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Charles Karel Bouley
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Karel (Charles Karel Bouley) is an entertainer and syndicated major market talk show host with a show heard on KGO AM 810 San Francisco weekends as well as nationally M-F. Karel continues his #1 talk show at Cumulus' flagship station, KGO AM 810 San Francisco (being rehired after being fired in 2008 for off-air comments about Joe the Plumber!) and made history for KFI AM 640 Los Angeles with his on and off air partner, the late Andrew Howard. He is an entertainment reporter and film critic (having worked with KNX 1070 Los Angeles CBS, as a columnist for Billboard, The Advocate and others). There is an Karel app at the App store for all of the Karel content and at his website The Karel Show you can watch him do the show live seven days a week.

Karel often appears on the cable and news networks as a guest and takes his special brand of satire to the stage in sold out comedy club and cabaret versions of Karel Stands Up! He is the founder of KDW Productions, LLC, a multi-media production company for TV, Film, Stage, Recording, Web and other content production. Karel produced, directed and wrote a marriage equality PSA that won second place in GLAAD's "I Do" contest, being aired at OutFest and on national television, featuring 12 youth and a cameo by Thomas Jefferson. He also cowrote two music videos for the late Vesta Williams, producing many for international singer Thea Austin and co-wrote and co-produced his first two albums.

Shortly after making history at the #1 Talk Station in the Country, KFI AM Los Angeles, Karel became a series regular on "The Ultimate Revenge" produced by Woody Fraiser and starring Ryan Seacrest. This improv reality show blazed a trail for shows like "Punk'd" and was aired on SpikeTV for three seasons.

He is a blogger for the HuffingtonPost.com, joining in it's first year and has been a columnist for Billboard Magazine as well as the No. 1 GLBT newsmagazine The Advocate at Advocate.com and prestigious publications since the mid-1980s. His book of essays "You Can't Say That" is published by Alyson Press and his latest book, Shouting at Windmills, BS From Bush To Obama hits the stands in the Fall of 2011.

Karel made history with his late partner (on and off air) Andrew Howard as the duo became the first openly gay male couple to host a major market talk show when they took over afternoon drive at KFI AM 640 Los Angeles (following Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura on the #1 talk station in the country). Upon Andrew's untimely death in 2001, Karel went solo and personally changed state law in California so he could pursue a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of his partner. He is currently single and does his shows from his TuffStudio at the home they shared, Park Howard, in Long Beach, CA. He is joined there by his dogs and cat.

Entries by Charles Karel Bouley

Cooking with Cannabis Comes of Age In The 420 Gourmet with JeffThe420Chef

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2016 | 3:24 PM

Photo credit : Joseph Viles JeffThe420Chef Photo credit : Joseph Viles

By Karel


Charles Karel Bouley II


Edibles just got upgraded to the top of the Foodie chain and in the process are making a...

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Uncomfortable Themes Make For Relevant Revival Are WE at the Cabaret?

(0) Comments | Posted July 24, 2016 | 4:09 PM

Screenshot 2016-07-24 12.25.19Harrison, Goss and the Kit Kat Girls in Cabaret. Photos courtesy of Pantages Theatre

By Karel

Charles Karel Bouley

I was uncomfortable leaving the Hollywood Pantages'production of Cabaret and I wasn't sure if that was a good thing. I've been to many a musical there, where by the end we are on our feet, dancing, singing, practically leaping out back to our cars and singing all the way home. This wasn't one of them.

But how could this be? This was the film that came out when I was ten years old, in 1972, starring, or, should I say, making the star of a young Liza Minnelli. I was pre-gay then, but I knew, I simply knew the Bob Fosse choreography, the singing, the dancing, the brazenness would be iconic. I was right. I saw the movie again in my late teens and knew, oh, the lines! Green nail polish became "Divine Decadence" and I still gasp when Michael York yells "Screw the Baron," and Liza so casually replies "I have" only to have Michael York laughingly reply, "Well, so do I..." Oh the scandal!

Yes, there was the whole Hitler thing, but so many movies of the time used WWII as a backdrop since it hadn't even been over for three decades and it was the war of my parent's generation (Vietnam would become mine since I was born in 1962 and then Iraq).

