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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What the Voices in My Head Sound Like…

posted by on April 24 at 13:46 PM

Ladies and gentlemen…shhh. I give you, Miss Shirley Q. Liquor!

Oh, glury!

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Let's not forget Betty Butterfield! Did you know that this dude is actually an ordained minister and chaplain?

Posted by Nick | April 24, 2007 2:02 PM

Sorry. Should've linked to more info about him:
Chuck Knipp.

Posted by Nick | April 24, 2007 2:09 PM

Easter... do not mean about hats.

Posted by monkey | April 24, 2007 2:14 PM

Ah, so that's what George Liquor's wife looks like.

Why am I not surprised?

Posted by COMTE | April 24, 2007 2:34 PM

Ah... what a legacy of blackface performance our country has. Classic.

"How yur all durrin'?"

She's not likely to receive an NAACP Image Award anytime soon.

Posted by Chris | April 24, 2007 2:39 PM

Shirley Q. Liquor comes with a whole press pack of condemnation. GLAAD made its abhorrence of her blackface schtick official last year. People who dig it say it transcends/subverts/honors blah blah blah, but to me the sight of blackface is like the smell of shit: deep, instant revulsion is my natural response.

If deep instant revulsion is what you're going after theatrically, then shit and blackface can't be beat. But if you're going for comedy, I recommend slipping on a banana peel or something.

Posted by David Schmader | April 24, 2007 3:18 PM

Perhaps, David, but others disagree. RuPaul is in that "camp".

Posted by MoTown | April 24, 2007 3:34 PM

-- amazing... made my day!

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | April 24, 2007 3:42 PM

I'm interested in how Knipp's act would fare and how everyone would react if the blackface makeup were taken away and it was just a gay, white dude in drag affecting a particular Southern black dialect. Or if he kept the blackface and perform the whole thing in straight, Midland American English dialect. Which would be more revolting? Or would they all be equally revolting?

I really want to talk about this whole thing for hours with someone.

Posted by Nick | April 24, 2007 3:47 PM

Wow- I just totaly flashed back to a former life in the mid south. This shit it spot on. I think I knew the person this character is based on.

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | April 24, 2007 4:21 PM

Is this actually "black face" or rather the result of using a strong "black light" to make the luminescent two-tone eye shadow glow more brightly?

Posted by COMTE | April 24, 2007 5:02 PM

Yes this is blackface, and like David S. I find it disturbing. But whatever, I guess it's just another wonderful old time tradition that just harmless good times right? Whatever.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 24, 2007 5:46 PM

sally, i think that deeply over-simplifies things. i'm honestly not sure what i think of his performances. i know that i college he was really popular on my sophomore year dorm hall, among the white and black students. i'm from and live in the south, and i have to say he is pretty spot on.

Posted by konstantConsumer | April 24, 2007 6:00 PM

Oh Adrian, honey, what's happened to you?

Come back to the five and dime...(email me biatch!)

Posted by David K | April 24, 2007 6:15 PM

#13--Well, everyone has fans. But for me, I'm just stating that I find blackface to be fucked. I know that nowadays there's a backlash against being overly sensitive about some issues or whatever, but I just don't find this funny no matter how spot on his racist stereotype seems to some. It's the principal of it. I used to have an older relative from the south that frequently used the "n" word and would do little "comedy" routines at the dinner table around holiday time involving mocking black people. Maybe he was giving a spot on imitation, but it still turned my stomach. Maybe it's simplistic, but it's just not my bag.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 24, 2007 6:29 PM

I never thought I'd see blackface done in the 21st century but I suppose retro racism is hot these days. I wanna know why people think this is okay...and don't give me that "RuPaul is a fan" bullshit cuz she's a caricature, herself.

Posted by Red Wendy | April 24, 2007 7:36 PM

sally, you have a principled stand against black face? how about "bamboozled" by spike lee? i get that it is a hot topic, and definitely is meant to strike a cord, but i don't think that it is automatically racist. and comparing that to an old family member who sat around saying nigger and telling black jokes is a little strawman for my taste.

Posted by konstantConsumer | April 24, 2007 8:23 PM

#17---Yes, I saw Bamboozled by Spike Lee, but I think blackface is used in a very different context there than with this, a white man simply using it as a device to represent a negative stereotypical archetype in his "comedy". Blackface is not automatically racist? Isn't blackface historically used to represent a cartoony negative stereotype of blacks? Did I miss something?

I personally do not use the "n" word, let alone writing it out on a comment forum....I guess this may represent in a nutshell our different outlooks.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 24, 2007 9:17 PM

is there really a difference between saying "the n word" or typing it out? can you really tell a person's entire outlook by that? i don't see the need to tiptoe around the word like it's a land mine. would i call someone a nigger? no. if i'm discussing the topic, i'll use the word instead of sounding like a person paralyzed with fear that someone, somewhere, is offended.

and no, i don't think that black face is automatically racist. i think intentions matter a great deal, as with many things.

Posted by konstantConsumer | April 25, 2007 5:47 AM

Oh, Adrian, you did NOT go there.

Posted by MyDogBen | April 25, 2007 6:56 AM

#19--I am in no way paralyzed by fear of offending anyone, I just am a bit more respectful regarding words like these since I believe they have an inherent power behind them. Maybe that seems like tip toeing around a landmine to you, but it just happens to be my choice.

We can agree to disagree about blackface. I happen to find it basically racist clown make up, and I don't see what other intention this performer had other than mocking someone of another race. On top of the fact that overlooking the blackface, I thought this guy was really not funny at I guess it's just not my cup of tea. Fair enough.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 25, 2007 8:58 AM

I don't use "the n word" in any context and it's not because I'm afraid that "someone, somewhere, is offended," it's because the word is so hateful and comes with so much baggage that it makes my stomach churn. And if you're using "Bamboozled" as a defense for Shirley Q Liquor...well, I think you missed the point of the movie.

Posted by Red Wendy | April 25, 2007 9:18 AM


Thanks AR!

Posted by smashmouth | April 25, 2007 10:48 AM


I'm completely aware of what "black face" is, and what it represents - they DO teach that sort of thing in undergrad theatre history classes - but my point was whether Ms. Liquor is in fact wearing black make up, or whether the effect of the UV "black light" is giving her a darker than normal skin tone (stick your hand under a black light sometime, and you'll see what I'm talking about).

Wearing black face is rightfully considered offensive, for all sorts of reasons, but if she isn't in fact, "made up" with dark base, then the argument doesn't really hold water.

Posted by COMTE | April 25, 2007 5:00 PM

COMTE...While I'm, like, totally impressed that you learned about blackface in undergrad theatre history class, it's unfortunate that higher education hasn't taught you about research and critical thinking. If you had bothered to read the link posted at #2 about the man behind Shirley Q. Liquor, then you would know without a doubt that this is blackface.

Posted by Red Wendy | April 25, 2007 6:39 PM

Thank you Red Wendy for saving me the trouble of responding to inspector COMTE, super sleuth. Thanks COMTE for offering up some bizarre UV light theory twice without bothering to actually try to follow information links to learn about what's being discussed. It's can't be blackface, must be..(drum roll please)...BLACKLIGHT! Congratulations on really adding something to the discussion.

Posted by Sally Struthers Lawnchair | April 25, 2007 7:02 PM

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