Television: Dragging up the Past
I know some lucky folks who grew up watching Eddie Izzard and Dame Edna. These folks are British, or had really cool Moms (the kind whose drinking policy was “I’d rather you did in the house”). Either way, I’m very jealous of my friends who grew up getting sloshed with their parents and watching men dressed up as women crack blue jokes about the Queen Mum.
Thinking about my own childhood, it was not only bereft of Burns Family keggers, but quite free of drag queen television. This is a tragedy. It set me to thinking – had I the power to re-write the television I experienced while under my parents’ roof, who would I recast as a shemale?
Plenty of people duh, but here’s a start:
Levar Burton – What would better demonstrate the title song’s claim that “I can be anything,” than a man unafraid to strut his fab-yoo-lous side? And if you’re going to take a look at what’s in this book, ladies and gentlemen, you better look twice.
The Pink Power Ranger – She was smart, popular, and some sort of neo-West Coast ninja, but she was so damn vanilla! Let’s put a little bulge in that jump suit, and give the bitch a new catch phrase – “Time to do a little morphin’ of my own, girl!”
Lisa Ling – Channel One was always a welcome break from algebra in middle school, and not-yet-silver fox Anderson Cooper was just as hunky back then, but just like he needs Kathy Griffin on New Years Eve, he needed a little go-girl back up. And I don’t know how long she would last undercover in a bedazzled feather-trimmed burkha, but imagine how thrilling those few moments of her infiltration into Taliban-dominated Afghanistan would be!
Heidi from Home Improvement – Hell yeah it’s Tool Time, and no one knows that better than Tim Taylor’s and Al’s assistant Heidi (especially is she were holding up a bit more than wrenches with that utility belt).
Andre Agassi – I grew up in a tennis family, and nothing would have been more amazing than cheering on the true Queen of the court. Today’s Agassi, with his meth and his baldness, is a bit more Moby than To Wong Foo, but in his prime his hair was fierce and his strut was on point. Slap some nails on that girl and get ready for some vicious back-court volleys!
We’re finally in a place where we’ve got some great drag programming (it seems American television has finally taken Ru’s advance, and understood that it had BETTER WORK), and here’s hoping that there is more on the way. It should also be mentioned that not all amazing drag programs are catwalks and dancing (hello Brini Maxwell!).
But just thinking about it all makes me feel a bit cheated! Ru Paul’s Drag Race is well and good, but just think how boring the generations following us might be if we don’t start them on a heavy diet of glam immediately? I’m thinking Xuxa revival, more boots, more bitch, and maybe just a few more angry inches…
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