'Glee' Exclusive: John Stamos was supposed to play Dr. Frank-N-Furter in the 'Rocky Horror' episode

John-Stamos-Rocky-HorrorImage Credit: Everett Collection; Stamos: Glenn Harris/PR PhotosAs Tuesday’s Rocky Horror Glee Show inches ever closer to our televisions, we’ve all by now seen the photos of various Glee cast members doubling as classic Rocky Horror characters like Riff Raff (Kurt), Columbia (Tina), Brad Majors (Finn), and the titular golden-speedo’d hunk Rocky Horror (the perpetually shirtless Sam). Most curiously, it appears Amber Riley’s Mercedes is the one with the honor of stepping into the high-heels and black corset of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Rocky Horror‘s cross-dressing provocateur-cum-ringmaster so memorably played by Tim Curry in the feature film. Aside from looking frighteningly fabulous, the character gets to belt one of the show’s best-known songs: “Sweet Transvestite.”

It turns out, however, that guest star John Stamos, who plays the new squeeze of guidance counselor Emma Pillsbury (Jayma Mays), was originally going to tackle the naughty anthem. While speaking with EW last month about his recurring role on Glee, Stamos said of the Rocky Horror episode, “I was supposed to be doing ‘Sweet Transvestite,’ but I think the network saw the script and was like, ‘Stamos in fish nets? It’s too soon!'” Stamos chuckles. “So they switched it up. I was bummed, because I wanted to play that part.” Indeed, if this leaked demo is to be believed, Stamos even recorded a version of the song. (You can check out Riley’s version of the song on iTunes, although the bad doctor’s hometown is now apparently “Sensational, Transylvania,” instead of “Transsexual, Transylvania.” Because Glee is always so chaste.) Fox has no comment.

Stamos instead donned a black leather jacket and straddled a motorcycle as ex-delivery boy Eddie, played in the film by Meat Loaf, for the song “Hot Patootie — Bless My Soul.” To prepare, Stamos — who’s headlined four Broadway musicals — said he “faked sickness” so he could work with a private vocal coach on the song. “And then we [recorded] the song, and they said, ‘OK, so here’s the dance.’ I was like, ‘Aw, my sickness has kind of come back.’ And then I rented out my own studio, and I got my own dance instructor, and worked at it.” He smiles earnestly. “I swear to you. I hope [the Glee producers] are not reading this.”

Stamos spoke with EW, in fact, the morning after he’d finished shooting the song. “My knees are killing me,” said the 47-year-old, wincing. “I had to slide across on my knees like 25 times. It’s a good first song for me to do on Glee, because it’s with all the kids, and we’re up, we’re dancing.” Even though last season on Glee Emma infamously snarked, “They say it takes more certainty than talent to be a star — I mean, look at John Stamos,” the actor says he’s “always loved” the show. “It’s really nice that this show worked. They goofed on me in the beginning, so I had to secretly watch it, because I loved it so much. I told everybody I hated it, but I was a closet Glee fan.”

So are you bummed that the former Uncle Jesse won’t be strutting as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, PopWatchers? Or relieved?

Comments (117 total) Add your comment
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  • JOe

    “Glee” is doing a Rocky Horror-themed show? Who knew? Thanks for the info, EW. (end sarcasm)

    • Jennifer

      They are? Really? Dang, I wish EW had let us know about it with a hundred or so articles!

      • sp

        And how awful for you both that you had no choice but to click on the article that you had no interest in and be forced to read it!

      • JOe

        You don’t have to click on it and you don’t have to read it to be sick of seeing it as a headline and homepage photo day after day. And if anything, the readers who actually ARE fans should be more annoyed, as it feels like the whole episode has already been spoiled for them!


        @SP – get a sense of humor.

      • SXiPPY

        Really got to side with Joe on this one, given that it does indeed seem as though this whole episode has transpired before us in the form of articles. And, now knowing that Amber Riley will be taking a piss on one of the most iconic characters in cinema and wiping her ass with the “Sweet Transvestite” song (“Sensational Transylvania”!? Really!?). All my interest in this episode just shattered to fragments having read that. I mean, how provocative is the word “Transvestite” in light of the whole GQ “Let’s have A 3-Way On Teacher’s Desk” photoshoot!? So yeah, all these articles kind of ruined it for me…or prepared me for a fall-out.

      • REALLY pissed off

        I love, love, love Amber Riley, but she has NO business playing Tim Curry’s role. The whole POINT of the character (and the song!) is that he is a transvestite!!!!!!
        The whole point of the show (Rocky Horror) is to subvert the normal. So Glee has to go and turn it into the damned DISNEY version of it. Then why bother doing it?????!!!!!!!????!?!?!?!?!

