2016 was a very, very bad year no matter how you slice it. In tough times, comedy is often a form of escape that people turn to when they need comforting. With that in mind, we asked our contributors to pick the one piece of comedy in any form that they turn to when they really need cheering up. We’ll be sharing their choices throughout the week in a package we’re calling “The Best Medicine.”
Look, we can try and distract ourselves from the nightmare swirling around us 24/7, or we can embrace it with a gleeful nihilism. I’m choosing the latter, which is why I’ve been watching Scott Thompson’s Buddy Cole and Francesca Fiore sketches a lot lately.
It’s hardly a controversial statement to say being queer is hard. Rejected by your family, denied your rights, sometimes murdered, etc. etc. As a lady fond of the twilight hours, I know what it’s like to hide who you are so as not to get fired from your teaching job, because sexual orientation is still not a federally protected category. But being gay isn’t a burden, it’s a party. Or it should be. Scott Thompson dives headfirst into allegedly negative stereotypes like Esther Williams into a pool. Rather than conform to a standard he’ll never reach, he parades his slave down main street.
It’s a blatant fuck you to respectability politics. It’s a call to arms to relentless, unbridled, unflinching faggotry. To look death in the face and proposition it. There’s a lot of violence in these sketches, a shadow cast by all the wigs and sequins. I find it comforting, not having to pretend everything’s fine. Everyone should be screaming all the time. Or at the very least, nervously giggling.
Francesca Fiore and Buddy Cole give me strength. I need their transformative powers to make life bearable. That’s not the shadow of nuclear winter, it’s mood lighting.