Know Your Queen

When Bea Arthur joined forces with PETA, the results were hilarious

The performer known as Bea Arthur is iconic for many reasons. Her showstopping turns as Yenta the Matchmaker in the original Fiddler on the Roof Broadway production, as the straight-talking, abortion-having Maude (“All in the Family,” “Maude”) and as the acid-tongued Dorothy Zbornak have solidified the golden girl’s place in our hearts.

And then there’s…her PETA ad. For those not in the know, Arthur joined forces with PETA in 1987, and shortly thereafter made an ad whose words would ring in the ears of burgeoning homosexuals for all time.

Speaking out against the drug Premarin—a menopause medication prescribed to women to help lessen the severity of hot flashes and other side effects resulting from a lack of estrogen—Arthur told a generation of women something that they’d never forget. Namely that the drug features a very special ingredient: horse urine. While Arthur didn’t agree with everything PETA did, as she testified to on a very special Judge Judy episode shortly after joining the controversial animal protection org, she did feel quite strongly about Premarin, as well she should have!

It was a public service announcement—not just in the interest of protecting pregnant mares from having their pee unfairly extracted, but to make sure that young homosexuals everywhere got to become just a little bit gayer after hearing Dorothy Zbornak say the words “horse urine” in her unmistakable baritone.

The ad quickly became the stuff of legend in the online age: there was a TikTok remix that pitted Arthur’s “horse urine” sound against “Eye of the Tiger,” proclaiming Arthur “the original go piss girl” (referring to the iconic Gossip Girl meme.)

There was the iconic duet that came out in 2022…


#onthisday for all the people who say I sound nothing like Bea Arthur 😜 a trip down memory lane #beaarthur #thegoldengirls #goldengirls #voiceactor #impressions #impressionist

♬ original sound – lukemcquillan

In effect, there are so many ways that queers of today can get our fix of Bea Arthur saying “horse urine.” And that, friends, is something we can be deeply thankful for.

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