MONDO HOLLYWOOD
PORNOGRAPHY?


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Los Angeles Herald Examiner - October 2, 1978
Poor Rating for Curb-Dymally Comedy
By MIKE QUALLS
HeraId Examiner Politics Editor

     Can Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally find true gratification in his new career as a film critic? 
     Do they really laugh when Mike Curb sings falsetto in the shower? 
     Speaking of showers, does Attorney General Evelle Younger really have more of them in his offices than Gov. Jerry Brown?
     And does anybody really care? 
     Those are just some of the burning questions that have surfaced so far in the general election races, thus setting the tone for what's supposed to be serious business.  We've had the great shower debate, the pension debate, the debate over whether to debate and other equally critical gubernatorial campaign issues too numerous to mention. For a while, it looked as if Brown and Younger had a lock on bizarre campaign issues, but the documentary film "Mondo Hollywood" changed all that almost overnight.
     On that controversy, Dymally and Curb have been catapulted into the spotlight of odd, if not downright weird, campaign issues. 
     Dymally, who later said he's never even seen the film, nonetheless triggered the controversy by accusing Curb of being involved in a "pornographic" movie. Curb was, indeed, involved in "Mondo Hollywood."  He (co-)wrote most of the songs in the 1966 production, directed the music and sang in a falsetto voice off-camera in one scene for what producer- director Robert Carl Cohen called an "in joke." 
     The scene hardly could be described as anything more than mildly spicy. In fact, nothing in the entire 88 minute production could be described as pornographic.
     Curb at first denied singing in the film, then admitted it and began screaming "foul." adding that he's actually quite proud of the film's music, particularly since he did it 12 years ago as a 21-year old fledging in the recording industry..
     Dymally let the political cauldron bubble for several days before admitting yesterday during a San Diego speech that he didn't think the film was pornographic.  But the damage to Curb's campaign may have already been done. Additionally. Dymally now is maintaining that Curb's handling of the controversy has replaced the film's content as the main issue.
     "He would lie at the drop of a hat," crowed Dymally in San Diego. "I knew it. I decided to throw out the bait and he bit on it." 
     "I do not lie," declared Curb, who said that after the Dymally charge was leveled earlier this week he "stayed up most of the night" listening to an album from the film for the first time since its 1967 release by Capitol Records.
     "I am now ready to accept ... that I, in fact sang in that film," he said.  "I will accept that."
     Now he has the problem of getting his supporters to accept his explanation.
     And Dymally may have some problems in getting people to accept his film ratings readily in the future.
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Los Angeles Times Editorial Cartoon
Mon. Oct. 2, 1978
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1978- Lt. Gov. Dymally charges Mondo Hollywood "Porno" - Loses Election
By 1978 the fallout from the Watergate Affair, which led to the resignation of President Nixon, had also tarnished the reputations of many of those California Republicans considered eligible for state office.  In the 12 years since Mike Curb had been the Music Director of Mondo Hollywood, in addition to business success, his "Mike Curb Congregation" had performed in the Nixon White House & he'd become active in the Republican Party.  Dubbed "Mr. Clean" by the press due to his not having been tainted by Watergate, in 1978, despite having neither a legal background nor experience in public office, Curb became the Republican Party's candidate for Lt. Gov.  When early opinion polls showed the public divided 50/50, the incumbent Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally, although never having seen the film, publicly charged that Curb had done the music for a "pornographic" film & "sung in falsetto in a bath tub scene with two lesbians."   A subsequent poll revealed that those who'd heard the charges had, surprisingly, turned 53% to 47% in favor of Curb.  Not only did Curb win 53% of the overall final vote, he took some 75% of the "youth vote" (ages 18-25).  It seems that the younger voters of California felt that someone capable of "singing  falsetto in a bath tub with two lesbians" in a "porno" film was their kind of leader.  A lesson that Republican party pundits might well have remembered twenty years later when they strained to impeach President Clinton on charges stemming from his somewhat less sensational proclivities. (A woman in the Mondo Hollywood "bath tub" scene did smoke a cigar)
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1986 - Mike Curb denies he sang in Mondo Hollywood - Loses Election
After four years as a Lt. Governor whose term of office was distinguished primarily by conservatism & unsuccessfully attempting to contradict the actions of Governor Jerry Brown (Demo) every time he went out of the state, Mike Curb was defeated by less than 1% in the 1982 California Republican Party Primary for Governor.  Then, in 1986, after becoming active in National Republican Party affairs via Ronald Reagan's Committee To Re-Elect The President (CREEP), Curb once again won nomination for the office of Calif. Lt. Governor.  But. unlike 1978, in 1986 Curb denied that his voice had ever been used in Mondo Hollywood.  Interviewed by NBC-TV, Robert Carl Cohen reaffirmed that Curb's electronically "falsettoed" voice had, indeed, been used.  Asked why he now denied it, Cohen's response that Curb, like many other politicians, "Will say or do whatever he thinks will get him elected," may have contributed to Curb's defeat.
Filmography
Mondo Hollywood
RadFilms