"Although self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faithsand of noneare discovering that it presents and opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect in prayer or meditation."Queen Elizabeth II coronavirus address
I anticipated 2020 would be the crowning achievement of my journalistic career. I was celebrating 25 years of this column in print. I don't know about you, but it feels more like a quarter of a century. It was a year unlike any other. Still, a celebration's a celebration, and tradition dictates we must look backwhether we'd like to or not.
As 2019 drew to a close, Sara Gilbert divorced her latest wife. At the time, I quipped that made two things Sara dumpedLinda Perry and The Talk. A few months later, Marie Osmond left The Talk. It seems like she just joined the showwhich she did! Then Eve announced she was leaving. But she'd been phoning it in … literally. She's been quarantining with her hubby in London (and kudos to whomever is handling that flawless technical wizardry). New co-hosts will be Elaine Welteroth, who is only known to the handful who watched the most recent season of Project Runway; and Amanda Kloots, who is only known because her husband, Broadway performer Nick Cordero, succumbed to the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, on The View, I can't believe Abby Huntsman has only been gone since January. I predicted the return of my future sister-in-law, Sara Haines. Then Meghan McCain got pregnant. Ana Navarro filled in more and more. Rumors swirled that McCain wouldn't return. She assured everyone she'd be back. And then … nothing. She hasn't shown up on camera sinceeven with everyone working from home. What will 2021 bring? Perhaps less Meghan. The show is certainly less without herless yelling, fewer childish tantrums … just less.
The coronavirus got serious while I was at Miami's Winter Partya fundraiser for the National LGBTQ Task Force. They took it VERY seriously, doling out sanitizer and distancing precautions. I hunkered down in the VIP areawhich is not typically known for housing the hunks at a circuit party. Happily, I found a baker's dozen of lookers. I have a theory: the hotter someone is, the less likely you'll catch anything worse than crabs. And like clockwork, I was itchybut COVID-free. I zipped back to Boston to undergo surgery for a completely unrelated incident. The next day, all non-essential procedures were cancelled. And so it began.
While I was recovering in a sling (which, ironically, is how I was injured in the first place), Seth Rudetsky and hubby James Wesley started Stars in the Housea twice-daily chat show raising money for the Actors Fund. I congratulated Seth, and he said, "So why aren't you doing one? We all need to keep people entertained"like this was the Hollywood Canteen.
That's how "Billy Masters LIVE" was born. As we wrap up our first season, I'm proud to say we've done 75 shows. The best part has been spending time with people who are my actual friendsto say nothing of making some new ones. It's impossible to choose favoritesbut if I didn't mention Jenifer Lewis first, I would pay for it dearly. The legendary Ed Asner was another. Loni Anderson was incredibly honestand funny! Gloria Allred helped us make sense of this crazy political season. Both Anita and Ruth Pointer were so exciting. Charles Busch bailed me out on more than one occasion. Sam Harris never disappoints. Lainie Kazan and Michele Lee made history by talkingfor the first time togetherabout the disaster that was Seesaw. Fran Drescher dropped by to tawktwice. We sat down with Marilyn Mayein person! We did a series of drag shows with Frank DeCaro, and dished porn with Chi Chi LaRue and Bruce Vilanch. And "The Billy Masters Players" performed scenes from Hairspray with members of the Broadway, tour, television and film productions; Dreamgirls with an original "Dream," and "Jackie's Back" with everyone else. I can hardly wait for season two!
The pandemic made stars of many people. But the best show on TV was a daily reality show starring The Cuomos. Oh, those were nail-biters. And those plot twists. Who expected Andy to have prisoners make disinfectant and hand sanitizer? What about the rivalry with his hot, younger brother? Or when Chris got the virus? My favorite was after he recovered, he was seen cavorting nude on the grounds (which you can see on our website). Cast Joan Collins as Mrs. Cuomo, and this would be a hit on Bravo!
One of the biggest stories in our community was the eagerly anticipated coming out of Aaron Schock. We all knew something was up. Who knew it would be his ass? After being snapped playing with a plethora of porn-caliber men for many months, a cache of nude photos of the defrocked representative fell into our hot little hands. Many of those snaps focused on his perky patootie, to say nothing of his erect penis. He wrote a long, rambling essay about coming outbut why read words when you can see picturesand videoson BillyMasters.com .
It was also a year of losses. In a concentrated amount of time, we lost Jerry Herman, Mart Crowley, Larry Kramer and Terrence McNally. And the shuttering of the Parliament House in Orlando was a terrible blow …s o to speak.
Nothing was gonna keep Provincetown downas opposed to the guys there, who would not be deterred. The Crown & Anchor kept shows alive by creating an outdoor venue by their pool. We were able to continue seeing shows by Marilyn Maye, Varla Jean Merman, Judy Gold and oodles of others. Not to be outdone, the Pilgrim House kept Miss Richfield and Branden & James gainfully employed in their parking lot venue.
This was my favorite headline of the year: "Woman says meth found hidden inside vagina is not hers." I don't know whose meth it was. Perhaps her vagina is one of those places with high foot traffic.
My readers are more interested in penises. The biggest one (in name only) was Chris Evans, who "accidentally" posted his on Instagram. More recently, River Viiperi showed his. Many others can be found on BillyMasters.com .
One "Could it be" item summed up 2020. Could it be that anonymous public sex is making a comeback? It is if the New York City government has anything to say about it. According to the NYC Department of Health, we should still have sex during the coronavirus. In fact, the guide on their website states the following: "Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact." You heard him, boys: Put a glory hole where a glory hole OUGHT to be!
When there's a hole that needs filling, it's definitely time to end yet another year of columns. Perhaps in 2021 I can go back to being a ho, ho, ho. Until then, I'm gonna enjoy the view on BillyMasters.comthe site that always delivers. If you have a question, send it along to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before Jeffrey Toobin and Meghan McCain return to the airwaves. Until next year, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.