      • Kevin O’Keeffe

        Aw, come off it, SP and Joe. It seems like you can’t go two feet on EW.com without running into the “You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to!” response to a criticism of an article. Like Twilight before it, Entertainment Weekly overcovers Glee. It’s the opinion of more than one person. It’s a completely valid opinion. And you know what? Perhaps I’d like more insider scoop on what’s going to happen on The Good Wife or hear more interviews with Archie Panjabi (an Emmy-winner, in case you didn’t remember that) or Christine Baranski or any of the other stars. Or maybe I’d like to see more behind-the-scenes coverage of Modern Family. Or the once again on-fire 30 Rock (for episodes that don’t happen to be live!). There are other, better, higher-rated shows on-air today that deserve more coverage. And every Glee article, believe it or not, does take away from that coverage. So don’t take a shot at those guys. They may have been sarcastic, but their point is incredibly valid.

    • Rush

      Damn, why am I always the last to know?

    • Rush

      Rocky Horror without all the “shocking” transvestite/transsexual bits cut out (pun!)? They should have done Little Shop of Horrors.

      • nodnarb

        Love your pun!

      • Shannon

        I have no idea why they cut out those bits (ouch) either.
        Is it because the PC term is now “transgender”?
        But, that usually implies a lack of, ahem, bits, not simply crossdressing, so I don’t know what to think.
        I mean, are we supposed to think that no one on Glee is sexual?
        Are you kidding me?
        The “one helluva lover” line is still in there, but cavorting in fishnets while emphasizing one’s [tran]sexuality seems to be too much for the censors.

  • blaaaake!

    damn… stamos is such a hottie. Of course I would have preferred him as Frank-N-Furter!

    • Templar

      I’m amazed that Bret Michaels hasn’t announced that he was considered for the part of Frank-n- Furtur.

      • Shannon


    • Shannon

      After hearing that, I’m starting to love the idea of a female taking on Dr. Frank.
      Stamos attempting to spice it up a la Curry is a little icky.
      And he’s no Meatoaf either.

  • Aprilcot26

    He was great on Broadway as the Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret. I would have enjoyed seeing him play Frank-N-Furter.

    • lark

      Oh Man. I didn’t know that. How cool! He definitely should have had the Tim Curry part in this episode. What where they thinking?

  • tia

    Why even do a Rocky Horror send up if you can’t do it properly?!?! Sensational, Transylvania? Really? And as much as I love Amber, I really wish they’d had enough guts to use either Puck (my first choice) or Stamos. Weak.

    • sara


    • Scott

      I was about to comment the exact same thing. Why are you doing Rocky Horror if you are just going to neuter it? Oooooh you can’t say the word “transsexual”?? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! Skipping this episode out of principle.

      • ks

        I am with you!

    • CH

      They butchered the lyrics of “Toucha Toucha Touch Me.” I’m tentatively excited for the episode, as I love the show, but why do a tribute if you can’t do the original?

    • rmb

      Well, it’s Rocky Horror the way a HS glee club in Ohio would do Rocky Horror. The changes are probably not so far off those any glee coach/musical director would make at an actual high school.

  • Al

    I hope they at least make the censorship a plot point. Maybe Sue will object to the immorality of transexuals and they will be forced to change it.

    • nodnarb

      That’s my guess too. Still disappointing though!

      • Marianne

        Exactly, If you cant do Rocky Horror properly why bother at all? I was really really excited for this, but am becoming less and less so. I thought Time Warp was good but minus Dianna’s “poppy” solo. And now even more lyric changes?

      • @ Marianne

        Dianna’s “poppy” solo was the best part of the Time Warp.

  • nodnarb

    Glee FAIL!

    • tarc

      Glee WIN!!!

      • Sam

        GLEE FAIL!

  • Dinana

    Dr Frank-N-Furter is a transexual not a diva! Very disappointing…Sweet Transvestite is my favorite song from RHPS, but then, no one can do it like Tim Curry. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the originals show up in cameos?

    • Jackie

      According to TV Guide’s website, Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf both have cameo appearances.

    • Lips

      I thought Barry Bostwick and Meatloaf had cameos….and Susan Sarandon was interested in doing a cameo but they hadn’t written her in….or something to that effect.

    • blaaaake!

      actually, Frank-N-Furter is not a transexual, he’s a transvestite – hence the song, “sweet transvestite” –

    • GQ

      Ah – Tim Curry, the master…….

    • GQ

      To Dinana – Frank-N-Furter is a transvestite from transesxual Transalvania.

    • tarc

      Actually, I believe Frank’s a transvestite from the planet Transexual, in the galaxy Translyvania (to be exact).

  • sassyfras

    Sounds like it’s shaping up to be like my high school production of ‘Grease’ where we had to change all the naughty bits. Snooze.

    • Tracy

      Hey,my high school production of Music Man was so stripped of any life that when the main characters were supposed to have their big kiss, instead they pratically shook hands. Instead of a romance, it was like a buddy comedy. Yikes!!!

      • Lips

        Really….Music Man watered down??? wow, that’s sad.

    • Rebekah

      Does that mean Glee’s watered down version will actually be somewhat more realistic for what a high school production would look like? Also, while I think Amber is fantastic, I wish they would’ve at least made one of the guys play Frank-N-Furter. Oh well. If anyone is that upset, they should just go watch the real deal!

