I'm Joe Bob Briggs, and I'm sure you guys noticed that since I moved to El Lay, I decided it was time to update my personal ad. First I tried my usual flat-out lies: "Michael Bolton-lover likes trips to the botanical gardens, wine coolers and long phone conversations about what your cat did this morning. Looks not important, but a wise, commitment-minded soul is. Please be serious about tofu."
That kind of ad ALWAYS works, but you end up with gals named Valerie who work at the Whole-Earth Vitamin Store. Been there, done that.
Okay, so next I tried my "man of iron" ad: "Whitewater canoe guide (competed in three Olympics) desires Amazon to trek the Arctic Circle in snowshoes and make passionate love in an orange pup tent. You should be a mountaineer who can bench-press 200 pounds and still fit into a size 4 plastic dress (for those wild nights in Anchorage). How bout them Rangers?" Unfortunately, this ad ALSO works, but you end up with girls named Jeri who might decide at any moment to abandon you for a woman named Velma.
And speaking of modern gals, Dustin Hoffman is about to put on a dress, bond with Jessica Lange, strip for Teri Garr, and fight off numerous horny guys in the 1982 comedy classic, "Tootsie." I don't wanna give away any of the plot, so let's just get it started, and I'll be here with you, giving you cross-dressing tips as we go along. Not that I know any.
[fading] Did I give you gals my snail mail address? It's best if I don't receive that kind of mail in El Lay, if you know what I mean, so send it to me care of TNT: 1010 Techwood Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30318. I know I said I lied in that ad. Between you and me, I'm not really a hopeless romantic. I'm a hopeFUL romantic. Make sure you put my name on the envelope.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #1
Great scene between Dustin Hoffman and Sidney Pollack as the agent, arguing over how to play a tomato. Sidney Pollack is, of course, the director of the flick. Dustin Hoffman made him play the part of the agent because he insisted that Sidney was the only person he'd believe had power over him, because Sidney really DID have power over him. Dustin was going real Method with this thing. In fact, just like his character, Dustin Hoffman has a reputation for being hard to work with. But Sidney Pollack, what a guy, he'd never admit to the rumors of fighting on the set. He always said that their disagreements were exaggerated, that there's never a winner or loser, that winning is getting a good picture, blah, blah, blah. Now you know why Sidney is what's known in the business as a lion tamer. You know what, I didn't do the drive-in totals, did I? We have: No dead bodies. Two breasts, both of em on Dustin Hoffman. One taxi-cab squabble. Clipboard to the head. Stomach slugging. Mime shoving. Transvestite fu. Okay, couple a commercials and then back to the flick.
[fading] You'd HAVE to be a lion tamer to work with the stars he's worked with. Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda. Whoops, that's the boss's wife. Okay, those were the easy ones. How about Barbra Streisand in "The Way We Were"? Man's going straight to Heaven. Hey, wait a minute, you know who was the casting director on this movie? Toni Howard. Wife of our producer. Hey, David, tell her: BOLD casting decision. Cast the director in one of the principal parts. "No, Sidney, trust me, I'm a casting professional and no one could possibly play this part except you. Nobody could direct this part except you, and nobody could PLAY this part except you." No wonder she got so many jobs.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #2
Well, EYE buy him as woman. A not especially attractive one, but I think he's pretty convincing. Course, Dustin Hoffman had it in his contract that he wouldn't do the film unless the screen tests were believable, so there you go. They did two months of make-up tests on him -- shaved his legs, his arms, the backs of his fingers. Gave him all these outfits with scarves and high collars to cover up the big Adam's apple on his size 16-and-a-half neck. They consulted a female impersonator about his figure. But even after all the tests, when they started shooting, they ran into some unforeseen problems. Like they couldn't shoot very long, because after three or four hours his beard would start to show, and the make-up took two-and-a-half hours to apply. Plus they were shooting in the summer in New York City, and after about an hour in the sweltering heat, the lifts on his face would snap. I don't really know what a lift IS, but apparently it's snapable. Not to mention that he got bronchitis and had a door slammed on his hand, so they went a LITTLE over-budget on this one. But WELL worth it -- big hit, great flick.
