Because, unlike most, if not every other video on YouTube, I'm actually IN this one.
Well, you can't see me in the clip, but I was there.
At that time in my life, I could be found having a cocktail in Sidetrack more often Teg Haggard could be found witnessing to homo hustlers. With this penis.
So, when I walked in that Sunday, early in the evening, my friend Scott Ament ran through a group of gay men singing "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'!" with Gordon MacRea up on the screen...
...only, instead of "There's a bright, golden haze on the meadow," these gay men were singing, "There's bright, golden haze on Jayne Meadows!"... which, I think, is a much better lyric...
...and when he reached me, Scott said, "Bea Arthur is here." I just stared at him, waiting for the rest of the joke.
You know, something like "Bea Arthur is here and she's fucking two alligators in the back room." Which isn't technically a joke, but I would accept it because the mental images it conjures up are STUNNING!
But this wasn't a joke and in minutes, the screens were showing hilarious clips from Maude and The Golden Girls and right before Bea was introduced to the crowd, they played a series of scenes from the movie version of Mame.
So that, when she walked up on this tiny platform and tried to quieten the throngs of gay men LOSING THEIR FUCKING MINDS, she had this to say about Mame...
"Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you for sitting through that shitty movie."
Since I was the little gay boy who sat too close to the television set when he watched Maude because the woman in kaftan was who he wanted to be when he grew up, I was beside myself when she said that.
She spoke a little more and then, introduced her musical director, which is where this video comes in. I'm in there. Screaming...
Ummm... At .28, does Bea Arthur say, "What are you doing? Felching?!?" God, I hope so.
You should know that, after having SEVERAL cocktails at Sidetrack, Ms. Arthur made her way to the piano bar a block or so away where my friend Alexandra Billings was performing.
Alex tells this story brilliantly. Bea walks in. Alex invites Bea up to sing. Bea sings "Some People" as if she's the love child of Foster Brooks and Harvey Fierstein.
And then, as she gives back the mic to Alex, Bea Arthur hugs her and whispers in her ear...
"I'm so drunk, I could fart."
It just doesn't get better than that.
Alex: I hope you don't mind me telling your story, but a line like that just has to be encouraged to grow and become a part of the national lexicon.