I know what I’m doing this weekend. I’m going to go to every church in my area to slip an extremely important addendum into every Holy Bible in every pew. And that extremely important addendum is: Frontiers Magazine’s Oral History of The Golden Girls.
Frontiers Magazine got some of the writers and producers from the greatest show of all-time, The Golden Girls, to share pieces of priceless gems about the show and its stars. What I learned from it is that Estelle Getty adored the gay community and Rue McClanahan once got cat-called by construction workers and she loved it. But as Jezebel points out, the best story is about how Bea Arthur was never the one. Nowadays, famous whores have it oh-so-easy. If a hating hater hates on them, they can easily slap that trick in 140 characters or less on Twitter. Back in The Golden Girls days, famous types had to do a little work to shut a ho down.
Golden Girls’ writers/producers Mort Nathan and Winifred Hervey told a story about an extremely lucky human in Iowa who got the honor of getting checked by the one and only Bea Arthur:
Nathan: TV Guide had done a piece on the show: “The Golden Girls—Is it still as good as it was the first year?” And they asked random people what they thought of the show, and this one housewife said she didn’t think the show was as good and that Bea Arthur’s character wasn’t as interesting. They mentioned her by name—Mrs. Betty Johnson, Sioux Falls, Iowa. So Bea reads this at lunch and then gets on the phone and asks information for this Betty Johnson’s number. And she calls her. And she picks up, this TV Guide woman, and Bea says, “This is Bea Arthur, and I want to talk to you about what you said in TV Guide.” The woman was horrified. She said she was misquoted. “I didn’t mean it. Is it really you? I love the show. I take it back.” And Bea goes, “That’s what I thought. OK, that’s better.”
Hervey: And then Bea said “That person’s going to go tell everyone that I called her, and no one’s going to believe her.”
That’s not nearly as good as the original Queen Bea (sorry, Beyonce) cursing out Rufus Wainwright, but I’d still have my ear and phone bronzed if that happened to me.
If Mrs. Betty Johnson is still alive today, then she finally has the receipts to give to all of the non-believers in her life who thought she was lying when she said that the Patron Saint of Badassness dropped a “That’s what I thought, BITCH” in her ear. If Mrs. Betty Johnson is no longer with us, then her family should have those receipts from Frontiers etched into her tombstone right below “Here lies Mrs. Betty Johnson who was once checked by Bea Arthur.” I’m assuming that’s on her tombstone, because anybody who got checked by Bea has that on their tombstone.
(Thanks to everyone who sent this in)