Double headers used to be common in baseball, they’re largely extinct in the 21st Century so I thought I’d give you a double header American Horror Story: Freak Show style. Sorry for that joke but I could not help myself. Does anyone really think I’m sorry? You’ll learn after the break.
I’m not sorry.
Matinees and Massacres is another weird, wacky, and wild week with Fraulein Elsa and her freak show. The post title comes from a scene between unlikely exes, the Bearded Lady and the Strong Man. The line was in response to Del Toledo’s telling Ethel that his 3-boobed Hermaphroditic spouse was a real lady. She is skeptical and speaks to him as if he were an Aggie. Johnny Football, come on down.
She warns him to stay away from their son, Jimmy the Lobster Boy. She likewise admonishes her son to stay away from the Strong Man but neither one listens. They’re on a collision course from the get go: both want to be the Alpha Freak.
It’s time for some random and scattershot comments. But first, heeere’s Twisty:
Twisty’s New Pal: In between terrorizing Jupiter and decapitating the toy store owner and the diner dude, Twisty has a brand new playmate. It’s Dandy Mott, you know, the kid who tried to buy the Tattler twins whose mother, G-L-O-R-I-A, is played by the divine Francis Conroy as a batshit crazy June Cleaver. Btw, the family maid/cook is played by the great Patti LaBelle. I wonder if she’ll sing this in a future episode?
Ma Mott is worried that her psychotic son is bored, and hires Twisty to come play with him. Twisty plays rough with Dandy after crazy boy sees a head in the clown’s bag of murderous tricks. The homicidal clown whaps him upside the head and leaves. Dandy catches up with Twisty, helps him subdue those pesky hostages, and follows him back to the trailer. I’m not sure which one is crazier but Dandy will be the talker of the team. Twisty has yet to utter a line. Dandy never shuts the fuck up. A match made in hades.
Dandy also paid another visit to the Freak Show and tried to talk his way into the show. Jimmy is skeptical and runs him off despite the fact that Dandy knows “the entire Cole Porter canon.” How can the Lobster Boy be so cold? He could make Dandy pay to be in the show and they could even write new lyrics to this Porter classic and transform it into, You’re The Big Top:
I hope subjecting you to Ethel Merman’s loud, brassy voice didn’t unduly frighten you. Der Bingle looks a bit like the Bearded Lady whose name is, of course, Ethel Darling. Kismet.
There was nothing darling about Ethel Merman, the scariest musical comedy performer of all time. For some reason, Cole Porter loved her voice. Well, heaven knows, anything goes.
The Alpha Freak War Is On. Meep The Geek Loses: Poor pitiful, chicken head biting Meep was collateral damage in the test fest between father, Del Toledo, and his son Jimmy. Only the former knows of their sanguinary relationship but the two butt heads immediately. It’s hate at first sight.
The Strong Man is trying to strong arm his way into control of the Freak Show. Neither Jimmy nor Elsa is amused. Jimmy is infuriated when Del slaps him around in what passes for downtown Jupiter. Elsa is infuriated when Del prints a handbill giving her lowly billing. She’s the star, dude, she’s the star. You cannot relegate Lili Von Shtupp to the bottom of the bill, you thick-necked goon:
Jimmy tries to frame Del for the cop killing by planting the dead flatfoot’s badge in his trailer. Del is too quick for Lobster Boy, and plants the badge in Meep’s crib where it’s found by the cops. Meep is arrested. Shortly thereafter, it’s curtains for the geek. Meep, Meep.
Tattler Twin Power: It turns out that sullen Dot is the talented twin. This causes her sister Bette to pout while her sister wows the masses with this week’s anachronistic tune:
Fraulein Elsa, too, is jealous of the fact that Dot can sing. The Teutonic Twat (another Blazing Saddles reference, I cannot help myself) proceeds to play divide and conquer with the Tattlers. It’s kind of complicated since they share a body, which is why Elsa whispers in Bette’s ear while her sister is fast asleep. Btw, Dot is the head on the left and Bette on the right. Sarah Paulson is really rocking this part, if she isn’t nominated for an Emmy, the Tattlers should go after the voters with the knife they used to, uh, dismember Mama.
Yeah, I know they just stabbed her but I couldn’t resist posting that double feature poster in honor of our conjoined twins. The double header joke resurfaces. Sue me.
Freak show politics is brutal, y’all. Meep, Meep.
The Bearded Lady’s Accent, Hon: My friend Lizzy of El Poochador fame was the first to point out to me that it’s a Maryland White Trash accent, hon. They say hon a lot in Balmer, hon. Lizzy’s take has been confirmed by an article in the Baltimore Sun:
Her beard may be the least interesting aspect of Kathy Bates’ character on “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”
Can we discuss Ethel Darling’s unique accent? More directly: Is that some form of Baltimorese?
The signs are there: There have been quite a few “hons,” super-rounded vowels and other word pronunciations that you can imagine coming from the mouths of lifelong Baltimoreans.
We’re not the only ones who have noticed it. Chatter about the accent has been incessant since the show premiered last week.
Flavorwire’s linguistic expert, Columbia University professor John McWhorter, sees nothing but Charm City.
“She’s trying to do Baltimore, especially old-time working class Baltimore,” McWhorter wrote Flavorwire over email. “It’s a little shaky — she has a way of slightly overdoing accents.”
In short, Ethel’s Baltimore honk is a tribute to the great John Waters who’s sort of a proto-Ryan Murphy albeit with a pencil-thin mustache. She does resemble a rather hirsute Divine, after all.
I’m glad we’ve kinda sorta straightened that out. In any event, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode. I think it’s time for Twisty to visit the Freak Show and do that voodoo that he and Dandy do so well.
Meep, Meep, hon.