Matt Baume: A Salute To Sissies

Dr. Smith, Uncle Arthur, Mr. Humphries, and more!

  • oikos

    Wow, Uncle Croc’s Block. Completely forgot about that. Although I myself am not a sissy, sissies have fought a lot of battles for us and helped us win rights and they are a lot of fun and I salute them.

    • Gene

      I was a (mild) one…and, out of self preservation, stopped being one. that said, I have, when presented an unwanted report on a public offering by UBS, was asked “what can you make of this?” “well..a hat, or a broach, or a pterodactyl”….three men caught it and snorted coffee…everyone else just looked like “what?”. (who the hell has not seen airplane???)

      • Gene

        the best part of Vicious being played as two sissies who are loving it, is that the actos can also play Wizards who are Anir (show my nerdiness) who fucking kicks ass and saves Middle Earth in one case, and the other has been knighted by the UK, Denmark and I think the Netherlands and has played more than one badass. I love the BOTH and always have.
        .
        And Matt. I doubt you will read this, but, my husband, who is ill, and gets only so much joy and humor out of life, just…LOVES you. I have shown your pieces online to hillbilly housewives in E KY and had them say “oh hell..never realized it, but he’s right, aint he?” and changed minds. You are a Jewell. Thanks for what you do. You do it fucking well. Oh, and as a bit of a sissy, you have helped change this nation and the world, while the jocks at NOM, FRC and the AFA sit and wonder “what the fuck happened?”
        why was the better, bigger, more effective man in the end? πŸ˜‰

        • Gene

          shit…typing dyslexia…WHO…not “why was the bette”…..sorry..combo of need for haste and pain killers (my pharmacist is a client, and I know his mistress… life is good)

        • David Walker

          I couldn’t agree more, Gene, on both paragraphs. Especially your observations about Matt. He is a truly special person and I’m glad he’s on our side.

          • Gene

            Amen about Matt! I am a bit…formidable myself, so I am told. (recently barred from the Clairmont lounge for fighting…will be interesting to see the other Atlantans reaction to that ) and no slouch with words, but I would NOT want Matt as an opponent/enemy! he would eat me alive. I would LOVE to see him stuck in a broken elevator with Porno Pete for 7 hours…although I like Matt, and, would not really wish that on anyone…except maybe Anderson (and in that case, I would hope they had some lube…you just KNOW Anderson is a big ole bottom waiting to happen! πŸ˜‰

          • BlueberriesForMe

            Can we have some details about your “formidable-ness”? Do you by any chance turn into a Mean Daddy?

          • Gene

            yes πŸ™‚
            and, I am not saying I am special in any way. or particularly big (I am only 5 10). or..anything like that. Just that when my neighbor got really drunk and his girlfriend was screaming…half crying at that point “help me.” over and over and the other neighbors were (wisely..prudently..I admit this) calling 9-11 and standing on the street looking at the house with horror (late night, fall. many windows open, several people there) , I am the one who grabbed a heavy log and beat the back door in and told him to pick on someone his own size, not a small woman. Was it smart? no. drunk man who owns guns. What could have gone wrong?..I can give 100 reasons why I should have waited for the police (10 more minutes to get there)…but, she was already pretty messed up. Had he got his hands on me,he would have wiped the floor with me (BEWARE fighting with drunks…they don’t FEEL the blows..even if they are easier to land). etc. But, I don’t stand back and watch such things now.
            I don’t have masculinity issues. I don’t need to make a point. The neighbors now know this of course (and I was asked to run for neighborhood assoc president..flattering) but friends don’t. I mention it here only because I long ago got tired of the “gay men are sissies who cannot defend themselves (or others)”sterotype. 1) sissies I know, gay or straight, can fight like hell 2 ) aint cowards (see earlier leslie Jordan story) 3 ) I have no need to impress others with my manliness.But, I wont be the frightened coward who watched bad men hit abuse their kids/women I was when I was 16 and was told “stay out of it”. Never again. I watched the Lesbians I grew to know when I was 22 or 23 FIGHT against men who assaulted them, hurt them..denigrated them. Butch, lipstick, whathaveyou. none of them were weak. And from them I learned to be strong. and formidable. and, I am glad of it, and thankful to them for it.

          • The Larry Mac

            I am NOT trying to correct your spelling, but do you mean the Clermont Lounge, the basement strip bar? I spent a couple hours there once; between the Little Red Riding Hood act flirting with me and the formidable Goldie crushing a beer can between her boobs, and all the truly bizarre things in between, it was one of the most surreal nights of my life.

