Helen Lawson's Goodtime Star of Wonder Holiday Special
I see that this will be on OVATION this weekend. I wasn't allowed to watch these as a child. They were on late and my mother had a thing about barflies.
Helen's special guests included Lou Christie, singing his hit "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" with Helen. Klaus Nomi and the Living Christmas Tree with "The Little Drummer Boy," and Joyce DeWitt singing and dancing with the Trudy Heller Hellerbaloo Dancers. The DeFranco Family sings "Love Beat, It's a Heartbeat" to the assembled guests in a manger.
Does anyone here remember seeing it when it was first broadcast? My mother remembered something about it being pulled after the manger went up in flames after Miss Lawson tried to put out a Virginia Slim in the hay. Years later she still remembered the screams of the unlucky DeFrancos. Were there other guests?
I remember Helen duetting with the Mandrell sisters on "I Wonder as I Wander" or is it "I Wander as I Wonder?"
You've forgotten the duet of "Santa Baby" with Moms Mabley and Totie Fields.
Is that on YouTube, r2? I can't find it.
I thought the 'Santa Baby' duet was with Paul Lynde and Waylon Flowers and Madame.
You wacky gays!
It was "I've Written a Letter to Santa" with Bette Davis.
Helen and I held hands during our rendition of "You Light Up My Life". We serenaded the plastic baby Jesus before she bit the filter off her cigarette and flung it in the manger hay.
Debby Boone, sporting a "Life Style lift"
It's officially the Christmas season when these lame-ass threads start up. It's usually one poster responding to himself. Have at it !
Is this the one where Mitzi Gaynor was severely injured when Robert Goulet tried to lift her over his head while they were ice skating to Helen's version of Ave Maria?
I think Helen's Holiday Special and the Evie Harris Christmas Special play back to back during Christmas Week on the Game Show Network.
Along with a fuckload of Match Game episodes.
Anne Hathaway will sang "Mammy" as a tribute to former Best Supporting Actress winner Hattie McDaniel.
My mother was at the taping! I'm still sitting on the 12 crates of the "Helenesque" she received as a gift for being in the audience - the FDA came after her when she publicly announced it makes a great mixer, and people started dying. They had to off-load the remaining 850,000 units. Every once in a while I can hear a bottle exploding in the basement.
I do seem to remember the year that the Lawson special rerun was sponsored by Riunite - so nice!
My gay uncle waited outside the stage door for Helen, and he was able to get her autograph and take this pic. Before Helen signed, she turned to her assistant and said "what is it with me and these goddamned pansies? Everywhere I go they're swarmin' around like a buncha fuckin' fruit flies! I don't get it." My uncle lost a little respect for her when he overheard that.
My favorite part was the of "Disco Drummer Boy" number as featured on Helen's "Helen Lawson Does it to Disco" LP.
The Helen Lawson Christmas Special - brought to you by "Camel Cigarettes" and "Ayds!"
R16 That just reminded me of those special holiday decorated cartons of cigarettes that people gave as gifts! Anyone else remember those?
The Newport cartons always looked so festive, r17.
This joke got old at least five years ago.Get fucking over it.
Does anyone remember which HL special had living nativity with Loni Anderson as the Virgin Mary?
r19 - Bitch, it's a Christmas tradition - like egg nog, regifting fruit cake, and Liza in the hospital.
R20 = beating a dead horse with lame jokes.
R21 It's also fucking lame and boring,just like the drunk Liza joke,but embarrass youself in public you must.
Well, I *love* the Helen Lawson threads. If you don't like them, don't read them.
Is the HLGSOWHS with the King Family Singers, Ferrante & Teicher, Patti Deutsch, The Living Marimba Band and JoJo Starbuck available on Youtube?
I clearly remember a Christmas sketch where an outlandishly pregnant Mary (Joey Heatherton) and Joseph (Jim Nabors) were trying to find a room for the night at a fully-booked hotel. Ruth Buzzi was the unhelpful desk clerk who had to summon the night manager, played by Paul Lynde. He had a line something like, "You can sleep in the barn, but it might be a little itchy." The way he said "itchy" got a big laugh.
To work Helen into the sketch, I believe they had a nightclub in the hotel lobby where Helen was the headliner. This was late in the program, and she was able to remain comfortably and safely seated on a bar stool.
