July 27, 2022
Jonathan is a guest on one of our favorite podcasts this week: Scam Goddess. And we’re releasing that episode on our Getting Curious feed, too. Did we scam host Laci Mosley and her team into producing an episode of Getting Curious for us? Perhaps. Will you love what you hear? Absolutely. Listen in as Laci and Jonathan discuss an iconic scam from art history, and get a feel for how Jonathan gets curious from the guest seat.
Head to the Scam Goddess podcast feed for notes and sources from this episode, and make sure to subscribe. You can follow Laci on Instagram and Twitter @divalaci, and Scam Goddess on Instagram and Twitter @scamgoddesspod.
“Scam Goddess” is a podcast dedicated to fraud and all those who practice it! Each week host Laci Mosley (aka Scam Goddess) digs deep into the latest scams alongside some of your favorite comedians! It’s like true crime only without all the death! True fun ass crime!
Scam Goddess was featured in the top 10 comedy podcasts of 2020 by Vulture magazine. It’s been praised by Essence, Marie Claire, Vox, Harper’s Bazaar, Time Out, and was also featured in New York Times. Scam Goddess won the 2021 and the 2022 Webby Awards for Best Crime and Justice Podcast. Scam Goddess is also the winner of the 2022 iHeartRadio Podcast Awards for Best Crime Podcast.
Laci Mosley is a Black American actor, comedian, and podcaster. She performs improv comedy at UCB Los Angeles and is a series regular in Season 2 of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show, and in the Showmax comedy series Florida Girls. She is also a cast member in Paramount+’s iCarly reboot and a contributor on ABC’s The Con.
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation.
Jonathan is on Instagram and Twitter @JVN and @Jonathan.Vanness on Facebook.
Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com.
Love listening to Getting Curious? Now, you can also watch Getting Curious—on Netflix! Head to netflix.com/gettingcurious to dive in.
Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our associate producer is Zahra Crim. Our editor is Andrew Carson.
Our socials are run and curated by Middle Seat Digital.
Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com.
Getting Curious merch is available on PodSwag.com.
275 — Are We Scammers? A Scam Goddess Special
JVN [00:00:00] Welcome to Getting Curious. I’m Jonathan Van Ness. Wait, this isn’t Freak by QUIÑ! But is this even Getting Curious? Yes, and most weeks, honey, you know I sit down for a gorgeous conversation to learn all about something that makes me curious. But this week, I’m in the guest seat for an episode of Scam Goddess hosted by Laci Mosley, who is so fucking funny. Honey, we’re obsessed with her, and we’re sharing that episode on our main feed as well. We love the team at Scam Goddess and I had a great time scheming— mean, speaking— with Laci all about scams, fraud and more. Listen in and if you like what you hear, make sure this subscribe to her show as well.
LACI MOSLEY [00:00:57] What’s poppin’ congregation? It’s your girl Laci Mosley, a.k.a. Scam Goddess, back with another installment of Scam Goddess: the podcast that celebrates robbery, fraud. Well, most of it. And the people who participate. Guys, I’m very wet. Yes, I’m extremely excited for today’s guest. This is a huge gift. I feel like I scammed them. You know, you got to stalk a little bit every now and then. You got to be in a bush every now and then in the middle of the night to get an amazing podcast, guys. And I wanted to do that for you all. Oh, okay. Today we have an Emmy nominated television personality, comedian, best selling author, podcaster, hairstylist and hair care innovator. Check out their Earwolf podcast and Netflix show at the same damn time. Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness and also Queer Eye. Don’t forget to check out their hair care line, JVN Hair and their new book entitled Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life. Congregation, please welcome Jonathan Van Ness to the show!
JVN [00:01:58] Hi. Thanks for having me. I just had this daydream when you were doing that intro that like, wouldn’t that be really funny if when I started talking I had like a really straight man voice all of a sudden they were like, Who is that? It was like, [LOWERS PITCH] “Hello, thanks for having me.” Yeah, that was that’s as close to a straight man voice as I could do. I can’t really do it.
LACI MOSLEY [00:02:13] Did it go like kind of Italian? How you do like– [LOWERS PITCH] “Hello. Thanks for having me.”
JVN [00:02:16] I don’t know, I don’t know what it is. Yeah, [CROSSTALK] [LOWERS PITCH]I don’t know, Laci. Yeah, vaguely. Bernie Sanders is a straight man. I don’t know. Who is that?
LACI MOSLEY [00:02:25] I know. That was it was a very. I love that, though. I love the– I feel like if everybody is aggressively straight, it’s probably a New Jersey accent or like a Boston accent. Yeah. Those accents.
JVN [00:02:34] Yes, northeastern.
LACI MOSLEY [00:02:35] Right. But I have to say so, Jonathan, you have a lot of jobs and normally to me that indicates we might have like maybe a scammer or at least somebody who enjoys a scam on our hands because you have several employments.
JVN [00:02:51] I do have several employments! I…I don’t know about like a scam that like I well, okay when I think, well you haven’t even gotten there yet, but I was like really racking my brain for scams and I do feel like I did take part in one, but I feel bad about sometimes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:08] Okay, listen, we all. We all stray. We all have to do what we can to survive.
JVN [00:03:14] But I did it. But I only did it for, like, for like, seven days.
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:18] Okay. So now I’m super curious what I have to say before we get into that. Congratulations on your Emmy nomination again for Queer Eye.
JVN [00:03:25] Thank you, thank you!
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:27] That’s amazing. Oh, that is so amazing. I’m so excited for you.
JVN [00:03:30] And I can’t believe it. I mean.
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:32] Who’s out here making the girls cry more than This Is Us? You!
JVN [00:03:35] [LAUGHS] They’re snubbed. I can’t believe Mandy Moore didn’t get a fucking nomination.
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:42] I heard it was because of you.
JVN [00:03:44] No! We’re not even up for the same thing.
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:46] I know I’m messing with you, but I know, but that’s amazing. So yeah, you’re right into it. What is your relationship with scams?
JVN [00:03:55] First of all, I’m like, so gullible that I thought you were dead serious. I was like, “No, no, no. Because, you know, she’s like the lead actor.” So I was like–
LACI MOSLEY [00:03:59] You’re so sweet. [CROSSTALK] No, I love Walk to Remember. I’m right over the line.
JVN [00:04:06] It was really good. I cried! Her fringe, actually, her bangs made me cry. And that movie, that fringe was like, but I’m like, “What are we going through in that era anyway?”
LACI MOSLEY [00:04:16] She was going through a lot. That’s why she had the bang.
JVN [00:04:18] She was? Yes, she was. And she really was. But this is really shameful for me to admit. But I worked at Glamour Shots for a whole week and– I did. And it was before I went into hair school and I had the worst job. I had to be the person in the front of the Glamour Shots like I was on the Mall of America, honey, not the Mall of America. The Mall of America.
LACI MOSLEY [00:04:43] Now, is that the one.
JVN [00:04:45] The big one. And and I had to stand in front of that the thing and I had to like flag walker-bys to be like, “Would you like to get your glamor shots today? Like you get your hair and makeup, you get like a full glam situation. Like we got clothes, come on in.” So that was my only job. Like once I got them in and then I went on to the next. So like I didn’t, like, I didn’t do anything for them like throughout the process. Right?
LACI MOSLEY [00:05:06] So you just so you roped him in?
JVN [00:05:09] I disappear, I rope him in. And these really sweet ladies who said they were sisters, but I believe them to be a lesbian couple, you know, because this was like 2004 and 2005 was like a different era, you know?
