Sunday, March 1, 2009


Miss Debbie Allen impersonates Josephine; Miss Ann Jillian, Mae. It must have been a long and rather trying evening all around.

Actually, I'm afraid they were working; every stitch of those costumes screams "mid-80s TV movie," demonstrating a breathtaking disregard for historical accuracy not seen since the Fox musicals of the 1940s.


  1. A little snap of 1983's "Texaco Star Theater: Opening Night."

    Miss Allen appears to be impersonating Miss Baker quite badly, much as she has been badly impersonating an actress and choreographer for decades...

  2. At least she's struck an authentically Bakerian pose (albeit in what appears to be the collision between a Catalina bathing suit and a flamingo).

    Miss Jillian, by contrast, looks less like Miss West than like Jo Ann Worley in a cheap Eva Gabor-knockoff wig impersonating the Empress Josephine!

  3. I thought Miss Jillian looked like Renee Taylor dressed for press appearances for one of her touring boulevard comedies with husband Joe Bologna.

  4. Have you ever seen The Carpetbaggers with Carroll Baker? Now that was some serious sixties period costume abuse! Then the Jean Harlow biopic that followed.

    I think with the above photo it’s only historically interesting from the point of view that it was this actual moment in time that simultaneously killed both of their careers.

  5. I've always thought the worst period costumes, bar none, were likely in Nicholas and Alexandra; in my memory, poor Janet Suzman played the last Tsaritsa of the All the Russias in bangs and spider lashes, wearing a vaguely Edwardian dress in a fetching pastel double-knit.

    And while Jillian does look a tad Renee Taylor, she's equally Liz Renay...