Drag References 101
August 18, 2019 3:27 PM   Subscribe

Summer School is now in Session. You won't watch most of the shit on this list, and that's totally fine. But I hope you'll find a few doors you never even knew you wanted to walk through: films you'd never heard of, people whose names you didn't know, and references which you might not even have known were references. And once you know who that diva was, or what the film was called, you can read more, and watch more, and study more, until you're flinging out references like RuPaul on a podcast.
posted by Stewriffic (17 comments total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
This is... astonishing. I clicked the link with a bit of an eyeroll but once I started looking at what it assembled... like wow!

I wish this kind of thing happened more often. This is an entire cultural education all assembled in one place, well curated and nicely organized.

Thanks so much for posting! I'll be saving this to use as a reference and a personal growth tool (no matter what, I always learn I've missed something important to queer culture and need to catch up on THAT bit).
posted by hippybear at 3:55 PM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is inCREDible. So much to dig into here, and so well organized and labeled.
posted by Mizu at 4:06 PM on August 18, 2019

Woooooooooow. Do you have to be gay to think this is amazing? That Anna May Wong clip is incredible. She’s one of those names that’s rattled away in the back of my brain since childhood, but I never knew! She’s so tough and cool.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 5:31 PM on August 18, 2019

P.S. Seasons 1-5 of RuPaul's Drag Race showed up on Amazon prime a few weeks ago.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:33 PM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, and one should never let this drop off one's radar. So utterly fabulous!
posted by hippybear at 5:46 PM on August 18, 2019

I'm not criticising this, because it's amazing, but surely Pats from AbFab needs to join the crowd...
posted by prismatic7 at 6:15 PM on August 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

So much of the comedy of the late 20th century was either High Camp or Camp Adjacent. The Match Game clip showed off the show's top contributions to camp: panelist Charles Nelson Reiley and question writer Dick DeBartolo (who also has contributed to raising the Camp rating on MAD magazine for 5 decades). The listing failed to include the other greatest Camp Contributor to daytime game shows: Hollywood Squares' permanent center square resident Paul Lynde, who couldn't avoid turning the role of a disaproving dad in "Bye Bye Birdie" into a drag act.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:22 PM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Did you mention Charles Nelson Reilley? (obligatory)
posted by hippybear at 6:36 PM on August 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh man, I can't believe it never occurred to me how similar drag humor is to midcentury Jewish-American smartassery.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:38 PM on August 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Like the Beatles are at their core springing from British music hall traditions, US humor is still at some point confined to men in bowler hats on burlesque stages.
posted by hippybear at 6:41 PM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

…Oh man, seeing Young Frankenstein and Rocky Horror on this list a year apart also made some things about those movies click into place.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:42 PM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

I suppose Hedwig and the Angry Inch is too recent for the list? It's fantastic, highly recommended.
posted by ancillary at 7:55 PM on August 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh my god, this is a delight and I would never have seen it otherwise. Thank you for posting; I’m starting the snacks as second screen treats during some terrible computer-based mandatory trainings I have already done literally 15 times before tomorrow.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:09 PM on August 18, 2019

A small derail:
Such delightful posts are the reason why I come to love reddit more & more.
I know that many on Metafilter despise its manbaby mysogony etc., but in reality reddit has thousands, maybe 10,000's of subreddits that are marvelous, incredible, smart, uncommon, surprising, inventive, simulating.
I've been surfing it since 2005, and never bothered to spend time on the toxic comments or in its disgusting corners, but in recent years, and especially with the new revised app, it's becoming, at least to me... "the best of the web"...
posted by growabrain at 11:47 PM on August 18, 2019

I don't know how you make a list like this without The Women (the 1939 version, of course), and Auntie Mame.
posted by dnash at 9:13 AM on August 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

I have started to try to institute monthly camp movie nights, and this is invaluable.
posted by bookwo3107 at 9:40 AM on August 19, 2019

Y’all should maybe know about Criterion Channel. I watched The Women last month. And Female Trouble about a week ago. Plenty of 30’s and 40’s movies. I think the Almodovar festival ends 8/31.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 7:59 PM on August 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

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