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View Full Version : Did Starsky and Hutch seem this gay back in the '70s?


Mississippienne
11-10-2010, 02:48 PM
Due to the fact that I wasn't even a zygote until 1984, I kinda missed out on the Starsky and Hutch thing. Out of a weird notion, I checked out a couple of episodes on Youtube. Holy crap -- this show is homoerotic -- and I mean that in the most delightful way possible. It's something in the way they're always touching each other, getting right up in each others faces to speak, snuggling, or Hutch teasing Starsky about being "a bad kisser". I even found an outtakes clip, and judging from that, Paul Michael Glaser ruined about half their shots by trying to kiss David Soul.

So my question is for the Dopers who were alive in the 1970s and saw Starsky and Hutch -- did it seem that homoerotic at the time? Or did it just come off as male bonding?

a35362
11-10-2010, 03:06 PM
I was too young to pick up on it at the time, but I have a book called Cult TV or some such and yes, others have noticed it too. The book said something like "it might seem like there was something more there, but they're just blood brothers" or whatever. There was an episode where Hutch was forced to take heroin and he became addicted, and the end of the episode has Starsky holding him in his arms while he throws up as he goes through withdrawal. Starsky is really distressed and says something like, "I'm gonna help you get through this," or "I'm gonna take care of you," and yeah... I can see it.

SpoilerVirgin
11-10-2010, 03:11 PM
I watched Starsky and Hutch regularly in its original run. Like the original Star Trek, it seemed to me to have an incredible amount of male bonding, which was one of my favorite parts of the series. I didn't think of it as homoerotic at the time -- I felt it was very similar to a show like Simon & Simon, where the bond is between brothers.

salinqmind
11-10-2010, 03:20 PM
Oh, hell, yeah! We school age girls watched it faithfully back in the day BECAUSE of the ho-yay, which has always been around. The more recent pornization of popular culture is obvious now even to your Aunt Minnie, but even when the hidden current was more ambiguous then, we certainly picked up on it. (where do you think the start of slash fiction began? not just Star Trek.) And that's why we watched it :D - shooting, car chases and funky fashions were what it was about. (And the ho-yay.)

Terminus Est
11-10-2010, 03:34 PM
It was the 1970's - the whole decade was pretty gay.

a35362
11-10-2010, 03:36 PM
I like male bonding. When was it written that two heterosexual men can't be close friends? There's this whole thing in movies now where the plot doesn't include women or the male heroes' social lives, but they still have to stop and make sure that everybody understands that these two guys may live together or work together or go on an epic quest together and spend an awful lot of time together but by God they're NOT GAY, okay?

Thudlow Boink
11-10-2010, 03:39 PM
Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Elendil's Heir
11-10-2010, 04:12 PM
I like male bonding. When was it written that two heterosexual men can't be close friends? There's this whole thing in movies now where the plot doesn't include women or the male heroes' social lives, but they still have to stop and make sure that everybody understands that these two guys may live together or work together or go on an epic quest together and spend an awful lot of time together but by God they're NOT GAY, okay?

Seconded. I don't recall anyone's gaydar pinging over Starsky & Hutch at the time.

a35362
11-10-2010, 04:24 PM
My Cult TV book also refers to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and two robot cops named Shootie and Bang-Bang, who were meant to be a parody of S&H in that they "shoot people and then agonize about it with their girlfriends later."

So, see? They're NOT gay; they're just... very sensitive.

Not that's there's anything wrong with that, of course, as you said.

silenus
11-10-2010, 04:31 PM
They can't be gay. Gay wasn't invented until 1985. They are just real good friends.

Markxxx
11-10-2010, 04:34 PM
I am a gay male and I watched the show and never picked up any gay vibe. Maybe because all the gay people I know don't act all nice and snuggle and warm to each other :D

But as others have said, the 70s were a time where all the shows were "get in touch with your feelings." "Love yourself so you can love others" "We have to have a relationship" type shows.

The shows comedy and drama were more about "feelings and relationships" then they made them funny or dramatic or whatever.

It was definately the style of the time.

Wile E
11-10-2010, 04:55 PM
If Starsky & Hutch weren't gay, then what about Huggy Bear? He was a snazzy dresser and his name was Huggy Bear. He had to at least be on the downlow.

StusBlues
11-10-2010, 05:22 PM
It was definately the style of the time.

