This week sees the premiere of Steven Soderbergh's latest effort, Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and Olivia Munn. The male stripper flick has been getting great buzz from early reviews. Some are comparing it to Boogie Nights in the way it frankly shows workers in the skin industry (or "skindustry" if you wanna be cute) to be more than just peni and pecks.
There have been tons upon tons of films about female strippers or featuring gals who get naked onstage. Striptease, Powder Blue, Dancing at the Blue Iguana, The Wrestler, all make the cut. Showgirls was about showgirls who have sex like dolphins, but we'll lump it in with the rest of the stripper flicks. Thankfully, most of these depict these folks as artistic and learned humans and not airheads.
Male strippers don't get much love at the movies save for usage as comedic relief, because let's face it, men aren't built to strip. We're mostly awkward, furry and bad at seduction. I know, I know, I should speak for myself. Female strippers are just plain more fun to look at, no matter what your preference is.
No mention of male strippers on any screen -- big or small -- would be complete without mentioning the Saturday Night Live sketch with Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze as dueling dancers vying to become Chippendales dancers. Why couldn't they have made a feature film from that sketch and not Stuart Saves His Family? No offense, Al Franken.
Here are some of my favorite male strippers at the movies (there are honestly too few to choose from)
Larry Kazamias, Summer School
The frequently dozing Larry moonlighted as a male dancer when he wasn't sitting in Mr. Shoop's summer school classes.
The Men of The Full Monty
In a year dominated by Titanic, British import The Full Monty made waves at the theaters. The story of a flabby crew of unemployed Brits who decide to go fully nude for cash was a feel-good hit and brought Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy and Robert Carlyle plenty of career cred.
The Hot Dog Dude in Bachelor Party
And we would never ever look at hot dog buns the same again after the scene with the bachelorette party.
Ramon in The Proposal
Yes, he was the only exotic dancer on the island...