I like the Osmonds. There, I've said it. I don't know whether it's their squeaky-clean image, that blinding dental work, or the fact that the entire family plays the banjo, but their mere existence makes me happy. It all started when I watched their Christmas special on TV in the early '70s. Seeing seven siblings harmonizing "White Christmas" on various-sized saxophones made quite an impact on this only child, and subsequently forced me to beg my parents for a brother or a sister. Now, years later, I understand. I didn't want a bigger family--I wanted an act.
I've attended Osmond concerts, bought the records, and actually performed medleys of their hits in public, so I can't say I've particularly kept this fetish in the closet. It's just one of those quirks that makes me unique and rather annoying. I pried open the guilty-pleasure chests of three New York celebutantes to see what would come out. Strangely, they were more than happy to spill the beans.
WHAT'S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Currently appearing at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel
I'm afraid to say it, but I am obsessed with watching Fashion Emergency and all the fashion shows on the E! Network. I love Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa giving out those Golden Hangar Awards. And they're always in the South of France. I want that gig! Watching the fashion shows makes me so crazy. I sit there staring at those size-two models walking down the runway, and immediately call Ray Bari Pizza and order a large with extra cheese.
Bobby C in Saturday Night Fever
I love those wild animal shows on television! When I was in grade school, I loved Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, with Dr. Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler. Then came Wild, Wild World of Animals, hosted by the effervescent William Conrad of Cannon fame. My whole family would tune in to those Jane Goodall specials about chimpanzees. I hate the "Siegfried and Roy" kinds of shows, by the way. The animals have to be in their natural habitat to make me happy. No spandex and glitter, thank you.
Recently, the Animal Planet has made all my dreams come true, because I can see this stuff 24 hours a day! It's so informative. You never know when you might need to know what the world's largest rodent is. It's the capybara, and it's pig-sized. I know I've been overheard mentioning that certain people look like kinkajous. That's a tree-dwelling weasel with a prehensile tail. Although I've tried to keep this all rather quiet, for obvious reasons, at times my roommates had to be let in on my obsession. There was always a trade off: For every basketball game I watched on TV, they had to watch Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. (I'm as happy under the sea as on the plains.)
Unfortunately, unlike Kim Basinger, I have only gone to Africa in my mind. At one point, I thought that being a zookeeper would be a very cool job. The Bronx Zoo actually has a genuine okapi. Not an okapi copy. It's a relative of the giraffe. I urge your readers to see it. I do have to wean my friends into watching these shows with me. They're always shocked by the blood and gore--all those African predator/prey sequences. I start them off with the big cats, because they do a clean kill. They catch the animal, choke it, suffocate it, then drag it off to the bushes to eat in peace. I keep the hyenas for later, because they totally mob an animal and rip it to shreds while it's still alive. Being in Footloose and Saturday Night Fever back to back, I'm know how this feels.
Any cast I've ever worked with will tell you that I tend to walk around very naked backstage. Naked, but--decorated, if you know what I mean. I enjoy dressing up certain parts of my body. At Christmas, I string battery-operated lights. Springtime has brought floral tributes. It always reminds me of that old joke; "It was so nice out this morning that I just left it out." It surprises more than a few people at first, but by the end of the run, everyone is pretty blasé about it.
I also have a bit of a death fetish. I collect dead celebrity memorabilia. I have one of Sammy Davis, Jr.'s tuxedos, some of Liberace's wardrobe, a Merman gown, and a Channing wig (although she doesn't really fall under the "dead" category). I loved all those people alive, but once they're gone, they becomes more fascinating to me. I want a little piece of them. That's creepy isn't it? I love visiting the dead bodies of celebs, too. Of course I stood in line to see the Cardinal last week. It's a weird fascination. I go on eBay and type in "coffin" to see what photos are out there. It's like looking at something you're not supposed to see. Frank Campbell's Funeral Home had a 100-year anniversary open house last year, with displays and photos of all the stars who had, um, passed through their doors, and I didn't find out until it was over. I could have died!
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