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Fab news: 'Queer Eye' is back

By SHARON FINK, Times Staff Writer
Published November 18, 2003

HERE COMES THE TJUZS: That's pronounced "zuuuzsh" for the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy uninitiated (the spelling is Queer Eye-sanctioned), and Sideshow proclaims this to mark the return of new episodes tonight.

To make sure you are fully prepared to join Ted, Kyan, Thom, Carson and Jai for new adventures in straightening out straight men, we present the latest Queer Eye news to know.

TONIGHT'S STRAIGHT GUY: The Fab Five work on Jeff T., a 45-year-old Jeremiah Johnson lookalike and postal worker from Oakridge, N.J. His wife and kids think he needs a new look. One reason is that none of them have ever seen his upper lip. Another, wife Corinne says on the Queer Eye Web site, is "when I sleep with him at night, it scares me because I just see a pillow full of hair." (Sideshow agrees. The only male who can pull off the Jeremiah Johnson look is Robert Redford. And even that's iffy.)

Jeff and his family already have a place in Queer Eye's short history: They're the first to live in a home that doesn't look like it's ripe for health department sanctions. The decorating problem is in Jeff's "personal room," a white-walled rectangle with a black leather couch, a guitar hanging on one wall and a piano bench covered by an animal pelt. Imagine this in a house with a predominant decorating theme of rustic French country house.

DO THEY REALLY DO ALL THAT STUFF IN ONE DAY? No. Each makeover takes three to four days, according to an e-mail newsletter the show produces. Everyone living in the straight guy's home is put up at a hotel while the redecoration is done. The "all-this-is-done-in-one-day" illusion is a dramatic device to generate tension, as they say in show biz.

HOW ARE THEY TJUZING NOW? The Dec. 16 episode is a holiday special and includes visits to some of the Fabs' more memorable straight guys to see if their adherence to their new lifestyles lasted more than one day.

We can tell you that three of them are doing all right.

Adam Zalta, the hairy guy with one of the ready-to-be-condemned houses, tells Newsday he gets more frequent haircuts, he still waxes his ears and eyebrows, and as for clothes, "I go pink, I go green, I even go stripes now."

Vincent Taylor, the musician who wanted to look good to sing to his wife in public, says he loves his Carson-picked clothes and is hooked on his Kyan-created skin regimen. He and his wife also had a very messy apartment, and he says they threw away 45 bags of stuff the Fabs said should go.

Tom Kaden, the long-haired surfer-type dude who asked his girlfriend to move in with him, follows his new grooming routine except for haircuts. The episode was taped in April; as of mid October, he hadn't had another trim.

On the upside, his girlfriend, who did move in, was still there.

THINGS JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER: All Things, the show's theme song by the dance group Widelife, will be released on a Queer Eye soundtrack early next month, group member Rachid Wehbi tells

SATIRE IS THE TJUZINGEST FORM OF FLATTERY: The network is planning a one-hour special of Queer Eye in reverse, Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, from Queer Eye creators David Collins and David Metzler.

"We feel the straight guys should have the opportunity to show the Fab Five how to throw a football or how to enjoy a football game," Metzler says.

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