We're breaking out the wishbones a little early this Thanksgiving season. What began as part of a simple little post about the way '70s television allowed viewers to see more of their favorite male stars than they'd bargained for has snowballed into a major draw for visitors to The Underworld. The posts about the bulges of actors are popular 4 to 1 over anything else. I can understand why. I mean, if I didn't find it interesting myself, I would never have posted about it.
It's not about nudity, per se, or even size, though that does make bulges more pronounced. It's really (for me, anyway, and I suspect for others) more about getting a secret glimpse into that which is typically withheld from us. Any one of us can, with just a few clicks of the mouse, observe thousands upon thousands of naked men doing anything and everything imaginable. However, most mainstream stars did not and do not shuck all of their clothes and let the world see them naked. So the bulge thing is a way for us to get a better idea of what's going on “down there.” It's similar to solving a mystery. Call me the Jessica Fletcher of genitalia! Ha!
This installment is still going to focus on television performers, though there are a few additional shots sprinkled throughout just because I've found them and wish to share. Bulges are always better viewed in motion and can be hard to capture, but we try our best. The prudish among you (what are you doing here?!) may want to skip this one. As always, the pictures on the left or right can be clicked to enlarge.
The 1950s tended to be a difficult time to see bulges (and beefcake) on television. A happy exception is the 1956 installment of Screen Director's Playhouse. In it, manly George Montgomery (a recently profiled actor here in The Underworld) plays a man whose first wife has died and who has remarried to a woman (Angela Lansbury) who has trouble filling her shoes. The dead woman's cat Claire (which is also the name of the episode) has taken a decided dislike to her new mistress.
At one point, Montgomery and Lansbury retire to the patio next to the lake in order to sunbathe and take a picture of themselves. The always fit Montgomery sports a trim little swimsuit that is obligated by the custom of the times to cover up his navel, but which then rides up to reveal plenty of leg. As he joins Lansbury on the lounge chair, he lies back and begins running his hand all across his torso, enjoying the sunshiny weather. Here, we get a rare and surprisingly up close glimpse of his crotch, not that anything specific can be spotted. It's just a great beefcake-y moment in a series that tended to be quite staid.
I can find no record whatsoever of a TV show or even a TV episode of a show called The Green Felt Jungle as advertised in this photo. The star of whatever it was is Mr. Leslie Nielson, shoehorned into some seriously snug tan dungarees. Who knew that Detective Frank Drebin and Captain Harrison of the S. S. Poseidon was carrying around all that extra baggage?
Moving on to another black and white example, we have a 1965 episode of the venerable western series Gunsmoke. The guest star is John Drew Barrymore (aka John Barrymore Jr), the son of The Great Profile and the father of the now-famous Drew. In the storyline, the bearded bounty hunter pays a call on Doc and is placed on the examining table. In this moment, we get a quick look at JD's junk, including the the head of his penis.
The western genre dominated '50s and '60s TV and no show offered better bulgery than Bonanza. Most of it was supplied by Michael “Little Joe” Landon, especially several years in when he adopted a pair of stone-colored trousers that he wore in virtually every episode from then on and which generally left little or nothing to the imagination. The pants were not made of any appropriate natural material from that time like cotton or linen, but no one seemed to mind, then or now, when they were so revealing!
The other king of inappropriate pants on a TV western was Robert Conrad on The Wild Wild West (shown here with guest Sammy Davis Jr.) It's safe to say that no one back then dressed the way his character did on the show, but his body was so fit and tightly packed that it seemed a shame not to show it off to its best advantage. He was roundly admired for the way his rear end looked in those blue and grey trousers, but occasionally a nice glimpse in the front would pop up.
The Mod Squad, a crime-fighting series that ran from 1968 to 1973, can be a fertile bulge breeding ground at times. It concerned three juvenile delinquents who are recruited as police officers, usually going undercover in places where one could easily spot a more typical cop. Series regular Michael Cole, as Pete, was often a decent bet thanks to the snugly tailored pants he favored wearing. (Watching old eps of this show is almost worth it just to see the vintage clothing and hairstyles alone!)
In the pilot, he was shown (here with costar Peggy Lipton) on the beach in some well-worn and shape-defining cut-off shorts. This was not a look that he wore much - if at all - thereafter, which is a shame. Cole's black costar Clarence Williams III was also occasionally shown packing serious heat.
As Linc, the introspective, spiritual one of the trio, Williams was responsible for helping to break down color barriers that had heretofore been fractured by Bill Cosby, who costarred with Caucasian Robert Culp in I Spy, a TV first. Williams dressed surprisingly conservatively much of the time, but every once in a while would sport some very tight white jeans or some otherwise revealing pants that kept viewers awake.
