Jimmy and Ron:
Let’s Campaign for them to Host the Emmys Next Year
Besides having the #1 internet TV/radio syndicated show in the entire world, boasting over 2.5 million listeners a week (broadcasting to 16.5 million radio listeners and 20 million Roku subscribers weekly), the openly gay stars of The Jimmy Star Show, Jimmy Star himself and his handsome husband and celebrated celebrity interviewer Ron Russell, are two of the most contagiously coolest personalities that I have ever encountered.
Not only does Star host his own show every Wednesday from 3-5 p.m. ET on W4CY radio (also available at W4CY.com or on Roku, iTunes, Google, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Apple TV), a member of the Clear Channel Communications radio family on iHeartRadio, but he is also a celebrity clothing designer, director of Operations of the urban/pop division of the Spectra Music Group (SpectraMusicGroup.com), vice president of Spectra Film Works and is the director of Operations at Beacon Audiobooks, one of the largest autobook narration companies in the world.
Russell has interviewed some of the grandest, iconic people in Hollywood on his show Set The Record Straight, including Tony Curtis, Arlene Dahl, Tab Hunter, Cliff Robertson, Tippi Hedren, Cloris Leachman, and Jane Russell. He is also an accomplished writer and actor, having appeared on shows such as “Charlie’s Angels.” He was also known as one of the most elegant female illusionists of our times, as he portrayed Jane Russell, one of his best friends. Aside from his career, he is the proud father of daughters Leslle and Deirdre, who is also an actress.
I fell instantly in love with Star, who coincidentally is a longtime friend of Get Out! Publisher Mike Todd; however, Russell will have my heart forever.
Jimmy, you are in to so many cool things: radio/TV shows, you own a record label, a film company, you’re an author, an actor, a husband. Is there something that you still wish to accomplish?
Star: Actually, I want to get better known for all of the things that I do. Instead of being an Amazon best-selling writer, I want to be New York Times best-selling writer. Instead of having the #1 Web show in the world, I want to have the #1 television show, like on NBC or ABC. And I’d like to learn how to sing, but I can’t. I’m not good at it, but I’d like to, because I want to host the Emmys. In order to host the Emmys, you always have to be able to sing. Eventually I’m going to host the Emmys.
You know what, I think that you should absolutely host the Emmys.
Star: I pitched myself, and everyone else was pitching me on Twitter for this year, but I started too late. The Emmys are coming up, so as soon as they are over, I’m going to start campaigning for them right now!
Have you done a red carpet yet?
Star: Yes! We did the “High Strung” movie in New York, Michael Damian’s movie. I’ve walked the red carpet, because most of the time I’m a guest and not the interviewer, but I have done one red carpet as an interviewer. I’ve been on like a million TV shows. They were all in Florida, like “Late Night With Jim Morrow.” All of the videos are on the YouTube page.
Jimmy, how long have you been in the entertainment business?
Star: About 25 years. I always did it on the side, because I started doing clothing design, costume design and album cover design for albums and music videos and stuff like that. I was more like behind the scenes, and then 15 years ago I got in front of the scenes.
You’re a new addition to a crayon box, Jimmy. Choose your color.
Star: Hyperactive future.
Ron, how did you meet?
Russell: It was a hot summer in August. I was wearing white flip-flops shoes, white, tight dungarees with no underwear, a white shirt with my white hair and my cherry brown body. I was walking, looking exquisitely magnificent in the Boca mall, and a pervert runs alongside of me and tells me that I’m the most gorgeous man in this mall. I repeated back, “Fuck you, get out of here.” I kept walking, and he followed me to Bed Bath and Beyond. I thought for sure that he was going to rob me or beat me up or something. He just looked weird because of his clothing, 50 earrings, torn dungarees. The dungarees were torn at the crotch, with the make-believe underwear sewn in, and weird Cinderella shoes. I told him to keep away from me, and he did, and that’s how we met. The next time we met, I was with my boyfriend. Anyway, we talked, and I found out he was in radio, and I had a television show. I invited him to a spaghetti and meatball party, a tradition that we had before the show. We were doing a big show, and I asked him if he would like to play an undertaker. He said yes, and I thought he would be perfect for it, and he was. So he came to the party, and embarrassed my boyfriend by rubbing my neck.
Wait, you knew he had a boyfriend, Jimmy?
Star: I knew he had a boyfriend, and after dinner I sat next to him and started rubbing his neck. Then I asked Ron if I could see his closet. He said “Why?”, and I told him I’m a clothing designer, and I like to see people’s closets. Then he showed me his closet, and I tried to kiss him. He was OK with it.
Russell: Not really, because you were a lousy kisser.
Star: So I had to dress up like an undertaker, and I wore a pinstripe suit, and that’s when he liked me.
Russell: I walked into the room with the coffin, and he was wearing this beautiful blue suit. He looked like a human. I thought he was really handsome, and so sweet.
Star: At the end of the night the boyfriend said he gave up, and I won.
Jimmy, did you have a show before, after or during Ron?
Star: I had the show for three years before we met, but it was only radio, not radio and TV. So I had the show for three years, and it was very popular, but it wasn’t #1 like it is now.
So you think that Ron had something to do with it?
Star: Absolutely! He’s the funny one.
Russell: Our show is not an interview show; we keep making that point. It’s like you’re in my living room. It’s conversations with… I did this with my “Set the Record Straight” show. I would bring out the humanity of the star. I would take them away from the glitter, the glitz and the fame that makes them bullshit artists. I would bring them down to: Who are you? Where did you come from? What’s your ethnic background? So all of that stuff, and the interviews come out so honest and beautiful. I did it with Jane Russell: “What bra size were you in 1940?”
So Ron, you also have been in the entertainment business for many years.
Russell: For 54 years.
What was the highlight of your career, Ron?
Russell: I couldn’t possibly name my highlights. There were so many. I guess my greatest highlight was meeting Jane Russell and our friendship. I loved Jane to death. It wasn’t a movie star fan club, it was a friend, a buddy. She was in my house. She ate in my house, she showered in my house. She was like a family member. I loved her, because she was rude and tough, down to earth, and told it like it was. That was my greatest highlight, meeting a legend. If anyone was around in the 1950s, she was as big as Madonna. So that was my biggest highlight, and my biggest pain when she passed away.
Star: What was your greatest career moment?
Russell: There were many. I started as an extra in a movie with Tab Hunter. Then there was Bette Davis. I belonged to an old movie club, where they were going to show outtakes of “Now, Voyager.” The curator came out and told us that they couldn’t get the outtakes, but instead he announced Bette Davis. Everyone went crazy. She did a Q&A. Some stupid, dizzy, fucking queen stands up and says, “Miss Davis, how come you wear such ugly wigs?” I mean, what kind of thing is that to say? I was fuming, so I went up on stage, and I said, “Ladies and gentleman, let me once again introduce Hollywood.” She took a bow. That was the start of our friendship.
So now you’ve had a very small sample of what goes on during The Jimmy Star Show. The coolest thing about both Star and Russell is that they just don’t dream their dreams, they live them, and now share them with all of you!