1. EchtKultig says

    There were some bad skits, but overall I think it was one of the best SNLs I’ve seen in a long time. Not just because it was gay themed. The writing seemed more incisive. The ridiculousness of gay conversion camps is perhaps more bountiful material to work with than Melissa McCarthy’s fatness, which is all her episode seemed to be about.

    Also loved Weekend Update’s very relevant Oh REALLY segment.

  2. EchtKultig says

    Miles(?), maybe Bill Hader had a cold. Seriously, if you want to say SNL is homophobic you’d also have to say it’s antiblack, anti suburban white, anti south bostonian, anti Republican, anti-liberal…am I done yet? Frankly though Stefon was amusing I welcome his “retirement” (well, until the 12 months it took Kristen Wiig to return as a guest…) It seemed a stereotypical, shopworn character, about 10-12 years behind its time. (I remember gay men like that when I somewhat more frequently visited NYC in the late 90s, early 2000s: I was in NYC the weekend before 9/11 to see british musician Matthew Herbert) My point is not that such people don’t and won’t always exist, but there would be more modern portrayals of an urban gay man that could be just as funny. Might I suggest a gay tiger dad who yearns to have over-achieving children?

  3. Michael Bedwell says

    Do forgive my homo heresy while much of the gay Netscape is typically cooing about the three, count them, THREE “gay” SNL skits last night, but each followed their decades-old, moldly, paint-by-numbers Formula for The Gays. The Xanax for gay weddings, while employing the variable, “Not Like You & Me, Mr. & Mrs. America,” was passable, but the remaining two were built upon their more common “Gay as Freak” math, though, yes, I guess we should be thankful they didn’t resurrect the “Gay as Sexual Predator” variable most famously portrayed years ago, and in Best Of SNL specials reruns, by lusting Boy Scout Master Alex Baldwin. Stefon, need one say, has been their Resident Flaming Fag—who, OF COURSE, wore a BRIDAL veil at his wedding, and, OF COURSE, there was a gay football player guest too busy putting on more lipstick to pay attention to the ceremony. And as Ben Affleck was the only one in his skit [besides his character’s straight wife] who was not stereotypical to the point of cartoon freak like the “gay kids” he was addressing and his ex-lover complete with tacking ostrich feather fans, we’re guessing, as The Repressed Gay, he refused to do something like Jake Gyllenhaal was too clueless to reject years ago when he was guest host. Just like Oscar voters, the Hipper Than Thou SNL producers weren’t ready for nonstereotypical gay people, so in his opening bit as host some may remember they had him saying he wanted to give a special thank you to all the fans of “Brokeback Mountain,” at which point he tore off his suit to reveal he was wearing a black strapless evening gown, donned a wig, and launched into a falsetto [of course] version of “And I Am Telling….” That would have been fine if he’d just appeared in “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” but…. Yes, yes, yes, the show is all about The Mock of all kinds of people. But in virtually every skit about gays—which IMAGINE themselves, and are repeatedly received as, pro gay—the underlying message is that BEING gay IS a joke. Sorry, my calendar reads 2013 not 1953, and I see no reason to applaud anyone’s gay version of Minstrel Shows.

  4. Mile says

    Thank you Michael Bedwell! My prob with snl has been throughout the years and not the somewhat gay inclusive stuff of late. BUT the newer stuff still goes for the tired limpwristed gay stereotypes to get a cheap joke. It is very lazy writing.

  5. Michael Bedwell says

    Yes, Kile, I do, particularly given they’ve never introduced any OTHER kind of gay character to the show. Class, can you say, “Pepper”? On top of that, I don’t believe they’ve ever kissed, and, strangest of all, have not only not married [yes, they could travel to a state, as so many do, where they could marry],but have referred to each other at times as only “boyfriend.” Dated. Tired. Cowardly. Funny? Sure, just like Franklin Pangborn and Stepin’ Fetchit were.

