Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Lola!

Successful camp...even when it reveals self parody, reeks of self-love.
- Susan Sontag, "Notes on Camp

Ever since the late, lamented Redundant Variety Hour departed, alas, for Bloghalla, perhaps we've all been feeling a little deprived.  This week's SSCE, however, should more than make up for any jonesing you've been having for a generous dose of that undersung artistic endeavor, the Italian TV spectacular.  Yes, it's the lovely and talented (and if nothing else, energetic) Miss Lola Falana in a two-for-one treat that hits virtually every trope of the genre:  a set that definitely insures you will Remember Her Name,* a cleverly layered costume that goes from gown to pantsuit in a trice, copious frugging (including an all-too-brief interlude for the Safety Gays), and even some awkward, innuendo-laden host-banter.

Sadly, fans of this kind of glamourous ridiculousness ("Fever"?  Really?) have lost Miss Falana to a combination of poor health and an excess of religion.  Thanks to YouTube, though, it will always be 1971 and there will always be another pop semi-standard to murder for what appears to be a slightly startled studio audience.

(Come back, Thombeau - all is forgiven!)

* Speaking of which, have you ever seen Lola's "Fame"?  If not, you really need to, stat.  It makes this look tasteful and serene.


  1. oy, camp, first thing in the morning, on a stomach full of cereal.

  2. Ignore the curmudgeonly Norma. I adore camp at any time (no surprises there), and I too miss Thombeau and his eternal round of "wannabee-divas-n-safety-gays"! Lola Falana being one of the very, very best of the bunch.

    Shame, like so many other glittering "gay icons", she has joined the bible-bashers. Jx

  3. I miss Lola getting carried away and flashing her boobs at Johnny Carson.

    I wonder how much camp is at first originally mistaken for high art or avant garde? Only when I see a performance forty years later does it all come together. Suddenly I have a real appreciation for the artistry that was relegated to the lesser celebrities that were the Lola's and Joey Heathertons of entertainment.

    It's at it's campy best when it's completely earnest and unaware like Mommie Dearest or Beyonce.

  4. Anyone named "Lola Falana" is predestined by the Fates to be Fabulously Camp.
    In fact I think that's what "Lola Falana" means in Italian, right?

    1. It actually gets more fabulous: she was born Loletha Elayne Falana, and just shortened to to marquee length. Lo-le-tha...