Two stories conspire to prompt the question “what happened to camp?”. First off, the new Sky Magazine promotes the new Knight Rider. Yes, it’s back and the Hoff has a cameo apparently. A bit of googling suggests the series has been cancelled in the USA so don’t get too excited. I’ve put the new credits at the bottom of this post followed by the original 80s credits which for a child of the 80s like me continues to provide flashes of childhood excitement (I wanted to be Devon Miles, played by Edward Mulhare when I grew up. lol). If you’re not familiar with the series, KITT (the car) featured the voice of William Daniels. Although Daniels is straight, he provided KITT with a rather camp character. In the 2008 series, Val Kilmer takes over from Daniels and makes him rather husky and ‘butch’ from what I’ve seen. If anything, the car and the opening credits suggest a much more ‘butch’ series format.
The second story that sent my mind racing (well gently cantering at any rate) concerns Eurovision which is the camp ritual due to take place later this month. The Guardian carries a piece today that goes behind the scenes of the UK entry and preparation and continues the Scooch bashing (the 2007 entry). Now I loved that entry and it was one of the campest ting I’ve ever seen (local boy, and I think Sunderland student, David Ducasse saying “would you like something to suck on for landing sir” – fabulous) but this year the competition is being ‘taken seriously’ and such campness seems out. Camp = naff.
Of course the Dr Pepper ad that features the school guy who has “hurt his little friend” is in the camp tradition of innuendo but where are the camp characters on TV? Simon Cowell is as camp as a row of tents but is “straight”. Graham Norton had a camp semi-lobotomy on joining the BBC from Ch4 and I really can’t think of other characters on TV. I’d love people to add comments of anyone they can think of any.
Is it possible that the legal reform that the UK has witnessed in the last ten years has done much to de-queer homosexuality? Civil partnerships, adoption rights, goods and services regulations and so on have done much to place homosexuality within a heteronormative framework.