Tuesday, 30 July 2013

AN AUDIENCE WITH QUEBEC LITERARY ICON MICHEL TREMBLAY

Michel Tremblay (Photo courtesy Talonbooks)
Bugs' February 2010 Daily Xtra interview with Tremblay was reprinted July 26, 2013 by Talonbooks

Quebec literary and gay icon Michel Tremblay divides his time between Montreal and Key West, where he still hardly ever speaks English. Tremblay is the focus of a new English play about a fictional 1969 meeting of a 27-year-old Tremblay and then-47-year-old famed Beat writer Jack Kerouac. Tremblay graciously agreed to sit down and answer my questions in English.

BUGS BURNETT: You hardly ever speak English, even in Florida?

MICHEL TREMBLAY: I live in a big house and last year I had 22 friends come visit me. I live in French. I haven’t made friends in Key West in over 19 years because I’m not the friendly man I am in interviews. I always say, “The worst thing that can happen to me is that I meet somebody new.”

Monday, 22 July 2013

JOAN RIVERS STILL RUFFLING FEATHERS 50 YEARS ON



Joan Rivers returns to Montreal to headline Just For Laughs Festival (Photos by Charles William Bush)

 Bugs' new interview with Joan Rivers originally ran in Daily Xtra on July 19

Hollywood myth has it that former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson was betrayed by his public heir-apparent, stand-up comic Joan Rivers, when she signed with FOX in 1986 for her own late-night TV talk show.

Can we talk?
Except the little-known truth is it was NBC and Carson who betrayed Rivers: there was an internal NBC memo with a Top 10 list of candidates to replace Carson, and her name was not on the list.

“A friend of mine, [then] NBC vice-president Jame Michaels got the internal memo and sent it to me,” Rivers says today. “And he wrote on it, ‘Darling there is no place for you here.’ That’s why I walked away. And Carson never spoke to me again.”

But don’t fret for Joan: “I say what I think and I move on and I don’t hold grudges,” she says. “That’s why I don’t have an ulcer.”

In fact, the octogenarian comedian (she turned 80 on June 8) is in great health, and will host the July 27 Gala at Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

GAY COWBOYS READY TO WRANGLE THE AMAZING RACE CANADA



Photo courtesy CTV

Openly gay Alberta natives and best friends Jamie Cumberland and Pierre Cadieux say they will “represent our towns, represent our province, and represent our tribe” in the debut season of CTV’s The Amazing Race Canada.

Cumberland and Cadieux’s CTV bio states, “Jamie and Pierre, known as “The Cowboys,” are best friends who met through the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association fundraiser dance 15 years ago. When Jamie first saw the call for applicants for The Amazing Race Canada he immediately called Pierre and said, “Girl! Clutch your pearls, we can finally apply for The Amazing Race!” Pierre screamed “I’m in!” and the rest is history.” 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

MONSIEUR MONTRÉAL: HOW FORMER TRUDEAU CABINET MINISTER CHARLES LAPOINTE PUT GAY MONTREAL ON THE MAP

 
The Right Honourable Charles Lapointe (Photo courtesy Tourisme Montreal)


Bugs' story originally ran in Daily Xtra.

Charles Lapointe was just 17 years old when he stepped into his first gay bar, La Rose Rouge, in Montreal back in 1961.

“There were no gay bars in my hometown of Tadoussac, and I didn’t think there were any gay bars, so this was a very big discovery for me. I wanted to meet other gay men, and I discovered a vibrant gay scene in Montreal,” says Lapointe, the president and CEO of Tourisme Montreal, which put Montreal on the international gay map when he spearheaded a trailblazing gay ad campaign in 1994.

Today, Montreal is widely hailed as a pioneer in the multi-billion-dollar world of gay tourism. New York, London and Tel Aviv have all copied Tourisme Montreal’s gay-tourism template.