LACI MOSLEY [00:05:22] But if you had a lesbian couple, wouldn’t you just be besties?Like, that’s what we do in the Black community. You got that one auntie who always bring her roommate and they always wearing white linen. I haven’t heard of saying we’re sisters.
JVN [00:05:34] Like now I feel like they were like, yeah, they were like, this is sister. And I’m. But then they went, Did you like this course? But they ended up they because the whole thing was is that like and I learned this I wonder if Glamour Shots are still in business? Whatever maybe bleep glamor shots out kiddo but like our maybe we don’t. Put them on blast because this is fucked up. So basically they sell you like the biggest bundle first and then like walk you down from there, right?
LACI MOSLEY [00:05:57] Yeah.
JVN [00:05:59] So these little, these you know, ladies, they have like six teeth between both of them. And they gave them a little flippers, honey.
LACI MOSLEY [00:06:05] What?!
JVN [00:06:06] So they gave them like they had some, like, little fake things. Like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:06:08] Glamour Shot gave you teeth?
JVN [00:06:09] They gave them some click in teeth, honey. And they really like they just really gave them a full transformation. And then they sold them a package that had, like, life size cutouts, like all of these things. They had to go to the bank in the Mall of America to remortgage their trailer, honey. I got like an $800 commission. They sold them like an $8,000 package where they had to go, like, take out a loan. And they did like they did. Okay. And so then when they left, they were like, “You just made $800.” And I was like, “What!?” They had to rework, like and so then like two days later there was a company meeting and like the general manager was in like ah, like the district manager, right. And you’re supposed to wear black or white, right? But I wore this stunning black and white turtleneck that was like the snow on TV. [CROSSTALK] It was like [MIMICS STATIC] you know what I mean? Like or maybe like, you know, so, like, the TV goes like black and white, you know, I wore that. It’s like that, it’s like a little black and white like thread. It was gorgeous. And this fucking heterosexual man got in my face and was like, Do you not know the meaning of black and white?
LACI MOSLEY [00:07:11] I mean that’s what you’re wearing.
JVN [00:07:14] No. I’m sorry. Do you not? You’re so right. Black or white? He said black or white.
LACI MOSLEY [00:07:17] OK, Michael Jackson. [SINGING] Black or white!
JVN [00:07:19] It was that! I thought he was like, you have to go buy a new shirt if you want to work here. And I was like, “Okay.” And so then I just left. I just like walked out, never went back. I was like, “I’ll be back in 10 minutes.” And then I left. So I left this scam early. I was there for a good seven days. I got like one like $890 paycheck. And then I never went back, darling, I couldn’t stand it, darling.
LACI MOSLEY [00:07:39] Okay, see, I could tell you’re super sweet because this is just you being employed, which is a scam, technically, but. But the fact that you were like, Oh, this is just so horrible. Like, you teed it up like you to tell me you were out here, I don’t know, playing three card monte or stealing from elderly people.
JVN [00:07:56] Oh no, I didn’t do that. What I what is like, I mean–
LACI MOSLEY [00:08:00] No, I love this because it is a scam, like having someone refinance their home for some photos. Okay? Do they at least get to take the fake teeth with them? Because then it’s like they got a dental job.
JVN [00:08:08] Oh yeah! But they were like they were like they were like glued on flippers. They were like these like teeth. You had to like glue. They were just like it was like a retainer that teeth on the outside where the top was pink and the bottom were white things. And you put glue in there and these like clicked it into whatever was in there. There were like temporary, like flippers.
LACI MOSLEY [00:08:24] I love that Glamour Shots was like, “Oh yeah, we do dental work, so we do braces, we we do acrylics.” So apparently there’s like five stores still like so five Glamour Shots around. So you can go get your way! Y’all, why go to the dentist, you can get your teeth did at Glamour Shots.
JVN [00:08:38] You go to Glamour Shots! They really are doing the most. I have to say. They did great hair and makeup. I mean, they were giving you– and, and before 2005. I mean, everybody who was anybody had a Glamour Shots.
LACI MOSLEY [00:08:53] I got my BBL at Glamour Shots.
JVN [00:08:55] What’s that?.
LACI MOSLEY [00:08:56] Oh, Brazilian butt lift. They doing it all over there, what y’all want?
JVN [00:09:03] They really are. What else is like a scam? Oh, bleach and tones are a scam with bleach. Like bleach and tones are a scam. I feel like I like– because people come into the salon, like, wanting a bleaching tone and you’re like, girl, that’s like Photoshop and like it’s Photoshop and it’s extensions and their roots are yellow, but they photoshopped it white. Like, her hair doesn’t look like that.
LACI MOSLEY [00:09:24] They photoshop hair? Okay, see, I know they Photoshop hair where they like put pieces because you know [CROSSTALK] They’ll put a different face on the body
JVN [00:09:33] Oh yeah, density, they’ll photoshop everything. So like every color like yes. So shorts are yeah. So when you bring like a picture of a magazine into your hair dressing like I want this. Well, I would say to people, it’s like, well, what part do you want to start with? Because there’s $10,000 in Photoshop, there’s $5,000 of extension that glamor team type or charge know, maybe like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:09:52] You’re not doing Glamour hair? You’re not giving them permanent Photoshop when they leave the hair salon?
JVN [00:09:57] I mean, people sometimes just have like really big expectations, honey, like really big expectations. Like, I’m a hairdresser, I’m not a plastic surgeon, I’m not a doctor.
LACI MOSLEY [00:10:05] Not a miracle worker?
JVN [00:10:07] I’m not– I’m a colorist. Which is a artist. Okay? I’m an artist. I’m not a doctor.
LACI MOSLEY [00:10:13] Right, no, you’re an artiste. Yes. I– what’s interesting to me about that couple, because now I’m thinking about them. So finally, these sisters, are they–
JVN [00:10:19] They were really cute! They were so cute.
LACI MOSLEY [00:10:21] What do they do with these cutouts? You know?
JVN [00:10:23] I was wondering that. I was wondering that when I heard this story, I was like, “Where are they going to put that?” But I mean, they got like hundreds of wallet sized, like, you know, sheets and sheets of sheets of like the wallet cutouts. So and like 8x10s and like life-sized cutouts, they got like like the trays, like the lead trays. I think the pick– like they got everything you could get.
LACI MOSLEY [00:10:43] Like put it on a T-shirt, put it on a pillow, put it on my panties.
JVN [00:10:46] Yes! Give me the max, give me the max.
LACI MOSLEY [00:10:47] We want to couch with our photos on it. I love this. What if they start a business? It’s giving business like they took these glamor shots and their new dental work and hair and clothes. And maybe they started a business.
JVN [00:10:59] They did like a before-OnlyFans like it was like like early 2000s. Like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:11:05] Door to door OnlyFans.
JVN [00:11:06] Door to door, “Can I interest you in this like, cardboard cut out?” But it wasn’t that sexy because they were.
LACI MOSLEY [00:11:13] “Hello? Ma’am? Y’all having dinner?”
JVN [00:11:16] In those outfits and those outfits that we that they left in that or that they wore because they didn’t leave in them. But their outfits, they wou;d’ve scared somebody. There was boas. There’s cowboy hats.
LACI MOSLEY [00:11:25] “We’re your local probably lesbians, but maybe sisters. And we just want to know if you wanted some personalized photos of us, like a subscription. We come to your house every Thursday during dinner and give you glamor shots of us.” Like a door to door only fans is amazing to be like. I want that. I want to be a part of that.
JVN [00:11:41] And maybe it was safe back then to do that. I don’t know. You know?
