If I were a dyke I’d go down on Canadian comic Maggie Cassella. She’s funny, sexy and I love her trailblazing all-gay comedy festival, We’re Funny That Way.
So, to celebrate WFTW’s seventh edition I tracked down some of the guests starring in the fest’s April 14 star-studded gala, including stand-up comic Bob Smith, TV star Gavin Crawford and Canadian rocker Alannah Myles.
Dykes across the Great White North are now asking, "Do you mean the leather-clad Alannah Myles who won a Best Female Rock Performance Grammy Award for Black Velvet back in 1990?"
"I’d be a liar if I said there wasn’t a time in my life where I wasn’t attracted to a woman for qualities she may have possessed," Myles told me this week. "But I am a completely grounded heterosexual and will likely remain so for the rest of this lifetime. [Some friends] have difficulty understanding how I can love a gay woman and not have her for breakfast. Could be why I tend to be on the lean side."
Myles still looks great and so does bestselling author Bob Smith, who quite frankly is sick and tired of being introduced as "the first openly gay comic to guest on The Tonight Show."
When I last saw Smith, who grew up a scrawny kid, he looked mighty buff.
Last week when I mentioned to him that porn director Chi Chi LaRue once told me he calls gym bunnies ‘gymbots,’ Smith cracks, "I’m too old to be a gym bunny and gymbot sounds like a gay android in the queer version of The Matrix. Of course there were no queer characters in The Matrix because gay men would be thrilled to live in a computer-generated fantasy where they could eat all they want and not gain weight, have incredibly hot bodies without working out, and have all the sex they wanted and never have to worry about STDs."
And with Keanu Reeves. But I digress.
Smith tells many Hollywood tales but will only publicly trash one star, Sharon Stone, who didn’t like the script Smith wrote for her at the MTV Awards, where he was one of the show’s three writers. "I was not allowed to speak with Sharon Stone even though she was standing two feet away from me. I had to speak to her assistant. Then she didn’t do the joke onstage. She ad-libbed her own joke and it bombed. That’s why these award shows are awful – [stars] pick the worst jokes or ad-lib. Sharon Stone – I am not a fan."
But Smith adores comedy legend Joan Rivers, who welcomed him on her television talk show when he was breaking into showbiz. "But I still had a catering job and one day we catered a party at her house. I wore my glasses so no one would recognize me and when I walked out with a tray of hors d’oeuvres, guests asked me, ‘Weren’t you on Joan’s show?’ So Joan comes right over to me, grabs my arm and announces, ‘This man was on my show!’ She looks at me and says, ‘Isn’t this the most embarrassing moment of your life?’ Then she told me the same thing happened to her when she met Jack Lemmon. She’d been waiting on him when she started out."
Another WFTW guest is Alberta native Gavin Crawford, who told me last year, "It’s weird being out in Hollywood because [everyone's sexuality] is common knowledge. There still aren’t that many out comedians and gay characters on TV. So it was more important for me to come out because when I was young there was no one out except for the freaks on Oprah."
Crawford’s big break came playing WFTW back in 1997. Festival founder Cassella, whose talk show Because I Said So is still going gangbusters on Star TV, recalls, "He showed up and I wondered whether I should tell him he sucks or put him on the show and have him catapult over me. He stole the show. I’m always looking for the next Gavin. I’m always into helping other comics."
Myles also knows a thing or two about adversity since her music career peaked with Black Velvet. "I remember Cher telling me how frustrated she felt after her name was [mud] in Hollywood after doing those infomercials," Myles says. "What I learned from the greatest female diva alive is, if you desire to be great you must expect great hardships, setbacks and envy as large as the love you will receive."
As for American Bob Smith, he’s just happy to be back in Canada.
"I prefer gay marriage in Canada because the gay exchange rate is so much better up here," he cracks. "You can come up with one American guy and go home with two Canadian husbands!"
We’re Funny That Way, April 14-17 at Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The April 14th Gala Night benefiting a Toronto gay community centre stars Gavin Crawford, Maggie Cassella, Alannah Myles, ballet dancer Rex Harrington, Bob Smith and others. Tix: 416-392-6874.