That and wearing an onion on your belt.

kunilou
11-10-2010, 05:25 PM
Don't forget, it was the 1970s when the iconic image of masculinity was this (possibly NSFW)

Burt Reynolds (http://blog.moviefone.com/2005/07/18/vintage-image-of-the-day-the-burt-reynolds-centerfold/)

Argent Towers
11-10-2010, 06:27 PM
I never found it to be homoerotic. Starsky & Hutch did love each other but not in a sexual way, just as very close friends and partners who were cheating death on a regular basis. But they were both very emotional. I don't see how that translates to gay though.

I watched the first and second seasons of S&H a few years ago. To me the most noticeable thing about it is the pacing. No TV audience today could sit still for a show like this. For every car chase and action sequence there are at least 20 minutes of guys in plaid suits sitting around in dingy rooms, smoking cigarettes and talking.

salinqmind
11-10-2010, 07:54 PM
Oh, I agree they did love each other, were emotional, and were very close friends and partners, male bonding and all that. In my previous post I mentioned that there was a homoerotic element, but let me clarify when we watched S&H, it was we, the viewers, who watched with an eye for something more. It wasn't so much in the show, unconsciously or not, as it was in our own imaginations. Such a thing was shocking and thrilling to adolescent girls - we could imagine a 'real relationship' between our heroes, though the love that dared not speak its name was just then beginning to speak, lol!

Arnold Winkelried
11-10-2010, 08:08 PM
ho-yayMerriam-Webster does not list this obscure term. Expatiate please.

silenus
11-10-2010, 08:12 PM
Wrong dictionary. Try Urban Dictionary:

Ho Yay


Short for "homosexual yay". When two males act like they like each other, but aren't in actuality, gay. They usually blush around each other, and apologize for no reason a lot. The female version of Ho Yay is Les Yay.


Joe: H-Hi, Tom. *blush*
Tom: Um, what's up...Joe? *blush*
Guy 1: Look at those two guys. There's some Ho Yay goin' on between them.

descamisado
11-10-2010, 08:12 PM
Damn you, silenus, damn you to hell.

Arnold Winkelried
11-10-2010, 08:59 PM
Wrong dictionary. Try Urban Dictionary(blushes, shuffles toe on the ground) ah gee, silenus, you didn't haveta go to all that trouble for little ole me. You sure are a swell guy.

Biggirl
11-10-2010, 09:09 PM
You can't watch the opening credits and not think they didn't want to kiss. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KmXLlcVgjg)

At least that was what I always thought as a little girl. I thought they really loved each other and wanted to kiss each other but couldn't because they were both boys.

Hey, I was 9. I thought Don't Give Up On Us was a secret love song to Starsky. It was all very romatic, really.

a35362
11-10-2010, 09:18 PM
Well, but the opening credits have Hutch being mesmerized by the stripper (who seems to be genuinely enjoying herself, BTW). I actually remembered that part of the credits from all those years ago.

The opening credits also have them acting all goofy (what's with the costumes??), like the producers are telling you that these are two tough cops working the mean streets, but they're funny, too!

Wasn't Huggy Bear the kind of role that self-respecting black actors were supposed to avoid? But I digress.

Biggirl
11-10-2010, 09:34 PM
Well, but the opening credits have Hutch being mesmerized by the stripper (who seems to be genuinely enjoying herself, BTW). I actually remembered that part of the credits from all those years ago.


And Starsky gently blowing in his ear to remind him who he really should be paying attention to.



Wasn't Huggy Bear the kind of role that self-respecting black actors were supposed to avoid? But I digress.

Have you seen Hollywood Shuffle? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKX4LktBI5o)

a35362
11-10-2010, 09:44 PM
And Starsky gently blowing in his ear to remind him who he really should be paying attention to.

Okay, made me laugh! :D

Yes, I remember Hollywood Shuffle.

42fish
11-11-2010, 05:53 PM
Don't forget, it was the 1970s when the iconic image of masculinity was this (possibly NSFW)


... and when Joe Namath was wearing panty hose.

ouryL
11-11-2010, 05:59 PM
yes

Stranger On A Train
11-11-2010, 06:11 PM
It was the 1970's - the whole decade was pretty gay.And brown. The 'Seventies were very brown.

Starsky and Hutch bravely paved the way for other on-screen detective couples to further and more openly explore their feelings for each other, like Ponch and Jon, Dan Tanna and Philip Roth, and of course the spiritual successors to Starsky and Hutch, Crockett and Tubbs. I don't think anyone realize just how blatantly homosexual all of this was until it started rerunning on the USA network in the mid-Nineties to a generation that wasn't permanently addled by the lethal combination of LSD, Liberace, and the Nixon Administration.

