Reminiscing about Encyclopedia has put me back in touch with Ethyl Eichelberger. His wonderful voice and acting style were a delight for me as a child. Try as I might I can’t find his brilliant turn as King Louis XIV, though he’s great as an Egyptian emissary in “Pyramid.”
It was pretty remarkable for HBO to run a children’s program featuring Eichelberger in the late 1980s. I like to think that being exposed to Ethyl’s brand of performance made a generation of children open to men and women in drag, and thus more accepting of LGBT issues. It certainly did for me. Watching him on YouTube is like seeing a long lost memory from my childhood and I’m thrilled to be reunited.