LACI MOSLEY [00:11:43] Yeah, you can’t door to door only fans anymore, you can barely connive which is already–
JVN [00:11:49] We actually couldn’t do it in 2005 either or like I don’t think you could ever really safely door to door in you know, it’s like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:11:55] I mean, look, the the girls are still door to door. They definitely were in 2005. It’s how you do it now. I don’t understand, but I love that. I love that for them. I hope that they started a beautiful scam business together. That is my prayer. But guys, we’re going to take a quick break for some non scam advertisers. We’ll back with our next segment: What’s Hot in Frauds?
And we’re back and it’s time for What’s Hot in Fraud? This is where we want our listeners about the scams that are popping in the streets. More often than not, these days we get a letter from you guys. As always, snitch on your friends and family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just make sure the scam is retired because we don’t want to. What? Yes. Fuck up your bag. Amen.
JVN [00:12:37] Oh! I thought you’re going to say, like, become implicated in a crime.
LACI MOSLEY [00:12:41] Oh, yes. Fuck up your bag. That’s essentially what being implicated in the crime is. The police come in and they fuck up the bag or. Oh, yeah, yes.
JVN [00:12:50] I don’t want to have to go testify, you know, over my email, you know.
LACI MOSLEY [00:12:54] Listen, also like I delete some of these because I’m like, oh, this is a crimey-crime, like I can’t be involved in this. I never saw this. But, but today we’re talking about something like, which I think is cute because Jonathan, your scam, your Glamour Shots scam is so like you and I love that you felt bad, but I also love these ladies and I hope that they’re somewhere doing amazing with their glued in teeth.
JVN [00:13:14] They were like 50 and they’re they’re totally alive. There are 100% alive and that’s like they both had like a tragic end.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:20] Unless they died! They’re totally alive unless they died but they yeah.
JVN [00:13:24] I bet they didn’t.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:26] No. I know that they didn’t–
JVN [00:13:27] But what if they did?! Where are they? I hope they’re okay! Leave me. Okay.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:34] Lord Jesus.
JVN [00:13:35] [SINGING] Lesbian sisters. You know?
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:38] This song? This song. Let’s record it. Do it for Pride next year.
JVN [00:13:43] Okay.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:44] Let’s be okay.
JVN [00:13:45] Let’s get a mix on it – [SINGS] lesbian sisters.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:49] I love it. Beautiful. So I need a fake name for this person. We don’t care about gender on this podcast.
JVN [00:13:55] Um, Vladislava.
LACI MOSLEY [00:13:56] Vladislava
JVN [00:13:57] Vladislava. She’s got a heart of gold. Her name is Vladislav and she is your person.
LACI MOSLEY [00:14:03] So Vladislava says, “Hey, girl, this is some bullshit and I feel bad.” What a first sentence, Vladislava.
JVN [00:14:11] I love Vladislava’s take on like America. She’s so, like she already gets it. She already gets all of the terms. I love her.
LACI MOSLEY [00:14:17] Yes. This says: “I only did it once. I was hanging out with this lowlife friend of mine in high school and at the food court in the mall. She said to get a free meal at it, take a piece of my own hair and put it in the fried rice and teriyaki dish that I had been eating at the end of my meal.” So what I love is, Vladislava, because you threw your friend under the bus. You did it! “I was hanging out with this low down, dirty skank bitch, and she told me to do crap!” Like, how you gonna put it all on your friend? Your friend was trying to get you a free meal. Your friend sounds benevolent, caring! Why you got to call her low down? I don’t like that, Vladislava.
JVN [00:14:51] I really needed a well-placed skank like I haven’t heard from a good skank and like, to long, like, such a good word. And it means I’m really good at.
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:02] It’s comical. It’s like calling somebody a goofy bitch. It’s just funny.
JVN [00:15:06] It’s so good. And it’s like, not like, I don’t think it has any, like, really fucked up. Like, it’s just like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:12] Yeah.
JVN [00:15:13] Like, it’s like a good word.
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:14] It hits the ear right, too. Like “hussie”.
JVN [00:15:18] Did you say skank bitch? Yeah. Yeah. That’s not really mean. That feels nice.
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:24] It flows, the way it flows off the tongue. And so I have this–
JVN [00:15:27] Skank bitch!
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:29] Not with the little dance. I wish y’all could see Jonathan, he hit the shoulders. He hit him with the shoulders. I love it but so also, chicken teriyaki in the food court mall is a very specific memory for me. You worked in the Mall of America, so I would imagine that has to be, too, because, you know, they’ll be standing out there with the chicken on the stick, getting the girls hooked.
JVN [00:15:48] I was an Auntie Anne’s Pretzel person. I– those pretzels really, really do it for me.
LACI MOSLEY [00:15:56] They do it for me, too. The cinnamon sugar, even the pizza was like I could bust down on Auntie’s. I love Auntie Anne’s. Actually, oh, my God. Wow. So the first job that I ever had in New York, like professional performer job, was a nonunion Auntie Anne’s commercial for Pretzel Day. And I got the job. I auditioned in my apartment. I just self taped off backstage.com, which is lowkey a scam. But also like if you’re just starting now, get involved in the scam. Why not? See you might get murdered or you might get you might be backstage, you might be in a back alley, but but, you know, you got to take that risk. So I put like put the video camera on and like, you were supposed to dance with a bag of pretzels. Now, I don’t dance with snacks no more because I’m black and I should’ve realized I shouldn’t be dance the way we’re products, you know? But at the time that I get my career off the ground, so I was out dancing with this bag, just dance my heart out. And then I got the job $250, Auntie Anne’s Pretzel Day. My black ass dance and we’re pretzels. If I know where the pictures, I will post these on the Instagram. But yeah, I used to be slagging them.
JVN [00:16:57] I have to tell you something really funny. We were doing a Queer Eye shoot the other day and our hero is this like really, really, really sweet, sweet black man who I don’t want to say too much, I can’t give it away. But he’s like, you know, at a LTR, you know, at this wifey. And we were looking at their kitchen and I was like looking at their kitchen table and I was like, “Oh, my God, like. Remember that show ‘Mad about You?’” And then Karamo looked at me and he was like, “Honey, we’re Black. We don’t watch that shit.” And I was like. And I was like, “No!” I’m usually good about that thing, like, some stuff like that.
LACI MOSLEY [00:17:32] That’s not dumb! Some Black people watch Mad About You. He didn’t have to do you like that. [CROSSTALK] He played you, he played you. Because I watched Mad about you and Dharma and Greg and you. I love me some tossed salad and scrambled eggs again. He didn’t have to do you like that.
JVN [00:17:52] I feel so much better leave me because I was like “I don’t think that like a lot of people.” I mean, she won like five Emmys in a row. I’m sure Black people watch Mad About You, too.
LACI MOSLEY [00:17:59] And some of us was mad about her. You know?
JVN [00:18:03] I just love that you. I just love that they fucked on that kitchen table so much. That’s all I was trying to say. Yeah, I just thought that was nice that a married couple would still want each other so much that they would throw the stuff off their kitchen table and fuck right there. That was so cute.
LACI MOSLEY [00:18:17] I thought that’s sexy. I didn’t even know that people really didn’t like. I thought that was just a movie thing where they, you know, in a movie, when they have a sex scene and it’s always like the straight couple, they they pick– the man, picks the woman up, and then they just start knocking everything off the can and then they humping on the wall and then they on the floor and it just beat– like the house looks like it went through a tornado afterwards. And I’m like, Is anybody really having sex like that?
JVN [00:18:37] We don’t do that because our stuff is too cute. Like our little tchotchke things on the counter. All of it, that’s way too cute. I do like being like frmly, nonviolently, picked up and pressed upon a wall.
LACI MOSLEY [00:18:50] That’s hot.
