Sunday, September 05, 2010

In the Future Everyone Will Be Famous for Fifteen Minutes. Or in My Case, Less.

Okay, as promised (threatened?) a few weeks back, here's my epochal appearance on The Joe Franklin Show. As you may recall, I was hyping my book Gender Chameleons: Androgyny in Rock 'n' Roll, a literary masterpiece that is unsurpassed and will probably make my name live beyond eternity.

The panel includes some guy with an insane porn mustache, a lovely soap opera actress, and two members of the cast of the then huge Off-Broadway hit Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.

It's kind of hard to explain to non-New Yorkers just what a cultural touchstone the Franklin show used to be. Suffice it to say that its format -- Z-list celebrities and a totally clueless host -- made it extremely popular amongst hepsters with a fondness for alcohol or controlled substances. Also, in the days before everybody had cable, it was pretty much the only thing on late at night that wasn't a rerun.

There's also a very sad postscript to this, I'm afraid. As you may have noticed in the clip, I was trying very hard to flirt with the actress from Vampire Lesbians, this despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that I couldn't quite decide if she was, in fact, a biological female. I ultimately concluded that she was, but she proved immune to my charms and after we finished taping the show, I pretty much forgot about her.

Until five years later, when I saw this obit in the NY Times:

Needless to say, an upper middle-class white woman dying of AIDS was pretty much an anomaly back then (as it still is now, actually). In any case, it was just a heartbreakingly awful thing to read; she was so young and so talented.


Dave said...

Don't take it the wrong way, but I was disappointed with the interview. It was more like a Charlie Rose interview than a Joe Franklin. What was JF on that night? He actually was engaged in the interview, asked decent questions, and didn't deflect 75% of the questions to other guests.

Great job, Steve. You were funny without goofing on JF -- I hated hipsters who did.

Along with anything Oogie, my favorite bits of Uncle Floyd were his Joe Franlin Show skits. Did your Uncle Floyd reference in the last post remind you of the interview?

Faze said...

Shakespeare, Jan Morris, Motley Crue, Charles Busch, Joe Franklin ... the mind reels.

steve simels said...

Dave --

You know, that hadn't occurred to me till just now, but you're right -- by Joe's standards that WAS a pretty decent, serious interview.

On the other hand, the ten minutes of stuff we edited out -- where he's talking to the other people on the panel -- is vintage jaw-dropping non sequitur JF.

A friend of mine saw him in Times Square last week, actually. Thought he was Larry King...

steve simels said...

My favorite Joe Franklin Show story. Starring the great Italian director Dario Argento.

Scroll down; it's at the end of the article.

This is absolutely true, BTW -- I would kill to find the video...

Gummo said...

Joe Franklin and steve simels -- the meeting of 2 New York icons.

The mind reels.

BTW, Mrs. Gummo says you are MUCH better looking now.

Edward said...

Lots of nervous scratching there Steve;> Hope you've gotten over it.

steve simels said...

Hey -- considering I was on heroin at the time, I think my performance was brilliant.

steves said...

Nice job, Steve! And may I add that I recognize something of a young, Semitic Hugh Laurie in your TV persona. And that was indeed sad about Ms. Robinson, but frankly, I thought the lovely soap opera star, who was obviously born female, was far more flirt-worthy...but hey, that's just me.

Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary said...

Franklin's the guy on the left, right?

Sal Nunziato said...

I'm impressed. (For real) Now if I can only find the episode of Sunrise Semester where I was a ten year old guest, discussing children's authors.

Best moment, scratching my crotch while in my Catholic suit and tie.