Milton Berle was a legendary comedian known for his quick wit and outrageous sense of humor. Berle’s “Texico Star Theater” was consistently the top-rated show on TV since debuting in June 1948. Berle’s stature as the mediums first superstar earned him the sobriquet “Mr. Television.” However, because he was also known for doing “anything for a laugh,” he was affectionally referred to as “Uncle Miltie” by his millions of fans.

One evening, Milton Berle decided to pay a visit to his good friend Pancho Barnes at the Happy Bottom Riding Club. But as a prank – he decided to show up, disguised, in drag! After having appeared the night before in a skit on his TV show dressed in full drag as “Queen of the Nile,” Berle thought it appropriate to visit Pancho’s club, which was located in the desert, dressed as the legendary Queen of the Nile. Pancho might be the desert diva, but Berle would be ‘queen of the desert’…….at least for an evening. So he arrived at the Club dressed in his full ‘Queen of the Nile’ TV costume complete with wig, makeup, and high heels. He strutted into the restaurant and bar, drawing stares and giggles from the other guests.

Pancho was thrilled to see her friend and greeted him warmly but couldn’t help but laugh at his outfit.
“Milton, what in the world are you wearing?” she asked, trying to stifle her laughter.

Berle gave her a sly grin and replied, “Oh, just a little something I threw together for the occasion. I heard the Happy Bottom Riding Club was a place where anything goes, so I decided to go all out!”

Berle’s wife, Joyce Matthews, held back and delighted watching her husband’s surprise prank on Pancho and the reactions from her guests at the Happy Bottom Riding Club. At the time, Milton was the most famous TV star in the world.

Pancho chuckled and invited Berle and Joyce to join her for a drink at the bar. As they sipped their cocktails, Berle regaled Pancho, and those within earshot, with jokes and stories, all the while hamming it up in his drag outfit. Pancho had known Berle and his wife for several years. The first time Pancho met Berle and Joyce, they had recently been married. It was a first marriage for both, and they seemed very much in love. However, since the last time Pancho saw them, Berle and Joyce had divorced and then remarried each other again. So Pancho asked, “Milton, why did you get divorced and married again? And Berle replied, “Well, she reminded me of my first wife.”

But things really got interesting when Berle decided to take to the dance floor. He strutted his stuff to the live music, twirling and spinning in his high heels and flowing dress.

As the night wore on, Berle continued to entertain the crowd with his jokes and stories, never once breaking character.

Pancho knew that Berle’s visit would be remembered for years to come as one of the most memorable and hilarious nights in the club’s history. And as she watched her friend dance and laugh in his ‘Queen of the Nile” costume, she couldn’t help but think that there was never a dull moment at the Happy Bottom Riding Club.