I was at the gym on Monday night and saw Wayne Newton's face flash across one of the tv screens. I nearly fell off of the treadmill (would not be the first time). He's going to be on Dancing with the Stars!!!* So are Jenny Garth and Scary Spice. This is a Kitsch Trifecta clearly orchestrated by Aaron Spelling from his mansion in Heaven.
People are often confused by my love of Wayne Newton. (I don't know why it's confusing because remember, I'm 80 and one step away from a life of muu-muus and support hose.) It's actually pretty simple. It's the persona of Wayne Newton that I love. I love the idea of an old time Vegas showman who croons twice a night to old ladies who've loved him since the days he sounded like a woman (true story: for years I thought that Danke Schoen was sung by a woman and always wondered why they never played his version of it since it was his signature song. It wasn't until I watched a special on him and actually saw footage of him singing it that I realized that the person Matthew Broderick lip syncs to in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is not a woman, it's Wayne. I hope he wasn't beaten up too badly as a kid.) I love that his teeth are so white and that his hair looks like it was molded out of black licorice. I love that he calls himself Mr. Las Vegas and that all of his costumes are eagle themed. And he wears a pinky ring. You have to love a man who wears a pinky ring.
Basically I love Wayne Newton because he's funny without actually trying. If he were 30 and at the peak of his career I wouldn't even think about him. But because he's old and really, really tan and has turned into a caricature of himself I love him** and would gladly let the Wealthy Benefactor pay the $100 for me to see him in Vegas, (except of course that it's in Vegas and I have standards...and I don't have a WB yet.) I have a clear and solid image in my head of what Wayne Newton should be. I don't ever want to hear that he pays his own bills or trims his own toe nails. I want him to lounge in silk pajamas with eagles wings across the back. I want him to humbly shake his head when asked to sing a song or two at a dinner party but then pull out a microphone from his jacket and make a bee line for the piano where he has his personal accompanist waiting. I want him to call every woman doll and every man pal. I want him to have ties to the mob.
That's the Wayne I love.
*Blast and wretch, there goes my resolution to not watch any new shows this year. I can justify it though because it's on Tuesday nights and I've had that night blocked off for years now because of Gilmore Girls.
**This is the exact same reason why I love Old Fat Vegas Elvis more than Young Movie Star Elvis. OFVE is way funnier.