Friday, 27 April 2012

384: Stars Wars 3

“Queer Wars”
Cheech and Chong

Gay Star Wars a la Cheech and Chong. There are at least three somewhat different versions of this sketch for your pleasure by Cheech and Chong: live performance, album, and film.

The version which most obviously starts as a Star Wars parody is the one on their 1980 album, “Let’s Make a New Dope Deal”. It opens with the following narration, which the other two versions seem to lack:

“A long, long time ago in a far-out Galaxy, somewhere around the year 2003 FM, there existed a pink planet which was inhabited by a most gay community and ruled by the popular actor-model-decorator-and-gossip-columnist Rex the Turd, otherwise known as Wex Da Toid. He was a bitchy Sagittarius and a drag out of drag, but a most kindly ruler, and life on this pink planet was fabulous: parties every night, steam baths, dancing at the discos, slave auctions, qualudes, grass, and cocaine was the order of the day. However, one day this idyllic paradise was threatened by the evil witch, Anita - ruler of the orange planet, Navel. Anita and her followers the dreaded Paranoids feared the pink planet and wanted to destroy it, wipe it from the galaxy, or at least move it out of the downtown area. But their efforts are being thwarted by our heroes, Lukie Streetwalker and his faithful companion, Dougie.

"Bum Productions along with the Kids Across the Hall Present:

"Queer Wars

"We find our Glad-e’ate-ums, Lukie and Dougie, at home in their apartment planning a surprise attack on the orange planet.”

So: topical references with the gay metropolitan clubbing lifestyle (heavy on the drug elements – this is Cheech and Chong, after all) and Anita Bryant, the orange juice spokeswoman’s family values campaign.

From there all three versions proceed into the whining, neurotic, over-emotional, petulant camp stereotype which is the late 70s /early 80s comedic formula for gay couples: are they lovers or just roommates going out to a disco – see also National Lampoon’s “Christopher Street” sketch and Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscapo in the Saturday Night Live “Dion and Blair” sketches . That the Tommy Chong character needs constant reassurance that he’s not too old, fat or wrinkled may be some sort of carry over from the characters in “la Cage Aux Folles” which was very successful as a film in 1978.

One line that’s only on the album version. Chong is complaining about his hair,
Cheech: Put some Crisco on it
Chong: (bitterly) That’s your answer to everything.

Live, 1978
I suspect they were proudest of the various gags built around the dildos as guns idea.

“Still Smokin” - 1983
In this film version, somehow the cliché that gay men dress flamboyantly has become gay men dress like circus clowns – more visual I suppose. A gays and Liza Minelli on drugs reference which may only be 6-8 years old at this point. And again, dildos appear, here used as depilators and deodorants.

No comments: