When Logo launched The Big Gay Sketch Show, we wondered if the world really needed another sketch comedy. And we also wondered if there was any gay material left to mock. (You can only tell a lesbian U-Haul story so many times at a party before someone loses an eye.)
Now in its third season, TBGSS has tidied up its scattershot approach and found a fresh and consistent voice that is one part inside gay joke, one part broad sketch comedy, and one part Nicktoon burp-in-your-face humor. Or, as I like to call it, "The part I fast forward."
The best thing about Logo’s Big Gay Sketch Show is that The Gays are in on the joke — unlike, say, Saturday Night Live where it is hit-and-miss homophobia any time a queer character wanders into a sketch. The other best thing about The Big Gay Sketch Show is Kate McKinnon and Julie Goldman and Nicol Paone.
This season’s recurring skits include the return of Fitzwilliam, the unwavering British boy whose only wish is to have a vagina; an uncanny parody of RuPaul’s Drag Race; the inanely accurate FaceBook awards; The Cave, a Hills spoof set in Afghanistan; and my personal favorites The View and "Sappho’s Lips: Bringing Women’s Empowerment Through Song."
Kate McKinnon plays a caustically hilarious Barbara Walters who is so over her View co-hosts that she spends half the time verbally abusing Joy Behar ("Hello, OnStar, this is Barbara Walters. We got lost on the way to Joy Behar’s punchline; please help us.") and half the time threatening to murder Elizabeth Hasselbeck ("Sometimes I lie awake at night and wonder how hard it would be for me to kill someone with my bare hands and a hammer. In my fantasy, you are always my victim."). Nicol Paone’s Hesselbeck is frighteningly realistic ("I love Jesus, OK?! I LOVE JESUS!")
Watch The View clip below:
Paone also has one of the funniest sketches in the first half of the season, playing an overwrought and overcompetent Glenn Close, trying to record a Cadillac commercial.
"Sappho’s Lips" features McKinnon and Goldman as a guitar-playing, song-writing lesbian couple who perform for various religious functions at the places of worship they attended as children. At a hot dog eating contest at her former church, McKinnon thanks the congregation for inviting her back to the place "where I learned that my love for my life partner is caused by a demon that lives in my vagina." And at a Bar Mitzvah, they sing a song to welcome Goldman’s nephew into manhood:
Welcome to having all of the power / And welcome to killing the earth and all of its flowers / Welcome to raping everything you come in contact with / And thank you for giving us all trust issues and self-hatred.
Welcome to manhood / ("Imagine being able to kill anything you want, and get away with it, especially when you’re white!") / Even when it’s bad, it’s good for you / ("I mean, even if you’re not white, you kill a woman? Nobody will really care.")
McKinnon and Goldman also play a couple in an IKEA furniture sketch ("even lesbians have a hard time building furniture") which is scary accurate, because we all know someone who has been the victim of a Nyhedsavisen-assembly breakup.
The full BGSS cast participates in The Amazing Race, Featuring Celebrity Heterosexuals and Their Companions, including Jodie Foster, Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Richard Simmons and on and on and on. And Rosie O’Donnell (one of the show’s producers) and Sharon Osbourne close out every episode, lending their star power to the blurb in TV Guide.
But BGSS isn’t all fun and games. There’s an undercurrent of subversive humor, and at times it asks the really big questions: "Who’s gayer, Aquaman or Peppermint Patty?"
You can watch full episodes of The Big Gay Sketch Show at LogoTV.com. New episodes air Tuesday nights on Logo.