(Houston, TX) You might remember him from his frequent appearances on Hollywood Squares, or his near five decades and counting in show business. He is a comedy writing pioneer and he brings that award winning charm right to Houston next week.
His name is Bruce Vilanch. He’s a chubby, and fuzzy fella that can make you roll over and die laughing with just a sentence. He’s the comedy genius behind the Academy Awards, Tony’s, and Emmy’s.
I was a little late calling Bruce for the interview. My five mines turned into almost twenty-five. “We have our own sense of time” referring to gay time. At least it’s not drag time. Bruce was sitting in what he described as his West Hollywood “We Ho” man cave, after being on the road, he had finally made it back home.
Bruce heads to Houston this month for a fundraiser to benefit Bunnies on the Bayou. “I use to go see the weeny wagers at JR’s. I would stalk Montrose. They use to have those bars where people would tea bag you, it was very exciting.” He says of his prior visits to Houston. “My family had business there [Houston] when I was a kid, and I was there a lot for that and of course Bette Milder and I have been to Houston a bunch of times, just raining terror on River Oaks.”
With Houston in the national news relating to ‘H.E.R.O.’ it was not surprising that one of Hollywood’s most out spoken L.G.B.T. pioneers wouldn’t have anything to say. “ I think she is fabulous, that Annise Parker- I’ve been following her. Named after a spice- I like it”
“Religious bigotry is the last wall to come down, it trumps everything, and TRUMP is the verb right now. He tells About Magazine on the heels of his Houston appearance. “It’s the last thing. All they have, stuff based on myth and religion, and it’s crazy”. “Look at the clerk in Kentucky, it’s just sad. Its’ delusional and crazy.
“Religious bigotry is the last wall to come down, it trumps everything.”
When reasonable people look at it; they will realize its just nuts Bruce explains. Growing up for him was in a different era. He never had to come out and the concept of OUT never really existed. You didn’t declare yourself.
“Declaring yourself was a product of Stonewall, and what was called the ‘Gay Liberation’ that occurred in the 1970’s when the LGBT community decided to make a political statement and become visible. We have everything we have to today because of them.”
“The more we become like them [straight people] the less scary we become to them. Someone said “Did, the Mother ship land and those gays spill out of it?’
“No, we decide to make ourselves known. What I see is the younger generation has grown up in this already and their reaction is ‘What’s the big deal?’ Why are people still carrying on about this?
We are truly aware of the pockets of resistance all around, and Texas being the largest pocket. It’s crazy people acting out, it’s a circus, and it becomes an media frenzy. But in real life, we are seeing acceptance everyday, and this will continue. We are now in the mainstream”.