Stranger

Huerta88
11-11-2010, 06:37 PM
Yes, I remember Hollywood Shuffle.

Hoes gots to eat too.
*****
And I <love> doing the nasty.

BMalion
11-12-2010, 06:41 AM
... to a generation that wasn't permanently addled by the lethal combination of LSD, Liberace, and the Nixon Administration.

...

Took me years to recover.

Fried Dough Ho
11-12-2010, 08:18 AM
We then segued into the 80s with Don Johnson Miami Vice characters wearing PINK of all things.

Starsky and Hutch were just setting the trend for the gayboys to start coming out more and express their sensitive side!

kittenblue
11-12-2010, 08:43 AM
As a straight teen girl in the 70's I never once thought Starsky and Hutch were gay. Just cute, goofy, overgrown teenage boys. Who happen to be cops.

control-z
11-12-2010, 11:01 AM
Any time you get guys together there's a bunch of goofing around, maybe it's a dominance thing.

Little Nemo
11-12-2010, 01:13 PM
Guys, this was the seventies. We didn't think Elton John seemed gay.

Infovore
11-12-2010, 01:22 PM
Starsky and Hutch bravely paved the way for other on-screen detective couples to further and more openly explore their feelings for each other, like Ponch and Jon, Dan Tanna and Philip Roth...

Nah, Roth was more of a slightly creepy father figure (and I say that in the nicest possible way--I had a little crush on that character when I was a teenager--I was a weird teenager). Tanna's ho-yay was more with Binzer (or really more vice versa--the Binz obviously had a raging crush on Dan.) :D

BigT
11-12-2010, 07:14 PM
Guys, this was the seventies. We didn't think Elton John seemed gay.

Nor that one panelist on Match game. Dude loved to see how much gay lingo he could get on the air, without any straight people being any wiser. Unless gay lingo actually came from 70s straight slang...

Southern Yankee
11-12-2010, 07:20 PM
I loved that show, but they were gay compared to Tony Beretta.

Larry Mudd
11-12-2010, 07:33 PM
Guys, this was the seventies. We didn't think Elton John seemed gay.I actually remember the day it clicked for me that Freddie Mercury might be gay. Even the big brand QUEEN sailed over my head. He sang so compellingly about the appeal of fat-bottomed girls and their geo-rotational qualities! I think at least (unlike his contemporaries) I was pretty sure that Liberace was gay.

42fish
11-13-2010, 05:00 PM
Nor that one panelist on Match game. Dude loved to see how much gay lingo he could get on the air, without any straight people being any wiser. Unless gay lingo actually came from 70s straight slang...

Charles Nelson Reilly?

Heck, this was a decade where people danced along to the Village People's "YMCA" without noticing it was about dudes cruising for dudes at the Y.

vivalostwages
11-13-2010, 05:33 PM
And brown. The 'Seventies were very brown.

Starsky and Hutch bravely paved the way for other on-screen detective couples to further and more openly explore their feelings for each other, like Ponch and Jon, Dan Tanna and Philip Roth, and of course the spiritual successors to Starsky and Hutch, Crockett and Tubbs. I don't think anyone realize just how blatantly homosexual all of this was until it started rerunning on the USA network in the mid-Nineties to a generation that wasn't permanently addled by the lethal combination of LSD, Liberace, and the Nixon Administration.

Stranger

They weren't detectives, but I'd just like to mention that Tod Stiles and Buz Murdock (on Route 66) had a joint bank account. And that was in 1960.
:D

Little Nemo
11-13-2010, 05:50 PM
Charles Nelson Reilly?

Heck, this was a decade where people danced along to the Village People's "YMCA" without noticing it was about dudes cruising for dudes at the Y.And Paul Lynde was another example.

There was basically no such thing as "gaydar" back then. We knew that homosexuality existed in the abstract but it was completely invisible to the general public. So everyone who could be seen was just assumed to be heterosexual by default.

Maserschmidt
11-13-2010, 05:57 PM
And Paul Lynde was another example.

There was basically no such thing as "gaydar" back then. We knew that homosexuality existed in the abstract but it was completely invisible to the general public. So everyone who could be seen was just assumed to be heterosexual by default.

This! I was in my 30's and had long since forgotten Hollywood Squares (heh), saw a random picture of Paul Lynde, and a light bulb went off - "OMG - he was gay!"