[fading] Couple of famous stories. Dustin Hoffman went to his daughter's school dressed as Dorothy and had a long chat with one of the kid's teachers, without her knowing who he was. He also ran into Jon Voight at the Russian Tea Room and told him how much he liked him in "Midnight Cowboy." But all those scenes where Dustin Hoffman can't get a part as an actor, is told that no one will ever hire him -- that was pretty much true of Dustin Hoffman. He did that Off-Off-Broadway New York thing for nine, ten years before "The Graduate" happened. An inspiration for waiters everywhere, isn't he? Seven Oscar nominations. Two-time winner.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #3
There was our gal Geena Davis back there, prancing around in her panties. This flick is probly the first and last time we ever see her from THAT angle, now that she's a big-time movie star. And like every movie star worth her salt, married and divorced three times now. Left ole Renny Harlin in the dust. I don't know why that makes me happy. Never met the man. Anyhow, there was more Method acting going on in that last bit, when Dustin Hoffman wishes he was prettier. When he was being Dorothy before the movie started shooting, testing her out, he would meet a man, and the man would immediately be looking over Dorothy's shoulder for attractive women. And Dustin Hoffman said he would feel that number printed on him, that he was a four, or maybe a six, and start feeling really hostile, till he realized that the way he looked, HE wouldn't come up to him at a party, either. Okay, roll the ads, and then back to "Tootsie."
[fading] If he was a six, then I'm Mr. Universe. Well, I guess, to make an accurate comparison, I'd have to put on a dress, right? Let's not even go into that CONTINENT. But if anybody who IS a 6 would like to write in, do it care of tnt.turner.com/joebob. You know who gets all the girls? All those soap opera GUYS. They didn't really emphasize the pretty-boy soap guys in this movie, but that's why OTHER guys always say, "Well, you know he's gay, right? All those soap guys are gay." They're not GAY. Guys just wanna believe that somebody that good-looking IS gay. Now some of em are Body By Fisher, Brains By Mattel, but girls don't CARE about that. They'll tell you, "I hit 14 marks today." They're all proud of their marks. Not their acting. They HIT THOSE MARKS. They were in the right place when the camera hit their face. So maybe their skylight leaks a little, maybe there's a kink in their Slinky, maybe the receiver's off the hook, look at those faces -- half the time they're in Screensaver mode, but they do get the females. Not that I'm BITTER.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #4
You know, one of the best performances in this movie is George Gaynes as the old has-been actor John Van Horn. When people talk about this movie, nobody mentions George, but he's brilliant. By the way, do you guys have any idea how many men are cross-dressers? A study of white American college graduates who had been married to the same woman for at least a year reported that 94 percent of em had worn women's clothes at least once in their lives. Okay, Halloween, 1973, right? But get this, 63 percent of em did it more than ten times. More than 50 percent had made the sign of the Siamese banana slug while wearing a woman's nightie, usually with their own wife. Lemme say right here that I'm not judging, okay. I know there are probly several fireman watchin right now with a pair of lace panties on under their rubber pants. I'm just pointing out the facts. Although the panties under the jeans is not considered cross-dressing. It's called under-dressing. Cross-dressers, or transvestites, wear the full ahn-sahm. Truckers who change into dresses in the cabs of their semis and drive around like that -- those are cross-dressers. You ever notice at the rest stops when they pull in, how they don't come down out of the truck for a good ten minutes? Think about it. Okay, back in a few.
[fading] They say they're filling out their driving logs, but how long can that take? You guys know what I'm talking about?