  6. EchtKultig says

    Bedwell et al,
    You have a point but I’m sure there are black people who cringe every time Kenan Thompson plays Al Sharpton…so what? An element of stereotyping has been part of the landscape of stage humor since Moliere. If you think that’s wrong…fine…go a quixotic crusade against it that few will understand. Frankly I found the portrayal of the gay wedding you found passable to be the most odious of the skits. Why, really, should gay weddings induce anxiety in straight people? Seemed very forced to me.

    I do agree that years ago some of SNL’s skits appeared to be coming from a place of genuine disdain for gays. I don’t think that’s the case anymore, except in the very general sense I already mentioned. “Stefon” is more much about lampooning the underground scenesters in NYC than it is about gays in general.

  7. Dastius Krazitauc says

    Michael Bedwell, very well said! I felt the gay humor was a throwback to gay portrayals of 1975. I imagine the director giving direction to the “gay kids” at camp, saying, “You’re playing GAY, see, you need to flap your hands around more and make silly faces. Otherwise, people won’t know you’re gay. And when you’re GAY gay, it’s so much funnier”.

    In Stefon’s wedding skit, I cringed at the wedding veil. I guess the veil could be attributed to Elaine’s veil in “The Graduate”, which they were sending up. And the oddballs in the pews were from Stefon’s strange nightclub world, so I could see that. But the football player putting on lipstick really pissed me off. It was lazy humor from decades ago.

    It all reminded me of SNL’s track record with “gay” as funny in and of itself, like with the odious “Gays in Space”.

  8. says

    Well, what’s funny to one person isn’t to another, what’s offensively stereotypical to one person is affectionate parody to another. Some use partner, some hate it and use boyfriend instead. Not everyone likes husband. Guess what? There’s no prescription. It’s all personal taste.

    Personally, I loved the Stefon character and this skit, with its celebration of Stefon-approved freaks, and thought it was a perfect farewell, funny and even a bit touching. And, though it wasn’t one of the “gay” skits–I loved the Herpes bag bit with the tired porn girls, though I suppose some might find that insensitive to female porn stars. To each his own–yet the dreary and humorless always want to lecture others on what they simply MUST find offensive.

  9. Kieran says

    Let me ask the gay people here a question. If you were a 13 year old boy watching these “gay” SNL skits with your friends or family last night, would it make you want to “come out” as gay to them? Do we really wonder why the most popular expression of school kids today is “that’s SOO gay!” when we have SNL peddling the worst negative stereotypes about gay people for the usual cheap laughs?

  10. says

    i dunno. i was a pretty darn gay kid, and i came from a family that not only never said anything anti-gay, ever, but also had no problem with gay people at all, no matter how “stereotypical” some may deem them to be.

    you say “worst negative stereotypes” – articulate with specifics, please. the specifics of what makes them inherently negative.

    kthanks 😀

  11. Aussie Steve says

    Wouldn’t it be nice if people in Australia could actually watch these clips instead of being told they’re not available for my region? I’ve never been able to see these clips to see how good they are.

  12. says

    dear folks with an issue about Gay Portrayals – please help a brother out by showing yourself via video so we can see exactly what type you’d like to see, which i assume is the type that you think you are.

    thanks in advance.

  13. Sam says

    Agree with Kiernan. The “joke” in a lot of SNL skits is that gays are weird, and 2 dudes together is itself gross and funny. That is the premise of 90% of Andy Samberg’s gags. I note that there was no kiss at the end of the Weekend Update skit. That is because the joke had already been made – gay wedding as freak show. If they had written in a kiss, it would have been played for gross-out laughs.

    These skits are presented as being oh-so-hip about homosexuality, but in substance, they are no different from anti-gay garbage that would run on TV in the 70s.

