Sunday, 14 October 2012

456: Gay American Football 3 - Hudson and Landry: Bruiser LaRue

from “Hudson and Landry – Losing Their Heads”, 1971
written and performed by Bob Hudson and Ron Landry

Hudson is probably Bruiser La Rue and Landry the interviewer.

Hudson and Landry were 2 DJs who became a double-act on Californian radio in the early 1970s. Drive-time radio is a particular phenomenon, and the two were in their late 30s/, early 40s, so their attitudes as shown in other sketches are a little hard to reduce simplistically. California at that time was a strange hybrid of the enormously trendy because of Hollywood and San Francisco, but otherwise it was an enormously conservative, even reactionary, state as proven by its electing Ronald Reagan as governor. The enormously enthusiastic reception of this sketch is coloured further when you take into account that it was recorded at the Pomona National Golf Club – which isn’t quite the typical audience, although I may be making unwarranted assumptions about people who play golf.

So Bruiser LaRue as a name? Is it just the effetness of “LaRue” played off against the manly “Bruiser”, or do I detect a homophony with the oh-so clich├ęd gay name of “Bruce”? Make your own mind up. It starts off as a traditional sports parody, with the rat-a-tat mannerisms of the sports interviewer. This sets up a contrast for the appearance of Bruiser with his slightly histrionic, and lilting and emphatic tones – which are not normal for American men. Bruiser is a big dumb lisping sissy. This sketch gets its mileages from subverting the interview with this character, finding plenty of opportunities for gay jokes prompted by sports terminology. There’s no innuendo, but the performance is camp, lip-smacking, and the actual lines are less than subtle hinting as to what Bruiser is about. And indeed other such slightly off-colour jokes as the Beaver gag. Everybody gets the joke about Bruiser from the beginning.

A couple of interesting, roughly contemporary equivalents of this performances are Alan Sues on Laugh-in, and Jonathan Winters a few years earlier in the 60s – although in each case suggestions of actual homosexuality were more covert.

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INTERVIEWER: Hi, sports fans. Weklcome to Ace Grobny talks with the superstars. Tonight’s guest is the incredible fallback of the Stubenville Studs, Brusier la Rue.

BRUISER: Hhhiiii!! Oh I love your cufflinks!

INTERVIEWER: Bruiser, you were sensational last night.

BRUISER: Oh Ace, that’s So sweet of you to say that

INTERVIEWER: You rushed 253 yards, caught four touchdown passes and picked up three fumbles

BRUISER: And a sailor

INTERVIEWER: Bruiser, what do you enjoy most about football?

BRUISER: Piling on, Ace. Oh I love it. Bodies here, bodies there, bodies, bodies everywhere. Ohhh.

INTERVIEWER: Bruiser, football’sdangerous. Can you think of one game that was actually fun?

BRUISER: Ohhh, I’ll never forget it. We were playing an exhibition game in Argentina. It was against the Gay Caballeros.

INTERVIEWER: The Gay Caballeros?

BRUISER: That’s Right!

INTERVIEWER: Did you score?

BRUISER: Oh great big silly you! Did I score? I ran myself ragged. Ole!

INTERVIEWER: Bruiser, how about running down your career for us. How did it all begin?

BRUISER: Well, Ace, I started out playing kick-the-can in my mother’s high heels. And then of course we went into grade school football. Which was touch football.

INTERVIEWER: Touch?

BRUISER: Which I Dearly loved. Ohhh, if I knew then what I knew now.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, yes…

BRUISER: And then we moved onto junior high. Junior varsity, which was really a blast, because we had all the cheers and everything. .

INTERVIEWER: Ah, yes, the cheers. Can you remember some of those old high school cheers,Bruiser?

BRUISER: Ohhh, you bet, Ace. I’ll be happy to do a couple for ya. “California oranges / Texas cactus / We play East High / Just for practice.” And remember this one: “Ree ree ree / Hit ‘em on the knee / Rass rass rass / (pause) Hit ‘em on the other knee.”

INTERVIEWER: You’ve got to be a football hero to get along with the beautiful girls!

BRUISER: (pause, then slightly offended) Well, different strokes for different folks.

INTERVIEWER: Well, out of all the games you’ve played, Bruiser, vcan you come with what you consider your greatest play?

BRUISER: Ohhh, I certainly can. All of us are prima donnas, Ace. And I remember my one play that I think was just fantastic. I’ll never forget, we were playing against the Bradford Beavers.

INTERVIEWER: The Bradford Beavers?

BRUISER: And I took a hand-off from my quarterback, Sid Tommedge. I went racing around left-hand. And all at once this huge Beaver was staring me right in the face.

INTERVIEWER: A Bradford Beaver?

BRUISER: Yes, ugly! Uggh! And I stopped and I said “Hhhiii! . . . Excuse me, are you a Libra?” Big silly dummy was trying to think it over, and I just scooted around him and tippy-toed in for a touchdown.

INTERVIEWER: Another great moment in sports!

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