Guys In Girls' Garb

Discussion in 'The Front Parlor' started by LizzieMaine, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    Not quite a spin-off, but Bosom Buddies (1980-1982) with, right to left, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari.

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  2. redlinerobert

    redlinerobert One of the Regulars

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    Has its place, some are funny, but I find most of them to be just ... odd.
     
  3. 2jakes

    2jakes I'll Lock Up

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    "jake, I going for the whole shebang!"
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  4. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    In 1931 rising young crooner Bing Crosby makes a two-reel comedy at Sennett called "Billboard Girl," in which thru a typical two-reel plot he ends up romancing yet another prankish college boy in clever disguise.

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    Twenty-nine years later, in the Blake Edwards campus farce "High Time," it was Bing's turn to play the temptress.

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  5. Ran across this poster at an antique store today:

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  6. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    Robbie Coltrane & Eric Idle, Nuns on the Run.
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  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    "Charley's Aunt" was a favorite of amateur theatrical groups thruout the Era, and it was considered a very fine thing to get the chairman of the school board, the president of the Chamber of Commerce or a particularly starchy member of the local clergy to play the lead.

    Syd Chaplin -- Charlie's brother -- made the definitive film version of the play for the silent era:

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    And our old friend Jack Benny had great success in the role for the talkle era.

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  8. sheeplady

    sheeplady I'll Lock Up Bartender

    This seems to be a more common phenmeon than today (men dressing in women's clothing for comedic purposes). When did it fall out of fashion? The only modern movie I can think of that makes this reference is Mrs. Doubtfire... and that's not recent.

    I can remember my father speaking about dressing up in women's clothes as a prank/dare and several times for "drag" parties at fraternities in the 1960s and (early) 1970s. My sense from these stories is that while it wasn't a common thing, it was more socially acceptable for men to dress in drag for a joke or fun in past decades. I don't think many of the ultra macho fraternities I've seen would dare to have a drag party today- such a thing would bring into question those men's masculinity, and they can't have that.
     
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  9. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    It was a very big thing in the many male-only colleges of the Era. The Princeton Triangle Club was nationally-known for the male "chorus girls" in its annual productions, and this led directly to the two-reel-comedy cliche of the cross-dressing college boy who flits about perplexing the leading man. "All American Co-Ed" directly refers to Princeton's tradition, calling its school "Quinceton" in case anybody misses the gag. To this day cross-dressing is featured as part of the Harvard "Hasty Pudding Club" productions, but one imagines that the integration of women into these colleges has phased it out of the mainstream. The British stage tradition of the "pantomime dame" might still be around though.

    Cross-dressed entertainment was also a popular military activity during both world wars.

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    Irving Berlin's 1942 hit Broadway show and movie "This Is The Army" included not one, not two, but three elaborate drag numbers in recognition of this tradition.

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  10. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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    Depends on the context. This thread reminded me of the pep rallies for the Mt. Blue Cougars I used to have to bear witness to, and every year―every g******ed year―there would be a routine in which the football team would dress up as girls' field-hockey players. Same number, every time: the cheerleaders would wear football uniforms and the guys would come out in the plaid skirts, hunched over hockey sticks, and it was always supposed to be unexpected and hilarious. I rankle since attendance at these mini-Nuremburgs was mandatory, but maybe this is why it annoys me when some people go into paroxysms of mirth whenever a guy in drag is presented in some show. I saw a local production of The Three Penny Opera wherein some of the prostitutes in the brothel, as well as Mrs. Peacham, were played by male actors, and the young ladies sitting next to me couldn't stop snorting in spasms of hilarity. I mean, okay, kind of amusing (and the guy doing Peacham was actually pretty great in the role), but at some point, joke's over, let's get on with the sordid lives of crime and corruption and angular, eccentric cabaret music. It's not that amusing.
     
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  11. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    And then there's this . . .

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  12. Nobert

    Nobert Practically Family

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  13. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    You make a good point there. The only time that I have had to dress up in drag was back in the early 80's. We had been invited to a rather special New Year's Eve Party and the dress code was to come along as someone famous of the opposite sex. I couldn't be a female for the life of me. A phone call to the hosts, hoping that I could get out of the dress code, revealed that accuracy wasn't expected, so don't worry about shaving legs, it was all meant to be a fun time. (Yeah right.)
    No internet to turn to in those days, I just didn't know who I could be. Then, by chance, I came across the head and torso of a damaged shop window mannequin that had been thrown out. The wig gave me an idea. It took a while, but with a bit of help from my wife, making a floor length dress so that I could wear my own shoes, some carefully sculptured latex, a lot of pink make-up, some huge, over size eyelashes and, hey presto! I was Miss Piggy.

    The party was a huge success, the best outfit by far was an Indian fellow, his skin tone was perfect for his character, and his outfit must have taken ages to put together, but he was the perfect Carmen Miranda. The host, who had chosen Mary Poppins as his outfit, had one more surprise in store. Once all the guests had arrived, he announced that we were all going to the pub. We all looked at each other, too late to back out now, so with misgivings we all agreed. The host then said: "We're going on the bus!" It was a riot, the pub was only a mile or so away, about five or six stops by bus. We all piled on, everyone in the street had stared at us, the bus passengers thought that we might be filming an advert and when we entered the pub, it was like one of those 50's Westerns where the bad guy enters the bar. The music stopped and the general hub-bub died to an absolute silence. After we had had a few drinks we had to do the whole thing in reverse, but it was much easier with the Dutch courage inside. It was a party like no other and one, as you can tell, I'll never forget. Thank goodness we didn't have the kind of social media photo call that we have today. My one time as a "female."
     
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  14. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    And UK loungers of a certain age will know of Kenny Everett:

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  15. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    And we can't forget Madam Fatal -- the first transvestite superhero of the 1940s.

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    The Madam, who rampaged thru the back pages of Crack Comics starting in 1940, was actually a stage actor named Richard Stanton, who hit upon the idea of fighting criminals, saboteurs, and Nazi spies while disguised as a kindly old lady. She'd crash into a room and whack the chief gangster or Fascist operative over the head with her gold-headed walking cane and then vanish into the night.

    With all the interest in superhero movies today, why, oh why, haven't we had a Madam Fatal feature? What a perfect role for Bruce Willis.
     
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  16. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    Absolutely disgusting !


    what else can a human being say?????
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  17. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    tickle my fancy....make me laugh

    know what I mean


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  18. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    sad and pathetic .
     
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  19. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    so kill me

    ban me now Lizzie if you wish lol...its ok sister


    just to say....I know I am too conservative for your taste


    too funny
     
  20. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

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    And then there's Rae Bourbon, a very popular nightclub performer from the 1930s thru the 1960s, with an extremely risque song-and-dance act. Bourbon's "party records" were very popular thruout this period, featuring such selections as "You're Stepping On My Eyelashes," "Queen of the Navy," "Where Does The Difference Come In?" and "Don't Call Me Madam!"

    Rae was a pretty wild character -- a crony of Mae West, no less -- but could also skirt, as it were, the bounds of social respectability.

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    This particular performance took place in Bakersfield, California in 1931. One is not conditioned to think of the California oil-fields country in 1931 as place where gender boundaries were lightly trodden, but as in so many other cases, often what you think you know is not quite as it was.
     
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