Clip du jour: Bea Arthur sings with Rock Hudson

Like many of you, I’ve been trundling through YouTube this past weekend watching clips of Bea Arthur’s best moments from All in the Family, Maude, The Golden Girls, and Broadway. But the one below easily takes the prize for the most wonderfully strange video I’ve seen this year, Bea Arthur-related or otherwise.

Watching it is like entering some gay bizarro meta-verse where carefree socialites harmonically chortle about amyl nitrate, and U.S. television networks broadcast it into your home. Except evidently at one brief, brilliantly weird point in history, this world actually existed. It’s but one more example of just how singular a figure Bea Arthur cut into the pop culture firmament, and why she’ll be so deeply missed. What do you make of it, PopWatchers?

Comments (33 total) Add your comment
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  • Adam

    I want to thank EW for all the classic footage us younger viewers missed. She was a phenomenal talent.

  • Thoughtful Texan

    Love it Love it Love it…Both reamrkable talents. God bless you Bea.

  • Stacy Buck

    I’ve been a fan of her ever since I can remember…she had a way of making me crack up laughing..thanks Bea! You were such a light! r.i.p.

  • Keith Rutherford

    Amyl nitrite you mean. Amyl nitrate is a fuel additive.

  • Nick

    Um… why no mention of The Star Wars Holiday Special?

  • harry

    WOW! what a class act those 2 were!

  • Leslie

    Thanks for posting this! What a great and funny lady. She will be missed.

  • Protoplasm

    Oh, my. This clip is astounding! Reminds me of the mid 70’s to early 80’s when it was cool to be doped up. Everyone in the music industry used to carry one of those small bottles of coke around their neck, and it was common place to see lines being drawn in bathrooms at clubs. Nothing was thought about flagrantly flaunting a joint at a public event like a concert or at a park.
    Years from now, I wonder what we might be seeing as a gaff on our generational eras.

  • Nix

    that was the most fabulous thing i have ever seen. yes, i’m being hyperbolic, but still. so fabulous. on so many levels!

  • ben

    I just found a hot web site. people can make friends with rich man,sincere girls and so on. I signed up and It’s exciting

  • Owen

    What’s great about seeing this is that I remember in the late 70’s, living in Port Clinton OH, I was obsessed with far away Broadway musicals. But I had the cast albums. This was a song from a totally underappreciated little musical called “I Love My Wife”. I was actually in a play when this Bea Arthur special this is from was originally aired. And I was so disappointed because the TV Guide (remember the TV Guide?) said they would be doing this song (Bea was married to the musical’s director Gene Saks at the time) and it being right before VCR’s I had to miss it. Thank you, Creators of You Tube. And thank you Bea Arthur.

  • Dinosaur

    I’m with you, Nick … my first memory of Bea was on the Star Wars Holiday Special. Terrific, terrific stuff.

  • slick

    “Years from now, I wonder what we might be seeing as a gaff on our generational eras.”
    How about
    (a) booty-slapping music videos and the hip-hop culture of sexual exploitation, which has mushroomed into gratuitous prostitution references acceptable even in polite company (e.g., “My mom just got back from pimping her new book on Oprah.”)
    (b) the color coded terror alert system, which is today’s version of “Duck and Cover” nuclear fallout drills in elementary schools (while we’re on the topic, weapons of mass hysteria–oops, destruction)
    (c) pants that demonstrate whether the wearer has started puberty
    (d) suburban McMansions with three car garages that are only designed to last about 25 years before requiring extensive rehabbing
    (e) most of the menu at Taco Bell

  • Puck 101

    They make a good pair .

  • puck101

    Nice Poster Duo…One big Queer, and if the other isn’t a lesbian, she sure looked like one..They ought to build them a great big monument, and label it, ” No Talent ”

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