Three cheers for the Moose: Everybody knows the name of beloved ’80s sitcom star and ‘Masked Singer’ eliminee

The Scorpio and Moose go home on 'The Masked Singer' Season 9's '80s Night. (Photos: Fox)

The Scorpio and Moose go home on ‘The Masked Singer’ Season 9’s ’80s Night. (Photos: Fox)

At the start of Wednesday’s Masked Singer ‘80s Night, everyone was wondering who the Moose was… even the retro episode’s surprise special guests, Young MC, Erik Estrada, Charlene Tilton, and Donnie Wahlberg. The judges thought the man behind the antlers and antics — whose quirky cover of Huey Lewis’s “The Power of Love” was, according to Robin Thicke, “so charming in every way” — might be Jon Lovitz, John Goodman, or Ed O’Neill.

But soon, everybody knew his name. And instead of the studio audience chanting, “Moose! Moose!” they were cheer-fully crying out: “Norm!”

Yes, the Moose was none other than beloved Cheers actor George Wendt, who told Masked Singer host Nick Cannon that he’d signed up for this “profoundly ridiculous” experience because “I thought maybe I’d win!” This was a sardonic nod to a clue that he’d been nominated but passed over by the Emmys for six consecutive years in the 1980s, but Wendt’s fellow comedian, judge Ken Jeong, was quick to put some respect on the Moose’s name.

Cheers is one of my favorite shows of all time. I’ve seen every single episode of Cheers,” Ken gushed to George. “But what people don’t know is you’re also a Second City legend. You’re one of my influences, and it’s an honor to have you on this stage.”

“Let’s go have a beer!” Wendt then yelled out. The judges and audience were clearly glad he came to the show.

With the Moose’s elimination occurring early Wednesday (the kickoff of this season’s third and final contestant bracket before the quarterfinals), that left the Scorpio, who’d warbled a sassy cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and the Doll, who’d schooled the competition with a heartfelt, gritty take on Simple Minds’ The Breakfast Club hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me).” Those two mystery celebrities then headed to the Battle Royale ring to make all my Duran Duran/Masked Singer fan Venn diagram dreams come true, by covering “Hungry Like the Wolf.”

Both did a decent job, although by the end the Scorpio was more winded that Simon Le Bon running through the Sri Lankan jungle, while the Doll managed to stay hungry just a little bit longer. (That’s a Doll clue of my very own … keep reading!) And so, as much as it stung, the Scorpio was eliminated.

The judges thought she might be TRL-era pop starlet Willa Ford, Kim Cattrall, Heidi Klum, or a Real Housewife like Denise Richards or Lisa Rinna, but she turned out to be Selling Sunset reality star Christine Quinn — a girl who really knew how to have fun, judging by how she made the most of her brief Masked Singer experience. “Your enthusiasm and your energy has probably been the best of this entire season,” judge Nicole Scherzinger told her.

So, now the Doll is the new reigning (drag) queen, and I’ll just get right to the guessing, because it’s incredibly obvious. I know exactly who this is: This twisted sister is none other than Dee Snider.

This misfit toy was obviously trying to tone down his signature metal screech on Wednesday’s new wave covers — but as Dee once sang, you can’t stop rock ‘n’ roll, so there was just no disguising his vocals. But even aside from the voice, the clues all pointed to the Twisted Sister frontman, who confessed that he felt “right at home” on ‘80s Night.

We saw a house full of animals, and two of Twisted Sister’s biggest music videos starred Animal House villain Mark Metcalf. Another clue was the word “ghostwriter” — a reference to the Doll’s “scary movie career” — and Dee wrote the script for the horror film Strangeland. He mentioned a moment in his life when “The Man” said his “group of lost misfit dolls” was “too strange and tried to knock us out,” but then he “stepped into the playground and schooled them” — clearly a nod to Dee’s involvement in a 1985 Senate hearing with Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center, after the PMRC put Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” on a proposed list of banned “Filthy Fifteen” songs. We saw a theater playbill, and Dee has done Broadway shows like Rock of Ages and Rocktopia and even released the album Dee Does Broadway. Dee has also said the New York Dolls and The Rocky Horror Picture Show as his main influences, which explains another clue about a “rocky childhood” and, of course, his costume choice.

And finally, as Dee himself pointed out in a Yahoo Entertainment interview in 2021, he was “wearing literally women’s clothing” back in Twisted Sister’s early days, and he’d even happily sign up to be a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race — so that explains why he felt so at ease in the Doll’s pencil skirt, cinched waist, and high heels. And all these years later, Dee still had the legs to pull it off, too!

The Doll now heads to next week’s Movie Night, where he will probably won’t sing anything from the Strangeland soundtrack, but maybe we’ll get to hear Rocky Horror’s “Hot Patootie (Bless My Soul)” or even Twisted Sister’s own Pee-wee’s Big Adventure cult hit “Burn in Hell.” See you then!

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