Monday, January 10, 2011

The Late, Great Paul Lynde

These twinks today have it so easy; they have so damn many role models it isn't even funny. When I was earning my fairy wings in the Seventies all we had were Charles Nelson Reilly and Paul Lynde; fortunately for all concerned, though, both of them were hilariously funny.

PhotobucketWhile I loved them both like the gay uncles I never had (and one day hope to become) Lynde was by far my favourite, probably because he was more overtly bitchy; it took me a long time to get over that predilection. There are those who might say I have a long time yet - these are the real bitches.

In addition to his portrayal of Uncle Arthur on Bewitched, Lynde became notorious for his appearances on Hollywood Squares, in which he was so camp they could have changed his name to KOA. His caustic one-liners are today the stuff of legend.

When he died, on this day in 1982, his body was discovered by Paul Barresi, a man who would later have as great an impact on my adult life as Paul Lynde had on my childhood. Lynde was only 55 at the time, but the coroner who examined him said his heart was that of a man in his 80s; a lifetime of drinking (and, it was rumoured, amyl nitrate) meant that one of the funniest men of the 20th Century likely self-medicated himself to death.
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1 comment:

Matthew The Astrologer said...

When I was a kid I loved Paul Lynde on both Hollywood Squares and Bewitched, and every time he was on, my Dad would mutter something about him being "light in the loafers."

To this day, my mind catalogs the phrase "light in the loafers" as a synonym for "incredibly funny."