I was thinking about Dwayne's comment in the Dionne Warwick post and how her 80s career was helped immeasurably by her appearance as the host of Solid Gold. I watched Solid Gold quite a bit when I was a kid growing up in the 80s and I had completely forgotten that she had hosted. I, for one, remember Marilyn McCoo hosting and too bad it didn't resuscitate her career like it did Warwick's. Anyway, because my brain works this way, it got me to thinking about Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame that also were on Solid Gold. A quick YouTube search of "solid gold madame" turns up a ton of videos from her time on the show. I was also reminded of her show "Madame's Place" which ran briefly in the early 80s. Who knew frickin' Corey Feldman was on that show?
As camp goes, you don't get much campier than Madame. Nowadays, there would be no secret of Flowers' sexuality but back then I'm sure it was not mentioned in polite circles but I highly doubt that Madame's humor was meant for the polite (or the easily offended or the faint of heart.) I was surprised to find out that Flowers actually cleaned up Madame's saucy, suggestive language for TV - what would a REAL Madame performance be like?
Flowers died from HIV-related cancer in 1988, but he lives on - like everyone will - on YouTube. I had read once that Madame was buried with him, but as it turns out, that's not true. In any event. here's Madame with Bea Arthur talking about Rock Hudson and how he would never EVER take advantage of a woman. It's quite possibly the campiest thing I've ever witnessed on the entire internet.
Thanks for reminding us of the wonderful Wayland and Madame.
It was always a treat when he would appear on the talk/variety shows of the time. I will have to see how many episodes of "Madame's Place" are on Youtube. I'm sure it's still as amusing today as it was then.
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