When I was about 5 or 6, I spent my Saturday mornings in one of two ways. The first Showcase Showdown involved our parents packing my brothers and I into the wood paneled wagon and driving us down to the Bowery in New York City. Same routine every week, wave the bum off at the Gaseteria in the Bronx by the Third Avenue Bridge, double park on Canal, and run wild in the streets while waiting for a parking spot. There was some reason we took our show on the road weekly and bi-weekly in some cases, but that was none of my concern. It was my self-appointed job to collect every business card of every jeweler in that warehouse, then to run around outside in the throngs of people absorbing soot into my lungs. Showcase Showdown number two involved staying home to destroy the house.
Often I would begin those delightful Saturdays at home by sleeping late. Then, when I got my wind (sometime around 10:30 or 11:00, much like today) I would get into a sleeping bag on my stomach and perch at the top of the stairs until one of my brothers pushed me down. This was a very delicate operation and we had to time it right because it would start a thumping on each stair resulting in a subsequent scream from my mother. “YOU’RE WEARING OUT THE CARPET YOU KIDS!!!”
After we met the wrath of Gloom and Doom (that’s Mom and Dad in case you forgot,) we would congregate on the houndstooth couch and watch American Bandstand. At 5, I was 13 years shy of the legal drinking age of 1978 and unable to access Studio 54, much to my dismay. Oh, believe me, I knew what it was and I knew it was going on, just down the street from my house. American Bandstand was my own little Studio 54 in my parent’s living room, just without the coke. Sadly. Also sadly, without the Halston – greatest fashion designer ever.
Well, here I am, 28 years later. Halston is dead. Steve Rubell is dead. Studio 54 is no mas. But, I found a way to reclaim my youth on Saturday nights at 2 a.m. and it doesn’t involve me having to leave my bed!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…SOUL TRAIN! No, wait, The BEST of SOUL TRAIN airs on this channel, one I would never watch for its proximity to E! and Court TV is just so painfully far. On a good day, it’s still within 30 channels of the low-hovering A&E, where I might flip that low during the commercials of Intervention (a show that makes me cry every time) or Cold Case Files. But, I need a snack and a nap on the way from Court TV down to this channel.
But one night, after I realized I had seen the currently airing reruns of Real Housewives of Orange County and E! News and there were no more Forensic Files / Cold Case / Arrest & Trial / Dominick Dunne / Murder By the Book / The Investigators / The First 48 / Dark Heart Iron Hands to be watched, I flipped dangerously low in the numbers.
Anyway, I’m in love. I tried to find an interview Don Cornelius did with Cheryl Lynn before she lip synched this performance, but they cut out the best part. If you know me, I’ll do it for you in person as you are no doubt aware of my uncanny ability to impersonate virtually anyone within seconds. And if you don’t have the pleasure of knowing me, nor have you heard me repeat this exchange non-stop for the past week, I’ll recant it for you:
Don Cornelius: Look at you. You’re a whole lotta woman.
Cheryl Lynn: I know, that’s my problem.
Don Cornelius: Yerrrrr. Soooooooooooooo. Beauuuuuuuuuutiful.
Me, screaming at the tellie: WHY DON’T YOU JUST RIP HER DRESS OFF AND FUCK HER DON? HUH?
So this is the best addition to my life since, well, Thora and Sammy. No one ask me to leave the house on Saturday night ever again!
One last one from the “Rimshots.” (Please, I’ve already done all the iterations in my disgusting little mind, no need to make your jokes.)