Friday, August 07, 2009

Know your lgbt history - In Living Color

In Living Color was a groundbreaking sketch comedy show that appeared on Fox in the late 1980s. It was the first of its kind because it was an urban show focusing on the African-American community.

Nowadays, it's remembered as the show that launched the careers of actor Jim Carrey and the Wayans family (Shawn, Keenan, Marlon, Kim, and Damon).

It's probably also remembered for its sketch comedy characters such as Homey the Clown and the Men on . . . series.

The Men on . . . series featured two extremely flamboyantly gay black men espousing their opinions on various subjects while making sure to lace their conversation with sexual double entendres.

I will be honest with you. The first sketch segment of the Men On . . . series (Men on Films - seen in the first clip) left me laughing so hard that tears were running down my eyes. Of course I was a freshman in college and years away from admitting my true sexual orientation:

However, like with all sketch comedy shows, when segments become popular, they continue to be shown to the point of being beaten to death. That was a huge problem with the Homey the Clown segment. Yes we know that he is a militant black man forced to debase himself as a clown for "The Man." It was funny the first and second time.

But the tenth time, it got annoying. And so did the Men On . . . series. Especially considering that the show made the two characters so damned broadly stereotypical that they began to be seen as insults to the lgbt community, as this Men on Football segment demonstrates:

Past Know Your LGBT History postings:

Know your lgbt history - Cleopatra Jones and her lesbian drug lords

Know your lgbt history - Norman, Is That You?

Know your lgbt history - The 'Exotic' Adrian Street

Know your lgbt history - The Choirboys

Know your lgbt history - Eddie Murphy

Know your lgbt history - The Killing of Sister George

Know your lgbt history - Hanna-Barbera cartoons pushes the 'gay agenda'

Know your lgbt history - Cruising

Know your lgbt history - Foxy Brown and Cleopatra Jones

Know your lgbt history - I Got Da Hook Up

Know your lgbt history - Fright Night

Know your lgbt history - Flowers of Evil

The Jeffersons and the transgender community

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Bill S said...

I sometimes think straight men play gay characters so broadly over-the-top (Even the most flamboyant queens don't act like Blaine and Antoine) so viewers won't think they're gay.
What bothered me about these sketches is that in addition to caricatured mannerisms, they were also deeply misogyinist. It was a straight man's idea of what a gay man would say.
Is "Minstrel" too strong a word?
Or maybe I could sum up this recurring bit the way they did: "Hated it!"

BlackTsunami said...

So true, Bill about the misogyny. In some sketches, they refer to women as "fish."

Scott said...

'In Living Color' was a good show......

but I prefer the black rock group Living Colour - their first 2 albums are still favorites of mine! LOL