Monday, 17 December 2007
28 - "Gay": Fry and Laurie
from “A Bit of Fry and Laurie”, 26 December, 1987
Fry and Laurie sketches have a tendency to be very word obsessed, and there is also a delight in slipping in real or make-believe vulgarities. So the sketch is a typical premise, where two fusty “Dail Mail”-type readers spout ever more graphic homosexual descriptions while wistfully reminiscing about some nostalgic English past.
However this satirising of those who get het up about the loss of the lovely word “gay” does take place against a rather nastier background. The latter part of 1987 saw the build-up of rhetoric about Section 28, and various weasel-words about what place gays should be allowed to take in society. Talk about reclaiming the word "gay" is really as much a wish that that we didn't have anything to call homosexuals so they couldn't even be identified and we wouldn't have to talk about them (oh, why can't they just go away).