But none of it mattered inside the Kit Kat club where everything, including the org-a-stra, was beautiful. In there, life was a cabaret indeed, with German and Jew, soldier and non getting along just fine as Joel Gray, in another star-making role, became the narrator of the times inside and out.

The love story between German and Jew and the fact the two became two separate things even though many were born in Germany and were as German as the next seemed secondary to me years ago.

But Wednesday, July 20th, 2016 as I sat in incredible seats, Joey Fatone to my left, my good friend Daniel Charleston to my right, I knew the Republican National Convention was going on. As I heard "Tomorrow Belongs to Me" eerily played on stage, I pictured trump behind the screen, Queen's "We Are The Champions" playing and thinking, "I bet if someone had heard this song, they would have played it instead..."

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In 1929 English novelist Christopher Isherwood left his upper middle class life and moved to Berlin, where he embraced his attraction to men full gusto. He worked as an English tutor and in 1931 met Jean Ross, who would become the fictional Sally Bowles. In 1935 he wrote a short novel "Goodbye to Berlin" and it, along with the 1935 "Mr. Norris Changes Trains" became "The Berlin Stories." Those stories serve as the source for the 1951 Play and 1955 Film "I Am Camera," both starring Julie Harris. In 1966 the stories became the Broadway hit "Cabaret" and in 1972 an Oscar-Winning film. Isherwood would end up in California, friends with Truman Capote and Aldous Huxley. He would start an affair with a man almost 30 years his junior, Don Bachardy, when he was 48. The affair would last until his death at 81 in Santa Monica. Many regard his greatest work to the "A Single Man" about a day in the life of a gay English Professor in California. It would also become a film starring Collin Firth.
So Isherwood was an outcast, gay, and thus the Kit Kat Club and had a life of colorful friends, and thus, "Cabaret." But he also saw the ugly side, the dangerous side, and he saw first hand what happens when those inside the cabaret ignore what is truly going on outside. He saw first hand how true evil can and will take power if given a chance, and while many good people tried or try to stop it, sometimes, an angry population coupled with a slick nationalist populist can destroy great culture and great nations, and many lives along the way.

The immortal music of John Kander and Fred Ebb is far from dated, and the book by Joe Masteroff is more relevant now than ever since the material's inception by Isherwood. Randy Harrison (gorgeous as an adult as he was a teen in "Queer As Folk") is the emcee, the devilish voice that entices you to play, to indulge, to enjoy, to ignore reality and make fun of the evil. When he sings "If You Could See Her Through My Eyes" to a dancing gorilla and finishes with "She wouldn't look Jewish at all..." Yes, there's a thunk in the theatre. And yes, so many of us thought you could replace the word Jewish with Muslim in today's world all too easily. And I couldn't help think of actress Leslie Jones from "Ghostbusters" who was sent a photo of a gorilla comparing it to her by some some self-loathing gay conservative just the day before. Harrison is sexy, commanding, and yes, eerie enough for the part and while who doesn't want to see Alan Cummings in the role, Harrison's incarnation is young and fresh, almost a millennial Emcee with a warning for an entirely new generation.

Andrea Goss has the biggest shoes to fill and you can't, so don't go there; and that's the most brilliant decision of this production. Goss is not Minnelli at her prime, no one is. But neither was Sally Bowles. Goss is probably more close to the real Jean Ross than Minnelli. For instance, in the theme song, Goss' inflection of the simple world "corpse..." I've sung that song more times than Liza and I'll tell you, I never really got it. I never really understood that Bowles was looking at her friend's corpse, her dead body, laid out like so many other of her friends at the time. And that "Cabaret" wasn't a screw it all, grab a drink and let's party song at it's core, it was more of a defiant declaration that we don't have a choice in it, the powers that be, outside of the cabaret, are often greater than ourselves. Goss made me see Bowles' humanity more than Minnelli, as I may have been eclipsed by her star and less by the role.

Lee Aaron Rosen's Bradshaw is Isherwood, coming to terms with his love of men, of decadence, of freedom, right as his freedom and the freedom of so many was coming under attack, particularly gays, gypsies and Romas, they, we, were rounded up before the yellow stars, the pink triangles. Ned Noyes is Ernst Ludwig, a friend, until a swastika divides them. Shannon Cochran and Mark Nelson Fraulein Schneider and Herr Schulz two people who find love later in life only to have ideology come between them; and not even their own.

