Thursday, January 27, 2011

Comedy Writer Bruce Vilanch Lists Nichols Canyon Crib

SELLER: Bruce Vilanch
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,150,000
SIZE: 2,399 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Tinseltown is nothing if not a Botox-induced wrinkle-free fairyland of illusion and make-believe. It's a wacky world in which oodles of beefy waiters drive Range Rovers and Maseratis paid for by their older man-friend benefactors and glammy middle-aged grandmothers have tramp stamps and porn star-style boobs. It should come as no surprise then that many of the entertainment industry's most famous funny folks don't actually write their own bon mots and witty repartee. For decades, the job of making celebs seem hilarious or, at least, droll has fallen to the Bruce Vilanch, a La-la Land legend who recently put his long-time Los Angeles, CA home on the market with an asking price of $1,150,000.

Think of Mister Vilanch as a kind of Wizard of Oz. He's the man behind the curtain pulling the joke levers. His snappy way with words has earned him a special brand of fame. He was a regular on Hollywood Squares, lost 75 pounds on Celebrity Fit Club and he recently popped up on RuPaul's Drag Race dressed as a somewhat slovenly Santa Claus. He even had a documentary made about him called Get Bruce!

The campy and disheveled appearing overweight homosexual–who typically sports Sally Jesse Rafael-style eyeglasses, ironic t-shirts and a tussled blond shag that he probably pays Sally Hershberger $800 to cut–clearly does not adhere to Hollywood's rather limited perception of beauty that tends toward fake tans, fake pecs, fake lips and fake every damn thing that can be made fake. He is, none-the-less, a beloved, witty, charming, self-effacing, flamboyant, over-sized, over the top, sharp and funny funny funny showbiz treasure.

Mister Vilanch actually started out as a journalist, in Chicago. In the mid 1970s he somehow hooked up with Bette Midler and wrote her Clams on the Half Shell Revue for Broadway in 1974. He's been penning ditties for The Divine Miss M ever since. He relocated to Los Angeles to write for the Brady Bunch Variety Hour–an idiotic but delightful piece of tee-vee trash, for sure–and was soon began to provide quips and funny bits for legendary entertainers and comedians who include Lily Tomlin, Billy Crystal, Roseanne Barr, Elizabeth Taylor, Dolly Parton, Donne and Marie Osmond, Barry Manilow, Paul Lynde, Betty White and Robin Williams. Since the late 1980s Miz Vilanch has written gags and what-have-you for the presenters and the hosts of the the Academy Awards and in 2000 he was named head writer of the self-congratulatory awards program. He has Emmy awards and nominations up the wazoo and a close examination of the listing photo of the living room turns up a couple Emmy statuettes up on the built-in entertainment center thingamabob in the living room.

It's not clear when Mister Vilanch purchased his dingy-looking wood-sided post-and-beam home in the semi-rustic Nichols Canyon neighborhood in the Hollywood Hills but, according to someone Your Mama knows who's friendly with Mister Vilanch, he's lived in the house for decades. Listing information for the two-story cabin-style crib shows it contains 3 bedrooms and 3 poopers in 2,399 square feet.

The Mexican paver floors start in the entrance hall and continue into the living room that features an exposed wood beamed ceiling and a stone fireplace and is furnished with a pair of rose-colored swivel bucket chairs that make Your Mama's heart come to a complete stop. And not in a good way, ramekins. Clearly and contradictory to common belief, as the children can see from this decorative hot mess, not every gay gets the decorating gene. Shiny copper-colored pillows on the tan sofa do not make up for the grievous error of the geometric rug. The worn pavers continue through the house to the ho-hum but far from horrid galley style kitchen complete with up-to-date stainless steel appliances, white-tile back splash, blue counter tops and sky light. Mister Vilanch's kitchen in its current state ain't going to win any style awards, but it's 10-14 times better than all those over-wrought and over-corbeled "gourmet" kitchens they install in thousands upon thousands of suburban-y mock-Med mcmansions all over Los Angeles.

