Open That Door: Gay Comedy In The Last 30 Years
Simon Fanshawe speaks to leading comedians and writers about the evolution of gay stand-up over the past 30 years
- BBC Radio 4
- Simon Fanshawe, Julian Clary, Barry Cryer, Graham Norton, Rhona Cameron and Paul Sinha
- Mike Greenwood
It is 30 years since comedian Simon Fanshawe first stood up on stage to perform his style of comedy dealing openly with gay issues. Until the advent of alternative comedy, the subject of gay sexuality and lifestyles had been dealt with by veiled allusion, nudges and camp.
To cross the boundary between innuendo and overt declaration was considered to be courting career suicide. Yet suddenly, comedians such as Fanshawe and Julian Clary proclaimed their sexuality and made it the subject of their comedy performances.
Since then, gay stand-up has evolved out of the margins into a staple of mainstream entertainment.
Simon revisits his roots in stand-up comedy to chart this cultural journey with interviews and archive of performers old and new. He talks to leading comedians and writers about how they tackle gay themes.
Contributors to the programme include Julian Clary, Barry Cryer, Graham Norton and Rhona Cameron. Simon also speaks to performers of a younger generation such as Paul Sinha, visits contemporary stand-up venues to find out what's entertaining audiences, and examines how straight comedians are once more dealing with gay themes.
- Production company
- Laugh track
- First broadcast
- Saturday 25th September 2010 on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm
- Episode length
- 1 hour