[quote]Is this the one where Mitzi Gaynor was severely injured when Robert Goulet tried to lift her over his head while they were ice skating to Helen's version of Ave Maria?
Yes. But the reason that Goulet dropped Gaynor was Helen's scandalous rendition of Gounod's work. She droned "Oy vey, Maria!", in the most nasal of tones possible. Helen was of course Jewish, nee Rachel Moriah Lipschitz -- and people at that time thought it scandalous that she should be doing a "Christmas Special" at all. Goulet had to be coerced into appearing in the show, and stormed off the rink, and the set, in disgust at Helen's perceived mocking of the nativity story.
After guest-starring on "Little House on the Prairie", Lawson struck up a friendship/mentorship with Melissa Gilbert and always had her appear in an unbilled cameo role in each of her holiday specials. Lawson: "That little buck-toothed gal has spunk! I taught her to sling a mean shit-bra!"
In keeping with DL Xmas traditions, would someone please start a Liza/Joey/breakfast nook/holiday seranade thread?
Wasn't as good as Helen's "Noel-a-gogo" holiday special when she sang "Santa Baby" while wearing a red catsuit which was trimmed with white ermine and being dances around by a troupe of dancing midgets.
Speaking of old dead horses, look everyone - R19 / R22 / R23 is here!
R27 Helen was Irish and Scottish, and her birth name was Laughlin.
Has anyone mentioned Gary Sandy's duet with Kaye Ballard on "Baby, It's Cold Outside"?
I remember the one where Bonnie Franklin came out, had a little "banter" with Helen
("Who's at my door? Why it's Bonnie Francis from 'One Life to Live!'"
"Actually, Helen it's Franklin and I'm on 'One Day at a Time.'"
"How the heck should I know, I never watch your show. Anyhow, here's Franklin Francis...")
Franklin just cut it right there and went back to the script, "You know what Helen? I hate the commercialization of Christmas but I love to tap!" and then did a little tapdance to "Tappin' Around the Christmas Tree."
The camera cut to Helen's face at one point and while she wasn't exactly sneering, she had more of a frosty glare. Afterward, Helen thanked her and said, "I'm still not going to watch your show."
[quote] This joke got old at least five years ago.
Sort of like you and your misguided belief that your Hollister and H&M outfits are still convincing people you're only 23.
No one rang for you, so slither back into your scungehole.
r30,those weren't midgets they were dwarfs; Billy Barty was in the number.
I wrote her fan letter once, and she sent me a cocktail napkin she'd wiped her lips on, and a cigarette butt.
R36 But now you have her DNA and you can grow your own Helen Lawson!
Sheldon Cooper, PhD
In retrospect, having Mama Cass Elliot sing "Christmas Ham" does seem somewhat tasteless now.
Did she bring out her "special" son again and sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" again while he drooled into his hot chocolate?
There used to be really funny Helen Lawson threads. This, alas, is not one of them.
Was this the one that started out in black and white and burst into fabulous color when Liberace came on stage?
R19, you miserable asshole. You don't "get over" me any more than a non-dyke gets over pancreatic cancer.
I endure. And your booze and dope can't change that.
I would invite my fans to punch you in the nose but I hate the sound of fingers being broken.
Helenesque sounds so sophisticated.
"There used to be really funny Helen Lawson threads. This, alas, is not one of them."
That's my point too,these idiots are trying way too hard to be as funny as the the old threads.Unfortunately most of the posters on those threads are long gone,"Primetimers Club" drove them away years ago.All that's left now are sad imitations of the good writers that used to hang here all the time.It's like seeing a revival of an old band with no original members.They always suck."Christmas Tradition"or not it's just fucking lame.
The anti-HL troll's IP address traces back to a secluded SoCal mansion currently owned by one L. Bacall. I guess she never got over being dumped from the '82 Easter special so Julie from The Love Boat could could read The Gospel of John while Helen pantomimed the narrative.
