Nov 24, 2015

The Top Ten Nature Show Hunks

When I was little, the only nature program we had was Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1963-1985), with a grandfatherly host, Marlin Perkins, who didn't actually go into the field; he just narrated, and occasionally lapsed into a commercial: "Just as lions provide for their young, you need life insurance...."

Today's nature show hosts have learned that ratings depend on two things: you have to get out there, pat an elephant, shake hands with a tiger.  And it's hot in the jungle.  Take your shirt off! (And maybe get your crew to take their shirts off, too).

Here are the top 10 nature show hunks:

1. Troy Dann (left) of Outback Adventures (1998-99).  More buffed and less heterosexist than Steve Irwin, and he added aboriginal culture to the mix.

2-3. Nick Baker and Steve Backshall (left) of Britain's long-running Really Wild Show (2004-2006).

4. Australian herpetologist Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter (1997-2004).  He had the annoying habit of calling female crocodiles "darlin" and referring to them as his girlfriends, but his khaki shorts left little to the imagination.

5. Mr. Greenjeans of Captain Kangaroo (1955-1984).  He only played with cute domesticated animals, like bunny rabbits, but at least he had a boyfriend.

6-7. Surprisingly muscular brothers, Chris and Martin Kratt, who hung out with creatures on Kratt's Creatures (1995-96) and Zooboomafoo.  They also got animated.  Do a search for them on Deviant Art -- it's amazing how often they're shipped (made into romantic partners) by eager fans.

8. Boomer Corwin (left) of Going Wild with Boomer Corwin, The Boomer Corwin Experience, and so on.  He strips off his shirt at the drop of a script, and is rumored to be gay, in spite of his wife and kids.  Maybe because of the episode where he frolicked in Cambodia with Anderson Cooper.

9. Jim Fowler of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom.  He never showed any muscles, but we saw him occasionally in the field. And I figured that he was Marlin Perkins' boyfriend.

10.  Stan Brock, man-mountain same program.

11. Dave Salmoni, a big-cat specialist who hosted Living with Tigers, Animal Face-Off, Expedition Impossible, Rogue Nature, and Into the Pride.   He loves his gay fans, and often poses semi-nude for them.

Honorable mention goes to Chris Pontius and Steve-O of Wildboyzand Mark Trail, actually a comic strip character.