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Randy Harrison as the Emcee. Photo: Pantages Theatre

People torn apart, a country divided by fear and hatred of those that are different; residents blaming immigrants, demagogues rising to power fueled by a media gone mad; gays, jews, blacks, muslims being injured or killed in the name of religion...if it sounds familiar it's because the themes of "Cabaret" are happening in the USA right this very moment.

At the end of the play, when Harrison's emcee turns around and his outfit becomes that of a concentration camp with a pink triangle and a yellow Star of David, as the gunfire is heard and the blackout happens, in the darkness in my mind's eye I see the Donald Trump ad with Hillary's face and the Star of David being used and them pleading ignorance; you want the highest office in the land and your staff is so stupid....anyway. Thus, the feeling I referenced at the beginning.

Are we sitting in the Cabaret, watching Rome burn? As Noam Chomsky says Donald Trump is a threat to our very existence, as organization and expert after expert warn of the dire consequences of his election and as hatred not only rises but now shows its face everywhere unashamed and often with deadly results, are we dancing along with the Kit Kat boys and girls while our country falls apart? The emcee being whatever talking head is on the 70" incarnation of the Kit Kat Club beamed right in to our own darkened living room or to our 7" computer screens daily?

When you go see "Cabaret," and you should, expect it to leave you bothered; expect it to hit a little too close to home; expect it to make you feel and think. And that's called great theatre, and somehow, characters born in 1931, themes played out almost 100 years ago, are made relevant and alive by a first rate cast and crew as the Kit Kat Club beckons patrons back one more time.

Watch Karel: Life In Segments weekly on Free Speech TV on ReallyKarelTube. To hear this or other interviews get the FREE Karel Cast App, subscribe in Spreaker to the Podcast or simply go to the most incredible website on all the planet, save this one,

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Friends, Lovers, Legends King And Goffin Classic Duo, Classic Theatre In Biographical Musical 'Beautiful'

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2016 | 2:34 PM

At Pantages Theatre Hollywood Through July 17th

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Abby Mueller as King at the Pantages

There I was, Row B, Seat 102 on my feet, screaming, adoring, with Cheryl Tiegs standing in front of me applauding wildly, my former colleague...

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Classic Themes Ringing Relevant And True Make ICT's 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike' A Must-See

(0) Comments | Posted June 21, 2016 | 8:22 PM

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Emily Goss, Leslie Stevens, Connor McRaith, Jennifer Parsons and Stephen Rockwell Photo by CaughtintheMoment.com

"We licked stamps..." Begins Stephen Rockwell's "Vanya" in the ICT Production of "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike."

Yes, indeed we did; of all kinds, not just...

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Dreams Are Alive Around Us Daily; Brass Lamp Book Bar Realizes Another

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 1:25 PM

By Karel
Aka Charles Karel Bouley II

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Dreams. We witness their creation, their completion and yes, their destruction almost every single moment often without realizing or acknowledging it; even when they're our own.

Every time you (or others) watch my show on...

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Beck Headlines As The Coachella Of Politics Politicon Comes to Pasadena

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 1:07 PM

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Two weeks ago, when I interviewed Politicon, The Unconventional Political Convention founder Simon Sidi things were different: mainly, Trump had not secured the nomination. Now the possibility of his calamitous possible presidency is all too real, and even President Obama has questioned...

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As Pride Begins, Some Wonder What It Has Become

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2016 | 2:07 PM

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Photo Kenneth Pearson

I've always struggled with Gay Pride events, from my very first in the 1980s to present. In the '80s, the age of AIDS, they had the spirit of the original protests and commemorations; because remember, Pride...

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Run, Yes, Especially in Heels to the Pantages Los Angeles by April 24th to Be Lifted Up by Kinky Boots

(1) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 3:42 PM

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J. Harrison Ghee and cast at the Pantages for Kinky Boots, moving on to Seattle. Photo Mathew Murphy

"You know, that play deals with age-old issues unfortunately, people wanting to be themselves, to not be judged for how they look or who they...

