Michael Musto is a gay media legend. He’s the epitome of what any journalist should be when it comes to his decades long ability to speak the truth about your writing and subjects while not falling into the perils of holding your tongue in the world that we live in today.
The native New Yorker is about to begin on a journey that can only be described as downright fun. He’ll be the center square, a la Paul Lynde, on a Hollywood Squares-inspired show called Times Squares at the iconic Laurie Beechman Theatre (RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Miz Cracker just put on a thrilling performance there a couple of weeks back).
Michael chatted with me exclusively about what the show will entail all while throwing a s**t ton of shade at Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman. Take a look.
So how does it feel to be the new Paul Lynde in Times Squares?
I am thrilled because I grew up on Hollywood Squares and found Paul Lynde so hilarious, with his witty delivery and little cackle after everything he said. And back then, there was precious little gay representation anywhere, but Paul–even though he never actually said he was gay–was pretty hinty about it and proved to be an inspiration to little me because he obviously was not John Wayne and he proved that you could be a whole lotta different and be the life of the party. Being Center Square meant his sensibility was not only accepted, it was treasured, and I am honored to fill his light loafers.
Who are the other cast members that will surround you beginning on April 12th?
On the first night (April 12th), we have Ben Rimalower (the fabulous writer/director/actor who did Patti Issues) and Gonzalo Casals, the executive director of Leslie-Lohman, a very important LGBT art museum in Soho. The guests change every week, with some repeats, and they include drag star Flotilla DeBarge, avant-garde actor Everett Quinton, balladeer Julian Fleischer, and many more. They will all bring their inimitable sophistication and wit, while I lower the bar with raunchy wisecracks. And in between the Squares segments, the guest stars will perform, so it’s a game show AND a variety show.
Will the contestants be picked out of the audience?
Yes, they will be. We will drag them up, if need be, and force them to challenge my intellect–though I have a feeling no such coercion will be necessary. The gays will love the chance to try and bring me down. They have been waiting for this opportunity for years.
I’m assuming the questions asked will be super naughty, or is that wrong to think?
You are correct, sir! I think a lot of the questions will be laced with innuendo–just like they were on Hollywood Squares–though this not exactly being a syndicated TV show, we can take it even further. I will answer with filthy retorts that will have even the most hard bitten twinks covering their ears and making the prayer sign. But I think there will also be some straightforward questions, though you can probably take the “straight” out of that equation without hesitation.
What are you hoping people get most out of what will be a very fun evening?
I hope they will just sit back, have a cocktail or 12, and enjoy a Friday night release with their friends before their regular bar hopping. I hope they will have some guffaws, a bunch of giggles, and many chuckles, as they participate, cheer, and hector the goings on. Mostly, though, I want them to take away the fact that I am not only riotously funny, but I didn’t waste the $500,000 my mother paid to bribe my way into Columbia.
For tickets to the show, click here.