Flashbacks, April 14, 2006

By EDITROIAL  |  April 12, 2006

Gay pride | 15 years ago | April 12, 1991 | Robin Dougherty relayed the background of comic trio Funny Gay Males.

“Talking to all three Funny Gay Males at once is a bit like sitting down with a gaggle of very intelligent comic geese. When Bob Smith insists that the trio got started in a frontier comedy club in the 1840s, Danny McWilliams quips that ‘we used to be the Golden Girls.’ The truth is that the trio of New York–based comedians, all in their mid 30s, congealed three years ago when third member Jaffe Cohen got an offer to do a show at the Duplex, Manhattan’s venerable comedy club, and didn’t want to go it alone. ‘So we got together and we just picked a name,’ explains Smith. ‘Actually, we wanted Torch Song Trilogy, but someone else had taken it.’

“Being up-front about their sexual orientation is only one aspect of FGM’s show, which is booked into Club Cabaret at Club Café through the end of the month. On stage, the three perform as separate stand-up acts, with each guy presenting a unique comic persona. But as their name boldly implies, the group are different from your average comedy-club line-up, and proud of it. ‘It’s sorta truth in advertising,’ says Smith, a native of Buffalo, whose portion of the show embraces topics as disparate as Catholicism, his boyfriend, and a picture book on dinosaurs he created in elementary school. Not to mention an anecdote about coming out, which he claims he did one Thanksgiving by asking his mother to ‘please pass the gravy to a homosexual.’

“The straitlaced Smith is balanced by the giddier Cohen, who likes to draw on his ethnic as well as his sexual heritage — he claims he’s descended from a long line of diminutive Jewish gays, starting with Schlomo the Homo.”

Protest songs | 20 years ago | April 15, 1986 | Ric Kahn witnessed a faculty walkout at Berklee.

“The sweetheart in the buckskin jacket with fringe, a jacket last seen on Neil Young and, before that, Daniel Boone, felt the rhythm of the moment and passed it on to her friend. ‘This is the funkiest teachers’ strike you’ll ever see,’ she said.

“Absolutely. Last Wednesday, the third day of the teachers’ strike at the Berklee College of Music, the faculty marched up Boylston Street to the administration building, belting out a New Orleans funeral dirge, followed by taps and then a few choruses of ‘Won’t You Come Home, Bill Bailey.’ Their manifesto, printed on fliers and signs, included the DEATH OF PATERNALISM and the BIRTH OF SELF DETERMINATION. And NO CONTRACT NO JAZZ. The students swayed back and forth and laughed and cried and yelled. A songwriter and Berklee hanger-on with long hair, beard, and wire-rim glasses stood in the back of the crowd with a sign around his neck. It read ‘FACE’ ENDORSES & SUPPORTS THE TEACHERS’ STRIKE . . . ‘THE BERK STOPS HERE!’ He said his name was Face: ‘Just another face in the crowd.’ Face walked up to a guy and said, ‘Nice haircut. You look like a dick with hair on it.’ Then everybody walked back to the Berklee building on Mass Ave and sweated out another set....

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