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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?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7512/20/2014

I remember Helen duetting with the Mandrell sisters on "I Wonder as I Wander" or is it "I Wander as I Wonder?"

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 112/04/2012

You've forgotten the duet of "Santa Baby" with Moms Mabley and Totie Fields.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 212/04/2012

Is that on YouTube, r2? I can't find it.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 312/04/2012

I thought the 'Santa Baby' duet was with Paul Lynde and Waylon Flowers and Madame.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 412/04/2012

You wacky gays!

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 512/04/2012

It was "I've Written a Letter to Santa" with Bette Davis.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 612/04/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 712/04/2012

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?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 912/04/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1012/04/2012

Anne Hathaway will sang "Mammy" as a tribute to former Best Supporting Actress winner Hattie McDaniel.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1112/04/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1212/04/2012

I do seem to remember the year that the Lawson special rerun was sponsored by Riunite - so nice!

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1312/04/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1412/04/2012

My favorite part was the of "Disco Drummer Boy" number as featured on Helen's "Helen Lawson Does it to Disco" LP.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1512/04/2012

The Helen Lawson Christmas Special - brought to you by "Camel Cigarettes" and "Ayds!"

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1612/04/2012

R16 That just reminded me of those special holiday decorated cartons of cigarettes that people gave as gifts! Anyone else remember those?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1712/05/2012

The Newport cartons always looked so festive, r17.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 1812/05/2012

r19 - Bitch, it's a Christmas tradition - like egg nog, regifting fruit cake, and Liza in the hospital.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2112/05/2012

Well, I *love* the Helen Lawson threads. If you don't like them, don't read them.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2412/05/2012

Is the HLGSOWHS with the King Family Singers, Ferrante & Teicher, Patti Deutsch, The Living Marimba Band and JoJo Starbuck available on Youtube?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2512/05/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2612/05/2012

[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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2712/05/2012

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!"

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2812/05/2012

In keeping with DL Xmas traditions, would someone please start a Liza/Joey/breakfast nook/holiday seranade thread?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 2912/05/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3012/05/2012

Speaking of old dead horses, look everyone - R19 / R22 / R23 is here!

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3112/05/2012

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"?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3212/05/2012

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."

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3312/05/2012

[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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3412/05/2012

r30,those weren't midgets they were dwarfs; Billy Barty was in the number.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3512/05/2012

I wrote her fan letter once, and she sent me a cocktail napkin she'd wiped her lips on, and a cigarette butt.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3612/05/2012

R36 But now you have her DNA and you can grow your own Helen Lawson!

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3712/05/2012

In retrospect, having Mama Cass Elliot sing "Christmas Ham" does seem somewhat tasteless now.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3812/05/2012

Did she bring out her "special" son again and sing "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" again while he drooled into his hot chocolate?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 3912/05/2012

There used to be really funny Helen Lawson threads. This, alas, is not one of them.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4012/05/2012

Was this the one that started out in black and white and burst into fabulous color when Liberace came on stage?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4112/05/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4212/05/2012

Helenesque sounds so sophisticated.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4312/05/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4512/06/2012

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 ....

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4612/06/2012

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 ....

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4712/06/2012

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 ....

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4812/06/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 4912/06/2012

I wish some company would collect all of the holiday specials and sell a DVD set.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5112/06/2012

[quote] "Tappin' Around the Christmas Tree."

This should happen.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5212/08/2012

[quote] Helenesque sounds so sophisticated.

It's the stuff dreams are made of, goddammit.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5312/08/2012

Deleriums tremens, you mean r53.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5412/08/2012

Why did they cut the Flying Fuchs number from subsequent broadcasts?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5512/08/2012

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?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5612/09/2012

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5712/09/2012

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]

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5812/09/2012

More of the same from 2010.

If linky-stinky, google Helen Lawson Christmas and it should be the second listing.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 5912/09/2012

It's on TVLAND this year. Well, until they get wise to it and pull it before the manger immolation scene.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6012/12/2014

Miss Lawson, sampling this week's vintage of Helenesque.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6112/13/2014

Always funny!

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6212/13/2014


by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6312/15/2014

Did Miss Lawson ever do a Channukah special?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6412/15/2014

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6512/16/2014

Angela Lansbury is going to take a break from Blithe Spirit to make an appearance.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6612/17/2014

Has this thread been locked?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6712/18/2014


by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6812/18/2014

I wonder what her pussy looks like.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 6912/18/2014

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7012/20/2014

R70, was that when she called from the stage, "Who do I have to fuck to get a ham and cheese on rye?"

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7112/20/2014

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.

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7212/20/2014

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

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7312/20/2014

Did she have a large gay following?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7412/20/2014

R73 Did Parker give Helen the big one?

by The Dowager "Inez"reply 7512/20/2014
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