Stranger On A Train
11-13-2010, 06:08 PM
And Paul Lynde was another example.

There was basically no such thing as "gaydar" back then. We knew that homosexuality existed in the abstract but it was completely invisible to the general public. So everyone who could be seen was just assumed to be heterosexual by default.The Dealer: Crazy Larry was gay?
Gene: [contemptuous] Crazy Larry was never 'gay'.
Gene: He had his way with too many straight lads.
Crazy Larry: [flashback] Fucking females is for poofs.
-- Layer Cake

Stranger

John Mace
11-13-2010, 06:17 PM
And Paul Lynde was another example.

There was basically no such thing as "gaydar" back then. We knew that homosexuality existed in the abstract but it was completely invisible to the general public. So everyone who could be seen was just assumed to be heterosexual by default.

How about Allan Sues on Laugh In? I loved that show as a kid and never in a million years figure out he was supposed to be gay. Years later, it was like... Wow, that guy is so gay it's crazy. How could we not have known!?!?

Of course, we didn't think Liberace was gay, either. Or did we?

Maserschmidt
11-13-2010, 06:20 PM
Of course, we didn't think Liberace was gay, either. Or did we?

Yes. Liberace was a clever plot intended to distract us from all the other gay men in popular culture.

Elendil's Heir
11-13-2010, 08:42 PM
Yes. Liberace was a clever plot intended to distract us from all the other gay men in popular culture.

Ah, Paul Lynde. He contained multitudes.

Boyo Jim
11-13-2010, 09:14 PM
Seconded. I don't recall anyone's gaydar pinging over Starsky & Hutch at the time.

The British didn't develop gaydar until the Falklands war, where it was instrumental in detecting Argentine "bayonet charges".

Modern gaydar is calibrated with anatomically correct David Soul replicas.

kiz
11-14-2010, 12:25 AM
Heck, this was a decade where people danced along to the Village People's "YMCA" without noticing it was about dudes cruising for dudes at the Y.

LOL -- this is so true! It never, ever occurred to us back then. Hell, we thought the Village People were just goofy guys in costume. Elton John's sexuality was never a topic of conversation, Charles Nelson Reilly was just campy (I thought he was a riot, actually), and yeah, everyone and his brother knew Liberace was gay, but it was one of those things you never discussed with any woman old enough to be your grandmother.

China Guy
11-14-2010, 12:59 AM
I was in junior high when Starsky and Hutch came out. they were real dudes and badasses. It was not camp gay in disguise.

Next people will start harping about Bruce Lee kicking 7 kinds of ass as being a guy metaphor. ynot that there's anything wrong with that ;) )

Ellis Aponte Jr.
11-14-2010, 01:49 AM
His full name was David R. Soul. Was there any snickering about that in Britain at the time?

jayjay
11-14-2010, 02:35 AM
Ah, Paul Lynde. He contained multitudes.

And that was only Saturday night!

Green Bean
11-14-2010, 03:17 AM
This! I was in my 30's and had long since forgotten Hollywood Squares (heh), saw a random picture of Paul Lynde, and a light bulb went off - "OMG - he was gay!"
Not just gay, but drunk! I saw a rerun of Match Game recently and realized that they all were absolutely toasted. Richard Dawson was practically sprawled over his desk.

kiz
11-14-2010, 09:18 AM
Not just gay, but drunk! I saw a rerun of Match Game recently and realized that they all were absolutely toasted. Richard Dawson was practically sprawled over his desk.

Really? I remember him doing that, but it never, ever occurred to me that he might have been drunk :confused:

jayjay
11-14-2010, 10:32 AM
Really? I remember him doing that, but it never, ever occurred to me that he might have been drunk :confused:

Really? Dawson was three sheets to the wind on every Family Feud he ever hosted.

appleciders
11-14-2010, 11:49 AM
...the appeal of fat-bottomed girls and their geo-rotational qualities!..

I laughed. I'm appropriating this for my own purposes.

Biggirl
11-14-2010, 12:23 PM
Freddie Mercury struck me more as a not-cutting-himself-out-of-half-the-fun-sexual than a homosexual.

kiz
11-14-2010, 12:38 PM
Really? Dawson was three sheets to the wind on every Family Feud he ever hosted.

Really. I was a kid when he was part of the panel, and even though he was quite silly then, I never equated it with his being drunk. Ditto when he was hosting it.

