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Television

April 29, 1993|SHAUNA SNOW | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Command Performance: Lesbian comedian Lea DeLaria, who became the first comic to do openly gay material on a late-night talk show when she appeared on "The Arsenio Hall Show" in March, will return to the program on May 17. DeLaria, who will also perform at Santa Monica's Highways on May 18, credited 25 years of hard work by the gay and lesbian community for opening TV's doors to her. But "Arsenio" producer Marla Kell Brown gave all the credit to DeLaria, saying: "She was just so funny and did so well that we wanted her back as soon as possible. That's the bottom line." Kell Brown noted that "Arsenio" executives had been looking for a good openly gay comic since their omission from late-night TV was detailed in the Advocate magazine a year ago. "And the reaction to Lea was all positive," Kell Brown said. "You never know, because to some people, the material's very controversial, but people accepted her and found her very funny. . . . It's been (because of) corporate decisions (that TV hasn't featured more gay material), but I feel the public is more than ready for it."

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