Tuesday, October 5, 2010

70s (and 80s) TV Exposure, Volume 5: Beefcake Revisited

I recently revealed (close to the one year anniversary of this site, I believe) my utter lack of blogging savvy when I announced that I hadn’t previously realized that I could look at the statistics of Poseidon’s Underworld and determine which pages are the most popular and from what areas of the world visitors were coming and from which search engines, keywords and so on! I mentioned then that, far and away, the most popular page at The Underworld is one on the bulges to be found on 70s TV. (It was one of a series of four posts about TV beefcake that highlighted bulges, unbuttoned shirts, Speedos and bare chests.) More than twice the amount of visitors have hit that page on bulges than its next closest in line!

Looking at the posting now, quite a while later, I am struck by how brief it is when compared to a lot of the posts that came after it. (Maybe people are trying to tell me something… like SHUT UP! lol) Anyway, good or bad, it is that page that draws the most people to this site and, even though I am not as a rule one to be led into the things I muse about, I thought it would be fun to revisit the subject, but in an even bigger way. Hence this post, which draws a bit from all four of the categories I made up, with, of course, the biggest focus being bulges.

You would think that in today’s far more vulgar and sexually aggressive climate, there would be more opportunity for crotch gazing on TV than there is. Men’s clothing is actually more baggy, demure and concealing now, for the most part, than it was thirty to forty years ago. Time was in the 60s (and, perhaps, some time I’ll do a little feature on this, too), a person could be innocently sitting in his living room and see Bonanza’s Little Joe (Michael Landon, who was not little!) or The Big Valley’s Nick Barkley (Peter Breck, who appeared to be hung heavier than his horse!) strut onto the screen with all sorts of things going on downstairs. And people still talk about Dr. Joe Gannon’s (Chad Everett) revealing scrubs from Medical Center.

When the 70s (then the 80s) rolled around, things got even more “in your face,” so to speak. Jeans because so snug that you wondered how the people got them on and it became a bother to fasten the top four or five buttons on a shirt. Sometimes there was no shirt to be found anywhere! Then there was the Halley’s comet known as the Speedo, a teensy bathing suit that was a hot item for a while, but soon became laughed into oblivion for everyone except expert swimmers/divers or professional wresters. Let’s take a look back at some TV actors and a few of the beguiling looks they sported for us during the 70s and 80s. Today is a bonanza of beefcake, biceps and bulges, oh my! (And remember the mantra of The Underworld, you can click on the uncentered pics to enlarge!)

Following in the wake of his half-brother David’s success as a teen heartthrob, Shaun Cassidy made a splash of his own for a while. He cut a couple of albums and costarred on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries with Parker Stevenson. Shaun posed for countless pinups, frequently with his shirt open (or off) and in the fashionable “painted-on” jeans of the day. He was never a favorite of mine, but many disagreed! I was more high on his Hardy Boys costar Stevenson (and indeed most people have been inclined to make a Sophie’s Choice, preferring one over the other.) The series was notorious for its display of the young men’s “dressing” preferences, with Parker always dressed right and Shaun invariably veering left. In the episode depicted here, a fight scene has just ended and Parker seems to have become a little aroused by it! Trust me, in motion, this moment is a lot more vivid than it is in this capture! Bulges are hard to catch in one frame with the same impact as they have in motion (the temperature of the water in The Underworld just went up five degrees!)

Another second-generation actor who found success on TV was Lorenzo Lamas. Produced from the genes that gave the world Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, it was a no-brainer that he was going to be attractive, though he doesn’t seem to have inherited the same level of class and taste that his parents tended to display. Lamas scored supporting roles in TV movies and on a show called California Fever before landing the role of Lance Cumson (I beg your pardon!) on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest. As evidenced by this shot of him in his taupe trousers, Fernando seems to have bequeathed him one of the most lauded family heirlooms. Lorenzo was a frequent Speedo wearer, though often by design of his role on Falcon Crest or, like so many others at that time, by the dictates of the legendary Battle of the Network Stars, a competition between the casts of shows from NBC, CBS and ABC that aired periodically and featured all the guys stuffed into the skimpy swimsuits.

