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A 'must-see' according to Agape Press – Inside TV Land: Tickled Pink


Is there anyone who didn’t think Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde) was queer as the day is long? Two commenters remembered one of my favorite game show queens, Charles Nelson Reilly.

[UPDATE: I’m moving this one back up since I want to hear more from you all about the (actual or seemingly) queer characters you’ve noted in TV or the movies.]

I love reading the wingnuttery at Agape Press. They don’t realize how helpful they are in getting the word out on upcoming queer programming. Now I can set my DVR to record this program.

.A one-hour special soon to air on Nick at Nite’s “TV Land” network will examine how homosexuals have influenced and reacted to various television shows, characters, and celebrities over the last 40 years. On June 1, the cable network will premier Inside TV Land: Tickled Pink, a show focusing on celebrated TV shows, characters and personalities that homosexuals have closely identified with or gravitated towards and why. A Viacom.com article on the special quotes TV Land/Nick at Night president Larry Jones as saying that many of the shows and characters mainstream America has embraced — from Uncle Arthur on “Bewitched” to the women of “Sex & the City” — have “also meant a great deal to gay Americans,” a group whose members, Jones says, “have had their own way of watching and creating classic comedy.” Produced for TV Land by Linda Ellerbee’s Lucky Duck Productions, the 60-minute special will feature commentary from such show business notables as Sandra Bernhard, Kelsey Grammer, Rue McClanahan, Diahann Carroll, Bruce Vilanch, and others. Ellerbee, an outspoken journalist, author, and former NBC News Overnight co-anchor, has recently been the host of Nick News, a “kid’s issues” TV program on Nickelodeon.

There’s an encore presentation that night at 2 a.m.

***

Who were your favorite coded “homosensational” characters on TV (or for that matter, the movies)?

I’ll toss one in the ring, from the movies — Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker, Jr.) from Hitchcock’s Stranger on a Train (1951). It’s barely veiled that Walker’s character has an unhealthy attraction/obsession with Farley Granger’s tennis pro character Guy Haines. He’s even willing to kill for him. Of course if a character could be seen as remotely queer in the movies of that time, you had to be evil and die, or you were seen as the screaming queen (a la Franklin Pangborn), or a bull-dyke warden in any number of women-in-prison films, the earliest and most subtle being Hope Emerson’s Evelyn Harper in Caged (1950).


Walker (R) gives his finest (and penultimate) performance as psychopath Bruno trying to get tennis star Granger to “exchange murders.”

Hitch definitely had issues, as Mrs Danvers in Rebecca (Judith Anderson) as well as James Mason’s villainous Phillip Vandamm in North By Northwest are easily read as queer.

Have at it!

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding