Well, if you haven’t figured it out…this site is a tribute to the very funny and talented Mr. Bruce Vilanch. I first heard of him when I noticed he wrote for my all-time favorite performer, Bette Midler. I was in my teens then, so it has been some 40-odd years since this man has been rumbling around in my thoughts.
Besides my mother, Bette Midler has been my life’s main inspiration. It goes far beyond being a fan, and I can’t find words to express it. It’s just a respect kind of thing. She continues to blow my mind with her God-given talent, philanthropy, and how she composes herself. Never a dull moment.
Because of my admiration for Miss M, I then became familiar with Bruce’s work. I instinctively knew early on that he wrote much of her comic material, and I would always point out to others whenever I saw his name appear in the credits of many a show. Yes, I was around for “The Brady Bunch”, “The Donny and Marie Show”, and even that summer show, “The Manhattan Transfer Hour,” or whatever it was called. So it’s not like I’m suddenly a new fan. And I loved them all!
After 9-11, my life felt changed, and I was changed. I remember being so horrified at the images of the towers falling in New York City. I felt anger, sadness, bewilderment, depression, and fear. I mainly didn’t like being afraid, so I worked very hard to overcome many fears…I became more vocal, I started performing for the first time in public ( we’re talking 40 years of being stage-shy here), learning web design, and in general, trying out new things with a new zest.
However, one day, during the war with Afghanistan, I saw a picture of an army officer who had written a gay slur on a missile supposedly aimed at Afghanistan. I just became livid (later, I learned it was a little thing named Photoshop, so the pic wasn’t genuine as far as the slur was concerned). I decided to vent by sending out an e-mail to everybody in my contact book showing this atrocity. I had Mr. Vilanch’s e-mail in my address book (I had gotten it off his old official website), but had never used it. For some reason, I decided to include him in my tirade, not thinking anything of it. Ultimately, within half an hour, I received a reply with a cute little Vilanch one-liner. It was Bruce! I got Bruce! I don’t even remember what it said anymore…I remember the little one-liner making me laugh, maybe a little tear here and there…but it cut through my deep anger. Plus, I couldn’t believe he even took the time to respond…I mean, do Hollywood people don’t respond to little people like me? I was so impressed that he took the time to reply that I wrote him a thank you note. And to make a long story short, I’ve been bugging the hell out of him ever since! And he still answers.
Now I annoy him, if not daily, then weekly…asking questions about Bette, himself, and even once sending him the dreaded chain letter e-mail. The response on that one was not pleasant! I have grown very fond of him, and I know he adores me, don’t you, Bruce? Tell ’em!
In the process, I decided to make a site for him because, dammit, he deserves one. I have never known anybody that can multi-task as he does…he can write jokes, dance, sing, act, attend every charity event known to mankind, and write e-mails to little old me…all of this at the same time. Now, who else can do that? Bette? Not even her. She can’t type. ~ Mister D
This was supposed to be like an online scrapbook, but I found out later it doesn’t transfer to this medium well because of copyrights. But I can’t help but think there should be a “scrapbook clause,” Also, it’s educational, so it seems like “fair use” should apply. If I’ve put stuff up that belongs to you, write me. I will gladly take it down. I make no money from this. I live on social security alone. I’m disabled now. Of course, you can sue or have them put me in jail. I want to be able to have an online scrapbook to leave behind. And it is informative and it is educational. Just ask, and I’ll take it down gladly. Thank you, Don