Hard to believe, but this is posted completely free of irony: Liberace has become an easy shorthand for everything cheesy and let’s face it, flamboyant, but interestingly enough Liberace’s insistence on not being gay was rooted not in self-hatred, but because he was deathly afraid that his sexuality would overpower his talent and accomplishments in the history books.
You know, he had a point. Liberace was a phenomenally successful entertainer (not to mention supremely talented), so much so that his show out performed ‘I Love Lucy’ for a time. While it’s easy to remember only his camp-fest appearances on shows like Batman (which, c’mon…were effin’ brilliant), it’s worth noting that Liberace shared the stage with the likes of Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr., and (best of all in terms of awesomeness) the Muppets.
Hell, I even own one of Liberace’s cookbooks (which rocks). Bet you didn’t know he was a fairly accomplished cook, did ya? So in a way, Liberace had a point in trying to keep his sexuality from overshadowing his talent in the public’s fickle eye. So let’s take a moment and watch this great entertainer do what he did best: Putting some serious classical chops to work on having fun with contemporary pop music via this clip from his television show, where the bejeweled one throws down some boogie woogie fun. Now c’mon…doesn’t he just seem like the guy who’d be a blast to have at a party?
I love this clip for Liberace’s trademark self-deprecating wit, as he makes a joke mocking the fact that his audience was largely comprised middle-aged women only to follows it up with a great aside about Tiny Tim.
Watch it to the right, or via El ‘Tube.
Thanks to Mr. Dante Fantana’s Visual Guidance for the find.