JVN [00:18:51] Sorry. Yeah, I do like that. But I do think–
LACI MOSLEY [00:18:52] But not on my good eggshell. [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:18:57] That’s a real nice, like, not fuck anything up and it’s like, just not some drywall, you know?
LACI MOSLEY [00:19:01] You got such a paint dick? Do you have such a paint dick? That’s what I need to know.
JVN [00:19:07] Wait what was the scam?.
LACI MOSLEY [00:19:08] So the scam– [LAUGHS] So the scam is that Vladislava is putting hair in her teriyaki, you know, because I used to sell the teriyaki on the block, on the mall block. Like, get one of these toothpicks, get into it. Yeah. And your mouth and I used to love that. I feel like they don’t do that anymore. Everything is gone, you know, all gone.
JVN [00:19:26] All gone. We can’t do samples anymore with COVID, but yes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:19:30] They can do samples. I feel like they stop because there was a good excuse to save some money when they know I want to suck out some chicken teriyaki in the mall while I’m at the Victoria’s Secret. That’s not right. Okay. Also shout out to Adam Conover. Adam ruins everything if you stay in a hotel and we’re going to get back on track. If you stay at a hotel, get room service because, you know, we’re still kind of in the deep in the COVID situation. And so a lot of hotels have scaled back on room service and they’ll say, like, just call if you want it. And you think you’re being a good person because you’re like, oh, I’m not having the room cleaned and I’m saving people from exposure or something. No, they’re doing that so they can save money. On not having to pay housekeepers and the lesser job call for room service, the less house housekeepers that they have to hire, which leaves a lot of these people out of work. So if you’re in a hotel, the right thing to do is call the girlies and be like, Yes, I would like my towels and whatnot every day and let it happen so that they can have job security.
JVN [00:20:20] And stop taking like 20 minutes to get this coffee up here. Like you need to hire more people, you know?
LACI MOSLEY [00:20:25] Yeah, they’re trying to skip out because they’re like, “Oh, it’s us, Mr. Hilton. We down bad and sad, with the COVID. So we only got four people on staff. Are y’all cool with that? Have no new towels.” How many times can you wipe your ass with the same towel? Have you thought about that? Greta Thunberg would say your whole stay.
JVN [00:20:42] Do you do stand up because I would come to your show? Like do you do it because yeah yeah yeah. You are just this is like I’ve never had so much fun on a podcast, but that particular scam is giving me. I feel like they watch Heartbreakers. I feel like they were just really watching Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sigourney Weaver, like, lived their best lives.
LACI MOSLEY [00:21:03] And that’s so cute. Innocent things almost. Vladislava, you shouldn’t feel as bad about this as you do, she says. So, you know, she put the hair in there and then at the end of her meal she would bring it up to the people and show them the hair and they would refund her the cost of the meal. “It wasn’t that cool of me and that friend laughs and says she does it all the time and that’s fucked me up. I didn’t feel good about it. I was probably only 16 or 17. But if you’re really broke as hell and need some food, I don’t know. Just something I thought of. Love the show, boo.” Okay, Vladislava, are you a Cancer? Like what is your sign? Because this giving like [LAUGHS] you are so cute! Girl, if you were broke and you needed your money more than the teriyaki man did, they go ahead and get your money back for that teriyaki bowl because they was giving out the teriyaki on a stick. They don’t gave out the equivalent of like 50 of them bowls all day at the mall. I know. I took ten samples. I walked away with the tray.
JVN [00:21:55] Yes. And it’s not like the people that worked there were getting paid commission.
LACI MOSLEY [00:21:59] Right. It’s not like they’re like “I can’t feed my family because Vladislava stole another teriyaki bowl.”
JVN [00:22:05] Meanwhile, they’re going to have like the manager of like that. “Let’s see. Like actually our sales numbers do get that bonus. Vladislava did fuck us.” But you know, I think.
LACI MOSLEY [00:22:14] “We actually hate that bitch, could you tell us where she lives.” Or “We’re getting an angry mob together.” [LAUGHTER] All right. Well, Vladislava, I think you’re a good, you’re a good person. And also, I think your friend is a good person. I think you need to call that friend and apologize because they was just trying to help you get involved in some crime. And that’s not the right. I love a friend who gets me in bothersome crimes. So, guys, we’re going to take another quick break for some non-scam advertisers. So we’ll be back with my favorite part of the show, Historic Hoodwinks.[SINGS] And we’re back. And it’s time for my favorite part of the show: Historic Hoodwinks. This is where I will regale Jonathan with the famous con, scam, group of criminals, and we’ll figure out if we like them. If we hate them, we never know. Right. I’m really excited for this because we have a rule. We always say this rule up top when we have amazing celebrities with huge followings, the scam is always a dead person. So that way no one can that I can’t. I’m not responsible if a poltergeist comes for you, Jonathan, that’s got a name.
JVN [00:23:17] I am waiting on bated breath for this scam.
LACI MOSLEY [00:23:20] Yes. So we do a note up top here because we don’t scam our journalists. Much of the research from the story came from John Ronson’s 2014 The Guardian article, The Big Eyed Children: The Extraordinary Story of Epic Art Fraud. So guys, we always put those links in the footnotes. If you want to go read some more, check it out. Educate yourself. [SINGS] The more you know. Okay, there is a content warning up top here to this discussion. There’s a discussion of emotional abuse in the story. So perhaps this is not the day for that for you now you know, but you guys know, we treat everything with care. We try not to get too sad over here. Okay? We, we’re true, fun crime. Okay, so let’s go. Walter Keane’s big eye paintings could be found on postcards in every grocery store and pharmacy in the 1960s. Famous actors were patrons of his art, and he gained fame as the creator of melancholic big-eyed children. But no one knew his secret one that only he and his wife, Margaret Keane, knew. Okay. Do we have a picture of one of these pieces of art? With the big eye– oh! So he was like doing little anime babies? Wowsers. Is this recent?
JVN [00:24:30] What’s the secret? It was in the sixties. What was it? [FLUTERED NOISES]
LACI MOSLEY [00:24:34] That could draw well? Nno, there’s definitely a secret here, but nobody knew what it was at the time. So this is homeboy posing with a canvas, giving artist. That’s giving artist to me.
JVN [00:24:45] And it’s giving artist, but it’s also like giving me like after watching Morbid or listening to Morbid so much, I just like watching all these, like, true crime documentaries. Like, I don’t know what the scam is, so my brain goes to pedophile. But you said that it was a fun crime thing, so it couldn’t be a pedophile.
LACI MOSLEY [00:25:01] Yeah. Now we do not cover–
JVN [00:25:03] We don’t do pedophiles. What’s his problem? What’d he do?What’d he, what’d he, what’d he fuck up? I’ve been listening to too much Morbid.
LACI MOSLEY [00:25:09] Jonathan, why are you so anxious right now?
JVN [00:25:11] Because what’s his problem with the babies, they got big eyes and he’s like a white man. So what? What’s he doing?
LACI MOSLEY [00:25:18] You know, we know we live in a crazy world when we, we’re like a white, straight, white man drawing babies. We like “What’s going on? We need to investigate.” No, it has nothing to do with that. So in 1946, Walter Keane was in Berlin, traveling to Europe to learn how to be a painter. According to his memoir, he found himself staring at the heartbreaking, big eyed children fighting over food, victims of the aftermath of the war. He would later recall, as if goaded by a kind of frantic despair, “I sketched these dirty, ragged, little victims of war with their bruised, lacerated minds and bodies and their matted hair and runny noses.”
