Watching "Flintsones" DVDs (complete with spot-on Dino bark to entertain my cat) right before the live online presentation "Del Shores the 'Stuff' Stirrer" on October 4, 2020 was like going from 0 to 69 in two seconds.
Coincidentally watching an episode of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" spin-off "Phyllis" that afternoon provided a more apt aperitif before the Shores performance. The titular former Real Housewife of Minneapolis/current boomerang widow ensured that a "Gilmore Girls" style chat with teen daughter Bess covered the top three taboo subjects of sex, religion, and politics. Son-of-a-preacher man Shores took that theme to the next stratosphere.
The first aside is that Shores is very brave to work without an audience. Doing a monologue without audience feedback is very tough; there is no way to know if you still have the hearts and minds of the fans. As one who has stopped listening to a once-favored NPR show that used-to-be taped before a live audience and who gets much less joy from "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver" these days, it is uplifting to sincerely write that Shores scores every time even without a net, He consistently shows that he is an Everygayman.
The second aside before getting down to business is a sincere apology to Shores if he is annoyed that I am not leaving the raunch to the professionals. A related aside is that the admission fee for "Stirred" is the best $20 that I have ever spent for an experience that did not involve physical contact.
The tremendous appeal of "Stirrer," which was streamed from the homey dining room of Chez Shores, began with a sense that our host was channeling Queen Dorothy Parker and her knights of the Algonquin Round Table. As the fully-clothed Shores stated after reminding audience members that the event was clothing optional (suffice it to say that your not-so-humble reviewer fully embraced the spirit of the evening), the evening was intended to be a virtual visit with friends. His warm nature made it very easy to imagine sitting around the table playing with his chihuahuas and eating cheesecake while sharing the details of our sordid lives.
As one who likes to think of himself as a member of the outermost edge of the inner circle of Shores, this intimacy (aside from any nudity) was very nice after seven months and counting of moderate-to- severe isolation.
Another big theme of the evening further evoked thoughts of "The Golden Girls." Shores scratched the surface by noting that his general outspokenness and ready willingness to discuss sex made him comparable to a Southern woman. The next level was the aforementioned vibe of the presentation; going a bit deeper watching the "Girls" at gay bars during its network run was serious business to the extent of turning off the music during the episode.
Shores subsequently delved deeper by sharing a temperate exchange in which he told his verbal attacker that gay men substitute the biological families that either reject or do not understand them with their gay friends. The work of Shores on the classic Showtime series "Queer As Folk" further proves that this self-proclaimed minor gay celebrity knows that of which he speaks.
On a lighter note, Shore amped up his typical candor with a monologue on the proper way to be the third wheel with a couple. The apt sordid confession of your not-so-humble reviewer that validates this wisdom of Shores is spending years hitting a spot for a friend that his husband could not reach. The related note this time is Shores hilariously reporting global statistics prompted an out-of-this-world ego boost that exceeds a perfect hands-free record.
The sharing continued with Shores telling about how shooting himself in the foot led to his becoming a Democrat. This was after Shores told the audience about his copious use of gun oil,
The title of "Stirrer" refers to Shores mostly gleefully but sometimes inadvertently engaging in Twitter wars. This begins with Scott Baio blocking Shores for the latter showing him who is in charge. The seeming cast of 1,000s also includes reality-show stars who reasonably and unreasonably take umbrage at remarks by Shores. The tie for best bit during this segment is between an awesome mea cupla by Shores and his offending Jerry Falwell, Jr. by offering to write a screenplay of the story of the sordid affair between Rev. and Mrs. Falwell and a pool boy who apparently can dive deep.
The G-rated portions of "Stirrer" proved the Carol Burnett theories that funny always is funny and that making people laugh does not require "blue" humor. A bit on the English teacher mother of Shores correcting the grammar of "Sordid" favorite Aunt Sissy equally entertains and educates.
Learning that the impish charm of Shores dates back to his childhood and that his mother has the PERFECT response to his mischief provided another bonding moment.
Shores wraps all of this up with wonderful tales of working the presidential primary in Mississippi. His speaking for all gay men extends beyond reminding the more moderate members of that 10-percent that any love for the Republican party is not mutual; Shores keeps his audience captivated in discussing door-to-door canvassing bringing him to the home of a shirtless hunk who apparently was welcome to stuff the ballot box of our righteous political activist.
The only apt way to end these musing is that Shores always del-ivers an insightful performance that stimulates the two most important male organs.