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The Final Toyota Pro/Celebrity Long Beach Grand Prix Proves Chaotic

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2016 | 6:43 PM

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The final pit lineup at the 40th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix of Long Beach. Photo: Daniel Charleston

Carnage. Chaos. Two words being thrown around a lot in the pits of the 40th Toyota Pro/Celebrity Grand Prix, part of the Long Beach Grand...

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A Collector's Passion Brings Freedom Documents to the Foreground

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2016 | 12:11 PM

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Mykalai Kontilai And Baseball's Biggest Contract

By Charles Karel Bouley II

"They're really more Freedom Documents than contracts," entrepreneur and founder of Collector's Cafe Mykalai Kontilai told me as he eagerly awaited another milestone in the long list of his...

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'How To Succeed' Certainly Does New Musical Debuts at Ahmanson

(0) Comments | Posted March 28, 2016 | 9:34 AM

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An exhaustingly funny number with Williams, Massey and Eller

"I really don't know what to expect, and it's been a long time since I've seen a new play all together, not just a new production of an older one..." I told my friend...

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Will I or Won't I? Does It Really, Truly Matter? What Makes a Book Holy?

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2016 | 12:00 AM

image1Brandon Riley Miller seen working his magic as Karel sits in front of a Chimanaya filled with... Bibles, Books of Mormon... basically a whole lotta trouble.

That's A Wrap! We just wrapped Season 2 Of my Free Speech TV Show Karel Life...

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Hurry for Theatre Magic and Merry-ment POP and Pantages Offer Treats Today Through Sunday

(0) Comments | Posted March 2, 2016 | 5:54 PM

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Nick LaGesse and Bevin Hill, The Merry Widow, Courtesy POP

My ass hurt by the end. There, I said it. I had forgotten my cushion and with my back injury it hurt. That's the only thing negative that comes to mind when thinking...

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Four Parties. Two Nominations. This Math Doesn't Equal Success

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2016 | 7:43 AM

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Photo: CNN Debate


2016 is seeing the complete breakdown of the political party system in the United States; mainly the two-party system. And as the parties implode, we are the ones left in the debris and rubble the politicians...

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GALECA's Dorian Awards Answer to #OscarSoStraight

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 8:14 PM

GALECA Picks Winners; Carol Tops List

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Cate Blanchett in Caro Used By Permission

I was honored years ago now to be approached to be a member of the Gay and Lesbian Critics Association, or GALECA. Since year one I've watched the awards...

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New Musical Theatre a Hysterical Night in Bullets at Pantages

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 10:02 PM

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Photo Courtesy of Nederlander / Pantages Theatre

Hit and miss. That's my relationship with Woody Allen's work; hit and miss. When he's funny, when he's on, either as an entertainer or a director, he's very, very on. On my list of favorites of...

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2016: Will the Devolution of America Continue?

(0) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 6:12 PM

gunkarel

By Charles Karel Bouely II

Words are powerful, and it's time we start using the proper ones in American vernacular; time to stop speaking to each other as children and grow up and face facts: We are a tragic nation on the...

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This Is One Outing Worth Attending Ireland Gets GLBT Music And Matchmaking Festival Right

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 8:21 AM

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Welcome to Lisdoonvarna Photo by Brandon Riley Miller

How could I possibly have known that by the end of the trip I'd be talking to a transgender boxing promoter of international renown, a drag superstar whose documentary debuted to resounding acclaim and...

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NBC Finally Gets It Right with The Wiz

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2015 | 2:09 PM

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Photos Courtesy NBC

Talk about a tough audience: Thursday, Dec. 3rd NBC television's live production of The Wiz couldn't have fallen on more cynical eyes; mine. I'm a 53-year-old-musical-theatre-loving-gay man that grew up in Long Beach, CA. As a child I sat...

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When Will We Take Pedestrian Safety Seriously: On the Loss of Pippa

(2) Comments | Posted November 22, 2015 | 11:21 PM

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In the Midst of Trauma.

I've been trying to find something to compare the horror that I feel; some other life experiences people go through that tear their souls out, that rip their heart literally out of their chest so they simply...

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