298 episodes

Revealing stories about the books, movies, tv, music and more that have changed the lives of gay men. Each week, a guest plucks a piece of entertainment from their past, and answers the question: how did it change your life?

The Sewers of Paris Matt Baume

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

Revealing stories about the books, movies, tv, music and more that have changed the lives of gay men. Each week, a guest plucks a piece of entertainment from their past, and answers the question: how did it change your life?

    Everything but His Underwear (Ep 391 - Swedish Drag/Markus)

    Everything but His Underwear (Ep 391 - Swedish Drag/Markus)

    My guest this week set himself a goal many years ago — to bring RuPaul’s Drag Race to Sweden, with an all-Swedish production, Swedish queens, and a Swedish host. Now it’s finally happening, thanks to my guest’s decade of work amidst international travel, seeking a country that felt like home, and meeting and falling in love with his husband.
    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder that I’ve got a weekly newsletter where I write stories about queer pop culture and also link to cute animal videos — subscribe to that at mattbaume.com. Also take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I’ve got one coming up this weekend about the show Modern Family.
    Also, big thanks to everyone who supports The Sewers of Paris on Patreon! Patrons get hours of exclusive videos about super queer pop culture history, stickers and stuff in the mail, and shoutouts in the credits of YouTube videos.

    • 44 min
    Every Gay Bar Was Owned by Mafia (Ep 390 - Stonewall/Tree)

    Every Gay Bar Was Owned by Mafia (Ep 390 - Stonewall/Tree)

    Welcome to June, listeners. Every year for Pride month, I like to revisit my conversation with a man whose tales of old queer New York are absolutely captivating. He earned the nickname Tree thanks to his six-foot-five stature, and he’s been a part of New York’s gay community going back to the fifties, when he didn’t even know a community existed. Tree’s been a member of Brooklyn street gangs, worked with the mob, and counted among his friends Buddy Holly, Bea Arthur, and Rock Hudson. We talked back in 2020, as we were all heading into a lot of uncertainty around COVID, quarantines, and the future. The start of Pride month is a particularly apt time to reflect on Tree’s stories of endurance and liberation.
    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder that I’ve got a weekly newsletter where I write stories about queer pop culture and also link to cute animal videos — subscribe to that at mattbaume.com. Also take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I just posted a video about Will & Grace and I’ve got one coming up about the behind-the-scenes fight over the gay couple on Modern Family.
    Also, big thanks to everyone who supports The Sewers of Paris on Patreon! Patrons get hours of exclusive videos about super queer pop culture history, stickers and stuff in the mail, and shoutouts in the credits of YouTube videos.

    • 48 min
    Quite a Lovely Revolution We Were Having (Ep 389 - David Bowie/Joan Jett Blakk)

    Quite a Lovely Revolution We Were Having (Ep 389 - David Bowie/Joan Jett Blakk)

    My guest this week is the fascinating Terrence Smith, also known as Joan Jett Blakk, a drag performer who ran for mayor of Chicago in the 90s, and after that, President. Terrence has some incredible stories about growing up in Detroit, seeing David Bowie and The Supremes perform live, sneaking onto the floor of the Democratic National Convention, and orchestrating, as he calls it, “quite a lovely revolution.”

    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder that I’ve got a weekly newsletter where I write stories about queer pop culture and also link to cute animal videos — subscribe to that at mattbaume.com. Also take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I just posted a video about how Will & Grace premiered at what might’ve been the worst possible time, and I’ve got one coming in June about how the gay couple on Modern Family were prevented from getting married by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Also, big thanks to everyone who supports The Sewers of Paris on Patreon! Patrons get hours of exclusive videos about super queer pop culture history, stickers and stuff in the mail, and shoutouts in the credits of YouTube videos.

