Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The hottest new club...

While Saturday Night Live's skits can be inconsistent and you never really know what you're going to get; some send you into fits of hysteria, while others just leave you feeling meh. Throughout the seasons and casts, Weekend Update was always one of my SNL highlights. I enjoy the current host, Seth Meyers and find his Weekend Updates delightful, but I light up when I realize it's a Weekend Update that features a certain lovable city correspondent.     
(1)Some argue that Stefan is homophobic and perhaps he is; he's definitely not known for saying the most politically correct things. (2)Bill Hader explained to Jimmy Kimmel that the character was a combination of a barista with similar mannerisms and vocal inflections as the character Stefan and an email writer John Mulaney received about a gay bar that had a laundry list of features. A gay bar that prides itself on the many amenities and attractions it has to offer? WHA????

(3)Take the following descriptions of some of the hottest gay clubs in New York City:

Mingle with a pretty and diverse gay crowd at this hot nightspot in Hell’s Kitchen. The huge two-level lounge is a former warehouse (and whorehouse). Enjoy therapeutic cocktails named after your favorite disorders – from Delusions to Psychotic Episodes. Free entertainment includes an open-mike night, a comedy hour featuring queer-friendly comedians, and nightly DJs.
At Eastern Bloc, the drinks are strong and (relatively) cheap, bears are beautiful, and the house assumes no attitude. The decor is early Communist nostalgia and DJ Josh Sparber runs the show at the Good Times parties on Wednesday night, where it's easy to strike up a conversation with a bearded stranger.
Stefan's portrayal seems pretty accurate when you take these factors into consideration. So, O.K. Stefan is a bit of an exaggeration, but come on! That’s what makes him so funny! Some of the stuff the writers have him saying is so outlandish, Hader can barely keep a straight face and often breaks character as he bursts out laughing at the absurdity. I can see how some may find him offensive, but shit is funny; I don’t care who you are...
With Stefan’s backstory and origin in mind along with the satirical nature of both the show and the performance, I would say the knee-jerk reaction to cry homophobic may be a bit pre-mature on this one. I would hope the majority of American audiences can distinguish between realistic performances and satire. There once was a time when the sole purpose of a homosexual character on a television series or the big screen was to be THE comic relief—the idiot or the bafoon. We’ve come a long way baby! There are a multitude of characters, and these characters showcase a multitude of backgrounds and a much more complex archetypal schematic for the "gay character". With this broader exposure, I'd like to believe the majority of audiences fully understand characters on SNL do not serve to represent the whole nor encourage hasty generalizations. Are there some who will come to the myopic conclusion that Stefan is "just like the rest of em"? Yes, but those folks will always be around. Upon each generation, shiny and new douche-nozzles shall arise! One thing is certain; progress has been made. Let's not pick on poor Stefan as if he is standing in the way of it.

1. Stefan on SNL is Disturbingly Homophobic,” (The Data Lounge, December 21, 2010).,9965549 (September, 6, 2011).
2. “Bill Hader Explains the Origin of ‘Stefan’ on Fallon,” Huffington Post, November 25, 2010. (September 6, 2011).
3. “Top 6 New York City Gay Bars,” ( (September 6, 2011).

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