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04/19/2007


Towleroad Interview: Comedian James Adomian Talks Hacktivists and Gay Villains

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What do Kaa from The Jungle Book, Batman's the Riddler and the Sheriff of Nottingham have in common? According to comedy virtuoso James Adomian, they're all examples of the "gay villain" archetype, a ridiculous amalgamation of effeminate stereotypes for heroes to dominate.

Adomian's hypothesis is hilariously delivered on his stellar 2012 debut album, Low Hangin Fruit, which captures his blend of stand-up and impersonations. His material is rife with pop culture and political references, and his impersonations -- which include Gary Busey, Fred Phelps and Jesse Ventura -- are not only remarkably accurate, but they're well-developed characters shaped by Adomian's unique point of view. Though probably best known for his impersonations, he often talks about his own experience as a "homo-American," (such as his crush on Peter Dinklage, the time he was gay bashed or his time spent in small town gay bars).

Folks may recognize Adomian from the seventh season of Last Comic Standing or from his stint on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson delivering one of the greatest impersonations of President George W. Bush ever on television (if not the greatest). Comedy enthusiasts might have caught his appearances on Cartoon Network's Childrens Hospital and Comedy Bang Bang on IFC. He's also a fixture on several popular comedy podcasts, like Sklarbro Country, Comedy Bang Bang and The Todd Glass Show.

We caught up with Adomian at SXSW in Austin and chatted about being an out comedian, gay villains and the new TV series he's developing, The Embassy, inspired by the recent WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden stories. 

See what he had to say, and watch some videos of his work, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Actor Theo James Hopes We Have a Gay Action Hero Soon

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Theo James, co-star of the new film Divergent, spoke in an interview with The Advocate about the rising role of female action stars, such as Tris of Divergent and Katniss from The Hunger Games, as well as the bisexual allegory of Divergent. When asked whether or not he thinks we'll see an LGBT action star in the near future, he took a moment to think the question over before responding: 

It’s very hard to tell because today there are great shows like Looking, poignant pieces of work that revolve around a central cast of characters that happen to be gay. But I remember when Queer as Folk came out and thinking, Things are changing. Maybe there will be more [shows like this]. And then suddenly there was a drought. Hopefully the day [we have a gay action hero] isn’t far away.


Towleroad Interview: Lessons On Life, Love and Reality TV From RuPaul

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BY BOBBY HANKINSON

Fans of RuPaul's Drag Race have a lot to celebrate today. Not only does the beloved reality competition return with its sixth season tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern on Logo, but the show's host also drops his new albumBorn Naked (a reference to RuPaul's quote, "You're born naked, and the rest is drag"). To call the show a phenomenon would be an understatement. It's already been renewed for a seventh season, and its Facebook page recently reached more than one million likes.

BornnakedIn addition to becoming the cornerstone of the Logo network (including spin-offs Drag U and Untucked), it's launched its competing queens (and the art of drag) to new levels of prominence. RuPaul thinks the show's success can be at least partially attributed to the changing times.

"I think it's part of the reason the show Downton Abbey is so successful," he said. "In certain ways, we're mirroring the transition in that show from the 19th century to 20th century, but here we are still finding our way from the 20th century to the 21st century."

But it also could be partially attributed to him. As host, RuPaul can drop hilarious bon mots, encyclopedic pop culture references and drag-mama koans with equal aplomb. In or out of drag, he's fiercer than Tyra, more charming than Tim Gunn and could give Oprah a run for her money as a guide to living better. For some, the show is more than the usual throwaway reality garbage. It's a ru-ligious experience.

We had the chance to hear more of the gospel according to Ru last week when we chatted about the upcoming season. Find out how he thinks the show has changed (and how he's changed) since Drag Race debuted, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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GOProud Founder Jimmy LaSalvia On Signorile's Show: The GOP Has No Backbone — AUDIO

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Now that he's abandoned the Republican party, GOProud founder Jimmy LaSalvia is airing all of his grievances with the party that banned his group from CPAC in an interview with Michelangelo Signorile. He doesn't say anything that people on the left haven't been saying for YEARS - the GOP has been hijacked by a loud, powerful minority; they're unwilling to lose a small number of fringe voters to gain "multitudes"; the party has no backbone - but it's cathartic to hear someone who was once one of the party's major cheerleaders finally get a clue. 

LaSalvia actually had some rather scathing remarks about the GOP, such as comparing them to drug addicts who know they have a problem but can't kick it, or saying that they have a cultural disease that can't be fixed. He even recalled a rather telling moment during a conversation with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus when Priebus said, in regards to whatever they were talking about, "I can't do that, I'll get a call from Tony Perkins."

You can listen to LaSalvia lambaste his former party AFTER THE JUMP...

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Peter LaBarbera Has No Clue How To Enforce Criminalization Of Homosexuality: AUDIO

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Anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera seldom has any clue what he's talking about - something we have documented at great length - but a recent interview with Alan Colmes LaBarbera revealed a new level of how clueless he is. After hitting the tired bigoted talking points of how gay couples are unfit to raise children because it would normalize perversion, Colmes asked him how he would plan to ban homosexuality and punish violators. Rather unexpectedly, LaBarbera didn't know how to respond. He tried avoiding Colmes' inquiry, but was eventually pressed into admitting:

“I don’t know what the punishment [for homosexuality] should be.”

Mildly shocking given that in Jamaica, where he recently proselytized to keep anti-gay laws on the books, homosexuality can earn a jail sentence of up to ten years. Colmes then took him to task, which you can hear in the interview below.

Listen, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Christmas Queens: LGBTQ Performers Make The Yuletide Gay

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It was about 11 p.m. on a chilly Tuesday night in New York City, and RuPaul’s Drag Race season two queen Pandora Boxx was bouncing on my lap. It was the audience participation portion of her holiday show A Very Cougar Christmas, performed with drag superstar Sherry Vine. They’d already parodied “Winter Wonderland,” and Sherry damn near brought the house down with her rendition of “How I Blew Ya” (to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s solemnly revered “Hallelujah,” naturally).

A Hallmark holiday special, this was not.

The scene is not uncommon this time of year. Their show was just one of several drag odes to the holiays taking place in this very theater this month, and part of the many performances happening all across the country this season. Perhaps this is the war on Christmas conservatives are so worried about.

For Pandora, it’s just a natural fit. “Certainly with drag it's all about decadence, and what's more decadent and slightly gaudy than Christmas?” she said.

She’s got a point. Despite the religious origins, Christmas — the twinkliest, sparkliest (and some would say drunkest) of the holidays — has embraced the most over-the-top, theatrical queer sensibilities. And many in the gay community are embracing it right back

“There's Radio City Music Hall, if you want something traditional,” said Sherry. “I've noticed in the LGBTQ community, there's definitely a hunger for this kind of entertainment.”

Yes, for some in the LGBTQ community, making the yuletide gay may not be more complicated than a snuggle with your partner in tasteful sweaters, but for others there will never be enough tinsel, glitter and lights decking the halls. (There’s a reason “gayer than Christmas” is a high camp standard.)

Aesthetics are part of the appeal, but is there more behind the connection between the gay community and the holidays? Pandora, Sherry, Drag Race season five runner-up Alaska (pictured above), legendary drag queen Jackie Beat and The State’s Kevin Allison share their thoughts, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Christmas Queens: LGBTQ Performers Make The Yuletide Gay" »


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