Sunday, 3 August 2008

158: Gay Ad - Long Distance

on “Saturday Night Live”, 8 November 1975

It starts with the typical advertising trick of establishing generic associations of warm nostalgia about home life to slop all over the product at hand. There is some syrupy sentimental music which becomes more overpowering as the advert continues.
However rather than a standard Norman Rockwell scenario, we see a young boy standing on a stool, dressed in a green dress, while his mother kneels before him with pins in her mouth making adjustments to the dress.

Voice over: “Remember when you were a little boy and mother would dress you up in her prettiest things. The hours of fun together, sharing secrets and planning elegant little tea parties.”

The camera focuses on the boy’s face (which doesn’t show much to be honest) which then fades to a close-up of a nicely presented young man sat at a sofa. He has a look of pleased remembrance.

Voice-over: “Well, mother is only seconds away when you dial long distance.”

He then picks up a phone and starts dialling. While dialling he is joined by another nicely presented young man, carrying a cup and saucer who sits on the arm of the sofa, crosses his legs and turn his attention to the first, who mouths silently “mother”. Cuts to old woman sewing who picks up a ringing phone by her side. Screen splits so son and boyfiend are on left, and mother on right hand side of screen. Young man sat on the arm of the sofa drinks his tea rather prissily while mother and son talk happily.

Voice over and on-screen slogan – “Long Distance … It’s the next best thing to being her.”


This is from the school that believes as far as homosexuals are concerned “boys will be girls”.

I see that this was one was censored in much more modern and liberal considerate times. Most of the things posted here are one time only. Published in a magazine, broadcast on TV, then never to be thought of again. The intention of these creators is to be paid for the laughs that they raise there and then. At best, the creators pay lip service only to the social standards of their time, or else refute various hypocrisies. Certainly, as working comedians they probably have little sense of responsibility to future generations. That’s why comedy is so powerfully representative of the attitudes of a given time. The idea of being re-printed or re-broadcast is but a vague hope for continuing residual royalties, not an artistic legacy. However Saturday Night Live has now been so long-running that its repeats have become canonical.

This ad parody angered The Gay Activists Alliance during its initial broadcast, and so it was edited out of a late-night classic rebroadcast on NBC in 2005. Suggesting that gay men want to be their mothers is apparently now so offensive as to be unbroadcastable. Of course this does draw upon the longstanding belief that an overly intimate relationship as a child with one’s mother will make one gay. Which is of course a total lie, with not a scrap of verifiable evidence from any homosexuals’ life, either now or at any time in the past. No sirree, I hope that’s clear and no mistake.

But still, you probably know the piece of graffiti: “My mother made me a homosexual” – "If I give her the wool, will she make me one too?"

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