Queer Duck

Queer Duck

Queer Duck is an animated series that originally appeared on Icebox.com and later moved to the American cable television channel Showtime in 2002, where it aired as a followup feature of the American version of Queer as Folk. Although far from being the first gay cartoon character, Queer Duck was the first animated TV series to have homosexuality as its predominant theme. Like several later television cartoons, Queer Duck was animated in Macromedia Flash.

Characters

Queer Duck

The title character, full name Adam Seymour Duckstein (voiced by Jim J. Bullock), is a gay anthropomorphic duck who works as a nurse.

Queer Duck has cyan-colored feathers, a little spiky fringe, and possible purple eye shadow to represent his femininity. He wears a sleeveless rainbow top and, typically like mostly everyone else in the series, does not wear trousers. This follows the tradition of semi-nudity on cartoon characters exemplified by Porky Pig, Donald Duck, etc. Note: He is often shown to have two fingers and one thumb on each hand, but they change to having the "usual" three fingers and one thumb on occasion.

Queer Duck is known to gossip on about anything and everything in the series, especially on the phone while watching TV as shown on ‘Oh Christ!’ and ‘A Gay Outing’. He is promiscuous in his own way as well, but not as obsessed with sex as his boyfriend Openly Gator as he often brings the word ‘cock’ into mind but swiftly changes the word as an excuse like cocktails in ‘The Gay Road to Morocco’. Queer Duck is often known to be cold-hearted like in the episode ‘Queer as Fowl’, and also “mistakes” almost anyone and anything involved with homosexuality.

His nemesis is known to be Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who is pictured as a haggard and ugly old woman. The trouble often starts from there just like in ‘Queer Doc’.

Queer Duck has also been a victim of gay bashing as shown in ‘Ku Klux Klan & Ollie’ as Ku Klux Klan members attempt to burn his house down. When his disguise attempt fails, he kisses the unveiled Jerry Falwell, only to get shot down by the other homophobics. Then in Heaven he finds out that the other famous icons like Socrates and Leonardo Da Vinci are also gay much to the chagrin of Jerry Falwell.

Throughout the series, the audience finds that Queer Duck has an in-denial mother, a diabetic father (whose name is revealed to be Morty in the episode ‘Quack Doctor’), a straight brother named Lucky (who is revealed to have bullied Queer Duck when they were younger), a nephew named Little Lucky and a lesbian sister named Melissa. Queer Duck is not the most beloved child in his family and there are strong hints that his older brother Lucky is the one most favored for being the odd one out because he is desirably straight and that is possibly most pleasing for Mrs. Duckstein.

Queer Duck is afraid to show his sexuality to his nephew Little Lucky (who first appeared in ‘Fiddler on the Roofie’), especially when they were out camping with two other campers who are Little Lucky’s friends when they took out one of his magazines with personal ads such as GBM, S&M and B&D. And in ‘Fiddler on the Roofie’, Little Lucky unwittingly stumbles upon his uncle’s gay pornographic videos which he mistakes for popular cartoons. E.g. Pokémon = Poke-A-Man, Rocky & Bullwinkle = Rock Hard & Bull Sprinkle. (Lucky is already aware: when his fellow campers think "Your uncle is Gay", Lucky answers, "Well, DUH!")

Other characters

Queer Duck's boyfriend, the indigent artist Steven Arlo “Openly” Gator (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, in the style of Harvey Fierstein), is shy and insecure and is usually the voice of reason whenever Queer Duck gets himself and anyone else into any trouble and possibly the closest one to common sense than anyone else in the show. Their friends throughout the series are Bi Polar Bear (voiced by Ren & Stimpy and Futurama actor Billy West, in the style of Paul Lynde) and the urbane Oscar Wildcat (voice actor Maurice LaMarche).

Recurring supporting characters include Queer Duck's in-denial mother (played by Estelle Harris, George's mother on Seinfeld) and the group's nemesis, Dr. Laura Schlessinger (played by voice actress Tress MacNeille). One character, a large, well-built horse, portrays different characters in each episode. He starts out as a gay-converting Christian minister but later portrays more gay-sensitive characters, such as a flight attendant on TWGay

The show was created, written and executive produced by Mike Reiss, executive producer of network cartoons The Simpsons and The Critic. The animation was directed and designed by Xeth Feinberg.

Recurring themes

Although each three-minute episode stands by itself rather than being part of a larger narrative, several themes and events occur through the 20-episode series. Queer Duck reveals his homosexuality to his parents in the first episode. In the course of the series, Queer Duck and Openly Gator get married, and it's revealed that Queer Duck has a lesbian sister. In another episode, he has a brother and a nephew. Queer Duck also meets Santa Claus and attends Mardi Gras. A episode parodying Disneyland featured a turkey who is in the navy named Gobble - the salty sea man.

Much like The Critic, Queer Duck features numerous cameo appearances by celebrities, whose voices are impersonated by the cast. In addition to Dr. Laura, the Queer Duck gang encounter Bob Hope, Jack Nicholson, Cary Grant, and in particular Barbra Streisand, with whom Queer Duck is obsessed, as well as noted ultra-conservative preacher Jerry Falwell. These celebrities are the only human characters. All other characters are anthropomorphic animals like Duck and his friends, except for the woman Queer Duck sleeps with in the final episode.

Openly Gator meets Conan O'Brien in Queer Duck - The Movie (2006)

Episodes

# Title Airdate

1. I'm Coming Out
On October 11, National Coming Out Day, Queer Duck comes out to his friends and family who already know he was gay.

2. Fiddler on the Roofie
Queer Duck babysits his nephew, who finds an interesting collection of video tapes.

3. Oh Christ
The plans of Dr. and Mrs. Duckstein, Duck's parents, to deprogram our hero are met with fabulously entertaining results.

