Video Rewind: Dropping Trou the Hollywood Way
While searching for early '80's memorabilia for a book I'm getting ready to write, I came across a group devoted to hunks of that memorable era. I checked it out and there was something which disturbed me. I never knew there was a behind the scenes scandal of The Chippendales.
The story behind the famous dance troupe was intriguing and I thought it would make for a good movie and was surprised one hadn't been made. Lo and behold a movie was made in 2001 called Just Can't Get Enough which based the story on events surrounding the murder of choreographer Nick DeNoia (Peter Nevargic).
The movie itself is really good with three plotlines. One revolves around DeNoia, another revolving around founder Steve Banerjee (Shelley Malil) and the main plot revolves around Chad Patterson (Jonathon Aube). Chad, a recent MBA graduate gets a job at the famous club with the hope of becoming manager someday based on Banerjee's promises.
Patterson becomes the assistant manager and "poster child" of the club based on his swarthy good looks. It's just a matter of time before Banerjee wants him to become a dancer. After his ex-fiancé's friends bring her to the club for her bachelorette party, Patterson starts his own dancing troupe which Banerjee manages to shut down before the first piece of clothing is removed.
So I started to think about it and thought who's dropped trou as a male stripper?
The first person who came to mind was Gregory Harrison, who starred in the 1981 made-for-television movie For Ladies Only.
Harrison starred as John Phillips, an aspiring actor from Iowa. When his luck (and funds) start to run out he gets together with fellow actor Marc Singer (who moonlights as a stripper) and gets a job as a waiter at an all male strip club.
Phillips keeps his waiter job a secret from his friend Mary Louise (Dinah Manoff) and before he knows it, he starts dancing and becomes the headliner which further distances himself from his acting career.
One of the most honest performance comes from Louise Lasser as a lonely housewife who comes into the club one night and spends the night with John. And if that isn't enough he has a brief fling with Lee Grant (Manoff's real life mother).
Cashing in on the male strip club scene of the early '80's could have made this another run of the mill movie of the week, but this one really stands out as we see the transformation of naïve actor to self centered headliner.
Then there's Christopher Atkins in A Night in Heaven. He's a college student dancing at the strip club Heaven. After seeing his professor (Leslie Ann Warren) there he begins an affair with her.
Faye Hanlon is in a sexless marriage and finds herself falling in love with Atkins (even though he's failing her class) which brings up the question of student-teacher relationships. He's looking for an easy grade while she has to fight her feelings for him and keep the affair quiet.
For comic relief, check out Michael Keaton, as unemployed Jack Butler in Mr. Mom. No, he doesn't start a second career as a stripper, but as a stay at home dad his girlfriends in the neighborhood take him out to dinner and then to a strip club where he's embarrassed to be seen while putting a dollar into one of the dancers' g-string.
If you're looking for a guilty pleasure or even planning a bachelorette party (and don't want to be seen in a strip joint) these are some suggestions and you won't have to pay the cover charge.