Tuesday, November 17, 2015

'To Wong Foo' Questions & Answers

I know people have questions about the weird movie title, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, so I sought out some answers ... mainly because I wanted them myself.

First of all (although I already knew the answer to the question), who is Julie Newmar? She was an icon of the '60s in her recurring role as Catwoman on the ABC TV series, Batman. 

Newmar/Catwoman was sexy, sassy, successful, and as Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) proclaims, statuesque.

Next, who is Wong Foo? The answer is, according to Miss Newmar, that nobody knows, and it's actually a name made up for the movie. But the real answer is that Wong Foo was head bartender at the China Bowl Restaurant on East 44th Street in New York. Festooned with pictures of celebrities on its walls, China Bowl closed in 1993.

I wanted to know: What is Julie Newmar thanking Wong Foo for? The smart-aleck answer is ... "Everything." The real answer is that there is no answer. What? You mean to say they made up the autograph just for the movie? Well, they do things like that, you know. But not this time.

So then, is the Julie Newmar picture real? Yes. Miss Newmar autographed a black and white portfolio picture of herself, which was taken at her parents' swimming pool. It hung on the China Bowl wall for years until screenplay author Douglas Carter Beane spotted it sometime in the mid-'80s.

Finally, is that the real Julie Newmar at the end of the movie? Yes. She showed up one day to watch the filming and they asked her to do the cameo.

And that’s about the size of it.

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