John Mace
11-14-2010, 01:52 PM
So, everyone knew that Liberace was gay. Hmm. I didn't. Not that I spent very much time thinking about or anything.

kiz
11-14-2010, 02:31 PM
So, everyone knew that Liberace was gay. Hmm. I didn't. Not that I spent very much time thinking about or anything.

It was very hush-hush, sort of on the same lines as Rock Hudson. The only difference being that Liberace wasn't forced to marry a woman for appearance's sake as Hudson was. I remember my mother, aka "The Font Of All Things Hollywood Confidential", telling me the story years ago.

Czarcasm
11-14-2010, 02:52 PM
No mention of the tons of S&H slash fan fiction that used to rival in volume Star Trek slash on the net?

vivalostwages
11-14-2010, 04:18 PM
No mention of the tons of S&H slash fan fiction that used to rival in volume Star Trek slash on the net?

I didn't even think about that! Apparently there's slash fic for just about every male "couple" in print or film.

Little Nemo
11-14-2010, 05:20 PM
Keep in mind that Liberace steadfastly denied being gay and successfully sued several newspapers that claimed he was gay.

NDP
11-14-2010, 06:35 PM
And Paul Lynde was another example.

There was basically no such thing as "gaydar" back then. We knew that homosexuality existed in the abstract but it was completely invisible to the general public. So everyone who could be seen was just assumed to be heterosexual by default.

The Dealer: Crazy Larry was gay?
Gene: [contemptuous] Crazy Larry was never 'gay'.
Gene: He had his way with too many straight lads.
Crazy Larry: [flashback] Fucking females is for poofs.
-- Layer Cake


Also, it's important to keep in mind that the 70s had a different understanding for what homosexuality was than there is now. It was then often referred to as an "alternate lifestyle" thereby strongly implying it was a matter of personal choice rather than being "born gay" which--except in many conservative circles--is now the prevalent view.

SciFiSam
11-14-2010, 07:06 PM
You can't watch the opening credits and not think they didn't want to kiss. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KmXLlcVgjg)

At least that was what I always thought as a little girl. I thought they really loved each other and wanted to kiss each other but couldn't because they were both boys.

Hey, I was 9. I thought Don't Give Up On Us was a secret love song to Starsky. It was all very romatic, really.

Bloody Hell! They fall into each other's arms - repeatedly - hig, blow into each other's ears, lean towards each other in a coupley way, gazing into each other's eyes, arm over the back of the seat like a boyfriend... It's totally like the credits for the kind of show where there'll be a will-they-won't-they dynamic for years. Sure, men do get physical sometimes with no sexual intent, but those credits were really showcasing it.

I want to watch some Starsky and Hutch now. :D

No mention of the tons of S&H slash fan fiction that used to rival in volume Star Trek slash on the net?

Post 4.

Mississippienne
11-15-2010, 01:11 AM
Okay, made me laugh! :D

It's funny because it's true (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ftdlLOyX_0). :)

And for interested parties, here's the hilarious S&H outtakes reel (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAifiPz6u5c), complete with the Glaser-on-Soul surprise kissyface.

Also, to all the people in this thread who say that Starsky and Hutch couldn't be gay for each other because they were manly men with manly feelings, I never said they were flaming gay stereotypes. I'm just picking up that they were obviously in love with one another and probably wanted to make sweet manlove.

King David
04-12-2013, 05:02 AM
I was 13 in 1976, and LOVED Starsky & Hutch with the passion only a teen can manage. I still love Starsky when i watch the DVDs. He was GORGEOUS!!!
Starsky was my all-time favourite, and I wanted THAT car like I wanted my next breath. It never entered my head then, and right up till 2011 when I discovered there was something called slash fiction, did it ever occur to me that S&H might've fancied each other in a romantic way. It was SO COOL that they were such great mates, and would go to the nth degree for each other. It's a great pity that by Series 4 they looked to be growing jaded with one another.

I remember being fascinated by the way they would touch each other and nobody around them noticed. They were obviously so well established as close friends that everybody just accepted it. We did hear that they were pushy, especially Starsky, but no-one ever said anything that would've raised eyebrows about their sexual orientation. American audiences were then, and probably are today, very squeamish about things sexual in film. It was more acceptable to have gunfights than a bare bosom, so it was very daring of DS & PMG to portray S&H as so close and comfortable with each other, but there was plenty of female presence to allay any doubts for conservative audiences.

Anyway, wouldn't you just love to have a friend who is so close to you?

