Dom DeLuise, Never the Straightman



Dom DeLuise passed away yesterday. He was a player in many of the important comedies of my childhood, from Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I to Cannonball Run.

He regularly played the sissy -- the feminized fraidy cat -- and allowed the other leads to play it, ahem, straight. I have no idea whether he was gay or not, but his on-screen relationship with Burt Reynolds was definitely bromantic.

His passing gives me reason to post the Blazing Saddles clip above, where the western brawl spills over to the other Hollywood sets.

As usual, I ask Gay Guy to let me know if I am "laughing at" or "laughing with" when it comes to exploitive gay humor. Brooks' comedies are about as broad as they get, always cashing in on stereotypes. But in this case, at least the chorus line seems to get the best of the cowboys, no?

--Straight Guy

5 comments:

Straight in Upstate said...

GG,
Does context make a difference? Is Brooks less exploitive/ offensive because he makes fun of everyone in one movie? or is that straight rationalization?

Anonymous said...

I just watched the clip with my 11 year-old son and we both LOAO! It's dated yes, but Brooks makes fun "with" everyone. My son has seen most of Blazing Saddles and understands the humor and why it is funny in that context and not funny in other contexts. I loathe the term "faggot" when used by anyone, especially the gays, as much as I loathe the term nigger when used by anyone, including African-Americans; both of which occur in Blazing. That said, these days, there are many acceptable ways to entertain and make people laugh wholeheartedly with each other by using different words to get the same scene.

BTW, Dom's son plays the father on Disney's Wizard of Waverly Place. Another favorite of my son....

Kathryn said...

What a wonderful clip! Definitely more guy-humor, though. Why does it seem like we've lost so many celebrities lately?

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