Thursday, June 28, 2007

Playlist: Making fun of the gays

As a proud multiculturalist, I’m happy to acknowledge the anniversary of the Stonewall riots. But in my own unique way, of course... by streaming some cool (and not-so-cool) audio.

Making fun of homosexuals is an American comic tradition. I’ve uploaded five tracks to illustrate the point. I’ve arranged them in order, from least offensive to most malignant. Heck, some of it’s even funny! Just click the titles, listen to the tracks, and ponder how times change.

1. “Gay Alliance” – National Lampoon Radio Hour (c. 1974)

The most benign sketch also happens to be the funniest. And it’s of historical interest because three of the four players became legends of contemporary comedy – John Belushi, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest. (The fourth guy, Steve Collins, I know nothing about.)

This bit was originally broadcast on the National Lampoon’s radio show (which aired between 1973 and 1975, leading up to the dawn of “Saturday Night Live”).

2. “The L.M.N.O.P. Ad Agency” – Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner (196?)

Two old-school comedy legends and master improvisers, Brooks and Reiner riff on the culture of advertising... and throw in an F-word or two.

3. “It’s a Faggot’s World” – Blowfly (1971)

Not as malicious as you might expect from the title, this is Blowfly presenting his usual combo platter of nasty sex talk and R&B parody. I never thought Blowfly was all too funny. But he did find himself a gimmick and worked it to death.

4. “World’s First Two Gay Guys” – Norm MacDonald (2006)

Now we start sliding over into bona fide contempt. But we’ve known for years that Norm has issues in this regard. (Remember the shit he used to say – publicly – about Chris Kattan’s comedy?)

This sketch (co-starring Will Ferrell in Harry Carey mode) kinda gives me the creeps. And I like MacDonald’s sense of humor generally.

5. “Faggots” – Andrew Dice Clay (1987)

You probably guessed it would end here, huh? How this witless fucking idiot ever became a star is the most baffling human mystery of the last quarter-century. Hear the words... feel the hatred. (The “Welcome to Brooklyn” joke will make you feel unclean.)

Plus, I bet you the “Diceman” would give Satan a blowjob right about now if it meant having a career again.


Andrew said...

I own that MacDonald album. I'm surprised that you don't really like that sketch; it was my favorite. Maybe they didn't have to spend as much time on the screaming, but it was sitll hilarious.

Undercover Black Man said...

The Clark Kent-Lois Lane sketch I really like. This one... the undercurrent of contempt just put me off.

SJ said...

The Dice Clay one is disgusting! God damn...

S.O.L. said...

UBM said: "How this witless fucking idiot ever became a star is the most baffling human mystery of the last quarter-century."

I was going to say that was the best line I've heard (read) all week until you dealt this beauty:

"Plus, I bet you the “Diceman” would give Satan a blowjob right about now if it meant having a career again."

Thanks for the chuckle, UBM. I heard that ADC bit back in the day and I refuse to listen to it again. This is one of your most helpful posts, though, in continuing to show the underbelly of pop culture. Just putting it out there is true because we need to hear this shit and know it's out there.

It's my favorite thing about your blog.

Bret LaGree said...

Back when he'd do interesting guest spots on Conan, Norm MacDonald had a very pointed interaction with Sean Hayes w/r/t gay pride parades. It was funny at first, but Norm took it in an uncomfortable direction with what seemed like complete sincerity.

About five years ago, I shared an elevator with the Diceman after his headlining show in the ballroom of a Tunica, MS casino. He seemed to be taking account of his life and career bringing him to that moment, but I might have been projecting.

Rottin' in Denmark said...

Wow, Clay's biggest applause line was 'get a job, buttslammer'. What a dinosaur.

Norm MacDonald's bit didn't strike me so much as offensive, just incredibly boring. You could telegraph the next line about 2 minutes before he got there.

It's funny how MacDonald and Clay seem, at this point, about as dated as Brooks & Reiner. I'm kind of liking how, as the sheer banality of gay life is sinking in (pay the bills, pick up the kids, go to work), 'Will & Grace' will probably be a comedy-saurus in about five years' time.

Anonymous said...

this might be wishful thinking on my part, but isn't there a strong element of self-parody in ADC's comedy?

for example... he goes, "I could never be gay, I think it's wrong.. I did fuck a hamster once though."

Isn't that a mockery of homophobia?

The worst part was hearing the cheering and "yeah!"s in the background to these jokes.

Undercover Black Man said...

Anon: You're being too generous. The worst part was the cheers and the "yeahs"?? This material was designed to get cheers and "yeahs"...

Dan Coyle said...

I remember reading that Rolling Stone article on SNL where McDonald says something to the effect of "Chris Kattan, he's gay, right? he's the most not gay gay guy I know." And I was thinking, "Uh, is he homophobic or is he kidding?" And then I got to Kattan's response to it, "Put in there that I say Norm's an asshole."

So he wasn't kidding.

trish said...

Well UBM I think Dice actually did suck Satan's dick i.e. in the form of him doing that VH1 realtiy show.