From San Francisco Bay Times
February 10, 2011
By Sister Dana Van Iquity
Peaches Christ, founder of the notorious Midnight Masses, said she was very, very nervous for all the fans out there in the Castro Theatre on Feb. 5 with Mel Brooks’ classic High Anxiety screening and its star, Cloris Leachman, live on stage. Peaches joined Nurse Diesel herself as the one and only Cloris appeared with her for the grand finale of the 10th annual “SF Sketchfest.”
Peaches showed clips from Leachman’s glorious career, including Kiss Me Deadly (1955); Lovers Never Strangers (1970); The Last Picture Show (1971, which earned her an Academy Award as a cougar on the prowl for a young guy); “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970-77); “Phyllis” the spinoff from MTM; Crazy Mama (1975); “The New Adventures of Wonder Woman” (1975, as WW’s mother); History of the World – Part I (1981 – another Mel Brooks comedy vehicle); “Dixie: Changing Habits (1983 as a nun); The Beverly Hillbillies (1993 movie as granny and her still); and Lake Placid 2 (2007 made-for-TV horror film).
It was a Castro Theatre sized tribute of legendary proportions featuring stage-show entertainment starring noteworthy drag queens portraying various characters Leachman played in her illustrious career.
PJ Soulless, Tangyna, Pristine Condition, and Becky Motorlodge were also featured as dancers competing on TV’s reality show, “Dancing with the Stars,” where Leachman competed and unfortunately did not win the trophy. This was a fully realized Midnight Mass style tribute saluting the incredible career of this living legend. She truly was so completely inspiring, and best of all, totally outrageous.
Famed drag queens lip-synched to Leachman’s onscreen performances. Martiny in purposely plain drag did a stunning scene from Leachman’s Kiss Me Deadly. Peggy L’eggs was Phyllis as the wacky title character from the spinoff sitcom originating on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Cookie Dough was scary Frau Blucher saying, “Stay close to the candle,” with the horse whinnying in the background from Young Frankenstein. L Ron Hubby was Nurse Diesel with the stick-out tits and slight mustache from High Anxiety, saying, “Those who are tardy get no fruit cup.” Lady Bear was Beverly Ann Stickle from TV’s “Facts of Life” (Leachman’s character that replaced the original house mother of the show when Mrs. Garrett left Peekskill to follow her new husband to Africa, and her sister Beverly Ann stepped in).
Half the evening was dedicated to Peaches interviewing Cloris, who immediately self proclaimed she was “eighty fucking four years old.” When Peaches said the actress was unstoppable, constantly working, Leachman replied, “I always need the money.” Of course it didn’t hurt that she got such juicy parts to play.
But surely the best part of the night was when feisty Cloris suddenly snatched the huge black wig from Peaches’ head, proclaiming she had only seen it from the side, but now head on, it was absolutely frightening!