In case you hadn’t noticed, EW is just a little excited about Magic Mike, the upcoming male stripper movie in which Channing Tatum finally takes off his shirt. While exotic lady dancers have been baring it all on film since before Edison invented the Kinetoscope, their Y-chromosome counterparts haven’t had nearly as much onscreen exposure.
We’re tempted to call Magic Mike an important, pioneering movie about naked dudes — but it’s not the first to shatter Hollywood’s onscreen stripper glass ceiling. Tatum and his costars are pelvic thrusting on the shoulders of giants who are also doing pelvic thrusts. So before we turn our attention to the men of Xquisite, let’s take a look back at their predecessors. Fear not, office drones: The clips are all SFW, though you still might want to exercise caution when deciding whether to press “play.”
Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze (Saturday Night Live, 1990)
The year: 1990. The place: SNL‘s Studio 8H. The premise: Both Farley and Swayze want to join the famed Chippendales troupe, but only one will make the cut. The resulting sketch was an instant classic, thanks to both Swayze’s expert dancing and Farley’s surprisingly graceful moves. Knowing how Chris Rock feels about the sketch makes it a little tough to watch — but it’ll always stand out as one of SNL‘s funniest moments.
Carlton Banks (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, 1992)
Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) and his cousin Will (Will Smith) need to make a bunch of money fast. The logical next step? Become male strippers, obviously. Though Smith doesn’t disrobe on screen, Ribeiro does — proving once more that the man can dance. Seriously, someone bring this guy back to TV.
The men of The Full Monty (1997)
Take note, Magic Mike: This charming British movie racked up four Academy Award nominations and beat out Titanic and L.A. Confidential to win the BAFTA for Best Film. It also inspired a great Broadway musical that had the misfortune of debuting the same season as The Producers — there were no theater awards to spare that year. The movie’s final striptease isn’t online, but the musical’s is — and, as a bonus, it features a pre-Little Children Patrick Wilson belting and baring all. There’s no business like show business!
The men of The Chippendales Murder (2000)
Before Naveen Andrews took an Oceanic Airlines flight to Lost, he played seedy real-life Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee in this made-for-TV movie. And while the man who would be Sayid didn’t wear buttless undergarments in the film, plenty of other actors — including Castle‘s Victor Webster — did. It’s sort of like the male Showgirls, except less explicit and even worse.
Danny DeVito as Roy the Stripper (Friends, 2004)
When Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) decides she wants a stripper at her bachelorette party, Monica (Courteney Cox) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) scramble to find one. Instead of an Adonis, they end up with Danny DeVito — and his appearance doesn’t go over so well. (The episode is called “The One Where the Stripper Cries.”) But DeVito shakes his groove thing anyway, as you can see in the following clip. Just try to ignore the Czech dubbing.
Did I miss your favorite disrobing Romeo? Feel free to give him a shout out in the comments.
This week’s cover: Channing Tatum and the cast of ‘Magic Mike’ in a nakedly honest interview
30 Summer Movies We Can’t Wait to See
‘Magic Mike’ trailer: ‘I’m just trying to figure out, why stripping?’ — Um, why NOT?