Aug 11, 2014

The First Nudie Musical: 1970s TV Stars Get Naked

A few years after Oh, Calcutta! came The First Nudie Musical (1976), a sort of smutty parody of the 1930s "let's save something by putting on a show!" musicals with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.

Down-and-out producer Harry Schechter (Stephen Nathan, right) and his wisecracking secretary Rosie (Cindy Williams of Laverne and Shirley) try to save their studio with a pornographic musical.

They bet the debtors that they can finish in two weeks.  So they write a script about a naive country girl in the big city, find a down-and-out director (Bruce Kimmel, left), and hire a lot of down-and-out actors (including Diana Canova of Soap).  Also, Richie Cunningham himself, Ron Howard, has a cameo in an early scene.

It turns out to be a big hit, everybody is happy, and to obey the heterosexist mandate, Harry and Rose fall in love.

We only see a few scenes of the movie-within-a-movie.  It appears to be similar to Oh! Calcutta!, with songs about orgasms, dildos, and masturbation.
None of the main cast is nude, but there is ample male and female frontal nudity.  Nothing hard-core (presumably that occurred in the scenes we don't see).

I like the Stunt Cock.  "Are you always like that?" "Yeah, always."

And it's fun to hear prim, proper Shirley yelling "Cue the Stunt Cock!"  I want that on my business cards.

There are no gay men, but crossdressing may be referenced in the song "Perversion" ("I'll be the king, and you'll be the queen")/

Lesbians are represented only in a predatory seduction scene:

Lesbian, butch, dyke
You can call it what you like, but it's what I am and what I'll always be
Lesbian, butch, dyke
You can call me Mike, and not Jane or Susan or Penelope

Stephen Nathan played Jesus in Godspell, and also appeared in Busting Loose, one of my favorite tv shows from high school.  He is now a producer, with credits including Joan of Arcadia, Bones, and Family Law.  

Bruce Kimmel was a fixture on 1970s tv, mostly playing cute, cuddly nebbish types on The Partridge Family, M*A*S*H, Marcus Welby, Happy Days, Alice, and Laverne and Shirley.  In 1999, he produced Out at the Movies, about LGBT characters in film.  He's also written several novels with gay characters.