Sunday, March 28, 2021

Revisiting 'The Ambiguously Gay Duo' - funny, offensive, or just plain corny?

Editor's note - a frivolous and funny post every now and then never hurts.

A long time ago - to be accurate, in 1996 - when the LGBTQ community was on the cusp of the visibility we have now, Saturday Night Live would run  funny cartoon shorts. Probably the most popular was The Ambiguously Gay Duo.

From Wikipedia:

The Ambiguously Gay Duo is a parody of the stereotypical comic book superhero duo done in the style of Saturday morning cartoons like Super Friends. The characters are clad in matching pastel turquoise tights, dark blue domino masks, and bright yellow coordinated gauntlets, boots and shorts. The shorts were intended to satirize suggestions that early Batman comics implied a homosexual relationship between the eponymous title character and his field partner and protégé Robin, a charge most infamously leveled by Fredric Wertham in his 1954 book, Seduction of the Innocent, the research methodology for which was later discredited. 

The typical episode usually begins with the duo's arch-nemesis Bighead, a criminal mastermind with an abnormally large cranium. Bighead is usually briefing his henchmen on a plot for some grandiose plan for world domination, interrupted by a debate as to whether or not Ace and Gary (The Ambiguously Gay Duo) are gay. Once the crime is in process, the police commissioner calls on the superheroes to save the day, often engaging in similar debates with the chief of police. Ace and Gary set out to foil the evil plan, but not before calling attention to themselves with outrageous antics and innuendo, and behaving in ways perceived by other characters to be stereotypically homosexual . . . 

I found the segments funny at the time they premiered. I still find them a bit hilarious, but less than I originally did. They are interesting to view for the sake of history. But now they strike me as a bit more corny.

I'm curious as to what you think. Please let me know in the comments section below.