David Bruce: Nudity Anecdotes

• A production of Bohèmein Hamburg involved nudity. A young woman playing Euphémie, Schaunard’s girlfriend, appeared completely nude to model for a picture and donned clothing only when Rodolfo worried that she might catch cold. At a dress rehearsal, things went fine until the nude actress appeared, then the members of orchestra tried to play their instruments in strange positions so they could around and look at the nude actress. Of course, this caused havoc with the music. The conductor, Nello Santi, solved this problem by asking the nude actress if she would walk to the end of the stage for a few moments so the members of the orchestra could look at her. She didn’t mind, the members of the orchestra got a good look, then the rest of the rehearsal proceeded smoothly.

• Jayne Mansfield was a very healthy woman — her studio chair didn’t bear her name; instead, it bore the legend, “40-21-35.” Indeed, her breasts often upstaged other actresses. For example, at an event staged for Jane Russell’s movie Underwater, Jayne fell into a swimming pool and lost her swimming suit top. On another occasion, when Sophia Loren was being honored at a Hollywood reception, Jayne went over to her table to greet her, and bent over. One of her breasts came out of her dress, and Clifton Webb, who was sitting beside Ms. Loren, said, “Please, Miss Mansfield, we are wine drinkers at this table.”

• Ewan McGregor’s parents are huge fans of his work, and they often bring many friends with them to attend his films’ premieres in Scotland. However, when his movie The Pillow Book, which featured lots of nudity, including full-frontal nudity, came out, Mr. McGregor told his parents that they might not want to bring friends to see that particular premiere. Nevertheless, shortly afterward his parents sent him a fax to say that they loved the film. His father added this postscript to the fax: “I’m glad to see you’ve inherited one of my major assets.”

• Carol Cleveland is a beautiful woman who acted frequently with Monty Python’s Flying Circus, but today she is upset because so many fans say they saw her naked on the Monty Python TV series. Actually, she explains, she was never naked at all. The closest she ever came to being naked was when she was being chased by a man-eating roll-top desk, and cacti kept ripping off her clothes. In the last scene, she loses her top as she runs away from the camera. Other than that, she wore showgirl costumes and lingerie a lot, but she was never naked.

• While R.C. “Rudy” Gorman was in the first grade, he liked to draw with crayons. One day, his teacher looked at his artwork and, shocked, she asked him what he had drawn. He said that he had drawn a lady. This was true, but the lady wasn’t wearing any clothing. His teacher spanked him, and then she sent him home to show the drawing to his mother. Rudy’s mother looked at it, then she spanked him, too. Today, Mr. Gorman is an important artist whose artworks, including nudes, are in great demand.

• As a gay teenager, author Joel Perry used to hide copies of Playgirl, which features a nude male centerfold each issue, under his bed. One day, his mother found them, so he told her that he was keeping them for a girl named Susie so that Susie’s mother wouldn’t find them. She believed him. Years later, after he had been living with a male lover for 11 years, she asked if he was gay. After hearing that he was, she said, “Oh, honey, and you’re not even a good dancer.”

• In the Monty Python movie Life of Brian, Graham Chapman has a brief nude scene in which he appears before 300 Tunisian extras. The extras did not behave as expected, for the extras were Muslim, and their religion forbids women to see such scenes. So when Mr. Chapman suddenly opened some shutters and appeared naked before them, half of the extras — the women — ran away, screaming.

• British comedian Danny La Rue performs in drag, and he is very funny. One night, a woman in the audience was annoyed that her boyfriend was paying attention to Mr. La Rue’s performance instead of paying attention to her, so she bared her breasts and told her boyfriend, “Look — these are real.” From the stage, Mr. La Rue said, “Yes, darling, they are — but I can hang mine up when it’s hot!”

• Back when women jockeys first started racing, they tended to upset some of the men jockeys. Sometimes, the men jockeys would be naked in the steam bath and when they would walk — still naked — into the jockeys’ room, they would see women jockeys waiting to weigh in. This really didn’t bother the women jockeys, one of whom said, “I never notice faces.”

• On the Carol Burnett Show, Ms. Burnett once played the role of a woman in a nudist camp being interviewed by a reporter played by Harvey Korman. When Mr. Korman asked how people danced at the nudist camp, she replied, “Very carefully.” Unfortunately, the censors objected to that line. No problem. The writers substituted a new line: “Cheek to cheek.”

• When Russian heiress Ida Rubinstein wished to dance nude in the role of Salome in 1908, her brother-in-law, a physician, was so upset that he committed her to a mental institution. It didn’t work. After she got out of the mental institution, she appeared nude in many roles, including that of Cleopatra.

• When the courtesan La Barucci met the Prince of Wales, she turned her back to him, bent over, then lifted her shirts to show him her bare backside. “Look,” she told the other people present, “I show him the best part of me and it costs him nothing.”

• A member of the White House Preservation Committee once got to meet Nancy Reagan. Unfortunately, when Mrs. Reagan stood up, her skirt fell to the ground. She was unabashed and told her guest, “This is onemeeting you’ll never forget.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Voltaire’s CANDIDE: Chapter 26 – Candide and Martin sup with six sharpers – who they were

Chapter 26 – Candide and Martin sup with six sharpers – who they were

One evening as Candide, with his attendant Martin, was going to sit down to supper with some foreigners who lodged in the same inn where they had taken up their quarters, a man with a face the color of soot came behind him, and taking him by the arm, said, “Hold yourself in readiness to go along with us; be sure you do not fail.”

