Synopsis: LEGENDARY! Like A Completely Tasteless Version Of Playboy After Dark!
In addition to a depraved parade of porn and politics, MIDNIGHT BLUE shocked late-night cable with its scandalous celebrity segments and jaw-dropping star interviews. These are the famous and infamous like youve never seen or heard them before:
The “Barbra Streisand” Porno Movie, O.J. Simpson, The Rob Lowe Sex Tape, Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Go-Gos Backstage, R. Crumb… plus Gilbert Gottfried, Larry Flynt, Russ Meyer, Penn & Teller, Buck Henry, Tiny Tim, Debbie Harry, Garrett Morris and more, Al Goldsteins hilarious F%$# Y*@! rants targeting Howard Stern, Donald Trump, Sean Penn and Jack Nicholson, plus vintage commercials for New York Citys call girls, orgy rooms, gay bathhouses and beyond!
eyelights: its variety of celebrities.
eyesores: Al Goldstein’s misogynistic comments.
For this collection of Midnight Blue, the producers decided to focus on the many notable celebrities that have found their way in front of the show’s video cameras. What’s surprising is just how many familiar names felt no shame in being on this sleazy programme. I guess it was considered more mainstream than I’d ever imagine.
Blondie: Recorded while Debbie Harry was promoting one of her solo albums, its finds Chris Stein and Debbie extremely candid with Al Goldstein as he asks them about their sex lives when they were an item and about their sexual preferences in general. It’s very raw – surprisingly so, given Blondie’s stature. I really loved how Harry played along; she’s really ballsy.
R. Crumb: The legendary cartoonist and Goldstein had a casual chat on Crumb’s porch. Crumb is timid, but candid. He claimed to be scared of women, of people in general. What’s surprising is just how kind Goldstein was to him, given how much of a shark he could be in some interviews. They talk fantasies, sexual preferences and they agree that, in their experience, women prefer jerks to sensitive men, no matter what they claim.
Larry Flynt: Goldstein really tears into Flynt about his views on women (which is rich given his own – but even he’s offended by Flynt’s attitude), the quality of the earlier Hustler magazines, …etc. It’s done partly in jest, but it’s nonetheless brutal. And Flynt doesn’t flinch one bit; he laughs along and continues to make misogynistic comments, with no apologies.
Gilbert Gottfried: Gottfried claims he never takes free sex, that pussy tastes like chicken, and that he had to go to a school to learn how to masturbate. Goldstein was cracked up the whole time, like I haven’t seen anywhere else. Frankly, I usually find Gottfried absolutely grating, but I thought he was rather funny here; his improv skills, in particular, were especially sharp.
Al Lewis: He talks about his experience in the business and on ‘The Munsters’. Halfway through, though, Goldstein hijacks the interview to tell the audience that celebrities are people just like them, that they don’t have more insight into life, …etc. It’s unclear why he felt compelled to do that. Afterwards Lewis talks about fantasies before the interview is abruptly cut.
Russ Meyer: This one is an Alex Bennett interview. They talk about the fact that Meyer is a pioneer for being the first to make a million dollars on a nudie (with 1959’s ‘The Immoral Mr. Teas’). Later, he had even more success with ‘Vixen’, which some claim made 50 million (Wiki says 8 million). This eventually led to a contract with Paramount Pictures. Pretty impressive. In this lengthy interview, they also talk about how he finds all these incredibly large-breasted women with small figures – with Meyer claiming they’re all real, “freaks of nature”.
Penn and Teller: The popular magic/comedy team joke with Goldstein about being a couple. Then they rib Goldstein, saying that they’re big fans of the show – but mostly for the ads. In turn, he asks them what magic tricks magicians use to make their penises look bigger and what the pair masturbate to. They also discuss their professional philosophy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: Promoting ‘Pumping Iron’, the future governator speaks at length about his reasons for getting into weightlifting, what judges look for, and the difference in the high one gets from pumping iron vs sex. Speaking about his future, he says he does the things he likes, not concerned about making money. I wonder if that changed over the years…?
Tiny Tim: Seemingly out of place, Goldstein asks the pop oddity what he’s doing on the show – to which Tim claims that, he too, is a sinner. Then they talk about his shame when masturbating and his technique with women.
