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Gay Iconography: Legendary Laughs from Lily Tomlin

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Early last year, actress Lily Tomlin married her partner Jane Wagner after being together for 42 years. Tomlin’s sexuality was something of an open secret that the comedian neither denied nor outwardly confirmed.

She described the pressure she felt to come out to The Advocate in 2009: “There were some fans who really wanted me to come out. And some media. Time magazine offered me the cover if I would come out. That was in 1975. I don’t think anybody was coming out yet then, and I frankly was not interested in being typed as the gay celebrity. I think what Ellen did was incredibly brave, and she paid a price for it—and she did it about 20 years after I got that offer.”

Although she declined the now infamous offer from Time, she would go on to eventually grace the cover a few years later. Tomlin has said that her decision not to come out publicly had less to do with her wanting to keep a secret (she frequently acknowledged Wagner in interviews) and more with the media’s lack of interest in her love life.

Even though she may not have officially come out to the media, Tomlin remained an outspoken feminist and supporter of the LGBT community, as well as a source of subversive comedy in her stage shows and TV appearances. Her work as Tommy Velour, for example, was the kind of gender-defying performance that challenged audiences to reconsider their definitions of normal. Her work spanned genres and fit just as comfortably on mainstream television as it did in her hilarious one-woman shows.

As the host of the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center’s Gala in 2010, she spoke more directly of queer history: “Years ago when Judy Garland died and the Stonewall Riots happened – in June of 1969 for the upstarts in the room – I was working in New York at Howard Johnsons. Honestly it’s hard to believe that even then, at that late a time, at a gathering like this, we could be surrounded by paddy wagons and we could all be arrested just for being here as gay folk. How far we have come. God love those pissed off queens from back in the day! You have to love them, you have to remember them, you cannot forget. I certainly will not.”

Check out just a few of our favorite Lily Tomlin clips, AFTER THE JUMP

Continue reading "Gay Iconography: Legendary Laughs from Lily Tomlin" »


What To Watch This Week On TV: Fonda and Tomlin Bond Over Gay Husbands

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Check out our weekly guide to make sure you're catching the big premieres, crucial episodes and the stuff you won't admit you watch when no one's looking.

— Legendary actresses Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin unite for the new Netflix comedy, Grace and Frankie, available to binge watch Friday. The series reunites the 9 To 5 co-stars as two women who come to depend on one another once their husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterson) leave them to become lovers.

A lethal lip sync, action in Essos, and more TV this week, AFTER THE JUMP ...

Continue reading " What To Watch This Week On TV: Fonda and Tomlin Bond Over Gay Husbands" »


Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's Husbands Have Left Their Wives for Each Other in 'Grace and Frankie' - VIDEO

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Netflix looks to be continuing its winning streak of original content with Grace and Frankie, an upcoming comedy series about two women who form an unlikely bond after their husbands reveal they are gay and leave them for each other.

Synopsis via Netflix:

In Grace and Frankie, Jane Fonda (“Grace”) and Lily Tomlin (“Frankie”) star as two women whose lives are suddenly turned upside down when their husbands reveal they are gay and leave them for each other. Both sparring partners and partners-in-crime, they form an unlikely bond to face an uncertain future together and discover a new definition of “family,” with laughter, tears and plenty of mood enhancers along the way.

The series also stars Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, along with Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, Baron Vaughn and June Diane Raphael. The executive producers are Marta Kauffman (Friends) and Howard J. Morris (Home Improvement).

Watch the debut trailer, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's Husbands Have Left Their Wives for Each Other in 'Grace and Frankie' - VIDEO" »


Obama and Lily Tomlin Had Fingers Crossed for Drag Queen Tribute at Kennedy Center Honors: VIDEO

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The Kennedy Center Honors took place last night in Washington, D.C., and the annual performing arts honor was bestowed on Tom Hanks, Al Green, Sting, Patricia McBride, and Lily Tomlin.

Before the event took place, President Obama offered remarks for the honorees in the East Room of the White House and Obama's humor was particularly on point. Take a look at the whole speech.

Said the President of Tomlin's tribute:

"When asked what she hoped her tribute tonight would look like, she said, 'What I’d like to see is a big stream of gay drag artists come out as Ernestine.' I haven't talked to George Stevens.  I don’t know whether this has been arranged. Although, I’d like to see it, too.  I think -- "

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(note: clip begins at Tomlin remarks - manually move it to beginning to hear full speech, including remarks on Green and McBride)

Continue reading "Obama and Lily Tomlin Had Fingers Crossed for Drag Queen Tribute at Kennedy Center Honors: VIDEO" »


Lily Tomlin To Become First Out Lesbian Recipient of Kennedy Center Honors

Lily_TomlinActress and comidienne Lily Tomlin will be one of 5 recipients of this year's Kennedy Center Honors, becoming the first out lesbian ever to receive the artistic recognition, The Advocate reports:

While several women previously honored have been rumored to be lesbian or bisexual, such as Lynn Fontanne and Katharine Hepburn, Tomlin is the first out female honoree. Numerous gay or bisexual men have received the Kennedy Center Honors, including Tennessee Williams, Stephen Sondheim, Aaron Copland, Edward Albee, Elton John, and Merce Cunningham.

Tomlin and another out lesbian performer, Ellen DeGeneres, have both received a different Kennedy Center award, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tomlin in 2003, DeGeneres in 2012.

The Kennedy Center Honors are given annually to "five extraordinary individuals who have spent their lives elevating the cultural vibrancy of our nation and the world," according to Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Remarking on Tomlin's contributions, Rubenstein commented, “From the days of her early television and theatrical appearances, Lily Tomlin has made us laugh and continues to amaze us with her acting talent and quick wit." 

Tomlin is slated to team up with her 9 to 5 co-star Jane Fonda for a new Netflix series Grace and Frankie, that centers on a friendship that's formed when the women find out their husbands are having an affair. 

This year's other Kennedy Center honorees include singer Al Green, actor Tom Hanks, ballerina Patricia McBride, and singer-songwriter Sting. The recipients will be honored with a gala that will be televised on CBS on December 30 at 9 p.m. EST/PST. Anna Kendrick performed in last year's gala, offering a special tribute to Shirley MacLaine.


Martin Sheen to Play Jane Fonda's Gay Husband in Netflix Comedy with Lily Tomlin

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Back in March we reported that Netflix was developing a 13-episode half-hour comedy starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda called Grace and Frankie.

SheenMartin Sheen is now joining the show as Fonda's husband, according to The Hollywood Reporter:

The single-camera comedy centers on nemeses Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin), whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands announce they are in love with each other and plan to get married. The women, much to their dismay, find that their lives are permanently intertwined and, much to their surprise, find they have each other. It comes as Netflix looks to push further into comedy, as original content vp Cindy Holland noted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Grace and Frankie is slated for a 2015 debut and is written and created by Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris (TBS' Sullivan & Son, According to Jim, Home Improvement).

(Top image: JaneFonda.com)


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