Cartoon Black History: Snagglepuss
When I was growing up, keeping something on the “down low” just meant keeping a secret. Oh how the times have changed. Now it describes a black man that is in a heterosexual relationship, but has secret affairs with men. That, my friends, is gross. That’s why it is time to honor a man that knew who he was and felt no need to lie about it.
But before he hit the stage, Snagglepuss was in the mean streets selling crack as a youngster. He wasn’t very good at it, though. For some reason he liked to slang near police stations. Snagglepuss was routinely arrested and thrown in jail. It was almost as if he liked to be locked up.
Thankfully, Snagglepuss got himself together, stayed out of prison and pursued his love of the arts. But it wasn’t until a talent scout saw him dancing in a club that he got his big Broadway break. The next day he was cast in The King and I. That’s impressive to be singled out in a rave full of dudes (which he thought was just par for the course).
See, at this point Snagglepuss’ self awareness gaydar was not yet working. He thought every guy wasn’t attracted to women into their early 20s and liked show tunes. Snagglepuss was working on a scene that required him to go to target practice. When he painted the target and aimed at it in a sassy way, he was quoted as saying “Heavens to Murgatroid, that was kinda gay!”
But the straw that turned the camel queer happened backstage in preparation of the Mexican standoff scene the actors had practiced for. Snagglepuss grabbed two pistols. He held them wrong. Then he just said “OOOOOOOH.”
Snagglepuss finally understood his orientation. At the end of the play, interrupting the applause, he took the microphone. With a heavy heart and tears in his eyes he said “I am Snagglepuss and I’m a homosexual.” (Ellen Degeneres would recreate this in her sitcom years later)
The clapping ceased. In perfect unison, the audience and Snagglepuss’ fellow actors exclaimed “WE KNOW!” Then the ovation commenced. Snagglepuss, you helped all walks of life understand that being yourself is always best. Kudos to you.