Author Topic: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?  (Read 1719 times)

Offline Armor of Light

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 637
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • The Real Deal
  • Religion: Really...how many are there?
Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« on: June 08, 2015, 01:13:52 PM »
So, I was watching the 'Paddington Bear' movie with my daughter (good stories), and sure enough..There is a cross dressing scene. Just like Monty Python. I understand that it has been used by American actors as well, but is typically traced back to English humour, correct? I'm no film historian..

Why is this?
If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

Thomas Kempis
 

Offline Chestertonian

  • The Stephen Hawking of SD
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Major
  • ****
  • Posts: 12573
  • Thanked: 5309 times
  • Eternal Gadfly
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 01:21:10 PM »
because the idea of a man pretnding to be aeonan is so ridulous it'sabsurd.  i think it's different from transgender crossdressing on tv that is meant to be subversive

in classical theatre there were no female actors all parts were played by men. 
"I am not much of a Crusader, that is for sure, but at least I am not a Mohamedist!"
 

Offline Baldrick

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1222
  • Thanked: 256 times
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 01:22:33 PM »
Yes, it is an archetype of comedy as genre.  But it wasn't cross-dressing per se, but rather that a man would have some reason to show up dressed as a woman as a disguise; or a woman as a man.  It's in Shakespeare constantly (see Rosalind in "As You Like it" for a prime example), but it's origins are far older.  And, as Chestertonian says, actors were all male to begin with so it was deeply part of the theater to begin with.

However, it is important to realize that this^ is just an instance of a deeper comedic theme, which is disguise.  And a disguise that reveals as much as it hides.

Anyway, this deep structural aspect of comedy then became a mere device, which then descended into farce, which was then spoofed by the likes of "Monty Python" and "Black Adder" (thus, btw, my moniker, "Baldrick")
 

Offline Armor of Light

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 637
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • The Real Deal
  • Religion: Really...how many are there?
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 01:23:51 PM »
Ooohhhh...

It is ironic and absurd. True. Also very funny..
Some Like it Hot is one of my favorites. Tony Curtis really made an ugly woman!
If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

Thomas Kempis
 

Offline Baldrick

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1222
  • Thanked: 256 times
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 01:25:14 PM »
Ooohhhh...

It is ironic and absurd. True. Also very funny..
Some Like it Hot is one of my favorites. Tony Curtis really made an ugly woman!

The key to his character is that he was spoofing Cary Grant when he was the "oil tycoon's son" lol. 
 

Offline Armor of Light

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 637
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • The Real Deal
  • Religion: Really...how many are there?
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 01:26:20 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.
If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

Thomas Kempis
 

Offline Baldrick

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1222
  • Thanked: 256 times
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 01:28:48 PM »
I should also add that it wasn't just hilarious to audiences in the past, it also had it's profundities.  It's when it became farce; and then certainly when it became a propagandic/political device that it became "absurd."
 

Offline Baldrick

  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 1222
  • Thanked: 256 times
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 01:48:25 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.

No, it's like this:  as i have described the history of it, it's roughly analogous to seeing a nude in a painting in the Louvre from, say, the baroque era.  It's purpose was complex; it is subtly rendered.  It is definitely not calculated to titillate, at least not primarily.  That is, it doesn't have a simple, identifiable purpose the way that pornography does. 

There are innumerable ways to respond to the Venus de Milo; there is only one way to respond to a playbunny centerfold. 

This is why pornography is so much like propaganda: it's purpose is to provoke an emotional-physio response, some kind of action.  It doesn't point beyond itself but straight to you:  "do this." 

So Bugs Bunny was just using "cross dressing" as a simple technique comedy, a bit of farce.  Nothing more (as far as I know.) 

However, when it's used onstage to make a political statement as a kind of propaganda at, say, the Woolly Mammoth theatre, then it becomes absurd, offensive, and unfit for children. 



 

Offline red solo cup

  • John 6:56
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 5505
  • Thanked: 2285 times
  • Religion: Fair weather Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 02:11:46 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.
Milton Berle. Jonathan Winters. Flip Wilson. Bosom Buddies.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 02:14:02 PM by red solo cup »
"It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry"
 

Offline erin is nice

  • snitches get stitches
  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2524
  • Thanked: 508 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2015, 01:04:04 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.

But did you find Bugs Bunny attractive when he wore a dress? (Wayne's World reference for you youngins)
 

Offline Larry

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3814
  • Thanked: 652 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2015, 03:59:14 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.

But did you find Bugs Bunny attractive when he wore a dress? (Wayne's World reference for you youngins)

 :lol:
"At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love."-St. John of the Cross
 

Offline Habitual_Ritual

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 3901
  • Thanked: 958 times
  • Religion: Papist
" There exists now an enormous religious ignorance. In the times since the Council it is evident we have failed to pass on the content of the Faith.

(Pope Benedict XVI speaking in October 2002.)
 

Offline Arun

  • Господи Ісусе Христе Сыне Божїй помилѹй м
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 6103
  • Thanked: 1377 times
  • Religion: Catholic Forever Forever Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2015, 02:23:33 AM »

lmfao, little britain takes cross dressing to places waaaaaaaay worse than this...

never understood why people found those two funny though. smith and jones were the last true british sketch comedians.


SIT TIBI COPIA
SOT SAPIENCIA
FORMAQUE DETUR
INQUINAT OMNIA SOLA
SUPERBIA SICOMETETUR

Never lose Hope... Take a deep breath and have a beer.

Mother Aubert Pray For Us!



vsay ego sudba V rukah Gospodnih
 

Offline red solo cup

  • John 6:56
  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 5505
  • Thanked: 2285 times
  • Religion: Fair weather Catholic
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 11:04:21 AM »

lmfao, little britain takes cross dressing to places waaaaaaaay worse than this...

never understood why people found those two funny though. smith and jones were the last true british sketch comedians.
Mitchel and Webb
"It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry"
 

Offline Armor of Light

  • St. Joseph's Workbench
  • Wachtmeister
  • ***
  • Posts: 637
  • Thanked: 172 times
  • The Real Deal
  • Religion: Really...how many are there?
Re: Why does 'English humour' use so much cross dressing?
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 12:24:07 PM »
Were any of you scandalized or troubled as youth? Did you ask your folks 'why?'
I did not see anything like that growing up in the U.S. Just Bugs Bunny dressing as a girl bunny.

But did you find Bugs Bunny attractive when he wore a dress? (Wayne's World reference for you youngins)

Whaaat..!?!. NOoooo.

"Neither did I"

Hilarious. Cross dressing is funny!
If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith, and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.

Thomas Kempis