February 24-March 2, 2005
The Butch Century
Photo By: Michael T. Regan
Butch Cordora once wanted to be the male Madonna. The gay Howard Stern, too. But these days, on the occasion of the 100th episode of his In Bed with Butch local cable talk show, Cordora's aspirations have changed.
"My destiny may be to stay in Philly and do, you know, the show that you have to do in Philadelphia," says Cordora, who used to conduct interviews from a bed in his skivvies but now does so from a desk, fully dressed, at WYBE's Roxborough studios. "I still have the passion to do a national show and all that, but why can't I be national from Philly? I'm not saying that I can, but Oprah never left Chicago, right? It's an exciting thing that I realized this year, that wow, I don't have to move to Los Angeles or New York City, that I could be fabulous in Philly!"
To that end, the 45-year-old gay talk-show host has focused on attracting more out-of-town guests. He wants his show to become the stop for those who want to reach the LGBT community "Viewer Discretion Advised" disclaimer be damned. Normally on at 12:30 a.m. Sundays, the station deems such a warning necessary when they air the show in its newly added 10:30 p.m. Friday timeslot. Hey, it's prime-time, and when you're gunning for better exposure, such warnings matter little. In fact, says Cordora, they boost the ratings a bit.
Future concerns aside, Cordora seems happy with things these days. Sunday, he'll tape a show from Channel 6's Oscars party at the Franklin Institute. Plus, he's getting new sponsors, and for his century-mark program, he interviewed Frank DeCaro (the gay movie critic from The Daily Show) and DeCaro's significant other, Jim Colucci, who wrote Will & Grace: Fabulously Uncensored. (If you missed the 100th episode when it ran last weekend, the show will air again at 10:30 p.m., March 11.)
But, here's the rub: Getting guests down from NYC ain't cheap, especially when they want to take the Acela rather than regular Amtrak. (Believe him, it has happened.) So, next Tuesday, Woody's Bar and Restaurant will be the scene of a 100th-episode party/fund-raiser for In Bed with Butch.
"We'll have fabulous C-list celebrities. If I surround myself with famous people, maybe they'll make me famous," he says. Survivor guy Gervase Peterson and Charli Baltimore of Murder Inc. will host. Jade "Catch Me I'm Falling" Starling will perform. And Lady Bunny will do whatever it is that cross-dressing lady bunnies do. It's open to the public at $25 a head. "I want people to go with the knowledge that they're helping me stay on the air. We're always on the verge of being cancelled."
And that would not be fabulous at all.