James Brown III, from The Little Mermaid, and Tony James, from The Lion King, certainly would've scandalized Mr. Disney with their beautiful, serious dance duets with other men, but it became clear early on that the night's winner would be Hair's adorable, long-tressed freak show Anthony Hollock, who, for his talent section, ran onstage in a dress blaring a trumpet, then sat down at the piano and brilliantly deconstructed "Out Here On My Own", Coco's big Fame number. Then, with back-up dancers, he broke into a funk version of the song. Then, to top it all off, with Seth Rudetsky, one of the night's judges, filling in as the sleazy pornographer behind the camera, Hollock recreated That Disturbing Scene. And to think that, in the movie, it came only moments before the inspiring graduation finale "I Sing the Body Electric"! How darkly ironic and unprocessable for an early-eighties tween was that?
It got us thinking about other TV and movie scenes that we saw at too early an age, like that All in the Family episode where Edith Bunker was almost raped. No! Wrong! We asked other people at the pageant if they could remember such scenes. Hollock said all of Titanic, when he was 13. "To see them embrace that kind of love real quick when you know they're gonna die?" he shrieked. "You know the boat's gonna sink." Venerable drag queen Hedda Lettuce, who hosted the after-party, said An American Werewolf in London: "My father took me to see that with my brother, and I have to tell you, I was terrified for weeks. Every time I heard a howl or a bump, I would scream."
But you know who really hit this nail on the head for us? Ana Gasteyer, another of the night's judges. "When the dad dies on Good Times?" she ventured. "And the mom dropped the platter?" OMG, girl, you are so right! DAMN DAMN DAAAAAAMN!
-- TIM MURPHY
Previously > From Mean Girl to Showgirl?