Um, Walter. [CROSSTALK] Yeah. Walter, this is giving, like, you see people who need help. You pull out your camera phone and start making the video so you can go viral. Because, like, if you see these children, I understand, like, art, it definitely spreads. You know, art can be a political statement and a lot of times is. And so maybe you can share these images with the world who may not realize the consequences of war that men love to do. Right. I get that. But I’m also like, did you help him at all? Did you get him some food? Did you or did you just sketch what he felt for bread? I don’t know. It just the way that he wrote it, I’m like, is so you read.
JVN [00:26:37] So he ripped it off like someone had already made these babies and he stole the art.
LACI MOSLEY [00:26:42] No. So he at this time, all we know is that he saw the kids. He started painting the case. I love Oliver Twist. It was like–
JVN [00:26:50] I just want to know why he’s a swindler. Honey, what did he do?
LACI MOSLEY [00:26:53] We’re going to get there.
JVN [00:25:54] Oh, my God.
LACI MOSLEY [00:25:57] I have never had a guest this impatient, but the energy is so amazing that I love it. [CROSSTALK] So 15 years later, he found a purpose for his art. The recent invention of the American suburb gave many homemakers an earnest need to cover their blank walls. So when the girls were prosperous, the boomers who got houses for like $15 and a Coca-Cola, you know, they needed art in their houses. So we have a photo of a piece of art that he did. And people are starting to like buy these right? Now, personally, I don’t know if I want this sad ass photo in my house. Like, what Do you want this above your coffee maker? Like, just the saddest little baby. I do.
JVN [00:27:35] I do like, I like the texture on the stairs, but the can is just sadikins. And also, when you said big eyed babies, I thought they were going to be more like precious moments, which are like cute.
LACI MOSLEY [00:27:45] Right? He was like, let’s do precious moments, but emo!
JVN [00:27:47] But creepy. Yes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:27:49] What if all the precious moments were depressed? Like, what?
JVN [00:27:53] It’s actually kind of Yoshitomo Nara, this Japanese artist who draws these like really big eyed, creepy babies. But it’s like this guy is doing like a less cool version of Yoshitomo Nara.
LACI MOSLEY [00:28:07] Yeah, I feel like there’s a place for this. Maybe I would look at it in an art exhibit, but I don’t know if I want this in my house. Like, I’m not trying to wake up and see it. Just like the saddest baby when I wake up.
JVN [00:28:17] I like the cat though. I will say I like that cat.
LACI MOSLEY [00:28:20] Oh, yeah, the cat is cute. If we could just crop the cat, I would. I would maybe do the cat.
JVN [00:28:25] Yeah. The cat is nice.
LACI MOSLEY [00:28:26] So, many chose Walter’s melancholic, big eyed children to put on their walls. So this is the sixties. Everybody get in the house for $2, and they’re like, “We need paintings, we need art.” So this is like before Ross, probably. So people weren’t buying their art at Ross. They were also like, “Where are we going? Where are we gonna get it? Oh, sad babies. That’s the move. Put them in our houses.” So despite his melancholic subjects, Walter was known as a charming womanizer whose love of women only matched his love for himself. I don’t know if charming and womanizer should be in the same sentence, and they definitely shouldn’t be consecutive like that. I feel like. Wow [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:29:02] Well because they do it at first, you know, they do it for you, but then they all of a sudden you’re like, “Oh no, you’re a piece of shit.” But at first they–
LACI MOSLEY [00:29:09] It’s all like woman and then it’s Masa then. Yeah, that is an you.
JVN [00:29:13] Yes, I need a, you know, a nice person. Like I’m not.
LACI MOSLEY [00:29:17] Trying to get nized. This is. That’s terrible. Be nice, right? Be nice. Don’t be nize. I don’t want to be nized. So meeting Margaret, according to Walter. So he’s a big bachelor. He’s drawing sad babies and fuck it, that’s his whole life: draw sad baby, you know, pull another girl, you know, that’s his life, right? So according to Walter, his first meeting with a woman who would become his wife took place outside an outdoor art exhibit in San Francisco in 1955. So San Francisco, 1955, very cool. He was still an unknown artist waiting for recognition. In his memoir, he said, Margaret’s first words to him were, I love your paintings. You’re the greatest artist I’ve ever seen. You are also the most handsome. Um–
JVN [00:30:00] Liar.
LACI MOSLEY [00:30:02] Wait, that was her first words to you. She walked up and was like, “Hi,” and no, there’s not even a hi. Her first words are, “I love your paintings. You are the greatest artist I’ve ever seen. You are also the most handsome. You have big dick energy.” Like it’s like that? She said all that? It’s not even, “Hi, my name is Margaret.” Nothing else? She just is. Okay. Okay. Maybe she did.
JVN [00:30:25] I wanted her– and when you were recapping it, I wanted it to be like, “And I’m into anal.”
LACI MOSLEY [00:30:30] Right? “And I’m into anal and I love cooking breakfast and lunch and dinner. And my passion is getting shit stains out of men’s underwear when they don’t wipe properly.” Like. Like, who is this woman?
JVN [00:30:43] I can not even.
LACI MOSLEY [00:30:46] “Vacuuming makes me cum. Do you want to date me?”
JVN [00:30:49] Do feel like for queer couples or like men who have sex with men couples or like non-binary people. It’s just like when you’re really into anal sex. I feel like you clean your butt better because you are terrified of your partner. Like you just never would want them to see that. It’s like they like they’re like their playground is like your butthole. So, like, you don’t want to be leaving skid marks anywhere because it’s like, that’s their playground and you don’t want you to know that your playground has shit in it.
LACI MOSLEY [00:31:16] And I wish that everyone– “Your playground has shit in it.” I wish that everyone would just do that because it’s just the like we should all just be clean all of the time. But yeah, no, that’s like mortifying. Painting. But I will say I was in Hawaiʻi and I had a Japanese toilet–
JVN [00:31:33] Laci, I’m sorry, but you’re so right. That is like, wow, you really just made me realize something. I was, like, only wanting to keep my asshole right for someone else. And, like, not for me.
LACI MOSLEY [00:31:44] But not for you.
JVN [00:31:45] And that’s fucked up! For me, like for me, yes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:31:48] Think of the confidence you have walking out with a clean taint.
JVN [00:31:51] Yes, I clean taint just being like, “You could eat me out right now and I would feel so confident.” And why was I wait– that is so fucking! I need Karamo, I need to go on Queer Eye like I need the other Fab Four. It’s like, why have I that is. Wow, do it for you.
LACI MOSLEY [00:32:11] Do it for you, [CROSSTALK] I’m coming out of with a line of fleets guys.
JVN [00:32:22] Is yours like kind of like a cleaner, like, reusable one than balloons. It’s like, not it’s like it’s a cleaner. Ooh. Or, you know, what we really need? Is someone to come out with, like, a cleansing solution for the inside of your thing is like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:32:37] Oh, like, so you can, like, so it’s like, reusable, like the diva cup. Where you can reuse it and wash it?
JVN [00:32:42] They have reusable ones, but it’s like, I don’t.
LACI MOSLEY [00:32:45] No one wants to deal with that. Yeah. Yeah.
JVN [00:32:47] You know, it’s like I went but it’s like, but like plastic. Likewise environmental stuff like for our assholes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:32:52] Once a turtle has a fleet stuck in its nose, they’ll get wise.
JVN [00:32:55] And honestly, that already probably happens.
LACI MOSLEY [00:32:58] Oh, my God, no!
JVN [00:32:59] It really does. And that’s why we have to make douche cleansing solution like cleansing solution for reusable douches. See and that is really fucking important. Okay.
