by Adrian Gillan for Bent Gay Sex Shop & Magazine
With Red Nose Day upon us, Bent’s own private joke Adrian Gillan asks queer comedian Bruce Devlin if a gay sense of humour really exists. Try out Bents Top Four Gay Jokes on your mates!
“I suppose there is a gay sense of humour,” pensively contends Bruce Devlin, one of Scotland’s top gay stand-ups and former compere of OOT, the onetime award-winning monthly Scots funny club that used to run in Edinburgh and Glasgow.
“Some of it,” he continues, “involves gay-specific references to the places we visit, sexual behaviour or activities like cruising, or maybe even things to do with fashion and popular culture. It is also about turning around some of the problems we face as a minority group.”
Indeed: a hysterical catharsis of all the barbed jokes we’ve all ever suffered in silence – through direct abuse or via passive compliance. But enough of the substance; what of the style?
“In general,” says Devlin, “gay comedy is quick-witted and acerbic. Not that heterosexual performers are all slow and nice, but these are the most obvious and identifiable traits of gay humour. Naturally, the measure of a good comic is still always going to be whether they make you laugh – regardless of who, or what, they are shagging.”
“Throughout history there must always have been a gay sense of humour since there have always been gay people,” he goes on. “Oscar Wilde had a particularly coded representation of a gay world. With television and the mass media, people like Kenneth Williams suddenly had greater exposure. These often-camp genres were not created by such people, because they’d always been around. But, for the first time, people could put a face to the name since they were in their own homes, on TV every day.”
“However,” Devlin cautions, “remember that many earlier gay comedians, including Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd, were not out. Many suffered because they felt they couldn’t be. Society has since changed and, just as a gay life and lifestyle – through its comparatively recent legality – has become more accepted, it is possible for gay entertainers to be out and for gay comedy to develop openly.”
So what of the audiences? What do straights make of gay comedy?
“Heterosexuals can make an informed choice of what they go and see,” says Devlin. “The likelihood of a hostile straight person taking a wrong turn and ending up at some gay or gay-friendly camp comedy show is pretty slim. Also, gay performers have to make a living like everyone else and the wider the audience group you can work, the more gigs you can do, the more challenging and satisfying it is for you as a comic and – ultimately – the better you become as a performer.”
BOX-OUT: BENT’S TOP FOUR ‘GAY JOKES’…
- GAY GORILLA: Two gay guys are walking through a zoo. They come across the gorillas and, after a while, they notice that the male gorilla seems sexually aroused. One of the men just can’t bear it any longer and reaches into the cage to touch the powerful mammal’s member. The gorilla grabs him, drags him into the cage and mates with him for six hours non-stop. When he’s done, the gorilla throws the man back out of the cage. An ambulance is called and the man is rushed to hospital. Next day his friend visits the ward and asks, “Are you hurt?” “AM I HURT?” he shouts in reply. “Wouldn’t you be? He hasn’t called, he hasn’t written…”
- ALL OUR SONS: Four men go golfing together one day. Three head to the first tee and one goes into the club house to take care of the bill. The three men start talking, bragging about their sons. The first man tells the others, “My son is a home builder and he’s so successful that he gave a friend a new home – for free.” The second man says, “My son was a car salesman and now he owns a multi-line dealership. He’s so successful that he gave a friend two BMWs.” The third man, not wanting to be outdone, brags, “My son is a stock broker and he’s doing so well that he gave his friend an entire stock portfolio.” The fourth man joins them on the tee after a few minutes of taking care of business. The first man mentions, “We were just talking about our sons. How is yours doing?” The fourth man replies, “Well, my son is gay, and he must be pretty good at it: His last three boyfriends gave him a house, two cars and a stock portfolio.”
- BOYS AT DOCTORS: A boy goes into the doctor’s office for a check-up. As he takes off his shirt, the doctor notices a red ”O” on his chest. “How did you get that mark on your chest?” asks the doctor. “Oh, my girlfriend went to Oxford and she’s so proud of it she never takes off her Oxford sweatshirt, even when we make love,” he replies. A couple of days later, another boy comes in for a check-up. As he takes off his shirt, the doctor notices a blue ”Y” on his chest. “How did you get that mark on your chest?” asks the doctor. “Oh, my girlfriend went to York and she’s so proud of it that she never takes off her York sweatshirt, even when we make love,” he replies. A couple of days later, another boy comes in for a check-up. As he takes off his shirt, he notices a green ”M” on his chest. “Did you have a girlfriend who studied in Manchester?” asks the doctor. “No, but my boyfriend went to Warwick – why?”
- BARREL OF LAUGHS: A guy gets a job working in the Shetlands at a remote petrol station. When he gets there he notices that there are no women for hundreds of miles. As soon as he gets the opportunity, he asks his supervisor what they do for women. “Well,” replies the supervisor, “we really have no access to women. If you feel the urge there is a barrel with a hole in it behind the building. You can use the hole.” A few days later the guy is feeling horny and decides to give the hole in the barrel a try. It is the best sex he has ever had. The following day he is talking with his supervisor and tells him that the hole in the barrel was great. “It’s so good I’m going to use it every day,” he exclaims. “Every day but Thursday,” replies the supervisor. “What’s wrong with Thursday?” he asks. “Thursday is your day in the barrel!”
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