  14. Michael Bedwell says

    two weeks after the biggest story in professional sports was Jason Collins having the courage to come out—yet SNL felt it necessary to seed the Stefon wedding guests with a black football player putting on more makeup? [I guess they would have made him a basketball player but sitting down his basketball jersey would have been less obvious that the football jersey and shoulder pads.] Sorry, Cool Jewels, but in 2013 still trades on Gays Are Freaks messaging. Yes, I’m sure they all have gay friends, and wouldn’t vote against gay rights but they’re telling those in their audience who would it’s okay to feel superior. And, BRAVO, Kieran for articulating the larger point—the “negative” image it sends to emerging gay kids who aren’t yet sophisticated enough to know that it’s the judgment that being a fem male or a butch female [see end of Xanas for Gay Weddings skit] that’s wrong not the characteristics themselves. In no way does SNL “say” “different” is OK—they “yell” again and again “different” is to be laughed at. Nor do they “say” there are all types of gays. Yes, the mock black stereotypes, too, but they also have “acceptable” black characters, too. If they’ve ever done a skit in which just being gay is “the joke,” I’ve never seen it.

  15. petensfo says

    1. The humor of Stefon doesn’t come from the fact that he’s gay, it’s teasing about the wackiness of NYC club scene.
    2. As Dastius pointed out, the veil in the wedding scene is a TOTAL nod to The Graduate; watch the movie.
    3. Take note; Stefon is ‘involved’ w/ Seth Meyers & Andy Cooper, but it’s not played as ‘that’s unbelievable’.
    4. The Xanex ad stems from people’s jealousy about gays & their friends, straight & gay, that just seem to always be having a better time than YOU. lol
    My point is… you can build whatever case you want, but there’s A LOT of progress in those little segments.
    I hope Stefon & Seth get to share some quality time again this summer at The Pines. :)

  16. says

    Amen, @petensfo.

    I didn’t see gayness as being the ultimate punch line in any of those skits. With Stefon, it’s more skewering club-scene craziness than the fact that he’s gay; with the ex-gay camp, it’s skewering the idea that gayness is changeable (and some so-called ex-gay success stories may as well have been wearing wings, herein lies the true joke); and with the wedding skit, well, is the fact that some gay men can put on a good extravaganza such an awful thing? (Seeing some of the wedding posts on Towleroad as compared to my own wedding in my dining room, I’ve felt much like the straight folks in the skit.)

    In other words, it all depends on the lens with which you’re viewing the show–I’ve found SNL skits offensive at times, and definitely not funny at other times, but not so much these. Thought it was one of their more successful shows of late, which may not be saying a whole lot, since some really suck.

    It is true that SNL has an abysmal track record of hiring gay people. They could use some gay writers and cast members (more than the one lesbian now), though even if they did it’s no guarantee that people wouldn’t be crying awful-stereotype.

  17. says

    Ernie, well said. Let’s remember – nuance is lost on many. There are people that watch satirical programming and totally don’t even GET that it’s satire!

    I can’t wait for insecure gay men to get over their fears of “stereotypes” already.

    No gay portrayal has ever pleased all gay audiences. Folks carped about Will & Grace, Queer as Folk, Brothers & Sisters, Six Feet Under, The New Normal, Glee, Modern Family, and on and on and on.

    what does it seem to be? that some people still view their own gayness through the prism of an ignorant straight man’s ideals.

    best of luck to y’all who still live that way.

  18. Dastius Krazitauc says

    LittleKiwi, have you ever seen The Celluloid Closet? The use of gay stereotypes goes much farther back than the 1990s, and they were served up specifically for straight audiences to laugh at or be repulsed by. And it feels like whenever SNL has a gay sketch, they still throw in those stereotypes for easy laughs (did we really need the lecherous camp cook?). More than anything, I think it is lazy comedy writing and directing. That said, I do think most of the SNL audience was laughing WITH us (although I’m not sure about the woman in the audience who said, “Oh, no!” as Ben Affleck’s mouth was nearing Taran Killam’s).

  19. Dastius Krazitauc says

    “If they’ve ever done a skit in which just being gay ISN’T “the joke,” I’ve never seen it.”

    There was an excellent sketch once, in the early 90’s. It was surprisingly sweet and poignant, and equally surprising, it was a solo by Adam Sandler. Adam was having dinner with his “mother”. He was sitting at a table covered with a red and white checked tablecloth, and he looked and spoke to the camera which represented his mother’s viewpoint. He tells his mother he has something to tell her, and he ends up coming out to her. I only saw it that once, but have never forgotten it. Does anyone else remember that?