4. Queer Doc
Queer Duck pranks Dr. Laura who tries to get even by stalking him down with a double barrel shotgun. Dr. Laura ends up trying to peek through a "glory hole" and ends up "cockeyed." Queer Duck pulls off a "Daffy" when she finally catches up to him at the local bar.

5. B.S. I Love You
Queer Duck stands in line to see his idol Barbra Streisand. He gets tackled by her security and thrown in prison thanks to her gaydar system. Prison ends up being more of a "lucky break" however more than Queer Duck could have possibly imagined.

6. The Gayest Place on Earth
The Queer Gang go to a gay theme park. Gay Duck makes a pass at a sailor turkey named "Gobble - the salty Sea man" only to be thwarted by a captain (Mickey Mouse). Attractions seen are "It's a Gay World" (after all), "Butt Pirates" and several closeted stars are also caught there (Keangaroo Reeves and Ricky Marlin).

7. Gym Neighbors
After insulting Openly Gator's oversized derrière, and Gator's histrionics over the insult, Gator takes Queer Duck to the gym to rectify the problem. While there, Duck cruises the patrons, leaving Gator to suffer an accident on a weight bench. When the accident leaves Gator with a turned-up nose, Duck tells him it looks like Tori Spelling's. Gator returns to his melodramatic histrionics.

8. Queer as Fowl
While attending the funeral of H.I.V. Possum, Queer duck treats the event like a gay mixer. Queer Duck agrees, stating that "everything is a gay pickup, Desert Storm was a gay pickup." Queer Duck gets disgusted by the funeral poetry reading and turns the funeral into a gay disco. But as it turns out, Queer Duck also has a sensitive side.

9. Wedding Bell Blues
While flying home after attending a gay rodeo, Dr. Laura appears on the gang's airplane's wing (like a gremlin) and starts to take apart the wing. She is ultimately electrocuted. During the panic, Queer Duck makes a "deathbed promise" to marry Openly Gator. They go to Vermont to marry, by a rabbi, where Queer Duck adds a laundry list of exceptions to his vows.

10. Ku Klux Klan and Ollie
Queer Duck and the gang are having martinis at home when they are interrupted by the KKK. Queer Duck faces off against the unhooded Jerry Falwell and in the process of Queer Duck and Falwell's "exchange," they are offed by the other Klansmen and sent to heaven where they realize there are plenty of other gay occupants. Jerry's disdain for heaven gets him castawayed to an isolated cloud below the main "party" upstairs.

11. The Gay Road to Morocco
In a black-and-white parody of the film Road to Morocco, Queer Duck & the troupe offer a Gay Road to Morocco musical episode. They meet Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in the desert and are confronted by Abu Ben Dover (Cary Grant) and his army, which turns out to be a harem.

12. Quack Doc
The Queer Gang go to see a gay head shrink, Dr. Ben Swine. Bi Polar Bear relates a recurring dream with Hollywood squares (true to Paul Lynde) and we learn of a dark side to Oscar Wildcat (expanded upon in episode 15). We also get a look at the hatching of Queer Duck. Finally, the anxious and insecure Openly Gator ends up with a good ol' bottle of Xanax.

13. Oscar's Wild
The gang attends the Oscars, meeting Joan Rivers. The event is so boring that they all fall asleep. Upon waking, they join Jack Nicholson in a spree of destruction, tearing up the theater.

14. A Gay Outing
While Queer Duck is watching "Drugged Out Has-Been's Week" on the Biography Channel, his nephew, a Cub Scout, reminds him of his promise to take the troop on a camping trip. The boys find a copy of Out Magazine with Barney Frank on the cover, and Queer Duck tries to explain the contents of the personal ads. In a musical number, he makes up non-sexual meanings to the abbreviations common in the ads, such as GBM, S&M, B&D, bi/curious, dyke, vamp, butch, and "water-sports."

15. Radio Head
Queer Duck and Openly Gator host a new radio program. First a mysterious caller calls in with a cooking question, "Oscar Mild-Cat." Finally there's a showdown with Dr. Laura, who comes out of the closet but ends up in a major "meltdown."

16. Tales of the City Morgue
Three short stories, including Bi Polar Bear's abduction by aliens who were hoping for a "breeder," Oscar Wildcat's creation of a "Barney Frankenstein", and Openly Gator's challenge to break Queer Duck from his Yentl addiction. Will this do in the whole Queer Gang?

17. Homo for the Holidays
Openly Gator and Queer Duck visit the Ducksteins for the holidays, where Dr. Duckstein tries to set up Openly Gator with Queer Duck's lesbian sister. But a fortunate wishbone break resolves the family crisis.

18. Bi Polar Bear and the Glorious Hole
In a parody of Winnie the Pooh, Bi Polar Bear gets stuck in Oscar Wildcat's hole and becomes very popular in the neighborhood, enjoying the "attention" of many of his neighbors.

19. Santa Claus is Coming Out
Queer Duck's holiday song outs Santa Claus. But when the real Santa visits Queer Duck's house on Christmas morning, Santa explains his true sexual persuasion.

20. Mardi Foie Gras
At Mardi Gras, the gang is hanging out on a balcony trying to get beads. Queer Duck curses Dr. Laura using voodoo, ends up smashed by a "Hurricane," and wakes up to find himself "deflowered" by a sexy woman.

Queer Duck: The Movie

Queer Duck: the Movie, an all-new feature film, was released on DVD July 18, 2006. The film reunites the original creators and cast of Queer Duck, plus special guest stars Conan O'Brien, Tim Curry, Jeff Glen Bennett, Mark Hamill, Bruce Vilanch, April Winchell and David Duchovny as "Tiny Jesus". Gay-themed channel Logo premiered the film on July 16.

External links

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