Former physique model-turned-actor Dennis Cole was a performer who could very often be counted on to supply some bulge action. This publicity photo from his short-lived 1971 series Bearcats! (costarring former film star Rod Taylor) is an example of what I'm talking about. (Sorry that the larger photo is so blurry. The smaller one shows far better definition, but it's so tiny I included the blow up.)
A few years later, he guest-starred on The Love Boat and very briefly was seen skulking around the pool deck area in some very short and very revealing white tennis shorts. Sadly, this long shot is all we were allowed to see of them. Perhaps one of the censors was actually paying attention that day? If I recall correctly, he also showed off some snug polyester pants during guest stints on then-wife Jaclyn Smith's series Charlie's Angels.
The long-running crime show Hawaii 5-O nearly always had its male characters in suits despite the often sweltering climate of the island. This never stopped regular cat member James McArthur (playing Danny Williams of the famous line, “Book'm, Danno!”) from showing off a prominent bulge in the left side of his suit slacks.
He played Danno for more than a decade and, as the years went by, his hair got a little longer and a little grayer, but one thing never changed. As he walked towards the camera or planted himself in a chair, his significant stuff could often be seen pressing up against the fabric of his pants. My favorite suit of his was the pale beige one, but the olive green also did the trick on many occasions.
Guest stars on the show, often not held to wearing suits like the series' regulars, could often be afforded more exposure. Here, we have William Shatner in two pictures. The first one shows him confronting an enemy of his in the man's bedroom (and later on the beach) and contains examples of VPL (the phenomenon of the penis outline visible through the pants.)
This other shot shows Shatner prior to the scene above, using the phone to snake out the man he's looking for. This particular camera set-up, with the lens bearing down on the subject whose legs are spread, is one we'll see several examples of in today's post. It's a method that was obviously quite popular in the '70s and '80s, but which has since (sadly) gone by the wayside. Less sad, perhaps, is the demise of some of these strange '70s color combinations in decor...
We're about to head into Starsky and Hutch land, where bulges come at the viewer fast and furiously in nearly every episode. Some examples are far more prominent than others, but in general this was a series that served as a leader in that field. First, we have Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) in the pose discussed above, legs spread with the camera peering on indiscreetly.
Generally, though, Glaser revealed far less than his costar David “Hutch” Soul. (As I revealed in a post way back about television pilots, Soul got naked in the very first episode and seemingly had no issues letting in all hang out, so to speak, through his clothes thereafter!) Wherever the boys may be, it could generally be relied upon that Soul would be wearing some impossibly tight jeans that left almost no room for his genitals to exist. In these days when guys are trying to get their jeans as baggy and as loose as possible, it seems unbelievable to think that there was a time when the goal was to get one's jeans as skintight as they could be, but it's all true. We sometimes had to lie down in order to zip 'em up!
Even when they weren't crazy tight, Soul's jeans tended to be revealing nonetheless. There's the photo above in a scene with guest star Paul Burke. Then there's this snippet with guest Frank Converse, which takes places in Las Vegas. This sequence really needs to be seen in motion to be believed. It actually looks as if Soul is at least semi-hard as he trots down the hallway of a Vegas hotel shopping plaza. These caps don't do it justice.
Most of the time, though, his jeans were of the more snug variety. Remember what I said about those low camera angles with the actor's crotch getting center stage? How about this shot, in which Soul's character was desolate about the demise of a loved one? The day I saw this, I thought I had hit the mother lode; that there would never be anything from this series to top it. (I was wrong, and I'll address that misconception later!)
Bulge watchers of the world tend to be fond of WKRP in Cincinnati's Gary Sandy. Before he had the success of that situation comedy, Sandy was a guest on Starsky and Hutch. He played a zoned out, drugged up lost soul who was coerced into beating certain people to death with a ball bat. Most of his time was spent lying in bed, staring at an uncovered light bulb (which the camera picks up here.)
However, he did occasionally snap out of it in order to go out on one of his murderous rages. The opening sequence of the episode has him hiding in wait for his intended victim. In order to obscure his face for a time, the camera lingers on his crotch. Then, when he's finally ready to strike we see his surprisingly intimidating face (considering his heavily comedic resume) snarling away while he rears back with his (other) weapon.
Actor Robert Wagner (of movies and of Hart to Hart fame) isn't one who traditionally revealed a lot of bulge in his pants. This particular photo is a bit of a fluke. I think there's something in his pocket (perhaps a key chain) that is drawing his slacks in such a way. Still, I include it in case anyone out there finds it interesting. As I type this, the world is holding its collective breath to see if anything sordid about Wagner is revealed in the recently reopened case of Natalie Wood's death.
