Thursday, 14 January 2010

355: Gay Cowboys - The Last Roundup

“At Last the 1948 Show”, 1967
Marty Feldman as 1st Cowboy
Tim Brooke Taylor as 2nd Cowboy

(Two typical cowboys ride on, with the sound of bullets in the distance. While Marty Feldman speaks, Tim Brooke-Taylor is chewing gum and listening with determined and mean expression)

1st Cowboy: C'mon! Posses on our tail! Let's hightail outta here. Iffen we quick, we can cut across dead man's belly over there, (points with gun to emphasise each destination) through cold corpse canyon, cross broken bone mountain, through gallow creek gorge, over there to slaughter rock

2nd Cowboy: (in sissy tones, bursting into big cheerful grin) No! Let’s go the pretty way!
(makes limp wrist gesture with hand holding gun. Then Cowboys ride off)

The heightened grimness of the listed locales of course sets it up for the sissy deflation by Tim Brooke-Taylor. By now Tim Brooke Taylor was regularly playing pansies on Tv and radio.


“Cowboys Love Cowboys Best of All” by Sean Kelly and Peter Elbling

from “National Lampoon’s Disco Beaver” 1978
(Peter Elbling running around as a vampire is part of “Disco Beaver”’s running joke about Dragula, a gay vampire who converts his victim to homosexuality with a bite)

This wistful, rather sweet Country and Western song spins off the lonely situational homosexuality premise.
The last line alludes to Tom Robbins’ 1976 novel “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues”, and there was a spate of songs with same title from 1978-80)

Some cowboys they love rhinestones
Or whips, or guns, or ropes
Some cowboys love a drunken barroom brawl
But when it comes to sitting round the campfire on the prairie
That's when cowboys love cowboys best of all.

Yes, cowboys love cowboys
More than boots or beans or booze
And you all know that's the reason
Even cowgirls get the blues…

It employs none of the swishy, sissy, femme, or perverse stereotypes to be found in these parody gay cowboy songs:


National Lampoon June 1978
“The Preacher Boys’ First Roundup (or, The Preacher Boys Last Roundup) featuring The Appearance, for the First Time Ever in Polite Fiction, of the Honorable Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wilde, Esq., on His Famed Tour of the American West” by Ted Mann
Illustration by Bob Larkin

The appearance of Wilde in this parody of western fiction is actually very straight. Mann largely presents him as Wilde, the lecturer on interior decoration, who has charmed all the local cowboys – which was indeed the historical case. There’s nothing faggy about Mann’s set-up at all. The illustration by Bob Larkin is another matter. That strange overgrown Little Lord Fauntleroy has no correlation to the eminently caricaturable Wilde. Larkin does see fit to grace us with a whole row of very effetely waving cowboys.


“South Park”, August 19, 1998
“Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls”
Written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone & Nancy Pimental

This is part of a larger satire on Hollywood. Earlier in the episode Cartman comprehensively denounces all independent films as being about “Gay cowboys eating pudding”
The others say this, is stupid, but when they go to see an independent film, lo it proves to be true that it is indeed about “Gay cowboys eating pudding” (and read your own innuendo into what “eating pudding” can mean).

Cowboy in Pink: Say, Tom. Do you have any pudding left?

TOM: (slightly fey) I ate all mine up, silly.

Cowboy in Pink: Well then, now what do we do?

Cowboy in Pink: Well, why don't we just explore our sexuality?

Tom: Oh good idea, lets.

(They throw their pudding bowls down, and grab each other)

The first cowboy is of course in pink – whether you want to read more into his facial hair is of course intentionally ambivalent. The second cowboy employs the word “silly”, which has effete/gay connotations in America, and is therefore regularly used by South Park’s stereotypes.
Being a cartoon means that they can get away with pretty much depicting a blowjob

Curiously, pretty much every gay cowboy joke I’ve found has been independent of any Village people allusions or inspiration. Which I suppose is a good thing.

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