they're trying to get from one coast to the other, for a drag competition. So it's also a road trip movie. And we now at this point, know a couple of things about road trips. Don't we,

Stephen:

dear? Yes, we do. So we did a. Full day driving road trip out in the desert around Las Vegas, where we went to the grand Canyon and both sides of the grand

Steve:

Canyon at that. Yes. And so with that, we got to drive with our little style and flair with a top down as well and got to live our best lives

Stephen:

as the queen say, it does come down to the age, old question, style or substance. Hmm. Well, luckily

Steve:

we pick the style with the car and I was with you. So that was great substance.

Stephen:

Thank you. Yeah, we did have a convertible as we were driving through the desert. So that was just amazing. And we recently did our road trip to new Orleans and. You know, road trips in and of themselves can be amazing as long as you're on them with the right people. So thankfully you and I road trip together very well.

Steve:

Yes. And want to know something very funny about the way that time travel and podcasting magic work. What is that darling? It ends up while Nazim is breaking down definitions for people about the difference between like gay, straight, what is drag and what is not. I wanted originally to point out during this episode, the transsexual is not an okay term to use any more for people that are transgender, it's transgender. And I wanted to get him to Y we record next week's episode before this week's episode. And at the time we don't know why, but because at the time, I didn't know. Why I actually Googled and I do know why now.

Stephen:

Oh, well do tell us why did they change the terminology from transsexual to

Steve:

transgender? Well, it's not so much as much that the term isn't like the term transsexual is not used anymore. It's more that, that is a medical term. That really is none of your business because that just determines on whether they've had the full. Gender reassignment surgery. And so a doctor would like consider this was from my Googling. I haven't consulted with an expert, but from my Googling and my understanding, which is more than I had beforehand. And I am more than some of our listeners might or might not have That that's the, you know, what happens after you have the surgery, but you don't go around calling people transsexual because you don't know whether or not they've had the surgery because it's also none of their business. They shouldn't be asking questions like that. So transgender is when. You're transgender when you're not born in the body that you are, and it takes the whole gender reassignment surgery out of the definition.

Stephen:

Right? Wow. Well, that is a very, very good description. And thank you for doing that research

Steve:

for us. Yes. I mean, I love that you have helped me like learn the right terms, but then when I ask why it's nice knowing all the words. Yes, absolutely. Now I also with sheriff dollar, he was the villain in the movie.

Stephen:

He was definitely one of the villains and you know, they're driving, it's late at night, they're lost and they get pulled over and, you know, Vita immediately is, Oh, what in the gay hell, which is a phrase that I have totally taken. And I still use I've used, I don't like use it in front of the residents at work, but at work, if something happens and I'm like, Oh, what in the gay hell? Yeah. And so. Sheriff Dollard pulls over our girls.

Steve:

Yeah. And they handle it with that little bit of humor more so than I think it might happen in real life because I mean, that would be something that's terrifying for any, you know, even for us being a gay couple pulled over today, I'd be worried just in case we headed up with a homophobic cop, but to be a drag queen in drag where your license doesn't match. Right.

Stephen:

Because Vieta said that his name was, is it her name was Eugene on the license. Yeah. And You know, then we they're definitely in rural America. So you have people that are black indigenous people of color in the car with Vita and the sheriff, you know, uses nasty words. About the other two in the car, Chichi was like, FITA handle this, you speak honky. And,

Steve:

I'm sure Ronnie, he probably use that more

Stephen:

than once. Like the, what the Vitta gets out of the car. And the sheriff tries to put the moves on Vita and ends up molesting Vita and Vito pushes him down and he hits his head on the ground, knocks out. They think he's dead. And which starts the whole possibly dead sheriff

Steve:

Dollard. Yeah. And at that point, she she's just ready to throw a big temper tantrum. She's just over it. She's over the whole trip. And she loses her princess points. She got earlier.