LACI MOSLEY [00:33:09] And it is, it is also like I, I feel like all of my reps would be like, this is such a weird pivot, but I want to come out with like an affordable Japanese toilet because that Japanese toilet I was in Hawaiʻi. II was sitting like, it’s warm. Every time you sit on it, the bidet is bideting. And like I like I feel like I started it and I just shut off the toilet. It was like, so–
JVN [00:33:29] I don’t want to be like this out-of-touch celebrity, but after I got back from Japan, I got them all for my house. When you walk in like it sits up, like when you walk in the room, it’s as, are you ready? It’s always warm this way. When I was in Japan, Donald Trump was in office, obviously, right?
LACI MOSLEY [00:33:45] Oh, God.
JVN [00:33:45] And it was like and I used to get up at like 3:30 in the morning when we were filming Queer Eye in Japan. So I could go figure figure skating like 4:30 in the morning, had to go that early to be ready in case we were shooting. It’s like because TV shows, they’re so like worried about like when you live your life. So you have to live your life like.
LACI MOSLEY [00:33:59] Where they want to live. So, you know, yeah. Just like I’m like, okay, I’ll have it. You’re like a little meat puppet. “We need you here early.”
JVN [00:34:05] Yeah. And I’m going to go do figure skating because I’ll be so depressed if I don’t. But I was reading about like that. They were maybe going to they were thinking about like investigating Trump Jr.. And I forgot that I turn the bidet on. So I was reading this like Newsweek article about like potentially like Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. like getting investigated. Yeah. And, and then there’s like warm water was like just cleansing my asshole as I was reading this and I just had this huge smile on my face. And then I realized I’ve been sitting there for like 10 minutes reading this article, just getting like, this warm water blown up my ass.
LACI MOSLEY [00:34:34] Oh, my God, what a spiritual experience. And we’re like, I’m reading the best news.
JVN [00:34:39] Getting my taint cleansed. Like, you guys, if you haven’t experienced it, it really is like it’s next level.
LACI MOSLEY [00:34:44] You gotta? Yeah. We got to make it more accessible.
JVN [00:34:47] Only $100. You see, like that thing, it was like $100. They just have to get a TaskRabbit to, like, install it. And YouTube can help you. Oh.
LACI MOSLEY [00:34:53] Really?. No, Japanese toilets are like $20,000.
JVN [00:34:57] No, girl, it’s like $100 thing that, like, goes, you like, take your lid off and then you replace your you you just take you screw off the American part and then your gear and it plugs in and you two girls will blow dry your asshole and your vagina and your taint. It’ll blow dry your privates. It blow dries, it cleanses, it can set four foot back.
LACI MOSLEY [00:35:18] I didn’t know that you could get it without buying the whole full like toilet.
JVN [00:35:23] Lady, I only have the top part and it is–
LACI MOSLEY [00:35:25] Okay.
JVN [00:35:26] –For you. And I think that’s a universal reason that I did this podcast today with you is that like you needed to know that they were at your fingertips.
LACI MOSLEY [00:35:33] I didn’t know. Yes. Now they’re at my booty tips. Thank you so much. I’m so excited. So so, you know, Walter’s saying that, basically Margaret walked up to him and was like, “You the baddest man, you the best, right?” Later that night, he remembers that Margaret told him, “You are the greatest lover in the world.” Walter! Now why you? [CACKLES]I want to meet somebody and be like, “I knew that this was my husband or my wife.” They were like, “You are so sexy. You have the most beautiful man.” Like, what is this, like all these compliments to yourself? What about your wife? You didn’t notice if you knew that you were going to marry her when you met her. You did not talk about her smile that could light up a room. You not talking about her at all like she had no way about her is just about how nice she was to you and how much you wish it okay Walter. It’s giving conceit, okay? T
hey married soon after that first meeting, and he went on to have an incredibly successful career as an artist. So Margaret’s account, this is how Margaret says it went down. So that’s how Walter said it. Walter said that Margaret came up and was like, “Oh, my God, you are the most talented artist with, like, the most delicious penis I’ve ever had in my life. And your painting has changed my whole world, and I would like to work for you as a wife.” Now, let’s see what Margaret said happened. Margaret says it’s a little different. She said in the mid 1950s, Walter spent most of his time at a San Francisco beatnik club, The Hungry Eye. Famous comedians, including Larry Bruce and Bill Cosby– uh-oh – who performed on stage while he sold his big-eyed children paintings in front of the club. Now, if people are coming to a space to laugh like you outside like “Y’all want some paintings of the saddest children you’ve ever seen ravaged by war before you go laugh at a nasty man and another man?” I guess this is a good strategy. One night, Margaret went to the club with him. He told her to sit in the corner while he conducted business. But when someone asked her, Do you paint, too? She realized that he was there to sell paintings, her paintings for the first year of their marriage, unbeknownst to her. Walter had been taking credit for her big eyed children. In actuality, Walter Keane couldn’t paint to save his life.
JVN [00:37:44] So then what happened?
LACI MOSLEY [00:37:46] So let’s. Can you pull up that photo? With Walter with that paint again because it was giving prop it was giving like, look at me. Is it giving Bob Ross, y’all? Does it look like I painted this? He’s not a painter.
JVN [00:37:59] So they get married, and then he just took credit for her work?
LACI MOSLEY [00:38:03] Yes. He was stealing her art. So in his account and the reason we did this—thank you, Caleb, for burying the lede—is Walter was selling everybody on the street, all the girls they like. He’s this talented artist. And when he said he met his wife, he was like, my wife was like, “Oh, my God, you are such a good painter and a good lover and you have the most money and the best dick and everything in the world.” When in reality, he met this woman and realized that she was a great painter and then started selling her art as his own.
JVN [00:38:31] And then she went to that theater after dating him for a year and saw him selling her art.
LACI MOSLEY [00:38:39] So these are the first years of their marriage. So while they’re married now, he’s like, “Oh, come to the comedy club. And then didn’t realize that what he had.” She’s like, “What’s he got in the bag?” “Don’t worry about that. Don’t worry about that. Just come to the comedy club. Be cute.” And so she didn’t realize that he’s out there swinging her art and pretending that is his. The secret paintings.
JVN [00:38:56] So then what did she do?
LACI MOSLEY [00:38:57] So, Margaret confronted him as soon as she found out and told him to stop. Walter tried to explain it first. “We need the money. People are more likely to buy a painting if they think that they’re talking to the artist. People don’t want to think I can’t paint and need to have my wife paint! People already think I painted the big eyes and if suddenly I say it was you, it’ll be confusing and people will start suing us.” So he was like, “Come on, everybody already thinks I’m the painter. Now we don’t want to mess that up for everybody and for us.” He basically gave her a bunch of excuses as to why he should be able to continue to pass off her art as his own. He was like, “We need the money, baby. Who will pay the light bill if I don’t plagiarize your work?”
JVN [00:39:34] So then what happened?
