MIND BLOWING AND GENERALLY INSANE: LYNDA CARTER

WonderWoman1

Lynda Carter is best remembered as the star of Wonder Woman, but she had many other talents! In 1979 she was voted “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” by The International Academy of Beauty. And that academy is a very serious enterprise. She has also been involved in a series of variety specials that aired in the early 1980s. And it is on one of those that Carter produced what is unquestionably some of the most weirdass, tragic, mind-blowing and generally insane moments of her career.

The former Miss America winner appears drunk and at times a little confused throughout her performance, as she ambitiously performs a tribute to Bette Midler, Tina Turner, and KISS. It begins with Lynda pulling up in a silver sports car singing Bad Company’s Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy. The idea of a middle-of-the-road vocalist like Lynda Carter singing about rock music to a bland pre-recorded track by a studio orchestra is risky business, but since the whole thing is ostensibly happening in her head, I really should shut up.

The transitions between the fantasies are achieved with blurry camerawork and repetition of the words “fantasy, fantasy, fantasy,”. This is also very literal and a bad idea, and I like it very much. Once safely transitioned into the KISS segment, Lynda makes a curious choice: since she wasn’t bold enough to actually be Gene Simmons or Paul Stanley, she opts instead to dance with four guys pretending to be them while decked out in an over-the-top Bob Mackie Vegas gown, complete with a showgirl headdress. This doesn’t exactly work, but who am I to shit on Lynda’s fantasy, fantasy, fantasy?

After another clunky transition, it’s time for Bette Midler. You might imagine this would work better, but Lynda’s Bette is worse. She sings “Friends” in a banana outfit, even a banana mic, backed up by a bunch of gorillas. This seems fair enough. In fact, Lynda’s Bette is less like Bette and more like Cher’s character Laverne from the laundromat, and this is very confusing to a gay person.

Enjoy! You’ll thank me for this.

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