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Billy Masters
by Billy Masters
2021-07-19

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"No excuses—I messed up. I'm a big sports fan. I'm like the guy at the end of the game who misses a free throw or a kick."—Spike Lee explains why he prematurely announced the winner of the Cannes Film Festival. He was asked who the first award was going to and, instead, he said who won first place. Part of the problem is that he was asked in French!

I love a film festival. It could be in Venice, Italy; Venice, California; or Venice, Uzbekistan. Once the lights go down, it's just you and that little piece of celluloid projected on a screen which is sized in direct proportion to the prestige of the festival. One of the hits of this year's Cannes Film Festival is a biopic inspired by Celine Dion—except, since it is unauthorized, it is about a singer named Aline Dieu. "Aline" stars Valerie Lemercier, known as the Kristen Wiig of France. Nope, not the Tina Fey, and not even the Amy Poehler. The film has been described alternatively as "brilliant," "horrifying," "hilarious," and "insane." My kinda movie. Some of that reaction might be caused by the 57-year-old Lemercier playing Celine … err, Aline … starting at age 5! The critic from the venerable New York Times said, "I've never seen anything quite like it." You can almost see that in an ad.

Another hit is a documentary which has been in the works for seven years: Cow, which is—you guessed it—shot from the perspective of a cow! We follow this dairy cow through every momentous event in her life—with the exception of impregnation. Cows, it turns out, have enormous difficulty looking over their shoulders.

Neither of these is the most surprising hit to come out of Cannes. That honor goes to Red Rocket, a film about a washed-up male porn star played by Simon Rex—the subject of the first big scoop of this very column. In early 1996, it was little Billy Masters who discovered that the MTV VJ had a gay porn past. And that, kiddies, not only put me on the map—it did wonders for Simon, who was unemployed at that time. You're welcome—and can see that footage on BillyMasters.com . We're told that the audience at Cannes gave the film a five-minute standing ovation, which would be impressive if Cow hadn't gotten six full minutes!

Rumor has it that The View is looking backward for Meghan McCain's replacement. Reports would have us believe that Debbie Matenopoulos is in the running. While it would make me giddy as a schoolgirl, I don't believe it. Yes, Debbie has just wrapped five years hosting Home and Family, for the Hallmark Channel. And, sure, the first in a long string of ousted The View co-hosts enjoys being courted. But she's lived on the Left Coast for close to two decades and, frankly, I don't see her relocating to NYC anytime soon. Her people say that there have been talks about "her participating in celebrating the 25th season of The View." While I believe she'll be back at the table, I think talk of a permanent gig is premature. Meanwhile, Rachel Campos continues to wait by her phone.

Prior to the Emmy nominations being announced, the Television Academy made a minor but significant change—actors and actresses now have the option to be recognized as "performer." Any of the nominees could "request that their nomination certificate and Emmy statuette carry the term 'Performer' in place of 'Actor' or 'Actress'." Try explaining that to people who believe Jean Smart and Michael Douglas are in the same category.

With this bit of tweaking, the nominations were announced—and some history was made. Mj Rodriguez became the first openly transgender woman to be nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Drama. Yes, Laverne Cox was previously nominated as a supporting actress (or performer). And yes, Wikipedia tells us that Rain Valdez got a short-form nomination for something called "Razor Tongue" a while back. By the by, gay comedian Bowen Yang also made history as the first "featured player" on Saturday Night Live to get a nomination. Congrats to all.

We haven't had an "Ask Billy" question in a couple of weeks because … well, they've all been dull! Until Bruce in Tampa wrote this: "Have you heard about Mr. Gay New Zealand? Did he actually get a penis enlargement?"

This is the kinda story I can really sink my teeth into. First, let me clarify: This is about a FORMER Mr. Gay New Zealand with a most unfortunate name—Max Small. A variety of photos of Mr. Small in various levels of arousal have gone through rigorous analysis from our experts. One thing is certain—there appears to be more, shall we say, "fullness" to his current phallus. A few days of blue balls will do that to you. Since I wouldn't be comfortable making a ruling without more evidence, I will allow you, the jury, to examine this a bit closer on BillyMasters.com .

When we can't decide if Mr. Small is a grow-er or a show-er, it's time to end yet another column. I showed up in Provincetown to see Steven Brinberg's "Simply Barbra" at The Art House. As usual, he was simply sublime. The vocals were never better, and the song choices were clever; one wishes Babs had Brinberg's balls. The guest appearance by Edmund Bagnell—whose own show at The Crown and Anchor on Tuesdays is packing them in—was a delicious layer of icing on an already rich cake. For more surprises, check out BillyMasters.com—the site that welcomes all things great and small. You can always drop a note to Billy@BillyMasters.com, and I promise to get back to you before I host a Simon Rex Film Festival on "Billy Masters LIVE." (We're on hiatus for another couple of weeks.) Until next time, remember: One man's filth is another man's bible.


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