          • Gene

            yes. (so used to spelling name of road by same name that I misspelled the bar). and yes…the beer can trick is impressive. but, its blondie (me thinks) not goldie. (big lady…not to be messed with…those breasts should be listed as a deadly weapon). Its…surreal…and, not easy to get barred from πŸ˜‰

        • Oh wow I’m so glad you and your husband enjoy the videos so much! That means a lot to hear.

      • Cuberly

        In the film Kentucky Fried Movie Stucker plays a court stenographer in drag..HIGH-Larious….can’t find a clip though. If you haven’t seen it, do.

    • Michael Rush

      i found this on youtube years ago .. dr. smith from lost in space saying ” creature ” , i remember him having a wife and kids , always straight ( ??? )

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mF6dCD8n2E

  • GunnaHurt

    I can honestly say I don’t have a single Jack Macfarland in my social circle. He was a vile character. He used everyone in his life, treated them like shit, routinely stole money and things from Will, backstabbed him, treated his boyfriends like accessories, was lazy and rude and had no redeeming features. He was vindictive and underhanded. I get that it was comedy and was a parody. But he was still all of those things. That he was the embodiment of every negative gay stereotype was bad enough… that he was played by a closeted man made it just a bit worse. Sean Hayes was fine laughing at the gay community but refused to acknowledge he was a part of it. Like the really homophobic high school jock that you later find out was gay. Or the anti-gay politician who gets arrested for blowing guys in airport stalls.

    That said, I think we all know plenty of Wills. The professional guys who have their professional lives together but are complete failures at romantic lives. Their only “friends” are the equally pathetic faghags.

    Aside from that… I love this video and Matt Baume is so cute. He does a great job of this and I hope we get a lot more from him.

    • Octavio

      I’ve known plenty of Billies as portrayed in Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss.

      • GunnaHurt

        Well sure, and that character was great. He wasn’t a big butch manly man but he was likable and relatable. Jack was neither of those things. He was just repulsive.

        • Octavio

          Good to know it’s the character and not the actor. I never got on the Will & Grace train. I was happy to know there were popular gay characters in front of a wide ‘Merikuhn audience every week, but it wasn’t my type of comedy.

          • David Walker

            I lasted about two years and then decided that I got the joke and went elsewhere. Karen Walker was wonderful, but not enough to keep me going. Frazier, on the other hand, had me faithful to the final episode.

          • Anastasia Beaverhousen

            Oh, honey, I need to meet this Karen Walker person.

          • Reality.Bites

            Oh honey, first start with introducing yourself to walking a straight line.

          • David Walker

            I don’t know if you two would get along. She drinks a bit, you see.

          • GunnaHurt

            Oh and he’s done some amazing stuff. His depiction of Jerry Lewis was so spot-on it was jaw-dropping. This isn’t about the actor at all really, it’s about the character.

    • I don’t think Jack gets enough credit for his growth over the course of the series. He has some real moments of genuine pain that changed him and made him much more sympathetic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHPcV9CSPho

      • GunnaHurt

        Yeah, but in the final season he still was using people for money, backstabbing them all and he “kind of accidentally” set a booby trap for the Leslie Jordan character to kill him and take his money. He never really stopped taking money and belongings from people, he never really stopped being selfish and cruel. They had him be the one coming out because of the joke that “he’s such a big fag, how could anyone not know.” That would never have worked with Will’s character. Granted, I’d mostly checked out by about season 3 so I’m only sporadically aware of what he did after that.

      • GunnaHurt

        Oh but I love you, Matt, please never change.

  • BearEyes

    Well done, sir.
    This touched so many buttons and memories- thanks, Matt.

  • TampaZeke

    It’s probably a distinction without a difference, but some of those men were more dandies than sissies. Nevertheless, salute em all!

    • BearEyes

      it was easier to pass as a dandy sometimes

      • TampaZeke

        Agreed.

  • Octavio

    Deva, AKA DΓ©vΓ  ju, was my long time best friend and a major world class sissy. Dependably outrageous, on a flight back from Bombay to New York he saw Jane Fonda and was almost arrested for crawling up behind her in first class trying just to touch her. He was one of the most intelligent men I’ve known, physically active sneaking into ballet and modern dance classes whenever he could. And he was great company for impromptu hikes into the desert and mountains. He had the stamina of a goat and a matching appetite. He always knew the perfect wine(s) to match the activity. We drank a lot of wine together.

