Friday, December 1st, 2023

Queerguru’s James Judd reviews ‘Making The Yuletide Gay : A Very Special Paul Lynde Christmas’


I’m sure everyone involved in this project would agree that MAKING THE YULETIDE GAY: A VERY SPECIAL PAUL LYNDE CHRISTMAS can be generously described as rough. Very rough. But we all like things a little rough now and again, and it’s scrappiness shouldn’t deter you from watching it. Bright spots abound.

Taped in front of a live audience, this ersatz parody of the kind of holiday TV variety shows that were popular in the 60’s and 70’s is packed with talented, funny people. The host of this particular soiree is Paul Lynde. Lynde was the barely-closeted, acerbic center square on the television game show Hollywood Squares, as well as a stage, television, and film star. For the very tenderest readers, Ben DeLa Crème played him on Snatch Game in an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Lynde was a well-documented drunk, and a particularly cruel one. He is the unlikeliest host for treacly holiday fare, so the very premise is promising. 

Michael Airington plays Lynde but doesn’t quite capture his vocal or physical mannerisms that were so much a part of how he delivered a joke. But so what? It’s still a good gimmick and occasionally it works very well. Don’t complain. You’ve seen worse. Writing credit is given to the estimable Bruce Vilanch. 

A whole raft of talent is gathered to help Lynde celebrate the holidays, including Lady Bunny, Jackie Beat Seth Rudetsky, David Hernandez, and Spencer Day.  The singular Jack Plotnik plays Evie, a chanteuse who just cannot in a scene with musical wonder Seth Rudesky. Plotnik is a brilliant performer. His short film reimaginings of behind-the-scenes Disney documentaries are so genius they belong in the world’s great museums of modern art. At the very least, one of the Smithsonians. Google them. For that reason alone, I’m happy to watch anything he puts out even if the result here isn’t the best example of his greatness. Most of the segments in this show could use some generous editing but stick with it.

David Maiocco brings his wondrous Liberace impersonation to the party. Maiocco has a magical ability to convey the infectious joy that Liberace seemed to really experience in his performances. It’s a marvel and I hope someday he’ll be able to perform with a mirror ball Rolls Royce and dancing water fountains. 

The film will arrive on VOD platforms and DVD on December 15.



Guest Contributor: James Judd is a freelance writer, a performer, frequent contributor to NPR, and a Creativity Coach. He lives on Cape Cod. 

Posted by queerguru  at  18:08

Genres:  comedy

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