Stephen:

And so we, you know, have had to remove Ronnie's princess points on several locations. Whenever we were in college together, And I love how the, you know, they do it in here that cheese, like, did I ask to come on this chip? No. And they're like, you know, as soon as I find the next man, I'm going to ride him on out of here and leave you off. Alone. And they're like, you would give up on us this easily and then does the whole hand motion, which I'm doing right now. But you can't see through the magic of podcasting. Oh no, I feel it though. Wow. Oh, I didn't, I didn't take away your princess

Steve:

plants, darling. Thank you. I like my princess points right where they are,

Stephen:

but so they like, and then the car is broken down. In in the middle of nowhere and we're not actually sure what state this is in their original thought of course, because it's the middle of nowhere. And, well, the last person we saw only had two teeth. So West Virginia, no, not West

Steve:

Virginia. That's not how the Roadtrip would work. If they were going to California, what

Stephen:

day they could have cut through there because they were in Pennsylvania to go to Vito's hometown. West Virginia is just South of Pennsylvania. Okay.

Steve:

Well, yes. Well, wherever it is, it's a town called Snyder's Ville. And that's where they really get the chance to not only meet the three characters as drag Queens and kind of their drag personas, but actually them as human beings and watches their characters kind of grow and evolve. Yes. Now, have you, I know better than to ask if this is what her town was like, so let me rephrase it. Have you ever been to towns like this where it really is just one block?

Stephen:

Fuck. Yes. And so honest to goodness, the there's towns near. Spencer that we're just, you know, a part of the road, like, and that was the town. Like there, it didn't extend off to the side. There may have been houses, but the only shops were just that one road and it was one and done. So. Absolutely. And there are absolute places where there were only like 25 people in the whole town. So the places like this. Are definitely real. And having that mix of characters, I totally see that happening. And it, this is the really where the movie starts to get fun as. Our Queens start interacting with certain groups

Steve:

in the town. Yes. And one thing that I learned in the documentary, which I find interesting as we get into the characters of the town is that wall the director even kid drawn did most of the directing. She did give a lot of credit and still does to this day for the work and influence that Steven Spielberg had with the movie. Like at this time he was kind of in between projects and he had time to kill and he helped advise her. And he was even to the point where she being that she was pregnant during the shooting. And she went into labor the night that the movie wrapped. That he was ready to even jump in and help her finish the project. If he needed to that. In the original script, all of the townspeople had double names. Like every single one was Bob and Jane billers, you know, and I understand that as well. And he was like, that's not what it's like, you know, it happens. It happens a lot, but not every single person in a small town has a double name. Right. Steven J

Stephen:

exactly. But, I mean, we do still have Carolanne Bobby Lee, Bobby Ray, but there's also Clara Clara. Right. So, and I can say, you know, I came from a family and I used to tease my mom whenever we would go to family reunions that she'd be talking about family. And I was like, Oh, you mean Nancy C. Lee Ray, Joe, Bob. Yeah. There were like two first names are a thing in rural America, especially back in the day. So this does fit, but Steven Spielberg is right. It's not everybody.

Steve:

Yes. And in terms of all the, the towns folk that we meet, there was one that I actually identified. IRI identified a lot of her, saw a lot of you in them, and that is Clara. Because of her lifelong love of movies and I

Stephen:

have had a lifelong love of movies. And also

Steve:

if something were to happen to me, I can imagine you just seeking into a deep depression, just like her until a drag queen lifts you up and makes you happily. Back to yourself,

Stephen:

again, as long as the drag queen comes along, I can live with that as well. Yeah. It won't

Steve:

be that long. You won't have to wait until your Claire is aged. She'll be like a year later and then like Geneva or someone will swoop in and like make you all better. Okay.

Stephen:

But I've always loved movies and it really I, you know, I wanted to be an actor, but also it's coming from a small town in the middle of nowhere and watching movies with these fantastical places. And it's a form of escapism.

Steve:

And I know that that's why I loved reading so much. And I kind of reading books, I traded for TV and movies now more so, but I mean, I still love books, but it was the same thing as, you know, as a way to transport you to a different place.

