Aug 9, 2007

There's Something About Li'l Abner

I saw the Paramount musical production of Li'l Abner one afternoon when I was a teenager. I had no idea what it was about, but when I saw all those skinny country bumpkins transformed into hot musclemen, I certainly took notice.

Li'l Abner lives in tiny Dogpatch. He's an unusually big, strong and handsome fella. Well liked, heart of gold, not so bright. He has the hottest babe in Dogpatch after him, but for some reason he has no interest. Hmmm... I'll bet I know the reason. What made him so strong and so "queer" was the local water he drank. Soon, the government discovers his secret, and starts a research project using other local yokels - who also become big, built and handsome... and lose all interest in women, even their wives. Why does this sound like a classic homoerotic muscle growth fantasy?


Julie Newmar plays Stupifyin' Jones, a woman so stunningly gorgeous she turns any man into "stone" - a beautiful Medusa - except for Li'l Abner of course, who is immune. Julie also played Catwoman in the Batman TV series, where she frequently tempted Batman away from his boy lover:

I can give you more happiness than anyone in the world, I mean its me and you against the world. What about Robin? Well, I'll have him killed... painlessly!! ... Well, he is a bit of a bore with his holy this and holy that... Aw, That does it Catwoman, I thought you had a modicum of decency, but I can see that I erred in my judgment!!


aferrismoon said...

Re: the picture
Lily Abner has a little piggie now resurrected in the Simpsons Movie. Homer sometimes totters on the tightrope of undecided sexuality.
Acc. to W.W.Skeats the etymolgy of the word 'pig' came from an old German word meaning 'a little girl'

FilmNoir23 said...

I saw a local production of this as a kid, and the Hollywood movie as well...aside from being great HIGH CAMP, you stumble across some interesting "inside" meaning. Interesting that it's "in the water" isn't it?

Love threading this with Batman...nice.

What are your personal feelings in regard to steriods and human growth hormone?

Michael said...

Aferrismoon: The pig reference is awesome! Thanks! The drawing at the bottom of the post The Wedding Feast shows a character called "Piggy", drawn by homoerotic cartoonist Logan. He has P I G tattooed on his abdomen.

Filmnoir: The show really is hilarious, and a perennial high school drama favorite. The high school jocks always get cast as the muscled-up men from Dogpatch, because all they have to do is stand and model (which is probably the reason the gay drama teachers keep doing it).

Certain kinds of gay bars are called "stand and model" bars.

Glad you caught the water thing. Olympia beer used to be a brand from around these parts. Olympia - Mt. Olympus - dwelling of the gods. Their tag line was "It's the water".

Michael said...

Steroids, etc., Although I understand the motivation for using them, I think they're dangerous and shy away from them myself. I also shy away from the pills and potions sold in bodybuilding magazines - snake oil.

FilmNoir23 said...

Thanks for your personal insights, glad to hear you don't fall for all that junk.

Oh yes, Olympia Beer...great slogan

anadæ said...

Eeyikes, Mike! Damn near a year old already & I've only JUST opened & fallen into this thread! I recall how flamingly out gay boy, Lance Loud, later singer for the NYC post-punk band, The Mumps, and one of the teens-to-twenty-something children of the classically dysfunctional nuclear family documented in the seminal prototype for all future reality shoes, PBS's "An American Family", tipping the scales of social pertinence now at three decades already (NOTE: Lance has since, tragically, succumbed to AIDS, one of the last holder-outters who were probably infected in the initial opening of that disease's vector window, with gay crooner Rufus Wainwright singing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" at his wake) had said that his earliest erotic fantasy was being completely talcum-powdered from head to toe by a very attentive Lil' Abner with nary a farther sexual advance than that!

Intriguing that Al Capp, who was later trounced into a court of law under charges of the vagaries of certain sexual peccadilloes all his own, all heterosexist in calibre, mind ye,
had himself rendered one of comics history's earliest homoerotic American archetypes, ie. the broad-shouldered, muscled, strutting, thin-wasted, none-too-bright country bumpkin.

F.Y.I., Mike & all gosporn readers, my guy's an LDS-survivor-turned-Lakota from SLC whose happily beholden to yours truly on our bucolic slice of paradise in the countryside of the Shenandoah Valley. Heck, we even had to shew away a young black bear cub who was sniffing around our back deck for leftovers that weren't there, half past 7 right this mornin', B4 s/he climbed, silently, right back to ground level w/t agility of a gymnanst ( :-)}

And speakin' OF steroids ... years back I'd taken androstendione, commonly called "Andro", which is a precursor to testosterone boosting. It's available w/o a prescription from most any health food store or GNC. All I got was irritable, acne, and elevated liver enzymes. Fuck that! Know ye also that the dangerous "date rape" drug, gama-hydroxyl buterate, or GHB, was also once widely available as an adjunct to body-building. My goodness, how I go on! Let the buyer beware.

Michael said...

Thanks for the synchs, Anadea. Have you seen Latter Days? I wrote a review of it here.



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