Logo Network Unveils 'Big Gay Sketch Show'

A new comedy program — The Big Gay Sketch Show — debuts Tuesday night on the gay-themed cable network Logo. The show adds a gay subtext to TV classics such The Honeymooners and The Facts of Life.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALEX CHADWICK, host:

This is DAY TO DAY from NPR News. I'm Alex Chadwick.

ALEX COHEN, host:

And I'm Alex Cohen.

Attention, Rosie O' Donnell fans: If your daily Rosie dose on "The View" just isn't enough, we've got news for you. Rosie's got a new outlet for her bold sense of humor. She's the executive producer of a series starting tonight on the cable channel Logo. The program is called "The Big Gay Sketch Show."

Our small, straight TV critic Andrew Wallenstein has this review.

ANDREW WALLENSTEIN: Can a straight man enjoy gay comedy? Maybe that's a stupid question. After all, funny is funny, right? And to my surprise, "The Big Gay Sketch Show" is very funny.

Now you might be thinking, isn't it sort of homophobic to say I found it surprising? It's as if I'm insinuating that because it's gay humor, it's somehow less humorous. But that's just it: "Big Gay Sketch" is not meant for a heterosexual like me. It's on the Logo, after all, a gay-themed network. But I still really dug this show.

As you'd expect from a brash comedienne like O' Donnell, "Big Gay Sketch" does not soft-pedal its central theme. Its irreverence rings loud and clear from the very first sketch.

(Soundbite of TV show, "The Big Gay Sketch Show")

Unidentified Woman #1: Do you wish you had a gay friend like the grownups you see on TV, but you're not quite old enough yet?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman: Well, wait no more. Meet Pocket Gay Friend.

(Singing) Look in your pocket, what do you spy? Your very own little G-A-Y. Your Pocket Gay Friend, gay friend on the go, your little gay friend, (unintelligible).

(Soundbite of laughter)

WALLENSTEIN: It's weird. One second I'm laughing at the show, and the next, I'm feeling guilty. That's because "Big Gay Sketch" pokes fun at every gay stereotype there is, which is fine when you're in on the joke. But as an outsider, I almost felt like I didn't have a right to laugh.

On the flipside, I found myself watching and bracing myself. What if "Big Gay Sketch" trained its sharp comic eye on my straight brethren? If I laughed, was I some kind of sell out?

But "Big Gay Sketch" has too much fun mocking its target audience to bother with how the other half lives. The closest it comes is an occasional re-imagining of classic TV shows. In this sketch, "The Honeymooners" is revisited in slightly altered form.

Unidentified Woman #2: Rhonda Kramden.

Unidentified Woman #3: Humina, humina, humina, humina, humina.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #2: Where do you think you're going?

Unidentified Woman #3: Don't start with me, Alice. I'm just here to get my bowling ball.

Unidentified Woman #2: Well, why don't I go with you? You never take me anywhere, Rhonda Kramden.

Unidentified Woman #3: Alice? You know we can't be seen together. Someone at the bowling alley might think I'm a lesbian.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #2: Oh yeah? Well, if that's what you're worried about, then I suggest you find a bowling alley for the blind.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Unidentified Woman #3: You're a riot, Alice. A regular riot.

WALLENSTEIN: Now wait a second. Imagine you saw that skit outside the Logo network. Would that seem funny or offensive? If anything, "Big Gay Sketch" underscores the importance of context for comedy, a timely lesson in this post-Imus era.

I also hope "Big Gay Sketch" prompts viewers who have never sampled Logo to give it a chance. I learned just because a TV program is on a gay-themed channel doesn't mean it's just for gays. A show this good deserves a much wider audience.

COHEN: Andrew Wallenstein is an editor with the Hollywood Reporter.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.