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #5
Jessica Lange, an always under-appreciated actress. You guys know the studio didn't want Jessica Lange for this part? They took one look at the Dino DeLaurentiis re-make of "King Kong," and said no way Jose. Sidney Pollack had to beg em to let him cast her. And then she won the Academy Award for best supporting actress. Flick got ten Oscar nominations. Teri Garr was also nominated for best supporting actress, but she ended up having to settle for being the Fruit of the Loom spokesmodel. Okay, ads and then movie. Go.
[fading] Dabney Coleman, of course, playing another one of his professional chauvinist characters. Best obnoxious chauvinist player in the business. He established that character in "Nine to Five" and he's kept reprising it throughout his career. If they had an Oscar for best sexist jerkola, Dabney Coleman's mantle would be covered with em. I worship the man.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #6
Okay, we've got some quick tips for cross-dressers now, because this movie always inspires a lot of people. After they see this flick, men have been known to say, "If Dustin Hoffman could pass as a woman, I knew I could, too." We mentioned dealing with the Adam's apple a few breaks back, but here's a couple more pointers. Dustin learned that for an extremely close shave, shave upward instead of downward, and here's the big tip -- do it in a sauna. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon learned when they were doing "Some Like It Hot" that if they held their hands up, the muscles in their arms would ripple, but if they held them down, their arms would be smooth. And I don't know how I know this one, but if wearing a brassiere and panties to the office is your thing, try a 3-piece suit for those times when you take off the jacket. If you got nothing but a shirt on over that WonderBra, you're gonna go through secretaries awful fast. Okay, that's enough to get you started. Back to the flick, after the commercials.
[fading] Now. I would like to go on record as saying that I'm NOT making fun of people. I defend the right of every American to do any disgusting thing with his body he wants to. Strut that stuff! Go for it! Be all you can be! Even if you're six-foot-eight and have a Santa Claus beard, WEAR those spiked high heels! Freedom!
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #7
So Jessica Lange thinks Dorothy likes to make the sign of the fuzzy-butted egret. Interesting, because a man dressed as a woman in love with a woman IS more accurate than a man dressed as a woman in love with a man, cause supposedly there are more heterosexual cross-dressers than homosexual cross-dressers. Weird, isn't it? It goes way back, though, back to Hermaphroditus and Heracles, who both didn't mind strapping on falsies and walking around in the queen's hand-me-downs. Hermaphroditus had a good excuse, though. He was a man AND a woman. He had double sex organs. Unfortunately, the court painter didn't preserve that for us. There was a cross-dressing Pope in the ninth century. Pope John VIII became known as Pope Joan, because as soon as he got into office, he started dressing like a girl. I always thought there was a pretty standard Pope uniform, but apparently not. Reports from the time agree that he was a transvestite, but fifty years later, Julius III pronounced that he was a she disguising herself as a he. But if she was disguising herself as a he, why would she dress as a she? Hm? Pope Joan reminds me of Joan of Arc, the most famous cross-dresser of the late middle ages, but women dressed as men are boring, so let's move on. In the sixteenth century, the French court started calling the king "sa majesté," which means "her majesty," because King Henri III insisted on it. Understandable, since he once addressed the Congress wearing a low-cut gown with matching pearl necklace. Louis XV flirted with someone named Chevalier d'Eon in the eighteenth century, and didn't find out Chevalier was a guy until he ended up in bed with him. Talk about your "Crying Game." And there was a gal at Versailles in the nineteenth century named Mademoiselle Jenny Savalette de Lange -- maybe she was related to Jessica Lange -- she was engaged to men six different times, but she kept breaking it off. They didn't find out SHE was a he until he/she died. "Runaway Bride" with a twist. All right, that's enough history for one night. Roll the commercials, and then back to the flick.
[fading] Who woulda thought those French guys loved to play dress-up so much? I always thought they just drank brandy that tastes like kerosene and smoked those little midget cigarettes and had affairs with musky women named Simone. But I guess they drink and smoke and have affairs while wearing fishnet pantyhose.