LACI MOSLEY [00:39:35] So his solution was to have Margaret teach him how to paint big eyed children so he could take credit only for her ideas and not for her actual work. So now he’s like, “Okay, well, teach me how to do it. And then you won’t. I won’t be stealing from you any more.” So she tried to teach him which, Margaret, why don’t you just get a divorce chile? And he failed. He might have been the best lover in the world. Because. Margaret, why are you staying? Did he have, like, a huge really touch up paint dick? That’s what’s giving. So Margaret said, “And when he couldn’t do it, it was always my fault. ‘You’re not teaching me right. I could do it if you had more patience.’ I was really trying, but it was just impossible.” No, you can’t teach talent like you can hone talent, but you can’t teach somebody to have a skill that they don’t have. Margaret wanted to leave, but she said she had no way to support herself or her daughter. Well, Margaret, you got your paintings. Okay. So she went along with it, the supportive wife to her genius husband. Now, we do have to remember, this is like the early sixties, fifties. So women, you know, barely had autonomy, didn’t have any access to money, were essentially still property. And so she couldn’t leave her husband. She had to let him keep scamming Walter’s thriving career. By the early 1960s. Keen prints and postcards were selling in the millions. Margaret, of course, saw none of the money, but she continued to paint and the family moved into a big, luxurious house. Walter took the opportunity to throw a massive celebrity-attended parties while Margaret continued to paint 16 hours a day. He got his wife in a sweatshop in the basement, painted pictures while he upstairs being Great Gatsby, throwing stars and yucking it up with celebrities.
JVN [00:41:08] I can’t. I can’t with him..
LACI MOSLEY [00:41:11] I just imagine. I just imagine he’s like talking to people about his art. You hear like a [RUSTLING] and they’re like, “What’s that, Walter?” “Oh, no, don’t don’t worry about that. Don’t. Don’t worry about that. That’s just my dog downstairs. What you need, Margaret.” “Sir? Can I have some more paint?” Like, I just imagine her, like Oliver Twist in the basement just painting all day..
JVN [00:41:30] How does it end?
LACI MOSLEY [00:41:32] So not even the house staff were aware of what she was doing with her day. Her relationship also changed.
JVN [00:41:37] Because they were so rich.
LACI MOSLEY [00:41:39] Right? So her relationship changed with Walter and did the freedom as well. So the relationship, the freedom that she used to have, now she’s basically an indentured painting servant to her husband, which is horrible. According to Margaret, “The door was always locked. The curtains closed. When Walter was at home. He usually call every hour to make sure that I hadn’t gone out.” So this is abusive. He’s now locking this woman up. It’s like flowers in the attic, but it’s the painter in the attic making the paintings. So the unhappy marriage then became more domineering and abusive while Walter lived a lush party life and Margaret stayed locked inside, painting away. Despite his many affairs, Walter didn’t allow Margaret to have any friends and even abused her beloved Chihuahua so much that they had to give it away. Walter, you are a nasty man. You are a horrible person. So he threatened that if she ever told their secret, he’d have his mafia friends 86 her. Meanwhile, he continued pressuring her into working day and night to create bigger and bigger works. Eventually, Margaret created a masterwork called Tomorrow Forever. It depicted hundreds of sad looking, big eyed children standing in a line that stretches across the horizon.
JVN [00:42:48] The word is so fucking chilling, knowing what she was going through, creating all of these paintings.
LACI MOSLEY [00:42:58] And it depicted like all of these sad children, right? The organizers of the 1964 World Fair hung it up in their Pavilion of Education. So later, Walter wrote in his memoir that his dead grandmother told him in a vision that “Michelangelo has put your name up for a nomination as member of our inner circle, saying that your masterwork tomorrow forever will live in the hearts and minds of men, as his work would like the Sistine Chapel.” So this is in his memoir. He was like, “My grandma came back to me in a dream and told me that Michelangelo in them inducted me into the Babish painting Hall of Fame, and that I’m just like the Sistine Chapel.”
JVN [00:43:32] He must be doing a ton of drugs.
LACI MOSLEY [00:43:34] Yeah, it’s giving…
JVN [00:43:37] It’s giving like, delusions of, like, self grandeur. It’s giving LSD with coke, it’s giving major uppers, it’s giving, like, delusional uppers.
LACI MOSLEY [00:43:47] And despite the heaven-sent message from Michelangelo, art critic John Kennedy described the piece as “tasteless hack work contains about 100 children and hence is about 100 times as bad as the average king.” Damn! Like y’all don’t got to be panning this. This woman was making the art.. So the world fair promptly took it down, which made Walter furious. Margaret was also hurt as her children were personal expressions of her own feelings that she could never voice because she’s actually the children in the painting. And I think if they knew the meaning that it wasn’t this like egotistical asshole who made it, and it was actually this woman who feels the same thing as the children. They probably would have been more–
JVN [00:44:30] So sad.
LACI MOSLEY [00:44:31] You know, empathetic of the artwork. And you know, it’s art is subjective. So the truth comes out after ten years of marriage, eight of them spent in misery. Margaret and Walter divorce. Still, Margaret promised that she’d continue to paint for Walter. Now, Margaret, why girl? You down bad or something? Put the brush down. No more strokes.
JVN [00:44:48] No more strokes.
LACI MOSLEY [00:44:49] But after 20 or 30 more paintings, she finally had had enough. 20 to 30. I feel like a breaking point, sis, I get it. She wanted to tell the truth. And October 1970, Margaret told a reporter from the UPI everything. Walter rampaged against Margaret and her claims. He denied all her claims that she was a true artist and swore that the big eyes were his. He also called Margaret a boozing, sex starved psychopath who he once discovered having sex with several parking lot attendants. Um.
JVN [00:45:18] So then did they do a draw off on national television or something?
LACI MOSLEY [00:45:21] That’s what needs to happen. I would be like, “Okay, let’s let’s do a draw. Let’s see who can draw.” Also, like this is such a specific thing to say that your wife did that. I’m like, this is all projection. You had sex with several parking lot of tenants. You did that.
JVN [00:45:34] Yeah, 100%.
LACI MOSLEY [00:45:36] Also a boozing, sex starved psychopath. That sounds like you, too. This sounds like you were just saying–
JVN [00:45:42] But he wasn’t sex starved because he was like a sex glutton.
LACI MOSLEY [00:45:44] But if you ,if you’re a glutton, then you’re constantly starved, right?
JVN [00:45:48] Oh, I guess, yeah. He just got pussy all the time. So then what happened?
LACI MOSLEY [00:45:52] So having most lost almost entirely all of his credibility, Walter moved into a shack in La Hoya, California, where he fell into deep alcohol abuse. Now, what’s crazy to me is, like, you have millions of dollars, right? You spent all of that money, and now you have to live in a shack.
JVN [00:46:07] Probably.
LACI MOSLEY [00:46:08] Like it’s giving like y’all just play life like a M.A.S.H game. Like you had the mansion. Now you in the shack. What? So his story grew to include that Margaret was in a league with the Jehovah Witnesses who were out to get him. Okay. The few reporters that were so interested in Walter ran his stories. So Margaret sued him. During the trial, the judge challenged them both to a paint off in the middle of court in front of everybody. Oh, my God, Jonathan, you were right. They had a paint off in court.
JVN [00:46:35] And so then what happened?
LACI MOSLEY [00:46:36] Can you imagine being on this jury? And it’s like, okay, not able to do the paint off.
JVN [00:46:40] I can’t believe I predicted the paint off you guys.
LACI MOSLEY [00:46:41] You did. Good job. So they were judged on how they painted a child with big eyes. Margaret painted hers in 53 minutes because remember, she was down there cranking them out, like on the assembly line. Walter said he couldn’t because he had a sore shoulder. You got a painting injury? Okay. She won the case, of course. He was like, “Oh, my shoulder. I pulled my paint– this my good painting shoulder. Oh, can’t do it.” What? Sir. Margaret was awarded $4 million, which she never saw because Walter had pissed their fortune away. By the seventies, the big eyed children fell out of popularity and occasionally, even to mockery. Walter died in 2000. Several years after giving up drinking, Margaret found God with the Jehovah Witnesses. She moved to Hawaiʻi and the tone of her paintings became more cheerful with her big eyed children swimming in tropical seas with the fish, she can be seen in a cameo of the 2014 Tim Burton film Big Eyes based on her story. Margaret Keane passed on June 26, 2022, at the age of 94. Okay. I’m glad that Margaret got to live a second life and live to 94. Okay. Yeah.
