Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Honoring Lily Tomlin

On Friday I had the honor of sitting on the dais and speaking at the Pacific Pioneers Broadcasters luncheon honoring my friend, mentor and sometimes collaborator, Lily Tomlin.

It was thrilling being surrounded by so many Laugh-In alumni and friends. (L-R) Leslie Jordan, Kat Kramer, Gary Owens, Sally Kellerman, Lily, JoAnne Worley, me who I’m always surrounded by, and Bruce Vilanch:

Sally, Bruce and I go back to 1974, when I first started writing songs and tip-toed on to the stage:

I just met Leslie, who I had been a rabid fan of since I first saw him on Will & Grace, for the first time a couple of weeks ago when I saw his one man show, Fruit Fly, at The Celebration Theater, where my musical, The Color Purple, is about to do a four month run. Trust me, he will be gracing these pages often.

Alas, a no-show in Eileen Brennan. Though as I was seated next to her it meant I got an extra dinner roll:

Lily gets her award:

Lily and I are about to go back to our hometown, Detroit, to, among other things, attend the first high school performance of The Color Purple, at her alma mater, Cass Technical High School, in April. We’ve done a lot of things together, though this high school thing is about as exciting as it gets to me as I’ve been waiting for high school performances of TCP to happen since I finished (co-)writing the show in 2005. But here’s an earlier instance of us being joined together, when my head served as the model for Lily’s character, Kate, in her Tony award-winning show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe:

So I’m looking forward to much mayhem in the future with our honoree. Love you, Lily! MUCH deserved.

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Categories: Awards, Celebrity, Film, People, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch ‘O The Day – How One Year Ended and the Next Began

The entertainment portion of the holidays started out on Christmas Eve day at Michael McDonald‘s and me using my iphone for photos. This is a no-no if you’re expecting recognizable lifeforms when you flip the setting so you can see what you’re shooting. The shots come out like those portraits made out of of macaroni and rice. Not the best look for the holidays but here I am with the excessively pixelated Michael and Prudence Fenton:

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Categories: Celebrity, Film, Holidays, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Fringe Vest Pattern

I wore my fringe vest for years. It was gold suede, just like the cheesy-haired couples’ on the bottom of this McCall’s pattern, though mine didn’t have the little turquoise beads. I think the sound of them knocking together would have driven me insane. I wore that that vest religiously from about 1970 to 73 but it got so pit stained I finally had to retire it. Suede does not take kindly to pit stains. I know I still have it sitting in a box somewhere. It was too much a part of my formative years to part with forever.

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Categories: Clothes, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – My Early Morning Drive Through Hollywood

Bleary eyed from chasing a friend’s cat through the hills above the Hollywood Bowl all night last night – finally captured I’m happy to say! – I had to get up bone-breakingly early this morning to pick up a keyboard in Hollywood. My eyes were still practically glued shut but there’s so much kitsch along the roadways in this city, I can always deal with a situation as long as I remember to bring my camera. In addition to the above mural painted underneath the 101 on Argyle, here are but a few of the gems that crossed my car and eyeballs as I made my tired trek this morning.

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Categories: Architecture, Art, Celebrity, Film, Forgot to Categorize, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Los Angeles

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O ‘ The Day – Road Trips, Kitties, The Batmobile and M&M Rice Crispies

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Last weekend, me and Snappy P, a.k.a. Prudence Fenton, jumped into the mustache van and headed up north on a cat reconisance mission after AWMOK‘s own (human) windupkitty sent an email blast from Palo Alto about a very special (feline) kitty in need of adoption. Normally I try not to read these things as I already have a fairly dysfunctional fur family running around Willis Wonderland, but this time, also-AWMOK’s own Snappy P in Los Angeles had been looking for a very special cat who embodied the spirit of her recently departed tripod puss, Harpo, and windupkitty’s description that the kitty in need of a home had an extra wide head, gigundo paws and a few other physical and mental quirks put him squarely in Harpo territory. So off we rolled up the 5 in search of the perfect cat.

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Categories: Animals, Film, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – No Credit Scarlett Johansson “Bath Towel”

Unmistakably Scarlett Johansson yet no mention of Scarlett anywhere and therefore no royalties for starlet Scarlett. Also, according to the name of the product, unmistakendly a bath towel, yet no towel in sight.

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Categories: Bad translations, Bathroom, Celebrity, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 007 Rubber Bands

No mention of James Bond, no mention of Sean Connery, no mention of anything other than the fact that these are 007 Superior Quality Rubber Bands. All of which means the only thing secret agent about this is the bootleg nature of the product.

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Categories: Celebrity, Film, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Memorabilia, Toy

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Dinah-Mite and the Dyn-O-Miteness of Jenifer Lewis

I love things that are ‘off’ but born of popular trends and then spin off into their own orbit, making a firm landing on the terra firma of Pop Culture themselves. In the early 1970′s, Mego Toys, the po’ cousin of popular doll brands like Barbie, did just that, popping out one cheaply made, shabbily dressed femme fatale after another.

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Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Fashion, Film, Friends theme, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, People, Self expression, Songwriting, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Seriously Ugly Coffee Mug from Dyersville, Iowa

I’m not sure what goes on in Dyersville, Iowa but I sure hope it’s not a factory that specializes in turning out coffee mugs as this is one of the most seriously ugly ones I’ve ever seen. And, trust me, as a purveyor of kitsch I’ve seen a lot of them. If this is truly “Where Dreams Come True”, I hope that at least one Dyersville citizen is dreaming about a new coffee mug design.

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Drink, Film, Furniture and Housewares, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Travel souvenir

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Allee Willis’ Folks O’ The Day – Friends Over The Holidaze

I have a lot of friends. I love my friends. I even wrote the theme song. As I usually work as far as the hands on the clock stretch, I mostly see my friends at parties, which is where most of them see each other too.  The seven-day stretch between Christmas and New Year’s is always fun as it’s chocked full of some of the best of them. And for the last umpteen years, the same two friends throw a New Years Eve and New Years Day party respectively, taking the pressure out of the holidays as along with sugar cookies and cheese balls I know what and, most importantly, who to expect:

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Categories: Film, Holidays, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People, TV/Radio

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