Stephen:

Absolutely. So, and you know, Clara with her, she and her husband had the movie theater in town that went out of business. And, but they had this passionate love together. And so it was them running this movie theater. And I can see that, that totally lifting her up and like fulfilling her life. Noxzema wanted to get to Hollywood, to be a star. She wanted to be discovered and be the next Dorothy Dandridge. Yes,

Steve:

and I love just their interactions with each other were just very sweet as it went through the movie.

Stephen:

Well, I mean, Clara is so calm and quiet and well-mannered and knocked Zima will grab people by the testicles and make them use their manners properly. Exactly

Steve:

as it's necessary. Sometimes I know

Stephen:

it's happened more than once,

Steve:

but it's also, I mean, just that's one of those things that the movie discusses and for a comedy and a pretty lighthearted comedy, they tackle a lot of issues. A lot to a light extent and they do them all well, at the extent that they do not to say that this is a movie, all about abuse or all about sexual violence are all about this, because it's not about any of those things, but it does acknowledge that all of these things happen and that does it in a way where it is portraying them as not. Okay. Yeah. But you know, that is something that happens and it's just sad that, you know, Whether it's that they're drag Queens or whether it's, you know, a lot of them, you know, the whole town assumes that they're just women. And just the fact that this town assumes that these women are just by themselves and helpless means that all of these guys can just try and sexually assault them left and right throughout the movie, I can only imagine just how scary it must be traveling as a group, a small group of women, or as a woman or two. I,

Stephen:

I mean, and we definitely see that because you see the things posted on Facebook, where if you're walking to your car, put your keys between your fingers or you know, or don't walk. Alone at night by yourself.

Steve:

Yeah. And so it's just, they, they acknowledge it in a nice way. But what's another town's folk in a relationship that you really love.

Stephen:

My favorite is between Vita and Carolyn and Carolina's played by stocker Channing and Vieta, as we said, is Patrick Swayze. And Carolyn is a matriarch of a large family, her husband, unfortunately Beats her and he is violent emotionally, verbally, and physically to Caroline. So it was interesting seeing stocker Channing in a role where she doesn't portray. Stockard just natural strength that she exudes seeing her weaker. But I love her in this role. For all the things and all the notes that she brings to it from the kindness. The part with the abuse was definitely hard to watch. And it's not, again, something you weren't really expecting in this movie. Yeah.

Steve:

Out of the blue, all of a sudden, you know, with the seasonings and the, you know, the hit you. Yeah. You don't expect to see that in the movie. And it's shocking as it would be shocking in real life to have that happen. But you know, it's something that the, throughout the relationship and like Vita, just giving. Caroline the strength to say like, this is not okay. Like you deserve better or you are worth more. You know, cause Vieta had a similar upbringing. It sounds like. Or at least the way that she discussed it, it, wasn't more of like a verbally abusive and emotionally, emotionally abusive to the point where, when she came out as Bita and said, like, this is who I am. She's cut off from the parents, even though the parents were like upper middle-class or they were like upper, upper, upper class. Yeah. Yes. And then like, I mean, while I was not upper upper class, I was certainly upper class. And I like, I understand when I came out as gay, it was not great for my parents. They ended up coming past it, but I also can't imagine what it would have been like if I was like, I'm a drag queen too. I know, I can only imagine where we'd be right now. And so you know, with that, it's something that I saw a little bit of, and I'm glad that, you know, you can, by talking about it, that's how you make it better, you know, not by ignoring it, like everyone else in the town has been doing for years to let it get to the point. Cause he also probably didn't get to the point where he could beat her over dinner overnight. It probably was a lot of smaller things that just kept on going and getting worse and no one stopped them.

Stephen:

And you can see that, you know, she. Yeah, abusers another way is to make them have all these children and, you know, she didn't feel worthy. She didn't feel like she had any self-worth or knowledge. Her job was wife and mother, and that's all she saw herself as. And Vieta coming there and, and all three women treating her like a real person and she was more than what she had been living like. And you can see her begin to change over the course of the movie, but it's especially the relationship between. Vita. And caroliniana where Vieta says, I trust her and she trusts me and you can, but in their interactions you can see that they really do.