I have analysed S&H to death in the last two years, and they still hold up as a great partnership, and the idea of partnership flowing out over the bounds of a work relationship still appeals as much thirty five years later. I could cope with them being gay, but in all honesty, I don't believe they were. They sure had fun, though, with a lot of wonderful intimate moments, and who could forget that clasp at the end of the drama in 'Bloodbath', or that whole rescue and drying-out bit in 'The Fix'?

Actually, in 1976, nobody seemed gay to me, and I thought Freddie Mercury was just being theatrical. Completely missed the Village People, and even the boy in my final year at high school in 1981.

njtt
04-12-2013, 06:08 AM
I will admit to not having given much thought to Freddie Mercury's or Elton John's sexuality during the '70s. The songs they sang, after all were mostly about straight relationships. However, the idea that most people were not aware of gay back then, or that the explicitly gay had no role in popular culture, is absurd. This is the decade that kicked off with The Kinks singing about Lola, and continued with David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust. The gayness (well, ok, bisexuality) there was absolutely explicit, very much part of the public image, and straight people were quite capable of vicariously enjoying it. As for the Village People and songs like YMCA and In the Navy, well, I certainly knew what they were about. The thing is, it did not stop me, as a straight guy, from enjoying the songs. Their sexual transgressiveness, even for straights, was all part of the fun (as it was with Bowie). In the '70s, people (young people anyway) were comfortable with blurring sexual categories rather than feeling the need to draw sharp lines everywhere. Heck, back then it was ok even for a man to hug or otherwise comfort a child.

I can't really speak about Starsky and Hutch, which I never really watched, but I do not remember ever hearing that anyone thought there was anything gay about the show. I do not think it was even having fun pretending to transgress sexual boundaries the way that Bowie was. Straight guys, even tough straight guys, were allowed and even encouraged to show their softer, more affectionate side back then.

Don Draper
04-12-2013, 09:43 AM
Gay guy here, alive but very young during S & H's heyday. I watched it a few times, even had a little lust thing for both of them, but the gay vibe just went over my head. As mentioned upthread, it was a time for men - even 'manly' men - to be sensitive and get in touch with their feelings and cry a lot on TV. In an age when Hawkeye Pierce was the archetypal role model for men, S & H's touchy-feely friendship didn't seem remarkably gay.

OTOH, remember the mini-series version of "Salem's Lot"? It starred David Soul and the kid who played "James at 15" and I picked up a gay vibe from them. Sure, Soul has a g.f. (don't think they ever even kiss though), but (spoiler!) she gets vampirized and he leaves town to wander the Earth accompanied by James-at-15.

Most conspicuously (to me at any rate) is a brief shot from early in the first episode. Everyone in town is dropping in on Straker's newly opened antiques shop. James-at-15 is there with his mother and is leaving, just as Starsky is walking in the door. They walk by each other, and I swear they CRUISE each other!! It's unmistakeable!

Of course if I saw it now as an adult, I might think it has a skeevy pedophile vibe, but at the time it aired I was a horny, closeted 12 year old and wouldn't minded at all going off vampire hunting with David Soul.

Prof. Pepperwinkle
04-12-2013, 09:50 AM
On Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (a show contemporary with S&H), Lily Tomlin's overly prim lady character had the zinger: "Anita Bryant watches Starsky & Hutch.... very carefully."

Anita Bryant had recently been quoted as being quite vocally opposed to the idea of homosexuality. So, yes, it was noticed at the time, it was considered semi-daring, and even the TV commercials for S&H occasionally played on the idea, if only to garner more interest for the show.

twickster
04-12-2013, 10:25 AM
On Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (a show contemporary with S&H), Lily Tomlin's overly prim lady character had the zinger: "Anita Bryant watches Starsky & Hutch.... very carefully."


That may have been a Lily Tomlin joke, but it wasn't on Laugh-In, which ran '67-'73; Starsky and Hutch was '75-'79.

Don Draper
04-12-2013, 10:31 AM
That may have been a Lily Tomlin joke, but it wasn't on Laugh-In, which ran '67-'73; Starsky and Hutch was '75-'79.

Tomlin did her Ernestine character on Saturday Night Live a few times (she was a frequent guest host in the early days), and that did overlap with Starsky & Hutch's run, as well as Bryant's hate campaign. It's very likely that Lily did made that comment on that show.

tullsterx
04-12-2013, 10:48 AM
It was the 1970's - the whole decade was pretty gay.

