As you’ll learn from the the clip above, the 1970s heralded a weird combination of sudden queer cultural visibility and concurrent gay panic. This phenomenon occasionally played itself out on network variety-show sketches, like this one starring old-school insult-comic Don Rickles and Get Smart‘s Don Adams.
Source: Everything is Terrible
The fuck did I just watch?
Ok, a bit off topic, but it still deals with TV.
Here goes. I am watching a movie on LOGO, you know, the GAY network, and in the movie, they bleeped out the word BOTTOM!
WTF??! A gay network that bleeps out the word BOTTOM?!?!?!?!?
You almost make it sound like this kind of comedy is a relic of the past. There’s still plenty of this kind of humor in Hollywood
Pete n SFO
Well, it is super-dumb, but after the swap Swishy-Lester is also now mockingly butch as well.
The 70s were just odd, though IMO mostly in a good way. About gays? Not so much. In 70s movies gays and psychotic killer were pretty much synonymous.
There are some exceptions though. In The Celluloid Closet one of the actors remembers asking director Nicholas Roeg why his character is gay in The Man Who Fell To Earth. Roeg answered “Because there are gay people.” Of course the gay couple in that movie are killed, but at least it’s not BECAUSE they’re gay.
And Norman, Is That You? has lots of gay stereotypes in it but it’s also a surprisingly accepting film. By the end of the movie Red Foxx has become friends with his son’s gay partner and is planning to stand by him while his son completes the military service he signed up for because his parents reacted so badly to his coming out. Not perfect, but still a hell of a lot better than the dreadful “Partners” with Ryan O’Neal and John Hurt.
We could do with more gay psycho killers in movies again, instead of the horrifically dull gay characters we get these days.
That clip is horrible, but I’m not sure it’s worse than no gay people on TV at all – I think Harvey Fierstein argues in The Celluloid Closet that any visibility is better than none (“visibility at any cost”)…
What disturbs me isn’t so much the stereotype (it’s a variety show, that’s what they deal in,) but the way the others react to him.
Well, it certainly is funny, because it just plays on every stereotype and fear and mental image that’s imaginable. But it’s not really “offensive” as it is schlock, and in fact, it might well be poking good fun at the “gay problem” by pointing out the ridiculousness of worrying about us and how even a machine is not going to do much.
Meanwhile, in the real world, there are many who wish they had such a machine, and some of them are running for president.
But you know, the actual comedy isn’t at all different from what we see from gay comics or gay comedy movies — we just play they stereotype better is all. Admit it — you’ve heard every one of those jokes a hundred times from gays.
Furthermore, the skit is actually pretty harmless, and in fact rather accepting of gays. No innuendo that gays are pedophiles, or out to destroy marriage or civil society. If anything, the gay man is seen as perfectly acceptable to the doctor and the nurse. He doctor doesn’t threaten the gay man or appear offended in any way. Even the dummy finally becomes gay, and implicitly accepts it, and no one thinks that is somehow bad, just funny. And when the gay man channells John Wayne, it’s viewed as just as silly , stereotypical of straight and over the top.
Jack E. Jett
Jake the libertarian
Don Rickles is the man. An equal opportunity offender for whom nobody is off limits. I wouldn’t want to make gays off limits either… Having said that, the vast majority of the people on this site seem to be professionally offended, thin skinned, whiny, limp wristed bitches with no senses of humor whatsoever. Give ’em hell Don!
Strangely enough, I thought the sketch was cute.
I should be outraged, I should feel insulted.
Instead, the sketch was cute.
Hilarious, Don Rickles is a total hoot.
Today is September 3, 2011. Does anyone know whether or not the Bummer has evolved yet?
I’m not offended by the stereotypes. Rarely am. I’m only offended by the fact that the machine “cures” his homosexuality, since it’s a mental disorder.
But hey, that’s the 70’s. It was a different time.
I still laughed at the over-the-top femme stereotypes, though 🙂
Don Rickles is Marcus Bachmann.
Apparently, they turned the straight guy into a fussy metrosexual and the old queen into a John Wayne butch type who wants to take Maxwell Smart out to a leather bar and eat his wood.
the actor playing the gay guy is Murray Langston, aka The Unknown Comic on The Gong Show.
Don Rickles used to be worse than Dennis Miller. He has softened in his golden years.
Politically Incorrect Thug
@ewe: Hey now, don’t be trashing Miller. I’ll toss a house on your other sister, too.
@Politically Incorrect Thug: Don’t be telling me what to do thugly. Yo Mama this Yo Daddy that Yo sista here Yo brotha there.
Btw did you ever find your dog Bummer? I can only make an assumption so i recant if im wrong. 😉
@iDavid: I think he’s still at Marthas Vineyard.
Who is “Bummer”?
@iDavid: your president who says he is in the endless process of evolving.
@iDavid: The Bummer is holding out your equality like a dangling carrot in front of you until he gets in for a second term where he will proceed to “evolve” and shit on you like Clinton (our first black president) did.
Oh THAT dog. Haha ok.
I was a bit taken aback when I saw the Bush $10T debt had increased to $14.5T since he took office.
Why can’t everyone see this skit for what it was in the 70’s–Funny as hell and actually pushing limits.
Is it just me, or is the homophobia depicted here more mature and balanced than today’s homophobia. At least they TRIED to make a bit or two out of it, instead of Adam Corolla or Jay Leno or whatever just standing there Beavis and Butthead style, thumb-up-his-ass, going “that’s so gay! butt secks! cock sucking!” while the canned audience roars.
Of course nobodies offended, he’s white.
@Aiden: Do not even go there. Eddie Murphy built a career out of gay jokes in addition to jokes about every group of people under the sun, including his own. He, too, was an equal opportunity offender (the shitty kiddie films he’s been making since the 1990s are more offensive). If you want to offend, either go all out and offend everyone or don’t bother.
This is just too silly to get offended over. And it’s obviously edited so that it can look worse than it is, removing that wonderful thing called “context,” which Everything is Terrible does its best to remove. They can’t create anything, so tearing down mediocre, long-forgotten videos they found for a nickel at the thrift shop makes them feel like they matter. Welcome to the Age of Snark: when you can’t build something, tear down something else instead.
@Adman: Beavis and Butt-Head were a mirror image of the people watching it. Needless to say, it went over their heads, like the bigots who thought Archie Bunker was validating their views, and the professionally offended who seemed to believe that, too.
@Queer Supremacist: Speaking of context, do you understand canned laughter and it’s many uses in the perpetuating of shitty entertainment? Do you know it’s role in providing context, especially to a pre-screened audience? Some comedy makes great use of it, most, not so much. It’s on TV, of course the context is tightly scripted as much if not more than the lines themselves. So what? Are you mirroring the perpetually offended for humor here? Didn’t think so, but then you’re a stupid douche. It happens.
Is this blackface for gays???
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