by Todd McGovern

Sarcastic, cynical, irritable, cutting, caustic and abrasive.  Who am I talking about, John Lydon?

No, I’m referring to – thanks to syndication – that 1970s gift that keeps on giving – comic genius Paul Lynde!

A stage and screen actor (Harry MacAfee, the father in Broadway’s Bye Bye, Birdie as well as the film adaptation) and TV regular (Uncle Arthur on Bewitched, regular guest on the Dean Martin Variety Show and the center square on the long-running game show, “Hollywood Squares”) Lynde was cutting, snide and snarky.  With his impeccable comic-timing, his thinly veiled references to his closeted homosexuality, and his salty sense of humor, Lynde pushed the proverbial envelope in the Sixties and Seventies.

Closeted gay man as sexist husband at breakfast.  All he wants is a crazy cup of coffee!

Bank robbers Dean Martin and Peter Falk try to fill up tank of their get-away car, only to be stymied by Lynde as an effete service station attendant.

Lynde plays a grocery store clerk to Donny Osmond’s big-shot movie star character.  Hilarity ensues.

“Best of” compilation” featuring Lynde’s most famous role as the center square on the long-running game show, Hollywood Squares.  All winners.



Todd McGovern is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY.