Find me a person who doesn’t enjoy The Golden Girls and I’ll show you a liar.
The show, which ran for seven seasons (1985-1992) reminds me of The Simpsons in that everybody has a favorite Golden Girl. Mine is Dorothy Zbornak (nee Petrillo) because, well, that’s none of your business. OK, fine, it’s because she’s sarcastic and pessimistic (realistic?) but completely loving. (And, for the record, my favorite Simpsons characters, thanks for asking, is Principal Skinner.)
Fun fact: Dorothy and her mother, Sophia, play Sicilians but in real life Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty were both Jewish. Getty worked in Yiddish theater in the Catskills, and Arthur, who was born Beatrice Frankel, won a Tony for the musical Mame, and she played Yente the Matchmaker in 1964 Broadway premiere of Fiddler on the Roof. Arthur also served in the Marine Corps.
Anyway, a few days ago I fell into a YouTube hole, as one does, and it brought me to the following video, which is pure and right and a total escape—to Miami, Florida where three widows and a divorcée co-habitate and yuk it up as they find solace in each other’s company. Here’s Bea Arthur, who starred in Maude (a Norman Lear creation), in full sarcastic regalia.
It also just so happens that a ‘Golden Girls’ coloring book is being created. Artist Mike Denison has worked on a number of ‘Golden Girls’-themed projects, including dedications to Bea Arthur (#BeaADay) and Betty White (#BettyADay) during which he apparently drew the characters, often in pop culture mash-ups (think Golden Girls meet Snapchat, or Cam Newton), once a day. He’s working on a Rue McClanahan project, too, as well another Bea Arthur tribute, because why not. Now, he’s begun a Kickstarter to fund a Golden Girls coloring book based on a number of the creations he’s already produced. “I’d just like people to have fun while de-stressing and maybe color together, share a laugh, while enjoying a nice cheesecake,” Denison told the Huffington Post.
There’s light in the world yet.
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Jonathan Zalman is a writer and teacher based in Brooklyn.