Sep 14, 2012

I Spy a Speedo

Speaking of buddy-bonding tv, during the secret agent craze of the mid-1960s (Wild Wild West, Get Smart, Mission: Impossible), there was an interracial one. I Spy (1965-68) paired Robert Culp as "international tennis star" Kelly Robinson, and Bill Cosby, twenty years before he became America's favorite dad, as Alexander Scott, his "trainer."


They were really spies, of course, but the tennis cover allowed them to explore many glamorous locales in "living color" (a rarity in tv in those days).  They usually spent several episodes in the same locale before moving on -- eight in Hong Kong, five in Japan, five in Mexico.  They were occasionally involved with women, but their strongest emotional bond was with each other.


Unfortunately, Cosby got no beefcake scenes, but Culp did.  The 35 year old was quite muscular for a non-bodybuilder of the era, and also filled out a tight swimsuit admirably (he was not too shy to give us completely nude frontal shots during his movie career).














Even the occasional dalliance with the ladies could be forgiven for the shots of Robert Culp in tight shorts or speedos.










After I Spy, Bill Cosby starred in several series with his name in the title.  Robert Culp starred in the 1969 sex comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, of The Cosby Show, plus lots of other tv shows and movies, including Greatest American Hero. He died in 2010, still fondly remembered by gay boomers as the wisecracking secret agent in speedos.







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