    • 44 min
    Magic Horses & Middle School (Ep 388 - Hugh Ryan/queer history)

    Magic Horses & Middle School (Ep 388 - Hugh Ryan/queer history)

    There’s a new book out this month about the history of The Women’s House of Detention, a women’s prison that was located just across the street from The Stonewall Inn, that played a role in the 1969 uprising, and that for better or worse shaped queer culture in New York’s iconic gayborhood. The author, Hugh Ryan, was my guest on the Sewers of Paris several years ago, and for this week’s episode we’re revisiting by 2020 interview with him about his previous book, When Brooklyn was Queer. Settle in for a chat about Hugh’s own favorite books — pulpy sci-fi novels, which filled his middle school days with magic horses. Growing up, Hugh became a mild mannered academic by day, rowdy party monster by night. And after a series of adventures, including one in which he moved into another person’s life, Hugh found a calling in creating pop-up museums of queer history.

    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder that I’ve got a weekly newsletter where I write stories about queer pop culture and also link to cute animal videos — subscribe to that at mattbaume.com. Also take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I just posted a video about how Will & Grace premiered at what might’ve been the worst possible time, and how the creators overcame the Ellen curse.

    Also, big thanks to everyone who supports The Sewers of Paris on Patreon! Patrons get hours of exclusive videos about super queer pop culture history, stickers and stuff in the mail, and shoutouts in the credits of YouTube videos.

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Camp is like Pornography (Ep 387 - Eurovision/Jānis)

    Camp is like Pornography (Ep 387 - Eurovision/Jānis)

    We’re in the midst of Eurovision right now, the extravagant celebration of over-the-top music and outrageous costumes and, every now and then, taste. Eurovision is a great big ball of fun, and it was the subject of the very first episode of The Sewers of Paris. This week, we’re revisiting my 2015 interview with Jānis, who on this very show was the first person to introduce me to the joy of Eurovision, along with the German version of American Idol, gay-adjacent Hitchcock movies, and hard-core camp.

    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder that I’ve got a weekly newsletter where I write stories about queer pop culture and also link to cute animal videos — subscribe to that at mattbaume.com. Also take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I’ve got a video coming this weekend about how Will & Grace premiered at what might’ve been the worst possible time, and how the creators overcame the Ellen curse. 

    Also, big thanks to everyone who supports The Sewers of Paris on Patreon! Patrons get hours of exclusive videos about super queer pop culture history, stickers and stuff in the mail, and shoutouts in the credits of YouTube videos.

    • 51 min
    Did I Just Get Married? (Ep 386 - Pedro Almodóvar/Alejandro Varela)

    Did I Just Get Married? (Ep 386 - Pedro Almodóvar/Alejandro Varela)

    My guest this week is Alejandro Varela, who was a mostly-closeted college student when he left the US for a semester in Spain. There he was able to start fresh, come out, and explore queer culture — with a little inspiration from filmmaker Pedro Almodovar — and to come back to the US a completely changed person.

    We’ll have that conversation in a minute. First, a reminder to head over to mattbaume.com to subscribe to my newsletter. And take a look at my YouTube channel for videos about film and TV history — I just posted a video about the show Dynasty. And head over to my Patreon to support The Sewers of Paris and watch hours of bonus videos about super queer pop culture — lately I’ve been posting behind-the-scenes looks at the making of Will & Grace.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

TAE-08 ,

Just subscribe

As gays we have no direct genetic link but knowing that over continents and timespans there are things that we all have in common, a shared experience that binds us together is super comforting. This podcast made me realise that we all are both individuals with our own quirks and interests and also members of a community that has survived mellenia of oppression through sheer force of will and humour. That makes the good times in my own life better and makes weathering the lows more easy. Basically this podcast is fun and interesting and makes you laugh on the tube. So just subscribe.

AdamSmith520 ,

I’ve learnt so much from this podcast!

Matt finds some fascinating and eloquent guests, and his questioning is always really insightful. If you’re interested in gay stories and culture, check it out.

GirderClamp ,

Brilliant!

Discovered this after Matt appeared on Throwing Shade - it is absolutely brilliant. Rare to have an interviewer who gets so much from their guests whilst keeping it natural and on track! Thank you - really enjoying catching up on something I've clearly been missing out on.

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