POOTIE TANG IN SINE YOUR PITTY ON THE RUNY KINE
If The Meteor Man was a Black take on Superman and Blankman a kind of inept Black Batman, then Pootie Tang is surely a Black take on The Adventures of Buckaroo Banazi: Across the Eighth Dimension (1984). The films central gimmick is that Lance Crouther speaks a nonsense language. This is an idea that was first done in the little-remembered Gerry Anderson tv series The Secret Service (1969), which featured Stanley Unwin as a priest/spy who burst into nonsense speech when under stress. The Secret Service was not a success, being cancelled after 13 episodes and is rarely seen today. Pootie Tang fared little better.
The idea might have been a cute Saturday Night Live sketch but as a film, Pootie Tang seems overextended and strained. There is not much that holds it together the central concept is too slight to last the distance and there is only a vague plot. It is all interspersed with colourful MTV-styled pop-up visuals with people turning to address the camera and the action freezing for replays and so on. It is only in occasionally surreal moments of humour that the film stands out the woman that follows Pootie Tang to his room, begging for anything, whereupon he puts out a bowl of milk for her; the appearances of Pooties father and mother as respectively a stalk of corn and a cow; his hit single, which consists of dead air.
The term Pootie Tang is actually ghetto slang meaning respectively ass and pussy. (Another derivation is poontang meaning sex). In doing such, Pootie Tang has subversively thumbed its nose at the American censors you can guarantee no other film would be allowed to get away with calling itself Ass Pussy or any other derivation of such.
Not too many people went to see the film. Although the end credits do make the valiant claim that Pootie Tang will be back in Cole Me Down on the Panny Stie.