BACK TO BASICS

Monday, August 28, 2006

Clarence Thomas, Emmys, and More!

Well dear friends, it’s clearly been quite some time since I’ve regaled you with another smash-hit showbiz story. As I’m sure inquiring minds want to know, I’ll give you a little dish on where I’ve been, who I’ve seen, and what I’ve been doing since late March.

First, as I’m sure you read in Washed Up Weekly, I’ve been touring Back to Basics, my ever changing cabaret act, around this lovely country of ours (and in a few, very select, very drunken engagements in Mexico. Don’t drink the water. Trust me.) The show has brought a whirlwind of press, emotions, and hurled Molotov cocktails. Geoffrey met a lovely fella named Jeffrey. Clarence Thomas said he liked my cans. Oh, and Winnie Mandela took time off from ordering people’s murders and gave me a lovely boxed set of Small Wonder DVDs.

Other than the show, I did have a little legal ballyhoo that needed settling. It seems that in New York State, strolling down the street to get some eggs in the nude is against John Q. Law’s idea of decency. Well, what can I tell you? I was drunk, bored and needed eggs. And as Dr. Kitty Carlysle Hart used to say: “Who’s got time for pants?” Well, fear not faithful Gomes fan; I eluded charges with a slap on the wrist. Well, it was more a slap on the bottom. Seems there’s one judge in this county who enjoys a little Regis Philbin action…if you get my drift.

Well, now that you know what I’ve been up to, let’s get down to brass tax. Lots of people are hemming and hawing about this Mel Gibson fiasco. But I say it’s all hooey. If I was scrutinized for every anti-Semitic thing I said, Elie Wiesel wouldn’t have officiated my 8th wedding to celebrated novelist Irving Berlin. So, I won’t rag on Mel. Instead I’d like to address some of the hoopla that’s surrounding the upcoming Emmy awards, to be broadcast on NBC; that network of undateable gays named Will and poor starving people weeping on a desert island. I thought this would make an interesting story as I could shed some light on my ill-fated 1972 television show Face Down in the Alley Way: Crystal Gomes Reads the News. So turn off your pagers, silence your telegraph machines, and leave your crying babies with the ushers, because here we go.

I was living in Los Angeles for a month or two in the early 70’s, trying to make a go at it in the pictures. Later on, as I’m sure you know, I found some success in the films Daytona Call Girl: P.I., Four Monkeys Rob the Louvre, and Three Men and a Little Quaalude Habit. But, in the beginning, the going was rough. It wasn’t until Merv Griffin, drunk at Elliot Gould’s Yum Kippur party, approached me about this pilot he had bouncing around that the storm clouds began to part.

The concept was crackerjack: Me and some weekly celebrity guests discuss love, life, and never architecture in a real urban environment. The strange thing about this little project was that while appearing to be spontaneous, it was all scripted. I liked the idea, as I was not one to speak off-the-cuff at that time. We booked a young upstart named Bill Cosby and a bejeweled Lloyd Bridges for the pilot. Buzz was big, my drinks were cold, and little Geoffrey was floggin’ the bishop to a picture of Joey Heatherton somewhere in suburban Dallas. (Geoffrey, honey don’t get mad about that. I’m going for verite.)

Well shooting came and went, and we were hearing cash registers. Literally. We couldn’t afford studio space, so we filmed the show at an Ocean State Job Lot in Pawtucket. But what can you do, it was a gig. On the first episode we discussed Watergate, the growing crisis in Iran, and sandwiches. Lloyd Bridges always loved a Reuben. Me? I could take ‘em or leave ‘em.

But, I digress. The important thing about this is that we were an instant success. When we premiered in September we were number four. Which, for a new show, with far more drinking than Sherwood Schwartz’s little priss fest, was a big deal. We had eight glorious episodes filled with interesting debate, fabulous celebrities, and expertly choreographed wig changes (a young Kenny Ortega, doing his finest work before High School Musical.) Then, as always, disaster struck. It was episode nine. Shooting went fine, we saw no bumps in the road. The viewing audience, apparently, begged to differ. Apparently they didn’t like that fifteen minutes in, the episode devolved into a grainy snuff film where a young starlet named Faye Dunaway almost got the knife. We thought it was dynamite. Faye loved it. But…the public is fickle, my friends. After all the arrests (our 2nd AD, Gill Withers, was sent to prison for ten to fifteen,) things did cool down. But needless to say, we were given the ax and come Emmy time, we got nothing.

There are many awards I’ve lost and many I’ve never been nominated for. Lady Emmy, sadly, is one of the latter. I’ve never gone back to television, save the taped version of Songs for a New Face: Let’s Save Kenny Rogers, that was aired recently on Spokane public access. So…I’ll raise a glass to the current Emmy nominees. My pick to win it all? Jon Cryer. Two and Half Men is Albee done right. Believe me, I’ve seen enough bum productions of Zoo Story to know the difference.

How about you dear fans? Have you missed me? Who are your Emmy favorites? Leave a note with your email address and I promise to get back to you personally.

Well, this is Ms. Gomes signing off for the evening. And remember, you’re all gems. Whether you’re scraping the horse grease off the griddle at McDonald’s or contemplating suicide as a failed and scandal-embroiled investment banker, you’re only as small as you wanna be. Hell, that little kid who played Webster (another Emmy fave) was actually six feet tall. He just never believed.

Please believe. Goodnight. Remember to shave. And come see the show. I’ll be at the St. James, Utah Econolodge next Tuesday night. Save the date.

Posted by Geoffrey :: 12:28 PM :: 7 Fan Mail:

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