The Go-Go’s Sex Tape: This is an extract of a much longer video, and, no, it doesn’t show The Go-Go’s having sex. It was taken behind the scenes, showing the band messing around with a fan and a roadie. They’re trying to get the two to !@#$, and fail, but eventually get him to beat off. They were partying hard (haha) back then: Belinda Carlisle looks totally zonked; she can barely keep her eyes open. She does offer one gem, though, and it’s that women should have the right to masturbate. Nice.
The Hookers’ Ball – 1979 Edition: Started in San Francisco in 1974, The Hooker’s Ball was a huge party to promote the legalization of prostitution; revelers would dress up sexy/risqué and have a blast. This bit features interviews with some of the participants and a lengthier one with OJ Simpson, who is attending it (dressed in a tux, for the record). He talks about how much he loves San Francisco and shares his thoughts about the event.
Sam Kinison plug for the show: It’s very brief and looks impromptu. but, anyway, there it is.
Rob Lowe Sex Tape: Although Al Goldstein claims this is a second tape, apparently it’s a second extract from the same one. It’s very low resolution, black and white, and it finds Lowe in a large bed with another guy and a girl, whom he proceeds to screw endlessly. It’s edited for time, but Goldstein comments on it in voice-over that he can’t believe how long Lowe lasts and how big his dick is.
Garrett Morris: The comedian, then seen on SNL, does a new skit on how to be a moocher. Meh. It’s really sloppy, and not especially funny.
Screw magazine’s 10th anniversary party: At the party, which finds people mingling and dancing in the background, Goldstein is interviewed about the magazine’s success. Revelers Melvin Van Peebles and Buck Henry are also interviewed. Henry is fairly funny, in a deadpan way.
Barbara Streisand sex tape: Alex Bennett introduces a sex film that some claim features Babs before she made it. He goes on record saying that they don’t think it’s actually her – but they show the footage anyway for us to judge. It’s of such extremely poor quality and is censored (it was on TV, after all) so you can’t tell if it’s her or not. Whatev.
Al Goldstein videotorials/rants
I don’t know what the point of these are, but later in ‘Midnight Blue’s run, Goldstein got into ranting about celebrities for something like 90 seconds, ending each by giving them the finger and telling them to “Go !@#$ yourself!”
Classy. Here are the ones that made the cut for this compilation:
Jack Nicholson (Just because he wouldn’t do an interview on ‘Midnight Blue’? Really?)
Sean Penn (For his punk attitude around journalists.)
Geraldo Rivera (For setting up and taking advantage of a porn star on his talk show.)
Claudia Schiffer (For being what he calls a hypocrite. He very rude, misogynistic here, and also takes down Gloria Steinhem)
Howard Stern (“He’s so bad, he make us look good”)
Donald Trump (For his arrogance.)
Ted Turner/Jane Fonda (He calls Turner a piece of $#!t and proceeds to show a turd being dropped. Ick.)
Here are some highlights of the ads that played on ‘Midnight Blue’ and are included here:
970-KATHY – Boasting “Women with cocks”.
970-SEKA – Porn star Seka boasts the”only girl-on-girl” phone sex in New York.
970-SUCK – Featuring a rather fit Amber Lynn and what looks like Herschel Savage. Amusingly, you can see the boom pop into the frame a few times.
Ansonia 73 – A gay bath house. Pretty progressive for the time, considering how macho the show is.
Julie Escort – They speak “l’amour fluently”. Mwhahaha!
Magazine ads – For Cinema-X, Puritan and, naturally, Screw.
Orgasmatron – Yep, the vibrator makes yet another appearance on the show.
Plato’s Retreat – Re-opening, new and improved. But still as scuzzy.
On a technical level, much of the footage is more recent, so it looks a smidge better, but there are still the annoying bleeps to censor the phone numbers that appear during the course of the show – and that’s grating. I did quite like the terrific -if sometimes dubious factoids- on each celebrity during the interviews. That was by far the best part of the DVD.
I’m still stunned by the caliber of celebrities that appeared on this show, but, mostly, it was nice to get a change of pace. Yes, it’s still a grimy programme and I wonder who would watch it regularly, but at least this compilation has a mildly less slimy feel to it. Sex usually sells, I know, but I guess their presentation is too unpalatable for my tastes.
Hopefully the next volumes will be gentle with me.
Date of viewing: April 10, 2016