  20. says

    of course i’ve seen The Celluloid Closet, but unlike a great many gay men, I don’t walk around today worrying what the straight people will think of me.

    there are a great many things about me that would be, and are by many, considered to be “stereotypically gay” – luckily for me, they’re things i rather enjoy.


  21. says

    I imagine Kiwi has seen The Celluloid Closet. If we were still in the times chronicled in it (and it’s a wonderful history for anyone who hasn’t seen it), all the gay characters would have been dead by the end of the show, and Mitch and Cam would have been closeted and hung themselves–after one of them ratted on the other for being gay–by Episode 2 of Modern Family. I certainly agree, however, that SNL is often guilty of lazy writing, in their gay sketches and in most everything they do.

    I’d be interested to see the Adam Sandler bit–I find him virtually unwatchable, so it would be nice to think he’s less horrid than I’d thought all these years.

  22. Another Bill says

    Did anyone hear the recently (Friday, May 18, 2013) re-run interview of Bill Hader by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air”? I was kind of appalled at what impressed me as homophobia on the part of Hader. Gross played a clip of a Hader pre-SNL routine of playing a talk show host named Vinnie or something doing an impression of Gregory Peck in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Vinnie” said something like, “Scout, you’re a tomboy. When you grow up, you’ll be a bulldyke.” Gross then kind of laughed it off. Har dee har har. Maybe the point was the Vinnie is supposed to be crude. But I didn’t find it funny; I thought it was quite awful, in fact. The discussion otherwise about the development of Stefon made me uncomfortable. I do think that with Stefon the fact that “Stefon is gay,” period, is a big part of the joke. I gather that Hader generally doesn’t give a sh*t about gay people.

    Young people “learn” from Saturday Night Live (as I did myself in the 1970s) — and I think that’s unfortunate.

  23. Kieran says

    The really funny part about all this is that GLAAD will likely wind up giving Lorne Michaels an award for being an “ally” of the gay community. With “friends” like this who needs enemies?

  24. Tim says

    For those of you who are outside the US and can’t see these clips, if you are using Firefox or Chrome as your browser, just get the ‘Media Hint’ free no-fuss add-on for your browser. Works great!

  25. leprechaunvict says

    Tim– thanks, that’s awesome, it works!

    So, now that I’ve seen them, must say neither sketch is homophobic, people need to lighten up. Also– that wedding had everything: gurmfs, menorah the explorer, jupids, a guy that looks like urkel, human traffic cones… lol

  26. Caliban says

    I don’t know. Why does SNL have to always hit the gay stereotypes so hard? Other than Affleck (who to his credit I think would have refused to play it stereotypically unless it served a, you know, POINT) you’ve got a semi-drag queen with ostrich fans and a beaded ripped shirt singing a disco “anthem” and the black guy licking a lollipop in a suggestive manner. Why do I feel that gays are being mocked just as much as the “ex-gay” movement? And SNL does this EVERY time they do a skit involving gay people.

    And it’s not that I think drag queens don’t exist or shouldn’t exist or anything like that. It’s just lazy writing and bad comedy IMO. It would be like if every time they had a black character on they talked like Amos and Andy, bulged their eyes out and said things like “Feets, don’t fail me now!”

    They were obviously doing a parody of The Graduate so I’ll give them a pass on Stefon wearing a bridal veil, even though probably 80+% of SNL’s audience has never seen The Graduate and half of them nudged each other and crowed “He’s wearing a veil! That’s just how THOSE PEOPLE are!”

    I’m sick of it and gave up on SNL a LONG time ago.

  27. Mike says

    SNL writers write for the mainstream and they seem to love to please the “fratboy mentality” across much of the USA. Instead of writing intelligent comedy that could challenge much of the audience, they pander to it. Lazy and lame.

  28. millerbeach says

    Very funny…it has been too long for me to say something like that about SNL. This one they hit out of the park. Bravo, Stephan…you make me laugh! :)

  29. dex says

    The football player in lipstick is actually a reference to a previous Stefon bit, as are the rest of the guests on his side of the cathedral–they’re all patrons of the hot NYC clubs he’s always giving the scoop on.

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