June #82 : Laughing Matters - by Dennis Daniel

POZ - Health, Life and HIV
Subscribe to:
POZ magazine
Join POZ: Facebook MySpace Twitter Pinterest
Tumblr Google+ Flickr MySpace
POZ Personals
Sign In / Join

Back to home » Archives » POZ Magazine issues

Table of Contents

Kiss & Gel

Odd Boy Out

Pain Killer Pain

Gravest Show on Earth

Enemy at the Gate

How to Parent

On the High Wire

Party Politics

PACHA Gotcha

Waste Product

Three Wise Men

Poppy Culture

State of Race

Jail Tail

Ohio File

Oh! Calcutta!

School for Scandal

B Sting

Stat Splat

Beg To Differ

Oh, God!

Laughing Matters

Cable Ace

Bullox over Broadway

A Pair of Genes

Gene Machine


Fly by Night

All the News That's Fit to Zip...

Classical Lit

The Pill Chill

Mixed Signals

Tat's Two

Gender Bender


Who's Who

Big Sis

Clean Screen



Asimov As He Was


Tricks of the Trade

Cunning Linguist

Editor's Letter


Bloodless, Still Gutsy

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

email print

June 2002

Laughing Matters

by Dennis Daniel

It's been 22.3 years. AIDS is finally funny." So proclaimed the potty-mouthed, 8-year-old denizens of South Park in March. Producers Trey Parker and Matt Stone may be on to something, but they certainly didn't pioneer the use of AIDS as sitcom matter. That happened 15 years ago, when the ladies of Designing Women agreed to lend their decorating touch to the funeral of a young friend dying of AIDS. At about the same time, the Golden Girls underwent a testing scare from hospital volunteer work.

This season, HIV is really coming of age, and two shows seem to hit the right notes. A recent airing of South Park (Comedy Central) revolved around a homophonic mix-up when a celebrity proclaimed he wished everyone had "aides" like him, prompting a near-lynching. The cute, horny slutpuppies on Queer As Folk (Showtime) rip condom wrappers open with their teeth so frequently you'd think each had prophylactic product placement written into his contract. QAF is the poster program for sexual self-preservation and AIDS inclusion. Since the first episode, Uncle Vic (Jack Wetherall) has waged a very visible battle with AIDS, replete with drug cocktails and side effects. Last season, Emmett (Peter Paige) underwent every gay man's rite of passage, transmission panic (he was negative). And this season, hapless Michael (Hal Sparks) took a chance on love with HIV positive Ben (Robert Gant), to the consternation of his neggie buds and his mom.

Some producers and writers, however, really need to get a clue. We thought Darren Star, the creator and consultant for Sex and The City (HBO), was openly gay. But except for an occasional mention of condoms and an episode last season in which Samantha (Kim Cattrall) weathered an HIV scare (hmm, is there a pattern emerging here?), these girls hop in and out of bed with the impunity of barebackers. And if Will & Grace (NBC) were the sole popular window onto gay life, millions would be forced to ask, "How can gay men spread HIV... when they never have sex?"

Yes, television comedies operate in a bizarre parallel universe. Still, more producers are perfecting the art of portraying sexual responsibility while keeping the laugh-track rolling.

[Go to top]

Facebook Twitter Google+ MySpace YouTube Tumblr Flickr Instagram
Quick Links
Current Issue

HIV Testing
Safer Sex
Find a Date
Newly Diagnosed
HIV 101
Disclosing Your Status
Starting Treatment
Help Paying for Meds
Search for the Cure
POZ Stories
POZ Opinion
POZ Exclusives
Read the Blogs
Visit the Forums
Job Listings
Events Calendar
POZ on Twitter

Ask POZ Pharmacist

Talk to Us
Has a pet helped you deal with your HIV?


more surveys
Contact Us
We welcome your comments!
[ about Smart + Strong | about POZ | POZ advisory board | partner links | advertising policy | advertise/contact us | site map]
© 2016 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved. Terms of use and Your privacy.
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.