The young star of BJ and the Bear, Greg Evigan, was another of those stars compelled to swim and kayak for his team wearing nothing but a Speedo. As I noted in my original post on bulges, most teen idols of the 70s were smooth-chested (often they had an androgynous quality about them), but Greg was a happy exception, proudly showing off his ferret fur. I never watched Bear, nor the much later My Two Dads, but sometimes I wish I’d have given Evigan a chance. He looks pretty cute here.

Another famous bulge of the day belonged to Gary Sandy of WKRP in Cincinnati. Again, he was not my type, but he had quite a following for a while. He was a double duty exposure type of guy due to his constrictive jeans and his shirts, which were rarely buttoned up past his sternum. Though, in actuality, he's continued to work in one form or another, to many of us, Gary Sandy up and disappeared the day WKRP was canceled!

Also, even now, fans still reminisce about John Amos’ tan corduroys on Good Times. Hired to be the father figure to a family of precocious children in the projects eager to make it out to a better life, he and his costar Esther Rolle (both of whose characters had been spun off from Maude) grew disgusted with the direction of the series. He took an early hike, his character dying as Rolle threw a glass punch bowl to the floor howling, “Damn, damn, DAMN!,” but no one ever forgot his poor, straining pants once they’d seen them. (I’m not making this up. Message boards all over the world still bring up these trousers!)


CHiPs was, in retrospect, a sort of cheap and tacky police motorcycle show, but at the time it sent hearts aflutter over its star Erik Estrada. His snow-white teeth, flashing against his deeply tan skin whenever he smiled, temporarily took the focus away from his beige patrol pants, which were a second skin. Erik was another one frequently photographed shirtless or in bursting britches and was a fixture on the teen magazine circuit. His costar Larry Wilcox eventually got tired of playing second fiddle to Estrada when he was supposed to be the lead in the show and took a hike. Once he was replaced, two new blonde cops were added to the mix, one of which was professional bike rider Bruce Penhall, who was a lovely package of tan, blonde yumminess. True, his fame only lasted fourteen minutes and thirty-eight seconds, but a few of us never forgot him!


Speaking of a tacky show, The Dukes of Hazard reigned in that category, reveling in its white trash milieu. Daisy Duke, played by Catherine Bach, had shorts so uniquely tiny – with, hysterically, panty hose under them most of the time! – that the term “daisy dukes” was used to describe them forever after. The big draw, though, for women and gay men anyway, was the appearance of Bo and Luke Duke, played by John Schneider and Tom Wopat.
Wopat was no slouch in the bulge department, but Schneider gave new meaning to the word! Examining some of the screen caps and publicity shots from the series, it’s mind-boggling that he got away with some of the things he did! One infamous episode with guest star Loretta Lynn looks as if he’s at least half hard under his pants (was she that hot?!) Other examples show his junk being spread out all over the place under his jeans. I’ll ask it again… Did no one notice? Were we supposed to be ignoring it? Was it all unintentional? You just don’t see things like this today (today we pixilate Survivor contestants if things get too revealing!)

Eight is Enough’s Willie Aames became another sensation for a while. Shown here in a publicity still for the show (with guest star Ralph Macchio), he garnered more attention than Grant Goodeve (who initially was meant to be focused on more heavily.) Always one drawn to the secure, mature types, I liked Goodeve the most, but Aames was far more popular. He eventually filmed a rip-off of The Blue Lagoon with Phoebe Cates called Paradise in which he took an underwater swim in the buff, revealing all. In time, Aames would become a master of the bizarre, first on Charles in Charge (with Scott Baio) and then with an odd blend of substance abuse, born again Christian evangelism, shoulder pads, mullets, Biblical superheroes and severe financial trauma! But, as witnessed in this crazed publicity photo, the seeds of idiocy and tackiness were sewn long before.
One place that the gays have always been able to seek out revealing costumes (from Buster Crabbe’s Flash Gordon to Gil Gerard’s Buck Rogers and many things in-between) is science fiction. So many costumers for sci-fi TV shows decided that leotards or otherwise clingy outfits would be the norm in the far-flung future. One show, Space: 1999, had uniforms created by famed fashion and topless swimsuit designer Rudi Gernreich. The sleek, clingy outfits consisted of jersey tops with one arm a different color, such as yellow or red, and slacks that did not forgive those without a decent leg line. In truth, the clothing was surely created with tall, slim people in mind because anyone out of shape instantly looked hideous in them.