This. Disco?, The Village People?, The Bee Gees?, Studio 54? The 70's were the golden age of gay, in some respects.

Prof. Pepperwinkle
04-12-2013, 10:52 AM
Tomlin did her Ernestine character on Saturday Night Live a few times (she was a frequent guest host in the early days), and that did overlap with Starsky & Hutch's run, as well as Bryant's hate campaign. It's very likely that Lily did made that comment on that show.

You're probably right about this.

astorian
04-12-2013, 11:09 AM
As a teen in the Seventies, I watched S & H semi-regularly, and never picked up anything remotely gay.

Even now, I still see nothing gay about the show, but I've gotten used to the fact that some people are going to find a gay subtext in everything, whether it's there or not.

njtt
04-12-2013, 11:40 AM
On Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (a show contemporary with S&H), Lily Tomlin's overly prim lady character had the zinger: "Anita Bryant watches Starsky & Hutch.... very carefully."

Anita Bryant had recently been quoted as being quite vocally opposed to the idea of homosexuality. So, yes, it was noticed at the time, it was considered semi-daring, and even the TV commercials for S&H occasionally played on the idea, if only to garner more interest for the show.

The implication of this joke is the opposite of what you suggest. It would not have been funny if there actually had been any noticeable gay subtext in Starsky and Hutch, any more than it would have been if told about David Bowie or The Village People. The joke is about how aggressive homophobes like Bryant will see TEH GAY even where it does not exist.

adhemar
04-12-2013, 12:33 PM
Due to the fact that I wasn't even a zygote until 1984, I kinda missed out on the Starsky and Hutch thing. Out of a weird notion, I checked out a couple of episodes on Youtube. Holy crap -- this show is homoerotic -- and I mean that in the most delightful way possible. It's something in the way they're always touching each other, getting right up in each others faces to speak, snuggling, or Hutch teasing Starsky about being "a bad kisser". I even found an outtakes clip, and judging from that, Paul Michael Glaser ruined about half their shots by trying to kiss David Soul.

So my question is for the Dopers who were alive in the 1970s and saw Starsky and Hutch -- did it seem that homoerotic at the time? Or did it just come off as male bonding?

It didn't to me, I had a mad crush on David Soul and even bought his album(s).

adhemar
04-12-2013, 12:50 PM
also, I was in college when this was on. I knew gay guys who were very masculine and effeminate guys who were very not-gay at that time. So as far as I know unless someone comes out and says "I am gay" I never think about them that way. Liberace, as far as I am/was confirmed was a flamboyant performer, a percursor to the hair bands and glitter rock to come later on.

Of course I don't have any sort of gaydar because of this. I have to see them holding hands (or more) or stating their sexuality before I make the assumption.

Prof. Pepperwinkle
04-12-2013, 01:41 PM
The implication of this joke is the opposite of what you suggest. It would not have been funny if there actually had been any noticeable gay subtext in Starsky and Hutch, any more than it would have been if told about David Bowie or The Village People. The joke is about how aggressive homophobes like Bryant will see TEH GAY even where it does not exist.

Yes, but this wasn't the ONLY joke/reference, though it's the only one I can recall offhand. Any time there was any type of reference to gays, somebody was bound to mention S&H, until it became cliche. But again, yes, the point in nearly every case was to poke fun at the homophobic spirit of the time.

Mehitabel
04-12-2013, 03:09 PM
In the early 80s, when I attended the giant Boskone science fiction conventions, there were always a few filk-singing events and one popular song was all about ho-yay in various TV shows set to "A Man's a Man for All That" and yes, one verse was about Starsky and Hutch. I didn't watch the actual show when it was on but don't remember any particular giggling among my friends about any gay vibes in it. Or much of gay vibes in anything. We were in NYC and saw stuff but didn't talk about it, not just because of homosexuality but anything related to s-e-x.

StGermain
04-12-2013, 05:58 PM
There was actually an S&H ep that had a dead cop who was gay. Death in a Different Place (http://www.episodeworld.com/episode/18163/Starsky_And_Hutch/3x06/Death_In_A_Different_Place). And Hutch brings up that to many, two guys who work together and spend all their off time together would be seen as suspicious. As I recall, Starsky was sort of oblivious to the whole thing until Hutch spelled it out.

StG

TriPolar
04-12-2013, 06:14 PM
I remember this being a joke back when, along with similar jokes about other buddy combos. On Cagney and Lacy a few years later the jokes were about lesbians.