JVN [00:47:43] Did her stuff get successful? Did it get successful later?
LACI MOSLEY [00:47:46] I don’t know about it, but she did end up, you know, in a Tim Burton film. So she got some Tim Burton coins.
JVN [00:47:53] God, poor thing. What a life.
LACI MOSLEY [00:47:56] Oh, Margaret. Oh, she’s so cute.
JVN [00:47:58] But she didn’t get to celebrate birthdays and stuff? Fuck.
LACI MOSLEY [00:48:01] She was down bad and sad. Sorry, Margaret. The times were tough for women back then, as they are now! Ain’t that crazy? Guys, it’s time for our saddest segment of the show, because it’s the last one, where eventually I’m going to have to let Jonathan go. It’s time for Scammer of the Week. So Scammer of the Week is where we honor one charlatan who’s worthy of our praise. Or maybe not. We’ll see. Today we’re talking about, ooh, let’s see. Well, preapproved credit cards often pop up in mailboxes. One day, a woman opened her mailbox to find a stack of 70 Chase Bank credit cards waiting for her. What?!
The cards were issued to 70 completely different strangers all on Tina Kumar’s account. Somehow, Chase Bank never raised a red flag when 70 names were added to one woman’s account. That was particularly concerning when each envelope contained two cards with two different names and her account number. When she called the number on the back, suddenly all 70 cards were activated. When Tina finally was able to get a hold of customer service, they said someone logged into her account and added 70 names all at once. The bank immediately closed the account and issued her a new card, along with a promise that the manager would call her back. But the call never came, and no explanation was given as to why 70 users could have been added to his account, but no one was noticing.
JVN [00:49:23] So what the hell was that about?
LACI MOSLEY [00:49:25] So, Tina, I don’t think that you, you got scammed here. Like you’re not the scammer of the week. There’s some mysterious person out there who got away with adding 70 names to your credit card account.
JVN [00:49:34] That makes me think of this article I just read about this kid who stole, like, $14 million of Bitcoin, and he did it by, like, part of what taught him about, like, hacking and stuff was like he would hack people’s like, like phone accounts, but he would get employees from like Sprint and Verizon and AT&T because he needed someone from the inside to like flip their stuff. So he would like go offer like $5,000 or $4,000 because they weren’t making that much money anyway. And he would just like find someone that was like down to clown with the scam and he would get into all these. But interesting. I feel like that must have been like that sounds like an inside job, like someone from the bank and that’s like the manager. Is that reaching out because there’s someone from inside the bank that did that?
LACI MOSLEY [00:50:21] Yeah, it’s giving internal. It’s giving like internal investigation and they didn’t want to get out.
JVN [00:50:26] You can’t go in there with 70 accounts in one fell swoop in like? Get out of here.
LACI MOSLEY [00:50:29] No, it was definitely pinging some flags. So it’s giving like somebody a chase, ran up a bag real quick and got out. 70 cards? Why did you have a? I mean, look, big, big banking industry has scammed us over and over and over again. So I don’t even know if I’m mad at the 70 card scammer on the other side. [CROSSTALK]
JVN [00:50:48] Their credit, it’s their credit. It’s those other 70 people. Oh, but well, I don’t know. It’s too many scams. I can’t even think about it.
LACI MOSLEY [00:50:56] Right. I mean, but guys, it’s always just another way for us to remember, like, check your cards. You’re never too big to sign your own checks. Check. Check your bank statements, because people will charge you. They will try to get over I you I always say if you go to the hospital and you bills your insurance, even if you bill to your insurance, get an itemized because you’ll be surprised when stuff just starts falling off of that hospital bill because they put all kind of cotton swab these Band-Aid fees, you know, opening and closing the curtain fee. You know, you can get that some taking out. So you just have to really be vigilant out here because everybody’s trying to do crime. Crime is very poppin’, it’s very sexy in the zeitgeist right now.
JVN [00:51:33] It really is. It’s very 2022. It really is.
LACI MOSLEY [00:51:36] It is. It’s a moment. Crime is having a moment. Okay. And I don’t think it’s going away. I think that scams, she is the moment. They are the moment.
JVN [00:51:43] She is the moment. They really are. Scams a cunty queen.
LACI MOSLEY [00:51:47] Yes, the baddest bitch. But guys, that brings us to the end of a fantastic episode. Jonathan, you have the best energy. This is so wild. Yeah.
JVN [00:51:55] Thanks for having me, it’s been so much fun.
LACI MOSLEY [00:51:56] We always ask on this podcast: Where would you like to be found?
JVN [00:52:01] Oh, where would I like to be found?
LACI MOSLEY [00:52:02] So any socials, anything you want to plug.
JVN [00:52:05] Oh, I was like “On a beach in the Caribbean probably,” no, it’s like yeah! @jvn and you can follow my podcast @CuriousWithJVN. We’re doing the most over there. It’s all about curiosity and just kind of like figuring out the world around us like how did we get so fucked up? But like with some fun and yeah, @jvnhair, we’re doing a lot over there. So @jvn, @jvnhair we’re doing all that stuff and thanks for having me on.
LACI MOSLEY [00:52:29] Yes, Jonathan, you are very curious. So if y’all want to hear more of his curiosity because he was so curious on this podcast, we all get into his so get into these books, get into this hair. You have fantastic hair.
JVN [00:52:38] Thank you! I give you a little bun today because it’s like really hot in NOLA but sometimes it is really good.
LACI MOSLEY [00:52:44] And I love a hairstylist who has nice hair because I trust them more like, you know, I mean, like shout out to the bald hair stylist. I notice we don’t always get a choice in being bald, but it’s just something about a hair stylist with great hair that I’m like, “I trust you. Like, put your hands in my hair. You get it.” Yes! As always, you can find us at email@example.com if you want to snitch on your friends and family, you can find me @divalaci on all platforms. If you’d like to follow the show and see all the photos and extra information and shenanigans, @scamgoddesspod on all platforms. Guys, I’m pretty sure I get announce this, maybe I’ll have to take it out, but season three of iCarly is happening, y’all! So I will be back on your television screen doing my normal crimes also. Lopez v Lopez, you know, so we’re out here, we’re doing TV crimes, we’re doing audio crimes. I got y’all, wherever you want to see me. CONGREGATION Stay schemin’.
This has been an Earwolf production in association with team coco. Scam Goddess is hosted by me, Laci Mosley a.k.a Scam Goddess, is produced by Judith Kargbo, engineered by Marina Paez and researched by Kaylin Brandt. Stay schemin’
TEAM COCO [00:53:57] This has been a team coco production in association with Earwolf.
JVN [00:53:59] You’ve been listening to an episode of Scam Goddess featuring me, Jonathan Van Ness, a.k.a. Slut. You’ll find links to Scam Goddess and Laci Moseley’s work in the episode description of whatever you’re listening to the show on. We’ll be back next week with an all new episode of Getting Curious. And in the meantime, you can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @CuriousWithJVN. Getting Curious is produced by me, Erica Getto and Zahra Crim.
May 31, 2023
Guest Melissa Murray
In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States will hand down decisions that could have major implications for LGBTQIA+ rights, racial justice, tribal sovereignty, and beyond.
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May 18, 2023
Guest Kathryn Olivarius
New Orleans was one of America’s most important cities in the early 1800s. It was also one of the most deadly. This week, to mark the new season of Queer Eye, we’re exploring New Orleans history with Dr. Kathryn Olivarius in a special two-part episode.