I'll digress just a moment here in order to toss out a few non-TV bulges of note. First up is Mr. Tom Jones, howling singer of note who lived in tight pants throughout the '60s and beyond. This picture is hilarious for so many reasons. First there's the gravity-defying hair (which Robert Reed of The Brady Bunch seemed to want to copy nevertheless!) Then there's the gun stuffed into his waistband. It mirrors the pistol he's packin' downstairs in these downright lurid jeans. Ya gotta love the '70s!
Another star from the world of music is Eddie Van Halen. Rock stars were often scampering around in revealing spandex or blue jeans. Here Eddie (being interviewed by someone with Entertainment Tonight?) demonstrates the now-defunct method of wearing pants or jeans pulled up so that the seam of them chose one side or another and was flush against the “taint!” Anyone else think he sort of resembles his then-wife Valerie Bertinelli here?! Maybe it's just the hair.
Still one more (fortunate!) example of that “jeans going all the way up” thing is Mr. Paul Newman. Here, Newman in some faded, comfy looking jeans, is dressed left, thereby giving the world a pretty decent idea of what was going on inside. Newman, obviously casual on this day with a denim shirt, a wind-breaker and the ever-present can of beer, still looks sexy as hell. Why, then, does dear Joanne, who is similarly casual in her attire, look like some kind of scrubwoman?
This next one is less of a bulge than a ball slip! Young movie actor Christopher Atkins was out on a photo shoot that involved rowing a boat while wearing only three things: two tennis shoes and a pair of shorts. This entire shoot is kind of sordid and icky anyway because he looks like he's strung out on something, eyes barely open and a crooked grin in place, which may be why he didn't seem to notice he was hanging out of his shorts. (Or did he know all along?)
Now, we come to a “Guess Who.” This big hangin' man was a major movie star from the '50s through the late '60s, eventually having some success on TV in the '70s. The shot above is from one of his most famous films, an enormous, sweeping saga about a swaggering, macho Texan whose eastern-bred wife challenges his sexist attitudes and ways. In this particular scene, he's entering the bedroom of his wife, who's just given birth to their third child (hence the toddler in the foreground.) If you want to guess, don't scroll down just yet because the answer is revealed in the very next paragraph.
Yes, this is Mr. Rock Hudson in Giant (in more ways than one!), paying a post-delivery visit to wife Elizabeth Taylor and holding up their eldest two children for a peek into the bassinet. Hudson's revealing slacks on his TV show McMillan & Wife were covered in an earlier post on the subject. It's fairly rare, though, to see evidence of such a thing in the movies, especially one like this one from 1956.
Okay, now back to the tube, if you'll pardon the pun. Back in his days on The Big Valley, Lee Majors showed off his stuff in some very tight tan britches. By the time he was starring on The Six Million Dollar Man (which ran from 1974 to 1978), the '70s were in full swing and he was strutting his stuff in some very tight jeans. (This horse doesn't know it, but it is one of the luckiest mounts in the world, getting to film a scene with its snout in such close proximity to Lee Jr!)
Looking back at the show now, he's often attired in some really amusing mod wear, with plenty of funky shirts, jackets, belts and so on. Scenes that ought to be quite serious, such as this one with his mother on the show Martha Scott (who seemed to play everyone's mother at one time or another!), in which he's distraught over the welfare of his critically injured fiance, take on a whole different aura when the viewer is faced with his painted-on jeans.
The injured fiancee is, of course, Miss Lindsay Wagner as the bionic woman. Here, they are shown during and after a super-speed jog. I had to include the shot on the left because it shows how he wore his running suit jacket with nothing underneath, unzipped to almost the navel! On the right, you can see a bit of how clingy the pants of the suit were. The episode shows the couple running in slow motion, affording the viewer some nice glimpses of Majors' package.
This red suit, by the way, served as something of an inspiration for the outfit the 12” action figure wore, though that was far more demure. The red tennis shoes and white socks remained, however. My childhood mind could never connect why I loved and adored Steve Austin, the bionic man, but was so disappointed with my action figure. His face looked old and craggy (the sculptor paid a bit too close attention to Majors' weathered fetaures!), his eye was effed up, his chest wasn't hairy and he had permanently fused red underwear on! LOL I do admit that his arm, which had “skin” that rolled up to reveal his electronic parts, was pretty nifty, though.
Anyway, Majors' own special parts were on display in the same two-part episode in which he and Wagner developed their (doomed) romance. As they walked through the grass surrounding a nearby lake, his typical '70s jeans left little to be wondered about. (Amusingly, after one too many interruptions from a pair of football playing kids, Majors used his bionic right arm to send the ball flying into another county!)
