The internet has made it clear our future will be filled with angry, amateur YouTube pundits. Technological advancements have given the masses the necessary tools of production and distribution to be get their opinions recorded and broadcast. It’s a beautiful thing, except for all the noise.
So when everyone has a virtual soapbox, how do you stand out from the chatter? The viral successes of sketch comedy and fake news have made it clear that if you want people to listen to your point of view, you have to entertain them while you do it.
Enter That’s Gay, a recurring segment on Current‘s popular infoMania news show. Propelled by the charisma and sharp wit of host Bryan Safi (who conceived of the segment after being offended by Millionaire Matchmaker and Kathy Griffin), That’s Gay engages contemporary gay issues with refreshing honesty and insight, accompanied by a dose of devastatingly sardonic humor.
Like most infoMania segments, That’s Gay is driven by its host’s commentaries on news and pop culture, employing news footage, television clips, and the occasional skit to examine an issue. Unlike other infoMania segments, That’s Gay loads up on the satire and utilizes a more editorialized style, the bread and butter of which tackles how homosexuality is portrayed by the media. Past segments examined the gimmicky exploitation of lesbianism on soap operas, the lack of positive gay portrayals in film and television, and, most entertainingly, the suddenly widespread use of “no homo” as a disclaimer.
Mr. Safi, a regular at the Los Angeles UCB and a former staff writer at Funny Or Die, is consistently pitch-perfect in his role as host, eschewing easy punchlines or moral heavy-handedness for a frenetic, dexterous delivery. Each episode of That’s Gay delivers three to four minutes of pointed comedic commentary, but it does so without proselytizing or overselling its messages. After all, the show’s repeat viewers almost certainly share its opinions. That’s Gay embraces the choir to which it preaches, and, as a result, can translate uncomfortable or sensitive topics into accessible and entertaining commentary.
In a way, That’s Gay is the archetypical editorial piece: It’s insightful, concise, original, polished, and, most importantly, simultaneously entertaining and communicative. And while the majority of video bloggers may not have the performance ability to make their show go viral, or the production chops to give it a theme song and a logo, Mr. Safi’s show demonstrates a lesson that everyone can learn from: When it comes to serious issues, it pays to not take yourself too seriously.