Thing was, the material clung EVERYWHERE, including the fun parts. As the series wore on, and the laundering of the clothes continued, shrinkage in the pants lent its way to snugness in the crotch. While series regulars may have a little more attention paid to their uniforms, extras and guest stars sometimes had to make due with whatever was available. This often led to some (fortunately) ill-fitting get-ups.

The leads, too, including Martin Landau and Barry Morse, weren’t exempt from some (unintentional?) exposure. Morse, the older of the two, occasionally flashed a wad of something, occasionally rather eye-opening. (The fuzzy caps here are not necessarily the best examples, just examples!) Landau also was placed in the position of having to stand in a stationary spot, seriously and ponderously spouting lunar and outer space gobbledegook, while the corona of his penis head was visible through his pants!

The resident “hunk” of the show, at least during the first season, was Australian Nick Tate. His face was marginally handsome, but he had a decent body and the uniform suited him as well as it did anyone else. Quite a hairy guy, he would occasionally be seen with his shirt off or in one of the slinky blue sleepwear ensembles that patients held in Barbara Bain’s medical unit wore. Look for a tribute to Space: 1999 in the future, one that will hopefully have more, even better, examples of this clothing phenomena (one that had me, in 1977, panting for 1999 to get here, though it came and went without Gernreich’s designs being worn by the US populace!)

A show that promised a certain amount of male skin each episode was Man from Atlantis starring Patrick Duffy. Duffy had webbed fingers and feet and could exist underwater for extended periods of time. Various styles of yellow swimsuits were tried out on him from traditional near-speedos to almost knee length trunks to the sort of running/onionskin ones shown here. (I don’t know what, by the way, Belinda Montgomery finds so funny.) In any case, the show failed to catch on and was canceled before long.

One of the unsung hunks of 70s TV is Ben Murphy. Costar of the western show Alias Smith and Jones, he seemed to be overshadowed (then and now) by his costar Peter Duell, but (in what is a recurring theme here!) I found Ben to be by far the cutest. Somewhere out there are some seminude shots of him in (I think) Oui Magazine and I wish I could get my hands on them! For now, I’ll have to make due with this pair of bathtub shots. One fun thing about westerns for the burgeoning gay boy was that very often, after a long dusty ride, the hero would opt to take a hot, sudsy bath.

I came across this photo of The Bee Gees from their 70s heyday and even though they aren’t cast members of a TV series, they appeared many times as musical guests on shows during their meteoric success after Saturday Night Fever. I’m including this shot because it is emblematic of the type of shiny, snug pants and zippered jackets, opened to reveal wildly hairy chests, that were so popular then.

Dennis Cole, married for a time to Jaclyn Smith and a three-time guest star on Charlie’s Angels, worked on TV very frequently back then. Having begun his career as a posing strap model, he later segued into acting. This shot is from a spread he did in the early mid-70s that included some rear shots of him shaving and showering. Upon closer inspection, this picture probably reveals more than even his posing strap photos ever did!

When Rock Hudson made the switch from movies to television in McMillan & Wife, he sometimes provided an eye-popping glimpse into what was going on downstairs. His business suits on the show tended to be traditional, albeit with some mod, colorful touches in the shirts and ties, but his casual wear pretty much announced to the world that he was going commando under his polyester slacks. The amusing thing about this is that it was clear to anyone watching closely that Hudson didn’t wear underwear, but one episode had his maid Nancy Walker misplacing his shorts, forcing the character to go without them to a black tie function. The character of McMillan was so uncomfortable about this that he went and put on swim trunks (!) under his tux rather than go bare when the real Hudson scarcely bothered. Now that was some acting!