It's kind of weird, but the 60s on TV was all about hippy memes and the like, not really reflecting reality very well. But the actual 70s seemed to be following the image portrayed on TV. People really were wearing polyester leisure suits and crap like that.

Bryan Ekers
04-12-2013, 06:56 PM
It was the 1970's - the whole decade was pretty gay.

Aaron Spelling was television's Beethoven and the 1970s were its Bromanticism period.

Aquadementia
04-12-2013, 09:13 PM
Partners that drive around San Francisco in a flamboyant red car in the 70's and would rather solve crimes with a theater arts degree instead of guns.
It honestly never occurred to me back then that it looked gay.

StGermain
04-12-2013, 09:17 PM
Aquadementia - There were plenty of guns in S&H. And I don't think it was set in SF - at least it's never used any of the famous SF locations.

StG

johnpost
04-12-2013, 09:29 PM
zombie or no

gay.

so was Huggy Bear.

it was fictional Bay City, California.

Aquadementia
04-12-2013, 09:57 PM
I didn’t really intend to post that but it went off anyhow. I didn’t have the safety on. Stupid touch pad.

They weren’t shy about drawing guns, but I remember then more for their undercover antics. Been a long time since I’ve seen the show.

I kind of thought Bay City was a supposed San Francisco. That’s the magic of television. Like how so many things are filmed in Vancouver yet almost no show takes place in Vancouver.

King David
04-16-2013, 02:42 AM
There was actually an S&H ep that had a dead cop who was gay. Death in a Different Place (http://www.episodeworld.com/episode/18163/Starsky_And_Hutch/3x06/Death_In_A_Different_Place). And Hutch brings up that to many, two guys who work together and spend all their off time together would be seen as suspicious. As I recall, Starsky was sort of oblivious to the whole thing until Hutch spelled it out.

StG

Yes, Starsky was oblivious to the fact that Det John Blaine was gay, as he seemed the quintessential family man with a wife and all. (He had been the young Starsky's mentor as well, teaching him how to fight. This did not equate to gayness, as far as Starsky could figure.) Starsky was very uncomfortable with the revelation by Hutch, as he is a very conservative character. Hutch has the more open and aware character. It has been speculated elsewhere that Hutch is at least bisexual to the extent that he'd like to take the relationship with Starsky further, but only Starsky, but that Starsky is not ready for the approach.
Of course, this is all 2013 analysis, but in the original airings, they were just two regular straight guys with a great partnership and a great friendship.
S&H was cutting-edge in some of the topics it handled in the day: child abuse, feminism (to a degree), drugs, gayness, and of course the expressing of emotions - Hutch tells Starsky at least twice 'I love you' but it was contextually suitable so it was just a nice confirmation of the fact of their warm relationship, and we all knew that, anyway.

ministryman
04-16-2013, 11:05 AM
(blushes, shuffles toe on the ground) ah gee, silenus, you didn't haveta go to all that trouble for little ole me. You sure are a swell guy.

Look at those two guys. There's some Ho Yay goin' on between them. :D

ministryman
04-16-2013, 11:11 AM
....Actually, in 1976, nobody seemed gay to me, and I thought Freddie Mercury was just being theatrical. Completely missed the Village People, and even the boy in my final year at high school in 1981.

Slightly older than you, but I too missed the Freddie Mercury / QUEEN connection, the symbolism of the Village People until 1982, when I lost a friend who had come out of the closet to AIDS.

And I thought that Liberace, Elton John and Little Richard were just over the top flamboyant....

kunilou
04-16-2013, 11:32 AM
And I thought that Liberace, Elton John and Little Richard were just over the top flamboyant....

As my father said after meeting the high school drama teacher, "He's not gay, he's just theatrical."

moriah
04-16-2013, 11:32 AM
I didnít really intend to post that but it went off anyhow. I didnít have the safety on. Stupid touch pad.

They werenít shy about drawing guns, but I remember then more for their undercover antics. Been a long time since Iíve seen the show.

I kind of thought Bay City was a supposed San Francisco. Thatís the magic of television. Like how so many things are filmed in Vancouver yet almost no show takes place in Vancouver.

Pitch: TV buddy cop series.

Catch: Set in Vancouver where four different buddy cop series are being filmed. The four pairs of buddies represent different call-backs to previous buddy cop series. Only this time, the four productions are constantly butting heads and interfering with each other to film in Vancouver as actual murders take place and the four pairs of buddies use their TV cop 'training' to work to solve the murders.

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