"TOOTSIE" Commercial Break #8
Right there is where Teri Garr got her best supporting actress nomination. Bill Murray's great in this, too. Everybody's great -- Sidney Pollack has the touch. You know, we talked about how serious and difficult Dustin Hoffman can be, but I should mention for the record that he's also a HUGE practical joker. When he still had day jobs, he worked at Macy's demonstrating games, wore this microphone around his neck. Between demonstrations, he'd hide the mic and then some woman would come up and ask him for directions or something, and he'd go, "What's in the bag? I was watching you and I think you slipped something into your bag." And the woman would get really mad and he'd keep at it, and she'd demand to see the manager, then he'd reveal the microphone and point to some far wall and say, "You're on Candid Camera. There's a camera over there." And then he'd take her name down, and she'd be all giddy and going, "Oh, really?!" He and Gene Hackman, who he tied with for "Least Likely to Succeed" when they studied at the Pasadena Playhouse, did some great stunts together. Once Dustin sold Gene Hackman's kid for $16.95, saying that he was a walking, talking doll with real hair. And one time this girl Dusty had a lunch date with showed up, but he didn't want to lose the sale he was working on, so he told Gene Hackman to go over to her and pretend he was a degenerate so Dusty could save her from him and make a big impression. And Gene was dressed really bad, and he starts bugging the girl, and Dusty goes over and shoves him a couple times before he realizes that Gene is playing it like he's brain damaged, so the girl feels really bad for him. And then they leave for lunch and Gene starts following em, slowly pushing people out of his way, and Dusty starts yelling at him and shoving him and he pulls him into the men's room, where they start yelling "Uh! Uh! Oow!" and pounding the walls, while the guys with their you-know-whats in their hands just stare at em like they're crazy, and they come out with their hair messed up and their shirts untucked and Gene heads up the down escalator, and the girl is crying, "The poor man is sick!" and they start laughing, and she just runs off. It was an entire one-act play in the middle of the Macy's Christmas rush. I wish I'd thought of it. All right, I hate to cut off these great stories, but we got the high-larious conclusion to "Tootsie," after the commercials. I'd do a plot recap, but Dustin Hoffman's about to do a great one right now.
[fading] When Dustin was a waiter, he'd sometimes put on a phoney French accent. And then someone would ask him a question in French, and he'd have to fake his way out of it. That's how non-working actors entertain themselves. And why they're such crappy waiters.
And in an ironic twist, Dustin Hoffman won a 1.5 million-dollar lawsuit earlier this year when he sued Los Angeles Magazine for taking his head off one of the movie stills from "Tootsie" and putting it on the body of a model in an evening gown and high heels. I don't know what the problem was -- he said he wanted to be prettier. I hope he gave that money to charity. Like "Panties for Plumbers" -- they could probly use some donations.
Okay, I wanna remind you that next week we're doing a little "Dirty Dancing" -- well, WE'RE not doing it, Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey are doing it, reminding us of the dance craze that swept the country in 1987. And then we take it to the prom with Stephen King in the always exciting "Carrie."
That's it for me, Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Did you guys hear the one about the Dean who's addressing his new students on the first day of college? Dean says, "The female dormitory will be out-of-bounds for all male students, and the male dormitory to the female students. Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined twenty dollars the first time. Anybody caught breaking this rule the second time will be fined sixty dollars. Being caught a third time will cost you a fine of 180 dollars. Are there any questions?" One of the male students in the crowd raises his hand and says "How much for a season pass?"
Joe Bob Briggs, reminding you that the drive-in will never die.
[fading] A husband wants to prove to his wife that women talk more than men, so he shows her a study that says the average man uses only 15,000 words a day, whereas a woman uses 30,000 words a day. Wife thinks about this for a while and then tells her husband that women use twice as many words as men because they have to repeat everything they say. Husband says, "What?"
Joe Bob says check it out.