It's impossible to carry on any sort of discussion about bulges on television without including John Schneider of The Dukes of Hazzard. As Bo Duke, the blonde half of a pair of cousins who were always mixed up in country-fried shenanigans, Schneider put forth some legendary crotchery. I never watched the show as a child and rarely catch it now, but if I happen upon it, I'm always stunned at what I'm able to see (as you ought to be when you look at this picture!)
Science-fiction, especially from the '60s and '70s, has long been a fertile breeding ground for bulges. The 1979 series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was great for this. The white uniforms of the futuristic flying corp he belonged to were insanely body-hugging. (This became an issue over the course of the series' two seasons when star Gil Gerard began putting on weight!) For the better part of the first season, Gerard (as Buck) could be seen not only in the glove-like uniforms, but also in various get-ups that revealed his hairy chest.
He wasn't the only performer on the show to wear revealing clothes, though. Far from it. Here we have some nameless actors appearing as the guards of a dreary prison. The costumes are deliciously appealing anyway, but by the time you get to the clingy, tan trousers (very likely leftover from the producers' previous series Battlestar Galactica), they are heaven. Like I said in a previous post, if I have to do hard time, let it be someplace like this!
A show from 1981 to 1983 that also had fantasy elements to it (in more ways than one!) was The Greatest American Hero. Blonde series lead William Katt played a high-school teacher who is given a red bodysuit which gives him the ability to fly along with other super powers, the gag being that he lost the instructions to it. Thus, it wasn't unusual to find him soaring wildly or crashing into walls. (The theme song “Believe it or Not” became a smash hit.) Katt's costume had a tunic that usually covered his naughty bits, but sometimes it would ride up as in this shot.
1980s series T. J. Hooker had the well-built and hunky Adrian Zmed in its cast, but he wasn't the only one who made an impression. '60s singer and actor James Darren was also on hand for 66 of the show's 90 episodes. As shown here, he was still in considerable shape (and also was adept at showing off the shape of his crotch!)
Darren had played small roles in films from the late 1950s, but when he appeared in 1959's Gidget (and crooned the title song), he fell into the trap of being a teen idol. He tried to escape it (taking a more serious role in 1961's The Guns of Navarone), but not very hard. That same year, 1961, he appeared in Gidget Goes Hawaiian and two years later did Gidget Goes to Rome (even though he was in all three films, Gidget herself was never played by the same girl!) Here, he shows off the goods in Gidget Goes Hawaiian with Deborah Walley.
One more '80s crime show that offered up lots of bulge spotting was Hunter. Fred Dryer was a tall, lean, ex-pro football player who occasionally showed up in some eye-popping jeans. From the start of the series (which ran from 1984 to 1991), Dryer could be seen alternating between various slim-fitting dress slacks and his own blue jeans, which were often severely worn on the right side of his crotch from all the punishment they'd taken in the wearing!
No wonder the rather cheap and routine show ran for so long! Dryer, despite having left the L.A. Rams in 1981, capping off a pro football career that began in 1969, was still in excellent physical condition. He is shown above being treated by a doctor for a wound incurred during a strange, small town case. The doctor is really looking at the bandages and not Dryer's pronounced bulge. Really, he is! If you end up seeing any of this show, pay close attention to the brightly lit outdoor scenes when Dryer has his jeans on. It's unreal what can sometimes be viewed in them.
Dryer was not alone in showing off his stuff. In the pilot, guest star David Labiosa played a snarling, nasty pimp who is arrested by Dryer and his partner Stepfanie Kramer (dolled up like a hooker here, as she often was in the early days of the show.) As he is attempting to escape, she trips him and he falls to the ground, then he's shoved up against the car, bent over and frisked by Dryer.
The whole thing must have been quite exhilarating because from that point on, as he's dragged around the back of the car and forcibly restrained by Dryer, his penis is ever so slightly engorged and winds up stealing the scene from all three actors. Find me a TV series on network television these days that allows things like this to pass! Labiosa still pops up, though not to this degree, as a guest on various series, some of which have been NYPD Blue, CSI, CSI: Miami, 24 and The Closer.
Earlier, in the Starsky and Hutch section, I told you I thought I had found the ultimate David Soul bulge shot when he was seen lying forlornly on the sofa. You also know that I try to save the best for last in my posts when I can. Imagine my face when I later came upon a segment in which he was drunkenly blathering into the phone, his ass precariously rested on the edge of a stool. Look at this! Now I ask you... Do you think he “stuffed?” I can hardly wrap my brain around these pictures. If he didn't, he missed his calling as a porn actor! Whether he did or didn't, you can see why my addiction to 1970s TV is not about to dissipate any time soon. There's just so much to see! I hope you enjoyed this latest “round” of actor's assets.