A Jersey City tattoo artist put Coney Island’s Luna Park on my left bicep a number of years ago. Before that, I let a hairy man with jewelry stuck all over his bare chest stick a big needle through my earlobe on the street at Little Italy’s Feast Of San Gennaro. So, I have a little body modification, but nothing outrageous. I can in no way compete with Creature on AMC’s Freakshow.
Creature has fallen on hard times. He can’t find a place to live. Gentle soul though he is, it’s still understandable that most apartment complexes wouldn’t welcome Creature as a tenant. If his appearance gave some old lady a heart attack, lawsuits would fly. Creature has over a hundred piercings in his face, and he is highly tattooed. Tattoos and body modification are so common now that only the over-the-top body canvases are going to make it in the sideshow business. Although Creature can’t find a home, he certainly has job security. When I was a kid, tattoos were very uncommon. I only saw them on a few military men. Now it seems like every 18 year old kid longs for a neck tattoo, and a lot of them go out and get them. I feel a little iffy about this episode of “Freakshow” because so many kids now have permanent reminders of the time they went to a mall tattoo shop with their buddies and picked some art off the wall. I wish that the show had talked a little about the permanence of a tattoo, and the fact that, because it is going to be forever, it should have meaning.
The first episode of “Freakshow” tonight was dedicated to those men and women who just don’t want to look like anyone else. Todd Ray has a tattoo event featuring Brian Tagalong, an artist who tattoos with his feet because he doesn’t have arms. We see Brian giving a couple of tattoos during the show, but we never see the finished products, which leaves us understandably wondering if Brian is any good. I hope he is. It would be terrible if he was, well, terrible. Also present is Matt Gone, who is tattooed inside and out. The inside of his mouth is tattooed. His eyeballs are tattooed. His butthole is tattooed. The palms of his hands aren’t tattooed, which reminds me of the time I saw the late Michael Wilson at the Coney Island Sideshow. He’d tried to get the palms of his hands tattooed several times, and the result was blurry and faded. Matt obviously wants to avoid that mess. Featured at the very end of the program is Maria Jose, the Vampire Woman of Mexico. Maria Jose is just as interesting as any of the special guests on this episode, if not more interesting, and I wish there had been something beyond a “Tada! Here she is for five seconds!” at the end. You can learn a little about her here.
The next episode of the evening focuses on Asia’s desire to step up her act with higher voltage. Asia sits in an electric chair and lights a torch with her tongue, but she’d like to do something more dangerous. Todd does what any father would do for his little girl…he contacts a woman with a Tesla coil. Miss Electra is a cool lady with a hot act. She shoots lightning from her hands. She is absolutely not interested in giving her act to Asia. She does break down after Asia contacts her personally, and she lends Asia her baby Tesla coil so Asia can light up a neon tube. Asia is starting to look like she’s Morgue’s little sister, and that bothers me. I’d far rather she be herself.
Best thing about this episode…the few minutes we spend with the Amazing Ali while she recovers from hip replacement surgery. I’m genuinely fond of Ali and her husband, Matt McCarthy. They lend a spark to the show that all of the Tesla coils in the world can’t provide.
Apparently the next episodes of the show are set in Gibtown, Florida. Gibsonton was the winter home of the old-time carnies. I. Cannot. WAIT!