David Bruce: The Funniest People in Television and Radio: 250 Anecdotes — Gays and Lesbians, Good Deeds

Gays and Lesbians

• The first lesbian game-show host was probably Hella von Sinnen, who co-hosted Alles, Nichts, Oder!? (All, Nothing, Or!?) in Germany. While accepting a Bambi award (the equivalent of USAmerica’s Emmy award) in 1990, she astonished the audience when she said, “I would like to thank my wife for her support.”

• Gay deejay Jeremy Hovies of Sirius OutQ Radio occasionally receives a telephone call from a person who wants to tell him that homosexuals are evil. When that happens, he asks why the caller is so much more concerned about gay sex than he — a gay man — is.

• Gay men can be judgmental. An overweight TV sitcom star once participated in a Hollywood Christmas parade that was televised. As she rode down Hollywood Boulevard, many gay men greeted her by shouting, “Lose some weight, b*tch!”

• Chastity Bono, the daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher, was still a teenager when she said to her best friend, “Gina, I have something to tell you. I think I’m gay.” Gina’s reaction was excellent — she shrugged, then said, “What’s the big deal?”

• Lesbian humorist Ellen Orleans once attended a National Lesbian Conference in Atlanta. When she was there, someone posted this sign: “L.A. Law update: Abby asked C.J. for a date. C.J. said yes!!!!”

Good Deeds

• During the late 1950s, John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy worked together on the Senate Investigations Subcommittee, and they appeared on its televised hearings. After seeing them on TV, Kathleen Ann Corley, an 8th-grade student in Chicago, decided to write them and ask for autographed photographs. She sent her letter to John F. Kennedy, although it was addressed to both brothers. He quickly sent her both a letter and an autographed photograph, then he gave the letter to his brother Bobby, who also sent her both a letter and an autographed photograph.

• Oprah Winfrey is considerate and knows how to give good gifts. The executive producer of her TV talk show (and a close friend) was Debra Di Maio. Ms. Winfrey once gave her the all-expenses-paid gift of dinner with her friends — one dinner a month for a year, in various exciting cities around the world!


• Ed Sullivan could be a good man to work for. For one thing, he was a good editor. If a comic routine needed to be shortened, he could tell the comedian where it should be cut. Once, Shelley Berman performed a comic routine that ran 12 minutes in rehearsal. After rehearsal, he received a call to see Mr. Sullivan. He expected that the sketch would need to be shortened, but Mr. Sullivan instead suggested that a line be added. That night, when he performed the sketch live on TV, Mr. Berman noticed a change in lights, and the addition of violin music, both of which enhanced the poignant tone he set in the second half of the sketch. And when he went backstage following his live performance, a telephone call was waiting for him — Mr. Sullivan’s wife had called to congratulate him on his performance.

• Before becoming famous as the host of Late Night on NBC and the Late Show on CBS, David Letterman appeared on television in his native Indiana. Among other duties, Mr. Letterman hosted late-night movies in a program he named Freeze-Dried Movies. During what was really his second week of hosting the show, Mr. Letterman celebrated what he called his “10th anniversary” as host.

Husbands and Wives

• Vicki Lawrence starred on The Carol Burnett Show and Mama’s Family for years, but fans sometimes mistake her for either Carol Burnett or Carol Lawrence, an actress who was married for a while to singer Robert Goulet. Once, she was guesting on Password, and at one point, members of the audience were allowed to ask the celebrity contestants a question. A woman asked Vicki, “Carol, what was it like being married to Robert Goulet?” Vicki decided to answer the question, even though it was obvious that the woman had confused her with Carol Lawrence: “He was a total son of a b*tch, and I divorced his *ss.” The woman in the audience was shocked, but Password host Allen Ludden nearly peed his pants laughing. A little later, Vicki was at a party, and the real Carol Lawrence was present. Vicki was afraid that she would be angry, but Ms. Lawrence told her, “I heard about Password — you took the words right out of my mouth.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Los Vaccine — “Operation Y Twist”


Music: “Operation Y Twist”


Artist: Los Vaccine

Artist Location: Russia


“I’m 46, I love surfrock, and I’m from Moscow.

“Los Vaccine is a DIY [Do It Yourself] project.

“I get inspired by Dick Dale, John Blair, Guano Padano, Messer Chups, Sailor Ksou & Seasick Surfers, Nebulas, Aqualads and other musicians.”

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $3 (USD) for six-track EP

Genre: Surf




Los Vaccine on Bandcamp