Archie Bunker and the Transvestite

Carroll O'Connor

Image via Wikipedia

I’m going to assume we’re all familiar with the show “All in the Family.”

The other night, I caught the tail-end of an episode of “All in the Family.” I tuned in while Archie was telling Edith how proud he was for having saved a woman’s life in a cab that day using mouth to mouth. He tells Edith that he learned CPR thanks to a rescue poster hanging on the door in the toilet stall at work (laugh line), and he memorized it after going so often (laugh line).

He wanted Edith to call the local newspaper so they could write a story how he saved a damsel in distress.

There’s only shit on TV

All that poop talk inspires Archie to take a crap — which he practically says. He walks to the john upstairs while Edith dials the operator for the newspaper’s number.

The doorbell rings and it’s the woman who Archie saved. She’s come to thank him. Edith says Archie is busy (laugh line) and he’ll be around shortly. The woman says she’ll wait, and in the meantime explains to Edith that she is a transvestite (big laugh line).

The formula that we know something the protagonist doesn’t is a great one and needs to be used as often as possible.

Insert the sound effect of a commode flushing (huge laugh line) and Archie groans (bigger laugh line) and returns downstairs.

Enter the Dragon … in my pants

Archie sees the woman, gets a pep in his step, and before Edith can explain, he and the tranny sit down to talk. Archie is overly flirtatious with the woman to the point that I was in awe of the performance. I’ve never really watched a full episode of AitF, but I know Carroll O’Connor is a respected actor and comedian.

Now it’s a train wreck. I want to know how the writers are going to handle sexuality and transvestites. It was around this point when Tina says, “Wow, I always knew this show was forward thinking. This is crazy. When I was little, the show bored me. I guess this is why. I didn’t get the jokes.”

The tranny explains to a dewy-eyed Archie that she’s really a man. But he can’t hear any of it, because his libido has tricked him. Archie’s got a hardon for the fact that he was able to give mouth to mouth to a woman who wasn’t Edith and get away with it.

Finally, she pulls her hair off and lowers the pitch of her voice and says, “I’m a transvestite, Archie. I’m really a man.” The show cut to commercial with Archie’s mouth agape.

Orange you glad I didn’t say “banana”?

Back from commercial, the gag is Archie can’t buy enough mouthwash to absolve his dirty mouth. There’s a scene with his liberal son(-in-law?). He confronts Archie about his closed-mindedness.

Archie exits to drink at his local watering hole in hopes to forget his troubles. The bartender pries for information, but Archie won’t budge. A reporter walks in with a camera looking for the story. Archie’s all, “No way! I’m not giving you no story!”

And of course the transvestite comes in. And after a few lady gaga gags, the transvestite saves the day and helps Archie get rid of the reporter by telling him it really wasn’t him.

Soften the pain with his finger.

This is exactly why I love comedy. Comedy softens the blows of taboo. Back in 70s America, that show would have been crazy controversial. Even now, that show is controversial.

I applaud the show for putting transgender in the living rooms of average Americans. I saw this post over at the Friendly Atheist this morning (lesbian fired for being pregnant with her female partner), and it reminded me just how far we haven’t come with sexual inclusion.

And why haven’t we progressed? Because the bee eye bee elle eee keeps the rest of us from walking, running, prancing, dancing, sprinting, jolting forward. It’s sad, really, and I wish the faithful would get over it like they have so many other biblically-induced myopic ideas.

I look at Carroll O’Connor in this role and I see how he mindfully appreciates the parody of his character. He knows that people can associate with his views, because so many people think like the Archie character. But O’Connor doesn’t want people thinking that way. He wants them thinking the opposite.

It’s like listening to Rush Limbaugh, only RL isn’t parodying himself. However he’s just as funny for being just as ridiculous.

Fifteen days till Christmas, bitches.

As the holidays are approaching, I’m starting to get antsy about visiting my family. We’re going to drive down to the Yeshua Fog™ this year and spend almost a week. Talulah’s coming with us, too.

As for my nerves, I’m much better than I was before the blog. But I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve woken up, and I start having imaginary conversations — that will never happen — with my family.

You know ones where people talk openly about their views, and people are curious rather than afraid to ask questions or talk about religion. Discussions where people agree to disagree, and people say what’s on their minds. I’ll likely do what I always do and bottle it all up and spit out some rubbish here for you to read.

Maybe I want the conversations to happen, but then again I don’t. When the mind starts cranking at 3 a.m., it’s almost impossible to stop that train.

Regardless, Angst arrived, and she wants to thank me for resuscitating her in the backseat of a cab. I’m going to make the most laughs out of it as possible. It’s going to be a fun ride.

One last thing: Here’s a video clip of Archie talking about democrats.

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2 thoughts on “Archie Bunker and the Transvestite

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I remember my mother always watching this show and as a little girl I hated when it was on. But as I was forced to watch it, I liked it, but for some reason I never opted to turn it on myself.

    In my adult years, I completely appreciate this show. I think the writing and the characters are outstanding. It was one of the first show on TV to go where no one dared to go – politics, religion and real social issues. Kudos to them.

    I just realized – Steven Colbert is a modern day Archie Bunker.

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