Steve:

And yeah. And they really see each other too, because at the end you know, for such a small town in passing as women the entire time, she said that she knew, and she still let them change her and let her grow. And she kept their secret that she knew because of the Adam's Apple Adam's

Stephen:

Apple. And excuse me. Yeah. W women don't have an Adam's Apple, only men have Adam's apples. And, you know, I just think that I am very lucky to have a female friend who just happens to have an Adam's Apple and

Steve:

that that audience and listeners is why we didn't need to worry about having the audio grid for that section,

Stephen:

because, Oh, I've seen this movie so many times. I love it, but, and that's. One of those things. And VD even says, you know, Caroline just come with us and like, leave this town of Carolyn's. You know, I got these girls to raise and I, none of them seem

Steve:

worth raising

Stephen:

Bobby Lee was great. We don't, and the others were super nice, but you know, I, we also see that Caroline is able to fix their car that was broken down. That her husband was like, yeah, Oh, I can't fix that. I need this part and Caroline was able to fix it. So she has all these talents and the women helped her see that she is more than, so I did love that part. And in my, you know, head cannon the girls, especially Vita. Like they go back and visit. Yeah. And they keep in touch. Yeah. I don't see in my mind, that's not the last that they all saw

Steve:

each other. Yes. Now, while Carolyn might've known all along about the women one person in town who did not know that they were actually, men was bought little Bobby Ray, Bobby

Stephen:

Ray, Bobby Ray, Bobby Ray, Bobby Ray. And immediately loves Chichi.

Steve:

And she, she S D do you think that she, she loves him back? Or do you think that she likes getting the attention from someone who she thinks is just attractive and likes her as a

Stephen:

woman, but it's not just attractive it's because cheat, she admitted that to make ends meet cheat had been working as a sex worker. And so, but you have Bobby Ray who. Isn't trying to put the moves on her and isn't being inappropriate and is just being kind and is treating her with the respect and courtship that Gigi's always wanted. So Chichi knows better than what she's doing, but for the first time in her life, somebody is treating her how she has always felt. She wanted to be treated. And so she's willing to lie to Bobby Ray and pursue this no matter what Vida's like, you can't do that. You can't play with human emotions. Yeah. And. You have a story along these lines?

Steve:

Well, it's similar. It doesn't have the dishonesty and the, the, the creep factor of the whole, not, not knowing that she was a drag queen, but in terms of like being on a little vacation, like watching it, I kind of remembered that when I went on my cruise between eighth grade and ninth grade, I was also at that age were on the cruise ship. You w you know, you were too old to be on like the kids' activities, but you were too young to be part of the adult activities. And so it was kind of. Awkward place. And I was just coming to some terms with my sexuality and I, I met like two, two people, two kids on the cruise ship or my age, a guy and a girl. And I even forget their names, but I know that like the guy had a crush on the girl and then I ended up developing a crush on the guy and he was straight. But like, I, I also think like part of the crusher is like part of the. The confusion of the feelings was because like he was attractive, but also, like I knew, cause I only was going to be seeing them for a week. He was one of the first people that I told I was gay and he was like, all right, cool, let's go do this other thing. And like, and it was a non-issue for him. And especially after like the first person I told was gay, said like me too and stole my thunder. And I was like, it was super nice having this experience where I was able to, you know, and I guess just, that's kind of what caused that confusion for the week, but that was my little teaching moment.

Stephen:

And one of the things that, you know, this may have shown straight, people are always afraid that gay people are going to hit on them. And I can let you know, that's not going to be the case. If we know you're straight, we're not going to bother because it's not going to work out for us. I mean, that would be like, and just so that we're all clear in case there are any straight people. Just in case any straight

Steve:

people exist. Yes.

