Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who was Gay Bob?

 Gay Bob, a novelty doll created by advertising executive Harvey Rosenberg back in 1977, was billed as the first "openly gay" doll. We can only assume that his manufacturer, Gizmo Development, was hinting about Ken and his "best friend" Alan when he used the term first "openly gay" doll.

 (This compromising photo the closeted couple courtesy of TMZ.)

Gay Bob stood just 13" tall and was dressed in the period gay clone uniform of cowboy boots, jeans, flannel shirt and gold hoop earring. Other outfits were available for order from his fashion catalogue (International Male?)

 Where as Ken was sexless, Gay Bob was anatomically correct. His little plastic weener was cursed to be flaccid through out eternity, but it still sure beats being smooth in the crotch.

Part of the gimmick was that Gay Bob was packaged in a box that resembled a closet... so he could "come out of the closet." Not too subtle!  Although he was created as a joke, Gay Bob helped to increase gay visibility in the pop culture of the late 1970's; a time that wasn't at all gay friendly. Gay Bob was bestowed with Esquire magazine's "Dubious Achievement Award" for 1978, but looking back, it's amazing he ever made to store shelves. Highly collectable, you can usually find one in the box for under $60 on Ebay.

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