David Hasselhoff was one of the tight jeans brigade. People who didn’t wear them always wondered how in the world guys managed to sit down. Somehow they just did. No pain no gain. Ha! Hoff, Tom Selleck and Lee Horsley were all TV stars shown wearing snug jeans and plenty of brown curly hair, some of it on their chest! Selleck was really the undisputed champ in this arena, but David tried (saddled with the far more ignorant Knight Rider as a vehicle versus the slightly more adult-oriented Magnum, P.I.) After Knight Rider, Hasselhoff headlined Baywatch, which, for a while, featured the infamous Speedos as an occasional part of the costume lineup, though in time these were basically done away with, except for special circumstances, in favor of trunks.


At the top of the post, I mentioned Chad Everett and his character’s scrubs on Medical Center. Well, I don’t have any pics of those, but I do have what I think is just as good. This shot of Chad in an outdoorsy setting features him in one seriously figure-hugging pair of corduroys. This kind of “hanging chad” I can deal with. Yum! I love Chad (see a tribute to him by clicking on his name in the column to the right) and this just became my new favorite shot of him. Reflecting on the role that tan corduroys have played in the depiction of the male form, I think it’s high time we made a motion for a comeback where they are concerned!

Oh, one final shot - and this one isn't even from TV, but is from a feature film that starred a TV actor. I just had to toss it in because it falls into the bulge category and, let's face it, I'm never going to do a Jason Priestly tribute... It's from the movie Calendar Girl (and there's fellow TV performer Jerry O'Connell in the car, too.) Hopefully, under the circumstances, you can forgive this breach of the rules (which I, as Poseidon, ruler of The Underworld, make up anyway!) since it's a special case of bulgery! We'll just say that the movie sometimes plays on TV.

Thanks for reading and I do hope you found this latest examination of our beloved television stars to be, er, revealing!

17 comments:

christopher said...

excellent overview. Have been watching season one of tv's "the virginian" [1962] and bulge factors from Gary Clarke and Doug McClure don't disappoint. as well I recall from circa 1973 several issues of OUI magazine that featured, indeed, Ben Murphy, but also Peter Brown and Michael Callan romping about with lady friends in a soft core manner.

Ima June Pullet said...

Agghh! Who is the guy in the first photo at the top of the post? I know him but can't put a name to his face. I hate that when it happens...

Poseidon3 said...

That's Mr. George Maharis, star of Route 66 and many other TV and movie projects!

Christopher, yes! I somehow need to acquire (at least the pics you mention from) those Oui mags...

Ima June Pullet said...

Thank you for clarifying that! After I posted my plea, it came to me in a flash when I was brushing my teeth, lol!

I used to watch Route 66 when I was in my early teens and thought George was about the hunkiest guy going.

Labuanbajo said...

I've seen George Maharis's Playgirl photos and also his pre-Route 66 porno photos and I think that photo at the top involves some sort of enhancement, such as a sock stuffed with pantyhose.

Dean said...

Well, I guess I might be in the minority here. I never notice (now or when I was younger) what anyone is packing. I just never think to look down there. But, I will say I had my fair share of crushes on some of the guys here: Parker Stevenson was my favorite Hardy Boy, I thought Gary Sandy was a stud, Tom Wopat really turned me on, Willie Aames was so cute (looked just like a high school crush I had at the same time the show was on), Grant Goodeve was another stud I loved, and I liked Nick Tate on Space 1999. (Jeez, I watched too much TV back then).

As a footnote, I have an album from George Maharis from the 1960s titled "Just Turn Me Loose". Takes on a special meaning after seeing his picture in this post. :-)

Michael O'Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Poseidon3 said...

Labuanbajo, I have a shot of GM in Playgirl that seems in line with what's in the black and white photo IF he has his pants hoisted clear up to where the seam of them is against his "taint" and everything is headed down one leg, which is the way men wore their pants for a long, long time (and very few seem to now.) Maybe wherever he was something (like a busboy) got his attention! ;-)

Mark Spears said...