    These days the only sissies I know are both named Gustavo. They, too, are abnormally intelligent but not quite as much fun as Deva. However, they are exquisitely funny and very kind.

  • Robincho

    Actually, Matty, your exit was of the stage right variety, but whatevz…
    It’s nice for you to let us peek through another of your windows.

  • David Walker

    OK, so it’s time to drag out the Rogers/Astaire DVDs for a night of EEHorton and Eric Blore…and the occasional Rogers/Astaire dance. Also, I think I would have nominated Arnold in “Torch Song Trilogy,” but Matt gave Harvey a mention, so at least some attention was paid. Nathan Lane is another gay actor who can do sissies very well.

    And Matt is right…we learned to avoid many a fight by being funny or witty or tart. Verbal skills always come in handy, but I honed mine by getting away from bullies.

    • GunnaHurt

      I found Nathan Lane in The Bird Cage to be WAY too over the top. Honestly that whole movie I found a bit offensive. The premise was “you two fags raise me and all but you’re embarrassing and I want you to pretend to be someone else because this respectable extreme right-wing Republican guy looks down on you and we don’t want to upset him.”

      Even at the end of the movie, Gene HAckman’s character hadn’t changed his opinions at all. They went through that whole ordeal and he still hated them.

      • David Walker

        Some of us think life is like that. And you are right about the over-the-topness of the whole movie, not just Nathan, but there was something about Nathan that I liked. However, you should watch “The Nance,” if it’s still available. He was brilliant in “Love! Valor! Compassion!”, but he got in a tiff with the playwright and wasn’t hired for the movie.

        • Octavio

          A lot of poeple have had tiffs with Terrence McNalley. LOL! The Nance was a damn good movie.

      • Octavio

        The original Il vizetto (La Cauge aux folles) in French/Italian was a more honest and tender film. Ugo Tognazzi and Michel Seurralt did justice to the roles, not playing them too over the top. Lane and Williams were predictably Lane and Williams. Fun, but we’d seen them both in similar roles before. Plus, ‘Merikuhns (according to US film makers) can’t stand foreign language films ‘cuz we’re ‘Merikuhns. πŸ™‚

        • David Walker

          We as a people tend not to like to read our movies. However, back when I produced a movie series called “Movies B. T.” (before television), I made friends with a retired teacher who was convinced that the reading level of ‘Murkins soared with silent movies and started to decline with the advent of the talkies. And when you think about it, she’s wrong, but it’s an interesting point: You had to read the titles to know what was going on.

          • Octavio

            That is a major astute observation. I believe it carries a lot of truth.

          • David Walker

            She would have loved to hear you agree with her. We got along famously, but I never quite swallowed her premise.

          • Octavio

            Well, she was a girl. I wouldn’t have swallowed either. πŸ™‚

          • TampaZeke

            Was she wrong? The more I think about it the more I wonder if she may have been right.

          • David Walker

            She definitely has a point, but as a blanket statement…not sure. She would have loved having people arguing her point. Especially “her boys” arguing her point.

        • BobSF_94117

          Well, there is the language barrier. That’s why we have to remake so many British movies and shows.

          • Octavio

            Vi lo que hiciste allΓ­.

          • Piet

            Because we’re two nations separated by a common language. It always surprises me when people say they can’t understand English people talking. I’ve never had that problem. But I’m pretty old, and I can remember when movie people spoke a very different accent of American English which was appreciably closer to England English.

        • barracks9

          What the original Tognazzi/Seurralt movie had that Birdcage lacked sorely was the beautiful dignity of their relationship.

          • Octavio

            Bingo! That and the French Riviera. πŸ™‚

          • Cuberly

            Exactly, you had a sense they were an actual couple. One that had been through the wringer and had the interaction to prove it.

          • Yes.

      • TampaZeke

        I thought I was the only one. I’m actually still waiting for a really good movie with a gay main character and plot that doesn’t fall into the same old tired tropes and stereotypes.

        Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE stereotypical gay men, but they’ve been over represented in stage, television and film.

        • David Walker

          I understand that you mean mainstream Hollywood movies. When, indeed? But there is a treasure trove of intelligent, well-acted dramas, comedies, musicals, documentaries, and shorts in the gay cinema category. They aren’t porn and they aren’t just coming out or coming of age stories. I’m told Netflix shows some of them, and TLA Gay and Wolfe have trailers on YouTube. From time to time we get a “Milk” or a “Pride”, but both gay and lesbian lives are presented in our own movies.