Upon this, turning about to see from whom these words came, he beheld Cacambo. Nothing but the sight of Miss Cunegund could have given him greater joy and surprise. He was almost beside himself, and embraced this dear friend.

“Cunegund!” said he, “Cunegund is come with you doubtless! Where, where is she? Carry me to her this instant, that I may die with joy in her presence.”

“Cunegund is not here,” answered Cacambo; “she is in Constantinople.”

“Good heavens! in Constantinople! but no matter if she were in China, I would fly thither. Quick, quick, dear Cacambo, let us be gone.”

“Soft and fair,” said Cacambo, “stay till you have supped. I cannot at present stay to say anything more to you; I am a slave, and my master waits for me; I must go and attend him at table: but mum! say not a word, only get your supper, and hold yourself in readiness.”

Candide, divided between joy and grief, charmed to have thus met with his faithful agent again, and surprised to hear he was a slave, his heart palpitating, his senses confused, but full of the hopes of recovering his dear Cunegund, sat down to table with Martin, who beheld all these scenes with great unconcern, and with six strangers, who had come to spend the Carnival at Venice.

Cacambo waited at table upon one of those strangers. When supper was nearly over, he drew near to his master, and whispered in his ear:

“Sire, Your Majesty may go when you please; the ship is ready”; and so saying he left the room.

The guests, surprised at what they had heard, looked at each other without speaking a word; when another servant drawing near to his master, in like manner said, “Sire, Your Majesty’s post-chaise is at Padua, and the bark is ready.” The master made him a sign, and he instantly withdrew.

The company all stared at each other again, and the general astonishment was increased. A third servant then approached another of the strangers, and said, “Sire, if Your Majesty will be advised by me, you will not make any longer stay in this place; I will go and get everything ready”; and instantly disappeared.

Candide and Martin then took it for granted that this was some of the diversions of the Carnival, and that these were characters in masquerade. Then a fourth domestic said to the fourth stranger, “Your Majesty may set off when you please”; saying which, he went away like the rest. A fifth valet said the same to a fifth master. But the sixth domestic spoke in a different style to the person on whom he waited, and who sat near to Candide.

“Troth, sir,” said he, “they will trust Your Majesty no longer, nor myself neither; and we may both of us chance to be sent to jail this very night; and therefore I shall take care of myself, and so adieu.”

The servants being all gone, the six strangers, with Candide and Martin, remained in a profound silence. At length Candide broke it by saying:

“Gentlemen, this is a very singular joke upon my word; how came you all to be kings? For my part I own frankly, that neither my friend Martin here, nor myself, have any claim to royalty.”

Cacambo’s master then began, with great gravity, to deliver himself thus in Italian:

“I am not joking in the least, my name is Achmet III. I was Grand Sultan for many years; I dethroned my brother, my nephew dethroned me, my viziers lost their heads, and I am condemned to end my days in the old seraglio. My nephew, the Grand Sultan Mahomet, gives me permission to travel sometimes for my health, and I am come to spend the Carnival at Venice.”

A young man who sat by Achmet, spoke next, and said:

“My name is Ivan. I was once Emperor of all the Russians, but was dethroned in my cradle. My parents were confined, and I was brought up in a prison, yet I am sometimes allowed to travel, though always with persons to keep a guard over me, and I come to spend the Carnival at Venice.”

The third said:

“I am Charles Edward, King of England; my father has renounced his right to the throne in my favor. I have fought in defense of my rights, and near a thousand of my friends have had their hearts taken out of their bodies alive and thrown in their faces. I have myself been confined in a prison. I am going to Rome to visit the King, my father, who was dethroned as well as myself; and my grandfather and I have come to spend the Carnival at Venice.”

The fourth spoke thus:

“I am the King of Poland; the fortune of war has stripped me of my hereditary dominions. My father experienced the same vicissitudes of fate. I resign myself to the will of Providence, in the same manner as Sultan Achmet, the Emperor Ivan, and King Charles Edward, whom God long preserve; and I have come to spend the Carnival at Venice.”

The fifth said:

“I am King of Poland also. I have twice lost my kingdom; but Providence has given me other dominions, where I have done more good than all the Sarmatian kings put together were ever able to do on the banks of the Vistula; I resign myself likewise to Providence; and have come to spend the Carnival at Venice.”

It now came to the sixth monarch’s turn to speak. “Gentlemen,” said he, “I am not so great a prince as the rest of you, it is true, but I am, however, a crowned head. I am Theodore, elected King of Corsica. I have had the title of Majesty, and am now hardly treated with common civility. I have coined money, and am not now worth a single ducat. I have had two secretaries, and am now without a valet. I was once seated on a throne, and since that have lain upon a truss of straw, in a common jail in London, and I very much fear I shall meet with the same fate here in Venice, where I came, like Your Majesties, to divert myself at the Carnival.”

The other five Kings listened to this speech with great attention; it excited their compassion; each of them made the unhappy Theodore a present of twenty sequins, and Candide gave him a diamond, worth just a hundred times that sum.

“Who can this private person be,” said the five Kings to one another, “who is able to give, and has actually given, a hundred times as much as any of us?”

Just as they rose from table, in came four Serene Highnesses, who had also been stripped of their territories by the fortune of war, and had come to spend the remainder of the Carnival at Venice. Candide took no manner of notice of them; for his thoughts were wholly employed on his voyage to Constantinople, where he intended to go in search of his lovely Miss Cunegund.


David Bruce’s Smashwords Bookstore: Retellings of Classic Literature, Anecdote Collections, Discussion Guides for Teachers of Literature, Collections of Good Deed Accounts, etc. Some eBooks are free.