Stephen:

Just because you have a penis does not mean we're attracted to you just in the same way that Roseanne BARR has breasts. And we're pretty sure that most of you aren't going to be going after Roseanne BARR, you can use that same correlation. Yes.

Steve:

And if she is you're young good for you,

Stephen:

but we're not going to yuck. Anybody's yum.

Steve:

Yes, but she has a good one. Example use because as a human being, she's a dumpster. Well,

Stephen:

she is, yes, there are some other great townsfolk, like Blythe, Danner, who a great actress. People know her also as Gwyneth Paltrow's mother. And she is. I'm in love with Jimmy Joe, who owns the restaurant in town. So her name's Beatrice, she's in love with Jimmy Jo, but because of where they live and the time they grew up, they still in the nineties are feeling that it's not okay for me to be with a black man and the black man's like, well, I can't go after the white woman. And. Like, but they both separately are admitting they have these feelings and it's our Queens coming into town that are bringing this life in this joy that they both decide that yeah, I'm going to, I'm going to go for it. And I love that story. You also have Melinda Dillon who. Is Myrna and she has the hair salon in town. Most people would know Melinda Dillon as the mom from a Christmas story, you know, you'll shoot your eye out. So that was neat to see her. And another movie and Beth grant, who's a great comedic actress as Loretta, but they all get to take part. And one of the most fun sections in town, whenever they do. The makeovers and the fashion montage scene where they all put on clothes from the sixties and seventies. Yes.

Steve:

And that is a trope that happens in many different movies across genres, but it's something that's always fun to watch. I don't think that I've ever gotten a chance to really do it in real life. I mean, I've certainly had my are little mini fashion shows or we go out to places, but it's to try and close that we're buying, but. Have you had any experiences like that where you'll just try anything ridiculous with our friend, just to be ridiculous.

Stephen:

So my friends then I used to go thrift store shopping, where I got my amazing black leather trench coat that I still have, or, and like it was $350. I got it for 30. So. And we would be like, you need to try this on and make the other person try on some ridiculous things with glasses. And then they had to come out. And so it wasn't to this extent, but yeah, it's fun to just go in and try on some ridiculous things and come out and like, you know, Ooh, you are feeling yourself.

Steve:

Well, we will have to do that sometime together and figure out ourselves, Oh, I just saw it. I did. Oops. Well, we'll have to do that too, but we don't have to wait long to do that.

Stephen:

Okay. So we also have some bad people in town. And it's kind of funny that the leader of the bad group is Michael Vartan who plays the good guy lead in Jennifer Garner's alias TV series. And so, you know, they come across and they first tried to physically assault Chichi and Bobby Ray saves her and then they're rude. And as I mentioned, not Zima. Gives them a what it's for

Steve:

as like in that moment, I also saw you and not Zima as well, because you've been known to, to give your sheriff takedowns when people have coming don't they?

Stephen:

So, one of my favorites is I was at below zero and I was upstairs watching my friend Sherry's cabaret act and the bathrooms upstairs weren't working. So he had to go downstairs to use the ones in the main bar. And my hair was a little more yellowish. My hair was a little bit longer. And as I was walking into the bathroom, this older gay gentlemen said, Hey, the Goldie locks. And I just smiled. I was like, Hey. And I went back by, Hey, there, Goldilocks. And it was for the rest of the night. And so and I just kind of ignored it and trying to be kind And by the end of the night, I was signing my check pairing my tab to leave. And he walks up and he says, Hey there, Goldilocks. How about coming home with Papa bear tonight? And I looked at him and I pointed at his stomach and I said, You know what, that's too big pointed as crotch that's too small and gesture to all of him and all of that is not right. He goes, you don't have to be a bitch about it. And I said, you brought this on yourself.

Steve:

Yes. Well, the, you know, as much as consent matters, physically also verbally, he tried multiple times and it never did. Say yes. Flirt please, or show any responses that you were appreciating it. So he did bring it on himself. Yes. You know, who also ultimately brings it on himself in the end? Is it possibly

Stephen:

did sheriff dullard

Steve:

yes, because he's not dead. But he does end up with one of Vida's heals and he goes on this whole Cinderella story of internalized homophobia because it ends up that the more and more that he's talking about it. And we see him obsessing over it. It's because he's.

