Neil Patrick Harris Shows SNL How Gay Jokes Are Done

Most of the time when Saturday Night Live decides to go the gay humor route, it’s by way of embarrassing frat boy cliches. So it was surprisingly awesome to see when last week’s episode offered up some homo humor that laughed with us, not at us. It’s too soon to know if The Ambiguously Gay Duo has gone the way of the minstrel show just yet, but any episode that features Rachel Maddow impersonations, Neil Patrick Harris as host (in drag, as David Frost and making fun of himself as Mark from RENT), Liza Minelli cameos, Paul Lynde impersonations and a conclave of down-on-their-luck Broadway theatre archetypes is a-ok by us.

Roland Burris Cold Open with Rachel Maddow

How I Met Your Mother Monologue

Penelope: Therapy

Frost/Other People

Fran & Freba

Save Broadway

So, what do you think? Was it NPH’s influence that turned last week’s episode super-gay without being fey or do you think mainstream comedy is finally catching up with the times?

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13 Comments

  • oneway

    I had the same thought Saturday night: The gay jokes were smart and of the “with us” variety. Somebody must have given Seth Meyers the week off from writing.

  • ggreen

    NPH is a treasure!

  • MR

    One quick note: I think Harris was poking fun at himself more than Rapp. Doogie played Mark in the LA production of Rent, winning a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal.

    Oh, and for the record, I didn’t know the part about the award off the top of my head. I found it when fact-checking on his history with Rent.

  • Jaroslaw

    Sorry if this offends, but I liked the Ambiguously Gay duo.

  • Jaroslaw

    Sorry, I just re-read the post – no way does the AGD compare to a minstrel show. In no way does the cartoon demean Gay people.

  • Ed

    I have to speak up too – I always found the AGD to be brilliant satire, not offensive. I bought a DVD of SNL highlight specifically because it was “hosted” by the AGD – I always felt they were on our side.

  • Smokey Martini

    I also agree with the AGD. For all it’s worth, they’re poking fun at the man’s man world of superheroes, not gays.

  • Chuck

    I never liked Doogie until last Sat. night.

  • Tom

    Yes Yes Yes!

    My favorite SNL I think, like, ever! Neil was so funny (especially in his opening monologue — “Why won’t you kiss me? We’ll get to that later!”) and the Fran/Freba sketch was pure gold!

  • dgz

    Oneway has it right, Seth Myers is a self-satisfied tool.

    But Kristen Wiig is a treasure. I nominate her for gay-icon status. Seconds?

  • Alexa

    SNL was pretty awesome this week, most of the show was funny, which is very unusual. A Broadway sketch, a Rachel Maddow sketch, and NPH in drag, hard to top that. A good musical guest would have helped, but that’s what the FF button on the remote is for.

  • couchtamale

    Not that I don’t love nearly everything NPH does and says, but in terms of last Saturday’s show being a shining example of gay humor…well, for me, not so much.

    Liza, drag, Broadway, Rent…to be honest, that actually looks like a list of cliches when it comes to gay humor. Each on their own provided some smiles, especially Armisten’s Paul Lynde, but hardly felt like the sharp, newer stuff you can find in gay blogs or in the clubs.

    Kristen Wiig, though, deserves gay icon status…she’s up there in Gilda Radner territory.

  • Adam

    Ditto on the Kristen Wiig love. She is the best thing SNL has going. Love her.

    Also, I feel like the audience didn’t really get what the Fran/Freba sketch was going for. I was howling.

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