Billy Masters 01.25.24

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Photo courtesy of MTV.
Photo courtesy of MTV.

The awards season got even more cluttered than usual with the 75th Emmy Awards. What a marvelous ceremony it was. Admittedly, it would not take much to look good days after such a lackluster Golden Globes. It's a curious thing—when the show goes badly, everyone blames the host; when the show goes well, everyone gets credit except the host. As far as I was concerned, Anthony Anderson kept things moving and stayed out of the way. With the show all-but-stolen by his mother, someone should have thought about bringing out Anthony's TV mama, Jenifer Lewis. Still, I'm sorry I skipped going. Alas, most people skipped tuning in altogether. The 2022 Emmys had been the lowest-rated ceremony in history...until now. This show was 27% below that. Ouch!

The most pleasant surprise of the night was the appearance of Dame Joan Collins, who showed everyone how it's done. I must confess, I braced myself for a "Gladiator" moment. But if this turns out to be the last major public appearance by the 90-year-old Collins, she went out on a grand scale. She looked great and entered to a standing ovation. But I'd bet dimes to donuts she has no idea what "Beef" is. I'm just glad she didn't exclaim "La La Land"!

Who decided David Furnish should be seated in the back of the auditorium? Even I've had better seats at the Emmys! Of course, he's now sleeping with an EGOT. We also learned that more people have apparently seen a ghost than know a transgender person. But how many of them have seen a transgender ghost?

I really enjoyed the reunions, but got many e-mails from people wondering where the people missing from "Cheers" were. I can tell you that Woody Harrelson is doing a play in London. And I believe Shelley Long couldn't find anyone to take her shift at Target! But, fear not—Long could have an acting gig on the horizon. On the red carpet, Kelsey Grammer said that he could see Shelley guest starring on an episode of the "Frasier" reboot.

Once again, the speech of the night came courtesy of Jennifer Coolidge, who went out of her way to thank "all the evil gays". On behalf of my people—you're welcome! I dunno what's more tragic—that Tanya met her demise on "The White Lotus", or that we'll be without Coolidge in future awards seasons. Someone better write her a juicy role—stat! At least she has a film to look forward to. It was just announced that Jennifer will join Jason Momoa in "Minecraft"...presumably as his love interest.

Casting for the next season of "The White Lotus" is trickling out of Thailand. Natasha Rothwell returns to the role of Belinda, the spa manager who Jennifer Coolidge was going to finance in the first season. If she's staying at the resort as a guest, I guess we know who got Tanya's money. If she's working at the spa, oh well. Aside from Parker Posey, I was curious to see Patrick Schwarzenegger pop up. Well, his name at least.

Another "White Lotus" alum is back in the news. Lukas Gage—who is spreading those 15 minutes further than his butt cheeks—has joined the dating app Hinge. He says he is looking for "real love". I don't doubt Gage is looking for something, but I doubt "real love" is in his top ten. But I bet he'd like ten tops!

Elsewhere on, Max...we have some news about "And Just Like That...". It'll be a while till we see season three. With Sarah Jessica Parker and hubby Matthew Broderick appearing in the West End production of "Plaza Suite", she's not available for winter filming. Between her stage gig and the delay caused by two strikes, the network is saying we won't get any new episodes until the 2024-25 season. When the show returns, we won't see a familiar face. Although Che has been a main character since the series debuted, we hear they will not be back. Sara Ramirez claims that this is due to being a vocal supporter of Palestine. However, I have yet to run into a single person who has had a positive opinion about the character. One industry insider said, "Sara needs to accept that this is not 'Grey's Anatomy', and her character was not a pivotal part of the storyline." Someone else added, "Sara was fired because Che brought nothing to the show anymore." I take issue with the word "anymore".

Joel Kim Booster was at the Emmys because "Fire Island" was up for two awards (Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Writing). And he was able to share some news—his next film, "Again Again Again", will be produced by Searchlight Pictures, the same people who backed "Fire Island". One person on the red carpet asked if there was anything "too rowdy or naughty to make it into the film". His answer surprised some people. "Fans will be outraged to find out that sex scenes between myself and Zane Phillips had to be cut for time...and other reasons. But, yeah, they missed a shot of my ass. You know? Justice for my ass."

While we haven't come across that "Fire Island" footage, we have seen Joel's ass. In his comedy special "Psychosexual", Booster revealed that he had taken several nude shots which have found their way online. "Obviously I was angry. I felt violated. But then I found out they were put on a website for male celebrity nudes. And I was like, 'They can stay.'" And, obviously you can find them on You're welcome, Joel!

Our "Ask Billy" question asks for an update of a story. Harry in Providence says, "I remember you saying Pauly Shore wanted to make a movie about Richard Simmons. I just saw a trailer for it. How did he get it done so fast?"

You actually didn't see a trailer for "it". The sometime comedian allegedly had a deal with The Wolper Organization to do a feature-length biopic about the exercise guru. Then things took a strange turn. "We got another random email from this director named Jake Lewis who did the Robin Williams short and he said he wants to do a Richard Simmons short, not knowing that I had a deal with this production company already." Shore read the script and loved it. A deal was made and it was shot quickly. And then, a wrinkle—Simmons came out of seclusion to make a statement: "Hi Everybody! You may have heard they may be doing a movie about me with Pauly Shore. I have never given my permission for this movie. So don't believe everything you read. I no longer have a manager, and I no longer have a publicist. I just try to live a quiet life and be peaceful. Thank you for all your love and support." Whatever you may think about Pauly's acting ability, I think we can all agree on one thing—someone better get that awful wig back to whatever tour of "Annie" they stole it from! "The Court Jester" premiered last week in Park City during the Sundance Film Festival and depicts Simmons' 2004 appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" (and wait till you see their "Ellen"). You can watch it on

When there are battling Richard Simmons projects—both starring Pauly Shore—it's definitely time to end yet another column. As we went to press, we heard of the sudden passing of Olympic pole vaulter Shawn Barber. The openly gay athlete was 29 and suffered what has been called "medical complications". There's nothing particularly complicated about, the site that surely doesn't need Richard Simmons' permission (but we do know he's a fan). If you have a question, send it along to me at [email protected] and I promise to get back to you before Dame Joan Collins is hired to revive those "Where's the beef?" commercials for Wendy's! So, until next time, remember, one man's filth is another man's bible.