The stairs that lead from the upper to the lower floor are carpeted wall-to-wall but beige shag. Gawd. Your Mama loathes carpeted staircases. Unless you can afford to hire a minimum wage gurl whose only job is to fluff the shag on stairs, carpeted staircases just get nappy and matted and quickly look like nasty ol' crack house carpet. Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter are, in fact, gearing up to replace the nasty carpet that lines the stairs in our house. (Don't blame us, chickens, it was there where we moved in.) The master bedroom, also with beige wall-too-wall carpeting, includes built-in cabinetry, a bank of sliding glass doors fitted with shoji screens for privacy and light modulation, and a built-in platform bed buried in a fur blanket and matching fur pillow shams. We know there are a lot of people who enjoy wrapping themselves in dead animal pelts, but Your Mama genuinely hopes those creepy bed things are faux.

The house opens to series of tree-shaded decks that hang over the bucolic seasonal crick that runs through Mister Vilanch's canyon property. Say what you will about the somewhat distressed condition and questionable day-core of this house but how amazing is it to live right in the center of the damn city and have a crick run through your yard?

We're not sure why after all these years Mister Vilanch has finally opted to pack up his whoopee cushions and move but Bruce, doll baby, Your Mama has a message for you: Please give us a shout when you get moved to your next crib and we'll come help you pick out a sofa and dining room table because you can not–do your hear Your Mama?–you can not move all that crappity-crap-crap furniture to another house. Iffin you don't want to deal with Your Mama–and we can understand why you might not want to–we sincerely hope you'll utilize your deep connections in in West Hollywood to find and hire a nice, gay decorator who can do up your new house in a manor more befitting a man of your professional stature. We're not saying you ought to occupy an Architectural Digest-ready superstar-style mansion in Beverly Hills like Jennifer Aniston. But even a more modest residence could benefit from the insane talents of a young gun color maverick like Rafael de Cárdenas who worked over the New York City apartments of supermodel Jessica Stam and indie film royal Parker Posey. We just think you need an exuberant and colorful house to match your exuberant and colorful personality.

listing photos: John Aaroe Group

14 comments:

steve mawson said...

Obv he's moving somewhere cheaper where he can afford a gardener who can get rid of that tree that seems to have fallen over half a century ago and been left to grow thereafter !

Anonymous said...

Luv Bruce but he needs to turn in his gay card...I've never seen such pitiful decorating.

Jeannified said...

I was wondering about the trees in his patio, too. It looks like they might have shallow roots, as the picture of the patio taken from the back of the yard seems to show that the patio is elevated with nothing but open space beneath.

Anonymous said...

He might be in the closet as a hetero! My frat house was better put together!

StPaulSnowman said...

I particularly liked Mama's freudian slip.........."do up your new house in a MANOR" These things happen when you eat, sleep and breathe realestalkerly things.

Southgate said...

Mama, when I saw the headlines and the photos, I thought to myself, this just cant be the Bruce's house. It must have been worked over by some misguided staging lady, because there is not one thing here that would lead me to believe that someone as colorful as he would call this home. I will tell myself that his realtor has urged him to strip it of personality because I refuse to think this is what his idea of home is.

Anonymous said...

are we surprised here?
did we think that bruce would have hired, say, peter dunham to do up his digs. no.
did we think that he could do it up all fab himself? no.

Anonymous said...

did you notice the couch in the bedroom? It looks like one of those lips couches with a throw flung over it to hide the hideousness...

Anonymous said...

Well at least he's down to earth!

Anonymous said...

Horrible, yes, and looks like a tear-down but at least it looks like someone lives there.

Eric said...

And here I was, I thought we weren't supposed to be making generalizations about groups of people.

Carla Ridge said...

I keep trying to spot the poster for "Ice Pirates", one of his rare starring roles...it hung at the top of the stairs...printed in WALLOON no less, for the Flemish release. They love Bruce in Bruges!

BV knows and loves houses -- he once told me he'd lived in a Quincy Jones AND a Paul Williams "all the great pianists" -- so it's refreshing that with his immense success he remained so grounded here in this comfortable home for so long. Can't WAIT to see where he heads next! I'm guessing Ed Limato's is a little TOO "Movin' On Up." LOL.

davidsl said...

it isn't at all hollywood, but it looks comfortable and lived in and completely without pretense. not all the furniture choices i would have made, but then again, i don't live there. i hope he's moving onward and upward and keeps it real.

Anonymous said...

He is definetly a Bettehead (Bette Midler Fan) in the 3rd pictures down on the left you can see 2 posters for Bettes cds and on the right in his bedroom you can see a poster for the staggering harlettes (3 of bette's back up singers that thought they could make it on their own)