        • pepΓ³n

          I loved the Strachey movies, and also Big Eden

      • Anastasia Beaverhousen

        So I hate to disagree with you, but Nathan Lane is an amazing and incredibly talented comedic actor. In everything that he has done, he takes it into high gear. If you have seen him live you would get it.

        • GunnaHurt

          I’m quite aware of his acting ability but I felt the director made him too much of a caricature of what homophobes think gay men are like. Right down to referring to himself as “a woman” in the opening scene.

          • Anastasia Beaverhousen

            I personally believe The Birdcage and Will and Grace are about extreme opposites. Will vs Jack, Grace vs Karen, Albert vs Arman. Every once in awhile being over the top is okay. Growing up and old with both, I will take it over closeted Uncle Arthur.

        • Piet

          Nathan Lane is an amazing stage actor. I haven’t seen him in much on film but what I have seen made me think he has trouble toning his performance down to the cameras.

      • Yes the son is a terrible person, no way around it. We talked about him on this week’s episode of Sewers of Paris. http://sewersofparis.com

      • Cuberly

        I may be alone in this but I really didn’t like the remake at all. I loved the originals, yes, the sequel too.

        • La Cage aux Folles is a wonderful, moving story. The Birdcage degrades it to cheap farce.

  • Captain Jack

    Are you free Mr Humphries?

    • TampaZeke

      I’m FREEEEEEE!

      • Captain Jack

        Ha! I have to go feed Mrs Slocombe’s pussy

  • TampaZeke

    Gil Chesterton! Absolutely loved his character on Frasier, which was chocked full of dandies/sissies. The only two male characters on that show who weren’t dandies were, ironically, Bulldog and Martin Crane, both played by gay men.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoMoU7tXCxQ

    • Anastasia Beaverhousen

      My favorite episode of Frazier was with Patrick Stewart as the opera director and Frazier gets outed. Just hearing Patrick Stewart say, “Fraaaazzzsssier” just makes me laugh hysterically.

      • Talisman

        This is my all-time favorites…

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mWiPaQ872c

        • TampaZeke

          Loved that one too. I also loved the one where everyone goes to the cabin in the mountains and the romantic wires get all crossed up with the hot French ski instructor getting the hots for Niles. It reminded me of “Noises Off” with Christopher Reeves, another favorite skit of mine.

          • TampaZeke

            How funny, they played the ski lodge episode last night.

          • Prixator

            My friend and I alert each other when it’s on cable when we notice (Frasier is no longer on very often here).

            Our other favourite episode is the Nightmare Inn. Roz: “Mulpipple Mubewwer”! LOL.

          • TampaZeke

            That one was on last night! “Watch out, he’s got a nug!”

            Gil Chesterton was at his dandy best in that episode playing Nigel Fairservice during his boyhood in Surrey, “romping
            with his school chums in the fens and spinneys, when the twilight bathed the hedgerows like a lambent flame.”

          • Prixator

            Great episode, with Frasier at the very end complaining “and nobody wanted me??”.

            My best friend and I still sometimes imitate the ski instructor when he says (in a French accent, rolling the r’s, and arched eyebrows) “Rrrreally??” to Niles.

          • Reality.Bites

            Daphne: Didn’t I tell you to leave Dr. Crane alone?
            Annie: And now I see why! You wanted him all to yourself!
            Daphne: I do not want him all to myself!
            Annie: Oh, I see! It’s a threesome you’re after! (pause) Well, I don’t do
            those anymore.

            Niles: Would you kindly get out of my bed? I am not gay, Guy.
            Guy: Please, acknowledge your true nature! Stop chasing these
            lesbians!

          • Prixator

            That episode was written by Joe Keenan, who’s gay – and he received an Emmy nomination for it. He wrote a lot of the farcical episodes on Frasier, as well.

            He also wrote a couple of (to me) hilarious novels – Blue Heaven and Putting On The Ritz. (I just looked him up on Wiki and he wrote another one in 2006 – My Lucky Star. But the most amazing thing it states about him is that he lives in L.A. and doesn’t drive a car!)

          • TampaZeke

            I also like it when he says, “Dun worry about theez lesbi-AH-ns!”

      • TampaZeke

        I love that one too. Frasier is definitely my all time favorite sit-com. Unfortunately it began to jump the shark when Donny came on and then Niles married Daphne.

      • Reality.Bites

        No one plays gay like Patrick Stewart.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wft3c07r1KY

        20 years ago. The man doe NOT age.