Stephen:

Men touching man. Oh. Being with other men. Oh, feeling men they're hot in here. They're they're stubbly cheeks there. Like he's at a bar just going on and on about this and you know, harder and harder. And people were making and the other police officers were making fun of him because they're like, let me get this right. You got beat up by a girl and no, it was not a girl. It was a man dressed as a woman. And when I bring back these corpses, if you look up their dress and you see something that you shouldn't see, well,

Steve:

I don't know what. Yeah. So luckily though, And when he does go and try and come after them, the entire town rushes to their defense, all saying that I am a drag.

Stephen:

Yep. And it starts where you honestly think it's Vita coming out. But it's Carolan who had taken her wedding dress and died at Scarlet red. And because she, at that point, had thrown Virgil out and so stocker Channon comes up there and she goes, I am a drag queen. That's my shoe. And then Clara is like, I am a shoe please. And he's like, you're a drag queen. Nothing is pretty, could be real. Yeah. And like, I'm a drag queen, big boy. And they all, and he has internalized homophobia. It keeps getting worse. And he was like, yeah, you all are just taking in these deviants. And, and the three Queens are like, These people are defending us. We didn't want to come here. And these people are defending us more than our own blood family ever did. And we've only known these people for a few days and it's like, you know, me, everybody comes together and they work together and, you know, As much as the Queens changed the lives of the people in the town, the town changed them for the better too. Yes.

Steve:

Agreed. And I mean, thanks to the town's folk and the journey and everything along the way, while the three of them were going across the place to compete and going into it, it looked like Vieta or Zima were likely winners. Who ends up winning

Stephen:

a sock of all shocks. It goes to Ms. Chichi Rodriguez and she walks out and she looks so elegant and she's got the look she's got the walk and she bends down to be crowned by.

Steve:

These wrinkly old hands.

Stephen:

No miss Julie Newmar. Both can be true. No, we don't bad about Julie Newmar. And again, even though she's in the movie for 35 seconds. Yeah. It just, you know, it, there, they were leaving town. Vieta gave the picture that they had stolen from the Chinese restaurant to Carolyn. She goes, you may not know who this is. And Carolyn's like, Oh, All right, Julie Newmar, you know, I always thought she was so statuesque.

Steve:

Yes. And she is. And so with that it just all comes full

Stephen:

circle. And so what are your final thoughts on. The movie in

Steve:

general. I think that it must've been amazing. Being able to watch this at a younger age when this came out and to see drag Queens in these roles and especially being portrayed by these actors that were known to be masculine men. Oh, orange,

Stephen:

I mean, Wesley Snipes as action star comedy star lade, and Patrick Patrick Swayze from dirty dancing and Roadhouse. You know that it's just not what you would expect and you have other well-respected big names in the movie, like black Danner and stocker Channing. So it gives the movie. A D an earned respect from the names that are in it.

Steve:

Yeah. And then tackles enough things where people, when you go through things can see yourself in a little bit of each of these characters, but you get to see them overcoming it. So it helps make you feel good while watching it. Yeah. So I really love it. I

Stephen:

do too. It makes me happy. It does make me happy, which is so good that we decided to. Do it for our show. And it's one that I do think has still aged well. And because the topics that they discuss about, you know, racism, homophobia, spousal abuse, those are happening, they're all happening.

Steve:

Timeless. Unfortunately it made me happier news though. You know what else makes me really happy? Is it our fans, it is our fans, our listeners that I just love so much. And so if you are interested in giving us feedback on this show or want to make your own suggestion of what gay or drag related movie we might cover next, email [email protected]

Stephen:

And that's H a P P Y L I F E P O D. And you can also find us on all the socials, whether that's Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at happy life pod.

Steve:

Excellent. And thank you everyone for listening and stay happy.