NO MORE SLEAZE BAGS. No more plastic monkeys hanging off the side of your Wasilla Bad Apple. No more intermission admonitions to go out into the parking lot and father a child.
After 3,547 performances (“Absolutely that many,” he said when challenged) in two locations in sleazy downtown Spenard, Mr. Whitekeys is calling it a show.
“For the last two weeks I get to be as snotty as I want, with no filter,” Keys said, and tells the story of the woman claiming to be a huge fan who called, desperate for a ticket to one of the last shows, and then wanted to know which night was no smoking. “Lady,” Keys told her, with obvious relish, “we haven’t had a smoking night in six years.”
The phones, in fact, were ringing constantly in the Fly By Night Club the morning after Keys announced the last performance of the Whale Fat Follies, that iconic Alaskan revue featuring tap-dancing moose, spawning salmon, and the show’s signature piece, the reverse strip tease. It ranked right up there along with grizzlies and Denali on the must-see list for the Alaskan houseguest from hell, who actually had his very own song.
The heart and soul of the show was always the guy in top hat, tails, and the aloha shirt. He’s been called an enigma. Make that an enigma wrapped in Spam shrouded in Spenard, but it is true that Mr. Whitekeys has one of the most instantly recognizable faces in Alaska, and yet nobody knew his real name until he was outed in a local newspaper story about the club’s closing.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.