      • David Walker

        I trust you’ve seen him in “Jeffrey.” If not, free up your Sunday afternoon. It’s a great matinee movie.

      • Reality.Bites
    • Oh geez I can’t believe I forgot Gil! So wonderful. I saw the actor play Lady Bracknell once and he was just the bee’s knees.

  • BobSF_94117

    Some of those 30s and 40s sissies didn’t seem very much like sissies to me.

  • JT

    Couldn’t you just squeeze Matty baby?

    • GunnaHurt

      all. night. long.

  • Michael Rush

    I was sure he’d mention writer David Sedaris , especially ” Me talk pretty one day ” ( the book and the story in that book about correcting his speech in school )

    β€œHugh consoled me, saying, “Don’t let it get to you. There are plenty of things you’re good at.”

    When asked for some examples, he listed vacuuming and naming stuffed animals. He says he can probably come up with a few more, but he’ll need some time to think.”
    ― David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day

    • Ah, so many great literary sissies. I just adored everything David Rakoff did and it’s devastating to be without him.

      • Octavio

        And don’t forget Proust. πŸ™‚

  • Jafafa Hots

    Mentioned in passing in the last few sentences was Snagglepuss. If I’m not mistaken, Snagglepuss was meant to sound like Joe Besser, who was a short-time member of the Three Stooges, better known for being on the Joey Bishop show, and other work.

    • Jafafa Hots

      actually, after seeing the clip above, it reminds me tat Snagglepuss was supposed to be Ed Wynn.

  • TKW

    One question I have had: are sissies all necessarily gay? I have known a few that were married with kids and I have gone back and forth whether they were closeted gays or just effeminate straight men. Thoughts?

    • Good question. There are certainly plenty of straight men who have played queeny archetypes, and while I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, it often winds up being an offensive appropriation. Hank Azaria, in my opinion, does a lovely job in The Birdcage, but I know he sets other people’s teeth on edge.

    • Steve Teeter

      I had a friend in college who was as nelly as you could wish for. But he was straight. Totally.

      • TKW

        I have a friend from high school. He had a slight lisp and collected Avon Collectable cologne bottles, seriously! Had a whole shelf for them in his bedroom then. Now, he is married with three kids…closeted or just different priorities in life or straight fem…I always have been curious…

      • Drew2u

        Same with my best friend. Whenever we’re together, he’s pegged as the gay one – poor guy.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Proud to say I’m married to a sissy otter (he is hugging me in the pic)…..and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Funny thing though, many people give us a second or third looks because I’m quite masculine and often get asked “why are you with him?” It’s ignorance of course, but very telling as to how far we still need to go. Long Live the Sissy!!!!

  • tomfromthenews

    Well, Paul Lynde on Hollywood Squares always did it for me in my childhood/teen years. Best sissy ever.

  • Cuberly

    Thanks so much for this Matt.

    One of my favorite sissies, albeit one with a baritone voice, was Robert Preston in Victor Victoria. He had such great, gay best friend, chemistry with Julie Andrews.

    One scene in particular sort of stunned me the first time I saw it. Mostly because it was so a-matter-of-fact. And I didn’t see it coming. That one slow camera pan following Andrews as she walks through the bedroom, we see Mr. Bernstein and Toddy in bed together, both sipping tea, “You remember Mr. Bernstein.” I LOVE that scene.

  • Gregory In Seattle

    Maybe it’s just my age, but Ed Wynn will always be my archetype of a sissy. He had a notable acting career, but I remember him best in his Disney roles: the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland, the Toy Maker in Babes in Toyland, and Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins.

  • Robert Schaaf

    The hair can change, but the biceps are eternal! And how about Clifton Webb?

  • DonnaLee

    Buddy Cole was my favorite growing up too, mostly because he was unashamed slutty and open about his life.

  • bob

    Buddy Cole at the Olympics was hilarious!

  • shrpblnd

    I am surprised there is no mention of Carson Kressley and the entire cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The message that the Fab 5 could show a straight guy how to be a better person, and that all things keep getting better was very inspirational to me at the time.

  • ScottChicago

    Beginning in high school in the 70s and occasionally in college in the 80s all I had to do was open my mouth and the persecution for being gay occurred. Apparently I have a “gay voice.” people on the phone still sometimes think I am a woman. I have been humiliated so many times about this. I used to wish I could change it. There are a few people in the leather community who ostracize me because my voice is not deep enough. I am rather ambiguous about this issue.

  • Secure

    “Lyle the Effeminant Heterosexual” on SNL