I don't know what is wrong with so many men nowadays that they wear big oversized droopy pants hanging down in the straddle. But I don't like those too tight, painted on pants where you see their nuts being squeezed and contorted either. My grandfather always wore boxer shorts, and when he sat down, you could always see the imprint of his dick down in one pants leg, and the imprint of his testicles hanging into the other pants leg. It was disgusting.
I wear pants that fit, neither too tight nor too loose. The junction of the seat seam and the inside leg seams of my pants are always right against my taint where it is supposed to be. I have always worn jockey shorts for proper support so my balls won't be hanging down to my knees when I am old. As I get dressed, I place my dick in the up position, against my pubic bush, and my jockey shorts hold it there. My dick is always directly behind the fly of my pants which is why the zipper was put there as pants evolved. My profile shows a distinct protrusion where my dick is located, which is the normal natural state of being male.
I think young men are being raised by women, with no fathers, and they are being demasculated and made ashamed of being male, and that is why they wear the big baggy oversized droopy pants so they do not look to be male.

Simon said...

What episodes of what shows should I be looking for for the best bulge scenes?

I've also had a read of/look at vol 1 of 1970s TV exposure.
What series/episodes are these these pics from? I've entered Hardy boys into btjunkie.org (a torrent search site) and there are loads of results in the list.

MaleCeleb said...

Is there a way to get those links that do not work when you click on them to work. I really wanted to see Bruce Penhall and that speedo pic of David Hasselhoff larger but they dont work. I like so many on this page and grew up with watching them in that era. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Poseidon3 said...

MaleCeleb, this post was from the old Blog interface and, for whatever reason, pictures that were centered were never able to be enlarged. It was a huge source of frustration for me (primarily because due to the formatting and the fact that I have always had so many pictures and not always as much text to go with them, I had to put some pictures in the center to keep the posts from getting out of whack visually.) Now, since a new interface happened several months ago, ALL photos enlarge, though, sadly, it's too late for these older ones.... Thanks for visiting!

MaleCeleb said...

Thanks Poseidon. I see now what you mean. I didn't notice those did not have text beside them and of all pics that I wanted to see it has to be those 2 lol. I can't find that one of David H. anywhere else when I have done searches for him. I might can find the one of Bruce but not sure. I have seen some of him similar and I have a large collection of pics too. I may even have one somewhere of Chad E in a speedo. WEll anyway thanks for this wonderful blog. I have such a fondness for celebs from the 70's and from the 60's too both male and female but especially the men and its great to see the pics as well as read all the great text you come up with.

Poseidon3 said...

MaleCeleb, never let it be said that I am not a benevolent god. LOL (Also, I appreciate your kind remarks and I try to make my blog a treat for people who like this sort of thing...) I have gone to my secret sources and recovered the two pictures you asked about, redone them in the post and now they will open in the photo viewer or in a new tab/window! Many of the pictures I feature here can never be recovered because I delete them after posting, but I happened to be able to reclaim these two. :-)

Jason Roberts said...

After falling in today and spending a good deal of time in The Underworld, I find we have very similar tastes. I remember just waiting for the Grant Goodeve scenes, which never came frequently enough.

Penhall was adorable, but I remember thinking how tiny he was. Even when Jon was still there, the one I always wanted to see more of was "Bear" Baricza--and this is before I even knew what a bear was! He was so hot, but wore the uniform of an "Adam" unit, not a "Mary."

I so wanted him to start riding a motorcycle.

Poseidon3 said...

Welcome, Jason! I hope you stick around and continue to wade through all the posts here. Some of them are quite long and involved, others more to the point.

I have to tell you that I had no recollection of Bear on "CHiPs" at all! Having looked him up, I now remember him and he is indeed very appealing!! I think as a tyke I was more into the pretty, non-threatening, blondes like Penhall, but I certainly can see Brodie Greer's assests now. Thanks!

neo maxwell said...

Another second-generation actor who found success on TV was Lorenzo Lamas. Produced from the genes that gave the world Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, it was a no-brainer that he was going to be attractive, though he doesn’t seem to have inherited the same level of class and taste that his parents tended to display.


80s clothing for men