Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

From Punk Rock to Paul Lynde: Billy Ingram Channels a Lifelong TV Obsession into a Hilarious Web Site and New Book. (Books)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

From Punk Rock to Paul Lynde: Billy Ingram Channels a Lifelong TV Obsession into a Hilarious Web Site and New Book. (Books)

Article excerpt

Billy Ingram's conservative Christian fans sign their E-mails with Bible verses. Gay male fans of Ingram's TVParty.com Web site identify themselves more creatively. "It's not hard to tell that a guy is gay if he writes in and tells you the one person he admired most growing up was Teresa Graves on Get Christie Love," says Ingram, who has now turned his lifelong television obsession into a deliciously photo- and fact-stuffed new book titled TV Party! Television's Untold Tales (Bonus Books).

For a former punk rocker, Ingram's new status as an openly gay classic TV guru is an unlikely second act. "I had no contingency plan for turning 40," he says in a soft drawl. "I expected to be dead a decade ago."

The road to TV Party has indeed been a roundabout one. Growing up in Greensboro, N.C., the budding gay boy escaped the hardships of everyday life through "the more way-out shows like Lost in Space, Batman, and Sonny and Cher--anything colorful and unrealistic," he says. But the '80s and early '90s found Ingram in Los Angeles, a graphic artist by day and punk rocker by night, haunting the hard-core clubs and savoring the sex and drugs that were part of the scene.

The relentless AIDS epidemic eventually convinced him to shift gears. "I thought, Let me take the energy I put into going to clubs and into getting love and sex, and let me put that into [my work]," Ingram remembers. He returned to Greensboro to launch a writing career and in 1994 started TVParty.com, his shrine to classic television. The colorful site now receives 4 million hits a month.

His book, now being sold on his Web site and due in stores October 1, combines behind-the-scenes dish from industry insiders with historical accounts, and it includes a CD-ROM stuffed with toy commercials and rare outtakes. But most poignant, Ingrain says, are personal reminiscences from viewers. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.