Time-Warp Ethics: Observations On “The Cher Show” (1975)


  • The song “I’m a Woman,” by famed songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was written in 1962 and was once considered a standard. Is it politically incorrect today, since the entire definition of “woman” has been thrown into ambiguity and disrepute? I would say that it can’t be performed today. Is that reversible? Should it be?
  • The opening “girl-talk” between Welch and Cher is truly cringey. It’s hard to imagine U.S.culture returning to a point where that would be considered cute, except as satire. Both Raquel (who died this year) and Cher were famously capable and tough pros–maybe they were engaging in satire at the time…satire that reinforced sexist stereotypes while mocking them.
  • Brava to Cher for being willing to appear in that costume next to Welch. That’s generous performing and the mark of an ethical (and confident) host. She was willing to highlight her guest’s assets even they overshadowed her own. Many divas then and now would never tolerate such an unflattering comparison.
  • The Citizen Free Press, which dug up this clip today, fatuously introduced it by asking “Does Raquel have a better voice than Cher?” Morons. Talk about no good deed going unpunished: This is what Cher gets for picking a number for the two to perform that has a tiny range right in Welch’s vocal wheelhouse. Again, Cher was letting her guest shine at her own expense. No, Raquel Welch did not have a better voice than Cher, or one that was nearly as good. However, the video shows that she was capable of filling more than the sex symbol pigeon-hole she was stuck into by Hollywood for most of her career.
  • She could dance, too. (Cher could not.) This clip of Raquel giving her all to entertain the troops in Vietnam is a reminder that she too could be generous:

12 thoughts on “Time-Warp Ethics: Observations On “The Cher Show” (1975)

  1. Screw the snowflaking woke crowd.

    “I’m A Woman” was one of the many great songs in the musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

    Here’s the cast & combo photo from an outstanding 2006 production of that show that I was part of…

    I played in the combo and sang in that production.

  2. I’d say they were doing a song that was already out of date. But most standards are. What woman has never said, “I don’t have a thing to wear?” The two of them were just playing a stereotype. It’s entertainment. So nice to see young women that weren’t carved up and puttied within an inch of their lives. Look at magazine ads from the ’70s. The women models are uniformly naturally gorgeous. My God, all today’s women with their build to suits make Raquel Welch look almost flat. I had no idea Raquel Welch had a brain, a sense of humor, and could act. Good for her.

    • This is understandable as post WWII adult entertainment. I’d liken it to the guys in “South Pacific” wearing grass skirts and coconut shells and acting like women. It was all done tongue-in-cheek for laughs. They were doing something known as “joking” or “kidding around,” when that was not only allowed but considered, you know, healthy. People of our parents’ generation were watching these shows in the ’70s.

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