Was that the show where one of the guest stars was little-known actress Jacqueline De Wit, reprising her role as Mona Plash, the bitchy neighbour in the camp classic "All That Heaven Allows" - apparantly Helen was up for that role but it was not big enough for her and she had had a few previous run-ins with Rock and his gay coterie so he did not want her around, so Jacqueline got the job and was sensational. Helen was in forgiving mode that day and she and Jacqueline (Jackie to her pals) got along fine, they were holed up in Helen's dressing room for ages having a few drinks and talking about the old days.
In the tv show Jacqueline was Mona again while Helen gave us her portrayal of Jane Wyman, Agnes Moorehead refused to come back as the nice neighbour ....
Agnes (don't dare call her Aggie to her face) hardly ever tured a job down, but the idea of a day coping with Helen and De Wit was too much even for her ....
But Aggie had worked with Helen a few times already, in the awful THE CONQUEROR and UNTAMED when they were supposed to be out in Africa but never left the Fox back-lot! Maybe twice was enough for Moorehead ....
I liked it best when she eschewed sentiment in favor of spectacle and flash. The 1971 CBS special where Helen introduced the mod carol, "Christmas Is All About Tinsel, Suckers" could never be topped.
Geez, just let this pitiful, unfunny thread die.
I wish some company would collect all of the holiday specials and sell a DVD set.
[quote] "Tappin' Around the Christmas Tree."
This should happen.
[quote] Helenesque sounds so sophisticated.
It's the stuff dreams are made of, goddammit.
Deleriums tremens, you mean r53.
Why did they cut the Flying Fuchs number from subsequent broadcasts?
An entire generation of the Vienna Boys' Choir were scarred for life when she performed that novelty bell-ringing act of hers backstage. Who else could ring out a full octave unassisted going hand, hand, foot, foot, head, tit, tit, twat?
At the dress rehearsal they did a massive production number, Around the World with 80 Gays, but six chorus boys died of auto-erotic asphyxiation and three audience members were hit with stray ejaculate.
The number was replaced by the Helen, Tom, and Jerry doing Turkey Lurkey Time.
The [italic]Sound of Music[/italic] number, with Helen cavorting in a mini-dirndl, simply beggared belief ...
[italic]Old Crow with Fresca and fried 'tater knishes
Unfiltered Pall-Malls and lipstick on swishes
Qiana caftans and dangle earrings
These are a few of my favorite things![/italic]
More of the same from 2010.
If linky-stinky, google Helen Lawson Christmas and it should be the second listing.
I have bootleg vinyl of her singing the uptempo cut number from Valley of the Dolls: "Someone Oughta Tie A Can Around That Broad's Tail".
She wanted to reprise it, with some updated arrangements, for the Wonder Holiday Special, but Dory Previn wouldn't hear of it, not after Andre arranged a 'special' version for Mia Farrow to do in her failed Vegas act.
Angela Lansbury is going to take a break from Blithe Spirit to make an appearance.
R64, In '72, Helen was scheduled to fly to Jerusalem to tape her Hanukkah special, "Helen Lawson: Hanukkah in the Holy Land," with special guests Topol, Abbe Lane, Lainie Kazan, Itzhak Perlman, and Sammy Davis Jr. But enroute to Tel Aviv aboard El Al, a reporter inquired what she would say to Prime Minister Golda Meir should they meet. Helen cracked, "Moisturize. And, for chrissakes, shave!" The Is·raelis were not pleased. When she landed at Lod Airport, she was greeted with a barrage of hisses and jeers, and pelted with raw eggs and tomatoes. Some threatened bodily harm, even death. Shaken, Helen turned heel and retreated to Beirut. She was replaced with Kitty Carlisle Hart, and the production was retitled "Light the Candles with Kitty."
Ironically, Helen played the Is·raeli Prime Minister herself, several years later, in a short-lived production of "Shalom, Golda, Shalom!" The show closed after a disastrous trial run at The Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami.
R70, was that when she called from the stage, "Who do I have to fuck to get a ham and cheese on rye?"
Speaking of Middle Eastern lady dignitaries, R70, you'll recall that Helen and the Empress Farah Diba of Iran got into a very ugly donnybrook back in the day at Truman Capote's Black and White ball. Something about Helen asking Farah in pretend Mexican to fetch her another Old-Fashioned.
It must have been '76 or '77 when she had Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy on the special. To this day I remember getting that funny feeling in my pajamas, watching them dance around in those striped elf tights.
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown