A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir

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Viking, 1996 - Social Science - 219 pages
1 Review
What's a boy to do? An only child, a little chubby (and carrying it low). By age six already a regular in the Sears Husky Boys Department. Young Frankie is also gay, and he's trapped in the aluminum-sidinged, lawn-sprinklered, what-exit? wilds of New Jersey suburbia. Imagine Elton John born to an Italian-American Edith and Archie Bunker and you've got the picture.
A Boy Named Phyllis is Frank DeCaro's witty gem of a memoir about growing up among working-class Italian folk in Little Falls, New Jersey. There are the usual trials and tribulations between little Frankie and his parents, Marian and Frank Sr., but this is no angst-ridden, coming-of-age gay memoir. Frank is funny, and A Boy Names Phyllis is the antidote to such books.
It is the mid-1960s and the DeCaros have it all: a living room that no one is allowed to live in; a complete collection of cardboard cutout decorations for every holiday; an Entenmann's factory around the corner; and a killer lineup of Friday-night TV - The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, Room 222, The Odd Couple, and, if you can stay awake long enough, Love, American Style. There's only one problem: instead of developing a crush on Laurie Partridge, Frankie gets a boner for Keith. He perfects a drop-dead Paul Lynde imitation, and ultimately finds liberation through Elton John and Disco.

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User Review  - perpstu - LibraryThing

Frank DeCaro is one of my favorite radio hosts. He currently has a show full of "brunchtime fun" on Sirius OutQ that makes me laugh every day. A Boy Named Phyllis is a very fun account of growing up ... Read full review

A boy named Phyllis: a suburban memoir

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This witty reminiscence of growing up gay amid the pop culture of the 1960s and 1970s is filled with dating, dieting, and disco. A fine complement to Aaron Fricke's poignant early-1980s memoir, Reflections of a Rock Lobster (Alyson, 1995. reprint). (LJ 5/15/96) Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Frank DeCaro is a writer and performer who was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and hosts his own live national talk show The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius Satellite. DeCaro's books are A Boy Named Phyllis: A Suburban Memoir, Unmistakably Mackie: The Fashion and Fantasy of Bob Mackie, and The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. His comic essays are included in Out, Loud, & Laughing, Out in All Directions, How to Live a Sitcom Life, Promotion in the Advertising Environment, and The Q Guide to the Golden Girls.

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