Simon Fanshawe.

Open That Door: Gay Comedy In The Last 30 Years

BBC Radio 4 documentary. 1 episode in 2010. Features Simon Fanshawe, Julian Clary, Barry Cryer, Graham Norton, Rhona Cameron and Paul Sinha.

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

Genre
Documentary
Broadcast
2010
Channel
BBC Radio 4
Episodes
1
Features
Simon Fanshawe, Julian Clary, Barry Cryer, Graham Norton, Rhona Cameron and Paul Sinha
Producer
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 Details

Production company
Laugh track
None

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 25th September 2010 on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm
Episode length
1 hour