You’ve probably never heard of Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, but you’ve probably seen (and loved) one of their TV shows, and their new coffee table book for the generation without coffee tables, “The World According To Wonder,” recounts every star, receptionist, drag queen, and art show curator they’ve worked with since 1991 when they started their empire in crack-addled Alphabet City.
“It’s kind of fitting that [this is] all told in a coffee table book. Because no one reads coffee table books,” the two write in the first chapter, and although the larger than life glossy and bright pictures of everyone under the sun will grab your eye, the sparse text will give you insight into their weird history, and you ignore the text, can easily miss some of the best content: the quick line that if they weren’t filming porn stars for a controversial documentary, they wouldn’t have passed up on being producers for the worldwide hit Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Or that they first met RuPaul when he was pasting posters around Atlanta that simply stated “RuPaul is EVERYTHING.” Or the former First Lady of the Philippines who carried around documentation of how much money she had in a plastic bag. Or maybe the hand-written song about Anna Nicole Smith.
They’re the producers behind LOGO’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag U, Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Sundance Channel’s Transgeneration, countless HBO documentaries, and more guilty pleasure TV specials than you can watch during a month long bed rest. The gargantuan book is exploding with pictures of every celebrity they work with including, but in no way limited to RuPaul, Chaz Bono, Andy Cohen, La Toya Jackson, Rosie O’Donnell, Tori Spelling, Michael Musto, drag queen Lady Bunny, Mike Ruiz, Wilmer Valderrama, Monica Lewinsky, 101 rent boys, a punk rock pastor, the guy who uses his penis as a puppet, a woman who wanted to open a brothel but instead fell in love with a trailer full of birds, and the president of HBO documentaries, Sheila Nevina, who holds more Emmys than any other living person. The only person seemingly missing from the pages is Tot Mom Casey Anthony who I can’t help but imagine will land a deal with the two docu-series visionaries.
“The World According To Wonder” should be required reading for anyone who revels in weird America, knows that the gay world is a lot more interesting than squeaky clean Neil Patrick Harris, or talks about reality television stars as if they’re real life close friends. Ask for it for your birthday or stop going out to bars looking for dick for a week since the book costs an eye-popping $110, but it’s worth every penny. “Wonder” will give you more pleasure than even the hottest one night trick possibly could.
Scroll down for more beautiful pictures of the hot men featured in “The World According To Wonder”
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