  • nodnarb

    Ok, wait… she can sing “I’m a sweet transvestite” but she has to change the word “transexual”? That doesn’t make any sense! Why is transvestite ok, but transexual is not? This is a tranny tragedy!

    • Templar

      Big difference between cross-dressing and gender reassignment.

      • nodnarb

        From a TV network’s perspective, is there really?

    • tarc

      Especially since Transsexual is the name of their home planet…

      • Laura K.

        My thought was that it was more appropriate to the character, rather than a censorship thing. I’m sure that if “fabulous” had worked in the line, they would have used that.

        You could argue it’s the same thing with “Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me,” that that character would never sing the original lyrics.

  • Thad

    Big disappointment!! HUGE! Thought Fox had big Rocks, but not the case. Blows the whole episode.

  • Andrea

    I’m looking forward to the RHPS ep, but I kind of wish they would have omitted Sweet Transvestite since they aren’t going to do it right. There’s no doubt that Mercedes can belt out a tune, but she is the character that makes the least sense to play Frank-N-Furter.

  • Irina

    I can’t believe they had Amber be Dr Frank-n-Furter. That is SO taking away from the spirit of Rocky Horror. But I guess I can understand why they couldn’t have the random dentist have the starring role in a High School’s production of the movie. Still, very upsetting. John Stamos would have ROCKED those fishnets…

    • sara

      but they can have the random dentist playing the role of Eddie?? Huh??

  • Carrie #2

    I know everyone’s saying that Fox isn’t doing this properly, which may be the case (I haven’t seen the show) but think about it, if they’re doing this as a school play, they’d never be able to get away with anything. Forget TV censorship, high school administrators are the ones who would really want it squeaky clean. (Think about it- it’s like doing Rent, but more graphic!) I guess that’s why they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place, but just a thought.

    • sara

      Okay, that is the stupidest comment yet. The only reason it is being performed as a high school play is because THAT IS HOW THEY WROTE THE EPISODE. The could just have easily made it a dream or another flipping trip to the dentist! The fact is they made a choice to make it a pathetic watered down joke. And oh yea, just to add to the stupidity, how many high school plays tend to also star the guidance counselor and her boyfriend??!

      • samantha

        Actually, I have seen this done as a high school play, and they just had to tone it down a bit. It has to do with administrators and the parents. While I agree with sara about the guidance counselor and the boyfriend being in the show is weird. But also look at it this way… its a Halloween episode, you don’t get more Halloween then RHPS.

      • murley

        wow, be more intense. anyway i love a show within a show and the glee snark applied kinds putting on a school play? awesome. try to remember that the people in glee are also fans of rhps. you don’t own it. they are fans paying tribute, lighten up!!

    • that makes no sense

      If the producers of GLEE could not do Rocky Horror with the proper rebel spirit (if the principal of the school — or the executives at FOX — would not allow it) then they NEVER SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS EPISODE. They should have done Little Shop of Horrors or Grease or whatever. But what is the point of doing “Rocky Horror Picture SHow” if you are going to sanitize it? The whole point of ROcky Horror is to rebel against the norm — not to adjust/edit/censor/accommodate it. It makes no sense to do it this way.

  • Jackie

    I don’t think I would actually call it a ‘theme’ episode. This is the episode description from TV Guide’s website: “The glee kids perform their version of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ (despite Sue’s scheming) after Will learns that Emma’s a big fan of the 1975 cult-classic movie.” If the kids are actually putting on a production of the show, versus just randomly working in songs from RHPS, can you really call it a theme episode? Plus, it’s the 35th anniversary of RHPS, and it’s almost Halloween. I’m not a fan of the movie, but I’m going to try and reserve judgement on the episode.

    • Lips

      I can’t see Emma being a fan of the movie….I’m just saying. Though she’d make an awesome Janet, both looks-wise and character-wise.

      • nodnarb

        So agree! Why would an uptight woman with major OCD be a fan of something that involves the audience throwing things at each other? Just another example of Glee not following its own established characters and letting the music dictate the plot.

      • Jackie

        I don’t know, maybe she was a fan of RHPS before she became OCD/germophobic. There was an episode back in the first season where Emma explained to Will why she was the way she was. It was something about visiting a dairy farm with her family, and her brother pushing her into the run-off from the cow pens. She wouldn’t necessarily have stopped liking the stuff she liked before that incident.

      • orville

        She was a little kid when the dairy farm incident happened–can’t see a little kid being into Rocky Horror.

  • Sarah

    Why would the town’s dentist in the high school play?

    • Sarah

      Typed too fast.

      Why would the town’s dentist BE in the high school play?

      • Anissa

        From what I’ve seen both his and Emma’s songs are fantasy sequences (like in Mr Shue’s head). They aren’t performing w/ the kids. The songs move the story along vs performed by the Glee Club.

    • Rush

      Would be apt if they did Little Shop of Horrors.

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